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Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls

Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
(This post is derived from a talk I gave at SV Angel's CEO Summit.) 

A lot has been written about the dangers that early-stage startups face. But startups face a different and equally lethal set...
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A dozen wise and down-to-earth tips from YC's Jessica Livingstone. The problem with theses pitfalls is that you may fall into them even though you know about them. All the more reasons to get refreshed periodically.

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A Super Angel’s View On Venture Capital In 2015

A Super Angel’s View On Venture Capital In 2015 | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
As the first quarter of 2015 draws to a close, it's clear that the venture capital industry is evolving. Since 2005, thousands of new millionaires have..
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Very interesting global review of VC by Fabrice Grinda. Covers valuations in the US and the drying-up of the IPO pipeline.

 

I think he writes off France too quickly though. Government blunders, while harmful, do not offset the flow of outstanding new French entrepreneurs.

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Peak Google - stratechery by Ben Thompson

Peak Google - stratechery by Ben Thompson | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Google owns search, and will continue to do so. But the online ad market is about to get a lot bigger, and it's not clear that Google will win.
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This article struck a chord in me as I'd been vaguely thinking along those lines, but form a completely different perspective : anti-trust cases. Today's anti-trust frenzy against Google remind me of yesterday's cases against Microsoft, and I guess their outcome will be very similar : infinitesimal impact of last decade's war, and no clue about this decade's war.

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Bitcoin and Regulation: Lessons from the Early Days of Skype

Bitcoin and Regulation: Lessons from the Early Days of Skype | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Skype fought regulation at every turn, says former COO Michael Jackson, and bitcoin should do the same.
Xavier Faure's insight:

Very powerful piece. Disrupting companies must respect the law but can't let themselves be defined and bogged down by regulation. Jackson tells how startups can and should walk this narrow path.

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The Ascent Of Early-Stage Venture Capital | TechCrunch

The Ascent Of Early-Stage Venture Capital | TechCrunch | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Early-stage funding by angels and venture capital firms is growing in size and impact on the technology industry. Last year, U.S. venture capital firms..
Xavier Faure's insight:

Yes, early-stage venture is the thing. This paper does a good job of listing the reasons why.

Most of them also apply to French startups.

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Invest in Lines, not Dots

Invest in Lines, not Dots | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Everyone seems to be in such a rush to get shacked up these days. In normal times investors will look for "traction" before investing.  We want to make sure
Xavier Faure's insight:

I'm just discovering Mark Suster's blog, it's a goldmine. This post is a gem displaying what I've learnt to expect from him : insight and pragmatism.

 

Both VCs and entrepreneurs gain tremendously from knowing each other before making a deal. If we want to achieve that without unnecessarily delaying the fund raising process, there's only one solution : meet before the startup is raising; meet early, meet often.

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The New Venture Landscape | K9 Ventures

The New Venture Landscape | K9 Ventures | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
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Interesting snapshot. Hiring skilled engineers has now become the single biggest roadblock for Bay Area startups.

France is the place to start.

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The Fifth Protocol

The Fifth Protocol | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

"Wait a minute... Make up your mind. This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?" Juanita shrugs. "What's the difference?" --- Snow Crash

Xavier Faure's insight:

The more i dig into this Bitcoin thing, the more I marvel at its potential. Beyond the currency, beyond the payment system, Naval Ravikant sees the Internet's fifth protocol that will allow machines to exchange in a decentralized way.

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What I Would Look for When Choosing a VC – Knowing What I Know Now?

What I Would Look for When Choosing a VC – Knowing What I Know Now? | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Picking a VC is hard. You don't really have much to go on to decide who would make a good fit. Reputation of firm? Of partner? Deals done in your industry? It's
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Great piece of advice. Not only what to look for but how to look for it. VC is no more about skills than it is about attitude or even spirit.

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Why Bitcoin Matters

Why Bitcoin Matters | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Bitcoin is the first practical solution to a longstanding problem in computer science, Marc Andreessen writes in Another View.
Xavier Faure's insight:

It takes a great mind to make complex things look simple. Marc Andreessen's piece is crystal clear. A 5 min read allows to understand what is Bitcoin, how it works and what it means.

Thanks.

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Why Silicon Valley Can’t Find Europe | TechCrunch

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Find Europe | TechCrunch | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Go to Europe these days – to Berlin, London, Helsinki – drop in in on any of the regional tech confabs and you will quickly see that the European startup..
Xavier Faure's insight:

The good news is that a lot of exciting startups are growing in Europe. The bad news is that US, especially Silicon Valley is completely oblivious to that. This might be an advantage for some VCs.

The sad news is that the author doesn't seem to consider France as a startup hub.

 

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Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 11 Notes Essay

Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 11 Notes Essay | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Here is an essay version of my class notes from Class 11 of CS183: Startup. Errors and omissions are mine. Credit for good stuff is Peter’s.
Class 11 Notes Essay—Secrets
I. Secrets
Back in class one,...
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There are a lot of smart people around. When you talk with smart people, you end up saying to yourself : "Wow, that's great, I'd never thought of that". Peter Thiel is a different sort of smart person. When you read his stuff, you end up saying to yourself : "Wow, I want to build a startup that will change the world".

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Bitcoin As Protocol | Union Square Ventures

"We owe many of the innovations that we use every day -- from our favorite longstanding websites to the latest mobile applications -- to the existence of underlying highly technical protocols."

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Though not overly technical, Albert Wenger gets into the heart of Bitcoin : a distributed public ledger. Huge implications.

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Burn Rate Doesn’t Matter

Burn Rate Doesn’t Matter | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
“The sky is falling!” VCs first sounded the alarm in September, claiming that startup burn rates had reached dangerous heights and companies must be wary..
Xavier Faure's insight:

Burn rate = speed / efficiency. This simple algebraic formula casts an interesting light on the burn rate. The same burn can mean fast and efficient or slow and inefficient. A pity I didn't see it by myself.

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A Pre-Seed Primer (if by Primer u mean Rant) | BreakingVC

A Pre-Seed Primer (if by Primer u mean Rant) | BreakingVC | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
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Interesting take on the evolution of micro-VCs in the US (with a zoom on Chicago). Raises the question of why micro-VCs didn't emerge in France. A business opportunity?

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The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014 - stratechery by Ben Thompson

The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014 - stratechery by Ben Thompson | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
A broad overview of where the world of technology is in 2014, placed in the historical context of the three epochs: PC, Internet, and mobile
Xavier Faure's insight:

Usually, I tend to take attempts to draw strong analogies with a lot of skepticism, as they often try to cramm reality into a preexisting model. Here, in contrast, the model flows naturally and proves a powerful tool for framing the past and future of consumer computing.

All in all, great read.

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The Invisible Economy

The Invisible Economy | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Our techniques for measuring economic performance are obsolete, obscuring a complete picture of how we're faring.
Xavier Faure's insight:

Yes, non-monetary transactions are not tracked by GDP but account for an growing part of our well-being. To put it differently, basically GDP ignores consumer surplus. Digital services prices tend to zero while their value for users skyrocket. 


GDP, which has been designed to capture only monetary transactions related to the production of goods and services, is increasingly becoming irrelevant to measure an economy's output in the digital age.

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The Marginal Cost of Cryptocurrency

The Marginal Cost of Cryptocurrency | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
I would count myself in the camp who believe that cryptocurrencies could do to finance what TCP/IP did to communications. Yet I also believe that Bitcoin and most of its current variations suffer f...
Xavier Faure's insight:

Extremely insightful piece on the underlying economy of Bitcoin vs competitors. Pretty technical, both on the cryptocurrency and the economics part. But it's well worth the effort.

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Bitcoin Price Pressure

Bitcoin Price Pressure | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

The price of bitcoin keeps trending down.  [1] This causes a lot of people to declare the end of bitcoin.



It’s important to understand that the default price pressure of the bitcoin ecosystem is down.

Xavier Faure's insight:

Simple but powerful piece by Sam Altman. Yes, the default price pressure on BTC is down. Doesn't mean that bitcoin or the blockchain are doomed, though.

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Notes on TV

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A clever analysis by Ben Evans. The "Pandora for TV" metaphor is powerful. Maybe the value is not in the content itself, but in the ability to bring the right content to each viewer with minimal effort for him.

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Ignorance | Benedict Evans

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"You just have to be sure that you understand why they're laughing"

 

Disruptive companies often bring to an industry unconventional knowledge that comes from another industry. The point is that you need to master both industries in order to make sure that it works and it is relevant. And it's not humanly possible to master one, let alone two industries.

 

That's the magic of venture investing.

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Super successful companies

Super successful companies | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
I spent some time recently thinking about what companies that grow up to be extremely successful do when they are very young. I came up with the following list. It’s from personal experience and...
Xavier Faure's insight:

Great list. Some items are rather obvious, most are pretty insightful.

My favorite one : the founders are nice.

Resonates very well with my own experience. Nice doesn't mean weak. Nice means strong enough so they don't have to behave like sociopaths.

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Why Worrying About Startup “Competitors” is Ridiculous

Why Worrying About Startup “Competitors” is Ridiculous | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it

How much time do you spend worrying about your competitors?

Do you get stressed whenever they come out with something new?

Xavier Faure's insight:

A lot of counterintuitive wisdom here. Fighting your competitors can make sense when you own 30% market share in a flat market.

When you're a startup trying to create (or discover) a market, you can't afford to waste resources in petty fights. Your best interest is  to partner with your competitor to increase the size of the pie.

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Dave Lerner | The Great Unbundling of Venture Capital

Dave Lerner | The Great Unbundling of Venture Capital | VC and entrepreneurship | Scoop.it
Xavier Faure's insight:

VC, perhaps more than any other industry, is being disrupted by technology. This astounding piece by Dave Lerner shows the depth of it, with an historical view and insights for the future. A must read.

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