Column

  • Defining The Digital Currency Professional

    Defining The Digital Currency Professional

    As new industries develop, new professions emerge. And when much is at stake and the industry is marked by an asymmetry of information between the layman and those in advisory roles, an organized process for defining and certifying those professionals is required. This process is critical for the success of the industry, as well as the success of those professionals who have invested in… Read More

  • Software And Data Are Disrupting Venture Capital Firms

    Software And Data Are Disrupting Venture Capital Firms

    Over the last decade, the estimated number of new tech startups formed in the U.S. each year ranged from 16,000 to 20,000, and the total amount of venture funding per year for software startups increased from ~$5 billion to $19 billion. Most recently, over the past five years, terabytes of structured data about these startups have been proliferating on the web (see CrunchBase profile growth… Read More

  • As Startups Mature, Debt Markets Beckon

    As Startups Mature, Debt Markets Beckon

    Editor’s note: Malte Susen and Ariadna Masó are both working as debt investment professionals at international corporate and investment banks.  As debt financing professionals, we have witnessed hundreds of challenging loan and bond financings for larger businesses. A company’s financing can be pivotal to its success, yet executives often struggle to optimize capital structures… Read More

  • Startup Lessons From My Screenwriter Life, Part 1

    Startup Lessons From My Screenwriter Life, Part 1

    I spent the first 10+ years of my career writing and directing movies. Now I’m a startup CEO. Between these two roles, I’ve learned a lot about the process of getting ideas into focus and onto the screen, whether that’s the silver screen or my Macbook screen. With the Oscars turning our attention to this year’s great cinematic achievements, here are some lessons I… Read More

  • After Funding, Watch Burn Rates And Beware The Tyranny Of Incrementalism

    After Funding, Watch Burn Rates And Beware The Tyranny Of Incrementalism

    Every dollar the founders take out of the company sets the tone for the entire business going forward. Every dollar spent is a dollar of dilution, as it costs equity. Every unnecessary dollar spent on the founders sets the tone that cash should be more important than equity to everyone involved in the business. Read More

  • The Untapped Industry Of Vehicle History Checks

    The Untapped Industry Of Vehicle History Checks

    Carwow recently received £4.6m in series A for flipping the car-buying experience on its head, and JustPark received a large amount last year. More recently we’ve seen the UK government give “hands-free” cars the go-ahead. The automative industry is undoubtedly flaring up with some awesome tech innovations, but there is still one sector to tackle: vehicle history checks, a… Read More

  • Software Patents Are Increasingly Coming Under Fire In Court

    Software Patents Are Increasingly Coming Under Fire In Court

    Last summer, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International in which it directed lower courts to scrutinize computer-implemented abstract methods very closely. Alice’s impact was unclear at the time the decision issued, but lower courts have since relied on the Supreme Court’s opinion to invalidate a number of software patents in… Read More

  • Should You Be A Startup CEO?

    Should You Be A Startup CEO?

    This is the narrative that isn’t talked about – but I promise you it’s the more common narrative amongst even those that went to top-tier schools, got the right jobs, worked hard in their 20s but didn’t quite join Google, Facebook, Twitter at the right time. Read More

  • Managing Tensions In Online Marketplaces

    Managing Tensions In Online Marketplaces

    Specifically, I believe all of these marketplaces need to nurture and manage conditions of “perfect competition” to thrive. A big part of managing two-sided marketplaces involves managing tensions between the two, often opposing “sides”. Typically these are consumers on one side and micro-entrepreneurs or small businesses on the other. Depending on the type of… Read More

  • The “Common Plus” Opportunity

    The “Common Plus” Opportunity

    It’s become increasingly common for early-stage entrepreneurs to “lead their own rounds” via the use of convertible notes. In cases where they set financing terms themselves, they often set a high valuation cap and sign initial angel investors onto those terms rather than waiting for VCs to join. While this sounds like it’s good for founders, it can actually harm… Read More

  • And The Best Native Ad Award Goes To …

    And The Best Native Ad Award Goes To …

    Although the Super Bowl is still “king” when it comes to TV ad space, annual award shows like the Oscars and the Grammys are also very attractive to advertisers. For the recent Grammy Awards, 30-second commercials went for $1 million apiece, while half-minute ads for this year’s Oscar telecast are selling for $1.9 million. Read More

  • How Technology Is Tricking You Into Tipping More

    How Technology Is Tricking You Into Tipping More

    My taxi pulled up to the hotel. I got out my credit card and prepared to pay for the ride. The journey was pleasant enough but little did I know I was about to encounter a bit of psychological trickery designed to get me to pay more for the lift. Read More

  • Restaurant Tech Restocked For Tomorrow And Beyond

    Restaurant Tech Restocked For Tomorrow And Beyond

    A recent article in TechCrunch characterized nascent upstarts in the restaurant industry as wide-eyed idealists with little reality of the harsh, high-touch operating environment in which they operate. Having worked in the tech, food and health worlds for most of my career, I believe the article misrepresented the significant progress being made across the industry. On almost every front… Read More

  • Four Pitfalls Hollywood Must Avoid To Keep Up With The Kardashians On Mobile

    Four Pitfalls Hollywood Must Avoid To Keep Up With The Kardashians On Mobile

    When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the world was immediately changed forever and the web gave way to apps as the leading way people absorbed content. As with most emerging mediums, Hollywood was one of the first forces to take notice of mobile and tap its potential to reach fans. Unfortunately, a lot of these attempts have historically ranged from confusing to ridiculous. Read More

  • The Untapped $140 Trillion Innovation For Jobs Market

    The Untapped $140 Trillion Innovation For Jobs Market

    It’s a popular sport nowadays, discussing if tech is going to kill or create jobs. The answer is simple, if you ask me. If we care more about tasks than about people, then tech will replace people. If we care more about people than about tasks, then tech will leverage people. Think about it this way: I work in your company, I wash the dishes. You buy a dishwashing machine. You can either… Read More

  • The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream?

    The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream?

    DIGITAL CURRENCIES ACCEPTED HERE proclaims the plaque at my local froyo place, emblazoned with the Bitcoin logo: but when I ask how I would pay with Bitcoin, the Australian woman behind the counter shrugs and says, “I think we have a tablet somewhere with instructions on the back? …Nobody’s ever tried to pay me with it.” Read More

  • Technology Stole The Show At Sundance

    Technology Stole The Show At Sundance

    True to its reputation, the Sundance Film Festival debuted a variety of fascinating and cutting-edge independent films during its annual run in Park City recently, but this year’s biggest breakout star was not celluloid. It was technology, as Silicon Valley innovation invaded this year’s festival in a big way. Filmmakers, studio representatives and festival attendees rubbed elbows… Read More

  • U.S. To Scale Back Its Role In Internet Governance

    U.S. To Scale Back Its Role In Internet Governance

    Even though the Internet has long been an international community, the United States has always been at its center. However, that all may be about to change as the U.S. Department of Commerce scales back its role in Internet governance. The transition is a gradual one, but by the end of the year, the DOC is expected to give up its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names… Read More

  • Multiple Directions On Valuation Multiples 

    Multiple Directions On Valuation Multiples 

    Private company valuation is as much art as science, sometimes as much alchemy as chemistry. Among the few reliable and well-worn guidelines to follow are public companies and recent M&A multiples. This is why we spend so much time refining, tracking and parsing the multiples we use. Oddly, we have observed a strange lag in the re-evaluation of comparable pricing and an over-correction… Read More

  • How Wearable Startups Can Win Big In The Medical Industry

    How Wearable Startups Can Win Big In The Medical Industry

    As attention shines down on fitness trackers and smart watches, one of the biggest opportunities for wearable devices remains shadowed in the corner — medical wearables. Medical wearables present colossal opportunities, but they tend to frighten entrepreneurs and elicit polarizing sentiments from investors. As a healthcare and digital health investor, I am often asked my opinion on… Read More