Don’t worry dear readers, we haven’t forgotten about you! With the holiday weekend and getting back into the week our MMM has now become a MMM-TEE. Practical and informative, but not nearly as nice sounding as the original…
What Lies Ahead: We will keep up with our VC spotlight and ROTW cadence and are working on a few new ideas in the coming weeks that we think you will enjoy! (Hint: think Term Sheet Madness meets the World Cup…)
Bio: Chris has a BA/MA from Columbia and an MBA from Harvard. He also founded and exited two companies (SiteAdvisor and Hunch) as well as having two stints at VC firms (Bessemer and A16Z). Not a bad resume if you ask us! More info here!
Miscellaneous/Interesting Facts: In addition to his daily role, he is an active angel investor and co-founder of Founder Collective, a seed stage VC fund that is run by former founders. We are big fans of Founder Collective and their mission of founders helping founders!
Deal Notables: We really like this business model of low-cost loans to qualified applicants via future expectations and less on prior history. That, and the market potential is staggering so we think Earnest has some serious upside. Another interesting note is that the company is based in San Francisco but chose Boston as their pilot city. Earnest claims it is due to the “high population of young working professionals” but we personally think Boston’s general awesomeness was the deciding factor. But hey, we aren’t biased or anything…
*Editor’s Note: This video is a bit old, but you get the idea…
Not a VC in the traditional sense, but we consider him to be a thought leader in the space as well as having quite the successful incubator (Y Combinator) that has garnered millions in VC dollars so we think it is more than fair to include him here.
Bio: Paul is a founder, a visionary, and a powerful voice in the industry. He founded Viaweb which sold to Yahoo in the late ’90s and has been an active mentor and investor ever since. He co-founded Y Combinator in 2005 and it has become the preeminent startup accelerator in the world. More about him here!
Miscellaneous/Interesting Facts: In addition to his role at YC, his essays have been instrumental in many startups’ early lives. They cover many topics from getting funding, to generating ideas, and even how to grow. We are big fans of YC and his impact on the ecosystem here at C:V.!
The past few weeks have been interesting here at C:V. thanks largely in part to playoff hockey among other items. Have no fear though, now that our beloved Bruins (yes we are from Boston…) are out of the playoffs you can expect C:V. to get back to its normal ways and we are looking to add new content as well!
A16Z’sBen Horowitz published an excellent book earlier this year on the many issues a CEO/founder runs into when building a business and sprinkles in a lot of anecdotes and tidbits he learned along the way as a successful CEO and founder himself. Check the book out here!
Name:The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Overview: This book dives into many aspects of Ben’s career and life and how he was able to navigate the exceedingly difficult path that is creating and growing a successful company. Along the way he details his trials and tribulations with Opsware/Loudcloud, his enterprise software company he ended up selling to HP, some advice on how to hire, fire, and retain talent, and our favorite part, a mention of his good product manager/bad product manager mantra!
Invest, Invest with Participating Liquidation Preferences, or Pass: Invest!
Investment Thesis: Much like Venture Deals is for aspiring VC’s/Founders who want to learn term sheets, The Hard Things is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who aspires to be a CEO or successfully manage a business one day. It is an in-your-face and to-the-point book that provides great advice and context for anyone who is looking to head down the startup/CEO pathway.
Deal Notables: With all the movement in the space recently, we wonder how everything will shake out. It appears there are a few avenues that these companies can travel down (ready to eat: SpoonRocket, cook yourself: Blue Apron, standard delivery of existing restaurants: GrubHub). We like the fact SpoonRocket claims and $8 fee and under 10 minute delivery in the ready to eat category, but are very interested in finding out what the proper logistical balance is to keep supply and demand in check with the pricing/delivery parameter when they eventually scale the business to greater/more disperse locations.
As if he needs any introduction, Marc Andreessen is long overdue for our VC Spotlight feature. The first half of A16Z and a key voice in the innovation economy, Marc is a favorite of ours here at C:V.!
Bio: Before A16Z Marc was a co-founder of Opsware with Ben Horowitz. Even before that, and what he is most famous for, Marc created the first widely used web browser Mosaic. More on him here and here!
Miscellaneous/Interesting Facts: Marc recently penned a few tweets about acquisition valuations that we found fantastic as a lot of value can be created when a company is rolled up into a larger more diversified business regardless of the target’s current business.