Ten Things I Think I Think

If I could do it all over again, I’d be a sportswriter. Growing up in the mid-80’s, my favorite thing was to wake up and get the paper-delivered Boston Globe and open the sports pages (an anachronism for anyone born after 1975, probably). I wrote for the town newspaper and it’s the one thing (other [...]

Listening

You need to prepare, listen and engage.-Charlie Rose I’ve met a lot of incredibly successful, accomplished and well-known people. In some cases, I’ve even worked with them. This is one of the huge perks of working with Ron Conway, who I put in this bucket. (Incidentally, this sounds like a nested humblebrag but just because [...]

Cheap Data

I went to a tech talk last night called “Genomics at Web Scale.” at Counsyl. [SV Angel is an investor in Counsyl.] The following is above my pay grade to critique but here goes. There’s a strain of thought in computer science that “data beats algorithms.” That is, having more data is better than having [...]

It’s business, man

Yesterday was a depressing day for me. I’ve been a fan of the New England Patriots (and other Boston sports teams) for over 30 years. And I just can’t root for them anymore. [Endnote] Putting aside the fact that no grown-ass man should be this depressed about a sporting event, it’s a cold, hard reminder [...]

Operating Leverage

I’m not a finance guy. Which is pretty scary given that I’m theoretically in the “finance profession.” I didn’t even take a single economics class in college. I faked-it-until-I-maked-it and just tried to learn on the job. Probably the useful concept for me in the context of tech was the notion of “operating leverage.” It [...]

Making Decisions

I’m not a big believer in post-mortem analysis. It’s very hard to do it without infecting analysis with what you know now. For example, when it comes to “misses” in startup investing, one often looks at where “things went wrong.” But maybe nothing went wrong. Maybe you created a systematic plan and process, executed the [...]

What is the business model of SV Angel?

My answer to that Quora question reprinted here: SV Angel invests in and advises startups. We make money when these startups have a “liquidity event,” which is historically an acquisition or public offering. We invest other people’s money. We invest our own money too–this is called a “capital contribution”, which is required of most funds. [...]

Warren Buffett’s Definition of Investing

From the Berkshire Hathaway 2011 Letter to Shareholders: with my edits. Read the whole thing here: (link) Investing is often described as the process of laying out money now in the expectation of receiving more money in the future. At Berkshire we take a more demanding approach, defining investing as the transfer toothers of purchasing [...]

Updating Your Investors

This post is for companies in their first year or so and have angel/seed investors. You should update your investors. Even if they don’t have a legal right to updates (i.e., “information rights”). It can help you more than it benefits them. I learned this from Ron Conway - updates are a sign of a [...]

Scar Tissue

When I first started investing in 2007, I heard some investors turn down opportunities because of “scar tissue.” They had previous brutal (and usually money-losing) experiences with an idea/sector/market and this prevented them from doing it again. The canonical example for us is Ron Conway and music. Ron spent the better part of a decade [...]