What we're reading...
The Tech Stars blog does a great job of providing a general overview of the typical functions at a venture capital firm. Link
Battery Ventures raised a pair of funds at $950M. Their strategy is focus. They plan to "start with product market fit and go very deep in a handful of product market segments. We don’t experiment with core markets outside of that…If you start experimenting in markets you don’t know, that’s when you run into problems.” Link
The GSV team created a list of 250 innovative startups that they predict will be technology game changers. They also gave some great investment advice to VCs: PDF Link
Myth: look for a team who has great experience and has “done it before”.
Reality: look for a team who is able to learn and grow the fastest.
Myth: look for products with be er and more features. Reality: look for products that are different and are hacked together quickly but gaining trac on with a small core group of “addicts”.
Myth: invest in gigantic markets. Reality: invest in small markets that are growing dynamically—the Internet in 1990s.
Myth: look for companies that have revenue and/or profit. Reality: look for companies that are focused on building huge protective moats around technology and network but aren’t monetizing yet.
David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, makes the case for magazines in a digital era. Link
Brad Feld of Foundry Group wrote a post about impostor syndrome and insecurity. He added this slide as a helpful visual for the types of insecurity. Link
Fast Company has an interesting long read about Jonah Paretti's quest to build a 100 year media company out of Buzzfeed. Link
Chris Dixon of Founder Collective writes about 'what's next in computing." He writes about the exciting things happening in AI, the emergence of new types of computing in hardware, and virtual reality. Link
Virtual Reality. 2016 is an exciting year for VR: the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC/Valve Vive (and, possibly, the Sony Playstation VR), means that comfortable and immersive VR systems will finally be publicly available. VR systems need to be really good to avoid the “uncanny valley” trap. Proper VR requires special screens (high resolution, high refresh rate, low persistence), powerful graphics cards, and the ability to track the precise position of the user (previously released VR systems could only track the rotation of the user’s head). This year, the public will for the first time get to experience what is known as “presence” — when your senses are sufficiently tricked that you feel fully transported into the virtual world.
Tim Draper of Draper Associates discusses some of his successful investments, including Tesla, Skype, Hotmail. He discusses why he believes so strongly in Bitcoin, the mission of DraperU, and which companies have had the best funding pitches. Link