Why You Can’t Put A Genie Back In A Bottle, And Other VC Wisdom


Almost the weekend, folks! What better way to kick off Friday morning then with a fresh batch of VC advice?

“What I Wish I Knew Before Pitching LinkedIn to VCs,” by Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners“Entrepreneurs often say they have no competition, assuming that’s an impressive claim. But if you claim that you don’t have competition, you either believe the market is completely inefficient or no one else thinks your space is valuable. Both are folly.”

“How to Avoid a Common Product Mistake Many Teams Make,” by Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures“Give people fewer options, fewer choices to make. Give them the bare essentials. Design products for your mom. Know that when you look at the data you’ll find out the overwhelming majority of your users will come to your application infrequently and so you can’t assume they can easily orient themselves. If they can’t, they won’t return.”

“The Genie and the Bottle,” by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures: “Let’s look at Airbnb. There are a lot of folks here in NYC and NY State that don’t like Airbnb. It’s competition for the hotels. It’s unpopular with neighbors who don’t want unknown people in their buildings. And, it turns out, it is against the law in NY State. But you know what? The Genie is out of the bottle. In less than a week over 70,000 people have petitioned NY State to change their laws.”

“Personal Brand is Company Brand,” by Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures“Any founder not working on their own brand is doing their company a disservice.  Period.  It’s important for a founder to publicly project a set of values, believes, share knowledge and best practices and be seen as a leader not just at the company, but in their market.  Investors want to back leaders.”