Back like we never left, the first batch of venture capitalist advice for 2014. Don’t act like you’re not starved for wisdom…
“Local Schwag Bearers,” by Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures: “The best evangelist I’ve ever seen is John Britton when he worked at Twilio. All he had to do was hangout at hackathons and do demos where he wrote code live. It was simple and brilliant all at the same time. I feel like NYC knew Twillio because NYC knew John. That’s great, except that when John left, Twilio seemed not to be top of mind anymore. It wasn’t clear that he had put lasting structures in place that would survive past his own association with the company. I mean, what do you want him to do, everything?”
“The Mutual Company,” by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures: “I will come back to the mutual company thing in a bit, but first I want to say that Joe [Nocera] and Jaron [Lanier] are leaving out the notion of consumer surplus in their analysis. The newspaper costs money. Twitter is free. In a world where ‘we’ create the newspaper instead of the NY Times Company creating it, the newspaper can and will be free. That is happening all over the place, because of the efficiency of digital networks, and the result is a large amount of consumer surplus that is landing in all of our laps.”
“Why I’m Interested In Bitcoin,” by Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz: “If not for political reasons, why am I interested in Bitcoin? Like a lot of people, I was disturbed by the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. I thought the government did what it had to do at the peak of the crisis but missed an important opportunity afterwards to reform the financial system. It seemed to me that there were two ways to improve the system: from above through regulation (which I support), or from below through competition.”
“How Boards Need To Evolve Over Time,” by Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures: “One of my biggest suggestions as your business starts to mature is that you start to add independent board members – preferably those that have a background that would be useful to you. And I’ve also been convinced that it can be quite useful to have another startup company CEO on your board. In any case that is infinitely more valuable to you than just having your two buddies that you started the company with on the board. If you don’t have control anyways wouldn’t you rather have a friendly founder who has walked a mile in your shoes just two years before you or just 2 levels of success beyond your current position?