Make your innovation a hedging process

They are the largest, probably the among the best in class at what they do. They are highly branded and recognized for what they have achieved. They have more resources than most other players to play with. The smartest people. The most money. They desperately want to stay on top. And yet, they fail. How can Nokia go from one …

Angel investments: How not to fail

War stories. People love recounting the one time they caught a big fish, not the many futile hours they spent waiting for a bite. Investors love to recap the successful exchange traded investments they did, and tend to forget the unsuccessful ones. Angel investing is no different. Looking at the venture capital industry as a whole, we know for a …

Engineering and product are still key to the very best companies

Do you find the following questions and issues interesting? If they were commented by Marc Andreessen? Could Zuckerberg have created Facebook if he weren’t younger than 30? About the philosophy that software is eating the world Can Spotify and Netflix be successful? What areas are particularly promising in the very near term? Is the perspective different as a VC than …

The Triumph of Hope over Experience

Reports supporting the poor performance of the venture capital industry are queuing up. The most recent report (May 2012) from the Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation is no news, but scary reading: Venture capital (VC) has delivered poor returns for more than a decade. VC returns haven’t  significantly  outperformed  the  public  market  since the late 1990s, and, since 1997, less cash has been returned …

Are venture capitalists paying or living the venture?

Techcrunch article ‘VCs are getting into PR’ started ‘my fire’ again. The article highlights the trend that VCs is no longer just about paying checks – well, if it ever was? – and names PR as one function that VCs are now paying attention to. Obviously, competition for funds and leads as well as the fight for any stakeholder’s recognition …

Entrepreneurial management. Not an art. Not just for startups.

‘The Lean Startup’ suggests how to accelerate through a pragmatic build- measure – learn feedback loop enhancing chances of building a sustainable business. With this book Eric Ries is a part of the movement that creates science where there was only art. A must read, not just for startup managers. http://goo.gl/xh9Hn

Why governments don’t get startups?

Last year in DK, governments incubators held a total of 310 portfolio companies. 15 were sold or terminated, only 3 with ‘some’ success (i.e. ‘some’ positive return). Not very impressive! This repeats the trend from previous years, and they say the ‘crisis’ is to blame. Perhaps, they could learn from Steve Blank who states that “any government that starts public financing …

Thank you Blackbox

Finally an attempt to put startup metrics and benchmarks in play. Now you can compare your startup against 3,200+ internet startups! Hard to neglect since 90% of all startups (of which 30% is internet-specific) fail. Although different characteristics, there is good inspiration for the later stage capital people too. (Link removed)

Cracking the innovation code

The Startup Genome Report has been released – a new framework for assessing startups more effectively by measuring the thresholds and milestones of development. Thanks to Blackbox and fellows. http://bit.ly/m3D19O

Bet on skill and experience

This year’s MIT $100K Business Plan Contest semi-finalists was named in March. This list is interesting among other reasons because a large component of success in entrepreneurship and venture capital can be attributed to skill, thus increasing the rate of success above the 18-30% average hit rate. Chance of success may be enhanced even further by choosing experienced venture capital firms (but only …