Browsed by
Year: 2015

Time to pay closer attention to the tea leaves(Unicorn Companies)

Time to pay closer attention to the tea leaves(Unicorn Companies)

Good morning, All,

In case you missed it, the subject line is a reference to a song by Prince. A lot of attention is being given to the number of tech companies that have hit unicorns status (Total Number of Unicorn Companies: 119. Total Cumulative Valuation: $448B) and the number of angel investors/the fact that there’s too much money out there right now. The reason why the first bubble burst – and we’ve said it before – was that there was too much money/stupidity chasing too much youth and inexperience. What to speak of the number of newly minted and thoroughly clueless investors in the field, suffering from FOMO Syndrome. Brian Cohen almost never fails to mention this lately – and for good reason.

We've seen this before Read More...

Uber drivers are employees, Calif. court rules. A blow for ‘sharing economy’ startups? via /r/technology

Uber drivers are employees, Calif. court rules. A blow for ‘sharing economy’ startups? via /r/technology

Good morning, All,

There’s an expression that the many in the tech community have glommed onto as if it’s part of the startup manifesto: Ask forgiveness, not permission. We’ve covered this in the past, in other forms, but factoring in that tech is very much and has long been the domain of the alpha male, let’s face it: the concept of forgiveness is not really part of their lexicon. So while it’s a nice idea, honestly: it’s more a ‘whatever’ attitude. Asking permission is not what they’ll do and as for the consequences, it’s left to the world at large to deal with it.

Which is never a good idea. This arrogance is inviting regulation, and it’s never a good idea to catch the attention of the regulators. Read More...

SiliconAlleyCats

SiliconAlleyCats

Good morning, All,

This week’s newsletter is on a more personal note, as we have several announcements.

At the last June breakfast, we announced that we had launched SiliconAlleyCats, a new consultancy with long-time SOS member Marc Prosser. Part of the inspiration for it came out of the breakfasts, where each month, we bring in a top investor to meet with a small group of entrepreneurs, address an aspect of investing, answer your questions, and give you a chance to pitch to them. Despite the fact that many of you have great ideas, we did notice that you don’t know how to present them, or yourselves: you tend to bury the lead. That’s what SiliconAlleyCats is here for: to provide help in three core areas - introductions to angel investors and venture capitalists, media strategy, and online marketing guidance. And you know the charge of SOS – we’re here to help. We can help you to refine your presentation, and we certainly know the investors. Read More...

The experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one

The experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one

Good morning, All,

We often come across companies who outsource development. It always looks attractive – and it’s so much more affordable, right?  If that’s your decision, Godspeed - but quite recently, someone we know did just this and the experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one. If you are one of those intrepid souls who decides to go the outsourced route and work with a team outside of the US, some advice from what we have both heard and observed first-hand over the years:

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

Good morning, All,

Of course, the subject line is a reference to Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand.

Steve Jobs was a blatant and unapologetic thief – in the name of innovation, of course. He wasn’t the only one. Both he and Bill Gates walked out of Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) with IP that would changed both their companies forever – for the better, and hey, Xerox, so long and thanks for all the fish. Seems to have set the tone for Silicon Valley in general, if necessary: when it’s in the name of innovation, all is forgiven. Read More...

wisdom comes not with money, but with age

wisdom comes not with money, but with age

Good morning, All,

It’s June and a good time to take a look back at the year so far. There’s a lot of chatter about diversity, but of course, it’s all just talk and all more or less superseded by Cultural Fit, which is nothing short of a kinder, gentler, more acceptable way to discriminate against anyone and everyone, without having to justify it. It’s one of those terms that is so pliable that it can pretty much cover anything and everything – and no one walks away with hurt feelings.

Right? Read More...

Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks

Good morning, All,

Five years before he won the Nobel Prize for literature, William Faulkner, who was also a quite prolific writer of Hollywood screenplays, happened to be on the golf course one day with Howard Hawks (award winning director) and Clark Gable (Hollywood heartthrob, A list star of his time). Although ordinarily rather taciturn, that day, Faulkner happened to have engaged in a quite lively discussion with Hawks about a film they were collaborating on, for which Hawks wanted Faulkner to work on the screenplay, based on a book by Ernest Hemingway. Side note: there was a legendary rivalry between Hemingway and Faulkner, and Faulkner once bet Hemingway that he could take his least popular book and turn it into a his most successful film. He did: To Have and Have Not, novel by Ernest Hemingway; screenplay by Faulkner, Hemingway and Hawks; directed by Howard Hawks.

Back to the golf course: after listening to the conversation for a while, Gable turned to Faulkner and said, “You’re a writer, Mr. Faulkner?” and without missing a beat, Faulkner answered, “Yes, Mr. Gable, and what do you do?” Read More...

Breakfast with An Investor

Breakfast with An Investor

Good morning, All,

First, a big thank you to Brian Cohen, Chairman of the New York Angels, who spoke at our Cowork.rs brunch on Sunday. Great information, and thank you for staying and listening to everyone's pitch. We appreciate it- and according to those in attendance, it was a big hit!

Our next Breakfast with An Investor is this Wednesday, May 20th and we hope to see you there: it took us four months to nail down a date that fit into our guest investor Nnamdi Okike's schedule. He is Co-founder & Partner at 645 Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund that invests in software and Internet companies. While they launched just over a year ago, they’ve already invested in 15+ companies – and are actively looking to invest in more! Read More...

Bonus Breakfast this Sunday

Bonus Breakfast this Sunday

Good morning, All,

Our next Breakfast with An Investor is snext week on Wednesday, May 20th and we hope to see you there: it took us four months to nail down a date that fit into our guest investor Nnamdi Okike's schedule. He is Co-founder & Partner at 645 Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund that invests in software and Internet companies. While they launched just over a year ago, they’ve already invested in 15+ companies – and are actively looking to invest in more!

Nnamdi is an experienced venture capital investor, having spent eight years at Insight Venture Partners, where he sourced and invested in several successful companies, including Folhamatic (acquired for $300 million), Astaro (acquired by Sophos), and Hitwise (acquired for $240 million). He served on the boards of Kabum, CSSN and Folhamatic. He currently works closely with 645 Ventures’ portfolio companies Keaton Row, Trendalytics, Hire an Esquire, and Poshly. He serves on the board of AbbeyPost and Rifiniti. He received a BA in Biology, MBA and JD degrees from Harvard. Read More...

Bonus Breakfast this month

Bonus Breakfast this month

Good morning, All,
Our next Breakfast with An Investor will be Wednesday, May 20th and we hope to see you there: it took us four months to nail down a date that fit into our guest investor Nnamdi Okike's schedule. He is Co-founder & Partner at 645 Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital fund that invests in software and Internet companies. While they launched just over a year ago, they’ve already invested in 15+ companies – and are actively looking to invest in more!

Nnamdi is an experienced venture capital investor, having spent eight years at Insight Venture Partners, where he sourced and invested in several successful companies, including Folhamatic (acquired for $300 million), Astaro (acquired by Sophos), and Hitwise (acquired for $240 million). He served on the boards of Kabum, CSSN and Folhamatic. He currently works closely with 645 Ventures’ portfolio companies Keaton Row, Trendalytics, Hire an Esquire, and Poshly. He serves on the board of AbbeyPost and Rifiniti. He received a BA in Biology, MBA and JD degrees from Harvard.

Bonus Breakfast this month: We’re also co-hosting a Brunch and Q&A with Brian Cohen, Chairman of the New York Angels, on Sunday, May 17th. It’ll be a small group, so get your tickets now, and when are you going to have another opportunity to have brunch with the Chairman of one of the most active angel investing groups in the country? Here's your chance! Register here. Read More...

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
%d bloggers like this: