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The Emerging Skyline: Austin Growth Financings

The Emerging Skyline: Austin Growth Financings

Every year around this time, SXSW provides us with a reliable checkpoint for measuring the growth and evolution of Austin. If you have spent any time in or around downtown Austin since SXSW 2013, you know how quickly the skyline is changing. The transformation of the city’s center has actually been building for the past […]

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Top Three Reasons We Invest in Pre-Product Phase Companies

Top Three Reasons We Invest in Pre-Product Phase Companies

I recently read Fred Wilson’s blog post on his waning interest in investing in Pre-Product Phase companies. I’ve always found Fred’s writing to be very self-aware, so this type of post does not surprise me. My interpretation of his post is that he doesn’t believe his personal diligence process is well tuned towards pre-product companies. […]

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Bitcoin Startups in Austin – Where are you?

Bitcoin Startups in Austin – Where are you?

The Bitcoin protocol creates a rare opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to partner on a technology platform that’s likely to be a root level service of both online and offline business for years to come. As it relates to the Internet, Bitcoin is a trust network, a decentralized exchange that can be used for a […]

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The Internet Is the Most Popular Nightclub in the World

The Internet Is the Most Popular Nightclub in the World

Remember when the Internet was a platform for economic growth? In the latest battle around Net Neutrality, the FCC’s Open Internet policies were rejected in Federal Court. There already are, and will be hundreds of articles discussing yesterday’s events. In fact, there are so many articles, it’s difficult to author original thinking. Here’s a perspective […]

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AngelList Syndicates and the advent of killer speed.

AngelList Syndicates and the advent of killer speed.

I like AngelList. I’m in the camp that believes that it’s one of the positive transformative forces around early stage investing. One aspect of AngelList I don’t think many really have their head around yet is Syndicates. I applaud AngelList for pushing the envelope and creating and the deploying the concept on their platform. Here […]

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Models, Decision-making processes and Snake Plissken

Models, Decision-making processes and Snake Plissken

Startups are wonderful. Except, the goal of every startup CEO I’ve ever met is to escape Startupville as fast as possible. So, in the last 5-7 years, it has been important for the residents of Startupville to create escape plans. When some of those plans proved to be fractionally more successful than others, they moved […]

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How does it feel to be a CEO?

How does it feel to be a CEO?

Most articles I read on startup companies discuss the process of building the product, acquiring the customers, or scaling the team.  However, I’ve been thinking about the way startup CEOs feel while they’re building their company as opposed to what they do. One side of the story is the energy and excitement of building a […]

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The technical differentiation recession

The technical differentiation recession

Technical differentiation.  I can recall 10 years ago when that was nearly all I heard from colleagues, customers, bosses and potential partners.  There was good reason to care a lot about technical differentiation. “Tech diff” was the single largest moat one could build around enterprise software. Back then, the rise of the consumer Internet was […]

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Spend on scarce talent and borrow the rest

Spend on scarce talent and borrow the rest

Spend your money on scarce talent, and borrow the rest. Scarce Talent: the most transformational talent a business can acquire that propels it to greatness. Traditional Talent: important team players that perform a critical, but common craft necessary to build the business. We prefer entrepreneurial teams that are comprised of truly scarce talent. It’s our […]

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The road to nowhere: a roadmap based on features

The road to nowhere: a roadmap based on features

Product roadmaps focused on features alone never helped me win. In fact, they got me into semantic arguments and created cultural upheaval. Here’s why: people ascribe biased value to a feature based on whether or not they believe it will benefit them personally. In the beginning, features don’t count In the earliest days of an […]

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