Pitching to CIOs, Part 2: Lessons for Software Founders 1

CIOs

If you’re in the enterprise software / SaaS business, then you know that the sales process almost always includes a conversation with the CIO. This is a conversation you want to nail for obvious reasons.

Pitching to CIOs has its nuances, as I was reminded during two recent CIO events,  a series that I host every few months. More…

CITE Panel on Upcoming Disruptions in the Consumerization of IT Reply

CITE 2014

Last week, I participated in a panel at CITE (Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise) with fellow VCs Arif Janmohamed of Lightspeed Venture Partners and Aaref Hilaly of Sequoia Capital. Aside from the humor we found in the trifecta of our first initials (the AAA panel!), our discussion on innovation and trends in consumer technologies for enterprises yielded some interesting insights. More…

Why VCs Continue to Love Social Media Reply

WeHeartIt

The social networking sector has seen over 10 great successes from an investment standpoint: MySpace ($580 million), Beebo ($850 million), Instagram ($1 billion), Tumblr ($1.1 billion), Yammer ($1.2 billion), Facebook ($150 billion market cap), Twitter ($35 billion market cap), LinkedIn ($25 billion market cap), Pinterest (valued at $3.8 billion), Snapchat (reportedly valued at $3 billion), and most recently WhatsApp ($19 billion). Add to that Weibo, Vkontakte, Renren, and many other huge social networks that are popular overseas.

Given these successes, are there opportunities for more winners in this space? Absolutely. More…

About a Founder, For Founders, From a Founder 16

Pat McGovern pictured in the front row center with the IDG team

Pat McGovern pictured in the front row center with the IDG team

Pat McGovern, founder and chairman of IDG, passed away last Thursday at the age of 76. Much has already been written about his remarkable accomplishments as a businessman and philanthropist. Instead of adding to that outpouring, I want to write a few words about my personal experience with Pat. More…

What Makes a Great Startup Management Team 5

IDG CEOs photo

The extended IDG Ventures team: Alex, Pat, Phil, some of our advisors (Gil and Tom), CEOs and founders from our companies: Minted, Krux, Smartling, ParkMe, and Vidible.

As a venture capitalist, I have been privileged to work with some truly great entrepreneurial teams. Running a high-tech startup is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. I applaud entrepreneurs who are doing it and love that I get paid to spend my time helping them. More…

Pitching to CIOs, Part 1: Lessons From IDG Tech Advisors 2

Recently, we hosted an IDG Ventures CIO Tech Demo Day to bring together founders, CEOs, and CIOs for discussions on technology and emerging trends. Attendees comprised a combination of founders from our portfolio companies, CEOs with whom we’ve had long-term relationships, and other VCs with whom we have co-invested. The founders and CEOs delivered presentations to CIOs from Akamai, Cox Communications, Credit Suisse, Hess, Gartner, IDG, Paypal, Vail Resorts, and Vertex. All that experience, leadership, and vision in the room made for engrossing and spirited conversations that led to some valuable insights.

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The Framework For a Founder and VC Relationship Reply

In the last two decades as a venture capitalist, I’ve seen three primary styles of VCs working with startup founders.  I found that one of them works best for me, and want to share the alternatives:

1. Mentor: This is a classic “old school” venture capital model. Think John Doerr and Michael Moritz working with Larry Page and Sergei Brin in the early days of Google. The VC is often older, sometimes a repeat entrepreneur, sometimes not. The VC provides lots of hands-on advice and coaching. The interactions between the VC and founder are frequent, and the VC spends much time regularly at the company.

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There is No Series A Crunch Reply

I’ve heard too much hyperbolic talk in the valley of a “Series A Crunch,”  meaning startups are currently hard-pressed to raise funding following a seed round. As the blog title suggests, I do not believe there is a Series A crunch.

It’s important to understand the data before being swayed by anecdotal information, on any topic. So let’s take a look at the data here.

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3 Overused Startup Terms Reply

The startup world — like any field — has its own lexicon.  Living in this world, I am guilty of overusing industry jargon myself. But there are several buzzwords that have become overused and misused to the point they are useless.

Here are three of the most annoying terms I hope will disappear from the startup lexicon soon.

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There Once was a Bunny Living in a Bubble Reply

We live in a bubble in Silicon Valley.  By this, I mean we often forget that outside of Silicon Valley, the larger population experiences technology differently from us and our neighbors.  And this we need to remember when investing in new companies and when starting new businesses focused on consumers, particularly worldwide.

A recent reminder for me was a conversation with my sister-in-law.  An East Coaster, quite intelligent, very educated,  she asked if I still use that “Errand Bunny” service I previously recommended. After some confusion, I realized she was referring to Task Rabbit, a service for outsourcing small jobs to people in your neighborhood. Sure, Task Rabbit, like Uber, may be a part of our everyday language, but it’s not necessarily familiar to people outside the San Francisco-based tech industry.

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