After nearly two decades in the trenches of Pets.com, Apple Computer, and the You Don't Know Jack game series at Berkeley Systems, Tom Conrad (Pandora CTO) shares his acquired wisdom on succeeding in the consumer internet space. He discusses agility, crisp decision making, and focus, and peppers his lessons with numerous entertaining anecdotes of dot-com days and corporate progress.
Venture Capital: Expiration Dates and Warning Labels
A spiraling global economy has put a new spin on the business of venture capital, both in Silicon Valley and around the world. Experts in the trenches have noticed revenue streams thinning to a consolidated trickle; and others suggest it's a resource best avoided.
The "venture capital industry" does not exist, says serial entrepreneur Marc Andreessen. Rather, the landscape is a loosely-affiliated network of over 600 investment organizations, with only about 30 firms performing well and returning profit overall. In parallel, there is a rise in seed funding for new ventures and a rise in latter-stage investing for established companies as well.
The VC industry is suffering from a severe lack of liquidity, says Intel Capital's Vice President Lisa Lambert. Lambert offers her analysis on the current shape of the investment community - and finds much room for improvement. As an asset class, she anticipates a lot of consolidation in the industry as a whole; offering growing pains at the moment, but providing a healthier market overall.
David Heinemeier Hansson has a provocative point of view: he believes that Venture Capital is a time bomb and one of the most harmful things for a new business. He explains that a sudden windfall of money provides start-ups with a false sense of security. VC-injected companies often lose the urgency to create a sustainable, profitable product. These companies often become addicted to venture capital funding, requiring round after round of financing.