Category

Company Creation

Why Companies Fail

I’ve touched on aspects of this topic before, but thought it was worthy of a full post. Companies in the venture business fail all the time. As I wrote last year, the majority of venture rounds fail to return capital. With all the hype one reads in the startup press these days, that fact can…

Taking the long road

I first met Carrie and Tony Requist of U Grok It in February of 2012. We were hosting a DEMO event with VentureBeat and UGrokIt was one of a handful of companies that was chosen to come in and pitch. I remember the U Grok It presentation well for a number of reasons. For starters,…

Getting our Angel List On

In the news/hype cycle of venture and start-ups it’s rare when a single news item captures the attention of the entire community, even for a few days, let alone 3 or 4. But AngelList‘s announcement of “Syndicates” has done just that. And it was pretty fun to watch the reactions which ranged from: “this is…

The ten year entrepreneur

It’s easy to get lost in the celebration of high flying companies that quickly take an idea to market, scale and sell. It’s exciting, financially lucrative and makes for great reading. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a few companies like that in the Foundry portfolio (Zynga, AdMeld and Gist all went from idea to…

How much should a start-up CEO make?

I was asked this question at a talk I gave to the recently graduated TechStars Boulder class and thought it deserved wider dissemination than to just the group in the room at the time. This is a loaded question and while there are many variations I do actually think there are some general norms that…

Let’s agree to disagree

Is there much disagreement in your company? I’m not talking about where to head for lunch – I mean real, passionate, fundamental disagreement on product, marketing, operations, etc. I hope so. Even more so the earlier you are in your business. Running it is a messy business. There are tons of decisions to be made…

Are you the master of your domain?

The title of this post is meant to be taken literally, not metaphorically. Do you control your domain? Last Friday one of our portfolio companies briefly lost control of its domain. It wasn’t the fist time we’ve seen this happen and, as you can imagine, the result could have been disastrous (in this case we…

Introducing Codespace – shared (free!) office space in Boulder for geeking out

One of the many things that makes Boulder a great city for start-ups is its incredibly collaborative environment (see posts on my love of Boulder here and here). From the willingness of mentors to help out TechStars companies, to collaborative efforts around recruiting great talent to our city, I’m constantly amazed at how many people…

Exit Numbers – $100M is rarer than you think

Fred Wilson put up a post today that grabbed a slide from a recent presentation Mark Suster gave at a Founder Showcase event. The chart (and Fred’s post) back up with numbers the qualitative argument I was making in my recent post on Pattern Recognition (I wish I had these data when I wrote my…

The real bubble

While there’s been plenty of discussion and debate about whether we’re in some kind of valuation/venture bubble right now for early stage tech, there is one bubble that I’m pretty sure of. I’m seeing more great business ideas right now than I can remember seeing at any time in my 10 year venture career. We…