There have been some awesome posts lately on the real value of Bitcoin (big B: the protocol) and it’s clear that bitcon (little b: the currency) is merely a use case perhaps best described as the killer app that proved the value of the protocol
I won’t go further but will leave it to 2 of my favourite VC bloggers to explain.
Please read the articles. The quotes below are just a small sample of what is discussed in them and TBH miss most of the value.
Fred Wilson: Bitcoin – Getting Past Store Of Value and Currency (make sure you read the comments!)
As one can see from the current Bitcoin ecosystem map (http://bit.ly/1krEd0Z) that there are almost no start-ups, which solely use the protocol without using the ‘coin’ or the ‘currency’ as a function. 2014 will be the first year to see some of these. (Source: Lightspeed India as quoted by Fred Wilson)
Marc Andreesen: Why Bitcoin Matters
Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger. You buy into the ledger by purchasing one of a fixed number of slots, either with cash or by selling a product and service for Bitcoin.
I get intro’d to a lot of people. I also get cold-contacted by a lot of people. I don’t really mind it, in fact I consider meeting new people a perk of being involved in the startup community.
Back in the day when the community was much smaller, new people I’d meet usually knew someone I knew – which made things really simple. Now, with the amount of activity in the space, this is the exception rather than the rule.
There are lots of suggestions for the right way to do intros (my general rule is that if we haven’t had a laugh together I’d prefer you to ask me first before introing me to others)
Either way, if you’ve been intro’d to me (or if I’ve intro’d you to someone else for that matter) do me a favour and and least make me feel like you value my time and friends.
Normally that means offering to come out to see me or the person you’ve been intro’d to first (rather than expecting me/them to come to you), not asking me/them to do intros to others if I/they have never met you before and trying, where possible, to add value first before asking for it. Continue reading
Again…your interests and your VC’s interests may not align – and not just in terms of expected multiples.
This applies as much to early stage investors as it does to startup founders – no matter how well known or respected you are…
For more Basic VC Maths check out
It was my wife’s birthday yesterday. She’s an awesome woman who is world class in her field, which is always inspiring.
Yesterday, however, it was her birthday that inspired me to think. Her birthday, all birthdays, new years days and all of the other catalytic calendar events that come into our lives.
There’s an old saying that goes something like “the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the second best is today”. Yet we often wait for these catalytic events to spur us into action rather than just getting started on the path when whatever change we’d like to make first strikes our minds.
Techcrunch published a story yesterday analysing a set of billion dollar US startups (“unicorns”) created over the past decade.
Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, penned the post to analyse what the 39 startups and their founders, she and her team had identified, looked like.
There’s some interesting data there and it’s well worth checking out.
For startup founders, however, the most interesting comment comes not from Lee but from Fred Wilson. In a post on his blog that looks at the data in the TC post, he makes this critical observation (highlight is mine):
This (looking at “unicorn” data) is a very useful exercise in the VC business since it is these big wins that produce the vast majority of returns in the business. I am not sure it is that is worthwhile exercise for entrepreneurs since you can bypass the VC business entirely, keep all or most of your company, and sell it for $20mm and have a big personal and financial success. That’s another way of saying that focusing on the huge wins is something VCs do, will keep doing, and need to do, but it can be a colossal waste of time and energy for everyone else. Unless, of course, you raise money from VCs. In which case, you are getting into the game and will be impacted by it.
Check out this link for Basic VC Maths – Part 1
We made an announcement about the new direction of PushStart yesterday.
It was a long-ish post so I don’t blame people for not reading it all – but from the responses I’ve had there are some things that need clarifying.
- PushStart has not shut down. Only the accelerator has.
- We are not abandoning the existing teams. The organisation (a seperate PushStart entity) that ran the fund and the program still has obligations to the teams and investors and, as one of those investors, I certainly want to continue helping the PS12 class succeed.
- I am not leaving PushStart. I will still be involved in the same way I’m involved with the various meetups / co-working space etc. i.e. as something that I’m passionate about outside of my main working gig.
- This is not a sad or bad thing. There’s a natural beginning and end for all things in life. This was the natural end for the PushStart accelerator program. With the support we had we could have continued to run more programs for a long time to come but for a variety of reasons we made the decision not to. No doubt it will leave a hole for a short period of time but I’m confident that if there is genuine demand for more accelerators in Sydney that others will appear.
- I will be speaking about my new project very soon. It will be awesome but we need to nut out the final details before announcing so please stop asking me what it is 🙂
From a recent Steve Blank interview.
Still don’t think that many entrepreneurs fully comprehend this:
Q. And they’re putting down real money, so they want their entrepreneurs to succeed.
A.Your interest and your V.C.’s interest in liquidity may not be the same. Those who take big V.C. money have signed up for, “We’re going to be a home run or we’re going home.” That’s the interest of the V.C.’s. They have a portfolio of 10 or 15 investments, and they’re going to swing for the fences on all of them. That’s their business strategy. But you might not have realized what you signed up for. Because if someone had sat you down and said, “Would you be happy if it got sold for $25 million?” you would say, “Yeah, I get to take home $5 million, that’s more than I’ve ever seen.” But that’s not your V.C.’s strategy.