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August 28 2012
by John Backus

The Angel Bubble (or why I would rather be a VC)

Much has been written over the last few years about the poor performance of the venture capital asset class since 2000. And on average, the performance has been terrible. Median returns according to Cambridge Associates for the 2000 vintage year were -3% “improving” to -1% for the 2001 vintage year. Top quartile returns kicked in […]

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May 30 2012
by John Backus

A New Golden Age of Venture Capital

co-authored by John Backus & Todd Hixon The Venture Capital (“VC”) Model is dead (at least for LPs), proclaimed the Kauffman Foundation recently. Too much available money for the VC model to succeed added Union Square’s Fred Wilson. A blog out there details 25+ stories on why the VC model is broken. Sevin Rosen, a […]

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March 18 2012
by John Backus

Pass the Jobs Act NOW!

This post is short and to the point. Coming before the Senate this week is a bill know as H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The Obama Administration has called on Congress to cut the red tape that prevents many rapidly growing startup companies from raising needed capital. It is time to […]

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March 8 2012
by John Backus

Serendipity, not Search, Finds Top Apps

Much has been written about the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets, but apps are what make them useful and are driving their adoption. IDC estimates mobile app downloads will reach nearly 182.7 billion in 2015. There are now nearly one million apps, mostly for Apple and Android devices, and Gartner projected app revenue from […]

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March 8 2012
by John Backus

Wake up DC!

I was proud and humbled to be honored by the Northern Virginia Technology Council this month with a “lifetime achievement” award – by the NVTC Entrepreneur Center – for helping entrepreneurs across more than a decade. While I think I have a decade or two left in me to help entrepreneurs, I gave some quick […]

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January 12 2012
by John Backus

Re-Inventing Education for the 21st Century

The Internet is staring down the College Cartel. And the Internet will win. College costs cannot continue to rise at three times the rate of inflation, as they have for the last thirty-five years. My friend Jack Biddle, co-founder of VC firm Novak Biddle, and an early pioneer in online education companies (Blackboard, 2Tor, Fidelis […]

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January 11 2012
by John Backus

Part 2 – Busting up the College Cartel

In my last piece, I pointed out how for more than a generation – 35 years and counting – that the costs of attending college have increased at three times the rate of inflation – almost twice the rate that health care costs have increased over the same period. Yet our children are receiving the […]

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January 10 2012
by John Backus

Part 1 – The Rise of the College Cartel

I wrote an article yesterday that appeared here in the Washington Post’s Capital Business magazine. I have had some tremendous feedback about this article, and many of you have asked me to expand on my ideas about how to reform the College and University system in America. This is the first of three posts I […]

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January 9 2012
by John Backus

The Death of Retail 2.0

The 2011 holiday shopping season saw a 15 percent increase in online sales, up to $35.3 billion according to Comscore, but consumer electronics retail bellweather Best Buy reported a one percent decline in holiday sales. What is going on? Pretty simple – we are in the middle of another battle between brick and mortar and […]

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December 15 2011
by John Backus

On Women, VC & Startups….

A few months ago on PEHub, I engaged in a lively debate about the state of entrepreneurship and venture capital, here and here. One of the issues I addressed, the absence of women in the venture capital, technology and startup worlds, was revisited last week at the TEDx Global Woman’s Entrepreneur event. At minute 11, […]

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