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February 7 2013
by Scott Johnson

On Amazon Coins, In-App Purchase, and Mobile Advertising

It appears that the enigmatic “currency of the internet” will be figured out, finally, in the next few years.  And it has been a really long time coming.  I remember listening to a presentation at business school by Dan Lynch who founded CyberCash in 1996 to be the micro-currency of the web.  But traffic tends […]

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January 10 2013
by Scott Johnson

Is it time to look anew at Clean-Tech?

     Is clean-tech the next eCommerce?  Remember in 2003 how dead commerce investment was?  The entire tech sector had entered the “trough of disillusionment” segment of the hype curve, and at the bottom of the barrel of tech refuse settled the consumer internet, with ecommerce flop pets.com as the poster-child of investment lunacy.      Then, […]

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November 7 2012
by Scott Johnson

App/Cloud Data Insurance – Someone Should Offer This

The big risk of apps that access the cloud is that when startups fail, all your cloud data disappears with them.  This is a paricularly troubling issue for startups that do archiving. Photo apps fall squarely into the category, and there have been high profile losses for consumers on some of the web sites that […]

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October 11 2012
by Scott Johnson

What to know when approaching a venture capital firm

General Assembly is launching in Boston at the Cambridge Innovation Center where we have our offices. They asked me to give a primer on venture capital, and I thought it would be much improved if I did it with a CEO I have backed. So I asked my friend Jim Schoonmaker to join me, and […]

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September 21 2012
by Scott Johnson

A college “degree” is an anachronism.

What good is a college degree?  If you read the popular press, a college diploma increases your earning potential dramatically.  To me, this is a lot of correlation without much causality.  Is it really the degree that made the difference?  Perhaps most of the income effect derives from the fact that the people that got […]

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August 27 2012
by Scott Johnson

Video Games – 3 Areas of Opportunity

I have a 15 year-old son.  So I see a lot of console video games.  I have to say I am bored with them.  Every first person shooter looks the same to me.  The graphics, the action, it is probably decently fun, like seeing a good movie for the 20th time, but I find the […]

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June 15 2012
by Scott Johnson

Friday Five with Scott Kirsner

I just finished an interview with Scott Kirsner on his weekly show “The Friday Five” which reviews the Boston area’s five biggest tech stories. Really fun – thanks to Scott K for asking me on.  We discussed the Curt Shilling/38 Studios fiasco, A123’s new battery technology, recruiting software company Bullhorn’s sale to Vista Equity Partners, […]

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June 7 2012
by Scott Johnson

Life Process Automation

(This was first published in Pando Daily) It’s no surprise that every venture capitalist I know has watched mobile app deal flow ramp up since the iPhone debuted. But lately, it has gotten out of control. This is partly due to the 60,000 companies that attracted angel investment in 2010 (Wikipedia) that now need more money. […]

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April 24 2012
by Scott Johnson

Yes, You Really Need That Revenue Ramp Slide

I advise entrepreneurs all the time about their pitch decks, and one of the more common complaints I hear is “if we all know that it is complete BS, why do investors insist we show a revenue ramp slide with a $50 million top line in four years?”  And I admit, on the surface, it […]

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April 12 2012
by Scott Johnson

On Selling Your Company

The most important financial decision you will ever make as an entrepreneur is when to sell your company.  What amount of money to raise at what price from whom pales in comparison.  For venture capital firms, picking companies that will grow fast is much easier than deciding when to sell them.  Misjudging exit timing can […]

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