BLOG STARTUPS, VENTURE AND THE TECH BUSINESS

November 30 2009
by Scott Johnson

Tom Tom and Garmin In Serious Trouble

Personal Navigation is being disrupted.  Garmin and Tom Tom, as their share prices show, are being Googled.  That is, their expensive consumer service is suddenly free from Google.  Can they survive?  There is a great deal of speculation about this in the press.  So I thought I would add mine, as I am an investor […]

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November 24 2009
by Scott Johnson

Is the EU actually right about something?

> Update on 11/30.  I spoke to several of my companies, and learned that MySQL from Sun is not something they can’t live without.  They would prefer Oracle didn’t own it, but the premise that Oracle will harm startups as an owner of MySQL is not true.  The argument that Sun/MySQL is the preferred vendor […]

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November 19 2009
by Todd Hixon

The Death of B2B Venture Capital?

At the October 21 Xconomy “Global Vision for Venture Capital …” forum, Terry McGuire remarked that Polaris has stopped taking risk on commercial/industrial technology start-ups, as the recent experience has not been good. That’s a consequential thing. “Commercial/industrial technology” encompasses enterprise software, most of telecom and datacom, and large parts of clean tech. Note that […]

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November 11 2009
by John Backus

Venture Capital: 5 tips on how to navigate the VC gauntlet

Early-Stage venture capital firms see every imaginable type of business idea.  Since we are the first institutional fundraising “gate” that entrepreneurs have to pass through, the variety of business plans which we see fill the spectrum from awful to terrific. Over the years I have seen lots of bad ideas:  Bad ideas for big businesses.  […]

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November 10 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

5 things to know about creating a financial model for your business

When pitching your business to venture investors, sharing a well designed financial model is very important!  Why?  Because how a financial model is designed helps investors learn some things about you and your business:  it provides insights into how you think about your business, helps clarify what are the main assumptions that drive it and […]

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November 3 2009
by Tim Rowe

MIT $100K Elevator Pitch Competition

This past Thursday was the Grand Finale of the MIT $100K Competition’s precursor competition, known as the EPC or Elevator Pitch Competition. Over 350 entrants had made their 60-second pitches over the past several days to persevering judges.  The resulting twelve finalists did not yet know who they were, however everyone who was in the […]

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November 3 2009
by Todd Hixon

How We Survived 2009

The CEO of one of my portfolio companies, which I will call “Ajax” (not the real name), wrote this as part of his regular report to the senior team, board, and investors. It’s pretty typical of what it’s been like out there this year, and what CEOs, management teams, and boards did to manage through. […]

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October 27 2009
by Todd Hixon

Notes from the October 21 Xconomy Forum

The title of the forum was “A Global Vision of Venture Capital and Private Equity”.  This grandiose-sounding title was chosen, I suspect, to honor one of the panelists, Peter Brooke, who is indeed a pioneer of Global VC and PE. The other panelist was Terry McGuire, a long-time and successful Boston VC who is a […]

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October 27 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Why is it hard to monetize ad-driven businesses? Answer: it’s not if you have the right people.

About a month ago, I was talking to Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Ventures about the state of the advertising market.  Many of our portfolio companies have a free, ad-supported business model.  So the ability to get revenue is correlated to the ability to sell the advertising inventory at attractive rates. We both marveled at how […]

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October 27 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

YES on net neutrality!

The debate is raging on the merits and pitfalls of “net neutrality”.  The lobbyists are working overtime.  Both sides have employed semantics to try to appeal to the average citizen who may not be as versed on the nuances of policy in this area:  according to supporters it’s about innovation; about according to critics it is […]

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