COVID-19 will Kill a Ton of Startups (or So it Will Seem)

Yes, I’m still predicting-away, though the pandemic is having some impact on the direction in which this narrative is going. Today’s column on startups and venture capital, for example, wasn’t even on my original list of predictions. Just as the financial markets will use this catastrophe for a reset, so, too, will Sand Hill Road, which has pretty much stopped investing and is now deciding, instead, who to kill?

The psychology of venture capital doesn’t work the way most people think. That’s because it is an industry based on failure: most startups — the vast majority — fail. That means most VC investment decisions are wrong. There is simply no way of […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 12 — On the Beach

tropicthunderGiven The Startup Channel this chapter on startups is very important. We also cover shareware and I want to point out that Buttonware founder Jim Knopf asked me to respect his pseudonym “Jim Button.” Who was I to argue with that? 

ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER TWELVE

ON THE BEACH

America’s advantage in the PC business doesn’t come from our education system, from our fluoridated water, or, Lord knows, from our tax structure. And it doesn’t come from some innate ability we have to run big companies with thousands of employees and billions in sales. The main thing America has had going for it is the high-tech start-up, and, […]

The crowdfunding bubble of 2013 part 3 — how to make it successful

This is the third and final part of my series on crowdfunding. In part one we learned how important crowd funding can be for helping tech startups and the economy. In part two we worried about how criminals and con men might game the eventual crowdfunding system when it starts in earnest next January. And in this final part I suggest a strategy for crowdfunding success that essentially comes down to carpe diem — seize the day!

Crowdfunding done right will have a huge positive impact on any economy it touches. But by done right I mean done in a manner that maximizes impact and minimizes both corruption and unnecessary complexity. This […]

The crowdfunding bubble of 2013

When President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act on April 5th, the era of crowdfunding began as individual investors everywhere were promised an opportunity to gain access to venture investments previously limited to institutions, funds, and so-called qualified investors. Come January 1, 2013, we’re told, anyone can be a venture capitalist, but hardly any of these new VCs will know what they are doing. Spurred by the new law we will shortly see a surge of crowdfunding startups giving for the first time unqualified investors access to venture capital markets. And it will be a quagmire.

Like disk drive startups in the 1980s each of these new crowdfunds will […]

Let them eat veggies: Obama has dinner with Steve

President Obama last night had dinner at John Doerr’s house in Silicon Valley and for some reason I wasn’t invited. I wish I had been. Can you imagine Obama making small talk with Steve Jobs? This is an instance where Steve’s lack of an internal censor probably served the event well, or at least I hope it did, because when it comes to the dinner’s goal of stimulating innovation in America every Administration from any political party needs all the help it can get. I should know, because I’ve been working a bit with those White House would-be innovators, trying to get them in the right groove.

Remember Startup America is the name of the TV […]

By |February 17th, 2011|2011|78 Comments