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Tips of the Week

The Affinity Investor by Nick Moran

Tail Wags Dog– The Affinity Investor

Today we discussed a data-centric approach to investing.  Signal Fire invests broadly, across a range of sectors, attempting to find the areas that have the most return potential.  Whether or not you believe in their data engine’s ability to identify opportunity, it’s a returns driven focus.  He’ll go anywhere, invest…

What Killed Sprig?

If you’ve been following tech media this week, the big news was that Sprig is shutting down. We’ve spoken a number of times about Sprig with Semil Shah and others and lauded the company for its incredible rise from fledgling food delivery startup to the next on-demand unicorn. Different than…

What Winning Looks Like in VC

In today’s interview, we quickly discussed the key metrics by which venture fund managers are measured. I’d like to use this week’s tip to review what these metrics are, who values each and why some can be manipulated while others can’t. The metrics we will review include: DPI, TVPI, IRR,…

A Thesis Begins with a Moat

Defensibility, Switching Costs, Barriers to Entry…   We hear these terms often when discussing startups.  It’s not only important to build something of value, but value that can be protected.  Many in venture capital, refer to this as THE MOAT.    Renowned investor Terrance Yang was asked recently, “As an investor, if…

What’s Your Gateway Drug?

In today’s interview, Jordan talked about how there are two kinds of startups.  Those that are solving a real problem and those that are addressing something that customers are totally unaware of and, in the process, changing their behavior.  I wanted to attempt to connect these two concepts and illustrate…

What Makes SaaS so Special?

Many articles are written, every week, about how to succeed in SaaS. But less often do people write about why SaaS is so special. It’s a business model, applied to a product type that has become a massive focus area. Venture has not seen a category of startups like it…

Red vs. Blue in VC

Based on the title, you’re probably thinking this is a post about politics. It’s not. This reference is to red oceans and blue oceans as discussed in the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, from authors Mauborgne and Kim. And I touched on this concept previously in a post called “Finding the…

VOC Makes Visionaries

On today’s episode, we talked a lot about customers. Chris emphasized the importance of being located close to customers, spending time with them, understanding their needs better than any other company does. It is the customers that will be the primary funding source for every successful business. We don’t often…