It's never a dull week in venture capital. Things may be happening behind the scenes, but somehow it eventually comes out. We pick the best stories, blog posts and other intel inside the VC ecosystem in the US and in happening places around the world. Onward dear reader…
VCs AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
With all the “patent wars” going on between the big tech companies, Ed Sim has a good piece on how a VC looks at intellectual property and patents:
BeyondVC: Startups and Intellectual Property
Sim has good advice, “Focus on building your product and market share, not on patents.” So, it is more important to have freedom to operate rather than patents, which can be expensive to defend.
The Facebook IPO was not without problems and some observers think that the disappointing debut could have a "ripple effect" on social media valuations and funding:
Wall Street Journal: Social-Media IPOs at Risk
The post quotes John Fitzgibbon of IPOScoop.com, “The [Facebook] circus left town and look at how they left the campgrounds." I imagine there will be a temporary drop in valuation and activity, but hopefully the result will be a healthier and more sober marketplace for future offerings.
Everybody wants to be the next Silicon Valley. Fred Wilson has some opinions on the subject and even muses that one day Silicon Valley may be the new Detroit:
A VC: Startup Hub Darwinism
One interesting observation of his is that startup hubs tend to grow in a nonlinear fashion and that the phenomena can be seen in the newer startup hubs such as Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
MAKE NO SMALL PLANS
Matt McCall is a Midwesterner VC that has posted a call to arms for Midwestern entrepreneurs:
VC Confidential: Don't Think Small
He references the unveiling of a major tech center in the heart of Chicago At the Merchandise Mart. The center was one outcome of the great fire of 1871 and was the brainchild of chief architect Daniel Burnham, who once said, "Make no small plans as they have no magic to stir men's blood."
MORNING AGAIN IN VC
Mark Suster is a longtime VC and doesn't buy into the current "venture capital is dead" meme that's going around.
Both Sides of the Table: It's Morning in Venture Capital
It's a long and well researched article and he goes through seven (7!) reasons why many opportunities for innovation and investing have never been so great.
Professional Career Resource Partner:
WOMEN AT KLEINER PERKINS
Top-tier VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was sued by a female partner for alleged gender discrimination and other transgressions.
SF Superior Court: KP Partner Suit
While this lawsuit will play itself out in public, there certainly has been a recent increase in the visibility of the lack of female representation in the technology industry overall.
It's gotten so bad that VCs just expect being lied to by entrepreneurs citing statistics and forecasts, according to Francisco Dao.
Pando Daily: Lies, Damned Lies, and Pitch Decks
Dao condemns what he sees as almost a culture of wink & nod lying between entrepreneurs and their fund-raising advisers.
WHO YA GONNA CALL?
Sequoia Capital VC Greg McAdoo has this to say about how to go about raising money from investors:
TechCrunch Disrupt: Sequoia Capital Tweet
“McAdoo: amount of money u raise is a lot less important than who you raise it from. Find someone who you can build a company with.”
TOP TECH TRENDS - FROM VCs
Every year there is a dinner at the Churchill Club in San Jose, California and a number of top VCs are invited to share their opinions on big trends for the next five years.
Forbes: Top 10 Tech Trends
Some of the trends mentioned were not new, but the concept of a shift toward technocracy to make government services much more efficient was a bit much to take, even though it's nice to dream. Sometimes I think that like death and taxes, widespread government inefficiency will always exist.
STARTUP OUTLOOK 2012
Silicon Valley Bank’s number crunchers are out with their latest report on the state of the startup world.
SVB: Startup Outlook 2012 Report
The 36 page report has too many conclusions to quickly sum up, but the major thrust of the report is that while startups are the future growth of the US’ innovation-based economy, the "network of policies that supports the innovation economy is beginning to fray."
SILICON VALLEY VENTURE SURVEY Q1 2012
Prominent tech law firm Fenwick & West surveys venture capitalists and picks through their financing and M&A results to glean insights into the state of the industry in Silicon Valley:
Fenwick & West: Investments, Valuations and Barometers, oh my!
While VC sentiment was up significantly, many other factors were mixed, including declining venture capital investment despite increasing valuations.