Embracing the Incrementality Mentality

We’ve all heard that line about the 10 year “overnight” successes. A friend* recently told me a key metric of his company was growing 4% week-over-week. Actually, he related with some dismay that it was only growing at 4%, and he was looking to build another product to make their company more attractive for raising the next round of funding. I was shocked. The base number that this 4% growth is accumulating on top of is in the billions, without much marketing or distribution yet. They found a problem many…

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The $3B+ Exit Tumblr Could Have Had

It’s all over the news, Yahoo! is in talks to acquire Tumblr. The popular blogging platform, which was founded in New York in 2007, has just a few months of cash left and hasn’t successfully monetized their platform fast enough to cover costs. To date investors have put $125M into the company, most recently infusing it with $85M more in September 2011 at a valuation of over $800M. According to Forbes Tumblr is targeting $100M revenue in 2013 but, according to sources I spoke to who are familiar with the…

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Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results

Past performance does not guarantee future results for startups, venture capitalists, accelerator programs, the media, individual founders, or any other part of the startup ecosystem. On the mission to see into the future, there is a tendency to over value the information and lessons of the past. With 20/20 hindsight it seems obvious that things would turn out the way they have. Cell phones? Computers? “If I had been alive back in the 1950s I so would have called that,” you say. Television? Telephone? Automobiles? “Obviously I would have been…

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