When I started on the Venture Capital education 4 years back, I started following Fred Wilson, Brad Feld and Mark Suster. I encourage all the entrepreneurs whom I interact with to do the same. Fred for Consumer facing web/mobile businesses, Brad for glue technologies and Mark for enterprise related startups. Although the lines blur when you look at their investment portfolio, each of these 3 individuals have a specialization and long term perspective on their respective cohorts. In addition, all of them are super super smart and regular contributors so one always learns reading their work and does not have a long hiatus between their blog posts. I finished reading an excellent analysis by Mark Suster with the title “Its Morning in Venture Capital” on why he believes the Venture Capital industry is not dead as is proclaimed by a number of organizations and pundits. I agree with Mark, the bad and inexperienced players will loose their credibility and/or their shirt when there are big market corrections… however the general trend to be optimistic about the Internet and the 3rd Wave of innovation is prevalent with many who are looking into the crystal ball everyday like Mark and his partners. I have had the previlege of interacting with Brad Feld and Brad Burnham, or “The Brads” as was called by the participants in the Startup Iceland Conference. Again there is enough evidence to go long on this thing called the Internet. Read the whole post by Mark to understand the entire dynamics of the interplay of the micro and macro, demographic and economic trends. I cannot image being in any other industry or applying these new infrastructure to traditional industries to disrupt them. It is going to be an awesome decade or two, if you have the stomach for it. It is going to be hard, bumpy and tough ride but whoever said this was going to be easy, nothing worthwhile is easy. I am big fan of Randy Pausch, the author of a fantastic book “The Last Lecture” where one of the chapter he talks about Brick Walls, basically all the hurdles one faces when you are trying to pursue your dream, ambition whatever… I love the way he puts it “…The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people“. Being an entrepreneur or part of a startup team is hard work, and a lesson in patience and perseverance. If one does not have the never give up attitude, it becomes doubly hard. If one wants instant gratification fugedabouddit… There is only one way to win in being an entrepreneur, have a long term vision about your goals, work with people you enjoy spending time with and do it in a place where you love living. To quote one of Brad Felds post “People Place Thing”
Spend as much time as possible with PEOPLE you love in a PLACE you want to be on a THING you are passionate about.
All the macro challenges, Euro Crisis, US Government Debt etc will not matter if you followed the above simple advice and read Marks post on why you should really rethink where the world is going if you are stuck on a dead end job.
- The State of Canadian VC… (startupcfo.ca)
- Startup Iceland 2012 – Done! (startupiceland.com)
- Be on the Bus With Brad (startupiceland.com)
- Brad Burnham – Speaker Profile (startupiceland.com)
- Brad Feld – Speaker Profile (startupiceland.com)
- What Zynga Investor Brad Feld Wants in New Investments (blogs.wsj.com)
- Investors, Term Sheets and Win-Win Deals (startupiceland.com)