From the Investors
Josh Breinlinger of Sigma West identifies speed as the real differentiator in the on-demand economy in “What On-Demand Teaches All of Us”
Jeffrey Carter of West Loop Ventures explores how crowdfunding, competition, newbie investors, and the Fed cause valuations to creep upwards in “How Do VCs and Angels Value a Company?“
Bilal Zuberi of Lux Capital doesn’t care what you call them, so long as you go to the right one for the right advice in “Advisors vs Mentors and Coaches. Every founder should have them.”
Semil Shah of Haystack Fund weighs the pros and cons of “Four Ways for Founders (and Anyone Else) to Break Into Investing”
Anthony Lee of Altos Ventures helps founders discover whether or not they’re in the “exploratory” or “confirmatory” stage of an investment in “Decoding Due Diligence”
Chris Arsenault of iNovia Capital discusses the increasing competition amongst investors to back the best companies in “Private Jets and Expensive Trips: The New ‘Arms Race’ in Wooing Entrepreneurs” (via Betakit)
Hunter Walk of Homebrew Ventures uses Shyp as an example of why Ops teams are among the most critical early hires in “Started From the Bottom Now They’re Here: Why Startups are Racing to Build Operations Teams”
MG Siegler of Google Ventures looks at the “button vomit” of your TV remote in “Explain a Remote Control to Me like I’m Five”
From the Operators
Matt Mireles of EasyFridge values the investment that is interpersonal, not transactional, and looks for the VCs who say “no” in “Be Kind. It Pays.”
Gabriel Weinberg of DuckDuckGo breaks down business models to identify companies that are in war time in “Differentiating Away From the Arms Race”
Borys Musielak of Filmaster creates a community and a larger market in “How a Community is Born: The Rise of Polish Startups” (via TNW)
Monk Seaman of SeedInvest argues in favor of the Angel Tax Credit Act in “Angel Investors: The Lifeblood of Startup Formation”
From the Community
Diane Mulcahy of the Kauffman Foundation explains the basics of VC compensation structure in “Venture Capitalists Get Paid Well to Lose Money”
Ben Kasselman of FiveThirtyEight goes in-depth on the less flexible and more risk-averse economy in “Corporate America Hasn’t Been Disrupted“
People Are Talking About: Sexism in Tech
Forbes published an anonymous piece, “Armoring Up: Surviving Sexism in Silicon Valley,” on what it’s like to raise money as a woman in tech. “Mistreatment of female founders, it seems, is a feature, not a bug, of Silicon Valley.” She calls for a public conversation—by men and women—about gender, power, and respect.
Erica Swallow, an MBA student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, recounts her summer internship with General Catalyst Partners in “On Being Female in Venture Capitalm”
John Greathouse of Rincon Venture Partners looks at academic research on mixed-gender mentoring and encourages women to engage in “Women – Where Are You?” (via WSJ)
Matthew Goldman of Wallaby Financial has his two daughters in mind when he offers proposals to change the tech industry in “Disrupting the Male-Dominated Startup Culture”
Angel Investor Ed Zimmerman has two simple rules for organizers to follow in order to get him to a networking dinner or on a panel: make sure women are included — “My Pledge Against Gender Bias in Tech” (via WSJ)
Evan Katz and Morgan Steffy of Pickle. “Pickle delivers crowdsourced feedback on picture-based polls in minutes to help users make everyday decisions.”
Mattermark:How did you come up with your startup?
Evan: Pickle was originally intended to be a simple fashion app that would allow users to get crowdsourced feedback on what clothing looked best on them in minutes. Users enjoyed trying to predict the crowd’s opinion so much that they stayed on the app for an average of 15 minutes per session. We realized we stumbled upon a much larger market of people wanting to get quick crowdsourced feedback on all aspects of their life, from profile pictures to menu options
Mattermark:What is the most interesting trend in your marketplace, and how are you navigating that change?
Evan: In our marketplace, we’re seeing a trend towards an interest in anonymity, and the ability to leverage a userbase as a whole, not just one’s own social network.
Mattermark:What is a piece of advice you wish you could give yourself one year ago today?
Evan: I wish I could have further convinced myself of the importance of building a strong mentor network. The connections and advice that have come from our mentors have been invaluable.
Pickle is part of the Memphis-based Start.co accelerator. Their Demo Day is coming up in two weeks. Find out more here.