From the Investors
Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers presents KPCB’s annual review on the state of the web in “Internet Trends 2014”
Rob Go of NextView Ventures tips founders off to how serious the “informal update” really is and gives them some tips on how to prepare in “The Surprisingly Tough VC Pitch”
Semil Shah of Haystack Fund, in a post “intended for founders,” explores the nuances of tone and interest in “The Turf Signaling Between Investors and Founders”
Rob Moffat of Balderton Capital lists all the skills of an ideal CMO and why you’ll never find them all in one place in “Hiring a CMO”
Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures explains why hiring six salespeople at once is better than one per month in “The Impact of Varying Sales Hiring Strategies on SaaS Startups”
David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners sits down with StrictlyVC to discuss the implications of the IoT and cyber attacks in “Cybersecurity Investor David Cowan on Hackers, Valuations, and What’s Hot”
Joshua Henderson of Springboard Enterprises builds an empire through network building in “The Venture Karma System”
Brad Feld of Foundry Group calculates an 11% change in net returns when VCs recycle their management fees in “Why VCs Should Recycle Their Management Fees”
From the Operators
Sasha Eslami of Eversnap sold his car, his bedroom, and his soul before Eversnap took off in “Our Journey to Success: Prostitution, Trespassing, and Disobedience” Desenrascanço: (n.) the improvisation of haphazard but completely sound solutions or plans at the last minute.
Jason Freedman of 42Floors was midway through his elevator pitch at a conference when he learned that “Investors Don’t Want to Meet You. They Wanted to Be Introduced to You.”
Sam Schillace of Box wants you to be paranoid and never optimize (until you really, really need to) in “Coding Principles Every Engineer Should Know”
Jason Fried of Basecamp loses a key employee, gains a doctrine of impact, in “What Jamis Left Behind… For Us”
People Are Talking About: Apple Inks the Beats Deal for $3 Billion
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are now executives at Apple. The reasons behind the acquisition—the largest in Apple’s history—has many scratching their heads. Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz writes, “One thing that is clear is that Apple doesn’t rule digital music anymore.” In fact, Evans wonders, is Apple even aiming for the right industry? “Beats – Content is King?” [Graph above is from Evans’s article.]
Edward Aten of CopThis says that this deal has nothing to do with buying headphones or streaming music; this is about beating Android with a simple, integrated UI – “End to End”
Kelly Hodgkins of MacRumors looks at the percentage of Apple revenue from iTunes versus the App Store, forecasting a greater shift towards App Store revenues in “Apple’s Beats Music Deal Seen as Key to Bolstering Declining iTunes Revenue Momentum.”
Niklas Jansen of Blinkist. “Blinkist creates CliffsNotes for business books. We break down insights from nonfiction books and distill them for mobile users.”
Blinkist is happy to offer an extended free trial to its business books exclusively to Mattermark Daily readers. To redeem the extended trial, please click on this link and signup (or login with an existing user) after clicking the “redeem” button.
Mattermark: How did you come up with your startup?
Niklas: The four of us co-founders studied together in Marburg, Germany (close to Frankfurt). One of us was summarizing business books and sending them out to the rest of us during the semester. Well, we really liked them, and we knew that a lot more people would like to read business books if they had the time. It basically started with us wondering, “How could we get him to write more for us?” And then it turned into writing for everyone else.
Mattermark: What is a recent milestone that your team celebrated?
Niklas: We recently grossed 100k users and increased the capacity of summaries per month to 40-50.
Mattermark: What are your ambitions for Blinkist?
Niklas: We want to build great knowledge tools that are as easy as possible to access; we want to do what audiobooks did for mobile engagement. People feel that they need to catch up with the economy, that there’s this cultural literacy that people miss out on if they can’t squeeze in the latest book. Books and summaries provide them with a way to catch up in a global economy.
Mattermark: Tell us about your team.
Niklas: There are fourteen of us now with backgrounds in psychology, tech, and business. The office is in an old flat with a foosball table in the basement and a huge kitchen up top. The kitchen is the place to be at night; one of the founders makes an incredible käsespätzle. The foosball teams are Mönchengladbach v. Dortmund.