Thursday, June 7, 2018

Silicon Valley (and ProfessorVC) is Lazy

I taught a class yesterday afternoon to a group of 25 Italian executives, managers, and entrepreneurs participating in the TVLP Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  I always enjoy teaching these types of groups because it makes me realize the bubble we live in here in Silicon Valley.  While a lot of what is done here is clearly cutting edge and best practices, some of what we do doesn't make any sense to those visiting from other parts of the world.  And when I think about, it shouldn't make sense to those of us here.

For example, many visitors are surprised that nobody prepares business plans to raise funding.  I am a strong believer in the new school of entrepreneurship education (lean startup, customer discovery, etc.).  However, a 4-slide demo day pitch deck showing the market (Venn diagram with giant TAM), team (4 pictures with logos of universities and unicorn startups), product (3 screenshots), and traction (hockey stick chart showing 11 days of growth) has gone way too far the other way.

In the session, I used a classic video from a talk that VC Mark Suster (Upfront Ventures and the great startup blog Both Sides of the Table) gave at Stanford in 2010 that remains spot on (video embedded at end of post).  In the video, Mark calls out Silicon Valley as lazy for not doing basic research around markets.  You can get the gist from the following excerpt:

"What have the people that have come before me done? What worked? What didn't work? When people come to see me and they don't know the history of the industry they are choosing, I pass always.  Because if you're not going to that research it tells me that you probably aren't the type of person in my opinion who is going to do big things."
Mark got me thinking about my personal laziness in not writing a blog post in over a year.  I realized that rather than spending the time to write a thoughtful blog post I was writing quick responses to questions on Quora.  I promise I'll be back with a fresh blog post soon, but for now, in the continued theme of laziness, here are a few of my "best of" Quora answers:

Read Steve Bennet's answer to Why is a "large overhang of convertible debt resulting from numerous convertible note rounds" bad for startups before a series A round? on Quora

Read Steve Bennet's answer to How do I invite venture capitalists to invest in my small company? on Quora

Read Steve Bennet's answer to What is an example of an associate at a venture capital firm that went on to become a successful founder? on Quora

By the way, here is Mark Suster's video on research and prototypes:

10 comments: said...

This forum is a revelation, I love to read on these topics!
I agree in 100%. You have put it all together.
A colleague of mine is right in my opinion. You described it well, thanks for the help!

Maczfit kod rabatowy said...

Zapraszam na strone: Maczfit kod rabatowy pozwala obnizyć cene każdego zamówienia maczfit o 5%. Najlepszy rabat w mieście 🙂


The factors you have talked about in this specific article are helpful. I should try to seek after these parts and moreover talk about others.

Delhi Call Girl
Delhi Call Girls
Call Girl in Delhi

Shubham Sharma said...

Thanks a lot for keeping the great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. This is particularly nice one and gives in-depth data. Grateful for this not too amazing article.
Best SEO Consultant in Delhi

Anonymous said...

I wish more essayists of this kind of substance would take the time you did to explore and make so well. I'm particularly stunned by your vision and information.
Escorts in Girinagar
Indira Nagar Escorts Service
HSR Layout Escorts
Banaswadi Escorts Agency
Call Girls in Brigade Road

Anonymous said...

I'm truly getting a charge out of investigating your lavishly made articles. Almost certainly you spend a critical extent of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am anticipating examining new articles. Keep on doing gloriously.
Call Girls in HBR Layout
Indiranagar Escorts Agency
Koramangala Escorts Service
Escorts in Madiwala
Malleshwaram Call Girls

escortservicesindelhi said...

Hello there Guys, Purnima Delhi Escorts organization is perhaps the most mainstream Delhi Escorts Service. The young ladies of our office are wonderful enough as well as capable in the specialty of offering the best sexual assistance in the city. Thus, we have prepared our pretty and stunning young ladies about each and every perspective so they can give you the best organization to do while they will be with you on the bed. You will be astonished by their presentation in bed with you and when they convert themselves into hungry lionesses that are essentially crazy with the ceaseless craving for desire. They know their job and duties very well. Our young ladies can't be restricted uniquely to give you actual joy, they can be your guide and you can impart to her anything you desire to share.
Delhi Escorts Service |
Delhi Call Girls |
Escorts in Delhi |
Escorts Delhi |
Delhi Escorts |
Delhi Call Girls |

escortservicesindelhi said...

Hi, Guys, I'm Pushpa from Delhi. We are working in Delhi for a decent Escort administration profile in Delhi, our typical site for your assistance. To enlist Delhi escort administrations you need to visit our site and go through the rundown of accessible young ladies. At the point when you are finished choosing you can visit her profile and make the booking. You can book her for certain hours or a whole end of the week relying upon your desire. Simply click on this connection.
Call Girls in Nehru Place |
Escorts in Punjabi Bagh |
Rajouri Garden Escorts Service |
Rohini Call Girls |
Krishan Vihar Escorts |

Shubham Sharma said...

Thanks a lot for keeping the great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. This is particularly nice one and gives in-depth data. The format of the website is very useful for us thanks for sharing.

Mobile Phone Brands
Famous Cities in Spain
Best Winter Treks in Himalayas
Steroids Injection
Types of Firewall
Live Mobile Location Tracker

Smilz CBD Gummies said...

If you are a recreational gym-goer just looking to stay in shape, whey protein may be a good option to aid muscle building and recovery. Additionally, no evidence suggests that taking creatine and whey protein at the same time causes any negative effects. The results seem to suggest there is no added benefit of taking whey protein and creatine together.

Smilz CBD Gummies Reviews -