Thinking About Thinking

Top Israeli VC Blog Directory

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 31, 2009

Following on the footsteps of the Global VC Directory, here is the subset of the list which represents the Israeli VC bloggers.  As always, this list is dynamic and if you know of a VC blog I’m missing, please leave a comment and it will be added to the list.  Subscriber counts will be updated quarterly.  Blogs that have not posted in the last 3 months are denoted by an *.

Israeli VC Blog Directory (# of Google Reader Subscribers)

  1. Ouriel Ohayon, Lightspeed Gemini Internet Lab, MYBLOG by Ouriel (176)
  2. Sagi Rubin, Virgin Green Fund, The Grass is Greener (78)
  3. Jacob Ner-David, Jerusalem Capital, VC In Jerusalem (46)
  4. Ed Mlavsky, Gemini Israel Funds, GOLB: Is This Israel? (46)*
  5. Adam Fisher, Bessemer Venture Partners, Savants in the Levant (22)
  6. Adi Pundak-Mintz, Gemini Israel Funds, Adisababa’s Weblog (2)

All of these blogs have been added to one Google Reader bundle that you can subscribe to here: Top Israeli VC Blogs.

(I have also included my blog to this bundle so you can stay up on updates, but feel free to unsuscribe if you wish.)

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Top European VC Blog Directory

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 31, 2009

Following on the footsteps of the Global VC Directory, here is the subset of the list which represents the European VC bloggers.  As always, this list is dynamic and if you know of a VC blog I’m missing, please leave a comment and it will be added to the list.  Subscriber counts will be updated quarterly.  Blogs that have not posted in the last 3 months are denoted by an *.  Hope you don’t mind, but I have included UK bloggers as part of the European list.  

European VC Blog Directory (# of Google Reader Subscribers)

  1. Nic Brisbourne, Esprit Capital Partners, The Equity Kicker (335)
  2. Fred Destin, Atlas Venture, Fred Destin’s Blog (194)
  3. Saul Klein, Index Ventures, LocalGlo.be (178)*
  4. Max Bleyleben, Kennet Partners, Technofile Europe (106)
  5. Jason Ball, Qualcomm Ventures Europe, TechBytes (101)
  6. Gregoire Aladjidi, Techfund Europe, Investing In What’s Next (13)*

All of these blogs have been added to one Google Reader bundle that you can subscribe to here: Top European VC Blogs.

(I have also included my blog to this bundle so you can stay up on updates, but feel free to unsuscribe if you wish.)

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What Makes A Word…A Word?

Posted in Pop Culture by larrycheng on May 29, 2009

After a couple of VC centric posts, I thought I’d end the work week with some lighter fare.  Inspired by last night’s riveting (seriously) National Spelling Bee, I thought there would be no more appropriate time to toss out a random thought I’ve had for quite awhile actually.  The general question is – what makes a word…a word?

For many years, I have heard people in business and otherwise use the word “incent” – obviously related to creating an incentive.  You hear it all the time, “We need to incent the management team to grow sales.”  Interestingly, for many years, I don’t think “incent” was actually a recognized word in any dictionary I could find.  The proper word is “incentivize”.  So, I just held the belief that the business world had adopted a word that doesn’t really exist.  But, as long as we all understood what the word meant, who really cares.

Then a few years ago I ran into a guy with a linguist background, and I ran this issue by him.  His point to me was that a dictionary is static (not entirely if it’s online, but point taken), and language is dynamic.  His further point was that if a community of people uses a word, and “we all understand” what that word means, then that in and of itself qualifies the word as a word – it is legitimate language.  People define language, not dictionaries.

That all made sense to me.  We have seen this play out in other venues right?  Now “ginormous” is a recognized word popularized by kids.  Michael Jackson popularized a new definition for “bad” in the 80’s – “not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good… I’m bad.” The sitcom, Seinfeld, created an entirely new vocabulary – such as “pig-man”: 1) half man, half pig or 2) a short bald mental patient with a pinkish complexion (ex. Elmer Fudd), who tends to grunt or squeal a lot. And of course, proving the prescience of this linguist, if you look in the dictionary now, “incent” is recognized word.

So, this gets me back to the National Spelling Bee.  As I watched a kid who looked tired from studying the dictionary for 14,793 straight hours attempt to spell “palatschinken”, I wondered, who in the world knows what that word means, let alone who uses it?  That got me thinking how many “words” there are that really no one would know exist and no one uses.  If use of a word and common understanding of a word – qualifies a word as a word, then shouldn’t lack of use of a word and lack of common understanding of a word somehow disqualify a word as a word?  Or is language this ever growing spaghetti code that just keeps growing and growing like Jack and the Beanstalk (or the Windows OS)?

Beats me, I don’t know why I waste brain cycles on stuff like this, maybe I’m still scarred from studying for the SAT Verbal.

Best VC Blog Posts – May 28, 2009

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 28, 2009

After publishing the Global VC Blog Directory, I thought it’d be appropriate to publish the first of what I hope will be a bi-weekly round-up of the best blog posts from the VCs in the directory (in my personal opinion).  I’m not totally sure yet whether there’s enough good content to do a summary like this every couple of weeks, but if there is that will be the frequency.  So, here it goes (in no particular order):

By the way, after pulling together the directory, here are the firms with the most bloggers:

  • Bessemer Venture Partners (6)
  • First Round Capital (5)
  • Spark Capital (4)
  • Foundry Group (4)
  • Flybridge Capital Partners (3)
  • Ignition Partners (3)

Interesting to see broader firm-wide commitment to blogging.  At some point I may have to chat with some folks at those firms to see how blogging has impacted their firm.

Global VC Blog Directory – Ranked By # of Google Reader Subscribers (May 2009)

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 26, 2009

THIS DIRECTORY HAS BEEN UPDATED.  THE CURRENT VERSION (Q409) OF THIS DIRECTORY CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE.


The Global VC Blog Directory (# of Google Reader Subscribers)

  1. Guy Kawasaki, Garage Technology Ventures, How To Change The World (17,555)
  2. Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures, A VC (11,821)
  3. David Hornik, August Capital, VentureBlog (7,060)
  4. Brad Feld, Foundry Group, Feld Thoughts (6,434)
  5. Marc Andreesen, TBD, Blog.pmarca.com (5,099)*
  6. Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital, Redeye VC (3,310)
  7. Ed Sim, Dawntreader Ventures, Beyond VC (3,239)
  8. Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed Ventures Partners, LSVP (2,973)
  9. Bill Gurley, Benchmark Capital, Above The Crowd (2,257)
  10. Jeff Nolan, SAP Ventures, Venture Chronicles (1,528)
  11. David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners, Who Has Time For This? (1,261)
  12. Christopher Allen, Alacrity Ventures, Life With Alacrity (1,194)
  13. Seth Levine, Foundry Group, VC Adventure (1,154)
  14. Multiple Authors, Union Square Ventures, Union Square Ventures Blog (1,090)
  15. Rick Segal, JLA Ventures, The Post Money Value (795) – Canada
  16. Jeff Bussgang, Flybridge Capital Partners, Seeing Both Sides (727)
  17. Mike Hirshland, Polaris Venture Partners, VC Mike’s Blog (726)
  18. Tim Oren, Pacifica Fund, Due Diligence (661)
  19. Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC, Software Only (656)*
  20. Mike Speiser, Sutter Hill Ventures, Laserlike (643)
  21. Mendelson/Feld, Foundry Group, Ask The VC (587)
  22. Matt McCall, DFJ Portage Venture Partners, VC Confidential (432)
  23. Stu Phillips, Ridgelift Ventures, Soaring on Ridgelift (424)
  24. Eric Friedman, Union Square Ventures, Marketing.fm (405)
  25. Paul Kedrosky, Ventures West, Infectious Greed (399)
  26. Jason Caplain, Southern Capitol Ventures, Southeast VC (387)
  27. Scott Maxwell, Openview Venture Partners, Now What? (338)*
  28. Nic Brisbourne, Esprit Capital Partners, The Equity Kicker (335) – Europe
  29. Jason Mendelson, Foundry Group, Mendelson’s Musings (307)
  30. Ryan McIntyre, Foundry Group, McInblog (306)
  31. David Beisel, Venrock Associates, GenuineVC (293)*
  32. Will Price, Hummer Winblad, Will Price (266)
  33. Howard Morgan, First Round Capital, Way Too Early (259)
  34. Raj Kapoor, Mayfield Fund, The VC In Me (255)*
  35. Dan Grossman, Venrock Associates, A Venture Forth (228)*
  36. Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, Continuations (224)
  37. Baris Karadogan, Com Ventures, From Istanbul to Sand Hill Road (218)
  38. Andrew Parker, Union Square Ventures, The Gong Show (218)
  39. Christine Herron, First Round Capital, Christine.net (209)
  40. Keith Benjamin, Levensohn Venture Partners, SF Venture (202)*
  41. Fred Destin, Atlas Venture, Fred Destin’s Blog (194) – Europe
  42. David Feinleib, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Tech, Startups, Capital, Ideas. (183)
  43. Saul Klein, Index Ventures, LocalGlo.be (178)* – Europe
  44. Vineet Buch, BlueRun Ventures, Venture Explorer (177)*
  45. Ouriel Ohayon, Lightspeed Gemini Internet Lab, MYBLOG by Ouriel (176) – Israel
  46. Steve Jurvetson, DFJ, The J-Curve (145)
  47. Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital, BijanSabet.com (130)
  48. Philippe Botteri, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cracking the Code (125)*
  49. Rob Finn, Edison Venture, Ventureblogalist (124)*
  50. Marc Goldberg, Occam Capital, Occam’s Razor (117)* – Europe
  51. Daniel Cohen, Israel Venture Partners, Israel Venture Capital 2.0 (116) – Israel
  52. Peter Rip, Crosslink Capital, EarlyStageVC (113)
  53. James Chen, CXO Ventures, PureVC (111)
  54. Allen Morgan, Mayfield Fund, Allen’s Blog (109)*
  55. David Aronoff, Flybridge Capital Partners, Diary of a Geek VC (106)
  56. Max Bleyleben, Kennet Partners, Technofile Europe (106) – Europe
  57. Jeremy Levine, Bessemer Venture Partners, Nothing Venture, Nothing Gained (101)*
  58. Jason Ball, Qualcomm Ventures Europe, TechBytes (101) – Europe
  59. Mark Peter Davis, DFJ Gotham Ventures, Venture Made Transparent (101)
  60. Rob Hayes, First Round Capital, Permanent Record (99)*
  61. Michael Eisenberg, Benchmark Capital, Six Kids and a Full Time Job (98) – Israel
  62. Chris Fralic, First Round Capital, Nothing To Say (95)
  63. Pascal Levensohn, Levensohn Venture Partners, pascalsview (92)
  64. Michael Feinstein, Sempre Management, The Fein Line (86)
  65. Sagi Rubin, Virgin Green Fund, The Grass is Greener (78) – Israel
  66. Richard Dale, Sigma Partners, Venture Cyclist (74)
  67. Paul Fisher, Advent Venture Partners, The Coffee Shops of Mayfair (73) – Europe
  68. John Ludwig, Ignition Partners, A Little Ludwig Goes A Long Way (66)
  69. Dan Rua, Inflexion Partners, Florida Venture Blog (66)
  70. Steve Brotman, Silicon Alley Venture Partners, VC Ball (64)
  71. Larry Cheng, Fidelity Ventures, Thinking About Thinking (63) [special thanks to the early adopters]
  72. Martin Tobias, Ignition Partners, Deep Green Crystals (61)
  73. Matt Winn, Chrysalis Ventures, Punctuative! (56)*
  74. Sarah Tavel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Adventurista (51)
  75. Stewart Alsop, Alsop-Louie Partners, Alsop-Louie Partners (49)*
  76. Jacob Ner-David, Jerusalem Capital, VC In Jerusalem (46) – Israel
  77. Ed Mlavsky, Gemini Israel Funds, GOLB: Is This Israel? (46)* – Israel
  78. Ho Name, Altos Ventures, Altos Ventures Musings (45)
  79. Rich Tong, Ignition Partners, Tongfamily (45)
  80. George Zachary, Charles River Ventures, Sense and Cents (41)*
  81. Rob Go, Spark Capital, Rob Go Blog (38)
  82. Kent Goldman, First Round Capital, The Cornice (38)
  83. Rachel Strate, EPIC Ventures, Wasatch Girl (37)
  84. Sid Mohasseb, Tech Coast Angels, Sid Mohasseb (35)*
  85. Satya Patel, Battery Ventures, Venture Generated Content (34)
  86. Multiple Authors, Foundry Group, Foundry Group Blog (30)
  87. Mo Koyfman, Spark Capital, Mo Koyfman (29)
  88. Rob Day, @Ventures, Cleantech Investing (28)
  89. Marc Averitt, Okapi Venture Capital, OC VC (25)
  90. Michael Greeley, Flybridge Capital Partners, On The Flying Bridge (22)
  91. Adam Fisher, Bessemer Venture Partners, Savants in the Levant (22) – Israel
  92. Justin Label, Bessemer Venture Partners, Venture Again (21)*
  93. Ted Driscoll, Claremont Creek Ventures, Evolving VC (20)*
  94. Multiple Authors, Highway 12 Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures Group Blog (20)
  95. Santo Politi, Spark Capital, This and That (18)
  96. Lee Hower, Point Judith Capital, Venturesome (16)
  97. Charles Curran, Valhalla Partners, VC Blog (16)*
  98. David Dufresne, Desjardins Venture Capital, Dav-Generated Content (15) – Canada
  99. Jon Seeber, Updata Partners, Jon’s Ventures (14)*
  100. Todd Klein, Legend Ventures, Media VC (14)
  101. Max Niederhofer, Atlas Venture, Life In The J Curve, baby (14) – Europe
  102. Gregoire Aladjidi, Techfund Europe, Investing In What’s Next (13)* – Europe
  103. Vinit Nijhawan, Key Venture Partners, Entremeister (12)
  104. Todd Dagres, Spark Capital, Todd Dagres Tumblelog (9)
  105. Multiple Authors, Brightspark Ventures, Let the Sparks Fly! (6)
  106. Don Rainey, Grotech Ventures, VC in DC (6)
  107. Multiple Authors, True Ventures, True Ventures Blog (6)
  108. Rob Schultz, IllinoisVENTURES, Go Big or Go Home (5)
  109. Art Marks, Valhalla Partners, Entrepreneurial Quest (5)*
  110. Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures, Unfinished Work (3)
  111. Brian Hirsch, Greenhill SAVP, New York VC (2)
  112. Adi Pundak-Mintz, Gemini Israel Funds, Adisababa’s Weblog (2) – Israel
  113. Peter Lee, Baroda Ventures, Seeing Eye to Eye (2)
  114. Allan Veeck, Pittsburgh Ventures, Pittsburgh Ventures Blog (1)
  115. John Abraham, Arrowpoint Ventures, JMA’s Views On Everything (1)

To subscribe to this directory through Google Reader (Atom or OPML), here are some bundles:

The last two bundles are tied to these directories:  The Israeli VC Blog Directory & The European VC Blog Directory

Running As A Metaphor

Posted in Philosophy by larrycheng on May 24, 2009

As many of you know who follow me on twitter, I’ve been running a fair amount this year.  I competed with a bunch of VCs in a winter stair climb up Boston Place (41 floors/82 flights).  Since then I have competed in the Lexington 5–miler, the Team Hoyt 5k, and today the 5–mile Run To Remember.  I am also training for a track meet where I hope to rekindle some capabilities in the 200 meter and 400 meter sprints.

The more I run, the more I feel like the lessons you learn in running are lessons for life.  I even find that there are great metaphors from running for entrepreneurship and leadership.  You might have to be a runner to appreciate some of these, but I thought I’d share them with you:

  1. When you start out of the blocks, keep your head down and stretch big on your first step.
  2. When you’re at top speed, relax.  Trying to accelerate more will only slow you down.
  3. Running with others will help you run faster and longer.
  4. Know when you have a tailwind and know when you have a headwind.  Adjust accordingly.
  5. Don’t start too fast.
  6. When you don’t want to run, just go outside and take the first step.
  7. Knowing the course makes a big difference.
  8. If you’re starting to get winded, just slow down your pace until you catch your breath.
  9. Listen to your body.
  10. When you’re tired, focus on maintaining your form to maintain your speed.
  11. Run through the finish line.
  12. Trying doesn’t replace training.
  13. Run your own race.

“”I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
-Jesse Owens

EmilZatopek

(At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Emil Zatopek won the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the Marathon – setting Olympic records in each event.)

How Can We Double Down?

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 19, 2009

One thing I wished I had done from the beginning of my venture career is to simply dedicate a notebook to great pieces of wisdom I would hear around specific situations raised in the context of a board meeting or partners meeting.  At the end of the day, the venture business is about pattern recognition and such a notebook would help in building that database of patterns that one could fall back on.  Fortunately, I have a decent memory for these things, but if I had it all down on paper, that would be even better.  For those of you VCs who are earlier on in your career, I’d recommend you trying something along these lines.  I may use this blog to capture some of these insights going forward.

Today’s post is about one such piece of wisdom that I think is particularly relevant in these times.  This piece of wisdom came from Jeff Bezos, founder & CEO, Amazon.com during an MFG.com board meeting.  Jeff asked the question, “Is there anything big or small, that is working better than you expected?  Is there any where we could double down?”  Jeff’s point was that we spend a lot of time focusing on what’s not working in Board meetings (especially in times like these), and not enough time focusing on what is surpassing expectations and how we can “double down” on those areas.  Often times the key levers in businesses are found in little things that are really outperforming whether by intention or not (often not, actually).  Sometimes these are things that are either adjacent enough or small enough that they wouldn’t make a board presentation or be an obvious discussion point because they’re just seedlings that need to be watered.  I appreciate how Jeff wanted to bring these seedlings to the forefront to see if they deserved some real investment.

I now make a point to periodically check in with all of my companies, whether things are going great or not, to see if there are areas where things are working better than planned – areas where we can double down.  Some types of things I have heard in the last year:

  • A particular use case for a product is taking off despite the fact that we’re not marketing that use case.
  • A particular customer segment has a sales cycle that is much faster than the other segments we’re targeting.
  • We’re completely ignoring some aspect of the business that is “non-core” but it continues to do well despite that.
  • A customer is getting real value from our product in a way that we didn’t anticipate.
  • A specific region is adopting our product, and we have no sales and marketing there.
  • Customers are saying great things about us on the Internet.
  • A particular marketing channel or marketing message is converting better than we expected.
  • A particular sales rep has cracked the code and is destroying their quota.
  • We have a particular customer who is going out of their way to help us in our product development and positioning.
  • Employee morale is high and retention is great.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

To all of these cases and many more like them, it’s worth asking the question, “How can we double down?”  So often the market tells us things that are key to the success of our business if we just ask the right questions and listen closely enough.

Health, Wealth and Time

Posted in Philosophy, Pop Culture by larrycheng on May 18, 2009

Just finished an interesting lunch conversation with my colleagues, one of whom is going off to business school next year and traveling the world this summer.  I was commenting how I would probably have to wait until I retire to be able to do exactly what he’s doing this summer.  At this point in the conversation, one of my partners recounted the advice she got about the triangle of health, wealth and time.  The basic claim is that if you have any two of the three, you’re in pretty good shape.  For example:

  • When you’re young, you have your health and time, but no wealth.
  • When you’re in the middle of your career, you have health and wealth, but no time.
  • When you’re older, you have wealth and time, but probably not health.

At which point we all agreed that the last one might not be so great depending on the level of health, but it’s intriguing to think about nonetheless.  Perhaps even more interesting to think about is which two of the three you’d pick if you could, and whether your priorities line up against those two.  For example, if you prioritize health and time, but spend all of your time working, not exercising, eating poorly, etc. – that may not be internally consistent.  Anyways, interesting lunch conversation…

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Building the Fastest Team in Baseball

Posted in Uncategorized by larrycheng on May 17, 2009

Since the Celtics Game 7 finale with Orlando is too painful to actually pay attention to, I decided to answer one of the random questions floating around in my head (trying to pretend like I don’t care that the Celtics are losing badly).  The random question of the day is if I were the general manager of a low budget major league baseball team (think Florida Marlins), and simply decided to pull together the fastest, most cost efficient team in baseball – what would it look like, how much would it cost, would it be competitive?  In pulling together this dream team of speed, I decided to make all outfield positions interchangeable, and I made all infield positions interchangeable except catcher.  Here’s what the team would look like with their new positions and existing teams (# of 2008 stolen bases):

  1. Willy Taveras, CF, Reds (68)
  2. Jose Reyes, 1B, Mets (56)
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF, Red Sox (50)
  4. B.J. Upton, RF, Rays (44)
  5. Michael Bourn, DH, Astros (41)
  6. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Marlins (35)
  7. Chone Figgins, 3B, Angels (33)
  8. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers (26)
  9. Ivan Rodriguez, C, Astros (10)

This team, based on 2008 statistics would steal 363 bases and average 40 steals per player.  Tell me that wouldn’t put fans in the seats?  Even the change-up in a few positions would make things more interesting.

Now how much would this team cost based on their 2009 salary?

  1. Willy Taveras, $2.25M
  2. Jose Reyes, $6.13M
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury, $0.45M
  4. Michael Bourn, $0.43M
  5. B.J. Upton, $0.43M
  6. Hanley Ramirez, $5.5M
  7. Chone Figgins, $5.8M
  8. Ian Kinsler $3.25M
  9. Ivan Rodriguez, $1.5M

This team would cost $25.74M for the starting 9 players and average a $2.86M annual salary per player (the average salary of the 9 highest paid players for the Florida Marlins this year is $2.85M).  You could recruit some track stars for $400k minimum to round out the team.

Of course, it’s somewhat unrealistic to think you could pull these players together on one team, get them to swap positions, etc.  But, nonetheless, this does make me think that speed/stolen bases is an undervalued capability in baseball.  If you tried to pull together a team with the best in baseball at any other statistic that represents productivity: HR’s, batting average, on base percentage, even walks, it’d be a much more costly team.  Not to mention, a team with this make-up would be pound for pound the most exciting team to watch in baseball.

Time to go root for an improbable Celtics comeback… (Update: which did not happen)

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What’s Next In Tech? (probably part I)

Posted in Technology, Venture Capital by larrycheng on May 14, 2009

In preparation for the What’s Next In Tech conference, I thought I’d submit my thoughts on What Next?  Rather than submit a laundry list of ideas, I thought I’d focus on one of my favorites and give it a little more due.  One thesis that I’ve had is that information will lead to step-function improvements in business (and consumer) applications.  I think there will be fewer breakthroughs in raw application functionality, but the great breakthroughs will be the type of information consumed, processed, and delivered by these applications.

First, let’s look at what we at Fidelity Ventures like to call the train tracks.  The analogy we use is that the train tracks have to be laid, before the trains can run.  You can have the most beautiful trains on the planet, but if there are no tracks to run on, there’s no point.  So, here are just some of the tracks being laid for the continued explosion of available information:

  • Cost per MB of storage has come way down.
    • 1956: $10,000
    • 1984: $87.86
    • 1994: $0.95
    • 2004: $.001
  • Breakneck growth of web pages
    • 1998 Google index: 26 million web pages
    • 2000 Google index: 1 billion web pages
    • 2008 Google index: 1 trillion web pages
  • Continuation of Moore’s law (# of transistors/IC) impacts processing speed, memory capacity, etc.
    • 1971: 2,300
    • 1990: 1,000,000
    • 2000: ~50,000,000
    • 2008: ~1,000,000,000
  • Growth in Internet connection bandwidth
    • Dial-up: 56 kbit/s
    • T1: 1.544 Mbit/s
    • Ethernet: 10 Mbit/s
    • 802.11g: 54 Mbit/s
    • Gigabit Ethernet: 1000 Mbit/s
  • Other data points that I couldn’t quickly find information on:
    • Growth in amount of information in corporate databases
    • Projected broadband and fiber penetration growth (it’s growing)
    • Growth in digital video, audio, and images

So, the tracks are laid for information to be stored, assimilated, processed, structured, extrapolated, and delivered.  The question is what kinds of problems will information revolutionize?  I’ll toss out some ideas but you can basically pick any business or consumer vertical, and I think it will be materially impacted by information.

  • Manufacturing. As manufacturers spec products, their bill of materials will be dynamically priced based on real-time global pricing information delivered to their CAD systems as they manipulate their CAD drawings.
  • Retail. Pricing on products of all kinds will become more dynamic based on real-time feeds of pricing data coming from local and global data sources and non-linear info like real-time weather.  Coupons will also be dynamic based on real-time in-store sales information.
  • Insurance. The way risk for any given type of insurance will be driven by the triangulation of non-linear information which to date hasn’t been possible.  For example, a great predictor of a bad driver is having bad credit.
  • Credit Information. Revolutions take down old stodgy incumbents.  Say goodbye to Fair Isaac’s FICO score – completely dated.  A new credit bureau will emerge to challenge the Big 3 and a new business info company will challenge Dun & Bradstreet.
  • Human Resources. Hiring will entail more mathematical processing.  Models will be created around a myriad of different jobs and be used to predict success (such as Unicru).  HR will embrace math, like….
  • Sports. It’s already started.  30 year-old quant jocks will run sports.  In 5–10 years?  20 year-old quant jocks will take over.
  • Fashion. The idea of merchandisers and designers going on shopping trips and runway shows for inspiration will be antiquated.  Doing physical idea boards will go by the wayside.  It’s already started.
  • Trading. Information enables trading of just about anything and everything.
  • Automation.  Whether it’s robotic vacuums, unmanned aerial vehicles, automation of the warehouse, etc.  Information will lead to automation in all sorts of applications.
  • Many, many, others…

So, that’s one or many ideas on What’s Next In Tech.  Hopefully I’ll see you at the conference June 25th in Boston.  If you know any great companies along these lines, don’t hesitate to drop me a note – larry (@) fidelityventures.com or @larryvc on twitter.

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