Thinking About Thinking

The Letter Given To The Valedictorian of Harvard College

Posted in Pop Culture by larrycheng on January 31, 2011

This is one letter I decidedly did not receive.  Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty compelling that there is indeed a valedictorian of Harvard.  Out of 1,600+ students in each class, there is one who ranks at the very top. 

Harvard Letter

Venture Capital (VC) Blog Directory – 2011 Edition

Posted in Technology, Venture Capital by larrycheng on January 19, 2011

This is the 4th edition of the Venture Capital Blog Directory (1st edition, 2nd edition, 3rd edition).  This directory includes 149 venture capital, microVC/seed, and growth equity blogs.  The imperfect statistic used to rank these blogs is their average monthly uniques in Q410 from Compete (more methodology info below).  Blogs that have seen increased traffic over Q409 by 1,000+ uniques/month are highlighted in bold.  There is an additional list below of VC blogs below that had insufficient Compete data.  To subscribe to the top 15 VC blogs through Google Reader, click here: Top 15 VC Blogs.  As always, if there is any information missing or incorrect, please leave it in the comment field.  Many thanks to my colleagues at Volition Capital for their assistance with this directory - we hope it’s a useful service for everyone.   

The Global VC Blog Directory (Q410 Avg. Monthly Uniques)  

  1. Paul Graham (@paulg), YCombinator, Essays (97,227)
  2. Fred Wilson (@fredwilson), Union Square Ventures, A VC (81,483)
  3. Mark Suster (@msuster), GRP Partners, Both Sides of the Table (53,655)
  4. Brad Feld (@bradfeld), Foundry Group, Feld Thoughts (38,821)
  5. Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Founder Collective, cdixon.org (20,988)
  6. David Skok (@bostonvc), Matrix Partners, For Entrepreneurs (14,173)
  7. Charlie O’Donnell (@ceonyc), First Round Capital, This is Going to be Big (13,970)
  8. Larry Cheng (@larryvc), Volition Capital, Thinking About Thinking (13,215)
  9. Dave McClure (@davemcclure), 500 Startups, Master of 500 Hats (11,127)
  10. Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz), Andreesen Horowitz, Ben’s Blog (10,686)
  11. Jeremy Liew (@jeremysliew), Lightspeed Ventures Partners, LSVP (9,344)
  12. Bijan Sabet (@bijan), Spark Capital, Bijan Sabet (8,256)
  13. Ryan Spoon (@ryanspoon), Polaris Venture Partners, ryanspoon.com (7,828)
  14. Albert Wenger (@albertwenger), Union Square Ventures, Continuations (7,469)
  15. Roger Ehrenberg (@infoarbitrage), IA Capital Ventures, Information Arbitrage (7,182)
  16. Rob Go (@robgo), NextView Ventures, robgo.org (6,934)
  17. Josh Kopelman (@joshk), First Round Capital, Redeye VC (6,778)
  18. David Cowan (@davidcowan), Bessemer Venture Partners, Who Has Time For This? (5,993)
  19. Mendelson/Feld (@foundrygroup), Foundry Group, Ask The VC (5,963)
  20. Bill Gurley (@bgurley), Benchmark Capital, Above The Crowd (5,428)
  21. Jeff Bussgang (@bussgang), Flybridge Capital Partners, Seeing Both Sides (5,223)
  22. David Hornik (@davidhornik), August Capital, VentureBlog (5,157)
  23. Seth Levine (@sether), Foundry Group, VC Adventure (4,858)
  24. Eric Friedman (@ericfriedman), Union Square Ventures, Marketing.fm (4,706)
  25. Andrew Parker (@andrewparker), Union Square Ventures, The Gong Show (3,854)
  26. Mark Peter Davis(@markpeterdavis), DFJ Gotham Ventures, Venture Made Transparent (3,602)
  27. Lee Hower (@leehower), NextView Ventures, AgileVC (3,459)
  28. Christine Herron (@christine), Intel Capital, Christine.net (2,484)
  29. Will Price, Hummer Winblad, Will Price (2,348)
  30. Jon Steinberg (@jonsteinberg), Polaris Venture Partners, Jon Steinberg (2,318)
  31. Jason Mendelson (@jasonmendelson), Foundry Group, Mendelson’s Musings (2,171)
  32. Marc Andreesen (@pmarcablog), Andressen Horowitz, Blog.pmarca.com (2,151)
  33. Jon O’Shaughnessy (@j_oshaughnessy), Dace Ventures, jonoshaughnessy.org (2,095)
  34. Sarah Tavel (@sarahtavel), Bessemer Venture Partners, Adventurista (1,968)
  35. Ed Sim (@edsim), Dawntreader Ventures, Beyond VC (1,948)
  36. Mike Hirshland (@vcmike), Polaris Venture Partners, VC Mike’s Blog (1,910)
  37. Dan Rua (@danrua), Inflexion Partners, Florida Venture Blog (1,510)
  38. Rob Hayes (@robhayes), First Round Capital, Permanent Record (1,509)
  39. Matt McCall, DFJ Portage Venture Partners, VC Confidential (1,430)
  40. Mo Koyfman (@mokoyfman), Spark Capital, Mo Koyfman (1,422)
  41. Fred Destin (@fdestin), Atlas Venture, Fred Destin’s Blog (1,405)
  42. David Feinleib (@vcdave), Mohr Davidow Ventures, Tech, Startups, Capital, Ideas. (1,353)
  43. Rick Segal (@ricksegal), JLA Ventures, The Post Money Value (1,308)
  44. Alex Taussig (@ataussig), Highland Capital, Infinite to Venture (1,239)
  45. Christopher Allen (@christophera), Alacrity Ventures, Life With Alacrity (1,188)
  46. Nic Brisbourne (@brisbourne), Esprit Capital Partners, The Equity Kicker (994)
  47. Chris Fralic (@chrisfralic), First Round Capital, Nothing To Say (844)
  48. Ouriel Ohayon (@ourielohayon), Isai.fr, MYBLOG by Ouriel (799)
  49. Multiple Authors, Highway 12 Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures Group (780)
  50. Martin Tobias (@martingtobias), Ignition Partners, Deep Green Crystals (723)
  51. David B. Lerner (@davidblerner), Columbia Seed Fund, David B. Lerner (716)
  52. Baris Karadogan, ComVentures, From Istanbul to Sand Hill Road (615)
  53. Dan Grossman, Venrock Associates, A Venture Forth (614)
  54. Jason Caplain (@jcaplain), Southern Capitol Ventures, Southeast VC (599)
  55. David Aronoff (@dba), Flybridge Capital Partners, Diary of a Geek VC (539)
  56. Mike Speiser, SutterHill Ventures, Laserlike (490)
  57. Tomas Tunguz (@ttunguz), Redpoint Ventures, Ex Post Facto (441)
  58. David Beisel (@davidbeisel), NextView Ventures, GenuineVC (427)
  59. Eric Ver Ploeg (@everploeg), Metric Ventures, Pocket Watch (403)
  60. Allan Veeck (@aveeck), Pittsburgh Ventures, Pittsburgh Ventures (353)
  61. Ryan McIntyre (@ryan_mcintyre), Foundry Group, McInblog (314)
  62. Satya Patel (@satyap), Battery Ventures, Venture Generated Content (310)
  63. Saul Klein (@cape), Index Ventures, LocalGlo.be (306)
  64. John Ludwig (@jhludwig), Ignition Partners, A Little Ludwig Goes A Long Way (296)
  65. Pascal Levensohn (@plevensohn), Levensohn Venture Partners, pascalsview (251)
  66. Derek Pilling, Meritage Funds, Non-Linear VC (250)
  67. Kent Goldman (@kentgoldman), First Round Capital, The Cornice (217)
  68. Rob Finn (@robfinn), Edison Venture, Ventureblogalist (215)
  69. Rich Tong (@richtong), Ignition Partners, Tongfamily (190)
  70. Jeff Joseph (@venturepopulist), Prescient Capital Partners, Venture Populist (137)
  71. Chip Hazard (@chazard), Flybridge Capital Partners, Hazard Lights (131)
  72. Paul Fisher, Advent Venture Partners, The Coffee Shops of Mayfair (122) 
  73. Jason Ball (@jasonball), Qualcomm Ventures Europe, TechBytes (47)
  74. Ted Rogers (@vcbrazil), PPI Ventures, Venture Capital Brazil (35)
  75. Greg Foster, Chrysalis Ventures, SouthernVC (15)
  76. Michael Cichowski (@mcichows), Edison Venture Fund, Digital Goggles (14)

Other VC Blogs

This list includes other VC blogs that didn’t make the primary directory for one of the following reasons: (1) They don’t have any Q410 Compete data due to insufficient traffic, (2) There was insufficient data on the blog subdomain, or (3) They are a hybrid blog/corporate website meaning the actual blog traffic is hard to decipher.  They are in no particular order.

(Methodology:  We aggregated the unique visitors for each blog on Compete.com for Oct-Dec 2010, and then divided by three to get a monthly unique traffic score.   If blogs only had data for one or two of the months, it was presumed that the missing months had no traffic and the aggregate number was still divided by three.)

The Great Divide In Technology Stocks

Posted in Economy, Technology by larrycheng on January 14, 2011

There is a great divide taking place in the land of technology stocks.  The “New Guard” of technology companies have a cloud computing, recurring or transactional revenue story with promotional leaders and great spin.  The “Old Guard” of technology companies have big brands and huge presence among customers, but are viewed by some as stodgy and tired.  Here’s how the public markets are valuing these two sets of companies from a P/E ratio perspective:

The New Guard

  • Salesforce.com – 259
  • VMware – 136
  • Rackspace – 107
  • RedHat – 91
  • F5 Networks – 77
  • Amazon.com – 74
  • Netflix – 72
  • Akamai – 60

Median P/E ratio of “New Guard” Companies: 84

The Old Guard

  • Oracle – 23
  • Cisco – 15
  • eBay – 14
  • IBM – 13
  • Dell – 13
  • Microsoft – 12
  • Intel – 11
  • Hewlett-Packard – 12

Median P/E ratio of “Old Guard” Companies: 13

Is it fair for the New Guard to trade at a median P/E ratio that is 6.5 times higher than the Old Guard?  I don’t think so – it will not last.  It’s not to say that the Old Guard is undervalued, but eventually, the New Guard will come back to earth.  Eventually, the New Guard companies will trade at less than a 25 P/E ratio – it’s the law of gravity in stocks (consider that even Apple trades at a 23 P/E).  Given that, in the case of Salesforce.com, that means its P/E ratio will decline by 90% from where it is today.  The question is whether that multiple compression happens because earnings actually grow by 10 times, or because investors get more valuation conscious, or both.  Only time will tell.

Why Volition Capital Invested In Globaltranz

Posted in Founder-Owned Businesses, Growth Equity, Technology, Volition Capital by larrycheng on January 13, 2011

Volition Capital announced a $10M investment in Globaltranz this week.  We couldn’t be more excited about the investment so I thought I’d share a little bit about why.  Globaltranz enables small businesses to go online to comparison shop and procure freight capacity – most notably trucking and other modes of transport.  It is somewhat analogous to how consumers use Expedia or Orbitz for airline travel, but in Globaltranz’s case, the end customers are businesses that are procuring freight.  Next time you’re driving on the road, look around at the trucks on the road – Globaltranz probably had a hand in putting cargo on that truck. 

The value proposition is very simple.  Globaltranz offers more selection and better rates to small businesses that ship goods.  In tougher economic times, the ability to save money on non-core functions like shipping is really valuable to small businesses.  On the flip-side, Globaltranz offers freight carriers (e.g. trucking companies) a low cost way to reach the small business customer.  It’s too expensive for carriers to sell small businesses direct, yet they certainly value additional volume given the fixed-cost nature of their business.  The value is very clear to all parties which is probably why the company is growing so aggressively. 

Globaltranz represents exactly the kind of company that Volition loves to invest in.  They are high growth: ~100% year-over-year growth for a number of years in a row.  They have a sizable and diversified revenue base.  They are bootstrapped: having never raised any institutional capital throughout the company’s history.  They are led by an experienced and dedicated management team.  And they have aspirations for greatness: their stated goal is $1 billion in revenue which given the size of this market is attainable.  They have accomplished a lot without any investment, and it is our hope that through our partnership and capital, the company will achieve even greater heights going forward. 

Needless to say, we are very pleased to be the first institutional investor in Globaltranz. 

The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

Posted in Technology by larrycheng on January 12, 2011

I was curious about which companies are worth less than Facebook’s purported $50 billion valuation – so I decided to look it up.  Here are some of the blue chip names (and market caps) you can get at a lower valuation than Facebook without paying Goldman Sachs’ exorbitant transaction fees:

  • EMC – $47.2B
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb – $45.1B
  • France Telecom – $42.5B
  • Target – $42.5B
  • BMW – $42.4B
  • Grainger – $42.3B
  • Nike – $41.6B
  • Morgan Stanley – $41.4B
  • Dow Chemical – $39.9B
  • UnitedHealth Group – $39.4B
  • News Corp – $39.2B
  • Colgate-Palmolive – $39.1B
  • Eli Lillly – $38.9B
  • Nokia – $38.0B
  • AIG – $37.3B
  • Halliburton -$36.7B
  • VMWare – $36.6B
  • BlackRock – $36.3B
  • Walgreen – $36.1B

2010 Blog In Review

Posted in Pop Culture by larrycheng on January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 280,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 12 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 35 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 101 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 399kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 3rd with 8,056 views. The most popular post that day was Where In The World Is Eduardo Saverin?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wikipedia.org, stumbleupon.com, news.ycombinator.com, de.wikipedia.org, and ru.wikipedia.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for eduardo saverin, thinking about thinking, eduardo saverin girlfriend, saverin, and mark zuckerberg eduardo saverin.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Where In The World Is Eduardo Saverin? June 2009
83 comments and 9 Likes on WordPress.com

2

Why Are 80% of Harvard Students First-Borns? March 2010
38 comments and 2 Likes on WordPress.com

3

Global Venture Capital (VC) Blog Directory – Ranked By Monthly Uniques January 2010
54 comments

4

Why Do Some Relationships Fail? March 2010
9 comments

5

The Chapter In The Bible That Appears Twice February 2010
16 comments

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