Thinking About Thinking

What Option Grants Tell Us About The US Dollar

Posted in Economy, Venture Capital by larrycheng on November 3, 2009

Let’s start with the obvious.  When you receive an option grant in a private company, you are told a number of options.  The absolute number of options you receive is not as relevant as the percentage of the company it represents.  Your option grant is the numerator, but the denominator is key.  The denominator is the total number of shares outstanding in the company.  Obviously, if you are granted 10,000 options and there are 1,000,000 shares outstanding, you have been granted 1% of the company.  You are probably a direct report to the CEO.  If you are granted 10,000 options and there are 100,000,000 shares outstanding, you have been granted .01% of the company.  You are probably in an entry level role of some capacity.  It’s the percentage that counts. 

The more a company raises money by issuing more shares, the larger the denominator grows, and the lower your percentage gets presuming your option grant does not change.   It’s basic math: if the numerator stays constant, and the denominator keeps getting bigger, the resulting percentage keeps declining.  This effect is called dilution – which is never a positive word in our world.  No shareholder wants to be diluted.   For the readers of this blog, I suspect this principal is relatively obvious since many of you have worked within or around private companies.  OK, enough with the obvious. 

This very same principal applies to the value of currency which is why it surprises me when people are nervous, they decide to keep their money in cash (US Dollar).  In the world of currency, your numerator is the amount of US Dollars you have in the bank.  People feel safe because they have $x in the bank.  That’s the equivalent of people feeling properly compensated because they have 10,000 options.  It’s an incomplete equation.  You need to know the denominator.  In the case of the US Dollar, the denominator is the money supply.  The money supply is the “total amount of money available in an economy at a particular point in time.”  Just like in the option example, if you have a certain amount of cash in the bank, but the government keeps “printing money” to expand the money supply, your percentage of the money supply is declining.  It’s the currency form of dilution.  And here’s what’s happened to the US money supply:


If I told you you could hold a fixed number of options in one of two companies: (A) a company that had to raise a ton more money and issue a ton more stock to do so, or (B) a company that is profitable and has to raise no more capital and therefore issue no more shares – all other things being equal, you’d take Option B every single time.  You’d take it because your ownership in the company would not be diluted.  But, why is the answer less obvious in currencies, when the principal is largely the same?  The US government is printing money and is the national equivalent of Option A.  It would seem more logical to look for the national equivalent of Option B and keep your money invested in that currency. 

Now there are lots of exogenous factors.  You can’t discount the fact that the US still has the strongest military on the planet.  And you certainly can’t discount enough the fact that I’m no economist and am probably missing many obvious points.  And, certainly, do not take this as investment advice.  This is just an exercise in thinking aloud which is what this blog is about.

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Are VCs Lemmings?

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on October 28, 2009

Many in the entrepreneurial ecosystem (VCs included) have used the phrase, “VCs are all lemmings.”  Is this true?  Is it not?  Before answering that question, let us take a look at the lemming migration across the Norwegian coast.  How can you compare a VC to a lemming, without detailed knowledge of lemming migratory patterns?  Here’s a transcript from a video – best to start the video at 1:14 while reading the transcript [with VC translation – tongue firmly planted in cheek]:

“The second thing lemmings [VCs] do is reproduce.  As more and more individuals [VCs] are born, the food and water supply [good deals] begins to diminish.  Every three to four years, the populations in some localities grow to great densities [Silicon Valley, India, China].  In response to this overcrowding, lemmings exhibit a very specialized behavior [reinvention].  Individuals begin to migrate away from the centers of dense population [to other centers of dense population – cleantech, web 2.0, etc.].  They group together and move in detectable waves across the countryside [cleantech forums, web 2.0 forums, etc.].  Whatever barriers block their passage [absence of business models], they tend to crowd in increasing numbers until a sort of panic reaction drives them over the obstacles [capital market ponzi schemes].  The migration impulse [fear their track record will be exposed] affects each individual driving them to keep moving [doing new deals].  If a stream or river interrupts their path [no exit market], they swim across [bridge financings].  Many die during migration – perishing by predation, starvation or accident.  Occasionally, some reach the ocean [a new firm] and plunge in [break out a new checkbook].  Once again, they begin swimming [doing new deals].  They act under the same impulse [trying to get a winner] that forces them to cross smaller bodies of water.  Swimming until exhausted, all of them drown.  Through this migration and mass drowning, the number of lemmings is checked.  Scientists do not yet completely understand how this behavior has continued over the centuries when so many of the emigrating lemmings die.”

All in good fun :).

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Harvard Business School Is Taking Over Boston VCs – For Better Or Worse?

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on October 18, 2009

Take a look at the middle tier of most Boston VCs – and what will you find in abundance?  Harvard Business School (HBS) grads.  Here’s a smattering of folks you can find with HBS degrees, including two of our own:

  • Rob Go, Spark Capital
  • Jon Lim, Polaris Venture Partners
  • Ryan Woodley, Polaris Venture Partners
  • Irena Goldberg, Highland Capital
  • Amanda Herson, Highland Consumer Fund
  • Jesse Feldman, Battery Ventures
  • Dayna Grayson, North Bridge Venture Partners
  • Cali Tran, North Bridge Venture Partners
  • Matt Witheiler, Flybridge Capital Partners
  • Geraldine Alias, Fidelity Ventures
  • Sean Cantwell, Fidelity Ventures
  • And on and on….

Now let’s look at the graduate school education some of the more established VCs in Boston:

  • Todd Dagres, Spark Capital – MBA, Boston University
  • Scott Tobin, Battery Ventures – no MBA
  • Dave Tabors, Battery Ventures – no MBA
  • Rob Soni, Matrix Partners – no MBA
  • Bob Davis, Highland Capital – MBA, Babson College
  • Dan Nova, Highland Capital – MBA, Harvard Business School
  • Dave Barrett, Polaris Venture Partners – no MBA
  • Joel Cutler, General Catalyst – JD, Boston College
  • John Simon, General Catalyst – MA, Oxford University
  • David Fialkow, General Catalyst – JD, Boston College
  • Mike Zak, CRV – MBA, Harvard Business School
  • Anne Mitchell, Fidelity Ventures – no MBA

Over the last 10 years, venture capital has become a more mature industry (meaning more job opportunities) and a highly desired career path for business school grads.  When I joined the venture industry in 1998, there were probably <10 non-partner positions in the Boston VC community altogether.  Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find individual firms with 5–10+ non-partner positions.  Back in 1998, the typical HBS grad probably wanted to do investment banking or consulting.  These days – it’s hedge funds and private equity (VC & LBO).  Put that altogether, and it makes logical sense that HBS grads are far more prevalent in the Boston VC community than they were 10 or 20 years ago.  It’s the end result of every Boston VC firm that has a job opening going to HBS and aiming to hire the best of the best.

But, what does this mean for how the Boston VC culture will change over the next 10 years as opposed to where it came from the past 10–20 years?  What does it mean if a preponderance of Boston VCs all have the same educational training?  My guess is that both generations will find their own success, but perhaps their success will be for different reasons.  Perhaps the “HBS Generation” will succeed due to pure analytical horsepower and smarts.  Perhaps the present/past generation found success due more to creativity and courage.  It’s hard and ultimately unfair to generalize, but I have to think that things will change – maybe not better or worse – just different.

The Categories of Risk in the VC Brain

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on October 1, 2009

Venture capitalists often talk about different kinds of risk.  It’s worth asking the VC’s you meet with what types of risk they feel most comfortable or uncomfortable taking.  All VC’s have their preferences and it’s a good way to assess whether your company is a good fit for that particular VC.  Here are some of the big categories of risk in the VC brain:

  1. Product risk.  Will the product actually work?  This is a risk that is inherent in early stage companies, especially those that are pioneering novel science or technologies.  Any early investor in A123 Systems for example was clearly willing to take product risk. 
  2. Market adoption risk.  Will the dogs eat the dog food?  Is this the right product/market fit?  This generally refers to all the risks related to getting your first sets of customers, starting to get momentum in the market and whether the value proposition, pricing, etc. will resonate with your target customer.
  3. Market size risk.  Lots of companies get to $15M-$20M, but can’t go from $20M to $100M+.  That ultimately becomes a market size question.  We’ve seen many an enterprise software company run into this trap where they hit the wall at $15M-$25M in revenue and flatten out.  That’s a market size issue. 
  4. Market timing risk.  Is this the right product for today or 10 years from now?  Back in the late 90’s, wireless applications, electronic medical records, etc. were all hot.  Fast forward to 2009, and their time has finally come.  Market timing is the difference between the lack of success of Six Degrees of Separation and LinkedIn. 
  5. Competitive risk.  Are there dominant players that you have to contend with or are there 25 other start-ups doing the same thing that create too much noise?  This was always an issue in the IT security space where there would always be a dozen “heel nippers” in each segment.  The robust capital markets in 2000 exacerbated this issue for all dot coms. 
  6. Financing risk.  How much capital will it take to get to the finish line?  This was a risk inherent in many of the communications services companies back in the bubble days and is also a risk inherent in many clean tech and biotech companies.  It’s hard for an average size fund to manage through a company that requires hundreds of millions in capital.
  7. Execution risk.  Does this business rely on a specific execution approach that is uniquely complex and difficult?  For example, a roll-up strategy requires a specific expertise.  Running a young global business also requires expertise. 
  8. Management team risk.  At the end of the day, VC’s invest in entrepreneurs and managers.  Who is the A player on this team that you are “backing”?  If there aren’t any, often VCs have to decide whether they want to go through the process of helping to build that team which brings with it different challenges. 
  9. Exit risk.  So you build an interesting company, get some great customers, generate healthy revenue and margins – but will anyone care?  This is often a concern with companies building good businesses in niche markets which may not be strategic to anyone and also may not quite be large enough for the public markets. 

Looking through this list, the types of risk I dislike the most are: management team risk, financing risk, and competitive risk.  I’m pretty comfortable with the other risks now that I think about it.  At the end of the day, any young company will be fraught with risks, that’s why venture capital is “risk capital”.  But, hopefully the potential rewards justify those risks.  A good VC partner should help an entrepreneur not only expand the potential upside of their company, but also de-risk their downside as well.  The partnership should make a high value outcome more probable. 

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Who Is The Venture Capitalist’s Customer?

Posted in Economy, Philosophy, Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 27, 2009

Venture capitalists always talk to their portfolio companies about how important it is to define your customer, understand their needs, and create a compelling value proposition for them.  Though, if you talk with enough VCs, we have a hard time defining the customer for our own business.  I was having a recent discussion on this topic with some colleagues in the industry and no unified consensus emerged.  It is always a debate between our limited partners (“LPs” – those who invest in VC funds) and entrepreneurs.  We all know that we ultimately get “paid” by LPs.  But, we also know we don’t survive if entrepreneurs don’t want to work with us.  So, who is the venture capitalist’s customer? 

To try and get some feedback, I decided to ask my twitter friends: Who is the VC’s customer?  I specifically asked VCs to respond.  Somewhat surprisingly, no VCs responded, but I got a slew of responses from entrepreneurs.  They were quite aligned:

  • apsinkus: “institutional investors are real customers of VCs (in my opinion).  Entrepreneurs are merely suppliers.  No LPs, no money.”
  • brandonhaskins: “Although not one myself, a VC is ultimately in investment management, so customers are investors – entrepreneurs are products!”
  • muhammadkassim: “VCs’ customers are investors into the fund. Entrepreneurs are VCs’ business partners.”
  • gmsheehan: “their investors”
  • AppStruck: “The VCs customers are the institutional investors you raise money from.”
  • meetthestreet: “LPs…pension funds and endowments are clearly VC customers. In money management the people who give you money are your customers.”
  • CameronHerold: “unfortunately for entrepreneurs the Investors are the VCs customers. The entrepreneur is the VCs product.”
  • EdLoessi: “the VC’s customer are the people who gave them the money the tool is the company invested in and sometimes you break your tools!”

I’d say 85%+ of the respondents said the VC’s sole customer is the LP.  Not a single responder said that the entrepreneur is the VC’s principal customer.  So, in an unexpectedly round about way, I got my answer from entrepreneurs, not from VCs.  If entrepreneurs are the VC’s customer, surely entrepreneurs would know that.  Since they don’t know that – either VCs are doing a terrible job taking care of their customer (which is possible) or in fact the entrepreneur is not the end customer of the VC. 

My personal belief is that the VC’s primary customer is the LP.  There is a clear and constant relationship between VCs and our investors which is consistent with the traditional definition of a vendor/customer relationship – they pay us for providing a product/service to them.  We have to provide a great product/service to our LPs and service them well as our customer or they can take their business elsewhere. 

Then what are entrepreneurs to VCs?  First of all, entrepreneurs should be no less important to VCs than LPs.  Without LPs, VCs are out of business.  Without entrepreneurs, VCs are out of business too.  Entrepreneurs can take their capabilities elsewhere, same as LPs.  So, while entrepreneurs and LPs are equal in importance, it is a different relationship.  I do not have a vendor/customer relationship with the entrepreneurs I work with.  In my mind, the entrepreneur is not the VC’s customer any more than the VC is the entrepreneur’s customer.  Nor do I think describing entrepreneurs as the VC’s product or supplier is accurate.  Neither of these lines of thinking fit for me as the right way to describe the relationship. 

I think the best term to describe the relationship between VCs and entrepreneurs is partners.  The official definition of partner is: “a person who shares or is associated with another in some common action or endeavor”.  I view the entrepreneurs I work with as my partners.  I think they view me as their partner as well.  I am sure that any of my CEO’s will tell you the effort that I put in towards being a value-added partner to them.  We partner together for the common end goal of building great companies and creating value for shareholders.  So entrepreneurs are not customers, suppliers or products for VCs, they are partners.  We work side-by-side as partners at the end of the day.  I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“The Dullest Company At DEMO”

Posted in Technology, Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 24, 2009

For several months, Cortera has been working on the launch of the Cortera Credit Exchange where businesses can rate each other on how they pay their bills (my earlier blog post on why I’m so excited about it).  Waking up this past Tuesday morning when the DEMO embargoes cleared – I did a news search on Cortera and there was Rafe Needleman’s CNET article entitled “Tiny Cortera Swings For Dun & Bradstreet”.  Rafe’s article started with this ominous line, “I think I just found the dullest company at DEMOFall 09 to write about”.  Ouch.  But, the very next line points out how the boring blocking and tackling companies can find “huge success”.  Phew.  In a follow-up article, Rafe reaffirmed his dullness claim, but also called Cortera the “most disruptive business” at DEMO.  Yes!

While every other company wanted to be on the “coolest company” lists at DEMO, Jim Swift, Cortera’s CEO, decided to embrace their newfound fame as the dullest company at Demo.  Dull and proud of it!  Based on the great reception Cortera has gotten, it seems that in a sea of oh so cool, dull is in.

Cortera’s 6-minute demo at DEMO:

Cortera coverage:

  • CNET: Tiny Cortera Swings For Dun & Bradstreet
  • CNET & CBS: The Most Promising Launches of DEMOFall
  • Wall Street Journal: Are Mom & Pop Past Due?
  • Techcrunch: Cortera Measures Business Credit With Community Ratings
  • Boston Globe: Cortera, Kind of Like Yelp For Business Credit
  • ReadWriteWeb:  The Best of DEMOfall 09: Five Companies to Watch
  • eWeek (video): Helping Small Businesses Avoid Deadbeat Companies
  • eWeek: eWeek Picks the Best of DEMOfall 2009
  • Venturebeat: Cortera Helps You See If Small Businesses Are Credit-Worthy
  • Social Networking Meets Small Business Credit Ratings
  • Cortera: Official Press Release

Cortera: Turning The Business Credit Rating Industry Upside Down

Posted in Economy, Technology, Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 22, 2009

Days like today are one of the reasons I love being in the venture business.  I love investing in companies with great people, doing very innovative things that can completely disrupt large, stodgy industries.  I love the idea of bringing millions of customers and users real value that they couldn’t imagine before.  I love any innovative service that creates transparency, levels the playing field, and lets the little guy win.  It’s all about putting the slingshot in David’s hand – and going after Goliath.  Today, Cortera is doing just that with their launch of the Cortera Credit Exchange at DEMOfall 2009.  Congratulations to the team at Cortera for their amazing effort. 

What does Cortera do?  The most impactful and disruptive innovations are often the simplest.  This is no different.  At its most basic level, Cortera’s service enables any business to rate any other business on how they pay their bills.  We think of it as Yelp for business credit.  In today’s launch, there are already over a million ratings on businesses like yours and mine.  There’s a lot more data on top of the ratings on virtually every company in the United States.  Why is this such a big innovation?  It puts power back in the hands of small businesses around this country in a couple of really critical ways:

Firstly, it enables the voice of the small business to be heard in the business credit world.  Traditionally, commercial credit ratings are driven by payment data contributed from a few thousand large companies.  While Cortera has included that data as well, there are tens of millions of smaller companies whose payment experiences have been left out until now.  On Cortera, the payment rating of a small business matters just as much as the payment rating of a large company.  Any business can go online at Cortera, right now, and enter a payment experience they are having with one of their customers.  The playing field has been leveled. 

Secondly, by leveraging the Internet for user generated ratings, Cortera can now offer commercial credit data for prices unheard of in the business credit industry.  Basic credit information and user ratings are now available for free.  Free is a term that has rarely been uttered in this industry.  And while traditional business credit reports from incumbent vendors can cost $50–$150 per report, you can now subscribe to Cortera for near-unlimited data access for most companies in the United States for as low as $29–$49/month.  This is a game-changing innovation to price structure of the business credit industry. 

Finally, Cortera enables small businesses to build a credit rating based purely on the ratings of its partners and vendors on Cortera.  Lots of small businesses have trouble building credit ratings because the payment data for traditional ratings come from big companies.  What if your business principally works with small companies?  The old model can leave a creditworthy small business on an island.  Now any business can take control of their credit reputation, and build a credit rating on Cortera directly through the feedback of the businesses it works with.  We hope to enhance the credit reputation of millions of small businesses. 

As we all know, it’s credit that makes the economy run.  Every accounts receivable (AR) is a form of credit one business has extended to another.  Every accounts payable (AP) is a form of credit received by one business from another.  Nearly every business on the planet has both AP and AR on their balance sheet.  Business transactions big and small are done on credit every day.  But, how does a business know if the party they are transacting with is credit worthy?  Cortera now makes it drop dead simple and cheap.  Type in the company name on Cortera, click on the right company, and you’re there. 

The world is changing.  You don’t go to a movie without looking at the ratings online.  You don’t go to a restaurant without checking ratings online.  You don’t book a hotel or plan a vacation without pouring over ratings online.  But, you’d give someone 30 day terms on a $50,000 order without checking credit ratings online?  Not any more, not with Cortera.  Congratulations to the entire team at Cortera for introducing a truly disruptive service to an industry in dire need of change. 

(Disclosure: Cortera is a Fidelity Ventures portfolio company, and I sit on the Board of Directors.)

Blogging: A Cultural Difference Between Boston And Waltham VCs

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 10, 2009

Scott Kirsner, a Boston Globe writer and freelancer, wrote a provocative blog post a few weeks ago entitled “Why Waltham Doesn’t Matter”.  Scott’s basic claim is that Waltham VC’s “don’t matter” as they are being displaced by the new aggressive and open culture of VCs emerging in Boston and Cambridge.  While I disagreed with the title of his post and the implication, Scott’s point on cultural differences has real merit.  Hence, I thought I’d put it to the test on one dimension after publishing the revised Global VC Blog Directory this past Monday. 

Here’s the list of the greater Boston VC bloggers ranked by Google Reader subscribers and whether they’re from Boston/Cambridge or Waltham (# of subs):

Greater Boston VC Bloggers

  1. Mike Hirshland, Polaris Venture Partners, VC Mike’s Blog (1,038) – Waltham
  2. Jeff Bussgang, Flybridge Capital Partners, Seeing Both Sides (1,018) – Boston
  3. Scott Maxwell, Openview Venture Partners, Now What? (483) – Boston*
  4. Larry Cheng, Fidelity Ventures, Thinking About Thinking (433) – Boston
  5. David Beisel, Venrock Associates, GenuineVC (429) – Cambridge*
  6. Rob Day, Black Coral, Greentech Media (323) – Boston
  7. Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital, Bijan Sabet (296) – Boston
  8. David Aronoff, Flybridge Capital Partners, Diary of a Geek VC (222) – Boston
  9. Richard Dale, Sigma Partners, Venture Cyclist (176) – Boston
  10. Rob Go, Spark Capital, Rob Go Blog (148) – Boston
  11. Michael Greeley, Flybridge Capital Partners, On The Flying Bridge (138) – Boston
  12. Mo Koyfman, Spark Capital, Mo Koyfman (127) – Boston
  13. Todd Dagres, Spark Capital, Todd Dagres Tumblelog (123) – Boston
  14. Santo Politi, Spark Capital, This and That (121) – Boston
  15. Tony Tjan, Cue Ball Capital, Anthony Tjan (69) – Boston
  16. Anupendra Sharma, Siemens Venture Capital, So Little Time, So Much… (25) – Boston
  17. Vishy Venugopalan, Longworth Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners (2) – Waltham
  18. Chip Hazard, Flybridge Capital Partners, Hazard Lights (new) – Boston

(To subscribe to all of these blogs in bulk – click here. * = inactive)

What’s interesting to note is that 89% or 16 of the 18 VC bloggers in the greater Boston area come from firms that are based in Boston/Cambridge.  Only 2 of the 18 are from firms in Waltham.  This is in contrast to a pretty fair presumption that a (strong?) majority of VC firms are located in Waltham or Rt 128.  It’s also worth noting that the Boston/Cambridge VC bloggers represent both newer firms (Spark, Flybridge, Openview, Cue Ball) and firms that have been around for decades (Sigma, Venrock, Fidelity, etc.).  So, it’s not just a new firm dynamic.

Let’s be clear, though, that blogging is one very narrow dimension.  And it is not a dimension that at this juncture can be tied in any definitive way to ultimate success or returns.  So, I’m not sure at the end of the day that who blogs and who doesn’t really matters in any material way.  But, it is reflective of a cultural difference today that is stark enough that it seems worth noting.

Fred Wilson Is Doing Something Right

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 9, 2009

Thanks to TechCrunch’s support of the VC Blog Directory.  Erick Schonfeld highlighted the Sept 2009 update yesterday and Leena Rao wrote about the original May 2009 version.  I thought Erick’s post yesterday was particularly interesting as it highlighted the movers and shakers among VC bloggers – by the change of their ranking in the directory over the last 3+ months. 

When I looked at both versions of the directory side-by-side, the thing that stands out to me the most is the growth of Fred Wilson’s blog (Fred is with Union Square Ventures).  As Erick points out, Fred Wilson was ranked #2 in May, and still remains #2 in Sept.  But, that belies an amazing trend underneath the surface.

Here’s the data for the entire VC blog directory (effectively a proxy for the entire VC industry):

  • Aggregate subscribers to the VC Blog Directory in May 2009: 80,532.
  • Aggregate subscribers to those same blogs in Sept 2009: 120,562.
  • The growth in the last 3+ months has been 40,030 subscribers or 50.1% across all the blogs in the May directory.

Here’s the data for Fred Wilson’s blog over the same period:

  • Subscribers to Fred Wilson’s blog in May 2009: 11,821.
  • Subscribers to Fred Wilson’s blog in Sept 2009: 21,881.
  • The growth for his blog has been 10,060 subscribers or 85.1% growth in 3+ months.   

But here’s the implication of when you put these two stats together: Fred Wilson’s blog subscriber growth represented 25% of the blog subscriber growth of the entire VC industry (=10,060/40,030).   

I would call that clear competitive separation.  As other bloggers grow their subscribers by 100, 500, or even 1,000 subscribers over the same time period, Fred grew his blog 10x, 50x, even 100x those numbers.  And, I’m sure it doesn’t take Fred any longer to write a blog post for 10,000 subscribers as it does 20,000 subscribers – so it’s the best kind of competitive seperation – it has embedded leverage.  Since I’m a runner, the best track analogy I can think of is imagine running around the track once, and having the other guy lap you 20 times in the process.  Arguably, that’s what Fred is doing – lapping the VC industry many times over through his blog.

Now, you could argue whether or not Google Reader subscribers the best statistic (as Rob Go at Spark Capital has asked me).  And I think there’s a reasonable question there.  Though I would say it’s still a fair statistic of relative reach.  And, you could even more strongly argue that blogging isn’t a subscriber competition – which I would certainly agree with.  As Jeff Bussgang at Flybridge Capital once told me, the reason to blog is because you like writing and it’s fun.  I couldn’t agree more. 

Nonetheless, you have to give kudos where kudos is due.  I admire great execution in any context.  So, kudos to Fred Wilson.  Clearly, he is doing something right.

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

Posted in Technology, Venture Capital by larrycheng on September 8, 2009

This is an old version of the VC Blog Directory.  Click Here for the updated Q409 version:

Global Venture Capital (VC) Blog Directory – Ranked By Monthly Uniques (Q409)

The Global VC Blog Directory (# of Subs)

  1. Guy Kawasaki, Garage Technology Ventures, How To Change The World (24,356)
  2. Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures, A VC (21,881)
  3. Paul Graham, YCombinator, Paul Graham: Essays (16,721)
  4. Bill Gurley, Benchmark Capital, Above The Crowd (8,897)
  5. David Hornik, August Capital, VentureBlog (8,037)
  6. Brad Feld, Foundry Group, Feld Thoughts (7,543)
  7. Marc Andreesen, TBD, (5,727)
  8. Ed Sim, Dawntreader Ventures, Beyond VC (4,162)
  9. Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital, Redeye VC (4,071)
  10. Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed Ventures Partners, LSVP (3,512)
  11. Seth Levine, Foundry Group, VC Adventure (1,569)
  12. David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners, Who Has Time For This? (1,526)
  13. Christopher Allen, Alacrity Ventures, Life With Alacrity (1,419)
  14. Dave McClure, Founders Fund, Master of 500 Hats (1,417)
  15. Multiple Authors, Union Square Ventures, Union Square Ventures Blog (1,365)
  16. Peter Rip, Crosslink Capital, EarlyStageVC (1,107)
  17. Rick Segal, JLA Ventures, The Post Money Value (1,043)
  18. Mike Hirshland, Polaris Venture Partners, VC Mike’s Blog (1,038)
  19. Jeff Bussgang, Flybridge Capital Partners, Seeing Both Sides (1,018)
  20. Mendelson/Feld, Foundry Group, Ask The VC (1,017)
  21. Tim Oren, Pacifica Fund, Due Diligence (924)
  22. Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC, Software Only (878)
  23. Mike Speiser, SutterHill Ventures, Laserlike (869)
  24. Matt McCall, DFJ Portage Venture Partners, VC Confidential (661)
  25. Stu Phillips, Ridgelift Ventures, Soaring on Ridgelift (597)
  26. Eric Friedman, Union Square Ventures, (572)
  27. Jason Caplain, Southern Capitol Ventures, Southeast VC (531)
  28. Jason Mendelson, Foundry Group, Mendelson’s Musings (522)
  29. Nic Brisbourne, Esprit Capital Partners, The Equity Kicker (517)
  30. Scott Maxwell, Openview Venture Partners, Now What? (483)
  31. Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, Continuations (477)
  32. Ryan McIntyre, Foundry Group, McInblog (463)
  33. Larry Cheng, Fidelity Ventures, Thinking About Thinking (433)
  34. David Beisel, Venrock Associates, GenuineVC (429)
  35. Raj Kapoor, Mayfield Fund, The VC In Me (415)
  36. Will Price, Hummer Winblad, Will Price (412)
  37. Howard Morgan, First Round Capital, Way Too Early (401)
  38. Dan Grossman, Venrock Associates, A Venture Forth (365)
  39. Mark Suster, GRP Partners, Both Sides of the Table (355)
  40. Christine Herron, First Round Capital, (354)
  41. Baris Karadogan, Com Ventures, From Istanbul to Sand Hill Road (349)
  42. Fred Destin, Atlas Venture, Fred Destin’s Blog (343)
  43. Rob Day, @Ventures, Cleantech Investing (323)
  44. David Feinleib, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Tech, Startups, Capital, Ideas. (319)
  45. Saul Klein, Index Ventures, (315)
  46. Vineet Buch, BlueRun Ventures, Venture Explorer (313)
  47. Ouriel Ohayon, Lightspeed Gemini Internet Lab, MYBLOG by Ouriel (307)
  48. Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital, Bijan Sabet (296)
  49. Steve Jurvetson, DFJ, The J-Curve (274)
  50. Philippe Botteri, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cracking the Code (263)
  51. Andrew Parker, Union Square Ventures, The Gong Show (257)
  52. Mark Peter Davis, DFJ Gotham Ventures, Venture Made Transparent (237)
  53. Rob Finn, Edison Venture, Ventureblogalist (236)
  54. Marc Goldberg, Occam Capital, Occam’s Razor (233)
  55. Allen Morgan, Mayfield Fund, Allen’s Blog (231)
  56. James Chen, CXO Ventures, PureVC (228)
  57. Daniel Cohen, Gemini Israel Funds, Israel Venture Capital 2.0 (223)
  58. David Aronoff, Flybridge Capital Partners, Diary of a Geek VC (222)
  59. Max Bleyleben, Kennet Partners, Technofile Europe (219)
  60. Jason Ball, Qualcomm Ventures Europe, TechBytes (213)
  61. Jeremy Levine, Bessemer Venture Partners, Nothing Venture, Nothing Gained (210)
  62. Rob Hayes, First Round Capital, Permanent Record (206)
  63. Michael Eisenberg, Benchmark Capital, Six Kids and a Full Time Job (194)
  64. Pascal Levensohn, Levensohn Venture Partners, pascalsview (193)
  65. Chris Fralic, First Round Capital, Nothing To Say (187)
  66. Sagi Rubin, Virgin Green Fund, The Grass is Greener (182)
  67. Richard Dale, Sigma Partners, Venture Cyclist (176)
  68. Steve Brotman, Silicon Alley Venture Partners, VC Ball (167)
  69. Dan Rua, Inflexion Partners, Florida Venture Blog (160)
  70. Paul Fisher, Advent Venture Partners, The Coffee Shops of Mayfair (159)
  71. John Ludwig, Ignition Partners, A Little Ludwig Goes A Long Way (157)
  72. Sarah Tavel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Adventurista (156)
  73. Martin Tobias, Ignition Partners, Deep Green Crystals (152)
  74. Stewart Alsop, Alsop-Louie Partners, Alsop-Louie Partners (150)
  75. Rob Go, Spark Capital, Rob Go Blog (148)
  76. Matt Winn, Chrysalis Ventures, Punctuative! (148)
  77. Ho Name, Altos Ventures, Altos Ventures Musings (147)
  78. George Zachary, Charles River Ventures, Sense and Cents (145)
  79. Jacob Ner-David, Jerusalem Capital, VC In Jerusalem (144)
  80. Kent Goldman, First Round Capital, The Cornice (144)
  81. Satya Patel, Battery Ventures, Venture Generated Content (140)
  82. Ed Mlavsky, Gemini Israel Funds, GOLB: Is This Israel? (139)
  83. Michael Greeley, Flybridge Capital Partners, On The Flying Bridge (138)
  84. Rich Tong, Ignition Partners, Tongfamily (136)
  85. Sid Mohasseb, Tech Coast Angels, Sid Mohasseb (133)
  86. Rachel Strate, EPIC Ventures, Wasatch Girl (129)
  87. Marc Averitt, Okapi Venture Capital, OC VC (128)
  88. Peter Lee, Baroda Ventures, Seeing Eye To Eye (128)
  89. Mo Koyfman, Spark Capital, Mo Koyfman (127)
  90. Justin Label, Bessemer Venture Partners, Venture Again (126)
  91. Ted Driscoll, Claremont Creek Ventures, Evolving VC (126)
  92. Adam Fisher, Bessemer Venture Partners, Savants in the Levant (124)
  93. Gregoire Aladjidi, Techfund Europe, Investing In What’s Next (123)
  94. Todd Dagres, Spark Capital, Todd Dagres Tumblelog (123)
  95. Multiple Authors, Foundry Group, Foundry Group (121)
  96. Santo Politi, Spark Capital, This and That (121)
  97. Multiple Authors, True Ventures, Early Stage Capital (120)
  98. Lee Hower, Point Judith Capital, Venturesome (118)
  99. Robert Goldberg, Ridgelift Ventures, Tahoe VC (117)
  100. Multiple Authors, Highway 12 Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures Group (109)
  101. John Abraham, Arrowpoint Ventures, JMA’s Views On Everything (105)
  102. David Dufresne, Desjardins Venture Capital, Dav-Generated Content (101)
  103. Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures, Unfinished Work (100)
  104. Charles Curran, Valhalla Partners, VC Blog (99)
  105. Brian Hirsch, Greenhill SAVP, New York VC (99)
  106. Max Niederhofer, Atlas Venture, Life In The J Curve, baby (97)
  107. Multiple Authors, Brightspark Ventures, Let the Sparks Fly! (97)
  108. Jon Seeber, Updata Partners, Jon’s Ventures (96)
  109. Todd Klein, Legend Ventures, Media VC (96)
  110. Adi Pundak-Mintz, Gemini Israel Funds, Adisababa’s Weblog (95)
  111. Don Rainey, Grotech Ventures, VC in DC (94)
  112. Art Marks, Valhalla Partners, Entrepreneurial Quest (90)
  113. Multiple Authors, Founders Fund, Founders Fund (90)
  114. Rob Schultz, IllinoisVENTURES, Go Big or Go Home (88)
  115. Allan Veeck, Pittsburgh Ventures, Pittsburgh Ventures (87)
  116. Greg Foster, Noro-Moseley Ventures, SouthernVC (83)
  117. Tony Tjan, Cue Ball Capital, Anthony Tjan (69)
  118. Cem Sertoglu, iLab Ventures, SortiPreneur (67)
  119. Ryan Spoon, Polaris Venture Partners, (67)
  120. Larry Marcus, Walden Venture Capital, Walden Venture Capital (32)
  121. Anupendra Sharma, Siemens Venture Capital, So Little Time, So Much… (25)
  122. Steve Jurvetson, DFJ, Uploads from Jurvetson (25)
  123. Jeff Joseph, Prescient Capital Partners, Venture Populist (21)
  124. Gil Dibner, Genesis Partners, TechTLV (18)
  125. Multiple Authors, Tech Capital Partners, Tech Capital Partners Blog (15)
  126. David B. Lerner, Columbia Seed Fund, David B. Lerner (12)
  127. Simon Olson, DFJ-Fir Capital, Venture Capital Thoughts and Reflections (11)
  128. Derek Pilling, Meritage Funds, Non-Linear VC (8)
  129. Josh Sookman, RBC Ventures, Ubiquitous Startups and the VC (6)
  130. Vishy Venugopalan, Longworth Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners Blog (2)
  131. Chip Hazard, Flybridge Capital Partners, Hazard Lights (new)

If you know of any other VC blogs, please put the URL in the comment field.  It will be included no later than the next quarterly update.