CategoryVenture Capital

Keeping busy in 2022

The big shift I’ve seen in 2020, 2021, and 2022 is that the default mode of business (in impact investing) is meetings on Zoom vs. meetings in-person. The new normal for my workday is spending a few hours talking to people around the world via Zoom, with 99% of those meetings set by All those people have the option of a phone call, and maybe once per month someone choose a...

Venture capital funding: U.S. vs. Africa

Venture capital in Africa

I came across “All the world’s a stage” over on Substack, with the following graph: Do note that the select countries in the box are a blow-up of the bottom left corner. $11 per capita in Kenya, the hottest startup funding market in all of Africa. That made me wonder what the equivalent statistic is here in Seattle. A quick search found 2020 data from Statistica on venture...

Venture Capital (in general) Doesn’t Work

Fixing America's Broken Startup System

For years I’ve been talking about California Capitalism, how the traditional model of venture capital doesn’t work outside of the Bay Area, New York City, and Boston, and rather than just rant I’ve been explaining and implementing alternative investment models including revenue-based finance and holding companies. The latest issue of American Affairs magazine includes a deep...

The Drought of Capital

Entrepreneurs are farmers of ideas.Farmers who are living in a perpetual drought.No matter how well we teach entrepreneurship, the drought creates year after year of failed crops. The fix has little to do with more and better incubators, accelerators, and startups labs. This drought is the lack of capital to support the existing startups. Just as we can’t solve a regional drought by...

Creative Capital

Back in 1992, at age 22, I started my first company. Before cellphones. Before the Web. Before broadband. Before everyone had an email address. Before the Lean Startup. But what I (and others) took for granted was a system of Angel investors and venture capitalists. I didn’t think twice back then where that system came from. I didn’t consider whether the same system funded Edison...


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