Share options are key to Valley culture; the UK is getting close, but not there yet

It sometimes seems that in the Valley that everyone is an angel investor and the streets are paved with gold. Building a startup there is, of course, still an enormously hard thing to do, but there are lots that have made it big enough to create scores of millionaires through their option schemes. Many of those newly minted millionaires […]

The fallacy of assuming obvious use cases means a big market

It is amazing how often people see an obvious use case for a piece of technology and assume that means there will be a big market.

Benedict Evans wrote about it recently in his post asking How many people really care about Google services?. In his post he says that he and others like him […]

There isn’t much movement at the top table of the internet

The Washington post just published a chart showing the most popular sites on the internet over the last eighteen years. It’s too big to reproduce here, but the striking thing about it is how little movement there’s been in the top. Only 14 companies are represented in the top 5 slots over those years, and […]

Don’t fall in love with your hypotheses

I just read Wyatt Jenkins’ 10 A/B testing lessons I learned the hard way. Here’s number one:

1. It’s a hypothesis. Don’t fall in love. Most tests don’t turn out the way you plan them. There’s a roughly 70% chance that you are wrong. Try lots of ideas quickly and cheaply. Consider excluding difficult browsers […]

Social network usage is starting to drop

2014 has been a great year for social media marketing. A number of our companies have enjoyed great success advertising on Facebook and they’re not alone. Facebook is forecasting Q4 revenues of $3.6-3.8bn, up 40-47% on the year ago quarter. Yet, paradoxically in some markets social network usage is starting to drop:

As you can […]

Breadth and depth of UK VC market improving

Here in the UK we’ve been working away building our startup ecosystem for 15-20 years (just 15 years for me) and it’s only recently that I’ve felt we are finally reaching critical mass. That’s a subjective assessment combining strength and depth of the angel and VC markets, number of quality investment opportunities, number of […]

Investor meetings are over-rated

I’ve just been reading the LowercaseCapital website. It’s full of lots of goodness and common sense about changes in startup finance and how we in the venture industry should react. It also has this about meetings between investors and entrepreneurs:

Meetings aren’t always necessary. Often, entrepreneurs are in a rush to meet in person. We went […]

Three features of successful CEO and founder teams

There’s an interesting post up on Venturebeat this morning suggesting that investors can find all they need to know about a startup by observing a product meeting. Good investing is a little bit more complicated than that, looking at market size and competition is also important, for example, but there are some great points […]

Some encouraging data on migration

Recruiting great staff is the biggest challenge for many startups. This is the central conclusion of the Scale Up Report and we see it every day in our own operations and at our partners. Training and education are a big part of the solution, but skilled migrants are another. Hence I was encouraged to […]

@ev 10 Rules for Startups: No.7 Get Income

I just read Ev Williams’ 10 Rules for Startups and I love No. 7 Be Greedy. I changed it to ‘Get Income’ in the title because that’s what he really means. Here’s the rule, quoted in full.

#7: Be Greedy It’s always good to have options. One of the best ways to do that is […]