Archive | Venture Capital

Investing in early stage startups.

A Note on Developing and Testing Hypotheses

This post is a continuation of the discussion I started in A Note On Startup Business Model Hypotheses. In this post I will describe how one might go about developing and testing a hypothesis about any aspect of a startup’s  business model.1 I will use a fine-dining restaurant as a motivating example. To ensure we are […]

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A Note on Startup Business Model Hypotheses

One of the observations I have arrived at over the course of meeting founders of early stage startups is that often it is not clear during our conversations if they have spent time examining the hypotheses that underlie the business model for the startup they are building. This post1 is my attempt to outline some […]

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What Is Your Business Model?

“It is a B2B2C business model.” is generally not what I am hoping to hear when I ask “What is your business model?” #BusinessModelGeneration — Brian Laung Aoaeh (@brianlaungaoaeh) February 2, 2015 Invariably, when I am meeting the founder of a startup for the first time to discuss the possibility that KEC Ventures might invest […]

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Case Study: Fab – How Did That Happen?

Recent reports in the press about the problems Fab is facing got me thinking about the lessons one might learn from its meteoric rise and spectacular crash. Professional investors always give this disclaimer; Past performance does not necessarily guarantee or predict future results. Similarly, Fab’s experience is not necessarily a precedent that will always be […]

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Revisiting What I Know About Switching Costs & Startups

Switching costs are another aspect of a startup’s business model that I pay attention to. Together with Network Effect, Intangibles, Cost Advantages, and Efficient Scale they form the source of economic moats.1 In this post I will discuss switching costs; what they are, how they develop and evolve, and how switching costs can help or […]

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Question Everything; My Remarks At FOCUS100 2014

Background: I gave these remarks at Digital Undivided’s FOCUS100 2014 Conference which was held between October 3rd and October 4th in New York City. A number of investors were invited to explain to the audience how they ought to pitch venture capitalists in order to win funding. Digital Undivided is a social enterprise that develops programs […]

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How an Investor’s Behavioral Traits Might Completely Derail Your Pitch – Part III

This post continues the discussion about how behavioral psychology might affect the outcome of a meeting at which a startup team is pitching to a potential investor. You can get caught up by reading part I and part II. My goal is to offer some advice on how entrepreneurs pitching to early stage investors might prepare to […]

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How an Investor’s Behavioral Traits Might Completely Derail Your Pitch – Part II

This post continues the discussion about how behavioral psychology might affect a pitch. You can get caught up by reading part I. My goal with this series is to offer some advice on how entrepreneurs pitching to early stage investors might prepare to mitigate the problems that might arise due to the behavioral traits of […]

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How an Investor’s Behavioral Traits Might Completely Derail Your Pitch – Part I

Many startup pitch meetings start out on a promising note, but things fall apart during the conversation between the startup and its prospective investor. Sometimes this could have been prevented if the startup team had studied a little bit of behavioral psychology beforehand.1 Traditional finance theory tries to tell us how investors should behave, if […]

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