Archive | Technology

User Manual: The Early Stage Startups I Want To Hear About Most in 2016 and 2017

At KEC Ventures, I have been largely focused on finding and meeting the founders that we can become most excited about and partner with. I will continue to maintain that focus over the course of 2016 and 2017. Here are some notes for the founders of the startups I am most eager to meet. About […]

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Revisiting What I Know About Efficient Scale, Cost Advantages, & Early Stage Technology Startups

This is the fourth post in my series of blog posts on economic moats. I have already written about Network Effects, Switching Costs, and Intangibles. In this post I will discuss how Cost Advantages and Efficient Scale might develop as an early stage startup travels through the discovery phase of its life-cycle. 1Any errors in appropriately […]

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Revisiting What I Know About Intangibles & Startups

  This is the third post in my series of blog posts on economic moats. I have already written about Network Effects and Switching Costs. The remaining three sources of an economic moat are Cost Advantages, Efficient Scale, and Intangibles.1 In writing this post I am trying to consolidate what I have learned about intangibles & […]

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Notes On Strategy; What Can We Learn From Religious Leaders About Building Early-Stage Startup Culture?

Alternative Working Title: Notes On Strategy; Engineering Your Early Stage Startup’s Culture For Longevity What it’s like to work for Amazon — The New York Times (@nytimes) August 19, 2015 Replace Just 2 Words in the Times Amazon Article and Something Amazing Happens @TKspeaks — Inc. (@Inc) August 21, 2015 The topic of culture has […]

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Notes on Strategy; Michael Porter’s Generic Competitive Strategies for Early Stage Tech Startups

Running a business without a strategy is like breathing air without oxygen. My post Notes on Strategy; For Early Stage Technology Startups led to follow up questions from a handful of readers who asked for additional posts with more explanations and examples. 1Let me know if you feel I have failed to attribute something appropriately. Tell me how […]

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Notes on Strategy; Where Does Disruption Come From?

Marc Andreessen’s brilliant explanation of @claychristensen‘s disruptive innovation theory in 15 tweets: — Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) June 24, 2015 Introduction You can imagine my surprise when I was browsing my Twitter feed one night last month and came across one of Marc Andreessen’s tweetstorms. This time he was tweeting about Clayton Christensen’s Theory of […]

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Notes On Early Stage Technology Investing; Art, Science, or Both?

Often when I have asked other people this question I get a response that leaves me feeling dissatisfied. It seems most investors are compelled to take one side over the other, and, at least as far as the admittedly small sample  of investors I have asked this question are concerned, insufficient thought is given to […]

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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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