Archive: vc

The Crazy VC Days are back!!!

I Just emerged (at 04h00 in the morning) from an 18 – hour (!!!!) – bit of negotiation with two international VCs in one of the startups dw capital is invested in. We had the full program:

- the Lawyer pissing contest (pardon my french)
- the last-minute deal restructuring
- the last-minute battle over terms
- the nerve game on who gets to leave the table first (well not quite, but we did have a little theatre play)
- we used three rooms and a hallway to do all telcoing back to the principals

But now come the differences:

- a savvy founder who kept his nerve and outplayed the lawyers well (it always helps to just call the principal of the VC)
- and a really easy-going notary, funny on top of it

So it all ended

a) succesfully
b) even on friendly terms
c) and with two bottles of champagne….

I’ll get back to the audience on my findings out of the process. Still a lot to be learned, or remembered again at the very least.

Cheers!

Sweden and Holland rock!

The past 2 Days I spent at Expand 06,

http://www.expand06.com

the conference hosted by my friend Ola Alvahrsson, former Founder of Boxman and Founder of Result

http://www.result.com

Here I meet Founders from the Netherlands, Sweden, even France and Spain, including bigger shots like Tradedoubler (300 Poeple, listed on Stockholm SE since november 2005, 117 Mil. € in Revenues.

The conference is ablaze with founding willingness, endeavour, and the smartness of founders intent on not spending it all. As with Lukasz Gadowksi of spreadhirt.net in Hamburg, the most exciting founder was one who founded with 0 € in VC money. Samy Liechtl is Founder of Blacksox.com

http://www.blacksox.com
or http://www.blacksocks.com

He does really smart marketing, selling “sockscriptions” of socks, to relieve “sock sorrows” by selling only matching socks, so if you lose one it doesn’t matter. He also puts small sock-shaped jelly in to his mail-order deliveries – with cheese tase! ;-)

We discussed that the exciting part about web 2.0 and social networks, is not so much the direct features you get but the potential it has for enhancing existing Business Models into the decision taking sphere (an aspect of both long tail and social commerce). Exciting discussion. More Later.

PS: Sweden is cool, the Swedes very nice.

next10years ?

Last thursday saw a big event in Hamburg: 450 – 500 would-be netphiles converged on SinnerSchrader’s (one of the biggest new media agencies in Germany) to acclaim and discuss the virtues of web 2.0, mashups, social networks, long tail commerce, etc.

http://www.next10years.de/

20 or so nervous VCs were imitating Dilberts Vijay (the World most Desperate VC), but I liked the rather cynical We’ll-Fan-The-Hype-And-Take-The-Money-But-Do-It-Right-This-Time entrepeneurs. My Favorite was Lukas Gadowski, founder of spreadshirt.net, who founded his 120-poeple company with 0$ VC money. that’s right, 0$. Cool guy. He urged “all the consultants and bankers in the room” to “do it again and found a startup, because you’ll get VC money now…” Hilarious, I keep thinking about the old adage of B2C and B2B meaning “back to consulting” and “back to banking” after going bust…. I now it’s really bubble 1.0-ish, but hey, I’m a veteran.

On a more serious note, while valuations are going up, it is true that there are four major differences between then and now:

1) development costs on more mature and open source technologies are a 10% fraction of the cost of 5 years ago
2) (viral, search, performance, affiliate) marketing costs are a factor of 100 cheaper now
3) there are 5-6 times more users with a wide range of needs and much higher affinity to web and mobile (adding up to 13 Mil. in Germany alone)
4) founders, even inexperienced, aren’t half as naive (though some ar getting giddy with the valuation thing).

546275_e24b6c6821_m.png

Cheers!

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