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Yet Another (ex-)VC Blog

Cloud computing, startups, and venture capital

Archive for April 2009

SaaS squeezes the SI ecosystem

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The SaaS model squeezes the SI ecosystem. The normal meat and potatoes business around just getting on-premises software installed is greatly reduced. The business of just keeping the lights on is almost non-existent for SaaS. Yet SI’s have a lot to bring to the table. A good SI often understands the Domain, its Best Practices, and the key Business Processes better even than the software vendor. Having access to a SaaS platform makes it possible for the SI to turn that valuable knowledge into product which can then be sold. That’s why having a platform on which to do that is so important to them.

– from the SmoothSpan blog post ‘A Vision for Oracle’s Cloud Platform

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Written by John Gannon

April 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

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We’re looking for an intern at L Capital

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Better late than never, but L Capital is looking for a summer intern to assist us over the next couple of months with some portfolio corporate development projects.

This would be a great fit for a 1st year MBA who is still looking for a summer internship, or an i-banker who has some time on their hands before starting b-school in the fall.

Click this link, and if you meet the desired qualifications,  follow the directions if you’d like to apply.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Written by John Gannon

April 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm

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Words to live by

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There is no doubt that we are in a tough market. Lots of people have lost their job and many others are facing the risk & reality of losing their job. That sucks on so many levels.

Like many VCs, I am getting a ton of resumes and inbound interest for a variety of our portfolio companies that are hiring right now. I am doing my best to read them all.

The best way to stand out is to be helpful.

via bijansabet.com | a tumblelog by Bijan Sabet | Looking for a job? Be helpful..

Written by John Gannon

April 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

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New kid on the block: How a junior VC can contribute to portfolio companies

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(This post is one in a series of posts and third-party resources related to careers in venture capital.)

As a junior staffer at a VC firm, I think its important to understand where and how you can be helpful to portfolio companies.  The advice I received from my venture capital teachers Stuart Ellman and Will Porteous of RRE Ventures (blog) has stuck with me, and I’ve tried to operate using that advice since starting my VC career.

I’m paraphrasing here (it’s been about a year since the class where we discussed it) but in essence, the advice was to simply be helpful and humble.

Here are some examples of ways that a junior VC can add value:

  • Business development: Introducing the company to potential customers and partners in their network.
  • Fundraising: Introducing the company to other VCs during the fundraising process and helping the company develop their investor pitch materials.
  • Recruiting:  Portfolio company is looking for a couple of engineers?  Get the job description, post it on some boards that might be relevant and forward it out to your LinkedIn network.  Maybe make some phone calls to folks in your personal network to see if anyone would be interested in the roles.
  • Strategy: If you have an interest in corporate strategy and/or a background in strategy consulting, and the company is looking to explore new markets or the competitive landscape, see if you can lend some of your experience by helping crunch numbers, helping to put together the board presentation, etc.
  • Listening and learning: Learn as much as you can about the company and the industry in which it operates.  Attend board meetings and listen!  VC is an apprenticeship business, so in many cases, the best approach is to sit down, shut up, and open your ears!

Company management, the VC partners who have invested in the company, and the founders will be adding the most value and steering the ship.  As a junior staffer at a VC firm, your job is to be ready to help out wherever they identify a need they’d like you to address OR to identify a need and then socialize it with your boss(es) at the firm to see if its something they’d like you to pursue.

You definitely don’t want to go off half-cocked, ginning up initiatives and projects without making sure that they are viewed as value-add by the partners and company management.

If there are any other junior VCs out there (I know some of you are lurking!), it would be great to hear some of your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t related to working with portfolio companies.

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Written by John Gannon

April 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

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Cloudslam panel now available for download

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Wanted to quickly post to let you know that if you missed the Cloudslam panel regarding cloud adoption, you can download it here.  I was a member of the panel along with a variety of industry and investor folks.

If you listen, I’d love to get your comments on the discussion.


Written by John Gannon

April 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

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Maybe I should start managing my email this way?

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Back of an envelope mailed in the U.S.
Image via Wikipedia

I just sent an email to someone who I just met and received the following (slightly edited) response:

Attention: Email policy update.

Partners, Colleagues, and Friends:

In an effort to increase productivity and efficiency in 2009 I am modifying my personal email policy. I’ve recently realized I have slipped back into spending more time shuffling through my inbox and less time focused on the task at hand for my partners. It has become an unnecessary distraction that ultimately creates longer lead times on my ever-growing ‘to do’ list.

Going forward I will be checking/responding to email at three times a day, 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. on Monday – Friday. I will try and respond to email in a timely manner without neglecting the needs of our clients/partners and brand identity.

If this is an emergency, and you need an immediate time-sensitive response… please do not hesitate to call me on my mobile phone at <omitted>

This new approach to email management will result in shorter lead times with more focused & creative work on my part for you.

I like this idea.  I’d want to have a mechanism to have VIP emails (my boss, my biggest customers, my wife) come to my attention immediately, but otherwise I think it would work great.   Anyone else doing creative email time management?  Tips appreciated.

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Written by John Gannon

April 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

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Come visit me (online) at Cloudslam on Monday April 20 2p ET

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I’m sitting on an online panel Monday April 20 2p ET where I’ll be discussing cloud computing adoption with a group of vendors, investors, and practitioners.  I hope you can join us online.

Written by John Gannon

April 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

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