Yet Another (ex-)VC Blog

Cloud computing, startups, and venture capital

Archive for June 2012

Soundcloud aims to be ‘data informed’ versus data driven

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With all the buzz about building data driven organizations, it is good to see someone go against the grain and say they want to be ‘data informed’.

So how does one define ‘data informed’ ? :)

Fulfill and deliver against mission of making SoundCloud a data-informed but not data-driven company

via Director of Insight – Marketing | Work with us at SoundCloud.

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Written by John Gannon

June 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

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Teaching a VC careers Skillshare class in NYC on July 10th

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I’m going to be teaching a Skillshare class on July 10th in NYC focused on tips/tricks/hacks to help people in their venture capital job hunt.  Click this link if you want to see the full description or would like to register.  And please, share with anyone you think would be interested.  This is the first Skillshare class I’ve ever taught and I’d like to teach it in a non-empty room ;) 

Big thanks to Amol Sarva for hosting me and my future students at Peek HQ!

Written by John Gannon

June 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm

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The Mythical “A” Player

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“A” players are executives that are 10x more productive than their peers. They are equally excellent strategically and operationally. They are equally capable at rolling up their sleeves or leading others. They thrive – with or without direction. They are big picture and detailed. They are the perfect mix of confidence and humility. They fit into any team culture, thrive under any leadership style, and raise the game of everyone around them, while befriending them all at the same time. Best of all, they miraculously fit within your pay scale, and you can retain them despite brutal competition for their services. “A” players are perfect – except for one small issue – as defined here, they don’t really exist.

via The Mythical “A” Player and The CEO’s Real Job « Thinking About Thinking.

Written by John Gannon

June 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm

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A maturity model for startups

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Lots of people talk about ‘before product market fit’ and ‘after product market fit’ as the two main phases of a startup’s evolution.   I’d argue that what Ho Nam (Altos Ventures) proposed in his recent blog post might be a better, more granular way to look at the startup evolutionary process:

Getting through the first breaking point is not about rushing into execution mode. It’s a gradual process that will never end. A framework we’ve found useful in assessing progress along a continuum is the Capability Maturity Model see the five levels of maturity below. It’s a development model whose origins trace back to studying software projects and failures in the 1960s when computer science was in its infancy and few “best practices” existed. Within any company, there will always be processes at different levels of maturity. It’s important to keep in mind that even successful large companies will have chaotic episodes and continue to live with countless undocumented, ad hoc processes that are developed and refined over time. Initial – the process is new, ad hoc, chaotic and undocumented. Individual heroics are relied upon to get the job done. The focus is on outputs. Repeatable – the process is somewhat documented. Repeating the same steps may be attempted. It’s not clear if the process will yield desired outputs. Defined – the process is well defined, documented and confirmed as a standard process that can produce results. Managed – the process is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics. Optimizing – process management includes deliberate process optimization and improvement.

via Altos Ventures Musings: The First Breaking Point.

Written by John Gannon

June 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

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First half vs Second half careers

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“The first half of the career is about achieving success; the second is about achieving significance. People who do not make the shift struggle.”

via Texas Teachers Taking Alternative Investing to New Risks- Bloomberg.

Written by John Gannon

June 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

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