I was reflecting with a VC friend from SF about why I loved being in NYC. Don’t get me wrong, when I visit the west coast every month, the energy is palpable and it alway feels like a whirlwind. As I meet founders and catch up with VC friends, it strikes me how just a few blocks in the South Park area control much of early stage funding. That closeness and intimacy while awesome can drive one mad as well! So being able to come back to NYC where it is not all tech all the time gives me an ability to process and think about what just happened. As Warren Bufett says, "It's very easy to think clearly here. You're undisturbed by irrelevant factors and the noise generally of business investments. If you can't think clearly in Omaha, you're not going to think clearly anyplace." NYC is no Omaha but suffice to say I can escape the day to day tech world easily here and find a way to zoom out and focus on original concepts.
Now on the the news…big week for enterprise infra folks as most of world headed to Kubecon in San Diego. I could not make it but my partner Eliot Durbin was there in full force and believes it is what AWS re:Invent was 5 years ago and the place to be for startup founders.
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Peter McKay who is CEO of Snyk (a portfolio co) breaks down his leadership secrets for the fast growing 200 person dev first security company which has 4 office - maintaining culture at scale on a distributed basis is really hard and he shares some tips
Go Erica Brescia (COO of Github) sharing the Zen of Github on how they make major decisions, technical and otherwise
James Clear writes about the 1% Rule and Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards. Here’s how it applies to founder life:
Small differences in performance can lead to very unequal distributions when repeated over time. This is yet another reason why habits are so important. The people and organizations that can do the right things, more consistently are more likely to maintain a slight edge and accumulate disproportionate rewards over time.
You only need to be slightly better than your competition, but if you are able to maintain a slight edge today and tomorrow and the day after that, then you can repeat the process of winning by just a little bit over and over again. And thanks to Winner-Take-All Effects, each win delivers outsized rewards.
Founders learn to say no
Oh boy! I kind of loved it when no one cared about enterprise tech and here we go, I guess it’s a thing now if The NY Times says so 😃🤷🏼♂️ - “With Big Tech in Their Path, Start-ups turn to Business Markets”. For what it’s worth, I don’t think of hard core infra engineers working at Facebook as leaving consumer world. Engineers are engineers no mater what kind of company they hail from.
Super thankful to be able to spread the word on Bloomberg Television with Taylor Riggs about our two new funds at Boldstart Ventures and talk about state of enterprise tech, developer first, and why we are so excited about the years to come! (video here)
Kubecon drew over 12k attendees to San Diego. Ron Miller from Techcrunch (Making sense of a multi-cloud, hybrid world) breaks it down along with Jason Bloomberg from Silicon Angle. According to Jason:
Rae Wang, group product manager at Google, laid out the cloud-native story for 2020, and it was all about multicloud and hybrid information technology.
Hybrid IT – an intentional combination of cloud and on-premises environments – is the reality for today’s enterprises. By cementing cloud-native computing as the foundation for hybrid IT, the CNCF and, by extension, the entire Kubernetes community has turned a corner.
Cloud-native isn’t just about cloud anymore. It’s time to make cloud-native for the enterprise real.
All about Product Led Growth, a recap from Jeff Curran from Openview’s Summit. The biggest theme throughout the day was this: customers are the source of all success for a business. One of best nuggets was from Jesse Miller, Director of Product Management from Dropbox:
Product and growth teams work to ensure that as many users as possible activate and find value within the product. At its core, activation is about making the product intuitive and creating a feedback loop between product and customer success. Not to mention, this is a great way to gain insights about where your product is less intuitive for your users.
Automation market remains hot with two big funding rounds; Automation Anywhere raised $290mm at $6.8 billion valuation from Salesforce to take on UIPath and Celonis raised at a $2.5 billion valuation in the process mining space to help companies understand how workers work.
The European startup scene is now flooded with American VCs who have discovered that great companies can be built anywhere and they’ve been moving earlier and earlier to start leading seed and Series A rounds. Christopher Janz from PointNine breaks it all down in Before the (American) Flood. However to be clear it’s hard to call all of Europe one market but point is that opportunity does exist.
Despite constant chatter about how enterprises hate Splunk because it costs so much, Splunk crushes it’s Q4 numbers hitting $622 million revenue which is up 35% year over year. Every Fortune 500 is a software company and infrastructure and data monitoring is huge. From Splunk CEO Doug Merritt
“Organizations are competing in a highly complex and constantly changing data landscape. Splunk customers are succeeding because they have access to their data through Splunk’s investigative capabilities and integrated monitoring, analysis and automation. Our customers are also increasingly excited about our new technologies which unlock the value from streaming big data and lower the bar to entry for anyone to create business outcomes with data.”