What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #269
Happy Holidays 🎄! A time to reflect, recharge the 🔋, and think about talent
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate 🎅🏼 and for everyone else, Happy Holidays! In years past, I remember my kids getting up before the crack of dawn filled with anticipation for what would be under the 🎄. Sadly, those days are long past as my kids are now sleeping in quite late, but with that time I did have an opportunity to curate some news from this past week.
As we enter the holiday season, I find it’s a great opportunity to focus on what matters most, time with friends and family, to recharge our batteries and fill it with goodness, to reflect on the year that was, and to prepare and think about goals for 2022.
As I started thinking about 2021, the one thought that kept popping up was the confluence of factors that created the biggest war for talent I have ever seen - Covid, the acceptance of remote work, and the amount of 💰 that poured into enterprise startups. While this created a tremendous opportunity to hire talent anywhere, it also created an opportunity for your talent to be poached by anyone, anywhere. I do think this is a problem which will only grow in 2022 and an area for founders to think about over the holidays in terms of reassessing their win rate for top talent and what can be done to continue building a mission and culture that will make your company the best place to be.
As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues.
💯 👇🏼 - signal from noise, taking best advice from each and creating your own narrative and way to build a companyI think founder coachability is overvalued by VCs. But the ability to extract good information from many sources and turn it into something valuable is a magical skill that I look for in founders.
Ethan Mollick @emollickOne way VCs evaluate new founders is whether they seem "coachable" and willing to listen to advice. But coachability (measured objectively & subjectively) barely matters in startup performance. The problem is that teams that resist coaching may just know more than the coaches! https://t.co/PpbtfCa0Vn
Speaking of founders…1000% true
🤣 which side of the religious debate are you on for web3 - just marketing vs. it’s the next big thing - great 🧵 here. As you can imagine, I take a balanced approach having made our first fund investment in 2014 in Changetip which was building a payment infrastructure for crypto and making it easy to send bitcoin/tips over social. But…we were a little too early 🤣.
Our next attempt was launching a growth lab in partnership with IBM and Hyperledger and Comcast. We learned a ton and were fortunate to lead the first round in blockdaemon and get a small seed check in Fireblocks through our lab, MState. My view is that there will be a ton of opportunity but also a lot of money lost.
More on that in my predictions shared with Nikhil Trivedi in “The next big thing in 2022 is…” - grateful to be included in Nikhil’s post with 50 of tech’s top thinkers…Here’s mine:
The next big thing in 2022 is blockchain is the new "dev tool" as many long time enterprise founders rush to explore and build newcos in crypto infra and enterprise investors fund any company with "enterprise + crypto." Despite the number of companies that don't make it, there will be a handful of foundational companies started in 2022 that will create returns that far exceed the money lost. -Ed Sim, Founder & Managing Partner at boldstart ventures
So much more infra to build in crypto…more on blockdaemon (a portfolio co) and it’s node monitoring
And for those who want to spend the holidays going down the crypto 🐇 hole, Lightspeed has a great overview with lots of links to lots of smart folks
Congrats to FortressIQ (a portfolio co) on its acquisition by Automation Anywhere. Was super cool to be there since day one as Pankaj and team created a new category for process discovery. Here’s more from Techcrunch as well:
“FortressIQ gives Automation Anywhere this missing process discovery component, which enables AI-fueled software to map internal processes in an automated way, replacing high-priced consultants. Together, Automation Anywhere and FortressIQ will reshape the future of automation, changing the way our customers automate, adapt, and accelerate as they pursue digital transformation initiatives,” Automation Anywhere CEO and co-founder Mihir Shukla said in a statement.”💪🏼 Huge congrats ! 🙏🏼 for to have partnered since day 1 on your journey to create the category for process discovery Super excited for next phase w/ 🚀 Been a great ride w/
Pankaj Chowdhry @pchowdhryExcited to announce we're, joining @AutomationAnywh to redefine the nature of work. Immense gratitude to all the great people here at @fortressiq who put their trust in me and joined me in the first phase of this incredible journey. Can't wait for what's next! https://t.co/KJNrFJFkpi
Finally getting around to this thought provoking post from Erik Bernhardsson “Storm in the stratosphere: how the cloud will be reshuffled” - lots of interesting arguments on why he believes the cloud vendors will be all about lowest layers of the stack
and why, perhaps, we could see a future where in 2030:
“We're roughly 10 years into the shift to the cloud, and even though it feels like it's transformed how we build software, I think we're still just getting started. I really wouldn't be surprised to wake up in a world where most developers don't interact with cloud vendors.”
Crypto on 🔥 - high water mark was $8B in 2018, now at over $29.4B 😲
What % of R&D should be spent on new features vs. platform?
If you’re thinking about exogenous factors that could affect markets next year, this is one of the big ones…great 🧵 from one of co-founders of Crowdstrike