New DLD Galloway Video Up

I won’t lie – I dig this dude. I don’t agree with all of it but most of it.

Some highlights to track:

  • Amazon to keep kicking ass and become the biggest of the 4 horseman
  • Facebook and Google to leap ahead of Apple. I agree that Apple is in a funk but I also think Facebook’s core product will be in decline.
  • He says Snap won’t go public and will decline in value. We should see the answer to that soon.
  • Says the wearable market is a mess. I agree. I keep thinking but have not bought an Apple watch.
  • Say VR is not going to be huge. I agree. I think AR will be bigger.
  • He also gets into the morale responsibility of the large platform players and how thet pretend they can shirk things like fake news as an example. Will be interesting to see if this gets any attention but I think it won’t under Trump unless he picks a target.

All in all another good video from Scott.

SeedPlus Sessions #1

One last push here before we lock in the topic for the first Session.

As some of you may know I am a partner at SeedPlus :: http://www.seedplus.com/.

We have been kind of quiet lately but it is the new year and time to ratchet up our outreach.

First event we have planned is for Feb and it will be a seminar series about Growth. Lots of definitions for this and lots of snake oil in the system but we plan on getting into the science of growth.

Please take our survey :: http://www.seedplus.com/sessions/ and  then stay tuned for an announcement on the crowdsourced topic plus event details.

Let the Sessions begin…

Prediction Discussions

Read this post recently :: http://www.businessinsider.sg/patrick-grove-7-predictions-southeast-asias-tech-scene-2017/

I like Patrick and we chat occasionaly so this is not a bashing post but just thinking about his predictions and my opinions on them.

1. Southeast Asia becomes a bigger internet market than America

I think if we are talking raw numbers then I guess so but when it comes to money spent and ease of payments I still think America is a bigger prize for an internet company but depends on the product. But yes, SEA is big and getting bigger. Fund place to be.

2. Funding will be harder to get (so conserve what you have)

I do not think I agree. I think funding is always hard but there is plenty of capital right now. What has changed to me is that the easy money may be coming to end and people who fund things wants to see real products, traction and ideas that can turn into real businesses. So the powerpoint insta startup days that get money before customers is probably over.

3. At least three companies will raise 9 figure rounds (USD100 million+)

I am guessing Patrick is speaking from first hand knowledge here and I think he may be right. Regardless the region will see more B,C, and D rounds which means bigger and bigger checks.

4. There will be another exit in excess of USD500 million

Agree. I think M&A activity will grow and possible an IPO here or there. That will be something to watch – Garena may be the first. Let’s all hope whoever gets out of the IPO gate does well since that will set the tone for everyone else.

5. The Year of China

Probably true but I think it not the same ways some imagine. I think China will continue to fund things, buy things, and be at the forefront of startup activity but I am not a beleiver that Chinese products will be able to get big outside of China. To be clear there are some Chinese companies such as MeiPai that have quietly built the world’s selfie and camera apps. Most users do not know it is Chinese and don’t care. In fact I think that strategy is devised by them but on the flipside if somone asks me will Alibaba win ecommerce in SEA or Amazon and I will tell you it is Amazon. Why? They just have a better stack and will appeal to more of the region’s sensibilities than Alibaba will. I will also add that I will vote for Amazon on the idea that until China opens up its markets to everyone for competition that I will choose the non-Chinese product. Going to be an epic battle for sure and good for the consumer.

6. There will be a widespread embrace of Fintech

In theory this should be true but I think the space is harder than people want to admit to. Banks are not wanting to be disrupted and they hold tremendous power. Regulations are not easy and many companies need to get regulatory approval prior to getting customers. On top of this any sort of regionality for most fintech products is quite difficult. In general I am bullish that there are lots of finance problems to solve but executing is harder than most people think.

7. Every week, a different startup will run out of money

Probably true. Why? Go back to number 2. Most startups should not have gotten the money in the first place and will have a hard time raising the money to keep going. Also many startups are realizing they don’t have a business or real revenue. These will fail. It’s okay. This happens.  It will be a nice cycle of housecleaning and will mean real startups can pick up the pieces, distressed assets and grab employees. All good.

Blogging

Update – This link is interesting and painful :: http://www.politico.com/media/story/2017/01/medium-pivot-catches-publishing-partners-by-surprise-004907

Read this today :: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2017/01/04/williams-medium

Have this conversation going on facebook ::  https://www.facebook.com/stuartmcdonald007/posts/10154007252602062

Here is the investor and fan weighing in :: https://500ish.com/long-medium-b9ddfe2c3a0a#.dnwmbtx85

There is a section in today’s Reliable Sources about the Medium stuff as well :: http://us11.campaign-archive1.com/?u=47c9040f6ff957a59bd88396e&id=ac7d0f9073&e=0e78a818f4

I am sure there is lots of other chatter about this topic today. Medium is kind of an internet darling and a big layoff like this is a big deal. I personally think Medium got a little to big for what they are trying to do and this seems to confirm that.

I have tried it a few times and it is slick. But I did not find that my audience went up any in using it versus using my own blog and my normal channels for promoting it. I am guessing over time if my articles where chosen or highlighted I would see a pop but guessing it wouldn’t happen much.

I have always felt I should have my own stack so to speak. Normally this has been self hosted wordpress blog but recently with my domain name change I decided to try wordpress hosting since it is cheaper, I get SSL and so far everything just works. Given it is wordpress I feel it is easy to move it around and keep everything intact. In fact moving everything to the new domain took an hour or so – even importing all the posts and comments. Only thing I couldn’t get to import right was stats but it is a new year so what the hell. I know my high watermark anyway.

My needs are different from others though who poetntially want to derive their income from writing. I have no such goals. I just want to write and interact. If I did need to make money from it I am not sure that running a blog would work regardless. Very few are able to live off it and most have to do lots of shitty ads or promotional things to make it work. I do link to Amazon stuff but I don’t expect it net me much – I figure it just makes it easier for readers to order a book or see what I am referring to. I do see what Medium is trying to do and I can see why some want Medium to create a platform that might generate revenue.

However I am not clear how Medium will do it or if it will work.

I like Ev. I respect him the most out of the twitter crew and wish he had stayed to make twitter happen but oh well. Let’s hope Medium figures it out but wondering if the whole notion of making this a big venture backed thing is working for them.

Time will tell.

You could do the same thing in SEA

This is a great read by Andrew and love following his work over the years :: http://andrewchen.co/10-years/

However you might have to fly around a bit more but you could do the same thing in SEA region. This is what I did when I started my gig at Yahoo. Just meet folks. No agenda. No transaction. Offer to help. Don’t ask for anything but mutual respect and be friendly.

Have also had tons of missed opportunities. Oh well.

And it helped me get to where I am today – an apprentice VC.