2 old, but interesting, VC posts

Stumbled across these from the Twitter, about the rise and fall of great VC firms.

1 – http://venturefizz.com/blog/rise-fall-great-venture-firms-part-1

2 – https://venturefizz.com/blog/rise-fall-great-venture-firms-part-2

Good reads. Much to grok.


Think Simple :: Books

Finally finished up Think Simple and I enjoyed it.

Last weekend was the last delivery of the FT weekend and I am going to move all my newspaper time into reading and blogging instead. I think a better use of my time.

I did not read Ken Segall’s first book, Insanely Simple, and after finishing Think Simple I assume I don’t need to.

The book is not earth shattering but it did help to drive home some key thoughts around what it means to drive for simplicity which we all know is not easy. Been in more than a few startups and once the org grows, trying to make stuff simple or keep it simple gets super hard.

I also loved the chapter on head versus heart since I see a lot of orgs doing the data only thing which I think is a mistake. I am big on the heart to and I think as seed stage VC, SeedPlus,  we generally have to look at the heart stuff more – team, culture, product and vision since the numbers to use the data path for decision making are not there yet.

All in all. Worth the read and there is plenty of stuff to apply to your day to day life emanating from the book.

Korean Startup Scene

I have to admit I am not plugged into it enough.

I watch Scott and his winner/loser video every week – this stuff is pure gold :: https://www.l2inc.com/winners-losers-snapchat-hits-a-snow-storm/

Was interesting to see him mention the Korean app – snow, which is the same Naver folks who brought us Line :: http://www.bustle.com/articles/173843-snow-a-snapchat-like-app-with-filters-will-take-your-selfie-game-to-the-next-level

So basically we have a straight up SnapChat clone that is targeting only Asia which in certain pocket countries can work. Not saying it is a novel strategy but certain companies can pull it off.

What I also find interesting in this NYT piece is the opinion on the Korean tech scene ::

“For the longest time, the holy grail for a lot of Korean founders was to get U.S. market share,” he said. “They all failed, and failed because there were so many issues. There was no American working culture, they didn’t have a network in America, they didn’t speak English.”

“With the rise of China and China’s infatuation with Korean culture, it’s breathed new life into Korean start-ups and founders,” Mr. Chae said. “This is a market that happens to be a lot bigger than the U.S., that seems to be more welcoming for Korean technology and culture than the Western world ever was.”

It’s a great point – why bother with the USA at all if one can essentially focus on Asia and win it? With the growth of SEA region, the 4g penetration coming in India and all the other fringe possibilities like the Middle East – an Asian startup could essentially go big in every place but Europ and America and due well enough to not care.

I see Singapore has a pretty amazing tech HQ – the equivalent of USA’s Delaware for startup incorporation but I often wonder if Taiwan, Japan and Korea ramped their startup tech game in hopes of dominating Asia would that be more powerful than the Chinese brands trying to do the same thing?

I think the core issue still for pure Asian startups focusing on Asian markets is exit strategies – do they sell to American companies? Is there a go-to stock exchange besides the USA they can list on? Going forward as the startups scene keeps heating up I think the I can’t raise seed, I can’t raise an A will start to turn into – where do I go public? 

Hoping one of these regions can figure out a market to list on that works for the Asian scene.

SnapJobs :: Cool stuff made in Singapore

As stated before here, http://www.nokpis.com/2016/08/15/jobkred-cool-stuff-made-in-singapore/ ::

I am interested, mostly due to the pain of always been running product companies in Singapore needing to hire people, in the intersection of recruiting, human resources and how tech might make the situation of recruiting, hiring and retaining people. There are so many angles to this and so many opportunities to make money.

So given the interest there is also demand and a lot of  companies in Singapore taking on the challenge.

Another you may or may not know is :: http://snapjobs.sg/ . Trying to marry jobseekers and companies quickly via a mobile app.

AppKnox :: Just the beginning…

I think the best PR for a VC firm is the stories of the companies that the fund has invested in. There has been some PR about SeedPlus and of course we have a lot more stories to go but today I would like to highlight AppKnox. I met the CEO back during his JFDI tenure and I have to admit I did not get to stay up on it once I was unable to commit my time to the JFDI program.

Then I joined SeedPlus and was back to working with AppKnox. The company is a perfect fit for what we are trying to do at SeedPlus which is to take a strong tech product and export it around the globe. And that is exactly what we are doing.

Feel free to reach out if you want to know more about SeedPlus or AppKnox.