Leaderless Rounds and the Problem of Weasel.vc

One of the quote-unquote negative characteristics of the New York City tech ecosystem that I talked about a few weeks ago is the lack of VCs who will take the lead role in a fundraise. From my count, there is somewhere between 200-300 active VC firms in New York (yes, there is something of that size in the city today — crazy really), only maybe 6-12 are fully comfortable taking the lead in a fundraise.

Why is this? The answer is actually a mix of resources and weird incentives that are not unique to NYC, but that seem to have hit so many firms simultaneously here that it has become the de facto norm.

To illustrate this, let's take a hypothetical $20 million seed fund which

Continue reading...

Observations on NYC Tech

When I chose to move to NYC from Boston three months ago, it was with serious trepidation. I had spent six years living, working, and learning in Silicon Valley, and despite the growing evidence of New York's success as a tech hub, SV still remains the king of innovation by any statistic. To be frank, I'm ambitious like many of the people in tech I work with, and I want to run the kingdom, not some outlying New Amsterdam duchy.

Since summer is of course the best time in both NYC and venture capital to analyze an ecosystem in action, I figured I would give some early indications of what I have observed.

These observations are of course drafts — three months is quite limited to

Continue reading...

The Desperate Docker Disaster

Last month, I wrote about the desperate waves of venture capital, the concept that VCs are investing far too early into new trends in a race for returns. With the mobile, cloud, and social transformations slowing way down, VCs constantly have to search for other nascent movements — artificial intelligent, machine learning, virtual reality — in the hopes of touching greatness.

So yesterday's article about Docker caught my eye. Called "A Docker Fork: Talk of a Split Is Now on the Table", the story gives a brief overview of the acrimonious debate in the Docker community over its support for enterprise, its speed of backwards incompatible changes, and the ecosystem's roadmap for the future.

Talks of forks are hardly new in open source projects, and Docker is

Continue reading...