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Regulating and Legislating Tech and Tech Companies1


More and more of the news around tech these days is about the relationship between technology companies and government. That was not the case a decade ago when regulators and elected officials took a largely hands off approach to technology, particularly the Internet, web, and mobile. While I am not a fan of many of the moves that regulators and elected officials have made over the last few years, including the NYC City Council’s recent bills to clamp down on home-sharing and ride-sharing in NYC, I do believe that the tech sector and tech companies must engage with the public sector and they must do it earlier in their development. It is hard to be an advocate for the tech sector and tech companies with the public sector, a role I play fairly regularly, when the companies in question have not been the best actors themselves. The good news is that the tech sector no longer naively believes that it can opt out of the public discourse and political engagement. The bad news is it is playing catch-up and is on it’s heels. That is going to take time and money to fix. Emerging sectors like crypto and machine learning should pay heed to what has happened here and not make the same mistakes as their predecessors. https://avc.com/2018/08/regulating-and-legislating-tech-and-tech-companies/

Regulating and Legislating Tech and Tech Companies1


More and more of the news around tech these days is about the relationship between technology companies and government. That was not the case a decade ago when regulators and elected officials took a largely hands off approach to technology, particularly the Internet, web, and mobile. While I am not a fan of many of the moves that regulators and elected officials have made over the last few years, including the NYC City Council’s recent bills to clamp down on home-sharing and ride-sharing in NYC, I do believe that the tech sector and tech companies must engage with the public sector and they must do it earlier in their development. It is hard to be an advocate for the tech sector and tech companies with the public sector, a role I play fairly regularly, when the companies in question have not been the best actors themselves. The good news is that the tech sector no longer naively believes that it can opt out of the public discourse and political engagement. The bad news is it is playing catch-up and is on it’s heels. That is going to take time and money to fix. Emerging sectors like crypto and machine learning should pay heed to what has happened here and not make the same mistakes as their predecessors. https://avc.com/2018/08/regulating-and-legislating-tech-and-tech-companies/

Regulating and Legislating Tech and Tech Companies1


More and more of the news around tech these days is about the relationship between technology companies and government. That was not the case a decade ago when regulators and elected officials took a largely hands off approach to technology, particularly the Internet, web, and mobile. While I am not a fan of many of the moves that regulators and elected officials have made over the last few years, including the NYC City Council’s recent bills to clamp down on home-sharing and ride-sharing in NYC, I do believe that the tech sector and tech companies must engage with the public sector and they must do it earlier in their development. It is hard to be an advocate for the tech sector and tech companies with the public sector, a role I play fairly regularly, when the companies in question have not been the best actors themselves. The good news is that the tech sector no longer naively believes that it can opt out of the public discourse and political engagement. The bad news is it is playing catch-up and is on it’s heels. That is going to take time and money to fix. Emerging sectors like crypto and machine learning should pay heed to what has happened here and not make the same mistakes as their predecessors. https://avc.com/2018/08/regulating-and-legislating-tech-and-tech-companies/

Reporting


At USV, we report to our investors on our portfolio and performance four times a year, once a quarter. We produce an audited report once a year, with our Q4 results. We do that in writing and we also do a quarterly call for our investors three times a year (we combine our Q4 and Q1 calls since our annual audit process slows down our Q4 reporting). In our annual and Q2 written reports, we prepare a short update on every one of our portfolio companies. We call these “one-pagers.” This can be a fair bit of work but we do it regularly and have been doing it since we started USV. I think it is a great discipline for investors to take the time on a regular basis to sit down and write and speak to their investors about what is going on in their portfolio and in the macro environment. It is a time-honored tradition that fund managers write a letter to their investors explaining what they are seeing and doing. Warren Buffet’s letters are a particularly great example of that. But there are many fund managers who are excellent writers and whose letters get passed around and read by many in the investment community. Everyone here at AVC knows that I think writing and investing fit like a hand and glove and writing and thinking out loud can make you a better investor. The Gotham Gal and I are investors in a number of venture capital funds and I have noticed a trend among venture fund managers to reduce the amount of writing and verbal communication they do with their investors. I understand that it can be time-consuming and that many fund investors don’t even bother to read the reports. But I would urge my peers to resist that urge and to take time to regularly sit down and write about what is going on in your portfolio companies and the markets you invest in. I think it provides insights, raises issues, and gets the entire investment team talking about things in a way that few other regular processes do. Plus I really enjoy doing it. https://avc.com/2018/08/reporting/

Reporting1


At USV, we report to our investors on our portfolio and performance four times a year, once a quarter. We produce an audited report once a year, with our Q4 results. We do that in writing and we also do a quarterly call for our investors three times a year (we combine our Q4 and Q1 calls since our annual audit process slows down our Q4 reporting). In our annual and Q2 written reports, we prepare a short update on every one of our portfolio companies. We call these “one-pagers.” This can be a fair bit of work but we do it regularly and have been doing it since we started USV. I think it is a great discipline for investors to take the time on a regular basis to sit down and write and speak to their investors about what is going on in their portfolio and in the macro environment. It is a time-honored tradition that fund managers write a letter to their investors explaining what they are seeing and doing. Warren Buffet’s letters are a particularly great example of that. But there are many fund managers who are excellent writers and whose letters get passed around and read by many in the investment community. Everyone here at AVC knows that I think writing and investing fit like a hand and glove and writing and thinking out loud can make you a better investor. The Gotham Gal and I are investors in a number of venture capital funds and I have noticed a trend among venture fund managers to reduce the amount of writing and verbal communication they do with their investors. I understand that it can be time-consuming and that many fund investors don’t even bother to read the reports. But I would urge my peers to resist that urge and to take time to regularly sit down and write about what is going on in your portfolio companies and the markets you invest in. I think it provides insights, raises issues, and gets the entire investment team talking about things in a way that few other regular processes do. Plus I really enjoy doing it. https://avc.com/2018/08/reporting/