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Dick_#8217;s and Guns


Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/dicks-and-guns/ Big Red Car here on a lovely Texas SXSW day. Oh, how cute. You didn’t know 250,000 tech Illuminati had invaded Austin? Well, yes, they did. So, to the topic. Guns and Dick’s. Dick’s and guns? After the recent tragedy in Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Dick’s decided to raise its age to purchase all weapons to twenty-one even though Federal law allowed one to buy a long rifle at age eighteen. Obviously, someone at Dick’s — a corporate Dick, perhaps — anticipated there might be a reaction for to every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, the Devil is in the details. Dick’s and Guns So, Dick’s Sporting Goods made their virtue signalling move and the anti-gun intelligentsia applauded them far and wide. [Let’s be clear. The Big Red Car is not taking a side here. Just providing a weather report. BRC finds a lot to not like on both sides of the gun debate.] The head Dick (CEO Edward W Stack), announced that hereafter Dick’s would not be selling assault rifles (OK, you probably realize they already did this back in 2012, right?), large capacity magazines, or selling to anyone younger than twenty-one. Dick’s was joined by Walmart and others. The Second Amendment/gun crowd condemned the move and lit up Twitter with a million tweets. Even the National Rifle Association got into the game. So what, Big Red Car? The so what, dear reader, is that the Second Amendment/gun crowd stopped shopping at Dick’s. Enough to show up in their retail sales numbers. But, the Second Amendment/gun crowd did not just stop buying guns and ammo; they stopped buying everything. Normally, there would be some compensating balances, but the anti-gun folks are not, apparently, sportspersons. The head Dick warned that earnings would be impacted. When earnings bump into causes, well, funny things can happen. Stay tuned. Anything else, Big Red Car? Yes, dear reader, there is. Actually, Dick’s had announced an assault weapons ban back in 2012 after the Sandy Hook tragedy, so their recent announced ban of assault weapons was — well, you will have to figure that one out for yourself. Bit phony? Pretentious? After the 2012 announcement — the ban before the ban — Dick’s slyly returned to selling the offending pieces of murder wizardry through its Field & Stream units. So, while they are virtuous, they limit their virtuousness to their flagship brand, apparently. Can you follow that logic? Oh, yeah, the shithead in Florida bought a shotgun at Dick’s. The shotgun was not used in the massacre. [Note that the Big Red Car refrains from mentioning the actual names of murderers preferring to simply call them shitheads.] Bottom line it, Big Red OK, the Big Red Car is fine with anybody not selling anything. Check. The Big Red Car is fine with raising the age limit to buy a weapon — rifle, pistol, tank, howitzer — to twenty-five, so, twenty-one is the low hurdles. Check. [Hell, I wouldn’t let kids drive the Big Red Car until they were thirty-six.] But, the Big Red Car is tired of the phony virtue signalling, the ban before the ban after the ban smoke and mirrors. Step up, step out, risk the consequences. Just stop blowing smoke up our collective skirts, please. The Big Red Car does think if you’re old enough to fight for your country you should be able to buy a long rifle and drink a beer. So, maybe a carve out for active duty military and veterans. OK, just the real Rangers, not the kids. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Good day. Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/dicks-and-guns/

The VC/Company Relationship


When I got into the VC business in the early 80s, the VC/Company relationship was pretty different than it is now. Capital was hard to come by, VCs commanded terms that would be laughed at today, and once they had made the investment, VCs acted as if they owned the Company (they sometimes did). The VC/Company relationship was a lot more like the current PE business than the current VC business. Back then VCs thought their customers were their Limited Partners. They would put on lavish annual meetings, treating their investors to three day events at resorts and such. Capital was hard to come by for VCs too and so they worked hard to earn the favor of the capital suppliers. All of that changed, starting in the 90s, when capital became very easy to come by in the first Internet boom. When we started Flatiron Partners in the mid 90s, I told my colleagues that our customers would be the entrepreneurs and that I wanted to treat our investors as our shareholders. That was a novel idea at the time, but I have advocated for it ever since and I think it more properly captures the relationship that the best VCs have with their portfolio companies today. Our portfolio companies are our customers. At USV, we have a portfolio network of about seventy companies. This group spans 8,000+ employees across more than 10 countries and 20 cities. We have a dedicated team that services our portfolio and as we have built it, we have been guided by several principles which reflect this “customer” orientation. We put them up on our website yesterday, they are here. Go read them and you will see that they reflect the fact that we are here to support our portfolio, not the other way around, we view them as our customers, and their success is our success. I believe this is as it should be. http://avc.com/2018/03/the-vc-company-relationship/

The VC/Company Relationship1


When I got into the VC business in the early 80s, the VC/Company relationship was pretty different than it is now. Capital was hard to come by, VCs commanded terms that would be laughed at today, and once they had made the investment, VCs acted as if they owned the Company (they sometimes did). The VC/Company relationship was a lot more like the current PE business than the current VC business. Back then VCs thought their customers were their Limited Partners. They would put on lavish annual meetings, treating their investors to three day events at resorts and such. Capital was hard to come by for VCs too and so they worked hard to earn the favor of the capital suppliers. All of that changed, starting in the 90s, when capital became very easy to come by in the first Internet boom. When we started Flatiron Partners in the mid 90s, I told my colleagues that our customers would be the entrepreneurs and that I wanted to treat our investors as our shareholders. That was a novel idea at the time, but I have advocated for it ever since and I think it more properly captures the relationship that the best VCs have with their portfolio companies today. Our portfolio companies are our customers. At USV, we have a portfolio network of about seventy companies. This group spans 8,000+ employees across more than 10 countries and 20 cities. We have a dedicated team that services our portfolio and as we have built it, we have been guided by several principles which reflect this “customer” orientation. We put them up on our website yesterday, they are here. Go read them and you will see that they reflect the fact that we are here to support our portfolio, not the other way around, we view them as our customers, and their success is our success. I believe this is as it should be. http://avc.com/2018/03/the-vc-company-relationship/

The VC/Company Relationship1


When I got into the VC business in the early 80s, the VC/Company relationship was pretty different than it is now. Capital was hard to come by, VCs commanded terms that would be laughed at today, and once they had made the investment, VCs acted as if they owned the Company (they sometimes did). The VC/Company relationship was a lot more like the current PE business than the current VC business. Back then VCs thought their customers were their Limited Partners. They would put on lavish annual meetings, treating their investors to three day events at resorts and such. Capital was hard to come by for VCs too and so they worked hard to earn the favor of the capital suppliers. All of that changed, starting in the 90s, when capital became very easy to come by in the first Internet boom. When we started Flatiron Partners in the mid 90s, I told my colleagues that our customers would be the entrepreneurs and that I wanted to treat our investors as our shareholders. That was a novel idea at the time, but I have advocated for it ever since and I think it more properly captures the relationship that the best VCs have with their portfolio companies today. Our portfolio companies are our customers. At USV, we have a portfolio network of about seventy companies. This group spans 8,000+ employees across more than 10 countries and 20 cities. We have a dedicated team that services our portfolio and as we have built it, we have been guided by several principles which reflect this “customer” orientation. We put them up on our website yesterday, they are here. Go read them and you will see that they reflect the fact that we are here to support our portfolio, not the other way around, we view them as our customers, and their success is our success. I believe this is as it should be. http://avc.com/2018/03/the-vc-company-relationship/

The VC/Company Relationship1


When I got into the VC business in the early 80s, the VC/Company relationship was pretty different than it is now. Capital was hard to come by, VCs commanded terms that would be laughed at today, and once they had made the investment, VCs acted as if they owned the Company (they sometimes did). The VC/Company relationship was a lot more like the current PE business than the current VC business. Back then VCs thought their customers were their Limited Partners. They would put on lavish annual meetings, treating their investors to three day events at resorts and such. Capital was hard to come by for VCs too and so they worked hard to earn the favor of the capital suppliers. All of that changed, starting in the 90s, when capital became very easy to come by in the first Internet boom. When we started Flatiron Partners in the mid 90s, I told my colleagues that our customers would be the entrepreneurs and that I wanted to treat our investors as our shareholders. That was a novel idea at the time, but I have advocated for it ever since and I think it more properly captures the relationship that the best VCs have with their portfolio companies today. Our portfolio companies are our customers. At USV, we have a portfolio network of about seventy companies. This group spans 8,000+ employees across more than 10 countries and 20 cities. We have a dedicated team that services our portfolio and as we have built it, we have been guided by several principles which reflect this “customer” orientation. We put them up on our website yesterday, they are here. Go read them and you will see that they reflect the fact that we are here to support our portfolio, not the other way around, we view them as our customers, and their success is our success. I believe this is as it should be. http://avc.com/2018/03/the-vc-company-relationship/