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From Simulscribe, To Edison Jr, To Doorbot, To Ring, To Amazon1


Yesterday it was announced that Ring had sold to Amazon. The Gotham Gal was an early seed investor in Ring’s predecessor Doorbot, which came out of an incubator called Edison Jr that she was also an investor in. So it was a nice win for her (and me since we are partners in everything). But the story I want to tell is about Simulscribe. Ring’s founder and CEO, Jamie Siminoff, started a company called Simulscribe (now called PhoneTag) back in the early 2000s. I met him around the time USV got started in 2003/2004 and the value proposition for Simulscribe was so compelling to me: stop checking voice mails, get your voice mails translated and sent to you in email I loved it and the Gotham Gal and I became early users. We still use the PhoneTag service!! Jamie tried to get me and USV to invest in Simulscribe a bunch of times, but that never happened. I was worried about the lack of defensibility and other things. Jamie eventually sold Simulscribe/PhoneTag and started an incubator called Edison Jr. That’s when the Gotham Gal became a seed investor in Edison Jr in 2012. Edison Jr launched several projects and one of them really took off. That was Doorbot. So Jamie shut down Edison Jr and focused all of his energy on Doorbot, which eventually changed its name to Ring. And now, with the sale of Ring to Amazon, Jamie has finally had his big win. We kind of knew it was going to happen when we first met him fifteen years ago. But it took quite a few twists and turns. As these things do. Jamie has two things that make him an amazing entrepreneur. He makes great products that solve real problems. Both Simulscribe and Ring are great products. He has incredible infectious energy and optimism and salesmanship. As inevitable as this outcome seemed fifteen years ago, it still took fifteen years, endless struggles, and a lot more. That is the way of startups and always has been. http://avc.com/2018/02/from-simulscribe-to-edison-jr-to-doorbot-to-ring-to-amazon/

From Simulscribe, To Edison Jr, To Doorbot, To Ring, To Amazon1


Yesterday it was announced that Ring had sold to Amazon. The Gotham Gal was an early seed investor in Ring’s predecessor Doorbot, which came out of an incubator called Edison Jr that she was also an investor in. So it was a nice win for her (and me since we are partners in everything). But the story I want to tell is about Simulscribe. Ring’s founder and CEO, Jamie Siminoff, started a company called Simulscribe (now called PhoneTag) back in the early 2000s. I met him around the time USV got started in 2003/2004 and the value proposition for Simulscribe was so compelling to me: stop checking voice mails, get your voice mails translated and sent to you in email I loved it and the Gotham Gal and I became early users. We still use the PhoneTag service!! Jamie tried to get me and USV to invest in Simulscribe a bunch of times, but that never happened. I was worried about the lack of defensibility and other things. Jamie eventually sold Simulscribe/PhoneTag and started an incubator called Edison Jr. That’s when the Gotham Gal became a seed investor in Edison Jr in 2012. Edison Jr launched several projects and one of them really took off. That was Doorbot. So Jamie shut down Edison Jr and focused all of his energy on Doorbot, which eventually changed its name to Ring. And now, with the sale of Ring to Amazon, Jamie has finally had his big win. We kind of knew it was going to happen when we first met him fifteen years ago. But it took quite a few twists and turns. As these things do. Jamie has two things that make him an amazing entrepreneur. He makes great products that solve real problems. Both Simulscribe and Ring are great products. He has incredible infectious energy and optimism and salesmanship. As inevitable as this outcome seemed fifteen years ago, it still took fifteen years, endless struggles, and a lot more. That is the way of startups and always has been. http://avc.com/2018/02/from-simulscribe-to-edison-jr-to-doorbot-to-ring-to-amazon/

Getting a degree versus getting an education


Too often, we focus conversations about learning plans around getting a degree. There is an implicit assumption in these conversations that getting a degree and getting an education go together. But, that need not be the case. You can get a degree without getting an education – there are plenty who do. And, conversely, thanks to books and the internet, you can get an education without getting a degree. There are good reasons to get a degree. Moving geography, improving career prospects, learning from top Professors and a motivated peer group, taking a break, etc., could all, in combination, be good reasons. But, if the only reason to get a degree is – “I want to learn management” or “I want to learn machine learning” – I would reconsider. We have more options to pursue learning in subjects we are interested in than ever before. We can buy books, subscribe to online courses, create a peer learning group around these materials, start a blog sharing insights or do all of these together. We can choose to not get the business of getting a degree interfere with our desire to get an education. Share this: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Like this: Like Loading... Related https://alearningaday.com/2018/02/13/getting-a-degree-versus-getting-an-education/

Can you keep a secret_13


Source: http://theoatmeal.com/blog/crabs

The “VC Funnel”


I saw this image in my twitter feed this morning: Which led me to this CB Insights post from last October. You can scroll down to the bottom of that CB Insights post to see how they came up with this data. There are two things about this chart that I would like to talk about: 1/ Getting VC/angel funding is hard, but even if you do secure it once (1st round), the probability that you will secure it again is only 50-70%, and the probability that you will secure it five more times is between 0-5%. That is what CB Insights calls the “VC Funnel.” Before you jump to conclusions, there are many reasons why a company would not raise a second round, a third round, etc. It could close down, which is probably the main reason companies don’t raise a 2nd round, but it could also sell or get profitable or ICO or go public, which is probably the main reason a company raises a 5th round but not a 6th round. 2/ The NY Metro area is the easiest place to raise capital that CB Insights surveyed. That may surprise people, but it does not surprise me. NYC is home to wall street and a lot of money. If raising money is what you want to do, there is no better place to do it apparently. I am not a fan of investing in companies that need a lot of money to be honest. But if that describes your company, you might want to do it in NYC. http://avc.com/2018/02/the-vc-funnel/