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Scale-Up VC blog

At Scale-Up, Deviance Is How We Defy the Mean and Beat the Benchmark

The Problem: Venture Capital Regresses toward the Mean

Two features of venture capital induce mediocre results:

  1. VC is a highly quantified activity. Any detail that can be converted into a countable metric is. Quantification is beneficial in that it lets us measure our performance. Returns matter, and they must be calculated. …

Arm-chair psychiatrists love to tele-diagnose the luminaries of Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg is commonly diagnosed with autism/Asperger’s. Larry Ellison is reportedly a narcissist, albeit a “narcissist visionary.” Vanity Fair has labeled Adam Neumann “egomaniacal” and “insane.” Not to be deterred by redundancy, Vanity Fair also quoted an unnamed acquaintance of…


Venture capital — the business of buying and selling startup equity — is about to change dramatically. Just as we disrupt other industries, it looks like we are about to be disrupted (again). VC is facing a simultaneous squeeze from above and below, and the key to thriving and turning…


When we’re not calculating, scheming, or buying private islands, we VCs spend an astounding amount of time producing content. After actors and gurus, there is perhaps no profession more widely represented on the podcast scene. VCs blog as profusely as a C-list-celebrity-turned-president tweets. Andreessen Horowitz has launched an op-ed section


In the world of Silicon Valley VCs, class is capital.

Even those who have never heard of Thorsten Veblen or his Theory of the Leisure Class are familiar with his most famous idea: conspicuous consumption. It is familiar because it is everywhere. It is the reason that, even though a wedding ring is completely unnecessary for a happy marriage, a…


The secondary, pre-IPO market for shares is a rough and wild place with great rewards … and great risks.

The joint-stock company and the stock market were … born within just a few years of each other. No sooner had the first publicly owned corporation come into existence with the first-ever initial public offering of shares, than a secondary market sprang up to allow these shares to be bought…


The full version of Alex Lazovsky’s recent Forbes article debunking the hype in recent headlines about Silicon Valley VC.

Storm clouds are gathering on Silicon Valley’s placid horizon. From the east comes new antitrust legislation aimed at tech’s giants. New, critical bureaucrats are promising bothersome new rules. From the west (i.e. the “Far East,” which, of course, is west of Silicon Valley), the Chinese government is hounding their tech…


In a recent post, we laid out how investing in individuals is paradoxical: on the one hand, all investments are investments in individuals, but actually investing in individuals doesn’t make much moral, legal, or business sense. So the lesson was that investing in individuals was both inevitable and impractical.

In…


Some Initial Thoughts about an Old-New Idea that Is as Obvious as It Is Insane

Sam Lessin recently published an analytical piece about how, soon, individuals are going to surpass companies as the most valuable brands and attract the smart, forward-thinking equity financing. That’s right: instead of investing in companies composed of teams, products, and business models, VC is going to start investing in individuals.


Scale-Up’s take on the WSB/Gamestop mischief and how it relates to VC

News about Reddit* performing Occupy Wall St. II: Short Stuff by pumping the stock of a zombie company with an obsolete business model is now harder to avoid on the Internet than a Kardashian’s cosmetic tips. Sharp observers have called this whole episode dumb. And they’re absolutely right. …

Scale-Up VC blog

Scale-Up aims the sharpest & most experienced VCs at the most dynamic tech disruptors. Welcome.

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