links for 2010-10-14

  • One of my mentors in the VC business used to say "the success of an investment is in inverse proportion to the number of VCs on the board." I love that line and use it often. One or two VCs on your board is OK. Four or five is a disaster. But beyond the board, what about the syndicate? I've seen some recent financings where there were six or more VCs firms in the syndicate. And that doesn't include the angels. We've been asked to participate in first round syndicates with four or more VC firms and we have not done that, at least yet. I thought I'd explain why. Most entrepreneurs don't want to dilute more than 25-33% for a single round of financing. And good for them. They shouldn't.
  • On Monday in New York, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil a new line of smart phones that represent a complete reworking of Microsoft's unsuccessful strategy for the mobile market. The phones will run a new mobile operating system, known as Windows Phone 7, that makes heavy use of the latest touch-screen technology. Instead of displaying an array of application buttons, the phones' home screens are oversized pages of constantly changing information, such as live status updates and photo posts from your Facebook friends. The home screen, and those of many applications, are several times wider than the touch-screen display, and can be thumbed to the left and right in what Microsoft calls a panoramic layout.

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