I recently updated my resource section to include a variety of papers and presentations I authored or co-authored while at Columbia Business School. As I was sorting through my hard drive and getting rid of old files, I realized that a lot of time and effort went into some of these and that someone, somewhere might find some of this information useful.
So I’ve uploaded some of these thought pieces under 3 different sections:
- Investment Memos: This sections contains three different investment memos on Airbnb, Prosper and Starwood. The first two are focused on later stage venture / growth equity investments whereas the Starwood memo is more of a traditional Buy/Sell/Hold analyst report.
- Roadmaps & Theses: The next three sections contain a set of VC style investment roadmaps from the two internships I did in venture. The first deck is a roadmap focused on wearable tech, specifically Google Glass, from my time at Gotham. The second deck is a playbook on vertical saas opportunities that I put together for BVP. The final paper is an initial viewpoint on the manufacturing software sector that I put together for BVP while doing a deep dive into the space.
- White Paper & Thought Pieces: The final section is more or less a catchall for a few other pieces that I thought were interesting but didn’t naturally fit into the other two categories. This section contains an in-depth analysis on M&A activity in the tech sector and the resulting implications for venture investors. This section also includes a deck that very accurately projected iPhone sales for Apple in Q3 of 2014 before actual figures were announced. Both of these papers rely extensively on regression analysis and other statistical methods.
So there it is, a few resources that I thought were interesting. I’ll continue to add to this collection as the opportunity arises.
I have had something of a difficult time getting into the groove with Tumblr. I have nothing really against the product. Tumblr has a unique microblogging / social networking platform that clearly adds value value to its largely teen and college user segments. In 2011Tumblr boasted an 85% retention rate (compared to, for example, 40% at Twitter). It’s just that my current social media toolkit provides me with a range of options for all my needs. I have…
- Twitter – for my status updates or thought of the day
- Pinterest – for my photos / video “blogging”
- WordPress – for my longer, more thoughtful posts
- Facebook – for my day to day social interaction
- Quora – for the questions I have that my current network can’t answer
With all these tools, I’m not really sure where Tumblr will fit into my current computer-mediated-communication (CmC) tool-box. However, there is one thing about Tumblr that I thing is truly innovative and something to look out for: their advertising structure.
The founder of Tumblr, David Karp, has long been a critic of traditional banner or adsense advertising. It can be invasive / annoying for users and costly / ineffective for advertisers. Recently, Tumblr has been toying with some new advertising models that seem to be headed in the right direction.
For example there is the Highlighted Post option. Users or advertisers can pay $1-$5 and have their post get a special sticker to make it standout from the rest in the dashboard. To draw a parallel to one of my favorite sites 4-5 years ago (Digg), it’s like you are paying for “diggs” so that your post ranks higher and therefore gets more views. Sticker options include words such as “On sale now” or “Today only.” These paid blog posts stay at the top of Tumblr home pages of users who are already following those blogs. Users can also click “dismiss” to remove the adds. Furthermore, advertisers are only allowed to link to pages that appear on their own Tumblr blogs.The combined effect of these features is a less invasive experience for users and a more effective, targetted add for advertisers. It is therefore no surprise that advertisers are lining up to access the 60 million blogs on Tumblr.
I recently decided to mash things up and move over to this new blogging platform and design template. I was a little frustrated with having my blog entries sort of scattered on a few different platforms and figured that wordpress had the best toolkit to synthesize everything and then continue to build.
There are a couple reasons why I really like the wordpress publishing framework:
- Unlike other “free” and “open source” solutions that have hidden agendas, WordPress is completely free. It doesn’t start charging when you hit a certain size, nor does it close off any of its code to you.
- Plenty of platforms out there offer plugin functionality, but WordPress is by far the smoothest and easiest to use.
- WordPress has the best SEO in the self-publishing market. It also has great data analytics and all the features for tagging, ranking and categorizing.
- Because it is such a popular toolkit, there is a large base of community support. It is possible to find blogs, forums, and tutorials to answer pretty much any question.
I hope that this will be a much more permanent home for all my thoughts on startups, technology, education and anything else I feel like blogging about.