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Reid Hoffman: Venture Capitalist Loser | MIT Technology Review

An insightful interview with Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn. But to my mind, Hoffman seems blase’ about Big Ideas and “deep tech” funding. I share the views of Startup Genome founder, Max Marmer, and bemoan the limited focus of VC’s on world-changing technologies, leaving it to billionaire angels. I also sense myopia about the ongoing intense debate over the distortion of the sharing economy by Uber, Airbnb, and others.

Silicon Valley Culture

What's Up With LinkedIn?

LinkedIn shares yesterday plummeted precipitously after the company announced poorer than expected results, and downgraded prospects for the remainder of the year. Looking beyond the downgraded forecast and the costs associated with the $1.5 Billion acquisition of lynda.com, some analysts scrutinizing the press release, noted that there was no growth reported in the user base of “over 350 million users”, despite moves into China and other markets. Premium user revenue grew significantly but that did not come near to offsetting the total revenue number. Revenue and number of users are the two numbers followed most closely by investment analysts.
LinkedIn’s recent acquisitions have been noted as a LinkedIn strategy for compensating for flat overall user growth, and for diversifying into new markets to augment growth.

Silicon Valley Culture

The Incredible CardMunch for Android Mystery: Market Stolen by CamCard

Over a year ago now someone on the UBC campus, who was thinking of developing an app, told me about this cool application for capturing cards into your contacts by photographing them on your smart phone. It was Cardmunch. It turned out that the application was only available on the iPhone at that time, but as luck would have it, the company had just been acquired by LinkedIn. Voila! It would obviously only be a few months at most before I could obtain it for my Samsung Android smart phone, right? Wrong. That was over a year ago.

France and My French Culture

My New "In Focus" Profile

David Mayes is an advocate for change. However, he is not just someone who shouts slogans from the sidelines, but has actually rolled up his sleeves to see change happen. Whether it is working with coalitions to influence global policies or teaching the next generation, David has had a chance to make a difference for the future. He currently teaches Entrepreneurship at UBCO where he has brought his experiences working in Silicon Valley to bear. He is known for being down to earth, easy to talk to and very friendly. Today David Mayes is In Focus.

Industry Analysis

Industry Analysis: The Bigger Picture

Industry analysis is not a well understood discipline. It sits between macro economic analysis and market analysis, and uses tools from both. It is most commonly associated with the financial services industry which produces guides for their investors. But there are also large global consultancy firms that specialize in industry analysis. It is an important tool for governments, regional development agencies. Companies use industry analysts to assist their strategic planning. Those who can anticipate the changes in an industry are more likely to be successful. This brief presentation provides an overview of what industry analysis is, examples of industry analysis in action, and why it is so important.

UBC

Engineer to Entrepreneur

At the request of Professor Ray Taheri of the UBC Engineering Faculty, I gave this guest lecture to all 4th year engineering students in ENGR 499 Capstone Project. From my background in entrepreneurial mentorship and entrepreneurial finance, I focused on the unique challenges engineers face in considering starting and developing a new venture. I discuss the full range of issues, but my personal emphasis, from experience, is the “character” issue. Some excellent engineers have successfully made the transition to entrepreneurship and executive management, but for others the odyssey is a bridge too far. Consequently, I place significant emphasis on honest self-analysis and appreciation of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Listening is a priceless skill.

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