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Airware: Democratizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Kane Hsieh May 16, 2013
I first met the Airware (Unmanned Innovations at the time) team at the Lemnos Labs demo day in December, 2012. Working out of the Lemnos garage in the untrendy part of San Francisco, Jonathan Downey and the rest of the Airware team had a grand vision for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which are often conflated with drones (all drones are UAVs, but not vice versa - drones are by definition autonomous). Jonathan patiently explained to me that the autopilot, which comprises a...
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Is your startup a feature, a product or a business?

May 11, 2013
Through my development as a junior VC, I regularly find myself asking questions similar to those of my entrepreneur friends. Without many ghosts of pitches past, I glean knowledge from others’ refined judgement and execution. Take it this way: venture capitalists are paid to act on a point of view, ideally one that proves profitable. But how do VCs identify what will return multiples on their money, many times years ahead of an outcome? What do they pay attention to when making...
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This is what consumer fatigue looks like

Kane Hsieh May 11, 2013
When the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini came out, people joked that you would be able to own a comprehensive gradient of screen sizes between phone and tablet. Well, if you consider both Android and iOS, that turns out to be the case now: Click for full res. PSD file with layers provided here.   If you've walked into a Best Buy (people still do that, right?) recently or tried to browse online for a new phone or tablet, you've probably been...
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8 Things Your VC Won't Tell You

Feb 18, 2013
Venture capitalists, especially those investing at the early stage, could be described as "relationship capitalists". You'll often hear how investors approach their commitments like a marriage, and that they think long and hard about with whom they want to go to bed. Avoid picturing that second part. But the VC mystique can be inexplicable at times. Why do they send such curt emails? What the #%$! do they mean by "traction"? Are they even paying...
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Perspective

Kane Hsieh Feb 04, 2013
From a WSJ article about Sycamore Networks: Sycamore went public in 1999. Its shares more than quadrupled on their first trading day, valuing the company at $14 billion. At the time, it had booked a total of $11 million in revenue and no profits. Last week, shareholders voted to dissolve Sycamore at a market value of $66M. One of our Fund V companes has booked over $11M in revenue without a profit. Imagine if we could take it public at $14B. We own 17% of the company -...
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