The below gives prospective candidates for roles at Bloomberg Beta a window into all the reasons not to work with us. As part of our zealotry about transparency, we intend to set expectations accurately, and attract only people who are up for the warts-and-all experience to join our team.
The team at Bloomberg Beta have all contributed to this document over several years. (And any current member of the team is welcome to comment privately or otherwise. We’ll continue evolving this document.)
For many candidates, venture capital can sound exciting — and it’s a privilege to get to do this…
Why do founders often own so little of the companies they create? It’s often because of the incentives of their investors, pressing them to raise evermore money.
Consider a Tale of Two Startups, VC edition:
Here’s the riddle, oversimplified:
Company #1: A VC invests $1, and 10 years later, receives $1,000. Great investment!
Company #2: A VC invests $1 in an identical company, and 10 years later, receives $800. (Still great, but an inferior return to company #1.)
Still, many VCs would prefer company #2 over company #1. Why??
Imagine Company #1 only ever raises that first funding round, and…
[Credit where due: this is James Cham’s spark. I’m just the typist.]
There’s a new and important kind of startup that’s become wildly successful the last few years. These startups f̶o̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶l̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ look to their customers like a direct replacement to some large, familiar incumbent, but use technology to provide a strictly superior offering.
We call them hot-swap startups, as in “replacing part of a system while it’s still running.”
Examples of hot-swap startups: Compass (a real estate broker), Flexport (a freight forwarder), Doma (a real estate title company), Newfront (an insurance brokerage), Campuswire…
Getting a new job offer? Selling your company? Trying to raise money? Things often get hard in a negotiation when you reach the micro-mechanics…
“The investor says they’re going to send a term sheet tomorrow. Should I tell other investors?” “The company wants me to propose what I should get paid. Should I?” “They want a long list of diligence items. Should I give them that?”
These micro-mechanical choices totally matter to the outcome of a negotiation. They matter even more to how you build the relationship, and what the ongoing collaboration is like.
While there are plenty of books…
Friends of mine are starting something new, and asked for prompts to further define their plans. All new efforts, whether a movement or a venture-backed startup, take on similar shapes. Yet most startup advice is a flashlight in a dark wood: you see something useful and lack the map to connect the trails.
After looking for some model online, I wrote this list of four questions to help those get started:
Do you want a better way to get your vote, and those of your neighbors, counted? To act with your community to excite others about voting and inspire them? You’ve seen the dangers of voting in a normal polling place (because of the pandemic, or voter suppression). You’ve read that mail ballots may not even arrive in time to get counted.
#walkthevote is a non-partisan movement to support community leaders and voters organizing local “voting parades” to drop off absentee ballots. …
Many startup founders are worried, at this moment, about being a “crisis capitalizer,” a “war profiteer,” an “ambulance chaser.” As an investor in startups, I’ve been thinking about how to offer them a more nuanced perspective by asking: How can businesses tell the difference between adapting to this environment in a healthy way versus taking advantage of others?
The short answer is: It’s okay, even noble, for businesses to thrive right now. Even if your company isn’t on the front lines of health care manufacturing ventilators or delivering essential items like groceries, your company is helping to keep people employed…