What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

VC funding. Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. We love capital efficiency until we love land grabs until we abhor “over funding” until we get huge distribution & ring the bell for more funding until we attract every non-VC on the planet to invest in startups until it crashes and we start the cycle all over again none the wiser. … [ Read more ]

Management Consultants as Professionals, or are They?

Managers make great use of consultants, giving rise to a rapid annual growth rate of 15% in consulting industry revenues where the authors estimate that today there are over one million consultants and $200 billion revenue worldwide. High industry growth has a big negative “Con” attached to it with a large influx of new consultants each year with problematic qualifications. Being a consultant is a … [ Read more ]

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Your shopping habits reveal even the most personal information—like when you’re going to have a baby.

Venture Capital Firms in America: Their Caste System and Other Secrets

While American venture capital firms are coated with an aura of glamor they are also shrouded by a cloud of mystery. Just how do they operate? How do they raise their money? Why do some VC firms succeed while others do not? The authors of this article, who were given unprecedented access to key executives of prominent VC firms, answer these and other questions that … [ Read more ]

Google’s Creative Destruction

Venture-capital firms have been the engine of the United States’ innovation economy. At Google Ventures, the search giant’s investing arm, Google thinks it can build a better one.

Venture Capital Firms in Europe vs. America: The Under Performers

In the July/August 2010 issue of IBJ, these co-authors described the “caste system” and other secrets of venture capital (VC) firms in America. In this article, they summarize their interviews with VCs in Europe. While firms in Europe and America share similarities, the authors note that there are important differences that may explain why European VC firms perform poorly in comparison to those in America. … [ Read more ]

How to Lead Consultants to Exceed Expectations

If a client doesn’t control the consulting relationship, a project will fall short of expectations. Only when clients engage consultants based on merit and manage those consultants carefully, and only when company staff are seen as integral as the individual consultants, can companies hope to achieve or even exceed the goals they set. These authors tell readers how they can do that.

The Art and Business of Motivational Speaking

If the podium is calling your name, you should get to know Josh Shipp, a one-man school in the art and business of motivational speaking.

Paying Back Your Shareholders

Successful companies inevitably face that prospect. The only real question is how.

Internet Value Chain Economics

The Internet has left its mark on society – from online shopping and banking to YouTube videos and social networking. Beyond these societal trends, how does the economy of the Internet work? How is the industry structured, and which companies are the players? How do companies make money, and what are the prospects for growth?

The Hard Work of Measuring Social Impact

Donors are placing nonprofits on the hot seat to measure social performance. Problem is, there is little agreement on what those metrics should be. Professor Alnoor Ebrahim on how nonprofit managers should respond.

Opinion: The story BCG offered me $16,000 not to tell

A story from Keith Yost, an MIT grad, about his relatively short experience working at BCG in Dubai as a management consultant. [Hat tip to Brad Feld]

The View from the Glass House

Transparency challenges companies by making information about products and pricing, as well as corporate practices around labor, environment, healthcare and other issues, instantly available to potential customers. Empowered by YouTube and other new media, consumers have the power to reframe, even shatter, the reputations of products, services and companies. As transparency washes the windows of corporate headquarters, leaders of retail and consumer product companies will … [ Read more ]

Do Private Labels Always Benefit the Supply Chain?

Private label products, or store brands, can bolster a store’s market share and positively impact retail sales. But what effect do private label products have on the supply chain? Is introducing a store brand always a good idea, or can it have detrimental effects as well? Marc Sachon and Víctor Martínez de Albéniz propose a model that can help retailers determine whether introducing a private … [ Read more ]

The Multichannel Imperative

Multichannel retailing has become a market imperative. Consumers who shop in two or more channels are often much more profitable than single-channel shoppers—although they expect a seamless experience across stores, catalogs, Web sites, mobile sites, call centers, TV networks, and direct mail. It’s a daunting challenge, but retailers often overestimate its difficulty. Rather than focus only on big investments in technology integration, retailers should also … [ Read more ]

Mastering the Turnaround

What it really takes to survive a corporate bankruptcy.

The Venture Capital Aptitude Test (VCAT)

Here’s Guy Kawasaki’s advice to all the Biffs, Sebastians, Brooks, and Tiffanys who want to be kingmakers: “Venture capital is something to do at the end of your career, not the beginning. It should be your last job, not your first.” He’s also concocted the venture Capital Aptitude Test (VCAT) to help people decide whether they are right for the venture capital business.

Venture Fund Economics: Gross and Net Returns

Fred Wilson follows up his original venture economic post with this look at venture returns, specifically the impact on returns of management fees and carry.

Venture Fund Economics

Fred Wilson explains the basics of venture fund economics. It appears to be the first of several posts he’s planning to write on this topic. [Hat Tip to Brad Feld]

Management Consultants Are Often More Project Workers Than Ideas People

The popular impression that management consultants are key to spreading new ideas in organizations is exaggerated and misleading, according to a unique fly-on-the-wall study. The consultant’s image as an expert outsider bringing new knowledge or understanding to clients is firmly contradicted by findings from the three-year long project. For the investigation, researchers spent 30 months working alongside consultants and their clients in four diverse consultancy … [ Read more ]