Galaxies Unknown: how discovering the true scale of markets is changing what we thought we knew about business

As people, we experience life at the human-scale. This gives us pretty good intuitions for things that are roughly our size and speed.  Looking at mountains, we can get an intuitive sense of their mass because they’re still more or less at our scale.  This effect starts to weaken when we look across the ocean.  It’s hard, but not impossible,…

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Drug Discovery Today: how the transition from preclinical research to clinical trials can impact biotech valuations

A recent study published in Drug Discovery Today by Thomas Thurston and Hubert Truebel found low odds of success for biotech startups that raise more than four funding rounds before starting their clinical trials. Highlights: Analysis of 233 biotech startups at various stages, and - separately - 238 biotech startups that were ultimately acquired or had and IPO. There was…


Clayton Christensen and the Predictive Nature of Profit-Seeking

Clayton Christensen was exceptional, both personally and professionally. He impacted the world on many levels, and today I’d like to focus on how a narrow aspect of his work has proven to be amongst the most profound: profit-seeking. At its most basic, Christensen restated what we already know – businesses want to make money. (Although that’s sort of like saying…


Augmenting Innovation Decisions With Data Science

As a venture capitalist/data scientist, I’ve spent over a decade arguing that other venture capitalists and innovators can improve their decision making (a lot) through data science.  While the idea seems like a no-brainer today, 11 years ago it was heresy. Reactions to my work were historically hostile and emotional, and that’s putting it politely.  Words like “data science” and…


China, Unicorns and the Battle for Global AI

Guest Post by Angelina Cheok Back in 2015, China’s economy appeared to be at a crossroads. Its slowing growth seemed to herald a death knell for the country’s start-up boom, while the outlook for its tech sectors look equally grim. Think tanks, academics and journalists like the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy published scathing critiques of China’s inability to…


Gender Bias in Venture Capital: Bad Business

Venture capitalists are being called out for gender bias. A recent Fortune article reported that female founders received only 2% of venture capital dollars in 2016. Some high profile VCs, and VC-backed startups, are facing a litany of sexual harassment charges. An interesting study of VC decision making even found (unintentionally) how male and female founders were treated differently in subtle ways.…

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