Archive for June, 2011

The State of the Web

Posted on June 17, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

1)   the sex is not in the seed: market and media attention is moving away from seed phenomenon to late stage $1B rounds.  Both the capital markets (public and private) and M&A markets for scaled late stage assets is extremely liquid.  Founders who have built companies with $20M+ revenue can exit at least part of their position should they wish to.

2)   Previously “disruptive” concepts such as “social” and “commerce 2.0” are no longer disruptive, but rather expected and moving toward commodity.  Those that have moved first in applying social and subscription mechanics to successful 1.0 models have built valuable positions, those thinking that they are a “social” ______ going forward should note that the entire market is or will soon use the same mechanics and “social” will not be a form of differentiation.

3)    Once the concept of social has penetrated every corner of the web, a new wave of applications will disrupt through the capture and application of data to 2.0 socially enabled models.  This has begun already, but activity and innovation for the coming “data disruption” or “3.0” web exists at the infrastructure and business to business layer to date.  Massive companies will be built in the development of plumbing for a “data enabled” consumer web.

4)   Massive dollars have flown into the consumer application layer in the mobile ecosystem.  Pressure to monetize those applications is going to get ugly, with a coming but not yet arrived mobile ad ecosystem.  The “first wave” of mobile applications that have been created and fueled by an optimistic seed market are going to be in for a wake up call come Series B.  Many will die, attention will flow toward building out a more sophisticated and liquid mobile ad ecosystem, mobile targeting and adtech will heat up, and only after will we see massive shift in ad dollars to support the mobile consumer application layer.

5)   From that point forward, “mobile first” will be a derisked strategy for consumer facing entrepreneurs, while today it is brilliant but risky given the future expectations of the capital markets for follow-on financing.

6)   At the nexus of the 3.0 data enabled web, mobile ad value chain, mobile first consumer application wave, and allocation of investment dollars over the next 36 months lies the location datapoint and if we don’t fuck it up, Hyperpublic.  If you believe points 1-5, we’re hiring across the stack, technical and non-technical:

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Population Density, Local, and the Disruptive Snowman

Posted on June 6, 2011. Filed under: Hyperpublic |

Riddle: Two men sit on a bus together, discussing life and change, on the way to a paintball facility in Coram, NY.  The bus is a standard luxury coach, with let’s call it 50 seats, including the driver’s and the one in the restroom.  At any given moment, what is the maximum number of people on the bus with them?

Answer: 7 Billion

Explanation: Our environment is no longer defined simply by its physical components.  The matter that occupies a given space is, indeed, a major contributor to the definition of a given environment, but with the rise of mobile connectivity, physically remote actors are influencing, and in fact redefining every environment through which we move.

Many people, particularly of older generations, are uncomfortable with the increased presence of non-physical parties in a given situation or environment.  I think part of the reason for this is because people select their physical space based on what type of interaction and experience they wish to have in a given moment.  It used to be, when physical matter largely defined a space, certain spaces would induce predictable behavior and experience.

For example, 5 years ago, if I got on my bike and road to the beach, I could be reasonably certain that I would see ocean, waves, sand, people laying on towels, relaxing, laughter, running, sunshine, and not a whole lot more.  I could also be reasonably certain that I would not see or experience violence, aggression, snowmen, racially charged activism, etc…  The one less predictable contributor to my experience at the beach (or the primary variable), is the specific people who move into that physical space during the same window of time that I occupy it.  They, too, define, my environment, but given that they also use similar logic when making their decisions as to what space they will occupy, I can assume they will also behave consistent with the parameters defined by the predictable physical elements of the beach.

So…I enter the space known as “beach” when I want to behave consistently with the way others who are consuming those predictable physical elements will likely be behaving.

Today, when I go to the beach, I see all the aforementioned predictable physical and elements, but I also see a snowman on Instagram, posted in the same moment as I watch a wave crash, by an 18 year old Inuit girl in the arctic circle.  She is part of my environment as well.  Her contribution shapes my experience in that moment, and all of the sudden I have consumed an input that will change the way I move through the physical environment “beach”.  I become aware, for a moment, of the concept of winter, and remember that this sunshine will not last, and maybe I move from running and laughing to frowning, and when I frown, the girl on the next towel over sees and consumes my frown, but she came to the beach for laughter and happiness, and now, in this moment, the beach is no longer consistent with her expectation of “the beach.”

Now you might be thinking, “well, Jordan, you are just one person out of 1000 at the beach, and one photo of a snowman isn’t going to change the beach” to which I would respond, “you’re right, I am just 1 in a 1000, but the volume of people who engage with non-physically present actors or participants within a physical space is growing at breakneck rates.  And what’s more, the frequency in a given time interval, that they engage with those non-physically present beings is rising even faster.”

So what does all this mean?  It means that older generations are being forced to redefine their concepts of previously predictable environments in a way that makes them uncomfortable.  It means that, in general, environments and experiences in a physical space are no longer as predictable as they used to be.  It means that the variable of “people” that causes deviance from the expected experience in a given environment is now a much more heavily weighted input because population density has been turned on it’s head, and now 1 Million people occupy or are present in a space that previously held 1000.

We are entering a time when millions of people are beginning to occupy moments and spaces previously held by hundreds.  Local environments will never be the same.

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Senior Associate / Principal at Lerer Ventures

Posted on June 1, 2011. Filed under: venture capital |

LV is hijacking my blog today.  This is one of the most amazing job opportunities in the entire world.  If you think you’ve got what it takes, get in touch:

Lerer  Ventures Senior Associate/Principal

About Lerer Ventures

Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund. We invest in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life. We respect and seek out entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. When we are lucky enough to meet founders with these qualities, our hope is that they will choose us as a partner. Everyone here starts and runs companies for a living. Lerer Ventures is where we invest in our peers.

Who we are looking for:

We are hiring one person who has proven himself/herself as exceptional in the venture/startup ecosystem.  We are a small team and this opportunity is only open to EXPERIENCED applicants.  Please, only apply if you can check each of the following boxes:

–       2-5 years experience at a top tier venture firm OR founder level experience at a venture backed startup

–       Fluent in deal negotiation, management of counsel, review of legal documents and familiarity with standard venture terms and concepts

–       Concrete demonstration of ability to identify and determine opportunity in the technology and media landscape

–       Awareness of present state and future trends in all markets of focus

–       Strong positive relationships with decision makers across the internet

–       Generally a sweet and cool person who can deal in both structured and highly unstructured environments

–       Self starting, extremely ambitious, ready to make a mark


–       Frequent evaluation of new investment opportunities.  You will be fielding high volumes of pitches from founders seeking LV Capital

–       High touch support and value-add to our portfolio companies

–       Support diligence and close of new transactions (end-to-end)

–       Define and execute on systems/process to enhance scalability of LV and value to our portfolio

–       Active participation in the New York startup community, frequent attendance of events, panels, discussions.  You must become a pillar in the ecosystem if you are not already

–       Support GP’s in analysis, thematic research and knowledge acquisition, and general contribution to fund level thinking and strategy

To Apply:

Please send CV to with “LV JOB” in the title.  If you’d like to share relevant links (i.e. your blog, twitter handle, personal websites, linkedin profile, crunchbase profile) that would be helpful.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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