FEATURED:More featured posts
In November 2010 my friend Shana Fisher sent me an email suggesting I meet Edward Norton about his crowdfunding site for charities, called CrowdRise. I was pretty dismissive in my response to Shana. I told her that USV was “all in” on Kickstarter and we did not want to invest in anything that was too close to them. And though I did not mention it to Shana, I was also wondering how someone like Edward could manage being an entrepreneur in combination with all of the other things he does. But Shana is persistent. I took the breakfast which was at Pain Quotidien on 5th Avenue and 8th Street.
I walked into that breakfast a skeptic and came out a believer. Edward impressed me with his commitment to making it easier to raise funds for charities and causes. And he impressed me with his knowledge of startups and technology.
In the three+ years since, I have recommended CrowdRise to everyone who asks me where to crowdfund for charities. Each time I send them to Edward, he and his co-founders Shauna, Robert, and Jeffrey have treated them well and helped them run successful campaigns on CrowdRise.
Last fall, we met again for breakfast. This time at Maialino. And Edward told me they had an incredible year in 2013 and had recently been approached by a buyer who wanted to acquire CrowdRise. I told him “absolutely not”. So Edward said “what would you do if you were me?” and I replied “I would raise a big round from top notch VCs and grow CrowdRise into the crowdfunding platform for charities”.
And, as all of you must realize as you read this, that is exactly what Edward, Shauna, Robert, and Jeffrey did. Today CrowdRise is announcing a large investment by USV, Index, Spark, RatPac Entertainment , Bezos Expeditions, and the talent agencies CAA and UTA.
At USV, we believe that the best crowdfunding services are domain specific. Kickstarter for project funding, Lending Club for consumer debt, CircleUp for equity investments in consumer products, Funding Circle for small business debt, and so on and so forth. And so our investment strategy is to find the very best platform for the important categories and back them. We’ve done that a lot but we did not have the premier crowdfunding platform for charitable giving in our portfolio.
Now we do and we are super excited about it. And we are super excited to be working with Robert, Jeffrey, Edward, and Shauna. They are a great founding team and have built something truly special at CrowdRise.
If you want to give CrowdRise a spin, you might consider backing CSNYC, a non-profit that is funding CS Education in NYC public schools. Their CrowdRise is here.continue reading →
There are three reasons he cited in an investor letter that back his thesis: the rejection of “conventional valuation methods,” short sellers being forced to cover positions and big first-day pops for newly minted public companies that “have done little more than use the right buzzwords and attract the right venture capital.”
Tue, Apr 22, 2014:
Sometimes it's easy to miss new content given the default sorting. My proposal is to have "Fresh Posts" added to the default feed, and I have submitted it as a pull request on Github (thanks to @albertwenger for letting me know it's open source!).
To be marked as fresh, a submission would have to be the last, non-featured post added within the past hour. No submissions in the past hour = no fresh posts.
I think this would help give new posts some visibility as well as a fairer chance to reach the top, which could result in more and better conversations. It also serves as a visual cue to let frequent visitors know there's new content upon page load, without having to scroll down.
Thoughts?continue reading →
Because every founder they meet is always killing it, crushing it, having massive success, just about to close a huge round, etc etc. At some level, they must know this is impossible: if 90% of startups fail, it simply can’t be the case that all of the startups they know are succeeding.
Reminds me of the late 90's bubble where every tech company was sure they only hired the "top 10%".. eh wat!?!continue reading →
The subject is getting attention right now because a number of high-profile organizations, such as the publishing company Medium and the shoe company Zappos, have either switched to a Holacracy or started out as one in the first place. And let’s face it: Who doesn’t love the idea of getting rid of all the bosses? (Well, maybe not the bosses.)
"We are all familiar with how even Google tracks where you are to tailor advertisements based upon your location. However, this technology in the hands of government can be extremely deadly. In Ukraine, as here, the telephone companies know directly your location by simply having a mobile phone that sends a signal so if someone calls you it knows what tower to route the call to find you. Given the civil uprising in Ukraine, the telephone companies reported the location of people to the government so they knew precisely who was in Maidan. Yanukovich then sent SMS text messages to everyone there bluntly stating“you are registered as a participant in a mass disorder” and this actually inspired people to continue knowing if they stopped, they would be jailed and probably tortured. The mobile provider in Ukraine actually belonged to Russians. After the fact, of course, everyone from the police to the mobile provider denies sending this SMS. However, it could not have been sent without the cooperation of the telephone companies."continue reading →
valuations is their reasoningcontinue reading →
Thoughts on why podcasts are gaining relevance again.continue reading →
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