Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends from a senior reporter and Equity co-host. Natasha Mascarenhas. Subscribe to get it in your inbox Here.
Sometimes, due to the nature of a startup game, we code “new”. Companies want to build for a pain point you’d never think of disrupting; VCs want to invest in a growing trend before it becomes a household name; And tech entrants are told to lean into their passion because you never know who’s going to respond to your cold email. For the entrepreneur to feel excited and welcome – not even that, but to feel – the new should be one of its loudest characteristics.
After all, you only get to be “it” once.
But one question I’ve asked myself over the past year, especially as more incumbents talk about past declines and cyclical learning lessons, is the latecomer’s advantage. It’s somewhat obvious: If you’ve done this whole entrepreneurship thing before, you understand what mistakes to avoid and know seamlessly which investors to turn down.
But this is not an easy story. There is a difference between being new and inexperienced, and there is a difference between being experienced and being late. How do you know where you are in that whole timeline — especially when the stories are so well told in the climax?
This week in equity, I interviewed T2 co-founder Sarah Oh, after serving as a human rights advisor at Twitter, is building a Twitter competitor. Very quickly, I asked her what it would be like for you to make duplicates of your ex-employee. She was unconcerned and I immediately said: All is fair in love and temperance.
But the best answer Oh gave me revolved around building a company in a world she knew all too well, the advantage of latecomers. The co-founders think they’re factoring in more nuance, with consumers today joining the social wave before anyone can even think in terms of texts and retweets.
“We know about gaps in trust and security in the industry, whether it’s the datasets that we need, or the models that need to be built, or some of the standards that the models need to have, well, there’s a whole laundry list. Things that weren’t there in my previous roles, we’re now in a place where we can have those conversations,” he said. Oh said. When some of the first social media platforms were created, she added, there were “no historical case studies or precedent” for a lot of the controversies that exist now. Some of the ugly ones — my words, not hers — are how T2 deals with tensions around virality, doxing, and more. Contains examples of
It got me thinking about that larger understanding combined with the speed of a startup. Perhaps, it’s the balance of old and new that helps a startup launch. In this case, we don’t know how old or new efforts are going to do on Twitter, but we do know that time has never mattered.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about CEOs, emerging startup accelerators, and the rare buzz we hear about a tech company and its public market options. As always, you can follow me Twitter Or Instagram.
Goodbye, Chief Inspiration Officer
Also in equities this week, The panel talked about how venture capitalists are going to pay more attention to how portfolio founders spend capital — especially hiring trends. Becca’s latest for TC+ – Use 50% off code for annual membership – Why a hiring slide shouldn’t be part of a presentation on a pitch deck.
Expect more studies.
Here’s why it’s important: We know that companies shed employees to cut costs, but employers may need to take a more conservative approach to both types of roles and levels of pay. Let’s say there’s definitely an opportunity to spot talent if you’re hired. But, it won’t be easy All Recruiters tend to hire cheaper talent to find their next gig, especially with less ambitious staffing goals.
NextView Ventures has launched its fourth accelerator program, aiming to provide $400,000 in funding and mentorship opportunities to about half a dozen founders. The last setback provides at least one spot for a team built by former colleagues who were fired.
Here’s why it’s important: Accelerator partners can support founders even if they have a half-baked idea or only an area they want to dig into. Even in the most disciplined market, some companies still have comfortable seeding ideas and complete business ideas. “It’s about half a step earlier than we generally thought,” said Rob Coe, a founding partner at NextView Ventures, a portfolio company.
Finally, Stripe sees the exit. According to sources familiar with the matter, the fund-raiser has set a 12-month deadline to go public through a transaction such as a direct listing or a private market fundraising event and tender offer.
Here’s why it’s important: I mean, should I state the obvious? Insert the archaic, unpleasant, boring adjective here: public markets for tech companies. If the stripe starts a trend, next year will be exciting. But some are skeptical of the chronology. After all, it’s easier said than done.
Saw it on TechCrunch
Robo Investments is sure to make things happen
App downloads stagnate in fourth quarter, new analysis finds
Strava acquires Fatmap, a 3D mapping platform for the great outdoors
LastPass owner GoTo says hackers stole customers’ backups
Seen on TechCrunch+
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I’ll end with a lush reminder that I absolutely love going to early happy hours and VC dinners in San Francisco. Let me know if you throw one! If you’re still working on your social machine like me, I’d always do a 1:1 coffee chat or dumpling lunch.
To everyone else, thanks for reading as always. 2023 is already looming, isn’t it?