Venture Capital Deep Dive
This week a far deeper dive into the changing world of venture capital, and a video essay by @kteare to accompany a great selection of writers from across the venture ecosystem
September 17, 2021
Did Apple Win? It's Complicated.
That Was The Week #273 This week Apple declares victory in defending its app store from claims it is a monopoly while its enemies circle the wagons intent on freeloading on Apple’s infrastructure.
September 11, 2021
The App Store War
That Was The Week #272 South Korea Hits Apple and Google Where it Hurts Apple agrees to modify App Store rules in Japan in a week where South Korea passes a law forcing Apple and Google to create a billing back-door for developers who want to avoid paying for carriage.
September 3, 2021
Money is Changing
That Was The Week #34 Money is changing. Machine Learning is broken. China is winning foreign investment. Apple is becoming a spy and venture capital is exploding in all directions. Another That Was The Week. With Andrew Keen and Keith Teare
August 27, 2021
Facebook and Afghanistan: Social Media and Nation States
As Kabul collapsed and the Taliban took over, Facebook decided to try and remove any Taliban-related content. Good or Bad? That Was The Week 2021 #33
August 20, 2021
Apple's Very Bad Week
That Was the Week 2021, #32 Why Privacy Matters. With @ajkeen and @kteare Apple crosses to the dark side. Its image fingerprinting and matching technology can be used for much more than protecting children. And it will be. The right to privacy is more important than ever.
August 13, 2021
Venture Capital 3.0
That Was The Week 2021, #31 Software and internet-focused investing is not dead. It's barely started. Sam Lessin writes a really good piece on the end of venture capital as we know it. But it is not the end of venture capital as we know it. It’s the end of the second act. 3.0 coming up.
August 6, 2021
Our Blockchain Future
That Was The Week 2021, #29 Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Cathie Wood, Fred Wilson, Mike Arrington all weighed in on the future of the planet this week. Some must-read stuff.
July 24, 2021
Cash For Creators: It's Happening
That Was The Week 2021, #28 Facebook announced a one billion dollar budget for enticing creators to use its platforms. The New York Times said Venture Capitalists are looking to invest in creators. Cash for creators is finally here. Cash For Creators? It's happening https://www.getrevue.co/profile/thatwastheweek/archive/686342 (via @revue)
July 16, 2021
Startups IPO. Why Not VCs? The End of the Artisan VC?
That Was The Week 2021 #27 Another Venture firm announced plans to become a publicly listed company this week. Nic Brisbourne’s Blackrock-backed Forward Partners is the fund in question. So, can VCs become publicly listed companies?
July 9, 2021
2021 - 199 Unicorns So far
That Was The Week 2021, #26 2021 has seen 199 private valuations over $1 billion. The year has 7 months still to run. In response to this wealth creation angels, seed funds, venture funds, and growth-stage investors are changing the rules of the game.
July 2, 2021
Regulation and Free markets — Which Works Best?
That Was The Week 2021, #25 This week Amazon said no to Google’s new tracking tech, FLOC. Microsoft launched an app store that takes zero from developers. Brave, the startup browser, launched a search engine competitor. Do free markets challenge Google and Apple better than Governments could?
June 25, 2021
Killing Innovation - Is Big Bad?
That Was The Week 2021, #24 Lina Khan’s rapid elevation from student paper writer to head of the US Government’s corporate regulation authority is a worrying signal that the Democratic Party has lost the plot on innovation and technology. Far from killing innovation, the US technology leaders are the heroes of it.
June 18, 2021
That Was The Week 2021, #23 Global technology is creating a new class of companies valued over $100B. But who is winning and who is losing, and how can we ensure the benefit is evenly spread?
June 11, 2021
What is Happening in Venture Capital?
That Was The Week 2021, #22 Are Micro VCs eating the startup world, or is it Tigers? With @ajkeen and @kteare
June 4, 2021
Who Are The next Disruptors?
That Was The Week 2021, #21 CNBC chooses the most disruptive companies each year. This year's top 50 have been revealed. Who's in and who's out?
May 28, 2021
That Was The Week 2021 #20 With @ajkeen and @sohear 2021 has been a good year so far for technology startups. 166 unicorns have been minted already, more than all of 2020. But how do you find a unicorn?
May 20, 2021
Venture Capital is Changing ...Again
That Was The Week 2021, #19 Back in the day, Venture Capital was simple. Raise a fund, pick the best startups and invest in the A round, follow on at the B and C, when revenue gets to a certain point (a variable) go and do an IPO, possibly preceded by a mezzanine round. Exit and go again. Not any more.
May 15, 2021
Don't Underestimate China
That Was The Week 2021, #18 This week we do a deep dive into how China’s tech sector is building replacements for many US-sourced technology products and seeking true independence from the US as a supplier.
May 7, 2021
The Blockchain Moment
That Was The Week 2021, #16 Momentum is building behind blockchain technology, and it is not limited to Bitcoin. This week we step back and survey the horizon
April 23, 2021
its coinbase time
That Was The Week 2021, #15 Coinbase listed in New York and is now worth over $60 billion. The listing symbolizes the coming of age of Bitcoin and the Blockchain.
April 17, 2021
Is the Creator Economy For Real?
Is the Creator Economy For Real? That Was The Week #14 with @ajkeen and @kteare Should you quit your day job and turn to newsletters, videos, podcasts, and Clubhouse? Or, like Leonardo do you need your very own patron?
April 10, 2021
Is Clubhouse in Trouble?
That Was The Week 2021, #13 With Andrew Keen and Keith Teare Clubhouse is used by 2% of adult Americans. Facebook has 68%. That is a lot of future growth if Clubhouse can own the experience. I’m still betting on it. I suspect Twitter, Fireside, Facebook, Linkedin, Spotify will struggle with quality content more than Clubhouse.
April 7, 2021
Do You Believe in Magic
That Was The Week 2021, #11 A monologue this week as Andrew was moving house. A week where dreamers and innovators were confronted by skeptics and detractors. As you might guess, "I'm a believer". ;-)
March 29, 2021
Sam Altman is Super Smart. Who Knew? ;-)
That Was The Week 2021, #10 The future of the human race is addressed by Sam Altman this week. A must-read edition of the newsletter
March 20, 2021
What Do We Value? Beeple, Roblox, Coinbase and Money.
That Was The Week 2021, #9 In a week that saw the belief in democracy decline, 22 new Unicorns reported, and the belief in digital art, user-generated games, and Bitcoin soar. What do we really value?
March 12, 2021
WTF are NFTs? You Need to Know
That Was The Week 2021. #8 This week we look at Google’s new ad targeting tech, Jay-Z selling Tidal to Square and the rise of non-fungible tokens, widely known as NFTs.
March 5, 2021
Creators: Your Time Has Come
That Wast The Week 2021, #7 with Keith Teare and Andrew Keen Recent increases in Podcasting and Newsletters are driving awareness that creator generated content is going through a renaissance. And now the major players have noticed. Since Spotify acquired Anchor.fm and SubStack launched to acclaim, the need to serve the creator has surfaced as a major theme of innovation.
February 26, 2021
Assets: Does the Rise of Bitcoin Mean the Decline of America?
That Was The Week 2021, #6 The new world order in question has been coming for a long time. It is driven by an inevitability - the decline of great nations. There has never been an empire that did not decline. The reason? Capitalism.
February 20, 2021
Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Future of the Open Internet
That Was The Week 2021, #5 With Andrew Keen and Keith Teare There is not a problem to solve. Section 230 already provides the right balance. It allows me to publish on your platform without you becoming liable. It allows you to take down what I post if you have a solid enough reason. It does not expect you to scrutinise everything published. It works.
February 12, 2021
Who is in Charge? Tech Elites or the Digital 'Mob'?
That Was The Week 2021, #4 The slippery slope to top-down authoritarianism
February 5, 2021
Disruption: Disruption - Wall Street, Audio, Publishing, Cities, Buildings and even FaceBook
That Was The Week 2021, #3 This week’s That Was The Week has an obvious theme — disruption. The news of Gamestop’s crazy stock — growing by hundreds of per cent due to a Reddit group r\WallStreetBets — is evidence enough. But the out of control stock is only one story.
February 1, 2021
Wanted: An Internet Bill of Rights
That Was The Week 2021, #2 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
January 22, 2021
On Liberty - The Future of Rights, Civil Society and Social Media
That Was The Week 2021 - #1 Keith Teare and Andrew Keen on the week in tech Commercial interests owning platforms used by the majority of society as a modern printing press are no more suited to deciding what is allowed to be published than the first printing press owners were suited to deciding what newspapers were allowed to print.
January 15, 2021
Facebook: Not a Monopoly. FTC: Not Competent
That Was The Week #48 The last episode of 2020. Enjoy. The Federal Trade Commission and 48 State Attorney Generals filed a suit against Facebook on Wednesday this week. It alleges that Facebook, through its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, exhibited antitrust behaviour.
December 11, 2020
Who Dies? Slack or Teams? Microsoft's Role in Slack's Sale
That Was The Week #47 Stewart Butterfield, the Slack founder and Bret Taylor, Chief Product Officer at Salesforce, represent a formidable team. Together with Salesforce's market weight and sales energy they are likely to play a major role in helping to evolve the operating system that enterprises run on.
December 5, 2020
Capitalism Deformed? Does Venture Subvert Markets?
That Was The Week #46 Capitalism cannot innovate without investing. So Venture does not deform capitalism. It enables it.
November 28, 2020
Should Facebook Ban Bannon?
The State, Freedom and Big Tech in the Spotlight That Was The Week #45 The astonishment at Mark Zuckerberg stating that Steve Bannon's calls to murder various people do not break Facebook's rules enough to ban him drew the eyes of many of the headline writers.
November 20, 2020
After Trump: Do Democrats understand Growth and Tech?
That Was The Week #44 I usually do not like to talk about politics in That Was The Week. After all, tech and politics are very different worlds, and most of us do not determine our tech preferences based on politics. That said, the rise of massive corporations valued over $1 trillion and the calls from all sides of the political spectrum for anti-trust measures against them make it hard to ignore politics in tech. As we say goodbye (good riddance) to President Trump, and hello (phew) to President-Elect Biden, it is worth reflecting on how it will change the landscape in Silicon Valley. The consensus is well summed up in this week's News of the Week section dedicated to the topic.
November 13, 2020
Playing With Fire: How to Break the Internet
That Was The Week #43 Andrew Keen & Keith Teare This week I highlight contributions from a wide range of points of view. Some call for the modification of Section 230. Others want it to remain untouched. Some want it ended altogether.
November 7, 2020
Tech to Titans: Please Don't Kill The Internet
That Was The Week #42 This week's show is a talk with Alex Kantrowitz from the "Big Tech" newsletter on Substack (https://bigtechnology.substack.com). Alex is also author of "Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever". We discuss the Section 230 hearing in Congress, with the three leaders of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but first, we talk about the anti-trust case against Google.
October 30, 2020
All Change in Silicon Valley - SPAC Fever High, Google Under Fire.
That Was The Week, #41 I’m drawn to Bill Gurley again this week. He has been relentless in calling out the Investment Banks for “stealing” money from founders and employees’ pockets. He does not mince words.
October 25, 2020
Elections, Rejections and the FCC
That Was The Week #40 What is the alternative to an open approach where everybody can post without fear of being "edited"? It can only be that some people designate themselves as more capable of truth than others and impose that truth on everybody. Such a 'benevolent', big brother, brave new world, approach goes against any sense of freedom and democracy.
October 17, 2020
Don't Trust Anti-Trust
That Was The Week #39 Who stands for progress any more and human agency of the way to achieve it? Not the House Democrats it would seem. https://thatwastheweek.com/anti-trust-can-we-trust-government/
October 9, 2020
ChinAmerica - Two Nations, One World - Our Common Future
That Was The Week #38 The US and China are heavily interconnected economies. Their future is together in a connected world. TikTok is a false signal of the future.
October 3, 2020
Snowflake, Sumo and SPACs
That Was The Week #37 This week Chamath Palihapitiya announced that he has 3 more SPACs set up and ready to go. These SPACs are vehicles to enable a company to go public, and get cash, without an IPO. Instead of gifting cash to the friends of Morgan Stanley this method gifts cash to Chamath and his friends.
September 25, 2020
Who Agrees With Apple?
That Was The Week #36 It seems as if the going is getting too tough for some of Apple's former friends, especially MG Siegler. While Fred Wilson, never really a friend, is pleading on behalf of his portfolio for Apple to stop being so....well, capitalist.
September 18, 2020
Apple's War on Facebook, Instagram and Google
That Was The Week #35 The war between Apple and the advertising-led platforms is a war between business models. On the one hand, clickbait and ad revenue and on the other subscription and pay as you go.
September 12, 2020
Two Tribes Go To War: DC vs Silicon Valley
That Was The Week #34 The anti big-tech stance of DC is a replacement for any genuinely innovative or progressive outlook from either of the main political parties. Shame on both of their houses.
September 5, 2020
A very public fight between two Venture Capital titans over how a company should go to the public markets. Andreessen tells Gurley to SPAC Off!
August 29, 2020
Epic Failure. Apple: Big But Not Bad
We live in strange times. Apple's stock valued the company at over $2 Trillion this week. A reason to celebrate you might think. A company created, famously, in a garage by 2 young men, has grown to be a world leader. But in today's world it appears that big is bad.
August 21, 2020
That Was The Week #31 - Everybody's Hustling
Elizabeth Yin is a founder at Hustle VC. 2 years ago she and her partners closed the first fund for the firm. This week she pointed to the story of how they did it. Anybody raising funds - whether for a startup or to become an investor should read it.
August 15, 2020
That Was The Week #30 - The China Countdown - Tik-Tok, Tik-Tok
Do we care where a consumer internet company was founded? Let's start with the fact that I am British. Bear with me, it's relevant. I can still remember my middle school geography when the teacher told the class that the pink parts of the world map were "ours". There was a lot of pink. it was 1966 and I was 12. The £ was no longer the currency of world trade and the empire had been in decline since about 1870 (its peak). The $ was triumphant ,and the US was the center of the world, but the map was still pink in lots of places. It took another 30 years for that to change. So I am not suggesting that China (playing the role of the rising economy) is going to eclipse the USA (playing the role of Britain) any time soon. That said, the end game is already written. China will be an enormous global economy, just from its domestic buying power, and the US will not be able to retain the singular position it has had since before World War Two. Li Autos (one of several Chinese Tesla competitors) just completed a US IPO on the NASDAQ, raising $1.1 billion. I bought the stock for a long term hold, along with its competitor NIO. Companies now internationalise very fast. FaceBook, LinkedIn, Google, Amazon and Netflix all benefit from that. There is no reason to believe that companies originating outside the USA will not benefit from the same tailwinds. So, Tik Tok. Clearly it is a very successful company founded in China. And it spent a lot of money getting into its current position. Mainly cash from investors spent on Facebook ads. It now has a strong position and our President wants to ban it, or have Microsoft, or somebody else, buy it. This is unlikely to be the last time a strong overseas company becomes strong in the US market. And asset seizures, bans or otherwise seem to be a bad precedent for a nation with many global companies to set. This week's discussion and newsletter focuses on China,Tik Tok and the future of global innovation. Enjoy. And if you do please consider a paid subscription
August 7, 2020
That Was The Week #29 - Enlightenment Anybody?
The big reads of the week focus on the positive elements of the current 'cancel culture' situation that point to a new enlightenment. Open discussion, free debate, tolerance for being offended combined with transformative innovation leading to widespread ability to deliver the needs of life, freely, to everybody.
August 1, 2020
That Was The Week #28 - Gelt, How to make money? IPO, SPAC, TRACTION, STORY?
This week, ‘That Was The Week’ leads with Ned Desmond leaving TechCrunch after eight years as the boss. On the surface perhaps not the biggest story, but Ned has been the hidden hand of logic and execution at TechCrunch for the past 8 years, in the same way Heather Harde was in the period before. Having been acquired by AOL, then Verizon, the odds on Techcrunch surviving, never mind prospering, seemed low back in 2012 following the sacking of Mike Arrington by Arianna Huffington. But under Ned’s stewardship it has retained and grown its brand, expanded itself globally, grown readers to 20 million a month whilst scaling revenue. The foundation built by Mike Arrington clearly created a surviving brand and impact. Ned cultivated, protected and grew it. He will be missed. The big reads of this week include a lot on the controversy around how to make money. Filthy lucre has never been a Silicon valley obsession – at least not explicitly. but now Bill Gurley of Benchmark fame has been leading the charge accusing bankers of stealing money from companies by underpricing IPOs. The response is to suggest direct listings, not using Bankers. Or SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies). Lots to read and digest as the future is architected through these conversations.
July 25, 2020