It’s not about the funding – it’s about creating exits

“Silicon Valley as a source of capital is no better or worse than any other big city. There are plenty of sources of capital everywhere. Yes, they may be better at writing 40M dollar checks to startups. But start up capital is not the secret sauce.”

“What Silicon Valley does better than anyone is create exits. They know how to get people who they have made money for to turn over a lot of that money to buy the companies they have invested in. They know how to put on a show to get a company to an IPO. They know how to go out and get hundreds of millions of dollars to bridge companies with 10s of millions in revenues to their IPO and more importantly to make sure the IPO happens.”

Paypal IPO

http://blogmaverick.com/2014/03/19/the-back-to-the-future-arbitrage-of-silicon-valley-and-what-it-will-take-to-beat-it/

As a leader, you need to be more essential and less involved

“Elevating your impact requires you to embrace an unavoidable leadership paradox: You need to be more essential and less involved. The two are not the same: your involvement is a mix of the opportunities, mandates, and choices you make regarding the work you do. How essential you are to the success of that portfolio depends on how decisively and wisely you activate those around you.

This means shaping the thoughts and ideas of others instead of dictating their plans, having a sought-after perspective but not being a required pass-through, and seeing your own priorities come to life through the inspired actions of others.”

http://getpocket.com/explore/item/to-be-a-great-leader-you-have-to-learn-how-to-delegate-well

Tradeoffs between B2B versus B2C companies

“One of the biggest differences is that B2B startups have relatively stable go-to-market motions — you have sales, marketing, and sell into buyers that you understand. Because of this, it’s mostly about execution and if the market size is big enough. Consumer is fascinating because the distribution channels are constantly changing — 15 years ago, SEO and email viral growth was the big thing. Then 10 years ago, it was mobile and Facebook platform. Right now you are seeing a lot that’s just word of mouth or touching the IRL channel.”

http://andrewchen.co/serial-entrepreneur/

Jack Ma’s $290 Billion Loan Machine Is Changing Chinese Banking

Using real-time payments data and a risk-management system that analyzes more than 3,000 variables, Ma’s four-year-old MYbank has lent 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) to nearly 16 million small companies. Borrowers apply with a few taps on a smartphone and receive cash almost instantly if they’re approved. The whole process takes three minutes and involves zero human bankers. The default rate so far: about 1%.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-28/jack-ma-s-290-billion-loan-machine-is-changing-chinese-banking

Amazon’s job is “to get you the thing,” not “to be a website”

Amazon’s job is “to get you the thing,” not “to be a website”, so if it takes physical stores, machine learning, drones or even teleportation, they will do it.

“The clearest place to see this is in Amazon’s moves into physical retail. This is the opposite of pride or “principle.” Amazon’s job is “to get you the thing,” not “to be a website,” so what are the best ways to do it? What else might work? The project to make a convenience store with no human checkout process is an obvious experiment, now that machine learning and computer vision offer a route to make it work.”

amazon-prime-now-manhattan-06

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2019/7/26/amazon-as-experiment

Why Amazon still works as a startup

Amazon is not afraid to try things it’s not supposed to do:

“Amazon, of course, is the Sears Roebuck of our time, but it’s more than that. Amazon is systematically going through every branch of the idea tree around what retail is, and doing it without any pride. It’s trying everything that anyone has ever tried before, and anything else that it can think of that might make sense, as well. There is no-one saying “that’s a good idea, but we’re a website so we wouldn’t do that.”

BW-Amazon-Go-Store

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2019/7/26/amazon-as-experiment

All disruptive businesses scare people

For a long time, disruptive businesses have scared people. Amazon is just the latest example (and like those before it, it ended up being better for consumers):

“Amazon is so new, and so dramatic in its speed and scale and aggression, that we can easily forget how many of the things it’s doing are actually very old. And, we also forget how many of the slightly dusty incumbent retailers we all grew up with were also once considered radical, daring, piratical new businesses that made people angry with their new ideas.

OpEd-Amazon-Retail-453073381

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2019/7/26/amazon-as-experiment