Thoughts from 25,000 feet
Today I'm on a short flight from montreal to newark and don't have time to write much. But I thought it might be worth putting down some quick thoughts.
1) I'm reading Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track by Russell Ackoff (I took a class by him at Wharton) and Daniel Greenberg. Both Rob Kalin and my partner Albert recommended this book to me. And I will recommend it to all of you. These two understand the problems with our current education system and write very eloquently about what's wrong and how we can fix it. It's a quick read and you can download it to your Kindle and easily polish it off on a cross country flight.
2) It's hard to tell if the banking crisis is entering its end game or not. The stress test exercise gave the markets a lot of confidence that the Treasury and the Fed have a handle on it now. Geithner has gone from having to get his boss' show of confidence to looking quite strong in a few months. If this is, in fact, the end game, then the economists like Roubini and Krugman who were calling for nationalization are going to look like chicken little.
3) We've been visiting our investors over the past few months. It has been eye opening. They are all looking at some big drops in asset values in the past year. They are struggling with a host of difficult issues. And one of them is the role of venture capital and private equity in their asset mix. My gut says we will see asset allocations for venture capital and private equity come down in the coming years and we'll see some large investors leave these asset classes altogether.
4) For almost twenty years, I mostly avoided the 'developers tools' sector. I always thought developers were too small a market to allow for the creation of large businesses. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. But in the past few years, I've started to look for investments that have developers as a core consituency. Services like Twitter and Boxee are succeeding because developers want to write for these platforms. These are not developer tools for sure, but success requires significant third party developer adoption. The role of viral adoption by consumers is well understood in web marketing but I don't think we've yet really wrapped our heads around the role of developer adoption and how powerful it is in ramping consumer web services.
5) Montreal is the perfect city for a long weekend getaway, particularly if you live in the northeast and love to eat. It's an hour flight from NYC and you feel like you're in europe. The french language is a big part of that and so is the architecture and the vibe. But the food is the star. Go visit gothamgal.com for more details on the foodie weekend we just completed.
That's it. We've landed in Newark. Time to go home and celebrate Mother's Day. Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there.