Tomasz Tunguz is partner at Redpoint
. I write daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups. I co-authored the
book, Winning with Data
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Last week, I wrote about the [decline of investments in San Francisco startups](http://tomtunguz.com/sf-boom-over/). On Hacker News, this post engendered a [lengthy conversation](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14817781) on the challenges facing founders and start-up employees in San Francisco. In short, the cost of living in San Francisco has reached untenable and unacceptable heights for many.
Just where is the US venture market relative to the rest of the world? After most US analyses I publish, a few founders in other geographies ask questions about their own. These inquiries made me wonder, how has the global market evolved?
Tell me three numbers and I can estimate the amount of capital your startup will need to raise. Which figures are those? The startups' revenue target, the average revenue per customer and the average cost of customer acquisition.
During every person's working life, there comes a time when you have a question that could be answered by having access to the right data. Unfortunately, the time and effort required to find that data, package it the right way, and send it to an analytics or business intelligence tool present a formidable obstacle to answering the question. Two years ago, Redpoint partnered with Dremio to solve this problem. This morning, after an enormous amount of hard work from the team, the company has made its product publicly available.
Bloomberg published a post this weekend called San Francisco's VC Boom is Over. The article pointed to the seeming collapse in the amount of venture capital raised by San Francisco startups relative to other regions. The slowing of venture investment more broadly across the US serves as a backdrop to San Francisco's particularly strong correction. I was curious about the drivers of these trends, so I ran my own analysis.
I've asked many VPs of Sales the same question. Which is the best book on the fundamentals of selling? Almost unequivocally, they respond, "Miller-Heiman." The New Strategic Selling is an updated version of the original Strategic Selling, which was published in 1988, and describes the key activities of successful sales people. I resonated with two concepts in the book - the 4 Seller Response Modes and the authors' recommendations on how to prioritize a salesperson's time.
At some point in the life of your company, you may consider selling the business. Every acquisition process might run a little bit differently, but these are some of the patterns that I have observed after about nine years in the venture business, and also having evaluated a handful of acquisitions when I was at Google.
Michael Porter wrote the seminal book on strategy in the early 1980s. Called Competitive Strategy, I think it should be required for anyone starting a company. Strategy is a seemingly murky amorphous intangible concept, but Porter brilliantly prescribes the five questions strategy should answer. What are the answers for your business?
A friend died this week. It's the first time I've lost a friend of a similar age. I don't often see the fragility of life first hand, but this is one of those moments. I've felt many different emotions after I received the news - despair, grief, fear. The one I'm currently experiencing, though, is gratitude. And I hope that's the feeling that persists. You will be missed, my friend.
One typical Friday morning in 2004, I walked into a government building and headed to work. I was a junior Java engineer and part of a hired team building an internal system for a government agency. We were a few days behind on schedule, and a technical issue arose. During the morning team meeting, we made a plan to refactor a small key part of the codebase - an effort that should have taken just the morning. And I made a classic mistake.