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David Hornik
Venture Capitalist, Musician, Father, Character Actor.
Interests: parenting, technology, cape cod, computer music, sumo, intellectual property.
Recent Activity
The other day when I was giving a talk I was asked the simplest of simple questions -- "how do you get funded by a VC?" I thought about it and could only come up with one, for sure, piece of advice. Get introduced! I told the audience that in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2013 at VentureBlog
Last week I received a fantastic email. The email was from the CEO of one of my portfolio companies announcing the promotion of his administrative assistant. After three years of doing great work for the CEO, this assistant was promoted into a role in the marketing department. As much as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2013 at VentureBlog
Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of Venture Capital blogging. How do I know? Because my first post on VentureBlog was on March 5, 2003 (a pithy little post entitled "I'm a VC. Who the hell are you?" -- no, it wasn't a precursors to my post on Narcissistic Personality Disorder,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2013 at VentureBlog
I flew down to Santa Monica today to attend a memorial service in celebration of the life of Jody Sherman. Along with a hundred and fifty of his closest friends, we shared stories of the Jody we remembered. We celebrated his incredible spirit. More than a few tears were shed,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at VentureBlog
It has been a while since the last time I had a guest post on VentureBlog. But it seems only natural for Howard Hartenbaum, my partner at August Capital, to be posting here. Howard and I do a podcast together called VentureCast that is really fun (at least fun to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2013 at VentureBlog
I have heard of short term memory, but this borders on amnesia. Were the buyers in this latest secondary transaction (Twitter at $10B) asleep during the Facebook IPO? Did they miss the part where lots of well intentioned "investors" bought Facebook shares at $80B, $90B, $100B, only to see the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2013 at VentureBlog
A great deal has been written about angel investing in recent years. Angel investing has become the sport of choice for many successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley (e.g., Dave Morin, Chris Michel, Ariel Poler, etc.). What's more, it has spawned a whole new class of venture funds -- once called... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2013 at VentureBlog
In 2012 my partners and I raised our sixth fund, aptly named August VI. August VI is a $550 Million fund, with $300 Million focused on early stage opportunities and $250 Million designated for what we call "Special Opportunities" (spinouts, take private transactions, later stage opportunities, etc.). As we have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2013 at VentureBlog
If you want to appreciate what it takes to build a great business, watch the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi. In this amazing documentary, director David Gelb takes a look behind the scenes of Jiro Ono's 3 Michelin Star rated sushi restaurant. Jiro's restaurant is booked months in advance, despite... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2013 at VentureBlog
Entrepreneurship is about passion. Great entrepreneurs are not driven by a simple desire to make money. They are driven by a need to change the world. They may change the world by building a better operating system or a better search engine or a better social network. But whatever it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2012 at VentureBlog
There is nothing investors like more than data. We love it. It gives us something to grab onto. It gives us something to compare. It gives us the sense that we are bringing a scientific approach to an otherwise amorphous evaluation process. We look at data when assessing investments. And... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at VentureBlog
As I sit here this morning, it is impossible to ignore the import of the Facebook IPO. It is everywhere online. In fact, anyone writing or tweeting about anything else this morning might as well be talking to himself. The story, the only story today, is Facebook. It is impossible... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2012 at VentureBlog
Ever since Splunk went public I have been inundated with "Big Data" requests. Splunk is now the poster child for Big Data. And Big Data is all the rage. I'm getting Big Data business plans. I'm being asked to speak at Big Data conferences. I'm being called by reporters to... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at VentureBlog
Wow. What an incredible day. Today Splunk went public. In a BIG way! I am so humbled by the whole process and by everything that the Splunk team has achieved. In many ways, going public is just another chapter in a company's life. There's so much more work to be... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2012 at VentureBlog
Two words: low margins. That's the secret to Amazon's success. Seems crazy when you put it that way. But Jeff Bezos views it as a competitive advantage. Amazon has spent a decade and a half making low margins profitable. And, as Bezos sees it, when you aren't addicted to high... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2012 at VentureBlog
As I mentioned here last week, I was truly taken by Jeff Bezos' thoughtfulness and wisdom in his recent Wired magazine interview. He touched on a number of interesting topics in the interview. I have decided to take up a few of them here at VentureBlog. Last week I talked... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2012 at VentureBlog
On a plane flight the other day I was catching up on an issue of Wired Magazine that had sat in my backpack for several weeks (as an aside, Wired continues to be my go-to airplane reading -- it is so well written, well designed, well researched, always entertaining --... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at VentureBlog
I was once being pitched by a very smart entrepreneur who, when he got to the slide about his companies financials, said "I made all of this up, but here you have it." On the one hand, it was an pretty flippant approach to a relatively crucial aspect of his... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2011 at VentureBlog
26
"Dave Marquardt has done an amazing job as a Microsoft board member." -- Bill Gates Today is the 30th anniversary of the day my partner Dave Marquardt first joined the Microsoft board of directors. Pretty amazing when you think about it. 30 years on any board is an impressive accomplishment.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2011 at VentureBlog
96
Speaking at an angel investors conference last week I took a bold stand and begged the attendees to say no to capped convertible notes. It may seem an odd thing to take a stand against. Sure, take a stand against racism, homophobia, cilantro, but uncapped notes? What's the big deal?... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2011 at VentureBlog
78
What a great week I had last week. On Tuesday I attended the Splunk Worldwide User Conference. On Thursday I attended the SAY Media all hands meeting. (On Wednesday I had board meetings for StumbleUpon and Ebates -- they're building awesome companies as well, but that has nothing to do... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2011 at VentureBlog
102
Before I get to Oren, some of you may well be wondering, "what is an EIR?" That's a perfectly reasonable question. The simplest answer is that an EIR is an Entrepreneur In Residence -- an entrepreneur who moves in with you. And that's pretty much it. So you have an... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2011 at VentureBlog
321
If you want people to leave lots of comments agreeing with you, write a blog post saying that something is too expensive. And if you read the comments to Fred Wilson's latest post -- "A Challenge to Startup Lawyers" -- you'll see a whole lot of agreement. Fred argues that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at VentureBlog
303
Gary Vaynerchuk's great new book "The Thank You Economy" came out yesterday. The book is a big wet kiss to customers everywhere. From where Gary sits, anyone who doesn't prioritize customers and the customer experience is making a huge mistake. His book talks to the importance of using technology to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2011 at VentureBlog
292
I had an email exchange with a guy earlier today that seems worthy of a quick blog post. After receiving a 30 second description of this entrepreneur's business (literally 30 seconds), I reached out to him to let him know that I thought what he was doing was interesting and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2011 at VentureBlog
327