This is Greg Gretsch's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Greg Gretsch's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Greg Gretsch
San Francisco, CA
I'm Greg Gretsch, Managing Director at Jackson Square Ventures in San Francisco. I was a 3-time entrepreneur before moving over to the dark side in 2000.
Recent Activity
Making great early stage venture investments is first and foremost about finding great people. So, when people whom I respect tell me there is someone I should meet, I always take the meeting. Such was the case when Ariel Poler, an entrepreneur, angel investor, and good friend, introduced me to... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Agility: The quality or state of being agile: Nimbleness, Dexterity. Anyone who has been involved with startups for the last 20 years has been steeped in the culture of what it means to build Agile software. Agile development has become so accepted as the best practice in software development that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2015 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Now is a good time to be a Series A investor. The emergence of the ‘seed round’ combined with the technological advances that allow companies to get further with fewer dollars have created an embarrassment of riches for venture capitalists that focus on companies at the Series A. Today raising... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
I was having a conversation recently with a colleague who invests in venture capital and private equity. We were talking about some of the challenges of investing in early stage companies and specifically about picking winners amongst a group of early stage opportunities. She likened picking winners in the early... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
"50% of my advertising budget is wasted, I just don't know which 50%" John Wanamaker John Wanamaker was an early department store owner and innovator who was born in 1838. Replace "advertising" with "marketing" and you have a refrain that is familiar to generations of business execs. It's hard to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2013 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
This blog was originally posted on The Accelerators - WSJ Blogs on June 28, 2013. Scalability is the first stage of success for an entrepreneur and his or her early stage venture investors. It’s when the concept is proven and the business can grow. This means that all parts of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2013 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
This blog was originally posted on Forbes CIO Network on May 24, 2013. For year's we've been hearing about how the ascendant tech startup scene in NYC is going to rival Silicon Valley's tech-hegemony. It's a story the MSM has run with hard because, after all, NYC is the apex... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2013 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
I wrote the following piece after returning from a trip to India in 2004. This is as urgent an issue for Silicon Valley and the competitiveness of the US Economy today as it was then. While I wrote this about India, we need to be just as concerned about China... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2012 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
You make a great point. You'd be hard pressed to find any information source that is truly independent and that isn't pitching their book. Buyers generally know this. Caveat Emptor.
Having an active secondary market in private companies will certainly have an impact on IPO activity and has probably contributed some to allowing Facebook, Twitter, and others to go public later than they otherwise might have. But the secondary market is dominated by just a few consumer-focused companies so it will be interesting to see what happens to it when the big ones that have been driving all the volume go public.
The JOBS Act is a good thing for Silicon Valley and the whole startup ecosystem. Josh Kopelman is correct when he points out that IPO's over the last 10 years have happened later in companies' development than was previously the case and this has taken from public market investors the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2012 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Ken - I couldn't agree more. We're definitely in the very early innings of a long-term shift. There will be plenty more incredibly big winners to come!
To address your points: 1 - LinkedIn is indeed profitable and they doubled revenue from 2009 to 2010 to $243m. With their numbers, we'd have to be in the worst part of the Great Recession for them to ONLY get a $1B valuation. Check the details here: 2 - If the numbers that have been bantered about are true, then Facebook grew more than ~4X in 2010 to $2B and their growth is accelerating! In Bubble 1.0, they would have been worth 2x - 3x what the secondary market is now valuing them at. 3 - I have to say I agree with you on this one. Personally, I don't see the barriers to entry or anything that will lead to a lasting premium value for them. They're in a market where competitors proliferate and margins will continue to get squeezed. They're doing well now though. Again, I just don't see it.
While there certainly are some frothy valuations in certain parts of techdom, it's difficult to call it a bubble -­ at least not when compared to the Internet Bubble. The Bubble 1.0 tide rose all boats. It didn't matter what sector you were in, if you put “.com" at the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2011 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Having fewer resources is actually a benefit that startups have over their larger entrenched competitors because it forces them to do fewer things better - to focus. Another counter-intuitive benefit that startups have over large companies is their lack of existing customers. Not having an installed base frees a startup of the burdens of supporting old products and enables them to focus all of their resources on new innovation. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2010 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Bryan - Thanks for your comment. I certainly see your point, and there is no doubt that if the entrepreneurs followed through and refused to accept "no answer" as an answer, then VCs would say "No" more often. But when a VC is listening to an entrepreneur's pitch, the underlying premise of the meeting is that the VC has money to invest and the entrepreneur wants some of it. If that's not the case, and I take plenty of meetings where it is not, then that is stated up front. I've had many entrepreneurs call me and ask me if I would listen to their pitch and provide feedback. In those cases, I certainly don't feel obligated to tell them I'm not interested in investing since the meeting was agreed to under a different context.
Kim- Yes indeed. I'm certainly happy you made the choice you did, as I'm sure you are. And I'm not surprised it was longer ago than I remember, I must be getting old :-)
It's no longer good enough to be just a lean-startup. To be globally competitive, and confident you can raise the capital you need to grow, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs need to focus on building lean companies. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2010 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Ho- I couldn't agree more. Luck is the one variable you can't control, so you'd better use your smarts and put in tons of hard work. Eventually, you'll get a lucky break or two. /greg
Glory days well they'll pass you by Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye Glory days, glory days OK, I admit it, I'm a HUGE Glee fan. There. Now I've said it. I'm officially out of the closet. I've always been a bit of a geek, so... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2010 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
One of the classic venture pitch mistakes is overselling. Overselling your idea can take many forms, but one of the more humorous occurs when the entrepreneur shows you a set of projections that are wildly optimistic and then drops the G-Bomb as a way to claim that the projections are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2010 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
In a comment to my recent post on Focus, Ray Hood pointed out that VCs often overlook the importance of luck, chance, and serendipity in favor of a belief that everything is formulaic. I violently agree with Ray but I also violently disagree. As I mentioned in my response to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2010 at Dispatches From The Dark Side
Greg Gretsch is now following Seth Godin
Jun 18, 2010
Karl- I couldn't agree more with one of the core tenets of your comment and your linked blog post - that measuring the wrong things can be a huge waste of time and scarce resources. When companies get "over-measured", the team runs the risk of spending all their time looking at the scoreboard and not playing the game. Companies need to be constantly reviewing and refining the metrics they are tracking to ensure they are still valid measures of progress along whatever dimension is being tracked. Regards, /greg
Great points Ray. Thanks for the comment. Every entrepreneur has to constantly balance between maintaining focus and being opportunistic. You can't sit around waiting for the world to happen to you though. You have to pick a path and put all of your effort in to executing against it. You can change the path, and all companies go through a process of course adjustments - some of them complete course changes. But you have to place your bets. And when that crazy opportunity falls out of the sky, you need to be willing to put all your wood behind that arrow. I have found that truly great entrepreneurs are always open to questioning their assumptions with the knowledge that they may indeed have it wrong while at the same time maintaining laser focus on their chosen path. I'm a big fan of NNT's books - Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan and I'd rather be lucky than smart any day.