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Early-stage-leaning investor at Intel Capital. Venture Advisor at 500 Startups, Advisor to StartX. Tribal kitchen goddess and @calista's mom.
Recent Activity
Data junkies, rejoice: there's a fun new tool called Guesstimate for calculating uncertain values. Or in founder Ozzie Gooen's words, "a spreadsheet for things that aren't certain." Rather than a thick stack of Excel tabs with Solver, Guesstimate offers a simplified Monte Carlo simulation in your browser. I ran through a quick example that nerd parents will appreciate: How long does it take to get your child ready for preschool? In my case, about 120 minutes based upon 17 metrics. Spookily accurate. Feel free to enter your own value ranges in my test simulation, or browse other public models here. is back on Monday! (hat tip to Lane) Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2015 at Christine
Social froth is thick with talk of unconscious bias in Silicon Valley. Amidst it, I was bemused to see that my last 500 Women lightning talk had inspired this Medium article from Deema Tamimi...on ponytails. (Photo credit: Swirl Ponytail Barbies by RomitaGirl67) Every entrepreneur I know has worried about image, but asking if you should wear your hair up or down makes you feel like an idiot. It's not exactly covered by TechCrunch. So I laughed out loud, then earnestly responded with why, in a valley swimming with complex social dynamics, a simple ponytail has impact. First: Not everyone (male or female) needs to wear their hair back. But put it up if it’s distracting — your hair shouldn't mask facial expressions,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Christine
The sharp and fabulous Zahavah Levine, VP of Global Music Partnerships at Google Play, shared a number of insights in discussion with Ted Cohen of TAG Strategic at today's SF MusicTech Summit. One thread that stood out for me: much ado has been made on the death of downloads. But is instead of streaming being a downloads killer, is it really the music industry's gateway drug? Is Taylor Swift making a horrible mistake? According to Levine, Google Play is investing the massive resources at its disposal upon streaming consumers: 'Subscription is by far the fastest-growing revenue segment of the industry. We'll [Google Play] extract more dollars per person, and in exchange, we'll give them access to any music, any time,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Christine
There's a practical, less-controversial, economic reason for marketers to stop using booth babes...they are a hopelessly outdated marketing technique. Booth babes aren't targeted, can't be a personalized experience (wearable LEDs aside), and aren't strategic to my tech brand. (Unless, of course, I am running a modeling site.) Not to mention that I can't quantify the ROI, or optimize the results. If I were back in the marketing saddle, choosing from current platforms and techniques, I wouldn't allocate spend to decorative meat matter how lovely. Thanks to Raygun Brown for pointing this out (and in a much more entertaining manner), based upon his recent experience at PAX Australia: "Don't you dare bring boobs into this. Don't try to deceive me... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2013 at Christine
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Oct 26, 2012
Kickstarter has curated its projects heavily (I've been rejected myself!) - in part to assure that the majority of projects can be successfully funded. It's not clear yet how this can scale over time. IndieGoGo appears to curate less, but still have satisfied funders. Wonder what the difference is? As equity crowdfunding becomes established, I would expect similar patterns (initially more curation, lessening over time as scale develops and/or as crowd sophistication matures and so forth.
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Thanks to the success of platforms such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, crowdfunding has become mainstream. Even among the trailblazers here at CrowdConf 2012, however, it's still a controversial topic. The impending passage of the JOBS Act has highlighted many practical implementation challenges. What can crowdfunding be used for? Who benefits? How does it work? Competing - sometimes conflicting - crowdfunding models not only deliver different benefits, but also have different challenges. The stakes are high: as the space becomes more defined, and standards more firmly established, the opportunity for disruption is massive. Fundraisers: Realizing Ideas vs. Building Businesses Most traditionally venture-backed entrepreneurs that use crowdfunding are only using it for a portion of their round (say, 20%) as vs. the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2012 at Christine
Rebel Unit is looking for three interns (20-40 hours/week) to support production, operations, and creative. Paid positions. Office in downtown SF, walkable to BART. (Transparency note: my husband Shannon is the CEO/co-founder and positions would report to him.) Rebel Unit clients are primarily tech - Salesforce, Zuora, Docusign, etc – and they produce story content like this: They've been too busy to write up job reqs (they went straight from producing all Dreamforce content to a big Brazilian gig, and are in bleeding need of more bandwidth) but here are some standard-looking descriptions I "borrowed" online. Take them as general gist as vs actual job specifics. Production Intern: You will work closely with our producers and editors, assisting them in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2012 at Christine
Earlier today, Dave McClure of 500 Startups wrote a controversial (surprise, surprise) TechCrunch post, exhorting women that want more representation in tech to "shut up and put your money where your mouth is." The essential point is that you can't change the ratio just by adding women speakers to conference agendas, or by investing in a few token female founders. Rather, let any woman chip away at gender imbalance by engaging in the community as an investor, one small check at a time. Even better, commit to do so publicly by taking the WIN Challenge. Though Dave isn't the most tactful person, there's solid logic here: ACTIVITY: Individual women make small investments of $5,000 - $10,000 INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES: Individual women... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2012 at Christine
Aww...@ Marcos who doesn't love working with you? No one gives me capoeira lessons in the parking lot at lunchtime any more. ;)
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We recently announced that Intel Capital Director Baris Aksoy is headed to Turkey to lead our new Istanbul office. As suspected, this means that we are seeking a new Director to join us on the Consumer Internet team at Intel Capital. Interested? Read on. Who are we looking for? Ideally, our new partner is based in the Bay Area, has a great network, and is known and respected as an Internet investor. You complement our diverse crew (a FEM of 67!) with collective experiences ranging from serial entrepreneur <-> seed investor <-> investment banker. The role? To identify emerging segments; source, negotiate, and structure deals; and work with management teams to build companies. Our team invests in disruptive mobile and/or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2012 at Christine
Deal could also have gone the other way...FB interest comes in, existing investors say "wait, let's see what VC market has to offer" and then the rest falls out from there.
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Debate is already starting around Instagram's recently-announced acquisition by Facebook. e.g., Why the heck would Instagram sell a stake of its soon-to-be-acquired company to Sequoia (and Thrive, and Greylock, and Benchmark?) The reason is simple: playing chicken with a potential acquirer can drive a much higher valuation. And more importantly, the acquistion is more likely to close quickly and successfully if the target company has a war chest of cash and a strong, fresh investor group. Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at Christine
Love food? Delicious semantic search engine Yummly has just raised $6M in Series A financing to continue expanding into a complete digital kitchen platform. (Disclosure: Intel Capital is an investor in Yummly.) I'm happy to welcome Physic Ventures and Unilever to the board, and even more excited that the team can start expanding. (Note: Giant gratuitous bacon photo courtesy of Cathy Brooks on Flickr.) Towards that end, we're looking for great developers, UX designers, researchers, and marketers that have a passion for food. There's a great post by Kevin Fitchard on GigaOm that touches on Yummly's product roadmap: "Yummly’s core technology, which breaks down recipes and ingredients into raw culinary data, from which it extracts everything from calorie and saturated... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2012 at Christine
SXSW Interactive enables the usual tech crowd license to follow fascinations for a few a clean (I mean this both literally and figuratively) version of Burning Man, or an enormous, structured version of FOO Camp. But let's not pretend we aren't also here to Get Things Done. Here are a few great places to start building connections this week in Austin: 1. 10 Minute VC - Sunday 3/11, 2:00-5:00 PM. Hosted by Intel Capital (yep, I'll be hosting a table) and Blumberg Capital. Are you an entrepreneur, someone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, or a talented maker who would like to join a startup? Join Blumberg Capital and Intel Capital in Austin for 10 Minute VC, Texas-style. On Sunday,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2012 at Christine
It must be hiring season for venture capitalists - VC compensation talk has been coming up recently. If you're a partner, VC compensation is pretty straightforward - you get a piece of the partnership's profits, aka a "carried interest" in the fund. (See my presentation on VC 101 to dig in more on this.) But how can you provide the best incentives for your other investment staff? How can you get your analysts, associates, principals, and vice presidents to all contribute the success of the portfolio? In an ideal world, every person an entrepreneur talks to at a venture fund will have a stake in the entrepreneur's success. I have the unique advantage of an inside view on non-partner compensation... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at Christine
Despite best intentions, the feeding frenzy over at Y Combinator (which reminds me...I need to post my top ten list!) kept me from posting the fan favorite recipes from Open Kitchen Camp. But if you're headed to Burning Man tomorrow, there's one recipe you'll want to make ahead of time - and that's Bacon Burner Mashed Potatoes. Boiling potatoes on the playa is nigh-impossible. Something about altitude and desert conditions...but if you just take an hour to prep these mashed potatoes at home, you'll be camp hero. Read on for playa-specific cooking tips. Ingredients 15 pounds of peeled, cut potatoes (preferably Yukon Golds, though other types will do) 4 pounds of bacon (hickory smoked adds a nice touch) 2 pounds... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2011 at Christine
Much to my Burning Man camp's detriment, I lost this year's game of "new parent roshambo" and will be staying home in San Francisco instead of hosting potlucks. In the spirit of community, however, I'm sharing a few of my Burning Man recipes. Unsurprisingly, the first request I received was for the tastiest of liquid refreshment: Sangria a la Playa. It's fabulous on OR off of the playa, and easy to customize to your taste, but be warned that it packs a punch. Instructions are below, and I've also posted the recipe at Yummly for easy saving to your recipe collection, access to nutritional info (one glass has 72% of a day's vitamin C!), and so forth. Ingredients 1 orange... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Christine
Are you more than just a profile? Join me at SXSW to discuss how to build an online persona. Think about it: What does your twitter feed say about you? What reputation does your blog cultivate? Whether developing a public persona for yourself or for your business, establishing an authentic online persona is a key strategic decision. Be proactive and build an online persona that works, using the right blend of public and private identity. Questions answered during the session: What's my persona and why does it matter? How is that different from my identity? How does my persona (and how I present myself/my brand) change from offline to online? What steps should I take to build my online persona?... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2011 at Christine
Big congratulations go out to the well-prepped companies that painted compelling pictures at 500 Startups Demo Day this week. (Disclosure note: I am an advisor to 500 Startups.) It's hard to pick just one favorite, so here are my personal top ten, clustered along leading themes from the evening. Given that most of my interest nowadays follows a mobile <--> social <--> commerce <--> cloud continuum, this high hit rate is no surprise: Commerce Appetizer – Automated mobile app builder for small businesses; the company can deliver a startingly complete app using existing Facebook Page information. Daily Gobble – Sabre for restaurants; their go-to-market plan targets fast casual chains. LaunchBit – Ad network for email newsletters. Snapette – Photo sharing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2011 at Christine
Thanks Kirsten/Joshua! Joshua - great schedule picks for entrepreneurs on your list, thanks for posting. I'd suggest you also add Charlie O'Donnell's panel (which I am joining) on The Five Startups in the Deadpool -
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2011 on How to Meet and Mix with VCs at SXSW at Christine
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Everyone knows that I love startups. I love working up logic models and key metrics on a whiteboard. I love brainstorming on product. I even love sitting on the floor with a stickered laptop at SXSW. All of which is precisely the work I've been enjoying at First Round Capital. So I have a surprise play to announce....I'm changing jerseys to Intel Capital. I’ll join the team next month to drive consumer and Internet deals from here in the Bay Area, and to deepen the fund’s exposure to early-stage opportunities. Having told a handful of very surprised people this news in the past 24 hours, it's obvious that I need to tell more of the story. Back in July, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2010 at Christine
There are two (wait, three) big factors at work in the rough scenario you describe. 1. Stock incentive norms in the US are TOTALLY DIFFERENT than norms in the UK. 2. Stock incentives in hardware/semiconductor businesses are different 3. Founders will value their relative contributions as they will, and it's up to the employee to decide whether or not his/her own contribution is being valued fairly. If not, walk.
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I would not do the math this way, because the risk is different. A Series A funded startup, though risky, has less risk than an unfunded startup. Therefore the percentages are not only larger to account for future dilution from the Series A, they are also larger to account for greater risk. Which, as you might expect, is highly variable. ;)
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These percentages are out of the total outstanding equity.
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