Sustainable Competitive Advantange

Recently, I was attending a session at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where I am a class mentor, and we were talking about new venture opportunities. Specially, after you have gone through the screening process of identifying your next venture, you have to identify your sustainable competitive advantage and how that will map to your grand strategy.

Unfortunately, what I find is that many (inexperienced) entrepreneurs’ don’t place enough emphasis on this – partially because they believe, given what they are doing, it may not be that important and, in many cases, don’t really comprehend what a competitive advantage really is and what it can do for a company.

Continue reading “Sustainable Competitive Advantange”

So you want to be a VC, eh? (Part 3)

If you take but one thing away from these posts, let it be this:  venture capital is a tough business to get in, be in and stay in. During 2009, the VC industry continued the downsizing that became very visible in mid-2008.  While the global economic issues that surfaced in 2008 (e.g. banking meltdown, subprime market, global economic recession) accelerated the decline and definitely added stresses to the industry, this resizing is a function of the technology bubble bursting several years earlier – also known as the “dot com to dot gone” era.  With many firms that raised money during the bubble unable to raise new funds at this time, a further decline in the number of firms is likely.  While fund raising and investment entered a new range, IPO activity remained at a mere trickle and the acquisition exit marketplace declined both in quantity and quality. Continue reading “So you want to be a VC, eh? (Part 3)”

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