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Tomorrow’s cars won’t just use natural resources more efficiently than today’s do. They’ll also make automobility cheaper, accessible to a wider range of users, more convenient, and faster. Thanks to driverless technologies and the car-sharing services they’ll enable, blind people and old people will be able to transport themselves without assistance. Circling for parking will go the way of dial-up modems. And millions of suburban garages, no longer needed to store two or three lightly used late-model sedans, will be leasable through Airbnb and other sharing platforms as office space for millions of new start-ups!
Pre-Seed is the new Seed. (~$500K used for building team and initial product/prototype) Seed is the new Series A. (~$2M used get for building product, establishing  product-market fit and early revenue) Series A is the new Series B. (~6M-$15M used to scale customer acquisition and revenue) Series B is the new Series C.  Series C/D is the new Mezzanine
Betting on people prematurely can also be a great hiring strategy. Find the superstar who’s just a bit less experienced than your job req suggests and give them the chance to step up. Especially from larger companies where promotion criteria is too firmly specified, good folks can find themselves locked into junior roles for distressingly long periods of time. Bring them on board, elevate them but also provide the support they need… I don’t want to bet on someone who has done the job before, but someone with the headroom and capacity to do this job and beyond.
As a best kept secret that won’t stay a secret for long, the Midwest is on its way to becoming a great economic driver in the technology ecosystem as entrepreneurs understand success can be achieved without being in Silicon Valley.
The reality about VC is that while you swing for the fences, it’s very hard to hit a home run. Getting doubles and triples instead of zeros in other at bats can make a difference. When you are an entrepreneur, an outcome like this means millions in your bank account. Maybe not never-have-to-work-again type of money, but life-changing amounts.
Words of wisdom as we near the deadline for 2014 @Brandery applications:

Solve a real problem. You don’t start a company because you want to be an entrepreneur or the fame and glory that comes along with it. You become an entrepreneur to solve a real problem.
- Aaron Patzer

Words of wisdom as we near the deadline for 2014 @Brandery applications:

Solve a real problem. You don’t start a company because you want to be an entrepreneur or the fame and glory that comes along with it. You become an entrepreneur to solve a real problem.

- Aaron Patzer

While Apps may dominate time on mobile, the overwhelming majority of that time is spent on Gaming, Facebook, and Social Messaging.

While Apps may dominate time on mobile, the overwhelming majority of that time is spent on Gaming, Facebook, and Social Messaging.

The Internet is the first medium invented in 100 years that wasn’t invented to make advertisers happy. The connection between running ads and making money is broken, probably forever. As soon as you take that out of the equation, everything we understand about marketing, manufacturing, distribution—it all goes away. The new era of modern marketing is about the connection economy, it’s about trust, it’s about awareness, it’s about the fact that attention is worth way more than it used to be. Attention doesn’t come in nice little bundles anymore.
One of the key learnings we had in fulfilling a large part of our original vision was that partnerships and integrations rarely give you distribution. A key part of this vision working for us was tied to the integrations leading to many new Buffer users. We certainly got a good number, however we always had much more success with signups direct from our own web and mobile apps.
The quiet pivot
Silicon Valley as a source of capital is no better or worse than any other big city. There are plenty of sources of capital everywhere…But start up capital is not their secret sauce. What Silicon Valley does better than anyone is create exits.  They know how to get people who they have made money for to turn over a lot of that money to buy the companies they have invested in. They know how to put on a show to get a company to an IPO. They know how to go out and get hundreds of millions of dollars to bridge companies with 10s of millions in revenues to their IPO and more importantly to make sure the IPO happens.