Dave Knox's Tumblr
Predictably, many observers talk about an “accelerator bubble”. Yet if it is a bubble, it is unlikely ever to deflate completely. Accelerators are too useful for that. Not only do they bring startups up to speed, provide access to a network of contacts and give them a stamp of approval. They also perform a crucial function in the startup supply chain: picking the teams and ideas that are most likely to succeed and serving them up to investors.
Startups today are in a constant feedback loop, which means they have to be run in a different way from their dotcom predecessors.
Silicon Valley thrives on optimism, and anyone waving the bubble flag is auditioning for the title of nonbeliever or party pooper.
If you are going to do a “this for that” investment, the first thing you need to make sure is the iconic company (this) is not going to go after this other market (that) themselves. Then you need to make sure the other market (that) is very large. And finally, you need to make sure that the founders are doing the startup for the right reasons.
Ford Motor has basically spent the last 30 years making faster horses, Ford said, but what Ford Motor Company plans to do in the next decade is build the Model T of the 21st century.
Consumers don’t need many things from your brand —they just need one thing from your brand. You may want them to need everything from your brand, but guess what: consumers don’t care what you want. Your job is to care about what they want, not what you want them to want. The difference between the two is the distance between a customer-centric company and an ego-centric company.
This relentless pursuit of new ideas is generally found in the DNA of entrepreneurs in environments that don’t have quarterly earnings targets. (Jeff Bezos almost called Amazon Relentless and www.relentless.com still reroutes to Amazon.com).
Henry Ford understood that the desire to move—to have freedom of mobility—is enduring and universal. As economies grow, and even as human beings grow, the first thing they want to do is move. It is a powerful vision—opening up the world’s highways so that everyone can have freedom of mobility, and can access the opportunities for growth that those experiences can offer. - Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company

A major factor contributing to Uber’s growth is its potential… Michael Wolfe, an entrepreneur and frequent technology commentator  explains:

If you think of Uber as a town car company operating in a few cities, it is not big.

If you think of Uber as dominating and even growing the town car market in dozens of cities, it gets bigger. (Data point: there are now more Uber black cars in San Francisco than there were ALL black cars before Uber started).

If you think of Uber as absorbing the taxi markets, it gets pretty huge.

If you think of Uber bringing taxis to parts of the world that did not have them before because of insufficient density, it gets even larger.

If you think of Uber as a personal logistics service that can drive your kids to school and back, take you to work, pick up your parents at the airport, drive you to date night so you can get your drinks on, it gets very very large.

If you think of Uber as delivering both people as well as things (packages, dry cleaning, groceries) it gets even larger.

If you think of Uber as a replacement for your car, it gets even larger.

If you mix in a fleet of self-driving cars, orchestrated by Uber, it grows again.

If you think of Uber as a giant supercomputer orchestrating the delivery of millions of people and items all over the world (the Cisco of the physical world), you get what could be one of the largest companies in the world.

99% of startups sell for less than $30 million, many for less than $10 million. Entrepreneurs think that raising money at a high valuation or with a high cap is a badge of honor, but raising money at a high valuation prices you out of exits and makes it harder to raise follow-on capital. There is so much frothiness in the seed market today that it’s not uncommon to see startups raising on convertible notes with $5-10 million caps. Given the Series A crunch and the difficulty of raising follow-on money, we are seeing startups with $5 million in revenues raising at $5-10 million pre. As a result if we deem the seed valuation too high, we just wait for the Series A.