25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

What Would a Healthy Music Streaming Business (e.g., Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora) Look Like?

SoundCloud was just recapitalized by investors in a dramatic down round after announcing that the company had only enough cash to last into the fourth quarter. Pandora just agreed to terms on a new investment that was also a down round and which resulted in a new controlling investor. Both companies have a new CEO. More broadly, there are bitter fights in the value chain between music streamers and music […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Product and Services Pricing (Including being “Too Hungry to Eat”)

This is a blog post about some of the most basic elements of pricing a product or service. Since the longest a post like this should be is about 3,500 words, the scope of what is covered here must be significantly narrowed. This discussion therefore focuses mostly on the sale of a single product or service and on the right price point. Decisions get more complex when there are multiple […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Angel Investing from Jason Calacanis (Poker Edition)

This is the last post in my trilogy on how games of chance can teach lessons about investing and business. This first two were: Ed Thorp: https://25iq.com/2017/07/22/a-dozen-lessons-on-investing-from-ed-thorp/ Poker and Investing: https://25iq.com/2017/07/29/a-dozen-lessons-about-business-and-investing-from-poker/ Blog posts about people are always more interesting and Jason Calacanis is nothing if not interesting. He is an entrepreneur and active angel investor (2-3 startups per month). He also created the six-year old podcast This Week in Startups […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Business and Investing from Poker

  You can’t write about the relationship between games and investing without quoting Michael Mauboussin. I will do so often in this post. He is the master. Read his books. All of them. Then read them again. Set out below are the usual dozen lessons you can learn from poker: “Poker is a game where you don’t have to have the best hand to win. Poker is really reading other people […]

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A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp

“Edward O Thorp is the author of Beat the Dealer, which was the first book to prove mathematically that blackjack could be beaten by card counting, and Beat the Market, which showed how warrant option markets could be priced and beaten. He also was the co-inventor of the first wearable computer along with Claude Shannon. Thorp also pioneered the use of quantitative investment techniques in the financial markets (Option Arbitrage, […]

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Amazon Prime and other Subscription Businesses: How do you Value a Subscriber?

  Businesses increasingly don’t just sell products and services in a single transaction. Subscription and other businesses that focus on recurring sales have existed for a very long time. What is new is that many more businesses have adopted a subscription approach, which makes them look a lot more like a company in the the cable television business than an auto parts manufacturer. Successfully implementing a subscription business model can […]

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How to Create a Successful Business Model in a Dozen Easy Steps [Fake advice! Not possible.]

  You can’t create a successful business model in a dozen easy steps. The title of this blog post is fake news or, more accurately, fake advice. This blog post will give you real advice instead. Successful business models can be created with a lot of hard work, creativity, innovation and especially experimentation, but there are no formulas. Fortunately there are best practices. I have written about business models many […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Startups from Hunter Walk

  Hunter Walk is a partner at the seed stage venture capital firm Homebrew Management, which he co-founded in 2013. He previously was head of consumer product management at YouTube. Walk joined Google in 2003 managing product and sales for their contextual advertising business. He was a founding member of the product and marketing team at Linden Lab, the creators of online virtual world Second Life. Earlier in his career […]

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A Dozen Lessons I Learned from Bill Gates Sr.

Bill Gates Sr. is one of three mentors I have had that were actually appointed by a group to help me develop as a person. I have had other mentors that I recruited or the relationship just developed. What Bill taught me was not only important but inevitably delivered at just the time I needed the guidance most. Other than my parents, who attended college with Bill and his first […]

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How would Ann Miura-Ko have reacted if Bill Gates had walked into her office in 1975?

Ann Miura-Ko is a Partner at the venture capital firm Floodgate. She is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. Prior to co-founding Floodgate, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company. Some of Miura-Ko’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. She has a BS from Yale University (EE); and a PhD from Stanford University (Math Modeling of Computer Security.) […]

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