Entries by Georges van Hoegaerden

How Technology Must Grow Up

Online technology services are poised to reach every citizen of the world. But as technology’s operating systems continue to ignore modern economics, their impact will yield more oligarchic governance than its “analog” precedent. With naive populism cheering on the regression of its own power.

Why Dorsey Is Right and Twitter Is Wrong

I agree with Jack Dorsey; the low-hanging fruits of technology innovation ripen quickly when attached to existing socioeconomic value. Except that one cannot use our current economic systems to assess such value. Twitter’s limitation is the outcome of economic naiveté so common in technology companies.

Why the Mope?

Thumper has been proven wrong. We all said nothing, because we had nothing nice to say. Look what economic mess that got us in. It is time for some honesty to break up the sub-priming of economics. Stay tuned, or forever hold your peace.

Greater-fool Economics

Venture capital, as the arbitrage of innovation, is the poster-child of greater-fool economics. And groundbreaking innovation that spawns immediate global impact deserves so much better. Less apparent is how greater-fool economics haunts us all.

KPCB mea culpa

Top-tier Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner-Perkins-Caufield-Byers (KPCB) admitted poor performance as reported in a recent article posted on Reuters PEHub. Normally, I would leave that kind of news for what it is, as I have described the symptoms of venture capital’s economic incompatibility with innovation in great detail here for years now, and I would […]

Apple’s finite loop

As a 20-year Apple user who has “infected” almost everyone close to me, it hurts me to have to group and introduce the reasons why I think Apple’s loop, after Steve Jobs’ passing, is turning gradually finite. I want Apple to grow up, to become the responsible economic

The State of Venture Capital Infographic

Check out the come-to-Jesus in the preeminent video of The State of Venture Capital, and then head over to Renewable Economics™ for a rebirth of sorts, where we shed light on how to fix the atrophy venture capital has caused to groundbreaking entrepreneurialism. To correct the problems of venture capital’s inability to trace the massive opportunity […]

We’re in trouble

Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University wrote an article about internet entrepreneur and political activist Peter Thiel with former world chess champion Garry Kasparov on the subject of their new book covering the collapse of advanced-country growth and their proposed remedy with a new innovation policy. Given the passion I have for straightening out our […]

More delusions of positivity from Tim Draper

In a recent article another victim of Tim Draper’s (founder of VC firm DFJ) delusion of positivity spreads the word about the “Draper Wave”. The recurrence of the wave by which Tim describes the purported cyclical nature of investing, is a desperate tool to keep Limited Partners from fleeing the asset class altogether and sell the pipe dream […]

The greatest lie of all

Now that the presidential election is over, I have decided to give our President and our country one of a series of selfless gifts. Number one: the discovery of the greatest lie of all. The lie that prevents us from finding a permanent solution to our economic malaise. The same lie that prevents us from […]

The evolution of Apple

As most of my readers know by now, I am a fervent supporter of Apple products for some 25 years. Not for some fuzzy nostalgic reason but because Apple has a completely different focus than other computing companies. I realized way back when Apple built QuickTime directly into the operating system the company had set […]

Not a cloud in the sky

Sunday I tried playing music through my Apple TV locally connected to my MacBook Pro that acts as the iTunes server with my music on it. It could not connect to the iTunes store, which it apparently had to. Alas, no music today. Today the weather got nippy, and I logged into my mobile nest […]

The evolution of innovation

Venture capital has failed to earn its stripes as the most effective custodian of groundbreaking innovation, underperforming consumer adoption rate of technology (minimum 7%), delivering mediocre socioeconomic value unable to make a dent in feeding an 80%+ adoption greenfield and instead abusing public trust (with 2-year post-IPO values severely under water), and being blown away […]

CalPERS emerging manager redefinition

According to the publication Pensions & Investments, Joe Dear of CalPERS ($200B+ Total Assets under Management) is said to have redefined the meaning of emerging managers, no longer allowing age-old fund-of-funds to finagle themselves to comply to that definition and rake up an endless chain of (usually) smaller funds. Instead now allowing only first or […]

Will the economy recover?

That was the most prominent question every asset manager, venture capitalist, politician (Nigel Farage, European Parliament and UKIP) and taxi driver asked me during my one-on-one meetings with them in London last week. The fear is palpable. Action equals reaction The answer to that question is a function of the change you intend to apply […]

Apple Earpods should start with the brain

Maybe I am just a misfit (aren’t all entrepreneurs) but the new Apple Earpods ($29), albeit much better than the previous rendition of standard earphones that come with many Apple music products, still do not fit snug enough in my ear to run with them, nor deliver a well-balanced tonal range to displace the Bose MIE2 (granted: […]

HP in a bottle

It was striking how today’s The Wall Street Journal covered Heineken’s attempt to redesign its beer bottle to increase sales on the same page with Hewlett-Packard’s new CEO, Meg Whitman, efforts to change the look of its PCs to increase sales. Now, there are some similarities between the two businesses. Both have been in business […]

People on the move

iOS apps hardly produce innovation that drives venture capital style returns, but that does not mean some of them are not utterly amazing. Plane finder is an amazing little iOS application (also available in a desktop browser) that shows you every commercial plane in the sky and tracks its movement in real-time. And people are […]

The lure of Dave McClure

From multiple readers of my blogs I got independently forwarded a recent article describing how celebrated Silicon Valley angel-investor-turned-venture-capitalist (VC) Dave McClure rips the other VCs in the ecosystem as “f***ing arrogant and stupid a**holes”. And sans expletives I agree wholeheartedly with many of Dave’s assessments of the overwhelming dysfunction in VC, his assessment of […]

Why the best cloud is still your own

The illusion proposed by the cloud is that it offers tremendous business benefits, but along with that enthusiasm and (as technologists) our ability to quickly deploy such a technical infrastructure, comes a new set of business risks a cloud prospect needs to think carefully about. The move to the cloud (usually from a local intranet), […]

Why modern portfolio theories are dying

CalPERS, the country’s largest pension fund with $235 billion in assets under management, has given up on investing in in-state private equity and venture capital as first published by Pensions & Investments last week, and some $2.7 billion (of already heavily reduced commitment) in venture capital will be taken off the table and redistributed to […]

The big venture capital mistake

When you think about how 99.4% of venture capital firms fail and how currently 80% of the new money raised is doled out by asset managers to only five (5!) venture capital firms, those of us with a pulsating brain and a beating heart combined with a desire and passion for a brighter future have […]

Venture in China

I get many questions about the role of China in the venture business and I respond to a description of activities deployed by the Chinese government to boost innovation, received from a Chinese engineer (his comments listed near the bottom) residing in the U.S. who manufactures his product in China. While our implementation of venture […]

Why 99.4% of venture capital firms fail

The vast majority of venture capital firms fail to produce consistent venture style returns to their limited partners, as a renowned money-manager representing prominent limited partners as the investor in venture capital firms adamantly proclaims that number to be less than 35. From knowledge about those 35 firms, the majority of which reside in Silicon […]

How to flip-flop a puffer fish

Getty Images is on the chopping block again, according to the Financial Times. This time for a purported $4B by sale or IPO. Amazing, considering we first wrote in 2005 that the company’s stronghold on the sale of digital images is not nearly as solid as the company has portrayed it to be, and we […]

VC performance inching back?

The NVCA and Cambridge Associates are fighting back against the scathing report of the Kauffman Foundation in which VC is characterized as its own enemy, by publishing new performance numbers that attempt to prove the VC performance is inching back. I commented publicly on an article published by Reuters PE Hub, and for the purpose […]

Venture Capital: the enemy is us

On June 15th 2005, some 7 years ago, I came publicly to the conclusion from having worked in Silicon Valley for 17 years with many startups, that Venture Capital is broken economically (and argued the semantics of “broken”), created numerous blogs on the subject since, and produced The State of Venture Capital, now viewed by […]

Agenda for Apple’s next board meeting

With Apple’s phenomenal success of becoming the most valuable company on the stock exchange and arguably the premium brand on the consumer stage, one has to admire Steve Jobs’ foresight and fortitude in re-awakening and repositioning Apple from the deep and desperate hibernation few thought the company could recover from. Praise the board The board […]

Say No to Consumer Protection

Yesterday Barack Obama spoke at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC where he highlighted the importance of higher education and referred to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) role in protecting consumers from deceptive, abusive and predatory loan products in the financial marketplace, with budding students cheering him on. We can do better Barack’s work […]

I warned Apple (2 years back)

I am a staunch supporter of Apple and have been for more than 20 years, before the fair-weather friends hopped aboard. Simply because I could see them very early build a better foundation of innovation, designed to the social economic benefit of a broader base than just technocrats. I only own Apple computers and acquired […]

The Jobs snobs

I have been trying to stay publicly quiet on the recently passed Jobs Act as at times I get fed up with my endless stream of put downs as the response to the massive false positivity in Venture. I prefer to spend most of my time thinking about and working on how to fix the […]

4G LTE is the new social network

AT&T lit the mobile internet on fire when it enabled 4G LTE in one of its test markets in Chapel Hill recently. Speed tests of 16.34 Mbps download and 5.40 Mbps upload through my shiny new iPad blew my home-office landline internet connection away, which makes one think about the strategic consequences of landline internet […]

The most delusional man in Venture Capital

I cannot speak about the performance of Dixon Doll’s DCM venture fund thanks to the lack of marketplace transparency that prevents most of its participants (and entrepreneurs) in the industry from actually deciphering and assessing the merit of each individual investor or general partner. But the message Dixon Doll sent me about IBF’s upcoming Venture […]

Introducing 2012: The State of Venture Capital

After the preeminent presentation on The State of Venture Capital has been viewed (bullet-by-bullet) by some 11,000 people, we revised The State of Venture Capital and updated it with the latest findings from 2012. Identification of the real problem The State of Venture Capital is unique in that it does not attempt to chase the […]

iMessage in a bottle

I wrote a pretty damning blurb on the last public version of iChat, stating it had no credentials to live up to the capabilities of freeware Adium. With (even the beta version of) iMessage that tide has now turned. Now, direct messaging has been around for quite a while, and I will not bore my […]

The meritocracy of Shervin Pishevar

I read an article on Reuters’ PEHub describing Michael Moritz’ opinion of our immigration policy during the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “Entrepreneurs in Residence” summit, in which Shervin Pishevar, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures apparently concluded: “Silicon Valley is as perfect a meritocracy as one can find”, to which I need to fiercely interject: […]

13 rebuts on Romney and jobs

I am getting tons of questions by readers on my syndicated article “Why Romney is wrong on jobs” and I am pulling a few from behind the branded subscription based firewalls to serve a greater audience. This blog article will be updated (semi) live as more (sincerely inquisitive) questions come in. Rebut #1: Based on […]

Did Venture Capital promote economic growth?

  An article in the Tenessean plays out a very naive summary of the role of Venture Capital with regard to economic growth. Naive because not only does it demonstrate a lack of real world experience with the demi-cartel deployed by an old-boys network in the epicenter of Venture located Silicon Valley, it is factually […]

Why Romney is wrong on jobs

I am probably the least political person you may meet, in every sense of that definition. Politics have no place in the establishment of an authentic meritocracy. And so I have no specific interest in following or taking sides in political debates (there is good and bad on each side of the aisle) that at […]

World Bank warns of deepening crisis

The World Bank warned of a deepening economic crisis where developed and developing country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008 and 2009. My prediction exactly when I described the lack of structural changes and further doom and gloom last November as a result. Yet, I don’t always take pleasure […]

SOPA spawns the need for economic reform

I am responding to another article with regards to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) with more or less the same commentary I posted on the European Commissions’ web site yesterday. It is an important topic worth repeating. This time my response was to an article on Reuters PEHUB […]

Internet reform is economic reform

Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes writes a blog about Cloud computing and Data protection reform, a subject challenged by many who also challenge Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). I am for the perpetuation of a free-market on the internet, but not if that purported compliance creates […]

Why documents don’t protect LPs

In response to my article “As a Limited Partner I feel uninformed” a representative from a valuation firm makes the same mistake as many Limited Partners have made. And that is to trust the content of documents to represent the actual risk deployed in Venture Capital. Here is my response to such a suggestion: Even […]

Debt financing in startups

It is good to know that there are still smart, rather than simply cunning, people in the finance world. And Gene Lee, Managing Director of Cove Point Holdings, a Family Office describes my views exactly in an interesting article published by Axial Market. Specifically he emphasizes how financial debt in a smaller middle market business […]

ILPA measures

  A Limited Partner responded to my article posted on LinkedIn named “As a limited partner I feel uninformed” with some supportive references to the work the Institutional Limited Partner Association (ILPA) has done to structure the relationship between Limited Partners and General Partners. I have read their referendum and am not against the work […]

Scaling is hard

CNN Money yesterday published an article from Jeff Bussgang, general partner at venture capital firm Flybridge Capital Partners, about how hard it is to scale a company. I need to respond to these types of articles because it deflects from the real problem with innovation in our country. And that is that under the cover […]

Innovation in … pants

When you think something as mainstream as pants have been around for hundreds of years and its innovation has come to a halt, you need to check out relative newcomer Kühl. An american company “born in the mountains” puts a new spin on a product we wear everyday, with an innovative philosophy: Born from our […]

Regulating Private Equity

China has made its first move to regulate Private Equity, according to Coco Kee, Managing Partner of Kee Global Advisors LLC, a New York-based boutique advisory firm. Not a bad move at first glance, as we wrote about the need for regulation in an article that was covered by The Wallstreet Journal more than two […]

From despite to because

Quite a few events in life happen in which their success is claimed by many fathers. But when you look closer and understand the facts, underlying that success are often people who succeed not because but despite the indoctrination of their forefathers. Always question authority For one, groundbreaking innovation is dependent upon the ignorance and […]

The future of photo editing

A couple of years back I left my role as CEO of photo editing startup Light Crafts, most notably the producer of LightZone. Not because we could not develop a bright future of photo-editing, but because we lacked the support from a controlling shareholder to execute on that future with a vengeance (despite a very […]

KLM social seating

Dutch airline KLM, now part of the Air France conglomerate, yesterday introduced social seating, as reported by the Huffington Post. A great idea and service for those interested in socializing because they cannot sleep on long transatlantic flights. The service will allow Facebook and LinkedIn users that opted in to select who they want to […]

The musical chairs of financial asset management

When you study the financial support for innovation the way I do, you find out interesting things. You find out that the reason why innovation struggles to supply an 80% adoption greenfield is because of the massive deployment of subprime risk by Venture Capitalists. And when you then wonder why Limited Partners allow Venture Capitalists […]

Google does not care

We recently received an e-mail from the company Apture, the online service we used to automatically make live references to Wikipedia and to enable on the fly deep dives into certain terms we use on our site, stating they have been acquired by Google and will be terminating the service in about one month. More […]

Eat to scale

If you are tempted to eat too much during the holiday season, check out the Withings (awful company name) digital scale that sends your measurements including those of 7 other family members to the cloud where you can keep track of weight, lean mass, body fat and BMI on a constant basis. With WiFi built-in, […]

Are small company IPOs just fine?

Dan Primack of Fortune concludes in this morning’s e-mail that just because there are a few large IPOs, all must be fine in Venture land. An argument I have heard many times before and a dangerous conclusion that has had its precedent: I think you assessment that just because there are IPOs all is fine […]

Turnaround U.S.A.

The best way to resolve the financial malaise in our country is to pretend our country is a company – with the President as its CEO – competing and partnering with other companies (i.e. countries) in the world to make it standout and prosper, and then feed that prosperity back into its shareholders (us). A […]

Pancake Economics

Each time I visit a yearly financial asset management gathering (no press allowed) with some of the largest financiers in the country (and the world) interspersed with ambassadors, congressmen and White House representatives (thanks for the tour Meg), I am reminded how fundamentally different finance behaves from production. Ethereal finance The people at the top […]

Lead or get the f*k out

Mark Suster at Venture Capital firm GRP Partners wrote an article titled “Lead, Follow or Get the Fuck Out of the Way” in which he laments in a self-described Dave McClure way how a founding CEOs should know when it is time to stay or go. It is a topic that has been covered in […]

The meager role of Meeker

By a reader of my blogs I was recently sent, and subsequently “flew through” the presentation by Mary Meeker, a partner at renowned Venture Capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, from her Internet Trends viewpoints at the recent Web 2.0 summit. I do not visit startup and technology conferences, because they harbor and promote […]

Bye bye Time Warner OnDemand

In an age when time shifting of media is crucial in achieving mass consumption, Time Warner has regressed to bow down to its advertisers by disabling fast-forward in its OnDemand recorded TV programming. I refuse to spend 20 minutes of one hour of TV programming wasted to advertisements. So long On Demand.

Setting Menlo Ventures straight on Siri

Shawn Carolan, Board Member at Siri and Partner at Menlo Ventures wrote an article on PEHub related to the personal assistant software (in beta) on the new Apple iPhone 4S about Siri, called “The Prettiest Girl at the Ball” which I need to correct. Without using any proprietary information I had on this company, the […]

LightZone is dead

From a well-informed and trusted source I hear LightCrafts, the maker of LightZone photo editing software is shutting down. Already the website has become unresponsive and inaccessible over the last few weeks, with customer inquiries arriving in my mailbox looking for answers from its second-to-last CEO. I was the CEO of Light Crafts for a […]