The Valuation vs. Traction Matrix – Jason Calacanis

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Image from here :: The Valuation vs. Traction Matrix – Jason Calacanis

Great post. Will try to dive into it more later.

This is good though:

Startup valuations are not science, but they’re not magic either. It’s a bit of alchemy, combined with bizarre marketplace dynamics like famous founders getting 3x the price for half the traction, or Y Combinator hosting a gigantic demo day in order to create FOMO with novice investors who are explicitly told not to think things through and just cut a big check (literally, that’s their bad advice to investors).

Transactional Angst

I think nary a week goes by where someone doesn’t ask me how VC is going and when am I going back. I guess back means to return to building something, joining a company or working on a product.

It’s normally something that requires a longer answer but usually I say ask me in 10 years. That’s cause it will probably take me that long to see if I am any good at this VC thing. 

That being said I think people ask this due to the very nature of VC being somewhat transactional and maybe building something is more of a co-op approach since there are teams involved all working together to ship. It is a sentiment I think about a lot.

Saw this tweet the other day and was thinking about it even more:

However I always consider that there may be a better way but I am not saying I discovered it but highlighting that each and every craftsman in the world can approach their craft with a new frame of mind. With VC I think about what that means often. 

Let me run down a few areas I think as a VC I can be more like the product person still living inside me:

  • Be open and transparent. Of course not everyone reacts well to this but I find a certain amount of it works
  • Be humble 
  • Be helpful
  • Have empathy for the founder and the other people/organizations in the mix
  • Try to write often enough so people can see what’s on my mind and how I feel about something
  • Continue to focus on doing the right thing – it may not payoff immediately but I believe it will win in the end
  • Learn to listen more – speak less. I am terrible at this but I am very conscious of improving it. That’s a start right? 😉
  • Foster an ecosystem since everyone will benefit (
  • Be company friendly. This is a long one to explain but I think the right folks now what I mean

I don’t intend to go back as some people call it since I think I moved forward while still getting better at my craft. I see my craft as helping build great companies by being their investor and whatever else they need me to be while I am in that role. 

Pretty sure that is similar to what I did as a product person but I am not an employee or a founder.

However the North Star feels similar to me.

Your mileage may vary.

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Was talking to a friend about India and VC – one thing we all agree on is that the monster exit of Flipkart has done wonders for the scene. Lots of people made money and it is going to new firms and new startups which helps to compete with the old guard. More foreign funds will pay attention now knowing exits can and will happen.

However – making investors, founders and employees rich has nothing to do with Walmart turning Flipkart into a money machine.

On this part -I think they will struggle long-term against Amazon.

Get the popcorn.

Key Insights into Singapore’s Ride-Sharing Market Landscape

Key Insights into Singapore’s Ride-Sharing Market Landscape

Seriously – can any one of these so-called reporters try this stuff out and report on actual experience versus what the companies say they do?

Apart from Grab and GoJek the rest of these are a joke. Comfort is it for Taxis.

Ryde – never got it to work.

TADA – it’s a crypto play masquerading as a car service. Tried 5 times. Booked one ride – the rest the driver cancelled on me.

Kardi – never heard of it.

Urge – never heard of it

The pool of drivers and cars is the same.

My guess is none of these other players will ever make it. raises $37M to take on SAP and others in the world of business travel | TechCrunch

Nice Travelstop mention:

There are others that are either hoping to bypass or complement existing services with their own takes on how to improve business travel such as TravelPerk (most recent raise: $44 million), Travelstop (an Asia-focused spin), and TripActions (most recently valued at $1 billion), to name a few. That speaks to an increasingly crowded market of players that are competing against incumbents like SAP, which owns Concur, Hipmunk and a plethora of other older services. raises $37M to take on SAP and others in the world of business travel | TechCrunch
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Children of immigrants return to Asia for job opportunities

I came to Asia in 99. Looking highly likely that I will live in Asia the rest of my life but who knows exactly where.

My only regret is not coming earlier than I did.

The children of many Asians who emigrated to the U.S. are seeing more interesting opportunities in their parents’ home countries.

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