E-commerce market map. Verisk Analytics M&A. Marketing tech trends.
You poor single digit millionaires

Hi there,

Today, we're going to discuss how to become a thought leader.


Me too.

But first, we have some business to attend to.

Final Four time

The Elite 8 had some big matchups, and here is how they panned out.
  • Elon Musk (Tesla/SpaceX) edged out Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft) bested Larry Page (Google)
  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon) beat Marc Benioff (Salesforce)
  • Steve Jobs (Apple) beat Richard Branson (Virgin)
So the final four is now
  • Gates vs Musk
  • Bezos vs Jobs
Vote now for tech's most admired CEO.

Think inside the box

We created a market map of subscription e-commerce startups, which includes startups offering subscriptions for physical goods — either of their own items, or curated boxes of other brands’ items. The 57 companies on our market map have raised over $1.4B in total.

Best line from yesterday's Thiel press event

When you are wealthy, people start to care about your opinion even in areas that you may not know much about. That's one of the cool benefits of being rich as far as I can gather.

So yesterday, Peter Thiel talked about his support of Donald Trump and tech Twitter lit up with breakdowns of it all. 

The whole thing was pretty boring except for this amazing line about our legal system and Hulk Hogan.

“If you’re a single-digit millionaire like Hulk Hogan, you have no effective access to our legal system,” according to Thiel.

The struggle is real.

The insurance industry's data 'revolution'

We look at Verisk Analytics
a data analytics and risk assessment giant in the property and casualty insurance industry and its M&A activity. Since 2012, the company has made more than 12 acquisitions of mostly US and UK-based companies.

Thought leadership 101

So you want a personal brand, eh?

But you're not sure how to build one.

Becoming a thought leader is the way to get there, and it's easy
at least in tech.

Here is Sam Altman of Y Combinator really thought leader'ing it up with this tweet

What Sam is saying is that you should hire for potential
not experience.  

Pretty logical, good advice actually.

But thought leaders know that saying it like a plebeian or a "normal" person is boring. So one of the first rules of becoming a thought leader is to make the banal complicated. Bonus points for using math metaphors as Sam did.

The other thing to do to become a thought leader is to say abstract, potentially deep things that may or may not make sense.

I will illustrate with a few examples of my own and a couple of examples from others.
  • We might have an on-demand economy, but we cannot have an economy without demand.
  • Do things that don't scale, but never scale things you don't do.
  • Hashtags are the new HTML.
  • One day, we will refer to the Internet of Things as just things.
  • The TCP/IP network > human network.
  • As we build artificial intelligence, I worry about what will happen to real intelligence.
In response to a Twitter thread on becoming a thought leader, here were a couple of gems I received from others.
  • "We need to focus less on a future in tech and more on tech for the future" - Amish Jani (@amishjani), Managing Partner at FirstMark Capital
  • "We need to focus less on lifetime value and more on valuing our lifetimes" - Nick Mehta (@nrmehta), CEO of Gainsight
Kudos to Nick and Amish for their thought leadership. I'm #humbled by their contributions.

If you have other great thought leadership examples, leave them here. The most bleeding edge thought leadership will receive a sweet CB Insights "Data > Opinion" t-shirt.

Marketing market

We dive into marketing tech funding trends since 2012. While 2016 is on track for a decline in deals and dollars, Q3 saw a big bounce back, reaching a near-record high for deal activity with 170 deals.

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

NVIDIA. Jen-Hsun Huang writes that AI, the next wave in computing, will revolutionize one industry after another, and cites CB Insights funding data.

China Money Network. Nina Xiang shares a list of China's biggest downrounds and refers to the CB Insights downround tracker.

Fortune. Kia Kokalitcheva (@imkialikethecar) writes about the $140M raised by Postmates and references CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

Forbes India. Harichandan Arakali (@arakalihari) writes about Hike Messenger's valuation and quotes CB Insights' Marcelo Ballve (@ballve) on startup valuations.

The Market Mogul. Daniel Lynn (@the_marketmogul) dives into how unicorns are reshaping Silicon Valley and cites CB Insights investment data.

Hope you had a terrific Tuesday.

I love you.


P.S. 700+ applicants for the AI 100. Nominations close on November 3rd.

Subscription e-commerce market map

The 57 startups in this market map have raised over $1.4B in total across apparel, cosmetics, wine, kids' toys, and other subscriptions. See the market map.
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Analyzing the M&A activity of Verisk Analytics

Verisk, one of the largest data analytics providers in the P&C insurance industry, has made more than 12 acquisitions since 2012. See the data.
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Marketing tech startups see funding climb after a long slump

Quarterly deal activity shot up in Q3'16. However, there have been no rounds of $100M+ to marketing tech companies this year. Read about it.
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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on private companies, venture capital, emerging industries, and innovation.

Exit models. Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) says there needs to be innovation in exit models for mission-oriented startups.

S-curve. A podcast that looks at where we are on the 'S-curve' of innovation for PC devices.

Wither on the vine. M.G. Siegler (@mgsiegler) shares his thoughts on Twitter's extermination of Vine.
500ish Words

Morgan Housel (@morganhousel) on how investors should deal with surprises, such as financial crises.
Collaborative Fund

GIPHY eats the world. Jeremy Liew (@jeremysliew) on GIPHY's success and its importance.

Airbnb and Uber. Sam Lessin (@lessin) on where Airbnb may be more vulnerable than Uber.
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