Diversified subscription landscape. Startup post-mortems. Investment to genomics.
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Work, work, work, work, work

Hi there,

Anyone start singing the Rihanna song after seeing the headline above? 

Me neither.

Alright, I'm a believer

Looks like ag tech really is hot.

Beyond Birchbox

We look at the subscription landscape and see that entrepreneurs and investors have been increasingly willing to apply the subscription model to new product categories. By 2012, subscriptions for snacks and beverages (coffee, beer, or wine) rose to 24% of first funding rounds, from zero in 2010.

Tim Ferriss might not agree

I'm not sure when the "work smart, not hard" mantra became fashionable, but when I hear it, I am reminded of these words by Marc Andreessen of A16Z:

Accomplishing great things by working smart but not working hard is, as far as I can tell, almost entirely a myth.

I recently came across two essays (both in The Blurb at bottom of this email) that do a great job of talking about the merits of working hard. One is by basketball player and perennial winner Ray Allen. The other is by boxer Ed Latimore and is titled "Hard Work Beats Talent." Latimore describes hard work as a talent
but it's just not often thought of as one. One of my favorite parts of his essay was the following:

And then there is Ray Allen's essay entitled "Letter to my Younger Self." You should just read it. It's really really good. He discusses putting in the work throughout and ends with the following:

Go to the court. Stay at the court.

Get your work in, young fella.

Most people will never really get to know the real you. But they’ll know your work.

So my question is are there examples of people who've done great things by not working hard and just working smart? If yes, I'd love to hear more about them.

Failure to thrive

We recently updated our list of startup failure post-mortems (now up to 178) by founders and investors. Companies include SunEdison,, GoZoomo, and more.

< 50 tickets left

We have 47 tickets left to The Innovation Summit, and a bunch of amazing speakers we've not yet announced.

FYI: The room block at the Bacara Resort also has only 18 rooms left. 

Ticket rates will go up again later this week to almost $3k per ticket.

Genomics picks up speed

We look at investment trends to the genomics space since 2012. Funding has already seen its third straight year with more than $1B in investment, with 2016 on pace to hit $1.3B+ by the end of the year.

Smart money piles in

The top venture capitalists increased the pace of their deals to supply chain and logistics tech startups in Q3’16. Smart money VCs participated in 5 deals to the category in Q3’16 which added up to $119M in aggregate.

The Industry Standard

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

Entrepreneur. Zach Ferres (@zcferres) shares tactics on avoiding startup failure and references CB Insights research on the subject.

Forbes. John Greathouse (@johngreathouse) on two trends that are transforming VC with a mention of CB Insights data on funding to the frontier tech space.

The Times of Israel. Shoshanna Soloman writes about cybersecurity startup Indegy and references CB Insights research on early-stage Israeli startups.

I love you.


P.S. Join us on November 29th for our briefing on supply chain and logistics tech. Sign up here.

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Subscription startups proliferate and diversify product focus

Subscription boxes focused on snacks and leisure activities have taken deal share from beauty boxes over the past several years. See the data.
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178 startup failure post-mortems

No survivorship bias here. A compilation of startup failure post-mortems by founders and investors. Check it out.
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Genomics sees third year of $1B+ investment and exits pick up

Almost all of the largest deals in the space have included participation by at least one corporation, including Celgene, Illumina, and GE. See the data.
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Kleiner Perkins and NEA among the most active smart money VCs in supply chain & logistics startups

2016 is on track to be the third straight year where smart money VCs have kept up the pace of 15 annual deals to startups in the space. Read about it.
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The Blurb

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

Letter to my younger self. NBA player Ray Allen reflects on the lessons he's learned, from finance to career to relationships, and more.
The Players' Tribune

Hard work beats talent. Ed Latimore (@edlatimore) believes that the only talent necessary is the willingness to work harder than anyone.
Mind Over Fist

Media in the age of algorithms. Tim O'Reilly (@timoreilly) questions how platforms that curate the news can build algorithms that take into account the "truth" as well as popularity.

Tech dominance. 
Brad Svrluga (@bradsvrluga) on why age matters in the battle for tech dominance.

What's next? Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) shares his presentation on getting past the industrial age.


A half dozen reasonsTren Griffin (@trengriffin) on reasons why VCs prefer missionaries to mercenaries.

VR and the media. Aaron Frank (@aarondfrank) on ways media and entertainment businesses can profit from using VR.
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