The Jobs Rule
Here are a few folks attending our next Councils session in NYC on Oct 2/3rd.
- Home Depot, Chief Strategy Officer
- Traveler, EVP & COO
- Sage Software, EVP of Strategy
- Harman, Head of Strategy (Connected Car)
- Chief Innovation Officer, USAA
If you're a senior leader focused on growth and innovation at a company doing $1B+ in revenues, we have a few spots left. Just write back to me or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on Councils here if you are interested or want to share it with execs in your organization.
And now some data.
Keep in mind
We analyzed the most active investors in the mental health sector since 2013. Y Combinator takes the No.1 spot, with 6 deals into the space.
A couple of weeks ago, Juicero died.
The company had raised $100M+ from top investors like Kleiner Perkins, Thrive Capital, and Google Ventures, among others, and had a valuation of several hundred million dollars.
For those unfamiliar, Juicero was a connected (aka IoT) $699 juice press with DRM capabilities (can't make this stuff up). Bloomberg's Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski eventually revealed that the juice bags used with the Juicero could be squeezed by hand, which sort of makes the idea of a press less useful.
But that's neither here nor there.
After the company's demise, Kevin Roose of The New York Times posted this tweet showing the company's founder at Burning Man.
Kevin's tweet led to some pushback from folks who said this type of criticism is unfair and the founder should be allowed to move on after trying valiantly, but ultimately failing.
This reminds me of a discussion on whether VCs should criticize startups between Phin Barnes of First Round Capital and Erin Griffith of Wired. At the time, we'd polled you all and you overwhelmingly said criticism is fair.
So when is it actually fair to criticize a startup or its founder or its investors?
In these cases, it is best to adhere to what I'll call the Jobs Rule, which is:
If the startup's founders, execs or investors draw comparisons to Steve Jobs before it's clear they have an actual working business, you are allowed to be especially critical of the startup when it fails.
Did Juicero violate the Jobs Rule? Yup.
Benz goes vroom vroom
We updated our analysis of Daimler's startup and accelerator activity since 2014. Daimler has continued investing in various mobility models, showing a willingness to participate in larger financings to companies like Careem ($150M), Via ($250M total), and Turo ($92M).
You're not seeing the vision
Juicero wasn't a smoothie maker. It was an f'n platform.
We look at 8 high-profile families from Southeast Asia that are putting money into startups in the region. The Sinar Mas Group, for example, has set up its own tech investment arm, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, which has invested in 7 companies in Southeast Asia to-date.
According to a great Bloomberg essay by Olivia Zaleski, Ellen Huet, and Brad Stone, Juicero was burning a lot of money.
The $4 million per month was surprising given the company's strict expense reimbursement policy.
Hit the ground running
We surfaced 15 noteworthy early-stage fitness tech startups applying or developing technologies to a variety of areas in the sector, from fitness equipment, to on-demand apps and subscription services, to workout apparel, and more. The full list of startups can be seen in our fitness tech collection.
It wasn't me
Here's the rub in the whole Juicero thing. The $699 juicer with DRM capabilities market was there. The company wasn't done in by its $4M per month burn.
Maya Kosoff of Vanity Fair details the real reason for the company's demise.
Yup — the populist, anti-elitist political climate was the problem.
The Industry Standard
CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.
I love you.
Tearsheet. Tanaya Macheel (@tmacheel) writes about the CB Insights newsletter and the use of personality and love in a B2B product.
Mashable. Stan Schroeder (@franticnews) writes about initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cites CB Insights blockchain & ICO data.
Nikkei Asia Review. A look at the Indian internet startup space and SoftBank's investments with a reference to CB Insights VC data.
P.S. We're digging into baby and kids tech tomorrow. Be there.