#productideas, business, product, startups, Technology

Disrupting VC

2 years ago, when tiphub was started, our core team had a couple of initial assumptions that came to be true.

  1. Bootstrapping is important, however majority of disruptive technologies need early capital.
  2. Venture capital is broken. With failure rates that would not be accepted in any other industry, most vc’s continue business as usual. The best ones have found ways to de-risk their investments by leveraging marketing strategies but its not a sustainable model for all vcs in a given ecosystem.
  3. The decision making process for investment selections was purposefully arbitrary. It allows gate keepers to claim a higher power than a regular person at picking companies that have the best chance of success.
  4. Lack of diversity in decision making leads to unequal representation and missed opportunities.

Now, to throw a wrench in it all, bring in the African perspective. Not enough vc activity, not enough opportunities to invest in, not enough capital, etc etc.

The major issue with the private market is that its supposed or destined to be the engine of growth for developed and developing countries alike. However, we don’t have the correct scale-able processes, or institutions in place to really push the needle of investment at scale. The two major problems are;

  1. How do you assess risk in a way that is accurate?
  2. How do you match risk, interest, and expertise to ensure optimal outcomes?

So early on in the inception of tiphub, the idea and the hope was that we would create a platform that would exactly what is missing in the vc community. A platform that could learn, overtime, the best investments for an investor based on different inputs. We called this project tracker.

2 years later, on the anniversary of tiphub, I can say we’ve gotten to the second phase of the tracker which is a platform that will bring together experts, investors, and startups to learn from interactions, and we’ll move on to phase three, where things will start to get really interesting.

Stay tuned as we build what we hope will be a game changing platform that will improve outcomes for all entrepreneurs and investors.

 

#productideas, product, Uncategorized

All Products Go To Heaven

Earlier today, Dropbox announced on their blog (here) they would retire Carousel and Mailbox, two products part of the Dropbox family. Dropbox acquired Mailbox for $100 million and made several acquisitions to improve the Carousel product.

From a user perspective, I understand the anger that comes from people who used either of the products. Mailbox, an IOS only email client, had a huge user base before the acquisition. Carousel was a great way to manage photos already stored on Dropbox and uploaded pictures from my phone gallery. The essence of Mailbox and Carousel will live on in new products Dropbox develops.

The product/ strategy guy in me knows Dropbox is shifting away from mass consumer products to more enterprise collaboration tools. Products like the newly minted Paper are the future of Dropbox’s enterprise strategy. It will allow them to compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Box and other enterprise companies.

Products phased out in large companies never really die. They often live on as core features within new projects. Product teams diffuse onto other projects and bring their experiences. Distressed users go on product hunt to find replacement products that solve their particular pain point. All products do make it to heaven. Its just a matter of how they get there.

#MentalNote, #productideas, business

Must Protect This House: Defending My Email Inbox

#MentalNote

I probably spend a lot more time than I should sorting through emails. I need to create a system that defends my personal inbox, curtails my professional email inbox, and make sure everything else in between falls into place. I’ll figure something out this weekend and share with everyone. Heck, maybe I’ll find a product idea in all of this.

Anyone with cool apps, extensions, and/or strategies to tame my inbox?