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Final san diego venture group keynote 2016

Mark Suster
Mark Suster
Mark SusterPartner, Upfront Ventures à Upfront Ventures

A keynote presentation I gave to the SDVG with advice about starting a company and understanding the venture capital industry

Final san diego venture group keynote 2016

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San Diego Venture Group - Keynote
@msuster msuster
Mark Suster
BothSidesofTheTable.com
1 Basecamp - Choosing Your Market
2 Funding the Expedition
3 How Venture Capital Actually Works
4 Picking Your Crew
2
Startup Journey
Basecamp
3
4
The first step for a startup should be to
focus on basecamp.
Many investors are too focused on the
peak.
5
Experienced climbers have the luxury of
skipping basecamp as they know the mountain
-Academic breakthroughs
-Industry knowledge
-Worked with VC investors before
-History of exits
6
If there’s one thought I’d like to leave you with about planning an Internet
business it’s that at scale the Internet drives deflationary economics.
Unit Price
of a Good
Time
Deflation

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Final san diego venture group keynote 2016

  • 1. San Diego Venture Group - Keynote @msuster msuster Mark Suster BothSidesofTheTable.com
  • 2. 1 Basecamp - Choosing Your Market 2 Funding the Expedition 3 How Venture Capital Actually Works 4 Picking Your Crew 2 Startup Journey
  • 4. 4 The first step for a startup should be to focus on basecamp. Many investors are too focused on the peak.
  • 5. 5 Experienced climbers have the luxury of skipping basecamp as they know the mountain -Academic breakthroughs -Industry knowledge -Worked with VC investors before -History of exits
  • 6. 6 If there’s one thought I’d like to leave you with about planning an Internet business it’s that at scale the Internet drives deflationary economics. Unit Price of a Good Time Deflation
  • 7. 7 But in dramatically increasing the market reach / size the Internet has created enormous companies that scale quickly. Unit Price of a Good Time Deflation Market Size Market
  • 8. 8 The most successful new entrants enter the market with less functionality but massively cheaper prices - The Innovator’s Dilemma. Performance/ Functionality Time New Entrant Incumbent
  • 9. 9 This is the most misunderstood thing about “disruption” - it’s a combination of 4 factors in which incumbents literally can’t respond Price Performance/ Functionality Margin Market Size
  • 10. 10 Initially incumbent's customers’ requirements are high enough that the startup can’t meet their needs. Eventually startup is good enough and market trades down Time Performance / Functionality Incumbent New Entrant Incumbent Customer Requirements Market trades down. Performance good enough
  • 11. 11 Nearly every major Internet success story is built on the principal of deflationary economics
  • 12. 12 And disruptive technologies that have a structural advantage form the basis of many of our best investments New Entrants Incumbents with Innovator’s Dilemma
  • 13. 13 I would encourage you to think about solving harder problems in bigger markets with fewer startups. Defense/ Intelligence Education Healthcare Provision Healthcare Back-End Virtual Reality Transportation Manufacturing Food Production/ Distribution
  • 15. Angels & Seed Accelerators Crowd funding/ Angellist The 3 F’s: Friends, Family & Fools 15 The good news is the sources of capital have increased dramatically in the past 5 years
  • 16. 16 At the earliest stage it is almost certain that your capital will need to be local - unless you’re going straight to venture / seed. The table stakes in 2016 are; Product (or prototype) 1 Team 2 Engineering capabilities in- house 3
  • 17. 17 The most important part of funding is finding your initial “anchor” investor Then leveraging to find more
  • 18. 18 Create a sense of urgency Under promise, over deliver Show results
  • 19. 19 Prove you can ship product
  • 20. 20 Start building relationships early. When we first meet, you’re just a “dot” to me. Performance Time The first time we meet
  • 21. 21 If I got excited on the basis of our first meeting I am really only judging your presentation skills That’s why Demo Days are artificial
  • 22. 22 Over time I start to see a pattern and get to know who you are. It’s much easier to invest when you understand somebody’s character. Performance Time Meet investors early / often
  • 23. 23 How to find angels? Take 50 Coffee Meetings
  • 24. How Venture Capital Actually Works 24
  • 25. 25 VCs raise money on the expectations of delivering at least a 4x gross return (3x net) $300m $1.2Bn Fund Size Expected Returns 4x LP’s • Universities • Personal Funds • Insurance • Corporates
  • 26. 26 >80% of our returns are driven by <20% of our investments, following the Power Law Returns 10X 20X 30X 40X 50X Deals 5-6 Deals 24 - 25 Deals ≤1X
  • 27. 27 Let’s take what by most standard is considered an amazing outcome - an $80 million exit in 5 years. $10M Post $80M Acquisition Initial Investment Exit $2M $8M $16M $64M + Additional $2M over 5 years to keep pro rata 20% 20%
  • 28. 28 The press will write about what a great outcome this is. Friends will congratulate us on our spectacular 4x. For us this is literally “average.” $4M $16M 4x Invested Returned
  • 29. 29 It represents just 5% of our fund returned and 1.33% of our expected returns. This doesn’t even make a dent in venture. $16M $16M $300M $16M $1.2B ~5% of fund returned 1.33% of expectations
  • 30. 30 Now let’s imagine a whopping $800 million exit. $10M Post $800M Acquisition Initial Investment Exit $2M $8M $160M $640M + Additional $8M over 7-10 years 20% 20%
  • 31. Even at 16x, returning $160 million is still just half of our fund and only 13% of our expected returns. $10M $160M 16x $160M $300M $160M $1.2B >50% of fund returned 13.33% of return expectations Invested Returned
  • 32. 32 Which is why the VC model is really about the $3Bn+ outcomes $10M Post $3Bn Exit Initial Investment $2M $8M $450M $2.55B + Additional $13M over 7-10 years 15% 20%
  • 33. 33 And even still this would just be 33% of our expected returns. Venture is truly only aligned with enormous outcomes. That’s the business. $15M $450M 33x $450M $300M $450M $1.2B 150% of fund returned >1/3 of return expectations Invested Returned
  • 34. Understanding what drives VC investment decisions can help you determine if right for you 34
  • 36. 36 There’s a huge premium for taking the first leap
  • 37. 37 Short people shouldn’t hire short people
  • 38. 38 Hire people that punch above their weight class
  • 39. 39 You Can’t Build a World-Class Restaurant Without a World-Class Chef Tech is no different
  • 41. 41 Stay lean for as long as you can
  • 42. San Diego Venture Group - Keynote Thank You