Lacy

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On March 25, 2017, Lacy commented on IndieGoGo: Supply and Demand -> Demand and Supply :

Very interesting post! Indiegogo has done a lot over the past few years to transition from serving primarily as a crowdfunding company to supporting entrepreneurs throughout the process of bringing their ideas to market. Currently it seems like Indiegogo staffs internally to support entrepreneurs in marketing, product development, etc – I wonder if there is an opporutnity for them to engage crowds beyond simply fundraising in their GTM support functions.

On March 25, 2017, Lacy commented on CrowdMed: Solving medical puzzles :

Interesting company. I wonder if there is an alternative funding model in which doctors pay for access to the database (rather than patients), so that patients have a lower barrier to entry. With a larger pool of patients on the platform, additional value could be created for doctors to identify future patients in their field of specialization or candidates for research.

Totally agree with Meili’s point about parking availability. In high-traffic urban areas at peak times, cars often stall in traffic to wait for a car to leave a parking spot, so there is very little time when the space is not occupied. I don’t think the current availability feature is very useful unless you’re dealing with a parking lot that has multiple open spaces and wouldn’t fill up immediately. The data on parking restrictions does seem useful but strikes me more as a feature of another platform (e.g., Waze) vs. a standalone application.

On February 28, 2017, Lacy commented on YC: organizing the seed-funding ecosystem :

Very interesting post! Y combinator actually uses a standard deal now of investing $120k in return for 7% of the company’s equity (unless there are exceptional cases). What’s interesting about Y combinator vs. other platforms we’ve covered is that their long-term success is directly linked to the long-term success of both their founders and, given that returns are driven by the long-term company valuation, the success of the company’s investors. As with other VCs, y combinator is making bets that a handful of companies out of hundreds will become “home-runs” with multi-million or billion $ valuations. (They’ve had several already – airbnb, dropbox, reddit, and others) Unlike most VCs, y combinator has been able to achieve a highly efficient process of seeing hundreds of startups each year, investing relatively small amounts of money up front, and setting the companies up for maximum growth (and thus the fund for maximum returns). It’s a great model because the winners win so big.

Very interesting post! I would be very curious to learn more about who is funding them — Wikileaks must be pulling in a substantial amount of revenue to support a staff of over one hundred globally. Their site offers little transparency as to their donors’ identities / contributions, but I would think both would influence the site’s political agenda.

On February 28, 2017, Lacy commented on Making Higher Education Accessible – Coursera :

Very interesting post! I’m excited to see what Coursera is able to achieve over the next few years. Originally they positioned themselves as trying to fundamentally disrupt traditional higher education delivery, but they have evolved to focus more on on-going learning and development, primarily for people who already have degrees. Because Coursera does not own the original content (schools develop the curriculum), it will be interesting to see if they have a content supply issue down the road as universities develop their own capacities to develop, market, and monetize online content. I can envision a world in which universities eventually go directly to customers (students) while coursera moves to focus more on consumer or enterprise learning and development (a competitive but high margin space).

On February 2, 2017, Lacy commented on One Medical Group: The Potential Uber of Healthcare :

Great post – I wonder to what extent the value proposition of the One Medical model has led “traditional” PCP operators to become more technologically-enabled. At some point, customers in areas served by one medical could demand the level of service offered by the company- could this bring the end of the independent PCP? Could acquiring or partnering with independent PCP providers (versus starting new sites) be the next wave of growth for One Medical?

Wow – it’s pretty incredible that the fund has had such outsized returns over such a long time horizon, particularly considering that computing power and analytical approaches / capacity have evolved dramatically. I would be curious to learn more about when in the investment selection process humans engage vs. leveraging technology. Is a seasoned investor the first filter for companies in consideration, or does the company lean on its computing power so much that investors only get involved at the end of the process? Do these tech enabled processes risk eroding alpha over time (presumably advanced technologies across firms should converge on a company valuation)?

On February 2, 2017, changeme_40 commented on Lynda.com and the Making of the Mother of the Internet :

Very interesting! It seems that in its current model, Lynda.com’s primary value creation is actually in the content it develops through collaborations with industry / technical experts. As the company matures and becomes integrated with LinkedIn / Microsoft, it will be interesting to see if the value creation focuses less on the content itself and more on its value as a platform integrated with other LinkedIn / Microsoft products. For instance, could what is now Lynda.com become a professional development platform for large companies to use to deliver all of their in-house developed training?