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How to identify technology trends for macro investors

I recently spent time with a hedge fund manager who asked for counsel on how he could identify macro trends (especially technology macro trends) which he could use to generate investment ideas.  The deck below summarizes my recommendations.  This overlaps with my research on origination for private [...continue reading]

Artificial intelligence in financial services

I’ve presented at a few conferences lately on AI in financial services, particularly on how investors are using AI.  I’ve posted here an expanded version of my slides.  I provide an overview of why AI is a tool that so many people are exploring; what I think increases the odds of success for [...continue reading]

Microcredentials for the effective VC or private equity investor

Historically VC has been an apprenticeship business.  That said, I’ve identified quite a few microcredentials, conferences, and other learning opportunities which will help train you to be a better investor.  I’ve also published research here on private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and [...continue reading]

Fundraising hacks for VC and private equity funds

Historically, the process of winning capital from limited partners has been opaque.  However, in the last few years a few have started to use social media and become more transparent.  I particularly like OpenLP.com, Origins, and the Raise blog, all of which include content from multiple LPs. [...continue reading]

Institutional Investor’s cover story is our research study on innovation in investing

We’re happy to report that Institutional Investor just published our research study as their April cover story: “Asset Managers, Prepare to Have Your Business Disrupted” (about 2,000 words). You can download the full study in PDF (10,000 words) or join the discussion around the paper here on [...continue reading]

How to run your company based on metrics: what, why, how, who, and when

I review a lot of board decks with a beautifully hand-crafted page with metrics for the company.  That makes me nervous.  I prefer to see a screenshot of an internal dashboard, not something created for the board, and I prefer to see that same dashboard in the same format at every meeting.  The [...continue reading]

Get the final draft of our paper on disruption of the asset management industry

Update: You can read the final paper here:Original post: I’ve mentioned previously that I’m working on a research study on disruption of the asset management business.  We are now sharing the final draft of our research study  with reviewers.  If you’d like to take a look, please send me your [...continue reading]

18 ways to make your financial model stand out to investors

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s.  Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain.  I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand.In an effort to make my life easier, I’ve summarized here the [...continue reading]

How to lose fat and gain muscle with venture capital

Both founders and researchers in healthcare are spending far too much of their energy in areas where they’re not going to make maximum impact. Most health problems are self-inflicted, but the innovation economy doesn’t reflect the power of preventive healthcare.  Dr. An Nguyen and I just completed [...continue reading]

Venture capital superheroes

CB Insights just included ffVC in 13 Micro VCs We’re Watching, along with a (highly inaccurate) superhero graphic.  CB Insights has become a very influential data source in the industry.  In fact, I recently had dinner with a well-known VC who said that he was surprised to see the CB Insights [...continue reading]

How to create competitive market maps with MarketMap.me

At least ¼ of the investment proposals I get have a "market map" of some sort: a graphic analysis of the competitive landscape.  I think competitive analysis is critical.  Any useful startups is trying to perform some useful job for a client, and you have to understand what people are currently [...continue reading]

Seeking investors to participate in study on innovation in asset management

I’ve written in the past on how the investing industry is overdue for innovation.  I’m now launching a research project to better understand the emerging investment opportunities. We are seeking Partner-level investment professionals at hedge funds, mutual funds, VCs, sovereign wealth funds, pension [...continue reading]

Design your company culture like the world’s largest hedge fund

Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, is a man after my own heart.  A few years ago he publicly set down his core Principles for living, managing, and investing.  Bridgewater uses these codified rules for recruiting, training, and most important, managing the [...continue reading]

How to pitch an entrepreneur and persuade her to take your cash

With the rise of a trillion-dollar crowdfunding market, angel investors bundling their investment offerings, and family offices doing more direct investments, venture capitalists are no longer the only available source for entrepreneurs seeking funding.Now that anyone can benefit from the global [...continue reading]