This Week in Venture Capital...
Innovation & Tech Review Week 15/2022
The world moves quickly. Innovation is moving forward at hyperspeed.
Since the CERN Institute put the WWW in the public domain, the free flow of information and communication at zero expenses has created an environment that fosters innovation on a global scale.
Cathie Wood is speaking in her presentations on the convergence of technologies like Blockchain, Artifical Intelligence, Battery Technology, or Gene-Editing.
When I started drug development in 2006, innovation was primarily done in one vertical. Drug Development was drug development, while digital health solutions were a different playground, as were diagnostics/medical devices.
In 2022 the different areas came closer together. AI solutions help scientists improve the drug discovery/drug development processes. Since the pandemic, everybody has been aware of the high relevance of integrated diagnostic solutions in the drug/vaccine development pipelines.
Modern technology has helped tremendously to bring people together.
A critical component of this development is leadership. People who help companies move forward. These days leaders like Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Jeff Bezos, or Tim Cook stand out from the crowd.
In a recent podcast episode, Brian Armstrong described that Ben Horowitz always described the qualities of Wartime vs. Peacetime CEOs.
What are the qualities of successful leadership these days? Is it challenging people, leading them with a leash like in a dictatorship, or instead spreading positivity and ensuring everybody feels comfortable in a company?
Brian Armstrong describes his approach to being a mission-focused CEO in the All-In Podcast.
The following article and the book Positively Energizing Leadership takes a closer look at the importance of spreading optimism and positivity while being empathetic, compassionate, and humble as a leader.
Investments and Emotions
Corporate leaders need clarity over the emotions they inflict on other people.
Also, investors need to control their impulses. The public stock markets are going up and down. Because private equity investments don’t have 24/7 price-building processes like public markets, it doesn’t mean that the valuations of private companies don’t fluctuate.
Several times every year, markets go up and down. Warren Buffett once said that many companies have 50–80% annual price fluctuations that investors can take advantage of.
And yet, once an investor buys a company, enduring changes in the market, price fluctuations, or difficulties in a company is a challenging game.
Especially when every website posts that we are in a bubble that will burst soon, you should better get out before it is too late.
This article shines a light on developing the world’s biggest and longest tech bubble.
Science is Coming Back to Venture
Today’s problems need game-changing products. Usually, scientists bring forth the ideas that have the potential to turn products into game-changing disrupting tools.
A few decades ago, large corporations funded academic research, and the government took over. Especially in Europe, the Horizon Program brings enormous capital to academic research.
However, as Ray Dalio describes in his book the changing world order:
“Deciding whether to keep and renovate something old that is not working well, or to dispose of it and replace it with something new is never easy, especially, when the something new is not clearly known and what is being replaced is as important as the domestic order. Nonetheless, it happens, though typically it is not decided on intellectually, it si more often emotionally driven.”
For that reason, the larger organization often picks up ideas once they are ready to market products.
It leaves a space for venture capital between research and market entry. And yet, venture capitalists often wait until the company has survived the first steps of derisking the idea.
This article brings an interesting angle to the discussion with the statement that blockchain technology might get venture capital back into academic research.
2 Podcasts from this week:
E77: Tech work culture, crypto regulation, stablecoins, $NFLX & more w/ Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
1 Youtube Takeaway from this week
Books I am reading this week
From legendary investor Ray Dalio, author of the international bestseller Principles, who has spent half a century studying global economies and markets, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order examines history's most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we've experienced in our lifetimes - but similar to those that have happened many times before.
A few years ago, Ray Dalio noticed a confluence of political and economic conditions he hadn't encountered before. They included huge debts and zero or near-zero interest rates that led to massive printing of money in the world's three major reserve currencies; big political and social conflicts within countries, especially the US, due to the largest wealth, political and values disparities in more than 100 years; and the rising of a world power (China) to challenge the existing world power (US) and the existing world order. The last time that this confluence occurred was between 1930 and 1945. This realisation sent Dalio on a search for the repeating patterns and cause/effect relationships underlying all major changes in wealth and power over the last 500 years.
In this remarkable and timely addition to his Principles series, Dalio brings readers along for his study of the major empires - including the Dutch, the British and the American - putting into perspective the 'Big Cycle' that has driven the successes and failures of all the world's major countries throughout history.
Dalio reveals the timeless and universal forces behind these shifts and uses them to look into the future, offering practical principles for positioning oneself for what's ahead.
Best Quote From This Week
"It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace."— Unknown
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