Category Archives: Cb Insights

Having a Voice

I was in Newport Beach for the Corporate Venturing Conference earlier this week. About 20-25 of our clients were there so it was great to see them and break bread with them. And a lot of folks who should be our customers were there.

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Our Newsletter – A Recruitment Channel?

I’ve gotten several resumes in the last few days from people who said they’ve been active readers of the CB Insights newsletter for a while. I love this. While our newsletter’s intent is to help create awareness of our data and product among customers, this has been great to see.

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Company Soul

I read two things today about entrepreneurial failure.  One was a great long form piece by Alyson Shontell of Business Insider about Fab.com and one was by Tyson Ho about an unnamed diner in Manhattan which was shuttering.

They were both well-written and painted very different pictures of failure. The story of a Fab was one of bad economics, hubris, premature expansion and of investor/founder/employees selling a big vision and chasing the unicorn dream.

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Y Combinator Companies Copies Us – Drama

We are a heads down, drama free group so today, when a Y Combinator company copied us, it resulted in some excitement for the team. Here is a post on the YC copycat that we published on our team blog earlier today.

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We’re really proud of our data and technology at CB Insights. We’re also extremely excited about what we’ve done on the design and data visualization front to help our clients tell stories and get answers from the data.

And now it seems others are excited by it as well.

Yesterday, a Y Combinator company launched that has a striking resemblance to our own product. You can see screenshots below. Of course, using the exact color scheme and text could be oddly coincidental.

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Trust the Process

Hiring is hard. Our plans call for us need about an additional 20-25 folks this year. That means around 2 hires per month and this assumes zero voluntary or involuntary attrition (which is unrealistic to be honest).
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Questions I Ask on Reference Calls

I talked a bit about the importance of references so figured I’d share the questions I usually ask. If you have other questions you ask when doing references that you think really get at the heart of how good a candidate is, let me know.

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Metrics

Some jobs lend themselves to hard metrics. Sales/biz dev is one such place. But a lot of roles don’t. A lot of my former roles were strategy or analysis driven and so there was no hard metric. It was always soft and intangible and relied on people’s impressions.  When I worked in VC and corp dev, it was all about deals. It wasn’t explicitly but implicitly, you wanted to do deals in those roles. Sometimes, I think folks did bad deals just to make the deal count go from zero to 1. They’d never admit, but subconsciously, it happened.
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Learning in Dog Years

Matt Wong who is a member of our research team was on Ali Velshi’s financial news show on Al Jazeera TV last Friday. I don’t think Matt expected to be on TV 1.5 years after graduating. I can’t say I would have expected it either, but when they called, I was busy with client meetings, and it felt like Matt was ready.  And so I asked him if he’d like to do it, and after some thought, he said he was.

I’d recommend you watch him as he does a great job. Here’s the link.  They chunk it up minute by minute for some reason so start watching at 2:48.

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Garbage in, Garbage Out – Yes Indeed

Renee DiRasta had a good post talking about conflicting data about seed activity. I don’t think some of her assertions about the data sources being similar for data providers are that accurate which I talked about on Twitter (see below). I also commented on her post that the whole seed deals are falling narrative is laughable.  Here’s the comment I left on her post.

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Anand here from CB Insights. Great thoughtful post. Thank you.

Five reasons that came to immediately came to mind on why the whole seed is declining narrative doesn’t pass the most basic of smell tests. If I spend an hour thinking about this more, there are probably others.

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Yup – this blog still sucks

Today, I approved and responded to 3 comments on blog posts I’d written. These were left by 3 smart folks – Bobby Mulley, John Gannon and Juhi Heda.  I was pretty siked that there is now proof that 3 people have read my blog. Earlier this week, a candidate who came in for a job said he liked my blog too. He could have been blowing smoke up my ass but he did his homework so props for that.

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