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Five top VCs predict the future

Five top VCs gathered Thursday evening at the Churchill Club’s annual Top 10 Tech Trends program to dispense a healthy dose of theories on what the future will bring.

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Be afraid: VC investing is on pace to match 2001

For the first three quarters of this year more than $33 billion has been put to work in U.S.-based companies. That is $3 billion more than the amount invested in all of 2013, according to the MoneyTree Report from the NVCA and PricewaterhouseCoopers, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

Venture Alpha: The Stars Came Out to San Francisco

Thomson Reuters’ Venture Alpha 2012 event Thursday in San Francisco, we heard from investing and entrepreneurial legends including Benchmark GP Bill Gurley, DCM founder Dixon Doll and AOL founder Steve Case. Visiting the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill, VCs, entrepreneurs and dealmakers gathered for a day-long series of talks and meetings on the state and future of the venture capital industry.

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Bill Gurley to LPs: You are Blowing It

Bill Gurley has a message for institutional investors: Stop blasting money at what have historically been top-tier venture funds. “You’re not in the stands. You’re in the field. And when you allocate [your capital] obsessively to firms in the top quartile, it will have an impact on how things play out.”

Silicon Valley Reacts to Jobs’ News: ‘Visionary Founders Matter Most’

“Funny how much emotion you can feel about a stranger. And yet every phone call I make, every time I’m on my computer, he’s part of it.” The words belong to writer Susan Orlean, writing yesterday about famed entrepreneur Steve Jobs. But one imagines that millions of people experienced the same, queer feeling, following the […]

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Bill Gurley: All Revenue Is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club

“Don’t you know that you are a shooting star,
And all the world will love you just as long,
As long as you are.”

– Paul Rodgers, Shooting Star

With the IPO market now blown wide-open, and the media completely infatuated with frothy trades in the bubbly late stage private market, it is common to see articles that reference both “valuation” and “revenue” and suggest that there is a correlation between the two. Calculating or qualifying potential valuation using the simplistic and crude tool of a revenue multiple (also known as the price/revenue or price/sales ratio) was quite trendy back during the Internet bubble of the late 1990s. Perhaps it is not peculiar that our good friend the price/revenue ratio is back in vogue. But investors and analysts beware; this is a remarkably dangerous technique, because all revenues

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Android: The Ultimate Loss Leader (Also A Moat)

Bill Gurley doesn’t blog often. But when he does, his posts are often worth reading. This is the case with the Benchmark Capital general partner’s piece this week on the threat posed by Google’s Android software for cell phones and tablets, and the software’s key defensive role for the Internet titan. (Gurley’s last post was […]

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Winning! or Losing? A Look Into the Super-Fund Movement

It’s become something of a bromide in Silicon Valley that pouring as much money into a relatively few break-out companies as quickly as possible is the only way to win in venture capital. In an interview with this reporter in 2009, Marc Andreessen made a strong case for this winner’s circle school of investment. He […]

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Will China Play Nice with U.S Exchanges?

Yesterday, I caught up with Doug Chu, a former investment banker turned head of the NYSE’s Silicon Valley office. It was a candid discussion that touched on a number of interesting data points, not all of them encouraging for the NYSE.

1.) Unsurprisingly, Chu agreed with Bill Gurley about there being a disconnect between what’s happening in Silicon Valley and elsewhere on the IPO front. In his widely read blog post of earlier this week, Gurley observed that the Valley has come to believe there’s a dearth of IPOs in part because many companies going public are based elsewhere in the country. Chu suggests Gurley should have included China in the conversation. There’ve been 122 IPOs in the U.S. this year, and 25 have been China-based companies listing in the U.S. – a huge percentage.

IPO Market Not All Bad…Especially If LinkedIn Files

The IPO market for technology companies has been lousy lately. But it’s not all doom and gloom, if venture capitalists, such as Bill Gurley, are to be believed. “The buyside is hungry for growth stories,” says Gurley (pictured), a general partner at Benchmark Capital. Gurley spoke on stage this morning at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference […]

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Bill Gurley on Rivalry in the Valley, Facebook’s Future and What He Makes of Digital Sky Technologies

Benchmark’s Bill Gurley is an exceedingly busy guy. He’s a dad, he’s a sought-after speaker, and he’s on the boards of 11 companies, including Zillow, Nanosolar and online video guide startup Clicker. Gurley also still posts a thought piece at least once a month at his widely read blog, Above the Crowd.

In short, it’s hard to get Gurley on the phone. But today, as he drove to the airport for yet another meeting, he made time to talk about Facebook’s direction, Digital Sky Technologies, and angel investors among other things. Get a transcript after the jump…

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