The founders venture out in a boat on a virgin lake. They cast a lot of lines. Most of those casts come up empty. A few yield a boatload of fish.

In business the first-mover advantage is obvious but it is not foolproof. As one analyst wrote, “First-mover advantage is no absolute guarantee of success, and for reasons which must remain forever mysterious, late-arriving and sometimes inferior products often take over the market from the first-movers.”

I don’t agree that the…

A successful seed round should prove that the product worked for the problem it was supposed to solve or the opportunities it was supposed to create.

“There are different ways to do innovation. You can plant a lot of seeds [and] not be committed to any particular one of them but just see what grows. And this really isn’t how we’ve approached [Facebook]. …

“A lot of ventures over-raise and wind up with problems on their crap table.”

The Pacific Crest 19th Annual Global Technology Leadership Forum reminded me of a promotional tour I once went on with my dad and some of his clients in the music business. In two days, I did 16 meetings with growth funds, about 50 minutes each, one right after another. I’d…

Amazon, America’s leader in e-commerce, is becoming more like Walmart, America’s leader in physical retail — and vice versa. What took you guys so long?

Two recent occurrences serve as signals that we’re at a marketing crossroads. In June, Amazon announced that it had offered to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Two weeks earlier, at Walmart’s 47th Annual Shareholders Meeting, President and CEO Doug McMillon vowed to make the company “people-led and tech-empowered” with…

If you’re already into a deal and you’re not sure which type of VC you’re in business with, you’ll find out the minute something goes slightly wrong — and it always does.

There are basically two types of venture capitalists. The first wants to make a difference by building something. The second just wants purely to make a financial gain.

I was thinking about that recently during a classic waiting-in-the-wings moment. …

Lewis Gersh

CEO of PebblePost, inventor of Programmatic Direct Mail®. Founder of Gersh Venture Partners and Metamorphic Ventures and was entrepreneur supportive VC.

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