For the last 7 years I’ve worked with, and invested in, dozens of early-stage startups.

It all started on March 6, 2008 — the day Steve Jobs introduced the App Store — forever changing the way software is distributed and ushering in the mobile era. Less than a year after launch, the app store counted over 50k apps and more than one billion downloads.

What happened next was nothing short of a startup frenzy.

Tiny teams of as little as a single developer were creating apps, distributing through the app store, getting thousands of downloads, and raising huge sums of $$$. Akshay Kothari, one of my TAs at Stanford, dropped out halfway through class to launch Pulse, the first newsreader app for the iPad, which he later sold to LinkedIn for $90 million. The Pulse app was even featured in a demo by Steve Jobs himself.

When Steve Jobs opened up the iPhone to third-party developers, he single handedly brought the tech industry back from the dot-com crash, and it came back stronger than ever.

In 2009 Apple sent engineers to Stanford to teach a class in iPhone development. The goal was to encourage more developers to create apps for the iPhone, and it certainly worked on me. Above is an incredibly embarrassing video of my final presentation for the class.

Since graduating, I’ve worked at a mobile advertising startup, pitched Venture Capitalists in the dark, co-founded a startup, consulted for many young companies, and have even had the good fortunate to invest in a few.

Here I’ll be talking about trends in startups & venture capital and exploring new ideas around fundraising and management.

I love feedback, particularly if you have opposing views. As far as I’m concerned, Discussions > Preaching. So please, when you think I’ve gone off the rails, post a response. Or in lieu of that, you can always reach me directly at max(at)uglyducklingventures(dot)com

Good luck in your ventures.