Written in collaboration with Stephen Baldwin.

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I’m often approached by entrepreneurs who want to start a venture in an area of interest. Some have great ideas, and I’m energized by their passion, but I can’t help but see them for what they are at that stage: Naked in the arena.

This may sound harsh, but I’ve seen how gruelling it can be to compete in a space where you don’t have any unique advantage, be it technical or industry knowledge. I’ve seen entrepreneurs make sacrifices that they continue to lament long after their interest fades.

There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship, but if you identify and develop your advantages, you can drastically increase your chances of survival. …

Written in collaboration with Stephen Baldwin.

The venture studio model had one of its biggest successes last week with the IPO of Snowflake, a scalable data warehousing company that was worth $70.4 billion (USD) at the end of trading on Wednesday.

Here are the share prices that significant early investors in Snowflake got in at:

  • Sutter Hill Ventures: $0.17 per share
  • Redpoint: $0.97 per share
  • Altimeter Capital: $2.30 per share
  • Iconiq Capital: $3.50 per share
  • Sequoia: $7.46 per share

Arguably the day’s surprise, both in terms of financial gain and recognition, was Sutter Hill Ventures, a nondescript Palo Alto venture capital firm that incubated the company from its infancy. …

Written in collaboration with Stephen Baldwin.

This article introduces a risk model that helps FutureSight, a B2B SaaS venture studio, determine whether someone is financially and psychologically prepared to start an entrepreneurial journey.

The model rests on our belief that taking risks is fundamental to entrepreneurship. To start a venture is to take on substantial financial and personal investment with no guarantee of success.

That being said, the risk-reward equation isn’t balanced. When done right, entrepreneurship consists of taking a calculated and limited risk for the chance at an exponentially higher reward. …

Note: We have now released a whitepaper on startup studio structures which includes the content below, we’ve found the whitepaper format is more fitting than Medium for most readers.

As startup studios emerge as a new asset class in the innovation ecosystem, key questions of how studios should be structured and the optimal model for investors to participate in studios remain unanswered.

The purpose of this article is to address a number of these questions both for venture studio founders as well as venture studio investors. …


John Carbrey

As a passionate entrepreneur John leads FutureSight, a venture studio which builds and funds B2B software companies.

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