Summer Winds Down

What a summer it has been.

I was pulled down a rabbit hole of a construction project.  Remarkable that I still like building and design.  Beginning to see the light on this particular project but definitely not there yet.  It was an all-consuming summer that took over my head and my attitude.  Not pretty but there are always silver linings to anything.

I always ponder this time of the year about the year ahead.  To me, September is really the start of the year.  I fear I have become jaded in the world of investing.  What I am seeing is stupid early stage valuations that I just can’t get my head around.  How a company is worth $7m without a real product is beyond me.  It says something about the bigger picture of the start-up world.  More players, more money, more of the same but perhaps a name brand behind it and higher valuations.  It is so reminiscent of the 90’s.  There are always a few gems in the rough and I would bet on a few investors finding them but not all of them.

The world is in turmoil.  The market has been high for too long.  A down market is on the horizon and I am not sure when it is going to show up but it is going to show up.  I fear it will show up in a heartbeat and a lot will come tumbling down.

I am an optimist at heart.  Always have been.  This rant sounds extremely doom and gloom but it is more realistic than anything else.  We are in strange times.  The good news is that women are finally having an equal voice at any table and it is long overdue.  I am excited about the companies I have invested in and many of them are finally finding their path.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  I am going to dig deeper into other projects we have in our queue.  And who knows, maybe I will open that chocolate chip cookie shop…..


Comments (Archived):

  1. fredwilson

    Gotham Goodies

    1. Gotham Gal

      I like it.

      1. Julie Lerner

        Yes do it! The West Village could use a good chocolate chip cookie shop.

  2. Erin

    What a summer indeed. Exhausting. Astrologically, so many planets were retrograding that it was like trying to walk through wet cement. September we’ll be charging ahead.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Let it be so!

  3. Kirsten Lambertsen

    When someone like you says the startup scene feels like the ’90’s, that gets my attention. The contact that I have with the startup world (working with them, not for them) echoes that. The SF Bay area scene right now is like the 90’s on steroids.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “… on steroids.” I mean from a cultural perspective.

    2. Gotham Gal

      Steroids for sure!

  4. Pointsandfigures

    I am not sure if the “market” has been too high for too long or not. I try to, but often I am not good at, listening to the market speak and not having an opinion about it. Some of my worst trades were when my ego or opinion got in the way. I was super bearish in 2009-2011. The man in the oval office had something to do with it and I would caution those that dislike Trump to not make the same mistake I did. The market is bigger than the office.On the startup thing-I agree with you. Valuations for certain companies are crazy. I suppose that can be talked up to to a few things but it certainly seems like risk/reward is out of whack. We wrote two checks this summer to companies and founders we really like. They had a product, and actually had revenue. I was reading about Microsoft today-they never had a year since their founding when they didn’t turn a profit. The only reason they took any VC money was to get an adult in the room. What a difference a generation makes. Now a lot of startups think the adults in the room are disposable and commoditized.I would say that in many cases, the VC industry has brought that sentiment on itself.GO CUBS! Time for fall baseball!

  5. awaldstein

    I love this time of year.A jammed September but for now, it is dinner at home, drinks with friends, and lots of exercise and thinking.

  6. LE

    What I am seeing is stupid early stage valuations that I just can’t get my head around. How a company is worth $7m without a real product is beyond me. Economically I think (and I hate this academic stuff) ‘to many dollars chasing to few goods leads to inflation’.This is the unfortunate and natural progression of business. In short you’ve been ‘big boxed’. Once something is successful then it attracts attention and money and is no longer the same for the original players who get squeezed out. The good news is you have no or little overhead and it’s not as if you have to turn up deals everyday (or even close). I find it amazing that you have invested in as many companies as you have actually.

    1. jason wright

      they burn tokens, don’t they?

  7. LE

    I was pulled down a rabbit hole of a construction project. Remarkable that I still like building and design. I would definitely be super interested in reading about that experience over several blog posts. The interactions with the contractors, the lessons learned, any mistakes and so on. I find that type of anecdote really interesting.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Happy to but need to have a bit of space first. 🙂

    2. TanyaMonteiro

      I second this. We are about to embark on building our first home and I know your feedback will be useful.