• About Jeff Richards

    - Venture Capitalist @ GGV Capital
    - Dad
    - Entrepreneur

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Good Article in NYT on US/China Relations

I often say that many people from the US evaluate China as if we are both playing baseball – when in fact China is playing cricket.  It looks similar, but it’s slightly different.  Good article by Helene Cooper in NYT on Sunday describing how US policymakers want China to act in…the best interest of the US – and why that may not work.  Worth reading.

This Cloud Thing May Be for Real…

Good post on Cloudscaling.com blog today – interview with Adrian Cockroft, Cloud Architect at Netflix.  Whenever I meet with senior IT execs from major internet players, I am amazed at what they are doing with AWS.  We repeatedly hear “I flat out could not do what I am doing without it.  There is no way we could deploy servers rapidly enough or with enough capacity to handle the peaks and valleys in a cost effective manner.”  Yet when I meet with execs from the “big guys” in IT, they perceive that AWS is “great for startups, but not for large companies.”  Posts like this should start to accelerate the change in that perception…

The Future of America

I recently interviewed a high school senior from Livermore, CA (pop 83,000) for early decision admission to Dartmouth.  In short, despite all the negative news we read every day, there is hope.  This woman was amazing.  A 4.25 GPA, fluent in French, passionate about a number of other subjects, plays soccer and basketball, etc..  She was confident, clear and a terrific communicator – in short, heads and shoulders above what I believe I was like at 18.  I can only hope there are tens of thousands of other high school seniors out there like here applying to America’s best schools.  If so, the future looks bright.

Great Quote

Great quote from an entrepreneur we met with recently:

“I can’t figure out Facebook’s privacy policies, so I’m just going to live my life in a good and wholesome way and assume it will all work out…”

New Word?

Actually used the term “grouponification” today when talking to the ceo of a (very cool) Internet company.  A new low in tech verbiage coming from me.  Refers to the massive wave of flash offers sweeping different ecommerce categories.  He seemed to know what I was talking about…

ZDNET Interview with Appirio Co-Founder Narinder Singh

The best in the business when it comes to cloud computing…


Two Interesting Blog Posts Today

Amit Kapur’s post on TC regarding his new startup Gravity.  We will see many more startups getting funded to focus in this direction.  The (near) future will be personalized, it will be mobile, and it will be connected to your social graph (IMHO).

Bill Gurley’s post entitled “Silicon Valley’s IPO Anxiety.”  Well written, well said.

Notes from Digital Hollywood NY

Spoke last week at Digital Hollywood in NY.  A few observations:

1) As Antonio Rodriguez from Matrix noted, all of our panelists were VC’s who come from entrepreneurial backgrounds. 

2) Lots of buzz and activity around the location / offers concept, lots of it tied back to FourSquare.

3) There’s a rabid angel investor network in NY.  In today’s market with many companies getting started with less than $500K-$1M, guys like Fabrice Grinda are backing a lot of cool companies.  One angel I spoke with has written 38 checks in the last 24 months. 

4) Ton of activity around new ad formats and concepts.  A lot of Doubleclick alumni + ad network founders you may not have heard of with liquidity from later stage vc’s – funding their own startups + raising capital from the angel network.

Special thanks to Ed Zimmerman, NY’s uber tech attorney, for making intros and another fabulous wine dinner.

Quantitative Easing Explained (Funny Video)

Thought this was pretty funny

Recently Read: Recommended Reading

I decided to make my first post on the new blog one that I would look back on and always feel good about.  Hence, a list of a few of my favorite books.

In an Uncertain World – the story of Robert Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton; great read no matter your political views

Freakanomics – makes you think

Too Big to Fail – a riveting blow-by-blow account of the US financial crash of 2008

The Snowball – a bio on Warren Buffett / long read but good if you are a fan

Setting the Table – a must read for entrepreneurs, written by über restaurant entrepreneur Danny Meyer

Lone Survivor – unbelievable but true story of a US Navy SEAL in Afghanistan

Dream Golf – the story of the making of Bandon Dunes by entrepreneur Mike Keiser

Moneyball – terrific book by Michael Lewis about playing the game differently – and winning

House of Mondavi – good history of CA wine, for those who like wine

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