Unicorns vs. Race Horses

Valfredo Pareto in 1895 observed that distribution of income showed a lot of poor people, very few super rich and a wide range in the middle. I hope that since 1895 the range in the middle has become larger but we still do see extremes, as highlighted by some of…

And The Purpose of a Startup Is?

I play a little guitar. (Not very well). Why do I play? It's not to entertain others. It's not to be part of a band. Maybe it's because it's a way to relax. It's can be a sense of achievement. It's about enjoying learning something new. I used not to…

The Scale-up COO

Well funded tech start-ups have the potential to grow fast, very fast. They can grow every month more than most businesses expect to grow in a year. Partly because they are not constrained by physical locations and can reach customers quickly anywhere, and partly because the best companies attract venture…

What Makes A Great Startup Idea?

When people find out that we invest in idea stage companies, I am often asked, "what do you look for?" and "what makes a good idea?" The truth is that good ideas can only succeed if they can be made into reality and that requires a…

Grandma Used To Say

My Grandma used to say giving is more pleasurable than receiving I've found her to be correct and I'm reminded of her wise words at this time of year. Too often we ask, "what's in it for me?" A natural emotion I'm sure, but if held too tightly…

How To Control Your Inbox So It Doesn't Control You

Like most of you, I get a lot of email. How does an investor stay on top of their email? It's not easy, that's for sure. I try to keep the number of emails that I still need to deal with at below 20. That's simply because if they go…

Flying Cars

We were in the car and I asked my kids what they thought the future would be like. We started with cars (naturally). A car that can fly Maybe. A car that you can press a button and it will go where you tell it to Very likely, especially given…

What to expect when pitching your idea stage company

Our process for investing in idea stage companies. No product, no team, no traction? No problem. At Forward Partners about half of the investments we make are with solo entrepreneurs at idea stage. We do at least one of these a quarter. We’re often asked what the process is…

Good Scaling, Bad Scaling

Some start ups become scale ups. There's good scaling and bad scaling. What is scaling? In today's language it means investing for growth. By investing for growth the company gets to "scale", i.e. becomes larger. This scale up phase typically is funded with growth capital, often starting…

Jumping Into The Deep End: London's Tech Talent Pool

Here we are in 2014 and London has a thriving startup scene boasting some of the best digital tech talent on the planet. It wasn't always that way. To do is to learn If I look back to my first startup job in 2000, the fact was that almost all…