The changing VC landscape

I’ve been watching the venture capital landscape for a number of years. Lately–and there has been a lot of coverage on this (Slate, BusinessWeek)–the VCs seem to be retreating. Reminiscent of the pre-dotcom days, they’re investing more cautiously and in later-stage companies, often getting side stepped by real research and investment from large companies themselves who have VC arms set up specifically to spur innovation. The incubator model, celebrated by early companies like Idealab, seems to be returning too, with everyone from Yahoo’s Brickhouse to HP Labs and Disney focused on new models of internal investment and accelerated development. And at the same time, entrepreneurs are finding that it takes a lot less to get a business going, so why give up equity to a VC if you don’t have to. The VC community isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with the dynamics of the new market. I’m curious about what the folks on Sand Hill Road are thinking these days.

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