Above the Crowd

Archive for the ‘Web/Tech’ Category

How to Miss By a Mile: An Alternative Look at Uber’s Potential Market Size

July 11, 2014:

On June 18, Aswath Damodaran , a finance professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, published an article on FiveThirtyEight titled “ Uber Isn’t Worth $17 Billion. ” This post was a shortened version of a more detailed post he had written for his own blog titled “ A Disruptive Cab Ride to Riches: The Uber Payoff .” Using a combination of market data, math, and financial analysis, Professor Damodaran concluded that his best estimate of the value of Uber is $5.9 billion, far short of the value recently determined by the market. This estimate of value was tied to certain “assumptions” with respect to TAM (total available market) as well as Uber’s market share within […]

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Welcoming Jason Kilar, Richard Tom and the Vessel team to the Benchmark family

June 24, 2014:

Today Benchmark is excited to announce that we will be partners with Jason Kilar and Richard Tom on their next exciting project — Vessel . Working with amazing entrepreneurs is the number one reason we enjoy venture capital, and rarely do you have the opportunity to work with a team that has a track record like these two. While they are not planning to disclose any specifics today about the company, you can rest assured that they plan to bring their amazing product instincts and cultural leadership that were at the heart of Hulu’s success. We are also excited to be partnering again […]

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A Deeper Look at Uber’s Dynamic Pricing Model

March 11, 2014:

Over the course of the past year, many writers have offered their perspectives on Uber’s dynamic pricing strategy. Perhaps the only consistency is that people have deeply passionate views on this topic. However, there are still many misperceptions about how the model works, and the purpose of this post is to clarify some of those misperceptions. I am an Uber investor and board member, and therefore expect that many will dismiss these thoughts as naked bias. But consider that as a result of my role I have access to more information that might enable a deeper perspective. I also have […]

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Stitch Fix: Reinventing Retail Through Personalization

October 17, 2013:

Early this year Amie Fineberg, who has been my amazing assistant for over 10 years, mentioned that she and several other employees at Benchmark had fallen in love with a new ecommerce service, and that I might want to check it out. The company, which the founder cleverly named “Stitch Fix,” had a remarkably unique offering compared to other women’s fashion experiences. Customers are first asked to fill out an in depth profile to help identify their size, style, and preferences. Then, on the customer’s requested date, the company sends a personally styled offering (a Fix) of five items (previously […]

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Conversion: The Most Important Internet Metric of All (Revisited)

October 2, 2013:

Over 13 years ago, in March of 2000, I wrote a blog post titled “ The Most Powerful Internet Metric of All. ” The key thesis was this: if an Internet company could obsess about only one metric, it should be conversion. No other metric so holistically captures as many critical aspects of a web site – user design, usability, performance, convenience, ad effectiveness, net promoter score, customer satisfaction – all in a single measurement. Yet despite the remarkable power of this metric, it is alarming how few companies today truly understand conversion and how to optimize it. As such, it is time to pound the table […]

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