20VC: Betaworks’ John Borthwick on Why The VC Model Is So Inefficient, Why Venture Fund Cycles Are Too Short & Why Frontier Tech Could Only Have Been Disappointing Over The Last Year

Posted on 6th March 2017 by Harry

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John Borthwick is the Founder & CEO @ Betaworks, the New York-based startup platform combining 3 areas of expertise. They have a studio where they have built products including Giphy, Dots, Bitly and more. They have a fund with prior investments including Tumblr, Medium and Kickstarter. Finally they have a camp, a thematic accelerator program for companies in frontier technology sectors. As for John, Prior to Betaworks, John was an SVP at Time Warner Inc following John’s previous company, WP-Studio, being acquired by AOLTW.


In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How John made his way from AOL and Time Warner to founder of Betaworks?

2.) Why is John skeptical of the traditional VC model? Why does John believe that the market has adapted but the VC model has not?

3.) Why does John believe fund cycles are simply too short, in the same school of thought as Matt Ocko @ Data Collective? What are the problems with this?

4.) How does John evaluate Fred Wilson’s post on the consumer downturn? Why does John think we are addicted to short term rapid fire hits?

5.) Why is John not surprised that AI, Bots, VR and AR are being ‘labeled a disappointment for the last year? What does he think will be the catalyst for their rise?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

John’s Fave Book: King Lear

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