What I unlearned about startups this year – TechCrunch
Taylor Swift has impeccable timing. First of all, she released “Red”, an album about heartbreak and pain, when I was in high school. My now retired Tumblr is still grateful. More recently, Swift embarked on a project to re-record her previous albums, reclaiming her music from her old label – this time with her own ownership as a key difference. His first re-recording, of “Fearless” – annotated with “(Taylor’s Version)” – was released this year.
Of course, I think there is a pretty obvious technological angle here. Swift made a statement about empowering artists and the importance of music owned by singers – to hell with the record labels – the same year we saw the technology defined by the Great Resignation, emerging entrepreneurs and the distributed work. Like Swift, I think the tech scene is going through an uncomfortable time where they change their minds, question authority, and thus come closer to self-representation.
Looking back, I’ve learned a lot about startups this year, especially around due diligence, formalization, and what it means to go against the grain.
Due diligence is a differentiator
When Spark Capital decided to ‘sever all ties’ with David Dobrik’s Dispo app a few weeks after making a deal in the company, I immediately thought it would set a precedent in the venture capital industry. . The move was sparked by a Business Insider US investigation that uncovered allegations by a woman who said a member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad sexually assaulted her.
In some ways, I was right: Unshackled Ventures and Seven Seven Six also opted out of the business, donating the profits from their respective investments to organizations focused on sexual assault survivors. In other respects, I was not. Clearly, there is still a disconnect between what happened with Dispo and the rapidly evolving world of due diligence.