Our friends at High Alpha just announced their new High Alpha Studio and High Alpha Capital fund. We are proud to be partnered with them across both efforts. When we make an investment, whether into a company or into a fund, we always start with the people. First and foremost, we have to believe that the people we are backing are good humans, and that, taken together, they form a team that is greater than the sum of the parts. We want to invest in teams that have a positive impact on their companies, portfolios, and broader communities. Next, we need to see a compelling strategy that maps well to the strengths of the team. There are a number of different winning approaches in venture, but not all teams are equally well-suited to execute a given strategy. Specifically, we don’t think that there are many teams that are well-suited Continue reading "Our Investment in High Alpha"
When my life gets crazy, which it is right now, it helps me to internalize what is most important and triage around that. And I’m not just talking about what tasks to do and what not to do. I’m also talking about prioritizing friends and family, exercise, eating right, communicating, and all the things that at one time or another in my life I have let slide in favor of work. The triage is visible to people, of course, and saying no can be challenging. I saw some friends last night and they invited me to a thing they are doing in a couple weeks. They said “would you like to come?” I said “No”. My friend said, “do you mean you can’t?” And I said “I just mean I won’t.” He got a chuckle out of it but when I’m in triage mode, I can be
Continue reading "Priorities and Triage"
We’ve been soaking (and investing) in the world of 3D printing since our investment in MakerBot in 2011. Since then, we’ve made three other investments in the world of 3D printing – Formlabs, Glowforge, and Looking Glass. While Looking Glass is a holographic display and is the inverse of a 3D printer, you’ll see how it fits into this in a moment. While I continue to be impressed by Desktop Metal, the incredible press that they get, and am a big fan of the writing of Jason Pontin, I think Jason’s story in Wired – 3-D Printing Is The Future of Factories (For Real This Time) – misses several key points that take the idea that 3D printing is the future in a different direction. I’ve decided that 3D printing is the REPL for Hardware. Dan Shapiro, the CEO of Glowforge, coined this and he’s completely
Continue reading "The REPL For Hardware"
We write on our phones all day long. Texts, emails, searches, etc. But long form writing is a different thing. I’m not sure how much long form writing happens on phones. I’ve been mostly writing my daily posts on my phone in the last month and I quite like it. I am writing this post on my phone on a train to NYC this morning. It has a more casual feel. The words flow naturally from my head to my thumbs to the screen. I feel connected to the writing in a way that doesn’t quite happen on a big screen. I like that I can write on my phone anywhere. On a park bench. On a train. Sitting on the beach. Being able to write anywhere makes it less of a chore and more of a treat. Like having a moleskin with you all the time. I don’t write
Continue reading "Writing On My Phone"
Much of the significant recent merger activity in the healthcare sector is focusing renewed attention on the role of the pharmacy and the continued “retailization” of healthcare. Last month Flare Capital announced an investment in Aspen Health which will enable pharmacists to practice to their fullest potential. Now we are excited to announce Flare’s newest portfolio company higi, a company which will further position the pharmacy and other retail settings as the “front door” to one’s healthcare journey. Higi has built a robust national network of over 11,000 smart health stations (as well as a host of robust mobile applications), which are within five miles of nearly 80% of all Americans, and capture a wide array of biometric data including blood pressure, pulse, weight as well as survey and demographic data. They are located across 14 retail partners (pharmacies, supermarkets covering more than 50 banners) as well
Continue reading "Step on Through: Healthcare’s “Digital Doorway”"
My mid-week morning plane reads: • Welcome to Blaine, the town Amazon Prime built (The Verge) • What became of the ‘uncertainty’ meme? As Trumponomics get more unpredictable, U.S. Chamber stops complaining. (LATimes) • Proof Negative (Above the Market) • Teens are ditching Facebook like mad (Fast Company) see also How Old Are Successful Tech Entrepreneurs? (Kellogg Insight) • Your Brain on Reading… Read More The post 10 Wednesday AM Reads appeared first on The Big Picture.
Investment partnerships make many decisions together – many are small and relatively inconsequently decisions while others are more profound and impactful. Together we will make dozens of investment decisions over the course of any given fund, but we will only make a few personnel decisions. So, with great anticipation, we are excited to announce that Sarah Sossong has joined Flare Capital Partners as a Principal. For nearly two decades, Sarah has been in the middle of the transformation of healthcare, most recently as the Senior Director for the Center of Telehealth at Massachusetts General Hospital for the past six years, where she was in middle of launching several novel care delivery solutions. Previously, Sarah was managing a wide range of innovative healthcare technology projects at Kaiser Permanente for seven years. But it does not stop there: she is also super smart having graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude and Continue reading "Plus One – Flare Team Expands…"
Amy Batchelor and I have been married for 25 years today. Here’s what we looked like a long time ago on a vacation together in Cabo. R.E.M. and Dilbert together kind of says it all. Here’s another picture of us in our apartment at 15 Sleeper Street in Boston on Amy’s 25th birthday. Amy remembers that I took her out that night to Biba for dinner. That keyboard is the one that almost burned down an entire fraternity building on 351 Mass Ave one night. But that’s another story. I loved Amy’s permed hair – maybe that look will come back in fashion some day. Amy and I are in Dresden on our way to Berlin with my parents right now. They just celebrated their 55th anniversary, which is a remarkable achievement. I hope to have at least another 30 years with Amy. Happy anniversary my beloved. The post
Continue reading "Happy 25th Anniversary Amy"
A staggering $453 billion will be spent on pharmaceutical products in 2018 in the United States per Statista analyst estimates. Ten years ago, that amount was $291 billion. With 326 million Americans, that is nearly $1,400 per capita. Into this marketplace enters Aspen Health, our most recent “semi-stealth” investment which is focused on enabling pharmacists to practice to their fullest potential. Much has been made about the devastating opioid crisis, and appropriately so. What has come to light in this current raging debate has been greater scrutiny of the various pharmaceutical distribution channels and whether the role of the pharmacist can be expanded to play a more meaningful patient-centric role. The increased complexity of the mix of therapeutics as increasingly more of them move to biologics and specialty drugs (now 42% of pharma revenues) necessitates the need for competent clinical pharmacy practices. Aspen Health is founded by David Medvedeff
Continue reading "A Pharmacist Working His Magic…"
Yesterday Iora Health announced the close of a $100 million growth financing. We are thrilled to be an investor in what is emerging to be the leading company in the value-based primary care space. Iora is focused on Medicare patients over 65 years of age, managing over two dozen practices nationally. The care model is incredibly compelling as it focuses on an array of both clinical and social relationships with the members. Typical care teams are comprised of a primary care provider, health coaches, behavioral health specialists, nurses, clinical team managers and operations assistants, all collaborating to care for the whole person. Iora Health’s patients experience a 40% decrease in hospitalizations and a 20% decrease in ER visits. Arguably the US healthcare system is at a point of inflection. Yup. We have heard that many times before. But wait – this now feels different. CVS buying Aetna, Cigna combining with
Continue reading "Iora Health – Bird in Flight"
There are two major failure modes in startups. The first common failure mode is the thing you make doesn’t get adopted. That’s called not finding product market fit in startup lingo. The second common failure mode is “getting too far out over your skis” and it happens to companies that do find product market fit but mess things up by building an inappropriate cost structure (and capital base) and it all comes crashing down on them when they either can’t continue to raise money at ever increasing valuations and/or when they can’t grow into their cost structure quickly enough. The first failure mode comes with the territory. The world of startups is all about experimentation. Most experiments fail. If this happens to you, it sucks, but that is what you signed up for. The second failure mode is entirely avoidable and way more common than you might think. The capital
Continue reading "The Finance To Value Framework"
I initiated defensive action in client accounts today with a small purchase. You can read about the trade and my reasoning as to why I believe the odds that a bear market has started have increased. A few pictures from Kauai last week.
I’ve had a lot going on lately. I have resigned from AdvisorShares (I will have more on that soon) but have still been doing a lot of writing at TheMaven. Some of my recent posts include; A humorous take on hedge funds. A new look at the permanent portfolio. Whether UBI is insane or brilliant. Currently we are in Kauai doing some hiking, having a tough time finding beaches (the ones we usually go to here have been rendered unsafe for now due to the floods in Hanalei). But in the meantime here are some pictures from the hikes we have done so far, some of the scenery and of course a fire truck. From Sleeping Giant Trail that starts out in Kapa’a Awa’awapuhi Trail lookout in Kokee State Park near Waimea Canyon. Part of Waimea Canyon on Highway 550. Bali Hai near sunset. Fire Truck
I have resigned from AdvisorShares effective April 30th. This is my last regular blog post at Alpha Baskets, although I will be writing one more weekly Market Update next Monday. I will of course still be posting at TheMaven, Seeking Alpha and of course here at randomroger.com. From the post; This will be my final post here at Alpha Baskets, I am moving on from AdvisorShares after a little over four years. For my parting shot I wanted to try to summarize some of the bigger picture ideas that we’ve discussed here and tie them together on my way out the door. And from my page at TheMaven; Has a bear market started? Is active management dead?
The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Barron’s devoted a lot of pixels to the latest goings on with the slope of the yield curve. Earlier in the week the 2-10 treasury spread got close to 40 basis points before widening out to 49 basis points at the end of the week. This is something we have been closely following here for months. It is important to understand at a basic level why yield curve dynamics are so important. When the curve is positively sloped, which is the normal relationship, then access to capital is easier from the standpoint that lending money is a profitable endeavor for the banks. Accessing capital is crucial for growth, plant expansion, capacity expansion and so on. When the yield curve inverts, borrowing money as a means of accessing capital becomes harder to do thus it can be contractionary
Continue reading "Markets Don’t Close 4/20 On A High"
As I slowly heard toward moving the WordPress instance that hosts AVC to another provider, I was asked how large the audience was. So I went and looked for the first time in a long while and sent that info to a potential new provider. And I figured you all might be interested too. So here are some screenshots from Google Analytics: This is the total usage over the last twelve months. This is active users (28 day, 7 day, one day) over the past year. And here is a bit more about where you all come from and what kind of device you use to read AVC.
Uncertainty Wednesday: Beliefs (Cont’d) Albert Wenger — April 30, 2018
World After Capital: Getting Past Capital (Overview, Population)
USV TEAM POSTS:Albert Wenger — May 2, 2018
Uncertainty Wednesday: Beliefs (Cont’d) Albert Wenger — April 30, 2018
World After Capital: Getting Past Capital (Overview, Population)
My latest post at Alpha Baskets is up and includes the following; As I write this post on Monday afternoon Bitcoin is just under $6800. At that figure Yahoo Finance has it down 60% from its early January high. Obviously, people were buying at/near the highs. How many of those folks are looking back at merely a bad trade and how many have been crushed by over allocating to something that is down 60%? And from my page at TheMaven; Ben Carlson takes down the 200 DMA; I respond. Speaking of TheMaven, I am up in British Columbia for a conference with TheMaven. We landed in Vancouver last night, up to Whistler now until Friday and then back to Vancouver until Sunday. The view from our Airbnb last night in Vancouver. Deep Cove Whistler