August 16, 2018 John Tough

Listen to Mike Maples on the Origin Podcast here It was one of the better venture-related podcasts in the past few months. Here are my notes: Risk-Return: Get paid for your risk The reality is that every profession has a top 10% Managers are too reliant on anecdotal wisdom as opposed to first principal or theoretical basis Get paid for the risk you take in two ways Invest before the Series A firms (series +1 firms) Getting ownership at a lower price basis Get pricing power by not competing with big firms at pre-product market fit: get a real chance…

August 7, 2017 John Tough

This post is a bit late but with the whirlwind first few quarters behind me, I finally had time to reflect on joining the Invenergy Future Fund. We had our first close in May and the team has been going full steam since 2016… – When I review potential venture investments, I look for a special team with leading & complementary industry experience that is targeting a big market by addressing a specific, impactful problem. Using those parameters, the Invenergy Future Fund was a personal investment that was too good to pass up. What is the Future Fund? The Future…

July 27, 2017 John Tough

I like to joke that if I could, I might just go back to a younger “me” and punch him in the face. I had a dream job as an associate at Kleiner Perkins. I was working at a storied firm, had access to world class mentors and investors, and had premier investment opportunities literally walking through the door. One of the main problems I faced? Saying no. Saying no in venture capital is hard. I saw hopeful, brilliant and dedicated individuals dedicating their lives efforts to potentially transformative ideas. And as a VC, you have to say no to…

June 23, 2017 John Tough

On occasion I get asked how I ended up where I am in my career and how certain transitions of my career transpired. Given I have likely written 20+ iterations of the same email to many inquiring students & mentees, I figure it finally makes sense to put some of those thoughts and tips out here. Overall, the biggest takeaway to me is how seemingly random events and acquaintances become pivotal. To most people, random means lucky; but I view random as the outcome to a function that somehow multiplies hard work, intelligence & curiosity, giving forward and staying hungry….