josh guttman

I'm an entrepreneur and venture capitalist living in New York City

Without customers, there’s no money

I rode with an Uber driver to the airport last night. The driver told me he drove a NYC taxi for 16 years before switching to Uber 12 months ago. When I asked why he switched, he explained that driving a taxi was stressful and Uber provides a better quality of life. He said the customers are nicer and he enjoys his life more. As a taxi driver, he leased time on someone else’s car. ...(Read More)

Messaging apps as replacement for social networking

I met with an entrepreneur yesterday who suggested that mobile messaging apps would replace social networking in the coming years.  This is an interesting thesis and some data does support that the youngest demographic are moving away from Facebook towards a variety of newer messaging applications.  When you look at how Facebook itself has evolved, the newsfeed is the focus of the experience today so it’s become predominately a shared asynchronous messaging app or as ...(Read More)

Reinforcing the guardrails of your online marketplace

I’m a big believer in online marketplaces.  I think it’s one of the collaboration functions the internet is most naturally designed to facilitate.  In recent weeks, I’ve met with several founders of marketplace businesses and the notion of protecting the connections you make has repeatedly come up in conversation.  I think the notion is particularly relevant for marketplaces promising an exchange of services that are likely to recur more than once per year.  In these ...(Read More)

Who is New York’s best venture capital fund?

CB Insights published their Fall 2013 edition of The New York Venture Capital Almanac last week in partnership with our friends at Orrick, Herrington and SVB. There’s an enormous amount of data presented in this 112-page report, all centered around figuring out who are the most active and the most successful venture investors supporting New York-based startup businesses. A few observations and takeaways: New York venture investing is hot. During the 4.5 years ending June ...(Read More)

Have startup accelerators become the modern day placement agent?

Fresh out of college in 1998, as most of my friends moved to New York City to begin careers in finance or consulting, I took a road less traveled, moving to San Francisco to take a job with Robertson Stephens & Co, then a leading boutique investment bank specializing in technology.  After a few months working on IPOs and secondaries, I gravitated towards a lesser known group hidden away on a separate floor who were ...(Read More)