Why so much focus on building a platform?
We have invested a lot of blood, sweat, and brain power into finding the right approach to creating a platform to help us curate the Urban.Us network. Why? We believe we can help create the same physical synergies that come from being in a hub like the Bay Area and facilitate the sharing of relevant knowledge despite geographic disparity. We aren’t the only ones tuned into the power of creating an effective platform. Some good examples include Y-Combinators HackerNews and the UnionSquare’s homepage.
Todays newsletter from Strictly VC contained an excerpt from an interview with Chris Douvos about how LPs think about GP operational experience and strategy contained a relevant excerpt about the turn towards platforms by many VCs.
But there are many different routes to success. I think the flavor of the month right now is “the platform.” A position that a bunch of funds seem to be adding right now is “VP of Platform” or something similar. The archetype in this regard for me was Brett Berson at First Round. For years, I called him the unsung MVP of the venture business. And indeed, [First Round founder] Josh [Kopelman] and the whole First Round team have done an amazing job of conceptualizing, building, and iterating their platform. The True [Ventures] guys have done an admirable job, as well. Of course, Andreessen Horowitz has built something special, too. But having known all those guys since the beginning, I see how significant an investment the building of these platforms has been, and I think it’ll be challenge to replicate.
– Chris Douvos
Read the full Q&A here : http://www.strictlyvc.com/2014/08/04/lp-chris-douvos-still-difficult-case-vc
As we roll out Urban.Us 2.0 we are monitoring things like engagement and returned users very closely to make whatever iterations necessary to get the right people fully engaged in helping us help startups that are solving our greatest urban challenges.