The Late Advantage in Startups • TechCrunch

Welcome to Startups Weekly, an in-depth look at this week’s startup news and trends by the Chief Stock Correspondent and co-host. Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.

Sometimes, due to the nature of the startup game, we over-index what’s new. Companies want to build a pain point they never dreamed of disrupting; Venture investors want to invest in an emerging trend before it becomes a household name; And he begs those tech hackers to tend to their seriousness, because you never know who will respond to your cold email. For entrepreneurship to feel exciting and welcome—not to be, but to feel—new must be one of its highest characteristics.

After all, you only have to be “it” once.

But one question I’ve found myself asking over the past year, especially as some of the steadier folks talk about past recessions and periodic learning lessons, is the advantage of being late. It’s partly obvious: When you’ve done this whole entrepreneurial thing before, you understand what mistakes to avoid and you know seamlessly which investors to avoid.

But it’s also not an easy story, in part. There is a difference between being new and inexperienced, in the same way that there is a difference between being inexperienced and being late. How do you know where you fit in this entire timeline — especially when it’s best to tell stories in extremes?

this week in stocks, I did an interview with Sarah Oh, co-founder of T2, who is building a competitor on Twitter after working at Twitter as a human rights consultant. Very quickly, I asked her how it makes you build a clone of your former employer. She seemed unfazed, and I immediately told her: All is fair in love and moderation.

But the best answer you gave me had to do with my late benefit, which is building a company in a world you know so well. By joining today’s consumerist social wave vs. before anyone even thought about and retweeted characters, the co-founder believes he should take into account more nuances.

“There’s a lot we know about trust and security gaps in the industry, whether it’s the datasets we need, the models we need to build, certain standards that need to be in place for models, well, there’s a whole laundry list of things that I wish they had.” In previous roles that didn’t exist, we’re now in a place where we can have those conversations,” Oh said. She added that when some of the first social media platforms were created, there were “no historical or antecedent case studies” of many of the controversies that exist now. With some ugly things out of the way—my words, not hers—T2 has examples it can point to on how to handle propagation-related tensions, listen for information, and more.

It got me thinking about this greater understanding along with the agility of a startup. Maybe it’s both old and new. This might be the amazing balance that helps a startup. In this case, we have no idea how old or new attempts at Twitter will work, but we do know that this time has never mattered more.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about inspiring top executives, growing startup accelerators, and a rare buzz we hear about a single tech company and its general market desires. As always, you can follow me Twitter or Instagram.

Goodbye, Chief Inspiration Officer

Also on stocks this week, The staff talked about how venture capitalists will pay more attention to how portfolio founders spend capital — especially around hiring trends. Latest version of Becca for TC+ – Use code EQUITY for 50% off annual membership – Find out why the pitch deck’s recruitment slide isn’t an important part of your presentation.

Expect more scrutiny.

Here’s why that matters: We know companies drop employees to cut costs, but those hiring may have to take a more conservative approach to both role types and pay level. All that can be said, there is definitely an opportunity to find talent if you are hiring. But it won’t be easy All Talent that has been laid off to find the next gigs, especially as employers look to hire cheaper talent with less ambitious hiring goals.

A red megaphone and silver alphabet in front of a gray wall.  Landscape composition with copy space.  Great use of advertising concepts.

Image credits: MicroStockHub (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Goldilocks moon shots

NextView Ventures has launched its fourth accelerator program, aiming to support about half a dozen founders with $400,000 in funding and mentorship opportunities. They also offer at least one place to a team built by former teammates who were laid off during the last downturn.

Here’s why that matters: Accelerator Partners are open to supporting founders even if they have a half-finished idea or an area they just want to dig into. Even in the most disciplined market, there are still some companies that still feel comfortable seeding ideas versus complete business ideas. “It’s about half a step earlier than we normally think” of portfolio companies, Rob Guo, co-founder of NextView Ventures, said of Groups.

light bulb with combination lock;  patent application

Image credits: refrigerator (opens in a new window) / Getty Images


Stripe is looking forward to finally getting out. The payments giant has set a 12-month deadline to announce itself, either with a direct listing or pursue a deal in the private market, such as a fundraising event and tender offer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Here’s why that matters: I mean, should I mention the obvious? Public markets for tech companies were outdated, unwelcoming, and boring adjective insertion here. If Stripe kicks off a trend, we’re in for an exciting next year. But some are dubious about the timeline. After all, it’s literally easier said than done.

Daisy flower in the desert

Image credits: MAC 0553 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

etc., etc.

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Then they were called “bots”.

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I’ll close by always reminding that I absolutely love startup happy hours and VC dinners in San Francisco, so Let me know if you throw one! And if you’re still working on your social engine like me, I’m always game for 1:1 coffee chat or dumpling lunch.

Thanks for the rest of you reading as always. The year 2023 is already approaching, isn’t it?

talk soon,


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