As with everything, COVID-19 has acted as both a transformer and accelerant with platforms and technologies retooling on the fly to address consumer shifts.

After a particularly challenging Q2 in 2020, M&A activity in AdTech/Martech was able to rebound nicely and left many feeling particularly optimistic about the long-term prospects for the space. As we push further into 2021, the expectation is that we should see even more M&A activity. Could it be that we are on the precipice of a third “golden age” for Martech?

I discussed this idea with the CEO and founder of LUMA, Terry Kawaja, a…

A Q&A with Evercoast CEO Ben Nunez on the state of Hologram Technology in the age of COVID-19

It’s been (gulp!) 43 years since my 4 year old brain first tried to process the idea of holograms thanks to Princess Leah and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yet, since that time we’ve not advanced nearly enough to approach the possibilities inherent in that iconic scene. There have been some notable attempts to get there, but, when it comes to hologram technology it’s still very much early days. As with everything else, though, COVID-19 is acting as an accelerant for the space.

Back in…

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Should we be worried about the increasing privatization of space travel and exploration?

As great as it was to see last weekend’s successful SpaceX launch (and what a welcome respite it was from the unrelenting drumroll of bad news we’ve been getting of late) you have to wonder about the wisdom of ceding control of space travel to the private sector. While it represents an important and necessary step forward as the US tries to regain its position as the leading space-faring nation, it comes with a larger cost that we must weigh carefully.

I’m not against the privatization of…

5 Must-Reads for Founders and Entrepreneurs During the COVID-19 Isolation

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

While some states are now just starting to reopen most of us are still officially in some form of quarantine or self-isolation. As busy as many of us still are — or, at least, try to be — it looks as if we are going to have more free time than usual on our hands for the foreseeable future. It’s really a question of putting that free time to good use. As a founder or entrepreneur, there is always something else out there to help you increase your knowledge or…

Shining a light on the LGBTQ+ data gap

Any worthwhile social or economic policy must first find its footing on a level playing field and be anchored by a fundamental sense of fairness. Without the right data, though, achieving a truly level pitch is virtually impossible. Recently StartOut, whose mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and amplify their stories to drive the economic empowerment of the community, and, of which, I am the Chair, announced the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index (SPEII). …

Invest In What You Know

Warren Buffet’s annual shareholder letter came out over the weekend. The widely anticipated missive had observers pouring over it looking for insight into Berkshire’s operations (he wrote explicitly about succession plans), his take on the market (modestly bullish, despite lamenting the market’s “fickle” nature) and even his take on US politics (upon which he was notably silent this time). As usual there were lots of interesting insights and advice packed into it. One aphorism which resonated most with me was:

With this weekend’s Indy 500 top of mind ask yourself: Is the CEO you’re investing in a Driver, a Crew Chief or a Mechanic?

Simon Pagenaud celebrates his victory at the 2019 Indy 500

Over the last 5 years Revel has invested in 37 companies. Along the way we’ve had some amazing successes and others where the jury is still out. There are myriad factors that go into why and in whom we invest. They range from market opportunity to sector focus to investment stage. Primarily, though, we’re betting on founders. At Revel, we ourselves are founders and believe wholeheartedly that the secret behind any success in investing begins (and…

The Golden Age of SaaS rolls on

I recently returned from my second go-round at the SaaStr Annual event in San Jose and the atmosphere and sense of community that founder, Jason Lemkin, has generated there continues to impress. There were some 10,000 people in attendance and the event just keeps on growing. It helped highlight for me this incredible decade-plus run that SaaS is on. …

Despite what you may hear, there’s a lot to like about 2019

Well, 2018 certainly was interesting. There was plenty of grist for the pessimists among us, though — for the more sanguine — there was also much to be hopeful about. Yet, for all of 2018’s many peaks and valleys it was a year that suggested more progress than regress when it came to advanced technologies. And signs point to yet another year of steady advancement in areas like AI, Voice, Blockchain and more. As these technologies continue to take root in new sectors there is much to be bullish about in 2019.

First, the disruption and transformation of retail has…

Change and innovation are generally not synonymous with global enterprises. The common conceit is that they are like massive tankers attempting to change direction in a narrow, crowded harbor. They’re slow, plodding and anything but nimble. That’s because the received wisdom is that at a certain point businesses become too big to effectively innovate. In today’s climate, where it is vital that enterprises Be (more) Like Bezos to survive and thrive, that kind of resistance to innovation can be lethal. More and more, however, I find that enterprises are learning to get out of their own way and that’s changing…

Chris Young

Former Quarterback. Now Coach. GP at Revel Partners

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