Yes. Because we need one that actually aligns entrepreneurs, investors, and customers to create success. Key problems that I observed.


While I continue to be concerned about daily events and signals, the majority of my conversations are now focused on the “new norm.” It may get worse in the near term, but none of us believe that this will be forever. There eventually will be a new norm, and its fabric will have new constraints and new opportunities. Much like the scar tissue that developed for many of us post 9–11, the generational trauma of the pandemic will touch generations today and in the future. But we, also, can touch future generations. We will be able to shape this new…


Posted on February 6, 2020

I previously discussed how The Cap-Ex : Op-Ex Conundrum is the foundational issue that keeps the building industry from innovating. The planet is still on fire, and the real estate industry (broadly) is the biggest single contributor to the carbon footprint. Innovation can solve this problem, but it hasn’t happened yet.

But what type of innovation are we talking about, here? According to the Harvard Business Review, there are four types of innovation: basic research, breakthrough, sustaining, and disruptive innovation (RIP Clay Christensen). …


Posted on February 5, 2020

What is a lunch and learn? I’m sure the term is used in other industries, but for the building industry specifically it is when a building product representative — or any vendor, for that matter — comes to an AEC (Architect-Engineer-Contractor) company and buys lunch for the team. In return for the free lunch, the representative gets to educate the team for an hour while they eat pizza or sandwiches. It’s an interesting go-to-market method to build awareness about your product or service. In some cases, the team may receive CEU (Continuing Education Units) for…


Teaching Venture Capital to LPs

Posted on February 11, 2020

When I was first exposed to it in the mid ’90s, venture capital was a different business. Back then, the mystique surrounding a venture capitalist was minimal. VCs were mostly successful tech entrepreneurs who decided they wanted to do something a little different. They weren’t following some sort of thesis that involved “odds,” they weren’t on Twitter giving advice, and they weren’t chasing unicorns. It was a simpler time focused on profitable growth and making every investment count. And the biggest difference that I have seen today is in the level of due diligence performed.


ESG, OPM, and Startups

Posted on February 7, 2020

In many industries, the use of OPM (other people’s money) to fund growth is the norm. As a venture capital firm, that’s obviously our job. We deploy our limited partners’ capital into startups via a fund in order to deliver a return. While we have our own capital in the fund, the majority of the capital is OPM. In the world of real estate, this is even more so the case. There are very few real estate companies where 100% of the assets are owned outright. …


Go-to-market as a built-environment startup: How do you eat a woolly mammoth?

Posted on February 13, 2020

Desmond Tutu once said, “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Not sure who is eating elephants, but I get the point. When you face an enormous task, it’s helpful to take just a little bit at a time. If you try to eat the elephant in one bite, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and incapable. And you’re going to fail.

Yesterday I was talking to several of our incubator startups about their go-to-market efforts and obstacles. I learned that some are struggling to reduce the friction to…


Conferences, Pitch Competitions, and Twitter

Posted on February 14, 2020

I must admit that I can be a little “old school.” To build a great, fast-growing company, your activities should be focused on acquiring customers, talent, and investors. I have tried to be open to understanding the “why?” of the activities in the startup ecosystem that do not accomplish these goals. But when I see entrepreneurs speaking at conferences, attending pitch competitions, and tweeting ten times a day with no real purpose, I question their motives. It appears that many entrepreneurs are more focused on building their personal brand than building a company.

It’s not…


Pastry Chefs and Pilot Projects

Posted on February 18, 2020

At Shadow Ventures, many of our Limited Partners (LPs) are investors in other venture funds that compete with us. The feedback on our competition is that they don’t provide much strategic value in helping their LPs screen and deploy new technologies within their companies. But there are two problems with the expectation that they should. First of all, screening a startup is indeed part of the VC’s job; however, their screening is for investment purposes rather than customers’ purposes. …


Project Based Innovation: Project Data Manager

Posted on February 19, 2020

“The Project is the Enterprise” — I have been saying this for almost two decades. If you’ve read my previous articles, I speak to the facts around innovation in the built environment especially with regard to its structural differences. I had a professor once tell me that the industry follows the golden rule: “the person with the gold makes all the rules.” The real estate owner/developer is the one with the gold, but I don’t really agree that they make all the rules. …

KP Reddy

Venture Capitalist-Entrepreneur- Best Selling Author “What you know about startups is wrong.” “BIM for Owners and Developers” www.shadow.vc

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