What I unlearned about startups this year – TechCrunch

Taylor Swift Impeccable timing. First, I released a “Red” album about grief and pain, while I was in the midst of high school. The now-retired Tumblr is still grateful. Recently, Swift embarked on a project to re-record her previous albums, taking her music back from the old record company – this time with her own property as a lead band. Her first recording, “Fearless”—with the caption “(Taylor’s version)”—was released this year.

Of course, I think there is a very clear technical angle here. Swift made a statement about artist empowerment and the importance of singer-owned music – record labels damned – in the same year we saw the technology defined by Great Resignation, emerging entrepreneurs and distributed work. Like Swift, I think the tech landscape is going through an uncomfortable period of changing their minds, questioning authority, and approaching self-advocacy as a result.

Looking back, I didn’t learn much about startups this year, particularly when it comes to due diligence, formalization, and what it means to be crossfit.

Due diligence is a differentiator

When Spark Capital decided to “cut all ties” with David Dobrik’s Dispo app weeks after it spearheaded a deal at the company, I immediately thought it would set a precedent in the venture capital industry. The move was triggered by a Business Insider investigation that uncovered allegations from a woman who said a member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad sexually assaulted her.

In some ways, I was right: Unshackled Ventures and Seven Seven Six chose to walk away from the company as well, donating any profits from their respective investments to organizations focused on sexual assault survivors. In other ways, I wasn’t. Clearly, there is still a disconnect between what happened with Dyspo and the fast-moving world of due diligence.

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