Rich Moran: “Excitement is in growth”

Richard A. Moran’s latest book is available from Amazon.com

Richard Moran is a San Francisco-based venture capitalist and best-selling author. His books include Nuts, Bolts, & Jolts: Fundamental Business And Life Lessons You Must Know and  Never confuse a memo with reality: a little book of business lessons.

Richard is a former partner at Accenture and serves on the boards of  Accretive Solutions, Mechanics Bank and Integreon. He is also a partner at Irish Technology Capital. He is drawn to the world of venture capitalism through a passion for enterprise that leads him to compare living in Silicon Valley to be like “like living in Florence during the renaissance.”

“Excitement is in growth,” says Richard of his love of entrepreneurialism. “I think that we’re in the middle of all kinds of crazy and interesting technologies that are emerging and I want to be a part of it, so that’s what started me looking at early-stage deals.”

“There’s a phrase in the venture world, ‘There’s an infinite demand for the unavailable.’ What I try to figure out is ‘would my kids use this? Would I use it?’ I’m not the guy who’s going to understand how the semiconductor works, but I’m the guy who will understand that when the semiconductor goes into a belt that will eliminate fat whether people will use it.”

For Richard, investing in a business is about more than just the expected return, it’s about belief in the idea, and trust in the thinker behind it.

“Making an investment is a lot like getting married because when you make an investment, typically you go on the board, and you’re going to be with that person for a long time.”

“I made a transition from Accenture, which was an incredibly large organisation, into the investment world which was mostly dealing with small organisations, and I liked that because I could have a real impact on some of these small companies.”

Although Richard agrees that Silicon Valley is the epicentre of the tech world, he believes that anyone in the world with a well thought through idea can make it work.

“There’s a global network. When you wake up in Ireland with a great idea, it’s the same as it is anywhere, you may have to deal with different time zones and those kinds of things but you start networking, testing the idea, understanding how large it might be and those kind of things.”

His advice to business is not just limited to his books or to his consultancy work with companies like Apple, News Corp, Hewlett Packard and Electronic Arts. He is one of many Silicon Valley business leaders who are glad to help entrepreneurs, including those from further afield, like Ireland.

“There is myself, John Hartnett, and a lot of other guys who would kick a tyre or two just to see if it’s something feasible. I cheer for the entrepreneurs, I want to see ideas, I want entrepreneurs to succeed.”

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One thought on “Rich Moran: “Excitement is in growth”

  1. “There is myself, John Hartnett, and a lot of other guys who would kick a tyre or two just to see if it’s something feasible. I cheer for the entrepreneurs, I want to see ideas, I want entrepreneurs to succeed.”That’s good to know guys, I have plenty of ideas. A few I have been working for a while, tested them some things worked some didn’t.Seeing as a new venture fund just launched in N.Ireland, im going to give it a shot and see are they serious about building up N.I PLC.Case Study :RateMyProfessor (based out of NYC) , 2yrs , Generated 10mil hits, got acquired by Viacom for an 8 figure undisclosed sum.——————When I went to trade mark “RateYourPolitician” it was rejected, the reason they said was that your mark describes the service your providing, its not unique.ummm not unique, regardless I pushed on. Then a friend designed a range of logos , they were presented to friends and family. 95% of them were drawn to the logo with R8 instead of Rate. “R8YourPolitician” was born.Uniqueness solved!So now unlike my competitors , RateMyProfessor[separate company], RateMyTeacher[separate company] & RateMyPlacement [separate company], I have a unique brand that consolidates the “Rating” market under the R8 brand.Back to the Case Study : RateMyProfessorNiche target audience : Students, data & metrics , feedback & reputation for Professors.One site , 3 countries USA, UK, CanadaR8YourPoliticianNot a Niche Market, not student opinion but “Public Opinion” (Polling,Sampling,Trends) Data & Analytics on voter demographics, increased engagement in the political process, integrate social graph data to give a unique social reputation for each Politician based on a number of attributes, amount of engagement and number of social commentary pos+ neg- available across the social graph.Politics is never ending, its in almost every country. Same model, different people and different data.Partner with major Media Organizations , give them embedable web applications that they can add to the Politics section of their website, keep visitors on their site longer with new feature. Have the ability to generate data from users which can be used in turn to write content for articles. Data generated from their web apps of course would be shared with us.Public Opinion Polling samples appx 2000 people in the UK/Ireland at £7000-12000 a go.If my Azure Cloud Based Apps can attract 10’s of thousands a day & week our polling & reputation engine can automatically sample 2-5000 of these users giving a real time view/snapshot of “public opinion”. In any country at any level, international , national, regional, local right down to the county level.Advertising of course is a given thousands of Politician profiles , thousands of real estate for ads.However that is not it, thats just one node in this massive R8 network.R8YourSenatorR8YourCouncillorR8YourBankR8YourCollegeR8YourVcetc you get the picture, consolidate under one strong brand name.but we are building up as I said they are just nodes someone referred to them as massive DATA Sponges sucking in data.So what to do with all this data that will be coming from all these countries, in all these different areas, politics, banking, education, business, from the youth with R8YourSchool to Pensioners with R8YourSenator we can attract them at all ages the whole way through their lives. Still what to do with all this data, I thought back to my time working at Teradata and thought, umm yes I know what I shall do. With an understanding & hands on experience of data warehousing & social CRM the big picture was starting to become clear.So the “Idea” is to have the platforms out in each sector, in each country on their own country domain url (.IE .US .CA) integrate the data sets in the cloud of course, for maximum uptime and performance and then channel all this analytical & trend data coming from all my platforms and apps into one focal point, one UI.( Each site of course will have its own IPhone, Android, WP7 Apps that interface with the site)So when all this data gets channeled, funneled, analyzed along the pipeline, stored & archived for long term trending and forecasting the “idea” is to release a very powerful piece of software that not only lets you know what is going on in real time but has the capabilities to inject conversation into any of the social mediums today, fb, twitter etc. So know whats going on and engage quickly in the right place at the right time. Protect your brand or your reputation or make decisions based on good, accurate real time data.Cloud based seems to be the way to go, im currently on Azure & have tested Amazon, Azure works better for me.The app will have live real time data from all over the world , not just the data generated across my sites, mobile apps and social media apps. It will also hook into all the other API’s out there to merge my data & social graph data in real time.Still debating should I give the world the API Access so they can query from their own apps & websites.That’s the 1st “Idea” on this comments thread from Ireland. There is plenty more, different technology, different business models, different industries to target.

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