Posted by: Dr Churchill | June 9, 2016

We are punching way above our weight in Seattle

Ahhh Seattle.

It’s really wet.

Raining all the time.

You already know all about that, right?

This rainy weather and the ever-present blanket of clouds is making the mentally weak people that much more depressed.

Surely there is a silver lining out there…

It keeps the Californicators out.

And when they come visit for the typical six month sojourn to drive the housing prices up — they typically leave with a suitcase full of drugs.

Suitcases full of ingestible drugs, all the way from medical marijuana, to anti-depressant infusions of Ketamine, and plenty of Prozac pills — the breakfast of champions…

Drugs for the soul.

Even the salmon are full of Prozac here.

And as they go away fully medicated with the best ganja this region has to offer — they constantly bitch and moan about the poor quality of Life, the Climate, the Startups, the Ecosystem, and all of their underwater options from the fallen Unicorns…

So to hear again that Seattle doesn’t produce any Startups really — isn’t surprising. But this time the bitching and moaning comes from a well connected and fairly successful, yet clueless New York VC, who is consuming his fair share of all of the above.

Yet here is where I draw the line because we’ve got to nip these nasty rumors in the bud, even if they are coming from the lips of my friend Fred Wilson — lest they become self fulfilling prophesies.

So this Fred of Union Square Ventures — goes spouting off inanities regularly and has a wide internet following of little boys and little girls that take his gospel to heart. But we don’t because our beer is strong and our weed even stronger. So we decided to take action.

Normally I would call up Fred and say “Look Man, so far No Offense is Taken because none was intended, but you best shut your piehole about Seattle or we are gonna stuff a big fish down your gullet. And by big fish I only mean to stuff you with one of those 5 pound wild salmons, fresh caught in Duwamish river, and of course full of prozac. You see we treat tourists extra nice with a big fish caught locally, and then “flown” inside Pike place market, just above the heads of the gawking Japanese tourists and the rest of the New Yorkers visiting the Flying Fish Place.

Guess you didn’t know that this is what the Chinese tourists call Seattle. The flying fish place… Please don’t ask why. Because I wouldn’t even know how to explain this. After all, beats me, whatever the Chinese tourists are thinking, when they see fish flying overhead.

Indeed if you ever come to Seattle keep your head down, but still look out to see the road signs warning tourists for the low flying fish. And if you see a fish flying towards your head, try to grab it with your mouth and secure it with your teeth, so you can keep it as it flops and flounders all around your head bitch slapping you in the face. After a few tries you will likely succeed to catch your dinner this way like us natives do each and every day.

So some day maybe you can harden up and become strong like us, but for now as you are still a New York sissy — I won’t tell you anything about stuffing flying fish down your throat. I leave that to the New Jersey mobsters to do, because today I choose to take the high road, the path less traveled in this neck of the woods, the dimwitted option of being civilized, and thus I am constrained, and gagged, and bound — so the only thing that I would say is this: “It’s nice to be underestimated.”

It’s nice to be underestimated so severely, that when you step into the pugilist’s ring, your opponents laugh at you, and then make all these fatal mistakes, and soon enough you deliver an uppercut, get them knocked out and they end up wet-kissing the canvas and making love to your tight laced shoes.

As you can see I remain civilized, mainly because for us pugilists being in Seattle is all gravy, since it makes our competitors arrogant, haughty, and prideful. And their haughtiness gives them all of the seven deadly sins at once.

That’s how we bite them, and then we sink our teeth and fangs into their soft flesh, like we do with the flying fish, and then have them for dinner. Sometimes for lunch too. Never for breakfast though…

And that’s how we can tell who the tourists are. They all have umbrellas because they are afraid of the falling fish…

So here is how Fred got it so wrong and how he then got schooled, to see the light behind the clouds and the rain of Seattle, that connect the sea and the land with the skies in an endless wet loop that confuses even the fish and they fly upstream to the sky only to fly back down when gravity and hybris takes hold.

So read this and enjoy Fred’s tale of woe and how the VCs get it all wrong all the time.

Feel free to feast your hipster sensibilities and laugh your head off too…

This little ditty, is the genius of an exchange over Feedblitz, email, and Twitter responses, between Fred and a couple of Seattle Flying fish catching grizzlies out there.

It’s all taken down verbatim from the blog that Fred keeps in New York:

“A VC = Musings of a VC in NYC”

Here are the FeedBlitz blog updates for the conversation about Seattle, as it started with Fred Wilson speaking in the first place.

Here’s Fred:

“I called Seattle a “third tier startup city” in a blog post earlier this week.

Which generated this series of tweets:

1/ @fredwilson thesis: start up “second tier is NYC, LA and Boston…. third tier includes Seattle…” Really?

— Tren Griffin (@trengriffin) June 7, 2016

@fredwilson 2/ NY has: “Take-Two $3B, Etsy ~$1B, Kickstarter < $1B, OnDeck ~$500M. First $1B acquisition ever was in 2013: Tumblr.”

— Tren Griffin (@trengriffin) June 7, 2016

@fredwilson 3/ Zillow alone is $4.5B. Tableau $4B, CNQR ($5B), FFIV ($7B). MSFT ($410B), AMZN ($342). NILE, RNWK, ISLN., Zuilly, Expedia

— Tren Griffin (@trengriffin) June 7, 2016

After reading them, I thought “geez, I really screwed that up” and replied with this series of tweets:

@bgurley @trengriffin You both make great points about Seattle. I wasn’t trying to diss anyone with my post but clearly did.

— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) June 7, 2016

@bgurley @trengriffin When you look at # of startups, VC dollars invested, etc Seattle doesn’t show up near the top

— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) June 7, 2016

@bgurley @trengriffin but the outcomes are clearly top tier, better than LA or NYC, at least historically.

— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) June 7, 2016

@bgurley @trengriffin so that tells me that something is really quite special about Seattle. But you knew that and I’m just realizing it

— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) June 7, 2016

Here’s the thing that is amazing about Seattle. It doesn’t rank as high as NYC, LA, or Boston in the number of startups funded or capital invested. Here are the NVCA numbers for the first three quarters of 2015:

San Francisco, $9.32 billion, 506 deals
San Jose, California (Silicon Valley), $3.78 billion, 237 deals
New York, $3.05 billion, 272 deals
Boston, $1.05 billion, 158 deals
Los Angeles-Long Beach, California (Silicon Beach), $768 million, 105 deals
Oakland, California, $510 million, 41 deals
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington, $471 million, 56 deals
Provo-Orem, Utah, $462 million, nine deals
Washington D.C., $456 million, 77 deals
Chicago, $402 million, 57 deals

But the companies that have come out of Seattle over the past thirty years put NYC, and LA, and even Boston to shame.

So on a dollars in/dollars out comparison, Seattle outperforms all others.

Even Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

By a lot.”

And that’s how our friend Fred saw the light about Seattle, in the midst of all these clouds, the constant rain, and the flying fish.

Sheer strength of StartUp successes, spreadsheets about local investments, return on equity data, and financial performance information — brings the light out of this utterly liquid city.

And with Liquidity coming down mostly from the skies up above — we are always looking out for Angels blessing our collective heart.

Dr Churchill


Those drops coming down from the sky, are actually the better Angels of our Heart, spitting down on us, for some extra good luck.

Or is it the fish flailing their gills and dripping down their wetness?

Either way — we like it here.

And we are a bit extra hardy too.

That’s why we are the Champions of the Startup world.

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