Pattern Recognition, by Ian Sigalow

Pattern Recognition, by Ian Sigalow

Pattern Recognition is a journal of thoughts and strategies on venture capital investments.

Archive Archive for 2011

New York and Boston

Posted on December 23rd, 2011.

On Monday night I went to a holiday party for a Boston-based VC firm, which was held in New York, and without warning the managing partner approached me and began promoting the Boston venture capital market.  He brought up the recent Endeca acquisition, he pointed out the long legacy of Boston IPOs, and he finished his […]


Occupy America

Posted on December 4th, 2011.

I had a dream last night that I was trying to escape Europe in the 1930s. It was an improbable situation because the events in my dream happened almost 50 years before I was born, but doors kept closing around me and I woke up before I knew the outcome. I think the dream was […]


Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Posted on November 28th, 2011.

I ventured out last Friday to do a little holiday shopping – stopping at Walgreens and Best Buy near my parents’ house in Ohio. At Walgreens I tried to buy Sudafed™.  Sudafed is a controlled substance now, so in order to buy it you have to pick up a card in the aisle and then go to the pharmacy where […]


Picking Markets

Posted on November 20th, 2011.

Wayne Gretzky has a famous quote, which goes something like this: “Most hockey players skate to where the puck is.  Great hockey players skate to where the puck is going to be.”  This saying also holds true for investors and entrepreneurs in the start-up business. Most companies out there are “skating to where the puck is”, […]


Hitting the Wall

Posted on November 11th, 2011.

I was at the Village Ventures Summit in Boston this week, and got to spend time with a group of 30 or so early stage fund managers from across the US.  The highlight of the conference was a fireside chat with Fred Wilson, who gave candid feedback about his experiences at Union Square and Flatiron.  […]


Ad Tech Consolidation

Posted on November 5th, 2011.

This was an important week for the Adtech industry.  On Monday, Yahoo acquired Interclick for $270MM, Adobe acquired Auditude for $120MM, and AdKnowledge acquired AdParlor for an undisclosed sum.  On Tuesday, Clearspring bought XGraph in another small private-to-private transaction.  These were four warning shots that the adtech industry is consolidating. The investment community is hoping for a repeat […]


The Future of TV

Posted on October 28th, 2011.

I spent the last few months studying the cable television industry, which is admittedly a tough place to find innovation as a venture capitalist.  There have been only a few break-out companies over the last twenty years in this sector and many more wipeouts.  However, I am betting that the ecosystem is about to change because of broadband. In 2000, at the peak of the Internet boom, 95% of […]


Advice on Secondary Purchases

Posted on October 19th, 2011.

I have been through three secondary purchases this year, and I wanted to share my experience with the entrepreneurs who read my blog.  Secondary purchases are a major lifecycle event for companies with plenty of complexity. For those who don’t know what a secondary purchase is:  there are two types of investments, primary and secondary.  Primary investments go directly to the company, and the […]


The Steve Jobs Effect

Posted on October 6th, 2011.

Steve Jobs forever changed consumer electronics and software, and I expect we will appreciate his contributions more and more in the years ahead. Many people, myself included, felt a personal attachment to Steve Jobs.  I am particularly sympathetic since he struggled in public with health issues for so long.  And I can’t help but be awestruck at how he captivated consumers with […]


Going Direct

Posted on September 30th, 2011.

Last month ValueClick acquired an ad network called Dotomi for $295MM.  Dotomi was not a familiar name in many circles, but they had quietly built up over 160 employees, $80MM in revenue, and major retailer accounts within the “IR 100” (the list of the largest Internet Retailers).  Their largest customers were spending north of $10MM/year with the […]