Private Equity Fund Performance

Bronwyn Bailey, who heads Research over at the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, turned me on to a great research paper by Harris, Jenkinson, and Kaplan on private equity performance.  The authors have the mildest of goals: to say what we actually can say about private equity performance.  They then do what all of us should have done — do some careful time series analyses of data from the few research sources available.

Their results?  “Average buyout fund returns in the U.S. have exceeded those of public markets for most vintages for a long period of time”.  And “average venture capital fund returns in the U.S., on the other hand, outperformed public equities in the 1990s, but have underperformed public equities in the 2000s”.

Worth a careful read over the weekend, I think.  And, if it’s not asking too much, maybe a bit of a counterpoint to the witchunt about private equity fund compensation.

Connected Everything

Connected Everything – Our theme for last year’s Mobile Future Forward was “Connected Universe, Unlimited Opportunities.” It was one of the central themes of this year’s CES (and is likely to be for many more years). From health monitors to Sony Vita, from treadmills to autos, connectivity is driving new features, behavior, and hopefully consumer demand.

This prediction from Chetan Sharma’s thoughtful review of CES struck a chord. As the Internet becomes the World Network of choice, replacing closed and proprietary networks with an open multiple-purpose one, the number and kinds of devices hanging off the network proliferate.

Valhalla Partners StorageFest II

We had our StorageFest II on Jan. 10 up in NYC.  Fantastic event.  As Dave Vellante of Wikibon said:

Thinking about #storagefest. Best small event I’ve attended in a while. Practitioners, VC’s, BoD’s, entrepreneurs and pundits. #winners

— dvellante (@dvellante) January 13, 2012

Follow other traffic on the event at #storagefest.

(One of) my big takeaways from the event was: the different levels of the data stack have to talk to one another.  We got some Big Data storage clients talking with storage experts at our event, and the results were: Big Data needs storage that serves various needs, not just the same old file and block workloads.

Interested to see how that works out over time.


Follow Valhalla Partners StorageFest 2 @StorageFest

We’ve had a series of “sector” events for the two broad sectors — next-generation infrastructure and digital media — where we focus our investments.  We’ve had three annual Video Summit get-togethers and we’re coming up on our 2nd annual StorageFest next week (January 10th in NY, to be exact).

StorageFest 1 was an informal get-together of some 30 storage business executives, entrepreneurs, OEM heavy hitters, investors, and analysts.  It was out in Palo Alto piggy-backed on Greg Duplessie’s ExecEvent last winter.

This year we’re getting north of 60 guests in NYC.  What people get out of a meeting like this is intimacy and unfettered discussion.  At SF2 we’re going to talk about two big topic areas:

  • Mind of the Customer.  We’ve got several storage leaders from big customer organizations coming to SF2, and we’re going to have a free-flowing discussion about what customers actually want (as opposed to what the rest of us in the ecosystem often think they want).  Curtis Preston will be proud of us!
  • Big Data.  We want to separate hype from reality.  What are the actual Big Data projects going on now and in the next few quarters/years?

Looking forward to seeing everyone.  And stay tuned to #storagefest.

Salmon Burgers

An anonymous guest chef (AGC) asked the Crummy Cook to help him make salmon burgers over the New Years weekend, and they were terrific.

The recipe came from the Frugal Foodie Cookbook whose authors, as it happens, are college friends of Mara’s.   AGC had been given their cookbook by Mara and liked this recipe.


Here is how the patties looked before heat transformed them.  It was not quite grilling weather, so we baked them in a 400 degree oven and put them on buns with guacamole (store-bought, I’m sorry to say).  Results are here:


AGC was right.  They are great, and reasonably healthy too.  Thank you, AGC, for your inspiration and a kick in the butt to get back in the kitchen.