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Alpha Edison Theses

How Democratized Decisions Unlock New Markets

In the not-so-distant future, a 66-year-old man is drinking his morning tea when he suddenly feels his face go numb. His teacup spills to the floor as the hand that was holding it falls limp by his side. His wife enters the room and seems upset, but the man has difficulty understanding what she is saying. He has a pounding headache.


This man may have just had a stroke—a blockage or break in a blood vessel in the brain. If so, the treatment he receives in the next four hours could mean the difference between whether he lives or dies—whether he recovers fully or becomes permanently disabled.

What’s in a Letter? Or, the Fallacy of Round Nomenclature

Of the companies we looked at in 2017, 48% were raising a Seed, 52% a Series A or later. Based on this information, you have some sense of the types of companies with which we spend our time. But round nomenclature has become increasingly arbitrary and less relevant to how we segment opportunities. The meanings of Seed, Series A, Series B, and other round terms have changed in the last three years and will continue to morph as new technology is introduced and startup costs change.

Why Most Investors Get Market Size Wrong Over and Over Again

A shorter version of this piece originally appeared in Forbes.

In the mid-17th century, the average Chinese farmer knew the exact size of his market. China had been cultivating staples like rice and buckwheat for thousands of years, honing planting, harvesting, and distribution down to a precise science. So when European traders showed up with an exotic new tuber from South America they called the “potato,” many established farmers probably expected that the new crop would take over some fraction of the existing market for rice.