Mark Bivens

Supporting startups with a wealth tax break

I’ve been known to jokingly refer to this time of year the “easy money period” for startups in France. The reason for this is that late May and ultimately June 15 represent the filing deadlines for wealth tax in France. The French wealth tax, l’impôt de solidarité sur la fortune, or ISF for short, represents […]

What packing can teach us about management in a startup

What packing can teach us about management in a startup

Ever notice how packing a suitcase always seems a lot more stressful and time-consuming when you’re planning what to bring on your trip at the same time? Conversely, drafting a packing list before actually opening the empty suitcase makes the packing exercise flow so much more smoothly. Behind this phenomenon lies a trait inherent in […]

LINE vs. WeChat. Get ready to rumble.

LINE vs. WeChat. Get ready to rumble.

An enthusiastic user of LINE, Mark Bivens faces off against Jerry Yang, a WeChat apologist, on the merits of each app. MB: First, I think we can agree on one thing: that WhatsApp, BBM, Viber, Telegram, eBuddy, Nimbuzz, SnapChat, and even Kik do not swim in the same pond as Line, WeChat, and KakaoTalk. To […]

Leveraging your VC’s network

Two weeks ago I wrote about a good way for entrepreneurs to ask one VC for a referral to another. This time let’s talk about one of the most effective ways to ask your VC for business referrals once you’re venture-backed. This also applies to entrepreneurs who are looking to derive the most from any […]

How I pitch “La French Tech”

I’m blessed to have the opportunity to travel a fair amount, and the people I encounter often ask me about the state of the French tech ecosystem. Admittedly, sometimes I’m the one who first puts the topic on the table, but I only share my pitch with those who are interested. Furthermore, calling this a […]

RudeVC: France’s “Paypal-killer” Paylib forgets to secure its dot-com

In the past I’ve written about the importance of owning the dot-com domain extension. Even my grandmother grasped this notion.. Paylib, unfortunately for them, did not heed my grandmother’s advice. . . France’s attempt to create a Paypal-killer, the Paylib payment solution created by a consortium of three of France’s largest banks — BNP Paribas, […]

RudeVC: Asking one VC for a referral to another

For entrepreneurs attempting to raise funds for their venture, an over-the-transom solicitation directly or via a fundraising intermediary is rarely as effective as an endorsed introduction from a portfolio company or from another VC. . If a member of one of my portfolio companies recommends I meet someone, I will most likely accept a meeting […]

RudeVC: Stickers-as-a-Service is the new SaaS

LINE’s creators market finally opened up last week allowing third parties and independent illustrators to submit their sticker collections for distribution on the Line’s messenger app. In case you haven’t heard yet, there’s a sticker revolution going on. A recent article in Le Figaro deems the business still-as-yet unrecognized, but entrepreneurs know better. With all […]

KO for the mobile web ?

In a widely circulated piece last week entitled The Decline of the Mobile Web, Chris Dixon touches on a fashionable debate that suggests that the mobile web is in, well, decline, at the hands of the new walled gardens known as the app stores. In other words, that universal cycle of life that has been […]

RudeVC Infographic: Entrepreneurs vs. VCs

What would April 1 be without a little fun? Although VCs and Entrepreneurs are fundamentally different animals, they do share a few traits in common, as the infographic below depicts (special thanks to Jerry Yang for his artistic talents in helping me design this).