Delivering value at the margin

2011In Review

The year past was a good one for MVP.  We are grateful for our manifold blessings, as well as for the many mercies shown us by the Courts.  While there are plenty of highlights from 2011 memorialized in term sheets, deal tombstones and the occasional sobriety test, three stand out as worthy of noting here, while remaining suitable for mixed audiences.

In March, my partner, Boy, published his latest volume, The 6 Minute Work Week.  It is a brilliant treatise on how outsourcing life’s quotidian chores will free up hours of the day for profitable pursuits or grinding boredom, whichever you prefer.  Boy interviewed dozens of people who earn a living without exertion or even effort, thanks to modern management practices, the enduring power of nepotism or the occasional hacking of enterprise applications.  This “how to” volume belongs on every e-reader, it’s large print suitable for the bright sun of the beach.  The book is a testament to the value of marrying well, knowing Chinese programmers or belonging to the Lucky Sperm Club.

In June we invested the largest effort ever with a most exciting start up operating in stealth mode in Azerbaijan.   Obviously, we cannot go into detail here, but I can say it involves the nexus of three exciting areas of our focus:  cold fusion, hydroponics and social gaming.   We cannot wait to announce it formally, but we believe its most important success will be the validation of zero equity nurturing (ZEN).   The MVP imprimatur has opened doors everywhere for the management team, enabling them to use their inventory of acquired credit card numbers most judiciously.

And while there are other deals we could mention, it wouldn’t be a fair and balanced review if we don’t note at least one deal that got away.  (When’s the last time a VC bragged about that?)   We applaud the success of Spotify in bringing music to the masses.  And, yes, we passed on lending it the MVP stamp of approval.  But we have no regrets.

That is because we added GLORIFY to our portfolio of acolytes in December.  We like to think of GLORIFY as The Book of Mormon meets Spotify.  GLORIFY is a music subscription service like no other.  Subscribers have an unlimited supply of music to stream in the right side of their headphones (Thank you Iratepay Aybay) in return for listening to a bit of religious screed now and then in the left channel.  We see its use of stereo as a clear barrier to entry.  So far, advertisers include 4 Baptist conventions, 3 Protestant synods, 2 Shia splinter groups and a Zarathustran from Milwaukee.   Subscribers can use GLORIFY’s rich social media offerings to share their favorite playlists, announce their conversions to Islam or hookup with the next Rave for Righteousness.  Never has intellectual theft been used for such a holy cause.

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