People talk about bundling and unbundling all the time, but they don’t talk positioning and counter positioning enough.

Let’s take the example of venture capital and see the journey from Benchmark to a16z to Tiger Global.

Benchmark: Everyone is a GP here. No analysts. They get carry. Fat margin (both gross and profit as there is no services layer.) They have a reputation of getting rid of founders. This was way before TK. Naval started Venturehacks and then Angellist later as a grudge. They are great at picking companies. One of the firms I respect, but they did give a chance to a16z to counterposition themselves.

I have written about how a16z counter-positioned themselves vs legacy VC firms.

TigerGlobal: Most VC funds optimise for board seats, take too much time, are bloated, while founders don’t care about their help, and just want money. They build thesis on various sectors with Bain, invest fast without price sensitivity, and deploy their rounds quickly. They don’t even take board seats and remain as hands off as possible. That is the only possible way to invest in so many companies a year. They don’t promise 3X. In a return starved world LPs are happy with even 2X return if the money is invested and returned fast.

To understand counter-positioning better, read this.