TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Based in Los Angeles, California, Mucker Capital draws inspiration from one of the greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Edison.
In the latest podcast by “Startup Island Taiwan,” Mucker Capital co-founder and partner William Hsu (臟惟量) explains that Edison has more than a dozen research assistants or “muckers” working tirelessly under his direction. He said he was famous for hiring people.
“My partner, Eric, is quite the history buff, especially when it comes to technology. He believes that inspiration comes from sweat, because he hires many college graduates to look at problems, not necessarily solutions,” Hsu said.
He believes that this kind of backward thinking, or what he calls “solutions,” can achieve results through brute force repetition. “Trying to find the right problem and the right solution through various iterations is the way to go. We think of Edison as a pioneer in the startup spirit,” he said. increase.
“It makes no sense to spend money to build a company until you’ve done enough iterations,” he added.
Another term that fascinates Hsu is “blue-collar VC”. Because he believes every startup should be lean, hardworking, and not pursue growth at all costs. “We are a hard-earned startup. Our initial funding was about US$1 million (NT$30.5 million), about a quarter of which came from a home equity loan I took out from my house. We didn’t pay ourselves for five years, and then we raised $13 million.”
“For five years, we literally traveled the world making only $13 million, but now we have $450 million in funding, returning $300 million to our investors. , making it one of the best performing VCs outside the Bay Area.”
Delivering a 30x investment fund return is not something most funds can achieve, much less repeat every year. According to Hsu, the secret is that Mucker Capital is a “bootstrap fund that supports other bootstrap businesses.”
“In fact, VCs don’t have revenue. You have to bootstrap and slim down. If I can do it, you can too.” The choice of investment target can also be a key to success, he said.
“Valley is where I grew up and so were my three partners. We are benchmarking against other companies and our venture needs to come out on top.”
Hsu says that exposure to the startup ecosystem has taught him exactly what a startup should look like: payback, margins, and organizational structure.
“We help startups look and act like Bay Area entrepreneurs. They iterate like Bay Area companies and follow the sprint cycles and best practices of startups and tech companies. You should be familiar with it, and how to measure your success and benchmark against your competitors.”
According to Hsu, many VCs are able to close deals within the first 15 minutes. “If you don’t pass quickly, you’ll be overlooked. We’re trying to train them to speak the right language and draw the right analogies for VCs. They’ll make quick decisions. Yes. If a month, if no he takes 5 minutes.
When it comes to Taiwan’s startup scene, Hsu believes it’s still in its infancy or infancy. “Taiwan today is better than his LA in 2011 when Mucker started. But the past can’t predict the future. One day at a time, or one company at a time. , can be easily bent and changed.”
Hsu says he encourages all companies he works with to source engineering talent in Taiwan. He believes that writing code is the backbone of every startup, and that this skill is not just the domain of Stanford graduates, writing code he builds websites can be learned by anyone.
“Oxygen for building ecosystems is very good in Taiwan. If you have the right partners or VCs, you can lead them to the right wells or ponds.” , said Taiwan’s business culture is risk-averse, which could slow development into the rapidly evolving Internet age.
“My father is Taiwanese and an entrepreneur. I learned risk-taking from him. You only need %.Success creates role models and changes happen after a few generations.”
Hsu encourages all business leaders to learn from their small mistakes. He cites a number of Taiwanese companies he led, including his Gofreight, which provides freight forwarding services and raised $23 million in funding.
“I gave him a deck of powerpoints to read and diagrams to peruse. Venture capital is very quantitative and you have to work through the numbers to see if it’s an interesting investment. This is what every Taiwanese startup should be taught.”
Hsu encourages all aspiring startups to go international and think macro.
“Don’t build just for Taiwan. Think global perspectives to solve global outcomes that are compelling for VCs. Think global beyond Taiwan. Taiwan has a fraction of the population and business size of the United States. 1 in 10.”
And with this insight, Hsu has made Mucker Capital one of the best performing VCs outside the Bay Area in the last decade. This incredible achievement is hotly pursued by many well-intentioned startups in Taiwan.