Editor’s letter: Seed stories are growing

I’m often asked how we come up with stories.

There’s no magic potion. No secret sauce.

The good ideas announce themselves. Just like the good stories write themselves.

What that means is that the good story ideas are obvious. There’s no thinking twice or hemming or hawing over whether we should cover something. We follow the trends and we write about what’s topical.

Our coverage of seed-stage investing is a lot like that.

In this month’s issue, Mark Boslet once again tackles the topic of seed in our cover story “The case for pre-seed.”

Seed is, after all, the new Series A, as countless VCs have said.

The mantra is self-evident. Everyone knows $500,000 or so in seed backing is the new $5 million Series A, because thanks to cloud and other technologies and developments, startups can launch with a lot less funding than ever before.

And its growth is getting even more pronounced. Seed is getting more powerful. And ubiquitous. We have pre-seed, seed, post-seed. It’s something to watch, and it’s something for VCs at all stages to consider.

This is in response to a changing entrepreneurial world, as Mark writes in the cover story. “Startups can do more with less, and companies raising their first institutional capital often have substantial growth and monthly revenue run rates of $20,000 to $30,000. This wasn’t the case two years ago.

Yes, we just covered the topic of seed in November. Then, it was from the fundraising perspective, with “Crowding into seed,” referring to how many venture investors exist with $100 million or less in capital to go after seed-stage startups.

This time around, Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures, who as a friendly VC is one of our favorites, says in this month’s cover story that all but one of his deals last year were pre-seed rounds of $400,000 to $600,000, and he expects to stay true to his pre-seed strategy.

Meanwhile, others are seeing it, too. Seed-stage investments are trending. It’s obvious. That’s why we’re tackling the issue. Seed is catching on.

I saw this at the Post Seed Conference in San Francisco in December, in which I participated and led a panel discussion. And you’re seeing it now in our coverage.

So if you want to know how we come up with story ideas, don’t over think it. Just consider what’s top of mind for most venture capitalists.