Anonymous asks:
Fred Wilson likes to say that struggling portfolio companies need more help than those that are doing well. But cynics would say that VCs stage their investments so that they can "cut and run" when things don't look promising. What's your take?

A few thoughts come to mind. 

Fred is right. Struggling companies need more help.

And VCs I have worked closely with tend to dig in more when things are hard. Inside rounds, recruiting, hard conversations with the founder, layoffs. All painful, all require time and much harder than it looks. 

I have also seen VCs “cut and run” so to speak. It’s more of a drift away than a run. Yes, sometimes this happens because the VC is lazy, unable or unwilling to help. Other times VCs drifts because they are fatigued of a founder controlled company where the board is unable to impact change. So they drift. 

Just works vs just kinda works

I have been an Apple user and advocate for a long time. Even during the dark days of System 9. I was also a user during the days when we didn’t have a decent internet browser, had to wait for Napster and the days when 3rd party developers didn’t care about our little Macs. 

And I have dutifully been using iPhone since the very first model. That model didn’t come with an app store and couldn’t even copy & paste, but my god it took my breath away.

Just this year alone I have picked up an iPhone 6, iPad Air and a Mac Pro. 

So I’m a bit loyal to say the least. 

For some reason, the popular criticism of Apple since the passing of Steve Jobs has been whether Apple can ship innovative new products. That is why there was so much media attention on the Watch. They all want Apple to prove they can build new things. 

That wasn’t and isn’t my concern.

Think about all the new Apple stuff they have shipped or shipping soon (Yosemite, iOS 8, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Pay, new iPads, retina iMac, Mac Pro’s). 

My concern is quality. I’m not talking about antennagate or bendgate. Given the volume of iPhones, those issues impacted a tiny number of users.

I’m talking about software quality. 

It’s really poor.

My new iPhone 6 crashes routinely.

I can’t search my iMessages since iOS 8. They released an update that bricked people’s phones. The latest camera roll is so confusing and seems busted at times. Sometimes images are there and sometimes they aren’t. Apple Maps started life poorly and is still problematic

The big ding on Android and Windows all these years was they were hard to use and Apple had stuff that just works. That just works thing was the magic. But their just works reputation is under attack these days. I’d love to see Apple make it the top priority and deliver the goods once again.