David Carlick

David Carlick

United States
Accredited investor
Member since March 12, 2011
  • About
Investor interests
Credentials Accredited Investor, Qualified Purchaser

I am a(n):


My favorite startups:

ReachLocal, Effective Measure, Thoughtful Media, XGraph, Brandscreen

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Except for rare cases (the iPad comes to mind) innovation isn't always welcome by the potential customers on whom the entrepreneur relies for oxygen.

If you really believe your innovation adds material value, then the rewarding part is when you manage to break through the customer's inertia and resistance, and show that your innovation really matters.

And, of course, the true reward is when that customer brings you your next customer.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Trying too hard to fit into boxes they think investors will like.

Many startups would be better off trying to build a sustainable small business than making the rounds of VCs hoping to punch that ticket.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

One: you have to have a compelling, differentiating benefit. That's not three reasons, as all three make the one reason for existing. A 'benefit' is a win for the customer. 'Compelling' means it is attractive and the value is substantial. 'Differentiating' means it stands out from the crowd.

Two: Teams kill individuals in the market, so you have to be a team builder. Doing so means understanding, above all, talent, and right behind that, motivation.

Vision must be supported with execution. Execution is pointless without a vision.

Full bio

David Carlick has been in high technology media for over 30 years, and has been a venture investor in digital media companies since 1999. In ten years with VantagePoint Venture Partners, a leading U.S. venture firm, David led or co-led 13 investments, most notable among them Intermix Media (parent of MySpace, sold to NewsCorp in 2005 for $580mm) where he was Chairman; first institutional investor in ReachLocal (NASDAQ RLOC); and ReachLocal Australia (acquired by ReachLocal). He is currently Venture Partner at Rho Capital Partners, a leading U.S. venture firm. David is holds board seats at Brandscreen (Australian DSP startup), Effective Measure (Australian Digital Audience Measurement company) ReachLocal, (leading digital agency for SMB with operations globally); Thoughtful Media (Startup in online video and social media), TouchTunes (leading digital jukebox and DOH ad network with over 40,000 locations)  and Xgraph (early stage audience data company).

Prior, Mr. Carlick founded Carlick Advertising, a Silicon Valley agency that was actively involved in a number of companies that went public, including Cirrus Logic, Cypress Semiconductor, Daisy Systems, Netscape, Network Equipment Technologies, Network General, and Silicon Graphics, and also with notable portable computing companies Osborne Computer and Toshiba America. Carlick Advertising also included The DBM Group, which handled database marketing and lead generation for Carlick clients. Carlick Advertising and The DBM Group were acquired by Bozell in 1993. While at Bozell, Carlick founded or co-founded the Poppe Tyson digital media group, Poppe.com (merged with Modem Media and IPO as Modem Media Poppe Tyson, NASDAQ MMPT) and DoubleClick (NASDAQ DCLK, later acquired by Google). He was also a founding director at International Network Services (NASDAQ, INSS, acquired by Lucent 1999 for $3.5 billion); and at I/Pro, first online audience measurement, acquired by CMGI; and was director at AskJeeves (NASDAQ ASKJ, acquired by IACC for $2.3 billion.)