Rate of Return

Recombo – 2005

This video was more difficult to follow. It was only after reviewing the video three times and taking notes that I finally understood what the product (service) was and how it was to be used.

A condensed version of my notes is as follows:

  • Year of transition –Changed perspective from a products company to a services company
  • New customer – Publisher – Mindleaders – Recombo technology platform to replace Mind Leaders existing platform – Will provide Mindleaders with value added features.
  • Traditional Learning Management System vs. Content Integration Router
  • Recombo Connector Router Product (IT Manager, Product Managers)
  • Used for learning content – connects content within learning management system
  •  Recombo Adaptor Product (Joins systems together)
  • Exchanges data between systems – Platform becomes the communicator/interpreter between these two systems
  • Company currently at twelve employees which has expanded to twenty-two
  • Reworked the sales pitch and bet the future of the company on one major deal
  • IPO possibilities – Considerations about possible takeover offers by some mid-ware Company (IBM)

I believe Recombo’s CEO has done an adequate job of explaining his company’s position and the direction they are taking. It would seem that the company’s latest venture with Mindleaders will solidify Recombo’s position in this exciting industry. This assumption is based on the company’s successful bid to hire new talent and their ability to build a team that will meet and exceed the challenges and expectations leading up to this deal.

Most startups fail within the first 12 to 18 months. Recombo is into its third year and thus far, has weathered the good and the bad times. From what I can gather, their business plan has changed from its original form to reflect its current situation. They are looking towards the future and their business plan (marketing strategy) tends to support this notion. Assuming the transition from Mindleaders current platform to Recombo’s platform goes well (tests would seem to indicate that is doable) this may be a worthwhile investment for any wannabe venture capitalist.    


This video was much easier to follow. A condensed version of my notes is as follows:

  • A Canadian company marketing both at home and abroad (Vietnam)
  • Multiple contracts already in play – a track record
  • Competition is an issue – other companies appear to have the competitive edge
  • The amount is small but the return could be big.


The CEO presented her company in a positive an informative manner. She came across as being in knowledgeable, confident and determined to succeed. It would be hard not to so no to this lady. However, I am rather hesitant to commit myself just yet, for a couple of reasons.

First, I’d want to make sure that the competition (the ones with the deep pockets) weren’t also in the bidding. Second, I’d want more information about the infrastructure being proposed in the Vietnam situation (I’ve travelled in enough similar countries so I know not to make comparisons with developed countries such as Canada). Finally, I’d want to take a closer look at the finances to see if the proposal was being adequately funded and the rate of return reasonably high.

Why would a venture capitalist want to spend peanuts if he/she can only expect peanuts in return?

Thanks for taking the time to review this post.


1 Deepika Sharma { 09.14.08 at 7:28 pm }


I agree with most part of your Recombo analysis, however my concern on reaching out to their customer’s customer directly in addition to through their customer (mindleaders) was a bit concerning…what do you think?


2 Bruce Spencer { 09.14.08 at 7:59 pm }

Hi there Deepika

I guess there’s no guarantee Mindleaders will go along with the idea. In the meantime, if Recombo is able to sweeten the pot as well as prove to Mindleaders that it will in no way diminish Mindleaders position vis-a-vis their customers, then perhaps the two can strike a deal.

As the original investment does not include this possibility, I think it’s still a sound investment. Should a second deal be struck at a later date, that could potentially be the icing on the cake.



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