Chang Xu invests in developer-led products (developer tools, open source, dev ops, ML ops, data tooling, etc.). For many lines of work and in traditional industries, in ten years they will look nothing like they do today -- and this represents huge opportunities. Chang loves working with founders, going down rabbit holes about how a technology or an industry works, imagining what should be different and building that future together. Prior to coming to the “dark side,” Chang was the first Product Manager at the Minerva Project, a venture-backed, tech-enabled university of the 21st century. Chang also co-founded and was the COO of an ed-tech startup in China, which has raised $90+ million to-date. Previously, Chang was a Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, advising clients across technology, retail, and healthcare sectors as well as private equity investors. Chang has also spent time at Microsoft and Jane Street Capital.
Chang Xu is a partner at BasisSet Ventures. She shares her firm's latest COSS research highlighting how Issues are a better signal than Stars!
You came up with a really interesting new piece of research that you shared. (JJ walks through https://medium.com/basis-set-ventures/all-that-glitters-like-stars-is-not-gold-metrics-that-matter-when-commercializing-open-source-2f58c8a5b493). Can you give us a background on yourself, how you got into the VC world, and tell us about Basis Set? - 0:20
First, thank you for sharing this data and being open, data-driven, and collaborative. What are the most interesting things you’ve learned so far, just a few days into sharing this research with the world? What are the big highlights that jump out to you? - 3:29
(JJ elaborates on Chang’s response, specifically about the value of keyboard inputs/engagement vs mouse click inputs/engagement). What are the most counterintuitive things you’ve learned from doing this research? What really surprised you? - 7:35
If you had a magic wand, what are the metrics that you think would be really nice to have, that we just don’t have today when it comes to looking at open source? - 10:40
As a VC focused on investing in early-stage companies, particularly around dev tools, how do you put a price on a company at the very early stages? How do you come up with a valuation where all you have, in terms of data and signal, is an open-source project, some activity, and some developers? What are your heuristics for thinking about this? - 14:00
Talk about your Contributor Coverage Ratio in the post. - 16:35
I’ve never seen a piece of research that quantitatively comes up with this ratio, so that’s a really valuable insight. What’s the best way for founders to get in touch with you and engage with you? - 19:11
Share your questions and comments below!