I saw a tweet going around today suggesting a founder’s identity should be intimately tied up in their startup, and thought I might offer a different perspective on the mindset I’d prefer to see in founders we work with.
I subscribe to the Steve Blank school of startups, which is to say that I see a startup as an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. In other words, a startup is a hypothesis, and furthermore, it’s one that the founders, investors, and employees all believe going in may be true.
When it proves true, magic…
I had the chance to talk with the Lincoln Network folks today at their Reboot conference. Here are some notes from my conversation with Marshall Kosloff on the misunderstandings between DC and SV, and the policy implications.
Forgive the formatting, Medium apparently doesn’t support nested lists. :/
1. What doesn’t D.C. understand about Silicon Valley?
I believe DC lacks an understanding of how Silicon Valley thinks, and where the worldview came from.
TL;DR — Matt and I are launching a new fund focused primarily on early-stage B2B SaaS companies.
People have often asked me over the last few years why I prefer to invest via AngelList syndicates rather than a dedicated fund, and the answer has been fairly simple, managing a fund typically requires a heck of a lot of upfront fundraising for the economics to make sense, and secondly I didn’t feel like having a dedicated fund would allow me to do enough things better that it was worth it.
2020 has brought a couple developments that have changed…
Normally I don’t write about portfolio companies because I generally dislike the whole genre of press and wish there were less emphasis on what VCs are doing and more about what companies are doing, but I wanted to make an exception for Rippling. Today Rippling announced a Series A round, and I am excited to be participating. In fact, this will be the largest check I’ve ever written, and is (knock on wood) the surest I’ve ever been at a Series A that I am working with a future unicorn, but that’s neither here nor there.
I wanted to write…
I see it said and written on a regular basis that conservatives are afraid and oppressed in Silicon Valley, unable to speak their ideas. As a conservative, I take issue with this idea.
I think that if we want to understand what’s Silicon Valley believes and what is unacceptable here, we need to get a little bit more precise about our language, and then tease out what we’re actually talking about.
Let’s start with the word conservative. We use this word in a couple different ways in everyday language.
The traditional definition of the word is shorthand for classical liberal…
Faith, Faith is an island in the setting sun
But proof, yes
Proof is the bottom line for everyone — Proof by Paul Simon
I think about this line a lot as I talk to day-zero startups. It came up today, with a startup a friend had introduced me to. I had a working theory of the particular market they were going after. …
We seem to be having a debate about whether or not Facebook (et al) should or should not censor speech without acknowledging that they already do.
Facebook has built the most effective censorship machine in the history of human civilization. Every day it filters through billions of pieces of content and decides exactly which ones each of its users will and will not see. It shapes the way we think, the relationships we have, who we vote for, and what we believe to be true.
I’ve been watching with a bit of bemusement as the crypto world hype cycle has moved from utility tokens to security tokens, but am somewhat skeptical myself. Having read a few bull cases, I thought I might lay out the bear case in the hopes of encouraging a more sophisticated discussion around what blockchain technology can and can’t do.
It seems to me to be an axiom of blockchain technology that its native use cases all involve self-contained value, and that where value is not contained on-chain, the technology lacks value.
For example, digital gold is a good use case…
I saw this tweet the morning and it reminded me of a conversation I regularly have with founders raising seed rounds. They’re typically introduced to me by a founder, angel, or investor, and often the “round is coming together fast.” They usually have some commitments, are raising on a SAFE because they “want to move fast.”
Some of these founders are arrogant, but most are just excited, and the social proof and excitement they’ve received from investors has given them the confidence that they have a great plan. I get it. …
I’ve been talking with friends about the scams that have been going on in the crypto space for a while. We watch what’s happening with ICOs, some of us even get calls from relatives about tokens because we’re “in tech,” and we wonder when the SEC will take some action in the space.
It’s certainly more complicated than “everything is a scam” or “all these people are terrible,” but there are many scams and many terrible people, so it is understandable that Charlie Munger might characterize the thinking amongst people piling in as “Someone else is trading turds and you…
User Generated Discontent