POSTS ON 

Learning

(0)
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirtieth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty:

  • Needs more work – You know your pitch still needs work when those closest to you respond with blank stares. I definitely got some blank stares this week. I’ll keep refining until the blank stares turn into excitement.  
  • Complexity Sorting through complexity isn’t easy. When there’s complexity that others can’t figure out, that’s a big opportunity to create value. I need blocks of uninterrupted time to do this. I carved out time this week, and I’m glad I did.
  • Timing – You can’t control timing, but you need to be aware of it because it can have an outsize impact on outcomes. When the timing is right, you need to recognize it and take advantage of it. This week was a reminder of that.

Week one hundred thirty was calm (meeting-wise) but highly productive. Looking forward to next week.

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Nine

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-ninth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-nine:

  • Pitching rough ideas – Sometimes the best people to pitch on an early, rough idea are those closest to you. It’s likely to happen during casual conversation about what’s new, which is a more relaxed setting than a formal pitch meeting. If they care about you, they’re more likely to give you honest feedback. It’s also a safe environment in which to refine your pitch. I did this myself this week, and it was helpful.
  • Trusting my gut – Sometimes my gut pushes me to take certain actions that just “feel” right. I can’t always explain why it’s the right move at that moment, but after I reflect later, I can. This happened a few times this week. One resulted in an entrepreneurial insight that could prove pivotal. Note to self: trust your gut.  
  • Not sure what they want If you ask customers what they want, they’ll tell you they want a specific solution. If you ask them what they’d like to achieve long term, they’ll tell you something else. This week was a reminder that sometimes people don’t realize that what they say they want doesn’t align with what they’re trying to achieve. If you can recognize these instances, they can be opportunities to present an alternative solution they haven’t thought of.  

Week one hundred twenty-nine was a great one. Looking forward to next week.

+ COMMENT

What’s the Mamba Mentality?

I was going back and forth with a buddy this week about Kobe Bryant’s mentality and why it led to outsize success in a league where he competed with the best of the best. I came across a short clip of him describing the “mamba mentality” and why it works. Here are my takeaways from the clip:

  • Kobe’s mamba mentality was about being the best version of himself through continual improvement.
  • Kobe understood the power of focusing on the right habits to produce his desired outcome. He developed a habit of training every day, which increased his chances of being the best. (Atomic Habits is great for understanding the power of habits.)
  • Kobe understood the effect of compounding effort. He trained more often—four times a day—by starting early in the morning. With this much training, his skills improved rapidly. So much so that after five years, he was so far ahead of his peers that there was nothing they could do to catch him. In a league of the most gifted individuals, he left everyone in the dust.

Kobe’s clip reminded me of a post I shared a few months back. Self-improvement is the key to sustained outsize success. The biggest limit on your success is your ability to improve yourself.

Kobe was smart enough to develop his mamba mentality early in his career, and he became a legend. I’m not as smart as he is, so it took me longer to fully understand this mindset. Because I now understand how important it is, I have daily habits focused on improving myself by acquiring knowledge. I’ve been sharing daily posts for over two years, and that’s a big part of my efforts. I also spend around two hours a day learning. I can’t predict or control the outcome of these efforts, but if I stick with these habits, I’m confident I’ll have outsize success over the next few decades. Maybe I’ll be as fortunate as Kobe and leave my peers in the dust too.

I’m no Kobe Bryant, but I subscribe to his mamba mentality (in my own nerdy way!).

+ COMMENT

No One Else Is Looking at This. Is It a Unique Insight?

I’ve been looking for data to quantify how the network problem in VC affects fund returns and efficiency of capital allocation to early-stage founders. I suspect that VCs that subscribe to the usual approach have funds that perform worse than those with diverse networks closer to ground level (i.e., network entrepreneurs are already in). I’ve read several academic papers that dive into VC networks, but they’ve all looked at this from the perspective of existing VC networks. Said differently, the papers look at how well VCs network among themselves and how that affects fund performance.

My observation seems obvious, but it’s been challenging to find research or data on this point—either way. I’m starting to wonder why people haven’t spent more time looking at things from this perspective. Maybe it isn’t as obvious as it feels to me. I connected with one other person researching VC from this perspective, and he shared that he too feels like no one else is looking at things from this angle. There seems to be a miniscule contingent that is. Others accept the status quo in VC. This makes me wonder if this a unique insight that could be the foundation of a game-changing solution.

I’m not sure right now, but I’ll be keeping this top of mind as I progress. I’ll be excited if this is a unique insight!

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Eight

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-eighth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-eight:

  • Persistence – I’ve been trying to connect with certain people for months. I tried various ways to reach them that ended up being dead ends. But I didn’t give up. Finally, I networked my way into meetings with them. This week reminded me that persistence pays off. I just need to be patient while I’m being persistent.
  • Community – Been thinking a lot about the importance of community for early founders. Community builders in start-up ecosystems don’t have it easy. Finding runway to build and sustain these communities is a hurdle.
  • Understanding people Understanding what drives someone’s actions is important. Why they do something can matter more than what they do. It’s not always easy to get to a person’s true motivation, but when you do, it can be game-changing information that helps you understand the best way to interact with them.

Week one hundred twenty-eight was short but productive. Looking forward to repeating the productivity next week.

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Seven

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-seventh week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-seven:

  • Low meeting bar – Some conversations led to some great, unexpected outcomes. My expectations of these meetings were low, and I wasn’t sure what would happen. This experience reminded me to leave room for serendipity in my meeting schedule.
  • Conviction – Having strong feelings about something is important when you’re trying to do the impossible. They help you weather the inevitable emotional roller coaster. Absent that conviction, you’ll likely give up too soon. Being able to communicate your conviction in a way that’s authentic is also important.
  • Holiday – I always enjoy holidays because of the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Looking forward to the long weekend.

Week one hundred twenty-seven was steady. Looking forward to the holiday and next week.

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Six

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-sixth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-six:

  • Music industry – I spent time researching the music industry. I think there are some things they’ve done well that can be applied to venture capital. My network in Atlanta came in handy for this research.
  • Insights – I’ve been working on a project that has had its ups and downs. This week I was able to piece together some insights that led to a breakthrough. Excited to build on this momentum next week.
  • Routine – I changed my routine a little this week. I felt like I needed a spark. The changes worked. I was a bit more energized and productive.
  • Problem on my mind – I’m thinking more about a particular problem. I’ve noticed I wake up at night with new ideas about it. This week I started jotting them down so I can go back to sleep. I’m struck by the fact that, like I said in another post, the last time I thought about a problem this much, I started a company to solve it.

Week one hundred twenty-six was busy. Looking forward to next week.

+ COMMENT

Book Review: The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future

I just finished reading The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future. I’d pieced together the history of venture capital, but this was a fascinating chronological account of the industry with lots of details. A few takeaways:

  • Family office origins – 1946 was the year venture capital investing was begun by wealthy families. The Rockefeller and Whitney families started to experiment with investing in risky early-stage businesses. It took time for others to embrace this model and put the right structure behind it.
  • Angel investing – Google raised $1 million from individuals in 1998, which was unheard of at the time. This contributed to the rise of angel investing.  
  • Sequoia – Founded in 1972 by Don Valentine, this firm has been at the top of its game for many decades. It has continued to evolve and expand the ways it invests by being curious and intentional. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to Sequoia because of the impact it’s had on the industry.
  • China – The evolution of China’s venture capital industry is well chronicled. China’s tech industry was heavily influenced by American venture capitalists who found work-arounds to invest in promising companies.
  • Ownership – In the early days of venture capital, investors would routinely own a significant percentage of companies in early founding rounds. A six- or low seven-figure investment for 40% of the company was not outside the norm. Over the years, these figures have come down as more capital has flooded the industry.
  • Larger funds – Funds have exploded in size. The book details the impact of this fact on the industry and on founders.
  • Networks – The industry was (as still is) highly dependent on who you know, for better or worse.
  • Disruption – Even though it invests in disruptive companies, venture capital didn’t evolve until it was forced to because of disruption. Love them or hate them, investors such as Yuri Milner (DST Global), Chase Coleman (Tiger Global), and Masayoshi Son (Softbank Vision Fund) forced the industry to change. It’s likely time for more disruption in the industry.

This book is full of details and information about the industry and the most prolific investments over the last few decades. This book filled a lot of gaps for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone curious about the industry and how it evolved to what we see today.

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Five

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-fifth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-five:

  • Culture – I spent time immersed in a different culture this week. It was interesting to see the differences in relation to entrepreneurship. Value creation means different things in different cultures.
  • Network effects – I’ve been thinking about how high-quality networks have an outsize impact on early-stage entrepreneurship. Ideas and information flowing freely to early founders can be game changing. I’m wondering how to improve the network in Atlanta.
  • Research – I spent time this week reading academic research and trying to track down the authors. I’ll spend more time hustling in that effort.

Week one hundred twenty-five was busy. Looking forward to next week.

+ COMMENT

Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Twenty-Four

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-twenty-fourth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred twenty-four:

  • VC research – I’ve been researching the origins and history of the venture capital industry. Success in venture capital can be random, but sustaining it for a long time requires intentionality.
  • Frustration – I ran up against some hurdles that set me back this week. I was reminded to push through the frustration and not dwell on the situation.
  • Good people – I spent more time this week with good people I’ve known for a long time. It was energizing and refreshing.

Week one hundred twenty-four was trying. Looking forward to next week.

+ COMMENT

Subscribe to receive new posts via email.

Submitted successfully!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again?