In the book “The Drama of the Gifted Child”, the Legend of Narcissus is framed as a parable to warn of the potential dangers of falling in love with our bright spots (in this case physical beauty) while neglecting the dark/shadow spots which are very necessary in defining one’s complete self.
As it’s stated, “It is not only the “beautiful”, “good” and pleasant feelings that make us really alive, deepen our existence and give us crucial insight, but often precisely the unacceptable and unadapted ones from which we would prefer to escape: helplessness, shame, envy, jealousy, confusion, rage and grief…
Venture capital is changing. Capital is abundant and increasingly consolidated. The VC industry as a whole is shape-shifting to more of a service based business as investors realize they need to bring more to the table than just money.
Now more than ever, differentiation is critical to remain competitive across the VC landscape. But how?
The existential threat of any company pre product-market fit is building something people want. Post product-market fit, the threats all flow from people problems: co-founder conflict, burn-out, stress/anxiety, creating a culture that attracts and retains top level talent etc.
Concurrent to that, today’s startup culture…
I’ve recently been embracing my inner skeptic, in an age in which skeptics sometimes get a bad rap.
In my idealistic San Francisco bubble, people regularly make the impossible possible and skeptics are typically frowned upon for having a negative polarity — sticks in the mud who only see the downside or grumbling grumps who bring everyone down.
I get why skeptics are not pleasant to be around. We frequently stress faults, push back, play devils advocate, are disagreeable and argumentative. All qualities which are not particularly flattering when trying to connect with sunshiny humans.
However, there are a few…
In early stage venture capital, we hear a lot of firms (including our own) say that they invest in people.
Businesses create value in unique ways that are often manifestations of the founders themselves.
It is easy to forget that organizations are first and foremost places of human interaction, not just transaction. These interactions are vital to the outcome of good vs great companies, and in some instances, the difference between success and failure.
Simply stated, people are the cornerstone of all business. It follows that investors must consider the people variables first. …
For many years Jake (my co-managing director) and I have watched founders struggle through varying degrees of personal turmoil as they build their companies with little to no available support.
At our new fund, Alpha Bridge Ventures, we are stepping up our game by re-imagining what founder support looks like. Support that will help founders achieve resiliency, avoid burnout and transition from start-up taskmaster to effective company leader.
Recent research as well as our personal experience suggests that happy, healthy founders are more likely to overcome challenges and be in better positions to win as they scale their companies.
“Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” — Warren Buffett
I believe many aspects of life compound the way interest does in finance; slowly in the beginning, then robustly over time. Here is a simple illustration of interest compounding:
If I invest $5k at 25 years old at a conservative 7% rate of return (compounded annually), it would take approximately ten years to double my money. So when I turn 35, that $5k would turn into…
Growing up in the eighties, the concept of “stranger danger” was a phrase that found widespread adoption and echoed throughout hallways of U.S. schools year after year. The overall harrowing theme was that strangers are the enemy and we should never speak to them. All strangers had a hidden agenda that would not end well for us gullible children. They posed a serious threat to our peaceful suburban utopias and, as you will see in the PSA video below, were a menacing threat.
Definitely worth a re-watch…..
Videos like this were shown in classrooms around the country instilling fear…
I wanted to briefly “share” my thoughts about the movement KJ and her team at Simbi are leading in terms of their overall collective vision for a new and improved shared economy, how digital currencies factor into the equation and some predictions on what the future holds in this particular space.
Oh also, full disclaimer, I get 75 Simbi for fulfilling this virtual request. Woot woot!
The NEW Shared Economy
Billon dollar business have been built off the backs of companies taking advantage of people’s excess capacity w/ their cars (Uber), Homes (AirBnb) and used goods (Listia, Yerdle).
When applying standard top-down logic or deductive reasoning to decisions that deliver against expected outcomes, our worlds begin to trend into the realm of “making sense”. Aligning predictions with results. Expectations with reality. We all strive to “make sense of things” because it makes us feel stable, comfortable and somewhat in control. If you think about it, simply having proper evidence in place (quantitative, qualitative, theoretical, or empirical) to substantiate a decision can give a warm sense of confidence which is necessary to execute; regardless of outcome. Main reason being, if things end up going haywire, at least you have…
“Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist. While you guys were busy arguing over the glass of water, I drank it. Sincerely, the Opportunist.”- Unknown
Why do we do what we do?
It’s a simple question that has perplexed behavioral psychologists and neuroscientists for centuries.
I’ve asked myself time and time again. Do I make life decisions for me or to appease external, societal pressures? Do I have something to prove? If so, to whom? Myself? My family? My friends? I’ve contemplated intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivators, my desire to make a meaningful contribution to the world, economic stability, my tolerance for risk…