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Lisa Simpson pitches an idea for an app that can predict the negative effects of a social media post

As a software engineer in Silicon Valley, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of several acquisitions. Unfortunately, I’ve also witnessed a few massive implosions. I will be the first to tell you that there are no fool-proof plans for picking winners, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t establish some guiding principles when making investments. Below are the guidelines Sarah and I use to evaluate new opportunities.

Ten X

You don’t need to be unicorn to be a success

Most of the major venture capital firms I’ve talked to have crazy financial models that they run on every potential investment in an effort to optimize their fund for returns. The problem with this methodology is that traditional VCs will pass on difficult problems because the upside isn’t as lucrative as the next unicorn. To fill this gap in funding, our focus is on difficult problems that we believe can be solved with the right team. We’re more likely to invest in a company solving a difficult problem with a 6x potential return than the next 100x blockchain ICO. Given a goal of having profits that can be reinvested into new problems, and the high failure rates of startups, we aim for more reasonable returns. …

If you’ve recently logged into your Google Cloud Platform, you were probably greeted with the notice,

“In the next few weeks the Logs Viewer will migrate to the Stackdriver Logging v2 API. Learn more”.

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Google Cloud Platform Stackdriver Logging

This politely tells us that their documentation is going to be littered with artifacts of old and new libraries and fragmented snippets of code. It also means their documentation will only cover the most basic installation:

Vanilla Installation from copied from Google Docs:

curl -O
sudo bash --write-gcm
curl -sSO
sudo bash

If you’re like me, lazy, hoping for a quick fix, you copied/pasted the 4 lines into a Dockerfile RUN command and were unfortunately greeted with errors while building. This is because the engineers at Google tried to make the installation as simple as possible (it would’ve worked if we were using a fresh new compute engine instance). …

A few years ago my gmail account was hacked and the adversary sent a phishing email to every single one of my contacts. …


Jared Messenger

Jared Messenger is an Angel Investor and iOS engineer. Currently he is focused on computer vision and machine learning models for mobile devices.

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