I was 24 years old when I first started writing this post.

At that point, to everyone’s surprise (my own, especially), I had been a venture investor for 3 years already — just 5 years after cold emailing my way into my first job in tech. I received Forbes’ 30 Under 30, sourced over a dozen investments for my firm, and had gotten board exposure to companies that would go on to reach 10-figure enterprise value. Most importantly, I had done it my own way — with an upstart firm rather than a big brand where I’d be known more for my firm name than my own. …


When I graduated college, I moved to LA while my brother and most of my close friends headed to New York City. I lived in NYC for a summer during college, but felt that LA had the right combination of what I was looking for in both the short and the long term. I joked that I’d be waiting for them all in a decade on the West Coast Best Coast. Little did I know.

7 years later, the migration west has started. Some to SF or Denver, others to LA :) Obviously, a global pandemic nudged the timeline along a bit earlier than expected, but I’m glad to have my brother and his girlfriend with me in the same city for the first time since high school. …


A continuation of concise book reviews, with original context here.

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Autobiography of Malcolm X

Stream of consciousness review:

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to read the biographies of MLK and Malcolm X back-to-back. My thought process was that I knew some about both of these important figures, but I didn’t know enough.

My goal was to learn more about not only what they preached but also their approaches in doing so. …


A continuation of concise book reviews, with original context here.

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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stream of consciousness review:

MLK Jr has always been one of those figures who I knew to respect and admire for many obvious reasons, but I never fully researched the depth of admiration I should have. After reading this book, the admiration and respect only heightened. This biography naturally weaves his life story in with the chronology and events of the Civil Rights Movement. …


A continuation of concise book reviews, with original context here.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — by Douglas Adams

Stream of consciousness review:

My brother gifted me a paperback copy of this classic just before I left for 5 weeks of travel. The timing was perfect as I’d always wanted to read the original text of this cult classic and what better a time than when traveling solo around the world.

Having seen the movie and paid attention to the pop culture around Hitchhiker’s Guide, I went eyes wide open into this one. …


A continuation of concise book reviews, with original context here.

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Becoming Kareem — by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Stream of consciousness review:

After watching Minority of One, HBO’s documentary on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I was inspired to read his memoir on “Becoming Kareem”. A unique and thorough account of his life from childhood, to UCLA, through to the NBA and beyond. During which he explains the obstacles of being singled out for his height, his race, and ultimately, his religion.

In his post-NBA life, Kareem has gone on to write over 15 books, many of them novels. Given his prolific writing, I was excited to read him recount his own story. This was an easy but insightful read in the voice of one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about what shaped him into the class act he became. …


I’ve been involved with small businesses my whole life. My parents, aunts, uncles, and countless other relatives have owned, operated, and/or worked in small businesses.

Growing up around them fueled my passion for entrepreneurship, ultimately leading me towards venture capital and my involvement with Opportunity Fund (which is launching a COVID-19 Relief Fund). The staggering truth is that nearly half of the US GDP comes from small businesses and most of that is at risk right now due to COVID-19.

So, like many of you, I’ve been devastated by the impact the widespread (albeit necessary) stay-at-home orders have had on our beloved restaurants, cafes, salons, bars, boutiques, fitness studios, and more. …


Over the years, I have written a few New Year’s posts. This time around, I decided it might be better to revisit some of the old ones and see how I size up rather than come up with a new batch of commitments to my future self.

I say this with two exceptions. Two things I’ve been stalling on for some time but the turn of the year (and decade) catalyzed me to finally act upon:

  1. Committing myself to doing instead of thinking. I mean this on the smallest of scales as well as the largest. On the small, it means not putting off the small errands like driving to the store and returning a package, rather just doing it immediately. On a mid scale, it means pushing myself to just act on the ideas and curiosities I have — like curbing my caffeine intake by cutting it for a week (which I did over the holidays)— rather than dwelling in preparation. On the largest scale, it reverts back to my birthday post “This is 28.” …


As a kid, I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be a “small business owner”. The term felt like a label prescribed to a group of people who were distant from me, rather than a description of my own family. I knew my parents owned their business, but I didn’t know if it was “small” or not, and I didn’t know that wasn’t par for the course.

I didn’t understand that when politicians said how important small businesses were to the economy, we were included in that.

I didn’t understand that being a small business owner meant supporting yourself, your staff, and in part, your entire community based solely off of the revenue you could generate. …


A continuation of concise book reviews, with original context here.

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Dreams from My Father — by Barack Obama

Stream of consciousness review:

When I decided to read Dreams from my Father, I, like many, expected to hear the memoir of President Barack Obama. Instead, I got the story of Barack Obama, the young kid from Hawaii struggling to find his path in a world where he felt both on top and outside all at once.

The story, an account in his own words, takes us from his young life all the way to his time as the Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Over this time we see him reconnect with his father and his father’s family, find and lose love, as well as discover a path that ultimately fulfilled him. …

About

arteen arabshahi

VP of Strategy, Route. founding team, @fikavc

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