I’m starting a newsletter. Go sign up!

I’ve been blogging on the internet for years. I started on Wordpress, then switched to Tumblr, and finally ended up on Medium — where I hope to stay for a while. Each time, it has become harder to migrate my following to a newer, better platform. My only connective tissue has been my ~10K followers on Twitter, and we all know that Twitter has its challenges lately.

So, I’ve decided to launch an email newsletter. My goal is to speak to you directly and remove the platform risk from the community that follows me. I’ll be writing more about my thoughts on technology, finance, and internet culture. As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to receive my new blog posts, news about Lightspeed’s portfolio, as well as interesting links I’ve found on the web (with added commentary).

It’s called DRINKING FROM THE FIREHOSE, and you can sign up below:

If you’re still not convinced, I’ve copied my first newsletter below. Hope you enjoy it!

Drinking from The Firehose, 01.06.2017

A weekly(-ish) newsletter on tech, investing, & internet culture from @ataussig.

Hello, World!

Welcome to my newsletter, Drinking from the Firehose! I’ve been looking for a way to speak more directly to those of you who follow me on Twitter, Medium, etc. So, here it is: a condensed, weekly(-ish) dump of info directly from my brain to yours.

DFTF (remember this acronym) is a favorite phrase of mine dating back to grad school days at MIT:

The term is used frequently in the VC too. On a daily basis, I try to distill huge amounts of information into only what is important. The firehose is a fact of life for me, and so this newsletter is my attempt to present some nuggets of signal I have extracted from the noisy web.

One Big Thought

My first big thought for 2017 comes from an article by my Lightspeed partner Nikki Quinn. In her post below, she details a key success factor for emerging consumer brands in 2017: a proprietary channel to market. It’s too easy to say that “brand” defines these companies. Brand is more of an effect than a cause. The thing these great brands have in common is owning or dominating a marketing channel. I’ll be thinking more about this critical success factor as a consumer investor in 2017, and I’m sure Nikki will as well.

“Popping the cork on 2017: Top Consumer Startup Trends” (Link)

The consumer space is increasingly noisy and the top emerging brands are using novel marketing methods to cut through the clutter. These new, scalable, repeatable, customer acquisition channels to both find and retain users represent a key opportunity for consumer brands to succeed.

News from the Lightspeed portfolio

  • Cheddar announced a big partnership with Vanity Fair. (Link)
  • Zola CEO Shan-Lyn Ma was interviewed on a startup podcast. She talks about her decision to take money from Lightspeed, amongst other things. (Link)
  • Snap has filter games now. (Link)
  • Giphy compiled the most popular GIFs of 2016, and the Obama mic drop wins. (Link)
  • My partner Ravi Mhatre discusses the shift from public to enterprise cloud, and how it’s driving IPOs like Nutanix and Twilio. (Link)
  • Lightspeed’s Summer Fellowship for 2017 is now open for applications! Tell your student founder friends. (Link)

Links I enjoyed

  • Walter Isaacson has a plan to fix the internet. I’m skeptical anything like this could be achieved without the support of companies like Google and Facebook, who may not have short-term economic incentives to do so. (Link)
  • Data on VR usage around the Christmas season suggests we need longer experiences to create stickiness. (Link)
  • Micro-photonics (read: using light instead of electricity on computer chips) seems to be coming to life after decades of research, including my own 10 years ago. Switching a certain material called GST between a glassy and crystalline state can enable it to store binary information, as you would in a computer. (Link)
  • The Second Ave subway finally opens in NYC. It’s a day this native New Yorker thought would never come. (Link)
  • The global average of the levelized cost of solar electricity reached the same level as coal in 2016, according to the World Economic Forum. It was cut in half since 2009. How much longer until its economic tipping point? (Link)

Want more?

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