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“Setting the table” is a simple white paper writing technique that will quickly improve your content and increase investor engagement.

Look at two companies with virtually identical models or teams, but where only one is funded. While market conditions and serendipitous connections may have played apart, it’s a certainty that one company did a better job of convincing investors.

In the world of ICOs and STOs, white papers remain a major part of the convincing effort. The problem is that most white papers are ill-designed. Despite the growing number of white paper checklists, guides and pop-up writing services, quality isn’t improving. …

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[Note — I partner with, a startup building a mobile cryptocurrency mining and affiliate marketing platform. This story is reposted from my work there.]

Last December, our company was days away from launching an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Investor demand was strong and our product — a beautifully designed mobile platform that allows anyone, anywhere, to easily mine digital currencies — was garnering attention. We had a real blockchain use case and an obvious role for a token in our protocol. We weren’t a couple of guys in our parents’ basement with an idea and a cobbled-together white paper. We were a seasoned group of marketers, blockchain technologists and entrepreneurs with a record of successful exits. We had top legal representation and a strong advisory team. …

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Email is absurdly powerful. Used by virtually everyone, it flattens social hierarchies making anyone accessible. For founders, it brings connection with top investors and VCs tantalizingly close.

But between you, your target and that big break is a deluge of inbound email. Busy tech leaders get up to 800 emails per day, meaning: crafting an email that gets a response is an art.

And the art of the open hinges on new rules — grounded in science, tech habits and the predictably quirky human nature — to make your message stand out.

Your email needs to be good because simultaneous to the message you send, your recipient is being hit with messages backed by millions of dollars in marketing and statistical models optimizing for keywords and psychology. …

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With no formal industry requirements in place for an initial coin offering or security token offering launch, the crypto community has adopted the white paper as the de facto first step.

ICOs and STOs act as an early funding mechanism for product launches and their success is proportional to the industry interest they can generate. But landing funding and building hype is difficult when a product is at the concept stage. Especially so when a field or technology is uncharted. …

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Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

I waited to start a business because I didn’t think I was an entrepreneur.

Whatever that means.

My comfort zone was (and actually, is) project management. I was quite comfortable as an ops guy in a tech company. Not creating or selling, but keeping plans on the rails to reality.

There were times when the idea of running my own show crossed my mind. But I quickly dismissed the notion.

Entrepreneurs captivate with outsized dreams á la Elon Musk, or are brilliantly technical with clairvoyance and tenacity that borderlines on pathological, like Steve Jobs.

They are people who feed off risk. …

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Success is improvement, not getting it right. 

I am a football ref.

(Well, among other things. I cannot feed my kids and pay a mortgage on $4/hour.)

One of the things about being a ref (besides being hated by everyone) is that you cannot ever do your job right. In every play, someone is doing something illegal. With 22 players and four refs, we are bound to miss something.

I tend to obsess over details, find identity in doing things right, crave respect and am competitive to a fault. Being a ref crushes these things.

Last night I did a freshmen game between two cellar dwelling teams in a small Oregon town. No biggie right? But I honestly struggled to fall asleep as I thought and re-thought about the flags I did or didn’t throw. The game is quick, you’re reacting and there is no HD instant replay. …

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Most strategies in life and business end up being built around one thing: hope. 

A fantastic vision for a future reality that isn’t obviously and measurably connected to steps that — when followed — will achieve that vision, is just hope.

Nearly every person and organization has an inspiring idea for the future. “We are going to provide education to the developing world” or “I am going to be the most present and encouraging Dad on the planet.”

Unfortunately this inspiration often remains unfulfilled. Every life and business is a story and the best stories, the ones that are retold and envied, are the ones where the inspiration actually became reality. …


Charlie Waldburger

Ghostwriter & Content Creator || VCs, Global Finance, Tech & Business || Help founders and brands show and share value ||

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