A market map & deeper look into the ISA category

This past Wednesday (March 27, 2019) was the first ever Life Capital Conference hosted by Slow Ventures, Village Global, The Information, and Cooley.

We discussed the benefits of ISAs (i.e. improved accessibility, incentive alignment, downside protection and outcome transparency), current challenges (i.e. potential for higher costs vs. debt alternatives, adverse selection concerns, and the regulatory environment) and the potential future (i.e. cohorts cross-investing with each other or uncapped upside returns).

We heard from those currently employing ISAs in practice (such as at Purdue University), founders building new types of schools…

Note: This is a follow up to primers I wrote here and here

A friend once told me that a 10 day meditation is preparation for the hardest day of our lives.

I see Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as preparation for the biggest conflict of our lives.

When shit hits the fan in a friendship or relationship, and we’re about to say the insult that ruins or stains the relationship forever…. That’s when our NVC training comes into play.

NVC is also for the many moments leading up to that critical conflict — indeed, NVC prevents the conflicts from happening in…

A Deep Dive into the Past, Present, & Future of Income Share Agreements


Imagine a world where you had a personal board of advisors — the people you most admire and respect — and you gave them upside in your future earnings in exchange for helping you (e.g our good friend Mr. Mike Merrill.)

Imagine if there was a “Kickstarter for people” where you could support up-and-coming artists, developers, entrepreneurs — when they need the cash the most, and most importantly, you’d only profit when they profit.

Imagine if you could diversify by pooling 1% of your future income with your ten smartest friends.

Two years ago, a group of us launched the Rise Awards — a way to recognize people who aren’t recognized everyday — employees.

After some conversations with the “winners”, we realized that they’d prefer valuable community & networks that they could tap into as they seek to grow in their career rather than some fancy awards construct.

So instead of a title or an award series, we took a different direction — we teamed up with Breaking Into Startups (Ruben Harris, Timur Meyster, Artur Meyster) as well as Jenny Kaehms & Evan Stites-Clayton and invited two groups of 50 people…

In September 2017, we announced Village Global, a new type of venture capital fund that is networked at its core. From who we have as financial backers, to how we invest, everything we do is about empowering and connecting people.

So far we’ve been heads down, focused on generating outcomes worth writing about. We’re finally ready to start telling some of the stories of the Village network, and, as such, we’re hiring a Head of Content and Marketing.

The Role

You’ll spread ideas and insights that matter to the tech community. You’ll pull out the best gems from our events, podcasts, and other media and repurpose them across different social media channels.

You’ll interview Village Global luminaries, network leaders, and founders — some of the most talented people across fields, disciplines, and companies — and create original, compelling content based…

On Deck is a dinner series and evolving community of world class entrepreneurs who are openly — or secretly — about to start their next thing.’

Currently the community includes: successful repeat founders, EIRs at top-tier VC firms, and great designers and developers at companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and more.

What started as a small dinner series a few years ago for people looking to do their next thing has transformed into On Deck networks all over the world.

So far, we have chapters in London (chapter leader: David Booth); New York (chapter leader: Raphael Ouzan); New Dehli (chapter…

I’m excited to finally introduce the podcast I’ve been planning for the last year: Venture Stories by Village Global

In some ways this is the spiritual sequel to my last podcast, Maker Stories by Product Hunt, but with a twist. Maker Stories was one-on-one interviews with people, mostly about their careers and lives and how they made sense of both.

Venture Stories, in contrast, is more about going deep into areas of expertise — either functional or sector specific.

Venture stories will feature entrepreneurs and investors diving deep into how different markets work, where things are going, and what opportunities…

I wrote this in tweet-storm format to help organize my thoughts. :-)

1/ “Observing without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence.” — J. Krishnamurti

A series of scattered and evolving thoughts on labels & judgements of others:

2/ We create problems for ourselves by using static language to express or capture a reality that is ever changing — by mixing evaluation (e.g judgement) and observation

3/ if we have a difference with someone, and we don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, we focus on what’s wrong with them.

4/ We’ve developed a large vocabulary for judging what…

The other week we tweeted out that we’re hosting an event for great operators who are looking to advise companies on the side.

In talking to dozens of entrepreneurs & investors, we realized that there lots of great operators want to advise companies and meet other operators & domain experts.

Some of these advisors want to give back by mentoring startups on the side, others want angel investment opportunities, and others want to set the stage to transition into VC later in their careers.

Being part of the Village Global network as an advisor is a great way to do…

As the new year is approaching, I’ve been reflecting on what’s had a positive impact in my life this year, and what I’d like to do more of in 2018.

Learning more about Nonviolent Communication is near the top of the list.

Since I wrote my takeaways of the book, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), I’ve been getting deeper into NVC and the NVC community, and I even hosted a couple meetups of my own (sign up here if you’d like to attend one in 2018).

For those who haven’t read the book, here’s a primer on NVC and some reflections on…

Erik Torenberg

Co-founder & Partner, @Villageglobal, @ondeckdaily, www.beondeck.co.

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