The first time I stepped foot in a 12-step meeting in Orange County, CA I heard someone say something that stopped me cold in my tracks. It was something to the effect of “throughout my life I’ve always felt like everybody else had gotten the manual to life and I must’ve been absent from school that day.” This was a decade ago when my life looked quite a bit different than it does today.

It’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that in the years preceding this moment, I had become a self-destructive, self-hating person with a life…

An open source protocol for efficient, algorithmic Money Markets on Ethereum

a graphic estimating where traditional financial products fall on the risk/reward scale

One concept I’ve long thought about is what the equivalent of a bank might look like in a decentralized, self-sovereign future. While most hodlers today dream of disrupting the traditional financial system and enabling the world’s population to “be their own bank”, if we’re going to achieve this end goal we’ll need products that enable users to earn passive income to offset the risks they’re taking on. As products emerge to solve issues surrounding private key storage and security (like our portfolio company Casa amongst others), the next logical step is for offerings to emerge that enable users to earn…

Note: My firm, Compound is an investor in Blockstack Public Benefit Corp. This post is for informational purposes only and represents my opinions, it is NOT investment advice.

In utopian society, there’s no need for concerns around the devaluing of currencies or security of private information. Individuals can trust that the state and centralized institutions won’t print additional paper money, take unnecessary risks with their customers’ money and data to generate wealth for the few, nor will they ever become victims of hacking and put the masses at risk.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the world we live in. As the world…

Market Map and Musings on the State of the Ecosystem

As I previously wrote about in my ICO Bubble post, blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and token sales are all the rage right now. In the 5+ years I’ve been working in the VC industry, this is by and large the fastest I’ve seen any area of technology take off in terms of new company (or project) formation. It wasn’t too long ago that founders and VCs were mainly focused on centralized exchanges, enterprise or private blockchain solutions, wallets, amongst several other popular blockchain startup ideas that dominated the market from 2012 to somewhere around 2016.

However, as I wrote about a…

The fact is that a bubble market has allowed the creation of bubble companies, entities designed more with an eye to making money off investors rather than for them. Too often, an IPO, not profits, was the primary goal of a company’s promoters.

- Warren Buffett in his 2000 annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders

In the late 90’s, companies like Kozmo and Webvan saw their stocks soar to incredible heights despite mounting and unsustainable losses. One well-known investor however wasn’t buying it. …

“AWS is a tax on the compute economy. So whether you care about mobile apps, consumer apps, IoT, SaaS etc etc, more companies than not will be using AWS versus building their own infrastructure. If you believe that over time the software industry is a multi, deca-trillion industry, then ask yourself how valuable a company would be who taxes the majority of that industry.”

- Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Managing Partner of Social Capital

This is part 6 of a 7 part series. …

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

- Steve Jobs

This is part 5 of a 7 part series. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the first four posts here, here, here and here.

The last post in this series that falls under the “disruption” category is in many ways the most difficult to qualify as ”new products” is a vague denomination which I’ll do my best…

“The less liquid and slower the market is, the more people who are selling will value this process.”

- Dan Ariely, Behavioral Economist speaking about OpenDoor

This is part 4 of a 7 part series. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the first three posts here, here and here.

Managed Marketplaces and Tech-Enabled Middlemen aren’t exactly the same thing, but for the purpose of this series I combined them together in one post due to the analogous characteristics of both models and the similarity in the markets best suited for them.

Both Managed Marketplaces and Tech-Enabled Middlemen…

“…we don’t make money when we sell things. We make money when we help customers make purchase decisions.”

- Jeff Bezos

This is part 3 of a 7 part series. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the first two posts here and here.

If the industry is plagued by the abundance of choice, customers will shop around and look for guidance or advice in seeking out the best product for them. In these cases, an aggregator might be the best strategy or what is often called the “Kayak for X” model.

The nuances between aggregators and marketplaces…

Like any good algebraist, the pilot is made to think sometimes in a forward fashion and sometimes in reverse; and so he learns when to concentrate mostly on what he wants to happen and also when to concentrate mostly on avoiding what he does not want to happen.

- Charlie Munger

This is part 2 of a 7 part series. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the first post and introduction here.

Marketplaces work best when creating new value by matching supply and demand more efficiently by making previously unavailable or difficult to attain or assess supply…

Josh Nussbaum

Halcyon Health Co-founder. Former Partner @ Compound.

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