My family is not often one for grand gestures or words of affirmation. Instead, we speak through acts of service, and of all of us, my father’s tireless commitment to our family’s wellbeing rings loudest.

I wrote most of the below post 6 years ago as a thank you letter to my dad. I was nearing the end of my time in university and felt that I hadn’t properly expressed what an instrumental role he played in shaping my ambitions and worldview. …

I have three windows open, but I’d be lying if I said I could see clearly right now. Each window features so many tabs that the tightly packed icons have been rendered nearly indistinguishable. It’s a decent reflection of my frenetic brain state these last few days.

Many of our lives — mine included — were upended these last two weeks. We went from commuting to our offices to cordoning off “home offices” inside cramped apartments, and from rarely giving thought to hand washing to doing so every chance we get for fear of hurting ourselves and others around us. …

A few weeks ago, our team at Bloomberg Beta collaborated with Jen Yip, founder of Renaissance Collective to bring together our communities of Smart Generalists, founders, and those on the cusp of their next career moves to hear from four early operators on what to consider when joining a startup early in a non-engineering role. Below are several tactical takeaways from our discussion.

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A conversation with early operators (from left to right): David King (early Product Manager at Google), Gloria Lin (first Product Manager at Stripe), Ryan Johnson (first Operations at Opendoor), Camille Ricketts (first Marketing at Notion)

So you want to join a startup in a non-engineering role. You’re a fast learner and a resourceful problem solver. You have exceptional writing, communications, and interpersonal skills, and thrive on making decisions in ambiguous, cross-functional environments. However, it’s not always obvious how to evaluate generalist roles at fast growing startups, despite every growing organizations’ needs for versatile talent who can contribute across operations, business development, marketing, growth, customer support, sales, and more. …

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A big part of my SF family: the good humans at Bloomberg Beta

Two years ago, I embraced a lot of new: a cross country move (👋, SF), a new job in a new industry (👋, venture), plus a whole new community.

I’m feeling a waterfall of gratitude for the leaders, peers, friends I’ve met and worked with in SF. I’ve benefited from their generosity, so in the hopes of paying it forward, here are the most impactful lessons they’ve shared over the last two years:

1. “Being mostly focused is roughly the same as being completely unfocused.” — Roy Bahat

I certainly wouldn’t be in SF without Roy Bahat. He took me up on my unabating curiosity to be closer to founders and startups and welcomed me to Bloomberg Beta. He stresses the importance of being focused-focused to founders, and it’s a lesson I’ve absorbed as well. Focus. …

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Our team with early-stage founders at our most recent holiday gathering

At Bloomberg Beta, we believe that there are exceptional individuals with great ideas who likely have the skills to build a company but lack the network or personal financial means to get started. So we’re announcing an experiment we’re calling Bloomberg Beta Beacon.

We will invest a small amount of capital — $50k to enable very, very early-stage founders to explore an idea, validate a critical hypothesis, or build an early prototype.

Why are we doing this?

We believe that technology startups play an essential role in delivering a better future, and we believe that we can speed the arrival of that future by investing as early as possible in the best founders who share these intentions.

Beacons are a source of light and inspiration, and we aspire to be a part of your trusted circle of friends, colleagues, and advisors in being a sounding board at the earliest stage. …

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Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov via Unsplash

52 weeks of education from 52 books, 500+ hours of podcasts, and endless conversations

Fueled by technology, our society is obsessed with the new and next big thing. While neomania drives our ability to continually ideate/design/build/ship, it also leaves little time for introspection and reflection. I’m no exception. I have a genuine love for enrichment through education, and my brain acts as a sponge, absorbing knowledge and constantly seeking its applications. This time last year, I set out intent on ensuring that my learning did not stop simply because I was no longer in an academic setting.

Over 52 weeks, I read 52 books, listened to 500+ hours of podcasts, perused thousands of articles/blog posts, and enjoyed a myriad of interesting conversations. But ingesting information for the sake of information isn’t nearly as valuable as digesting it, drawing your own conclusions, and sharing it with others. There is tremendous value in pausing to look back on all that has been gathered to connect the dots. Dakota Shane Nunley wrote a great piece reflecting on his life learnings from this past year so I wanted to write some of my own takeaways in hopes of paying tribute to my contemporary mentors. …

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Photo cred: Drew Patrick Miller

Focusing on the user experience of podcasting

Three weeks ago, Patrick and I launched the pilot episode of our very own podcast. What began as a fun idea to talk about how society is changing due to technology advancements quickly became a reality as we huddled around his microphone one evening to start recording.

One of the most jarring parts of this creative process has been listening to our playbacks and realizing that standalone audio content requires us to be painstakingly mindful speakers. …

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Conversations on how tech is changing society

Hello, friends,

Today, we’re excited to launch of our new podcast, In What World. In it, my co-host Patrick and I talk about some of today’s shifting technologies and how they are redefining our understanding of social, economic relations. And while we can’t wait for you to be a part of these conversations, we wanted to share in words how and why In What World came to be.

Patrick and I are part of a unique generation that’s experienced one hell of a technological revolution. We remember what it was like to watch movies on VHS, learn to type on some of the first web pages on The World Wide Web, and stay in touch with our friends via AIM. Two decades later, we’re living in an even more sophisticated society that boasts online social networks connecting millions (sometimes billions) of users, mobile devices rivaling the computing power of desktops, and an increasingly online world. …

SXSW Capitulates to Internet Bullies

To be clear, I am not a gamer. I’m not plugged into the video game community. However, I feel strongly about the influence prominent and established organizations can have on the promotion of open discourse. SXSW Interactive had an opportunity to set a positive example, and their recent cancellation of two gaming culture panels following online threats is not only disheartening but unfaithful to SXSW’s overarching mission to be “a marketplace of diverse people and diverse ideas.”

Last week, the tech-focused SXSW Interactive festival announced it would host two panels on the topic of video game culture. “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” were intended to shed light on sexist tensions within the gaming community and the toxic world of online harassment. Although not directly associated with the Gamergate controversy, these panels would serve as opportunities for critical discussion on online etiquette and the exclusion of minorities in the gaming world. …

It’s impossible to connect the dots if they have yet to be discovered.

I’ve never been one for Netflix, but over the last few months, I’ve applied the art of binging to podcasts. There are a plethora of great ones in the audial ether, but a recent episode of Exponent hit home with respect to Ben and James’s notion that maintaining optionality upfront allows the discovery of focus down the road. The reason? While having general direction can be a guiding force, becoming too prematurely focused on an exact plan can blind you from recognizing opportunity when it arises.

Like Ben, I spent the early months of my undergraduate career trying to meticulously plan every class and schedule for the next four years. I took the necessary courses to earn my degree in Cognitive Psychology and Math-Econ, but in the process, I took a slew of courses with no obvious reason that ended up being some of the most impactful. These were often unrelated to my majors and didn’t fulfill any prereqs, but I took them because I wanted exposure to interesting topics and people. In doing so, I experienced incredible discourse in classes like Christian Environmental Ethics, Politics of Whiteness, and James Joyce Literature that directly contributed to a formative and enriching education. …


Minn Kim

Investor @Bloombergbeta | ever-curious | Find me @minney_cat

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