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I think 'Shoe Dog' by Phil Knight is the best memoir I've ever read by a business person.
I wish more LPs would blog to help VCs and entrepreneurs understand them better.
Having read my share of tell-alls over the year, including some that were passed off as autobiographies, I mostly feel sad - sometimes for the writer and sometimes for all the people in his way. I hope that the process of writing the tell-all gives some release and closure on what clearly was an unpleasant and unfulfilling life experience.
I'm glad I get to live in the United States of America.
I think one of the brilliant parts of our democracy is how resilient it is. We are each allowed to have our own beliefs and, as long as we follow the rule of law, we can express them however we'd like. This is a unique characteristic of the best democracies and one I value tremendously.
I've been using email since 1983. I started with MH and Rmail, then cc:Mail, then Microsoft Mail, with Compuserve mixed in. Eventually, I ended up using Pine for non-Windows stuff and Outlook for Windows stuff. For a while.
Over the years, I've been involved in many business crises. I qualify this, since my crises have never involved life and death or the survival of the human race. But they are still crises.
A typical leader has - a natural tendency is to be defensive in the face of a crisis. The first reaction is to blame someone - or something - else. Often, the blame is aimed at something abstract or non-controllable, which often has nothing to do with the crisis but is adjacent to whatever is going on, so it's an easy target.
If the crisis lasts moments, rapid action is critical. But if it's simply the beginning of a broader issue, especially one where the root cause isn't known yet, the worst thing a leader can do is act immediately.
By definition, as a company scales rapidly, it adds people quickly.
As a company grows from 25 to 50 to 100 to 200 to 500 to 1000 people, the characteristics of who is the very best talent in leadership roles will change. It's rarely the case that your leadership team at 1000 people is the same leadership team you had a 25 people.
Stress on fast growing companies comes from a lot of different places. The one that is often the largest, and creates the most second-order issues, is the composition of the leadership team. More specifically, it's specific people on the leadership who don't have the scale experience their role requires at a particular moment in time.
I'm not deeply involved in politics, but about 25% of the people I interact with in politics went to law school.
'Sunspring,' the first known screenplay written by an AI, was produced recently. It is awesome. Awesomely awful. But it's worth watching all ten minutes of it to get a taste of the gap between a great screenplay and something an AI can currently produce.
Q1 is the easiest quarter to make. If you miss your Q1, regardless of the type of revenue you have, you aren't going to make your revenue plan for the year because your budget process isn't accurate.
If you sell a physical product, you have a lot of Q4 upside and unpredictability, but now you have to manage your cash to get to Q4 so that you can invest in building inventory to over-perform.
If you aren't going to make your revenue plan, it's unlikely you'll make your EBITDA or Net Income plan. You don't even have to get complicated and look at Gross Margin or more derivative metrics - if you are off in Q1 and have any sort of growth expectations , you are going to miss for the year.
I'm usually an excruciatingly happy person.
At Foundry Group, we always look for companies that we think build magic into their products. Occipital has been one of those companies.
There are two great fictional TV series about technology and the computer industry that each have now had three seasons. The one everyone knows about is 'Silicon Valley.' The lesser-known one is 'Halt and Catch Fire.'
I have no idea what the economics of the movie business is, especially with all the new Amazon, Netflix, Showtime, AMC, SyFy, and HBO series. But I am intrigued with what feels like a new type of show - the six-to-eight-hour movie. It's a little too long to watch in one setting, but you can watch it over a three- to five-day period.
I wonder if, as the tech to deliver content continues to evolve, we will start seeing the one season / 6-8 hour show that ends at a peak moment rather than is cancelled because it sucks.
Kauffman Fellows is not necessarily for people just entering the venture industry but for experienced VCs looking to accelerate their growth. The program is centered around established innovation leaders - if you are looking to grow and become a better investor, you should think about doing this program.
I talk often about being intrinsically motivated by learning. It's the primary driver of most of my activity.
When I struggled with a depressive episode in 2013, I realized that I had a glitch in my thinking about my own motivation. I had separated learning and teaching into different concepts.
My weight fluctuates between 205 and 220, depending on how much I pay attention to it.
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