I was watching last night’s game between the Celtics and the Cavs and I was thinking about the fantastic young players the Celtics have on that team, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier. As good as those players are, it felt like the enormity of what they have accomplished this year and the stage they are now on caught up to them a bit in Cleveland.
I’m rooting for the Celtics in this series so I hope they turn it around in the next three games and earn their way to the finals.
But it would not surprise me if they don’t.
As their coach Brad Stevens said last night after the game:
“I mean, everything is tough. In this deal, it’s a blast to have to grit your teeth, get up off the mat and go after it again. That’s part of it.”
The first common failure mode is the thing you make doesn’t get adopted. That’s called not finding product market fit in startup lingo.
The second common failure mode is “getting too far out over your skis” and it happens to companies that do find product market fit but mess things up by building an inappropriate cost structure (and capital base) and it all comes crashing down on them when they either can’t continue to raise money at ever increasing valuations and/or when they can’t grow into their cost structure quickly enough.
The first failure mode comes with the territory. The world of startups is all about experimentation. Most experiments fail. If this happens to you, it sucks, but that is what you signed up for.
The second failure mode is entirely avoidable and way more common than you might think.
I got to spend a fair bit of time with my friend Steven Johnson this past week, in preparation for our crypto talk on Thursday night and before and after that talk.
Steven has this wonderful quality of being able to observe both history and the present and make connections between the two and also to weave those observations into narratives that make for great stories.
A persistent theme in his work is the role of play in the advancement of society. He argued in Everything Bad Is Good For You that playing video games and watching TV are actually educational and productive uses of our time. And in Wonderland, he argued that play led to many important societal advances.
This talk at RSA, delivered in the wake of Wonderland, is a great articulation of the value of having fun to moving society forward.
Puerto Rican families need sovereignty over their own food supply. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was 80% reliant on imports to supply the island’s food. Now they are 100% reliant on imported food.
People need access to fresh water and food to live. There is no time to waste in launching the agricultural revitalization that Puerto Rico so desperately needs. The local government is financially over-extended and has limited support from FEMA. Lives depend on us.
And this is the team behind this project:
Green Food Solutions was co-founded by Electra Jarvis and Mary Wetherill. We are a vertical farming company. We sell, install,
Coinbase started out as a place for individuals to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin. They launched that in 2012.
In 2015, Coinbase added the GDAX exchange where institutions, other exchanges, and large traders could trade Bitcoin.
By the middle of last year, it became clear that many big institutions were entering the market and needed a lot more. And so Coinbase went back to the drawing board and developed a plan for a comprehensive suite of institutional products. And that is what they announced yesterday:
Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group
What started out as a simple web and mobile app for buying, selling, and holding Bitcoin has evolved into a full-fledged financial services company, serving
At our annual CEO Summit, which took place last week, we kick things off going around the room with each attendee (there are over seventy at this point) mentioning something they are struggling with right now.
When it got to my turn, I said that I am struggling to be “all in” on crypto and also “all in” on my current portfolio companies.
A few of my current portfolio companies are in the crypto space, which makes it easier. We have been investing in crypto since 2012.
But most are traditional internet-based businesses that use subscriptions, advertising, and/or commerce to monetize.
I am very happy with the progress of these portfolio companies and am very engaged with them, their teams, their strategies, and their businesses.
My portfolio has not been in this good shape in I don’t know how long and I am quite enjoying my work with these companies.
the Jetsons live in a comical version of the future, with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963
In the last few weeks, I have been feeling that we are heading into a future that looks quite similar to The Jetsons.
I got a deck last week for an eVOTL company (which is not something we would invest in at USV) and shared it with a few colleagues and said “The Jetsons”.
The Jetson’s family robot Rosie is way better than Alexa but maybe in a decade or so, Alexa will be able to do
There are few investors I have more respect for than Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. So much of what I believe as an investor has come from watching them conduct themselves over the last thirty-five years (that’s as long as I have been paying attention to investing as a discipline). I believe in fundamental value, I believe in buying when others are selling, I believe in holding positions you find attractive over very long periods of time, and I believe in a lot more that they have espoused and done.