Month: March 2022

Deep Roots

Forecasting is hard because it’s easy to skip the question, “And then what?”

Saying, “higher gas prices will cause people to drive less,” seems logical.

But then what?

Well, people have to drive, so maybe they’ll look for more fuel-efficient vehicles. They’ll complain to politicians, who will offer tax breaks to buy those vehicles. Oil company CEOs are hauled before Congress; OPEC is asked to drill more. Energy entrepreneurs innovate. And the oil industry knows two speeds: boom and bust. So they’ll probably pump too much. Then prices fall, all while people own more efficient vehicles. Then maybe the suburbs become more popular – and people end up driving even more than before.

So who knows.

The point is that every event creates its own offspring, which impact the world in their own special ways.

Forecasting, “If this happens, then that will happen,” rarely works, because this event gives rise to another trend, which incentivizes a different behavior, which sparks a new industry, which lobbies against this, which can cancel that, and so on endlessly.

To see how powerful these chain reactions can be, look at history, where it’s easy to skip the question, “And why is that?”

Take the question, “Why are student loans so high?”

Well, in part because millions of people ran to college when job prospects were dim in the mid-2000s.

Why were job prospects dim?

Well, there was a financial crisis in 2008.


Well, there was a housing bubble.


(Read more...)

The NFT Mint ‘Sweet Spot’: Data on Early Decisions

NFTs offer creators a new way to earn a living online. The technology, which has several applications, allows creators to appeal directly to fans for patronage — without having to rely only on extractive, ad-based, centralized platforms as intermediaries.


The post The NFT Mint ‘Sweet Spot’: Data on Early Decisions appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

What We’re Reading


We don’t have interviews of Thomas Jefferson. There’s no interviews of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington. Why is that? Because the interview format, as we now know it, came about as a form of entertainment education in the 1950s on The Tonight Show, and then other spinoffs on daytime talk shows and so forth.


I define risk as uncertainty about lifetime consumption broadly defined. People invest because they want to use their wealth in the future. Some might plan to spend all the money on themselves for things like food, shelter, travel, recreation, and medical care. Others may plan to spend some of their wealth on political contributions, charitable donations, or gifts and bequests to their children. My definition of lifetime consumption includes all these and any other anticipated uses of wealth.


Among adults younger than 65, alcohol-related deaths actually outnumbered deaths from Covid-19 in 2020; some 74,408 Americans ages 16 to 64 died of alcohol-related causes, while 74,075 individuals under 65 died of Covid. And the rate of increase for alcohol-related deaths in 2020 — 25 percent — outpaced the rate of increase of deaths from all causes, which was 16.6 percent.


The median home was worth about $285,000 at the beginning of the pandemic; it was valued at $435,000 two years later. It wasn’t unheard of for a seller to receive 50 offers or more, or for a prospective buyer to make offers on a dozen different homes before finally closing (Read more...)

How A Founder-Turned-Investor is Funding and Supporting Female Founders

The Crunchbase “Female Investors Series” is comprised of stories, Q&As and thought-leadership pieces from female investors making a difference in the venture capital ecosystem.

As an investor with Anthemis Group, Katie Palencsar leads the Female Innovators Lab in partnership with Barclays, which invests in early-stage female-founded fintech businesses. Previously, she founded and led the data SaaS company, Unbound Concepts.

In this Q&A, Palencsar discusses how she transitioned from founder to investor; what the fintech funding landscape looks like for women; and how her work with the Female Innovators Lab is doing things differently by funding and supporting female founders.

Q: How did you get into VC?

I’m an operator-turned-VC. I like to build new things: businesses, products, programs, teams, initiatives, funds or new revenue streams. 

Previously, I founded and led a data SaaS company called Unbound Concepts from ideation to exit. The company’s data services, which also provided free software tools to 40,000-plus educators, were used by global distributors as well as privately owned and publicly traded publishers. The company was acquired by Certica Solutions in 2017. At that inflection point, I was working on a variety of projects, helping retired athletes with new tech and business opportunities, as well as having a moment to reflect on all I had experienced as a female founder. I realized two things really lit me on fire: early-stage companies (starting with a pitch deck and a dream); and driving capital and support to female founders. 

When the (Read more...)

How Much Prime Real Estate Could You Buy for $1 Million?

This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist

diagram showing how much prime real estate one can buy for $1 million in various cities

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The Briefing

  • Housing affordability can vary significantly from city to city
  • $1 million USD can buy over 6 times more space in Dubai than in Hong Kong

How Much Real Estate Could You Buy for $1 Million?

“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location”

Those are words from Harold Samuel, a British real-estate mogul from the 1900s. Broadly speaking, it’s a quote that still holds true—property values in the world’s best cities have always been worth a pretty penny.

The scarcity of real estate is driven by trends such as urbanization, which is the migration of people into cities. While the first examples of cities were built thousands of years ago, it was only recently that the majority of the population began to live in them. In fact, the urban population just overtook the rural population for the first time in 2007.

Of course, certain cities simply hold more appeal for wealthy people, and as a result, competition in the prime real estate market can be fierce.

To learn more about (Read more...)

Common Room | Collective Intelligence

This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter

In recent years, there has been a seismic shift in the way software is built, distributed, and adopted. Rather than relying wholly on a traditional sales-led model, companies are empowering their communities of users, and as a result are among the fastest-growing organizations today. That’s why Common Room developed a platform to enable deeper engagement with those users. Launched last year, the company's tech is now available for anyone to try. Common Room CEO and co-founder Linda Lian discusses the company's first year with Greylock general partner and Common Room board member Sarah Guo. You can read a transcript of this interview here:

U.S. Equity Funds Post Slower Inflows

This post is by Dorothy Neufeld from Visual Capitalist

bar chart showing the decline in inflows to US equity funds

The Briefing

  • U.S. equity fund flows sank to $48 billion in February, a 70% decline from March 2021
  • Large growth funds continue to see outflows as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalates

U.S. Equity Funds Post Slower Inflows

Investors are bracing for several interest rate hikes amid a Russia-Ukraine war.

In February, U.S. equity fund flows hit $48 billion, a 70% decline from the year before. In the previous month, U.S. equity fund flows hit their lowest level since the pandemic began.

With data from Morningstar, we show how the invasion of Ukraine and a rising rate environment has affected U.S. equity fund flows.

Risk-Off Environment

In January, investors shed a record $23 billion from large growth funds, the highest level since 2017. This trend continued in February as investors sought out lower-risk investments.

Growth stocks historically tend to outperform when interest rates are declining. When the price of capital is low, companies borrow and expand operations at a lower cost.

The reverse is true when rates rise, putting pressure on corporate earnings and equity valuations. In March 2022, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time since 2018.

Growth funds also tend to be more volatile during market selloffs. So far in 2022, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is up more than 40%.

Fund CategoryJanuary 2022 Estimated Net FlowFebruary Estimated Net Flow
Large Growth

Mid-Cap Growth-$3.5B-$1.2B
Small Growth-$2.7B-$1.1B
Large Blend-$3.5B$38.5B
Mid-Cap Blend$0.7B$2.1B
Small Blend (Read more...)

Josh Guttman, Co-founder and CEO of Small Door on Reimagining the Veterinary Experience and the War for Talent

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

My good friend Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Small Door, a startup that is completely overhauling the pet care industry with a tech-infused membership model. It’s a magical bricks-and-mortar meets software experience. And we go deep on what it takes to build a retail-physical-software company smack in the middle of a global pandemic. Prior to co-founding Small Door, Josh was a successful investor at Softbank, and before that he was part of the management team at public company Outbrain ($OB). I’m a personal investor in the company, so let’s just say Josh is probably going to need a bigger door when I bring my horse in to his West Village location.

You can listen to the podcast here on Spotify or Apple podcast and now all the episodes are on my YouTube channel as well.

You can also listen right here on the blog:

Guest: Josh Guttman

Profile: Co-founder and CEO of Small Door

Where to Find Him: Twitter, LinkedIn

What’s Josh Panicked About?: The Stock Market

The Takeaways:

If you’re entering a category where your foundational technology doesn’t exist yet, study the best practices from adjacent industries. Josh studied other brands like Warby Parker and Sweetgreen’s Danny Meyer. These insights allowed him to create a highly branded experience and model of pet medical care that drives efficiency. In fact, Meyer’s book, Setting the Table is required reading for all new Small Door employees. In addition, (Read more...)