Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since we started Hustle Fund! In the last 5 years, we have:
- Raised and deployed ~$130m
- Brought on 25 team members at Hustle Fund
- Built a community of nearly ~1000 Angel Squad members
- Funded ~400 portfolio companies
- Worked with ~300 LPs
- Grown to 100k+ followers on my Twitter acct
I’ll let you know how it’s going in about another 5 years!
For all of this, I am so grateful. All that we have achieved has been a community team effort. Hustle Fund is so much more than a VC fund. It has become a movement.
I say this because movements are about values. Movements are about being mission-aligned. When we started Hustle Fund, we didn’t set out to build a VC fund per se. We set out to solve a problem that we personally understood well that we could work on solving over the rest of our careers of 30+ years. The mission that we are on is to democratize wealth via startups by helping startups with capital, knowledge, and networks.
In our first inning of Hustle Fund, we focused just on the capital problem. Specifically, how can we help more fantastic startups who may not have a rich uncle get capital at the pre-revenue stage? Without a warm intro and without needing to be in Silicon Valley.
This is the hardest stage to raise money, and five years ago, there were only a handful of VCs addressing this (Read more...)
Loona is a small household robot with a personality designed to keep you company. There is more than a month left in her Kickstarter campaign, but the project has already raised close to $1.5M. The cleverest thing about the marketing for this so-called “petbot,” though, is how it can interact with your living pets. Loona isn’t meant to be a pet replacement.
Instead, it could become your pet’s best friend—while also offering a way for you to check in on your pet (via cameras) while you aren’t around. More significantly, Loona is the type of robot that will introduce all kinds of new dynamics into how we interact with technology. While we might feel no remorse at telling a tiny Amazon Echo hockey puck to “shut up,” most of us would feel differently about interacting with an exceedingly cute robot that exhibits joy, sorrow, anger or pleasure.
I just hope Loona’s makers (and her buyers) learn from the tragic tale of Jibo, a beloved robot friend whose untimely obsolescence led to more than a few broken hearts. When you give your heart to technology, it’s best to be prepared for the reality that just because it could last forever doesn’t mean it will. Loona, like Jibo, might just be setting people up for a futuristic, but still devastating, heartbreak.
Get the move upmarket right and you can unlock new users, use cases, and revenue streams. But get it wrong, and you risk losing focus, increasing burn, and stifling product innovation. So how do you prepare? Understand the unique value-add …
Irena Cronin and I are seeing huge shifts coming as autonomous vehicles get to the point where they are driving around San Francisco without humans. We recently started comparing notes and we are seeing the same trends.
So, today we are announcing that I am rejoining Infinite Retina as Chief Strategy Officer. We are bringing new understanding to entrepreneurs and product strategists on Augmented Reality and everything related to it, including AI and Computer Vision. Here is our first analysis (located at: [url]) on why we should all be paying attention to what is happening in humanoid robots and consumer electronics, which include autonomous vehicles that are now arriving to people’s garages and, soon, Augmented Reality devices from Apple and others.
Tomorrow Elon Musk will step on stage and show us the latest AI and robotics. We think this is a much more important announcement than most people are expecting and here’s an analysis of just how deeply Optimus (Tesla’s humanoid robot), and other humanoid robots, will change all of our homes.
The last time Irena and I collaborated, we wrote a book, Infinite Retina, that Qualcomm’s head of Augmented and Virtual Reality, Hugo Swart, reviewed as a “must read.” This time, in addition to consulting, Irena and I are doing new analyses in the form of a paid product on Augmented Reality topics that we will offer on a monthly basis. One that loves Augmented Reality devices and automated electric cars, and other products that make life more (Read more...)