Day: November 14, 2022

Follow-up to Friday’s post on FTX

This is Joseph.

Perhaps it was a mistake to post on a fast-changing event but the FTX saga definitely has taken some rather unexpected twists:

So it really is looking like this company was a straight up Ponzi scheme. Which probably shouldn't be a surprise given the interview with Sam Bankman-Fried where Matt Levine characterized his business model as:
I think of myself as like a fairly cynical person. And that was so much more cynical than how I would've described farming. You're just like, well, I'm in the Ponzi business and it's pretty good.
So perhaps there we warning signs about cryptocurrency as an investment? Insofar as a currency is a financial instrument, there is rarely a more dangerous market than currency speculation. Insofar as it is an investment, the fundamental value of zero really needs to be engaged more. I am hoping Mark comes back to this as cryptocurrency is really his wheelhouse and he has been proven right

What I found more fascinating is how an educated person could have ended up describing (and agreeing they were describing) a Ponzi scheme as their business model. Then I read this:

Then it made sense. If the world is about six-paragraph blog posts (not that I, clearly, object to the medium) then it is hard to get depth on any subject. When you are running a financial services company based on a physics undergraduate education, it is easy to become arrogant. 

Speaking of arrogant, Twitter laid (Read more...)

🎙️ Seedcamp Firsts Content Library 

This post is by Anamaria Iuga from Seedcamp

We’re excited to introduce Seedcamp Firsts, the definitive guide to the all-important first steps in company building brought to you through first-hand experiences and lessons learned from the brightest minds across the Seedcamp Nation. 

The power of the Seedcamp Nation comes from the incredible breadth of experience that’s been lived across it. We want to open up this hard-won knowledge and insights from the exceptional founders we’ve backed to our mentors, Experts in Residence, Venture partners, and our core team. 

Our ultimate goal with Seedcamp Firsts is to help support the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs navigate those critical first steps in building a business.

Check out our growing, multi-media Seedcamp Firsts content library:

1. The founding story of Maze. How to test, explore and validate your first product ideas as an early-stage startup: The first edition of Seedcamp Firsts features Jonathan Widawski, co-founder and CEO of Maze, a Seedcamp-backed growth-stage company on a mission to democratize product research. In conversation with our Venture Partner Devin Hunt, Jo explores everything from prioritising what to build, and when, to how to evaluate customer input in product development decisions.

2. How to first kickstart your content strategy and its power as a key differentiator: Learn all things content from Raphael Allstadt, Co-founder and CEO of tl;dv, and Tom Bangay, Senior Director of Content & Community at Juro – the masterminds behind the companies’ content strategies – from why content was first determined to be an essential (Read more...)

The 6th Lean Innovation Educators Summit – Education and Innovation in the Age of Chaos and Disruption

This post is by steve blank from Steve Blank

Join Jerry Engel, Pete Newell, and Steve Weinstein for the sixth edition of the Lean Innovation Educators Summit December 14, 1-4 pm Eastern Time, 10 am-1 pm Pacific Time. Register here.

This virtual gathering will bring together entrepreneurship educators from around the world who are putting Lean Innovation to work in their classrooms, accelerators, venture studios, and student-driven ventures.

The summit topic is “Education and Innovation in the Age of Chaos and Disruption.

Our students will be facing the challenges of a world that’s rapidly changing, chaotic and uncertain. A world undergoing climate change, supply chain disruptions, political instability and continual technology innovation and disruption. It’s incumbent on us as educators to provide the next generation of innovators with the tools and mindset to meet these challenges.

Among the questions we’ll address in this short summit:

  • How do we as entrepreneurship and innovation educators best prepare the next generation?
  • What role should our institutions help us do this?
  • What are the other systems and partnerships that we need to take advantage of?

We will have concurrent breakout sessions so participants have the opportunity to choose their own path to explore. We’ll then going to pivot to hear from colleagues across three broad categories of innovation:

  • Curriculum – We’ll discuss how best to equip educators with the tools they need to cultivate and guide student teams around solving mission-driven problems.
  • Ecosystems – We’ll explore partnerships that engage and inform positive student engagement and outcomes and (Read more...)

I’ll Fund a Startup n00b But Here’s How Not to Look Like One

Years ago, I got invited by Steven Messer to join him and his co-founder (and brother-in-law) Tad Martin, two very successful NYC founders, out on a bike ride up the West Side Highway and up 9W over the Palisades. It’s a pretty standard route for hundreds of experienced road cyclists every weekend morning.

This is before I ever did a triathlon and before I ever even had a proper road bike. I had an aluminum commuter bike and I’m pretty sure I was wearing jean shorts at the time. I’m not going to argue whether or not jean shorts were ever in fashion, at that time or at any other time, but I’ll at least concede that they weren’t appropriate cycling gear for a 60mi ride with experienced riders.

But how was I to know? I didn’t have any friends that were into this kind of cycling at the time—and for whatever reason it’s something that people in their 20’s really don’t do that often. Maybe it’s because they’re not making enough money to fall down the rabbit hole of expensive carbon fiber road bikes and all the various gear that you can end up purchasing. Whatever the reason, I had no one who could warn me about how goofy I was about to look.

To my credit, I did actually keep up with those guys on the way up—but on the way back I just let them go ahead, leaving me to amble home, sweaty, sore and very uncomfortable (Read more...)

Helping More Ukrainian Families and Children

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I’ve previously written about The $1k Project for Ukraine, which was launched by my friend, Alex Iskold, five days into the Russian aggression. 

Since its inception, the project raised more than $10M and helped 10,000 families and 35,000 children. The AVC community has generously participated.

Last week, Russia announced its withdrawal from Kherson and The $1k Project crew is racing to help the next 1,000 families specifically focusing on the liberated territories. 

This coming winter is going to be absolutely brutal in Ukraine because of the energy crisis.

The Gotham Gal and I have previously made a donation to the project and we received this thank you page from the families we supported.

This past weekend we made another donation to support these families in the newly liberated territories.

If you are able to give and support a family please do so here.