My friends @robwalling and @einarvollset just launched TinySeed, an accelerator for software companies where a successful outcome is a healthy, sustainable business rather than attempting to ride the rocketship trajectory.

I have some thoughts:

As somebody who bootstrapped ~4 companies, I feel like I had to make some clearly suboptimal decisions early in them for lack of what is, in hindsight, not all that much money. But there's a huge gap in the product space for investment options.
It's weird: you can get $25k from Amex trivially, and angels are very willing to write a check for that much, but you have to make representations about your goals/ambitions/market/etc which don't really apply to everyone.
And so you see the traditional angel/VC ecosystem fund companies where honestly the returns are probably not there, and this is knowable pretty early, but the chase of them will wreck what could have been a perfectly happy business.
(To make the math work for traditional VCs the company has to at least have a market-appropriate shot of $100 million a year. There are a lot more $10 million a year companies than $100 million a year companies. That is *not* a bad terminal outcome for founders/employees.)
I'm glad that there is some experimentation in this space, and know of at least 3 teams in the MicroConf community which are doing takes on it. It's a natural evolution for entrepreneurs after doing the bootstrap-from-nothing thing ~5 times.
You get basically 5~10 shots at building a company in your life, and a lot of my peers are discovering simultaneously "Hmm about half of my shots are spent and I want to be really selective about what I do next but oh goodness still want to be involved in ALL THE SOFTWARE."
And investing has historically been a natural next step for operators in e.g. Silicon Valley; you get to both enjoy vicariously the early days without having to be up at 2 AM anymore, and you get to give back to the community. But bootstrappers have different values/tolerances.
So I see it as a great thing that there is experimentation regarding the reinvestment and mentoring model in the bootstrapping community as well. And I can't think of anybody I'd trust more on this than Rob; he's the real deal.

More from Patrick McKenzie

So the cryptocurrency industry has basically two products, one which is relatively benign and doesn't have product market fit, and one which is malignant and does. The industry has a weird superposition of understanding this fact and (strategically?) not understanding it.

The benign product is sovereign programmable money, which is historically a niche interest of folks with a relatively clustered set of beliefs about the state, the literary merit of Snow Crash, and the utility of gold to the modern economy.

This product has narrow appeal and, accordingly, is worth about as much as everything else on a 486 sitting in someone's basement is worth.

The other product is investment scams, which have approximately the best product market fit of anything produced by humans. In no age, in no country, in no city, at no level of sophistication do people consistently say "Actually I would prefer not to get money for nothing."

This product needs the exchanges like they need oxygen, because the value of it is directly tied to having payment rails to move real currency into the ecosystem and some jurisdictional and regulatory legerdemain to stay one step ahead of the banhammer.

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