Are you a Designer or a Developer?👨💻
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- scale a HoldCo
- focused on a portfolio of software & digital-forward assets
- serving niche and/or traditionally sleepy verticals
A playbook to follow...
But first... why is there opportunity?
- software is eating the world (& APIs are eating software)
- there are great product opp's for those who know where to look
- theres no real competition
- SaaS/subscription is the best delivery model out there (build once, sell twice+)
And why now?
We’re entering what I call the ‘Deployment Era’ ... where more traditional (sleepy) businesses will increasingly leverage software/tech to improve their model
And the best part is... we're on the front-end of riding this longer-term wave
So what does this mean?
Software (& other digital-first products) will eat more of the ‘traditional SMB’ stack
But most aren’t focused here bc it isn’t sexy or cool…
Which is where the opp is for those who have the right deal nose & know what to build & for who
There is big opportunity to build/scale in overlooked places...
Where you can build/acquire assets that have the best econ delivery model (SaaS/sub), w/ low competition, where you have an inside edge/know everyone in industry, & can do it when no one is looking
APIs add new things to the toolbox. For example: Treasury, which lets an app/platform store, move, and track a business’
I've been a small business owner and can talk at length about SMB banking, and will later, but let's put on the software developer hat right now.
Lots of software talks about money, keeps records about money, does calculations about money, but can't *touch* money.
This is extremely frustrating when you're building SaaS apps for businesses, because you have total control over your UX right until your app needs to touch money... at which point all data about it lives in a silo you can't access.
So you generally push work to the operator.
For example, suppose you’re writing a business-in-a-box system for electricians, including an invoicing feature.
You need to be able to read bank transactions to reconcile. You probably can't. The owner can. So you ask the owner to do mind-numbing work a computer does better.
It sure would be great if your business customers had bank accounts you could actually introspect and operate on their behalves! You could just get the list of incoming payments and match against the invoices.
There is some software to write but it is not rocket science.
First, that time when an AWS employee posted confidential AWS customer information including including AWS access keys for those customer accounts to
Discovery by @SpenGietz that you can disable CloudTrail without triggering GuardDuty by using cloudtrail:PutEventSelectors to filter all events.
Amazon launched their bug bounty, but specifically excluded AWS, which has no bug bounty.
Repeated, over and over again examples of AWS having no change control over their Managed IAM policies, including the mistaken release of CheesepuffsServiceRolePolicy, AWSServiceRoleForThorInternalDevPolicy, AWSCodeArtifactReadOnlyAccess.json, AmazonCirrusGammaRoleForInstaller.
In the last three months, tech giants have censored political speech and journalism to manipulate U.S. politics -- banning reporting on the Bidens, removing the President, destroying a new competitor -- while US liberals, with virtual unanimity, have cheered.
The ACLU said the unity of Silicon Valley monopoly power to destroy Parler was deeply troubling. Leaders from Germany, France and Mexico protested. Only US liberals support it, because the dominant strain of US liberalism is not economic socialism but political authoritarianism.
Just three months ago, a Dem-led House Committee issued a major report warning of the dangers of the anti-trust power of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. Left-wing scholars have been sounding the alarm for years. Now it's here, and liberals
We wrote a 200 page report on why corporate concentration - including the big tech radicalization engines - worsened under both Democratic and Republican administrations. It has to do with antitrust enforcement, and it's fixable by Biden. https://t.co/K85Kv34t83— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) January 12, 2021
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There's a deep-rooted psychological (and biological) reason why.
And today, I'm gonna to explain all of it so you can start profiting off of this knowledge 💰💰
*Now, this thread is going to be long and in depth. Make sure to favorite the top tweet now so you can come back to it later.
So. Down to the very core of every living being (humans, dolphins, bacteria, aliens), there are only two drivers:
1. To survive
2. To reproduce
Right off the bat, we know that sex is a primary driver to human behavior.
This would also mean that each gender has its own insecurities regarding sex.
Men have a subconscious fear that their woman will leave them for someone more successful
Women have a fear that their man will leave them for someone younger & better-looking
We can conclude that men are attracted to looks, and women are attracted to status.
This is human nature down to its very core.
Crazy, blue-haired feminists will try to argue and say otherwise.
But, 50 years of feminism DOES NOT OVERRIDE millions of years of evolutionary biology.
Here's a quick visualization exercise so you can see how true all this is...
Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durable—it should also compound over time.
Characteristics of a personal moat below:
I'm increasingly interested in the idea of "personal moats" in the context of careers.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
Moats should be:
- Hard to learn and hard to do (but perhaps easier for you)
- Skills that are rare and valuable
- Compounding over time
- Unique to your own talents & interests https://t.co/bB3k1YcH5b
2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.
As Andrew Chen noted:
People talk about \u201cpassive income\u201d a lot but not about \u201cpassive social capital\u201d or \u201cpassive networking\u201d or \u201cpassive knowledge gaining\u201d but that\u2019s what you can architect if you have a thing and it grows over time without intensive constant effort to sustain it— Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) November 22, 2018
3/ You don’t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized
Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than
Things that look like moats but likely aren\u2019t or may fade:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
- Proprietary networks
- Being something other than one of the best at any tournament style-game
- Many "awards"
- Twitter followers or general reach without "respect"
- Anything that depends on information asymmetry https://t.co/abjxesVIh9
4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself — required an in-person artist.
After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.
5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.
In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.
The court said asshole administration revoked asshole Jim Acosta's press pass without due process. WH deemed him press, gave him a press pass, then they kicked him out without even being able to say who made the decision or on what grounds.
We want hostile, combative reporters. We **want** that. **You** want that. We want that because the press secretary of every single administration is a liar. Even the ones you like. Lying is their job. They show up to avoid answering, but give the appearance of being answerable.
It shouldn't be easy for government to just refuse to be answerable. It should be hard to dodge. Hard to kick people out. Hard to control the narrative. That shouldn't be easy for the gov't. Not even your most favoritest president.
You, the American citizen, want the truth. Reporters should be there to get it. That means asking questions doggedly, demanding answers. This is not an obscure idea. It should be obvious to anyone who's experienced having a president you didn't vote for. Super rare right?
2/ “Being a VC” can mean a lot of different things, so it’s worth asking:
What actual activities do you want to do?
- Deep market analysis?
- Be in the flow of information and people?
- Make deals?
- Work closely w/ founders over time (e.g take board seats?)
- Manage capital?
3/ It’s worth specifying what type of VC you might like to become — as there are different archetypes. E.g.
- Benchmark (Lead series A/B - couple investments a year)
- First Round (Lead seed rounds, partner w/ a few companies a year)
- SV Angel (Make lots of seed investments)
Expa - Incubate companies
YC / Village Global - Build a platform to help entrepreneurs at scale
Do you want to join a firm or start one? There’s a lot to consider.
Different paths will require different skillsets & sets of experiences.
5/ Since the person who wrote the email is a young person trying to break into VC by joining a firm (and who doesn’t want to start a company), I’ll tailor this tweet storm to that goal. There’s some overlap.