Having A Foot In Both Camps
At our annual CEO Summit, which took place last week, we kick things off going around the room with each attendee (there are over seventy at this point) mentioning something they are struggling with right now.
When it got to my turn, I said that I am struggling to be “all in” on crypto and also “all in” on my current portfolio companies.
A few of my current portfolio companies are in the crypto space, which makes it easier. We have been investing in crypto since 2012.
But most are traditional internet-based businesses that use subscriptions, advertising, and/or commerce to monetize.
I am very happy with the progress of these portfolio companies and am very engaged with them, their teams, their strategies, and their businesses.
My portfolio has not been in this good shape in I don’t know how long and I am quite enjoying my work with these companies.
As I said to the assembled CEOs, I am not going to show up at a board meeting for these companies and suggest they scrap their existing business models and launch a token and an ICO.
So it means that I have to have a foot in both camps.
One in traditional internet businesses and business models.
And one in crypto, which is re-writing most of the rules that these traditional businesses operate under.
It can be challenging.
Most of the reading and research I am doing is in crypto.
Most of the new pitches I take are in crypto.
But most of the board meetings and one on ones and other portfolio company engagement is around traditional businesses.
I am trying to keep the two mindsets separate in my brain right now.
Maybe there is a time that they come together.
I don’t think that time is now.
Book recommendation, not that you ever take them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…It describes your current situation.Its also a personality study of natural born leaders (Enneagram 8s for those of you keeping score at home).Did you get something over the transom on EOS?I was once a member of a dinner club that had an attractive energetic mid-30’s divorcee amongst its attendees. She showed up at one of the get togethers with a new guy who, from his description, was a self made person of means who was operating an NSDQ OTC BB investment bank out of his basement.On the drive home, Michele asked me what I thought of him and I said ‘There is no grey area with that guy – its black or white. He is either the biggest bullshitter we have met in the last decade….or one of the most interesting people we have met in the last decade.”That’s what EOS feels like.
I did buy the 500 Year Delta on your recommendation. Have not read it yet.
Get that done!Then tackle The 9 Ways of Working.
I’ve met people like that for too long and I firmly come down on the bullshitter. I’m too old.But I don’t think that describes all of crypto. Much of it today.For instance think of this we still don’t know who Satoshi is……You will never see the true people coming. They don’t want that target on their back.I have a fraternity brother that was the head of Navy Seal Team Six Elite Gold Assault Squadron.You will never see him coming. He visited me and we were out with my business partner who loves skydiving. He said so how many HALO jumps have you done? Casual response: 250, and then back to other talk. Follow up: Seriously!!! Yeah, at least.Just relaxed guy. My business partner said well we know who has walked through the valley of death and knows who is the baddest m’fer there. It’s him.
Michele asked which of the two I thought it was – I said interesting.I was right.She married him, they have a kid, he’s made boatloads of $ and they live half the year in Hawaii.
we still don’t know who Satoshi is……May never know. He may have died or he may die if he is not dead already and prior to revealing who he is to anyone (or if multiple people etc.). Possible if he is married (or if ‘she’ is married) the spouse doesn’t even know what he was doing.What is strange though is that nobody can trace him from anything he has left on the net. I have access logs going back to 1996 for example and if there was enough money involved I could fire up old SGI’s in storage and comb through them. Given that he did postings in places and most likely at some point wasn’t accessing with VPN’s or other measures (or slipped up) seems that there should be something out there to figure it out for people with access to those logs or other trace evidence. I have figured out with selling (the things, you know, that I sell) who the buyer is based on a similar strategy in the past. It’s my version of the finding the guy who goes into Home Depot and picks up duck tape and rope.Just read the wikipedia page on Satoshi. As with anything we can assume it’s only 50% correct as far as the info passed along.
where’s your reading list?
like speed dating?
Thanks for this.While certainly not at your scale, I have feet in both worlds now and understand the challenges.Though I seriously do love the excitement of building brand and community in the traditional e-commerce micro-brand space especially in the health/CBD fields as well.All business models need marketing as they all need markets whatever they may be.
Versatility is a virtue.Diversity is reality.
The Strange Case of Dr Crypto and Mr Wilson
He really has deserved all this success. Incredibly strong conviction with an unpopular thesis that the “smartest” investors in the world sharply criticize. I do hope he’s enjoying the well deserved ride!
You as always are full of great quotes. Your mind must be able to remember your prodigious reading capability much more than anybody I know.Somewhere I read that the strength of your networking capability is how many networks you can span, not how many contacts you have in one network.I’m a believer in this and you can see I have drastically different perspectives because of it.I was thinking about this when somebody really opposed the comment by the Etsy CEO that the sellers on Etsy didn’t want to really run the business side.As I sat in literally 20 minutes of traffic jam getting into the mall this weekend to get a Mother’s Day gift with my kids I realized that Etsy is the mall. Yes, you as a store would probably like to have just your own space but you realize that you need to be at the Mall because that is where people shop.My point is that I don’t think Crypto will totally disrupt everything before it. Every new technology has this bombastic belief.Not that they won’t change things, but they will not totally destroy things.And yes, you could say I should have bought my wife something from Etsy, but you know what she wanted? High end boots from Cabella’s to wear as she takes care of her ducks and rabbits, and weeds in her strawberry patch and garden.
Replied, but comment is not visible. @wmoug:disqus @fredwilson:[email protected]:disqusp.s. see notification that it is spam.
I saw that….strange. My reply was that ambiguity is what makes America great, and why immigrants are so important. How much ambiguity does it take to come to America from another country?It worries me about standardized tests.No comment on Facebook, but I love that Mark Zuckerberg did the roadshow in a hoodie. I love that Google had a totally unique stock offering.People that think outside of the box makes us great. People that don’t care what others think make us great.
People that think outside of the box makes us great. People that don’t care what others think make us great.What bothered me the most in the past few weeks is what the Starbucks president did re: bathrooms for all and what the AT&T rod up ass Randolph Stephenson did by firing a person who had been with the company for 35 years (and rising to a high position) for making a wrong decision (hiring ‘that’ attorney). The peanut gallery at Mother’s day brunch felt that it was the right thing because you know ‘people’s perceptions matter’  when in fact with the case of AT&T in particular they would have zero impact from it business wise and even if it did have impact in some way it completely ignores what happens to the rest of the hundreds of thousands of employees that will not make anything but the most safe decisions (not that they don’t already but it’s just another arbitrary example).Must feel great to know that you are only one decision away from being a fucking fall guy great life after climbing that ladder. Very predictable thinking by the lemmings.
Agreed. Completely. You have bathrooms taken up and messed up by non paying customers and see how many paying ones will leave.
> Must feel great to know that you are only one decision away from being a fucking fall guy great life after climbing that ladder.If you own your own business, then you MUST please your customers. But occasionally you can displease one or a few and likely still get buy or continue to do well. If you are a “wage slave”, then even after 35 years of good work, one wrong word can cost you your job and career.
Exactly unless the customer is a big customer but you are still diversified more than with one boss.
.The ATT lobbyist is considered one of the best, if not the best, in the telecom biz. He will land on his feet.What is shows is the knee jerk anti-Trump bias. Cohen did have access. Why they hired him in the first place.Why did they get upset? Cause they got caught favoring something “Trump.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
It’s scary and once again it’s always amazing how (to quote Leona Helmsley) the ‘little people’ don’t understand how things work in the world. Even after it’s pointed out to them.Half of the battle of sales (or influence) is simply having someone listen to your message. Doesn’t mean they will agree and doesn’t mean they will ‘buy’ but you will get a chance to be heard. That is exactly what access is.Assess the probability of someone who you know asking you to take the time to talk to someone and hear what they are doing (say they want help or an investment). Now compare that with some typical cold email or phone call. Why is that concept so hard for people to understand.
If you standardize, productivity rises for a while and then the evolution processes stall.Immigrants bring more than human resources, they bring culture and they bring an unexpected feature within their genes. They are inherently risk takers, moving away from their support networks and family, as modest as those can be.So there is already a natural differentiation and a test and I think that may be a positive thing in the long run.
It is what America was built on.
Yes, “was”. The question is: Are these principles still valid today?
This happened to me a few weeks ago. It seemed like a robot was cleaning spam flagged posts automatically.Write replies locally then paste to the site. Good advice that I don’t follow.
I bought a gift for my wife (and a gift for a realtor that I hassled a great deal recently (a manipulation to remove the sting of her having to reduce her commission by the seller)) from Coach. I drove to the store located about 2 miles or less from my office, parked right out front, walked in an immediately located two things that I found appealing as gifts. I even got stepdad points for bringing my stepdaughter along with me.For bonus points (with a value of karma and recognized intelligence solely) let’s see if anyone can figure out why I bought the realtor (an older woman who is married iim) a gift from Coach rather than giving her a restaurant gift certificate which was my 1st idea as a ‘thank you’? A minute later I thought ‘nope I will buy her something from Coach’. The answer has nothing to do with cost or perceived value.I could have bought both gifts from ETSY but unfortunately I would have violated the ‘nobody got fired for buying IBM’ thinking.
Three reasons:First and foremost, she’ll forget the dinner, but always carry the purse.Second it was just for her. Not to share, and certainly not that you wanted to go to dinner.Third Coach does have a high perceived value, and you are right, even if you don’t like it there is no way you can perceive that you were cheap, had bad taste, etc. You can return it, re-gift it etc, but the thought will never cross your mind that you weren’t at least making a big effort.
First and foremost, she’ll forget the dinner, but always carry the purse.This is exactly it. And extended one step further and importantly she will also show it to other people and will be able to say ‘a client bought this for me because they were so happy with what I did for them’. And every time she says that she will feel good. Btw she said nobody ever did that for her before (and she has been selling for 30 years and her and the agency sell multi-million dollar places to ‘classy’ people). So in my way of looking at the world it’s a physical representation (I am big into memorialization of things) of something and that goes much further than words. She will use it to elevate herself in the eyes of others. I could write her a nice thank you but that doesn’t allow her to ‘brag’ as easily. And honestly the entire idea of bragging is why in part Facebook makes billions of dollars and so does linkedin. It’s an acceptable form of puffery. Ditto for showing someone the Coach pocketbook.Now assuming I was able to find something on ETSY no way that would have the same impact. Why? People (her and the people she showed) would focus on the object (because it’s unique in some way) rather than the intent of the object. Very fine nuance of the point by the way. I have a name for things like this that I do. It serves double duty. I call them “LE Ads”. They are non expected displays of gratitude that buy you way more than whatever the cost is. And get you remembered.even if you don’t like it there is no way you can perceive that you were cheap, had bad taste, etc. You can return it, re-gift it etc, but the thought will never cross your mind that you weren’t at least making a big effort.Exactly. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. Focus on the object has it’s place. What I tell people if they are cold calling in person it to have a physical object they can give to someone when they pitch. (Like at the door of the house or reception desk of the office). That way the ‘mark’ stares at the object and not at you and that tends to put people at ease. Ditto speaking at a group slides are kind of like that.
See so on this negotiating tactic we agree. So inexpensive to make a big impression. Who do you think she will call first if she gets a sweet listing.Coach, Tiffany for stuff, Harry and David, FTD for sending to the office have made a living on this. Even if you give somebody something they don’t like, the worst they will think is…..well he really, really tried and somebody gave him bad advice.
Who do you think she will call first if she gets a sweet listing.I had some repair work to do with this woman based on how the deal went down. So I needed to fix that.As I have said I am big on reading faces. At the closing I said to her ‘oh by the way if you come up with any special deals between $x and $x I am a cash buyer. But only bring special things to me where people need to get out and the price is substantially reduced.’ I have to tell you I could see her face lift up in enjoyment and relief. As if she now was going to make Daddy happy after he had been so strict with her. Something like that.I told my wife on the way out “I am difficult to deal with but I am super loyal”. This is true in sales as you have found out. The hardest assess can be the most loyal customers. Why? They know they are difficult. And when the find someone who puts up with them they don’t switch easily. People that are nice and easy often flit to the next face that comes through the door.I told my wife it’s the same for relationships and she laughed. She puts up with me and for me to find someone else as good as her that also puts up with me being me is a non-starter.
One idea is to send someone a letter with a ridiculously low offer and, then, just wait. If six months later they have some sudden crisis and need the cash right away, then they may remember your letter and call.
You have a lot of observations, guesses, etc. about human behavior in groups. The people in sociology who try to be scientific call that cases of social theory. Not just everyone can cook up such cases: My wife was a brilliant student and Ph.D. in mathematical sociology (use some math to test some cases of social theory) but confessed that others were better at cooking up the cases, hypotheses to be tested, than she was.To turn your cases into a start on scientific sociology, test the cases. For that the usual approach is to define some measures, collect some data, and use some statistics, maybe just simple cross tabulation, especially if have enough data, and some statistical hypothesis tests — so can keep the math and statistics simple.You will no doubt be testing your guesses right along in daily life anyway, but if you would take one more step and try to test your theories as science, you might have some results, maybe publishable.A key to good scientific results from such work is at the beginning — use your experience and intuition to pick good cases to formulate as hypotheses and test.Some of your cases may be the same as or close to some of what is already in the literature of sociology.Uh, not all of sociology is just aimed at social work, socialism, socializing, social diseases, being social, or ice cream socials. Instead, the leaders of the field are trying to do science — good science there is not easy. But a crucial part of progress is good insight, observations, guesses, cases, and testable hypotheses.
My guess was “so that she would think of me every time she used it.” I underestimated you. :)Your next book: Strategic Gift Giving by LE.
I found myself on Gatsby’s side and alone.” Nick Carraway
Wonderful !I like this passage -“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
No English class ever assigned me to read The Great Gatsby, and I never did. I did see a little of a movie from the book, and that was much more than I could take.With this quote, I’m very glad I never did read the thing and especially glad it was never assigned since as soon as I reached the quote I would have tossed the book in the trash and refused ever to consider it again. Had I been required to submit a book review, it would have beenFills a much needed gap on the library shelves and would be illuminating if ignited. For being useful, it can’t compete with Charmin.Some effort in reading facial expressions is from okay to important, but here Fitzgerald tries to make such reading deep and with solid meaning, and in both respects he failed as was he doomed to failure.Such stuff is an extreme case of the motivation for the C. P. Snow, Two Cultures showing the strong separation of (A) the scientific (mathematical, engineering, medical science, etc.) culture and (B) the humanities culture.When I was a math grad student, we had ways to know who the good students were: They were the ones who could solve the more challenging exercises. [Still better were the students who, before dissertation work, could do publishable work; that was a high standard and in my grad school class I was the only one who met it.] . And that was about the only way to tell; attitude, grit, determination, swagger, self confidence, facial expressions, etc. were essentially useless for knowing who the good students were. Indeed, once a faculty member confided in me that the good students were not the ones that before the qualifying exams in external appearance looked good.Thing is, in math, we can tell because it’s usually so easy to check a proof.Then for the other of Snow’s cultures we have to wonder: With English literature, usually it’s not clear what is being claimed is true, and essentially never is any convincing evidence given. So, for Fitzgerald, his Gatsby, and that quote, we have a tough time taking it seriously without more information.Curiously, such missing content doesn’t mean that art is useless: Art is the “communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion”, and a person can take some art seriously if it seems to correspond with some of life the person has already observed.E.g., Puccini has a boy meet a girl, and each tells the other about themselves,https://www.youtube.com/wat…If have actually done such a thing, maybe several times, then can see that Puccini has a lot that is close to universal and for the audience reminds them of some experiences in their own life and lets them know that they are very much like many others. If know more about romantic relationships, then there is more in that clip that “reminds”, etc.Indeed, when I was 14 I met a girl of 12, and right away she told me about herself much as Puccini had Mimi do, really more deeply than Mimi. Yes, I fell in love with her and still am. Puccini was correct, in my “experience” rock solidly correct.English teachers: Go ahead, it’s okay, feel bad, humiliated. You deserve it. That little clip by Puccini totally blows away all you had. And, with irony, and much better than Fitzgerald, the Puccini clip actually does show some role, a very appropriate one, for facial expressions, especially by Mimi.Since Puccini doesn’t really explain like an applied math application, if have never had such an experience, say, are still in grade school, then the clip can seem silly.For the Fitzgerald quote, maybe a few people could be amazed at how deep and solid Fitzgerald believes the quote is, but a huge problem is that the quote is far from “universal” in that the fraction of people who take facial expressions so seriously is tiny.To me, in that quote, Fitzgerald is showing off, trying to seem profoundly perceptive. Contemptible pretense. Maybe the day he wrote that he was for once sober.I really, really, really like Puccini’s work and deeply, profoundly, bitterly hate and despise Fitzgerald’s and related material.In particular, for six years, four in high school and two more in college, English teachers were force feeding me with just sewage such as from Fitzgerald, all without a single justification, single second of Puccini, or anything on what art was about. It’s been a long time, and I’m still sensitive, sore, bitter, and angry about those six years. In one word, I just HATE English literature. The situation was grandly awful: Here, sadly but literally, with just two little examples, Fitzgerald and Puccini, I’ve given much, Much, MUCH more about art than the total content of those six sick years from English teachers.Maybe we can “retread” the English teachers — give them mops and brooms and, thus, have them become no longer harmful and, instead, actually useful. Instead of the six years, just give the students this little post. Literally. Good art is really that simple, and the English teachers, that bad.
Like every amateur piece of non-technical advice, this quote merely explains the speaker’s philosophy or belief. Bad advice is a plague upon society.It has nothing to do with intellect. It has everything to do with desire to succeed.
It is not advice at all and should not be taken as such. He was a writer.See what I wrote above – “Outside of context, quotes sound glib and superficial. In context, they can be effective. In the end, its value is whatever you make out of it :-).”.This isn’t even a insight. Even insights, by definition are a generalization. And every insight is wrong when it goes up against a specific exception.
To be clear, the ability to hold two opposing ideas is of great value, in specific instances where new solutions need to be synthesized.I started the day by referring a book that focuses solely on entrepreneurs – with that ability as their core differentiator.But it has jack to do with intellect. Its a skill that can be developed but that some people also have intuitively.
James.. I think you have probably spent more time thinking about what constitutes intellect than F. Scott Fitzgerald ever did.He was a writer. Stringing together words. Creating characters and stories. Did that well. He had no expertise that I am aware of in determining what constitutes intelligence.Again, the value of the quote is in what you make out of it.This is nothing to do with “Bad advice is a plague on society”.I do enjoy literature.
I don’t think the quote necessarily describes a successful person. So many thoughtful people do not meet the standards of worldly success.I sometimes wonder if I would be a more successful person if I could be more dogmatic in my perspective or approach.
Yes & yes.Excellent point.
No wonder Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors. (For some reason I thought this quote was from someone else.)I often wonder if this ability is a blessing or a curse.
I know how you feel.Our team has their feet in both camps. We are early enough that we can easily create and pivot our business model into a token ecosystem for our fintech member community.The question we face is whether our target members are ready for this or do we continue with the traditional business model and prove product/market fit first AND keep the finger on the pulse on the token ecosystem?Very exciting times!!!
Same situation here, although we have “allowed” one of our early deals to totally pivot to a blockhain based implementation that seems to be a good idea but others failed at in Internet 2.0, Looking at a couple of fintech ideas based on blockchain from current students at Wharton. Some interesting stuff coming from my classmate, Gary Gensler, who I saw at reunion this weekend and is now at MIT.
I’ve thought that there are going to be some interesting blockchain implementations from my fellow M&T classmates. I have been thinking of one myself.The biggest challenge I’ve seen is that if you are trying to leverage existing businesses, they are super resistant about giving up control.When you think about it, it is not illogical. See my mall example, but a bigger one is the credit card example. I cannot tell you how many businesses (big) that I talk with that really resent the fees. But they know if they don’t accept credit cards it will kill their business. (unless you are a really small, strong player, and those exist) But they are going to be very tough to convert, and eventually those are the people you need to convert.
Control is everything.That is why The Chain will only handle ultra large transaction volumes of ultra small value.Yes to IoT.No to https://www.ft.com/content/…
Right now it is exactly opposite of what you say. I would say if it does that then it will be a massive success.
Welcome to the world of the CTO, who must always keep one foot in today’s technology and production code…and one foot in the technology and approaches of tomorrow.When done right both can be great stabilizers and support for each other (showing where to make changes, what to avoid, where to add flexibility for potential future tech, etc)….but it’s also a const. struggle of focus and never ending learning (but that’s part of what makes it fun)!
.Brilliant observation. Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
So true, Kevin. I should have spoken with you before launching a recent CTO search. Although, it has been a VERY successful search with finalists on two continents.It seems that, in particular, CTOs who have been industry pioneers, especially have the characteristics that you describe.Surprisingly, CTOs have been among the nicest people in the fields that I have recruited in. Why is that?
I don’t know…maybe CTO’s are just used to being #2, 3, or 4 in the company hierarchy and mostly out of the public spotlight…so they don’t have to be braggadocious or as egotistical as some of the other executives tend to be…but that’s just my personal theory/thought 😉
so they don’t have to be braggadocious or as egotistical as some of the other executives tend to beI will take a stab at this one. I think it’s because computer types (at least in the past prior to, say, the Internet) tended to do things that others didn’t give a shit about and didn’t want to hear about because it was technical and not everyday in nature and not simple to understand. Or confusing. So you have to be the type of person that does that work simply because you enjoy it and not because you get a great deal of feedback from everyday people. Even your wife maybe.Example everyday people (or co-workers) will understand and applaud you (even if they don’t care) if you tell them that your little league team won some contest. That positive feedback will spur you to tell others and tell them the next time your team wins (or your son’s team wins). Or a sales guy can get feedback for a big sale because it’s very understandable. My brother in law was all ears when I told him a deal I was working on the other day. Computer stuff is a ‘who cares you are boring me’.So nobody gives a shit if I write a neat routine that helps me with something that I do everyday by way of a program that I wrote. No positive feedback loop. So you keep it to yourself because people glaze over.So it’s both chicken and egg maybe. And you have to be the type that gets pleasure w/o that feedback of a positive nature.Separately that is also why ‘computer types’ (nerds etc.) help people for free and blog so much of their secrets. Because it’s the only way to get a positive feeling from what you know and what you have done. It’s like ‘wow I am a somebody’. You get stroked. (Other benefits but that is the core driver I believe).Agree? Your thoughts?
I would def. buy that argument/reasoning…
It’s also why people get worked so hard from consultants. What other profession do you have where you (me) get a call or email a day saying: Do you want to outsource this?The consultants don’t give a shit about your routine. Nor do their clients. As a matter of fact your routine is horrible (not really horrible) from a business perspective if you are a consultant. It means that you can’t bill two hours a day for the next five years. Yes, that would be great from the client perspective paying 10 hrs instead of 2,000 hours, but unless they ask (which they don’t even come close to knowing the question) they pay the 20,000% mark up.
Can you restate this it’s confusing.
Ok.Let’s say you have a business that is reliant on software to run it.I have watched this for my entire career.You say: that software stuff is hard, I don’t like those software nerds.I am going to outsource it.You know the price of everything but the value of nothing.$25/hr for offshore programmers?? DEAL! compared to those geeks I pay $75-$100 or more in the U.S.What is the goal of any company???? Maximize revenue, get more money out of existing customers.If you are an employee that cares about my business and you know what you are doing, what do you do? You write a script.If not what do you do??? Bill hours!!!!Poster child: While estimates that the overall cost for building the website had reached over $500 million prior to launch, the Office of Inspector General released a report finding that the total cost of the HealthCare.gov website had reached $1.7 billion.Ok. You tell me how that happened.
See my answer to Kevin. Will note also that back when I was in college I had to call and find out info on companies for a summer job while working for a commercial real estate company that just opened up an east coast office. I found that asking to speak with the CFO or accountant yielded great results. I think it’s for a similar reason that I mentioned in my reply to Kevin below.
Donna you will love this.I interviewed a guy for a communications role today. I am blunt, but nice. I am the easy interview (he had to go through the gantlet of people he will work with) I said the biggest question our people had was if you could understand our software you seem to have the marketing skill…. He then dropped four pages of our wiki which he found and re-wrote, without us asking. On the left what our tech guys had written and on the right what he would have written. PerfectDrop the mike.The only better response I have gotten: You are right out of school, we are a hard place to work, why do you want to come here? I got my girlfriend pregnant and I am super motivated.
You are right. I do love this!I sure hope you hired that guy. Both of them.
Yup. We will and we did.
You’re a hiring pro. Of course you did. 🙂
Last month i have made $17624 from home by working online on my laptop. I am a full time student and just doing this job for 3 to 4 hrs a day. Very easy to do job and earnings from this are awesome. Everybody can now easily makes extra cash online by just follow instructions on the given website…Open This Website ⤁⤁⤁ EasiestWorkOnlineJobsHome260 .
This situation is everywhere – from Ben Evans’ email newsletter, an approving ( I think ) summary of the Great FB Crypto Re-Org of 2018:Facebook did a big exec reshuffle: most interesting is that David Marcus, the head of Messenger (and previously CEO of PayPal) and Kevin Weil, the head of product at Instagram, are moved to a new ‘Blockchain’ group. Maybe payment, maybe ‘disrupt social before someone else does’, maybe ‘who knows but maybe there’s something here for us’.Great point on opposable CTOs.
China “plc” is in such a strong position to hold Asia IMO the future is about continents
Reality https://www.reuters.com/art… The coins/ crypto will be pegged to the continent real-time values it is not rocket science Asia North America Europe South America Africa Russia
when Cortes reached the shores of the ‘new world’ he burned his ships. his men instantly found the necessary motivation he sensed had been missing to make the endeavour a success. when there’s no going back there’s only one way, forward.
I have a number of friends and colleagues who have burned the boats. But VC is a service business .Unless and until we have no more traditional businesses in our portfolio, I will have a foot in both camps
This reminds me of what Anthony Pompliano did. Literally went all in on crypto.
.This is a very valid concept in the entrepreneurial business starting business, but it is not a valid concept in the money game wherein diversification of risk is the key to long term survival.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Its also not true. Cortez did no such thing – it is a lie told by large consulting firms to motivate clients to implement their ideas.
its like living in 2 separate worlds.sifting through traditional equities, ooh great may hit a 7% return this yeah, vs crypto, only a 7% return today! WTF!
If you cannot yet merge the crypto and traditional business worlds (models) then that might indicate that crypto has not yet reached what Kuhn and Perez call a paradigm shift in technology. AI is there already but crypto is still waiting to solve a big problem that will trigger multi-problem, multi-industry adoption.
AI serves centralised power, and so its ‘usefulness’ (POV) is leveraged much more quickly than crypto, which serves the interests of everyone else, but everyone else is by definition dispersed, and so it takes longer to be leveraged. i still see crypto as a paradigm shift, but as Gibson’s quote confirms, the future…. is not yet evenly distributed (or rather ‘shared’). It will be shared as that is the definition of a healthy blockchain network, where the value is at the ‘edge’ (although there is no actual edge in such an architecture). it’s an old lexis struggling to describe a new paradigm, one that just does not fit the textbook descriptions. burn the textbooks. burn the ships (Cortes again).
Agree. Per my post minutes ago. Yet some yahoos are raising $30 MM in ICO’s to spend while others are trying to evaluate the tech within an existing R&R budget.
A bit different, but this reminds me of the tension that many health care provider systems face with x% of their revenue being Fee-For-Service and 1-x being Fee-For-Value…sadly, different priorities, workflows, etc. Hard to do both.
Same decision struggle, but as an entrepreneur. eCommerce / platform vs. Crypto. During this struggle I found out I lack a system to make good decisions. Now I am reading Principles by Ray Dalio. His book might help everyone to build their own principles for learning, structuring and making good decisions. I am half way through the book, and it’s so interesting that my wife look forward to I am done and stop talking about decision making tools 🙂
.What is really interesting is to realize that many successful people have made many important decisions without the benefit of any organized or disciplined approach.Great things are the spawn of strategic thinking, tactical planning, and fierce objective execution — the common denominator of all of them is a disciplined approach to decisionmaking.This is why Eisenhower was such a successful commander, college president, President — he had worked for both MacArthur and Marshall as a young officer, but it was Fox Conner (the brain of that period of time in the pre-WWII Army) who taught him how to frame decisions, conduct staff work, and make decisions.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
When you clear on your core beliefs and goals, decision making becomes a lot easier.
.Agreeing with you, I would add that there is a science to making good decisions, particularly when there are several different alternatives all posing as good decisions.There are disastrous, really bad, bad, good, really good, world beating decisions and a couple of variations in between.One element of decision making is to throw out the bad ones first. If you have a hundred applicants for a job, it is easier to eliminate the 80 who are less qualified thereby dramatically increasing the probability of selecting a good one by concentrating the gene pool.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I think decision making is a core skill that should be learned by everybody. It is almost a meta-skill.That does not mean everybody will become equally skilled at it, but it is tragic that most people go through life without being exposed to decision-making as a capability that can be developed.
I do think there’s a science to it too…but would argue that good, bad, and everything in between are relative, subjective, and really only known in hindsight.Personally I think speed, action, core beliefs, well defined goals, and a constant commitment to evaluating against these things and making new/next decisions as needed…these are the most important things you focus on to help make decisions towards really achieving a goal.Weather it’s really “good” or “bad” is for the political and religious debaters (and society/history) to decide…which as you know, they will do endlessly and forever…from all sides…
.I am speaking solely of business and not of either politics or religion. In business, there is a duty for a CEO to make assessments as to whether a course of action is good or bad. Sometimes, it is as simple as the difference in the amount of capital to be committed.It is a cop out to suggest that things can only be differentiated in hindsight, and, yes, everything is relative and subjective. Those are not disqualifying attributes of any course of action.When one models a particular course of action, it is easy to identify the pros and cons of a course of action and in this dissection of its attributes the label emerges.It is also possible to rank order the different courses of action and, thereby, develop a continuum of risk or capital investment.As a CEO, this is one of the most important disciplines one can embrace – orderly, rational decisionmaking.http://themusingsofthebigre…It is not something which can be ignored.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
As usual…we agree…but for different reasons and with different words. 🙂
.And, therein lies the beauty of respectful, intellectual exchange of ideas and views. Thanks.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Best 3 questions from any new person walking into a startup executive team meeting:- what is our runway ( what is our burn : cash ?)- who is our customer?- how do we make decisions?All other problems or opportunities are dependent on these answers.
.Brother @girishmehta:disqus brings his usual excellent quote which posits that it is the mark of a “first rate” mind which can simultaneously hold opposing thoughts.You, however, are making bets with real money, not just engaging in a theoretical debate. You have bet on a particular pony and will suffer the loss or reap the profit of your bet.Some would describe this feeling you are experiencing as “skepticism.” Skepticism is also the mark of a thoughtful mind. A zealot does not possess skepticism. He only sees the upside.Skepticism is a healthy afterthought when someone confronts risk, makes a decision, recognizes the probabilities of success v failure, and still goes forward. It is an operational consideration rather than a philosophical quandary.In the military, it is essential to tactical success as the expectation of the enemy’s actions is almost always wrong. The enemy – the market – always gets a vote in these things.It follows the gambler’s bluff, “this might work.” Many times a bluff works and through its working, a gambler (or a VC) develops instincts as to when it is wise to bluff and when it is unwise.Watching your actions and writings over almost a decade, one would find very little evidence that you are even normally flexible in your thinking. In fact, you are quite rigid, but what you do have is great instincts.Do not take this as a criticism; most people are not sufficiently grounded to know what they believe and therefore there is no rigidity — knowing what they believe and eschewing to that path in all things. If one stands for nothing, then it is easy to fall for anything. Rigidity is good until it isn’t.Skepticism is healthy particularly when we learn from it that our knee jerk thinking can be wrong. I cannot think of another area of business endeavor in which a dose of skepticism will be better harnessed than the entire crypto ICO jungle.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I like your point on skepticism. I also like this quote from Patton: A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
.Patton was identified as a great “pursuit” commander by George C Marshall when Patton (who attended VMI for a year before transferring to West Point) was at the Infantry School.He went into Marshall’s black book (which is at VMI and I have held it in my hands) along with Eisenhower, Bradley, and a legion of others.Eisenhower was the alliance operator, Bradley was the planner (planned more large amphibious invasions than any general in the history of warfare), and Patton was the slasher.It is interesting that both Eisenhower and Marshall punished Patton for his misdeeds, but never kicked him off the team. They took away his command.When the Allies were stuck in the bocage country and couldn’t break out, they grabbed Patton off the bench and threw him into the game with a simple admonition, “Kill Germans.”They knew they were going to do just that before the Normandy landings.At the Bulge when Field Marshal Montgomery was asked how long before he could turn his army to take the pressure off Bastogne – the holding of which was still up in the air and which was critical to keeping the Germans from driving to the coast – he said it would take at least two, maybe three weeks.Same question asked of Patton, he replied, “I turned two divisions to the north this morning. We can go from a route march into the attack in less than 48 hours.”That was the implementation of exactly what you suggested, Patton moved from a complicated route march of two divisions into the attack seamlessly. Thus is how wars are won. B students with great big balls.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I like to think of myself as both Patton and Eisenhower, but I always need a Bradley. And yes, I do get myself into trouble.
he said it would take at least two, maybe three weeks.You have forgotten more military history than I will ever know but isn’t it possible that Montgomery was just managing expectations here (deliver more than you promise) and/or relying on the people under him (who may have been doing a version of the same)?Also what would history say about Montgomery if Patton was wrong?
.Montgomery was a plodder, a guy who would set up a battle until he had a 5:1 advantage and only then begin to execute with orderly advances, no slashing. He used tanks with his infantry commingled. He used artillery in a very conventional manner.He was constantly talking about “tidying up the battlefield.” Eliminating any salients, straightening out lines.He liked to push the German lines back in an orderly manner while the Americans like to breakthrough, encircle units, and capture them or destroy them.The Brits looked down their noses at the Americans before Kasserine Pass and afterwards, but the Americans learned the business and were the best logisticians and planners in the history of warfare. Better slashers after a breakthrough.The Brits had lost an entire generation in WWI and were, understandably, cautious about taking enormous losses in WWII. The Americans were, well, American — risk takers.The essence of command is driving your organization to do things which they might not do absent the commander. I remember, in training, being given the assignment to move thirty miles overnight.The purpose of the exercise was to see how the company commander undertook the order. You got the order at 1700 right before chow. It was not expected that the unit would actually be able to make the thirty miles.I was in a combat engineer battalion, and three of our six companies made it. Not a single infantry company in the rest of the division made the thirty miles. Tells you something about the quality of the leadership in the combat engineers.The key to the exercise was to switch from eating at the mess hall to eating C rations enroute. It required the company commander to make an instantaneous change to have even a chance.We had C rats for dinner and breakfast, but we made it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
The purpose of the exercise was to see how the company commander undertook the order. You got the order at 1700 right before chow. It was not expected that the unit would actually be able to make the thirty miles.I have a new theory that I am working on which has been cooking for some time in my head but has taken more of a hold this morning upon seeing that my brilliant stepson is missing yet another day of school (always a Monday) because ‘his stomach hurts’. I have decided that the true mark of a man (or a woman) is how much abuse they can take in the fight to get to where they want or need to go. Book smarts and good grades can only get you so far. The other part has to deal with both how much pain you can endure (physical, mental) or even more importantly how much pleasure you can forgo in that march to success.It’s really unfortunate that (other than sports) our educational system rewards and puts a great weight on educational achievements and testing as opposed to the general notion of survival in the face of pain and/or no need for pleasure. That is way way underrated.
You know my thoughts and upbringing.
I love studying the differences between the two in Italy.
.Montgomery’s army was the closest to Bastogne. Bastogne was the critical position in stopping the Germans.It was held by the US 10th Armored Div and the 101st Airborne. They were surrounded, unable to receive reliable resupply, running out of men and ammunition. Unable to evacuate their casualties to the rear for treatment.Were they not relieved, they would be overwhelmed and annihilated. Not a time for reflection or an orderly battlefield.Had they been British units, I think Montie would have made an effort.Patton, who despised Montie, did not hesitate. Because he understood the tactical situation and drove his troops unmercilessly. In that regard, he was a bastard.He succeeded. In war, what succeeds is the right decision.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
> drove his troops unmercilessly.From several books, some movies, documentaries, rumors, I still have not even zip, zilch, zero on what the heck Patton actually did that was especially good. Best I can tell, Patton looked really good because Marshall, Ike, Bradley, Clark, Monty, and Alexander were C- grade commanders in actual, planning, fighting, bombs, rockets, bullets, blood, treasure, serious WAR.I sense that if Hitler had been not genuinely insane, then Rommel, Kesselring, Manstein, etc. might have won.
My guess on Bradley and Marshall and especially Ike, along with Monty, is that on Patton they ganged up, engaged in CYA, selfish, highly counterproductive, even dangerous organizational behavior “goal subordination”. That is, they ganged up on Patton to keep him from looking as good as he really was and, indeed, seriously to constrain him from being really as good as he easily would have been.I don’t know how good Patton really was, but it is quite clear that Monty just didn’t have “the right stuff” and Marshall, Ike, and Bradley were just darned short on experience and basic, raw capability.Maybe a lot of the credit for Patton should go to General Lucian Truscott or some other Patton subordinates, but Marshall, Ike, Bradley, Monty, and too soon Clark were big drawbacks.So, how did the Allies still win? Well Bradley remarked IIRC “US men and material are inexhaustible.”.Some of the big costs were:(1) With Patton in charge starting at least right after the North Africa landings of Torch if not before with the planning of Torch, no way, not a chance, would Patton have let Rommel kill the reported 1500 US soldiers at Kasserine. Not a chance. That battle was lost due to the grotesque, outrageous, “green” incompetence of Ike and Marshall who kept being a champion of Ike. Marshall and Ike had the blood of those 1500 US soldiers on their hands.(2) For the invasion of Sicily, Ike definitely should have let Patton do the planning and when Monty objected throw him some tea and crumpets. With Patton in charge in Sicily, the Allies could have saved a lot of Allied blood and captured or killed a LOT more Germans who, as it was, due to the delays of Monty’s planning and slow fighting, escaped to Italy to fight again.(3) Likely the worst disaster from Marshall and Ike was keeping Patton away from the invasion of Italy, i.e., the landings at Salerno and Anzio. There the Allies were led by US General Clark and Monty (Salerno) or Harold Alexander (Anzio). Bummer. Monty couldn’t take on even two guys with bows and arrows without 1000 tanks and 2000 artillery pieces in a meticulously planned set-piece battle, and Clark was “inexperienced”. The incompetence cost a LOT of Allied blood.(4) On D-Day, Bradley failed to prepare Omaha Beach nearly well or strongly enough. I never understood why for the first hour after dawn the Allies could not have had naval heavy guns firing on the beaches and a mile or so behind them and B-17s dropping and, say, P-47s shooting all they had while flying parallel to the 60 mile long line of the beach and a up to a mile or so inland. As it was, there was a lot of US blood in the water off at least Omaha Beach for no good reason.(5) At Caen, Monty was a disaster again and, net, gave the Germans too darned much time to mount a counter attack. With more role for Patton planning and directing D-Day, the Allies would have taken Caen much sooner. Monty messed it up again, and Marshall and Ike let him get away with it.(6) Patton was ready, eager, and able to close the Falaise Pocket but was held back by Ike, etc. A lot of Germans got away to fight again for no good reason.(7) Ike let Monty do Market Garden, a bloody mess, incompetent planning and execution. Monty was just going for glory, a long shot, Allied blood sacrificed in a failed attempt for Monty’s failed effort at glory.Monty did well at el Alamein but did so with massive US materiel shipped around the Horn of Africa, up the Red Sea, and through the Suez Canal just in time.Net, Marshall, Ike, Bradley, and Monty kept Patton on the sidelines as much as they could, and the result was a lot of wasted Allied BLOOD.
.Hmmm, the Goat at Kasserine was MG Lloyd Fredenhall, who was a favorite of both Marshall and Eisenhower until he decamped 70 miles behind the front lines at Kasserine and spent a month of a combat engineer company’s time blasting a headquarters into the side of a mountain.He turned out to be a terrible corps commander who was replaced by Patton. Eisenhower sent Fredenhall back to the US where Marshall stuck him in the training command. Fredenhall never had another combat command and, because he had never been disciplined was promoted to and retired a Lt General.Kasserine was a corp level operation and neither Marshall nor Eisenhower had any responsibility for the op. They put a large enough unit in the hands of a supposedly competent commander who failed in his deployment.His HQ was too far back from the fight, he did not coordinate with his division commanders, units were too far separated, and the defense was not mutually supporting. These are all things which would show up on a sand table.The Germans drove into the pass and made 50 miles before withdrawing.As to Sicily, it was a success. Montgomery had one task force to the east and Patton had the other to the west (central).By now, Patton was commanding Bradley who had the US 7th Army consisting of Terry Allen’s Big Red One and Lucian Truscott’s 3rd Inf Division. Troy Middleton (corps commander later at the Bulge and, arguably, the best corp commander in the US Army) brought his 45th Div from the US via ship. MG Hugh Gaffey had the 2nd Arm Div in floating reserve.There was an airborne component which included the British 1st Airborne in support of Montie and the 82nd Abn (Ridgway) in tactical reserve in Tunisia. The 82nd jumped in with an infantry regiment (Jim Gavin of Bulge fame) and the 307th Airborne Engineer Bn.It was a well planned operation and the Americans beat a couple of very good German units (Herman Goring Div and the 29th Panzergrenadier Div as well a XIV Panzer Corps) and some lousy Italians.The order of battle showed 200,000 Italians, 70,000 Krauts.Patton drove his troops with a whip. The movie Patton shows this accurately. This is where Patton slapped the soldier and was relieved.I don’t think there is much to suggest that either Marshall or Eisenhower had any animus toward Patton other than what he brought upon himself. Patton was rich. Marshall and Eisenhower were poor as church mice. That made a difference in the Army of that day.No more military history for today. Have to do some work.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Skepticism is a healthy afterthought when someone confronts risk, makes a decision, recognizes the probabilities of success v failure, and still goes forward. It is an operational consideration rather than a philosophical quandary.Is a man truly free to make the best decisions in his gut if those decisions that he makes have to factor in his reputation? In other words what his investors think, what his wife thinks, what his boss think, what social media thinks (the list is endless)? Having to worry about what others think if you make the wrong decision has to alter your decisions and your thought process.
.A lot of that disappears with life experience.I find great comfort in saying, “I did the best I could with what I had.”But, only if I have run the traps. Sometimes in my life, I have had to make split second life threatening decisions. I made some wrong ones and they haunt me, but I still take comfort that I made the best decision I could under the circumstances.When I start working with a young CEO, I ask them, “What percentage of your decisions are good?”Some answer 90%. Some answer 40%.A year later, I ask them again. All of the good ones, say 40%.What changes is their bad decisions are less bad.It is like becoming a scratch golfer. Your best shots don’t improve, but your worst shots do.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
As a CEO considering the use of crypto as a core technology, the gap between these two camps is just too damned wide. If you have an existing “traditional” business with customers, developers, sales and a technical stack, how do you develop a “pivot” plan when the crypto business model is still fuzzy at best?There is so much to learn in crypto (with regard to business models and monetization – not tech) that it requires a full time job just to evaluate the market. This is a giant leap compared to deciding to moving a server to the cloud or changing from Java to C++.I am wondering how you are evaluating these transitions.
CONTRIBUTORS:”My portfolio has not been in this good shape in I don’t know how long and I am quite enjoying my work with these companies.” – Fred WilsonYou think!https://media.giphy.com/med…Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT
Fred, what do you recommend to one of your traditional businesses who may be considering a potentially unnecessary ICO?
Tough to believe that no VC will ever make some big ROI from crypto. Okay, then, have to believe that at least one VC will make some big ROI from crypto sometime. Then, who is the obvious choice to be that VC? Sure, Fred Wilson.I still don’t know how Fred will ever make enough from crypto and a dime even to cover a 10 cent cup of coffee, but there about has to be some ROI in there sometime somewhere.I do believe that the ROI will be extremely volatile! E.g., from a remark from the 2000 bubble, when the lockup period is over, don’t be between Fred and the door!
This implies that if one of your traditional portfolio companies needs more capital your will push them towards an ICO instead of a round?
So it means that I have to have a foot in both camps.Or USV could do this (right now in the WSJ):New Enterprise Associates, one of Silicon Valley’s largest venture-capital firms, plans to sell off a big chunk of its startup investments in response to a dearth of initial public offerings, according to people familiar with the discussions. The firm plans to sell roughly $1 billion worth of its stakes in about 20 startups to a new firm it is seeking to create, one of the people said, in an effort to return capital to its limited-partner investors. These companies will mostly be those that initially raised money from NEA about eight to 10 years ago…The new vehicle would operate independently from the firm, the people said. One of the firm’s general partners, Ravi Viswanathan, would leave NEA to run it. Some of the capital would be reserved to make follow-on investments or to buy shares from employees, these people added.https://www.wsj.com/article…… https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Bigger sucker theory.
I don’t think it’s that actually. I think it’s they need to both provide the exit but also be able to attract more funds by showing there is an exit when it seems the normal exit does not exist anymore. Now very possible that people buying are bigger suckers but I say there is a reasonable business purpose for what they are doing.So if the traditional exit is ‘sell to Yahoo or go public in 10 years or less’ and both of those don’t exist then how do the LP’s make return. And any LP considering giving money now has to wonder about that. So they create a situation whereby there is an exit possibility in everyone’s mind. It makes sense totally (separate from ‘greater fool’ etc. which is possible).And the timing is right because the back story (even if the investments suck) makes total sense. Timing matters. It’s like me telling the Chinese that the reason I will do a deal is ‘it’s December you know tax purposes and that’s why the offer expires 12/31 of the year’. It’s believable. Resonates and translates to Chinese haha. Will add that people are always to lazy to even validate a well told story I have found or rain on it.
I am having a similar experience in recruiting. Much of my work in the past year has been in crypto. It is so consuming because things change so rapidly — both with my client and the industry in general — that I have to stay immersed to just barely keep up. It seemed like a great investment even though it meant taking on fewer clients for a season.Because there are very few, if any, people with blockchain or crypto experience in the roles I have been recruiting for, it has been an opportunity to be more inventive in piecing together the attributes, background and skills that would allow someone to function and even thrive in this wild planet environment. So much fun.
Yes to this!
Thank you — especially since I first said this you do during our chat and it was fresh on my mind. Glad you brought my attention to this post. I so relate although from a different vantage point.
Literally my biggest issue as well.