Exploring An Investment Thesis

I remember back in the 2005/2006/2007 time frame when blogging and social media was coming of age, I used this blog as a petri dish to explore ideas like influencer marketing, social advertising, and virality that have become critical parts of a growth marketer’s playbook a decade later.

That “hacking around in social media” taught me so much that I could not have learned reading or talking to people. Of course, I did those things too, but getting my hands dirty with the technology and ideas helped me understand them and see the power of them and invest in them before others did.

So it is always great to see when other investors are doing the same thing.

Dani, one of our awesome analysts at USV, has been exploring the area of “free learning.” She has been writing about it. And she has been hacking around in it too.

Yesterday she launched a free learning game you play via text message.

She built it on “twilio/node/express/firebase.” I know she also built a version on the Kin Testnet to see how cryptocurrency rewards could impact how students stick with a game like this.

I just played a couple rounds of Numberline on my phone and thankfully I got the first two correct. I am quitting while I am ahead. If there was some Kin involved though…….

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    Here’s a fiddle i don’t like. Can you think of a crypto token that when you multiply its price by 2 it equals the same thing as when you multiply it by 6?

  2. William Mougayar

    Why can’t we use the Kinit version? I have Kinit on my Android .

  3. Greg Kieser

    Cool tool!Between this blog, reddit, gardening blogs, self-hacking forums and the crypto-universe I also formed my own investment thesis. I invest in anything that increases the diversity and complexity of the given system. For example, I’ve invested in psilocybin for treatment resistant depression, because of it’s ability to increase diversity and complexity of neural activity. I’ve in invested in FMT (human microbiome transplants) for their ability to boost diversity and complexity of biome and remediate disease. I’ve supported reforestation efforts and agroforestry. I really really want to invest in regenerative ag biz of some sort – preferrably tech driven and soil diversity boosting and adaptive learning in schools for it’s ability to boost progress through diversity and complexity of ideas to explore.I’ve also codified my investment thesis in a book called “Dear Machine”. As I am still in the early phases of pushing it out there I am happy to share it here in PDF for anybody that wants to dig -in: https://www.supersystemic.l…Thanks to all who discourse on this blog and the internet in general. You make us all smarter!

    1. Jon

      What gardening blogs do you follow?

      1. Greg Kieser

        Thanks for the Q!By gardening I meant: reddit/r/gardening, /r/permaculture and a bunch of FB groups about Regenerative Agriculture, permaculture, agroforestry, mushroom picking, etc. I can dig those up if you are interested.

          1. Greg Kieser

            Thanks! Sorry for the delay.I had not heard of imprinting but am very interested in that sort of thing – especially restoration of desert lands. The notable initiative I like to follow are Ecosystem Restoration Camps, of which I am a “founding member” (https://www.ecosystemrestor…) and the work of Ernst Gotsch in Brazil (https://www.youtube.com/wat….As for other blogs/forums I like: https://www.reddit.com/r/pehttps://www.facebook.com/grhttps://www.facebook.com/gr…Are you thinking about getting involved in ecosystem restoration somehow? If so, how about joining ecosystem restoration camps? Really exciting stuff happening… based on how they are doing I think they will scale up well.:)Greg

          2. Vasudev Ram

            NP. Thanks for all that info.Just checked out the Green Gold video by John D Liu – amazing issues and great initiatives.I had not previously thought of getting involved, since did not know of such efforts happening on a large scale, though know of smaller ones (in area). one of which I may be getting involved with in the near future, as part of some of my plans.Will share the links.

          3. Greg Kieser

            Excellent! Great to discuss this stuff with you! John D. Liu is also the person who started the Ecosystem Restoration Camps. Pretty incredible that, through these efforts, you can bring streams and waterfalls back to life and change the climate of an area.

          4. Vasudev Ram

            >Excellent! Great to discuss this stuff with you!Likewise. Thanks again for all the info you shared.>John D. Liu is also the person who started the Ecosystem Restoration Camps. Pretty incredible that, through these efforts, you can bring streams and waterfalls back to life and change the climate of an area.Very true. That video was really impressive.The links you shared reminded me of a very good book that I had read as a child/teenager, being interested in ecology, organic farming, nature, etc. – a book titled The Forest and the Sea, by Marston Bates. I think it gives a very good idea and overview to laymen about the importance of ecology, ecological systems, how they naturally stay in balance, etc., which are all things that are important not just for the preservation of wild species but also for the preservation of the human race on the planet.Links about the book and him:https://www.google.com/searhttps://www.goodreads.com/bhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wihttps://www.nytimes.com/197…Edit: Also just saw this video via the reddit /r/organicfarming :”The Farmers” TV series now available with English subtitiles:https://youtu.be/XQMH0Jnl6F…It seems to be about an experimental farm in Quebec, Canada, with the goal of teaching people to start their own (organic) farms.Just started watching it, looks good.

          5. Vasudev Ram

            Watched more of it. Check out the part about toads, slugs and beneficial insects – at around 24:00 or so. It’s like some of the stuff in the John D. Liu video you shared, about how ecosystems restore themselves if man lets them.

          6. Greg Kieser

            Very cool. I’ll watch it and see if I can get that book – sounds very interesting.Also, there is new movie called “The Biggest Little Farm” that I really want to see. Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/wat…Thanks again!Greg

          7. Vasudev Ram

            Will check that trailer out. Thanks to you too!Vasudev

  4. Salt Shaker

    Good day for a numbers game, though of a diff variety. Knicks have a 14% chance at Zion w/ this evening’s NBA lottery madness. Pretty low odds. Sadly for Knicks the odds for team w/ the worst record in league dropped this year from 25% to 14% due to a rule change. Anything short of landing the 1st pick in the draft will be viewed as a disappointment, which is what happens when unrealistic expectations are set by the media. The Knicks’ investment thesis for decades has been an abject failure.

  5. Vasudev Ram

    >I remember back in the 2005/2006/2007 time frame when blogging and social media was coming of agea.k.a. Web 2.0 (Web 2). Good days (some). I was around at the time. Had started blogging at the start of that time frame – on my first blog – Jugad’s Journal – http://jugad.livejournal.com . Later moved in 2008 to https://jugad2.blogspot.com – my current one.Was working with various startups. A lot of them had big fonts and primary colors (maybe a la Google) on their web sites. A little “chi-chi”, some of them. though (not necessarily due to the fonts / colors). I had only learned the meaning of the word a couple of years earlier(2003), by hearing it said by a senior architect – US colleague at the US-Indian enterprise software corp. where I worked then.We were out in a group in Boston, after work, walking for dinner to a restaurant near the office downtown, when he used the word in some context. (referring to some people or place that was mentioned). Interestingly, I somehow instantly guessed what the word meant, and it was confirmed by asking him 🙂 Was also introduced on the same walk to the guy (working in the same corp.) who had earlier created the Brief editor, a popular programmer’s editor much earlier. [1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Great city, Boston. Lots of ethnic cuisine restaurants, and much more.

  6. JamesHRH

    This post is just a Trojan Horse built to show off your riddling chops.I saw Numberline on The Twitter but did not engage. Must be losing my curiosity.

  7. pointsnfigures

    Have Dani write a program so the Bulls sneak into the #1 pick in the NBA draft. My wife forgot her coat at the Hilton today. Forgot how huge those guys were.

    1. pointsnfigures

      https://twitter.com/kateove… Of course, if you are a Bulls fan like me….tank three seasons in a row to get the #7 pick every time.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      I saw that cartoon situation off and on for years: Now I see that at times I suffered from essentially just that situation, where she promised, I responded, and after I had responded, at the last minute she tricked me.

  8. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Free learning is my favorite thing on the internet. It totally justifies its existence in my judgment. My kids and I have benefited from it in more ways than I can count.Dani’s tweet whizzed by in my timeline, and I didn’t put it together in my head that it was USV Dani, ha! But I did notice it. It stood out from the other stuff.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      If anything you are significantly underestimating the importance of the Web and its content. A challenge, then, is finding content. Work currently on hold for move to new digs.

  9. JaredMermey

    This is the modern flash card

  10. jason wright

    Hey, it’s my investment thesis rounded down for the benefit of the “free learning” sms generation (the old people who should know better).