Biking In Paris

We have been coming to Paris regularly for about 15 years and back in 2008, I started using the Velib bike share system and wrote about it here.

A lot has changed in a decade and a half when it comes to biking in Paris. There are more bikes, more bike lanes, and more bikers.

Velib is still a big piece of the Paris bike scene and they have a ton of pedal assist e-bikes in the system now. At most kiosks I see about half regular and half e-bikes. I wish NYC’s Citibike system had that mix in their kiosks.

But I’ve been using a service called DOTT this stay in Paris. Every morning I like to go out to a coffee shop that is a twelve minute walk but a four minute bike ride. So I launch the DOTT app and find the nearest bike which is usually less than a block away and unlock it with my app.

I took this one for coffee this morning:

There are bike parking stations on almost every block in Paris and so it is easy to find a good and appropriate place to leave your bike.

There are also a ton of scooters in Paris but that’s always been the case here. It does seem like the use of car transport is down a bit since we were here two years ago.

Biking around Paris is great. It’s a wonderful city to see in slow motion. Walking is certainly the best way to get around Paris but biking is a close second.

#Blogging On The Road

Traveling Again

On Tuesday night the Gotham Gal and I boarded an overnight flight at JFK and arrived in Paris on Wednesday morning.

That sounds like a normal thing to do and it is something we have been doing together since we met forty years ago.

But we have not done any international travel since November of 2019 due to the Covid pandemic. So for us, it is quite a thrill to be traveling again.

I took this photo last night walking back from an evening out on the town.

Being in Europe is different. The language is different. The people are slightly different. The culture is slightly different. Soaking all of that up and in is so great.

We are here on vacation and I’m not working or seeing folks outside of friends and family. So it is going to be a great couple of weeks and I think it will bring out some great posts about things I’m seeing and thinking. I’ve already got one on e-bikes and biking forming in my head.

#Blogging On The Road

The Metaverse

I’ve been hearing the term Metaverse for at least twenty years and I have always struggled with it. As I told my colleagues last week “I like the real world, I don’t want to live in a video game.”

My colleagues explained to me that I am thinking about it incorrectly. They said that as digitally mediated experiences have become a more important part of our everyday lives, we are already living in the metaverse.

I’ve started thinking about it that way and it has helped me to be more enthusiastic about these digitally mediated experiences.

I read this tweet stream yesterday and I found it very helpful in this new understanding I am developing.

But then I was passing by the Bright Moments NFT Gallery in Soho yesterday and there was literally a line around the block to get into the Bored Apes Yacht Club event. It seemed like there were thousands of Bored Apes NFT owners standing in line for hours to be able to hang out together in person. I texted my colleagues “I guess this metaverse thing is overrated”.

That’s mostly me amusing myself.

But it does suggest to me that hanging out together online is still not quite as much fun as hanging out together in person.

#AR/VR#crypto#NYC

Funding Friday: The Tether Bike Light

I backed this project this morning. The Tether Bike Light is “a bike safety device that projects a safe zone around your bike, responds to road users around you, identifying safe and unsafe roads in your city.”

I like the idea that “locations of overtakes are recorded to identify safe and unsafe zones in your city to help plan safer routing.” That is very cool.

Here’s the video if you want to learn more.

#crowdfunding

Web3 vs Web2

Now that we are beginning to see what consumer applications are like in the decentralized web (web3), it is interesting to compare that to what consumer applications are like in the centralized web (web2).

It became clear early in the 2000s that the big opportunity in the web would be to build large networks of engaged users. That was USV’s initial web2 thesis:

And the way many/most of those networks were built was by delivering single user utility day-one and then building out network effects around that utility.

Chris Dixon called that “come for the tools, stay for the network” in this blog post.

We are seeing a different go-to-market action in web3.

Most consumers start with the token/asset and go from there. Initially, it was Bitcoin and you’d store it at Coinbase. Then it was Ethereum and you’d stake it. Then it was a Cryptokitty and you’d sire it. Then it was a TopShot and you’d collect it and trade it. Then it was a CryptoPunk and you’d make it your Twitter avatar. Then it was an Axie token and you’d use it to play Axie Infinity. I could go on and on but you get the idea.

And what is most interesting to me is that these assets that you start with don’t need to stay in the networks you first use them in. You can move your Bitcoin to your ledger wallet. You can pool your Ethereum on Uniswap. You can list your CryptoPunk on OpenSea. You can use your Axie token to buy a car.

Which leads me to believe that the go-to-market action in web3 is:

Come for the assets, stay for the experience.

I shared that on twitter yesterday and putting it here today.

#crypto

Startups Galore

When you look at the recent Q3 numbers on seed and early-stage VC fundraising, you might think we are in the late stages of a VC bubble:

The words I would use to describe the current environment in early-stage VC are “fast and furious.”

And yet the thing that makes me think this could be the new normal and not the late stages of a bubble is the dramatic increase in the number of people who are choosing to work in or form new startups. It has never been easier to start a company, build a team, and build a product. And many people are choosing to do just that.

It could be that we are in an environment where too much money is chasing too many good deals.

#entrepreneurship#VC & Technology

Funding Friday: Posterized

My friend Stephen sent me a text with a link to this Kickstarter project. I backed it immediately and went one step further than I ordinarily do, I bought a pre-order copy of the book.

The NBA is back in season, I went to the opener on Weds night here in NYC, and it was a thrill to be in the arena watching incredible athletes play my favorite game to watch.

So I am excited to get this book and put it on my coffee table. I will have endless fun rifling through the pages.

And if you are an NBA fan like me, do yourself a favor and watch this video.

#crowdfunding#Sports

The Mainstreaming Of Crypto

We started looking at crypto ten years ago, starting investing nine years ago, and have had a front-row seat to its development ever since. It has been enlightening, exciting, rewarding, but definitely not mainstream.

I think that is changing quickly now and yesterday I saw this tweet:

Though I am on the board of Coinbase, I had not been aware of this partnership until I saw the tweet. Seeing it made my day. Two of my favorite brands in the world are teaming up to educate and increase the awareness of crypto around the world.

That’s going mainstream right there.

#crypto

Working Multiple Jobs

Since 2016, I have been working “half time” at USV and taking half of a partner’s carry. That has allowed me to allocate more time to things like building green buildings with the Gotham Gal, building a philanthropic organization with the Gotham Gal, sitting on non-profit and civic boards, and a few other things.

The truth is I still work at least 40 hours a week at USV, probably a fair bit more some weeks, but I still have time to spend on these other things and my partners understand that I am doing that and my compensation reflects that.

The move away from commuting to the office, spending eight hours a day or more there, and the rise of working remotely has upended so much in the last 18 months and one of the things I am noticing is how many people are doing what I am doing – working multiple jobs at the same time.

I am not talking about freelancing, consulting, and the other forms of working for many clients. I am talking about holding down multiple full-time jobs at the same time. Early in the pandemic, there was a story about a software engineer that had full-time jobs at both Google and Facebook. It was somewhat amusing to read that Google and Facebook were being played like that, but the truth is this is happening all over the place.

In some cases, like mine, the employer(s) know about the arrangement and the compensation reflects it. In most cases, the situation is not transparent for everyone. And that is a problem because eventually, most things become public.

Employers are going to need to wrap their heads around this situation and create plans that allow this. I suspect the reason many employees are not transparent about what they are doing is that their employers won’t allow it. So they do it anyway and keep it under wraps.

Employers are probably reading this and saying “But I need 100% of their time. I can’t allow them to give me only half of their time.” But here is the thing. They are already only giving you half of their time.

I can tell you that being able to work on many different things at the same time makes me better at every one of those things. I have always had that situation in the VC business. I get to work with dozens of companies at the same time. But now I get to work on all of them and also different problems in different industries. It keeps me energized, motivated, curious, and excited. And productive as hell.

I think it is high time for employers to understand that some of their employees, often their best employees, need to work this way and will be happier working this way. The employers that lead on this issue will become the places the best people want to work. And they will be more productive and more successful.

We already have a model emerging where this happens. The most common form of organization in crypto is the DAO and most DAOs have this model of part-time work and compensation that reflects the contribution. I know of many people who work for multiple DAOs, get paid by multiple DAOs, and where all of this is out in the open and transparent to everyone.

I am certain that the model of employees working for multiple companies at the same time is here to stay and will grow over time. The only question for employers is whether they will lead or follow in this new model of work.

#crypto#employment#enterprise

Tracking Crypto For Taxes

For the last ten years, my tax prep on crypto was pretty easy. I have always had a buy and hold mindset and have custodied with Coinbase. So a simple report on Coinbase was all I needed to send to my tax folks. Pretty simple.

But as DeFi and NFTs have exploded on the scene, things have gotten more complicated. Swapping, bridging, staking, buying with ETH, SOL, FLOW, yield farming, liquidity mining. Across chains. On hardware wallets. On mobile wallets. It is giving me a headache just typing all of this into my browser.

So I’m on the hunt for the very best cross wallet/cross chain tax prep software for crypto. I am not seeking to invest in this sector, although I have friends who are. What I am seeking is suggestions from all of you. What do you use to deal with his headache?

If you have suggestions, please click on the link that says “Discuss on Twitter” and leave your suggestions there so everyone can see them. If you must email me, that’s fine too. I appreciate suggestions however you can send them. But I prefer Twitter because everyone will be able to see them.

#crypto