Monthly Archives: October 2017

ABL

Always be learning has been a constant thread in my life. I think anyone who goes into tech probably accepts that without moving forward one will be left behind. And yes – the pace appears to be accelerating.

I wrote this one some time back :: https://seedvc.blog/2017/07/30/always-be-apprenticing/

I still feel there are other ways to learn – one way is to apprentice. I am sure there are many others.

Someone at worked shared this read the other day :: https://medium.com/the-mission/why-being-great-is-so-much-harder-than-people-realize-c91616b18bc9

Wow. Eye opening to say the least.

This is telling:

The explosion of knowledge and the corresponding decay make one thing clear: we need to put a bigger priority on constant learning — as big an emphasis as we put on getting our optimal daily dose of nutrients, exercise, and sleep.

The whole article is a good read and will remind you to think about how to learn and to make time for learning. For me reading works but I find podcasts are pretty awesome too but I keep trying to figure out how I can learn a new craft or skill more regularly.

Brain exercise of sorts.

Have a nice weekend!

Breakfast with Gary V

gary_meHad a pretty awesome morning. I have read one of his books and for sure follow his LinkedIn posts. Hard to escape Gary V.

I knew he was coming to town and fortunately got invited to a private breakfast at PropertyGuru. A few of the local luminaries, myself and the PG founders were in attendance.

No agenda. Just a frank discussion about Asia, politics, startup life and Gary’s plan for the future. One thing that is pretty amazing about Gary is what he has created in VaynerMedia over the last few years but also his candidness about his plans. Apart from wanting to own a football team – he has plans to buy up distressed brands and rebuild them. I bet it will happen.

During our breakfast, or basically his every move, Gary has a videographer filming all the time. He says he plans to leave the videos to his family for eventual usage. Amazing if you think about it.

I learned a lot in 60 mins. I had a ton of questions rolling around in my head all day.

Thankfully the week is only half over. I have ideas.

BTW – VaynerMedia is coming to Singapore!

Update: https://www.mumbrella.asia/2017/10/gary-vaynerchuks-agency-vaynermedia-to-expand-into-asia-with-office-in-singapore

Interesting times.

I just finished up reading The Four,  and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a quick read but I learned a lot and has me thinking anew about some things. The career advice is something I wish I had gotten in my 20’s. The way he lays out how to approach early jobs and the tradeoffs to take is solid advice. Looking back I could have played the field much better but I am super thankful I have landed where I am.

Exciting times at Jungle – that’s for sure :: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/tencents-grace-xia-joins-singapore-vc-jungle-ventures-84746/

I am somewhat new to VC and still finding my way but grokking it fast and loving every second of it. It’s a new challenge everyday but at the same time I can easily see honing my craft for years to come and still finding it all exciting.

However the world of VC is changing and the old models or ways of doing things will and are changing. It is not just about capital anymore and on top of that the ICO market will alter the landscape even further. I will admit that the ICO model is still something I am trying to wrap my head around since the scam to not scam ratio is still pretty out of whack but this may change. However I envision alot of pain and lawsuits yet to come.

This post from Fred is a master class in reason though and not only reflects on a how he has put together his firm but also suggets how his firm is thinking about the future. I am going to read this over a few times – so much in there to take notes on.

http://avc.com/2017/10/our-model/

For anyone not realizing it – VC is the long game:

It is also important that all of our partners participate in this model. It takes seven or eight years before we can expect a new partner to contribute and Albert, who joined us in 2008, has produced the last two high impact exits with Twilio and MongoDB. John, who joined us in 2010, has already contributed one in Lending Club. I have no doubt that Andy, who joined us in 2012, and Rebecca, who joined us this week, will produce their share of high impact exits. Andy already has several in the pipeline.

I also love his view of the model:

So this is our model. Keep the fund sizes small. Make investments early so we can buy meaningful ownership for not a lot of money. Keep investing round after round to maintain and/or grow our ownership. And have enough high impact portfolio companies that we can get two or three of them per fund.

One take-away from Fred and that was echoed in The Four is:

But the market has changed a lot with large incumbents taking up more and more white space in the internet sector as we have known it.

This also scares me. I think about the dominance of the big guys and how this is affecting VC, tech and the world at large.

Not sure what to do about it.