Access is everything. Capital, dealflow and judgment are table stakes.

Happy Friday.
(And hello from Denver, CO and Ashburn, VA this week.)

1. “You won’t find me wasting founders’ time on that crap anymore.” [Link] [Tweet]

Aside from the fact that it’s not clear whether Paige got approval from Brian/AirBnB to post all of the details for everyone to see, this is a great reminder that angel investors need to actively seek opportunities. You can’t just expect them to show up on your doorstep — especially when everyone’s an angel these days.

2. “Someday if it works, we’d love to fund 1,000 companies per year like this.” [Link] [Tweet]

Y Combinator doing it big, as usual. Nothing to see here folks.

3. “most people applying to startups do it wrong.” [Link] [Tweet]

This should be common knowledge but, especially for people moving from BigCo to startup, this is a great read. TL;DR: results matter.

4. “Human relationships are the only way that the deal gets in front of the right people and gets taken seriously.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you can ignore the clickbait title, the underlying point is important: unless you’re in the Valley (or find a way to break in), it’s hard to raise money for your company. Things are certainly getting better (rise of the accelerators, anyone?) but we’ve got a long way to go.

5. “When not one hand goes up in a room full of VCs, go there. It is going to be profitable.” [Link] [Tweet]

OK, so here’s the deal: everyone’s investing in Bitcoin, no one wants to admit it and I still don’t fully understand the blockchain. Sounds about right.

6. “Being a founder is easy.  You just start something.” [Link] [Tweet]

Other than the potential for making serious money, I’ve learned that watching founders grow into CEOs can be incredibly rewarding.

7. “We are prideful but only because our doubts can kill us. They come for us, those doubts.” [Link] [Tweet]

This article (and this line especially: “And we’re going to fix your economy so thank us later.”) was my favorite read this week.

8. “Here is the thing – most founders feel like their idea is amazing, and is worthy of an investment.” [Link] [Tweet]

Every first-time founder thinking about raising money should read this: it’s a great summary of how/why VC works. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be more successful in your own career if you can better understand how the other person makes money.

9. “Welcome to the exclusive, 84-member Unicorn Club: the top .14%” [Link] [Tweet]

Unicorns are everywhere, they’re mostly consumer focused, they’re not efficient with their capital and immigrants play a huge role. Great, let’s get back to funding/helping earlier stage companies — kthx.

10. “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this wasn’t possible over two years ago. We are in a new world.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is such a great summary of the HUGE changes happening right now. Consider this: “those who want to invest in YC companies but live in rural Florida can now do so with a click of a button without ever having to meet the direct investor or the company itself.” We’re living in the future, you guys.

Meet me in Lincoln, NE or Chicago, IL?
I’ll be keynoting the Nmotion Demo Day this Tuesday and speaking at Work Design Magazine’s event this Thursday (use “PAULGUEST” as the discount code). Hope to see you there!

Two (Small-ish) Favors?

  1. Forward today’s newsletter to one other person and tell them to sign up. They’ll probably thank you. Also, I’ll buy you a beer when we meet next.
  2. I wear a Fitbit Charge HR daily but can’t seem to justify spending $400 on a new Apple Watch Sport (42mm Space Gray with the Black Sport Band, if you must know) just yet. What’s it going to take to let me borrow yours for a week?

Have a great weekend!