How to stay relevant, how to get more opportunities to win big and the real metric for comparing companies.

Happy Friday.

Over 200 people came out to hang with me this past Monday night in DC, you all are the best — thanks for coming! We’re now up to 29 cities (across 24 stops) now for the tour, the full list is available here.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, please grab a (free) ticket to the events before we run out of space. I arrive on March 13th and the final schedule is now online, here’s the link for details and to RSVP:

If you’re interested in angel investing with me this year, please consider joining my my AngelList syndicate. And, as usual, if you’re in the DC Metro area and looking for a place to work (and hang out), join me at Brickyard Ashburn. If you mention that you learned about it through my newsletter (or you just hit reply now), I’ll hook you up. 😉

Lastly, the Airstream’s now got a little vinyl on it — here are a few teaser images. Follow me on Instagram, yo.

1. “valuations are based on what the company might accomplish, not what it’s actually accomplishing.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is something that founders (and many inexperienced investors) have a hard time grasping: for early stage tech-enabled companies, potential is everything. For everyone else (and every other company stage), actuals are everything.

2. “Gross profit, not revenue, is the metric companies should be using to compare themselves.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you’ve seen more than a few pitches, you’ll notice that everyone’s showing some sort of revenue number now. As with most things, there’s some good and bad to it.

Having revenue is generally a good thing as long as you understand that the only way to compare companies in an apples-to-apples manner is via their gross revenue.

3. “But the App Store’s middle class is small and shrinking. And the easy money is gone.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you plan to pitch (or invest in) an app-based company this year, I hope you take five minutes to read this today.

Here’s a sneak peek: “There are now more than 1.5 million apps in the App Store (Android users have 1.6 million to choose from), but by 2014, the majority of Americans were downloading zero apps per month. And it turns out people simply don’t use most of the apps they do download. According to ComScore, the average person spends 80 percent of their time on mobile devices using only three apps.”

4. “Yes­ter­day is ir­rel­e­vant” [Link] [Tweet]

If you want to stay relevant in any industry, you’ve got to be constantly reinventing yourself.

5. “Growth needs to become everyone’s job.” [Link] [Tweet]

TL;DR: avoid talking about minutiae at meetings and focus on the KPIs needed to grow. Everything else will sort itself out.

6. “there’s been such enormous growth and opportunity that it’s created some challenges for happiness” [Link] [Tweet]

OK, so people are moving out of the Valley — I guess that’s a good story to write. But, since when did people in the Valley (and their moving decisions) become a story.

Here’s the real story: the number of smart and talented people looking to move to the Valley is decreasing. (And that’s why I’m doing my tech tour this year: because it’s increasingly important to bring functional expertise, venture capital and the media spotlight to the places that these people have already chosen to live and work.)

7. “it’s important to take the leap of faith and give 100%. Otherwise it’s very hard to succeed.” [Link] [Tweet]

Before you try to convince anyone else to join your team (as an employee, investor or anything else), you’ve got to take the leap first.

8. “Fear of missing out is a paralyzing force.” [Link] [Tweet]

Key advice: “It’s more important to keep moving forward with a good decision than to slowly optimize for the best decision every time.”

9. “Listen To Trusted Sources And Take The Freakin’ Meeting” [Link] [Tweet]

Hindsight is always 20/20. As a general rule of thumb: be nice to everyone, be helpful to everyone and get your own work done. (If you figure out how to do all three of those all the time, I’ll pay you to teach me.)

10. “If you keep your overhead low, you get more opportunities to win big.” [Link] [Tweet]

I wish someone had shared this advice with me a decade ago. I grew up in the Washington, DC Metro region (Great Falls & Ashburn, if you know the area) and, IMHO, having things tends to be the culture around here.


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh. Sometimes I write stuff too. You can always find me on Slack, apply to join.

Have a great weekend!


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