(Pretending to be) crushing it, crappy angel investing advice and tech’s impact on society.

Happy Friday.
(Hello from Ashburn, VA where I’m just now getting off a flight from Greenville, SC. It’s good to be back… until I leave on Sunday for a few days of tech, VC and other smart people in Kelowna, BC.)

1. “Bottom line: You can see the impact of mobility, social, the cloud, and broadband on society.” [Link] [Tweet]

Take a look at the chart of public tech company stock prices over the past year and you’ll immediately see how quickly things can change in this industry. It’s a solid reminder that technology is pushing into every industry now — if you’re not thinking ahead, you’re already behind.

2. “80% of the writing about angel investing is total crap, written by inexperienced amateurs who have never done it.” [Link] [Tweet]

Ignore the article’s title, read the rest of it and you’ve got a really good overview of angel investing — especially the challenges. If you’re lazy (why are you even reading this email?), it boils down to this: angels should use AngelList Syndicates for individual deals, angels should invest full-time if they want to go direct or angels should avoid investing entirely to focus on building their own companies.

Yep, sounds about right.

3. “You see all those headlines of companies just crushing it, but you know what the founders are really going through.” [Link] [Tweet]

Startups have been Hollywood-ized and, for better or for worse, everyone’s trying to be a founder these days — mostly for the wrong reasons. This should be required reading for that friend of yours that has a cool idea and is considering quitting their job to prove their commitment.

4. if I was 10 years younger: @AngelList Analyst Program [Link] [Tweet]

If you’re a recent graduate and have ever considered a career in venture capital, you should hustle hard to get one of these slots. You’ll likely be exposed to more things in 12 months at AngelList than you would probably see in 6 years at a “regular” firm. Deadline is Aug 23, hurry up.

5. “Work hard, know your sh*t” [Link] [Tweet]

I love this — especially the part about confidence, entitlement and deserving it.

6. “I hate it when people ask me how things are going and all I can do is give them a vacuous response.” [Link] [Tweet]

THIS. So much this.

On a related note… if you ever have a burning desire to receive unsolicited advice: have a baby, start a company or become an investor.

7. “Google can’t organically grow themselves to $1T fast enough and they have decided to financially engineer it.” [Link] [Tweet]

Three thoughts on this:

  • Someone’s going to build a $1T company in our lifetime. Crazy.
  • Google’s going to go after the financial industry. Totally plausible.
  • Sad but true: “The rest of America won’t take Google as a financial conglomerate seriously until they sponsor a PGA event.”

8. “Yet again, a great time to be a founder…” [Link] [Tweet]

I’ve seen this “bang bang” fundraising up close recently as well and I’m not sure what to make of it. For the most part, the founders and investors are behaving rationally given the circumstances: founders see an opportunity to raise more money and investors see an opportunity to get in earlier.

9. “As a VC, I have to make bets on where the world is going. So, I follow the attention.” [Link] [Tweet]

That statement above captures the challenge (and the opportunity) of working in venture capital. As the author says, “the behavior of the young is predictive of the future.”

10. “even if a job is just a job, you can still have a profound impact on someone else’s life.” [Link] [Tweet]

Another reminder that actually giving a shit about getting good at something is good for you and good for others. My absolute favorite book on this subject is So Good They Can’t Ignore You (affiliate link) and I recommend it every chance I get.

On Doing Interesting Things
As I mentioned last week, 1776’s acquisition of Disruption Corporation is complete and I’ve decided to move on from 1776. If you’re working on something interesting and think I can help, hit ‘reply’ and tell me about it.

Kelowna, BC this week.
Any chance you’ll be there Sun PM – Wed AM? If so, let’s link up. (Any interesting events coming up in your neck of the woods?)

Apple Watch Week 3

More thoughts:

  • Checking for notifications on the watch seems to be less rude than pulling out your phone in a meeting. So, there’s that.
  • On that same note, it always takes two hands to operate the watch. That’s one area that the phone wins on.
  • The lag time is terrible. Checking the time, pulling up an app, replying to texts via Siri — everything seems to take forever. Ugh.

Thanks (again) to Russell Rosenblum and Ed Pizzarello of RMR Capital for letting me borrow your Apple Watch for a bit.


A few of you asked about getting the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me here: @paulsingh. Sometimes I write stuff too.

Have a great weekend!