The heroin drip of VC, tough questions around profitability and the best way to stop losing money.

Happy Saturday.

I’ve spent the last few days meeting founders, investors and policymakers in Taos, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. New Mexico’s an interesting place — more on that in a blog post soon. Tonight, I’m parked in Casa Grande, AZ where the Airstream’s electrical systems will get some much-needed upgrades to support the tour. I’ll fly back to DC tomorrow and am looking forward to catching up on everything. If you’re in Vegas next week, please join me — I’ll be parked in the Airstream Village and we’re hosting a bunch of events throughout the week.

Add me on Snapchat, my username is resultsjunkies. I’m posting the unedited version of the tech tour, maybe you’ll find it interesting.

1. “Snapchat is, in many ways, bigger than television.” [Link] [Tweet]

I admit that I should’ve taken Snapchat much more seriously a year ago, you should have too. I’ve only been active over the past 2-3 weeks and the engagement is surprisingly higher than I expected.

For me, the key is to understand that Snapchat’s different from my other social media efforts. If Twitter has my thoughts and Instagram shows the “prettiest” parts of my life, Snapchat shows the rough / unedited reality. No wonder the engagement is higher, it feels much more authentic.

2. “Without operating experience, the road to successful VC will be tougher and longer, less fun and even more muted.” [Link] [Tweet]

Something that people don’t consider when they actually get that role in the VC industry: it’s nearly impossible to get another job after you’ve been a VC.

3. “Dangerous companies are dependent on venture capital. It’s like a heroin drip.” [Link] [Tweet]

One of the most refreshing (and mostly unexpected) things I’ve seen as I tour across the country: there are so many bootstrapped companies that have little-to-no interest in ever raising outside money.

You don’t have to raise money to be a great company.

4. “That’s the business we’re in: Buy our software, sell more stuff.” [Link] [Tweet]

It’s hard to tell where reality ends and exaggeration begins. Regardless, don’t ever let your culture look like this.

5. “Be prepared for tough questions around profitability.” [Link] [Tweet]

Founders seem to have forgotten that your first round of outside money is the easiest to raise. After that, the number of questions and the amount of scrutiny skyrocket.

If the pitch deck you’re using for your second round looks like your first round, you’re in trouble.

6. “Community hasn’t taken a backseat — but VCs are being left behind” [Link] [Tweet]

The only VCs (and angels) that are getting left behind are those that think that they’re capital is somehow better than everyone else’s.

7. “The first and most important thing you can do is minimize the amount of money you invest in your losers.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m curious how other investors think about something: yes or no — do you prefer to lead inside rounds in your own portfolio companies? Why?

8. “As for technology, my working definition is: a tool that radically solves problems.” [Link] [Tweet]

My favorite line: “Indeed, the printing press was once technology, as was writing — as was the wheel.”

9. “follow-on rates are also a core metric and critical to understand a young fund’s performance.” [Link] [Tweet]

If your portfolio companies aren’t growing, you’re in trouble.

10. Do we need a #10?

I’m thinking of changing things up a bit with this newsletter — is there something else you’d like to see? (eg, should we reduce it to 5 of the most interesting articles and I’ll write a longer personal piece in each newsletter? something else?)


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!


P.S. If you loved this newsletter, share it with a friend. If you hated this newsletter, share it with an enemy.