The Millennial’s Financial Stack, the secret Google salary spreadsheet and the $50K pay raise.

Happy Friday.
(And hello from Lincoln, NE and Chicago, IL this week.)

1. “some of the key myths about success in Silicon Valley are at risk.” [Link] [Tweet]

Ugh. The author accuses entrepreneurs of lying, ignorance and amnesia — that’s a bit much. I’m sure there are a few bad actors in there but the vast majority of people are just trying their best. You simply can’t succeed in this business unless you’re an optimist. That being said, I do agree that there ought to be more transparency between entrepreneurs, their employees and their investors.

That transparency, however, is easier said that done — especially as the number of investors on the cap table increases. I spoke to one founder who has 52 (52!!) individual investors on his cap table and he quietly complained about how he dreaded sending his monthly investor updates because of “all the $10K angels that now want to be armchair quarterbacks and live vicariously through my company.”

If you’re raising money for your own company, consider this:

  • Avoid letting yourself be someone’s first investment.
  • Remember that the amount that an investor puts in can often be inversely correlated with the amount of information they may want on an on-going basis.
  • Run the best fundraising process you can, take the money you can get and avoid running out of it.

2. My Financial Stack as a Millennial [Link] [Tweet]

Remember when we all used to log in to our shitty bank websites? Hah. So any bets on when the big banks going to start their acquisition sprees?

3. “AngelList will be the largest and most profitable venture capital fund, without deploying capital.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is a great explanation of (1) the economics of venture capital funds and (2) where AngelList will make it’s money in the long run. You should read this.

4. There’s reportedly a big, secret spreadsheet where Google employees share their salaries [Link] [Tweet]

More transparency FTW!

5. “Millions of people are beginning to realise they have been sold a dream at odds with what reality can deliver.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you’ve ever wondered what the future might look like, this is worth a read. The real question is whether it’ll take us, as a society, 20 years or 200 years to get there.

6. “This seems obvious, but you’d be amazed.” [Link] [Tweet]

If nothing else, read the section where the author talks about pivots and uses a compass to visualize them.

7. “there is plenty of opp for a wide range of investors and entrepreneurs, and a healthy economy depends on diversity” [Link] [Tweet]

This is the most coherent overview of the changes in private market investing that I’ve read in recent weeks. It’s not possible to predict the future accurately but it’s safe to say that the venture model of the past 30-40 years doesn’t really work in today’s world — venture capital firms and angel investors need to think of the business of investing as a startup itself.

8. “In the past, Ms. DeLoge never made as much as $30,000 a year. Her salary now is nearly $80,000.” [Link] [Tweet]

When mainstream America realizes that a 3-4 month coding course might give them a $50,000 raise, we’re going to see a lot more coding schools. Wait, we already have a ton of coding schools. This should be fun — let’s see who takes over the market. 🙂

9. “A lot of people think that you have a shovel and you dig. That’s not the way it works.” [Link] [Tweet]

OK, so what they’re telling you is that you probably won’t ever be able to dig a tunnel for yourself. No underground lair for you (unless you’re El Chapo or Batman).

10. “They will switch housing and jobs as frequently as necessary to improve their quality of life.” [Link] [Tweet]

Those damn Millennials, shaking shit up again. (You’re welcome.)

On Lincoln, NE (and everywhere else)
I keynoted the Nmotion Demo Day last Tuesday but, more importantly, 500+ people attended it. If you’re on the coast or some other big city, this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you.

So, a quick story: in July 2011, I was on a cross-country drive and stopped over in Lincoln. A quick Google search turned up no startup events, no coworking spaces and I simply couldn’t find anyone that seemed to be associated with the startup/tech community.

When Brian Ardinger asked me to speak at the event, he mentioned that he expected ~200 attendees so I agreed and scheduled my flights for a quick in-and-out. A few weeks later, he sent me a quick update and mentioned that they had 525+ RSVPs (and still climbing). That caught me by surprise considering I couldn’t find anything related to the tech community just four years earlier so I asked to spend an extra day there to meet as many founders, investors and corporates in the area.

Long story short: Lincoln’s come along way in four years but it’s growth is just one example of what’s happening in smaller cities all over the US and abroad. It’s fascinating to watch.

(Any interesting events coming up in your neck of the woods? People sometimes tell me I’m a pretty good speaker. 🙂

RMR Capital FTW.

Last week, I told you about my first world problem: I wanted to try out an Apple Watch Sport but wasn’t ready to cough up $400 to do just that. Ten of you stepped up to the plate — you’re all pretty awesome and I really appreciate it.

I ended up accepting the offer from the first people that responded: Russell Rosenblumand Ed Pizzarello of RMR Capital. I’ve been wearing it since Tuesday and I’m still learning to use it. I’ll probably write up more detailed thoughts in the next week or two but, for now, the biggest change has been that I don’t carry my phone in my pocket or hand very often anymore. That’s resulted in me drastically reducing the habitual email checking every few minutes that I’ve been doing for far too long. Anyway, back to you Russell and Ed — thanks for making this happen for me. 🙂

Have a great weekend!