Weekend roundup: the speed of learning, what to read every morning and understanding the lifestyle of building a business.

Happy Saturday.

Hello from Orlando, FL where we’re blowing off some steam after wrapping up the 2016 tech tour. Fun fact: this was my first visit to Disney World and IT IS AMAZING.

Wichita, KS was the 41st stop of the tech tour and it was the best way to wrap up this year. [RECAP VIDEO] We’re going to take the next couple of weeks to rest, recharge, catch up on emails and nail down the 2017 tour. We’re definitely doing this again.

  1. “I now see it’s not speed of doing that matters. It’s speed of learning.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is a sobering look at what happens when you try to grow a bit too fast. To be fair though, 99% of the companies we meet aren’t growing fast enough — or at all.

It’s a fuzzy line but it’s better to be growing too fast (so you can pull back) than to be growing too slow. Default to fast.

2. “I will only meet people who genuinely give a shit about what I do.” [Link] [Tweet]

If someone shoves a business card at you before they learn at least one thing about you, they’re not that interested in you.

3. What do Elite Venture Investors Read Every Morning? [Link] [Tweet]

Email newsletters are the morning newspapers of our generation. I made a quick list of things you should skim every morning.

4. “there is zero correlation between how much money goes into a company and its exit value.” [Link[Tweet]

Many of the founders I meet — especially outside of Silicon Valley — don’t seem to understand that an investor’s fund size usually dictates the minimum size they want you to reach.

Big funds need big exits. Small funds don’t mind smaller exits. It’s a bit more complicated than that in real life but that’s the gist.

5. “I know a lot of companies that failed due to lack of focus.” [Link] [Tweet]

I know a lot of companies that failed due to lack of focus. I can’t think of one that failed because they were too focused.

I can openly admit that nearly every failure I’ve experienced over the past few years was directly related to my own lack of focus.

I’ve got the same 24 hours in the day as you.

Do one thing well and don’t do anything else until you can get that one thing turned into a business that can run reasonably well whenever you’re not involved. Then — and only then — you can start to experiment with other things.

6. “Tesla spends $6 on advertising for every car sold (compared to the $2k+ that Lincoln spends per car).” [Link] [Tweet]

Most purchases (and investments) are emotional, not rational.

7. “Find (hunt down) people who are currently practicing but are not blogging about it” [Link] [Tweet]

For anyone currently looking for growth hacks online, stop reading blogs. Think about it: no one reasonable would openly talk about a good growth hack until it stops working for them.

By the time you read about it, the experts have moved on to the next thing and won’t tell you about it until they’ve exploited it.

The point is that you should be paying attention to what people do, not what they say.

8. “Whether bootstrapped or funded, there is nothing easy about the lifestyle of building a business.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m not sure why people talk about venture-funded companies as it they’re somehow better than their bootstrapped counterparts.

When you’re bootstrapped, you can pretty much do anything you want as long as you continue to grow your revenue. When you’re venture-funded, there are only three ways off the “venture treadmill” itself: M&A, IPO or failing.

9. “It now takes much less time to self-fund a SaaS business to profitability.” [Link] [Tweet]

One of the hardest things about the tech tour has been repeatedly noticing that the “common sense” people have in the Valley isn’t quite common everywhere else.

99% of what people need to know about growing their business is already online.

10. “People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren’t keeping up.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is one of the most balanced things I’ve read about the recent election. Technology is moving faster than ever and the people being left in the wake have few ways to re-invent themselves.


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh.


Also published on Medium.