What happens when you fall in love with fundraising, the dispersion of early-stage capital across the US and eating the world one bite at a time. Recipients

Happy Friday.

I’m throwing a kickoff party and happy hour in DC this Monday night. I hope you’ll join me and 175+ other people — I’ll buy the first drink (or two)!  We’ve announced 12 cities for the tour and, just this week, signed on a bunch more: I’ll be pulling my Airstream to 28 cities in the US and Canada this year — I hope you’ll join me at one or more of the stops. (If you want to come, just hit reply and tell me which cities and dates. I’ll make sure my events team helps with your logistics and, where it makes sense, pulls you on stage with me.)

If you’re interested in angel investing with me this year, please consider joining my my AngelList syndicate. (Those backing my syndicate will get first dibs on investor slots we’ve created on my tech tour — you’ll get priority access to some exclusive experiences at each stop along the tour and earlier access to founders that I’m considering investing in.)

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. 😉

1. “The key is to avoid letting sense of urgency become a goal in itself.” [Link] [Tweet]

Whether you’re building a company or a community, this is great advice.

2. “They don’t realize how much the subtle influence of gossip, violence, and drama impacts them.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you can ignore the clickbait title of the article, the rest of this gold. Especially the section on knowing your own daily rate.

3. “I’ve become irrationally dedicated to rational living.” [Link] [Tweet]

This family lives on less than $36,000 a year. In America. And they make it look do-able.

4. I can understand why someone might not want to vote for a Democratic candidate. But, this guy? For reals? [Link] [Tweet]

Anyone see the Republican debate last night? What. Is. Happening. I’m going to leave this right here.

5. “In times of uncertainty, as an investor, my one and only job is to help the founders navigate choppy waters.” [Link] [Tweet]

One of the other great parts of this piece: “Whichever option a founder has to consider, they are emotionally tough on the founders and the companies they spearhead. My job as an investor and a board member is to be truthful, be empathetic and be honest in my feedback to the founders, so that they can continue to make smart decisions about their future. Decisions that allow them to survive, during the harshest of times.”

6. “The founders that fall in love with fundraising rarely go on to be the most successful.” [Link] [Tweet]

More YC advice (that doesn’t really apply to anyone outside of YC and/or Silicon Valley).

Regardless of where you’re located, this is the key bit — tattoo this to your forearm: “The best investors know that the most important thing to figure out at this stage is how much your users love you.  Great engagement and word of mouth growth are magic for fundraising.”

7. “There is something to be said for eating the world one bite at a time. It’s the only way to do it.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is a great follow-on to the early fundraising advice: All you have to worry about is getting one single person to give a shit.

8. “a non-trivial amount of early stage capital is dispersing geographically throughout the US.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you look at early stage tech companies through the lens of a VC, the vast majority of them aren’t worth a second look. And that’s probably true, if your fund is so large that you need companies to exceed a $100M in value for them to return anything meaningful to you.

That’s the problem with much of the tech buzz today: the investor’s fund size dictates the company’s success. It’s the tail wagging the dog.

There’s a time and place for big funds, it’s probably not the early stage. For that, the angels and micro-VCs (<$50M funds) need to step up — particularly outside of the major tech hubs. (Did I mention I’m visiting 28 cities around the US & Canada this year?)

9. “talent is universal, while opportunity is not.” [Link] [Tweet]

For most of us in the tech industry, this is old news. If you’re ready to meet people that may not quite see this coming, crash an event that your local Chamber of Commerce is putting on. Then live tweet the conversations.

10. “The PR industry is built on the pillars of obfuscation of actual work, actual results, and set costs.” [Link] [Tweet]

This is so good: “Your PR firm is an immensely low-burn business. You are very valuable to them, by all means, but a PR firm is very cheap to keep alive, and thus many agencies will gladly take you for a three month guaranteed retainer and spam multiple reporters. Why? Because it’s cheap.”

Firehose

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

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

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