And hello from Des Moines, IA this week (where the tech companies are solid, the coworking spaces are full and the heat index is 115). Next up, Port Huron, MI and then two weeks to catch my breath in DC.
On a personal note, the tour is starting to wind down — just a few more cities left to go and then we’ll wind down the 2016 tour by October and start planning the 2017 edition.I’m taking on a few consulting projects between now and the end of the year. If there’s something I can be doing to help you and/or your local tech scene between now and the end of the year, please hit reply and let’s talk about it.
Reminder: I’m giving away a free DJI Phantom 4. Seriously. Enter here to win (it takes less than 10 seconds, I checked).
1. “it’s hard to argue that Obama the human being has been anything less than a model of class and dignity.” [Link] [Tweet]
Obama’s the role model that we all should be striving to be — as entrepreneurs, leaders and humans.
2. “If this doesn’t describe you, by all means — consider coworking.” [Link] [Tweet]
Having visited 20+ cities on the tour this year, two observations on coworking spaces I’ve visited this year:
- For most coworking spaces, nearly half of the revenue (read: membership) is comprised of employees telecommuting for larger companies. The other half of revenue is mostly comprised of entrepreneurs building their own teams and companies.
- The rise of coworking spaces in the US over the past five years feels like it’s can be largely attributed to filling an existing gap — most telecommuters and entrepreneurs were forced to work from home or coffee shops until coworking spaces arrived. Over the next five years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the telecommuting side of the revenue stream will increase to 70%-80% of coworking revenue.
3. “Entrepreneurship is really just a fancy word for delegation.” [Link] [Tweet]
If you can get past all the paragraphs talking about laziness, the rest of this is pretty solid advice for building a company: think of it as a machine, engineer that machine to product the results you want and hire the right people to run various parts of the machine.
4. “one of the hardest things about making your dream, or your business, or your blog, or whatever is just doing it.” [Link] [Tweet]
Just. Get. Started. (Also, subscribe to Waiter’s Pad if you — like me — don’t have the attention span to listen to podcasts.)
5. “Many family offices have always been Operators and that investment style pervades throughout their office.” [Link] [Tweet]
It’s no secret that more family offices are making direct investments in companies these days. The thing is, however, that they rarely start (or anchor) a round.
If you’re raising money, stick to traditional routes to start your closing (eg, warm intros, active investors, direct 1:1 meetings). Once that’s out of the way, you can use AngelList, family offices and anything else you want to close out the round.
6. “Money is overvalued. Time is undervalued. Optimize for learning quickly.” [Link] [Tweet]
Sometimes I think I’ll sit down to write out things I’ve learned over the years. Then I realize it’s more interesting to read what other people have learned along the way. Then I forget that I should start writing stuff. Oh well.
7. “For Silicon Valley’s political aspirations, Mr. Thiel’s speech is the ultimate high-beta performance.” [Link] [Tweet]
So um, how about that RNC this week? #facepalm
8. “The series A market is undoubtedly in decline. The series B market is booming.” [Link] [Tweet]
Good companies always get funded. Always.
Focus on selling new accounts and growing existing accounts, everything else will work itself out.
9. “You have to either choose to be active and concentrated or passive and diversified.” [Link] [Tweet]
The most common mistakes investors make is that they’re not honest with themselves. The #1 thing I ask investors these days: where do you believe that big returns come from? (Now invest in whatever that is.)
FWIW, I believe the default state of every company is failure and only the founding team can turn that around.
10. “The talent and access to technology are there, but these markets have to overcome significant challenges.” [Link] [Tweet]
Konrad’s a friend of mine and traveling through Europe and Asia these days. His views of the tech scenes there match mine here in the US & Canada almost perfectly. Talent and opportunity are pretty evenly distributed, access to venture capital and functional expertise isn’t.
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 (and the rest of the Results Junkies community) in Slack, apply to join.
Have a great weekend!