Why nobody cares about your startups, how to understand Snapchat and who just bought 100,000 Mercedes S-class sedans in a single order.

Happy Friday.

I’m en route to Tulsa, OK and spending the night in Zanesville, OH tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll aim for a winery somewhere near St. Louis, MO — if you’re around, hit reply and let’s see if we can line up a tasting somewhere fun.

If you’re on Snapchat, add me — my username is resultsjunkies. I’m posting the unedited version of the tech tour, maybe you’ll find it interesting. Also, you can laugh at how much of a noob I am. 🙂

I’m still considering making an angel investment in at least three Pittsburgh companies ($100K+ revenue, reasonable valuations, clean term sheets and incredibly smart founders), please join my AngelList syndicate if you’d like the opportunity to participate alongside me. You can invest as little as $1,000 in deals, you get to opt-in/opt-out of deals as you wish — no pressure and more dealflow for you.

1. “Startup is just a glorified word for an SME (small medium enterprise).” [Link] [Tweet]

If you’re calling yourself a startup and you’re wondering why no one cares, it’s time to open your eyes. The only thing that separates your “startup” business from the restaurant down the street is the fact that one of you needs bricks and mortar to exist. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be OK.

2. “Raising money means that the kind of company you can build is now limited.” [Link] [Tweet]

Everyone wants higher valuations but very few people really understand the implications. As your valuations increase, the number of potential exits drops.

3. “The era of bullshit is over. You need to raise now.” [Link] [Tweet]

I can’t say this enough: if you’re spending more than 50% of any investor meeting explaining the product, you’re in trouble. Focus on making something people want, the money will follow.

4“Thus begins Snapchat and why you don’t get it. That’s the point.” [Link] [Tweet]

I have to admit that I’m still figuring out how to use Snapchat. (You better be following me, look for “resultsjunkies” on Snapchat.) That being said, it’s fascinating to see just how much the platform seems to have “grown up” over the past year or two.

5. “The ride-sharing company is reportedly hungry for autonomous cars.” [Link] [Tweet]

When’s the last time that anyone bought 100,000 Mercedes S-class sedans in a single purchase? That’s right, no one. Until Uber came around.

Over the next 25 years of our lives, Uber’s likely to make the most impact to our daily lives. Keep watching.

6. “A lot of founders start as doers but need to grow into leaders.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m sharing this with myself as much as I’m sharing it with you: “Very few people want to be a cog in a machine. Very few people want to be told precisely what to do. They want to be challenged. They want to be given problems so they can find the solution. They want ownership so they can feel proud of their work and care about it.”

7. “It should be clear at a glance just how dependent the American economy is on truck drivers.” [Link] [Tweet]

Fun fact: there are 3.5M professional drivers in the US (and another 5M+ people employed in the trucking industry — there’s a lot more when you consider the international markets. My bet: autonomous trucks will likely flood the market much, much sooner than autonomous consumer vehicles do.

8. “Whenever you make an introduction you’re investing your reputation.” [Link] [Tweet]

There’s so much (crap) content online about people trying to “be the connector” for others. Please don’t fall for it.

I’d rather have you make fewer high quality connections to me than more low quality connections. I’ll bet every penny I have that everyone else around you wants the same.

If you want to get ahead in life, curate your network aggressively.

9. “Being alone, though uncomfortable, allows us to reflect on what we love and fear.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m writing this to you from a quiet (and remote) Airstream tonight — this article’s right. You should try it some time soon, seriously.

10. “solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100% of today’s energy needs.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m not convinced that everyone’s going to drive electric cars in our lifetime but I’m sure that all of our homes will be powered by sun/wind/water sooner than we’re comfortable admitting.

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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