You should enjoy what you do, your t-shirts suck and (I’m going to visit you in an) Airstream

Happy Friday.
(No travel this week, hello from Ashburn today where I’ve been hunkered down working on the new #resultsjunkies community. More on that later. For now, will you please click one of the buttons above and share this with your friends? Me love you long time.)

1. “Many of the startup t-shirts I see are completely worthless ” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m going to save you some time: I use Next Level 6210’s for my men’s shirts and Next Level 6610’s for my women’s shirts. They’re super comfortable and are pretty cheap even on small orders. It makes me proud to see people wearing my company t-shirts all over DC (and places as far away as South Africa and India)… even if they’re just wearing the shirts to be comfortable.

PRO TIP: I’m a big believer in building culture through schwag. I order the Charcoal colored shirts for my own staff and Midnight Navy for everyone else. It’s a small (and relatively subtle) difference in the colors but the sense of pride it instills is tangible. Ilove Josh’s suggestion to put the current year on shirts, I’m going to do that from now on. (Keep reading below… a little further down, I may or may not be suggesting that #resultsjunkies schwag is on the way.)

The absolute best part of this article, IMHO, is that Josh includes a spreadsheet for calculating the various sizes you’ll need to order. PAY ATTENTION TO THAT SPREADSHEET.

2. “Today we are experiencing a dangerous cultural shift toward the expectation of instantaneous response.”  [Link] [Tweet]

Nothing surprising here. We all carry phones and, subsequently, we expect everyone to always be accessible. If you’ve got my email or phone number, you know I’m terriblyhard to reach. It’s not laziness, I’m just trying to stay focused on getting my work done. (OK, maybe I’m a little lazy too.)

3. “If your product costs $30 to produce and you sell it for $99 you make money, right?” [Link] [Tweet]

If you look past the aggressive assumptions here (seriously, what sort of hardware product “only” takes 9 months to develop?), this stuff is pure gold. You can easily use this same information in your software business as well. Pay attention to that margin, y’all.

4. “So many people are buying Airstreams that the company says it’s selling five times as many as it did in 2009.” [Link] [Tweet]

YOU GUYS, two things make me happy on this one:

  1. You actually clicked on this article enough to make it the 4th most read link in my stream this week. You must love Airstreams as much as I do. (Great minds do think alike, I suppose.)
  2. BECAUSE AIRSTREAM.

OK, I have to tell you a secret: I can’t seem to shake the idea of buying an Airstream, hitching it to my pickup truck, plastering it with logos of your companies and then driving all over America to visit as many startup communities as I possibly can. Is that crazy?

I imagine I’d pull up in your city, roll out a keg, open up some lawn chairs and we’d throw a little shindig for every entrepreneur within 25 miles. It might get a little rowdy but we’d have fun.

How do we make this happen? (I’m being serious.)

5. “I wear jeans, and don’t frequent Nordstrom. But most of the time, I like waking up in the morning.” [Link] [Tweet]

Fun fact: I went to San Miguel de Allende a couple years ago, found a mariachi band and proceeded to march them into the home of one of my portfolio companies. Hilarity ensued. True story, I’ll show you the videos when we see each other.

Seriously though, don’t work on stuff that doesn’t make you happy. Ever.

6. “The longer I do this the more humbled I become.” [Link] [Tweet]

If you’re planning to raise money, you should read this. Also, it’s Mark Suster — that dude is smart as shit. More importantly, you should read this and form your own opinion. Investors (like most armchair quarterbacks) can be “directionally correct” but only founders in the trenches should be making the final calls.

7. “It’s like being in Hollywood, but with less-good-looking people.” [Link] [Tweet]

Yep.

8. “you realize that the drop pales in comparison to all the gains the market has made over the past decade.” [Link] [Tweet]

Look, I don’t know how to predict the future and neither do you. The important thing to understand is that the losses we faced earlier this week were tiny in comparison to the gains the market’s made over the past few years. Perhaps more importantly, the markets are up at the end of the week now.

TL;DR: business as usual. Focus on revenue. Focus on your customers. Focus on your employees.

9. “women appear to be the ones capitalizing on this shift in the workplace.” [Link] [Tweet]

People skills. You need them. (PRO TIP: learn how to communicate and inspire. Look at my book recommendations below.)

10. “research on the effects of frequent travel finds 3 consequences: physiological, psychological, emotional & social.” [Link] [Tweet]

Best part of the article: “So these may be problems of the 1% (or the 3%, or the 5%). But they’re real enough regardless. By all means feel jealous of acquaintances’ Instagram photos of exotic meals and faraway attractions. But harbour a small amount of concern as well.”

There’s no way I can disagree with anything the author says but I don’t know any other way to do my job. Entrepreneurs are rising everywhere, great companies are growing everywhere and communities are thriving everywhere — traveling nearly constantly to see them all seems like the least-worst way to get a pulse on everything happening everywhere else.

On Books That Make You Smarter
OK, so apparently you people like books — I knew you were smart. I’ve recommended So Good They Can’t Ignore You and The Charisma Myth so far. What’s the latest book you’ve read (and recommend)? I’ll share the most common suggestion I get in next week’s newsletter.

(Actually, while I have you: have you bought one of the new MacBooks? If so, what do you think? I’m considering picking one up to replace an old MacBook Air.)

Apple Watch Week 5

OK, so I’ve had this watch for a month now and it’s time to make a decision. Do I keep it or send it back?

My only hang-up at this point: are the benefits of the watch worth $400 at this point in time? I really can’t decide. Help?

Thanks (again) to Russell Rosenblum and Ed Pizzarello of RMR Capital for letting me borrow your Apple Watch for a bit.

Miscellaneous

1. If you find this newsletter useful, will you please share with at least one friend? (Don’t be shy — sharing is caring. Also, I might send out some sweet schwag to the people that refer the most friends. No, that is not bribery.)
2. I kicked off an experiment this week: #resultsjunkies community. I’m intentionally keeping the initial group small — we’ve got 20 extremely smart investors, family offices, accelerator directors and founders already interacting with each other. Apply to join. (Flattery might work on me.)
3. What else can I be doing / creating / writing to be more helpful to you? Hit ‘reply’ and let me know.

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.

Have a great weekend!
-P

P.S. Don’t forget to share this newsletter with at least one friend. 🙂

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