Archive of posts with tag 'startups'

The Challenge of High-Capital Startups

August 17, 2022 • #

Geospatial analytics company Descartes Labs recently sold to private equity, in what former CEO Mark Johnson calls a “fire sale.” This post is his perspective on the nature of the business over time, their missteps along the way in both company identity and fundraising, and some of the shenanigans that can happen as stakeholders start to head for the exits.

Not knowing much about Descartes’ actual business, either the original vision of the product or its actual delivery over the years, I don’t have...

Notes on Operating Well

June 27, 2022 • #

Sam Gerstenzang wrote an excellent piece a couple weeks ago with operating lessons for growing companies, driven by his learnings from the product team at Stripe. Personally, I’ve got a decade or so of experience as an “operator” at a “startup” (two words I wouldn’t have used to describe my job during most of that time). Since 2011 I’ve led the product team at Fulcrum, a very small team until the last few years, and still only in the medium size range. So...

Jobs Clubhouse Does

February 23, 2021 • #

If you’re on the internet and haven’t been living under a rock for the last few months, you’ve heard about the startup Clubhouse and its explosive growth. It launched around the time COVID lockdowns started last year, and has been booming in popularity even with (maybe in-part due to?) an invitation gate and waitlist to get access.

The core product idea centers around “drop-in” audio conversations. Anyone can spin up a room accessible to the public, others can drop in and out, and, importantly, there’s a sort of peer-to-peer model on contributing that differentiates it from podcasting, its closest analog.


Weekend Reading: Guide to SaaS, a Few Rules, and Starting a Company Now

September 26, 2020 • #

📕 Stripe’s Guide to SaaS

Stripe Atlas has a great batch of guides on various parts of company-building.

📜 A Few Rules

Some great random clippings from Morgan Housel. I’m currently reading his latest, The Psychology of Money, which is great so far.

📈 The 10x Advantage of Starting a Company Now

In many markets during COVID, startups have a host of advantages over their incumbent competitors:

Consequently, growth and innovation efforts are quickly deprioritized or even fully...

Strategy for Startups

August 28, 2020 • #

In his article “Strategy Under Uncertainty,” Jerry Neumann contrasts the traditional Porter model of business strategy with one more suited to startups, the former being modeled around mature organizations operating in known competitive spaces, the latter around startups moving in opaque environments with higher uncertainty and more moving parts.

In the piece he defines “strategy” as a framework for “how to make decisions in situations that are not yet known.” To have a purposeful, intentional approach to an objective, whether in war, sports, or business, you have to formulate a model for predicting...

Weekend Reading: Raising Less, the Adjacent Possible, and Fire and Motion

August 15, 2020 • #

🧰 There Are More Uses For A Screwdriver Than You Can Calculate

Biologist Stuart Kauffman on biological functions and the “adjacent possible”:

The unexpected uses of features of organisms, or technologies, are precisely what happens in the evolution of the biosphere and econosphere, and the analog happens in cultural evolution with the uses of mores, cultural forms, regulations, traditions, in novel ways. In general, these possibles are novel functionalities, in an unbounded space of functionalities, and so are not mathematizable and derivable from...

Weekend Reading: Timeful Texts, Sumo Startups, and Canva Backlinks

August 1, 2020 • #

🕰 Timeful Texts

A new piece from Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen (beautifully illustrated by Maggie Appleton). Can we make reading a more engaging and interactive learning experience? This builds on previous ideas from the authors on spaced repetition.

🤼‍♂️ Software, Full-Stack, and Sumo Startups

Interesting take from one of Byrne Hobart’s recent newsletters. Contrasting a typical “full-stack” model of company-building and VC funding to a “sumo” model:

The amount of VC funding has been rising steadily, and returns are skewed by a few positive...

Keith Rabois on This Week in Startups

February 20, 2019 • #

When I first heard about his company Opendoor (a real estate startup with the goal of creating faster liquidity for home sellers), I started following Keith Rabois. His Twitter account is a good follow.

This discussion covered topics as diverse as his political views, his original ideas for his companies, and investing principles.