Woo hoo! It’s week #2 of our newsletter that still needs a name (read the 1st issue here). Thank you to everyone who has forwarded this newsletter on to friends and colleagues. If you have open jobs at your startup, just wrote a blog post you’d like us to consider, or have a cool “Request for Startup” idea for the new section we are going to start running please drop us a note with a short blurb no more than 30 words and a link. We can’t promise to include everything, but we’d love to hear from you!
The Best Thing We Found This Week
Peter Thiel is one of the most interesting vocal personalities in the technology ecosystem, and this interview brings together thoughts on his investing strategy, experiences serving on the board at Facebook for the entirity of its existence (14 years), and our personal favorite: a lot more detail around the founding story of Paypal. The headline of the interview is salacious with mentions of our current Cheeto in Chief, a blockbuster celebrity lawsuit, and his move to Los Angeles — but we think the other tidbits we mentioned are the real meat of the conversation.
From the Operators
Carl Tashian of Nerd Coach digs into startup postmortems, finding founder communication and underlying passion deserve more attention in “What Really Kills Most Startups”
Rand Fishkin of SparkToro reminds us that great marketing doesn’t start with optimizing ad campaigns, but rather understanding what the people you want to reach pay attention to in “You’ve Got Product/Market Fit… What About Marketing/Market Fit?”
Mathilde Collin of Front emphasizes the value of building relationships before you raise in in “Fireside Chat with Founder and CEO of Front, Mathilde Collin”
Patricia Aas of TurtleSec lists “Survival Tips For Women In Tech” (isn’t it sobering that such a list is even necessary?) and Knut Melvaer of Sanity follows on with 23 tips we can all do to help make tech better for women in “Making tech survivable: What Can Men Do”
Russell Smith of Rainforest doesn’t think your startups tech stack needs to be a special snowflake in “5 Foolish Reasons You’re Not Using Heroku”
From the Investors
Congratulation to Austin Clements on his promotion to Principal at TenOneTen Ventures
Kyle Poyar of OpenView lays bare the metrics you need to hit to raise a Series A all the way up to Series D in “What Does It Take To Raise Your Next Round In 2018?” The full report is also available.
David Beisel of NextView Ventures shows early stage companies how they’re being compared to their peers in “Seed Stage Startups Are Now Graded on a Curve”
Founder mental health is on the radar this week
- Mahendra Ramsinghani of Secure Octane is now cowriting a book with Brad Feld on Depression, and shares his early observations in “Investors are waking up to the emotional struggle of startup founders”
- Felicis has decided to carve out 1% of all checks for exec coaching and therapy
Michael Seibel of Y Combinator details “How to Email Early Stage Investors” and maybe the era of signaling prestige by getting a warm intro is finally over, at least at the angel stage
Diego Rey of Y Combinator claims that “over the last two years, YC has made more seed investments in bio companies than any other investor in the world.” More over, “the percentage of bio companies in each batch has been increasing linearly since 2011.” in “There Are Now 141 Bio Companies Funded by YC”
Are these bio companies getting financing downstream? LifeSci VC breaks down the stats in “Biotech Venture Deal Terms Are More Startup Friendly Than Ever”
Ali Hamed of CoVenture challenges the investing advice of Warrent Buffett and LPs should take notice in “Investing on an 0–2 Count”
Working at a Startup? It’s Time to Learn About Equity Compensation
Our dear friend and Mattermark cofounder Andy Sparks is working on a new startup, Holloway, building tech to help people find, consume, and improve tactical knowledge. Their first guide came out a few weeks ago, offering a comprehensive overview of stock option compensation.
To learn more, check out “The Holloway Guide to Equity Compensation”
This Week’s Book Pick
“The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood” by James Gleick
Do you know the surprising story of how the Information Age got underway? The Information tells the story from early African tribes and their own form of Morse code, to how England’s need to dominate the seas led tinkerer Charles Babbage on a journey to build the forerunner to ENIAC as early as the 1800s, to information theory pioneer Claude Shannon. After 20 years in software industry, Kevin was surprised to finish the book wondering, “How did I come this far knowing so little about what got our industry going?!”