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Who Made a Bet on You?

This week Brad Feld’s dad wrote a thoughtful post on how he started to see the spark of talent in his son and decided to buy their first family computer so Brad’s talents could keep growing. It got me thinking about all the people who made bets on me. Like many people, my mom immediately comes to mind. But I also think about a great teacher, Jim, who taught me about taking all my programming skills into business. Or my internship mentor Bill who taught me most of what I know about hiring.

Who are the people that believed in you and made early bets? If you feel like sharing, write to us with your story. I’d love to share some of these next week.

From the Operators

Steph Smith of Toptal does the most in depth pieces on remote work I’ve seen. She took ideas from several great business books. For example, extending Give and Take by Adam Grant she emphasizes why celebrating givers in remote environments is doubly important, given their lack of visibility.

Investor twitter was in their regular tizzy about inflated valuations for YC companies this week. Jason Crawford of Flexport had a great thread on Twitter going beyond the platitudes and exploring founder psychology and dangerously inflated sense of progress.

Though unrelated to startups, I loved the David Perell’s interview with Nick Kokonas of Alinea restaurants. The conversation is wide ranging, covering everything from pricing dynamics in restaurants and to how Kokonas started buying up medical equipment on eBay in the early 2000s for gastro-tech cooking.

From the Investors

Brad Feld of Foundry Group made me smile this week with this adorable video of A Robot, A Puppy, and An Arduino. As if that wasn’t enough, he posted a touching story written by his dad Birth of An Entrepreneur. It brought back good memories of my mom spending $2,000 from our very thin family budget on our first family computer in 1988. I ended up learning BASIC on it, and it changed my life.

Brian Laung Aoaeh of REFASHIOND Ventures put together one of the most comprehensive docs on seed fund construction I’ve seen. While not shocking, this is a great one to bookmark and send to anyone that’s thinking of making the leap from angel investing to raising a seed fund from LPs.

Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator discusses Why I Started the Summer Hackers Program. This is a topic heating up for me since we’re trying to accelerate diversity hiring at Quizlet. The next big challenge I see is that we have all kinds of awesome people coming out of coding academies, but the real trick is landing that first job where you get trained in industry practices. There’s a huge opportunity for someone to build a community and help people with that second step.

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