If I could do it all over again, I’d be a sportswriter. Growing up in the mid-80’s, my favorite thing was to wake up and get the paper-delivered Boston Globe and open the sports pages (an anachronism for anyone born after 1975, probably). I wrote for the town newspaper and it’s the one thing (other than playing sports) that I truly enjoyed as a kid.
I still read some columns today. One column in particular is Peter King of Sports Illustrated. He covers the NFL and mixes reporting, insight and locker-room gossip. He has the best access to teams, key personnel and leaders like an old school Peter Gammons, Will McDonough or Bob Ryan.
One of his features that I love is his weekly “Ten Things I Think I Think” which are quick hit snippets where he humbly pontificates about football and other stuff. With a hat tip to him, here goes my first installment on tech, startups and other stuff:
I think if you wanted to read one thing only to understand the history, philosophy and tactics related to startups, my vote is Blake Master’s notes on Peter Thiel’s lectures for his CS183 class at Stanford. I’d argue that that’s all you really need and will be as relevant in 20 years as it is today. (We are investors in Judicata where Blake is co-founder.)
I think LinkedIn’s product development in the past year is very impressive for a company of its size. Adding and accepting connections is very slick and easy, for example. It’s become my own little [“Minesweeper.”](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minesweeper_(video_game) I’ve done it so much that people probably think I’m moving jobs (I’m not). Some of their “thought leader” pieces are must-reads as well.
I think the most indispensable products for me are swiftkey, moom, boomerang, Instapaper and Instacast. None are SV Angel companies…
I think sanebox was on that list but trying to figure out how to use it with mailbox. (Mailbox and Dropbox were/are SV Angel portfolio companies.)
I think Google is the LeBron James of technology. Their greatness on so many dimensions is so consistent and persistent that we just take that for granted. They are not perfect but criticizing them for various tech shortcomings is like criticizing LeBron because he’s less effective driving left than right. ( used to work at Google so am a Google apologist.)
I think it feels like startup ideas in the past 12 months or so are on average more diverse, bolder and harder. I don’t mean to diss the earlier startups because we also believe that many if not all of the biggest things look trivial at first.
I think I don’t know enough about 3D Printers to say with any data or conviction but articles like this make me think that they may be overhyped in the short-term for many use cases but underhyped in the long-term in others. The 3D printed gun seems inevitable…
I think we at SV Angel are seeing some of our “top” investment opportunities appear on AngelList and the like. So I think the “adverse selection” question is being answered.
I think the food at Blue Bottle Coffee is better than the coffee. And that’s not a back-handed slap because the coffee is very good.
I think that I am forcing this post so I will stop here.