Peter Thiel on Mapping A Life

A good intermediate lesson in chess is that even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Having no plan is chaotic. And yet people default to no plan. When I taught at the law school last year, I’d ask law students what they wanted to do with their life. Most had no [...]

Keyser Soze

“[Keyser Soze’s] supposed to be Turkish…[o]ne story the guys told me, the story I believe, was from his days in Turkey. There was a gang of Hungarians that wanted their own mob. They realized that to be in power, you didn’t need guns or money or even numbers. You just needed the will to do [...]

Investing in Things You Love

I wrote before about lessons I learned while investing. Here’s another. I don’t know if it’s a lesson; probably, more like an observation. I like investing in products that I use or love. Here’s the problem with this. This doesn’t always work out well. And regardless of the outcomes, it can shade your decision-making process, [...]

On Writing

I’ve always been insecure about my writing. This isn’t some falsely modest claim. Growing up, I was much better at math classes than my English and history classes. My grades and SAT scores reflected that. I wasn’t “better” in the sense of getting an “A” in AP Calculus and a “B+” in AP English. I [...]

Things I’ve Learned – 6 Years

You talk about this stuff like you read it in a book. -Ward Abbott, “The Bourne Supremacy” # I’ve been investing in or a part of startups for about 6 years. Given the volume and intensity here at SV Angel, I feel like it’s been in dog years. We’ve been a part of a prolific [...]

James Gandolfini and Napster – The Originals

I’m beyond bummed to hear that James Gandolfini passed last night. There are a lot of reasons. I’m most sad because it’s the passing of his iconic character, Tony Soprano. There’s not much to say here that Alan Sepinwall didn’t capture in this memorial. I watch and read a lot of pop culture and Tony [...]

Clean Deal Terms

Sam Altman has a nice post here on a founder-friendly term sheet. He said one thing there that I agree with 100%, among others: I have an allergic reaction to complex deal structures, as they invariably end up with all sorts of unintended consequences. (link). Lately I’ve seen more complex “deal terms” in early stage [...]

Startups, Growth and the Rule of 72

This essay by Paul Graham is one of the best on startups. In short, he makes the point that startups (and investors) covet growth. Without it, nothing else really matters. I’m not the only one who thinks this was essential reading. With that in mind, more and more startups include their growth metrics either when [...]

Our Next Megatrend

I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.-Steve Jobs, 2010 We at SV Angel invest in “megatrends.” We pick 4-6 investment themes and invest heavily in each one. Some of these trends include: real-time data, online-to-offline consumption, social commerce, collaborative consumption, [...]

Welcome Back, Coach

I am thrilled to welcome (back) Brian Pokorny to SV Angel! He will join as a General Partner starting today. Many people in the tech community already know Brian, a.k.a. “Coach”. He was most recently the CEO of DailyBooth/Batch, a startup that was acquired by AirBnB. Prior to DailyBooth, Brian and I worked with Ron [...]