Kubera on Tim Ferris

One of my fav financial tools :: https://www.kubera.com/ , was on the Tim Ferris with Kevin Rose random podcast.

For budgeting I used Google Sheets still but or tracking net worth – nothing like Kubera.

Video is here:

Great Post from Reid Hoffman on boards

When I started as a VC I was trying to read everything about boards – it was the one thing I was worried about. I had experience with everything else but not sitting on a board. There are not many good books on it either.

This is one of the better threads I have seen on it and a nice doc for it.

Takes time to learn to become a good board member but helps to have some direction. My other advice is ask to join board meetings of larger companies so you can see how it works.

After more than 1,000 board meetings at Microsoft, Airbnb, LinkedIn, PayPal, and more…

I've learned that effective boards don't happen by accident.

Here are 8 rituals of the world's best boards: 👇

1. Be inclusive.

Many board meetings are dominated by one or two board members.

The best boards seek out the opinions of everyone in the room, not just the loudest.

2. Fundraise proactively.

Most boards reactively raise money when the company runs out of cash.

The best boards proactively plan for fundraising opportunities like market shifts and inbound offers.

3. Advise, don't pilot.

The worst boards can break a company by dictating priorities.

The best boards take a hippocratic oath of "do no harm". They aren't pilots. They're front-seat advisors.

4. Hire for cofounder mindsets.

The best boards understand this secret to hiring great executives.

People with a cofounder mindset are willing to take risks when success isn't guaranteed.

5. Invest in relationships.

Hollywood idolizes board meetings as the place where crucial decisions are made.

The truth is the best ideas, collaboration, and feedback happen outside the boardroom in informal 1:1 meetings.

6. Tap into individual superpowers.

Everyone has a superpower — a unique combination of skills, experiences, strengths, and networks.

The best boards leverage the superpowers of individual board members, to help the company navigate threats and unlock opportunities.

7. Send personal emails.

How would you feel if you got a personal email from someone on the board of your favorite company?

The best boards send personal emails to help the company sell, hire, and raise money.

8. Think big.

The best boards are the CEO's biggest cheerleader. They inspire the company to stretch the limits of what's possible.

Airbnb famously did this by designing an 11-star experience for guests.

You don't have to wait until your company is as large as Microsoft or as ubiquitous as Airbnb to create a world-class board of directors.

Start today.

I’ve turned these 8 rituals of great boards into a set of tools you can copy and use.

Originally tweeted by Reid Hoffman (@reidhoffman) on November 18, 2021.

Josh Wolfe from Lux shares his redacted Quarterly Report

There is a ton in this. I will have to sit and read all the docs.

Full thread in the post!

1/ Releasing a redacted Lux quarterly letter to LPs.

Some strong views of
-a catalog of an excess of excesses
-what catalysts cause the current market frenzy to end
(preview: LP indigestion)
-what we are advising our Lux family companies
-much more…

2/-The importance of HEIGHTENED HUMILITY in times like these (where source of ‘success’ can be easily mistaken)
-Telepresence helps us connect with far-flung founders but true presence (in person) helps our team connect like never before
-Where a CONSENSUS of CONCERNS is CENTERED

3/ Time travel with us a year hence—
reflecting back on the year that was.

Which of the 2 paragraphs below do you expect to read in Q3 2022?

4/-Is now time for CAUTION or throwing CAUTION to the wind?

-Valuations have risen
diligence fallen &
EXCESS is in EXCESS

-Preparing for the turn—when it comes
is wiser than predicting—when it may

5/ An excess of excesses—or what things wicked may this way come…

As Fed + central banks dole out dramatic distortion of discount rates, duration and the “true” cost of capital into markets…

A scene from ‘Deadwood’ comes to mind…

6/
-In just the last 12 weeks, startups raised more than the entire 99-00 .com boom/bust

-Character is built thru hardship + steep slopes
Yet today’s hero’s journey has given way to flattened slopes

-Thus far all news has been good news—which to realists—portends bad news.

7/ Failures comes from a failure to imagine failure

Good times let guards down
making co’s vulnerable to the silent artillery of time

LP’s whiteboard of GPs coming to market
looks like A Beautiful Mind

indigenstion of LPs + pace of new commitments
cant match pace of new raises

8/…before continuing…

ht @TheRealCarlChi1 for the image of investor swim lanes then + now

9/ The “Hemingway Hinge”…

A few funds with AUM $50-100B taking page from Carlyle,Apollo, KKR + now TPG will…
turn once cultivated intimate partnerships
into calculated intentions to go public becoming institutional corporations, fully diversified supermarkets

10/

-We have benefited from unusual demand—just as we caution against its unlikely persistence in its current form.

-we said 90% of SPACs would be CRAPs

-Some deals will prove…less kosher than a kilebasa sausage smothered in swiss cheese

-The Appointment in Samarra…

11/ Indefinitely Modified Paths—the wisdom of William James & Jurassic Park.

“Life finds a way”… and so do incredible founders
in every cutting-edge industry we find + fund…

12/
Space race is real—over 12 nations have astral aspirations
took humanity til 1961 to launch 1st 👨‍🚀 in space
last mo there were 14 in space @ same time

Do wise things when others are doing provably foolish things
And do what may appear to be foolish that’ll prove to be wise

Originally tweeted by Josh Wolfe (@wolfejosh) on November 14, 2021.

Ch, ch, ch – changes

End of the year but I have kicked off my life changes in earnest as a close to 2019.

Obviously some of you know that I am no longer a VC and have made the shift to a tech management role at AWS ASEAN.

This also means I won’t be doing so much social media or yup – blogging. For the most part I don’t have the time for it and I also don’t have a need to cast a wide net of content in hopes of getting attention. The VC needed that more than the manager at AWS.

However, it doesn’t mean I don’t have something to say but what I want to say has morphed. As a former VC, there is stuff I want to say about it but mostly from the lens of helping those who think they want to be a VC and helping those who think they want to take VC money.

I have stuff about life I want to say and well, I love to write but I need to figure out a better process.

My own consumption habits have changed a ton with most of my consumption either being podcasts or email newsletters. I don’t have time for a podcast so that leaves me one option.

A newsletter.

I don’t know if anyone cares or if I will be any good at it but I’m game if you are.

If at least 25 peeps sign up at :: michaelsmithjr.substack.com then I will give it a go. No promises on how often and how much but I will give it my best effort.

It’s free of course since this exercise has never been about making a living.

Merry Christmas.

Next stop – AWS

I usually write a blog post when I change gigs. I think that has been the custom here for the 10 years I have been pretending to blog.

I will probably write up more about the transition some day but for now it just is what it is.

Let’s recap the past posts:

Site origin post while I was at Yahoo :: https://seedvc.blog/2009/10/27/what-is-this-site/

Leaving Yahoo for Spuul :: https://seedvc.blog/2012/03/27/focus/

Appearing at HOOQ :: https://seedvc.blog/2015/07/26/slight-hiatus/

SeedPlus launch :: https://seedvc.blog/2016/05/31/and-now-you-know-the-rest-of-the-story/

Now I am at AWS and too busy figuring stuff out to write much more but you will still be seeing me in the startup ecosystem.

Till I get settled, things will probably be pretty quiet around here.