Open Everything

My history with things being “open” started in 1999 when I was the CTO for MetaMarkets.com – first Startup to run a real mutual fund out in the “open”.

https://web.archive.org/web/19991012082412/http://metamarkets.com/

We raised a huge chunk of change, 17M USD, and when it all failed I got to wheel my Aeron chair down the street to my SF loft. It was bleeding edge for the open trend and was just a bit too much.

Now you see more and more Open Startups – my favorite is:

https://www.bannerbear.com/open

Fun to follow for the tech, the business advice and watching him consistently grow the company. Impressive.

Now – Open VC. This is super impressive.

https://www.blackbird.vc/returns

I wonder how many more VC’s will do it – guessing not many. Most don’t have those kind of returns so that helps but I think most jut don’t want to share.

I love this trend though and I think as Web3 starts to take hold – more of more of this type of open will happen.

Chris Cantino Web3 Twitter thread

I found myself resonating a lot with this explanation:

1/ We’ve all heard the NFT elevator pitch.

-infinite royalties for artists
-ownership for communities
-24/7 marketplaces
-token-gated unlocks

That’s all well and good, but what NFTs do next is going to 🤯 your mind. 🧵

2/ Retail

Retailers from 7-11 to Gamestop will use NFTs to incentivize IRL transactions, leveraging creators to drive traffic to storefronts.

For example, Yeezy NFTs that only unlock with purchases from Gap stores, or NFTs that unlock exclusive features for Tesla vehicles.

3/ Services

NFTs will unlock access to services and hobbyist communities. Q&As and tutorials with influencer chefs, photographers, doctors, and niche enthusiastic communities will boom.

This will also extend into IRL services like transportation, hotels, and massages.

4/ Activism

Communities where NFT ownership supports political causes will gain traction as millions flow into community wallets.

Imagine a Climate Change NFT collective where sales are directed towards lobbying efforts, and those efforts are coordinated by a community DAO.

5/ Social Feed Marketplaces

Social feeds based on NFT collections will emerge, providing insight into the strategy of top collectors, and a platform for collectors to interact.

These feeds will evolve into social commerce marketplaces, featuring reviews, analytics, and more.

6/ Multiplayer

NFTs will create hive activity by incentivizing group behavior. MMORPGs that unlock levels once 10k users have aped in. Airdrops of rare NFTs to users that have signed contracts to merge their base-layer NFTs.

Collecting is going to become a team sport.

7/ NFT Borrowing Platforms

Because NFTs can unlock temporary access—like entry to conferences—markets for short-term lending are emerging. For example, I’ve personally leant friends $FWB so that they could attend events.

Imagine this as a marketplace: StubHub, but for NFTs.

8/ NFT Indexes

Getting exposure to hundreds of NFTs via indexes will boom as market movers tap collectors for funds.

Imagine a Christie’s NFT ETF. They have the influence to get assets to liquidity—investors will ape into that.

It will also broaden support for NFT communities.

9/ Collateralization

To date, lenders have been averse to NFT holders borrowing against their assets.

But as institutional $$$ flows in, and assets become better stores of value, collateral markets will promise flexibility and liquidity for all NFT holders, not just whales.

10/ Fractionalization

Splitting up NFTs into individual shares gives more people exposure to blue-chip assets, like owning a piece of a cryptopunk.

The result? More liquidity for holders, and more appreciation of blue chip assets as money enters the markets.

11/ DeFi

As enthusiasts become more comfortable staking and farming their holdings for yield, NFTs promise incentive beyond APY%.

NFTs will become base DeFi assets, with community access included. These won't be simple savings plays—they'll also be investments in communities.

12/ Loyalty Exchanges

As brands and creators seek to reinforce loyalty, community behavior will be rewarded with NFTs. Did the member contribute content? NFT. Complete surveys? NFT. Make a purchase? NFT.

Tokens are more liquid and bragworthy than traditional discount codes.

13/ R&D

Brands and creators will exchange NFTs for insights on product development: pain points, marketing claims, roadmap and more.

The NFTs will unlock early access to product releases and potential profit sharing. Brands will track and maintain these key relationships.

14/ Content Submission

Users will submit content like short form videos, reviews, and tutorials in exchange for NFTs. It’s a marketing flywheel.

Rights can be programmed into contracts so that the use of the contributor’s content in advertising could yield them future profits.

15/ Customer Cohort NFTs

Imagine receiving an NFT for being one of the first Air Jordan customers, and how valuable that would be today. How Nike might reward you years later with special access and product.

Cohort NFTs prove that you took a certain action, at a certain time.

16/ Education and Customer Support

Upon demonstrating exceptional knowledge of a brand’s product, users can receive NFTs in exchange for onboarding newbies into the community, or providing support.

This can be exponentially more impactful than a brand employee doing the same.

17/ Bounties

Creators and brands will drop unique quests within communities, rewarding completion with NFTs. This could be anything from completing a questionnaire, to referring members into the community, to attending events.

Bounties can be highly competitive, or open wide.

18/ Leaderboards

NFT communities will gamify by highlighting the performance and participation of top holders.

Top contributors will receive rewards and clout, thereby incentivizing communities to hold and participate in order to secure better returns on their investments.

19/ We are so early, and the future is so bright. The promise of NFT technology to democratize and reward community participation grows every day. This punk is bullish.

For more tweetstorms on the future of crypto, follow @chriscantino.

Thx for reading.

Originally tweeted by Chris Cantino (@chriscantino) on November 10, 2021.

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.