The Value of Data, Part 1: Using Data as a Competitive Advantage

Data is incredibly valuable. It helps create superior products, it forms a barrier to entry, and it can be directly monetized. This post is the first in a 3-part series about building companies that leverage the value of data.

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Fundraising Logistics Talk

I just gave a short talk on fundraising logistics at a Caltech alumni lunch. The talk was loosely inspired by my recent post on raising money from VCs

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Website Update!

I just switched my blog over from Posthaven to Jekyll. If you run into any issues on the site, please let me know!

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The Internet is a Meritocracy

If you own a typical physical store, almost all of your customers live or work within a few miles of your location [1]. Even for big ticket item like cars, 80% of purchases are made at dealerships that are within 30 miles of the buyer's home [2].

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Do Founders Get Value from Investor Updates?

Most investors eventually ask founders to send monthly email updates. These updates can seem like a tedious task, akin to your parents asking you to call them every week when you go to off to college. Since founders are busy and writing takes time, it's tempting to skip updates and hope no one makes a fuss. Besides, monthly check-ins only benefit investors, right? Wrong. Almost every founder that I've talked to finds the act of writing updates valuable, often to their surprise. Here are some of the key benefits of sending updates, from most obvious to most subtle:

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Ten Tips for Raising Money from VCs

Yesterday, Semil Shah wrote a great post about having a process for raising institutional money. Semil observed that the most successful founders usually have a game plan for fundraising, and they execute against that plan ruthlessly.

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What Movies Can Teach You about Pitching to Investors

Pitching is hard, and pitching in different contexts is even harder. I frequently see people struggle to shift from elevator pitches (30 seconds) to demo day pitches (5 minutes) to full pitches (30+ minutes). The problem is most acute for founders who really understand their businesses; they have tons of compelling points and metrics at their disposal, which makes it hard to decide what to include and what to exclude in short presentations vs. long ones.

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Fighting Bad Practices with Successes

There are many problems with how the world of tech operates: discrimination, glass ceilings, poor working conditions, and so on. The state of affairs is much better than how a lot of other sectors work, but there's also a ton of room for improvement. If you are a concerned founder or investor, what can you do to push things in the right direction?

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