Today, I’m going to share my favorite blogs about startup investing. Let’s get started.
AVC (A Venture Capitalist) is run by Union Square Ventures (USV) co-founder Fred Wilson. USV is one of the best venture capital (VC) firms in the world.
AVC is the industry blog I check most often. It’s always insightful, entertaining or both. For example, his most recent post is about the Libra Association (the organization supporting the stablecoin project headed up by Facebook). Wilson gives us some insight into the Libra project, one of the most controversial and interesting crypto projects in the world today. Wilson’s firm, USV, is a founding member of the Libra Association.
Yesterday was an important milestone for the Libra project. We adopted the initial charter for the Libra Association, we elected the initial five board members, and we set in motion a number of important initiatives. “We” are the twenty-one founding members of the Libra Association.
Wilson always gives interesting insights into his job, and his blog is always worth the read.
Spearhead is a fascinating new type of investment firm. It gives tech founders up to $1 million to invest in other startups. Spearhead is run by some of the best angel investors in the world, including Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi, the founders of AngelList.
One of the nice things about Spearhead’s posts is that you can either listen to them or read them. And they’re short and to the point. Here’s an example from a recent post titled “Investing Takes Capital, Judgment and Dealflow.”
Some of the best investors I know are incredibly difficult people. It’s hard to please them; they see the problems in everything. A good investor often is a lot more cynical and pessimistic than a good founder.
A good founder must be a rational optimist; whereas a good investor can bounce maniacally between being optimistic enough to see the future and get into the deal, and being pessimistic enough to see the potential downsides and pass on nine out of the 10 deals they see.
Spearhead is a highly recommended read.
Nav.al is the personal blog of Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList. It’s a bit more philosophical than Spearhead’s blog, but I enjoy it. A good example of a post on Nav.al is “Envy Can Be Useful, or It Can Eat You Alive.”
Reaction Wheel is the blog of well-known angel investor Jerry Neumann. He is a bit of a legend in the New York City VC space and has made some incredible investments in ad-tech companies. Neumann is also one of the best writers in the business.
Here’s a recent post that exemplifies what makes Reaction Wheel worth reading: “Why do VCs insist on only investing in high-risk, high-return companies?” Here’s an excerpt:
There seem to be only two ways that small businesses have ever been funded by investors: bank loans and venture capital (I consider people like JP Morgan funding people like Edison venture capital, though it wasn’t called that then). If there is some third way that is better, why hasn’t anyone been doing it?
My final blog recommendation is something of a strange one. No Mercy / No Malice is the personal blog of professor Scott Galloway. Some would call Galloway a critic of the VC industry. He is most well-known for tearing WeWork apart before it became popular to do so.
That original post was titled “WeWTF,” and I recommend reading it in full if you haven’t yet. Here’s an excerpt:
WeWork’s prospectus has a dedication (no joke): “We dedicate this to the power of We – greater than any one of us, but inside each of us.” Pretty sure Jim Jones had t-shirts printed up with this inspiring missive. Speaking of idolatry, “Adam” (as in Neumann) is mentioned 169 times, vs. an average of 25 mentions for founder/CEOs in other unicorn prospectuses.
Galloway is funny, and he makes some good points about the later stages of private investing. Things are frothy in the $20 billion-plus club. Companies have been given valuations north of $20 billion but are never subjected to the scrutiny of public markets. This is a new phenomenon. And we should be paying attention to it.