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Day 2,495

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Hello. Again. World.

I have revived my personal blog on behalf of the company, because the World needs my brain.

-Amanda

Yes, I should clarify those details then.

The engineer and I divorced 6 years ago when I was 24, and had no kids together. I had to give him a property during the divorce. Which he has pretty much destroyed. Haven’t even spoken in 5 years.

My daughters father (the one I’m talking about) is an investment compliance consultant. He lives in Tampa near me. Just simply both overworked because our daughter is rather high maintenance (she is 2). As an example, she was up from 12:00am-6:15am this morning because she was overstimulated.

Our schedules keep competing with each other, and we are constantly shuffling stuff between houses. I’m wondering if it may be more practical to realize neither of us are ever getting married anyway (he is in his 40s now). We get along, we might as well cohabit, combine resources, and provide more security.

I’m just worried someone will be touching my stuff. Then their stuff would be co-mingling with my stuff.

Entrepreneurs are the new labor

Everyone should read “Entrepreneurs are the new labor”. And then don’t ask why I, or any experienced entrepreneur, won’t participate in incubators or pitch events.

“A friend who works at a hedge fund and is starting to dabble in startups on the side wanted a quick primer from me on the popular Lean Startup model. After outlining the basic idea, I added some of my own cautious critical commentary.

My friend immediately leaped to the conclusion that I’d been unconsciously resisting: “So you’re basically saying that lean startups are great for investors, and not so great for entrepreneurs” (he also said “bwaahaahaa!”)

Another friend, a battle-scarred tech veteran, reacted to my views with a metaphor that made even me cringe: “So incubators like Y-Combinator are basically a cloud resource for investors, from which to source interchangeable hustlers, who are prized primarily for their youthful energy rather than any deep market knowledge.” So much for the vaguely romantic notion of startup-founding as being somehow qualitatively different from interchangeable drones in a cubicle farm. Different farm, same metaphor.”

I have previously discussed the dislike in the entrepreneur community for Paul Graham’s obsession with streamlining entrepreneurship. Why? Because its deducing entrepreneurship down to a cubicle farm. Which is exactly what we are all escaping from.

Look into the backgrounds of new founders, and you’ll see an increasing # coming from employment backgrounds. Not entrepreneurial backgrounds.

But I don’t believe “entrepreneurs are the new labor” is the correct term. Entrepreneurs would be rather ineffective labor, so that would never work.

It’s really more like “Your employees are the new entrepreneurs”. Perhaps this is really a by-product of more entrepreneurs becoming investors.

Real game-changing companies have & always will come from our entrepreneurs.

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MVP

Our content was the MVP. A long time ago.  People so uncreative these days, can’t think about anything.

Look through the content over time. It looks like it continued to adjust & change. Almost like it was reiterating based on data, while a different company of mine was pivoting around a revenue model. Just like technology does. Somehow, it amassed a bunch of users!

Then it hit high growth rates, just like a technology startup does. Why is that? Is it luck? Why was it able to grow so fast, with seemingly nothing?

Yes, this is sarcasm.

The last post was just someone asking a hypothetical question that wasn’t even close.

Challenge old thoughts.

The purpose of a MVP is to gauge and record consumer interest. Content provides psychological data that technology misses.

Why are company CEOs in content/data, like Facebook, saying their companies are just babies? What do they know, that you don’t? Is their technology even proprietary? Or has the actual technology been around since the 90s? Where is the value then? On the other side: what are the market shifts happening with the millennial businesses? What is going to happen as a natural cause and effect?

A MVP is the product that will provide the highest return on investment vs risk.

What is the MVP?

Discovery vs Validation

Not at all. What I think they’re saying is you have to shift your thinking to get to the next phase.

There is no “inbetween” for startups. You’re either in the discovery phase, or you’re in high growth. Startup Gneome figured out, companies that stay in the discovery phase 2-3x longer grow 20x faster. They also have significantly reduced failure rates.

That would lead one to believe most startups aren’t really startups per se. They think validation is making some pre-sales, go straight to development, and completely skipping the discovery phase. Because it’s very difficult, and no one wants to go through it for that long. Not many investors even know what it is, judging by their responses in Quora.

Many that sell within 3-4 years have really just hyped up their hype phase. Some have a “discovery phase” while executing, but by then the company has usually already scaled. Hence “premature scaling”.

So you have to learn to think 15-28 years into the future. Because that is the average age of a company. And that is your end goal right? Sure you, angels, advisors, etc may all be exited by then. But once you can do that, you can make accurate decisions now that will protect the company’s future.

No matter how many hours I spend staring out a window, at this present moment, I can only project up to $100M in revenue. That is the best my little head can do. And even then, there is no way we can create detailed projections more then 3 years out. Everything else is still very big pictured. It’s still a blurry image in my head.

But I can create a path to navigate the company through the years & through the shifts based on what I discovered by being in the discovery phase. At least.

What we do know, is the IT industry has died. Not in very large companies yet, they are slow. In terms of startup innovation. You have to consider, the current generation of older VCs (‘smart money’) built their careers on the forefront of IT innovation in the 70’s & 80’s. Many of them started their own IT careers as entrepreneurs in their teens- early twenties. This will be their first time seeing a shift away from IT.

I started writing this a few days ago, but am just now getting around to finishing.  

Here are some more No’s so no time is wasted:

  • We don’t entertain capital that has a lengthy process + adds no additional value.  That equals unnecessarily expensive capital in a current market that doesn’t justify it.  If you/your firm however adds value/good match, then that justifies a lengthier process.
  • It is not my preference to submit information, fill out applications, or pitch to formal angel groups that subscribe to traditional philosophies & stages.  This company is built the way it is for a reason.  And we aren’t going to change that just to bypass formal screening processes.  Decisions consider long-term impact/vision.  Not just next quarter, or next month.  I don’t build a company for investors.  I do what is most important, when it is most important.
  • If you have a legitimate question about why something is being done the way it is, then just ask.  Don’t make assumptions.  And you’ll get a very good, logical reason in return of why that decision was made.  ……………This happens to me alot actually, because I’m so quiet.  I’m quiet because I’m thinking, but because it’s silence people feel the need to talk.  Then they eventually talk themselves into an inaccurate conclusion during the conversation.  Instead of just asking.

Or maybe it’s a combination of different things.  The quietness, the being female, being tiny, 30 years old, and you still look like a kid.  Something.  Who knows.

I do not need anyone to send me people or leads for exploration. I have very specific strategies and plans developed to play out in a certain order.

Otherwise everything would be fucked up.

Thank you.