More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
5 months ago
Before 2021, most startups had excessive valuations. It is currently causing issues.
Higher startup valuations are often favorable for all parties. High valuations show a business's potential. New customers and talent are attracted. They earn respect.
Everyone benefits if a company's valuation rises.
Founders and investors have always been incentivized to overestimate a company's value.
Post-money valuations were inflated by 2021 market expectations and the valuation model's mechanisms.
Founders must understand both levers to handle a normalizing market.
2021, the year of miracles
2021 must've seemed miraculous to entrepreneurs, employees, and VCs. Valuations rose, and funding resumed after the first Covid-19 epidemic caution.
In 2021, VC investments increased from $335B to $643B. 518 new worldwide unicorns vs. 134 in 2020; 951 US IPOs vs. 431.
Things can change quickly, as 2020-21 showed.
Rising interest rates, geopolitical developments, and normalizing technology conditions drive down share prices and tech company market caps in 2022. Zoom, the poster-child of early lockdown success, is down 37% since 1st Jan.
Once-inflated valuations can become a problem in a normalizing market, especially for founders, employees, and early investors.
the reason why startups are always overvalued
To see why inflated valuations are a problem, consider one of its causes.
Private company values only fluctuate following a new investment round, unlike publicly-traded corporations. The startup's new value is calculated simply:
(Latest round share price) x (total number of company shares)
This is the industry standard Post-Money Valuation model.
Let’s illustrate how it works with an example. If a VC invests $10M for 1M shares (at $10/share), and the company has 10M shares after the round, its Post-Money Valuation is $100M (10/share x 10M shares).
This approach might seem like the most natural way to assess a business, but the model often unintentionally overstates the underlying value of the company even if the share price paid by the investor is fair. All shares aren't equal.
New investors in a corporation will always try to minimize their downside risk, or the amount they lose if things go wrong. New investors will try to negotiate better terms and pay a premium.
How the value of a struggling SpaceX increased
SpaceX's 2008 Series D is an example. Despite the financial crisis and unsuccessful rocket launches, the company's Post-Money Valuation was 36% higher after the investment round. Why?
Series D SpaceX shares were protected. In case of liquidation, Series D investors were guaranteed a 2x return before other shareholders.
Due to downside protection, investors were willing to pay a higher price for this new share class.
The Post-Money Valuation model overpriced SpaceX because it viewed all the shares as equal (they weren't).
Why entrepreneurs, workers, and early investors stand to lose the most
Post-Money Valuation is an effective and sufficient method for assessing a startup's valuation, despite not taking share class disparities into consideration.
In a robust market, where the firm valuation will certainly expand with the next fundraising round or exit, the inflated value is of little significance.
Fairness endures. If a corporation leaves at a greater valuation, each stakeholder will receive a proportional distribution. (i.e., 5% of a $100M corporation yields $5M).
SpaceX's inherent overvaluation was never a problem. Had it been sold for less than its Post-Money Valuation, some shareholders, including founders, staff, and early investors, would have seen their ownership drop.
The unforgiving world of 2022
In 2022, founders, employees, and investors who benefited from inflated values will face below-valuation exits and down-rounds.
For them, 2021 will be a curse, not a blessing.
Some tech giants are worried. Klarna's valuation fell from $45B (Oct 21) to $30B (Jun 22), Canvas from $40B to $27B, and GoPuffs from $17B to $8.3B.
Shazam and Blue Apron have to exit or IPO at a cheaper price. Premium share classes are protected, while others receive less. The same goes for bankrupts.
Those who continue at lower valuations will lose reputation and talent. When their value declines by half, generous employee stock options become less enticing, and their ability to return anything is questioned.
What can we infer about the present situation?
Such techniques to enhance your company's value or stop a normalizing market are fiction.
The current situation is a painful reminder for entrepreneurs and a crucial lesson for future firms.
The devastating market fall of the previous six months has taught us one thing:
Keep in mind that any valuation is speculative. Money Post A startup's valuation is a highly simplified approximation of its true value, particularly in the early phases when it lacks significant income or a cutting-edge product. It is merely a projection of the future and a hypothetical meter. Until it is achieved by an exit, a valuation is nothing more than a number on paper.
Assume the value of your company is lower than it was in the past. Your previous valuation might not be accurate now due to substantial changes in the startup financing markets. There is little reason to think that your company's value will remain the same given the 50%+ decline in many newly listed IT companies. Recognize how the market situation is changing and use caution.
Recognize the importance of the stake you hold. Each share class has a unique value that varies. Know the sort of share class you own and how additional contractual provisions affect the market value of your security. Frameworks have been provided by Metrick and Yasuda (Yale & UC) and Gornall and Strebulaev (Stanford) for comprehending the terms that affect investors' cash-flow rights upon withdrawal. As a result, you will be able to more accurately evaluate your firm and determine the worth of each share class.
Be wary of approving excessively protective share terms.
The trade-offs should be considered while negotiating subsequent rounds. Accepting punitive contractual terms could first seem like a smart option in order to uphold your inflated worth, but you should proceed with caution. Such provisions ALWAYS result in misaligned shareholders, with common shareholders (such as you and your staff) at the bottom of the list.
3 months ago
Meet a Programmer Who Turned Down Microsoft's $10,000,000,000 Acquisition Offer
Failures inspire young developers
Jason citron created many products.
These products flopped.
Microsoft offered $10 billion for one of these products.
He rejected the offer since he was so confident in his success.
Let’s find out how he built a product that is currently valued at $15 billion.
Early in his youth, Jason began learning to code.
Jason's father taught him programming and IT.
His father wanted to help him earn money when he needed it.
Jason created video games and websites in high school.
Jason realized early on that his IT and programming skills could make him money.
Jason's parents misjudged his aptitude for programming.
Jason frequented online programming communities.
He looked for web developers. He created websites for those people.
His parents suspected Jason sold drugs online. When he said he used programming to make money, they were shocked.
They helped him set up a PayPal account.
Florida higher education to study video game creation
Jason never attended an expensive university.
He studied game design in Florida.
“Higher Education is an interesting part of society… When I work with people, the school they went to never comes up… only thing that matters is what can you do…At the end of the day, the beauty of silicon valley is that if you have a great idea and you can bring it to the life, you can convince a total stranger to give you money and join your project… This notion that you have to go to a great school didn’t end up being a thing for me.”
Jason's life was altered by Steve Jobs' keynote address.
After graduating, Jason joined an incubator.
Jason created a video-dating site first.
Nobody wanted to use it when it was released, so they shut it down.
He made a multiplayer game.
It was released on Bebo. 10,000 people played it.
When Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple app store, he stopped playing.
The introduction of the app store resembled that of a new gaming console.
Jason's life altered after Steve Jobs' 2008 address.
“Whenever a new video game console is launched, that’s the opportunity for a new video game studio to get started, it’s because there aren’t too many games available…When a new PlayStation comes out, since it’s a new system, there’s only a handful of titles available… If you can be a launch title you can get a lot of distribution.”
Apple's app store provided a chance to start a video game company.
They released an app after 5 months of work.
Aurora Feint is the game.
Jason believed 1000 players in a week would be wonderful. A thousand players joined in the first hour.
Over time, Aurora Feints' game didn't gain traction. They don't make enough money to keep playing.
They could only make enough for one month.
Instead of buying video games, buy technology
Jason saw that they established a leaderboard, chat rooms, and multiplayer capabilities and believed other developers would want to use these.
They opted to sell the prior game's technology.
Assisting other game developers
They had no money in the bank to create everything needed to make the technology user-friendly.
Jason and Daniel designed a website saying:
“If you’re making a video game and want to have a drop in multiplayer support, you can use our system”
TechCrunch covered their website launch, and they gained a few hundred mailing list subscribers.
They raised seed funding with the mailing list.
Nearly all iPhone game developers started adopting the Open Feint logo.
“It was pretty wild… It was really like a whole social platform for people to play with their friends.”
What kind of a business model was it?
OpenFeint originally planned to make the software free for all games. As the game gained popularity, they demanded payment.
They later concluded it wasn't a good business concept.
It became free eventually.
Acquired for $104 million
Open Feint's users and employees grew tremendously.
GREE bought OpenFeint for $104 million in April 2011.
GREE initially committed to helping Jason and his team build a fantastic company.
Three or four months after the acquisition, Jason recognized they had a different vision.
Jason's Original Vision for the iPad
Jason focused on distribution in 2012 to help businesses stand out.
The iPad market and user base were growing tremendously.
Jason said the iPad may replace mobile gadgets.
iPad gamers behaved differently than mobile gamers.
People sat longer and experienced more using an iPad.
“The idea I had was what if we built a gaming business that was more like traditional video games but played on tablets as opposed to some kind of mobile game that I’ve been doing before.”
Unexpected insight after researching the video game industry
Jason learned from studying the gaming industry that long-standing companies had advantages beyond a single release.
Previously, long-standing video game firms had their own distribution system. This distribution strategy could buffer time between successful titles.
Sony, Microsoft, and Valve all have gaming consoles and online stores.
So he built a distribution system.
He created a group chat app for gamers.
He envisioned a team-based multiplayer game with text and voice interaction.
His objective was to develop a communication network, release more games, and start a game distribution business.
Remaking the video game League of Legends
Jason and his crew reimagined a League of Legends game mode for 12-inch glass.
They adapted the game for tablets.
League of Legends was PC-only.
So they rebuilt it.
They overhauled the game and included native mobile experiences to stand out.
Hammer and Chisel was the company's name.
18 people worked on the game.
The game was funded. The game took 2.5 years to make.
Was the game a success?
July 2014 marked the game's release. The team's hopes were dashed.
Critics initially praised the game.
Initial installation was widespread.
The game failed.
As time passed, the team realized iPad gaming wouldn't increase much and mobile would win.
Jason was given a fresh idea by Stan Vishnevskiy.
Stan Vishnevskiy was a corporate engineer.
He told Jason about his plan to design a communication app without a game.
This concept seeded modern strife.
“The insight that he really had was to put a couple of dots together… we’re seeing our customers communicating around our own game with all these different apps and also ourselves when we’re playing on PC… We should solve that problem directly rather than needing to build a new game…we should start making it on PC.”
So began Discord.
Online socializing with pals was the newest trend.
Jason grew up playing video games with his friends.
He never played outside.
Jason had many great moments playing video games with his closest buddy, wife, and brother.
Discord was about providing a location for you and your group to speak and hang out.
Like a private cafe, bedroom, or living room.
Discord was developed for you and your friends on computers and phones.
You can quickly call your buddies during a game to conduct a conference call. Put the call on speaker and talk while playing.
Discord wanted to give every player a unique experience. Because coordinating across apps was a headache.
The entire team started concentrating on Discord.
Jason decided Hammer and Chisel would focus on their chat app.
Jason didn't want to make a video game.
How Discord attracted the appropriate attention
During the first five months, the entire team worked on the game and got feedback from friends.
This ensures product improvement. As a result, some teammates' buddies started utilizing Discord.
The team knew it would become something, but the result was buggy. App occasionally crashed.
Jason persuaded a gamer friend to write on Reddit about the software.
New people would find Discord. Why not?
Reddit users discovered Discord and 50 started using it frequently.
Discord was launched.
Rejecting the $10 billion acquisition proposal
Discord has increased in recent years.
It sends billions of messages.
Discord's users aren't tracked. They're privacy-focused.
Covid boosted Discord's user base.
Weekly, billions of messages were transmitted.
Microsoft offered $10 billion for Discord in 2021.
Jason sold Open Feint for $104m in 2011.
This time, he believed in the product so much that he rejected Microsoft's offer.
“I was talking to some people in the team about which way we could go… The good thing was that most of the team wanted to continue building.”
Last time, Discord was valued at $15 billion.
Discord raised money on March 12, 2022.
The $15 billion corporation raised $500 million in 2021.
5 months ago
The Unsettling Fact VC-Backed Entrepreneurs Don't Want You to Know
What they'll do is scarier.
My acquaintance recently joined a VC-funded startup. Money, equity, and upside possibilities were nice, but he had a nagging dread.
They just secured a $40M round and are hiring like crazy to prepare for their IPO in two years. All signals pointed to this startup's (a B2B IT business in a stable industry) success, and its equity-holding workers wouldn't pass that up.
Five months after starting the work, my friend struggled with leaving. We might overlook the awful culture and long hours at the proper price. This price plus the company's fate and survival abilities sent my friend departing in an unpleasant unplanned resignation before jumping on yet another sinking ship.
This affects founders. This affects VC-backed companies (and all businesses). This affects anyone starting, buying, or running a business.
Here's the under-the-table approach that's draining VC capital, leaving staff terrified (or jobless), founders rattled, and investors upset. How to recognize, solve, and avoid it
The unsettling reality behind door #1
You can't raise money off just your looks, right? If "looks" means your founding team's expertise, then maybe. In my friend's case, the founding team's strong qualifications and track records won over investors before talking figures.
They're hardly the only startup to raise money without a profitable customer acquisition strategy. Another firm raised money for an expensive sleep product because it's eco-friendly. They were off to the races with a few keywords and key players.
Both companies, along with numerous others, elected to invest on product development first. Company A employed all the tech, then courted half their market (they’re a tech marketplace that connects two parties). Company B spent millions on R&D to create a palatable product, then flooded the world with marketing.
My friend is on Company B's financial team, and he's seen where they've gone wrong. It's terrible.
Company A (tech market): Growing? Not quite. To achieve the ambitious expansion they (and their investors) demand, they've poured much of their little capital into salespeople: Cold-calling commission and salary salesmen. Is it working? Considering attrition and companies' dwindling capital, I don't think so.
Company B (green sleep) has been hiring, digital marketing, and opening new stores like crazy. Growing expenses should result in growing revenues and a favorable return on investment; if you grow too rapidly, you may neglect to check that ROI.
Once Company A cut headcount and Company B declared “going concerned”, my friend realized both startups had the same ailment and didn't recognize it.
I shouldn't have to ask a friend to verify a company's cash reserves and profitability to spot a financial problem. It happened anyhow.
The frightening part isn't that investors were willing to invest millions without product-market fit, CAC, or LTV estimates. That's alarming, but not as scary as the fact that startups aren't understanding the problem until VC rounds have dried up.
When they question consultants if their company will be around in 6 months. It’s a red flag. How will they stretch $20M through a 2-year recession with a $3M/month burn rate and no profitability? Alarms go off.
Who's in danger?
In a word, everyone who raised money without a profitable client acquisition strategy or enough resources to ride out dry spells.
Money mismanagement and poor priorities affect every industry (like sinking all your capital into your product, team, or tech, at the expense of probing what customer acquisition really takes and looks like).
This isn't about tech, real estate, or recession-proof luxury products. Fast, cheap, easy money flows into flashy-looking teams with buzzwords, trending industries, and attractive credentials.
If these companies can't show progress or get a profitable CAC, they can't raise more money. They die if they can't raise more money (or slash headcount and find shoestring budget solutions until they solve the real problem).
The kiss of death (and how to avoid it)
If you're running a startup and think raising VC is the answer, pause and evaluate. Do you need the money now?
I'm not saying VC is terrible or has no role. Founders have used it as a Band-Aid for larger, pervasive problems. Venture cash isn't a crutch for recruiting consumers profitably; it's rocket fuel to get you what and who you need.
Pay-to-play isn't a way to throw money at the wall and hope for a return. Pay-to-play works until you run out of money, and if you haven't mastered client acquisition, your cash will diminish quickly.
How can you avoid this bottomless pit? Tips:
Understand your burn rate
Keep an eye on your growth or profitability.
Analyze each and every marketing channel and initiative.
Make lucrative customer acquisition strategies and satisfied customers your top two priorities. not brand-new products. not stellar hires. avoid the fundraising rollercoaster to save time. If you succeed in these two tasks, investors will approach you with their thirsty offers rather than the other way around, and your cash reserves won't diminish as a result.
Not as much as your grandfather
My family friend always justified expensive, impractical expenditures by saying it was only monopoly money. In business, startups, and especially with money from investors expecting a return, that's not true.
More founders could understand that there isn't always another round if they viewed VC money as their own limited pool. When the well runs dry, you must refill it or save the day.
Venture financing isn't your grandpa's money. A discerning investor has entrusted you with dry powder in the hope that you'll use it wisely, strategically, and thoughtfully. Use it well.
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2 months ago
Read These Books on Personal Finance to Boost Your Net Worth
And retire sooner.
Books can make you filthy rich.
If you apply what you learn. In 2011, I was broke and had broken dreams.
Someone suggested I read finance books. One Up On Wall Street was his first recommendation.
Finance books were my crack.
I've read every money book since then. Some are good, but most stink.
These books will make you rich.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
This isn't a cliche book.
This book was inspired by a How to Get Rich tweet thread.
It’s one of the best tweets I’ve ever read.
Naval thinks differently. He nukes ordinary ideas. I've never heard better money advice.
Eric Jorgenson wrote a book about this tweet thread with Navals permission. A must-read, easy-to-digest book.
Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy — Naval
Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money
Many finance books advise investing like a dunce.
They almost all peddle the buy an index fund BS. Different book.
It's about money-making psychology. Because any fool can get rich and drunk on their ego. Few can consistently make money.
Each chapter is short. A single-page chapter breaks all book publishing rules.
Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money — Morgan Housel
J.L. Collins' The Simple Path to Wealth
Most of the best money books were written by bloggers.
JL Collins blogs. This easy-to-read book was written for his daughter.
This book popularized the phrase F You Money. With enough money in your bank account and investment portfolio, you can say F You more.
A bad boss is an example. You can leave instead of enduring his wrath.
You can then sit at home and look for another job while financially secure. JL says its mind-freedom is powerful.
You own the things you own and they in turn own you — J.L. Collins
Tony Robbins' Unshakeable
I like Tony. This book makes me sweaty.
Tony interviews the world's top financiers. He interviews people who rarely do so.
This book taught me all-weather portfolio. It's a way to invest in different asset classes in good, bad, recession, or depression times.
Look at it:
Investing isn’t about buying one big winner — that’s gambling. It’s about investing in a diversified portfolio of assets.
The best opportunities come in times of maximum pessimism — Tony Robbins
Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor
This book helped me distinguish between a spectator and an investor.
Spectators are those who shout that crypto, NFTs, or XYZ platform will die.
Tourists. They want attention and to say "I told you so." They make short-term and long-term predictions like fortunetellers. LOL. Idiots.
Benjamin Graham teaches smart investing. You'll buy a long-term asset. To be confident in recessions, use dollar-cost averaging.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — Benjamin Graham
The Napoleon Hill book Think and Grow Rich
This classic book introduced positive thinking to modern self-help.
Lazy pessimists can't become rich. No way.
Napoleon said, "Thoughts create reality."
No surprise that he discusses obsession and focus in this book. They are the fastest ways to make more money to invest in time and wealth-protecting assets.
The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat — Napoleon Hill
Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich
This book is mostly good. The part about credit cards is trash.
Avoid credit card temptations. I don't care about their airline points.
This book teaches you to master money basics (that many people mess up) then automate it so your monkey brain doesn't ruin your financial future.
The book includes great negotiation tactics to help you make more money in less time.
The 85 Percent Solution: Getting started is more important than becoming an expert — Ramit Sethi
David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire
You've probably met a six- or seven-figure earner who's broke. All their money goes to useless things like cars.
Money isn't as essential as what you do with it. David teaches how to automate your earnings for more money.
Compounding works once investing is automated. So you get rich.
His strategy eliminates luck and (almost) guarantees millionaire status.
Every time you earn one dollar, make sure to pay yourself first — David Bach
Thomas J. Stanley's The Millionaire Next Door
Thomas defies the definition of rich.
He spends much of the book highlighting millionaire traits he's studied.
Rich people are quiet, so you wouldn't know they're wealthy. They don't earn much money or drive a BMW.
Thomas will give you the math to get started.
I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed with what they achieve. I’m proud to be a physician. Always strive to be the best in your field…. Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you. — Thomas J. Stanley
by Bill Perkins "Die With Zero"
Let’s end with one last book.
Bill's book angered many people. He says we spend too much time saving for retirement and die rich. That bank money is lost time.
Your grandkids could use the money. When children inherit money, they become lazy, entitled a-holes.
Bill wants us to spend our money on life-enhancing experiences. Stop saving money like monopoly monkeys.
You should be focusing on maximizing your life enjoyment rather than on maximizing your wealth. Those are two very different goals. Money is just a means to an end: Having money helps you to achieve the more important goal of enjoying your life. But trying to maximize money actually gets in the way of achieving the more important goal — Bill Perkins
6 months ago
VeeFriends Series 2: The Biggest NFT Opportunity Ever
VeeFriends is one NFT project I'm sure will last.
I believe in blockchain technology and JPEGs, aka NFTs. NFTs aren't JPEGs. It's not as it seems.
Gary Vaynerchuk is leading the pack with his new NFT project VeeFriends, I wrote a year ago. I was spot-on. It's the most innovative project I've seen.
Since its minting in May 2021, it has given its holders enormous value, most notably the first edition of VeeCon, a multi-day superconference featuring iconic and emerging leaders in NFTs and Popular Culture. First-of-its-kind NFT-ticketed Web3 conference to build friendships, share ideas, and learn together.
VeeFriends holders got free VeeCon NFT tickets. Attendees heard iconic keynote speeches, innovative talks, panels, and Q&A sessions.
It was a unique conference that most of us, including me, are looking forward to in 2023. The lineup was epic, and it allowed many to network in new ways. Really memorable learning. Here are a couple of gratitude posts from the attendees.
VeeFriends Series 2
This article explains VeeFriends if you're still confused.
GaryVee's hand-drawn doodles have evolved into wonderful characters. The characters' poses and backgrounds bring the VeeFriends IP to life.
Yes, this is the second edition of VeeFriends, and at current prices, it's one of the best NFT opportunities in years. If you have the funds and risk appetite to invest in NFTs, VeeFriends Series 2 is worth every penny. Even if you can't invest, learn from their journey.
1. Art Is the Start
Many critics say VeeFriends artwork is below average and not by GaryVee. Art is often the key to future success.
Let's look at one of the first Mickey Mouse drawings. No one would have guessed that this would become one of the most beloved animated short film characters. In Walt Before Mickey, Walt Disney's original mouse Mortimer was less refined.
First came a mouse...
These sketches evolved into Steamboat Willie, Disney's first animated short film.
Looking at how different cartoon characters have evolved and gained popularity over decades, I believe Series 2 characters like Self-Aware Hare, Kind Kudu, and Patient Pig can do the same.
GaryVee captures this journey on the blockchain and lets early supporters become part of history. Time will tell if it rivals Disney, Pokemon, or Star Wars. Gary has been vocal about this vision.
2. VeeFriends is Intellectual Property for the Coming Generations
Most of us grew up watching cartoons, playing with toys, cards, and video games. Our interactions with fictional characters and the stories we hear shape us.
GaryVee is slowly curating an experience for the next generation with animated videos, card games, merchandise, toys, and more.
VeeFriends UNO, a collaboration with Mattel Creations, features 17 VeeFriends characters.
VeeFriends and Zerocool recently released Trading Cards featuring all 268 Series 1 characters and 15 new ones. Another way to build VeeFriends' collectibles brand.
At Veecon, all the characters were collectible toys. Something will soon emerge.
Kids and adults alike enjoy the YouTube channel's animated shorts and VeeFriends Tunes. Here's a song by the holder's Optimistic Otter-loving daughter.
This VeeFriends story is only the beginning. I'm looking forward to animated short film series, coloring books, streetwear, candy, toys, physical collectibles, and other forms of VeeFriends IP.
3. Veefriends will always provide utilities
Smart contracts can be updated at any time and authenticated on a ledger.
VeeFriends Series 2 gives no promise of any utility whatsoever. GaryVee released no project roadmap. In the first few months after launch, many owners of specific characters or scenes received utilities.
Every benefit or perk you receive helps promote the VeeFriends brand.
Recent partnerships are listed below.
MaryRuth's Multivitamin Gummies
Productive Puffin holders from VeeFriends x Primitive
Pickleball Scene & Clown Holders Only
Pickleball & Competitive Clown Exclusive experience, anteater multivitamin gummies, and Puffin x Primitive merch
Considering the price of NFTs, it may not seem like much. It's just the beginning; you never know what the future holds. No other NFT project offers such diverse, ongoing benefits.
4. Garyvee's team is ready
Gary Vaynerchuk's team and record are undisputed. He's a serial entrepreneur and the Chairman & CEO of VaynerX, which includes VaynerMedia, VaynerCommerce, One37pm, and The Sasha Group.
Gary founded VaynerSports, Resy, and Empathy Wines. He's a Candy Digital Board Member, VCR Group Co-Founder, ArtOfficial Co-Founder, and VeeFriends Creator & CEO. Gary was recently named one of Fortune's Top 50 NFT Influencers.
Gary Vayenerchuk aka GaryVee
Gary documents his daily life as a CEO on social media, which has 34 million followers and 272 million monthly views. GaryVee Audio Experience is a top podcast. He's a five-time New York Times best-seller and sought-after speaker.
Gary can observe consumer behavior to predict trends. He understood these trends early and pioneered them.
1997 — Realized e-potential commerce's and started winelibrary.com. In five years, he grew his father's wine business from $3M to $60M.
2006 — Realized content marketing's potential and started Wine Library on YouTube. TV
2009 — Estimated social media's potential (Web2) and invested in Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
2014: Ethereum and Bitcoin investments
2021 — Believed in NFTs and Web3 enough to launch VeeFriends
GaryVee has said he'll let other businesses fail but not VeeFriends. We're just beginning his 40-year vision.
I have more confidence than ever in a company with a strong foundation and team.
5. Humans die, but characters live forever
What if GaryVee dies or can't work?
A writer's books can immortalize them. As long as their books exist, their words are immortal. Socrates, Hemingway, Aristotle, Twain, Fitzgerald, and others have become immortal.
Everyone knows Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night.
We all love reading and watching Peter Parker, Thor, or Jessica Jones. Their behavior inspires us. Stan Lee's message and stories live on despite his death.
GaryVee represents VeeFriends. Creating characters to communicate ensures that the message reaches even those who don't listen.
Gary wants his values and messages to be omnipresent in 268 characters. Messengers die, but their messages live on.
Gary envisions VeeFriends creating timeless stories and experiences. Ten years from now, maybe every kid will sing Patient Pig.
6. I love the intent.
Gary planned to create Workplace Warriors three years ago when he began designing Patient Panda, Accountable Ant, and Empathy elephant. The project stalled. When NFTs came along, he knew.
Gary wanted to create characters with traits he values, such as accountability, empathy, patience, kindness, and self-awareness. He wants future generations to find these traits cool. He hopes one or more of his characters will become pop culture icons.
These emotional skills aren't taught in schools or colleges, but they're crucial for business and life success. I love that someone is teaching this at scale.
In the end, intent matters.
Humans Are Collectors
Buy and collect things to communicate. Since the 1700s. Medieval people formed communities around hidden metals and stones. Many people still collect stamps and coins, and luxury and fashion are multi-trillion dollar industries. We're collectors.
The early 2020s NFTs will be remembered in the future. VeeFriends will define a cultural and technological shift in this era. VeeFriends Series 1 is the original hand-drawn art, but it's expensive. VeeFriends Series 2 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at $1,000.
If you are new to NFTs, check out How to Buy a Non Fungible Token (NFT) For Beginners
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14 days ago
Focus: The Deadly Strategic Idea You've Never Heard Of (But Definitely Need To Know!
Steve Jobs' initial mission at Apple in 1997 was to destroy. He killed the Newton PDA and Macintosh clones. Apple stopped trying to please everyone under Jobs.
Afterward, there were few highly targeted moves. First, the pink iMac. Modest success. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad made Apple the world's most valuable firm. Each maneuver changed the company's center of gravity and won.
That's the idea behind Schwerpunkt, a German military term meaning "focus." Jobs didn't need to win everywhere, just where it mattered, so he focused Apple's resources on a few key goods. Finding your Schwerpunkt is more important than charts and analysis for excellent strategy.
Comparison of Relative Strength and Relative Weakness
The iPod, Apple's first major hit after Jobs' return, didn't damage Microsoft and the PC, but instead focused Apple's emphasis on a fledgling, fragmented market that generated "sucky" products. Apple couldn't have taken on the computer titans at this stage, yet it beat them.
The move into music players used Apple's particular capabilities, especially its ability to build simple, easy-to-use interfaces. Jobs' charisma and stature, along his understanding of intellectual property rights from Pixar, helped him build up iTunes store, which was a quagmire at the time.
In Good Strategy | Bad Strategy, management researcher Richard Rumelt argues that good strategy uses relative strength to counter relative weakness. To discover your main point, determine your abilities and where to effectively use them.
Steve Jobs did that at Apple. Microsoft and Dell, who controlled the computer sector at the time, couldn't enter the music player business. Both sought to produce iPod competitors but failed. Apple's iPod was nobody else's focus.
Finding The Center of Attention
In a military engagement, leaders decide where to focus their efforts by assessing commanders intent, the situation on the ground, the topography, and the enemy's posture on that terrain. Officers spend their careers learning about schwerpunkt.
Business executives must assess internal strengths including personnel, technology, and information, market context, competitive environment, and external partner ecosystems. Steve Jobs was a master at analyzing forces when he returned to Apple.
He believed Apple could integrate technology and design for the iPod and that the digital music player industry sucked. By analyzing competitors' products, he was convinced he could produce a smash by putting 1000 tunes in my pocket.
The only difficulty was there wasn't the necessary technology. External ecosystems were needed. On a trip to Japan to meet with suppliers, a Toshiba engineer claimed the company had produced a tiny memory drive approximately the size of a silver dollar.
Jobs knew the memory drive was his focus. He wrote a $10 million cheque and acquired exclusive technical rights. For a time, none of his competitors would be able to recreate his iPod with the 1000 songs in my pocket.
How to Enter the OODA Loop
John Boyd invented the OODA loop as a pilot to better his own decision-making. First OBSERVE your surroundings, then ORIENT that information using previous knowledge and experiences. Then you DECIDE and ACT, which changes the circumstance you must observe, orient, decide, and act on.
Steve Jobs used the OODA loop to decide to give Toshiba $10 million for a technology it had no use for. He compared the new information with earlier observations about the digital music market.
Then something much more interesting happened. The iPod was an instant hit, changing competition. Other computer businesses that competed in laptops, desktops, and servers created digital music players. Microsoft's Zune came out in 2006, Dell's Digital Jukebox in 2004. Both flopped.
By then, Apple was poised to unveil the iPhone, which would cause its competitors to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Boyd named this OODA Loop infiltration. They couldn't gain the initiative by constantly reacting to Apple.
Microsoft and Dell were titans back then, but it's hard to recall. Apple went from near bankruptcy to crushing its competition via Schwerpunkt.
Rather than a destination, it is a journey
Trying to win everywhere is a strategic blunder. Win significant fights, not trivial skirmishes. Identifying a focal point to direct resources and efforts is the essence of Schwerpunkt.
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, PC firms were competing, but he focused on digital music players, and the iPod made Apple a player. He launched the iPhone when his competitors were still reacting. When Steve Jobs said, "One more thing," at the end of a product presentation, he had a new focus.
Schwerpunkt isn't static; it's dynamic. Jobs' ability to observe, refocus, and modify the competitive backdrop allowed Apple to innovate consistently. His strategy was tailored to Apple's capabilities, customers, and ecosystem. Microsoft or Dell, better suited for the enterprise sector, couldn't succeed with a comparable approach.
There is no optimal strategy, only ones suited to a given environment, when relative strength might be used against relative weakness. Discovering the center of gravity where you can break through is more of a journey than a destination; it will become evident after you reach.