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Grace Huang

Grace Huang

1 year ago

I sold 100 copies of my book when I had anticipated selling none.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Kaitlin Fritz

Kaitlin Fritz

1 year ago

The Entrepreneurial Chicken and Egg

University entrepreneurship is like a Willy Wonka Factory of ideas. Classes, roommates, discussions, and the cafeteria all inspire new ideas. I've seen people establish a business without knowing its roots.

Chicken or egg? On my mind: I've asked university founders around the world whether the problem or solution came first.

The Problem

One African team I met started with the “instant noodles” problem in their academic ecosystem. Many of us have had money issues in college, which may have led to poor nutritional choices.

Many university students in a war-torn country ate quick noodles or pasta for dinner.

Noodles required heat, water, and preparation in the boarding house. Unreliable power from one hot plate per blue moon. What's healthier, easier, and tastier than sodium-filled instant pots?

BOOM. They were fixing that. East African kids need affordable, nutritious food.

This is a real difficulty the founders faced every day with hundreds of comrades.

This sparked their serendipitous entrepreneurial journey and became their business's cornerstone.

The Solution

I asked a UK team about their company idea. They said the solution fascinated them.

The crew was fiddling with social media algorithms. Why are some people more popular? They were studying platforms and social networks, which offered a way for them.

Solving a problem? Yes. Long nights of university research lead them to it. Is this like world hunger? Social media influencers confront this difficulty regularly.

It made me ponder something. Is there a correct response?

In my heart, yes, but in my head…maybe?

I believe you should lead with empathy and embrace the problem, not the solution. Big or small, businesses should solve problems. This should be your focus. This is especially true when building a social company with an audience in mind.

Philosophically, invention and innovation are occasionally accidental. Also not penalized. Think about bugs and the creation of Velcro, or the inception of Teflon. They tackle difficulties we overlook. The route to the problem may look different, but there is a path there.

There's no golden ticket to the Chicken-Egg debate, but I'll keep looking this summer.

Sanjay Priyadarshi

Sanjay Priyadarshi

1 year ago

A 19-year-old dropped out of college to build a $2,300,000,000 company in 2 years.

His success was unforeseeable.

2014 saw Facebook's $2.3 billion purchase of Oculus VR.

19-year-old Palmer Luckey founded Oculus. He quit journalism school. His parents worried about his college dropout.

Facebook bought Oculus VR in less than 2 years.

Palmer Luckey started Anduril Industries. Palmer has raised $385 million with Anduril.

The Oculus journey began in a trailer

Palmer Luckey, 19, owned the trailer.

Luckey had his trailer customized. The trailer had all six of Luckey's screens. In the trailer's remaining area, Luckey conducted hardware tests.

At 16, he became obsessed with virtual reality. Virtual reality was rare at the time.

Luckey didn't know about VR when he started.

Previously, he liked "portabilizing" mods. Hacking ancient game consoles into handhelds.

In his city, fewer portabilizers actively traded.

Luckey started "ModRetro" for other portabilizers. Luckey was exposed to VR headsets online.

Luckey:

“Man, ModRetro days were the best.”

Palmer Luckey used VR headsets for three years. His design had 50 prototypes.

Luckey used to work at the Long Beach Sailing Center for minimum salary, servicing diesel engines and cleaning boats.

Luckey worked in a USC Institute for Creative Technologies mixed reality lab in July 2011. (ICT).

Luckey cleaned the lab, did reports, and helped other students with VR projects.

Luckey's lab job was dull.

Luckey chose to work in the lab because he wanted to engage with like-minded folks.

By 2012, Luckey had a prototype he hoped to share globally. He made cheaper headsets than others.

Luckey wanted to sell an easy-to-assemble virtual reality kit on Kickstarter.

He realized he needed a corporation to do these sales legally. He started looking for names. "Virtuality," "virtual," and "VR" are all taken.

Hence, Oculus.

If Luckey sold a hundred prototypes, he would be thrilled since it would boost his future possibilities.

John Carmack, legendary game designer

Carmack has liked sci-fi and fantasy since infancy.

Carmack loved imagining intricate gaming worlds.

His interest in programming and computer science grew with age.

He liked graphics. He liked how mismatching 0 and 1 might create new colors and visuals.

Carmack played computer games as a teen. He created Shadowforge in high school.

He founded Id software in 1991. When Carmack created id software, console games were the best-sellers.

Old computer games have weak graphics. John Carmack and id software developed "adaptive tile refresh."

This technique smoothed PC game scrolling. id software launched 3-D, Quake, and Doom using "adaptive tile refresh."

These games made John Carmack a gaming star. Later, he sold Id software to ZeniMax Media.

How Palmer Luckey met Carmack

In 2011, Carmack was thinking a lot about 3-D space and virtual reality.

He was underwhelmed by the greatest HMD on the market. Because of their flimsiness and latency.

His disappointment was partly due to the view (FOV). Best HMD had 40-degree field of view.

Poor. The best VR headset is useless with a 40-degree FOV.

Carmack intended to show the press Doom 3 in VR. He explored VR headsets and internet groups for this reason.

Carmack identified a VR enthusiast in the comments section of "LEEP on the Cheap." "PalmerTech" was the name.

Carmack approached PalmerTech about his prototype. He told Luckey about his VR demos, so he wanted to see his prototype.

Carmack got a Rift prototype. Here's his May 17 tweet.

John Carmack tweeted an evaluation of the Luckey prototype.

Dan Newell, a Valve engineer, and Mick Hocking, a Sony senior director, pre-ordered Oculus Rift prototypes with Carmack's help.

Everyone praised Luckey after Carmack demoed Rift.

Palmer Luckey received a job offer from Sony.

  • It was a full-time position at Sony Computer Europe.

  • He would run Sony’s R&D lab.

  • The salary would be $70k.

Who is Brendan Iribe?

Brendan Iribe started early with Startups. In 2004, he and Mike Antonov founded Scaleform.

Scaleform created high-performance middleware. This package allows 3D Flash games.

In 2011, Iribe sold Scaleform to Autodesk for $36 million.

How Brendan Iribe discovered Palmer Luckey.

Brendan Iribe's friend Laurent Scallie.

Laurent told Iribe about a potential opportunity.

Laurent promised Iribe VR will work this time. Laurent introduced Iribe to Luckey.

Iribe was doubtful after hearing Laurent's statements. He doubted Laurent's VR claims.

But since Laurent took the name John Carmack, Iribe thought he should look at Luckey Innovation. Iribe was hooked on virtual reality after reading Palmer Luckey stories.

He asked Scallie about Palmer Luckey.

Iribe convinced Luckey to start Oculus with him

First meeting between Palmer Luckey and Iribe.

The Iribe team wanted Luckey to feel comfortable.

Iribe sought to convince Luckey that launching a company was easy. Iribe told Luckey anyone could start a business.

Luckey told Iribe's staff he was homeschooled from childhood. Luckey took self-study courses.

Luckey had planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign and sell kits for his prototype. Many companies offered him jobs, nevertheless.

He's considering Sony's offer.

Iribe advised Luckey to stay independent and not join a firm. Iribe asked Luckey how he could raise his child better. No one sees your baby like you do?

Iribe's team pushed Luckey to stay independent and establish a software ecosystem around his device.

After conversing with Iribe, Luckey rejected every job offer and merger option.

Iribe convinced Luckey to provide an SDK for Oculus developers.

After a few months. Brendan Iribe co-founded Oculus with Palmer Luckey. Luckey trusted Iribe and his crew, so he started a corporation with him.

Crowdfunding

Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey launched a Kickstarter.

Gabe Newell endorsed Palmer's Kickstarter video.

Gabe Newell wants folks to trust Palmer Luckey since he's doing something fascinating and answering tough questions.

Mark Bolas and David Helgason backed Palmer Luckey's VR Kickstarter video.

Luckey introduced Oculus Rift during the Kickstarter campaign. He introduced virtual reality during press conferences.

Oculus' Kickstarter effort was a success. Palmer Luckey felt he could raise $250,000.

Oculus raised $2.4 million through Kickstarter. Palmer Luckey's virtual reality vision was well-received.

Mark Zuckerberg's Oculus discovery

Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey hired the right personnel after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Oculus needs a lot of money for engineers and hardware. They needed investors' money.

Series A raised $16M.

Next, Andreessen Horowitz partner Brain Cho approached Iribe.

Cho told Iribe that Andreessen Horowitz could invest in Oculus Series B if the company solved motion sickness.

Mark Andreessen was Iribe's dream client.

Marc Andreessen and his partners gave Oculus $75 million.

Andreessen introduced Iribe to Zukerberg. Iribe and Zukerberg discussed the future of games and virtual reality by phone.

Facebook's Oculus demo

Iribe showed Zuckerberg Oculus.

Mark was hooked after using Oculus. The headset impressed him.

The whole Facebook crew who saw the demo said only one thing.

“Holy Crap!”

This surprised them all.

Mark Zuckerberg was impressed by the team's response. Mark Zuckerberg met the Oculus team five days after the demo.

First meeting Palmer Luckey.

Palmer Luckey is one of Mark's biggest supporters and loves Facebook.

Oculus Acquisition

Zuckerberg wanted Oculus.

Brendan Iribe had requested for $4 billion, but Mark wasn't interested.

Facebook bought Oculus for $2.3 billion after months of drama.

After selling his company, how does Palmer view money?

Palmer loves the freedom money gives him. Money frees him from small worries.

Money has allowed him to pursue things he wouldn't have otherwise.

“If I didn’t have money I wouldn’t have a collection of vintage military vehicles…You can have nice hobbies that keep you relaxed when you have money.”

He didn't start Oculus to generate money. His virtual reality passion spanned years.

He didn't have to lie about how virtual reality will transform everything until he needed funding.

The company's success was an unexpected bonus. He was merely passionate about a good cause.

After Oculus' $2.3 billion exit, what changed?

Palmer didn't mind being rich. He did similar things.

After Facebook bought Oculus, he moved to Silicon Valley and lived in a 12-person shared house due to high rents.

Palmer might have afforded a big mansion, but he prefers stability and doing things because he wants to, not because he has to.

“Taco Bell is never tasted so good as when you know you could afford to never eat taco bell again.”

Palmer's leadership shifted.

Palmer changed his leadership after selling Oculus.

When he launched his second company, he couldn't work on his passions.

“When you start a tech company you do it because you want to work on a technology, that is why you are interested in that space in the first place. As the company has grown, he has realized that if he is still doing optical design in the company it’s because he is being negligent about the hiring process.”

Once his startup grows, the founder's responsibilities shift. He must recruit better firm managers.

Recruiting talented people becomes the top priority. The founder must convince others of their influence.

A book that helped me write this:

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality — Blake Harris


*This post is a summary. Read the full article here.

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

1 year ago

Adam Neumanns is working to create the future of living in a classic example of a guy failing upward.

The comeback tour continues…

Image: Edited by author

First, he founded a $47 billion co-working company (sorry, a “tech company”).

He established WeLive to disrupt apartment life.

Then he created WeGrow, a school that tossed aside the usual curriculum to feed children's souls and release their potential.

He raised the world’s consciousness.

Then he blew it all up (without raising the world’s consciousness). (He bought a wave pool.)

Adam Neumann's WeWork business burned investors' money. The founder sailed off with unimaginable riches, leaving long-time employees with worthless stocks and the company bleeding money. His track record, which includes a failing baby clothing company, should have stopped investors cold.

Once the dust settled, folks went on. We forgot about the Neumanns! We forgot about the private jets, company retreats, many houses, and WeWork's crippling. In that moment, the prodigal son of entrepreneurship returned, choosing the blockchain as his industry. His homecoming tour began with Flowcarbon, which sold Goddess Nature Tokens to lessen companies' carbon footprints.

Did it work?

Of course not.

Despite receiving $70 million from Andreessen Horowitz's a16z, the project has been halted just two months after its announcement.

This triumph should lower his grade.

Neumann seems to have moved on and has another revolutionary idea for the future of living. Flow (not Flowcarbon) aims to help people live in flow and will launch in 2023. It's the classic Neumann pitch: lofty goals, yogababble, and charisma to attract investors.

It's a winning formula for one investment fund. a16z has backed the project with its largest single check, $350 million. It has a splash page and 3,000 rental units, but is valued at over $1 billion. The blog post praised Neumann for reimagining the office and leading a paradigm-shifting global company.

Image: https://www.flow.life

Flow's mission is to solve the nation's housing crisis. How? Idk. It involves offering community-centric services in apartment properties to the same remote workforce he once wooed with free beer and a pingpong table. Revolutionary! It seems the goal is to apply WeWork's goals of transforming physical spaces and building community to apartments to solve many of today's housing problems.

The elevator pitch probably sounded great.

At least a16z knows it's a near-impossible task, calling it a seismic shift. Marc Andreessen opposes affordable housing in his wealthy Silicon Valley town. As details of the project emerge, more investors will likely throw ethics and morals out the window to go with the flow, throwing money at a man known for burning through it while building toxic companies, hoping he can bank another fantasy valuation before it all crashes.

Insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result. Everyone on the Neumann hype train needs to sober up.

Like WeWork, this venture Won’tWork.

Like before, it'll cause a shitstorm.

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The Mystique

The Mystique

1 year ago

Four Shocking Dark Web Incidents that Should Make You Avoid It

Dark Web activity? Is it as horrible as they say?

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

We peruse our phones for hours. Internet has improved our worldview.

However, the world's harshest realities remain buried on the internet and unattainable by everyone.

Browsers cannot access the Dark Web. Browse it with high-security authentication and exclusive access. There are compelling reasons to avoid the dark web at all costs.

1. The Dark Web and I

Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

Darius wrote My Dark Web Story on reddit two years ago. The user claimed to have shared his dark web experience. DaRealEddyYT wanted to surf the dark web after hearing several stories.

He curiously downloaded Tor Browser, which provides anonymity and security.

In the Dark Room, bound

As Darius logged in, a text popped up: “Want a surprise? Click on this link.”

The link opened to a room with a chair. Only one light source illuminated the room. The chair held a female tied.

As the screen read "Let the game begin," a man entered the room and was paid in bitcoins to torment the girl.

The man dragged and tortured the woman.

A danger to safety

Leaving so soon, Darius, disgusted Darius tried to leave the stream. The anonymous user then sent Darius his personal information, including his address, which frightened him because he didn't know Tor was insecure.

After deleting the app, his phone camera was compromised.

He also stated that he left his residence and returned to find it unlocked and a letter saying, Thought we wouldn't find you? Reddit never updated the story.

The story may have been a fake, but a much scarier true story about the dark side of the internet exists.

2. The Silk Road Market

Ross William Ulbricht | Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The dark web is restricted for a reason. The dark web has everything illicit imaginable. It's awful central.

The dark web has everything, from organ sales to drug trafficking to money laundering to human trafficking. Illegal drugs, pirated software, credit card, bank, and personal information can be found in seconds.

The dark web has reserved websites like Google. The Silk Road Website, which operated from 2011 to 2013, was a leading digital black market.

The FBI grew obsessed with site founder and processor Ross William Ulbricht.

The site became a criminal organization as money laundering and black enterprises increased. Bitcoin was utilized for credit card payment.

The FBI was close to arresting the site's administrator. Ross was detained after the agency closed Silk Road in 2013.

Two years later, in 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms and forty years. He appealed in 2016 but was denied, thus he is currently serving time.

The hefty sentence was for more than running a black marketing site. He was also convicted of murder-for-hire, earning about $730,000 in a short time.

3. Person-buying auctions

The British model, Chloe Ayling | Photo Credits: Pinterest

Bidding on individuals is another weird internet activity. After a Milan photo shoot, 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped.

An ad agency in Milan made a bogus offer to shoot with the mother of a two-year-old boy. Four men gave her anesthetic and put her in a duffel bag when she arrived.

She was held captive for several days, and her images and $300,000 price were posted on the dark web. Black Death Trafficking Group kidnapped her to sell her for sex.

She was told two black death foot warriors abducted her. The captors released her when they found she was a mother because mothers were less desirable to sex slave buyers.

In July 2018, Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested and sentenced to 16 years and nine months in prison. Being a young mother saved Chloe from creepy bidding.

However, it exceeds expectations of how many more would be in such danger daily without their knowledge.

4. Organ sales

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Many are unaware of dark web organ sales. Patients who cannot acquire organs often turn to dark web brokers.

Brokers handle all transactions between donors and customers.

Bitcoins are used for dark web transactions, and the Tor server permits personal data on the web.

The WHO reports approximately 10,000 unlawful organ transplants annually. The black web sells kidneys, hearts, even eyes.

To protect our lives and privacy, we should manage our curiosity and never look up dangerous stuff.

While it's fascinating and appealing to know what's going on in the world we don't know about, it's best to prioritize our well-being because one never knows how bad it might get.

Sources

Reddit.com

The Daily Beast

PYMNTS

Commons.erau.edu

The Sun

Investopedia

Startup Talky

Onchain Wizard

Onchain Wizard

1 year ago

Three Arrows Capital  & Celsius Updates

I read 1k+ page 3AC liquidation documentation so you don't have to. Also sharing revised Celsius recovery plans.

3AC's liquidation documents:

Someone disclosed 3AC liquidation records in the BVI courts recently. I'll discuss the leak's timeline and other highlights.

Three Arrows Capital began trading traditional currencies in emerging markets in 2012. They switched to equities and crypto, then purely crypto in 2018.

By 2020, the firm had $703mm in net assets and $1.8bn in loans (these guys really like debt).

Three Arrows Capital statement of Assets and Liabilities

The firm's net assets under control reached $3bn in April 2022, according to the filings. 3AC had $600mm of LUNA/UST exposure before May 9th 2022, which put them over.

LUNA and UST go to zero quickly (I wrote about the mechanics of the blowup here). Kyle Davies, 3AC co-founder, told Blockchain.com on May 13 that they have $2.4bn in assets and $2.3bn NAV vs. $2bn in borrowings. As BTC and ETH plunged 33% and 50%, the company became insolvent by mid-2022.

Three Arrows Capital Assets Under Management letter, Net Assets Value

3AC sent $32mm to Tai Ping Shen, a Cayman Islands business owned by Su Zhu and Davies' partner, Kelly Kaili Chen (who knows what is going on here).

3AC had borrowed over $3.5bn in notional principle, with Genesis ($2.4bn) and Voyager ($650mm) having the most exposure.

Genesis demanded $355mm in further collateral in June.

Genesis Capital Margin Call to Three Arrows Capital

Deribit (another 3AC investment) called for $80 million in mid-June.

Three Arrows Capital main account overview

Even in mid-June, the corporation was trying to borrow more money to stay afloat. They approached Genesis for another $125mm loan (to pay another lender) and HODLnauts for BTC & ETH loans.

Pretty crazy. 3AC founders used borrowed money to buy a $50 million boat, according to the leak.

Su requesting for $5m + Chen Kaili Kelly asserting they loaned $65m unsecured to 3AC are identified as creditors.

Mr Zhu

Ms Chen Kaili Kelly

Celsius:

This bankruptcy presentation shows the Celsius breakdown from March to July 14, 2022. From $22bn to $4bn, crypto assets plummeted from $14.6bn to $1.8bn (ouch). $16.5bn in user liabilities dropped to $4.72bn.

Celcius Asset Snapshot

In my recent post, I examined if "forced selling" is over, with Celsius' crypto assets being a major overhang. In this presentation, it looks that Chapter 11 will provide clients the opportunity to accept cash at a discount or remain long crypto. Provided that a fresh source of money is unlikely to enter the Celsius situation, cash at a discount or crypto given to customers will likely remain a near-term market risk - cash at a discount will likely come from selling crypto assets, while customers who receive crypto could sell at any time. I'll share any Celsius updates I find.

Conclusion

Only Celsius and the Mt Gox BTC unlock remain as forced selling catalysts. While everything went through a "relief" pump, with ETH up 75% from the bottom and numerous alts multiples higher, there are still macro dangers to equities + risk assets. There's a lot of wealth waiting to be deployed in crypto ($153bn in stables), but fund managers are risk apprehensive (lower than 2008 levels).

Taking higher than normal risk levels

We're hopefully over crypto's "bottom," with peak anxiety and forced selling behind us, but we may chop around.


To see the full article, click here.

Emma Jade

Emma Jade

1 year ago

6 hacks to create content faster

Content gurus' top time-saving hacks.

6 hacks to create content faster

I'm a content strategist, writer, and graphic designer. Time is more valuable than money.

Money is always available. Even if you're poor. Ways exist.

Time is passing, and one day we'll run out.

Sorry to be morbid.

In today's digital age, you need to optimize how you create content for your organization. Here are six content creation hacks.

1. Use templates

Use templates to streamline your work whether generating video, images, or documents.

Setup can take hours. Using a free resource like Canva, you can create templates for any type of material.

This will save you hours each month.

2. Make a content calendar

You post without a plan? A content calendar solves 50% of these problems.

You can prepare, organize, and plan your material ahead of time so you're not scrambling when you remember, "Shit, it's Mother's Day!"

3. Content Batching

Batching content means creating a lot in one session. This is helpful for video content that requires a lot of setup time.

Batching monthly content saves hours. Time is a valuable resource.

When working on one type of task, it's easy to get into a flow state. This saves time.

4. Write Caption

On social media, we generally choose the image first and then the caption. Writing captions first sometimes work better, though.

Writing the captions first can allow you more creative flexibility and be easier if you're not excellent with language.

Say you want to tell your followers something interesting.

Writing a caption first is easier than choosing an image and then writing a caption to match.

Not everything works. You may have already-created content that needs captioning. When you don't know what to share, think of a concept, write the description, and then produce a video or graphic.

Cats can be skinned in several ways..

5. Repurpose

Reuse content when possible. You don't always require new stuff. In fact, you’re pretty stupid if you do #SorryNotSorry.

Repurpose old content. All those blog entries, videos, and unfinished content on your desk or hard drive.

This blog post can be turned into a social media infographic. Canva's motion graphic function can animate it. I can record a YouTube video regarding this issue for a podcast. I can make a post on each point in this blog post and turn it into an eBook or paid course.

And it doesn’t stop there.

My point is, to think outside the box and really dig deep into ways you can leverage the content you’ve already created.

6. Schedule Them

If you're still manually posting content, get help. When you batch your content, schedule it ahead of time.

Some scheduling apps are free or cheap. No excuses.

Don't publish and ghost.

Scheduling saves time by preventing you from doing it manually. But if you never engage with your audience, the algorithm won't reward your material.

Be online and engage your audience.

Content Machine

Use these six content creation hacks. They help you succeed and save time.