That's what I've been telling people for as far as I can remember. Whether that's reaching out to someone you don't know, applying to a job, reaching to out to your dream investor who you're not connected to. What's the worst case scenario?
That's what I've been asking myself with this blog/newsletter.
Here's the small list I managed to put together:
- People won't care
- People will judge silently
I'm cool with that. 🤷♂️
This post will walk you through "what you can expect from me", "why I'm doing this now" and a sprinkle of "why on earth do I deserve a slot in your busy inbox".
Why a blog?
As an investor in a multistage and generalist fund, I have the privilege of speaking with founders across many industries tackling a whole range of problems. From first-time entrepreneurs making their first steps to rockstar repeat founders, we see a bunch of passionate people building successful businesses.
While this has been an exhilarating experience to date, one of the frustrations of the job for me has been the inability to take the time to step back and reflect on the 100s of interactions that the VC routine lumps me into.
I hope to use this blog as a way to, every now and then, sit down and share thoughts on what I’m seeing. It’ll be in some shape or form linked to tech, team building, product and fundraising. Occasionally I might use this blog as a way to share other cool things I've seen recently, I don't know yet, we'll figure it out on the way! This will impact how often I post but I'm thinking that committing to monthly output is a good start. Very selfishly, putting my thoughts in writing will surely be beneficial so I might as well share them in the open (#buildinpublic am I right?).
Who knows, some people might find my findings insightful 🌻.
Perfect is the enemy of good
As Reid Hoffman famously says, "If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late" - my writing style might not be on point but "perfect is the enemy of good" and if I don't start now I'll just be endlessly postponing the decision to start writing.
One of the important things I've understood about writing is that your style defines how people relate to you. As Benjamin Reinhardt said on his blog (check it out, it's great):
Everybody has a “projection” - a small representation - of each person they know living in their heads.
I haven't yet figured out what I'd like that "projection" to be for me but if I can fit the words "curious", "helpful" and "fun" in your brain then I think it's a great start. I'm starting this newsletter in the hope that I'll live up to those words out here on the interwebs.
Curious - Helpful - Fun
When speaking with people who are trying to get into VC, I invariably tell them one thing: "If you aren't a curious and open-minded person, VC isn't for you".
Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose - Zora Neale Hurston (1942)
Most of the VCs I meet are genuinely curious people, they love to dig into trends and understand new models they run into. There's always the occasional ex-banker who hits you with a "Soooo what have you seen lately" in quest for dealflow but generally speaking, it's a great industry to be in because people are passionate and curious.
In VC, the phrase "let me know how I can be helpful" has been meme'd into oblivion. Besides the jokes, since a VCs' reputation is based on their ability to support entrepreneurs, I like to think that most will do their best to help you advance your business (intros, product feedback). I'm intending to use this blog as a way to share knowledge on different topics around startup building with the hope that founders and people in the startup world will learn a thing or two.
As you might have already guessed by now, this is where I think the picture is a bit bleaker, I feel that the world of venture takes itself quite seriously. Even more so when writing content. I don't know where it stems from but it's something I'd like to do differently, I think the ability to share sharp thoughts and deliver those informally is underrated.
The tone that I plan to have for my articles will be pretty lighthearted, not taking myself too seriously but with a well thought and researched approach behind them. Growing up with the internet, I've tried my hand at the meme-making exercise with varying degrees of success (as you can see in this post), I intend to use this newsletter as an excuse to hone that skill too*.
To wrap up, as I tell founders when I push them to reach out to their dream angels or investors:
« Worst case scenario they won’t care, best case scenario you’ll build great relationships and a great business».
I hope the articles I’ll share here will have as a corollary the creation of great relationships.
*On that note, I'm building my meme advisory board, if you'd like to judge my questionnable humour earlier than others, join me here. Here's a small sneak peak of the different iterations I had in mind for the one above: