“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  1. “Today’s kids grow up building in Roblox, mirroring the rise of low code / no code in the startup ecosystem and signaling how everyone is now able to manipulate and create software. The 12-year-old who spends her free time building games in Roblox will become the 22-year-old who builds her company’s business apps in Airtable.”


2. “A career moat is a professional advantage that protects your long-term employment prospects from economic forces.

While rare…

When I was investing professionally , I used to see this at a micro level. You would meet a founder who created this amazing technology. But then you’d ask the question: who would use this? And how would this be used? Crickets…….timing matters. As the old investor wag goes, “Being early is the same as being wrong.”

But the point of this, is even if the technology is very useful, the use case almost always takes time to figure out. Basically humans naturally have a hard time adopting new technology due to deeply ingrained habits and literal “human nature” that…

The business world is becoming more like a Barbell structure. You have a big dominant player (or even two) on one side. And on the other side of the Barbell you have a multitude of specialist players who own their niche.

Take a look at some key industries for example.

  1. Media=Netflix vs. Youtube Influencers
  2. Ecommerce=Amazon (The Empire) vs. Shopify (Arm the Rebels)
  3. Venture Capital =Softbank Vision Fund/Sequoia/Founders Fund/A16Z (BIG) vs. Harry Stebbings & his 20MinVC Angel fund & the Angellist Rolling Funds (Small)

It reminds me of some old business strategy books I read. Strongly recommend “The Gorilla Game” by…

“Never mistake activity for achievement.” — John Wooden

  1. “The CEO and founder of Epic Games has had a knack for picking the right battles while also shoring up his company’s independence. Fortnite, the company’s blockbuster battle royale game, recently topped more than 15 million concurrent players and has spawned a universe of fandom. Epic challenged established platforms by launching its own digital video game storefront. And the multi-billion dollar company developed the Unreal Engine, a proprietary software for making its own video games that it licenses out to other developers and animators.

Now Sweeney, 50, is embarking on the biggest…

Success comes at the extremes. One of the lessons I’ve learned in my career is that the best individuals are spikey. They are so good at one or two things that these outweigh all their weaknesses. This was the lesson taught by the fine folks at Gallup and goes contrary to what is commonly taught in school or advice given to young adults and even in the workplace.

When I was growing up, we were taught to focus and remedy our weaknesses. So for example in school I was not particularly good (or interested) in French or chemistry but all…

I learned this term from Randy Komisar’s classic book, “Monk & Riddle.” A tale that takes place after the first dotcom boom in the early 2000s. It’s about this MBA type guy who wants to start a business mainly for the reason that it looks lucrative. But ends up being guided by a successful entrepreneur to focus on another business opportunity that really calls to him.

“if you can’t see yourself doing this business for the rest of your life, don’t start it. …

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” — Helen Keller

  1. This is a great description of what is happening in VC in Silicon Valley right now. Its cray cray to say the least.


2. “Slootman likes to say that he doesn’t have a formula, even after having pulled off similar magic at both Data Domain and ServiceNow. Talk to him at length, though, and watch the patterns, and you can see that’s not true. …

Yes, the title might seem crass but I find that most successful technology startups echo, enable or enhance what we do in the real world. So for one example as stated by one of the best observers of the consumer tech market, Turner Novak, the best social networks enable in the digital world, behavior that happens offline. Every major successful consumer product follows this.

To further explain these terms, these products help people

  1. get access to sexual partners (or the chance of it) ie. Laid
  2. look good/prestigious ie. Made
  3. make them money ie. Paid.

Here are some live examples. Dating…

Quoting the brilliant Silicon Valley operator David Sacks: Activist Funds & Hedge funds, especially the short sellers are the “apex predators of Wall Street, they hire PR people, they hire Private investigators, they go on message boards. They try to destroy companies to engineer outcomes.” These outcomes are immense profits, literally in the billions of dollars. For a taste of this, just watch one of my favorite shows also called “Billions”, it’s vicious yet fascinating stuff.

Activist Hedge funds & short sellers on Wall Street have been doing this for a long time with public companies because it’s become so…

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike” — Theodore Roosevelt

  1. This is quite the inspiring story.

“This act landed the teen a potential life sentence — and he eventually served 8 years in a Virginia state prison.

During that time, Bullock decided to turn his life around.

Today, he is the founder and CEO of Flikshop, an app that allows anyone to send a personalized postcard photo or message to any incarcerated person in the United States.”

2. “Tyler Blevins — Ninja, to video-game fans — is the…

Marvin Liao

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything! www.marvinliao.com

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