This is what I call the epoch that every once great company has. Some examples that come to mind are Microsoft in the 1990s, Ebay from 2001–2006, Google from 2006–2011, Facebook from 2008–2013. For me it was Yahoo! from 2003–2008. Possibly more recently it would be AirBnB from 2012–2018 or Stripe last few years till now.

Ask anyone who works in these companies during this time. The company was expanding so fast. “The Rise” that i wrote about previously here: The “Rise” & The “Grind”

Absolutely magical times. Everyone wants to work there. You are so proud, you are eager…


“The difference between a strong man and a weak one is that the former does not give up after a defeat.”― Woodrow Wilson


In line with “Work like a Lion, Not like a Cow”, I have found myself working in sprints and more sporadically now that I have actual control over my schedule. Something that i believe many former white collar office workers have experienced since the start of the pandemic where offices are still shut down 10 months later. As remote work becomes more prevalent, learning how to manage your time, energy and effectiveness will be even more important.

However, there are some times when you have to make a major push due to some crisis or deadline. This is what they…


A big part of running an accelerator or a Venture Capital fund is fundraising. Whether it’s fundraising for your fund or more importantly, helping and working with your portfolio companies on their own fundraising process. I would say particularly being in Silicon Valley this is what I and other investors spend a disproportionate amount of time on. (I could argue maybe a bit too much).

So many of my founders or founders in general complain about fundraising. “Fundraising sucks!,” “I hate fundraising” or “I can’t wait to get back to working on the business.” But my response to them is…


“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”― Nelson Mandela

https://pomp.substack.com/p/bitcoin-is-leaving-exchanges-and

2. “The third great conveyance of the modern economy (the first two being globalization and digitization) is in full swing: Dispersion, the process of value leapfrogging traditional points of distribution. Three sectors stand to register…


Chefs make something completely different. A great example is Elon Musk. From a startup perspective this is the act of Category Creation. A Cook on the other hand follows a recipe. Most of us are Cooks. From a startup perspective, this is competing in an established industry.

BUT you can start as a cook, mastering the basics. Over time, you mix, re-mix and add in new things and end up as a Chef. Thinking about Chinese Internet ecosystem, most of the big players like Alibaba, Tencent, Netease, Baidu all started as Chinese copies of similar US internet giants. …


“The Goal” by Eli Goldratt is a classic business fiction book that came out in the mid-80s. The hero of the story, Alex Rogo has 90 days to turn around a manufacturing plant before corporate HQ closes it down. He learns from his professor the Theory of Constraints.

“The theory of constraints (TOC) is a management paradigm that views any manageable system as being limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints. There is always at least one constraint, and TOC uses a focusing process to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of…


“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”

― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

The Realignment Ep. 98: Balaji Srinivasan, the Coming Decentralization of Everything

2. “Negative press is an attack on your social network.

Your bank account is your stored wealth…


Growth investing is defined in the stock market as investing in an asset that has the potential to outperform the overall market.

Growth investing in regards to Venture: Usually a proven & reputable Founder (ie. who has had an exit 100M usd+), from a renowned company alumni like Stripe, Uber, AirbnB (or Facebook or Google back in the day). Super sexy space, competitive round.

This is an access game. This is where branded investors like Sequoia, Accel or A16Z really shine. Their firms brands, reputation capital and network are crucial to selling and getting a founder to let them into…


I am a collector of mental models and frameworks. I learned a new one recently from Ukrainian investment banker friend. It’s the “Fools Theory.” In this framework, it posits that the world is split between 4 types of people. Wise Guys/Gals, Simpletons/ Martyrs, Bandits and Fools.

The Wise Guys/Gals: make decisions based on what is good for themselves and other parties.

Self explanatory but these are the Win-Win folks straight from Steven Covey. Long term thinkers and this path tends to be more sustainable.

The Simpletons/ Martyrs: make decisions that are good for others but not themselves.

These are amazing…

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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