The idea is this: the world oscillates between centralization and decentralization, with progress sloping upward through the turns. We’re approaching an era of decentralization. This shift from centralization to decentralization is popping up everywhere I look: Energy: Fossil Fuels vs. Renewables Manufacturing: Globalization vs. Reshoring Manufacturing: Making vs. Growing Science: Government Funded vs. Decentralized Hard Tech: Government Agencies & Incumbents vs. Startups AI: Closed vs. Open Talent: Big Tech vs. Startups Apps: Big vs. Small Media: Substack vs. Journalism Education: Factory vs. Personalized Finance: Big Banks vs. Fintech We go deep on all of that in this episode. But here's the wildest part. That's not my real voice you're listening to. It's my AI voice, created by my friends at play.ht by training a model on a bunch of other audio essays. It's wildly good -- give it a listen. Read the full essay at Not Boring: https://www.notboring.co/p/decentralization
November 27, 2022
Anton Teaches Packy AI | Ep 2 | Chinchilla
We're back! In Episode 2, Anton Teaches Packy about Deepmind's March 2022 paper, Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models, or as it's more commonly known, Chinchilla. Prior to Chinchilla, the best way to improve the performance of LLMs was thought to be by scaling up the size of the model. As a result, the largest models now have over 500 billion parameters. But there are only so many GPUs in the world, and throwing compute at the problem is expensive and energy intensive. In this paper, Deepmind found that the optimal way to scale an LLM is actually by scaling size (parameters) and training (data) proportionally. Given the race for size, today's models are plenty big but need a lot more data. In this conversation, we go deep on the paper itself, but we also zoom out to talk about the politics of AI, when AGI is going to hit, where to get more data, and why AI won't take our jobs. This one gets a lot more philosophical than our first episode as we explore the implications of Chinchilla and LLMs more generally. If you enjoyed this conversation, subscribe for more. We're going to try to release one episode per week, and we want to make this the best way to get a deeper understanding of the mind-blowing progress happening in AI and what it means for everything we do as humans. LINKS: Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models: https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.15556 chinchilla's wild implications: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6Fpvc... Scaling Laws for Neural Language Models (Kaplan et al): https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.08361
November 25, 2022
Anton Teaches Packy AI | E1
Anton Teaches Packy AI is Not Boring's attempt at making AI more accessible to our audience. It's become increasingly obvious that we're in the Golden Age of AI, so we think it's important to demystify what's going on and how it all actually works. Anton Troynikov is the founder of Chroma, former Meta Reality Labs Research Engineer and Roboticist. Packy McCormick is the author of the popular tech and buinsess strategy newsletter, Not Boring. Anton Teaches Packy AI is exactly what it sounds like -- each video, Anton breaks down AI to a level that Packy (your average above average smart person) can understand. In Episode 1, Anton and Packy discuss the groundbreaking "Attention is All You Need" research paper which kicked off the entire Transformer generative AI wave. LINKS: - Attention is All You Need: https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.03762 - The Bitter Lesson: http://www.incompleteideas.net/IncIdeas/BitterLesson.html - Training Compute-Optimal Large Language Models: https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.15556 - Explain Paper: https://www.explainpaper.com/
November 07, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Joe Connor, Odyssey
Odyssey (formerly Agora) fully believes in the power of technology to provide families with opportunity to choose the educational environment and services that help them best meet their unique learning needs. In order to help parents do that, we have partnered with the best K-12 providers and vendors in order to create a robust marketplace for our families. Joe Connor is the founder and CEO of Odyssey, and brings with him years of experience in education & law. Packy and Joe have been friends for 23 years, so it was especially special to have Joe come on the podcast to talk about his work at Odyssey. This episode was sponsored by Hyper. Hyper is a different kind of startup accelerator back by a16z and Sequoia Capital. Hyper supports participating startups with access to deep networks, media presence, and now hands-on support from unicorn founders. You can learn more about Hyper and apply here. Tell them Not Boring sent you!
November 01, 2022
Capital & Taste
Capital & Taste audio essay. Capital is banking built for founders. If that sounds like you, sign up for a Capital account today, whether you’re just raising your first million or doing millions in ARR. Capital expands Party Round’s offering from fundraising to a full suite of financial services focused on startups. Today, that’s banking – so you can hold, spend, and send the money you’ve raised with their flagship fundraising tool (fka Party Round). In the future, it might be treasury management, payroll, credit, software, and services. Capital is a big name for a small company. It hints at big ambitions. There’s a very long way between here and there, and myriad well-funded competitors lurking on the path, but if Capital lives up to its name, it will be because of its taste.
October 31, 2022
Formic: Automating Abundance
Formic delivers Robots by the Hour to manufacturers. It’s making small and medium American businesses stronger, fighting inflation, and creating abundance Link to full essay here. -------------------------- The goal is abundance. We want more and better things, more cheaply. We want those things to be made closer to home. We want less fragile supply chains, so that those things are always available when we need them. We want more good jobs, and more time unlocked to maximize our human potential. Over the long-term, there are a lot of things we can do to create abundance. Generate clean, cheap, renewable electricity. Improve the education system. Build more houses. Change laws. In the immediate term, the answer is robots. Formic is creating the largest workforce of robots in the country -- and delivering Robots by the Hour to its customers, so that they can increase productivity and generate abundance.
October 24, 2022
Not Boring Founders: John Andrew Entwistle
John Andrew Entwistle is the founder and CEO of Wander. Wander is a fully-integrated platform for experiencing magnificent short-term rental homes. Wander owns the customer experience end-to-end: the homes, the booking platform, and the value-added services. Over 100,000 people have joined the Wander waitlist. In this episode, John Andrew announces, for the first time, Wander's newest product: Wander Atlas - the world's first and only vacation rental REIT. Through Atlas, you can earn passive income, diversify your portfolio, and own a piece of Wander's magical network of homes.
October 20, 2022
Social vs. Science Experiments
Social vs. Science Experiments: We talk a lot about progress here in Not Boring. Progress can be difficult and messy and winding, and importantly, progress moves at different speeds and follows different paths for different kinds of products. Today’s essay is my thinking on two types: science experiments and social experiments. Successful science experiment products clearly move the world forward; social experiment products are less obviously beneficial and messier in the short-run, but I think they’re every bit as important in the long run, especially in combination with science experiment products. Sponsored by Secureframe: Secureframe is the leading, all-in-one platform for security and privacy compliance. Secureframe makes it fast and easy to get and stay compliant so you can focus on what matters: Scaling your business, customers, and revenue. With Secureframe, hypergrowth organizations can: Get SOC 2 audit ready in weeks, not months Stay compliant with the latest regulations Scale compliance with your business to meet ISO 27001, GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and other requirements Plus, Secureframe helps sales teams respond to RFPs and security questionnaires quickly and easily with AI so they can close more deals, faster. Click here to set up a demo. Mention “Not Boring” during your demo to get 20% off your first year of Secureframe. Promotion available through October 31, 2022.
October 10, 2022
How Do I Teach These Kids?!
In "How Do I Teach These Kids?!" Packy confronts the challenge of how to properly educate his two young children in a rapidly evolving world. "Dev and Maya get a blank educational slate to start with. Puja and I are responsible for figuring out how to give them the best education possible, one that helps them love learning, have fun, and get prepared for life beyond school. I don’t think the answer is as simple as “Get them into the best schools possible.” I think it’s a lot more complicated than that, and will only get more complicated as things move faster. This isn’t meant to be a complete survey and analysis of the modern educational system, it’s more of an exploration of how I’m thinking about it personally in the very specific context of Dev and Maya’s education. What’s the best way to prepare my two kids?"
October 03, 2022
Tegus: The Outsiders
Tegus is building the modern investment research platform for fundamental private and public market investors, starting with a novel twist on the classic expert call model, and expanding into adjacent opportunities by listening intently to customers. This audio essay covers: The Course to Tegus Modernizing Investment Research The Tegus Business Model The Outsiders: Fundraising, Buybacks, and Acquisitions Read the full newsletter here
September 29, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Peter Johnston, Polywork
Peter Johnston is the founder of Polywork. Polywork is a place to discover opportunities to collaborate with other professionals. Existing networks like LinkedIn focus on connecting us to 9-5 opportunities — but where do you go to find opportunities to speak on podcasts? Or discover partners for your side project? Check out who at Google or Netflix is open to angel investing or starting a company? If LinkedIn is built for the 9-5 generation, Polywork is built for the collaboration generation. It’s been in private beta for just over a year, but this week it publicly launched for everyone, was #1 on Product Hunt, and announced its Series B funding. So what’s its magic? Polywork understands that as professionals, our list of job titles don’t do a good job of telling our full stories. Furthermore, it’s purpose built for professionals who want to connect with one another beyond their 9-5. There’s a growing network of amazing professionals from places like Figma, Snapchat, and Github all sharing what they want to do — making it incredibly easy to collaborate with anyone, on anything.
September 27, 2022
The Enchanted Notebook
The Enchanted Notebook: on the real and growing power of writing down the future you want to see exist. In the context of a recent Lex Fridman and Ray Kurzweil podcast conversation, Packy explores where we are with AI today and what the future may hold. This essay and audio essay were sponsored by Secureframe. If you're starting a software company or getting up-to-speed on enterprise, schedule a demo with Secureframe.
September 26, 2022
Indistinguishable from Magic
Monday Audio Essay: "Indistinguishable from Magic" Packy explores "magic" in tech and how it impacts the startup lifecycle: "It’s the Magical Startup Circle of Life. A startup, if it’s lucky, creates magic, turns that magic into dollars, and transitions to life as a successful Big Muggle Company, capable of enormous profits and power but no longer able to conjure magic. Then a new Magician comes along, using sufficiently advanced technology to build something indistinguishable from magic, and uses that magic as a wedge to challenge the Big Muggle Company." To read the full essay with graphics, head over to notboring.co. Thanks to Polywork for sponsoring this Monday's essay!
September 19, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Mike Saunders, Captain
Mike Saunders is the co-founder and CEO of Captain. Captain powers restaurants and their communities through a mix of web2 and web3 technologies. Mike is an experienced food delivery entrepreneur, having previously started campusfood.com, which subsequently sold to Grub Hub where Mike served as an exec for a number of years. Captain, in many ways, is a response to many of the problems that Mike contributed to creating while building web2 food delivery platforms. One of Captain's first products is Supper Club: the digital wallet for the future of dining. Customers can find restaurants and earn rewards through fun games. In the process, restaurants gain access to a community of loyal customers. Food delivery is a massive industry and increasingly dominated by a handful of middlemen that extract a high-take rate, disconnect restaurants from customers, and abstract away customer relationships. Captain is an attempt to empower restaurants to creatively engage with their community of customers.
August 16, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Eli Wachs & Alex Grinman, Footprint
Eli Wachs & Alex Grinman are the co-founders of Footprint. Footprint's mission is to bring back trust on the internet. The company wants to put people in control of their identity while solving KYC, IDV, and PII storage problems for enterprises. Footprint just announced a $6M Seed Round led by Index Ventures.
August 05, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Brandon Arvanaghi, Meow
Brandon Arvanaghi is the co-founder and CEO of Meow. Meow is a startup that opens corporate treasurers up to crypto markets. This is Brandon's second time on the podcast -- and he's on to discuss raising Meow's Series A & navigating challenging times in the crypto markets.
July 26, 2022
Amplified Tribalism: Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a vibe shift online: the conversation seems to be getting more negative, aggressive, and polarized. Today’s piece is an attempt to unpack why so many people are talking past each other, why it’s so unproductive, and what to do about it. It’s not as upbeat as a lot of Not Boring pieces, but I think addressing this issue is crucial to unlocking progress. Sponsored by Athletic Greens. Athletic Green's AG1 is foundational nutrition you can count on. Learn more at athleticgreens.com/notboring and when you use our link get a free 1 year supply of Vitamin D + 5 free AG1 travel packs.
July 25, 2022
Circle & USDC: Building a Stable Platform
Sponsored Deep Dive on Circle & USDC. In one of our longest essays yet, we tackle the following topics: What are stablecoins? How do stablecoin issuers generate revenue? Why are stablecoins a valuable primitive? How are USDC and Circle a platform? What is Circle’s competitive advantage? What would a new financial system built on Circle’s rails look like? This essay is sponsored by Circle. To learn more about how we decide to do deep-dives, checkout our policy here.
July 21, 2022
Monday Essay -- "Intertwining Threads": Imagining the wild things that might happen when we mix and remix new technologies. Sponsored by Athletic Greens. Athletic Green's AG1 is foundational nutrition you can count on. Learn more at athleticgreens.com/notboring and when you use our link get a free 1 year supply of Vitamin D + 5 free AG1 travel packs.
July 18, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Thomas McLeod, Arkive
Thomas McLeod is the Founder and Executive Director of Arkive. Arkive is redefining culture by building the first-ever decentralized physical museum. Its mission is to curate, own, and create culture. Its community helps shape the future, by curating the past -- members vote on what items to acquire, how to display them, and much more. The first item Arkive acquired was the patent to ENIAC -- the first computer. Tom is a 5x founder, having also previously created over a dozen mobile apps and starting storage company Omni. SPONSOR -- Tegus This episode is sponsored by Tegus, the leading modern research platform for institutional investors. Tegus is the most comprehensive database of expert call interviews with former executives, customers, competitors, and industry experts. It's a a tech-first platform that makes it easy to surface and search SEC filings and earning transcripts. Plus you can get expert calls at a fraction of the typical cost. It has unmatched info on public and private company. Check it out today: https://www.tegus.com/trial/notboring
July 15, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Alok Tayi, Vibe Bio
Alok Tayi is the founder and CEO of Vibe Bio. Vibe Bio is a community of patients, scientists, and partners committed to identifying, funding and developing promising treatments to rare diseases and empowering patient communities with unprecedented ownership over the process. Packy and Alok discuss how rare diseases can find cures, the biotech industry today, and why Vibe is built on web3 rails. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
July 01, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Samiur Rahman, Heyday
Samiur Rahman is the co-founder and CEO of Heyday. Heyday is a browser extension that automatically saves web pages you visit and pulls in content from your apps. It uses AI to resurface that content alongside Google search results, overlay it on articles, and curate it into a knowledge base that fills itself. Samiur joins the show to discuss some big news, building great products, and Heyday's plans for the next few months. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 28, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Alexa Grabell, Pocus (Pt. II)
Alexa Grabell is the co-founder and CEO of Pocus. Pocus is a Product-Led Sales platform that helps go-to-market teams use data to improve customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion - without relying on engineers. This is Alexa's second time on Not Boring Founders and she joins us to discuss some big news, what Pocus has been up to for the last 8 months, and how she's approaching operating Pocus in an uncertain macro environment. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 24, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Henry Ward, Carta
Henry Ward is the co-founder and CEO of Carta. Carta helps companies and investors manage their cap tables, valuations, investments, and equity plans. Packy previously described Henry as a "Worldbuilder" - an entrepreneur who can see something non-obvious about the future, timestamp their prediction, and then execute against that prediction (sometimes for over a decade) until they end of building something really, really important. They address the accuracy of that title, the current state of the market, N-of-1 markets, and much more. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 22, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Justin & J.P. Alanís
Justin & J.P. Alanís are the co-founders of StoryDAO. Story DAO is a new kind of production studio where individuals have the opportunity to collaborate with established Hollywood writers and artists to create and co-own the next generation of culturally relevant story franchises. It's a radical experiment in community world-building and is changing the way franchise intellectual property is created and owned, bridging the gap between Hollywood and the metaverse. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 17, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Will Manidis, ScienceIO
Will Manidis is the co-founder and CEO of ScienceIO. ScienceIO's mission is to make all healthcare data computable. It's products enable real-time transformation of unstructured healthcare data into structured data that can be used for search & analysis. If Will and team are successful, he envisions a world in which healthcare is more connected, transparent and equitable. Packy and Will go deep on healthcare, company building, and a variety of tangentially related topics, including NLPs for biblical text, the supply chain crisis, and building companies that matter. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 14, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Humberto Ayres Pereira
Humberto Ayres Pereira is the co-founder and CEO of Rows. Rows is the spreadsheet with superpowers. With Rows, you can esily create and share powerful, interactive models with a passionate community of other spreadsheet users. It's taking on the likes of Microsoft & Google head on, and doing so by focusing on its interactivity and sharing functionality. In this conversation, Packy and Humberto discuss tactics for taking on incumbents, the power of spreadsheets, and startup culture in Portugal. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 10, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Paul Kromidas & Woods Buckley, Summer
Paul Kromidas and Woods Buckley are the founders of Summer. Summer is re-imaging second home ownership -- with a unique rent-to-own model, members get the benefit of homeownership without the headache of the purchasing process, furnishing, and rental management. In this conversation, they discuss Summer's ten year vision, why people do & don't buy homes, wealth creation, and creating a great customer experience. Excitingly, Summer officially launched today June 7th, 2022 -- and you can go check them out at gosummer.com to learn more. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 07, 2022
Not Boring Founders: SAFA + Valet Jones, Tally Labs
Tally Labs is a software-enabled web3 media business blurring the lines between community and creators. Packy is joined by its two pseudonymous founds, SAFA and Valet Jones. Tally Labs started as a media business built around the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT known as Jenkins the Valet -- and today the team is working on a book with Neil Strauss, a series of podcasts, and partnerships all built around that character. But one level up, Tally is a decentralized storytelling company and its building the necessary tools, like Writer's Room, to make that possible. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
June 01, 2022
What's Your Problem x Not Boring Founders ft. Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX
Today we're sharing an episode from a podcast we love that features a founder you are all familiar with. What's Your Problem? is a podcast from Pushkin, and hosted by Jacob Goldstein, where entrepreneurs and engineers talk about the future they’re trying to build – and the problems they have to solve to get there. This episode features Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of FTX. FTX.US, the US subsidiary of FTX, is the presenting sponsor of all of Season 2 of Not Boring Founders. Subscribe to What's Your Problem? wherever you listen to podcasts. And, as always, download the FTX app using our unique link.
May 27, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Amjad Masad, Replit
Amjad Masad is the co-founder and CEO of Replit. Replit's mission is to bring the next billion software creators online. The company believes that the ability to write code should be as ubiquitous as the ability to write essays -- and it wants to be the first place that anyone writes a line of code. In this wide-ranging, long-form conversation Amjad tells us of his roots in Jordan, how he first started making money with software, and why he think's there is still alpha in being authentic. His story is central to the story of Replit. In Packy's Deep Dive on Replit in December of 2021, he called that "Replit will be a $100B company" and after listening to today's conversation with Amjad, it's hard to not at least root for that. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
May 25, 2022
Designing Token Economies
Packy and writing collaborator, Tina He, break down token design and why now is the perfect time for tinkerers to build new economies. The piece also explores how protocols are similar to corporations and nations, and where those analogies fall apart -- while suggesting a new framework for evaluating good token design. This audio essay is sponsored by Masterworks.
May 24, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Sahil Mansuri, Bravado
Sahil Mansuri is the founder and CEO of Bravado. Bravado is the largest network of sales professionals, with over 200,000 salespeople on the platform. The company is building a killer community and business around salespeople with the hopes of building a bottoms up sales network. Currently the company has three core products: a community for sales people to connect, a transparency product, and a talent matching platform. Just yesterday, Bravado announced that it raised $26M in a round led by Tiger Global. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
May 20, 2022
The Founder's Letter: Mackenzie Burnett, Ambrook
Introducing The Founder's Letter, a new series by Not Boring. Storytelling is core to Not Boring, but usually it's from Packy's perspective. With The Founder's Letter, founders tell their story directly to the audience, in their own words. Mackenzie Burnett is the CEO and Cofounder of Ambrook. Ambrook creates finance software for farms, from bookkeeping, to spend cards, to capital -- all purpose built for farmers. Mackenzie shares the Ambrook story, in her own words. Sponsor The Founder's Letter is sponsored by Compound. Compound is a full-stack financial management platform offering financial advice, tax, lending, estate planning, and investment allocation and has served 1,000s of clients from companies like Stripe, Figma, and Airtable. Stripe Ambrook Video
May 19, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Alex Herrity, Anima
Alex Herrity is the co-founder of Anima. Anima is a augmented reality, NFT company blending the physical and digital worlds. Packy and Alex discuss the current state of the NFT market, building in a bear marketing, Anima's decades long vision, and what the company does today. SponsorSeason 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
May 17, 2022
Isaac Newton's lifelong pursuit of alchemy may surprise you. Newton is the father of science and one of the most rational thinkers in history, but he also dedicated enormous amounts of time and energy to the now discredited field of alchemy. Yet, without alchemy we do not have chemistry. Many of the key problems and methods posed by alchemy would lead to the development of chemistry. We see this repeatedly throughout history. Seemingly frivolous or unproductive experimentation ultimately leading to major breakthroughs. Packy explores this historical trend in the context of our current markets and offers an optimistic view of where the last decade of seemingly frivolous experimentation and resourcing may take us in the future. This audio essay is sponsored by Masterworks.
May 16, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Cartoon Avatars w/ Ben Thompson & Logan Bartlett
This is episode is a cross-post from the podcast Cartoon Avatars, hosted by Logan Bartlett. Logan is joined by Packy and Ben Thompson of Stratechery. Packy, Ben, and Logan talk about their respective businesses and experiences on the internet, and give advice for other content creators. Packy and Logan have been friends for nearly 15 years. And both Packy and Logan have been reading Ben Thompson for nearly a decade. In fact, Stratechery, and Ben's work generally, was the initial inspiration for Not Boring. Subscribe to Cartoon Avatars here. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
May 10, 2022
If We Ruled the Tweets
When the Twitter acquisition was a story about free speech and content moderation, I didn’t have much to say. Those are really hard problems about which I have no special insights to contribute. But over the past week, the story has evolved into one with which I’m much more comfortable: how to better monetize Twitter. I have some ideas, one of which is that Twitter’s users should have a seat at the table, and upside in the outcome. This essay covers three topics: What does Twitter think it is, and what is Twitter? What New Twitter should build TweeterDAO This audio essay is sponsored by Masterworks.
May 09, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Gabby Dizon, Yield Guild
Gabby Dizon is the co-founder of Yield Guild Gaming (YGG). On its website, it says YGG is a play-to-earn gaming guild, bringing players together to earn via blockchain based economies. That description is starting to expand - YGG is quickly becoming the infrastructure for x-to-earn DAOs. Packy and Gabby discuss the future of ownership, earning, and work and how the the x-to-earn model can shape the world in the next decade. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
May 03, 2022
Packy is joined by Alex Danco of Shopify's Blockchain team to discuss "Tokengated Commerce." Alex breaks down what it means to make Shopify "wallet-aware," answers why this type of commerce needs blockchains, and paints a picture of what web3 commerce might look like in the future. This audio essay is sponsored by Masterworks.
May 02, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Gina Bianchini, Mighty Networks
Gina Bianchini is the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. Mighty is a platform that makes it easy to create, grow and monetize online communities. Mighty is the result of nearly two decades of Gina's career spent building online social products back to the early 2000s, when she built Ning with Marc Andreessen, and she's been building for community and online social spaces ever since. Gina explains how social media and other platforms are designed for people that already know each other and not for building a community of strangers on the internet. Mighty, however, was natively designed for community building on the internet -- prioritizing creator customization, social lubrication, and context. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
April 29, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Alamin Uddin, NexHealth
Alamin Uddin is the co-founder and CEO of NexHealth. NexHealth’s mission is to accelerate innovation in healthcare. It's doing it by making it easy for your health data to go from point A to point B, and from doctor to doctor. The company recently announced its Series C round of $125M at a $1B valuation led by Buckley Ventures. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
April 26, 2022
Celo: Building a Regenerative Economy
ReFi (Regenerative Finance) is having a moment. ReFi is a reimagining of the financial system that accounts for the needs of all stakeholders, current and future. It puts a price on externalities: charging those who create negative externalities and rewarding those who create positive externalities. Celo is becoming ReFi's home. Celo is a carbon-negative EVM-compatible Layer 1 blockchain designed to make it accessible and usable by anyone with a smartphone, anywhere in the world. Celo was built with its mission in mind and is making a big bet: in an omni-chain world where liquidity is not loyal, a blockchains distinctiveness and strength of mission will determine success. In this essay -- Not Boring breaks down Celo's mission and what the world looks like if it succeeds.
April 25, 2022
The Invisible Hand's Visible Swarm
When Adam Smith began writing about an invisible hand, a metaphor for the market’s self-correcting mechanisms, in 1759, the world was very local, and information moved at a more leisurely pace. Today, though, information zips around the world instantly, the talent pool is becoming more liquid and global, venture capital has more money to deploy than ever before, and the scope of the world’s ambitions are getting bigger. Ideally, all of this combines into one big matching engine that puts the right people and capital to the right problems. How does the swarm know what to attack? Packy explains entrepreneurship through his concept of The Visible Swarm. This audio essay is sponsored by Masterworks.
April 19, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Shane Curran, Evervault
Shane Curran is the founder and CEO of Evervault. Evervault is an encryption infrastructure company that makes collecting, processing, and sharing sensitive data ultra secure. When a company encrypts with Evervault, they could put their database on a billboard and no one could get at the data. The company’s mission is to encrypt the web. Its goal is to end data breaches. To support the podcasts, please subscribe, rate and share. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
April 15, 2022
The Not Boring Liquid Super Team
Not Boring just turned two years old. Packy reflects on the last two years of Not Boring and looks to the year ahead. Each of the first two years of Not Boring had a defining "thing." Year 1: Grow the newsletter and survive Year 2: Not Boring Capital For Year 3, Not Boring is building a Liquid Super Team. Packy discusses why he was originally hesitant to build a team, what has changed, and what the new team will be focused on. Plus, Packy shares a redacted version of the Not Boring Capital Q1 2022 update that was shared with LPs last not.
April 11, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Mariam Hakobyan, Softr
Mariam Hakobyan is the co-founber and CEO of Softr. Softr is an easy-to-use no-code platform to build powerful websites, web-apps and client portals from Airtable, in 10 minutes. With Softr, non-technical users can easily build web-apps that previously would’ve required engineering resources. Softr is riding the No-Code wave, and in this discussion Packy and Mariam discuss the progress of No-Code, how it will transform the ways in which we work, and why Softr is well positioned to become a leading player within the industry. Mariam also shares how Softr won Product Hunt’s Golden Kitty Award for Product of the Year, what building a community actually looks like, and the importance of building easy-to-use products.
April 08, 2022
Hadrian: Ex Machina Ad Lunam
Hadrian is different than the companies we normally talk about in Not Boring. While it relies heavily on software, its main focus is in the world of atoms. It uses big machines to make precision parts for rockets and satellites. It blends automation and high-skilled labor. It’s an incredible example of something we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming years (partially because Hadrian exists): startups tackling very hard, government-level problems in the physical world (and space). I’m very eager to see what happens as the worlds of bits and atoms continue to interact and co-evolve. If Hadrian succeeds in its boldest missions, Americans will build hard things with speed once again, we’ll grow a new skilled labor force by making manufacturing cool, and freedom will reign among the stars. High stakes.
April 04, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Bryan Pellegrino, LayerZero
Bryan Pellegrino is the co-founder and CEO of LayerZero Labs. LayerZero is an omnichain interoperability protocol that enables the realization of cross-chain applications with a low-level communication primitive — simply put, LayerZero enables more secure and affordable cross-chain activity. During the podcast, LayerZero announced it had raised a $135M round co-lead by Sequoia, a16z, and FTX. For someone who was likely receiving hundreds of congratulatory messages while recording, Bryan seemed wholly focused on the conversation at hand. Bryan has been in the crypto space since 2013, spent eight years as a professional poker player, and has started & sold multiple companies. When asked why he’s working on LayerZero, Bryan stated he likes working on hard problems. SPONSOR Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
April 01, 2022
Kaeya Majmundar, Swaypay (S2E5)
Kaeya Majumunday is the founder and CEO of Swaypay. Swaypay is a platform that allows customers to get cashback for posts on TikTok. Customers earn cashback for posting about their recent purchases and brands can get free content and distribution from authentic brand ambassadors. Kaeya and Packy discuss Swaypay’s recent copycats and why she takes it as a strong signal of success for her company. Kaeya has been working on different iterations for Swaypay for over 10 years, after she launched her first company on Sharktank at the age of 19. Since then, she’s obsessed over the idea of turning sway into value for both customers and brands alike. Sponsor Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer. Show Links www.swaypayit.com Kaeya Majumunday Twitter thread from Kaeya on Swaypay Work at Swaypay “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy” by Chris Dixon HBS article on Aflac Not Boring Links Not Boring Not Boring Founders on Spotify Packy McCormick (@packym) on Twitter Not Boring (@notboringco) on twitter Join the Not Boring Talent Collective (candidates + companies)
March 29, 2022
The Current Financial Thing
Elon Musk sparked The Current Thing Meme. There's another meme happening: The Current Financial Thing. Everyone agrees that things are bad, and they agree in the same way. They even agree on how things are going to play out. Groups of humans aren't typically right when they all agree on what the future will bring. Will they be this time? You can read the full post at Not Boring. Thanks to our presenting sponsor for all Q1 Audio Editions... Masterworks
March 28, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Alice Albrecht, re:collect
Alice Albrecht is the founder and CEO of re:collect. re:collect is focused on augmenting human memory and creativity. The product tracks what you're reading and ingests other content information (like notes, highlights, ect) and hands you "thought building-blocks" in the moment of creation. They are building an automatic bridge between you, your digital knowledge, and your ideas. But re:collect is not your standard "productivity app," in fact, Alice breaks down why most productivity apps fail and why her product may be different. Packy and Alice discuss how re:collect is really only possible within the last few years, thanks to advancements in AI/ML, but why humans will always have the advantage of creativity over machines. In starting re:collect, Alice brings with her over a decade of data & product management experience as well as a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience (Psychology) from Yale Univeristy. You can find Alice on Twitter @alicealbrecht and signup for re:collect at www.re-collect.ai SPONSOR Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
March 25, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Ben Rollert, Composer
Ben Rollert is the co-founder and CEO of Composer. Composed is an automated trading platform that allows users to build hedge-fund like strategies with a no-code visual editor. Ben and Packy first met while working together at Breather over 6 years ago, where Ben established himself as "the smartest person Packy has ever met." Composer aims to bring modern software thinking to asset management -- users can create, remix, and share their investing strategies. Ben believes the lines between retail and institutional investors are going to continue to blur, as companies like Composer democratize access to sophisticated tools previously only available to hedge funds. Finally, Ben shares his thoughts on how Composer creators can monetize their trading strategies -- and why that differs from traditional copy trading. Composer was the first investment Packy made out of the Not Boring Syndicate, and to date, it's made him look smart. Following Packy's investment, First Round came in to back Ben and the Composer team, and Composer's found product-market fit early. SPONSOR Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
March 22, 2022
Today, Ramp announced that it raised $750 million -- $200 million in equity and $550 in debt -- at an $8.1 billion valuation from existing investors, led by Keith Rabois at Founders Fund. Not Boring Capital participated. It also hit $100 million in annualized revenue just two years after launching. For this piece, Ramp's co-founders Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh let me peek behind the curtains to help understand what Ramp is building and how. I think that they have a Google-sized opportunity in front of them. You can read the full piece at Not Boring. Thanks to today's sponsor, Masterworks, the best place to invest in world-class art without needing a world-class bank account.
March 21, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Rushir Parikh, Popchew
Rushir Parikh is the co-founder and CEO of Popchew. Popchew is a platform that allows creators to build their own restaurant brands at a national scale. When Packy first met Rushir, he passed on investing -- in this conversation, Packy explains how he (thankfully) was able to invest later on and Rushir lays out the massive vision that Packy missed the first time around. Popchew has three main stakeholders: creators, consumers, and operators. Rushir explains how Popchew gives creators a new way to connect with their audiences, consumers a more fun way of eating, and operators additional volume. 60% of Americans report getting food delivered at least once a week. Rushir believes Popchew can make that experience more fun and profitable. SPONSOR: Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX US. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, Eth, Sol, Doge, ect) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
March 18, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Vance Roush, Overflow
Vance Roush is the founder of Overflow. Overflow builds infrastructure that makes generosity frictionless across every major asset class. The inspiration for Overflow came from Vance's other calling -- he's the founder of Vive Church, an Bay Area based church that now has over 4,000 members across 10 locations. As Treasure of Vive, Vance realized that the church's tech-focused congregation had no easy way to donate non-cash assets--like stock--to the church. He also knew that non-cash donations were the most advantageous from a tax perspective. So he built Overflow. Overflow makes it easy to donate non-cash assets to nonprofits and churches -- unlocking generosity from contributors and opening up new sources of funding for organizations that need it most. In this wide ranging conversation, Packy and Vance cover everything from the nature of eternity to the nitty gritty of 501(c)((3) tax codes. They also discuss Overflow's opportunity to unlock billions of dollars of generosity, the company's GTM strategy, and why giving can and should be as cool as angel investing. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider subscribing, rating, and sharing with your most Not Boring friends! SPONSOR: Season 2 of Not Boring Founders is sponsored by FTX. You may know FTX because of its innovations in crypto derivatives or its ultra-rich & altruistic founder, SBF -- but what you may not know is that the FTX App is available in the US for all crypto traders...and that it's the cheapest exchange out there, with no minimum, ACH, or withdrawal fees. The company is moving fast and now offers crypto trading (Bitcoin, ETH, SOL, DOGE, etc) and supports NFTs -- and is releasing new products seemingly every month. Download the FTX App today, invest $10 and get a free coin from FTX in exchange. Use this download link and enter code "notboring" when you sign up to redeem the offer.
March 15, 2022
Fount and the Body's Magical Future
Fount is running the Elon Musk Company Formula on health. The Starting Point is that healthcare is broken – we spend too much money on managing diseases versus preventing or curing them, and we rarely optimize for performance. We’re wasting human and financial capital. Today, Fount is in the “Sustainable Business Model” phase. Just like rich people have always been happy to spend on nice cars, they’ve also always been happy to spend on things that make them look, feel, and perform better. At $5,000 per month to start, Fount generates strong margins on real, and rapidly growing, revenue. Fount 1.0 funds the Company Innovation, directly and with VC dollars. Fount’s innovation is that it will be the first organization – company, government, or university – to figure out how to collect the experimental data needed to build predictive models. The company’s best estimate is that that will take 5,000 people. You can be one of them. That data will help Fount build predictive models of the brain and body that deliver real, measurable results to large numbers of people via software. If it pulls it off, the models will be the Match That Ignites an Industry. It will take a revolution in the way the industry approaches health and a wave of companies building powerful solutions on top of good data and models to get to that future. Many companies will build on top of Fount’s platform, others will compete. If Fount is able to successfully ignite the industry, it could mean achieving the Goal of putting a big chunk of the $4 trillion we’d normally spend on healthcare annually in the US alone to more productive uses, helping people reduce stress and tension and increase self-understanding, and giving people the tools to maximize their potential (while still enjoying life to the fullest). The Result of the Goal, if everything goes just right, will be to optimize people so that we can build an amazing future together. --------- To try Fount for yourself, you can skip the waitlist by signing up with the Not Boring link or apply for the Fount Not Boring Scholarship for a free year. --------- Thanks to our presenting sponsor of the audio verion of Not Boring: Masterworks. Thanks to Composer for sponsoring the Not Boring newsletter: Invest with Composer.
March 14, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Rohit Mittal, Stilt
Rohit Mittal founded Stilt to give loans to immigrants and underserved people for whom traditional underwriting models didn't work. He came to the US as an immigrant and experienced the pain of establishing credit without any, and after years of working within the system and learning, he built the product to fix it. That meant rebuilding everything -- new underwriting models, license, tech stack -- and stitching it all together. With the rise of embedded finance and banking-as-a-service, it turns out that the stack Rohit and team built from scratch was really valuable to a lot of companies who wanted to start extending credit to their customers. At first, Rohit helped some YC companies figure out how to do it, but enough of them were asking -- and just wanted an easy API they could plug in -- that the company built a product: Onbo. Onbo lets companies build credit products without a bank sponsor, in weeks instead of months or years, for a fraction of the cost. Despite just coming out of stealth, the new business line is growing like wild. On today's episode, Rohit and I dive into the nuts and bolts of spinning out company infrastructure as its own product, why GTM motions are so different in API-first and consumer, and much more. If you like this episode, consider leaving us a rating in your podcast player of choice and telling your friends!
March 10, 2022
Flow: The Progressively Decentralizing Normie Blockchain
Flow, the blockchain for open worlds created by Dapper Labs, is a normie blockchain. In a world in which L1s are battling for 300 million crypto users, going for the other 4.7 billion internet users is crazy differentiated enough that it just might work. You can read the full essay at Not Boring. Thanks to our presenting sponsor, Masterworks.
March 07, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Abrar Ul Haq, Tazah
Abrar Ul Haq is the co-founder of Tazah, a B2B agricultural marketplace that provides access to market and access to capital to millions of farmers in Pakistan and in the middle east region. Prior to Tazah, Abrar and his co-founder worked at Careem, a regional super app that competed with Uber, beat it in its home region, and then got acquired by Uber. In this episode, Abrar shares the lessons he learned at Careem and how he's applying them to building a fast-growing marketplace.
March 03, 2022
Wrangling Venture Entropy with Standard Metrics
Today, Quaestor is announcing a rebrand to Standard Metrics and a fresh $23.7 million Series A to build the data and relationship graph for the private markets. In this episode, we'll discuss why the private markets, and especially venture capital, needs an Entropy Wrangler, and the two key strategic decisions that Standard Metrics is making to ensure that it becomes the platform on top of which private markets investing apps are built. You can read the full post at not boring.
February 24, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Jack Alton (Neuro-ID) and Tommy Nicholas (Alloy)
Neuro-ID and Alloy are teaming up to tackle the $721B in estimated losses from identity theft, stop fraud ring attacks, and create smoother experiences for good customers. We dig into the direct fraud problem and the even bigger problem caused by stopping good actors who want to purchase. Plus, Jack and Tommy share how a partnership like this comes together in the first place. Disclosure: Neuro-ID is a Not Boring Capital portfolio company.
February 22, 2022
Web of Relations
I recently read two books on quantum physics by Carlo Rovelli: The Order of Time and Helgoland. While this isn't a quantum physics podcast, I think they're actually useful to think about in our context in three ways. Understanding the current state of the science. It’s at least interesting, if not practically useful to most of our day jobs, to understand where the cutting edge of physics is today. Web of Relations as a useful model. Quantum theory’s main insight – that everything exists as a web of relations – is a helpful framework for many of the ideas that we discuss here. Getting comfortable with the weird. I don’t remember a lot of the specifics from the essays I write; I can’t expect you to. Instead, I want you to walk away with an informed open-mindedness and comfort with new technologies and ideas. I’m successful here if you see something new and crazy and think, “Woah, fascinating” instead of “Yeah right 🙄.” You can read the full piece at not boring. Thanks to our presenting audio sponsor, Masterworks.
February 14, 2022
Snappr: Building API-First, Last
In five years, Snappr has gone from graduation photography to the leading on-demand marketplace for professional photography and now, to end-to-end visual content workflow software used by many of the world's largest companies and marketplaces. Matt Schiller is running the the API-first playbook in reverse, and the business is growing like a weed. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
February 10, 2022
Ownership and the American Dream
The American Dream is on life support, but it's not dead. We need to stop focusing so much time worrying about protecting peoples’ downsides and start spending more time working on getting more people more upside. We can revive the American Dream by making ownership an explicit economic strategy. You can read the full post at Not Boring. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Masterworks.
February 07, 2022
Braintrust: Fighting Capitalism with Capitalism
Braintrust is a user-owned talent network that has done $37 million of volume in under two years since launching. It's also the best example of a "real-world" use case I've found in web3. Read the full post at Not Boring. This episode is brought to you by Masterworks, our presenting sponsor for Q1 2022. Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and Not Boring Capital is an investor in Braintrust.
January 31, 2022
The 100,000 Foot View
Last week, Not Boring crossed 100,000 subscribers. In this episode, we take a quick look back, brush off the trolls, and re-commit to taking risks, getting things wrong, and being unabashedly optimistic. You can read the full post at Not Boring. Thanks to the Presenting Sponsor of Not Boring's Audio Editions: Masterworks.
January 24, 2022
The Web3 Debate
The dialogue around web3 has turned into a full-fledged debate and the focus has shifted to winning instead of the truth. I actually debated in high school and college, and started a Debate Club in NYC. I think the web3 debate is silly, and that the right answer is always in the middle, but after Prof G dropped his rebuttal against web3 for the Opposition, I had no choice but to jump in for the Proposition. You can read the full post at Not Boring. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Masterworks.
January 18, 2022
The Oscar Puzzle
Oscar IPO’d on March 3rd at $39 per share and started trading at $36 per share, good for a market cap just north of $7 billion. Since then, it’s down nearly 77%, its market cap hovering around $1.5 billion. As The Abstract Investor summarized, the challenge, and opportunity, is that: Many tech analysts aren't paying attention to insurance, while insurance analysts won't quite know how to look at a highly tech-stacked insurance company. That presents a potential opportunity for those that can figure out the murky puzzle. In this episode, we try to put together that murky puzzle by understanding the two businesses that Oscar is building -- a tech-enabled insurance business and an insurance-enabled tech business -- and how they might combine to create the kind of scale needed to compete in health insurance. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
January 13, 2022
Not Boring Capital: Fund 2, 2 Boring
Not Boring Capital is launching a $30M Fund II. In this episode, we go behind the scenes of raising and running a small venture fund, share the most recent LP update, and talk about the value of pushing out the weirdness and risk curve. This podcast is brought to you by our Q1 Presenting Sponsor... Masterworks. If you want to join me on the platform and get priority access – click this Not Boring link.
January 10, 2022
The Laboratory for Complex Problems
2022 is the year that web3 starts making a meaningful impact on atoms-based challenges like healthcare and climate. Web3 is a global, real-money economic and social simulation, a digital laboratory for complex problems. We dive into Allen Iverson, complexity economics, and non-fungible olive gardens to understand why, and what that means. This episode is presented by Masterworks. If you want to join me in investing in art and get priority access – click this Not Boring link * *See important disclosures and offering circular
January 03, 2022
Not Boring Founders: Medici, Abacus Protocol
Medici, Not Boring Capital's first anon founder and Not Boring Founders' first anon guest, is the founder of Abacus, a decentralized NFT appraisal protocol. Launched in late November, Abacus has already been used to appraise millions of dollars worth of NFTs, including multiple Bored Apes, an XCOPY, and a Parallel. In this conversation, we discuss: - Why go anonymous as a web3 founder? - How Medici got into web3 and launched a protocol in under a year. - The Abacus appraisal process. - On-chain appraisal as a job. - What will NFTs represent in the future? You don't want to miss this one.
December 29, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Brandon Arvanaghi, Meow
Brandon Arvanaghi is the CEO of Meow, which lets corporate treasuries play offense with their balance sheets by offering potential 4% yields via crypto lending. We discuss: The importance of building compliance-first. Building a crypto-native financial institution. How it's possible to get such high yields with crypto. Building in-house versus plugging into existing DeFi protocols. How and why such a serious company picked the name Meow. I couldn't be more excited to have invested in Meow, and I think you'll understand why after listening.
December 15, 2021
The Best is Still Yet to Come
I only have one prediction to make for the next year: If you thought that 2021 was wild, 2022 will make it look normal. The best is still yet to come.
December 13, 2021
The Pareto Funtier
Web3 is a vortex for talent, money, culture, and brainspace. I’ve been trying to figure out why, and explain it in the simplest terms. I think I have it, my tailwit explanation: Web3 pushes out the Pareto Funtier. The Pareto Funtier is the set of options at which you can’t have more fun without making less money or can’t make more money without having less fun. Web3 pushes it out by baking money into fun things and fun into money things. We'll cover examples in play-to-earn gaming, NFTs, and DAOs. Read the full post at Not Boring.
December 06, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Regy Perlera, Seasons
Regy Perlera is building the future of retail with Seasons, an access-oriented rent-to-own platform for men. What most impresses me about Regy is that Seasons, which is very much designed for a world in which people go out, came out of COVID even stronger, and with a broader vision, than when the company started. We'll cover that story, along with: - Lessons learned from Rent the Runway - How to stay ahead of the fashion curve - Whether and how Seasons is thinking about web3 - Regy's #1 piece of advice for founders I think this is going to be a public company one day, and Regy is a world-class founder with experience at Nike and StockX. You don't want to miss this.
November 29, 2021
Chris Dixon tweeted that "Composability is to software as compounding interest is to finance." Money builds on money; software builds on software; the results are exponential. While it's harder to measure or intuit, the same is true for ideas. Each new idea is an idea lego. Read the full post at Not Boring.
November 22, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Alexa Grabell, Pocus
Alexa Grabell is the co-founder and CEO of Pocus, a product-led sales platform backed by First Round Capital. Alexa started the company while getting her MBA at Stanford GSB based on her experience leading up sales strategy and operations at Dataminr. We discuss a wide range of topics including defining a new category, setting up a co-founder relationship for success, how to get the most out of early design partners (and what a design partner is), and how companies can add product-led sales to their toolkit. This one is packed with wisdom and practical insights.
November 16, 2021
Let's Buy the US Constitution
As we speak, thousands of people are contributing funds to the ConstitutionDAO in order to win a copy for the last remaining private copy og the US Constitution when it goes up for auction at Sotheby's on Thursday night. It's expected to fetch roughly $20 million. We'll cover the backstory, what a DAO is, and the significance of a group of people using web3 tools to buy the US Constitution together. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
November 16, 2021
Discord: Imagine a Place...
Imagine a place... Built for gamers Home to everyone playing the Great Online Game Has 150 million MAUs Generates $130 million in revenue Is a web3 sleeper This week, I teamed up with Mario Gabriele of The Generalist to tell Discord's story. You can read the full piece here. We cover: The circular origin story. Discord’s lore involves more headfakes and false starts than almost any other business. A dizzying product. Discord can be hard to understand, especially for aged millennials like Packy and me. We do our best to dissect the chaos of Discord’s chat. A forking user base. Though it began as a tool for gamers, Discord is now widely used. We’ll talk about its primary constituencies. Slow monetization. While it has grown rapidly, Discord’s been conservative when it comes to extracting money from users. The web3 opportunity. Discord has become the platform-of-choice for web3 entities, but it doesn’t seem to have totally won over hearts and minds. The company needs to capitalize on its lead and protect its positioning. We have some ideas. The Great Online Game. How Discord has become the home for those learning, living, and winning on the internet.
November 08, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Jack Alton, Neuro-ID
Neuro-ID is a real-time behavioral analytics tool that analyzes all of our very human and unique taps, clicks, and swipes to help its customers fight fraud and better understand their customers. The company, based out of beautiful Whitefish, Montana, announced a $35 million Series B yesterday, in which Not Boring Capital is participating. I sat down with CEO Jack Alton to discuss: - What Neuro-ID does - Transitioning from fighting fraud to a wide range of use cases - The unlikely advantage of the Whitefish HQ - How the Series B came together - What the company plans to do with the money - How to do a founder --> outside CEO transition right.
November 05, 2021
Minimally Extractive Meta
Last week, Facebook announced a rebrand to Meta and an all-in bet on the Metaverse. Zuck said all of the right things about openness and interoperability. The question people are asking is, "Can we trust him?" The more interesting question is, "Do we even need to?" In a world in which people are more used to ownership of their digital assets and identity, Meta’s best strategy will be to operate more like a Minimally Extractive Coordinator than an extractive platform. To reach its full potential, Meta needs to disrupt Facebook by turning itself into something that behaves more like a protocol than a platform. Plus, Meta will be a better influence on the Metaverse than Apple. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
November 01, 2021
Since February, I’ve been writing an accidental series on how web3 is impacting culture, work, and the way that we all interact with each other. Power to the Person was about how technology is empowering individuals as the new atomic units of commerce, The Great Online Game was about how the internet blurs the line between work and play for those individuals, and The Cooperation Economy was about how we play the game as teams of individuals or small groups. This essay goes one layer up to figure out how it all fits together: we’re all part of a great global Scenius. We’re all gonna make it. Let’s call it the WAGMI Scenius. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
October 25, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Lauren Rothwell, Retrera
Lauren Rothwell is the co-founder and CEO of Retrera, a platform for remote employee engagement that makes it really easy to host team offsites and retreats. Every founder that I talk to with remote employees, even those who have offices, is organizing at least one offsite per year, and often one per quarter. They love getting the team together in a new location to build bonds, but organizing it all can be a huge headache full of hidden costs. Retrera makes that simple, with one tool to survey employees, book hotels, organize meals, purchase flights, and even follow-up to get feedback from employees and track their engagement over time. The corporate offsite market is massive -- something like $27 billion annually and $12 billion just for tech companies -- and Lauren is taking the smartest approach I've seen to bringing order to it. Before Retrera, Lauren studied math & econ grad from Trinity College Dublin, traded at Goldman Sachs, and went to business school at Stanford GSB. Her co-founder, Chirag, was an engineer at Airbnb and Facebook. Their skill is evident in the product and the growth they've seen: in just two months live, they've done 14 offsites for over $1 million in GMV. They're making remote work more fun and engaging. Your team should do a retreat. Go book a Retrera.
October 19, 2021
Playing Solo Games
Not Boring Capital has invested $8 million in 79 companies over its first two quarters. That's fast. This weekend, I sent an LP Update to Not Boring Capital's LPs. In this episode, I share the update with a particular focus on Not Boring Capital's strategy and the trade-offs I need to make to lean into my comparative advantages and away from areas where I'm weaker. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
October 18, 2021
ScienceIO: The Model of Everything
ScienceIO decodes the language of medicine to unlock the full potential of healthcare data. Its industry-leading clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) platform structures data in real-time to enable search, analysis, and insight generation. Not Boring Capital invested in ScienceIO's $8M seed round, and in this episode, I'll explain what they do and why I invested, covering: The Investment Thesis The Challenge: Unstructured Zettabytes The Team: Building on a Strong Foundation The Products: The Model of Everything The Business: 💰📈 The Future: Patient 360 and Healthcare Infrastructure You can read the full post at Not Boring.
October 14, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Ayush Jaiswal, Pesto
Ayush Jaiswal is the founder and CEO of Pesto, a Not Boring portfolio company that connects companies with the most valuable resource in the world: engineers. Ayush founded Pesto because he realized that remote was coming even before COVID, and that companies working anywhere meant that they could hire the best talent from anywhere. He also saw that in India, his home country, some of his friends who were talented engineers were making a fraction of what they could working for a western tech company. Pesto fixes that, identifying top engineers globally, starting in India, training them on soft skills, and matching them with higher-paying tech jobs. And it's working -- the average Pesto developer makes 4x what they made before Pesto and hiring companies come back to hire as many as 12 (and soon 30) Pesto developers. We discuss: - What remote will look like - How to identify top engineers - Expanding into web3 - Why Pesto has focused on growing within existing clients - How to hire Pesto engineers Listen, or if you just want to hire an engineer right now, go check out Pesto to see profiles of available developers today: Try Pesto.
October 07, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Nick Greenawalt, Wanderers
Nick Greenawalt is the co-founder of Wanderers. I've become obsessed with Wanderers since discovering it a couple of weeks ago. The current batch of 8,888 NFTs are 8 second animations of space ships hyperdriving through space at warp speed, soundtracked by spacey music. That's just part one of Phase I of the Wanderers master plan. Next up: every Wanderer holder gets a free planet NFT dropped in their wallets. Beyond that await avatars, mysteries to solve, and a big story to tell. There's also a thriving Discord that's the second thing I check every morning after Twitter. Wanderers has resonated with me more than any NFT project to date, and after talking to Nick, I'm only more excited about what's in store. After you listen, I think you'll understand why. Seeing is believing, though. Check Wanderers out on OpenSea and join the Discord to experience it for yourself.
October 01, 2021
Power is shifting from institutions to individuals. Remote work, web3, the Great Resignation. When careers, jobs, or institutions are no longer as reliable a source of meaning as they once were, how do we find our own meaning? How do we keep it all from spinning out of control? Today, we're waxing philosophical. We'll explore Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartres, and why now might be a good time for an existential comeback. No doctrine is more optimistic, since it declares that man's destiny lies within himself. Read the full post at Not Boring
September 27, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Reed McGinley-Stempel & Julianna Lamb, Stytch
Going from 0 to 1 -- taking your company from idea to real live working product with customers -- is hard. In this special edition of Not Boring Founders, Packy and Thrive Capital's Gaurav Ahuja sit down with Stytch co-founders Reed McGinley-Stempel and Julianna Lamb to discuss how they've done it. In the past 18 months, they left their jobs at Plaid and Very Good Security, raised money from Benchmark, Thrive, and other top funds, hired an all-star team, built a passwordless authentication API and SDK, and sold to their first wave of customers. We cover: How to make the leap from secure job to startup The importance of clarity of thought How to raise money from VCs How to hire top engineers Why you should go slow to go fast If you're a developer, you should check out Stytch. It's user infrastructure for modern applications.
September 24, 2021
Unit is a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that lets tech companies embed financial features into their products. It's growing spectacularly fast and has raised over $70 million from some of the leading investors in fintech since its founding in July 2019. What makes Unit special is that it believes that tech companies with existing distribution are in the prime position to grow fintech over the next decade, and makes it as easy as possible for them to offer banking services to their customers by handling tech, bank relationships, compliance and more. We'll cover: The Fintech Apps-Infrastructure Cycle Meet Unit Standing out in the Competitive BaaS Space Unit’s Growth and Opportunity This is a sponsored deep dive x investment memo. Not Boring Capital a proud investor in Unit. Read the full piece at Not Boring.
September 23, 2021
What kind of company would Jeff Bezos start if he were 30 years old today? We look back at four '90s Bezos interviews to try to figure out what he would look for and how he would approach starting a company today. (Hint: it's probably a crypto company). Read the full post at Not Boring. Give your answer and join the conversation on Twitter.
September 20, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Chris Toy, MarketerHire
Chris Toy is the co-founder and CEO of MarketerHire, a talent marketplace for the world's best marketers. MarketerHire is quietly putting up some all-time great growth numbers and is perfectly positioned to help companies and talented people make the transition to the future of work -- not just where we work, but how we work. We dive into Chris' background, why marketing is the Apex predator of internet jobs, and how to build and grow a marketplace. Today's episode is brought to you by Cometeer. Find out why it's a new day on earth for coffee, and get 50% off your first order at cometeer.com/notboring.
September 16, 2021
The Interface Phase
We shape our interfaces; thereafter, they shape us. Today, we’ll explore how those new interfaces and spaces might bring web3 mainstream: The Apps-Infrastructure Cycle An Incomplete History of Interface SuperCycles Web3 Interfaces Into the Future We'll dive into web3 worlds like Cyber, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Somnium Space and wallets like MetaMask, Phantom, and Rainbow to guess what web3's native interface might look like. Read the full post at Not Boring.
September 13, 2021
Solana is one of the most valuable and fastest growing blockchains in the world. It can handle over 65,000 transactions per second, and transactions cost a fraction of a cent. Over the past few months, both the price of SOL, its token, and developer activity on top of Solana have exploded. Today, it has a $21.5 billion market cap with over 300 projects built on Solana. It's a leading contender to join Bitcoin and Ethereum in the blockchain pantheon, and to bring the next billion users into crypto. In this sponsored deep dive, we cover: The Core Questions Solana’s Story How Solana Works Solana’s Orbit The Ecosystem Case Studies: Star Atlas, Saber, Audius How Value Accrues to Solana Bull Case for Solana Bear Case for Solana Solana Summer You can read the full post at Not Boring.
August 24, 2021
Story Time: The Progressive Decentralization of Narrative
The way that companies tell stories and build narratives is changing -- from top-down storytelling to bottoms-up narrative-building. Because they're such empty vessels for narrative, NFT projects like CryptoPunks and Degenerate Ape Academy make a useful study. We’ll cover: From Storytelling to Narrative Building Narrative in Venture Capital and Startups Lessons from Crypto Read the full post at Not Boring.
August 16, 2021
Lithic's New Customer
You may not know Lithic. Until recently, it was called Privacy.com. In May, it announced an Amazonian move: delivering the card issuing & processing infrastructure it built for itself via an API. Now, it's worth $800M and growing like a card rocket. This is a fun one. We'll learn about Lithic's pivot using the framework that Ben Thompson laid out in The Amazon Tax. Build primitives, incur high fixed costs, expose primitives via API, get increasing returns to scale. Read the full post at Not Boring here.
August 12, 2021
Equi: Is That a Family Office in Your Pocket?
Equi is building one of the most impressive investment tech products I've ever seen. The problem: Institutions & family offices have 50% in alternatives. Individuals have
July 29, 2021
Pinduoduo: Together, More Bull, More Bear, More Fun
Pinduoduo is the fastest company in history to reach both $5 billion in revenue and a $100 billion market cap. The Chinese ecommerce platform, famous for popularizing the team buying and consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) model, was the talk of the town last summer, and it's had an even more fascinating intervening 12 months. I teamed up with Lillian Li of Chinese Characteristics to go deep, and give the bull and bear cases, including: A Brief History of Pinduoduo What Does Pinduoduo Do? Can PDD’s Model Work in the West? Recent Developments: Leadership, Grocery, Agriculture, and Payments The PDD Bull Case -- Packy The PDD Bear Case -- Lillian Beyond Pinduoduo You can read the full piece at Not Boring.
July 26, 2021
Axie Infinity: Infinity Revenue, Infinity Possibility.
Bet you've never seen something like Axie Infinity. April: $670k revenue May: $3M June: $12.2M July (18 days in): $79.1M Axie is a blockchain-based, Pokémon-like game pioneering a Play-to-Earn model. People work by playing video game. It looks cute. It's so much more. You can read the full post at Not Boring here.
July 19, 2021
Not Boring Founders: Saad Alam, Hone Health
This is the first episode of a new series we're doing: not boring founders. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the companies I'm backing with Not Boring Capital, from the mouths of the founders building them. We'll talk about their products, but we'll also dive deep into how the businesses work, how they think about company building, and the strategies they employ to win. For our first episode, I'm talking to Saad Alam, the founder and CEO of Hone Health. Hone treats men's hormone imbalances and low testosterone by providing access to at-home lab testing, physician consultations, and medication such as Testosterone from the comfort of your home to get your SPARK BACK & BE YOUR BEST. It's also a fast-growing business that needs to get a lot of really hard things right. Saad is a phenomenal CEO, and you'll learn a lot from him about building and optimizing your funnel, branding, and how to get men to actually engage. NOTHING IN THIS PODCAST IS MEDICAL ADVICE If you'd like to learn more, check out Hone.
July 13, 2021
Unit21: No-Code, Much Power
Unit21 builds modern infrastructure for activity monitoring. It just raised a $34 million Series B from Tiger Global at a $300 million valuation to expand from its first use case -- AML / fraud -- to serve the wide variety of use cases in which operators and analysts write and deploy business logic. The company is bringing AI/ML to the people. We'll cover: Founder-Market Fit Meet Unit21 One Platform, Many Use Cases Initial Market: Fighting Financial Fraud Growth and Tiger and Growth, Oh My! When I Needed Unit21 Blue Check and Beyond Trade-Offs and Challenges AI/ML to the People You can read the full post at Not Boring.
July 08, 2021
Not Boring: Ask Me Anything
We're switching it up this week. I asked Not Boring readers for questions on Twitter, and I answered ten of them. Read the full post at Not Boring.
June 28, 2021
NexHealth: The Secret 3-Step Master Plan to Cure Healthcare
NexHealth is a $400 million startup with a three-part master plan to accelerate innovation in healthcare: First, build a SaaS product for healthcare SMBs, starting with dentists, like Shopify. Then, use the integrations it accesses in step one to build APIs for healthcare, like Plaid. Then, use the doctors and patients and developers it acquires in steps one and two to build a three-sided platform, like Microsoft. You can read the full post at Not Boring.
June 24, 2021
Scale: Rational in the Fullness of Time
Scale is a 5-year-old company building infrastructure for AI & ML. Already, it's achieved a lot: $100+ million in ARR, $7.3 billion valuation, and customers like the DoD, Lyft, Airbnb, & OpenAI. Today, we cover: The State of AI and ML Getting to Scale Scaling Like Stripe The Bear Case for Scale The Bull Case for Scale Scale’s Compounding Vision You can read the full post at Not Boring here.
June 21, 2021
Cometeer: A New Day on Earth for Coffee
Cometeer makes my favorite coffee. I drink three a day. They arrive frozen, with the flavor locked in, and I just add water. Today, in this Sponsored Deep Dive + Investment Memo, we cover: Founding Story and Team: Cometeer Co-Founder and CEO Matt Roberts used to be a Dunkin’ guy, until he went abroad and met George Howell, who turned him on to the good stuff. He and his Co-founder/CTO Doug Hoon have built a stellar team. Market: Coffee is a $94 billion market in the US alone, and there’s a lot of room for improvement. Cometeer has the chance to do to coffee what craft beer did to beer. Product: Cometeer is legitimately great coffee. The magic is in the how. Mission: The why is important, too. Cometeer wants to pay farmers more, promote independent roasters, and stop throwing pods into landfills. Challenges: Brewing and sourcing great coffee at scale is hard. Cold supply chain is hard. Opportunity: Cometeer has the chance to redefine normal peoples’ expectations around coffee and become a platform for the world’s best coffee. You can read the full piece at Not Boring.
June 17, 2021
Zero-knowledge proofs let someone prove that they know or have something without giving up any information about what they know or have. ZKPs have the potential to eliminate a major trade-off inherent in living, working, and transacting online: the convenience, speed, reach, and scale of the internet in exchange for our privacy. They also allow for nuance in a privacy landscape that’s often black-and-white. I teamed up with Jill Carlson to glimpse into future of ZKPs and their implications by covering: What Are Zero-Knowledge Proofs? The History of Zero-Knowledge The Upside of Hype The Privacy Spectrum Applications of Zero-Knowledge Systems The Zero-Knowledge Design Space You can read the full post at Not Boring.
June 14, 2021
Cityblock Health: The Vertically-Integrated, Value-Based Arbitrageur Fixing Healthcare
Medicaid is a $613 billion market that, as of 2017, had only attracted $20-30mm in VC funding. That left a massive, if complex, opportunity for someone willing to vertically integrate, take risk, and treat the whole person. Meet Cityblock Health. Cityblock is literally keeping people out of the hospital and saving lives -- the things that make the company tick are the same: big market, business model with positive unit economics, and an innovative product, powered by technology. We’ll use that framework to understand Cityblock: The Market: Demystifying Medicaid. The Business Model: Value-Based Care. The Product: Treating the Whole Person. Strong Early Results Challenges The Future of Cityblock, and Healthcare Read the full post here. And go work at Cityblock: check out jobs here.
June 10, 2021
The Cooperation Economy
Cooperation is the winning strategy in the Great Online Game. In this episode, we'll discuss why power is shifting from individuals to institutions, and how individuals can team up to accomplish bigger things together than any can alone. We'll cover: The Big Smile LeBron and Super Teams Liquid Super Teams The Cooperation Economy in Action Cooperation as a Strategy You can read the full post at Not Boring.
June 07, 2021
Melio: Disrupting the $25 Trillion B2B Payments Market, By the Books
Melio, which has raised $256 million and was recently came out of stealth valued at $1.3 billion by Coatue, makes it easy for SMBs to pay each other. It's a Venmo-like experience on the front, with powerful tech in the back-end. It's also executing brilliantly on the disruption playbook. Today, we’ll look at Melio’s story, product development, viral growth, and future through the lens of disruption. It’s rare that you get such a clear view of disruption playing out in real time. This one’s going to be in the textbooks. We’ll help the professors get started by covering: Disruption by the Book Meet Melio Started from the Bottom Viral Growth Stripes, Squares, and Settles, Oh My! Melio’s Future You can read the full post, and subscribe, at notboring.co
May 27, 2021
Own the Internet: The Bull Case for Ethereum
What if I told you about a business that: Has strong network effects Grew revenue 200x YoY Is preparing to offer a 25% dividend About to implement a permanent share buyback program? That's pretty much Ethereum. This episode is my bull case on Ethereum. It is not financial advice. Read the full post at Not Boring. Intro Song: I Will Derive - Ethereum
May 24, 2021
Prescription Drug Commercials: Why Are You the Way You Are?
Prescription drug commercials are confusing. People eating ice cream while a voiceover talks about herpes. The Cialis couple in the bathtubs in a field (backstory revealed below). The long list of side effects that seem much worse than whatever disease the advertised drug claims to cure. I asked Nikhil Krishnan, the man behind healthcare newsletter/community/novelty product shop Out-of-Pocket to explain why they are the way we are. He covers: Why Do Pharma Companies Market to Consumers? What Are the Rules Around Marketing to Consumers? Pharma Marketing is Evolving So... Is Marketing to Consumers Bad? You can read the full post at Not Boring.
May 13, 2021
The Great Online Game
We’re all playing a Great Online Game. How well we play determines the rewards we get, online and offline. The Great Online Game is played concurrently by billions of people, online, as themselves, with real-world consequences. Your financial and psychological wellbeing is at stake, but the downside is limited. The upside, on the other hand, is infinite. We cover: What is a Video Game? The Great Online Game Meet the Players How Crypto Supercharges the Game How to Play the Game Read the full post at Not Boring.
May 10, 2021
Truework: A True Strategy Masterclass
Truework is building the verified identity layer for the internet, starting with employment and income verification. The company has raised $45 million from Sequoia, Founders Fund, Khosla, and Activant, and is executing on a brilliant 10-year plan to win you back control of your most sensitive personal information. We cover: Meet Truework How to Win a Legacy Industry Regulatory Counter-Positioning The Verified Identity Layer Read the full post at Not Boring.
May 06, 2021
A Not Boring Conversation with Clint Kisker
When Packy auctioned off his Power to the Person essay as an NFT that split proceeds with the people whose work Packy cited, Clint won the auction with a 2.19 ETH bid. We had to talk about it, and I'm glad we did. We covered: The psychology of NFT buying The future of media and entertainment How Clint sees Web3 and crypto changing the relationship creators have with their audiences And so much more... Follow Clint on Twitter
May 04, 2021
I teamed up with Mario Gabriele, the author of The Generalist, to study Tata Group, the 152-year-old Indian conglomerate with public subsidiaries worth a combined $234 billion. We cover: Tata’s rich history, beginning with the opium trade The complexion of a messy conglomerate The necessary moves to perpetuate the dynasty Read the full post at Not Boring.
May 03, 2021
Martha Stewart's Reign of Relevancy
In today's Not Boring Guest Post, Ali Montag writes about the original multi-channel creator: Martha Stewart. For more than five decades, Martha Stewart has evolved to stay one step ahead of the curve. Montag writes, "Martha Stewart has, over the course of a 50-year career, with mystically perfect timing, refashioned herself from Wall Street stock broker to Connecticut catering chef, from the U.S.’s first self-made woman billionaire to a yoga-teaching inmate in federal prison, from a scandal-tainted villain to renewed brand icon, and from the picture of propriety to Instagram’s latest thirst trap." You can read the full post at Not Boring. Read more of Ali's writing at the Newsletter Crew Newsletter.
April 29, 2021
Startup Stock Option Options with Secfi
In 2020, startup employees left $4.9 billion on the table by not exercising their pre-IPO options. Employees at Snowflake, Airbnb, and DoorDash missed out the most. Most of that can be fixed with a little eduction, so today, in this sponsored post, we're going to explore startup stock options: How Startup Equity Works Why Employees Don’t Exercise Options Exercise Options Meet Secfi The CAC Arbitrage Secfi’s Vision Read the full post at Not Boring.
April 22, 2021
Bull & Bear: Agora, the API Powering Clubhouse
This week, I teamed up with Lillian Li, the author of Chinese Characteristics, to write about Agora. I took the bull case, and Lillian took the bear case. We cover: Agora’s History $API’s API China’s Livestreaming Boom What Agora Looks Like Today The Bull Case for Agora The Bear Case Against Agora Bull or Bear? Read the full piece at Not Boring.
April 19, 2021
Is BlockFi the Future of Finance?
The first question anyone has when they hear about BlockFi is: “What’s the catch? 8.6% APY sounds too good to be true. That can’t be legit.” I went DEEP to understand how they do it, and it’s legit. Essentially, BlockFi arbitrages the fact that traditional finance and crypto don’t like to deal with each other. We'll cover: What Does a Bank Do? What BlockFi Does Stablecoins and 8.6% APY Grayscale Bitcoin Trust The Race to the Finance Super App The Offer Read the full post at Not Boring. Sign up for BlockFi.
April 15, 2021
Unwitting Collaboration & Web3 Experimentation
I'm minting a Not Boring essay, Power to the Person, as an NFT, auctioning it, and splitting the proceeds with the people whose work I referenced. In today's Not Boring, we discuss: Chris Dixon's canonical pieces: The next big thing will start out looking like a toy (2010) and What the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years (2013) A new media model that rewards quality over quantity and virality. Experimenting with Web3 You can read the full post at Not Boring, including a link to the NFT auction.
April 12, 2021
A Not Boring Adventure, One Year In
Today, I'm sharing the Not Boring story as honestly as possible -- it often looks way easier from the outside -- with lessons I’ve learned on writing, growth, business models, investing, and creator psychology sprinkled in. We’ll cover: Getting Here: Per My Last Email → Not Boring Club → Not Boring Growth: Luck, Shares, Ups, Downs and Tommy The Writing Process and Psychology Business Model: Optimize for Growth and Opportunity The Not Boring Syndicate The Present and Future of Not Boring You can read the full post, including charts and a link to the subscription vs. ad model at Not Boring.
April 05, 2021
This is How They Tell Me Secureframe Saves the World
If you're building a software company, you need security compliance certifications like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 to sell into large companies. It sounds boring and tedious, but it's fascinating. The story involves: - Russian hackers unleashing malware called NotPetya on the world and causing $10 billion in damages. - How startups are selling into large enterprises and big pools of revenue much earlier. - How to compete and win in a massive, nascent, non-winner-take-all market with high switching costs. - Why you keep hearing about SOC 2 on Invest Like the Best and The Twenty Minute VC. Secureframe, founded by Shrav Mehta and Natasja Nielsen in 2020, just raised $18 million from Kleiner Perkins to make security compliance faster, cheaper, and more effective. Read the full post at Not Boring Schedule a Demo with Secureframe
April 01, 2021
We Good Now?
In this episode, Dror Poleg and I break down WeWork after the recent announcement that it's going public via SPAC at a $9 billion valuation. We cover: The Royal We. Adam Neumann was narcissistic and brash… exactly what was needed to shake up office real estate. WeStory. From 3,000 sq ft in Soho to millions across the world, fueled by an epic hype flywheel. From WeWork to We. Neumann pushed the company outside of office and into a little bit of everything. IPOh No! WeWork’s attempted 2019 IPO failed spectacularly thanks to unforced errors, and the company brought in new management, refocused, and trimmed down. WeSPAC. On Friday,Vivek Ranadivé’s BowX SPAC announced that it’s taking WeWork public at a $9 billion valuation. Side Note: Masa is a Genius Again. Masa is on a tear. WeWork breaking even would be the icing on his comeback cake. WeWork by the Numbers. The refocused WeWork is a straightforward business. The WeWork Bear Case. This time, maybe it’s the market’s fault. The WeWork Bull Case. WeWork survived, erased its mistakes, and is perfectly positioned to capture value in a more flexible world. Back to the Future. You know who would have been a perfect CEO for this market? Read the full piece on Not Boring.
March 29, 2021
What's On Deck for On Deck?
Today, On Deck is announcing that it’s raising a $20 million Series A led by Keith Rabois at Founders Fund with participation from Learn Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya, Slack Fund, Village Global, Eric Yuan, Fred Ehrsam, Allison Picken’s The New Normal Fund, Charles Hudson at Precursor Ventures, Adam D’Angelo, Jen Rubio, Elad Gill, Julia DeWahl, Henry Ward, Afton Vechery, Jules Walter, Eric Su, Julia Lipton, Scott Belsky, Anthony Pompliano, Bloomberg Beta, Dylan Field, Aarti Ramamurthy, and many, many more members of the On Deck community. We cover why On Deck has a chance to build a Stanford for the internet: On Deck Investment Thesis. Natively Integrated Education. Platform and Team Constellation. The On Deck Opportunity. You can read the full original post and subscribe at notboring.co.
March 25, 2021
The Dao of DAOs
DAOs - Decentralized Autonomous Organizations - are the next stop down the Web3 rabbit hole after NFTs. We explore: - The DAO's $6.6b Hack - What's a DAO? - Coinbase vs. Uniswap - $UNI vs $SUSHI - Progressive Decentralization - 7 Powers Analysis - The Future Read the full post at Not Boring.
March 22, 2021
Soundtrack the World
Epidemic Sound just raised $450 million at a $1.4 billion valuation to Soundtrack the World. Spotify's Stream On event showed the company is ready to do battle with the labels. The time is right: Spotify should acquire Epidemic. We cover: Spotify’s Problem with Labels Spotify Streams On Enter Epidemic Sound Spotify x Epidemic Read the full post at Not Boring.
March 15, 2021
UserLeap & Differentiating Insights
UserLeap helps product teams continuously discover customer needs and evaluate the user experience via short, highly targeted surveys (microsurveys) displayed contextually within the product. Companies use UserLeap to track NPS, iterate toward Product-Market Fit, improve onboarding, reduce churn, and make the myriad small improvements that make a great product. The magic of UserLeap is that it quantifies qualitative feedback by collecting rich, written responses, in real-time, and using machine learning to analyze and categorize the responses to pull out themes. In today's Sponsored Deep Dive, we cover: The Need for Speed The Modern PM Tech Stack vs. User Research Tools Meet UserLeap Building Moats in a Competitive Market UserLeap’s Vision: The Two KPIs Read the full post at Not Boring. If you're a product manager, user researcher, or anyone at a company with a website who works with customers, try UserLeap for free.
March 11, 2021
Not Boring Interview with BidOps Founder Edmund Zagorin
Edmund Zagarin is the co-founder and CEO of BidOps, a startup building strategic sourcing software powered by AI. We discuss the global supply chain, how survey design informs good procurement software design, and how college debate informs the way that Edmund approaches running a startup. Of course, we start out by asking Edmund to convince us that procurement is not boring. If you want to learn more about the intersection of AI and procurement, check out BidOps' March 24th conference, Optimal.
March 09, 2021
Excel Never Dies
Excel may be the most influential software ever built. If you want to see the future of B2B software, look at what Excel users are hacking together in spreadsheets today. Excel’s success has inspired the creation of software whose combined enterprise value dwarfs that of Excel alone. There are two main ways Excel has set the broad roadmap for the B2B software industry for decades, and will continue to for years to come: The Unbundling of Excel. Hundreds of B2B startups have been built by taking a job currently being done in Excel and trying to accomplish the job in more optimized, purpose-built B2B software. Every time you hear an entrepreneur say, “We’re replacing siloed spreadsheets and outdated processes with purpose-built software,” you’re hearing the Unbundling of Excel in real time. Many popular SaaS applications fall in this category. And yet, despite being “unbundled,” Excel keeps getting stronger. Inspired by Excel. That resiliency has inspired entrepreneurs to look more deeply at what makes Excel tick, and why. Adventurous builders are creating new software that doesn’t unbundle Excel, but is Inspired by Excel. Excel’s balance of usability and flexibility can be found in popular no-code and low-code products created over three decades since Excel first graced the screen. This source of inspiration is less direct and more meta; it is less about recreating anything concrete that happens in Excel, and more about capturing the essence of what makes Excel so successful. We love Excel, everyone reading this probably loves Excel, and still, its impact is deeply underappreciated. Ben Rollert and Packy team up to cover: The History of Excel Excel as a Language The Lindy Effect Excel’s Limitations No-Code and the Unbundling of Excel Why Excel Will Never Die Read the original post at Not Boring. The audio edition is brought to you by Masterworks. Use promo code "not boring" to skip the 25k person waitlist.
March 08, 2021
Jack of Two Trades
Why is Jack Dorsey so much worse at being the CEO of Twitter than he is at being the CEO of Square? Marc Rubinstein and I teamed up to tackle that question, and came away thinking that maybe Jack doesn't run the two companies so differently after all. We cover: Jackground Back to Square One Putting the Network Into Square Old Twitter Twitter’s New Groove Back to the Original Question You can read the full post on Not Boring. Marc Rubinstein is a former financial sector-focused hedge fund manager who writes one of the best financial sector newsletters there is: Net Interest. Marc has written about everything from newer players like Ant Financial and Facebook’s Diem, to huge banks like Citi, to explainers on things that only industry insiders would know. You should subscribe now if you’re interested in … money. Subscribe to Net Interest
March 01, 2021
Beacons: Not Boring Investment Memo
Beacons is building a link in bio into a competitive space, and I think it's going to win. The link in bio is the point of leverage in the Creator Economy value chain, and Beacons' early growth indicates that they are building something that stands above the rest. In this episode, we cover: Meet Beacons The Creator Economy Value Chain and the Multi-SKU Creator Competition, Growth, and Moats The Beacons Vision and Opportunity Risks You can read the full post at Not Boring.
February 25, 2021
Power to the Person
It's been a wild month for the Passion Economy, crypto, and NFTs. While it feels frothy, and certain asset prices certainly are, I think it points to a larger future. This episode is a thought experiment based on three ideas: A main Not Boring theme that Genies don’t go quietly back into bottles. Chris Dixon’s famous line that “the next big thing will start out looking like a toy.” Ben Thompson’s idea that media businesses are the first to adapt to new paradigms because of their relative simplicity, and others follow later. The Creator Economy and NFTs are massive human potential unlocks. Even if certain assets are in a short-term bubble, we are on an inexorable march towards individuals mattering more than institutions. We’re on the precipice of a creative explosion, fueled by putting power, and the ability to generate wealth, in the hands of the people. Armed with powerful technical and financial tools, individuals will be able to launch and scale increasingly complex projects and businesses. Within two decades, we will have multiple trillion-plus dollar publicly traded entities with just one full-time employee, the founder. We'll cover: Creators’ Crazy Month The Creator Toolkit Coase and the Nature of the Firm The New Nature of the Firm The Age of Individual Influence To read the original piece, head over to notboring.co.
February 22, 2021
Not Boring Interview with AltoIRA CEO Eric Satz
AltoIRA makes it easy to invest in alternative assets like startups, real estate, private equity, and even crypto, all through your IRA. I sat down with Alto's CEO, Eric Satz, to talk about why he started Alto, what they're building, and what he wants the CEOs of Southwest and BlackRock to say about Alto in the future. To learn more and sign up for Alto, use the Not Boring link and an Alto team member will guide you through the process. Read the full sponsored deep dive over at Not Boring.
February 18, 2021
Dreams All the Way Up
It feels like we're in a tech bubble, but what if I told you that the best startups and non-FAAMG public tech companies are actually undervalued? In today's Not Boring, we cover a different way of looking at tech valuations, not P/E, P/S, or FCF Multiple, but Price/FAAMG, or the probability that younger tech companies can become as big as today's biggest. From that perspective, they're cheap... Amazon and Facebook have outgrown startup valuations at every stage over the past decade. Read the original and check out the charts and graphics at Not Boring.
February 15, 2021
The Beginning of the End
In this not boring guest post, Dan Teran, founder of Managed by Q and early stage investor, argues that while the pandemic looks like a boon to third-party food delivery companies, it's actually the beginning of the end. He weaves together strategic frameworks from Porter, Christensen, and Peter Drucker, plus actual restaurant data, to show that the current, integrated model is unsustainable, and that third-party food delivery is going to be unbunbled. Follow Dan on Twitter and Medium. Read the full post at Not Boring. Thanks to our sponsor, OpenPhone, which is building the business phone, reimagined. Check out OpenPhone to set your team up with professional phone numbers and an experience that is so much better than Google Voice.
February 11, 2021
How Twitter Got Its Groove Back
Twitter is getting its groove back. Smart acquisitions and product development, in addition to foundational work that the company is doing, might change the bearish narrative that's surrounded the company for half a decade. We cover: Prof G vs. Twitter. Scott Galloway ripped the company and its CEO, Jack Dorsey, last week. It’s a good summary of the critics’ view, and a bullish signal. If I Ruled the Tweets. Twitter needs to focus on its power users and make products that help them share their ideas and make money. How Twitter Got Its Groove Back. Twitter grew usage, improved its ad product, and survived the election. Now it’s focused on what’s next with the acquisition of Revue and launch of Spaces. Twitter’s Creator Bundle. Twitter is in the best position to build or buy a bundle of tools for Creators. Plus, why I think it can beat Substack and Clubhouse. Changing the Narrative. Adding up the sum of Twitter’s parts. Read the full post at Not Boring
February 08, 2021
Selling a Lot of Shares a Little Too Early with Brett Beller (ex-Drizly)
Brett Beller, my good friend and former Breather co-worker, was the first employee and practically co-founder at Drizly, which just sold to Uber for $1.1 billion. Brett tells the stories from Drizly's earliest days, goes deep on liquor laws, talks about why he sold a bunch of his shares a couple years ago, and walks through the emotional rollercoaster of learning that his company sold for $1.1 billion. Brought to you by Secfi, which helps startup employees make smarter decisions about their equity.
February 05, 2021
Supersapiens: Not Boring Memo
Supersapiens is energy management for athletes. It provides continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) via a biosensor and app, in partnership with Abbott. That partnership is a cornered resource that gives Supersapiens tremendous power. Over the past year, wearables and connected fitness tech have been on fire. Google bought Fitbit for $2.1 billion, Lululemon bought Mirror for $500 million, and WHOOP raised $100 million at a $1.2 billion valuation. I think that Supersapiens will be the next to join that group. In this not boring investment memo, we cover: Wearables and CGM Supersapiens Story and Product The Abbott Agreement Targeting Athletes (and Everyone is an Athlete) The Supersapiens Team Business Model and Early Traction Risks Opportunity To read the full post, and learn more about the opportunity, go to Not Boring.
February 04, 2021
Robinhood Robinhooded Robinhood
If you've been wondering what's going on with GameStop, WallStreetBets, and Robinhood, I got you. This was inevitable once Robinhood introduced free options trading. Robinhood bet that it could introduce tremendous amounts of risk into the financial system, push all of it onto its users and the market at large, and insulate itself from the consequences. And it would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids! Read the full piece on Not Boring. Brought to you by Future: join our 21 workout challenge.
February 01, 2021
weSPAC: Understanding WeWork with Dror Poleg
Dror Poleg, the author of Rethinking Real Estate, a good friend, and one of the longest-standing WeWork rationalists I know joins the not boring podcast on the heels of the WSJ report that WeWork may go public via SPAC. We discuss: - WeWork's history, from 2010 founding to failed IPO - Adam Neumann and SoftBank's Masayoshi Son - WeWork's business model, competitive advantage, and challenges - Why WeWork is healthier coming out of COVID than it was coming into it - Whether WeWork will be more valuable than Airbnb within two years - THE WEWORK SPAC and whether we're buyers at $10 billion. Follow Dror on Twitter and at drorpoleg.com
January 29, 2021
Podcast Discovery Reinvented: An Interview with Co-founder & CEO Doug Imbruce of Podz, Acquired by Spotify
Podz is revolutionizing audio - the very format you're listening to right now - by using machine learning to solve the seemingly intractable audio discovery challenge. I sat down with Podz CEO Doug Imbruce to discuss building social apps, selling his first company to Yahoo!, the state of the audio landscape, and how Podz is going to bring some order to the chaos. Download Podz now to try it out and fill out the beta survey to help the team improve the audio experience! Follow @ListenToPodz on Instagram and Twitter. Read the full essay on Not Boring.
January 28, 2021
The Value Chain of the Open Metaverse
You’re going to be hearing a lot more about Web3 (including DeFi), NFTs, and the Metaverse, so today, we'll try to define them and figure out how they fit together. What is Web3 and Why is it Important? Non-Fungible Tokens and Digital Ownership. NFTs in the Wild. The Size of the Metaverse Prize. The Open Versus Closed Metaverse. Crucible and The Direct-to Avatar Economy. The Value Chain of the Open Metaverse. You can read the full piece here.
January 25, 2021
Masterworks: Demystifying & Democratizing Art
Masterworks is making blue-chip art, a $1.7 trillion asset class with strong returns, low volatility, low correlation, and increasing scarcity, investible. Listen to learn about the art market, the most expensive painting ever sold, what makes art valuable, and how you can invest in art with Masterworks. And if you want to explore for yourself, sign up for Masterworks with this link to skip the 25k person waitlist: Try Masterworks Read the full piece at Not Boring
January 21, 2021
Antara Health: Natively Integrated Healthcare
Antara Health is a HealthTech startup based out of Nairobi, Kenya that is building virtual-first primary care for emerging markets. It’s reimagining healthcare by leveraging telemedicine, data science, and emerging markets payors’ and regulators’ willingness to try new models. When they succeed, they'll help close the insurance gap in the emerging markets, deliver better healthcare to the billion new members of the global middle class, and extend and improve lives. In this Not Boring Investment Memo, we'll cover: Extending and Improving Billions of Lives. Billions of people in emerging markets are uninsured, creating a vicious cycle in which illness leads to poverty. Radical Changes to a Massive Market. COVID made telehealth more prevalent worldwide, creating an opportunity to radically rethink healthcare. Antara: Natively Integrated Healthcare. Antara combines Health Navigation, telehealth, and data in a Natively Integrated approach to healthcare. Strong Early Traction. Antara completed a successful pilot in Kenya that showed strong engagement, scalability, value, and effectiveness. Antara’s Business Model. Healthcare doesn’t have to be complicated. Antara’s model generates recurring revenue, and it uses technology to lower costs as it scales. The Antara Team. The Antara team is world-class at exactly the things they need to be to reimagine virtual-first primary care company for emerging markets. You can read the full essay at Not Boring: Antara Health on Not Boring
January 18, 2021
Teamflow: Not Boring Memo
Teamflow is a virtual office that makes remote work work. Led by Flo Crivello, a former Uber engineer who launched Uber Works and gig charging for Jump, Teamflow brings back the presence of being in the office, the energy of working in the same room, the spontaneity of hallway conversations — the joy of feeling like a team. Forget Zoom. Teamflow is what remote work should feel like. The way Flo and the Teamflow team are building is full of lessons for entrepreneurs. Learn how they're building in Zoom's virality with Slack's moats, for example, or how Flo spent two months of 13-hour days recruiting his dream team. Today, Teamflow is launching on ProductHunt. Go support them here: Teamflow on PH Sign up for Teamflow today, and use this link to move up the waitlist: Sign Up for Teamflow And read the full Memo here: Not Boring
January 13, 2021
Interview with Florent Crivello, Founder of Teamflow
Florent Crivello is the Founder and CEO of Teamflow, a virtual office startup that came out of stealth and announced a $3.9 million seed round led by some of the world's best early stage investors. Flo and Packy discuss how a late night at Uber sparked the idea for Teamflow, hiring world-class engineers and designers, the intersection of strategy and execution, and how Teamflow is like the best parts of Slack and Zoom. To sign up for Teamflow and move up the waitlist, join here: Sign Up for Teamflow Read the full investment memo at Not Boring.
January 13, 2021
BABA Black Sheep
Jack Ma is missing. $BABA is tanking. Ant Group's IPO is suspended. Government regulation (or worse) looms. But Alibaba continues to build an underappreciated, customer-centric juggernaut. There's never been a better time to go deep on Alibaba. This week's audio edition is brought to you by Masterworks.io. You can read the full original post on Not Boring.
January 11, 2021
New year, new me. For the first Not Boring of 2021, we're doing our first bear case. Bill dot com is the worst software I use to run Not Boring, & trades at the highest rev multiple of any BVP cloud stock. In 2021, bad B2B UX doesn't cut it anymore. We cover: 1. What is bill.com? 2. The bill.com bear case. 3. The Love-Hate Relationship with Work Software. 4. Killing a Baby Dictator. Read the full essay here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/bill-a-bear
January 04, 2021
The Best Is Yet To Come
After a wild 2020, I think the best is yet to come. We cover three reasons: The Markets Are Eating Up Technology. More demand for tech stocks means more innovation, more quickly. SPACs may be a good thing and IPOs unleash investment in the next generation. Cloud Companies. Entrepreneurs can build new types of highly-differentiated companies with global talent and increasingly useful software at their fingertips. The Passion Economy Writ Large. As software does more grunt work and employment becomes more liquid, people will pursue their passions. That will make them even more resilient the next time a crisis hits. You can read the full essay here: The Best Is Yet To Come
December 21, 2020
Ramp: The Card-Sized Finance Team in Your Pocket
Ramp is using its corporate card as a Trojan Horse into the CFO Suite, helping companies save time, money, and headache. Ultimately, it wants to help companies save money and build better businesses. Today, it announced that it raised $30 million and hit $100 million in transaction volume than any corporate card company in history. Read the full essay here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/ramp-the-card-sized-finance-team Sign up for Ramp and get $500 free for being a Not Boring listener here: https://ramp.com/partners/not-boring
December 17, 2020
Everybody Hates Facebook
We all hate Facebook, but Zuck and Co are building a juggernaut whose business is undervalued relative to all competitor sets and which is attempting to pull off some fascinating moves in communication, commerce, and potentially... the Metaverse. Read the full post here: Everybody Hates Facebook
December 14, 2020
Outfit: Not Boring Investment Memo
Outfit is DIY Renovations in a box. Listen to hear the case for this early stage startup that's using software to scale architecture. Outfit's Website Read the full post here: Outfit: Not Boring Investment Memo
December 10, 2020
APIs All the Way Down
APIs are all around us, powering the products we use and love every day. Chances are, you're passingly familiar with the concept but have never gone deep. When Stripe and Shopify announced that they were deepening their partnership last week - that Shopify would use another Stripe API, Treasury, I figured it was time to dive in. You can read the full post on Not Boring. We cover: What Are APIs? The API-First Ecosystem Good Internet Strategy, Bad Internet Strategy Why Shopify is Smart to Build on Stripe and Twilio The Magic of API-First Business Models Twilio and Investing in API-First
December 07, 2020
We're Never Going Back
The future of work is remote. Companies that want to compete for the best talent don't have a choice, the employees do. Luckily, better software and new hybrid physical models are on the way so that life doesn't become a never-ending series of Zoom calls until we die. Read the full post here and subscribe! https://notboring.substack.com/p/were-never-going-back
November 30, 2020
FEMSA: The Most Interesting Company in Mexico
FEMSA is a 130-year-old Mexican brewery turned world's largest Coca-Cola bottler and the Americas' largest convenience store chain, plus a 15% stake in Heineken and a bet on the digitization of the Mexican economy. I teamed up with Post Market to write about the company's history, present, and future, and why we think it's so undervalued. You can read the full post here.
November 23, 2020
Fairmint & the Democratization of Upside
In this collaboration between Sari Azout of Check your Pulse and Not Boring, we cover crypto, equity financing, and programmable money. Fairmint is making it possible for companies to sell or give equity to all of their stakeholders as easily as adding an "Invest" button on their website. That could reshape who shares in upside, and even what types of businesses are possible. You can read the full post at https://notboring.substack.com/p/fairmint.
November 19, 2020
Slack: The Bulls are typing...
Slack's stock has been beaten down based on fears that Microsoft Teams is going to crush it and the fact that it hasn't benefited from WFH as much as Zoom. That narrative will break, and when it does, Slack will be valued like the top quartile SaaS company it is. Read the full post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/slack-the-bulls-are-typing
November 16, 2020
The Magic of Mushrooms
After 50 years in darkness, there's a psychedelic renaissance underway. Psilocybin and other psychedelics may be our best weapons in the fight against mental illness. There's even a publicly traded psychedelic stock: Compass. Come take an auditory trip with me. Original post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/the-magic-of-mushrooms
November 09, 2020
Trust The Process
7.6 Lessons from Sam Hinkie and The Process, the Philadelphia 76ers innovative rebuilding process. Read the full post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/trust-the-process
November 02, 2020
Pipe: Business-Funding Fit
Pipe solves Business-Funding Fit for recurring revenue businesses. The company created a new asset class, allowing businesses to sell their recurring cash flows to investors, often for $0.90-$0.95 cents on the dollar, to fund their growth without dilution or debt. You can read the full essay at https://notboring.substack.com/ If you run or work for a business with recurring revenues, sign up to see how much Pipe can send you today at: https://app.pipe.com/signup?ref=notsoboring
October 29, 2020
Software is Eating the Markets
The COVID-fueled rise of consumer investors may be here to stay, as spending shifts from things and experiences to investments, and new platforms allow users to invest in new and old asset classes with better user experiences. Read the full post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/software-is-eating-the-markets
October 26, 2020
SkillMagic: Not Boring Invest Memo
The Not Boring Syndicate is back with our fifth investment memo. Today, we're talking about SkillMagic, a startup building remote-native training for engineering teams. You can check out the full post at notboring.substack.com.
October 22, 2020
Reliance's Next Act
The Indian conglomerate Reliance has historically vertically integrated, but it needs to loosen the reigns and become a growth stage investor to capture as much of India's growth in the next decade as possible. Full essay at notboring.substack.com
October 19, 2020
Reliance: Gateway of India
Reliance Industries is the largest and most important company in India. It's also the best way for foreign companies to access the market. Over the past six months, it has raised over $25 billion from investors like Facebook, Google, KKR, Saudi Arabia, Silver Lake, and Abu Dhabi for its Jio and Retail businesses. Read the full post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/reliance-gateway-of-india
October 12, 2020
Fundrise and the Magic of Diversification
Today, in this sponsored post, we're talking about Fundrise, a company that lets anyone invest in a professionally managed real estate fund through an app. We go deep on the company and why Ray Dalio is such a big fan of diversification. You can read the original post and get all of the additional links I mention at notboring.substack.com.
October 01, 2020
Secure the BaaG: Business-as-a-Game
In this episode, we try to answer the question: Would it be possible to run a real business in a way that feels like playing a video game? Check out the original essay here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/secure-the-baag
September 28, 2020
Special Edition: Not Boring Generalists
Every week, Mario Gabriele (the author of The Generalist) and I (the author of Not Boring) have a conversation and post it to YouTube under the Not Boring Generalists banner. We figured we'd put it here too, so you can listen while you walk, drive, or go to sleep. This week we discuss: - Our writing process - Why everyone is becoming an investor - Our favorite companies - What % of mammals we can outrun. Enjoy!
September 23, 2020
Opendoor: The Amazon of Real Estate
Chamath took Opendoor public via SPAC last week. In this episode, we talk about why Opendoor is the Amazon of real estate, its advantages over Zillow, and its flywheel. Original post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/knock-knock-whos-there-opendoor
September 21, 2020
MainStreet: Free Money for Startups
Today's Not Boring is all about a startups that sends other startups and SMBs free money: MainStreet. By getting you the tax credits and incentives that the government owes your company, MainStreet send companies $51k on average. See how much you're owed and get paid at https://mainstreet.us/notboring You can read the full post at https://notboring.substack.com/
September 17, 2020
Zoom's Blank Check
This week, we're doing a Case Study on Zoom. - Its numbers are on fire. - Its stock is overvalued. - It has no moats. If you're CEO Eric Yuan, what do you do to increase long-term shareholder valuer? Read the full essay and participate in the Case Study here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/zooms-blank-check
September 14, 2020
Swaypay: Not Boring Investment Memo
Not Boring Investment Memos are deep dives into early stage companies that are raising money now. This week, we're talking about Swaypay, which gives shoppers discounts in exchange for using their social capital, or sway, to share products, all within the checkout flow. It takes money that would normally go to Google and Facebook and gives it back to regular people. I love that. You can read the full post here:
September 10, 2020
A deep dive into SoftBank's history, the Vision Fund, and its new hedge fund, plus the bull, neutral, and bear cases. Read the full essay here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/masa-madness-3cb
September 08, 2020
Oze: Not Boring Investment. Memo
You can read out the original post here: https://notboring.substack.com/p/oze-not-boring-investment-memo
September 03, 2020
Stripe: The Internet's Most Undervalued Company
This week, we dive into Stripe, and cover: What it is. Why Stripe is undervalued. The Stripe bear case. Stripe's underappreciated strategy. Stripe's future. Link to original post: https://notboring.substack.com/
August 31, 2020
Tencent's investments in Epic, Snap, Spotify, and more put it in the best position to bring about, and profit from, the Metaverse. Read the original essay here.
August 24, 2020
Tencent: The Ultimate Outsider
Tencent is the most impressive company that Americans know the least about. In Part I of this two-part series, we go deep on Tencent's history, its core businesses, and its investment portfolio. We also explore how the company is the perfect implementation of William Thorndike's The Outsiders. Link to original post here.
August 17, 2020
Shopify and the Hard Thing About Easy Things
Shopify and a new wave of ecommerce infrastructure tools make it easier than ever to start a direct-to-consumer business, but it's harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. Michael Porter's Five Forces and his value chain concept explain why it's a great time to be an ecommerce platform, and a hard time to generate sustained profits as a DTC business. You can read the full post here.
August 10, 2020
Ali Montag joins Not Boring to tell us about a Linear Commerce empire you wouldn't have any idea about, unless you have kids. You can read the full post here and subscribe to Ali's newsletter here.
August 06, 2020
Acquisition in G Sharp
Google should buy Slack to take on Microsoft with a modern solution in the productivity and collaboration space. You can read the full post here.
August 03, 2020
Expanding the Talent Pipeline
The Marcy Lab School's Reuben Ogbanna takes over Not Boring to explain how we can explain the tech talent pipeline beyond traditional schools and backgrounds. You can read the full post here, and get in touch with me on twitter @packym to get intro'd to Reuben.
July 30, 2020
Juul - The SPAC 2020 Deserves
In this episode, we discuss what a SPAC is and why Juul is kinda the perfect company to go public via SPAC. You can check out the full post here.
July 27, 2020
Composer - Not Boring Investment Memo
Not Boring Investment Memos are deep dives on early stage companies that are currently fundraising, and that the Not Boring Syndicate is investing in. In this episode, we talk about Composer, which is aiming to close the wealth gap by giving investors access to more sophisticated tools for self-directed investing, with a clean, easy UI. Think of it like the best parts of Robinhood and Wealthfront, with a lot more muscle under the hood. You can read the full memo here.
July 23, 2020
Entropy Theory explains industry evolution as a story of ever-increasing chaos and suggests that the most successful businesses are those that use the latest technology to wrangle that chaos, until entropic forces unleash the next set of opportunities. In this episode, we explain Entropy Theory through examples in real estate, tech, and employment. Why did TikTok succeed where Quibi failed? Why did Spotify take off while Napster got sued into oblivion? Entropy Theory is an attempt to explain. You can check out the full post here.
July 20, 2020
Gil Kazimirov joins us to share the surprising history of the ringtone - the polyphonic pocket music that launched the mobile revolution. You can read the full post here.
July 16, 2020
If I Ruled the Tweets
Twitter is the most undermonetized product in the world, because it doesn’t know what it is. For someone so into meditation, @jack’s lack of self-awareness is a surprising error with major implications. Twitter’s ads business struggles to support the entire company. Twitter doesn’t know who its customers are, or what its Job To Be Done is for them. Twitter captures almost none of the value that it creates. Creators are left without features they would happily pay for. Twitter Profiles are the most underdeveloped real estate on the internet. We dive into: What’s wrong with Twitter and why? Who is Twitter’s customer and what is its Job to Be Done (JTBD)? What would Twitter look like if I ruled the tweets? You can read the full post here.
July 13, 2020