Fun Friday: Cavs Warriors

Well we finally got to the matchup that it seems like we have been waiting all season to get to. It really wasn’t even close. These are the best two teams in the NBA by a lot and have been for three years now. So, who is going to win, in how many games, and why? I will go out on a limb, like I enjoy doing, and say Cavs in seven because LeBron’s will to win is simply greater than any other person playing basketball right now.

Kin

Our portfolio company Kik announced some big news today. They are going to decentralize Kik and use a new cryptocurrency called Kin to build a business model around a decentralized Kik and, hopefully, attract other developers to build decentralized communities using Kin as well. All of this is outlined in the Kin Whitepaper that was published this morning. Here are the main parts of this plan: Kin is a cryptocurrency designed to bring people together in a new shared economy.
Envisioned as a general purpose cryptocurrency for use in everyday digital services, Kin will be used for all transactions within the Kin Ecosystem. Implemented on the public Ethereum blockchain as an ERC20 token, Kin will serve as the basis of interoperability with other digital services in the Kin Ecosystem. Kik will be the first digital service to join the Kin Ecosystem.
Kin will power a digital economy inside of the
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A year after its launch, Tech:NYC has become a force in New York politics

 It’s been a little over a year since Fred Wilson and Tim Armstrong appeared onstage at Disrupt in New York to launch Tech:NYC. The two titans of New York City’s tech scene were angling to create a new organization that would speak out for the interests of the tech industry in both city and state government while planting a flag for New York’s place at the forefront of… Read More

I Paid $22.38 For This

This is a virtual good, called a Rare Pepe. I blogged about it a few weeks ago. Hawkeye tweeted this at me a couple days ago: And I liked it so I went into the Rare Pepe directory, found the card, and offered 1000 Pepe Cash for it. 1000 Pepe Cash goes for $22.38 right now in the cryptomarkets. So I paid $22.38 for a virtual card that has no utility other than I can collect it (on my computer or phone), I can send it to someone else, I can sell it, and I can blog about it. But the one thing I do know is that these are “rare”. There are only 391 issued right now.
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Blockstack – A New Internet

The founders of our portfolio company Blockstack are ambitious. What they have built and are announcing today is effectively a new Internet, powered by the blockchain. This is what the Blockstack team is after:
A new internet needs to have security and safety as a core of its DNA. Applications and services cannot be owned and controlled by remote third-parties. We can build a digital world of truly peer-to-peer internet utilities not maintained by corporations, but collectively, by the people. We can build a digital world that encodes property rights, where we can own our data, and where the people are powerful.

Here is their blog post announcing the Blockstack Browser. And here is my partner Albert’s blog post on the USV blog explaining why this is important.

Writing and Speaking

I got a lot of comments about the two videos I posted last week suggesting that I have nailed the art of public speaking. I don’t know about that, I am my harshest critic. But I do believe that writing regularly makes it so much easier to speak publicly in unscripted situations. Writing forces you to work out your views and articulate them clearly and concisely. Then when you are asked a question related to those views, you have already worked out the answer. It is in the brain, waiting there to come out crisply and concisely. I’ve been writing daily for going on fourteen years so that is a huge body of work, opinion, thought, and insight to be able to pull from. My views have evolved over the years and so not all of that content is relevant at this point, but most of it is. So if
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Can Do Vs Must Do

Over the past few months, I’ve been reminded about the difference between “can do” and “must do” and how companies often confuse the two. With the abundance of capital sloshing around the tech sector, our portfolio companies often have the resources to do more than they can and should do. They greenlight a bunch of projects that are “can do” projects but not “must do” projects. And a number of not so great things happen when they do this, including but not limited to:
  • Core resources (like infrastructure, security, payments, design, product management) get stretched supporting so many efforts.
  • The team loses sight of the mission and strategy as so many projects are being tackled at the same time
  • Senior leadership gets pulled in many directions and loses alignment as a result
  • Projects slip or don’t ship at all, leading to malaise and morale issues
  • Headcount grows quickly to support
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