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Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

A number of reporters and columnists these days are “going indie,” detaching from their previous employer and signing up with a site like Substack, Patreon or Medium to get paid for their writing by their readers. The motivations are usually blends of seeking freedom (to write at their own cadence and on whatever they want to cover) and the accelerating austerity at media companies from ad supported business models collapsing. …


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The above tweet seemed to resonate with folks, and sometimes when that happens, I like to expand in a post, since the tweet will disappear in 30 days.

Ok, let’s talk about working in tech and feeling like your best years are perpetually behind you. It screws with your head! This was part of the reason I spent almost two decades metaphorically being chased by a failure tiger. No bueno for one’s health and wellness. Why does this feeling exist and what can we do to help ourselves and others navigate?

It exists because it’s true and part our popular mythology! Ahh you didn’t think I was going to start there did you? Seriously, any discussion of this topic should acknowledge that there’s an incorrect (and sometimes illegal when it plays a role in hiring) age bias in our industry. “Pattern recognition” of a what a founder looks like still gravitates towards, as one VC said (and I’m paraphrasing) “pasty young white males.” This is changing as we see women take their companies public and people start multibillion dollar companies in their — gasp- 40s. But to write a post confronting the “I’m too old” anxiety and not recognize all of this would be dishonest. …


Reporter Alex Kantrowitz had me on his Big Technology podcast and we covered a bunch of stuff about the social platforms, politics & tech and my days at YouTube. To subscribe to the podcast and hear the interview for yourself use Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Overcast.

I love when podcasts make transcripts available and you can read it below


tldr: instead of choosing between in-person or remote, your seed stage company (or team) should be more hybrid, tied to the type/phase of project going on. With in-person being used during periods of intense team ideation, collaboration or debate. While remote is best for execution sprints and concentrated individual problem solving.

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Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

2020 has turned out to be a really interesting test of what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. The Real World. Uh, sorry, as a MTV generation kid, that reality show opening is hardwired into my brain. What I meant to say is 2020 has provided us a bunch of forced learnings around collaboration given that much of the tech world shifted from “mostly together in offices” to “mostly apart, at home, supported by software.” While we all agree that ‘apart’ is best right now for reasons of safety, the discussion around what a post-COVID world seems to be largely bifurcated into Office vs WFH/Distributed. More recently there’s some acknowledgment that maybe a hybrid will be the path back, where different people are in the office for 2–3 days/week to take into account social distancing and give people productive time away from the office sans commute. …


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Photo by John Gibbons on Unsplash

So I recently re-shared a 2019 blog post where I’d basically advised founders who’ve raised seed capital to worry less about “how will I raise the next round” and more about “how will I execute my plan?” The post’s kicker said it was “rare for a company that’s executing well to fail to raise a Series A” based on my early experiences in venture.

Some of the responses highlighted that this wasn’t true of companies with founders who didn’t fit the traditional male, usually white, usually straight, founder stereotype. That those founders had personally experienced challenges in what the “executing well” bar meant for them in the eyes of future funders, not to mention that getting funded to start with, and then executing well, was usually already from a disadvantaged position due to the structural issues in tech.


Something happens on Twitter after you’ve gathered enough followers to become at least a “semi-public figure” and I don’t think it’s healthy. Expanding outside your immediate social circle of IRL friends and into URL friends tends to include what I’d call “tribe followers” — an increase in the number of people who are expecting a certain type and tone of content in-line with whatever the tweet was that caused them to follow you. “Hate followers” usually come next, which are basically the same but opposite: accounts waiting for you to say something they can fight about, even if they have to misrepresent the meaning or context of your words. This interplay, plus the basic physics of the system (RTs, RTs w comments, Likes increase tweet reach), tend to implicitly and explicitly shape *what* you tweet and how emphatically you say it. And the followers are waiting to high-five or poke you in the eyes, depending on why they’re there. …


I asked a question on Twitter the other day

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The responses were great! Here are some of my favorites

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Looking at my 26-day-old Tweet, it feels certain I was going to write *something* about Coinbase’s culture memo. Now in late October, we’re far enough removed to see initial reactions have play out, and that’s left space to see what has remained tumbling in my head.

What’s the “Best” Version of What Coinbase is Attempting to Do?

I’ve observed a tendency to label corporate cultures “good” or “bad” based on whether the critiquing individual agrees with the company’s professed values or could imagine themselves working there. …


Disclaimer: I’ve never been hired by a venture firm.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, here’s the advice I give folks who have 2–3 years of work experience and are looking to get an entry-level role at a venture firm (typically called an Analyst or Associate).

“Hi, thanks for reaching out. Since I need to prioritize my family and my fund, I might not have time to jump on a call to answer your questions about breaking into venture. Instead I’ve written some stuff down — take a look and if you have any follow-up maybe we can handle over email. …


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Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Watching a half dozen French Resistance soldiers standing around debating whether Taco Bell is “authentic” teaches you some things. First, that most people have no idea what real Mexican food tastes like. Second, that community is the most powerful retention mechanism available to game developers, because you see, these “soldiers” were players in an online WWII multiplayer simulation. While the chance to shoot some virtual Nazis was likely the original motivation to sign-up, it was the presence of other people which brought them back each day (and bill their credit card $12.95 each month). As I looked around for more examples of this I found that the introduction of connectivity to gaming (hello internet!) had really emphasized how much play was about community. …

About

Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

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