The Introvert Economy, the Case for Longer Founder Vesting Cycles, What Happens When Your Product Goes Viral on TikTok, and More [link blog]

Hunter Walk
3 min readFeb 20, 2024

Winter Break week for my kid more time with her, and when she’s with her friends, more time with New Yorker magazines. Here are a few essays, articles, blog posts, etc that I’ve enjoyed recently.

What Happens When TikTok Is Your Marketing Department [David Segal/New York Times] — Was it organic? Was it spon con? Was it both? Many times we’ll never know, but the random products that end up popping because of a TikTok trend are always pretty fascinating anthropological stories. Here the focus is on Pink Stuff, a British cleaning paste, which was #CleanTok mainstreamed to a quadrupling of revenue ($125m annually) and distribution to 55 countries.

A typical #CleanTok video features a so-called “cleanfluencer” — some have more than one million followers — working over a sink, or a pan, or a floor, with a particular cleaner and a particular brush. There are usually before and after images, which make these little vignettes a cross between a commercial and an episode of “Law & Order.” They start with a mess and end with a verdict.

The Five Lessons That Have Guided My Career [Avni Patel Thompson/Milo] — Derived from a talk she gave at a High School Career Day, CEO/entrepreneur Patel Thompson thinks that guidebooks are better than roadmaps when it comes to career advice.

Founder Vesting [Jared Hecht/USV]Jared joined USV earlier this year and it’ll be interesting to see how his writing changes as he adds ‘institutional VC’ to his founder and angel investor knowledge. Here he writes about a topic (vesting cycles) that often is incorrectly positioned as ‘founders vs investors’ but actually has a lot more to do with the commitment founders want to make to one another and to their company. As Jared notes,

To hedge against this predictable outcome, more founders should adopt longer vesting cycles for themselves and the earliest (big equity) employees. Stretching things out to a six-year vest helps to prevent co-founder abandonment. Equally important, it also protects you if your co-founders aren’t the right fit early on — you don’t want someone leaving two years into building your company with the lion’s share of the cap table. That sucks for everyone.

The Introverts Have Taken Over the US Economy [Allison Schrager/Bloomberg] — tldr: it takes a lot more to get people to leave the house these days for dining, shopping, entertainment and other Out of Home activities. Maybe it’s just another version of barbelling? Where we like Uber Eats delivered meals but also the Eras Tour? The mediocre middle of inconvenience for little reward is getting squeezed? There’s been a lot written about decreases in IRL socializing, which has really harmful consequences for people IMO, so this could also just be a correlation/byproduct of that trend.

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Originally published at https://hunterwalk.com on February 20, 2024.

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Hunter Walk

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