All of a sudden, virtual-first social platforms have taken the tech world by storm. I’m pointing to two in particular — Clubhouse and Lunchclub — but there’s many, many more under the surface.

Why?

Let’s start with the obvious, first. For over a year and a quarter, Covid has prevented people from going outside and meeting up, but it doesn’t take away from their innate desire to network and feel like they’re connected. While Houseparty was trending at the beginning of lockdown, people have moved on to more sophisticated platforms. The second, less obvious answer, is that people…


All of a sudden, virtual-first social platforms have taken the tech world by storm. I’m pointing to two in particular — Clubhouse and Lunchclub — but there’s many, many more under the surface.

Why?

Let’s start with the obvious, first. For over a year and a quarter, Covid has prevented people from going outside and meeting up, but it doesn’t take away from their innate desire to network and feel like they’re connected. While Houseparty was trending at the beginning of lockdown, people have moved on to more sophisticated platforms.


It’s unintentional, but we end up providing asymmetric value to founders that don’t benefit from the same advantages that other founders might. Be it due to location, race, gender, age, social class, income bracket or something else, every founder has a unique circumstance. That shouldn’t change who they can access, but in reality, it does. We deliver the same high value, personalized experience to every user on our platform, regardless of those factors. And here’s the reason why that creates asymmetric rewards.

Hypothetically, someone who just graduated from Stanford GSB and is building a robotics startup in the Bay Area…


“The Paradox of Skill: Why Greater Skill Leads to More Luck” — Michael Mauboussin

People often wonder how successful people become successful. While success is both relative and absolute, we tend to agree on which individuals are “successful” or not. Elon Musk, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Ma, Tiger Woods. These are all successful people. While perhaps not by the same metric (like net worth or fame), these individuals have gained a certain dominance within their field, and have been recognized for it. The question is — how did they get there?

Tiger Woods wins the Masters in 2019, after multiple back surgeries.

We all know the heavily promoted formula for…


If you’re raising capital in six months from now, that means you start now. Not in six months.

It starts with a dollar.

Start early. Always.

It’s always easier said than done, and founders know this. Most people don’t want to spend resources completing a particular task, until they have to. The same goes for fundraising. The typical entrepreneur usually starts engaging with investors only on the day she’s ready to raise capital or “be in market”. This is a classic misstep, but understandable given the simplicity of the logic. People generally do things when they need to and don’t when they don’t need to…


Great startups sell themselves. If investors are interested, they’ll be the ones making the pitch to you.

Sell, just don’t “sell”.

Have you ever tried selling something to someone? Most of the time, the buyer can guess your agenda. They know you’re trying to sell them something, and they know you’ll benefit when they choose to buy it. Even if both parties benefit equally, the buyer still feels like he’s in the position of leverage. It’s just human psychology.

But, have you ever tried having a conversation with someone, where you have a specific motive or goal in mind, but…


Good advice, at the right time, goes a long way.

The lifeblood of every startup is the team behind it. The vitality, the culture, the execution, and the rest of it, all stems from the people behind the idea. Full-timers, Part-timers, Interns, Advisors, Mentors — every stakeholder, or every person that has influenced the trajectory of a startup, has officially or unofficially been a component of its growth.

Everyone knows this, and everyone says it. But how many embody it?

To embody it is to understand that everyone on a team has a different role to play in a startups’ growth. Most people have an area of domain expertise. Some…


The NeonVest Insights on the Crypto Market.

Macro summary (Nov 2018):

From CoinMarketCap, as of Nov 31, 2018

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Bitcoin’s price crash is not that relevant

By far the biggest news this month, was Bitcoin’s massive price crash that reverberated across crypto markets. The cryptocurrency had been trading rangebound between about $6000 and $7000 since September to mid-November, until it dropped to $5600, and then continued a free fall for the rest of the month. It ended November at $4000 (see below). As of the time of writing, prices haven’t stabilized.


Co-authored by Surya Viswanathan and Aakash Shah.

The Scalability Trilemma, a term coined by Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum), refers to the tradeoffs that crypto projects must make when deciding how to optimize the underlying architecture of their own blockchain. In layman’s terms, it’s akin to the phrase “you can’t have everything”. The trilemma Vitalik is referring to involves three components: decentralization, security, and scalability. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of these three components and evaluate the pros & cons of each. This is a useful comparative framework to measure blockchains against each other. Rarely is it the…


Co-authored by Aakash Shah and Surya Viswanathan.

We’ve gotten asked this question a few times and it makes sense. We don’t have “block” or “crypto” or “coin” or “chain” or “bit” or “ledger” or any of the usual suspects in our name. For the purposes of this article let’s call these crypto-sounding names.

Constructing Narratives

Let’s backtrack to early last year, when we began serious discussions on how to build this company. One of the points of discussion was the name. A common fallacy is how consumers think about “good” names. We point to an Amazon or Robinhood and think…

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