🌊 2021 Review
Welcome to Startup Riders, where we deconstruct outliers - startup trends, makers, mavericks - and share learnings along the way. Once or twice a month.
"Throw that crystal ball out, you can't predict anything. What you can do is recognise when lightning strikes ⚡." — Peter Fenton, Benchmark
This week is a little different - I’m starting a new tradition.
Instead of trying to predict the future (nobody can, don’t get fooled by pedigree), every December I’m going to look back at the year and assess what happened:
⚡ Lightning Strikes: what tech waves and startup trends emerged.
✨ Highlights: what trends we studied and invested in from JME Ventures, and some personal life highlights.
🧰 Principle Toolbox: that I collect and help me as I learn - borrowed from my favourite outliers and mavericks.
1. Lightning Strikes⚡
🌊 Tech Waves
🌊Tidal Wave: Web3
🚩Word of caution, read this for a system to recurringly assess financial fragility.
2. Highlights ✨
🚀 JME Ventures
We’ve had a very busy year, in the best way possible - seeing the ecosystem grow (with the trade-offs that it represents), onboarding new team members and investing in a few core areas:
🦄 Startup Riders
I’m having a blast building out this newsletter and community - some stats:
Total Views: 67,000
Newsletter subscribers: 2.15K
Newsletter growth: >3X YoY
🥋 Jiu Jitsu
Training 3x / week, heavy sparring + technique + kettlebells. Levelled-up stripes.
Had epic surfing sessions in Lanzarote and Ericeira with friends and family.
⭐ Grandpa Power
Two legendary Engineers who passed away 2020/2021 that I always carry with me.
3. Principles Toolbox 🧰
This is my personal imaginary and legendary board of advisors (ilBOA) - many of the following principles come from or are heavily influenced by them.
My ilBoA lives in my mind all year, either by reading their books or thinking “what would this member say in this situation” and helps me:
Refine my judgement over time
Make better decisions
The purpose of life is to discover your gift; the work of life is to develop it; and the meaning of life is to give your gift away.”
— David Viscott
Slices of joy: Happiness comes from the collection of thin slices of joy that we can easily miss - focus on these instead of chasing "extraordinary" ones. - A guy at Google (?).
Practice extreme empathy - at times when you most disagree with someone, bring them closer and create communication through empathy. - paraphrasing Jocko and maybe Jesus.
Regret minimization framework - project yourself to age 80, looking back on my life, I want to minimize the number of regrets I have. What do you think you might regret not doing? - Jeff Bezos.
Direct your attention and focus outwards: True confidence/self esteem are about not judging yourself at all. (?)
Balance your tracks: Life runs on many tracks at the same time, not just on a single track. So dont be obsessed about just one (work) and forget the others.
Happiness is most strongly correlated with quality of close personal relationships - Invest in your close personal relationships with loved ones. - Harvard Study on happiness.
Be open minded and assertive at the same time - Ray Dalio
Speech: Be precise in your speech - Jordan Peterson.
Welcome adversity - GOOD Philosophy - Jocko
Mind control: "The mind under control is your best friend, the mind wandering about is your worst enemy. If you can grab the wheel of your mind, you can steer the direction of where your life will go.” - Wim Hof.
Physical Control: Learn to defend yourself and others from physical harm. Develop situational awareness. Learn some boxing, and do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. - Yours truly.
Watch the fuel you put into your hardware: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. - Michael Pollan.
Sleep is Fundamental for everything from health to performance to happiness. - Matthew Walker.
Exercise: the only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen (some quote I read). Lift heavy, run, get outside. - Yours truly.
Learn diaphragmatic breathing - The lungs are the breaks and steering wheel to your mind - learn to control your breath, and you will control your states of mind. - Rickson Gracie & Wim Hof.
Cold exposure - Wim Hof: “We have become alienated from nature. But the cold is capable of bringing us back to what we once had lost. The cold is a noble force. The more often you take cold showers and the more accustomed you get to that initial shock, the more you begin to crave the sensation.”
Vocation at its deepest level is "This is something I can't not do, for reasons I'm unable to explain to anyone else and don't fully understand myself but that are nonetheless compelling.” - Parker J Palmer
Develop liquid knowledge - "World-class thinkers are often silo-free thinkers. They avoid looking at life through the lens of one subject. Instead, they develop “liquid knowledge” that flows easily from one topic to the next." - James Clear.
Skill stacking - "It’s not about being great at any one thing — you just need to be pretty good at an array of useful skills that, when combined, make you truly one of a kind." - Tomas Pueyo
Deliberate Practice — “How expert one becomes at a skill has more to do with how one practices than with merely performing a skill a large number of times.”
Focus on High-leverage Activities — “Leverage should be the central, guiding metric that helps you determine where to focus your time.”
Culture is what happens when nobody is looking. Culture changes every time you let something happen that goes against it.- Ben Horowitz
Simple is beautiful: If you can't explain something simply / in simple terms, you don't understand it well enough - Albert Einstein
Think different: If you think like everybody else - you will do what everyone does. - Steve Jobs / Naval.
How to be successful: by Sam Altman - "How to be successful"
Bonus Track: Navalisms
If I don’t see you, merry Christmas and enjoy the rest of 2021! Until next time!