In the first decade of my life, my parents used to buy me different kinds of puzzles — from the Rubik’s cube to beautifully intricate LEGO sets to Luban locks. One of my favorites has always been these thousand-piece puzzles. Every time I poured those pieces out of the box, they scattered across our carpet like tiny ants scrambling to find meaning. I loved putting the puzzle together having only seen the completed image once — when I opened the box. That probably, at most, left a three-second impression in my mind. How awesome would photographic memory be. But alas…

The amazing Paul “PG” Graham came out with an essay this month on crazy new ideas. And the thing I’ve learned over the years, being in Silicon Valley, is if PG writes, you read. In it, one section in particular stood out:

“Most implausible-sounding ideas are in fact bad and could be safely dismissed. But not when they’re proposed by reasonable domain experts. If the person proposing the idea is reasonable, then they know how implausible it sounds. And yet they’re proposing it anyway. That suggests they know something you don’t. …

I was introduced to a founder of an e-commerce marketplace recently trying to figure out what product-market fit looks like. Specifically what might be some early tells of PMF. And I told him, “If your users are sticking around long enough to try to game your system, you have something they want. While it might not be in the most efficient format, you’re close to PMF. Subsequently, solving that frictional point that users are trying to ‘hack’ will delight them.”

In an earlier blog post, one of the tells of a great unicorn idea is frustration with the status quo…

Founders often ask me what’s the best way to cold email an investor. *in my best TV announcer voice* Do you want to know the one trick to get replies for your cold email startup pitches that investors don’t want you to know? Ok, I lied. No investor ever said they don’t want founders to know this, but how else am I going to get a clickbait-y question? Time and time again, I recommend them to start with the one (at most two) metrics they are slaying with. Even better if that’s in the subject line. Like “Consumer social startup…

For years, I’ve recommended my friends who were looking at startup job opportunities to think like a VC. And having chatted a number of firms over the years about scout, associate/analyst, venture partner roles, I’ve come to a new revelation. Or rather one that I’ve practiced for a while, but haven’t connected the dots until recently.

When you’re looking for VC job opportunities, think like an LP. I’ve written about the LP calculus a few times before, like:

“I was a swimmer since I was very young and, you know, I never won. I never won.”

You’re probably assuming this is how the opening scene of a movie about a future world-champion swimmer begins. The beginning of the world’s most amazing underdog story. And you’re wrong. Well, not completely wrong. This isn’t a story about the world’s next biggest Olympic swimmer. Although it might be well-timed with the Tokyo Olympics around the corner. This… is a story, in my humble opinion, of one of the world’s next biggest venture capitalists. …

Michael Seibel of Y Combinator tweeted quite the provocative tweet last year:

… “customers are the gatekeepers of the startups world.” Then comes the question, if customers are the gatekeepers to the venture world, how do you know if you’re on to something if you’re any one of the below:

This blog post isn’t designed to be the crystal ball to all your problems. But instead, here are three mental models that might help a budding founder find idea-market fit. Let’s call it a tracker’s kit that may increase your chances at finding a unicorn.

One of the most common questions first-time founders ask, often when they’re raising their first round or finding their first investors, is: “Who is/How do I find the best investor for my startup?” Without a “network” in the Bay or among the investing community, many founders don’t know where or how to start. And while it’s easy to say that you’re at most a 2nd or 3rd degree connection from anyone you might wanna meet, it’s the same as telling someone to “Google” something they don’t get. Luckily, these days, so many early-stage investors spend time on brand-building and content…


Perseverance is one of the most important factors to succeeding as an entrepreneur because it is present in all aspects of our life.

You can develop perseverance by clearly defining goals, maintaining optimism, having a growth mindset, and believing in yourself.

Additionally, for a deeper knowledge of perseverance and mindsets for success, explore these insightful books:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

The famous ancient Chinese philosopher Confucious once said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

Many of our world’s greatest accomplishments indeed started with something…


The top five traits of successful entrepreneurs are perseverance, motivation, creativity, risk-taking, and adaptability.

Perseverance is important because entrepreneurs are bound to encounter numerous difficulties, and persevering through them is the only way to succeed.

Motivation not only helps with perseverance but also provides entrepreneurs a clearer sense of direction.

Creativity allows entrepreneurs to better solve complex problems in society today and change the status quo.

Risk-taking is a key part of being an entrepreneur because of the uncertainty that comes with entrepreneurship, so knowing when to take risks is an important asset.

Lastly, adaptability is a skill that…

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