Archive for the 'Blog' Category



Tinkering

There is an immense satisfaction in tinkering. Just playing about, exploring, seeing what something does.

It’s being curious without an agenda.

The same as pursuing boredom is a worthy goal, so is tinkering. Treat this post as permission to tinker, I sure am.

September 15th, 2021

Late stage secondaries

This is the third in my recent posts about investing (100 Companies, Investment lens, what I’ve been up to). More about the discoveries I’ve made the past 18 months or so. This post is on secondaries, that is buying shares in later stage startups. This is an area that has been getting more and more democratized. Examples might be a SpaceX or a Stripe.

The present market state, is such, that for institutional investors who want exposure to future IPO companies there are a lot of options. For individual investors the options drop off compared to that but are still available.

Who can do this?

Typically the minimum is $50k, however some platforms come down to $10k depending on the deal. So these are sizable investments. Which hold a lot of risk, an IPO or acquisition isn’t certain. However you can buy in to quality companies that you want to own.

You also need to be a qualified individual under US law.

How are they structured?

Typically the firm creates a SPV to hold the secondary shares and you are buying units in that entity. You can hold the units directly or you can hold through your own entity.

Can you buy a ‘fund’ of secondaries?

Yes, most providers either offer these in batches over time or continual funds.

Where do they get the shares from? Why are those people selling?

Typically these are early employees selling their shares, it can also be funds from early investors selling a portion of their stock. You might think they’re crazy to sell stock in such a hot company. But these holdings might represent most of their gains or all of their net worth. A smart individual would sell some, to at least pay off the mortgage, diversify.

The other thing is, life happens. The employees may have left or are leaving. Tax bills arise.

But you are right to be skeptical, maybe they are selling as bad things are on the horizon. Be attentive if you’re seeing a lot of sales or a depressed price. That is where your own due diligence needs to come in, a long term outlook and to listen to the market.

The final way is some firms offer financing for startup employees to exercise their option or to buy their options if they are leaving. If they finance the exercising of the options, they typically take some upside. So in each case they are on-selling their asset.

Right now, you also have to question why aren’t they going public now? Typically they have access to capital and a good plan to keep growing in the private markets. Or they have more work to do to get the business ready.

Information issues, rights & lock ups

Because these are secondaries, you are going to get imperfect information. Prior financing may have additional warrants or the total amount of issued shares may be inaccurate. Typically they are close but don’t go in to this expecting to lift the kimono and see everything.

The next thing is rights, you likely will not get information rights to receive updates from the company. And also will not get a vote etc. You just get the exposure to the upside.

As these are employee shares, you will likely be held to the same employee lock ups. Meaning you may have public stock for 3 or 6 months. Further for tax compliance, you will receive K1s each year.

How do the firms offering these make money?

The firm offering it will charge a placement fee and take some carry. Carry will be calculated on the IPO price, or an average of the last 30 days of trading if a lock up period is in place. There may be a management fee as well to maintain the entity and compliance.

Imperfect pricing

To set expectations, because this is a secondary and limited supply available, you are typically going to get imperfect pricing. You may be buying at a discount, or a premium to the last round.

Tips

  • Be fast, hot companies can get allocated very rapidly. As fast as 8 minutes I’ve found.
  • Friday, I tend to see the offerings coming on a Friday. I’m not sure why, my guess is that they’ve spent all week finalizing the details and now need to get it out.
  • Complete your KYC details early. KYC is know your customer and requires validation of who you are, or your entity, and your role in acting on its behalf.
  • Insidery, hot companies are going to go fast so often *may* be provided to their top or most frequent investors first. I haven’t seen this as a strict policy but observed it happening. So do put the highest allocation you could make when you indicate interest and let your account manager know your interest or flexibility.

Who are some of the firms that offer these?

  • MicroVentures, from my observation they appear to have the best deal flow for ‘retail’ like investors. They provide companies, small funds with a collection of companies.
  • Forge, they merged with SharesPost to offer a broader array. They also have a good volume of deals.
  • EquityZen, a generalization but they tend to have more media/NY offerings. Lower minimums.
  • EquityBee, is similar to EquityZen, they also tend to have a mix of different types of companies. Lower minimums too.

Those are the main ones. The Forge founders are also working on a new company, which may yield new options in the future.

Here are some offerings that *may* in the future offer more options for retail but offer options for those with larger commitments:

CartaX is more for institutional right now, but may have more retail like options in the future.

SecondMarket, acquired by Nasdaq also is on the same path. Providing offerings in private companies.

SecFi, they fund employee options and take a portion of the upside, and will sell some of that exposure.

GSquared, they also offer options for family funds.

What about Crypto?

There have been coins been sold against soon to be public companies, like Coinbase & RobinHood. The coin represents, converting the initial capital at the first day of trading. So this gives you synthetic exposure without underlying stock ownership. This is a space I would expect more to happen over time.

August 28th, 2021

The challenge across investment classes

I missed out on investing in Instacart, relatively early on. A buddy of mine did not. Another buddy also passed. If you fast forward to today, Instacart (even prior to covid) was valued at $7.9b and now $39b in the last round. That is an insane multiple.

So what went wrong?

At the time, when I saw it, I liked the idea and the convenience. Very early the proposition was about getting a red bull or a couple of items to you fast. Then in New York it enabled delivery at supermarkets which was less common at the time. We even used the service a bit.

What I didn’t like, is I couldn’t see a long term sustainable business model. The discounted delivery fee wouldn’t pass on, consumers wouldn’t pay for an increased margin on products.

The knowledge, that yes they could improve the operation as they scaled, they could find new ways of generating revenue (like advertising) and their team could execute brilliantly – was in the back of my mind. However, not enough to press go.

In evaluating I was thinking like a value investor, not a growth investor. It was clear from a growth perspective they could grow significantly and ideally solve some of the challenges with scale. A growth investor would have gone yup lets do it.

That’s not to pass judgement on my investment lens. It’s just for that investment, at that time, with the type of capital it was the wrong one.

It’s also a lens that has limited my opportunities with Crypto, I’ve mostly struggled with seeing the big picture and where the real tangible value would be created, or created through exchange.

And for me personally, I invest resources through Nudge, board positions, early stage investment, late stage and then income, retirement and a fun account. This is a primary function, resource allocator.

Swapping investment lens in each scenario has taken some work, to sit and define how I should be thinking about investment allocation in each scenario. What is the most appropriate way to evaluate each of these. But a fruitful exercise. It’d be insane to take a crypto investment lens and apply that to retirement investing. The defining of that has been immensely helpful, to hone my own thinking and to help in swapping context.

The mental short cut is to entrust your funds to experts who will make those judgements. Find an expert in Crypto investment, evaluate them, their lens, knowledge of the space. And back them. That’s why index funds are so valuable to investors, for the same reason. You can always change at a later date when or if you want to get more involved.

Extrapolating that out to other areas, it’s the same as hiring a personal trainer, rather than figuring everything out, get someone who knows the road and makes the calls based on your own results or progress.

August 26th, 2021

100 Companies

One of my emergent post-covid goals is to invest in 100 companies over the next three years. The key aim is to learn, to have fun and a bit of adventure. And of course make some money along the way.

Now the problem with that sort of number of companies (and ambition) is that that is a monumental undertaking. I don’t have the capacity to find, sort, filter and do that many deals. However the way I am addressing it, is by finding a few funds or syndicates, that enable me to do that.

The first is FundersClub, FundersClub shares direct investments and fund investments throughout the year. Of note is they do a Y Combinator round each year, going in to a selection of Y Combinator companies.

The second is, Angel Syndicates, finding a few managers who I think will sniff out great deals. You join their syndicate and those deals are shared with you. You can either back every deal they do or back individual deals as they come through.

The third will be a mix of private direct deals, either sourced by myself or from my networks. I haven’t used either Assure or RUV yet for structuring a deal. The former lets you put together a SPV for a direct deal, RUV also offers the same sort of service. Letting you and a few friends invest together.

Separately, I will continue to explore the secondary markets, follow on into prior investments. The secondary space has a bunch of innovation. Maybe I’ll do a follow up post on that and the opportunities it presents.

The benefit of the approach above is, low cognitive load but also gets me in to companies I might not have because of my own selection bias, with this approach I tap in to a bunch of different thinkers who would tackle opportunities I wouldn’t take a second look at.

For me a big driver of this is learning, taking a small stake typically means there is no real engagement with the firms but you do get access to updates. However some of the private deals will mean more involvement. But so, by getting such an expanse of companies and an understanding of where they’re investing, challenges they’re facing, seeing the public view vs behind the scenes view and how their journey evolves. That is a bunch of learning!

As we navigate the emergent economy, what better way than to get a broad view from a bunch of companies.

August 3rd, 2021

A lot of good business ideas come down to

The ability for the end user to identify new capital opportunities or to reallocate capital efficiently.

Whether it is adjusting their own purchasing, disrupting current spending from old to new, or justifying new investment. It’s when those dollars start trading hands and moving that the market really starting paying attention.

July 22nd, 2021

Been a long time between drinks

Such a cheesy saying that. I thought I’d update on a few things have been tinkering with.

Rally Road
Rally Road is an app which lets you buy shares in collectible assets, like a Michael Jordan basketball card or a Aston Martin or a Rolex watch. Rally holds the assets in secure storage. Then every few months they open up trading windows so you can sell your shares or purchase others. There’s some chat around how art and other collectibles outperform the S&P – but I’m more doing it for fun.

NBATopShot
This is basically digital basketball cards, with ownership validated on the blockchain. TopShot creates new ‘moments’ and drops them via regular pack drops. You can open your pack, or even leave it closed. Again, this has just been fun. I haven’t had any major scores (yet!).

RobinHood $1 Shares
Or rather just buying $1 in a stock. Robinhood gives you a fraction of the stock. So one weekend I hurt my thumbs to go and buy $1 in each of the S&P 500. An easier thing would have been to spend $500 on SPY. It would have given me a proportional weighting. SPY weights on market cap, whereas I’ve just weighted on 1/500 in the index.

This means, I get a bunch of notifications like this:

$0.01 dividend has been reinvested. I like this – as its a reminder that your stocks are always working for you. What if SPY or other ETFS gave you an activity feed of all their adjustments, dividend reinvestments. That would be neat and remind people of what’s going on.

That is counter to the idea of passive investment (should sleep soundly without worrying about it) but I think it would remind people how hard their funds are working.

Reading
I re-read The Intelligent Investor last year and read Reminiscences of a Stock Market Operator. Both are great pairing. The Intelligent Investor is so dense, you could read it 10 times over at varying levels of experience and knowledge and gain a bunch. Reading it a second time was invaluable.

It was just good to re-ground in the principles of investing but also within the chaotic market environment we’ve had.

Reminiscences of a Stock Market Operator tells the tale of a stock market operator in the early days. Where people would go to bucket shops, and trade stocks based off the stock ticker coming through. The story is entertaining but also shares a lot of lessons, relevant to investing but more to the mindset and beliefs behind achieving something and the pitfalls on the journey. So its not just for investors its for anyone. I’d mark this as a reread.

The original James Bond books by Ian Fleming, I read all of these at the start of the year, you’ve picked up bits and pieces from the movies but they are really enjoyable on their own.

This was paired with Desmond Bagley, which is post-WWII adventure type stories, told by a journalist who travelled the world at the time.

I’d recommend all, its been nice to read a BUNCH of fiction for a stretch.

Rugby & Parrot

Last year I joined the board of Rugby United New York, New York’s franchise in Major League Rugby. Which was part of a one year journey of re-discovering the calibre of rugby in the US, mapping out its potential and getting involved. In most of the world, rugby as a sport isn’t growing but here it is. Did you know the US has just as many players as France?!

Here is a preview from their recent win agains the previously unbeaten LA Giltinis

And growing a team is very much like a startup or content. So surprisingly key pillars of its success line up with my prior experience. I’m still learning a bunch. A real treat is watching a game beside a pro who catches a million times more detail in the ebbs and flows of the game than a commentator does.

I also joined the board of Parrot Analytics, this is a company I invested in 8 or so years ago. And along the way have helped recruit board members, investors, support to the team and market leads where I can. When I invested I had no idea how their trajectory and my own would line up. I was agency-side then but now am software side. They’ve been making waves in the streaming industry by measuring demand for shows.

In the past I have defaulted to no for any board positions, erring to focus on key efforts. Typically I’d pass up on one to two a year. But I changed my stance for these two, given the excitement, opportunity to learn and also to share from my own experience.

(As an aside, I also a few years back went, to lead with fun, if having fun on projects, the rest will follow, both of these are fun long term projects to be involved with).

It’s also refreshing to be presented with completely different challenges and problems. Plus the people you get to meet are always good/fun/new.

Things that also excite me

The no-code movement
There is a whole trend around creating applications (or apps) without code. This is universal across software and lowers the level to produce an idea. This has been fun, re-learning and playing with all the tools but figuring out how to bring them in or their philosophies in to our own software.

Some notables I liked are AppSheet, Bubble, Obviously & Sagemaker (for AI) but also check out WebFlow.

Getting back in to watching sports (and podcasts)
I’ve also got back more in to watching rugby, formula 1 and my huge backlog of podcasts. Prior I had been doing more audio books on Audible.

I’ve been listening to RadioLab, Dan Carlin Hardcore History, Kevin Roses DeFi and Shipworm (a podcast/audio production).

The pace of my own writing
I’ve been experimenting with doing more long form pieces, where I get to dive in to a topic, in the past year I’ve written on these: Does Google even need us? The first time Apple built a search engine (and what are they building now)? NFTs & Content, Shenanigans in F1, the Origin of the Newsletter.

My process is to go loose on researching, pasting all my links in a google doc. Often I put in a bunch of questions I want to answer – What are NFTS? Why should I care? etc. Then coming back in another session, reading all of the articles, copy/pasting the best bits or soundbites or thoughts. Then in another session going through and writing. Then another session for editing, then editing in-situ.

I’ve had mixed success with these, but the act of doing them has helped in other areas too. Readers of my blog may not know that my Nudge newsletter goes out each week with a little blurb too, worth a read.

Investments
As you may have gathered, this is an area I’ve been working hard to upskill on the last few years. I’ve tended to shift from angel investments to investments in private companies where I can spend more time or be more active in adding value. Either directly or through people I can get in there.

I also did my first, buying employee stock, in a soon to be listed company. The benefit of doing this is you are buying in a more mature (but still high growth) company. The downside is, your potential for upside is limited as you are coming in so late. You also introduce extra risk that they bomb on the public markets.

The other big risk is information-asymmetry, why are employees selling? And this you can explain away, selling down for tax reasons, re-balancing, to help fund vesting, to buy a house etc. Or they could be selling because they don’t think they company will go up. In most cases it seems to less of selling their whole position and selling some to get cash.

But the fun thing with that, was going through and finding all the different ways you can buy stock. Again in that process meeting new people and learning a lot.

Re-building my portfolio, as a unit, rather than a series of individual bets. In the past I would make more single stock decisions, i.e. I like this company will back that. Now I’ve been looking at, setting a portfolio objective and constructing my portfolio around that objective. So it includes high risk, low risk, mix of options, dividend stocks, use of margin. With the idea of the portfolio hitting the objective.

With all the volatility, this has been curious to watch the behaviors of each and how they change in the various conditions. i.e. in March last year, lots of stocks went down, but my bonds went up, enabling me to purchase great stocks cheaper.

Always looking for builders
We’re/I am always looking for builders, people that like to build tech/products/businesses/community/content. Either at our companies or the companies involved with. So if you’re hunkering for a new challenge – do reach out. Or if you’re not looking but just want to grab coffee (virtually or when safe, in person) – lets do it.

Europe, postponed again
We’ve wanted to do a summer in Europe for the lsat few years, the first year was postponed because of visa, the next because of (yay!) our second daughter arriving and then because of covid. Here’s hoping we can next year.

Travel is something I’ve missed a lot, but have still enjoyed planning trips and have a few mapped out when things get easier. Now that we have kids some trips are a bit more planned out, i.e. they’ll enjoy this when they’re a bit bigger. But the world is so big and the destination list so long, that’s no sacrifice. I really love that sense when you arrive in a new town, you check in to your accommodation and then head out the door, I’m here and ready to explore.

May 29th, 2021

Countdowns app

A neat app I found last year, was Countdowns. It does what it says in the title. Shows a countdown to a particular date.

I set it, to countdown to the end of year. Less for I want 2020 to be over, I was using it beforehand but to be more conscious of time.

It’s a reminder that there actually isn’t that many days in a year. Once you take holidays, weekends, regular commitments, you lose them fast.

December 8th, 2020

Go with the wave

It was just over a year ago I was in San Sebastian for a wedding. Having a couple of days free I decided to go catch a few waves. They have a beautiful beach, right there in the downtown, Zurriola. You stroll from your apartment, pick up your board and right on the water. Bed to beach in sub 15 minutes.

Zurriola beach cam view

See a peek on the local surf cam.

Being out on the water is immediately relaxing, refreshing and heck of a lot of fun.

Every time I go out, it reminds me you can’t force things, you just have to go with the flow. Take the waves that come. Be relaxed. And you do your best work when you’re relaxed as Bill Murray points out.

That’s what we’re all having to do at the moment, so much is out of our hands, we have to go with the flow, listen, learn and adapt. Swimming against the tide will just wear yourself out. Find the signal and go with the wave and make it your own.

September 3rd, 2020

Feeling stuck?

Way way back I met Michael Gerber [post here], author of the E Myth, a solid book on how business owners/creators can level up and grow their businesses.

I bring it up as he spoke on we are most happy when we are creating, when we are in a mode of managing, managing stress, managing the news and in turn being reactive. Taking some time to re-inspire and create, helps shift us to being proactive, taking the world in our stride.

Take the time to reconnect with the things that inspire you, space, books, podcasts, games, a good walk, a TED talk, audio books, lists, writing, art, speaking, creating things, editing, sharing thoughts, exercise, perspectives.

Take it a step further and do it for friends, family and clients/partners.

Even if you start with just two minutes.

June 12th, 2020

What was a cross country flight like?

Last week I met the family in Los Angeles to do the second leg of the trip back to New York. So why were we flying? We had been in New Zealand in February for a wedding and I had come back early for work, then we had to make the call for them to stay there.

Both ways were on United, each flight had social distancing in place, the first had two people per row – one each side of the aisle. The latter had the middle seat clear.

The plans smelt clean, we were handed hand towels. The terminals and security were all stress free with less people around. People kept distance at boarding.

For boarding they boarded the reverse of the plane first – and upon landing, only clearer a few rows at a time to get off. There were less people but it did feel like a better process which could be considered for future.

In each circumstance, it wasn’t the airline, it was our peers which make it or break it. If everyone else is applying social distancing and face masks, it feels safe. When they don’t, not so much.

On the first flight a group of people decided to take their masks off to talk.

For the flight back someone was wearing a full hazmat suit!

Each flight had multiple people with dogs. Which was fine.

What was it like doing it with kids? Hard work. But at least on the plane, your seat/row becomes your bubble, which provides some comfort. An overnight flight helped as at least they were tired and slept. Once you were in your seat, you settled in.

I took Via to the airport and Uber back. Via was great, driver wearing mask, had a plastic shield in the car providing separation. Uber was different, no shield but mask and disinfectant. In each case, opened the window to help keep air circulating.

As a family the limitation is that you need all the seats, so had to do UberXL, fortunately it had enough seats (i.e a 7 seater) but I know not all UberXls’ have that.

There was a long layover, so we hired a car from SilverCar rather than spending that time in the terminal. This worked well, letting us get food, explore a bit from the car.

Overall it went to plan, it was a hard decision but we figured that making the transit just before things opened up was probably the safest time period to do it.

Would I recommend it? No, if you don’t need to fly right now – don’t. But if you need to, you can safely with precautions, common sense and joint respect for others.

May 26th, 2020

Kevin Kelly 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

KK turned 68 today and shared this brilliant post. Give it a read.

A vacation + a disaster = an adventure.

^ And who doesn’t like adventure.

April 30th, 2020

At home work outs

Now that we’re a few weeks in to this, I’ve started to get a good rhythm, which seems to work.

Firstly, I’ve been adding in 1-2 5km runs each week. Not worrying about pace. Just getting out there and doing it.

Typically I’d run 26 weeks/out of the year according to Nike Run Club. So this is an increase.

Secondly, my friend Colin (@CJN) put me on to the Marsoc Short Card, a series of exercises from the marine core. That you can do anywhere – but I have found doing it outside is better. Here’s a video and the list – copied/pasted from here.

  1. 30 Push-ups
  2. 30 Air squats
  3. 30 Crunches
  4. 10 Burpees
  5. 10 Windmills
  6. 30 Push-ups
  7. 30 Mountain climbers
  8. 30 Flutter kicks
  9. 10 Burpees
  10. 10 Cherry pickers (4-count)
  11. 30 Push-ups
  12. 30 Star jumpers (or jumping jacks)
  13. 30 Back Extensions (“supermans”)
  14. 10 Burpees
  15. 10 Chain breakers
  16. 30 Push-ups
  17. 30 Lunges
  18. 30 Hello dollies
  19. 10 Burpees
  20. 10 Trunk twists
  21. 3 Max sets of dead-hang pull-ups or flexed-arm hangs

I copied/pasted the above in to notes on my phone and loaded the video in parallel in the YouTube app. As wasn’t familiar with all the exercises.

First time I tried to do them at the full amount, but couldn’t deliver on the 30 push ups by the end. So adjusted that down to 10 push ups. Then will pull up as I get repetition. This is what makes this exercise great, you can scale it up/down as you need.

You could start with just doing 5 of everything. The rhythm also builds in breaks so the list may look daunting but you get through it quick.

Thirdly, I have a bench at home, and kettle bells.

So I made a work out using that:

  • Bench press, one arm at a time, with the kettlebell.
  • Push ups, or push ups with my feet on the bench or couch.
  • Kettlebell row, with one knee on the bench.
  • Dips.
  • Bicep curls.
  • Goblet squats or Lunges.
  • Single Leg Deadlift.
  • Sit ups.

Each time I aim to do 6-7 of these. Squats/Deadlifts something I interchangeably do. The rest are each time.

My old trainer Victor has been sharing some exercises from his Instagram channel as well. A few I picked up from that.

  • Doing push ups on pot.
  • Hip flexes.
  • Burpee to squat

Send him a DM on Instagram and schedule a remote session if you need some help crafting a, at home workout, with whatever you’ve got around.

I think that is key – make do with what you’ve got, on space, gear, time. Then adjust frequency based on that.

Finally, I log all my exercises. Each day blurs in to the next. This helps keep track of it.

The logging is a habit I have now kept up for the last two years which has been helpful for ensuring I get good balance in my workouts.

Here’s a screenshot:

Example of my logs in Evernote.

I will sometimes jot down some exercises for the next work out too. Or if have stiffness or some external factor like jet lag or lack of sleep note that. Just to help future me better understand past performance.

What apps do I use? For run tracking I use Nike Run Club on Apple Watch. Strava is a popular alternative. I use the Nike guided runs every now and again to mix it up but also to improve my form and pace. Helpful if you haven’t run in a while.

For logging work outs, just Evernote, Notion would be just as good as well.

In terms of stretches, I do use a foam roller pre-workout. Given the working from home, less walking in general, I find this helps a bunch with my back and shoulders.

Before running, I tend to stretch my shoulders/chest/upper back. Again the good form helps a better run.

That’s it. I’ll update/revise as I improve the rhythm. If you have any tips or improvements on these, please do tweet me too.

April 14th, 2020

Last recession

This blog started I guess roughly in the middle of the last recession. NZ wasn’t as hard hit as the US but it still felt the echos for a few years.

For long time readers you know where it’s taken me so I’m ever grateful for that initial step – and the many that followed.

Now that you’re at home, what new things could or should start now?

If you have nothing to do, embrace being bored, play some games, read, spend time with friends/family.

It’s hard but it can be a realigning around the things that you really want to be doing. Or should be doing.

Give it some thought, mull it around, start something. Truly, if not now, when?

March 28th, 2020

Pre-mortem and backcasting

I recently finished Annie Dukes, Thinking in Bets.

Three takeaways from the book:

Place an actual bet
When people are at a disagreement, consider asking to put money down. And seeing how if that changes your position. It forces you to consider what weighting is going in to your POV and find the strengths and weaknesses of the position.

Noah in Why Is ThisInteresting – The Certainty Edition gave a succinct example:

I was recently accused of being obsessed with gambling. It wasn’t from driving to New Jersey to bet on sports (though I’ve considered it), but rather because I was trying to convince a friend to make a bet on a political prediction he was making. I wasn’t pushing him to bet because I was trying to take his money (though I feel confident I would have), but rather I was legitimately trying to understand how strongly he believed in what he was arguing. When he said he was sure this particular set of events was going to occur, I didn’t know if he was saying he was 90% or 10% certain. And there’s obviously a vast gap between those probabilities.

The other two are related, Pre-Mortems and Backcasting.

Backcasting is looking at an end result, then working backwards to go, what had to go right for that goal to happen. This is very astute. And forces a focus on making quality decisions, rather than just focusing on the next step.

Pre-mortems, are looking at a decision and figuring out what could go wrong for it to fall over. Then you can adjust.

All three practices, are to sharpen the quality of your decision making. Do read the book, there are other skills she shouts out which are invaluable.

March 19th, 2020

The web is failing us

I’ve recently become obsessed with this idea of finding new and different videographer talent from emerging areas, to throw some briefs at. Just to experiment, to explore. 

The challenge – finding them. And not that finding new and undiscovered or up and coming talent is meant to be easy. I mean it’s in the brief. 

Bare with me. If you search on Google, all you find is marketplaces. No real blog posts. Fresh new content isn’t indexed, because it’s not created like it used to be.

If you search on the social networks themselves, you don’t find anything, because they’re made for finding content, or specific people. 

Not types of people nor types of content. 

It’s a weird problem.

The web has failed us, in that it has become silo’d, we know this instinctively. But it’s not till you try find something new, something that you can’t just hit a like button and an algorithm will find it. 

Google has been the last bastion of discovering new. But now it’s seo’optimized to the lowest common denominator, that which gets a click. And people have stopped their own curating or publishing on their own blogs or tumblrs. 

It’s especially now, that hard, tangible, real, is what we need. 

If anyone knows some creative folks, who are having fun with video. I’m here.

March 16th, 2020

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
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