Book: The Man in the High Castle

I had a great digital sabbath yesterday with Amy and my friends Dave and Maureen. I had a cold so I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. For the rest of the day, I sat around in my PJs.

I read Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Amy and I loved Season 1 of the Amazon series but struggled with the first episode on Season 2 (I’m sure we’ll fight through it and watch it this week.) Since we got off to a slow start on Season 2, I decided to read the book, which I had resisted reading because I didn’t want it to confuse the TV series with the book.

Not surprisingly, I thought the book was better than the TV show. Since we loved Season 1, that’s high praise for the book. I’m a huge PKD fan and have been gradually reading all of his books.

I’ve started to be more open about my potential support of the theory that there are an infinite number of parallel universes. Reading books that cover different parallel universes, like the one where the Germans and the Japanese win World War II and split the US with the Japanese controlling the “Pacific States of America”, the Germans occupying the East Coast, and the Rocky Mountain States being a neutral buffer zone between the two countries, is – well – mind-bending.

It’s haunting, it’s challenging, it’s upsetting, and it’s enlightening.

In the evening, we chose Thirteen Days as our Christmas Eve movie. As the US and Russia walk to the edge of nuclear war during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, we sat rapt for two and a half hours even though I’ve seen this movie before. I woke up this morning to World War Three, By Mistake in the New Yorker, talking about the continued existential risk of nuclear war because of a computer error, system failure, or a hack. As part of that, I discovered that there is a Windows for Submarines (get it?) product from 2007 from Microsoft that is still in use today.

If there are an infinite number of universes, imagine what has happened in them.

Failing Fast At The Idea of Hiring A Writer + WordPress Person

Thanks to the 75+ people who have reached out about being willing to help me with writing and WordPress stuff. I’ve read all the emails, answered some of them, and will get responses out to the rest on Sunday after I have a nice digital sabbath starting in a few minutes.

On my run today, I thought more about what I was looking to do and decided that my approach wasn’t right.

I’ll put this in the MVP / fail fast category. While many of the responses were from people who are clearly talented and would be able to tackle the stuff I’m said I was looking for help on, I realize that my premise around what I need may be flawed when I think harder about what I really want.

So, for now, I’m going to rescind my previous post titled Looking for a Writer and a WordPress Goddess and keep pondering things.

Looking for a Writer and a WordPress Goddess

I’ve decided to hire two people for 2017: a full time writer and a full time WordPress Goddess (or God – I’m good with either gender …)

I’ve been very reticent to add people to our team. However, at this point it’s clear that I can get a lot of leverage from two very specific people.

Writer: I’m looking for a full time non-fiction writer. This is not a research function, but rather a writing / editing / coordination function. The amount of writing I do is significant, but there is 5x more to do than I can handle. I’m turning down a lot of stuff that I’d like to write and putting off stuff into an infinite backlog which doesn’t feel good. So, having someone writing first drafts, editing stuff I slap together, writing some primary content, and helping get it posted in the right places would be a big help.

WordPress Goddess: I contribute to four – soon to be five – blogs that my best assessment of is a hot mess of different configurations. Every time I fiddle around with something on one of them I break something else. Ideally I’d be able to normalize everything into one configuration, but I accept that this will always be changing. The person I’m looking for here has a mix of design skills and WordPress programming / config skills. In addition, there’s a bunch of other stuff in the infinite backlog of goodness to work on.

Each of these people would work directly for me. Optimally they’d live in or move to Boulder, but that’s not a requirement. They must be interested in entrepreneurship and be able to deal with lots of ambiguity. They must be comfortable with a lack of daily structure and reporting. They must be able to work remotely at times.

I’m willing to make a two year commitment to them, so they need to be willing to make a two year commitment to me.

If you are interested, just email me at [email protected]. If you know someone who might be a fit, please forward this post to them.

New Things In Venture Deals v3

venture-deals-3rd-editionVenture Deals v3 (the third edition) is now shipping in both hardcover and Kindle.

If you are looking for a last minute holiday gift for your favorite entrepreneur (or lawyer, VC, or angel investor), we’ve got you covered.

Jason and I wrote the first edition of Venture Deals in 2011. When we were updating it for v3, I read every single word several times. It’s pretty cool how much it has held up over the last five years and we are delighted that it continues to be at the top of the Amazon bestseller list for Venture Capital books.

We added some new things in v3 and fixed a few things that were either unclear or wrong. This includes:

  • A new foreword from Fred Wilson of USV.
  • A second new foreword from James Park (Fitbit CEO).
  • Updates to Chapter 1: The Players
  • Additions to Chapter 8: Convertible Debt
  • A new chapter (now 9) on Crowdfunding
  • A section on Corporate Venture Capital and Strategic Investors
  • A new chapter (now 15) on Why Do Term Sheets Even Exist?
  • A new and very improved Glossary
  • Lots of little edits everywhere
  • New back cover blurbs from Mark Suster (Upfront), Bill Aulet (MIT), Heidi Roizen (DFJ), Brad Bernthal (CU Boulder), Jeff Harbach (Kauffman Fellows), and Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC) to go along with the new cover design

Jason and I finally sprung for the VentureDeals.com domain and moved all the old AskTheVC posts over. We’ve got a lot of cleanup and updating to do on the site – that’ll happen over the next month. Then, around the end of January we’ll start rolling out the teaching guide to Venture Deals on the site along with a bunch of ancillary materials for this.

For everyone who has supported us along the way, either by purchasing a book, giving us feedback, or just helping us get smarter about doing deals, thank you.

I’m a VC and the Worst of Times

It’s Sunday and it’s -8 degrees in Boulder. Egads. As I sat in my warm office catching up on email from the week, I sent links to our Foundry Group videos to a friend that had never seen them. I realized two things: (1) I’m still annoyed with Ryan for accidentally deleting our Youtube account and resetting the counters on both videos from > 100,000 views to 0 views and (2) A bunch of people in my world have probably never seen these videos.

So – for your viewing pleasure, here are me and my partners making fun of ourselves. As a special bonus, check out my singing and dance movies. And Seth – well – enough said.

If you see Jason in the next few weeks, tell him that it’s time to make Video #3 so we can get Lindel in the mix. Maybe the next one will be called “I’m an LP.”