Updates from September, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Leon Apel 12:40 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Chance of Crowd Funded Venture Getting Liquidity? 

    I wonder if crowdfunding sites were forced to disclose the probability of an investment’s liquidity what would happen? For example, if only a single digit% of ventures after 5 years achieve a liquidity event would it change market behavior significantly?
    It’s incredible that the big question isn’t answered clearly enough: Why do you think you have a good probability of getting a liquidity event?
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  • Leon Apel 4:20 pm on July 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Why I Don’t Sign NDAs an Investor: 

    Why I Don’t Sign NDAs an Investor:
    You can read someone else’s reasons here, which are more eloquently explained than mine: https://medium.com/@suranga/why-you-shouldn-t-care-about-ndas-and-why-we-don-t-sign-them-2ba3edcaa86e
    The following are my reasons:
    a) We look at many deals and don’t want to invest in conflict of interest checks or be limited
    b) I think I’m a good guy. Look up the type of companies I’ve funded (mostly mission oriented)
    c) They’re not super enforceable
    Since I’ve been asked a few times now, I thought I’d post this here.
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  • Leon Apel 8:54 am on June 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    How to Get a Successful Mentor 

    To get a successful mentor, there are two important components:

    1. Sources
    2. Persuading mentors to mentor you (finding a mutually beneficial proposition)

    Mentor Sources:

    1. Directly contacting the person you want to mentor you (LinkedIn, Email Introductions twitter etc). I’ve caught the attention some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs on Twitter (Donald Trump), LinkedIn, forums (Some business partners), Facebook, and even through a proprietary messaging app (Mark Cuban) they invested in.
    2. Getting a referral from a mutual acquaintance
    3. Alumni networks (I found this surprisingly useful because you can send a direct email to person)
    4. Emailing team members at their company and asking for a direct introduction

    Persuading Someone to Become Your Mentor:

    1. Ask their criteria (sometimes you can pay them, but, in the case of billionaires, their time is so valuable that you can’t afford to pay them)
    2. Offer them equity in a potentially high growth company
    3. Have strong references (Personally, I require the mentee to create a list of successful, credible references)
    4. Offer to assist them in other ways (eg. Help them find connections or service providers)

    Further, it may make sense to read books written by your favorite mentor rather learn directly from them.

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  • Leon Apel 1:41 pm on May 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Pessimism vs Skepticism 

    Being skeptical is important to manage risk but pessimism is a choice which may affect your future prospects.  Pessimism is a state of mind, a negative lens, which may lead to exaggerated risk-reduction.
    How do you bridge the gap between skepticism and an informed decision?  Checking references, verifying statements and conducting experiments.
    Some people have become pessimists, which leads to limited risk-taking because they are paralyzed by FEAR (false expectations appearing real).
    Humans aren’t the best at assessing risk vs. reward and making an optimal decision. Perhaps AI will help humans more intelligently take calculated risks.
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  • Leon Apel 8:03 pm on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Important Lessons Not Taught in Most Schools 

    Important Lessons Not Taught in Most Schools
    1) To build a long term motivated team, incentives must be aligned: https://youtu.be/j1L3sR8g13s?t=148
    2) How to write contracts and key items to include
    3) How to do due diligence/check references and decide if it’s worth doing business with someone
    4) How to manage financial risk and what position sizing means
    5) How to evaluate and rank top opportunities
    6) Why, for high growth entrepreneurs, it’s nearly always better to rent than buy
    7) Why it’s important to get critical items agreed upon in advance before starting on anything.
    I might add to this list later or expand on it, but for now I’ll keep it as is.
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