25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

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A Half Dozen Lessons about the Right Burn Rate (Post Product/Market Fit in a Connected World)

Mark Suster, Fred Wilson, Tomasz Tunguz and Danielle Morrill have written blog posts on burn rates. These posts and others are linked to in the Notes to this blog post as is usual. This post will focus on the optimal burn rate after product/market fit has been proven by a business. In other words, the assumption in the discussion that follows is that the value hypothesis has been proven and […]

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A Half Dozen Lessons About Writing and Getting a Book Published

“To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.” Charles Caleb Colton (1780 – 1832)  Write a book proposal first. I have now written and found a publisher for seven books. Most of them are listed on my Amazon author page. I have learned a fair amount during that process, which […]

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A Dozen Lessons from Murray Gell-Mann that Apply to Business, Investing and Life

  Murray Gell-Mann is a theoretical physicist and was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1969 for his work on the classification of subatomic particles. Gell-Mann is a Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at Caltech and a Distinguished Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, which he co-founded in 1993. Caltech writes: “Gell-Man earned his PhD in physics at MIT and went on to study at Princeton under […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Business and Life from Jimmy Iovine

  Jimmy Iovine started his career as a sound engineer. He used that experience to become a record producer and later translated that set of skills to becoming a co-founder of Interscope Records. In 2006, Iovine and Dr. Dre founded Beats Electronics, which they later sold to Apple for $3 billion. As an aside, I would have liked to have written about Dr. Dre too in his post, but he […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Investing and Money from Dan Ariely

Dan  is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His research and work is about  how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational. His books include Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, and Payoff. His next book is entitled: Dollars […]

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A Dozen Attributes of a Scalable Business

“A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of ‘exit.’ The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth. To grow rapidly, you need to make something you can sell to a […]

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What Would a Healthy Music Streaming Business (e.g., Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora) Look Like?

SoundCloud was just recapitalized by investors in a dramatic down round after announcing that the company had only enough cash to last into the fourth quarter. Pandora just agreed to terms on a new investment that was also a down round and which resulted in a new controlling investor. Both companies have a new CEO. More broadly, there are bitter fights in the value chain between music streamers and music […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Product and Services Pricing (Including being “Too Hungry to Eat”)

This is a blog post about some of the most basic elements of pricing a product or service. Since the longest a post like this should be is about 3,500 words, the scope of what is covered here must be significantly narrowed. This discussion therefore focuses mostly on the sale of a single product or service and on the right price point. Decisions get more complex when there are multiple […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Angel Investing from Jason Calacanis (Poker Edition)

This is the last post in my trilogy on how games of chance can teach lessons about investing and business. This first two were: Ed Thorp: https://25iq.com/2017/07/22/a-dozen-lessons-on-investing-from-ed-thorp/ Poker and Investing: https://25iq.com/2017/07/29/a-dozen-lessons-about-business-and-investing-from-poker/ Blog posts about people are always more interesting and Jason Calacanis is nothing if not interesting. He is an entrepreneur and active angel investor (2-3 startups per month). He also created the six-year old podcast This Week in Startups […]

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A Dozen Lessons about Business and Investing from Poker

  You can’t write about the relationship between games and investing without quoting Michael Mauboussin. I will do so often in this post. He is the master. Read his books. All of them. Then read them again. Set out below are the usual dozen lessons you can learn from poker: “Poker is a game where you don’t have to have the best hand to win. Poker is really reading other people […]

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