25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

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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A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp

“Edward O Thorp is the author of Beat the Dealer, which was the first book to prove mathematically that blackjack could be beaten by card counting, and Beat the Market, which showed how warrant option markets could be priced and beaten. He also was the co-inventor of the first wearable computer along with Claude Shannon. Thorp also pioneered the use of quantitative investment techniques in the financial markets (Option Arbitrage, […]

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Amazon Prime and other Subscription Businesses: How do you Value a Subscriber?

  Businesses increasingly don’t just sell products and services in a single transaction. Subscription and other businesses that focus on recurring sales have existed for a very long time. What is new is that many more businesses have adopted a subscription approach, which makes them look a lot more like a company in the the cable television business than an auto parts manufacturer. Successfully implementing a subscription business model can […]

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