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Passport Weekly: A Legend in the Boardroom and a Legend on the Court

2nd February 2020

Written by GSVlabs Startup Director & Product Manager, Slater McLean

The Passport weekly is a hand-curated newsletter compiled weekly to bring you the best accounts of entrepreneurship and insights from the startup ecosystem. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider forwarding it to spread the word. Not getting the Passport weekly regularly? Subscribe above! 

A Legend in the Boardroom and a Legend on the Court

We have to pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. Not because of his unparalleled accomplishments on the court, but because of his impressive accomplishments off the court. This untimely tragedy has brought his life after basketball into the spotlight. Especially to those in the VC and startup ecosystems given his activity in the space. In the spirt of basketball, I'm going to "highlight" some of his key accomplishments as an investor and a businessman. If you would like to read more there is a fantastic article below.

His early investment in VIP Kid's $20M series B. The company has gone on to raise an additional $950M and is valued at $3.5B


Has VC become so big it must be disrupted?

Nathan Heller published an article called Is Venture Capital Worth the Risk? in the New Yorker. It’s a well-researched critique of the venture industry. The key question he poses is: has the industry become so large that it needs to be disrupted?

It’s a thought provoking question and a good opportunity to ask for feedback on how we can imrove. If you have ideas for how to improve venture capital for founders, please tweet me or send me an email with the link above. I’d love to hear them. Click to read more >>>


Going fully remote was nice, but the real benefit was in going fully asynchronous. Here are a list of the benefits we've seen at @Gumroad:

1) All communication is thoughtful. Because nothing is urgent (unless the site is down), comments are made after mindful processing and never in real-time. There's no drama.

2) Because everyone is always effectively "blocked," everyone plans ahead. It also means anyone can disappear for an hour, a day, or a week and not feel like they are holding the company back. Even me! Click to read the whole thread >>>


How Do You Keep Stress From Crushing You As A Startup CEO?

“I think we should sell the company,” ‘Raul,’ one of our investors, said to me. I was meeting with the investor at his office on Sand Hill Road.

We were in the process of closing our Series B funding. We had a term sheet from an outside investor that he (and our other investor, Gill) had agreed to, so Raul’s change of heart took me completely by surprise.

“What?” I responded. His request made no sense. We were doing well. Really well, in fact. Click to read more >>>


The Three Steps a Startup Has to Take to Become a Large Company!

A few years ago I got a call from Patrick, an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for eight years. He was now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem. Over breakfast, he got me up to date on his life since school (two non-CEO roles in startups) but he wanted to talk about his third startup — the one he and two co-founders had started. Click to read more >>>


Kobe Bryant: The Athlete, the Legend, the Investor

Each year, we analyze an anonymized data set of our customers to identify trends in SaaS spend and usage. This report takes a look back at 2018 data from nearly a thousand companies, and offers guidance on how to think about SaaS in 2019.

Even before retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2015-16 season, Bryant was already intensely focused on his second act: putting money to work in new initiatives, businesses and ventures. Click to read more >>>

New Tools on Passport

VectorGrove :Choose from over 1.2M Vectors/Graphics with VectorGrove's Unlimited Download Plan. Extended License is included.
Burnrate: BurnRate makes it easy for founding teams and sales leaders to build bottoms up-plans for revenue growth.

New on Passport

Dellaena Maliszewski: GTM Manager at Twilio.
Sanjay Tripathy: Co-Founder & CEO at Agilio Labs


Venture Cafe Kendall Office Hours: Venture Cafe Foundation runs weekly office hours with our advisers every Thursday at Venture Cafe Kendall. 
BNI Financial District Networking Meeting: BNI Financial District is a group that is based upon helping people to get what they want. In this case, what people want is referral business. .

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