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Funding Friday: Food Security for Puerto Rico1


An AVC community member sent me to this GoFundMe project last weekend and I backed it. They are raising $20k to build two hydroponic vertical tower farms in two communities in Puerto Rico. A tower farm looks like this: This is from the project page: Puerto Rican families need sovereignty over their own food supply. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was 80% reliant on imports to supply the island’s food. Now they are 100% reliant on imported food.  People need access to fresh water and food to live. There is no time to waste in launching the agricultural revitalization that Puerto Rico so desperately needs. The local government is financially over-extended and has limited support from FEMA. Lives depend on us. And this is the team behind this project: Green Food Solutions was co-founded by Electra Jarvis and Mary Wetherill. We are a vertical farming company. We sell, install, and maintain hydroponic vertical farms and provide educational presentations and workshops as part of our commitment to health, the environment and food justice. We are based in NYC and grow food out of a 10,000 square foot greenhouse in the Bronx.  If you want to make this project a reality, you can back it here. https://avc.com/2018/05/funding-friday-food-security-for-puerto-rico/

Funding Friday: Food Security for Puerto Rico1


An AVC community member sent me to this GoFundMe project last weekend and I backed it. They are raising $20k to build two hydroponic vertical tower farms in two communities in Puerto Rico. A tower farm looks like this: This is from the project page: Puerto Rican families need sovereignty over their own food supply. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was 80% reliant on imports to supply the island’s food. Now they are 100% reliant on imported food.  People need access to fresh water and food to live. There is no time to waste in launching the agricultural revitalization that Puerto Rico so desperately needs. The local government is financially over-extended and has limited support from FEMA. Lives depend on us. And this is the team behind this project: Green Food Solutions was co-founded by Electra Jarvis and Mary Wetherill. We are a vertical farming company. We sell, install, and maintain hydroponic vertical farms and provide educational presentations and workshops as part of our commitment to health, the environment and food justice. We are based in NYC and grow food out of a 10,000 square foot greenhouse in the Bronx.  If you want to make this project a reality, you can back it here. https://avc.com/2018/05/funding-friday-food-security-for-puerto-rico/

Funding Friday: Food Security for Puerto Rico1


An AVC community member sent me to this GoFundMe project last weekend and I backed it. They are raising $20k to build two hydroponic vertical tower farms in two communities in Puerto Rico. A tower farm looks like this: This is from the project page: Puerto Rican families need sovereignty over their own food supply. Before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was 80% reliant on imports to supply the island’s food. Now they are 100% reliant on imported food.  People need access to fresh water and food to live. There is no time to waste in launching the agricultural revitalization that Puerto Rico so desperately needs. The local government is financially over-extended and has limited support from FEMA. Lives depend on us. And this is the team behind this project: Green Food Solutions was co-founded by Electra Jarvis and Mary Wetherill. We are a vertical farming company. We sell, install, and maintain hydroponic vertical farms and provide educational presentations and workshops as part of our commitment to health, the environment and food justice. We are based in NYC and grow food out of a 10,000 square foot greenhouse in the Bronx.  If you want to make this project a reality, you can back it here. https://avc.com/2018/05/funding-friday-food-security-for-puerto-rico/

Experience, Addressable Experience


Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/experience-addressable-experience/ What is addressable experience? Big Red Car? Big Red Car here on another glorious Thursday in the ATX in which the sun shines, the breeze blows, and life flourishes. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all. So, I’m visiting with a gray haired eminence former CEO who is an old pal. We get on the issue of experience. How much is enough? How much is too much? How much is relevant? How much is addressable? It was an interesting conversation. Between the two of us, we have more than seventy years of CEO-ing. That is a lot of time, a lot of experience. Experience, Big Red Car, how much is enough? We agreed that it takes at least a decade to get the handle on this CEO-ing thing. It also is sufficient to begin to feel the issues related to changing markets and growth. It is enough time to work through the list of horribles. Doing the Tough Things as a CEO Experience, Big Red Car, how much is too much? This question is bounded by the notion that at some point, there is not much more to learn. Ouch! That sounds a little dopey because we’re always learning. We both agreed that the job of a first rate CEO is to delegate himself out of a job. This takes about twenty-five years to really master. It also takes the kind of resolute action which makes a CEO willing to hire subordinates so good they can, one day, do the CEO’s job. After twenty-five years, a CEO is in the flow and the flow is carrying the operation in the desired direction. If you get good enough at Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture — you get more than good enough and it no longer feels like trying to push an elephant through a transom one handed, while standing on a broken stool. If your CEOing is the product of being a serial entrepreneur, then you become competent – boring – at starting companies, but you may feel like you are retracing your firs, unsteady toddler steps. This is, of course, why serial entrepreneurs get their subsequent foundlings out of the cradle so rapidly. Been there. Done that. Experience, Big Red Car, how much is relevant? This nudged the conversation in an unexpected direction. We both agreed that experience is no longer measured in long periods of years — with some exceptions — but rather in six month increments. What this means is that if you think you possess five years of experience, in fact, you have six months of experience ten times. With the passage of time, the older experience peels off as if it had a sell-by date. This way of looking at experience sets us up for the last question. Experience, Big Red Car, how much is addressable? Relevant and addressable overlap. We use the term “addressable” in that sense. If you are 40 years distant from your first day as a novitiate CEO, what from that time period is addressable? Well, nothing. First, you were not really very good at it. Oh, don’t make that face. You sucked. Admit it. Second, that is no longer the way the game is played. The business world has changed, the market has changed, the labor market has changed, you have changed. Somebody invented the Internet (no, it wasn’t Al Gore) and email. We came to the conclusion that the last fifteen years (six months x 30, haha) are addressable. But, there are some things which never lose their relevance and addressability. Let’s explore them.  1. Creating a plan for a company is better understood, but used to be more rigorous. The advent of tools, techniques, and the ability to revise on the fly make planning much easier. Planning continues to be an area in which the startup world is hugely deficient. This is primarily a matter of inexperience.  2. Operations – from the perspective of assigning objectives in the continuum of Strategy, Tactics, Objectives – continues to be a matter of: “You don’t what you expect; you get what you inspect.” Nothing about this has changed, but, again, there are better tools.  3. People still require a clear understanding of the plan before they are willing to come aboard, but they also require constant communication, assessment of their personal contribution, and fair compensation. These are immutable principles whether learned in 1980 or 2018.  4. Perhaps, one of the greatest issues which is worthy of mention is the lack of useful performance appraisal programs which tie objectives (again from the Strategy, Tactics, Objectives continuum) to individual performance and compensation. This is one of those things which pretends to get started in earnest and a year later is sitting on a digital shelf somewhere growing digital moss.  5. What is not the same is the general characteristics of the labor gene pool. That IS an area in which thirty years of experience provides one with only ten years (six months, twenty times) of addressable experience as it relates to the gene pool. The gene pool has changed, not the principles of how management deals with labor.  6. The ability to solve problems is one of the strongest bits of experience which can be conveyed by a long term CEO. First, she knows what the “list of horribles” is – see the link above. Second, she knows what does and does not work.  7. Another bit of experience which is highly relevant is the ability to frame and make decisions. If you have a system, you cut out at least half the time necessary to make good decisions while dramatically improving the quality of your individual decisions. Decisionmaking for the CEO  8. Last, we have the all-encompassing notion of “critical thinking.” Critical thinking falls into the general category of life experience, not just business experience. Critical Thinking So, dear reader, there you have it. But, what the Hell do I really know about it anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. If you don’t have sufficient experience, go rent it. Go borrow it. Be good to yourself.     Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrint Related Source: http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/experience-addressable-experience/

What’s Going On?


A lot, to be honest. It’s Crypto Week in NYC this week. The last two weeks have been a blur, with so many things happening that I can’t keep up or write about all of them. But, here are a few 1/ The Rockets ended the sweep nonsense talk going on in the bay area with a trompsing of the Ws last night in Houston. Thank God. 2/ The Celtics are showing how great a job Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are doing running that team. 3/ Our portfolio company Blockstack launched a Dapp Store yesterday, featuring Dapps across all of the competing chains. When I saw that on Twitter, I said this: An app store for Dapps across many competing platforms. That’s how the decentralized web rolls https://t.co/tI2d7jelCE — Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) May 16, 2018 4/ I will spend the day at William and Nick’s Token Summit and will chat on stage with the CriptoKitties folks at 3pm today. 5/ My friend Steven Johnson, who wrote the seminal mainstream piece on blockchain for the NY Times last year, and I are going to talk crypto tonight at the NY Hall Of Science. Talking with Steven is one of my favorite things to do. 6/ We have completed our Employee Equity Project and are now vetting the data with the USV portfolio companies before publishing it more widely. But I can tell you that the salary multiples that I shared in 2010 in the original Employee Equity – How Much? blog post have risen at least 3x since over the last eight years. I have added a note to that original blog post alerting readers that the multiple table in that post is not accurate anymore. 7/ The Gotham Gal pointed out on her blog yesterday that buying convertible notes in angel rounds delays the start of the clock ticking on the QSBS capital gains exclusion. A great point and one that I have not seen made in the ongoing argument to “convert those notes!”. 8/ Paul Vigna of the WSJ and co-author of a great book on crypto interviewed me and Balaji Srinivasan, CTO of Coinbase, on stage at Consensus yesterday. It was a fun talk, featuring a high five between us at one point. The video will be online at some point soon and I will blog it. But until then, here’s a fun drawing of the talk. https://avc.com/2018/05/whats-going-on-2/