What I'm reading: Status as a Service (SaaS) by Eugene Wei

The creation of a successful status game is so mysterious that it often smacks of alchemy. For that reason, entrepreneurs who succeed in this space are thought of us a sort of shaman, perhaps because most investors are middle-aged white men who are already so high status they haven't the first idea why people would seek virtual status (more on that later).

Almost every social network of note had an early signature proof of work hurdle. For Facebook it was posting some witty text-based status update. For Instagram, it was posting an interesting square photo. For Vine, an entertaining 6-second video. For Twitter, it was writing an amusing bit of text of 140 characters or fewer. Pinterest? Pinning a compelling photo. You can likely derive the proof of work for other networks like Quora and Reddit and Twitch and so on. Successful social networks don't pose trick questions at the start, it’s usually clear what they want from you.

So, to answer an earlier question about how a new social network takes hold, let’s add this: a new Status as a Service business must devise some proof of work that depends on some actual skill to differentiate among users. If it does, then it creates, like an ICO, some new form of social capital currency of value to those users.



Status as a Service (SaaS) by Eugene Wei

What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager


What It Takes to Become a Great Product Manager by Julia Austin

Because I teach a course on product management at Harvard Business School, I am routinely asked “What is the role of a product manager?” The role of product manager (PM) is often referred to as the “CEO of the product.” I disagree because, as Martin Eriksson points out, “Product managers simply don’t have any direct authority over most of the things needed to make their products successful — from user and data research through design and development to marketing, sales, and support.” PMs are not the CEO of product, and their roles vary widely depending on a number of factors. So, what should you consider if you’re thinking of pursuing a PM role?

Aspiring PMs should consider three primary factors when evaluating a role: core competenciesemotional intelligence (EQ), and company fit. The best PMs I have worked with have mastered the core competencies, have a high EQ, and work for the right company for them. Beyond shipping new features on a regular cadence and keeping the peace between engineering and the design team, the best PMs create products with strong user adoption that have exponential revenue growth and perhaps even disrupt an industry.

https://hbr.org/2017/12/what-it-takes-to-become-a-great-product-manager

Distribution by Ben Horowitz

When I ask new entrepreneurs what their distribution model will be, I often get answers like: “I don’t want to hire any of those Rolex-wearing, BMW-driving, overly aggressive enterprise sales slimeballs, so we are going to distribute our product like Dropbox did.” In addition to taking stereotyping to a whole new level, this answer demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of how sales channels should be designed.

https://a16z.com/2017/06/09/distribution-model-sales-channels/

 

Primary VCs Q1 2018 Seed Funding report: Optimism and seed-stage FOMO persist despite 2018’s lackluster start

If it was action you were hoping for from the seed market last quarter, you’d be better served watching the first two episodes of Silicon Valley, Season 2Pizza anyone? As for our own startup news, New York City saw a total of 25 seed deals completed in Q1 - just shy of last quarter’s 26 - and a total of $39.2 million in funding, which was down 26% from Q4. Compared to this time last year, Q1 saw 29% fewer deals and 32% less in total funding.

http://www.primary.vc/blog/optimism-and-seed-stage-fomo-persist-despite-2018s-lackluster-start