Just Do One Thing Well

Jason Del Rey who writes for Re/code and who is one of the one of the more entertaining folks I follow on Twitter recently tweeted out the following about Square.

Definitely true. Square has become very good at rolling out products. But the problem was succinctly articulated by Neeraj Baid of Venmo who responded to Jason with the following:

I think Neeraj hits the nail on the head here.

I cannot think of any tech company that has been successful with a portfolio product approach. Almost all the big unicorns and even smaller winners seem to have done one thing very well and dominated that.

Looking on the bright side doesn’t work in hiring

I’ve spoken with a number of candidates recently whose resume and experience seem not just relevant but awesome. This is a good thing.

However, when we get on the phone, it is clear sometimes that the candidates had not spent even 1 minute understanding what we do.  The tell-tale signs of this are them reading off our homepage when I ask them what we do and then vague and superficial answers to other questions.

But that isn’t the main problem when I talk to these candidates.

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Inspired by Mendeleev

Yesterday, we released our third Periodic Table of __________ with a focus on the Internet of Things.  Our first two were the Periodic Table of Tech and the second was our Periodic Table of Healthcare.

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Ignore Your Customers, Screw Your Staff

CVS and Rite-Aid have disabled Apple Pay in their stores per recent reports:

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“It’s not that hard”

I was perusing Hacker News today and saw an article about Airbnb’s $13B valuation.

I knew what to expect in the comments but out of morbid curiosity, I dug in and wasn’t disappointed to find the expected comment.  It was luckily further down the thread which means others found it inane as well.  Here it is:

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Friday Night TV

Tonight, I watched the following shows:

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Chet Bozdog is Off by 50% – Bad Data, Broken Process

Chet Bozdog, co-head of TMT Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was recently presenting data at their Technology Innovation Summit, and he shared this slide about private companies worth more than $1 billion.  It’s a good looking slide, but it is wrong. By a lot.

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The New Credential – Raising Venture Capital

“When I was at Harvard…”

“While working at McKinsey..”

“After Goldman…”

If you live in NYC, you’ve probably met folks who work this into the first 5 minutes of their conversation with you. It is credentialing at its finest.

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You Look Like The Skimm – Why Thank You

We changed up the format for today’s newsletter for 4 reasons.

  1. Wanted to see if open rates would increase
  2. Would engagement go up (as measured by clicks)
  3. Would our readers like it more
  4. Because we like to experiment

We asked for feedback from readers and got some great responses.  My favorite was the following:


New format feels too much like ‘The Skimm‘.

This was a nice compliment. And the kind of feedback we love to get.

Halloween Debate – You’re Not a Princess

Halloween was always my favorite holiday. It still is, but it’s become more stressful since becoming the dad of a little girl and choosing a costume for her. My daughter’s choice for a costume changes daily from ninja turtle to princess to spiderman to batgirl.

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