Hello old friends!
I'm updating Facebook and my newsletter more than my blog these days, but figured I ought to update you here too; a few cool things are going on.
1. GiveGetWin Tour IV is happening now.
As always, tickets are entirely free.
Gwen Yi was very kind to make a poster of event dates:
Links to free ticket pages:
Tickets are free -- would love to see you if you're in one of those cities. Definitely share it with any talented undergraduates looking for the skills they need to make a really innovative and thriving career in those places.
2. Some articles around the web.
I was really flattered to be invited to write blog posts for the University of Chicago's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, and SOS Ventures' blog.
"How to Find the Right People" lists everything I know about finding great partners, cofounders, friends, and mentors -- it's a really thorough and actionable piece that people are loving.
"Excellent Followup Might Double Your Startup Success; Bad Followup Might Kill You" lists a really critical missing link for a lot of otherwise very creative and expansive founders -- you just need to be good at followup. The post has a mix of theory, mental models, and highly practical ways to get better at followup.
Additionally, Carrie Golus came to one of our summer presentations (featuring the amazing Marian Zizzo) and wrote up her experience in UChicago Magazine: "How to Be a Superconnector" -- a good short read.
3. Finally, I created a White House WeThePeople Petition -- would you sign it?
Like everyone else, I was kind of distraught over what's happening in the election -- and I thought, hey, if we want more constructive dialog, we should... start having more constructive dialog.
Revolutionary idea, eh?
I just wrote a petition on the White House's "We the People" site --
Basically, investing in the stock market in a 401(k) plan very likely returns 70%+ higher financial returns than paying off one's mortgage. Mortgage rates right now are below 4%, the stock market historically returns 7%, mortgage interest is tax deductible but paying off one's mortgage is not, and stock market investments via 401k are tax deferrable but paying off one's mortgage is not.
The end result is, it makes a lot of mathematical sense to carry a mortgage while saving for retirement in one's 401k.
The problem? This encourages more debt, making people more vulnerable to 2008-type systemic shocks.
I explained my math, thinking, and some of the history/backstory of the tax law on Medium --
I'm sure you're incredibly busy, but would you take the 2-3 minutes (yes, it's really under 3 minutes) to sign the White House petition?
Thanks and lots of love!
Hope to see you on Tour IV, hope you enjoy those articles, and thanks a million if you take the under 3 minutes to sign the White House petition -- it's really not time-consuming at all, and I think aiming for more constructive dialog is, obviously, the way we get more constructive dialog. If 100,000 people sign the petition, the White House will respond -- pretty cool, huh? And I think it makes a lot of sense to make tweaks to the tax and monetary policy to encourage paying down mortgages instead of taking on debt, it could be a really nice thing, so voting on that would bring it to the attention of the White House and relevant people in the federal government.
Thanks, cheers, best wishes,
Well, a very cool trend is happening at Hacker News - people are posting "Offer HN" threads offering advice and help. The first one seems to be "Will Work for Karma" by todayiamme, which kicked the whole thing off. My favorite is "Tax Help for Startup Entrepreneurs" because there's a lot of insight and analysis just in the thread itself. I like learning about law, but it's damn expensive to learn about either in time or money. That said, learning law can save you a lot of money when you write a contract correctly or when you have a company buyback shares instead of purchasing them yourself when buying a partner in a two person partnership out.
After a bunch of "Offer HN" threads started kicking up, there were two discussion topics, both by guys I respect. "Please stop offering your services" and "Please keep offering your services" by Swombat and Jacques. There seems to be a few themes going on:
1. Some people think this is really cool and nice of people. 2. Some people are skeptical of the intentions of people doing this. 3. Some people don't want to see HN get bogged down/clogged up by this.
Let's cover those in reverse order.
First, if it gets out of control and you want to see news without offers, Paul Graham implemented http://news.ycombinator.com/offerless - no offers there. So that solves that problem.
I think the people who pre-ordered for Haiti have had enough time to read the book, so now it's time to make it available to everyone.
You can buy the book here at Amazon!
In case you're new to the site, I haven't had a regular condo or house in 4 years or so, and have been traveling around the world and around the US. Life Nomadic a really practical guide about efficient traveling -- experiencing a LOT while spending relatively LITTLE. It has everything from travel stories I didn't publish on the blog to packing lists. If you broke it down, about 1/3 is life outlook sort of stuff, 1/3 is stories (maybe a bit less), and 1/3 is take-action-now howto advice. It will change how you travel, one way or another.