Am I Being Too Subtle

Author: Sam Zell

Sam Zell sold a $39 Billion portfolio of real estate at the height of the real estate bubble. He’s a character. The autobiography of Sam Zell, narrated by Sam Zell, was so much fun to listen to. 

The entrepreneurial story here is an inspirational one. It starts, as many entrepreneurial stories do, with the story of Zell’s father escaping Europe as the Nazis took over. Zell grows up in an immigrant household and ends up going into business.

The book chronicles his life and work, with a strong emphasis on his work and his views on business. He’s an impressive character, and one who has worked alongside many of the same people for a very long time. I loved learning from his story – from his motorcycle trips in foreign countries to his buyout of the Tribune company that ended in bankruptcy.

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Investing in the podcast ecosystem in 2019

This is a detailed background map of the podcasting world since its inception. It was created by the a16z consumer team. “Our investment philosophy is to not be too prescriptive, so we do the kind of ‘market map’ overview below to help us have a ‘prepared mind’ when we see new startups in the space.” I learned a lot reading it. learn more

Permissionless startup investing. 

Aaron Batalion, VC at Lightspeed Venture Partners, writes about the SAFT project (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens), and how it can enable access to early stage investments without the traditional prerequisites (including explicit permission from the founders). “In the past, if you wanted to invest pre-IPO in a Google or Facebook, you had to be in Silicon Valley, meet the team, and convince them to allow you to invest in their company.” learn more