VCs’ job is to value companies. They should stop LARPing about “value add”, “deal flow”, and “access “.

Public-market investors are comfortable telling you what they do: buy stocks low and sell them high. But Venture Capital investors who do the exact same thing — buy equity in startups at what they think is a low price, and exit higher — seem much less comfortable talking honestly about their job. When they talk to founders and LPs, they pretend to be something they’re not. I call this VC LARPing.

“Value Add” is LARPing

VCs act like offering non-monetary value is a big part of their job. VCs will try sell you on value-adds like:

Erik Torenberg was kind enough to invite me on his popular podcast last week. He’s always great at efficiently getting the interesting content out of his guests.

Click here for an interactive audio+transcript combo. I’m also including the transcript here.

Erik: Hey, everybody. It’s Erik Torenberg, co-founder/partner of Village Global, a network-driven venture firm, and this is Venture Stories, a podcast covering topics relating to tech and business with world-leading experts.

Welcome to another episode of Village Global’s Venture Stories. I’m here today with a very special guest, portfolio CEO, Liron Shapira of Relationship Hero. Liron, welcome to the podcast.

Pomp was kind enough to invite me on his popular podcast last week. He did a great job asking questions about the kinds of stuff I write about on this blog.

Click here for an interactive video+transcript combo. I’m also including the transcript here.

Pomp: All right guys, bang, bang. I’ve got Liron here. Thank you so much for doing this, sir.

Liron: Hey, my pleasure. I’m a longtime listener.

Absolutely. Well, we’ve known each other for a while now because I had the pleasure of investing in the company you’re running right now but we’ll get to that…

I recently shared this Raises and Promotions Guide with the team at Relationship Hero. Companies who also believe in these principles might benefit from creating a similar guide.

Raises and promotions are a win-win for you and the company. Read on to understand why that’s true, and learn how your next raise and promotion will work.

Relationship Hero Promotion Levels

At Relationship Hero, coaching and management are two parallel tracks that offer similar promotion and raise opportunities.

Beaker Browser is an open-source “peer-to-peer browser for Web hackers” project led by Paul Frazee and Tara Vancil. Here’s the kind of description you can find on the project home page:

The Web should be a creative tool for everyone. Beaker brings peer-to-peer publishing to the Web, turning the browser into a supercharged tool for building websites, files, apps, and more.

Ok… what does any of that mean in terms of an actual use case? We’re off to a vague start.

Here are various features listed on the home page:

The Slack DM etiquette your busy coworkers wish you’d follow

When you start a new DM conversation on Slack, the proper etiquette is to send a complete message with enough information for your coworker to reply to or take action on. A complete message looks like this:

Tom: Hey Liron, is it cool if Gil from sales takes the client out to dinner on the company card? What’s the max we can reimburse? Here’s a link to the sales team’s procedure document, maybe we can give them some general guidance on how to handle these situations. [Link]

If Tom is gracious enough to send me a complete message like this…

The evolutionary leap that only a small fraction of startups manage to make

In pondering the Fermi paradox, the confusing fact that humans seem to be the only intelligent life in the observable universe, a popular theory first published by Robin Hanson asserts the existence of an evolutionary leap that’s extremely rare for any species to make. The “Great Filter” is Hanson’s term for this species-killing leap. Check out WaitButWhy’s explanation for more details.

Let’s talk about another Great Filter: the Great Filter of Startups. It’s the evolutionary leap that only a small fraction of startups manage to make. Do you know what I’m referring to?

The Great Filter of…

Here’s the simple process we use to manage projects at my company. You can use it to manage anything.

What’s a Project?

A project is an outcome we commit to achieving that requires our team’s effort and attention.

A project has one primary owner. The owner is accountable for completing the project, according to its acceptance criteria, by the due date.


A milestone is a partial piece of a project. A milestone works like a project within a project, and managing a milestone works the same as managing a project. …

So I watched the movie about General Magic and I figure it’s up my alley to analyze how this train wreck happened.

If you haven’t heard the story: Two of the original Apple geniuses, Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzeld, plus a charismatic business guy named Marc Porat, left Apple in 1990 to start General Magic, a spinoff company making an iPhone-like device using the janky technology of the time. (For context, the first iPhone launched in 2007 and was groundbreaking technology for its time.)

Hey is an email service developed by Basecamp and launched in June 2020. Within 10 days of launching into public beta, they reportedly made their first $1M in revenue by selling over 10,000 subscriptions at $99/yr.

Hey has an opinionated view on what are the most common workflows that people use email for, and builds those workflows as first-class product features.

They do a good job showcasing these features on their How It Works page:

Liron Shapira

Founder/CEO of Relationship Hero

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