The 10th annual Startup Grind Global Conference is underway in Redwood City, California. My friend Derek Anderson founded Startup Grind in 2010 and has built it into arguably the world's largest and most influential startup community. To pull off ten conferences of that magnitude, well, that's a feat worth pausing to celebrate. I'm on my eighth with Silicon Slopes Summit, but ten feels unachievable—out of reach. Derek's got a cool decade under his belt.
I'm convinced entrepreneurs should lead startup communities. It's a rare thing. V.C.s and investors attempt to lead most local startup ecosystems. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's worked out quite well for a good number of funds. Has it worked for those communities? Yeah, probably. Maybe.
In "The Startup Community Way," legendary investor Brad Feld and accomplished entrepreneur Ian Hathaway emphasize the importance of putting entrepreneurs at the center of a startup community. They argue that entrepreneurs who are taking risks and creating new ventures should be the driving force and the primary leaders of a startup ecosystem.
This idea is rooted in Feld's earlier work, "Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City," where he introduced the "Boulder Thesis," which includes the following fundamental principles:
- Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community.
- The leaders must have a long-term commitment.
- The startup community must be inclusive and open to anyone who wants to participate.
- The community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.
Putting entrepreneurs at the center of a startup community ensures that the ecosystem remains focused on addressing their needs and challenges, fostering innovation, growth, and job creation.
That being said, venture capitalists and other stakeholders, such as investors, government entities, academic institutions, and service providers, still play a crucial role in supporting and nurturing the startup community. They can contribute by providing resources, mentorship, guidance, and advocating for policies and infrastructure that benefit the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Feld and Hathaway stress, however, that these stakeholders should act as "feeders" or supporters rather than taking the lead role.
A VC firm's community strategy will often match and shift with its investment strategy. At the end of the day, VCs answer to their limited partners. There's some beauty in the clarity that fact provides entrepreneurs. For example, the inherent bias toward attracting and serving venture-fundable companies (less than 1% of all startups) is impossible to ignore.
The Startup Grind community answers to the Startup Grind community. That slight distinction makes all the difference. It builds, learns, grows, stumbles, laments, and celebrates together. Derek incorporated an African proverb into the organization's mission.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
🏦 IMF Weighs In: The International Monetary Fund report on global financial stability released Tuesday estimates that U.S. banks' lending capacity would decline by 1% this year, reducing U.S. gross domestic product by 0.44 percentage points. The report highlights that regional and smaller banks in the United States account for over one-third of total bank lending, making retrenchment from credit provision a significant risk to economic growth and financial stability. - IMF Report
🕹️ Remote Overseas: According to a Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta survey, 7.3% of U.S. senior managers are moving more jobs abroad due to remote work. The number of remote job listings has surged since 2019, and economist Nicholas Bloom estimates that 10% to 20% of U.S. service support jobs could move overseas in the next decade. - WSJ
🇫🇷 France Loves China: French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to China sparked criticism and left him isolated at home and abroad. During his visit, Macron embraced a "global strategic partnership with China," adopting the Chinese idea of a "multipolar" world free of blocs, causing concern among allies from Warsaw to Washington. Upon returning to Europe, he suggested in an interview that Taiwan's security is not Europe's problem, further alienating allies. -NYT
How Saad Alam's Inspiring Journey Revolutionized Personalized Home Healthcare
Saad Alam is the founder and CEO of Hone Health, a telehealth company that offers personalized care with data-driven insights, consultations with licensed physicians, and medications, all from home.
⚠️ Don't Tread On Me: The IRS plans to use its $80 billion windfall from Congress to create a "world-class customer service operation." However, 60% of the funds ($47.4 billion) will be allocated to "expanded enforcement on taxpayers," compared to just 9% for improving services or resolving taxpayer issues. Despite promising increased enforcement on large corporations and high-income individuals, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 78-90% of the money raised from under-reported income will come from those earning less than $200,000 a year. - WSJ Editorial Board
🤐 American Censorship On Trial: The U.S. government has been exerting pressure on social media platforms to censor content that goes against its preferred narrative, particularly regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Lawsuits have been filed against the Biden administration for infringing on free speech rights, with one case in Missouri progressing and uncovering evidence of direct government pressure on social media companies. The courts must intervene to protect citizens' First Amendment rights. - Jenin Younes
🤹♀️ ESG To Blame: Focusing on ESG initiatives is symptomatic of deeper operational issues and weak management. As a result, the recent bank collapses may signal the end of the ESG movement on Wall Street and torches the idea that ESG policies build long-term value for companies and investors. - Paul Tice
🍿 Live Event: Ola Sars is the Founder and CEO of Soundtrack Your Brand, the world's fastest-growing music platform for B2B, which he co-founded with Spotify in 2014.
Before founding Soundtrack, he was the co-founder and COO of Beats Music, acquired by Apple and transformed into Apple Music, and the co-founder of Pacemaker, the world's first D.J.-driven music platform.
Ola's driving force behind his repeated efforts in transforming the music market comes from his conviction that music is undervalued as an art form and that the music industry offers significant opportunities for value improvement and growth. Through his multiple start-ups in the music space, he has focused on unlocking that intrinsic VALUE, both in B2C and now in B2B.
We believe in making friends, not contacts. We believe in giving first, not taking. We believe in helping others before helping yourself. - Startup Grind
Sturgill & The Boys Get Out Of Hand
👥 We're launching an invitation-only, highly curated network of the world's best CEOs. We're only letting 500 leaders join.