Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Just finished reading “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” by David Graeber.

It was recommended as a good source of historical context on financial markets particularly with respect to crypto currency and does a great job walking through the growth and evolution of financial systems. (The first half is incredibly dense, but gets easier as you get closer to modern times.)

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Company Cadence (or How to Move Quickly Without Losing Control)

Content from True University focused on company cadence and scaling operational excellence at startups.

Luke Kanies at Puppet Labs discusses the lessons learned scaling the company over the past three years.

Robin Abrams discusses “Moving Faster Than the Speeding Bullet” based on her experience as an executive across scaling startups.

Lastly, Dave Kashen discussing Startup Leadership and how culture scales over time

Building the Sales and Marketing Machine (Inside Sales 2.0)

Some of the best content from True University focused on building the marketing and sales engine for an enterprise software business.

First, Dave Ewart (VP of Marketing at Loggly) talking about lead generation and funnel management.

Second, Kenny Van Zant (Asana) discussing the Golden Motion (taking leads from marketing to sales)

Third, Lars Nilsson (VP Field Sales at Cloudera) talking about how to structure and sale an inside sales team.

Sharing Content from True University

Each year, we host an event from employees of True-backed companies called True University.

The idea is to bring together leaders from across the portfolio in sales, marketing, product, and engineering for two days to share best practices and learn from each other anchored around content from top practitioners in the market

Its content we often share within the portfolio, but recently opened up the videos for anyone to access.   Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my favorite videos from the last three years.

If you want to jump ahead on your own, all the content is public at


Sharing Notes on Bitcoin and the Crypto Currency Market

Though we haven’t invested in the space yet, we’ve been actively tracking Bitcoin (and the broader crypto currency market) since late 2012 when Automattic (on became one of the first large merchants to accept bitcoin and kicked off an internal discussion on the technology.

Below I’ve included our first market landscape document (which was written in the beginning of 2013) and an update written earlier this year (2014)

If you’re interested in the space, would love any feedback on our thesis below or to chat about what you’re working on.

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Lessons from Michael Ovitz’s Interview with Marc Andreessen

AllThingsD recently shared a video from 2010 of Marc Andreeseen interviewing Michael Ovitz about the Founding of CAA.

The video offers an incredibly candid look at Michael Ovitz’s background leading up to CAA and the evolution of CAA over time.

I would recommend watching the whole interview – for me, these were the most important takeaways:

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PE Ratio (and does it matter?)

TechCrunch featured an opinion piece on food startups by Matt Mireles last week with the core of the argument built around comparing the PE Ratio of a technology stock to Chipotle. You can check out the comments for rebuttal of the analysis, but I wanted to discuss PE Ratios – what it means, how to use it, and does it matter.

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