I had dinner with my good friend and Bazaarvoice co-founder, Brant Barton, on Tuesday at the new Sway in West Lake Hills (yummy) and we talked about lessons learned in angel investing. It was on my mind as I’m doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) webinar with my good friend and often investing colleague, Josh Baer, on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 4-5pm CT (you can sign up here). During my conversation with Brant, I distilled down to seven lessons learned (in the spirit of Lucky7, of course). Brant is reading Jason Calacanis’s book on angel investing and told me that many of these are in there (maybe all of these, I haven’t read the book), so you may want to turn to that to really dig in as I’m going to do my best to keep this post short. My hope in sharing these with you is that it ignites more angel investing in Austin - it is vital to our startup ecosystem here. We are doing better on that front in Austin than ever before, but I believe we are only scratching the surface here. And I hope these lessons have an impact beyond Austin angels and startups as well.
"I'll eat anything." - the most socially acceptable phrase of 2018 when it comes to ordering at a restaurant with friends.
It is hard to believe it has been four years since I wrote my two-part series on this subject, and even harder to believe how fast the trend I predicted would take place has accelerated since then. Before you get too far in this post, if you would like to backtrack on why I decided not to eat animals and where I think the future was going to take us (an entrepreneurial prediction), you can read 2014's Part One and Part Two of this series first. Those were my most popular blog posts of 2014 and the comments thread, especially in Part One, is very interesting. Every possible argument you can think of for eating animals is in those comments.
It has been a long time since I wrote anything on my Lucky7 blog and there is good reason for that. Back in June, I started to brainstorm my next big idea with long-time friends Jon Loyens and Matt Laessig (both of whom were amazing at Bazaarvoice and had moved on to HomeAway). Bryon Jacob (a 10-year veteran at HomeAway) soon got involved as an idea he had been thinking about was better than anything we came up with and one thing led to another until we founded data.world.
It may feel curious to my regular readers that I would jump back into the arena as the CEO of a company built from scratch. After all, our investments in startups and venture capital funds have been performing well, including a recent exit with Deep Eddy Vodka being acquired (and us subsequently investing in Clayton Christopher’s VC fund, CAVU). There are many factors that led to this calling for me: