Ben’s List 62



People are the new platforms

“In short, the shifts we’ve seen play out over the past decade in the creator economy are now transpiring in tech. Just as the rise of influencers and fall of corporate legitimacy left individuals to become the primary distribution for brands and eventually to form their own (Tyler, Rihanna, even George Clooney), a few individual devs can take the place of entire corporations in building decentralized financial rails.”

Venture Capital

Earning the right

“After the dust had settled on both deals, it got me thinking a lot more about this notion of earning the right, especially regarding new investments I want to do. Have I earned the right to win and what does that mean for a particular context? And if I haven’t, what do I need to do? Are we as a fund doing the work today to allow us to earn the right in the future in terms of investing in the right relationships or building one’s reputation for example? The earning the right question can cut through all the noise of the deal (competition, value-add, relationships, terms to some extent etc) and help an investor think through how to win today and in the next fund which I find helpful.”


From Biotech to TechBio

“Scientists have not traditionally been empowered to run companies. They have historically been replaced by people with business experience, while the scientist gets diluted like crazy. Instead, we believe the best founders are Scientist-Founders. We help scientists learn to be Founders and have found it works far better than the other way around.”


Web Summit almost went bust

“We did everything an events company shouldn’t do, but we did it with a clear head, all the while knowing that’s who we are. As seemingly every other events company was laying off 50, 60 and sometimes 90 percent of their staff, we did the opposite. We kept absolutely everyone. As organisers were cancelling events and refusing to give attendees and exhibitors their money back, we offered every attendee who had bought tickets to any of our real-world events full and immediate refunds and did the same for all exhibitors.”


Permanent Pandemic

“Not quite a digital native, I am old enough to feel that this plight of ours—filling out onscreen forms, recovering lost passwords, scanning QR codes, downloading each new version of our government-approved coronavirus tracker or vaccine passport, always waiting for the little buzz of some notification or authorization or other—represents more than just an onerous imposition. It has been a foretaste of a new mode of existence. If I am going to have any hope of thriving under future conditions, I will need to get used to all this. And yet, though some of my coevals associate the following sentiment with petulant and self-absorbed Zoomers, I confess that I am tired. I feel as though the past few years have broken me…That the political is always biopolitical, in at least this general sense, may be a fact that recedes from view in those rare moments when things are functioning smoothly. At such times, the various documents that governments make us fill out and sign, or fill out on our behalf when we are born, married, arrested, or dead; the various licenses we get renewed; and the accreditations we collect come to appear as ends in themselves rather than as part of a vast apparatus that limits what we can do with our own bodies.”

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