Time lender

Welcome to a new section of my ranting space. This is where I will put down any weird, random, silly ideas that I have if I were to have time to start a new venture. Do note that some (maybe most) of these ideas are not realistically practical and based on certain assumptions. Also, some, if not all, of these ideas may have been executed or currently running by someone else.

If I have 48 hours a day…

Thesis: I would start a platform that helps solving the problem of people not having enough time to do some minor chores. For example if I don’t have the time to mow the lawn, I would need someone to help me do it for me.

Target users: People who do not have enough time and people who have extra (or too much) time. We can rope in merchants (see below for elaboration).

Business model: The idea is to create a outsourcing platform where users can list the tasks needed to be done. On the other hand, those who have the extra time (let’s call them the freetimers) can pitch to get the tasks done for some “time credit”. With these time credits, users can use them to claim certain benefits from merchants. Freetimers could be freelancers, your neighbours, your friends, or a friendly stranger. To handle the security issues, all freetimers will have their profile being verified.

Done with my ranting. Til next time.

 

Risky Martin

ricky martin

Nope. Not about Ricky Martin. This picture is used to attract more attention. I know, I know. Probably not very effective, but hey, can’t blame me for trying right?

Anyway, my rant today is about another Martin. Martin is a startup founder who is raising his Series A funding. He approached this particular venture capital firm (let’s name the firm MMYB, which stands for “My Money, Your Boss”). To cut the story short, the only feedback that Martin got is “We do not take business model risks”. So Martin went on his way and ended up with funding from another prestigious VC firm and exited with millions of return.

So what is my rant about? I do not agree with how some VCs think that they can actually leave out business model risks when managing portfolio risks or assessing a new deal. Essentially, when a VC looks at a deal you are looking at the possibility of scaling the business and approaching the problem the right way. However, this expansion process often require the need to pivot (pardon me for the overused term). As such, a VC can’t statically assess a venture’s business model risks.

The moment you think that you are not going to take business model risks, you are going to miss out on opportunities where capable founders would be able to adapt and reconstruct the business structure. At the end of the day, the best bets are usually on the entrepreneurs. Not the idea itself.

Something that I always believe – all ideas can work, business model can be structured to fit into the right market segment, but not every VC can come across good founders who would do what it takes to give you the multiples.

That’s all for today. Til next time.

Funding a Marriage

This crossed my mind this afternoon when I was dealing with a case where relationship between the entrepreneur and my venture capital firm has gone sour. In essence, entrepreneurship and venture capital both are businesses of relationships. So there is no other way better than using a typical stages-of-relationship process chain to describe an investment into an entrepreneur’s idea.

Funding a marriage 2

So when you are trying to get your idea funded, you are actually trying to get into a relationship with the venture capitalist of your choice, vice versa. Choose wisely.

When random is predictable

Computers utilizes algorithm and functions that generates output that are mathematically logical. Random number generator is one of the many basic functions that you might have come across. Now, my question to you is – how predictable machines like computers can generate randomness? In reality, most random numbers used in computer programs are pseudo-random, which means they are generated in a predictable manner using a mathematical formula. So how random is predictability?

A larger question that can be imposed on us – what if all of us are governed by a mathematical formula that makes our encounters seem random yet it is all just part of the “plan”? And the next question we would ask is who “created” this mathematical formula and what is the purpose of this?

Questions lead to more questions. Nothing seems to have any answer. Just a random thought..wait a minute, random?