How much do I want to read more? 7/10
Although we may not be interested in being a business angel ourselves, the author has an interesting philosophy about how the world is running and how business is made.
This book is turned to the future, with straight-talk. It may seem arrogant, but it's amusing at the same time.
STOP! DON’T READ THIS BOOK IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE LOSING YOUR MONEY INVESTING IN THE RISKIEST ASSET CLASS ON THE PLANET: STARTUPS.
Chapter 1: Someone Else Was Supposed to Write This Book
This book has a singular goal: to teach you how massive wealth is created in the twenty-first century.
I’m not going to build this up into something fancy like those bullshit self-help books you’ve already bought.
I’m just gonna tell you how a C-minus student from Brooklyn clawed his way into the tech industry, got lucky seven times, and made tens of millions of dollars.
Most folks think I’m lucky, some say I’m a complete fraud, and a handful think I’m a brilliant hype man, and I don’t agree with any of them—I agree with all of them.
That’s why this will be the greatest business book ever written. I shouldn’t be the one writing it.
The American Dream
Our parents and grandparents took factory and white-collar jobs and rode them for all they were worth in the last century. Now the robots—who never sleep and self-improve on an exponential curve—are taking these jobs.
Most of you are screwed.
But you’re here, so you’re clearly willing to learn and I can radically improve your odds if you do the work.
The world is becoming controlled by the few, powerful, and clever people who know how to create those robots, or how to design the software and the tablet on which you’re reading this. But please don’t stop reading, because I’m going to show you how anyone can get a seat at the table with the digerati, illuminati, and moneyrati and, perhaps, tap into this hundred-year boom.
The world has changed more in the last ten years than it did in the last ten decades.
I could give you a list of mind-blowing breakthroughs to prove my point about how fast things are moving, but I’d like this book to stand the test of time, and the truth is that giving you examples like a computer beating a human at chess, or an encyclopedia made with no paid writers, or computers flying airplanes and cars without steering wheels, or wars being won with robots, are so commonplace that science fiction is having a hard time remaining, well, fiction.
Every week I meet a dozen dreamers with insane ideas who want me to give them my money, advice
This year I invested $750,000 in a company that makes a robotic cafe called Cafe X. It eliminates the two most expensive aspects of Starbucks’s business: real estate and humans.
When the founders emailed me a video of the prototype in action at a college in Hong Kong, I wrote back to them, “Is this a joke?”
They said, “No, it is not a joke,” so I invited them to come to my incubator where we spent three months refining the product and helping them craft their pitch.
The Future of Jobs—and Making Money
If right now you think I’m a horrible, marauding, free-market monster, you’re only half-right—I’m also a humanist who thinks there are better things for our children to do with their time.
But I don’t invest in this future because I want to sit in an ivory tower laughing at people whose jobs are replaced. I invest in this future because it’s inevitable and I think I can help accelerate the efforts of the founders and innovators who are missionaries, not mercenaries.
Of course, I plan to make a great deal of money in these revolutions, but I also plan to look back proudly and know that I helped propel changes that made our planet better.
Escaping the Matrix
the world is going to get flipped on its head two or three more times in your lifetime.
Yes, while the greatest opportunity on the planet today is probably being a software engineer, I just invested in a company that hopes to eliminate software engineers by letting you type into a box “make me an app that does X, Y, and Z,” before spitting out your own version of _
Chapter 2: The Brooklyn Grinder
Is Angel Investing Gambling?
More mind-blowing, however, is that the majority of my investment dollars were invested in the past three years ($9 million of the $10 million, in fact).
I invested under $100,000 in the first year as an angel and hit my two big winners to date, Uber and Thumbtack.
I Used to Dream About This Life
and think to myself, “What would it be like to be rich?”
What would it be like to have $100,000 on the ATM receipt instead of $100?
What would it be like not to have to worry about money every day of your life?
When you’re broke and see rich people in Manhattan all around you, it makes you curious: “How did these people become rich?”
“Pass On What You Have Learned.”—Yoda
So, I studied every system in order to find one that is the most efficient for capital creation, and I believe that it’s angel investing in technology.
The world has trillions of dollars sitting in bonds, cash, stocks, and real estate, which is all really “dead money.” It sits there and grows slowly and safely, taking no risk and not changing the world at all.
Wouldn’t it be more interesting if we put that money to work on crazy experiments like the next Tesla, Google, Uber, Cafe X, or SpaceX?
No Gamble, No Future
If you learn anything from this book, it’s that you must take risks as an angel investor and in life if you want at least the chance of an outsized outcome.
This does not mean you should be reckless; in fact, it means the opposite. I’ve studied and studied how people have built wealth as angel investors and I’ve focused on having an unfair advantage over them.
If you can’t tell who the sucker at the poker table is, it’s you, so find another table or figure out how to be better than each of the other players.