arti villa

maker. technologist. angel investor. being a generalist is a good thing. TM.¯_(ツ)_/¯

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pivot list

Posting a collection of tweets I come across that can make good lifestyle or venture backed businesses. If you’ve run out of ideas, here are few more to consider with at least a single customer you can sign.

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my Pioneer builders’ list

entries will continue to be added to this list

Why the Pioneer list? Pioneer introduced me to the idea you can build anything you desire – a plugin, a bot, a chrome extension or an app for the multitude of b2b app stores. Not everything has to be a billion or even a trillion dollar business. That should hopefully make you liberated. Not only do I think this is achievable by most people, it is also a really good way to start something small that can conversely become really big. The kind of things do fit venture models.

I also have strong alignment on their selection criteria. This simply has to be the most succinct ways to picking ideas.

Given the advent of AI and cheaper faster automation systems, increasing attention deficit in humans and ZIRP days gone, its going to be easier building niche systems and a lot more difficult beating the incumbents who look a lot more like Facebook...

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lectures from standford office hours and ycombinator

I’ve been watching tons of lectures from Stanford Office Hours and Y Combinator talks. I’ve come across several insights that may not be immediately apparent but are worth retaining. So here’s a short list as I venture on to build new products.

It’s easier to build harder things than easier things. As you’re going to deal with financial, technological, regulatory, and operational issues, it’s easiest to deal with them by aligning and partner with best talent for that role. Talent with specialized knowledge, who have both the theoretical and practical experience or diversity of skills at the high level tend to command high salaries or build companies themselves. In fact, to your advantage, they seek them. So build the large scale problem if the next point isn’t a roadblock.

If you are tackling an audacious goal, having some form of safety is not only sane but can limit cloudy...

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identifying butter experiences

It’s been over 2 years since I started angel investing and while I’ve always had a deep knack and enjoyment from trying new products and betting they will exist for the forceable future, being a successful investor is so much more than ‘build something people want’. I figured if I’m good at picking products that people enjoy using and using myself that also can reach profitability, how they reach profitability matters as much if not more.

The contrary in itself isn’t true either. I’ve seen plenty of products that have become dominant forces in their verticals that are not loved by their users. Ultimately it all comes down to capital efficiency; how much is a product or service worth and what does it cost to build and distribute it. Macro economics such as the cost of capital largely impacted by interest rates, barriers to entry constructed through regulation all play a major role to...

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discovery into passive-active investing

I recently attended as a speaker on a panel talk with HustleFund on “How to Decide If Passive Or Active Angel Investing Is Best For you”. Active Investing is generally akin to running a fund and/or sourcing your own deal flow in what we call outbound while passive is frequently responding and investing to incoming deal flow.

But the caveat here is achieving a successful passive strategy requires picking up the low hanging fruit and then some. The process can be automated but initiating those processes requires upfront work and given there is no right way to get deal flow and the medium continues to evolve, there will always be a need to build some active strategies in to the mix. In order to become “passive” successfully you need to build up the right “channels” that meet your criteria and identify to your thesis and continue to actively help founders or add value to co-investors such...

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on finding early technical talent

Given early stage teams ought to gravitate towards hires that have a bias towards action and can follow through independently you’re often seeking hybrid specialists or generalist engineers. In the early inning there is richer emphasis on identifying product market fit and little to do with how scalable and collaborative you can work with others in the same codebase.

You need experienced but often under appreciated talent; experienced
here doesn’t necessarily mean those who have traditional backgrounds but rather those who have committed to the trail and error of scoping and solving problems that encompass technical roadblocks.

It takes a fair amount of time-exposure to get comfortable with building online. In addition to learning fundamentals of client side, server side paradigms or mobile native workflows, you’re struggling with the unapologetically strict languages, new tools and...

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what early startups value

Not all startups are created equal. Paul Graham defines a venture or entity that has the potential to grow fast. Often, people conflate the term to mean something that raises capital for growth. And if it doesn’t, it’s bootstrapped.

Most often, people use the term startup to define a trade with the hope of building a venture that can potentially grow through raising external capital. And given today’s fund structures external capital is seeking a 100x return as there are plenty of options to invest under the lower risk asset returns (i.e real estate, public stock, commodities)

Why does this matter? Because raising funds inevitably reduces your optionality. You’re looking to build something that can scale where the product or service can be replicated at no or low marginal cost; and software provides the highest leverage leading to startups being software or software enabled companies.


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stop copying files between git branches, switch to git worktrees

So this goes without saying but if you’re new to learning git been tirelessly in the weeds of some project where you need to copy files from one branch over to another, look no further.

In quite a few instances, especially in the early days, I’ve gone with the good ol’ copy-paste route between git branches. Let’s face it. Attempting the git rebase -i HEAD~@$@$ or git merge can be quite daunting for newcomers including the host of file conflicts you’ll need to be able to resolve. Or the merge might happen successfully and you’d have realized copying partial files was the way to go but wanted to test if partial copies would still lead to a successful build.

where in the version queue do you stand?

Before you attempt a diff to preview files differences between the two branches, a quick way to know where all the branches stand next to each other can be quite useful. Using the CLI tool tig...

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