What a lovely break I’ve enjoyed from writing for the eyes of others. Thank you for the space. This morning I’m enjoying a break from the heat wave we’ve been having here in Denver, with temperatures down in the mid 50s. The dogs love it, and so do I!
My most active investment, my own startup Firstparty, celebrated the milestone of getting its first paying customer over the summer and we are still working on getting to product/market fit. It’s been nearly a decade since I was hands on with this phase of startup building, and it is a humbling journey and test of patience to be sure.
On the private company side, I’m working with a couple long-time startup founder friends on a frontier tech deal that we will be syndicating through an SPV on AngelList. To maintain confidentiality for the company I won’t be sharing details via this newsletter, but if you’d like to sign up to be notified when there is more information available you can join my LP network on AngelList.
Not much happened for me in the public markets over the summer, and I’m still long on my concentrated positions in Twilio and GitLab. I’m burned out my my “learning portfolio” approach to researching companies, and need to come up with something new that I find more engaging.
I took about 6 weeks off, and I’m feeling refreshed. After a lot of reflection, I’ve realized that I was chronically underestimating how much emotional work I do as background processing (outside of session time) when I have active client engagements. To improve my recovery and boundaries, I’ve raised my rates and I’m coaching from mid-September to early December, and then taking another break. I don’t currently have open slots available, but you can reach out to me at email@example.com if you would like to get those email updates.
We did a lot of US travel by car this summer including our first visit to Amangiri in Utah and road-trips to Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and Gateway. We got back to California for the first time since early pandemic days, with a week in Napa around July 4th and a week in Monterey for Car Week.
We also made it up to Washington State (where we’re both from) to see family in Snohomish and Kingston, and attend a beautiful wedding in Friday Harbor.
We’ll probably have 5-6 more 90+ degree days here in Denver before we head into what is usually a fairly short but very beautiful Autumn, so I’m looking forward to several days of mountain town exploring and fall leaves peeping drives.
I continue to be less of a try-hard when it comes to my goals for the year. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m on pace to miss all of them except for the health ones. I’ve gotten into intermittent fasting and I’m averaging ~2 lbs. a week of weight loss. If I could end this year back at what I weighed right before the pandemic began, that would be amazing. As to the rest, I’m just focused on making little bits of progress every day. We found out Kevin’s vasectomy reversal didn’t work, so we’re still deciding what our next moves are there and getting more curious about both surrogacy and adoption (reading list to come in a future update).
Around the House
Day-to-day life has been pretty sweet since I last wrote to you in May, with lots of growing, cooking, and eating of my garden vegetables. I’m thinking we probably have 2-3 more weeks of growing season and then it will be time to harvest and preserve whatever we haven’t already eaten. I’m planning to make a lot of salsa.
We now have preliminary designs for the pool house, and received our permit to remove the house that is currently on the land. Demo begins on Tuesday!
Life Improvement Moves
- Sold my learning portfolio so I could stop checking Robinhood
- Set up Sanebox to digest my emails for processing 3x per week
- Removed all apps from my phone’s home screen and made it grayscale
- Hired a personal assistant to help me with life chores I procrastinate on
- Bought an Eightsleep mattress cover to improve my sleep quality (if use my link you’ll get $200 off if you buy a mattress or mattress cover)
- Started intermittent fasting with the Zero app
- Signed up for a primary care provider through Forward
- Set up Jumbo Security to archive my tweets and monitor for password leaks
Ah, Fall. I can almost smell the fresh pencil shavings (do kids even use No 2 pencils anymore?) and after this final heat wave passes in Denver, I’m looking forward to cozy sweaters and mountain drives to see the changing autumn colors.
A quick note on communicate channels: I’ve stopped using Facebook and Instagram. If you are one of the people I unfriended, please know it’s not personal. After trying some half-measures, it was the only effective way to stop wasting so much time perusing and performing. You can still find me through this newsletter and on Twitter.