The world we inhabit is a product of our perceptions. These perceptions are shaped by our belief systems, whether conscious or unconscious.
I invested in a founder a while ago who is facing possibly the most challenging time right now in the life of his young company. And yet, when he calls me, he is palpably enthusiastic about his response to this challenge. He fully believes it is an incredible opportunity to once again change the trajectory of his company.
I love that energy. No matter what happens, he is learning and growing with the crisis.
On reflection, each moment gives us this opportunity. To decide who we want to be and to meet the world that way.
I’m resolving to live more from this place.
Our previously unannounced portfolio company Orbex came out of stealth yesterday with $40 million in private and public funding. Orbex is planning to launch orbital vehicles from the newly-announced UK Vertical Launch spaceport in Sutherland in the Scottish highlands.
Orbex is a UK-based spaceflight company, with subsidiaries and production facilities in Denmark and Germany. The company is constructing a completely re-thought and re-designed orbital launch vehicle, called Prime, to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit. Prime launchers are up to 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category, packing more power per cubic litre than many heavy launchers. Orbex staff members have professional backgrounds with NASA, ESA and several other commercial spaceflight organisations.
We're delighted to be a small part of providing Europe with a small satellite launch capability.
The average blog post here gets maybe a hundred reads. Obviously it's targeted at a specific group of people - European founders - of which there are just a few thousand.
But it's still funny that the most popular content I've put out in the last three months is:
Croatia’s president is Leslie Knope. Love that. pic.twitter.com/Zdcw0WPLiV— Max Niederhofer 🤟🏻 (@maxniederhofer) July 15, 2018
It's not even original but poached from a Reddit comment. Oh well. Still love Parks & Rec, so any exposure I can give that show the better.
I've been in venture for about a decade now - three years as analyst-associate-principal at Atlas Venture (now Accomplice), a year as a VP at Accel, and over five years as a general partner at Sunstone. Over that time I've received tens of thousands of unsolicited inbound emails. And for a very, very long time, I prided myself on the fact that I'd respond to all of them.
But a few things have changed over the last years. Most obviously, the volume in our market has gone up significantly. Everyone wants to be in tech. Then, there are many different inboxes now - from email to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. It's hard to keep up. And a few years ago, founders figured out how to mass-customize personalized emails. Some of them are very sophisticated and so not all the "personal" email I get is really all that personal.
At the same time, I've built a sizable portfolio (ten companies), with a number of high-involvement board seats, got married, had two beautiful kids. And so time is in shorter supply than it used to be.
All that means that I will start using a different process for unsolicited email from people that I do not know. I will still try and reply to a few a day. I like the serendipity of it and some areas and people intrigue me. I did the very first investment based on a cold inbound email earlier this year - which was in response to a DTC blog post. I loved that.
But for the large majority of emails, if I haven't gotten to them after a week I will move on and they will never get a reply.
As you know we have a team of associates, Deepka Rana in Berlin/London and Philippe Collet in Copenhagen/Stockholm. You might have better luck reaching them. Or there's always the possibility of talking to someone I know and trust to be a good filter for me. That will always remain the best way to get in touch.
Btw, this post was inspired by a 2013 AVC blog post. Thanks Fred for leading the way on trying to stay sane using our new superpowers of communications.