Top articles of the week | April 23

April 24, 2021

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

How People Get Rich Now Paul Graham (reading time: 13 minutes)

The main source of new fortunes now is starting companies,

In a classic essay, Paul Graham explains how new sources of wealth are formed in the United States. It comes predominantly from starting companies. The cost to start a company and the availability of capital make it easier than ever. He compares stats to 1982 where a large proportion of wealth originates from inheritance. This is no longer the case.

Lessons from Coinbase’s Wild Ascent: Four Rules for Scaling First Round (reading time: 26 minutes)

The article might be about Coinbase but it’s not about crypto. It’s rather what happens when you get caught in a company in hypergrowth mode. Varun Srinivasan, former director of engineering explains how the company managed to grow. He shares a few key lessons. My favorite is the concept of pushing strategy down the chain of command.

The CEO That Jeff Bezos Called “His Teacher” NFX (reading time: 17 minutes)

Everyone knows Jeff Bezos but there’s another Jeff that helped build the company, Jeff Wilkie. This Jeff ran the consumer division at Amazon for over 20 years. He recently announced his departure from the company after a long and illustrious career. This post gives some cool insights on how the company operates, innovates and communicates its values. I’m coming back to this post for some key leadership lessons.

Patreon-Substack The Lefsetz Letter (reading time: 8 minutes)

There’s been a lot of ink spilled lately about how Patreon & Substack are disrupting media. The theory goes like this; Substack provides you a platform to connect directly with your audience. No more boss needed and there’s the potential to make way more money like Mathew Yglesias.

Bob Lefsets vehemently argues that writers first and foremost want more power & attention, not money. Writing a newsletter on Substack for instance will reduce your audience and reach which is counterproductive to what artists/writers crave.

Marketplace Supply Strategy a16z (reading time: 13 minutes)

This is the most comprehensive post on marketplace supply side economics I’ve come across. The key to building a successful marketplace is supply. Demand will only come once you have supply secured. This post from a16z is a great dive into the supply strategy.