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FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - January 19, 2017

By Grace Barr  •  Jan 19, 2017

FundersClub Portfolio News

The Nymi Band, a wearable device that works with Apple's Touch ID as well as Windows Hello, relies on a user's heartbeat and their unique electrocardiogram (ECG) to authenticate them in "4 Windows Hello devices that will change the way you log into your PC."

Thalmic Labs CEO and co-founder, Stephen Lake, comments on the role of Intel & Amazon in the company's recent $120M round in "Startups and VCs creating symbiotic relationships to advance both teams' interests.

Coinbase CEO and co-founder, Brian Armstrong, shares a few thoughts to provide better visibility into how they are thinking about the IRS asking them to disclose records on all U.S. customers over a three year period in "Coinbase and the IRS."

Goldbely is poised to redefine the food delivery system as it offers food sourced from some of the best-known eateries in the U.S. and keeps perishable food fresh as it arrives in special packaging at your doorstep in just a couple days in "Startup Goldbely Ships Specialty Food From Famous Restaurants In The U.S."

TerrAvion, which helps farms take a high-tech approach to improving yield and revenue, announces a partnership with Servi-Tech to offer more growers across the country aerial imagery with NVDI, thermal and natural color images in "TerrAvion and Servi-Tech, Inc. Partner to Bring Aerial Imagery Solutions to Growers Across the Country."

FundersClub & SVB presents Foreign Founders Happy Hour @SaaStr on February 6th, for B2B SaaS founders that are visiting San Francisco, CA during SaaStr.

Shippo is hosting Marketing to Developers, an UnConference Meetup, on January 25th in San Francisco, CA, to share knowledge, ask questions, and get help from others on developer marketing. 

EquipmentShare, which has created a peer-to-peer marketplace to rent construction equipment, helping contractors to find and rent unused equipment, is hiring for about 20 software and web developers for the firm in Kansas City in "Columbia-based EquipmentShare plans to hire 20 techies at new KC office."

Investor Thoughts

Christopher Steiner of FundersClub summarizes a recent FundersClub Live interview with Megan Quinn of Spark Capital and shares key takeaways including the best way to get into VC, the expansion of VC beyond Silicon Valley and more in "Want to be a VC? Work at a Startup. Conversation with Spark VC's Megan Quinn."

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz describes the tendency we have to ask the wrong questions, or questions based on the wrong framework, and applies this to the future of mobile in "Asking the wrong questions."

Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint Ventures comments on his experiment of using a chat widget rather than allowing comments on his page, and compares it to how a SaaS startups may prefer it for tighter control over a prospect’s experience in "Using Chat In Content Marketing - Observations Several Months In."

Brad Feld of Foundry Group notes a general trend he is seeing of much less headcount growth in 2017 than in 2016 in companies as a focus on operational efficiencies to ultimately lead to cash flow positivity in "Is 2017 The Year Of Flat Headcount?"

Myk Pono of OpenView Partners gives a starting point for developing your strategic communication initiatives through messaging and positioning in "Strategic Communication: Product/Market Fit Cannot Exist Without Mesage/Customer Fit."

Angel Investor Savneet Singh shares what he hopes to see in the future of FinTech, through the use of data, geolocation, non-FICO metrics, pushing regulations for more dynamic products, and fundamentally new services in "Where are all the new FinTech products?"

CB Insights maps global unicorn companies valued at $1B+ according to the markets in which they operate, and finds that the greatest share of the world’s unicorns (20%) are in the e-commerce/online marketplace category in "$1B+ Market Map: The World’s 186 Unicorn Companies In One Infographic."

Founder and Operator Thoughts

Ben Huh of Y Combinator describes how to incorporate both sides of your brain in your decision-making, and shares a 4-step process that can be applied to any decision to avoid jumping to an overly logical or intuitive answer in "How to Use Both Your Wits in a Startup."

Christine Deakers of The Signal connects with Nick Rockwell, CTO of The New York TimesHunter Walk, former product leader of YouTube and investor in theSkimm, and Ellen Chisa, former product leader of Kickstarter, and they share their predictions on how media will thrive beyond ad-based revenue in "Beyond the ad: Three media experts discuss revenue models.

Ali Mese of Growth Supply discusses the often-overlooked dilemma of making sure you have a great product before trying to grow your user base in "Growing Startups When the Product Sucks."

Jason Fried of Basecamp shares his disinterest in maximization, both in concept and in metrics, and emphasizes focusing on building great products, challenging yourself, learning, growing, and more in "A Rant Against Maximization."

Dominic Coryell of Gimme Growth offers tips on how to send effective cold emails to help you get the traction you need in "6 Creative Ways To Use Cold Emails."

Yoram Solomon of Large Scale Creativity shares 10 rules he believes can help you make negotiations more successful in "10 Rules That Will Help You Win Negotiations."

Joshua Davidson of Chop Dawg Studios lists "money-draining holes" that you should avoid early and/or prioritize later on as your company begins to grow in "New founder? Don’t make the common financial mistakes the rest of us did.

In Other News

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases its full findings following the investigation into last year’s fatal crash involving a driver’s use of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature, and it clears Tesla’s Autopilot system of any fault in the incident, and actually praises its design in terms of safety in some points in "NHTSA’s full final investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot shows 40% crash rate reduction."

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has a deal to sponsor the Olympic Games through 2028, which is said to be worth $800 million, making it the biggest in the Olympic movement’s history, and it would help the Chinese e-commerce giant gain exposure across the world in "Alibaba Olympics Sponsorship Deal Said to Be Worth $800 Million."

Did You Know?

Did you know that up until September 14th, 1995, domain registration was free?