Blog

Aaron Swartz in a Library

Only In America Can You Steal Something Free


We're coming up to the halfway point in the release of MVPour first record, and James and I have to tell you it's been a whole lot of fun. We're deeply grateful for all of you sharing some laughs at this line of work we've chosen and hope AdCap can bring a little levity to the desperate business of startup tech.

If we can break character for one tune in this release, we'd like to send one out to a hacker in Brooklyn that was taken from us far too soon. Like many people who write software for a living, James and I were crestfallen whenwe got the news of the arrest of Aaron Swartz and heartbroken when we got word of his passing. Neither of us knew him well, but like every engineer working on the Internet, we used his work every ...


Joker - Retro Batman Show

New Track From MVP: I'm Not Sick


Before we get to this week's release from our first record MVP, the firm feels it needs to clear the air given today's news.

  1. Rob Spectre never knowingly signed up for Ashley Madison.
  2. All adcap.biz emails found in the recent dump represent due diligence for a passed investment.
  3. We will not comment on any of the 47 transactions listed in the dump.
  4. If you'd avoid using our company card, you'd be doing us a solid. Our Netflix subscriptions are due this month and we'd be way bummed if we couldn't finish Wet Hot American Summer.

And now, serious business.

"I'm Not Sick" is now available for your digital consumption. A rocker track for everyone that has had to explain the bags under their eyes after another 90 hour week, you can find our latest for download on every service on the Good ...


Just Be Awesome

Just Be Awesome


This morning I had one of those coffees with one of the founders in the AdCap portfolio. His latest round just isn't closing as quickly as the company needs and our back-of-the-napkin calculation of runway didn't suggest they were going to make it in time. His co-founders are talking about turning in the towel, he's lost a couple key engineers to Facebook, and his CAC and LTV are more upside down than the mortgage on my SoMa loft. He clearly hadn't slept in a while and his hands were shaking, clearly not from the double-shot espresso he barely touched during the meeting. He counted three pay periods left for the couple dozen folks whose livelihoods were his charge. The leads on his next round have stopped returning his calls.

He was looking at the end of the road, the final stop sign on the company he ...


Music Service Logos

Go Long On MVP With Your Favorite Music Service


My assistant brought it to my attention this morning that people out there are still buying music. I couldn't believe it, so I asked my Starbucks barista if this was true and his shrug told me everything I needed to know. He's a millenial - he understands this market. So, James and I called a few people and Adventure Capitalists is now available on every music service that matters. 

Just search "Adventure Capitalists" on the service of your choice or click one of the links below:

We're told we're probably on a bunch of others, but my associate can't figure out how to sign up for a Tidal account.

Guess we shouldn't have passed on that Spotify C round.


Empty Conference Room Desk

Really Great Board Meetings


There comes a time when board meetings become more for real. It happens gradually at first and then it happens suddenly, so we've compiled a few helpful tips to help smooth the transition.

Slides

You need to begin by calibrating our minds to the latest data on your business. Try not to use too many slides but pack every detail you can on each one. Some of our favorite slides are the ones where you feel like you have no idea what the slide even says because it's so full of great information.

Help us by covering everything, no matter how nuanced. This is, by far, the best way to maximize our ability to steer your ship.

Maximize Time With Investors

We understand your business better than anyone. It is up to you to extract as much wisdom from our minds as possible. Maximizing your time with us ...


MVP Album Cover

Today is #WFHDay


Today is an important day for our industry. After many months of stealth-mode fundraising, James Dennis and I are proud to announce our first investment vehicle, Adventure Capitalists. A four chord nanofund investing in rock and roll with tasty tracks talking about the startup game. We're very excited to share what we've been working on with you and our opening salvo in our artillery battery is the first track off of our debut EP, appropriately dubbed MVP.

Today is #WFHDay. That means if you are sitting right now in your cubicle somewhere, slogging away in an air conditioned office, dressed to impress and listening to Phil Collins on some shite radio off in the distance, it is time to pull and deskflip and declare to God and sundry that today is the day you are working for home.

Our first track is an anthem to all of you ...


Hello I Am A Genius

Lyrics: WFH


Rob rolled up his sleeves and got one of our associates (all of them have Harvard BS degrees) to tap out the term sheet for our latest investment, WFH. He wasn't allowed to hit the vape when we signed it either, so he probably remembers whatever the terms were best.

Anyway, we love open communities and sharing. It's one of those core value things here at a19s. 

We couldn't be happier to announce that we've posted our term sheet for WFH on Genius, fully annotated by Mr. Rob Spectre himself.

http://genius.com/Adventure-capitalists-wfh-lyrics


Cat with Money

Your TLD Says Everything I Need To Know To Invest


My good friend and former lacrosse teammate Paul Graham wrote a few days back about the importance of a domain name. I was so excited someone from the investment community finally had the courage to broach this topic I nearly spilled my Blue Bottle over my Microsoft Surface. Paul is absolutely spot on here.

Why waste a quarter of a million dollars of your precious early stage capital on stuff like hiring engineers, acquiring customers or investing in differentiation when you could write a fat check to some Cayman Island broker for a tangential English word followed by ".com"?

Think about it - what's the most important audience to whom your startup needs to look large and in charge?

Customers? Nope.

Potential employees? Think again.

Investors? EXACTLY.

Why would I waste my precious time in between the Hamptons and the golf course talking to some scrub rocking a ".io?" I ...


Wall Street Bull Statue

Listen To Your Investors. Always.


I just got out of a board meeting with one of our portfolio companies and I am so hot under the collar that I could barely work the door to my McLaren. The nerve of these wantrepreneurs to trust their domain expertise and market vision over the fat stacks of cash money I wired into their bank accounts? I've had it with these founders and their passion for serving their customers - don't think know what will happen if they don't read every single link from the Harvard Business Review I tweet at them?

Let me tell you a story.

Few years back I was working with an entrepreneur. He was feeding me some line about "solving a real business problem" instead of "building a social network." I asked him, "Look hombre - do you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or do you want to be the ...


Alphabet logo

Alphabet+


Google has reinvented itself out of nowhere. No leaks. No warning at all. Alphabet takes its place as the entity that is publicly traded, run by Larry, Sergey, and Eric, and Google is now focused on being a great machine learning company.

The question on everyone's minds, is whether or not Alphabet+ will replace the beast that was Google+. G+'s circles methodology was game changing. I remember when I first tried it. It was like people, out there in the world, just letting data flow out from them to the Google+'s and all anyone had to do to tap in was reach out and grab on. It's like they say, if someone offers you a seat on a rocket ship, you don't ask where your seat is, you just get on.

And so here we are many years later. Lots of great lessons were learned ...