samir kaji Profile picture
16 Sep, 11 tweets, 2 min read
I've tweeted in the past on the importance of writing

I started writing publicly (mainly about venture 7 years ago).
Looking back, it’s one of the most fulfilling things that I’ve ever done.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1/ You will more than likely be terrible at it initially. This was true for me for a long while (and occasionally still). Keep at it though, as it will get easier. Muscle memory takes time, but is worth it.
2/ It will take some time to find your voice and land on a consistent style; experiment often in the early days until you land on something that is natural and authentic to you.
3/ Even as you improve, you’ll realize that not every post or writing will resonate with the desired effect. Sometimes the posts you are most proud of get the least interest or feedback. Don’t be discouraged.
4/Writing forces clarity of thought and requires you to confront your own beliefs like nothing else; even more so when you know it will be consumed publicly.
5/You will write many posts that you scrap after writing them (I have 50+). Sometime it’s because what you had in your head doesn’t translate well to writing or that you found yourself losing conviction in your thought during the writing progress. This is actually healthy.
6/Initially, you’ll dread feedback from those that don’t agree with you. Over time, if you have the right mindset, you’ll welcome feedback from others as an opportunity to learn, and perhaps reveal your own flawed biases. Leverage the power of audience to learn through writing.
7/ Be consistent with frequency of writing. I’ll help create discipline & keeps your skills sharp and relevant, while helping you build an audience. This is one of the hardest things to do.
8/Writers block will happen. There are posts that will freely flow and others that are important that take days to write and re-write. Take a break when you have a complete block. It’ll come back.
9/ Stay authentic. Don’t try and completely emulate someone else’s writing style. You’ll just be a worse version of them; be the best version of yourself. Pick something you’re passionate about.
10/ Effective writing will change your entire career arc. But you have continue to tune it. Don't underestimate the impact.

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More from @Samirkaji

5 Aug
Yesterday, I tweeted that fund managers should be not project returns in fund decks (particularly those that claim 5X+ return expectations).

There was great dialogue; Let's revisit the basic math mgrs must go think through. Pls read the below👇

1/ Some basics first:

Dilution to exit is generally higher than most people factor (Fred Wilson had a good model on this). Factor ~50% or so.

There is Massive skew in returns (“Babe Ruth effect).…
2/ Let’s take a very modest $10MM fund and make the following assumptions (we can debate these assumptions later)
-40 companies
-$250K per (no follow-on reserves)
-Average initial ownership 3.33% ($7.5MM post at inv).
-20% carried interest
-50% dilution to exit
Read 15 tweets
24 Apr
As promised (but a day late), here are the results of our Venture survey. 427 respondents from all over the world contributed; thanks to all that contributed to this report.…

1/ 77% of the respondents reported that their primary initial investment stage is somewhere in seed stack (Pre-seed/Seed/Post-Seed) w/Median fund size of $50MM across all respondents.
2/Unsurprisingly, larger funds ($250MM+) primarily focus on A round+ as initial entry point, however it was surprising to find ~50% funds in $151-$250MM range identified seed as their primary entry point. This could be sample size issue and/or geo nuances.
Read 12 tweets
19 Apr
1/Getting inst. LP capital for an emerging VC firm is often a really hard hurdle. Those that do usually raise more $, have more stability in their LP base across funds (thus higher % more time w/founders vs. always needed to backfill LPs).

But there is a major issue/
2/ Inst. LPs typically back first time funds whose managers came from institutional shops. Understandably, but what's the problem?
3/ We talk about diversity of thought and diversity in general (POC, gender, etc.) but many inst. firms have just started actively hiring those with diff backgrounds.
Read 8 tweets
17 Apr
PPP aftermath (well, probably mid-math) and other reflections:
-~2MM loans approved, with average loan size just above 200K
-4,700 financials participated
-6 States accounted for ~20%
-CA had $21B (about ~TX), but had only 24% of elig payroll covered vs. 44% for TX

1/The actual concept of PPP is simple: Allow small biz to retain employees that are critical to continuing ops when things open up (i.e. restaurants, nail salons, etc.) while providing a bit extra for things like rent, utilities, etc.
2/Execution of this program will be shown to be bad as the SBA/treasury did a poor job in the week leading up launch on 4/3 of giving participants a clear idea on timing, guidelines,approval basics,etc. This led to the vast majority of non-trad SBA lenders going into crisis mode.
Read 13 tweets
9 Apr
1/For Emerging VC’s raising, the headline of “fundraising is tough as it’s been since 2009” is accurate, but obvious, and not overly helpful for those in process.

It’s hard to predict exactly when the faucet opens to pre-COVID levels, however here are some random observations:
2/ 1st, it important to bifurcate between FO/HNW & Institutional. On FO/HNW side, emotional anxiety remains high, particularly with those that started investing in VC post 2009. I’m seeing soft commitments from this group dissipate VERY quickly with GPs I’ve talked to.
3/However, larger family offices are taking institutional mindset, and while not “open for business” in the classic sense, and are simply taking inventory and plan to resume fund investments with some modifications to strategy.
Read 8 tweets
7 Apr
1/ The new guidance is certainly helpful to banks in that it conveys they can rely on affiliation self certifications by applicants, and can do only a good faith review of borrower payroll calculations. The latter has some gray area however on what good faith and material is.
2/ This does help however in mitigating some of the general fear in banking industry of losing govt backing on loans where there is a mistake to be found after the fact on a funded loan.
3/For startups, it does say that waiver of certain protective provisions, if done irrevocably, would remove the affiliation from the VC in question. Whether ppl do or not to get access to what could amount to loan that could only give 4-6 weeks of runway is separate issue.
Read 5 tweets

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