David Sacks Profile picture
May 21, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read Read on X
Startups: Instead of thinking about whether you are “default alive” vs “default dead”, think about whether you are “default investable” vs “default uninvestable.” 🧵
“Default alive” is almost an impossible standard for early-stage startups since it means being cashflow positive.

On the other hand, “default investable” means that your metrics are good enough to raise another round in the current environment.
You’ve got to be realistic about whether you are investable. It takes mostly “great” metrics, maybe one or two “good” ones, and no disqualifiers (“danger zone”). We’ve tried to be precise about what this means for SaaS startups.
If you’re not currently investable, you’ve got to give yourself adequate time to fix your metrics. Tinkering, experimenting, finding PMF — all of that takes time. Fixing problems in the business is typically more successful with a lean team anyway.
Remember that you can’t wait until the end of your runway to fundraise. 2 years of runway is really only 5-6 quarters to fix problems. 2.5 years of runway is much better — 8 quarters to fix problems.
Who should embrace the “default alive” standard? Later stage startups with low growth rates. Eg, $100M ARR growing 50% YoY. This is now completely uninvestable by growth-stage VCs. These companies would be better off realigning to PE model. Become cashflow positive, then grow.
In summary, there are 3 states that are ok:
1. Cashflow positive - always good obvi.
2. Cashflow negative but VCs are truly willing to finance that growth. (Be realistic about that.)
3. Low burn, long runway, fixing metrics to become 1 or 2.

Everything else a no man’s land.

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More from @DavidSacks

Feb 23
The U.S. can only produce about 1,000 artillery shells per day. The Europeans even less. The Russians are producing & using around 10,000/day. This is one of the reasons Ukraine is losing the war. Congressional action won’t fix this.
Another reason is air defense. Ukraine has run out, and the U.S. can’t deliver more without putting our own troops in the Middle East at risk. The Russians have total air superiority and are precision-bombing Ukrainian targets at will.
The third issue is that the Ukrainians are running out of manpower. One of Zelensky’s close aides told TIME Magazine that even if the U.S. and its allies come through with all the weapons they have pledged, “we don’t have the men to use them.”
Read 6 tweets
Feb 20
This is John F. Sopko, one of America's most dedicated and effective public servants. As Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Sopko and his team rooted out billions of dollars of waste, fraud, and abuse in Afghanistan. They generated 427 audits, 10 comprehensive Lessons Learned reports, and 160 criminal convictions. With the Afghanistan mission winding down, Senator @RandPaul proposed that Sopko and his team pivot to Ukraine. They were ready to take on the assignment. But that idea was rejected by the White House and Senate. If Sopko were working in the private sector, I have no doubt that he would be promoted for his efforts. But in government, he might just be a little too effective for his own good. After all, if he was place in charge of Ukraine oversight, what do you think he would find?Image
In lieu of Sen. Paul’s proposal, the Department of Defense named the Hon. Robert Storch as first Lead IG and then Special IG for Operation Atlantic Resolve, a role in which he will provide Ukraine oversight for DoD. He will also coordinate with IGs from the State Department and USAID with respect to their oversight efforts. While I have no reason to doubt that Storch will do a fine job, the advantage of the Paul proposal is that it was both more sweeping and more focused, creating a single office for all Ukraine oversight with the proven track record of the SIGAR team.
This article does a good job explaining the difference between having a bulldog like Sopko and an agency-specific approach.

Read 4 tweets
Feb 20
You can almost feel the panic online that the $61 billion won’t pass. For many, this is the last big payoff they will ever see. They will say anything to get it. They will do anything to get it.
The pressure on Speaker Johnson must be enormous. I compliment him for holding firm so far. But at the end of the day, I expect something will pass. Pockets don’t line themselves.
If Ukraine supporters wanted to persuade us that there’s no money laundering going on, they would have agreed to an accountant. They rejected it, twice.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 15
Ronald Reagan’s signature foreign policy achievement was negotiating a peaceful end to the Cold War. Neocons opposed him at the time. Now they have started a new Cold War with Russia and, invoking Reagan’s memory, insist we can’t negotiate a peaceful end. These people are sick.
Two excellent articles on this subject from @CatoInstitute:

@CatoInstitute Neocons attacked Reagan for “helping the Soviet Union stabilize its empire” because he refused to defend Poland and rejected their maximally provocative and confrontational approach.
Read 7 tweets
Jan 12
The Biden administration could have gotten Gonzalo Lira back with a phone call but didn't lift a finger. Therefore the Ukrainian government knew it could act with impunity. Still, the sheer brazenness to kill an American citizen in custody reveals a thuggish and unmoored regime.
If you want to quibble and argue that Lira wasn't killed by the Ukrainian government, but rather he was just wrongfully imprisoned (for exercising First Amendment rights), abused and denied vital medical treatment, I don't see much of a difference.
There was a time when even a U.S. enemy, never mind an ally, would have expelled Lira to avoid any risk of an American citizen dying in their prison. No foreign government wanted to risk America's wrath coming down on their head.
Read 4 tweets
Nov 4, 2023
Another remarkable confessional by the MSM in which we learn that everything we were told over the last 5 months about Ukraine making progress in its Counteroffensive was a lie.
“Stalemate” has replaced “Counteroffensive” as the main media narrative about the war. But it is not accurate. Ukraine is *losing* a war of attrition. This is why officials believe they only have until the end of the year before “urgent discussions” are necessary. Image
One of the main reasons for this is that Ukraine has not been able to impose significant attrition on the Russian side, even as its own casualties have been horrific. Russian casualties have actually been trending down for months.
Read 6 tweets

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