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What I’m chasing down these days

Posted on October 18, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I sent this note to a bunch of friends this morning and it occurred to me that I should share it with the internet at large:

Hey friends. Every so often I share some ideas or themes i’ve been looking to invest behind.  If you are interested in any of these, would love to jam on them and think together. And if you have friends or portfolio companies that touch them, I’d love to hear about them. We’re just starting to deploy our $250M second fund at Pace, would love to collaborate on any of this stuff 🙂

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I’m actively hunting for at the moment:

1) I’m still obsessed with solving the communication layer in the Web 3 ecosystem. What’s crypto’s version of email? How do wallets message each other? How do Apps communicate with users where wallet is the sole UID?  Unlike phone/email, the UID in this ecosystem doesn’t double as a communication channel.  Here’s roughly what I’m looking for, but very open to alternate visions: https://jordancooper.blog/2022/06/09/lightweight-contacts-dapp-and-the-path-to-a-ubiquitous-protocol/

2) Proof of humanity: i’m blown away by the volume of machine generated imagery and media that I’m consuming these days. It’s increasingly obvious to me that content creators, consumers, and businesses are going to want and need the ability to prove or attest to their output being “hand made.”  This basically gets into the realm of attestation, be it directly from the content creator, or from the app which the creator used to create or capture a piece of media.  With deep fakes a few years ago, I spent time with companies trying to solve for post-facto verification and authenticity of media, but I see a change where solutions that contemplate supply side participation are going to emerge and be valuable.

3) Something I’ve been wrestling with, is whether or not prompt generated media is, in fact, a new media type/format, or simply a new way of creating an existing media type.  The reason I’m interested in this is because I’m obsessed with publisher platforms that give voices to ever expanding populations who previously didn’t have a voice in a given medium. WordPress, Twitter, Youtube, Snap Stories, Tik Tok, podcast platforms, clubhouse/spaces, etc…when you increase access to a medium by virtue of a format evolution that reduces the friction to have a voice in it, value is created.  With prompt generated media, there’s no question that a group of people who have never been able to express themselves visually now can. And I’m confident that the relationship between a prompt and it’s output is distinct from the output alone…so if all that is true, there’s probably surface are for a new publishing platform to enable creation and consumption of the new media type, and said platform would have a lot of pent up demand from wordcels 🙂

4) I read somewhere that the majority of students today are copying homework from the internet instead of doing it themselves. A while ago I looked at a bunch of the platforms that were quietly enabling this type of activity, but I’m curious to find antidotes that can make homework productive in an age where frictionless internet cheating is pervasive.

5) Climate audit: I’m early in auditing the capital flows in the climate space. Increasingly, I don’t think “climate” is actually a space or sector, but there are pockets that I find myself drawn toward. High conviction that there are 20 year investable themes here.  So far, and this is not novel, I find myself interested in building exposure to electrification, both EV related, and beyond.  I’ve also found some of the software enabling the supply side of the carbon economy interesting.  And the supply chain around lithium, cobalt, neon and other inputs to electrification are interesting to me as well. 

6) Deglobalization: After 25 or 30 years of hyper-globalization, and against all of my instincts for an optimal system design, it does appear that we’re at the precipice of a pretty meaningful reversal. This one is weird because it’s both profound and gradual, which makes for tricky investing.  I haven’t yet figured out how to invest behind this reality, but it’s a long wave that I’d like to have multiple bets in over time. High level curiosities include domestic logistics, local supply chains, talent/skills/capabilities/training/immigration, mining, incentives for people to do undesirable jobs, revival of agriculture, domestic industrial marketplaces, etc…

7) Social interaction with AI agents: A few years ago I spent a bunch of time with Replika and was quite intrigued. Replika is basically an AI chat bot that is positioned as a user’s friend/romantic partner. More recently, I’ve seen attempts at enabling consumers to free-text design that type of chat bot for the purpose of interacting with others, as opposed to themselves.  Ultimately it feels like there’s going to be a distribution layer on top of LLM capabilities that helps consumers wield the technology to shape/design/iterate on agents that will expand the surface area of the agent creator’s identity.  Your bot will say something about you, the same way that who your best friend is says something about you. I’m interested in the tooling and creation platforms that contemplate an agent creator’s identity and representation of self as the first order problem space.  Your bot should be an artifact of your creativity/taste/voice even if AI is generating the media it creates.  

8) Cloud Nations: I’m high conviction that it’s possible to decouple physical geography from services and infrastructure historically provide by local/federal governments.  This is a class of coordination and collective resource allocation that I’m obsessed with.  Specifically, I’m interested in the points of interface between such endeavors and legacy public systems.  How do we ride on existing rails while innovating on the experience of being a citizen of somewhere ethereal? I’ve seen a number of endeavors here. Interestingly I haven’t yet seen cloud religions (at least not explicitly named as such), but I find that interesting too…

9) Gig labor applied to a much broader set of work-types: If uber/doordash etc…have given labor control over their hours and schedule and the ability to “pick up” predictable work on demand, what are new realms of labor that would and do value the same capability? I recently heard that factory workers in the midwest are demanding that kind of flexibility and on demand hours.  What about certain classes of knowledge work? Where can a big 4 accountant go to pick up a few tax return gigs at night? Where can an estate lawyer go to pick up a few will gigs on demand?  Where can a trained waiter go to pick up an on demand shift? We have an investment in a company called Dework where I’m seeing this behavior on a small atomic work unit level in the web 3 ecosystem, and it feels like low context/high value work is increasingly doable and in many cases preferable to FT/PT/trad contract…

10) As always, very open to inspiration and new areas of exploration. If you’ve been thinking about something you think I would dig, I’d love to catch up and discuss.

Jordan

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We lost a good one

Posted on September 30, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When we started Pace 3 years ago, our team was tiny. It was me and Chris and our first employee, Jenna Julien. For much of the first 2.5 years in business it was the 3 of us on a team that never got bigger than 5 people. Needless to say, we were all very close. Jenna was on the administrative side of the house, working closely with both Chris and I. If you scheduled a meeting with either of us, or visited the office, or received a pair of Pace Airpods, or attended an event, or really anything else outside of pitch meetings and portfolio support you probably met her. She had the biggest smile…that is how I will remember her.

We recently got word that Jenna suddenly and unexpectedly passed. It’s the kind of news that you just can’t make sense of. It didn’t feel real…it still doesn’t feel real…but unfortunately it is. Jenna was younger than me…she had a whole life ahead of her…and in a blink it was taken away. The thing to know about Jenna is that she lived in service and care of others. Her entire world view wasn’t about what was best for her, but rather for her community, for society, and for those in need. She advocated for those who needed it. She pushed our firm to think and invest in the well being of those less fortunate or disadvantaged..she donated her time to service and always talked about how she wanted to run a home for youth without a place to live as her “retirement dream.” Most people’s retirement dream involves a mountain house or travel or whatever…her’s was service.

When I talk to people about Jenna’s passing, the conversation usually ends the same way: “Well…it’s a reminder that life is short and to live each day.” That’s how most people instinctually try to move out of the discomfort of sitting with sadness. I don’t, however, think that’s actually the takeaway. It’s very hard to draw a true lesson from such an abrupt and unfair loss…but the takeaway I prefer to focus on is taking the elements of Jenna that were truly unique and defining, internalizing them, and carrying them on so that the world doesn’t lose what she brought, even if she’s no longer here to deliver it herself.

Jenna was a bright light who fought for the side of good every day…she will be missed both at Pace and by everyone who knew her. I am glad to have known her and called her a friend.

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An Odd Ritual

Posted on August 30, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’m on vacation this week. Baby is sleeping and Olivia has taken the older one out on some errands. A rare moment to sit down and read the New York Times cover to cover. As I flipped through the pages, stopping to actually engage with each and every tragedy or suffering or instability afflicting some region or segment of the population, it was hard not to notice the contrast between the articles and the advertisements in the paper. Directly opposite 1000 dead in Pakistan flooding was full page “Google keeps you safe.” Adjacent to a severe beating in Hong Kong was an advertisement for the miracles of modern medicine being delivered in some US health system. The subtext was clear: “everyone else is fucked but you, cozy New York Times home delivery reader, are SAFE & COMFORTABLE.” How did this come to be? The daily ritual of sitting down and consuming all of the problems you don’t have…

There’s comfort in processing your reality in contrast to a “worse one,” but it’s a pretty ugly, if not sociopathic ritual to do so. Under the guise of being “informed,” or some kind of thin veneer of empathy for protagonists of the world’s bad news, we’ve been quietly and daily reassuring ourselves how good we have it. How and when was it normalized to sit down, spend an hour effectively rubbernecking societal wreck after societal wreck, only to fold up the paper, take the last sip of your coffee, and do nothing about it? I’m not above this in any way. I’ve done that exact thing thousands of times. It’s just such an odd ritual to have permeated our collective daily routine.

Before digital feeds of information and content, the newspaper was a predictable daily feed of the suffering you weren’t experiencing. That’s not to say you weren’t suffering in different ways, but why not start the morning with something worse than your life? Look no further than reports of death and killing, which I’d wager have graced the pages of every New York Times issue since there was a New York Times, to guarantee that you can consume something worse than what you are experiencing. If you have a pulse, a newspaper can show you someone you are doing better than.

I deleted Tik Tok from my phone months ago because the algorithm decided I like videos of people being punched in the face. I told Chris that’s why I deleted it, and he said “Tik Tok doesn’t think you like that, it knows you like that, you just don’t feel good about it.” Maybe he’s right…a more modern successor to the ritual of reading the Times…their suffering isn’t my suffering…but just because we all have lizard brains, doesn’t mean our attention needs to be pointed at feeding them.

I guess there really isn’t a point to this post…just a weird observation, but it feels good to sit down and write something longer than 140 characters…it has been a minute…

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Lightweight Contacts DAPP And The Path To A Ubiquitous Protocol

Posted on June 9, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When I look at the Web 3 ecosystem, it feels like a system in want of a native communication layer. Basic consumer needs like “How do I message a wallet or public address?” are not addressed in any kind of final form. Basic business/DAPP needs like how do I notify or reengage a user when something happens in my DAPP are not addressed in any kind of final form. There are tons of attempts at building for these these needs, but few, if any, that I’ve seen with the properties I believe are necessary to endure.

When I started out thinking about this problem, I thought I was looking for a lower level protocol that contemplated a developer facing motion of distribution. I assumed that wallets would become inboxes (still believe that), and a standard for permissionless end-to-end encrypted messaging to those inboxes would be achieved by a protocol that spiked on anti-spam mechanics. Projects like Dialect, XMTP, and a handful of others touch that idea. In some ways, it feels like that game will be won on the back of a few critical BD type wins with heavily penetrated wallets in whatever the respective chain is that matters, but increasingly I’m starting to believe that won’t be enough. There are some pretty critical decision points around whether or not you are storing said messages on-chain, whether or not you care more about the async or real time messaging paradigm, and what if any ambitions you might have at the client/interface layer. For better or for worse, I’ve come to believe that an essential property of the winning system is truly permissionless communication. I believe I will be able to pick an arbitrary wallet address, and with the requisite will and investment, send them a communication that they will consciously receive. A second essential property, in my mind, is that the preservation of pseudonymity for both the sender and recipient must be contemplated as the base case. The path to such a reality is long and riddled with challenges.

Some of the needs articulated in paragraph 1 are being addressed at non-infrastructural layers in the stack as well. Etherscan, for example, recognized their asset of reoccurring attention/engagement with a significant consumer base in the ecosystem, and recently offered users a way to permissionlessly contact the owner of an NFT that one might covet, for example. The insight is that Etherscan has a better chance than most of that recipient seeing a notification by virtue of the recipient’s frequent use of Etherscan. That issue of a recipient “claiming their inbox” is complicated…and most flows I’ve seen that contemplate a messaging universe that’s relegated to the install base of a new client to do so, feel dead in the water to me.

Lately, I’ve been of the mind that the winner in this space is not a lower level protocol thinking dev first, but actually a SUPER lightweight application that achieves high penetration, develops an edge on anti-spam as a result, and then get’s baked in as the standard across wallets down the line. When I say lightweight, I think about the early instantiations of Groupme, that built a very very thin application layer on top of SMS. It feels like the core gesture within such an application is some version of graph formation, and the closest parallel I can see looks like the contacts app on mobile. I think there’s a world where giving someone a token, that she holds in her wallet, grants her access to my priority inbox. I think there’s a world where that consumer level action enhances a protocols anti-spam capability, and I think there’s a real network effect in productizing that gesture because overlapping relationships, as defined by common “personal token” holders, can make permissionless messaging of related non-holders less spammy (think friend of a friend type analysis).

The last thing I’ll say about this, which is related but distinct, is that it feels like forward and backward interoperability with Email and SMS are really valuable when trying to get to this end state. I think there are some pretty creative hacks that can help bridge the gap that seem to be percolating. Skiff, for example, feels to be playing with this line…

All of this is to say, I’d like to make an investment in a super lightweight crypto application that focusses on communication permission as the core user value, with all graph construction living on-chain, and if we nail that, it feels like there’s a path to attaining the dominant protocol position in the ecosystem. I’m jordan@pacecapital.com, would love to lead an early financing and help you build this.

P.S. I’ve done a bunch of research here (that I’m happy to share), but if I’m thinking about anything incorrectly or there are reference points I’ve missed, please do reach out an educate me…still learning

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Immersion and Perspective

Posted on May 10, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I attended a memorial service recently of a very accomplished member of our industry.  Listening to colleagues, family, and athletic teammates talk about this person was incredibly inspiring.  One takeaway I held onto, was that there is something amazing about approaching each and every moment, regardless of context, with uniform effort, standards, and focus.  It’s a very difficult thing to do.  Some moments we are activated and some moments we are sleepwalking through life, but what would it look like to be activated all (or almost all) the time?  The more I thought about this question, the more I found myself thinking about the concept of immersion.  People talk about being present in any given moment, but I think immersion is something greater than that.  It’s not just existing in a moment, it’s leaning into the moment, pushing it further and richer, and maximizing the experience of it.  

Curious about what a life of full immersion in every moment looked like, I decided to run a little experiment. What if I could “show up” and “bring it” evenly, to everything I do in a day? What if I could apply the same focus and effort to bath time with my kids or a dinner after work that I do an investment decision or a long distance run?  I realized quickly that I would need to hack my brain to achieve this.  I observed that context switches were the best moments to hack, and committed to “actively reminding and encouraging myself” to fully immerse in whatever was on the other side of any context switch I had in a day.  It worked until it didn’t.  For about two days I maxed out every moment, regardless of whether it was one that naturally drained or gave me energy, but it was too hard to maintain uniformly. 

While the experiment ended (and failed), I still hold onto that intent around immersion. I still activate myself during context switches when I can or remember, but I’ve accepted that the “success” outcome in this experience is “more fully immersed moments” and not “all fully immersed moments.”

Weeks later I was thinking about the pursuit of immersion, and what other running pursuits I hold and strive for. The other immediate one that came to mind is “perspective.” More than immersion, seeking perspective is native to my disposition and brain chemistry.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to see things exactly as they are.  In college I connected deeply to the Stoic philosophy for this reason, and in professional pursuits it’s kind of the only thing that matters as a VC.  

Interestingly, you could argue that perspective and immersion are zero sum.  I think of perspective as stepping as far away from things as possible, such that you can see them from a bird’s eye view.  I remember reading some stoic definition of wisdom in college that went something like “you and I are having a conversation. If there were an objective third party, watching down over us, viewing the interaction, wisdom is how close my understanding of the moment is to what that observer sees is actually happening.” I might have butchered that a bit, it’s been a minute…

In some ways, it feels like to fully immerse in anything, you need to stop trying to see it from far away simultaneously.  You need to let go of that search for perspective, and live the moment right up close to your face. It’s a totally different mindset.  Where I net out, is that toggling between the two feels right, as opposed to existing split or indecisive in any given moment.  I guess I’d like to very intentionally be in one mode or the other, and make the toggle active and at will.

Anyway, as I scroll my twitter feed, in which fear and uncertainty have permeated the echo chamber, what I really see is people fleeing immersion.  In moments like this, everyone is seeking perspective, but I find it interesting to ask, how do you fully immerse in a painful or uncomfortable moment?  I think there is a way to do that.  And for some reason my toggle wants to go that direction right now.

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Anon-first world

Posted on April 19, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Adjusting to anon-culture on the internet has taken me some time. After building up a real public ID over the past 13 or so years, I’ve become attached to it. I was anonymous on AOL chat in the late 90’s, real id on closed networks like Facebook in 2004, and then Twitter brought my real ID to the open internet in 2007. Since then, I’ve been @jordancooper on pretty much every public platform I try. My blog is real id, real email addy visible…for better or for worse I am the same person online and offline. I acknowledge that my privilege is an input to this truth. When I bought my .eth domain i chose jordancooper.eth. When i joined discord I was @jordancooper+some random number…and that all seemed to make sense to me until it didn’t. Over the past few years, I’ve joined many discord channels, where the vast majority of participants are anon, and honestly…@jordancooper+some random number started to feel a little outsider-ish. There was no real cost to me doxxing myself. I stand by everything I say on Discord and I’m not sensitive about my real id, but culturally I couldn’t help but feel like I was doing it wrong…With jordancooper.eth the pain of doxxing myself became a little more acute. Here the cost wasn’t really cultural, as it’s quite common to append a legacy social id like your twitter account to your .eth domain, etc…but rather there was a hint of security concern. There isn’t a lot of economic value held at jordancooper.eth’s associated public addy, but it’s not nothing…in a world of social engineering and spear fishing and such, all of the sudden I kind of wish I was exploring the Web 3 ecosystem without putting a target on my real back.

But as I talk to more people who choose to navigate web 3 anon-first, it’s clear that neither of these costs is at the heart of the choice. Yes, the security stuff is real to people, but it’s deeper than that. There’s an intimacy in real id that a growing number of people expect to exist with intentionality. There’s meaning in a relationship progressing from anon to real id, and the moment one doxxes herself to another or a community is an exercise in trust. Doing so forms or strengthens a bond…anon first actors become active curators of their real id inner circle. There’s safety in that discipline, but also social gesture.

I don’t think I’ll ever be anon-first…the cat’s already out of my bag, but I do find myself committing to understand this decision as a first class citizen and approach it with the requisite empathy. An investor asked me the other day if Pace would invest in someone who’s real identity we didn’t know. Such a hard question. My instinct is no, but I’d be very happy to jump through any and all hoops necessary to authentically establish trust with an anonymous founder. I’d readily commit to keeping her real identity secret. I’d earn the intimacy which I am requesting, but my “real life” is too integrated into my work life to approximate trust in my working relationships (and there’s the whole fiduciary responsibility thing…which is real).

Something I’ve come to realize about myself, is that I value consistency in people across contexts. The most authentic people, to me, are the ones who show up to their work life, their home life, their leisure life, their online life, etc…as the “same person.” Chris Poole, who founded early anonymous forum 4chan, and who was first introduced to me as moot, once explained to me that identity is prismatic, and that we all deserve to be different people in different places. At an ideological level I agree. At a personal level, I still try to surround myself with those that show up consistently, regardless of context. Maybe I need to revisit that preference…but I literally don’t know how to trust someone who isn’t “themselves” everywhere. I guess that’s ok in systems that are designed to be trustless (i.e. Dapps, crypto protocols, etc…), and i’m more than happy to transact/communicate/collaborate/create/enjoy trustlessly…but in a world where you are the aggregate of the people with whom you spend most of your time, my close relationships are no such system….

On a more applied note: I think there’s tremendous value to be built in acknowledging the spectrum of anonymity to real identity as a progression. Building professional and social systems and applications that treat it as such feels important. If you are working with these dynamics in mind, I’d love to speak: jordan@pacecapital.com

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We Saved a Seat For You

Posted on March 17, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I have a strong instinct that the next person we bring onto the investment team here at Pace will spend the vast majority of their time in web3. The Associate or Principal role at Pace is explicitly a tour of duty…there’s no hard timeline, but it’s about 2 years. One of my primary commitments that I make to anyone who takes the seat is that I’ll measure my success as a manager and our firm’s success as a platform for them by whether or not their next step is a wildly exciting, offensive move in the direction of their career goals . In Tina’s case, that was becoming a Web 3 founder. For somebody else, it might be ascending into a partner role at another firm, but for better or for worse, we have chosen to make the gig finite. Given that our time together is limited, it’s increasingly clear to me that 2 years is not enough time for someone to both come up the curve on web3 and have a material impact on our firm before our time together is up. As such, I’ve resolved that the right next person, out of their own curiosity and effort, will have already acquired the fundamentals to think from first principles in crypto from day 1.

I’m not looking for “experts,” but we should be able to look at a project/company/application together, spend an afternoon reading or tinkering, and get to both a mechanical understanding of how it works as well as a system level understanding of how it fits in to the broader ecosystem today and going forward. If I said to you, “I’m most interested in permissionless communication/messaging between DAPPs and wallets or wallets and wallets”, I need you to understand why that’s important immediately, and then we can start tackling the question of what a winning implementation might look like. The work I do is very exploratory…I’m looking for someone with whom to explore. Flipping digital collectibles or degenerately chasing yield in the Defi ecosystem or actively trading in any way is not a foundation that will enable you to do great work with me. Isolating foundational primitives and mechanics and dreaming of how they can and will be combined and applied to the world is my preferred way of working and I’d like to think through that lens with you. The foundation I’m looking for is a clear understanding of the constraints and capabilities that define the web3 ecosystem, as well as some informed intuition of how and where value accrues within the efforts we explore. Pace is not where we put capital behind crypto hype…there are plenty of firms where you can go and do that in Web3, but if that’s what you are after this will be a terrible home for you. We make concentrated, intentional investments into a handful of things every year and partner deeply with founders in a way that, dare I say it, may strike you as traditional.

So why would someone early in their career, with a web3 background and understanding, want to come work here, at a generalist firm, instead of at a “crypto native” fund? Sector specificity has it’s advantages, but you come here to develop your fundamentals as a thinker and investor…it happens that we will do that together largely though the context of the web3 ecosystem, but if your primary takeaway from this experience is deeper domain expertise, than Chris and I have failed you. We’re a small team by design. There are two of us managing $400M on behalf of world class institutions, and we’ve got an open 2-year seat. Oh, and if you are here and you become interested in something other than web3…as long as you can get us interested…that’s great too. It’s a big world out there…and there’s deep change in the air.

Reach out here: jordan@pacecapital.com

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Spending & Passing Time

Posted on March 4, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Following last night’s news in Ukraine, and on the back of 2 years of pandemic, I am acutely aware of time. There is nothing profound in saying that it is so clearly our most valuable, and undeniably limited, resource. Thinking of time as a scarce resource, and looking through a lens of resource allocation, it occurs to me that the phrase “spending time” is much deeper than I’ve previously considered. There is a monumental difference between spending time and passing time. If we were to map it to another form of scarce resource allocation, like money, spending time is like using money and passing time is like losing money. In both cases, your scarce resource declines, but in the first there’s intention and in the second there’s not. So back to time, spending time is intentional and passing time is not, and while both are exchanges, where you receive presence and experience in exchange for your allocation, the ROI on the prior is much higher.

In less analytical parlance, you could say “live each day to the fullest”, or some other cliche, but I think there is an interesting mental adjustment in considering time spent with the same active calculus as money spent. I feel value in asking very frequently, is what I’m doing right now or what I plan to do worth it? I see higher ROI in maintaining an acute and ominpresent awareness of opportunity cost, and in internalizing the greatness of that opportunity cost by assuming that the BATNA is also intentional allocation as opposed to passive expiration.

If we mentally hold our time in the equivalent of a savings account, the strategy that naturally follows is one of conservative allocation and preservation. I think that’s what most people do. We model our life under the assumption of its stability. Yes, we are aware that freak accidents and unfortunate rolls of the dice pertaining to physical health exist, but generally when someone hits 40, for example, they feel confident that they are “mid life” or something like that. But recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that our time doesn’t really exist in a cozy, snug savings account. Or if it does, it’s subject to spikes in inflation, asset seizure, etc.

I don’t know about you, but whatever I’ve got saved up, I’ll be damned if I don’t spend it.

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Swapping Stamps

Posted on February 3, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

These days it seems that the majority of private financings I read about disclose the valuation of the round in question. It hasn’t always been that way. In fact, it almost never happened until 4 or 5 years ago. Without public valuation disclosures, the market of would-be talent and downstream capital in tech was deeply tuned to the brand stamp of whatever venture firm(s) financed a given company. Simply getting money was a news story and the TechCrunch headline was who gave it to you. Your VC’s brand power was a proxy for your potential enterprise value…and so it was really helpful, at a tactical level, to be backed by X, Y, Z firms.

Of course, today, that dynamic still exists, but it feels like the value of the VC stamp has declined as the enterprise value of the company has become a more prevalent public focal point. Now when I read about a company, I can put a number on present value and extrapolate out plausible future value from there…I couldn’t do that before valuations became public. The Techcrunch headline today is “Company X raises $200M at a $2B valuation”…oh and by the way…at the bottom of the article, the money came from firm X. That’s really different than it was. The market is now anchored around a signal that’s more directly measurable. Is it an optimization if that round was led by a tier 1 VC vs a spray and pray allocator like Tiger vs Goldman Sachs? Of course…but the headline, and the thing that cements a company’s position in the pecking order of market-perceived success is the number, not the name.

I’d argue that one of the most brilliant things Andreesen Horowitz did when they entered the market in like 2010, was not so subtly making their brand synonymous with high valuations. They came with high conviction, big checks, and if you got one, people just assumed the valuation was immense and that you had made it. And founders, of course, wanted to be perceived as having made it, so they sought A16Z’s money. Did people think they were good pickers? To an extent…but it was “A16Z = big number” before the market was comfortable publishing actual big numbers. They developed a new kind of stamp that approximated where the market’s attention is currently anchored today.

So anyway, I just find it interesting. Benchmark is still a stamp…and so forth…but weirdly Softbank’s high number has come to be more of one? In a multi-iteration game, and what recent months of turbulence suggest is that, the big number stamps may prove to be less enduring than the firm level stamps. We’ll see. I haven’t decided if the trend toward public disclosure of valuations accelerated the narrative around private capital as a commodity, or perhaps it’s simply a reflection of that narrative taking hold…but one way or another the number seems to have taken marketshare from the name…for now.

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Bronzing Tina’s Shoes

Posted on February 1, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A few months ago our wonderful Associate, Tina He, developed the conviction to go all in on her Web3 project Station. When we hire investors at Pace, we are explicit that its is a ~2 year opportunity, and one of the key KPIs we have as managers is to set these folks up to take whatever next step excites them at the end of such a tour. Tina is a builder at heart. We’ve known that since Day 1. When she told me she was ready to take the leap it was emotional. This is someone I really care about, with whom I LOVE working, and in whom I invested a lot of time and energy. You might think the emotion i felt was loss…but it wasn’t. It was joy….yes, maybe the teary eyed kind of joy…but very clearly joy. There are few things more exciting to me than seeing someone self actualize and step into themselves, and that’s how I processed Tina becoming an entrepreneur. I still wanted to see Tina every day and work closely together, so we decided to transition her role into Entrepreneur-in-Residence late last year. We keep the same sync schedule, and see each other all the time, but now most of what we talk about is Station. I’ve gotten to know her cofounders and the broader Station community and truly believe they are up to something special.

Interestingly, with Tina’s new adventure, the Pace investment team has gone from three investors to two! Despite now managing $400M, we are a small team by design and always will be. I do find myself missing her contributions to our collective work as investors. I don’t see anyone filling Tina’s shoes. They are 1 of 1, custom fit, never to be worn by anyone else. Perhaps we can bronze them and put them on the Pace Library bookshelf that she designed alongside a Pace Library companion app that enables guests to borrow our books. Even as an investor, Tina was always designing, always building, always creating in a very user/customer centric way.

While I don’t see anyone filling Tina’s shoes, I do see myself working alongside someone else, with a different set of superpowers, in a similar capacity. Something I learned from hiring Tina was that there is no specific archetype that I’m seeking, but rather I am drawn toward visible demonstrations of original thinking, curiosity, and authenticity. I had been reading Tina’s newsletter long before I reached out, and that was my initial window into her brilliance. As i comb the internet today, reading, researching, etc…I find myself asking “would this person be an impactful member of our investment team?” There’s no timeframe on which I’m trying to fill a seat, but if I slide into your DMs and ask you if you’ve ever thought about venture capital as a career step, don’t be surprised. I’ve got my eyes open.

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Pace II

Posted on January 3, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It’s been about 2.5 years since we closed our first $150M fund at Pace. In that time, we’ve stayed true to our founding principles. We remain a very small team, providing high quality, board level service to a select group of founders with whom we’ve found deep alignment. We’ve concentrated our capital into fewer companies than a typical $150M fund might, and we like that. We’ve looked past momentum and hype, and squinted to see opportunities ahead of the data. We’ve sought to see the world the way our portfolio founders see it, and in doing so, have been able to help navigate toward their envisioned destination.

We’re going to keep doing all of that with Pace II, a new $250M fund focussed on leading Series A and Seed+ financings in generation defining entrepreneurs. Almost 100% of the new capital is coming from the same amazing set of endowments, foundations, and institutions who put us in business 2.5 years ago, with a few notable additions.

Lastly, my hope is that some of this new capital will be deployed by a GP other than Chris and I. It might or might not happen this fund, and both outcomes would be totally fine, but we continue to see Pace as a 4-5 GP perfectly equal partnership and will be prioritizing these conversations with the same intentionality with which we approach investments.

It’s early days for Pace, but grateful to have the tremendous institutional support from a group of LPs who see the world the way that we do.

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Pace x Pace

Posted on December 15, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In 2009 a website hacked together by two teenagers in Russia took the world by storm. The premise was simple: you could visit the site, enable your webcam, and the service would drop you and a random stranger into a live video conversation. It was a phenomenon. Venture capitalists salivated…and then came…the male nudity…I was going to write that that was the end of the story, but after a quick google, it turns out this site is still live and connects over 1 million people a month…it’s called Chatroulette.

Chatroulette struck a chord because it spoke to something fundamental in all human beings: we seek connection. While the webcams sucked, and the internet was too slow, the live video based primitive, when paired with a very simple discovery mechanic (the random function), ignited the possibility in people’s minds that they could have rich, live conversations with strangers on the internet. They could find a friend, romantic partner, thought partner, shared laugh…whatever…they could connect.

Without sufficient guard rails to prevent nudity, abuse, etc., Chatroulette devolved into what the internet is very good at. But in its wake, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning emerged with a new service called Airtime. Airtime’s premise was that if they could overlay Facebook data atop Chatroulette’s core live video primitive, they could address two important issues and deliver on Chatroulette’s promise of connecting strangers through live video. First, they could expose shared FB interests to the strangers in a conversation. Maybe that would solve the “what do we talk about” question. Second, by layering FB identity atop the network, they could create a safer environment for people to converse. Also didn’t work. Right idea, just not enough to get people “there.”

So where is “there?” “There” is where you go from sitting on your living room couch alone to immersion in a substantive live conversation with someone you didn’t know before while never changing out of your sweatpants. “There” is where you truly connect with strangers. “There” is an incremental relationship. A new friend. An inspiring conversation. An educational moment. A vulnerable moment. “There” is real relationships…forming online…with people you didn’t know before. It’s telepresence. It’s connectedness on demand. It’s the live video based antidote to isolation.

This year we led the Series A and I serve on the board of a company called Pace Groups (no relation) that I believe is “there.” I didn’t know it was going to be “there” when I joined my first group…I thought Pace Groups is about mental health…this must be like therapy…or therapy light…or something like that. I knew it was live video based, facilitated conversations, but the vibe isn’t therapy at all. Is Pace Groups good for my mental health? Totally…but primarily because it’s been a place to meet and form real connection with strangers on the internet. They did it…I went from putting in a credit card to making a real friend in a matter of weeks…and that friend happens to be a 75 year old widower in Northern California…to me that’s just amazing.

Jack and Cat are exceptional entrepreneurs and I am so glad to have a front row seat as they work to scale “there” to hundreds of millions of people. If you are looking to join an awesome team, Jack ran product and Pinterest and Affirm and Cat ran growth at Pinterest…they’re kind people and super super experienced and sharp. Happy to intro: jordan@pacecapital.com.

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December 13th, 2021…the one and only

Posted on December 13, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Yesterday we had breakfast with a close friend who is mourning the loss of her father. She told me that beyond the sadness, a lot of her mental energy was going toward the contemplation of her own and everyone’s mortality. It’s not something that I’ve personally spent a lot of time on, but her articulation suggested to me that there is real value in doing so. I’m an optimist. I tend to flee from dark thoughts and gravitate toward positivity. Deeply contemplating one’s own mortality and that of all around him doesn’t exactly square with such a modus operandi…at least on the surface.

That said, since the conversation, I have held onto something she shared as part of her reflection. She said something to the effect of: “This is the only today that will ever exist. There will never be another December 12th, 2021…ever. So do something with it.” Today when i got to work, I wrote that down on a large piece of paper and affixed it to my desk. What a powerful prompt to internalize each morning. “Oh, you’re tired? Well this day is never gonna happen again. When you look back on this day, will it be defined by some lazy twitter scrolling and a couple of meetings, or can you reach for something that will mark the day as actively lived? Will this day be valuable, valued, and distinct from the rest?”

If there’s only gonna be one of this day…ever…I want to stamp it with something that stands out from the routine and ritual and motions that fill less intentional living. It’s common to contemplate your death bed as a lens through which to look at big decisions. Such a lens can be clarifying when you know the weight or import of what’s at hand. But applying such a lens to the day-to-day…to the seemingly unremarkable…making sure you don’t let one go by without it’s special stamp…that’s a newer and inspiring thought to me.

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DA(ctivism)O

Posted on December 10, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For the past 6 or 7 years, my primary interest in crypto has been bottoms-up self organization of people, work, and capital. Topdown institutions are flawed. Profit and political incentives don’t drive the organization of ALL behaviors and actions that have value to individuals, so there must be room for those individuals to drive such behaviors and actions themselves. The governance experimentation around self-assembled bodies and the economically enforced trust between strangers that ensured behavior consistent with the ideals of such bodies was always the most interesting surface area to me.

Activism is perhaps the most pure use case of such new capabilities. Definitionally, activism exist to change political or societal structures that have come to be organized as a result of top-down (powerful) forces exerting their will on the world. A group that feels disenfranchised, not represented, or otherwise suppressed will rise up, and that is how change happens. Historically, this group has been dependent on physical assembly as its primary form of coordination. If there was gonna be a march on Washington DC, you were meeting up in person and planning that shit and then spreading the word. Technology has consistently played a role in more deeply empowering that group to succeed. That’s not to say it hasn’t played a role in empowering top down institutions to compound their influence, because it has, but advances in telecommunications really changed the way an activist group or movement both organizes and distributes information related to its agenda. Encrypted messaging apps, for example, were instrumental in coordination during Arab Spring. Signal downloads spiked hard after the George Floyd murder. Social media, which may seem commonplace today, enabled the communication of activist messaging at a scale unfathomable during the days of MLK, for example.

I process DAOs as an enabling advance of activism on par with social media or encrypted messaging. In previous advances, the group rising up received better tooling to spread its message, amplify its voice, and even physically manifest its communities, but in a capitalist society, money talks. And historically these movements have not efficiently and effectively utilized capital as a weapon to advance their agenda. There’s an asymmetry when top down institutions like companies and government use capital as a tool to shape society, relative to individuals who must find ways to funnel and inherently dilute their capital through institutional proxies.

DAOs enable the individual members within a group-rising to collectively and trustlessly coordinate their capital in a way that is aligned with their shared agenda. Importantly, if designed well, DAOs also can enable such a group to agree upon what that shared agenda is, what actions are and are not consistent with it, and which people should and should not splinter off from the group (with their capital) based on misalignment with the whole.

If you read this blog regularly, I’ve been singing this song for a long time. Recently, however, I’ve noticed that the intersection of DAOs and activism is becoming more visible to others. A project like ClimateDAO directly exerts force against top down institutions that are putting profit before the environment by enabling members to pool resources, purchase equity in public companies, and then wage proxy battles to effect board level change at those companies. Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova streams on youtube with Vitalik, acknowledging that crypto feels like an instrument that can enable such a movement to be more effective. These early explorations aren’t perfect, but they are going to get more and more clear, and I expect them to influence the shape of society going forward.

Historically activism is not an endeavor that is economically rewarded in a capitalist society. It’s still frequent, nonetheless, because the ideology and intention behind an activist movement is strong enough to command people’s work without an economic incentive being necessary. That said, I think the experimentation happening within DAOs today will prove that activism can be economically rewarded in a capitalist society if people are given the ability to coordinate capital outside institutional channels. You don’t have to starve to save society.

At Pace we have been actively investing in and aligning our fund’s capital with that of DAO communities that inspire us. We are going to keep doing that, and my hope is that we can support DAOs with directly expressed activist intentions going forward. If you are an early contributor, dreaming something up in your head, or otherwise curious about this intersection…we’d love to support you: jordan@pacecapital.com

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Tree Grown Money

Posted on November 12, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

About 6 months ago I registered the ENS (Ethereum Name Service) name jordancooper.eth. For those who are newer to crypto, this is similar to registering a domain name on the web (i.e. jordancooper.com…which I don’t own). It took about 10 minutes to register my ENS name, it cost basically nothing, and it was fun interacting with a piece of the web 3 ecosystem that was newer to me. My intention at the time was to have a human readable identity attached to my crypto wallet address because at some time in the future, it feels like that might matter. That was the sole value I was seeking.

Fast forward to today, ENS recently launched a governence token which gives $ENS token holders the ability to participate in governence (decision making) within the system. If I hold $ENS tokens I can vote on the future direction of the system, and there is a value in that. That value, specifically, is roughly $55 per token today. Tokens were recently “airdropped” to anyone who had registered an $ENS name before October 31, 2021. This means, if you had registered a name in the past, you can now claim a certain number of $ENS tokens for free as a function of your historical activity in the ENS system (i.e. buying and using a name). For me, I was allocated 403 $ENS tokens, which in aggregate have a market value of roughly $22,000 today. It took me 5 minutes to claim those tokens, I paid about $90 in ethereum gas fees to do it, and now I have the equivalent of $22,000 that I didn’t yesterday.

As soon as I finished claiming my tokens, my immediate thought was that “this isn’t fair.” I feel like I’ve been desensitized to the ease with which money is accessible if you have a minimum threshold of knowledge and access to the web3 (crypto) world. I fully acknowledge that this may be a moment in time, that today’s levels of speculation aren’t sustainable, and so forth, but it’s hard not to think about how many “analog first people” would KILL for $22,000. It can’t be this easy. It shouldn’t be. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to money growing on trees. And the reality is that it’s more easy for some than others to harvest it. It’s true that crypto expands and broadens access to financial services and assets, but just because it’s theoretically open to everyone, doesn’t mean it’s actually accessible to everyone. Computer literacy, technical capability, and time are all requirements to participate, and that cuts out a meaningful segment of the population.

I think access to financial gain has been unevenly distributed forever…but at least in the realms I have previously focussed, one would have to either risk capital or do work in order to attain it. In this case, I didn’t have to do either, and it just doesn’t compute.

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Flipping My Script

Posted on November 2, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Often times when I meet a founder for the first time, the path of least resistance is to follow a standard intro pitch format. Often times a founder will show up, eager to jump into the slides they’ve prepared. Rarely, if ever, do i enjoy this path. I like to focus intro conversations on things i actually want to explore. And the generic competitive matrix slide ain’t one of them. Sometimes I’ll guide a conversation with the following prompt: “I’m always interest in genesis stories, so would love to understand the experiences you’ve had along the way that input to you dedicating your life to this company and I’d love to understand what your initial hypotheses were when starting it, which of those you’ve validated, which you’ve invalidated, and how those learnings inform the trajectory on which you are now orienting the company.” It’s genuinely what i want to know and if someone is willing to engage with that format, you can cover a lot of ground in 30-45 minutes.

I just reread this excellent post by Graham Duncan which is one of my favorite pieces of writing on the internet, and it occurs to me that such a prompt, while efficient, might be routing founders toward a headspace and analytical cut at their business which misses the upside. This prompt doesn’t really lead to the “what if everything goes right” version of the future, which is the question i tend to ask myself when something clears a more analytical initial filter. The flaw in the initial prompt is that I am forced to ask that best-case question ex post facto, in isolation, without the input of a founder.

I think I’m going to change my prompt. The new prompt I’m going to try is “if there were one thing i needed to understand to see as much value in your business as you do, what would it be and let’s talk about that.” I think that question will orient toward the upside thinking that is essential in building conviction. There’s plenty of time after the fact to dissect and analyze, and frankly most of that can happen async, but i sure wouldn’t want to miss the sliver of what’s possible that a founder sees in her own business.

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On taking and giving credit

Posted on October 29, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Chris and I talk a lot about how a longer time horizon can be a competitive advantage when making strategic decisions, be them investment decisions or otherwise. At the end of the day, we have chosen to measure our success as a firm on a 30+ year timeline…and that orientation has led us to make decisions that you wouldn’t if you were playing for the next 10 years, or simply for this iteration of the game. Something I’ve observed in myself, is that this longer focal length has only developed for me in the second leg of my professional journey. In my 20’s, I was so impatient. I wanted to get to the top as fast as possible. I measured my success relative to my peer set in any given moment, and my mindset was without question a “taker” mindset. I wanted to grab everything I could, and that included both opportunity and credit. I accomplished a lot during this phase of my career, but in hindsight is was not the long-term dominant way to approach my work.

In a multi-iteration, long term game, the dominant strategy is to give way more than you take. Defer value extraction for as long as possible, and trust that in doing so, your good will and reputation will compound to a place that’s much more valuable at some distant date in the future. It’s a very hard strategy to run when you measure yourself by where you are in the moment. Around my 30th birthday, I went through a pretty meaningful evolution in the forces that motivated me. I stopped being driven by competition and status and started on a path to a much more inwardly driven form of motivation. I started to measure myself relative to my self-perceived potential and the rate of improvement in my craft, and I think that was the beginning of my focus elongating. All of the sudden it became clear that the race that I was running would never end, and in the absence of a destination, I could remove the impatience of getting “there.”

I think about the credit I’ve taken along the way, and almost universally I think it was honest, but looking back I wish I had shared it more. I remember the first investment I ever sourced in venture capital was in a cellulosic ethanol company called Mascoma. The technology had come out of my alma mater, and I was introduced via a relationship I had on campus. I remember I surfaced the opportunity to Hemant at General Catalyst, who was already familiar with the company and knew their largest existing investor. We drove up to Dartmouth together, toured the lab, met the creator, and ultimately made the investment. As a result of this collab and the multiple touch points we had with the company, the sequencing and attribution of that investment was a little blurry. At the time, I fought for the credit of sourcing that deal. There were economic implications to establishing that, as well as reputational ones, and I felt like I needed to capture the associated value. If I’m really honest looking back at it, I should have shared the credit more. In reality we did it together (and certainly Hemant is the reason we won it and did it). If I could go back, not only would I have better shared that credit, I actually would have given it entirely to him. Why? Because it wasn’t black and white. Because $25K and some slightly elevated stature as an Associate at a VC firm isn’t worth shit relative to the long range relationships you build along the way. That’s obvious now, but wasn’t in the moment. Fortunately, Hemant didn’t hold it against me, and I’ve been able to enjoy his mentorship throughout my career but it was still a mistep driven by impatience.

On the second leg of the journey it has become clear that giving credit is very inexpensive in a multi-iteration game. The dominant long term strategy is actually to minimize what you keep and maximize what you give. People remember that. The ones with whom you do good work tend to rise, amassing more and more influence and impact in the game, and at some point, in an organic and non-transactional way, the value that you deferred will materialize at a different order of magnitude than might initially have been available. Strategy aside, it’s also just a much nicer way to live.

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The Robot I Want

Posted on October 11, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I had a conversation last week with a very accomplished entrepreneur who was interested in making robotics a more accessible design space for hackers, tinkerers, and startups. Core to his vision was the idea of a generalized and composable hardware/software setup that the curious could develop against. The conversation quickly went to “what can robots do?” and beyond industrial applications, my mind went to what can they do for me? I focussed there because I think people like to build stuff that solves their own problems, and outside of a roomba, I don’t really see robots touching mine or developers’ personal life in a way that might inspire many to build/program new ones on weekends.

This conversation got me thinking about where a truly generalized robot (robotic arm) might fit into people’s homes, and my first thought was a step function improvement to telepresence. I think when people think robots, they think of some machine autonomously doing something like washing the dishes or cooking for them, but I go elsewhere. I’m obsessed with telepresence and achieving the highest fidelity telepresence possible. The question of how to we “be together” when we are not physically together is some of my favorite design space. The progression of telephony to video communication was a giant leap in telepresence, and the emergence of new hardware edges like Facebook’s Portal and Zoom Rooms have progressed things even further. Facebook Portal, for example, enhances my parents ability to consume not just me, but my physical environment. They can feel and absorb the room I’m in, the way it’s changing, new people entering and exiting, without me doing a thing. That’s so much more context that contributes to us “being together.”

So back to robotics…what if my parents couldn’t just consume my physical environment? What if they could interact with it? They are already “having breakfast” with my 2 year old while he eats and everyone is on video with their respective portals. But what if they could actually feed him? That would free up a set of grown up hands and deepen the togetherness during mealtime. If I can think of one place I’d want to put a robot arm in my home, it would be directly adjacent/grafted to my Portal. I like the idea of introducing a physical dimension to remote communication. What if my parents could read Ody a book and turn the pages with said arm? There’s so much to do there to close the gap between “real life” and “telelife” and interestingly, the use case is general enough, that developers could design lots of applications against it. Further…contemplating a human on the other end of a robot interface solves a lot of the challenges associated with complete autonomy…

I shared this idea with said entrepreneur because I couldn’t hold it in, and his response was “hell no you don’t want to do that.” Apparently robot arms are very dangerous, and well suited for a warehouse, and not yet well suited for a 2 year old’s breakfast table…but that seems addressable. Anyway, if anybody wants to graft a robot arm to my Facebook portal, or if your building hardware/software that integrates video based telepresence with physical world manipulation…I’d love to hear from you: jordan@pacecapital.com

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An evolution in care and coverage

Posted on August 3, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Do you buy Apple Care when you get a new phone or computer? I do. Not every e-commerce company has such a great coverage and care program, but when I buy Apple Care I know what I’m getting and it’s worth it. At Pace, we’ve invested in a company called Mulberry that has historically enabled online merchants to offer a similar quality of care to their customers at the time of checkout. The business has grown by 10x since we invested a year ago, due in large part to the quality of the consumer experience they deliver to merchant’s end customers. Until today, Mulberry was only able to offer this care to consumers at select merchants with whom they had partnered and integrated. Today that changes with the launch of MulberryCare. MulberryCare enables you, the consumer, to get 12 months of FREE care and coverage on most everything you buy on the internet. From Amazon to Best Buy, to every Shopify site on the web, with the MulberryCare chrome extension, you can claim a year of totally free coverage on most anything you buy online. I’ve been using the extension for a bit, and the experience is super easy and literally free value on top of my normal online purchases.

Give it a try if you want the equivalent of free Apple Care on whatever you are buying online.

Or watch this video to get more on the vibe/experience.

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Syncing Curves

Posted on July 28, 2021. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Tonight when I was putting my two year old to bed, I realized that he’s now at an age from which I have actual memories. It was like he was touching the first plotted point on the curve of my conscious life…and with that realization came a very different type of empathy and envy for him. Empathy was for the depth of his current experience. A weekend is no longer just time to move through, but perhaps something so significant that it will be with him forever. And envy, for the volume of experience that is the product of that depth times the time that he will walk the earth. I think about the volume of my own life over the past (cough) 39 years, and suddenly I see this forward movie of his playing that is so rich and full of everything it is to be human, come of age, love, learn, feel, and so forth…He’s in for such an epic fucking ride…and as he moves through the years and stages that I have already experienced and loved, I will be experiencing something that is probably going to be great also, but without the kick of self-actualization. You only get to go through that once, and it’s ahead of him and behind me.

I look at his little butt, squirming in the sheets as he searches for a comfortable position to sleep, and I think about his physical growth as a form of timepiece, measuring his progression through this voluminous ocean. It doesn’t reflect but a fraction of the experience ahead, and yet it progresses at that same rate as all the more etherial and metaphysical elements of his existence.

I can’t help but fear for him in the decades ahead. Climate, intolerance, inequity, pandemic, and so forth…all constraints that will make his version of growing up different than mine. What if his entire existence is in the same state of stress that feels an aberration to us at this moment? But that fear is tempered by an equal or greater optimism. I see the problems he’s facing, but can’t yet see the solutions and inventions and revolutions that will make his life as rich and “good” as mine has been. My sense is that they will come. I had lunch last week with my friend Nick Chirls. I was in a particularly glum mood, contemplating the potential demise of humanity and the planet, and he looked at me deadpan and said “I think we are going to figure it out.” I think he’s right, and I think the solutions don’t come until a generation of people, like my sons, are born with these stressors baked into their earliest sentient experience. And while it’s painful to internalize the harm that truth presents to my kids, it’s reassuring to know that the ingenuity and ability of our species, when trained on a given context over a long period of time, can change that context. My hope is that my sons will participate in that endeavor.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)

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