Welcome to Newcomer!
I'm launching a subscription newsletter about startups and venture capital
Silicon Valley needs an irreverent insider writing about startups and venture capital, untethered from the strictures of mainstream media outlets.
Even as big tech amasses power equivalent to nation states, the startup world is still fundamentally run by a tightknit cabal of venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, and public relations fixers. It’s full of hucksters, earnest strivers, and deluded optimists — some of whom will end up changing the world.
And I tend to be a contrarian, which meant for many years I was skeptical of Silicon Valley. Today, with press coverage of the valley so overwhelmingly negative, I think there’s room for some contrarian optimism. So I quit my job at Bloomberg — where I’ve scooped IPO news, acquisitions and financing rounds and written about startups before they were cool and exposed them when they were overhyped — to write for the industry. That means the founders, the people who work for them, the people who fund them, the people who want to join their ranks, and the people who think they should be fired.
When I start publishing later this week, you can expect:
An assumed baseline of industry knowledge. I don’t want to explain why it’s worth understanding who has the power to greenlight a deal at a venture capital firm or why you might care what type of company a tech giant’s M&A team is looking to buy.
A presumption that Silicon Valley’s denizens are human beings, not Medium post stereotypes. There are a lot of interesting characters with compelling perspectives that unfortunately prefer to present themselves as thought leaders online.
Venture investing information that should be brought into the open. For all of Silicon Valley’s professed transparency, there are still a lot of secrets.
People saying what they actually believe. Anonymously sourced information is actually really great. Blind quotes and anonymous sources get a bad rap. Non-disclosure agreements, social pressure not to shit on people you do business with, and risk aversion make the things that people put their names to far blander than what they really think. I wish they were braver, but they’re not.
Me saying what I actually believe. I’m not going to hide my opinions in neutral sounding prose. I’m going to tell you what I think and make arguments while ensuring you have the facts to make up your own mind.
I want to create a sense of community. I’m only as good as my sources. In my ideal world, one subscriber would ask me to go dig into something and another subscriber would give me the answer.
I’m not going to paywall articles in the early days so a paid subscription on your part is an act of goodwill and an investment in my reporting.
I look forward to writing for you, dear reader. I hope you’ll sign on to read along with me. Please email me what you’d like to read first.