Why the founder-friendly era needs a ‘VP of Nothing’

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While we’ve certainly talked about what Jack Dorsey’s resignation means for Twitter (and how it affects The Block now), I’m still wondering a few lines from his resignation tweet.

“There is a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led,'” Dorsey wrote. “Ultimately I believe it is severely limited and a single point of failure. I have worked hard to ensure that this company can separate itself from its founders and founders.” Dorsey said he believes “it is important that a company can stand on its own, free from the influence or direction of its founder.”


It’s a bold statement: Success as a founder can seem like hiring enough smart people so that you don’t stay relevant to the day-to-day working of the company. If you go on vacation, and your team can’t get to work without slapping you every few minutes, that’s more representative of the strength of the company than the strength of the team.

Last month, I wrote about the importance of establishing the distinction — both in ownership and incentives — between a founder, a founding team member, an advisor, an investor, an angel investor, and an early employee. This week, I want to change gears and talk about when it’s time to ditch those titles, or at least, evolve from them. As Floodgates partner Iris Choi noted in our recent podcast about founder friendships, founders eventually become “the VPs of nothing.”

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No one would disagree with the notion that a startup needs to be successful beyond its founder, but the process of shifting that person from essential to non-essential can be uncomfortable (especially in our current environment which is towards founders). is super-friendly). As I argued earlier, I believe that in a decade or so, we will begin to see due diligence change to address much more than how a founder views his field. Entrepreneurs can be bogged down by their ability to get hired, change their mind, and understand when it’s time to move on. Removing this idea from identity so that the company doesn’t feel that the founder is innately tied to it is healthy for the longevity of the company, but it will require some real dialogue on attribution.

I interviewed founders and investors for a temperature check with the idea of ​​making recommendations and executing on the promise of decentralized authority in this market. For my full take on the topic, check out my Nerdshala+ column On What Founders Need To Separate Their Idea From Its Creator. Alex and Amanda also talked about this topic, arguing over precedent, and the founders are not Rockstars, so we should stop treating them like that.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about the rebranding season, casual brainstorming, and fresh venture-backed layoffs. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ or on instagram @natashathereporter.

it’s time to rebrand

image credit: pixel choice (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Jack Dorsey is taking up a lot of space. Days after the Twitter co-founder resigned from the social media platform, his other company, Square, was blocked. The name change has reportedly been in the works for over a year, but it feels timely given that Facebook changed its corporate branding to Meta just a month ago.

Here’s what to know: The block should cover Square’s growing suite of products, including music streaming service Tidal, Cash App, TBD, and of course, Square. It is also a nod to the company’s interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. I don’t hate the name, but if you’re in the mood to laugh, Just take a look at its executive leadership page.

All crypto, all the time:

  • Jack is leaving Twitter and we have ~ideas~
  • Facebook’s top crypto executive David Marcus is leaving the company
  • Coinbase Hires the Team Behind the BRD Crypto Wallet
  • DAO as the future? tough pass, thanks

And it’s the start of the week…

image credit: Winspenman/Getty Images

butter! The startup wants to help every subscription company deal with customers who accidentally churn through payment failures. The product is not a sales technology, but a fintech service that detects problems with renewals or sign-up issues where a fee is denied due to being attempted in another country.

here’s what to know, Per CEO and Co-Founder Vijay MenonThe international payment failure market is under-served by some of the largest payment providers, such as Stripe, which focus on domestic services. Butters wants to serve growing markets such as Brazil, India and Mexico. Before he launched his startup, the entrepreneur helped Microsoft recover more than 10 million Xbox Live subscriptions, generating over $100 million in recovered revenue. Now, Butter has $7 million to deal with even more.

honorable mentions:

  • Massive wants to rent your extra compute power to pay for apps
  • Sounding Board Lands Series B to Move Coaching Beyond Services and into SaaS
  • Kayak co-led Life House’s $60M Series C to ‘reimagine’ the hotel experience
  • Goalsetter raises $15 million to go B2B with kids’ financial literacy app
  • Jump French provides stability to freelancers by offering permanent contracts

a raise and a layoff

Puzzle house with one missing piece.  Acquisition or construction of a comfortable dream house.  Mortgage loan purchase real estate.  Repair of system premises.  Availability and cheapness.  Finish building (puzzle house with one missing piece. Acquisition)

image credit: Andrey Yalansky (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It is more common than you might think. This week, digital mortgage lender Better.com announced that it is getting $750 million in cash ahead of the impending public market launch. Then, a day later, it announced the layoffs, confirming that it would cut 9% of its total workforce.

Here’s what to know: As Mary Ann Azevedo reports, it’s possible the layoffs were a prerequisite for getting that deal approved — but it still feels harsh to add millions to your balance sheet and cut employees in the same breath. The layoffs are mainly taking place in the United States and India. While we are nowhere near the 2020 Unicorn layoffs, growing concerns about the Omicron version and a tighter market approaching could mean more volatility for some regions.

on the next:

  • Unicorn layoffs prompt more startups to consider takeover
  • As tech layoffs increase, some support emerges for those without jobs
  • Since I can’t build a wall around my talent, how am I downvoting my business?

Nerdshala Gift Guide 2021

TechCrunch Gift Guide 2021

  • Gift Guide: Give the gift of cannabis with these 9 high-tech smoking devices
  • Gift guide: 15 gift ideas for gamers when next-generation consoles aren’t an option
  • Gift guide: 8 great gifts for anyone who works from home
  • Gift guide: 11 gift ideas for a friend who gets in the way, too many video calls
  • Gift Guide: Smart Home Starter Kit
  • Gift Guide: Smart Home
  • Gift Guide: The Best Tech Gifts for Plant Geeks
  • Gift Guide: 20+ STEM Toy Gift Ideas for Aspiring Young Builders

entire week

seen on Nerdshala

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Apple announces 2021 App Store award winners and most downloaded apps of the year

Spotify’s Wrapped 2021 comes with artist video messages, Blend, and even a game

Nerdshala+. seen on

With $3B expected in 2021, Singapore is becoming a fintech capital

It will be fun to watch the IoT data collector world’s IPO

Black Friday data adds to evidence e-commerce growth is slowing

Super App Grab Starts Trading on Supersized SPAC Combination

Product-Based Development and Signal Substitution Syndrome: Bringing It All Together

Hope you all have as good a weekend as Brett Taylor’s week,


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