Batch brew #10

Berkshire annual letter, 50 start-up ideas & Throwback to 2016 Valuations

Welcome back to the Caffeine Capitalist! ☕ 

All of us are back on the home turf in CEE. Contrast to the last week weeks of travel, we have finally put our heads down and getting some work done in all directions. In this issue, some words of wisdom by Berkshire Hathaway and 50 start-up ideas for you.

Espresso for this one, it's going to take you 4 minutes and 49 seconds.

And special thanks to 66 new subscribers since last issue 🙏🏻

Dept. of Tiny Thoughts

There is no way to write a six-page narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.

- Jeff Bezos

Good writing means good thinking. This statement by Jeff Bezos has been used over and over, yet I believe in today's world full of verbal meetings and presentations, we need more clearness of thinking and more "capture". You can mask a lot of important aspects if you are a good presenter. With writing, people notice if you make a mistake in your logic, in the plot or if the whole narrative is flawed. 

Where written beats visual? My money is on these:

  1. Growth plans, strategy & changes presented by CEOs

  2. Founders arguing "for" their startup or boring business

  3. Short project meetings, alignments & statuses

It is not about making an abrupt change to an Amazon style organisation, sometimes it is enough to speak less & write more. Try it.

Dept. of Insights

1. 50 start-up ideas. 

Want to start something on your own but you are lacking inspiration? Ideally something which is able to attract VC capital and be more scalable and unique? 

There is a lot of turbulence on the market right now. Hiring freezes, people getting laid off, cutting on the innovation budgets in corporates. Finally some time for slowing down, reflection and getting back to those napkin start-up ideas you've treasured for a long time but never pulled off!

Remember, idea is nothing. Execution is the key. 

But if you are lacking ideas, Caffeine boys got you covered and found some good and some funny stuff!

50 start-up ideas from CB Insights (one of my favourite tech research platform).

  • Search engine for podcast transcripts?

  • Salary and equity negotiation-as-a-service?

  • Stock option insurance?

  • Royalty-based financing for content creators?

  • Duolingo for accounting and finance? and many more...

Check the list from Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, in a presentation here.

My favorite quote from this list - "I have no idea if these ideas will make you a millionaire or a thousandaire. Do your own homework."

Another interesting source of start-up focus or ideas is YCombinator. They recently published a new RFS - "Request For Start-ups" list.

20 different segments, needs, societal or tech trends they are focusing on right now. Do you have a start-up idea in these categories? Great! But remember, execution is the key!

Keep hustlin, keep building, have fun. 

2. Is another crypto exchange about to hit rock bottom, or can they HODL on?

  • 110 milion verified users

  • operates in more than 100 countries

  • 275 bilions in assets on platform in 2021

  • And also, one of the most regulated

Ladies and gentleman, our eyebrows are risen over Coinbase.

Despite earning money on fees regardless of whether the crypto price is high or low, as FTX found out, even the biggest companies can fail.

While Coinbase is certainly more regulated than FTX, let's take a closer look at some of the numbers commented by this Twitter user.

  • Assets under management decreased by 71%, falling by $198B in 2022

  • Cash on cash balance decreased by $3B, from $7.1B to $4.4B

  • Gradual decline in transaction revenue

  • Management received almost double the money in 2022 vs 2021

  • 21% staff increase during the crypto winter

It's clear that the crypto crisis has played a role in these numbers, but is it all a little too much?

We'll certainly find out. For now, our best advice is: "Not your keys, not your coins." Keep your crypto off of exchanges!

Dept. of Twitter Thread Research:

1/ Berkshire & its letter to investors. For those of us with preference of less VC & Boring biz thrill, Berkshire sent out its annual letter our. Even if you don't invest directly into BRK.A or BRK.B, there are some nice gems. You can read the whole letter here, or takeaways in the thread below:

2/ Better "SAFE" than sorry? A solid VC thread on the arguments why SAFE's are more founder friendly than some investors would be comfortable with. For the more conservative bunch, there are still side letters of good old equity investments.

Dept. of Visual Research:

Throwback to 2016's SaaS Funding Napkin, what is that strange feeling that reminds me of these days that we are currently living, hmm ☕

2016 SaaS Funding Napkin by Christoph Janz

News from our portfolios & where to shake hands:

  • ZAKA.VC launched its brand new accelerator for early stage companies based in CEE. Admissions are open now, check it out on this link.

Do you enjoy this type of content? We are slowly but surely coming up to 1000 subscribers, the best way you can help us is to share The Caffeine Capitalist in your community using the button below:

Enjoy your coffee fresh, allocate capital, repeat! See you in 2 weeks 👋

The Caffeine Capitalist is a bimonthly newsletter written by Slavo Tuleya, Andrej Petrus & Martin Nemecek. It is written in partnership & in support from ZAKA.VC and Chop Chop Ventures.

What do you think of this issue? We are still collecting feedback on our new layout, suggestions welcome!

DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.