Personal Holding Companies
Tings Newsletter #8
Who am I? I start companies and invest in them. I was previously the founder of Skillshare and Otis. Now taking some time off before the next thing. Every month, I send out a newsletter about life, work, and random tings. Subscribe here.
As I take some time off and think through what I'll be doing next, I'm leaning towards building a Personal Holding Company (PHC). Multiple businesses. No outside capital. Build and buy companies. Cashflow reinvested. Small team. Loads of fun.
If I had $0 and wanted to start a PHC, here's how I would do it. (IMO, this is the most straightforward way for anyone to become a millionaire.)
We launched a new Youtube channel called Michael and Safwaan. Think HBS case studies but for Creators. We take a Creator and brainstorm ways that they can better monetize their audience. First up, Ali Abdaal on how he could reach $100M+.
There should be an "incubation" seed round. Would be ideal for founders with multiple ideas but not sure which one will work. Forces investors to bet on the team and not the specific idea.
Tied to this, I like the new trend of tech companies raising one round of capital. No growth at all costs. Just build a sustainable and profitable business with a lot of optionality.
I was a guest on the Talking Too Loud podcast with Chris Savage from Wistia. We talked about setting boundaries, rules of the startup game, and catching the Southern bug (golfing, fishing, and camping).
(Today) Friday, Nov 4th, I'll be chatting with Romeen Sheth and Jordan Gonen (Compound) on building wealth. We'll be covering personal holding companies, vetting startups as an employee, and what we're doing with our current portfolios. Sign up for free here.
I've been thinking about the "Irrational Economy" as a concept to describe what's happening today. Classic economic theory assumes that individuals are rational. But that is rarely the case. And as a society, we've been operating more and more irrationally which creates more volatility and unpredictable behavior.
This is a great pricing analysis from @Patticus on Twitter's subscription plan. I'm sold. I think it'll be very difficult to get to billions in revenue on $8/month for verification and will actually have inverse effects on spam.
I'm pretty sure Jack Raines broke LinkedIn. "Linkedin is like Twitter if every single post was the cringe stuff."
I finally bought my first gaming PC! It's the Steam Deck, which is a portable handheld PC. Looking forward to finally playing Elden Ring, God of War, and PGA Tour 2K23. This Youtube video goes into more details.
I've been meditating with FitMind, which is science-based mental fitness based on the latest neuroscience. I've enjoyed it more than traditional meditation as it has a mix of meditation and lessons.
I think North Carolina can build an ecosystem of Content Creators & Gaming/eSports. Why not? We have the world's biggest Youtube (MrBeast) and world's most popular game (Fortnite) based here. The talent from these two companies will create an ecosystem similar to Silicon Valley and Hollywood.
I haven't read The Three-Body Problem yet but I find the "dark forest theory" fascinating. Within our universe, any species that reveals itself is swiftly destroyed by another species to survive. Which is what makes any form of contact dangerous...
I really, really, really like what Marshall Haas built with The Oslo cabin. His wife designed the space and it came out wonderfully.
I'm tired of rappers (and people) dying from gun violence. RIP Takeoff. Migos changed culture.
The IKEA Marriage Test: Before you marry someone, go to IKEA together and buy a piece of furniture. Bring it home and build it. If you can successfully navigate that entire process without wanting to kill each other, you're ready to get married.
Just got back from Austin and noticed that there are a lot of friends that are co-housing. (Is this the right term?) Friends moving onto the same block (or within walking distance) of each other. It's kind of like a modern-day commune.
This is a great idea! Get a group of friends to fractionally rent a small commercial space and turn it into a shared library with 24/7 access.
Chill vibes. Joji's new album SMITHEREENS is out!