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Getting sh*t done in 2023
2022 wrapped, and how founders can optimise their productivity in 2023
Hi folks, Patrick Ryan here from Odin. We are building a better way to invest together. We’ve started with tooling that lets anyone raise money from their network. Founders, angel syndicates, and VC’s use Odin to raise capital and manage their investor communities.
We take care of legal stuff (SPV’s, carried interest), KYC & AML, regulatory, payment flows and everything in between.
That’s a Wrap
We achieved some amazing things in 2022, from pretty much a standing start at the beginning of the year.
Just 16 months since launch, taken as a single community, the angel syndicates and individual investors that use Odin are deploying capital at roughly the same rate as a $150m fund, and we are still seeing ~30% MoM growth in this figure.
Mary and I are incredibly grateful to you, our customers and broader community, who are helping to make our vision of a better way to invest together a reality!
Especially the ones like June, who shout us out on social media 😉
We are also proud of and grateful to the small but mighty team that make this all happen.
There are still only 10 people at Odin full time, including the founders. But not for long…
We are Hiring!
VP of Operations, our first senior management hire.
Tech Lead (potential to grow into CTO)
Other roles here
There is much still to be done, and many ways we can improve.
One thing we all work on at Odin is our productivity. Below are three ways I want to improve my productivity in 2023.
Hopefully you will also find some of these ideas helpful. I think they’re especially relevant to founders, but I believe everyone can learn from them.
1. Focus on high-leverage work
You have a limited number of hours in your day.
You need to ruthlessly prioritise work that is high leverage - i.e. has a low input, high output ratio.
The higher-leverage a piece of work is, the longer it continues to work for you after you’ve finished.
The best examples of high-leverage work are writing code and creating content.
Recruiting great people and delegating work to them is also a high-leverage use of your time (especially if they write code or create content!), but there are three specific ways content and code are unique:
They don’t get tired - they work for you 24/7.
They are permissionless - you don’t generally need to get anyone’s consent or agreement to do this kind of work.
They are basically free (or very cheap) to maintain. You don’t have to pay continuously for them (you might have some server costs for a website, but they are minimal vs. employees).
Both you and your team should be focused, as much as possible, on increasing the company’s output of high-leverage work like quality content and code.
This is how you build an incredibly scalable, capital efficient business that makes lots of profit.
Content and code are the reason that the first one person billion dollar company will be created at some point in the next 5 years.
In fact, it is arguable that Mr Beast has already done it.
As a leader, you should narrow your focus even further. You should concentrate on the types of high-leverage work that only you, uniquely, can do.
And you should then share the learnings, so that one of your team can do that work in future.
I recently took a couple of hours to analyse how I had spent my time in the previous month. I had done a lot of stuff that felt productive (calls, meetings), but was either (a) not high-leverage, or (b) high-ish leverage, but also possible to delegate.
It is important to take the time to screen both your own tasks and people’s requests for your time through a framework like this. I’ve started doing it for 15 minutes at the beginning of each day.
Pretty quickly you figure out how to maximise the time you spend on high-leverage work.
2. Eat the Frog
I watched a great video by Garry Tan (new CEO of Y Combinator) the other day.
He talks about the value of your inner critic - the pessimist and moraliser that tells you what you’re doing wrong. This voice can often be neurotic. It reminds you of the risks you are exposed to, and tells you how you might fail.
Freud called it the “Superego”. It is formed in your infancy, mainly by your interactions with your parents.
In a healthy person, your Superego is the better angel of your nature. But it can also be harsh and judgemental, leaving you feeling guilty and anxious.
Should you ignore this inner critic in an effort to be “kind to yourself”?
All hard work requires struggle and self improvement.
Experiencing struggle is also how you find fulfilment, and an appreciation for life.
There is a great way to face this inner critic head on every day.
It’s called eating the frog.
Basically, when you’re looking at your to-do list, you first tackle the hardest important thing you want done. This is an activity that is high-leverage, but painful to go through (vs. one that is almost as or maybe even equally high-leverage, but less painful).
It’s great to train yourself to do these hard things first, and makes doing the stuff you enjoy all the more enjoyable, because you don’t sit with the guilt of the other thing you should have done.
3. Spend time in your “Zone of Genius”
It’s not all about eating frogs. There is a balance to strike.
You should spend most of your time on things that feel like play to you, but look like work to others.
The Japanese have a word - “ikigai” - for this zen-like state. It sits at the intersection of your talents, what you enjoy, what makes money and what the world needs.
As your business scales, it is important to try to outsource or delegate all the work that doesn’t fit into this “Zone of Genius”.
By staying there, you’ll be able to work harder for longer, supercharging your productivity.
Best of the Internet
A reminder of how tough it was back in your grandparents’ day.
Praying to the God of Valuation
“Something happened in the past 7 years in the startup and venture capital world that I hadn’t experienced since the late 90’s — we all began praying to the God of Valuation. It wasn’t always like this and frankly it took a lot of joy out of the industry for me personally.
What happened? How might our next phase of the journey seem brighter, even with more uncertain days for startups and capital markets?”
Thanks to Lorcan Bannon for sharing!
On the subject of “real businesses”
In a higher interest rate environment, we will likely see fewer companies like Lyft. Perhaps this is for the best?
Bottling the Sun
In case you missed it, there was a very important piece of news in nuclear fusion in December. We reached ignition: i.e. the first ever fusion reaction where we managed to get more energy out than was put in. This is an important step on the journey to perpetual energy at marginal cost.
There is a long way to go, but it’s very promising news. Nature reports.
The Greatest Software Company you’ve never heard of
All software founders and investors can learn from the Constellation “buy and build” strategy.
Oestrogen and attractiveness
Very interesting thread from Swan Dating founder Elle
The Middle Class is Dead
I highly recommend Dror’s writing. Click for the full story.
A parting thought: if you struggle with the “focus” part of productivity, try meditating. Here’s 30 free days of a great app. You can start with as little as 5 minutes a day.
Meditation is the process of training your mind to concentrate very intensely on one thing.
I have found that spending some time meditating also improves my ability to make good decisions, because I feel calmer.
If you’re one of those people that says meditation “doesn’t work for you”; trust me, it will. You just need to try harder and be more patient.
Happy New Year
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