FoundersGrid 4th June 2018


This blog covers Uber, report on the state of the global tech industry, Microsoft is reportedly acquiring GitHub,  Amazon’s model for industry expansion (and dominance), Apple’s HomeKit platform and a lot more.

Great thoughts from Nathan Barry on profit sharing for bootstrapped startups
In this piece, Barry reveals how his team at ConvertKit structured its profit sharing agreements in the early days of his startup, and how designing a well thought-out system is critical getting buy-in from all employees. Barry recommends making tweaks for the first several years as well – adding leadership bonuses or other incentives can be great ways to increase loyalty as well.How to navigate the often tricky “idea maze” as a founder
Settling on a surefire idea and strategy for your next venture can be difficult. Success is always uncertain, and therein lies the devilish nature of what one entrepreneur calls the “idea maze”. Using history as a guide, however, can give a lot of clarity into past efforts in your chosen market, while informing what your next move should be as you prepare to launch.Meet the airline geek trying to build a media giant with no reporters
JX Press Corp is a startup run by Katsuhiro Yoneshige, a Japanese entrepreneur that’s looking to transform the way newsrooms work. Using a proprietary AI algorithm, the firm is able to break news from social media reports (and offer subsequent analysis on that news) far faster than traditional media organizations.

Read Mary Meeker’s slides from this year’s landmark Internet Trends presentation
In her anticipated yearly report on the state of the global tech industry, Meeker offers a host of new insights for this year’s edition, ranging from the state of mobile payments (growing rapidly, especially in emerging markets) to eCommerce sales growth (which is continuing to accelerate – with Amazon taking a larger piece of the retail pie each year).

Uber’s CEO speaks on its long-anticipated IPO, and Warren Buffet’s influence on his business style
In a recent interview with CNBC, the CEO of the ride-sharing giant said that the company remains on track for its highly-anticipated IPO in 2019, and that its profit margins have continued to steadily improve since selling its Southeast Asian business to competitor Grab and merging with its main competitor in Russia.

Instagram’s algorithm has been mysterious to many – until now
The secret algorithm that governs post visibility on the photo-sharing has long been a secret, but a recent presentation to reporters has revealed the exact factors that lead to a photo being prioritized within users’ feeds, while also responding to many myths about how the service’s prioritization engine works.

Here’s why one entrepreneur writes letters to CEOs on a regular basis
This entrepreneur and investor writes letters to CEOs regularly as a way of getting potential opportunities and getting feedback on his ideas. Through the process, he’s learned that not every good idea is a good opportunity, and that the quality of a founder’s reply to a letter is often a good indicator of their quality of thinking around their business.

This is what one founder wishes she’d known about fundraising from the start
Using her first experience raising funding at startup TruStory as a guide, Preethi Kasireddy shares some of her key learnings about fundraising. Insights include why it’s important to accept funding based on the partner rather than the brand, and how to build urgency by putting a time limit on your raise.

This is how to react if your startup receives the dreaded GDPR Letter
As part of the new GDPR regulations, some startups may receive a “DSAR”, or data subject access request. These messages can be unwieldy to respond to at scale, so it’s important to have a strategy for reacting quickly, while also remaining legally compliant with these new regulations.

In a “founder-friendly” era, top tech talent is grabbing power and huge pay along the way
The investment climate for many startups has shifted to become more founder-friendly, and many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this to gain more voting power and control over their firms. This is allowing some founders to pursue more ambitious expansion strategies while not having to worry about interference from outside parties.


  • Microsoft is reportedly acquiring GitHub, with an official deal to be announced this week. Link
  • SenseTime has closed an additional $650M in funding in its follow-on round. Link
  • Hello Alfred has raised $40M for its hotel hospitality startup. Link
  • This European startup studio is starting to gain some serious traction in the market. Link
  • Stripe is hiring a Brand Marketing Manager in San Francisco. Link
  • Take an inside look at Amazon’s model for industry expansion (and dominance). Link
  • Way has begun discussions on officially selling self-driving cars in the US. Link
  • Join the Running Remote conference on June 23 in Bali. Link
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the current state of Apple’s HomeKit platform. Link
Edited by Chris Osborne in Barcelona (in town? let’s meet for a coffee). Want to sponsor an edition of FoundersGrid? More info here. Interested in crypto/bitcoin news? Consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly.

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