The right news, written by the right people. Also known as the answer to fake news. Inside.com currently runs highly produced topical newsletters for tastemakers and motivated professionals. Due to positioning as a premium brand, could have unique access to high quality contributors, news, and ad buyers. The promised land is a full newspaper in your email, curated to the topics you’re interested in. Jason Calacanis is a seasoned media entrepreneur, angel investor, and seems to be fighting this fight for religious reasons from having V1 of this business ravaged by Google and other walled garden platforms.
Minimum: $1000 Crowd Note, July 2018, 2 year term with 5% interest.
Jason Calacanis: he invested in The New Tropic, wrote the Angel book that these notes are based off of, has sat on both sides of the table. Frankly, I’m surprised he’d still want to be on the operator side of the business. In addition, Inside.com is 100% a media company just like Weblogs that he had before.
500 Startups, my experience in startups, all point me to the truth that the only non-proprietary and largest social network is email, which this business is built off of.
What the risks are
- Don’t know how many months of runway they have left (see the chapter in Angel about estimating burn)
- Email newsletters end up working like real estate — highly fragmented markets that don’t get network effects from going national (see Uber selling off Southeast Asia divisions)
|1. A syndicate lead who has been investing for at least five years and has at least one notable, unicorn investment||Pass: (Calacanis)|
|2. A startup that is based in Silicon Valley||Fail: (Based in Culver City, CA, outside of LA, but team is distributed)|
|3. A start that has at least two founders (with two, you have a backup in case one quits)||Pass: Calacanis, Austin, and Lon|
|4. A startup that has a product or service that is already in the market|
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