Why Investing

  1. 天时地利人和—Feasible problem, with demonstration traction, backed by the investment arms of their customers and worked on by a team with deep complementary skills.
  2. Starting in a “niche” and defensible application: B2B sales and helping airlines begin to think about email as an interface rather than just a messaging service.
  3. Critical investments from JetBlue and Elal Airlines’ venture arms.

Master Checklist

1. Syndicate lead has >5 years investing and >1 unicorn investmentFail
2. A startup that is based in SVFail (New York, NY)
3. Has at least 2 founders Pass 
4. Has product in the market Pass
5. 6 months of continuous user growth or revenue.Pass: Revenue grew from $73k to $84k from 2017 to 2018
6. Notable investors?Pass: JetBlue Technology Ventures
7. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway Pass: Raised $474k, expenses in 2017 were $82k
8. Proprietary technology?Pass: as proprietary as anything in digital property can be
9. Network effects?
10. Economies of scale?
11. Great branding?
Pass: (Huzzah for UX cofounder)

Seven Questions

  1. The Engineering question
    • Good: MovableInk in NYC has great technology that allows for email to dynamically update, but most emails I get do not have this yet. Perhaps there’s an adoption question where most people still think about writing and delivering e-mails like traditional mail, instead of dynamic (dynamic novels, dynamic contracts, etc.)
  2. The Timing question
    • Good: 2018 is a good time to build software business. Aside from that, airlines are getting killed by their thin-margin business. 
  3. The monopoly question
    • Good: helping airlines apply this technology, then applying it across other verticals, is a winning strategy.
  4. The people question: 
    • Good: With a team of three, young Asian men who occupy the “hacker, hustler, hipster” paradigm (programmer, salesman, and designer) there’s not much to dislike. 
  5. The distribution question
    • Good: B2B sales is super hard. But with money from JetBlue

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