344. An Inside Look Into Stonks, the Democratization of Dealflow, and the Future of Startup Investing (Ali Moiz)

344. An Inside Look Into Stonks, the Democratization of Dealflow and the Future of Startup Investing (Ali Moiz)

Ali Moiz of Stonks joins Nate to discuss An Inside Look Into Stonks, the Democratization of Dealflow, and the Future of Startup Investing. In this episode we cover:

  • From 0 to $200 Million in Investments in 5 Months
  • How Stonks Solves The Access Problem in VC
  • Lessons from the Largest Demo Day Host on Earth

Guest Links:

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Transcribed with AI:

Ali Moiz joins us today from Palo Alto, California. Ali is the founder of Stonks, a platform that is democratizing access to capital for founders that is backed by a16z and Naval Ravikant among many other notable names in the valley. Prior to founding Stonks, Ali founded multiple other businesses, which have exited for total more than $200 million, and is an active angel investor, having invested in Airbnb, AngelList, among many others. Ali, welcome to the show.
Great to be here Nate. Thank you.
So can you walk us through your background and your path to founding Stonks?
Yeah, so the quick version is, you know, I been doing startups in the valley since 2005. A couple of exits Peanut Labs and Streamlabs, my last startup was in the live streaming space. So we build tools for content creators on Twitch, you know, paid out a billion dollars, sort of creator economy was very, very popular on Twitch and YouTube Live. And that acquired by Logitech. So once that happened, I really sort of started doing a lot more angel investing. And I found it very fulfilling spending time with founders as a founder. And I don’t know if I’m any good yet, we’ll find out, you know, in in 10 years, but I found it very fulfilling. And I also found that it was great to be locked in long term, right investors are often their own worst enemy at panic selling and getting out at sort of the wrong time in the in the cycles. So angel investing was one of those things where like, you know, you’re locked in for like, 10, 15 years, and you know, your capital can compound, right. So some bets will not make it but the rest will compound and compound interest is your best friend. So did that. And Stonks is really sort of a marriage of those two interests as angel investing and spending a lot of years doing live streaming and generating money for content creators. And it happened by accident. You know, it wasn’t the result of any sort of strategy whiteboard session, brainstorm. We were bumming around, I bought this domain called stonks.com. Because I thought it was cool. Wall Street Bets was like, you know, really popular a couple years ago. And we didn’t know you’re going to do as I started doing these. I’m a fan of Shark Tank. And like, who isn’t right, it’s a fun show. And so we started doing these pitch competitions on Clubhouse. And they did really well. So bunch of founders would come and pitch three VCs and VCs would give them live feedback. And sometimes invest in people watching in the audience could also then say, hey, I want to connect with you. And like, sometimes write a check and real money started changing hands. We did one on Zoom. And your first one was just 3030 investors, three startups and six figures changed hands. And I was like, this is interesting. This is this is really cool. So so we just stopped whatever we were doing and decided to productize that. So it started on Zoom and Clubhouse. And here we are, Stonks is a platform for demo days, posting demo days, sort of the home for startup demo days. And we want to open up access to this asset class to outsiders, right. I’m an outsider, something of myself as an outsider, everyone starts off as an outsider. And so both for outsider founders, as well as outsider investors and angels, right, who are not tied in who are not in network who aren’t in the right rooms or aren’t in the right locations and don’t know the right people, you may not get the same kind of deal access, we want to blow it open. I think when markets are bigger and more fluid, everyone wins. There’s more liquidity better price discovery, and it’s just better for everyone.
In relative to incumbent crowdfunding platforms like Republic, Wefunder among others, what makes Stonks unique relative to the others in the market?
Yeah, good question. So we’re actually not a crowdfunding platform, right? So we don’t do regulation CF deals, which is where the name crowdfunding comes from. We are very much only for accredited investors. Everyone can watch founders can watch and learn, but it’s really intended for accredited investors, which, you know, the SEC definition right, so typically reg D deals and really focused on incubators and accelerators, right. So folks like TechStars, 500 Global, Draper, Ziegler, Tachyon, and others host demo days regularly with us and these are sort of the typical deals that you know, VCs would invest in right, all of our deals have talked to your co investors you have Sequoia, Andreessen, Lightspeed, Greylock, Bessemer and others, Excel, Insight, Founders Fund. You know, Floodgate, Hustle Fund. We have something like 6000 VCs on the platform today. And it’s really intended for angel investors and VCs.
Got it. Got it. I want to talk more about Stonks in a minute. But I do want to go back to your career being a founder and you previously founded Streamlabs, among other businesses. I’m curious what the impact having founded Streamlabs has on your outlook and building Stonks are some of the key learnings that you’ve had from your prior experience having been a founder?
You know, a lot of things. A lot of things get easier as a repeat founder raising capital scaling hiring, you run into a lot of, Oh, I’ve seen this before, right, this problem or this opportunity. And this is how you should sort of respond. Finding Product Market Fit never gets easier. So that this is what I often tell other founders who are doing it a second or third time is finding work product market fit, as always sort of lightning in a bottle. And you know, once you have it, or some measure of it, scaling then can be easier. So that’s Lesson number one. I guess the lesson number two is both of my last startups were built through downturns, right? recessions, really bad times in the market to fundraise really bad times to even think about starting a startup. And I actually think this is sort of a contrarian view. But I actually think recessions are the best time to build a startup. Why? Very simply because a lot of the fluff and BS goes out of the market. And it is, you know, the people who are doing startups are then missionaries, not mercenaries. And, you know, the folks that are still there are the ones really worth paying attention to, right. So fundraising is obviously harder in times like these, but hiring is a lot easier. And the people you do hire are a lot more loyal. And they work a lot harder, right? So there isn’t a sort of, Oh, I’m just gonna do this for my career, as you may work somewhere for two years, then get another job and sort of up level, right. So a lot of the career ladder thinking goes out the window, a lot of it becomes about commitment and loyalty and focus on impact and mission. And those are the right reasons to be doing a startup, right, you shouldn’t do a startup, if you think this is the best risk adjusted way to make a lot of money, because it’s not.
Absolutely not. You mentioned product market fit, and you’ve found it now with a couple of businesses. How do you define product market fit? Or how do you know when you’ve found product market fit?
Geez. This is a tough one. I think it’s it’s sort of the Steve Jobs response of like, you know, when you..
Everyone has a different answer, yeah.
You know, and, you know, because it can look like so many different things, right? It can look like you have a growing waitlist, it can look like really high retention, it can look like, you know, growth without marketing, it can look like people just like gushing on customer calls. Right. And obviously, it can look like growing traction. But yeah, it can look like so many things. And you know, I think you know, when you know, right? It’s yeah, it’s it’s a combination of all those things.
Can you feel it within the company? Like, is there a noticeable energy among employees and teams between a company that has product market fit and one that doesn’t?
Oh, absolutely. I think it’s obvious, especially if you talk to employees, you know, founders are optimistic fools. We are optimistic to a fault. But if you really ask, you know, the rest of the team, they’re gonna have a much more sort of honest and simple view of whether you have product market fit or not. And with whom, and how much.
I recall seeing that Stonks had processed, I believe was over $200 million worth of investment within the first five months of launch. Can you give us some insight into where the business is at today? And whether or not you guys have found product market fit?
Yeah, so I think we have, we have some measure of it, at least with our core customers, which are accelerators. Right. So we started Stonks in September of last year, really, that’s when the platform went live. And that’s when we did our own demo days on our own website. And very quickly, we opened the door to partners to kind of do the same, right. So our events were really about sort of showcasing what was possible, and how to use the platform and proving that it worked. And very quickly, a lot of the early partnerships were, you know, scaling that out. So at this point, we’ve gone from sort of zero to over 70 active partners on the platform. We’re doing about 20 demo days a month, which is more than anyone else on the planet from really credible high quality organizations. We even have some sort of unofficial YC events with Orange Tao and YC Alumni event and there’s some more coming down the pipe, there’s 15 different TechStars regions are using us there’s there’s 500 Global, 500 Latin, Draper, flurry, Tachyon, SOS, we have so many great partners, right? Probably missing so many. And retention is very, very high. So partner retention is something like 92% annually. And that’s really our core customer. So I think that that segment, yes, absolutely. We have product market fit. With the 20 demo days, we do a month, roughly, you know moving depending on the month between 10 and 20 million a month in investment that’s changing hands as a result of Stonks. Right. So money actually getting wired from investors to founders. And that number has been growing despite this, like once in a decade crash we’re in right. Yeah, it’s funny. When we started last year, everything was like oh my god, we’re we’re doing so little and it’s working so well. And the top of the market was November, right and since then, It’s just been a slide. But you know, our numbers are still growing. Because I think, you know, overall the platform is growing. And I think if this crash not happened, the numbers would have been maybe like three, four or 5x higher.
Wow, well, it sounds like the business is still doing quite well, despite the downturn. Which metric are you least pleased with? And I’d be curious if you have a plan attached to fixing it.
I think getting investors to come back more frequently, right. So a lot of you know, what we have today is an infrequent use product for investors, right? They may only care about one particular demo day, that’s happening twice a year, right Oh, once a year. And that’s why they come to songs to register to be able to attend their favorite Demo Day. And the next sort of phase is sort of bridging that behavior to a point where investors are now discovering three, four or five or 10 other demo days that are also interesting to them every year, right. So really moving from like a occasional use to like a regular use product to discovering deal flow.
Got it. Got it. That makes sense. So I’m guessing the strategy behind partnering with accelerators is you lock in the supply side with a recurring amount of deal flow that you can predict when these deals are coming to market. And now the next challenge is building up that repeatability on the demand side.
Yeah, because ultimately, you know, that’s what’s better for founders, it’s better for our accelerator partners, right? Like the win condition is when more money gets wired to founders at each of these demo days, right? When that happens, everyone is happy and everyone wins. So the more that we can get investors to discover new events, new demo days that are fit with their thesis, the more we can get them to come back beyond just the initial event or organization that they signed up for, I think, is sort of a win win for all of the partners and startups on the platform. And right now we’re, there’s about 100 to 150 funded startups pitching on Stonks monthly, right? So these are, this isn’t someone with like, Hey, I have an idea and a business plan this, these are startups with some amount of funding and team and some traction, and they’re raising like their next round, typically a seed round. And so there’s an enormous, enormous amount of deal flow that is really unique. And there’s a lot of sort of hidden gems, a lot of outsider deals that don’t show up anywhere else. And we’ve built this firehose of deal flow.
Got it. How do you acquire the startups? Is it mostly word of mouth? Or do you guys have some proprietary sourcing engine or a way to find these startups and get them on the platform?
Here, let me let me show you my proprietary sourcing engine. Just kidding. It’s all it’s all organic, you know, for the most part, like nine out of 10 events on the platform are partner events. And they are sourcing their own deal flow, right. So TechStars and 500, for example, they have their own cohorts, and they have 1000s of applications. And they will pick 20 to go through like a cohort, right. And so they do their own sourcing and Stonks is really the end result of that whole process where they’ve gone through a cohort, they’ve built their business, they have some traction, they have some funding in the bank already and out there raising, you know, their full seed round at the end of their cohort. Got it. Got it. Yeah, to ensure that we don’t do any marketing, or very much sort of subscribe to the Tesla Elon philosophy of like, no marketing are never going to do any marketing billboards or ads, or whatever, and build awesome stuff and people look up.
Yeah, absolutely. It sounds like you guys have a tremendous foothold into the market. I’m curious, what do you foresee for the business over the next three to five years?
You know, so there’s, we’re at 70 accelerators today, about half of the top end. And there’s 1000 more out there, right. So so we have a waiting list of about 200 accelerators that we haven’t on boarded yet. And so the next few years are just really about getting all credible partners that past sort of our application process and our selection process on the platform, you know, in getting more and more higher quality partners there, you know, a lot of the top five top 10 and figuring out sort of a business model. So some experimentation around revenue. And, you know, we’re clearly delivering value. We’re moving all of this funding from investors to founders, helping our partners with their cohorts and getting them funded. So figuring out a business model, and getting investors to come back regularly, weekly or monthly, not just you know, a couple of times a year.
Got it. Can you shed some light into what goes into your selection process for accelerators that are on that waitlist?
So some of the things we look for are, you know, do you have experience running demo days before, right? That is important? It’s been a big sort of predictor of like, Do you know how to run events And do you know how to market events? And do you know how to sort of put your startups on a stage that is compelling and exciting? And are you able to pick good deals that investors care about? So have you done this before? And, you know, show us some signs that it has worked for you in the past before? Right? So show us some how many people showed up to your event? You know, what were some of the deals like have any of them gone to secure follow on funding event? Has anyone become a unicorn? What have been some of your more successful deals? So things like that. And you know, it’s not, it’s not rocket science, we go through sort of a basic screening process. And a good rule of thumb for me is like, you know, I’m an I’m an angel investor in a few dozen deals, and I only want to see things on Stonks that I would invest in myself, right that other angels or VCs would also want to look at. And so stuff that doesn’t meet that criteria, we don’t, you know, we don’t do.
If you were to fast forward a few years, and hypothetically, if Stonks was no longer around, and not because of acquisition, if you’re doing the post mortem at that time, what do you think would be the most likely reason why the business wasn’t successful?
Good question. And it would probably have to be like, we never figured out the right mousetrap for investors, to get them to make this a frequent use product and a part of the regular deal flow, not just occasional deal flow business model is probably in there. Though, I’m not too concerned about the customer. I think there’s lots of easy ways to generate revenue here. I think that would be the big one.
Okay. I was actually curious about the business model, can you shed some light into how you guys make money?
We don’t, we’re less than a year old. So we’ve just been focused on like, making sure this is valuable and working. And we’re able to sort of generate GMV and usage and high retention. But now we’re getting to a point where like, yes, some of those boxes have been checked, right? And we should start experimenting on revenue. So I think the next six months, you know, we have a bunch of revenue experiments going live. And you know, it’s not rocket science, it’s going to look like stuff in the space, right? It’s yeah, whether it’s 2020 on a farm or SPV fees, and carry like AngelList, or some sort of subscription SaaS, like other products in the space, Carta and others, it’s gonna end up looking like one of those.
Got it. You know, I’d be curious to get your take on traditional venture, like, what are your thoughts on the traditional venture model? And how long do you first see it sustaining?
You know, venture is, in some ways a boutique industry. And I don’t think the model is is going away anytime soon. But I think the model does not cater to a lot of folks that are not in the right ecosystems, right. And that’s why we started Stonks is to really democratize and open up access to deal flow to people who don’t know the right person, right. And in the process, I think what we’re also doing is, in some ways, removing, you know, the fees. So like, when you typically go through a foreign as an LP, and I’m an LP in like a bunch of funds, right, so like the typical tune 20 model, you’re gonna end up paying, like 40% in fees over sort of your investment lifetime for the fund. And with Stonks, you don’t pay that, right, you pay like tiny, tiny fractions of that. And you also get to pick your own deal slow. So in some ways, it’s sort of like the Robin Hood, like, I want to pick my own stocks. And I don’t want to be an investment advisor, one or 2% of my money every year, a lot of the same dynamics, I think behaviors are getting applied to the private markets here where, you know, we have a lot of VCs and angels, but we also have a lot of family offices on the platform, and high net worth folks who are essentially like picking their own deal flow and saying, Hey, like, look, I’m getting really good deal flow here. I don’t necessarily have to go through a fun all of the time, I can take some portion of my liquidity and deploy it here and go direct.
Do you see the traditional model going away then or just being slightly complimented or augmented by some of the new models like songs?
I think it’s a supplement. I don’t think the old models going away, because their entire networks and sort of long track records of success that have been built up in this space, I don’t think you know, that’s going away. And certainly at the top end, the best funds and firms will continue to do well. Regardless, this is really sort of a supplement. You know, for folks who are angels, family offices, high net worth sort of deploying into many, many funds just becomes an additional way to get deal flow, you know, pay a lot less fees or no fees go direct, and really sort of pick your own deals.
Isn’t the model around Stonks and aggregating deal flow also operating under the assumption that access is more challenging than the picking, or am I incorrect in that?
That is right. The harder problem we’ve solved, without realizing we solved it was aggregation and access. And I hear this from investors all the time is like, hey, like Stonks has actually become like a really convenient place, like an aggregate of all of these demo days, right? All high quality, and you can pick and choose by location or sector of focus, or organizations that you want to invest in, that you believe are high quality. And it’s all in one convenient place. And it’s all accessible, right? So you sort of solve that problem by accident. And it’s become pretty, pretty useful.
So going down that same line of thought, then wouldn’t that part of the thesis behind Stonks and other platforms out there that are potentially disruptive to venture, it’s making the argument that most venture capitalists, they’re good at getting access, but they’re not good at picking? If individuals can pick as well as they could on their own through a platform like Stonks?
Yeah, you know, it’s, we could we could talk about this for like days. There is. So if you look at the public markets, right, there’s so much data that says like, active picking is really, really hard to do. Right, you’re better off just indexing. And over like a 20, 30 year timespan, less than 2% of active managers are going to outperform an index, right. And like, this is hard data going back 100 years or something. And there’s similar data from AngelList, that also shows that your median returns actually go up as you take more of an index approach to private investment. So I think a lot of folks look at this asset class and say, like, this is gambling money, right? Or, like, I’m gonna, like, pick a few winners and roll the dice and like, see what happens. But like most of my net worth isn’t real estate, or like, s&p sort of Vanguard and my 401. K, this is gambling money, right. And it’s fun, everyone likes to gamble a little bit here and there, take the flyer. But that’s actually the wrong way to invest in private markets, I feel like the right way is to sort of take an index approach, right? That old adage of like, Look, if you’re not going to do 50, deals don’t do any. And this data out of AngelList, in other shows that as you do that, a your returns become predictable, mathematically, modelable, right. And two, you get better returns, right? So your chances of capturing those outliers that are going to drive returns for your whole portfolio increase, as you do sort of discipline bets in a large number of startups. So rather than sort of gambling on five, you want to index into 100. And that really is sort of part of the behavior change we’re trying to help bush at stones is this is a great asset class, but access it properly, you kind of have to do it in a certain way. And yeah, and we could talk for hours about this. But
Yeah, I’d be very curious how you go about educating newer investors to the asset class that diversification and indexing is key. Because I can imagine it’d be a problem if you have an investor that thinks they know how to pick and they pick two or three concepts that they think look cool. And then they all end up going to zero, that’s probably a churned investor. So how do you influence that behavior to take an indexing approach and invest in 50 – 100 companies with smaller checks versus being the eternal optimist that I feel like most angel investors are, especially the newer ones and feeling like they know how to pick?
Yeah, yeah. And I was on a few investor calls where like, I certainly heard those stories, right, like, Hey, I invested in this one deal. It like, completely went south sucks. Why would anyone do this? And it’s something I’ve also learned the hard way, right. And we really have to take sort of an index portfolio approach to this thing. It’s a good example is, you know, it’s not like the minimum check size for many deals is about $1,000. Right. So what we want to do is try and enable small cheque sizes spread across large numbers of startups. And where that’s not possible, we have a no fee, no carry venture vehicle, a best of Stonks, we got the best of Stonks fund where you can park any amount of capital that you want to deploy into startups, you know, call it 25k 50k, whatever. And that will get split up into many, many small bets across the platform on the best deals across the platform. So you could be deploying, like a few $100 in each startup, but you have hundreds of startups, right?
So you’re securitizing them?
Yeah. We have a fund to set up set up for that sort of access. We don’t do securitization. Beyond that, like we haven’t set up sort of interesting novel new structures. But I do firmly believe that like that is that is the way to access this asset class.
Interesting. I’d be curious, what are your thoughts on YC?
YC’s great, invested in a few of their startups, obviously very, you know, high signal and a lot of the best founders do want to go to YC. Right. And we have several unofficial YC events. We do events before and after their demo day. as well, but YC hosts their own demo days internally, right? They have internal tooling. And so we typically take some of the more interesting deals and feature them on Stonks like after each Demo Day. So for example, we have this YC alumni event with Ryan Hoover, the founder of Product Hunt, Immad from Mercury and James Beshara, who runs a fund now and also has a big podcast. And so they do a YC alumni event focused on YC startups that are now raising their next round of funding. And they sort of graduated to the next level. So that’s one example. We have a few more events coming up this year, also around the white YC ecosystem. But it’s it’s great. I think it’s a great place to go find deal flow, but also it’s much harder to get in.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. From a fund perspective, they’ve done a great job with the indexing approach. And through Stonks, will you do secondaries as well is that on the roadmap, eventually,?
We do them, you know, on a case by case basis. So definitely with secondaries, most of the demand is focused on late stage really well known names in 20, to 30 names are basically the entirety of the market. Right. So the Notions, the Stripes, the Figmas of the world, FTX, et cetera, SpaceX, until recently, we were part of SpaceX’s financing. So we raised some capital through an SPV for that, just simply because our investors wanted it. So you know, we have 40,000 lps on the platform. And if they want to do something, you know, we’ll go do it, we’ll set something up for them on a case by case basis. Another fun example was, you know, when Elon thought he was going to buy Twitter. And in the early days back when the deal was like really happening, we actually showed up to the Giga factories in Fremont, and in Austin in person. So we had users in both locations, and we organized like a little community meet up like, we love Elon, and let us invest and join the deal, you know, because a lot of our users also Tesla owner, so all the Tesla people drove up with their Tesla’s in there, like, we were holding the signs like we love Elon and pictures of Elon, like on shirts. And you know, we made some noise, put it on Twitter. And you know, we got in, we got allocation into the deal, raised sort of 10s of millions for that. I don’t know if it’s happening now. But we will do things like when when they make sense,
Very cool. I want to shift a bit to talking about your history as an angel investor. So you’ve made notable investments and AngelList, Airbnb, Pixar, to name a few, over your career as an angel, did you hold any beliefs that you no longer believed to be true?
I thought I was good at picking
You have AngelList and Airbnb, I think, I think you’re a good picker.
So much of this, I think is access and investing incredible deals, and doing enough of them, where you know, a few of them grow up and make you look good. So I no longer think that I can pick my way to sort of high returns. So that’s one. The other is, you know, I have sort of a strong personal bias towards investing in outsiders because I was an outsider. So I’m like, you know, I love non consensus deals, I love things that everyone has overlooked. And they’re diamonds in the rough, lower valuations, you know, hungry founders mission driven, and traction and sort of signs that something is working. But I’ve also learned that there is, you know, a fair amount of sort of success tied to consensus deals. So like, really strong core investors matter. Having a well known lead matters, not always. So I’ve gone from like, purely outsider to sort of a mix of the two, right looking looking for signs that other smart people are also excited about the deal and thinking about why they’re excited about the deal. And so I guess I’ve become a sheep.
Are there any areas that you’re excited about right now is an angel investing in?
I’ve tweeted about this a few times, I think this is the best time to invest in a generation. This is largest crash, you know, I think since the Dot Com crisis, and the folks that do invest consistently through this, through the next couple of years are going to become household names in investing, you know, as we come out of this. So I think this is the best time to invest. You know, as Buffett says, be greedy when others are fearful. And particularly early stage, right? Because early stage bets take several years to grow up. So investing early stage is actually great right now, because bets are going to be growing through the recession. So I’m super excited about like, just the times we’re in in general. I wish I had much more dry powder and capital to deploy personally. But thankfully, you know, I didn’t blow it all like really, really quickly at the beginning. So I have been sort of taking a multi year measured approach to almost like dollar cost averaging over a number of years. Yeah, And the Stonks fund has also been doing that. So we started investing back in October last year. And we’ve just completed I think 107 investments? Well, between October and now. And I think we’re going to be over 200 By the end of the year. So we’re continuing to write checks. The market is certainly certainly not frozen, its functioning. So we’ve put out data at on our blog and on our Twitter that is talking about sort of look, I mean, yeah, there’s a dip in valuations, there’s a dip in funding, but the markets are certainly functioning and you know, if you’re a high quality startup, people are still getting funded. So the sky is not falling. It’s not the end of the world. So just want to throw some positivity out there.
I believe Fidelity ran some study, I forget what they did, but it’s showing investors invest at the worst times and they also sell at the worst times, right? So sometimes you need to take a contrarian approach and invest when others are fearful to your point about Warren Buffett.
Yeah, and I wonder if this was the same study? I’m not sure. But I think there’s this other study from Fidelity, may have been the same, where they looked at, you know, investors in their portfolio with the best long term returns. And can you guess what the number one category was?
I, well, it is the same study, and I would be cheating. It’s those the people that are no longer with us. Is that right?
That’s exactly right. Oh, my God, you’re like the first person I’ve come across that has read this study.
I think you’re the first person I’ve encountered as well. I do forget number two, though. Remind me of number two? I believe it’s the people that held forever, right.
Yeah. involuntarily. So they forgotten the account.
People who forgot. Right.
That is, that’s what’s so great about venture right, you’re forced to hold.
Yeah, and people complained about sort of illiquidity. But I actually think like, look, I mean, if you really, really honest, we are our own worst enemy, we’re emotional creatures, and there’s no escaping it. And we’re all going to make dumb decisions. And it’s pretty cool that this sort of structure helps prevent you from making dumb decisions, you know, selling at the wrong time or buying in at the wrong time.
You have to let the IRR compound.
Totally, exactly.
Awesome. Well, to wrap up here, I’d be curious if we can feature anyone on the show, who should we interview? And what topic would you like to hear them speak about?
Great question, I’d love to hear from some of my favorite sort of up and coming investors. So big fan of Elizabeth Yin over at Hustle Fund, and her partner, Eric, I think, and you know, they’ve got a great team, there’s Brian Nichols and others on the team, big fan of they’re just wonderful kind people. And they are also trying to open up venture and democratize access to this asset class by backing founders from all sorts of backgrounds, and they have great returns to backup their data and approach. So I’m a fan. Awesome.
Have you found any books, videos, blogs, particularly valuable and anything you’d recommend to the listeners out there
A blog that I found recently that have been blown away by how good it is, is The Generalist so they don’t write very often, but they will pick like a topic and go super in depth. So like for example, they wrote about AngelList when they raised like a big round with Tiger Global at the start of the year, you know, few 100 million dollars valued the company at 4 billion something. And they did like a whole teardown of the whole business, the origin story and like pieces that I hadn’t heard before, even though sort of followed Naval and AngelList for many years, and sort of all the different pieces and dynamics in the business. It’s sort of a very, it’s a great long form in depth analysis format. Other folks I really like Lenny Rachitsky, you know, he’s great, great analysis and really cool, like infographics that really break down like so much information into like this cool visual format that you can instantly skim. Packy McCormick is also really good, right? Not at not boring. And on the podcast side, you know, the All In podcast is always entertaining, variable educational value, but incredibly entertaining. You know, they’re not fighting about politics or each other. You know, I like Panic with Friends with Howard Linson. You know How I Built This NPR. It’s really good Immad at Mercury has a good one. It’s called series D. So listen to all of these on and off.
Got it. Do you have any tools or hacks that you consider a secret weapon?
Don’t give up. I think that’s been my personal experience. And I gotten to where I am not because I’m like smart or like I have been lucky. But also, so much of this is just about not giving up if you’re a founder or you’re, you know, in the startup space or your early VC building a new fund, right? So you’re very much a founder from that sense. So much of this game is about sort of just surviving the tough times until you hit that part of the J curve. And, and real product market fit where things take off. And then it’s just about holding on and scaling. So But 80%, I think of the time is just surviving and being a cockroach, until you get to that inflection point on the J curve where things start just like it’s magic, and it starts working.
That’s great. Ali, what do you know that you need to get better at?
Managing myself, I’m like, the worst person I know at managing myself. So like, taking care of my sleep, making sure I’m like exercising, making sure I’m eating right. I’ve just been like really bad at prioritizing all that. And, you know, it’s, it’s something I do need to get better at.
And what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you?
Twitter, so I am at Ali underscore Moiz. So you can find me on Twitter Stonks is also active on Twitter at Stonks, underscore dot underscore com, a lot of fun memes on our Twitter, and you can always DM me or email me at Ali at Stonks. We’d love to hear from founders that you know, want to pitch on Stonks or accelerators or VC firms that want to host their next pitch event or Demo Day on Stonks.
Awesome. Well, Ali, I really enjoyed this. This was fantastic. I hope you come back on in the future.
Yeah, of course. Nate. Thanks for having me. You know, the Full Ratchet is incredible thing you guys have been doing for so long. And this was fun. Thank you.
Appreciate it. We’re on the beginning of that J curve. Appreciate it. And thanks again for your time.
Thank you.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai