Skillshare’s geographic footprint has expanded dramatically during the period of our involvement. The company has grown revenues close to 10x while being highly capital efficient, and now has 8 million users in almost every country in the world. 50% of new users are outside the United States — but what I find even more interesting is that 60% of all *teachers*are outside the US. What is bringing these teachers to the Skillshare platform?
It is very difficult, upon reading news such as this, to not nod vigorously about the points Anand Giridharadas makes in his recent book. Points that both left and right should find agreeable. It is the mealy-mouthed, wishy-washy, going-to-Davos nonsense that just gets my goat.
Iain M. Banks died in 2013 and with that came an end to his series of Culture novels. Every few years, I end up destroying many days and weeks of sleep by re-reading a selection of these books (life is full, so any reading occurs after 9 pm).
I was admitted to Penn for computer science, and while I got two undergraduate degrees, computer science remained my first love all along. My favorite CS course of all was CSE 121, the second semester of freshman year, which was an introduction to functional programming via the LISP language. Why was it my favorite? It was elegant, mathematical, and introduced me to the delights of recursion. To me this was the essence of computer science.
Here's the best of what I read in 2018. I set myself an arbitrary count of ten this year. This really forced me to think about which books had a meaningful impact on me, i.e. not just “great books I can unhesitatingly recommend”.
In May 2016, Amasia led the Series B in Skillshare, an online learning platform with a unique model: it was (and is) a truly open marketplace, allowing anyone to teach and anyone to learn. We doubled down in the Series C earlier in 2018.
The VC business, for a fund manager, is an orgy of rejection. During the course of a year, we will touch 1,000 companies at Amasia; we'll invest in three (maybe four, sometimes two). What this means is that on 997 occasions, we're saying no.
It's spring, which means the thoughts of VCs turn lightly to thoughts of demo days. Many accelerators have their demo days in March. If you haven't been to one, these are celebrations of entrepreneurship; 21st century business theater. Meeting many, many companies and founders in a concentrated period produces the following reflection.