Startups Weekly (Taylor Version)

Welcome to Startup Weekly, a new human look at this week’s startup news and trends. To get it delivered to your inbox, subscribe here.

If you don’t understand this title, let’s start with a brief history lesson.

Taylor Swift is re-recording all of her albums, but not in the name of nostalgia. Instead, Swift is embarking on this much-anticipated project so that she can control her music instead of a separate music label. Her first iconic album was released this year, annotated with “(Taylor’s version)” so that longtime fans can stream music that benefits the star, not the record label owned. music.

The kick-off lesson, designed as part of Swift’s bold move, is less a leap than you think: 2021 reminded me of the power of self-advocacy and the importance of changing my mind.

In 2021, we saw employees start asking more of their employers. The Great Resignation was more than just a hiring nightmare, it was a concerted attempt by employees to leave their current jobs in search of something more, less, or balance. Some have even taken the solo route, with designers chasing the glamor of the economy and betting on themselves. These guys like Swift got me thinking about how to manage and expand influence as you mature in your career. Sometimes that means re-recording all your albums. Other times it means talking about the gas lighting that happens during fundraising.

Self-support can often depend on things you thought were true. As for Swift, she has changed her mind about the role of owning her music. In 2014, Swift turned to the WSJ to oppose streaming, piracy, and file sharing, saying, “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important and rare things have value. Valuable goods pay off.” In my opinion, music shouldn’t be free, and I predict that individual artists and their labels will one day decide the price of an album. In 2021, Swift shifted her focus from removing Spotify and Apple Music, And instead focused on ownership as a channel for value creation.

This year, I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things about what constitutes an unconventional path to entrepreneurship, when it’s time to challenge the status quo (albeit the status quo). My work has been the same – reporting on emerging fund managers and founders, and the cross-cutting decisions they make – but the way I have executed is different. For example, I thought asking founders about their competition was a good litmus test for a franchise, but now I’m asking those same people how to build—and it works out a lot better.

The empowerment of the individual and now the urge to speak was a defining spirit of the year. For more on what I didn’t learn about startups this year, check out my TechCrunch+ column: “What I Didn’t Learn About Startups This Year”.

Before I move on to the rest of this newsletter, I want to convey my condolences and prayers to everyone who knew Tyson Clark, a general at GV’s, who died this week at the age of 43 . Clark was one of the most prominent black people. , Investor in the venture capital industry, with a respectable legacy that will clearly be remembered by many.

For the rest of the day, we’ll talk about the diversity of money, the crypto climate, and the economics of trucking manufacturers. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ or Instagram @natashathereporter.

Various Investor Initiatives

Image credit: Zen Venture Fund When Shila Nieves Burney first set off for Zen Venture Fund, a venture capital firm she founded to invest in various founding teams, she realized she didn’t see a single woman and Hardly did not see any colored people.

“It’s a problem,” she said. “And I felt like I could raise that, but I would keep making white people rich.” Today, the emerging fund manager announced the closure of a multimillion-dollar “Diversified Investor Initiative,” with ZVF allocating 25 slots in its first fund to LPs that identify as women and people of color. The SEC filing shows that Zen Venture Fund is looking to raise up to $25 million for its first fund, so Bernie’s exclusion plays a small but significant role in who would benefit from any returns from the vehicle. ,

Here’s what you need to know: While Bernie explained that the broader fundraising environment for emerging minority managers has “slowed down significantly” since earlier this year. This reminds them of the first fundraiser in 2018, when LPs said that diversity is not a strategy or a differentiator. “I keep doing it just like my thesis, and while it was a wave a year ago, it’s cold now… we find our tribe of LPs.”

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