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Can Automation Solve the Talent Crunch? The Layoffs Continue, David v. Goliath in AI, and Bootstrapping a Business

Social Leverage Letter | Issue #75

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3 articles, 2 podcasts, and 1 video.

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Our GP Howard Lindzon is in the middle of a fresh, creative experiment. Check it out. And if you think you might have a good name for the show, hit Howard up directly.

Congratulations to Tyler at beehiiv! (Fund IV)

Denk’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? “Start with something you have a true competency in,” he told venture capital firm Social Leverage. “I’ve attempted several side projects in industries and disciplines that were flashy and popular, but I had no business being there. Being able to really command the space you occupy due to experience or reputation really helps legitimize your business and have others … believe in you.”


Automation increases operational efficiency and profitability, and helps address the tech talent shortage. Far from adversarial, RPA and AI should be seen as complementary to humans – the benefits outweigh the angst. These tools and processes provide a competitive advantage while allowing companies to remain agile in uncertain economic times.

Last year over 140,000 jobs were cut at tech companies. Tech companies to include Spotify, IBM, Qualtrics, Carta, and Verily have announced mass layoffs, with over 58,000 workers slated to lose their jobs due to overzealous hiring in recent years, rising inflation, and a tumultuous stock market.

Incumbents have advantages in distribution, proprietary data, and capital that give them an out-sized advantage in the AI space. Startups can compete by targeting enterprise customers, going vertical, and moving fast. A balance of optimism and pessimism is required to fight the incumbents and build something valuable.


Ted Seides of Capital Allocators on Choosing your Path, Compounding your Knowledge, and the Business of Podcasting (EP.239)

Listen to this episode from Panic with Friends - Howard Lindzon on Spotify. If you geek-out on capital, money, and podcasts like I do, you're going to love this discussion with my friend Ted Seides, founder of Capital Allocators. Ted’s built an ecosystem that includes advisory services, education, events and podcasts. I was introduced to Ted a few years back by Jan van Eck, who’s also been on my podcast. Ted went to Yale, and then got his MBA from Harvard (but we’re not going to hold that against him) He also co-founded Protégé Partners – a multibillion-dollar investment firm he ran from 2002 to 2015. In 2017 Ted launched the Capital Allocators podcast, which reached over 13.5 million downloads in December of 2022. I checked in with Ted to talk about the recent FTX fraud; he was around in the days of Bernie Madoff and has a really different take on how managers should think about these events. I wanted his take on how the SEC has been rambling on recently about the ability for LPs to sue Venture Capitalists and what it all means for the industry. In addition, I wanted people to get an inside look at the industry and understand how the sausage is made – how people think at this level, and what you’re up against. You’re competing against a machine that’s there to beat the hell out of you, so it’s very hard to have an edge. This is why I talk the people that call me out of being a VC or starting a hedge fund. Ted’s the right guy to talk with about this stuff. He did it for a living. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Guest - Ted Seides, CFA, Podcaster and Founder at Capital Allocators howardlindzon.com, capitalallocators.com podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/capital-allocators-inside-the-institutional/id1223764016 Twitter: @howardlindzon, @tseides, @PanicwFriends, @knutjensen linkedin.com/in/tedseides #fintech #invest #investment #venturecapital #stockmarket #finance Show Notes: Introduction (00:33) Welcome Ted (04:08) The Yale/Harvard track (04:33) Choosing a path (06:11) Opportunity aperture is wide (06:57) Ted goes on his own (10:55) Demystifying podcasting (12:28) Podcasting as a business (13:09) Who is the customer (15:38) Running a hedge fund (16:14) Following your interests (19:05) Viking / Dan Loeb (20:16) Looking back at the last year (22:39) Fraud is fraud (24:32) FTX / SBF (28:29) SEC response (35:42) Ted’s current investing strategy (37:22) Venture investing strategy (38:36) Growth in Wealth Management (40:30) Wrapping up (43:09) Closing thoughts (44:37)

How to Bootstrap a Business to $550K with Only Volunteers (w/ Sam Parr)

Listen to this episode from Noah Kagan Presents on Spotify. In today’s episode, I welcome Sam Parr back to the podcast! Sam created the popular newsletter The Hustle, which emails over 1 million people per day. Four years after he built it, he sold it to HubSpot for multi-millions of dollars. Now, he’s the co-host of one of the top business podcasts, My First Million, where he and his co-host Shaan Puri talk all things business ideas and market trends, and interview other entrepreneurs to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on their projects. Search for My First Million wherever you listen to podcasts, and check out Sam Parr on Twitter, at @TheSamParr. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about how to build cool things with cool people, you’ll love this episode! PLUS! My exact course, Monthly1K, which Sam used to help launch and grow The Hustle is now 90% OFF. Get the exact info, tactics, and strategies I shared with Sam and other entrepreneurs to start your own business this year. Stop waiting and wishing and finally get started! We cut the price down to $10 to make sure that we can try to help as many entrepreneurs as possible. Check out the Monthly1K Course here. Check out Sam Parr’s first episode on the podcast here. Here’s the link to the blog post Sam used to create Hustle Con. And start your own email newsletter with SendFox.com. Full show notes: https://okdork.com/podcast/284



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Affiliate Disclosure: Social Leverage Group, LLC ("SLG"), Social Leverage Capital Fund I, LP ("SLC"), Social Leverage Capital Fund II, LP ("SLCII"), Social Leverage Capital Fund III, LP ("SLCIII") and Social Leverage Capital Fund IV, LP ("SLCIV") are all distinct entities from Social Leverage, LLC ("SL"). Social Leverage is not a registered investment advisor. SLC, SLCII, SLCIII, SLCIV, SLG and SL have used the logo and branding of Social Leverage with the permission of Social Leverage Group, LLC.