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VC Fundraising Hits 9-Year Low, Four-Day Workweeks, Nonlinear Workdays, and your Authentic Self

Social Leverage Letter | Issue #78

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3 articles, 2 podcasts, and 1 video. 

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Venture-capital fundraising hit a nine-year low in Q4 2022, with firms raising $20.6B, a 65% drop from the previous year, according to data firm Preqin. The slowdown that hit startups last year has now caught up with the investors who fuel venture capital, reversing the freewheeling funding environment that led to a record number of new startup funds and allowed more established investors to swell in size. The sustained drop in public stocks left some university endowments and public pensions overexposed to venture capital, where valuations have been slower to adjust to the cooled market.

Exploring the concept of a four-day workweek and its potential benefits and drawbacks: While some companies have reported increased productivity and improved employee satisfaction, others have experienced decreased productivity and difficulties coordinating schedules. Ultimately, the decision to implement a four-day workweek should be made with the best interests of the company, investors, and employees in mind.

How a nonlinear workday might help you get more done

Adopting a nonlinear workday may improve brain health and productivity. A nonlinear workday means working according to your natural energy levels, taking breaks, and incorporating physical and mental activities. The process involves identifying your energy cycles, using technology and scheduling tools, and creating a routine that works for you. A nonlinear workday is ideal for remote workers and those with flexible schedules, but it can also be implemented in traditional work environments with intentional planning.

Read more here.


Helene Meisler, Queen of Price and Sentiment - Cautiously Optimistic on a Soft Landing (EP.242)

Listen to this episode from Panic with Friends - Howard Lindzon on Spotify. I’m excited to have Helene Meisler back on the show! She was last here in June, and with all that’s been going on in the markets lately it felt time to check back in. I’ve been following her work since the start of TheStreet.com – she knows her stuff and loves talking about the markets. She’s a connoisseur of the chart – what I like to call ‘chart art’ – and is a mentor to thousands who want to learn about technical analysis, price, and sentiment. She’s one of maybe two people I know who called it back in June as we were ‘groping for a bottom’. We talk a little tennis, a little pickleball, and most importantly, we talk about how she feels going forward here in 2023.  Guest - Helene Meisler, Financial Markets Analyst and Columnist for RealMoney.com  howardlindzon.com, RealMoney.com, realmoney.thestreet.com  Twitter: @howardlindzon, @hmeisler, @realmoney, @PanicwFriends, @knutjensen  linkedin.com/in/helene-meisler-4a783153 #fintech #invest #investment #venturecapital #stockmarket #finance  Show Notes:  Introduction. (00:37) Welcome back Helene. (05:05) Groping for a bottom (05:50) Cautiously optimistic (06:50) Stocks don’t just go up (08:25) Calling the top (11:43) Big Caps control indexes (14:43) Is the worst behind us? (15:35) Women on Wall Street (17:40) History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes (26:45) Helene’s routine (27:49) Learning finance earlier (30:15) Public v. Private markets (32:10) Passionate about tennis (38:26) Helene’s favorite player (39:04) The pickleball trend (39:53) Market Sector to watch (42:20) Wrapping it up. (43:28) Closing thoughts. (46:02) 

Constellation Software: Principled, Profitable, Permanent - [Business Breakdowns, EP. 97]

Listen to this episode from Business Breakdowns on Spotify. This is Zack Fuss, an investor at Irenic Capital, and today we’re breaking down Constellation Software. Constellation is a conglomerate which owns more than five hundred vertical market software businesses. It was founded by Mark Leonard in 1995 and has delivered remarkable returns to shareholders since going public on the Toronto stock exchange in 2006. To break down Constellation, I’m joined by Chris Cerrone, a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Akre Capital Management. We discuss Mark Leonard’s genius, why Constellation is the gold standard for employee compensation plans, and how the business has perfected its acquisition engine, which allows it to buy dozens of software businesses each year. Please enjoy this breakdown of Constellation Software.   For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.   -----   This episode is brought to you by Tegus, the modern research platform for leading investors. I’m a longtime user and advocate of Tegus, a company that I’ve been so consistently impressed with that last fall my firm, Positive Sum, invested $20M to support Tegus’ mission to expand its product ecosystem. Whether it’s quantitative analysis, company disclosures, management presentations, earnings calls - Tegus has tools for every step of your investment research. They even have over 4000 fully driveable financial models. Tegus’ maniacal focus on quality, as well as its depth, breadth and recency of content makes it the one-stop, end-to-end research platform for investors. Move faster, gather deep research to build conviction and surface high-quality, alpha-driving insights to find your differentiated edge with Tegus. As a listener, you can take the Tegus platform for a free test drive by visiting tegus.co/patrick.   -----   Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.   Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.   Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss | @ReustleMatt | @domcooke   Show Notes [00:02:37] - [First question] - How Chris and Akre came across Constellation Software  [00:05:21] - An overview of Constellation [00:08:40] - The origins of Constellations’ 30-year legacy of extraordinary returns [00:11:57] - A deeper explanation of vertical market software as it relates to Constellation [00:15:30] - The impressive scale of Constellation despite its niche-targeted portfolio [00:18:04] - Their incentive structures and their avoidance of stock-based compensation [00:21:05] - Additional ways in which Constellation stands out, relating to the Rule of 40  [00:23:20] - The barriers that keep competitors and copycats from overtaking them [00:28:00] - The three legs of Constellation’s acquisition engine [00:32:57] - Recent spin-offs of assets as opposed to straight acquisitions [00:35:45] - How Constellation is planning for the future [00:38:13] - Why they’re considering expansion towards non-VMS acquisitions [00:40:30] - Capital allocation and Mark Leonard’s outlook more broadly [00:43:46] - How the business reflects Mark’s nature and values [00:47:31] - How much technology risk does the business face? [00:50:56] - Is organic growth a concern?  [00:57:40] - Lessons for operators when studying Constellation’s story

WATCHINGHerminia Ibarra, a professor of organizational behavior, challenges the idea that being authentic is always the best approach, especially in the workplace. She argues that viewing ourselves as works in progress and evolving our professional identities through trial and error can lead to growth and development that feels right and suits our changing circumstances.


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