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Deconstructing AngelList: How to Optimize Your Funding Profile

AngelList is a platform that connects entrepreneurs to angel investors to raise seed stage capital.

Out of the $1.5 million dollars in angel funding we've raised for Socialize, over $1 million came from introductions made on AngelList.  We were very early AngelList users under our AppMakr brand, with Brendan Baker doing a detailed analysis of our use of AngelList in his Anatomy of a Seed project.  I also wrote a lengthy manifesto about our fundraising experience, and when AngelList was very new I interviewed Naval Ravikant, one of the AngelList founders.

Recently, using AngelList has changed the way I've been fundraising.  Where traditionally, I've had to dedicate a block of time to fundraise full time, I can now fundraise passively, meaning just by focusing on having an optimized AngelList presence and a few specific techniques, I don't have to spend blocks of my time finding high quality angels.  That is a game changer for us -- fundraising is an incredibly distracting process, and it's especially hard to innovate and iterate on your startup when you're distracted by bolstering the company's bank account.  Being able to have angels come to me has given me a freedom as an entrepreneur that's just fantastic.

As I was talking to my friend Ben Young, CEO of Nexercise, about this sea-change in fundraising, I offered to critique his AngelList page to help him optimize it for this type of inbound passive investment.

Some Thoughts From Sam Snyder

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

'bout a week ago, I had a great conversation with Sam Snyder. Sam is really, really, really smart. If you haven't been to his site, you should click over there and at least skim until you find something personally fascinating to you (and you will), and then you'll probably be a fan of his for life.

We covered a lot of ground talking. The first thing I made a note of was on reference points for exercise. We were talking why fitness is so enjoyable, such a good thing, but people often don't do it?

Sam said something really insightful - he said people's reference points for fitness are probably thinking about the hard part of starting, when you're getting going it, when you're not into the flow of it. When someone thinks exercise, they don't think about being engaged mind and body, feeling strong, feeling alive. They think about the beginning part where the body and bones and muscles feel creaky and it's hard to do.

I'm paraphrasing - I'm not even capturing the sentiment of it really well, it was a very sharp insight. The takeaway for me was, when thinking about exercise think about the height of enjoyable moments from it. Not the hassle, not the details, not the admin, not the pain. But the most enjoyable moments. Make that your reference point.

"Everything that goes on in the world can be reduced to cause and effect." We talked about tracing ways through cause and effect, and how you could have more predictive power if you did. Economic events, social events, wealth, and so on. We talked about some ways on how you model what was going to happen and make predictions. Fascinating stuff - Sam's playing on a really high mental level.

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