Dave Kim

003 - Flags, Deals, and Stoner Cats

Hey Friends,

Happy Fourth of July to those who celebrated! And for everyone else, I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy, and cool.

1/ What does it mean to fly an American flag in 2021? This article in the New York Times captures an uneasiness that many of us feel today. Somehow, what was once a symbol of unity has become a symbol for a particular group of Americans. During the Women’s March in 2017, Will, my brother-in-law, marched with the American flag proudly in hand, refusing to let the flag be only for one group of people. Now, that’s something worth celebrating.

2/ The news is out! Syndicate raised $800 K from 100 community members. I’m happy to back them as one of the community members, and I’m excited to support them as they aim to decentralize and democratize investing. More to come.

3/ Speaking of deals, TeamApt, the company behind Nigeria’s Moniepoint, raised their Series B and is looking to add digital banking servies to their agency banking business. Moniepoint has 100 K agents. Also in Nigeria, FairMoney raised a $42 MM Series B.

4/ As those of us in the US look ahead to a post-pandemic future, there’s an opportunity to reassess our priorities and design our new normals. Some helpful advice here.

5/ But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Latest reports show that the world won’t be fully vaccinated until 2023. And here’s a sobering article on India’s response to COVID to date.

Image of the Week


I had a chuckle when I saw this at the co-op on Orcas Island. Can you just imagine how many people must have tapped that screen before they put up that post-it?

6/ The Gates Foundation is planning on reopening their Seattle office in September, and we recently heard that we are going to experiment with being 50% remote for a six-month period.

If I had my druthers, I would have opted for a model where (a) we’re remote by default, (b) we gather in the office as a team once a quarter for a week where half of the activities are designed, and the other half is open for ad-hoc gatherings (similar to an unconference), and (c) we make it easy for people to find a local co-working venue.

I know that there are many arguments for and against being in the office, but the line that working in person is essential for creativity and collaboration doesn’t seem to have any evidence to back it up. While that may be surprising at face value, let’s be real. For many of us, our days in the office were spent running from one meeting to the next, and it was rare to create time for focused, deep, collaborative work. There’s an opportunity to go beyond the simple remote vs. hybrid vs. in-office argument and to look at ways to foster and inspire more creative, collaborative, and strategic work.

7/ Check out NPR’s joy generator for small moments of delight.

8/ Mila Kunis launches Stoner Cats, an animated show meets NFT project. Check out her brief interview with Conan to see why she decided to do this. This is another example of a NFT as a ticket use case.

9/ I have TONS of respect for Rohini and her team, and the results of this study are impressive: by providing poor women in rural Madhya Pradesh with a bank account, paying them directly, and giving them basic account orientation, women worked more outside the home and liberalized their beliefs about women’s ability to work.

However, this quote from Rohini in this press release is just so bad that you just have to hope that this was taken out of context. “Economics research often assumes that a country’s men and women embrace the same cultural norms, but our study highlights the fact that norms can be differently experienced and held within the same country or culture,” said Pande, who is also director of Yale’s Economic Growth Center.

She must know at least one anthropologist, right? :)

10/ And for those who made it to the bottom of this list, Rest of World’s “summer” reading list may be worth checking out! Happy reading!

Have a great week, friends!