Strong Opinions, Loosely Held

This is not investment advice; it’s just one unique approach to investing

Sep 12 2019

Naval: Now, this is the Internet and this is America, so we have to give you some disclaimers. Angel investing is a great way to lose your money. There’s an old quip, “How do you become a millionaire? Start as a billionaire and start investing.” This is a good way to lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if your timing is bad, or if you’re just plain unlucky.

This is not investment advice

Naval: This is not investment advice; but you may find this useful if you’re already in the profession or in the hobby of angel investing. 

Nivi: Like everybody else, our advice is going to be well-meaning but we’ll probably end up talking our own book in the process. 

Some of what we say will be speculative, but it’ll be stated as if it’s a fact. Some other things we say will be just plain wrong.  

Naval: Our advice may go out of date quickly because technology is changing rapidly, as is the investment ecosystem. A decade ago Y Combinator was brand new; AngelList didn’t even exist; the First Round Capital platform wasn’t there; Andreessen Horowitz wasn’t there; you didn’t have a lot of late-stage investments by hedge funds; you still had companies going public earlier. So the market was very different.

This is just one unique approach to investing

Nivi: This is one unique approach to angel investing. The things we’re going to talk about might work for us from time to time, but other people might have similar or better results with completely different or opposite strategies.

Naval: We’re very focused on early-stage technology startups in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. A lot of this will not translate to other locations. There are many important exceptions to everything we’re going to talk about. 

Nivi: We’ll also be discussing startups and funds that we’ve personally invested in and have a financial interest in.

We change our minds constantly

Naval: We’re also constantly changing our minds and learning. That’s what intelligent people do. We hold contradictory and opposing thoughts in our head at the same time. We have a multitude of opinions that often contradict each other. This is not math or science or equations, and we’re always changing our opinions. As Marc Andreessen says, “Strong opinions, loosely held.