Money, advice, community.
For decades, the world has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, yen and more building infrastructure to shorten travel times. Each hour saved unlocks economic activity, enhanced productivity, and more free time... Even something as simple as Paris introducing the Velib bike system, giving a better option than just taxi or metro - I remember enjoying that feeling of freedom.
Then in 2020, the world switched to remote, and The Family did too. Transport times have gone to zero and the consequences for entrepreneurs have yet to really be explored. But honestly, being remote has given us another of those feelings of freedom, and we already love it.
If I had to theorize what’s coming for entrepreneurship, I believe remote will accelerate the unbundling of money, advice and community.
The world is flat
In a remote-first world, everyone is reachable. Even for people you would have traveled to locally before, today a 15-minute meeting really does take just 15 minutes. Some of the results of that are:
employees can be hired globally;
clients are reachable anytime;
foreign investors do cross-border deals and board meetings;
the best operators are a click away, willing to provide expertise.
At The Family, we’ve seen the positive effects of that last one with the workshops we’ve organized over the past weeks for our first remote batch, with founders from King.com, Zenly, and Dataiku sharing their stories, as well as operators from the best companies around the globe. We’re also really excited to have hundreds of global investors and operators signed up to attend our first Demo Day next Tuesday.
Entrepreneurs have a toolkit
When it comes to building companies, entrepreneurs have different tools at their disposal:
Money helps them go faster.
Advisors help them to make good strategic decisions (hopefully).
Experts solve technical problems.
Peers help keep your mind right and spirits high.
In a remote-first world, only peers have become more difficult to access.
Community is undervalued
Being an entrepreneur is a lonely venture, especially in the early stages. Very few people understand the emotional state you are in, living the schizophrenia between selling the dream and fixing the problems. A community of fellow entrepreneurs helps you stay sane.
A good community of peers also dramatically improves execution. Do you turn to your board members to improve your customer on-boarding or to improve your email copy? No. Being surrounded by founders whose companies are at the same stage as yours creates a healthy emulation. When you see people building quality products, you strive to match them. Quality becomes addictive, a positive feedback loop is created.
But communities are hard to build
It’s “easy” to build 5 relationships. But how do you create 50? This is why school networks are so strong, because you need density for magic to happen.
A large part of our job at The Family is to create that community. We work to build that density, curating a network of ambitious entrepreneurs that each individual founder doesn’t have time to seek out on their own.
The batch model is a way for The Family to start relationships with founders at scale. But more importantly, it’s a way for founders to create those links with their peers. We have seen it working with the 30 companies we’re working with now, and the results have been phenomenal.
What does the future look like?
My thesis is that the best VCs will turn into global platforms with several offices, managing billions of dollars and bundling capital & operating expertise for companies as soon as they reach Product-Market Fit.
Their strength is going to push a lot of funds downstream towards pre-seed and seed. That influx of early-stage money will make models like Y Combinator and The Family only stronger because we provide access to a community and a way to curate the (now infinite) flow of operators and investors.
We are excited to showcase our first batch next Tuesday. It is Day 1.
If you’re an operator or investor who wants to participate, just reply to this email 💖