Newsletters

The fund that had no money and expensive bags

If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague or a friend should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. πŸ“

If it is your first time here or you want to binge-read past letters, here are all of them.πŸ“°

These are the highlights of the past week!


1/ Let's talk about expensive bags and their "underground story".

There is a brand that sells bags for $13k to $2M. Yes, I know. Who wants an expensive bag when you can buy an NFT with that kind of money.

But that's not the interesting part.

You cannot just "walk" into a shop and buy this bag. There is a waiting list, and usually, it is 5 years (or way more). I am talking about the Birkin bags. There are a couple of tricks to get higher on the list and sometimes get one on the spot. The easiest way is to be a man. Based on some super underground info (Reddit), a man that buys a Birkin bag as a gift won't overthink it and won't have any special requirements (color, fabric, etc.). It is a much easier and faster sale.


2/ In the latest video, I review the pitch deck of a Startup that almost every engineer I know wanted to build something similar; A one-page website generator And this company nails it.

πŸ’¬ Please leave a comment on the video. I would love to know what you think.

Click to see this epic video!


3/ I have played Wordle once. If you don't know what Wordle is, welcome back from the cave you've been in the last couple of months.

An engineer built a super simple game for his partner during the pandemic in order to kill time. The game is extremely addictive, and for this reason, he decided that you can play only once per day.

The game went viral.

And New York Times just acquired the game.

Wordle is the definition of KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. If something has value for people, you don't need fancy websites, marketing, or crazy funding.


4/ It was 2013, and I was in San Francisco reading the news about a European program that was going to "fund" new VCs. This would have been the beginning of the Startup community in Greece.

The issue is that most of these "VCs", were cookie-cutters: no Entrepreneurial background, no investing background. To kickstart a revolution, a radical change, you need people that take insane risks and act before anyone else does.

You need leaders, not followers.

So, I decided to start my own "fund" with zero money. I called it "The ZeroFund" and I was giving zero money for zero equity. Yes, zero for zero.

But I was giving something more important than anyone else. Network.

The process to be part of ZeroFund was the following:

  1. You had to register your company (for free) on the website
  2. You were sent a website template (one-pager), and you had to fill it up with images/videos/photos
  3. You had to "rally" to bring visitors to your website, and they could pledge "virtual money". If you managed to raise more than the threshold, you were going to the Stage.
  4. The Stage was a live event, where you had to present your company live to all your supporters. Then you had to raise $700 from them, something that would give you access to a co-working space.

This superfast process forced you to launch, look for users and get your first "paying" customers, all while supporting co-working spaces and making your product known. What else do you want?

ZeroFund went viral. Google and Microsoft donated servers. Hundreds of people started following the companies. A-List mentors joined to help the Startups (CTO of AOL, right-hand man of Bill Gates, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.). An accelerator in Silicon Valley flew the companies to a pitch-deck retreat in Italy. And one Startup got funding - and they made it to Series B.

ZeroFund was all about zero sum: We all win when we all win.

We never gave money, but we provided access to a huge network.

We never took a percentage, but we got to meet some epic people.

Why did I remember this after 9 years?

One of these companies got acquired for $75M yesterday. Insane. πŸ”₯

ZeroFund during the years took different forms, and occasionally I get an email about restarting it.

πŸ€” Maybe now with crypto, it could be even easier. Or maybe there is no need because there are so many VCs out there. Or perhaps now it is a bigger need than ever.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this.

PS: This is a video (in Greek) that covers ZeroFund on the Stage day.


5/ Meet Miquela. Miquela is a Virtual Influencer. That means that she is not real. Actually, the girl behind her is also not real.

Miquela has a YouTube channel, video clips, a hit on Spotify, and in 2020, she made $11M. And she is not the only one.

Virtual Influencers are becoming more common, and people are obsessing over them. Even Jennifer Aniston launched a Virtual Influencer (hint: it is a dog 🐢).

But why do people really care about something that is not real?

It is the story telling.

People love stories. It puts our brain into a different mode. And this is what I've been saying to all Entrepreneurs: "Sell the story then build the product." Even if you have no interest in influencers, it is a masterclass in building a brand, storytelling, and engagement.

We really live in exciting times πŸ˜€

See you next week.

-- Jon V (as in Victory) πŸš€

If you liked this article, you are going to love this
Learn my simple, repeatable process for transforming ideas into Startups using my free email course "Built To Fail". Enter your email in the box below and I'll send you Lesson #1.

- Thu 03 February 2022

Loved it?

Get weekly tips in your inbox.

I released my Ticketing platform 🎟️ in just 14 days

If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague or a friend should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. πŸ“

If it is your first time here or you want to binge-read past letters, here are all of them. πŸ“°

If you found this newsletter interesting, I …

I am afraid to go to the SharkTank 🦈 as an investor

If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague or a friend should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. πŸ“

If it is your first time here or you want to binge-read past letters, here are all of them. πŸ“°

If you found this newsletter interesting, I …

Creating the most epic NFT πŸ–ΌοΈ ticketing platform in 14 days

If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague or a friend should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. πŸ“

If it is your first time here or you want to binge-read past letters, here are all of them. πŸ“°

If you found this newsletter interesting, I …

Three steps for fundraising πŸ’°

If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague or a friend should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. πŸ“

If it is your first time here or you want to binge-read past letters, here are all of them. πŸ“°

If you found this newsletter interesting, I …

New stories every week in your inbox!

No boring ordinary stories.

© 2069 Jon V. Everything is reserved so you have to sit at the bar.