3 min read

2021 Roundup

What a year! I haven’t been blogging as much so this is a catchup on some recent projects, videos and activities.

Business and Entrepreneurship

I published a number of videos focusing on new business, startups and entrepreneurship.

Fun with new Technologies

This has included EV’s, Solar, Self-driving, Unreal Engine, and GPT3. I’ve also had fun building a wall mounted e-ink newspaper.

Going into next year I’m starting to think a lot more about Web3. This started with Bitcoin and NFT’s but I think I’m going to dive deeper into Smart contracts, De-Fi and more.

Investment Summary

Startups

I invested in 27 startups this year. 12 of these startups were via Techstars. Three companies had a write-up in valuation, zero companies went out of business and zero companies got acquired. Startups are hard to value but companies that get significant follow-on funding get external valuations from Series A, B or later stage financing. On paper shows I have a 252% return but in reality it’s still zero until the first actual exit event. So let’s wait and see.

That said, some companies to highlight:

  • OwnUP – Save on your mortgage
  • Firefly EV – Small business EV mobility
  • EVQLV – Using AI to discover antibodies
  • Dvinci – Helping solar installers deploy solar
  • DentReality – Use AR to help you find things
  • Statera – Healthcare pay transparency
  • Unstack – High performing landing pages for Shopify
  • NudeBarre – Inclusive Intimates for all sizes & colors
  • HyperSpec – Autonomous driving vision technology
  • IronYun – AI enabled security and vision

Many others I can’t talk about yet. Follow TechstarsBoston for updates on graduating startups.

Stocks

Stock equity growth of 170% from same time last year, driven largely by Tesla and other consumer oriented tech companies. This was totally ridiculous. This happens to capture a trough to peak, actual sustained results are closer to 40% return (still not too shabby). I talked about what I look for last year in a video called TAGMA. Tesla was the best performer by far but other companies I’m tracking closely include Cloudflare, Shopify, Apple, Microsoft, Square, Nio and Backblaze.

I did start the year with Zoom and Peleton. These were classic pandemic stocks that I thought could keep innovating but have since backed off these. They are great technologies and I use them both but I have not seen strong continued consumer innovation.

The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start investing. I made a video on this but then I put it to the test by setting up an account for my 13 year old. She invested a bit of her savings, picked two ETF’s without my help and had a 31% return, beating the S&P that had an impressive 27% return.

Crypto

On the Crypto front I had a 66% annual return. This would have been larger but I added to my position late in the year driving the total % return down. This was driven largely by Bitcoin and Ethereum. I’ve been divesting from Bitcoin because it has underperformed and had less developer/app adoption.

Text-free version of the Dogecoin logo : dogecoin
Doge It up!

I played with Doge and Shiba for fun this year but this has been a small novelty and not a serious position.

In general I think this is still a big growth sector. The technology is interesting but the user experience and user interface of most products is bordering on unusable. Companies that make crypto usable by norms will be huge winners.

Other projects I’ve started tracking for next year include Solana for its performance and Algorand for its proof of stake approach. I’m also planning on diving deeper into NFT’s next year.

YouTube

I got to 10,000 subscribers! This has been rather amazing given that I only do this as a side hobby. A few videos have done particularly well and this has driven a lot of adoption. Hoping to get to 100,000 next year.

  • Revenue is around $200/month in passive income.
  • Around 18,000 views per month. This is more exciting for me than revenue.
  • Over 500K views on my most popular video

I’m excited for the coming year. Thanks for reading, following & subscribing.