David S. Rose: Angel Investing

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David S. Rose is an Angel Investor, Quora contributor, and author of the excellent book, “Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money“.  He’s the CEO of Gust, a platform that connects start-ups with investors. Through Gust, over $1.8 billion has been invested into start-ups.

David’s book is about investing in early-stage entrepreneurs. It may seem like this isn’t useful information for typical “main street” investors. Not true–it is a prescient topic. There are more entrepreneurs than ever before, because of such tools as Amazon Web Services, crowd funding, Google App Engine, easy-to-use frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, and advanced outsourcing tools.

It’s also worth simply mentioning the Internet itself. If you believe Metcalfe’s law, that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users in the system, then there is an immense amount of latent value waiting to be unlocked as the world becomes globalized. To capture this value, more and more entrepreneurs will spring up. Many of these entrepreneurs will need angel investors.

The amount of power endowed in a contemporary founder creates an undeniable value proposition for an investor looking for high upside. An investor could put $10,000 into an established company, and be taxed on all the slippage and slowness of an institution–or she could put $10,000 into a founder, who can get far more mileage on the dollar.

Notable topics David and I spoke about are angel investing, The Singularity, and several points on which he disagrees with Peter Thiel.

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Aaron Ellis: Creativity and Perseverance

Aaron Ellis

“Nobody likes a struggling artist until they’ve made it as an artist.”

Aaron Ellis is a screenwriter with a background in music and film criticism. Like myself, and many of the people I have interviewed on the Quoracast, Aaron is working to establish himself as an artist, while simultaneously plugging away in more conventional ways to pay the bills.  We talked about the friction between an artist’s desire to succeed at his craft, while also needing to stay employed.

After graduating from Berkeley, Aaron gave himself ten years to focus on screenwriting. During this time, he focused less on the content of his day jobs and more on his passion. Those ten years have passed, but Aaron continues to pursue screenwriting. Though he hasn’t had a glorious public success yet, I have no doubt that it is in his future. He has a voice of resolve, and I got a lot of solidarity out of speaking with him.

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