Aug 31 2020

Endless Meaningless Words in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

I read On Truth and Untruth: Selected Writings by Nietzsche yesterday. It was chewy, but soaked me in an interesting set of ideas about what words mean, along with a bunch of stuff around the concept of truth.

I get a lot of inbound random email where I get asked a lot of questions, so I see lots of questions repeat or get asked in different ways. For example, I continually get asked some version of “How do I get a job as a VC” and point everyone at my partner Seth’s post How To Get a Job In Venture Capital.

This morning, as I was grinding through email, I saw a few questions that could be generally categorized as “Are we in a bubble?” There were different flavors, but if I summarized, it would be:

  • Is the public market in a bubble?
  • Is VC in a bubble?
  • Are SPACs a bubble?

Whenever I see the word bubble, the phrase “Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble” comes into my mind, which I know is not how the Macbeth Song of the Witches goes, but that’s just how my brain works.

Oh – you want a brief interlude for the Song of the Witches? Ok – here it is.

Round about the cauldron go:
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing.
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch’s mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

If you enjoyed that, now you know why I think of this phrase every time I hear the word bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

My answer to the bubble question is, “I have no idea, and I don’t care.” I’ve never tried to time the markets. I am not going to ever try to time the markets. Instead, I’m going to keep working on what I’m obsessed about and try to improve each thing regardless of the macro-dynamics.

I went looking for Baboon Blood on Amazon to make my charms firm and good. I didn’t find anything other than a song from Art Zoyd. I did, however, find (and buy) a Baboon Blood flask via a Google search.