Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | login

Agreed; I would have greatly preferred he emailed me.

reply


I think it's generated some interesting discussion. I'm sure the same occurred on the original thread, but I didn't read that.

reply


I realize now it wasn't posted by Sam--merely his blog.

reply


Ha ha oh man, sam. seriously: do you think about what you post at all before you hit submit?

you wanted to have a discussion behind closed doors before announcing this to the entire world? ok, that's fine, but that begs the question "why?"

given human nature, it's probably for nefarious purposes and propaganda control. I'm thinking you regret this bet, have realized it has only accelerate d the bubbles collapse, and are attempting serious efforts at damage control.

look, your a smart guy, sam, but you are pretty terrible at this whole communication thing, which is a shame considering that's a major part of your job.

lol

reply


I sort of love that the person willing to take the other side of this is a Boston-area VC :)

I accept subject to verification that you really qualify as a VC, and I can't find a website for Immaculate Conception Ventures. What investments have you made and how large is your fund?

If terms from the blog post are acceptable I will enter into longbets.

reply


Sam,

Fund is $500K. Investments are listed below. Happy to provide LLC documents.

Please enter into longbets.

Michael

Fitocracy https://www.fitocracy.com/ Empreware https://empreware.com/ Modify http://modifywatches.com/ Ecovent https://www.ecoventsystems.com/ Amino http://narvii.com/ seedchange https://www.seedchange.com/ ROCKI http://www.myrocki.com/ CoolChip http://coolchiptechnologies.com/ edTrips http://www.bookity.com/ (via AngelList syndicate)

reply


There's an old company called CoolChips -- http://www.coolchips.com/ -- might want to have CoolChip keep their eyes open for C&D, unless they already know about each other

reply


can you send me your email address? i'm sama@

reply


Sam,

My email address is michael.delamaza@gmail.com

Michael

reply


I found the following...

https://angel.co/michael-de-la-maza

7 confirmed investments of $25K

reply


Eh, I would be cautious, you might be getting played for publicity. If that's the case it wouldn't serve the purpose of the bet because the other side doesn't have any conviction about the outcome and only wants to raise their profile in the VC world.

$100k is probably cheap to get your name in many major news outlets.

reply


$100k is going to a charity one way or another. That's a good thing no matter how you cut it.

reply


It doesn't serve the main purpose of the bet which is to find someone with a strong enough conviction about the specific terms to risk $100k.

reply


The bet is a punctuation point on a discussion. Sam is already taking risk on current valuations, another $100K here or there isn't going to move the needle. The real stakes are reputation for prognostication. And the point to me is getting VCs on the other side of the debate to put a public stake in the ground, and hopefully give their arguments for why.

So I don't find this taker particularly interesting. In the context of an industry wide debate, the opinion of someone who doesn't have an audience similar to Sam's doesn't really mean much. Not that they aren't smart, just that they aren't someone influencing the discussion. Which is what this is mostly about.

And to say "I take the bet" without any discussion of why really misses the whole point.

Of course Sam should take this bet. But I'd suggest that he amend his proposal: Find people with enough audience to change the discussion, who are talking about bubble valuations, and ask them specifically to put a stake in the ground on this.

reply


a fair point. i didn't define "VC" well enough.

if another VC from a top-tier fund with at least $500MM under management would like to take the bet, i will make the same bet once more.

reply


The bet also serves as an interesting hedge for anyone whose net worth is already heavily correlated with the success of the tech sector (which certainly includes VCs). 100k is not enough to really matter to a GP at a 500MM fund, especially if it goes to charity either way. But there are plenty of smaller VCs or even startup founders (including myself) who would do that deal not because they're skeptical of tech's fundamentals, but as a way to counteract exposure to an overall macro/tech downfall.

reply


Not sure I see why this is the case since the money's going to charity.

reply


moving the goal posts? poor tactical decision, sam. you've just undermined your whole position.

before, with the open definition of VC, it expressed a high confidence in your bet.

now, by limiting the pool of potential bet takers, you are weakening your overall goal of maintaining public perception that there is no bubble.

the analogy is boxing. before, you were putting a huge bet that you were the best boxer in the world and you challenged any other boxer to challenge you so you could prove it. now that someone has, it's like saying that you are the best boxer in the world, and anyone can challenge you to prove it, except this challenger because reasons. it sounds like an excuse not to fight and makes you look scared.

lol.

it sounds like your confidence in your position concerning bubbles has been weakened, but you are trying to convince yourself it is as strong as ever by saying no REAL venture capitalist has taken your bet, so you must still be right.

it's cool though, I'm sure nobody will notice.

reply


I imagine he's interested in a bet with a big VC because they are the ones complaining about high, "bubble" valuations. I doubt Sam really cares one way or another if some random guy/the American public/whoever thinks we are in a bubble.

reply


I think he means an additional bet.

reply


I know. sorry, I probably wasn't clear: it doesn't matter if he takes another bet or not, what matters is that he wishes that he would have had more restrictive requirements for who is able to accept his bet.

the logic being that, the more restrictive requirements, the less people who meet them, which means less probability that someone would take his bet, which implies that he never really wanted anyone to take the bet in the first place.

the subtext is that sam is not as confident in his position as he would like you to believe.

reply


If I understand correctly, his original offer was just to take one bet?

'This bet is open to the first VC who would like to take it' http://blog.samaltman.com/bubble-talk

Any bets taken beyond that would be a relaxation of the 'you weren't here in time' criteria which would have excluded all other gamblers.

reply


trye, but the importance of the two criteria aren't weighted the same.

plus he isn't doubling down on the same bet: he's changing the new bet to be more in his favor, so the additional 100,000 is actually worth less than the original 100,000. (not monetary value, but rather the money's value as representation of the strength of his belief that the bubble won't pop before 2020).

reply


Pretty much everything a startup does is find resources that are underutilized and then utilize them for something outside their main purposes. If it is someone who's donating $100K to charity for publicity...well, that's a pretty neat hack, and one that everybody wins from.

reply


Fine, well done. But no one should care that Sam Altman bet that we are not in a bubble against someone who doesn't care much one way or the other but wants his name in the paper.

reply


I doubt anyone really does care.

The only thing I'm really interested in is why sama decided the other bettor had to be a VC. That's a pretty silly requirement.

Anyway this isn't a ballsy bet at all, really. Guys on 2p2 (poker forums) routinely make huge proposition bets that are more fun, interesting, and risky than this--occasionally for charity, as well (though not that often).

Losing this bet will likely do no more to either bettor than losing a $5 bar wager would do to me. Pony up the cash, shake victor's hand, move on with my day and forget about it.

reply


I agree, this bet would make more sense if the other party was a hedge fund manager or someone else with a professional interest in being bearish on tech innovators. No active serious VC who's might have raise a fund or invest at a high valuation is going to bet publicly against the unicorns. Might as well just retire.

reply


That's welsher talk, if you make a bet and a person accepts then you have to take the bet or STFU.

If you believe the person will not follow through that's one thing, maybe both parties should put $100K in escrow, talking about the purpose of the bet is weak.

reply


Maybe he should follow through but the bet isn't interesting anymore.

reply


you know what, this guy appears to be betting with a far larger share of his assets than sama is, he's putting his money where his mouth is

maybe you shouldn't be so dismissive

reply


Am I the only one hoping they have the same favourite charity?

reply


nope :)

reply


And since the $100k to charity would be tax deductible, it's really only circa half that for the publicity. But that too is not symmetric - if Sam wins it's more likely he will be able to put the deduction to good use immediately as he will have more gains.

reply


It's ok he's also playing for publicity. ;)

reply


This is exactly the sort of weak-minded chest-thumping I fully expect to see from venture capitalists. Way to live up to your stereotypes, both of you.

reply


At least it's going to charity.

reply


What's the point of having money and (mini) fame if you can't toss it around and have some innocent fun with it every now and then? Only one life on this planet...

reply


I think that's the problem, that this is considered fun. Some people also like to measure their dicks . . .

reply


That was my thought too when I first saw this despicable behavior by both parties. It's just egos clashing and unfortunately happens everywhere.

reply


The determination of "valuation" is pretty obnoxious. These preferred securities with liquidation preferences aren't even close to a "common equity" valuation. A VC round at $x valuation isn't remotely similar, economically, to a public co at $x valuation. This bet is more about whether the late stage VC bubble continues for 5 years than any notion of real value.

reply


Isn't that exactly what the bet is?

A bubble that never bursts is indistinguishable from real value. Remember that money is itself a bubble; its only value is that you believe other people will continue to accept it to give you the things you really value. The dollars in your pocket are just pieces of paper; the dollars in your credit card are even more nebulous, they're bits and bytes in your banks' computers. And yet somehow it's worked for thousands of years.

Plus, it's pretty likely that several of the companies listed will go public in the next 5 years, and then their valuation will be the public co $X. If that's lower than the stated figures in the bet, well, Sam will lose.

reply


As I often said--it's a good thing we don't let HN make our investment decisions.

reply


The difference between companies and projects is huge. We look for companies.

reply


Those projects are turned into companies if they have translational value: https://www.bio.org/media/press-release/report-shows-academi...

reply


I called everything a project. See my response to Paul.

reply


One thing I always think about is if I would take the CEO job at the company if they offered it to me.

reply


Somewhat frequently, but we always ask why the company doesn't have a prototype.

reply


Slow growth is bad, yes. A lot of our questions will be about why it's slow and how you plan to make it faster.

We tell startups during YC to shoot for 10% weekly growth in their key metric.

reply


In general, no. If you want to apply to YC, just apply to YC. Going through some other program first is a negative--the advice is usually bad, there's extra dilution, etc.

reply


That's a feature, not a bug.

reply


We ask about when they've done the impossible. You also get a pretty good feel for this after asking someone hard questions for 10 minutes. Not pushing back at all is bad, and pushing back too hard is also bad.

reply

More

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Y Combinator | Apply | Contact

Search: