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M&Ms #34: Small Bets

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read

Hey Team,

I've got two things for you tonight, up top are a few ideas I ran into throughout the week.

Then below that a summary of the Small Bets course I recently took, along with a list of my personal small bets.

A tweet from this week:

I agree with Nick that too many in tech ignore boring businesses like real estate. But at the same time, Nick forgets that tech scales and so ignoring tech is an equally bad idea. Just like too many in tech ignore boring cash flowing businesses, too many boring business operators ignore tech and get stuck running small businesses.

You’ll see below in the small bets section of this email why I believe the right answer is a mix of these.

An article from the week:

100 Years of Gratitude
On this day, one hundred years ago, my grandfather left China. He was thirteen. He was alone. He landed in California, but couldn’t find work there. The onlyopportunity he could find was in Alaska, at a salmon canning factory. Hundredsof Chinese immigrants butchered the salmon before they wer…

An excellent and touching story by my friend Chris, about his grandfather. A man who was an immigrant, entrepreneur, and risk-taker.

As an immigrant myself and someone taking on more risk, this resonates with me very much. A reminder that while it might be hard now, maybe my grandchildren will benefit from some of my struggles it later.

A few memes from the week:

It sure feels a lot like this, at least in the beginning.

Dagobert, an early-stage Startup founder, has some of the best early-stage startup Memes on Twitter, and this one is no exception.

I have passively been following Crypto and supporting my friends working on Web3 tech, but they make it hard to just be passive.

Small Bets

I recently finished Daniel Vassallo's course on Small Bets, which has helped reframe my mindset about what it means to be out there fending for myself.

Many of you know I quit my job to try my hand at a startup. But startups take a long time to take off, especially SaaS startups.

Daniel was working on a SaaS too, but he started running out of money for his family. So he produced a quick course and book (in a matter of days, just using knowledge he already had and no outside research) that netted him and his family hundreds of thousands.

Daniel core premise behind the course is that in a world full of random events and luck, to sustain doing a startup and going long on tech, it's a solid idea to create some other income streams that don't take too much of your time.

For Daniel that blue line is a little freelancing work, for me its my real-estate and small income.

But the blue and green line can be any sort of bet that allows you to work on building up the red line.

You need something that let's you make time your friend and gives you the breathing room you need to get customers and get lucky.

I've never met a more out of the box thinker than Daniel. I will continue sharing my lessons from my own journey with these small bets.

A summary of all my bets:

A quick demo of what my brother and I have been coding up over the last two months, the Nines household management platform. This is our big bet, majority of our time goes to this.

A thread summarizing my real-estate investments, a bet placed before quitting my cushy high paying job. This is my blue line, takes little time and provides a roof for my family.

I am also taking Twitter more seriously and treating it like a small bet. That means for a few months I will go hard at it to see if it's for me. But I already see that it's the perfect place to validate ideas. That way I don't have to waste time building things no one wants.

The other little bet with my brother is TapeX, it's got a flow of mostly free users and is incredibly passive. It just works. Maybe someday time can make it more valuable? With more users maybe we can eventually sell it?

My recent little bet is the newsletter course through Maven that my friend Chris and I plan on teaching. We plan on teaching the psychology of getting started writing online and becoming consistent. Since we just did this ourselves, It feels fresh and fun for us to teach. (If you are interested fill out the form above. Maven has been running some world class courses, they provide the infrastructure, we teach.)

Send me an email if you have feedback or if you need my help in any way. You can respond directly to this email.

Have a great weekend,