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This week: Mayor Francis Suarez hosted the first impromptu Miami Tech Week, an inside look at Brex’s unique OOH ad strategy, advice from Kevin Ryan, the “father of NYC tech,” and what may be Scott Galloway’s coldest take yet.
Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. Brex’s first ad campaign
1/ Brex raised new funding at a $7.4B valuation.— Trung Phan 🇨🇦 (@TrungTPhan) April 28, 2021
Interestingly, the corporate card startup launched in 2018 with a very successful $300k out-of-home (OOH) ad campaign.
Here's a breakdown of Brex's OOH strategy 🧵 pic.twitter.com/gw8n4cP7oh
The Hustle writer Trung Phan routinely delivers Twitter threads on innovative startups. This one, about Brex, focuses on the fintech company’s first successful (OOH) out-of-home advertising strategy, which brought Brex to everyone’s attention (at least in San Francisco) back when it was founded in 2018.
For those who aren’t well-versed in ads, OOH advertising refers to anywhere you might see an ad outside your home: billboards, park benches, bus stops, and more.
According to Phan, Brex only spent $300,000 on the campaign, and by targeting downtown San Francisco specifically, it was able to give the impression of being omnipresent, at least to the startup founders that frequented the area. Phan then went in-depth on the ad strategies the company used to gain a foothold in the Bay Area.
2. Miami Tech Week
I couldn’t be prouder of this moment. This is living proof that the Miami Movement is real. What we’re building together is real.— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) April 28, 2021
Thank you to everyone who came out to City Hall this morning and enjoy the rest of Miami Tech Week ☀️ 🏝 pic.twitter.com/WMXZGI70Ry
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez helped his city go viral again this week, this time for the first unofficial Miami Tech Week, a get together of hundreds of founders and VCs to showcase the burgeoning tech scene. Hundreds of people in the startup community lined up to meet Suarez and grab a “cafecito.” Other events included a bike ride and a happy hour organized by other startup founders.
The event was initially sparked by Delian Asparouhov, a principal at Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund, who advertised the launch event for accelerator program On Deck, which was planning on bringing together founders and VCs across Miami. When Suarez caught wind of the event, he joined in, promoting Miami as Silicon Valley’s main tech rival in the process.
“We caught fire again,” Suarez told the Miami Herald. “Miami Tech Week has become viral, from the ‘OGs’ to new Miami tech, everyone is coalescing around this idea.”
3. Scott Galloway’s peer group
You constantly want to be upgrading your peer group. You want to hang out with smarter, more successful, more interesting, higher-character people because you will rise or fall to the level of your peer group. #officehours #ProfGPod 4/26— Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) April 28, 2021
Scott Galloway might be known as “Professor Cold Takes,” but his latest viral tweet might be among the coldest. Several prominent Twitter personalities pointed out that discarding friends for a higher social status might not be the best idea. Garry Tan, founder of Initialized Capital, was among the most vocal critics.
“Sometimes especially new startup-life friends execute this advice in real time to my real friends (oh you’re a teacher? Cool *Walks away*),” Tan wrote. “It’s fucking gross. Don’t do this.”
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian then weighed in, saying, “There is value in spending time with people who will make you laugh, inspire you, motivate you, etc. That doesn't mean 'upgrading' constantly, though. My closest friends are all the same guys from KINDERGARTEN. I'm doing OK professionally, wouldn't you agree @profgalloway?”
Galloway followed up with a clarifying tweet after the backlash.
Alright. The point is: have people around you who inspire you. They will inspire you in different ways. Make sure they inspire you, and that you inspire them.— Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) April 29, 2021
4. Advice from the “father of NYC tech”
I interviewed someone who created $25B worth of startup value over the past 25 years.— Chris Hladczuk (@chrishlad) April 25, 2021
The "Father of NYC tech" has also raised $2B in venture capital funding.
His name is Kevin Ryan and here's what I learned:
Yale student Chris Hladczuk shared some wisdom from Kevin Ryan, the unofficial “father of NYC tech.” Ryan has co-founded several prominent New York startups, including Gilt Groupe, Business Insider and MongoDB, and had some valuable lessons for the aspiring startup founders out there.
For starters, Hladczuk wrote, don’t found a startup immediately — take some time to work at one to learn how they operate day-to-day. Ryan also noted that industry expertise is overrated, telling Hladczuk, “If the industry experts hate your idea, you’re on to something.”
5. Kan Opnr: Silicon Valley’s next unicorn?
No one:— Trung Phan 🇨🇦 (@TrungTPhan) April 27, 2021
“We’re called Kan Opnr, a smart hardware company disrupting the $10 trillion global food industry.” pic.twitter.com/bVbN4rHZtj
Trung Phan isn’t just known for his insightful Twitter threads. He’s also something of a meme master. In this thread, Phan outlined a brilliant new idea for Kan Opnr, “a smart hardware company disrupting the $10 trillion global food industry.”
Phan didn’t stop there — he included some remarkable business strategy: “Make a fragile handle that breaks frequently so the customer has to subscribe for a monthly replacement (COAAS, Can-opening-as-a-service).”
Seed round, anyone?