Welcome to another edition of Business Twitter, where we collect the best tweets to come out of Silicon Valley so you don’t have to. This article is part of a newsletter — if you want a weekly Business Twitter roundup sent to your inbox every Friday, subscribe here.
This week: Brian Armstrong on Coinbase’s public debut, how to build a seven-figure newsletter, tips from billion-dollar startups, and the bizarre story of Bill Hwang and Archegos Capital Management.
Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. Coinbase goes public
1/ Today is a big moment for @coinbase as we become a public company. But it’s also a big one for crypto. This all started with the Bitcoin whitepaper 12 years ago, a deceptively simple 9 page document by Satoshi Nakamoto that ignited a global movement. https://t.co/4pE006XTFP— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) April 14, 2021
In a major step forward for crypto, Coinbase is now a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq. After a volatile first day of trading, CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted about the company’s beginnings to mark the occasion.
“The Coinbase journey started when I read the Satoshi whitepaper while I was home for Thanksgiving in 2010,” he wrote. “As I read it, I realized that crypto had the power to unlock a future where economic freedom was a reality for everyone.”
“After reading it, I started coding an early prototype of Coinbase on nights and weekends, and began attending early bitcoin meetups around the Bay Area,” he added. “Eventually I was accepted at Y Combinator and got the courage to quit my job at Airbnb to go pursue this crazy idea.”
Now, Coinbase is valued at $85.7 billion as of its first day of trading, making Armstrong worth an estimated $13 billion.
2. How to build a newsletter
"How 7-Figure Newsletters Make Money"— Ethan Brooks (@damn_ethan) April 13, 2021
For the last few weeks, I've been doing this talk, based on 6+ months of dedicated research.
Time to see if it translates well to Twitter. For your viewing pleasure...🧵 pic.twitter.com/LkrZQbNSZq
Ethan Brooks, a senior analyst for newsletter startup The Hustle, knows a lot about how to build a successful newsletter. It’s his job to analyze the competition, so he wrote a comprehensive thread to illustrate his findings. If you’re looking to start your own newsletter, don’t look any further.
According to Brooks, some of the most common questions when starting a newsletter include: "Which kind of newsletter should I build... Paid or free? How niche should it be? What tech stack should I use? How do I scale my audience?”
Brooks wrote that the best strategy for building an audience is to start with a free newsletter, monetized through ads, then switch over to a low subscription price, followed by a high subscription price. As your audience grows and you build trust, they won’t want to leave when you start charging.
3. Billion-dollar startup tips
I've interviewed 5 founders of billion dollar startups.— Chris Hladczuk (@chrishlad) April 9, 2021
Here's what I learned:
This Yale student’s thread about startup lessons took off after being posted last Friday — even startup guru Paul Graham retweeted it. In the thread, Chris Hladczuk shares 12 crucial lessons five from five unnamed billion-dollar startup founders.
Some highlights include the handy acronym CTFU, or “Catch the F*ck Up." Hladczuk elaborates: “Startups are about speed. If you don’t have urgency, you lose.” There’s also this brief yet direct tip: “Be short and to the point with important people.”
Hladczuk’s other tips range from who not to take startup advice from, who makes the best startup mentor, and how to recruit the best people for your startup.
4. The rise and fall of Bill Hwang
The story of the last few weeks in finance has been the secretive rise and rapid downfall of Archegos Capital Management.— Sahil Bloom (@SahilBloom) April 12, 2021
A thread on the underlying mechanics of the Archegos saga and how a $20 billion fortune vanished into thin air... pic.twitter.com/fx8dsaTP74
Some of the most informative Twitter threads come from investor Sahil Bloom, and his latest is no different. Bloom takes a closer look at Bill Hwang, the head of Archegos Capital Management, and why it fell so spectacularly last month.
Hwang, a veteran investor, was worth $30 billion at his peak, and his firm’s portfolio was worth around $100 billion. Despite running the firm successfully since its founding in 2012, Hwang couldn’t keep things afloat after Viacom CBS announced a $3 billion stock sale.
Archegos had bought much of that stock, so when Viacom’s share price plummeted, banks swooped in to seize Archegos’ collateral. In short, the firm lost $20 billion and Bill Hwang’s fortune was gone. According to the New York Times, it was the biggest implosion of an investment firm since the 2008 financial crisis.
Bloom took apart the financial processes that went into the collapse, and pointed out one of the more unique aspects of the story: Bill Hwang himself. Hwang, a deeply religious, private man, didn’t fit the typical description of a money-hungry Wall Street type.
“The complexity of his character adds to the mystique of this crazy story,” Bloom concluded.