It’s a new year. I have read a lot of predictions and ‘themes’ for 2016 posts, but I continue on a mission I set off on in 2006 when I created Wallstrip.
I wanted to be a part of the re-imagination of financial media, including CNBC. When Wallstrip was acquired in 2007, the mission evolved as I invested some profits in Alley Insider (Business Insider) and started Social Leverage to invest in financial startups.
Josh Brown has a good post up today asking his readers ‘Are You on a Mission‘…my fave parts below:
“It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?”
– Henry David Thoreau
A new year begins. What are you working on? Are you on a mission? Yes, you’re working hard but are you doing something meaningful? For a company that stands for something? Do you wake up without an alarm clock because the mission beckons?
“Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.”
– Pablo Picasso
Does your work seamlessly blend with your life and what you want to get out of it? Does the line blur because you love the challenge you’ve set before yourself? Even the low points and the small failures along the way?
“Persistency of purpose is a power. It creates confidence in others. Everybody believes in the determined man.”
– Orison Swett Marden
Have you surrounded yourself with people on the same mission, people working toward the same purpose? You can do it alone but you don’t have to. Are your ideas powerful enough to share? Are they attracting others to your cause? Are your beliefs infectious?
“You have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
– Theodore Hesburgh
As 2016 Begins I am more excited than ever about my work.
I continue as CEO/Chairman of Stocktwits and have a great team led by Justin Paterno. Justin has helped get the team in the right spot to really push growth hard in 2016 (come work with us). We will be profitable as well. Fred Wilson said this about Stocktwits in 2008…’If you love stocks and like talking about them all day long…Stocktwits is for you.’ We continue to think about our platform and network with Fred’s description in mind.
Our fund Social Leverage invested in Robinhood in 2014 and 2015 which made sense to us because of our 2009 investment in Etoro (Europe, China, Russia). Robinhood truly opens the idea of investing and saving for the next generations. I love my talks with the team and founders and appreciate the ground floor look at the opportunities their growth is creating.
We also have investments in DataFox, ChartIQ and Ycharts which have a unique products for their consumer and enterprise financial markets.
Much like Facebook has attacked mobile domination via a ‘constellation’ of apps…I believe that financial app domination will follow a similar path.
Look at this chart from Commscore (grabbed from Fred Wilson’s post):
The financial app sector is not as small as people think. Yahoo Stocks is the 12th largest mobile app…ahead of Twitter.
I really believe this is the year that the constellation outshines the one large app (Yahoo Stocks).
To help bring this change, I had an idea to build a ‘Spotify’ of market data (stocks and ETF’s too) and Social Leverage backed a team to build it. You can get the app today (‘Spark’ and Sparkfin.com) and in late January version 2 will be live. Our CEO, Jason Pang, has a vision for making ‘Spark’ the most used financial app. I get to spend a lot of time with the team Jason built as we share offices in San Diego. It is really fun and exciting to be a part of it.
It takes a lot of time to push real change. I love my career so I can be patient. My partners and investors have allowed me the space and time to piece this vision together and I am on a mission to make 2016 the ‘tipping’ year for this change.