Who are you collaborating with?

Letter No. 56

  
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👋 Hello! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #56 of Plan Your Next. It’s a newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

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Good morning from Los Angeles!

In early 2012, Brian Armstrong built a prototype that would let you send and receive payments in Bitcoin on the web or from your phone.

At the time, Bitcoin was sitting at $6.

Brian applied to Y Combinator (YC), arguably the world’s most successful and well-known startup incubator.

But, there’s one rule for startup founders applying to YC. You must have a cofounder.

And like any normal and sane person who wants to build a company, Brian put an ad out on Hacker News hoping to, “throw a hail mary” for a “shotgun wedding.”

The reason why YC requires cofounders in most cases is three-fold:

  1. Productivity is efficient when you split up the work

  2. Moral support during the intensity of building a company

  3. Historical success of companies with co-founders

They have found that establishing a collaborative relationship has a higher chance of success in the long run.

Charles Darwin also notes, “In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

In my own life, it’s been a wild week. I wrapped up the first cohort of Approachable Design last weekend with friends, talked to Josh Cadorette on his podcast about design, and finally Reza and I interviewed Charlie Bleeker on our own podcast about her writing process.

There’s a pattern emerging in my life, and in many of the decisions I make. Collaboration is a fundamental tenet in my life right now. This wasn’t always the case for me, for much of my life. Being self-taught means I’ve got a lot of pride built into my own identity which I’ve had to shed.

But for every new idea, find friends to collaborate with, early and often. Even if it doesn’t work out, it makes life a hell of a lot more fun.

Brian Armstrong ended up meeting his co-founder Fred Ehrsam who then went on to build Coinbase, a company that went public this week valued close to $100 billion.


⚡️ Inspiration for this week

📷 Same Energy

As you click, this image search throws you down a rabbit hole of related aesthetics to find new art, photography, or anything else. It’s remarkably smart and quick.

Steer through the Suez Canal

Not so easy, is it?

🤯 The $650 million pizza

You’ve heard the story. But here’s the original 2010 thread of the man who once paid 10,000 BTC for the delivery of 2 large pizzas.