If you’re looking for the worksheet and want to skip reading the associated post, you can find it here.

Who Is This For?

If you’re reading this, you may already have an offer from an early-stage startup and are looking to understand the value of the equity portion of your comp package. For simplicity, let’s call this prospective employer Early Inc. You may even have multiple offers, including one from a later-stage company (Later Corp) that you’re comparing it with.

Let’s start with three things you should NOT do at this juncture:

  1. Discount the value of the equity to zero and focus solely on…


Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and do not reflect the view of any third party. This is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other products and should not be considered investment advice.

I spent the last year going deep down the cryptoasset rabbit hole. (Side note: If you’re just getting started, check out my crypto primer.) Below is my latest thinking on areas I find interesting:

Regulated Moats

The number of cryptoasset holders grew to ~20-25M since 2011. In comparison, the number of banked adults worldwide grew by ~700M over the same period. One of the…


I recently re-read John Pfeffer’s excellent paper: An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets (the full paper is linked at the bottom of his blogpost). A quick cliff notes of John’s view of protocol/utility tokens is below, though I encourage you to read his paper to get the full picture:

  • The total value (M) of a utility or protocol token (eg. ETH) can be calculated by the formula PQ/V where P is the total price of the utility provided, Q is its quantity, and V is the velocity of money (eg. how fast it moves through the system. …


Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post about helping friends navigate the eternal “what will this financing do to my ownership?” question. Two years later, it’s still fundraising season (yes, it’s still always fundraising season), and while the original spreadsheet was good, it’s time for something better.

An interactive simulator!

The cap table simulator in action

What does it do?

With this simulator, you can:

  • Add Common Stock or Option Grants
  • Add Convertible Notes or SAFEs
  • Add Equity rounds

You can layer as many rounds as you’d like, with one or multiple investors per round.

The simulator will take care of:

  • Automagically calculating everyone’s ownership stakes at every…


The Deep Learning GPU.

I’ve been geeking out on Deep Learning lately, taking Andrew Ng’s awesome Deep Learning specialization on Coursera and my friend Lukas Biewald’s awesome ML class. I wanted to build my own Deep Learning desktop so I can train models much faster than on my Mac laptop (or even than on an AWS Deep Learning AMI). With Lukas’ help & tutelage, we made it happen.

In case you’re interested in doing the same, here’s the box we built. Most of the time was spent configuring the software properly. To save you from some of the pain, I’ve tried to excruciatingly detail…


I recently read the Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant. The book is essentially a self-authored Cliff’s Notes of their 11 tome The Story of Civilization and it’s incredible. In the spirit of summary², I’ve tried to jot down some of the more meaningful passages for me in bullets below and wanted to share them.

Note: I didn’t put quotes around anything because none of the thoughts below are mine. You can assume they are either direct quotes or close paraphrases. …


US regulatory agencies are weighing in on ICOs. FinCEN says money transmitter rules apply, CFTC determined that cryptoassets are commodities, and the SEC has stated they are securities. As legal and compliance folks weigh in, let me suggest another view: ICOs are public good charity fundraisers.

According to Google the definition of a public good is: “a commodity or service that is provided without profit to all members of a society, either by the government or a private individual or organization.” (bold is mine)

Public goods sound awesome, right? Unfortunately, the biggest challenge with an awesome public good is that…


Bitcoin Price & Market Cap. Source: coinmarketcap.com

Many of my friends & family have asked what they should read/watch to get started understanding cryptocurrencies. I first send them the Bitcoin whitepaper and the Princeton class first (first 2 links below). Depending on how much they’ve been infected by the crypto virus after that, and their level/approach, I suggest more of the below links. There’s a trove of material and this is by no means exhaustive. That said, it’s a decent start. Enjoy!

Start here:

Why crypto matters:


After 4.5 years as Parsable’s CEO, I’m passing the baton. I’m excited to announce that Lawrence Whittle — formerly our Chief Revenue Officer — is Parsable’s next CEO.

When Ryan, Chase, and I founded Parsable, we had a vision to empower industrial workers globally to get their jobs done right, every time by replacing legacy paper-based workflows with a modern collaboration & workflow platform designed from the ground up for industrial work.

We discovered early on that, while industrial firms had widely adopted digital collaboration technology in their back offices, their field and factory workers still do their jobs with…


Back in October last year, I wrote about the most valuable book I read in 2016, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.

Reading, re-reading, and listening to Chris’ book has been one of the more transformative things I’ve done for both my work and personal life.

If you’re running from meeting to meeting, negotiation to negotiation, it’s hard to carry the book with you and search it in real time for insights. To that end, I created a 6-page cheat-sheet that I carry around in my pocket at all times. Over the past few months, I’ve given it to…

Yan-David Erlich

GP @ Coatue. Investor @weights_biases @ImpiraHQ @InfinitusAI @finexploration @abacusai . 4x Founder/CEO incl @ParsableHQ . Angel @thumbtack @masterclass

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