Nathan Sykes

March 27, 2021

The Race To Validate In 5 Days

I'm sure everyone and their mother has heard the traditional Silicon Valley jargon, usually a quote like "move fast and break things", signifying that the way a startup is to succeed is by trying new things and validating at the speed of light. At first, I was all over doing stuff like that. I like to break things! Show me where to bre...
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March 26, 2021

My Attempt To Have All Meetings One Day Per Week

I've been doing an experiment over the last few months, since about November, trying to schedule all of my work-related meetings on one specific day - Thursday. I'd still have normal phone calls and unscheduled check-ups, but if you wanted a slice of my time, you had to carve out a chunk of your Thursday to make it happen. I quickly ra...
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March 25, 2021

We Reimburse Our Employees' Opera Tickets

I'm a huge fan of the opera. I was dragged to the opera as a kid, and really hated it, but I started appreciating it more these past few years. I've started listening to it as I work, and have found that it really allows me to zero in and focus for long periods of time. As I'm writing this piece, I'm listening to the first act of Carme...
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March 24, 2021

My Thoughts On College Admissions

Last week marked an important milestone for me - I got rejected from my first college! Up until that point, I'd received a fair mix of acceptances and waitlists. My rejection, however, coincided with the release of the new Netflix documentary on the college admissions scandal, Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal. I ...
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March 23, 2021

Amazon Is A Horrible Private Equity Investment

And I don't mean the company itself. It's a publicly traded security and most likely outside of the purview of a lot of private equity investors. I mean Amazon merchants. The 'Fulfilled by Amazon' folks. I did not know this until I started looking into it to write this piece - did you know that entire private equity firms exist exclusi...
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March 22, 2021

The Howdy Interactive Standard Deal

It's no secret that I prefer acquiring micro-companies rather than starting them. Acquiring companies that are already profitable over starting new ones is an excellent strategic play. Gone are the woes of having to create an offer, validate it, and scale it up - somebody else is doing that for you. You just step in to take over steeri...
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March 21, 2021

Incentivizing Your Team With Performance Based Pay

I hold a lot of beliefs related to private equity, but one that I've come to hold pretty highly is the importance of retaining great people who do great work at all levels of an organization, from data entry, to middle management, to the folks helping me in my head office. I wrote a little bit on how you can make that process easier on...
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March 20, 2021

Higher Margin Businesses Will Always Win

Russell Brunson has a saying, "The company that can spend the most to acquire a customer will always win.", and I believe in that saying whole heartedly. It's given way to one of the core pillars of what we look for in a business at Howdy Interactive - we look for businesses with high margins. (Side note: I'm sure someone said it befor...
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March 19, 2021

Trust Based Due Diligence Rocks

One of the most boring parts (in my opinion) of working in private equity is due diligence. If you're not 'hip' to the PE 'jive', due diligence is when you confirm the value of a company you're looking to acquire by verifying their financials, growth, payroll, customer base, cash flow, credit lines, assets, liabilities, etc. Public sec...
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March 18, 2021

Optimal Anxiety Helps You Perform Better

One of the last 'normal' things I did before we all started lockdown in March of 2020 was give a TEDx talk in Miami on creating perfect environments for teen entrepreneurs. In addition to a TEDx talk being a rather prestigious talk to give, I had another layer of complexity - my speech disfluency. I've had a significant speech disfluen...
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