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Hi friends,

Happy Labor Day weekend. I hope you are enjoying the annual rite of passage to autumn. The youths are back in Greenwich Village with the start of the fall semester, occupying the parks and sidewalks. It's nice to have them here :).  

Today's Contents:

  • Weekly Song: Cash Rules Everything Around Me
  • Good Reads
  • Community Corner

Weekly Song: Cash Rules Everything Around Me

I selected this 1990s classic when I planned to include an essay that played on the words in the chorus. I'm going to finish that piece tomorrow, though, so look for its inclusion next week.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me or C.R.E.A.M is one of the most iconic songs of Wu-Tang Clan, an highly influential hip-hop group from Staten Island (which they refer to as "Shaolin Land").

I thought of the song this week as my Twitter feeds turned almost entirely to crypto. People talking about their loot, or 'apeing in', or just 'gm' every day. Clearly the days of C.R.E.A.M. in its traditional sense are on the the way out. At the same time, I was also looking for some good reads on the topic of stock market all-time highs and the percent of the high flyers who are still burning cash. Peloton in Q2 reported negative $673.9M operating cash, for example. 

Alas, people are busy writing about other things. Maybe the days of C.R.E.A.M will return. Maybe not. 

Cash Rules Everything Around Me by Wu-Tang Clan

I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side
Stayin' alive was no jive
Had secondhands, Mom's bounced on old man
So then we moved to Shaolin land
A young youth, yo, rockin' the gold tooth, 'Lo goose
Only way I begin the G off was drug loot

Cash rules everything around me
C.R.E.A.M., get the money
Dollar dollar bill, y'all

Good Reads: 

Collectivizing Finance: Why The Future of VC is Multiplayer - Read here to get an inside view of Lightspeed negotiating an investment into Sushi on the backfoot. This is the first piece written on Mirror that I've shared. It won't be the last. This ecosystem and movement is so fast. 

Who is the wealthiest generation? Turns out it's a trick question. Most generations follow the same path over their lifetime when adjusted for inflation. Here.

How to create brand loyalty. A list of the increasingly sophisticated gimmicks of "brandlonging" companies use to turn fickle consumers into faithful members. Here.

Why are people buying lists of words? Crypto Rules Everything Around Me. Read the explainer on loot here. This immersive video game is getting more and more complicated. 

NYC Super Angel Joanne Wilson writes 'My investing days might be over'. A candid take on the state of the early stage startup ecosystem. On GothamGal's blog here. She says:

Valuations have become out of control. VCs began investing in every single sector. It makes sense because technology, health, how we eat, next-generation consumers, etc., have changed everything. Yet to value a company that sells mattresses like a software company makes zero sense to me. The amount of money just tossed around and lost without care is mind-boggling. There are products that I purchased knowing full well that some VC paid for them. Actually, some LP paid for it. I didn’t get it. At the end of the day, nobody has to look any farther than the publicly traded companies to understand correct valuations. Correct valuations allow everyone to grow and hopefully prosper. It stopped happening. Companies being valued at $30M getting out of YCombinator are not for angel investors. The expectation with these valuations also creates an environment of crash and burn that is not pretty. No wonder mental health issues are on the rise.

Community Corner

Tyler Hayes' company Atom Limbs was featured on the front page of Wired. Read about it here.

Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch. 


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Katelyn Donnelly
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