TroyLabs Weekly: Summer Update 2.0

“We provide Trojan founders with an all-in-one framework to get their startups off the ground.” 🚀

Week of July 26thStartup News, Improving Productivity & TroyLabs Updates


Summer Is Ending— 🤧

Hello hello 👋, fellow readers! We don't want to be the bearers of bad news, but the TroyLabs crew needs to rip off this bandage for you.

It's going to hurt. You may feel the urge to cry a little. You know what? We get it, and we're here for ya. Here it goes, and we're so sorry:

Summer is coming to a close.

Luckily, there's a bright side to having homework again! This will be the VERY first in-person semester of college for a bunch of us, and we're P U M P E D to see your pretty faces in person at TroyLabs events (coming soon, shhh!), parties, and on campus.

Now, sit back, grab your drink of choice, and dive into some high-signal, exclusive content we've been cooking up! 👨🏼‍🍳


🔥Spicy Take of The Week

This is low-key our favorite part: we love hearing your Spicy Takes™!

Wanna submit your own? Scroll on! This week's take is from [redacted]:

If you have "happy to announce" anywhere in your LinkedIn / Twitter post, we're beefing. That's it. That's the take.

Spiciness Rating: 🌶🌶🌶🌶

Definitely gonna stir some pots- keep 'em coming!

Wanna Spill Some Tea?


💡Weekly Insights: Improve Productivity With First-Principles Thinking

Hold up, so, what is a "First Principle"? 🤔

First-principles are basic assumptions that can not be deduced from any other assumption. They help us solve problems by avoiding generalities that can lead to poor decision-making.

Consider them as the building blocks for thinking. They are like nodes in your brain that become even more powerful as they begin to mix and match more and more, allowing you to think better and faster.

But for this to work, you have to choose the right blocks to build on.

This is a complex yet incredibly powerful batch of information. Luckily, we found an AMAZING guide that breaks down how to approach first-principle thinking, particularly in business and much more. Here's a snippet:

Curious? Intrigued? Confused? Read the ENTIRE guide here

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Startup and News Radar 📰

Shopify to Allow Merchants to Sell NFTs Directly Through Their Stores

Things are getting interesting as Shopify becomes the next company to dive into the NFT space. Notably, one of the first Shopify merchants to offer NFTs will be the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.1

OpenSea Becomes the First NFT Marketplace Unicorn, Raises $100M

What the NFT?

The startup announced in March it had closed a $23 million Series A, and now some four months later, the company tells TechCrunch it has raised another $100 million in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz at a $1.5 billion valuation.

*A Note Regarding NFTs*

Something awesome is happening here. It is difficult to speculate what is next for the NFT space, but it is safe to say many crypto believers are diving face first into this fascinating phase of experimentation and discovery. A few other notable platforms to watch out for include BitskiSuperrareAxie InfinityAutographNifty Gateway and more (all with with funding from a range of notable investors including a16z, Jay Z, Naval and Mark Cuban).

Jokr Raises $170M to Crush the Grocery Delivery Game

Domino's hits you with pizzas in 30 minutes, or it's free. Jokr promises to get you groceries in 15!

Jokr is an amazing case study on how to win with a double-sided marketplace, especially in urban areas. With the explosive growth in only 4 months since launch, this startup hopes to take on behemoths like Amazon and Instacart- definitely, one to look out for! 2

We know of a certain TroyLabs startup that's working on something similar for LATAM... want details😉? Hit us up!

Alloy Just Dropped Their eCommerce Stack, V2.0

Say it with us: not all startups are software startups. For those of us in the e-commerce game, selling a product at scale is... tough, to say the least.3

Alloy hopes to solve that and help stores crush the game with their second iteration of the eCommerce stack: a resource to help navigate the overwhelming universe of apps! Check it out here.

Some Rich Dudes Went to Space

TLDR: Billionaire Jeff Bezos rode Blue Origin's... interestingly shaped rocket (pictured above) into space, while another billionaire Richard Branson also decided to pop by, with the help of Virgin Galactic. 4

Also, the U.S. is trying to tighten up some rules to prevent Bezos and Branson from officially becoming astronauts. Damn!

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👨‍🍳 What We're Cookin'

We've been keeping a lot of stuff under wraps this summer because TroyLabs has always been an "underpromise and overdeliver" type of collective.

But one of the things we're exceptionally excited about is connecting founders to the venture capital that they need this year, and we're slowly rolling out Startup Snapshots: essentially, we take top-tier founders' companies, research what makes them tick, and connect them to amazing investors, all while providing feedback that only comes with our 4 years of experience, working with hundreds of startups.

Interested in getting in touch with some investors and leveling up your fundraising strategy? Shoot us an email with your deck at troylabs@usc.edu so we can help you out!


Quote of the Summer 💭

"Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward."

- Robert Kiyosaki, American Businessman and Author 5

🔍 Sources

1

Coindesk; Image Credit: Harley Finkelstein

2

Image Credit: LabsNews

3

Image Credit: Alloy

4

Cnet; Image Credit: Blue Origin

5

Robert Kiyosaki; Image Credit: Famous Entrepreneurs