Background — One Year Later
The idea for this Substack came while taking Write of Passage #5 (2020), a cohort-based writing course taught by David Perell. The key takeaway from WoP was not how to be good at writing but rather how to become a better online writer.
In the age of abundance, good writing is not enough to get you readership. Distribution and consistent publishing are the keys to more readers.
Our time is our most precious resource. To find people willing to give up their time, you have to write not only good content, but own your own distribution channel. And good writing doesn’t necessarily equal an audience. Consistently shipping good content is the key to audience growth.
But consistently shipping/publishing good content is hard. It means foregoing other opportunities, keeping a tight schedule, and staying true to your word—which can only happen when you write about what you love to do, what you're good at, and what the world needs.
Another way to say this is:
Stick to your personal monopoly—focus on your specialized knowledge, skills, insights, and experience that makes your writing rare and valuable.
My own personal monopoly is law and tech as it relates to emerging funds. Why those topics?
First, <0.1% of lawyers actually practice emerging VC fund law. There are 260+ late stage VC funds and about 1,250+ emerging VC firms in the United States (trending upwards). There are 1.3 million lawyers in the US (trending downwards) and 150+ lawyers on LinkedIn who bill themselves as “venture capital lawyers.” Even taking a radically high estimate of 1,500 lawyers in this space, that’s only 0.1% of lawyers who practice in venture capital fund law.
Second, even fewer lawyers write about their practice. There are agent-principal problems and misalignment of interests in the law. At law firms, lawyers have annual hourly minimums and they can’t exactly bill “Draft VC Article” to their clients. But there’s also concern about ruffling feathers or getting ignored for publishing mediocre content.
Third, lawyers rarely adopt new tech. The same issues preventing lawyers from writing about their practices also prevent them from adopting legal technology. As I have written before, legal tech lacks status—it’s not prestigious for lawyers to be in legal tech. That’s not to say all lawyers are technophobes. In 2020, the American Bar Association (ABA) found that 82% of surveyed lawyers agreed technology training is important. But finding lawyers who have a background and interest in tech seems to be rare these days.
So the articles I write about will be in one of more of these three domains and topics.
This newsletter is authored by me, Chris Harvey, an emerging fund lawyer.
Q: Who is this newsletter for?
Emerging VC fund managers
Lawyers, bankers, accountants and other professionals
Venture Capital partners, principals and staff
Anyone interested in venture capital
Q: How will you benefit from this newsletter?
There will be perspectives and opinions that you will not see from other lawyers or individuals. That’s because my background is uniquely tailored for this kind of content drafting: My profession covers the law, but my background is in technology. I have been working with VCs and startups for several years and with business clients for over 13 years.
Background about me:
13+ years of practicing law
Former web designer turned legal wordsmith-for-hire
Author of “Financing a Business” chapter in Emerging Companies Guide, a legal practitioner’s guidebook published by the American Bar Association (ABA) and edited by former Cooley lawyer/distinguished author, Alan Gutterman, Ph.D.; and,
Contributor of the “Holloway Guide to Raising Venture Capital”, a current & comprehensive resource for founders and VCs, with technical detail, practical knowledge, real-world scenarios & pitfalls to avoid. Original work by Andy Sparks, COO of Mattermark & current Co-founder/CEO of Holloway.