Background — One Year Later
The idea for this Substack came a year ago (in 2020) while taking Write of Passage, 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. The secret is distribution. Our time is our most precious resource. To find people willing to give their time up, you have to create not only good content, but own your distribution channel. Good writing doesn’t automatically equal an audience. What’s really needed is consistency.
But publishing content consistently is hard. It means foregoing other opportunities, keeping a tight schedule, and staying true to your word—which can only really happen when you write about what you love to do, what you're good at, and what the world needs.
Another way of saying this is:
Stick to your personal monopoly—your specialized knowledge, skills, insights, and experience that makes your writing unique and interesting—and the rest will follow.
My own personal monopoly is law and tech as it relates to emerging funds. These topics seem interesting to me but probably not so much to most lawyers. Why is that?
First, not many lawyers practice 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.” But there is only one person who identifies as an “Emerging Fund Lawyer” on LinkedIn—it’s me.
Second, even fewer lawyers write about their practice. There are agent-principal problems and misalignment of interests in the law. 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. Writing for law is not for the faint of heart.
Third, it’s rare to find a lawyer who has an interest in legal 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 considered prestigious for lawyers to be in legal tech. That’s not to say lawyers are inherently resistant to technology. 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 wrote will be about one of more of these three 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 clients for 12 years.
Background about me:
12 years of practicing law
Former coder 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.