July 4th Linkblog: Don’t Fake FOMO When Fundraising, 50 Cent on Success, Miss Texas on Reproductive Rights, +++

A few reads for an American holiday

Uncle Sam reading a magazine while an eagle sits on his shoulder, digital art

In Conversation with 50 Cent (Carvell Wallace/Vulture) – 20 years later and reading his name still triggers memories of In Da Club’s opening beats. This interview is less about his musical legacy and more about how 50 created a tv and film production empire. And of course, the Vitamin Water deal

“We found out it was a privately owned company in Queens, and I’m already running around making more money than — look, you got to imagine how rich you are when you’re making about $32 million running around on tour. From where I was at? Think about the transition. I stopped feeling the financial transactions. The money that was physically around me didn’t even count. The money that counts is at the accountant’s office. When I say “How much?” and I’m looking at the monthly, it’s all black-and-white. It’s not green. So if I do the deal with Vitamin Water, I don’t really need the money up front. The big money, on the back end when they sell it, I need to participate in that. And it changed the way artists look at deal structures. Because until those stages, they were not looking to do deals like that. They was looking for how much they could get an advance right quick, get the shot, and go from there.”

Stop with the Fake FOMO (Chris Neumann) – Trying to create fake FOMO when fundraising almost always fails and even when successful, creates a bit of a ‘winner’s curse’ – you get the type of investors who fall for this stuff. Per my earlier interview with him, I appreciate that Chris covers a lot of core topics for founders and startups. There are of course lots of things you should do in a fundraise to build momentum, but Fake FOMO ain’t one of them. In Chris’ words,

Remember, investors receive hundreds of emails from founders each month. I promise that it’s glaringly obvious when founders try to push fake FOMO. You might think you’re being smart, but the VC on the other end is likely rolling their eyes.

The Air Jordan Drop So Hot It Blew Up an Alleged $85 Million Ponzi Scheme (Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Kim Bhasin/Businessweek) – What an epic tale, and one that touches the startup scene too as this guy was basically taking pre-orders of hot releases and then trying to fulfill the orders on StockX, etc etc.

Zadeh Kicks had been offering the Cool Greys for as little as $115 since the fall before the drop. On release day it owed customers more than 600,000 pairs—an enormous chunk of Nike’s entire stock, which sneaker site Housakicks estimated at 1.2 million to 1.7 million pairs. Malekzadeh had no hope of filling the order. What’s more, the cycle was already repeating: Even as he scrambled to find Cool Greys, he was getting tens of thousands of preorders for the next big Jordan release, the Air Jordan 4 Retro Military Black, due out the following May.

An unlikely provocateur, Miss Texas, takes on the state’s GOP leaders (Molly Hennessy-Fiske/Washington Post) – My wife’s maternal roots are Texan so my interest in the state go beyond national discourse headlines. There are a lot of people who are both proud of Texas -AND- pushing for change but I didn’t expect Miss Texas to be one of them! And I’m excited to have learned about her.

After the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights, following her home state’s own restrictions, she posted again: “When you live in Texas and all you wanted was a hot girl summer, but now you have a ‘no reproductive rights’ summer.”

Enjoy your 4th of July!