The Awake Thesis for World 2.0

As we’ve said before, Awake is different.

While we channel large amounts of money, we are not money managers. Money management is typically characterized as using information to take advantage of market dynamics – aka – arbitrage, a form of value extraction. On the other hand, Awake is in the express business of value co-creation.

The Awake thesis, such as it is, has a few elements, in no particular order:

  • Cashflow is the life of business
  • Marketplaces are good at finding cashflow
  • Cooperation and collaboration over competition
  • Product-market fit is about market
  • Marketing is market-building
  • Follow the money
  • Liquidity over assets
  • Meaning matters
  • People matter
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I’m sure there are more, and we’ll write a lot more about a lot more, but these are a few key ones. A bit more these:

Cashflow

Nothing else matter more than cash, you can’t make up transactional losses through volume. It’s a bit like water – where there is cashflow, will spring up a business! This is a force of nature, work with it, not against it, particularly when starting a new business.

Bazaars

Civilizations have started with bazaars for a reason – the marketplace is the most natural exchange in the real world – where people collect to exchange news and ideas, goods and services.

As software continues to eat the world, the bazaar is the natural backbone on which the flesh of the body can hang off of. Whatever the skin is, this is the backend.

In fact, this is serious enough for us that we started work on AwakeOS, the opinionated framework for modern Internet businesses. And yes, we’re funding companies built on it. And yes, we’re co-creating those companies ourselves. More on this later, for we will be announcing some of our first few investments shortly. Awake is bazaar.vc.

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Cooperation over Competition

A lot has been said about the best thing in the world being a monopoly – and that might be true from a capitalist point of view. Awake believes that the ultimate form of capitalism is one that works for everyone – and works for the long term. And keeps in mind, that in the long term, we’re all dead. And works to make everyone wealthier while active – this is the Awake approach. 

And this means we are not ever in competition with anyone – even with the enemy. We are open for business – make trade not war. Awake is blue ocean to the extreme.

Product-Market Fit

Here’s the thing – product market fit is about market, not product. Product is an idea, the market is purely cash flow. Many products can satisfy the need, many types of cash flows can satisfy the need, but the need is a need only with a cash flow. 

Awake places high premium on marketing – the act or process of building markets. Not advertising, but market building. And here’s where co-creation is a benefit, and ecosystems create markets larger than the sum of their parts.

Market-ing is Market-Building

A lot of folks seem to think that advertising is what marketers do. I actually do not know what marketers do either. We do know that advertising doesn’t work.

Marketing is about building markets, though – and the act of market building is the job of the marketing team, which is the whole company. Creating value is marketing, creating a positive cash flow is creating value. Focus on marketing, and always be selling.

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Follow the Money!

The real value comes closer and close to the transaction. If you’re the seller, you want the direct buyer. Every step in the way is waste. Sometimes essential, and often times material for a co-creational ecosystem. Awake is laser focused on the bottom line, however, for the bottom line is the bottom line of business.

Often times, following the money allows a business to take the whole value chain. This is a natural way to scale, and often, full-service is the entry into the market, counter-intuitive as it may sound.

Liquidity over Assets

The world is moving towards two camps – those that have assets, and those that use assets when they need them. Awake enables both. 

The sharing economy is real, people are focused on experiences rather than imagined satisfaction from owning things. This is idea “usage over accumulation” in action – and is a natural way of thinking among millennials and generation Z. Awake facilities this new world, the very foundations of the Awake ecosystem is built around sharing and dynamic resource allocation.

The world is dynamic and fluid, the systems and businesses that understand this will succeed.

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Meaning Matters

The Why of something is the paramount thing – the What comes next, and the How. This world is full of talk and opinions and lies. Only action speaks actuality, and the why of such action is the only reason to resonate with that something. This is the ethos of what defines a business, and is based on what a cult-like following can either be created, or not.

Meaning is the reason for buying something, this is why the product itself is merely an idea.

Awake companies solve for meaning, by being the essence. And letting everyone engage in that shared essence.

People Matter

Is there a truer truism? We’ve been involved in enough companies and had enough ups and downs to know that people are the only thing that matter – and I learned this lesson the hard way – by making mistakes in this area. Tough ones. And so, we take care of all the people we work with, and extra care of people who take care of other people. Across all functions. Nothing more need be said.

Talk to us!

So if you’re a cool person or organization, reach out, we can co-create new things together – partners@awake.vc

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