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Chen from Venn / Issue #2

This was my first holiday season in NYC. Wow. It was crazy time – the hustle, the cold, the mad rush to buy gifts, the lights, the cold, the decorations, did I mention the cold?? I’m seriously not used to it. It affects your day-to-day, your weekend plans, and I feel like the lack of vitamin D is making everyone a bit less happy and positive. It was rough to be far away from close friends and family during the holidays – yet another reason why having a community is so important. And why I know that I’m in the right place to be working on what we’re building together at Venn.

My mind this month

Finance. Specifically, credit scores. More specifically, for relocators. This is a new system for me, and it’s not something I’m used to at all. It was definitely not part of kibbutz living. So, I’ve been grappling with what it means to be a responsible capitalist,which I believe and know to be possible. The credit system sometimes seems like an obstacle, especially for people who are new to this country. How can sensible decisions be made based on data while also taking into consideration the human aspect? How can we have a scalable system that protects both lenders and borrowers, where people feel like the system is working to support them, instead of against them? I don’t have the answers.

Practice what you preach

It seems like everyone’s getting back to routine. I’ve been getting to know some of the locals, like Diego, who owns Bushwick Taco Co. (there’s nothing like a dripping hot taco to warm the spirit). And it’s been a thrill to kick back with Eamon, founder of the club Nowadays, who’s a bit of a legend around here. These guys are definitely add some serious props to the neighborhood. 

Apps that save me

AccuWeather – We have a simple equation in Israel. Sun = hot. Here, even on the sunniest days, I have no idea how many layers I’m going to need. And what is this Fahrenheit on the news?? Tip: always look at the “feels like” feature. 
Task Rabbit – It really is the simplest way to get things done. Whether it’s a small repair or something a bit more major, there are some seriously experienced pros here who can help you get shit done. Quickly and at a reasonable price.

Readings on the L

The Dark Side of Community Management, by a community manager who talks about the dark and the light side of being a community manager and how to avoid burnout. The Global Co-Living Report 2019 from The Housemonk, including enablers, funding, opportunities, and challenges.
The 4 Signs of Founder-Market Fit, by James Currier from NFX, breaks down the 4 signs (obsession, founder story, personality, experience) in a totally relatable way – read it for the VC perspective.

Cooler than me

I’ve been bouncing ideas with Miki Osadon and Asaf Hachmon from Bond (formerly Shookit), who are developing neighborhood-level distribution centers for the delivery products bought online. And it’s been super cool to meet Sharonna Karni from Dreame, which allows people to commission artwork from artists all over the world. They make some seriously beautiful prints, phone cases, and even yoga mats. I love it.

New Year Treats

Gili and I are still getting a kick out of discovering new favorites all the time. Here’s a random sampling just to make you a bit jealous about our fabulous nyc life 😉
Eats: The sancocho at Alex Luncheonette (what’s sancocho? only the most delicious Dominican soup that happens to be perfect for winter) and the Newtown Creek Oyster Stout at Bridge and Tunnel Brewery (a new place introduced to us by Jess, our community manager at Venn). Culture: Quantic, a DJ who put on a great show in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, and JR, a French artist I love who has a show right now in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It’s amazing to be able to see world class artists in real life. We feel like we’re just getting started…

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Love,

Chen

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