I’ve been working in the startup ecosystem for more than a decade as both an investor and operator. Given my somewhat unique experience, I am asked reasonably frequently for advice about finding the right startup to join and how to negotiate the right startup job offer. Startup negotiation is different from a big company, so below is a consolidated set of advice, tips, and resources for people wondering how and what they should negotiate for.

Let’s start with the obvious — finding a job is stressful. Like with any job search, finding a job at a startup is a time-consuming…


There are many superlatives that could be ascribed to 2020 (“Craziest Year Ever” anyone?) “Taps’ Most Active Year of Book Reading” will not be one of them. I worked my way through 15 books last year. Mostly non-fiction, their themes centered on finding meaning, working through troubled times, and creative output. While I didn’t finish my reading challenge of 26 books (I am choosing not to count toddler classics I memorized this year like Ten Apples Up on Top, Dragons Love Tacos, One Button Benny, Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth, P is for Potty, and Goodnight Construction Site), all things considered, it…


Did Jack Ma want to halt Ant’s IPO?

“The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Jack Ma finally did it. The richest man in China went too far.

He poked too hard.

He walked his colony of Ants right under the magnifying glass and got burned.

Or at least that’s the story he wants you to believe.

Ant Group is a financial services behemoth and the largest privately-held company in the world. It has over a billion users and 80 million merchants using its services across 200 countries. The platform processes over…


The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a defining moment in world history as the Internet economy’s first real pandemic. 2020 will be the year we transitioned from the PC world (Pre-COVID) to an AC world (After-COVID). Its impact on how we live and work will reverberate for years to come. With physical distancing and self-isolation required to flatten the curve, one change seeming to taking root today is WFH (aka. work from home).

Before we get to what Derek Thompson of the Atlantic appropriately describes as “an anxious trial run for remote work at grand scale,” it is essential…


2019 was a year of new adventures. I transitioned into an advisory role at Poynt, where I had spent the past five years helping over 100,000 businesses get access to technology to supercharge their business growth. I navigated the early days of learning how to be “Dad” after welcoming my son into the world in late 2018. I had the opportunity to work with some incredible founders as an angel investor. Now, as a new decade begins so does my next chapter: Legion.

82 million people are hourly workers in the United States — almost 60 percent of the U.S…


My 2019 in reading saw me finish 20 books with quite a few more left unfinished. I made it a point to read more fiction than usual, which I found quite refreshing. While I didn’t finish my reading challenge of 26 books (I am choosing not to count baby books including such classics as The Pout-Pout Fish, I am a Bunny, Giraffes Can’t Dance, Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See) it was a good year of reading! Below is the list with quick thoughts, as well as a link to the Taps’ Notes review if available. Enjoy!

Fiction:

The…


Being a tourist in China just became a whole lot easier. Alipay and WeChat Pay — the dominant, QR-code based payment methods that have taken the world by storm — are now available for use by foreigners. This is a significant milestone for the companies and the country, and a harbinger for global expansion.

Image courtesy of MarketingToChina.

Alipay and WeChat Pay have redefined the payment landscape, both at home and around the world. In 2018 these two platforms together processed almost $40 trillion dollars. For context, Visa processed $11 trillion dollars in the same year. Thanks to the ease of use of the…


I read Becoming by Michelle Obama and reviewed it as part of my ongoing series.

Quick review: I read this book on the recommendation of a close friend. Autobiographies have a tendency to be hit or miss. Going into this one I was skeptical. Michelle Obama, for all the amazing things she has accomplished in her career and as First Lady, has largely remained private about her history and family, especially as compared to her husband. After this read it’s clear: Becoming is her coming out party.

I was struck by two things reading this book. First, Michelle Obama is…


I read The Untethered Soul: Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer and reviewed it as part of my ongoing series.

Quick review: If I had to summarize what The Untethered Soul offered me in a short phrase, it would be an alternative approach. In it, Michael Singer (who also wrote The Surrender Experiment) outlines the importance of coming to terms with the self, what understanding “You are not the thinking mind; you are aware of the thinking mind” unlocks for the individual, and his approach to looking inward. Prior to reading it I had never put much stock into things…


I read Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom and reviewed it as part of my ongoing series.

Quick review: I read this book on the recommendation of a close friend and it has joined my ranks of must reads. A moving story of love, life and gratitude, it features sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, his one time student at Brandeis University, Mitch Albom, and Morrie’s life post being diagnosed with ALS. Mitch learns of his former professor’s diagnosis and goes to visit his one-time mentor. The first visit turns into two…

Rishi Taparia

Dad and husband | SVP @LegionTech | Angel @garudavc | Alum @Poynt, @MatrixPartners, @ScaleVP, @MerrillLynch, @NorthwesternU

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