September 1, 2014

Vote for ‘shft’ for a Webby

We began a project with Adrian Grenier a couple of years ago, but it stalled out for a bunch of reasons (mainly because ShopSavvy took off so fast). Adrian’s got a new project to support sustainability thoughout pop culture called ‘shft’. He reached out to me earlier today and let me know his company was [...]

Screwed up incentives in the Valley

Connie Loizos wrote a piece a couple of days ago titled, “Concern Grows Over Founders Cashing Out Too Much, Too Early.” Evidently investors in the Valley are allowing founders to ‘cash out’ as they are making their first investments. Investors like Paul Kedrosky think the practice is insane suggesting, “It [isn't] just an alignment issue; [...]

When should you raise money? NOW!

Garrett Camp, the co-founder of Stumbleupon, recommends, “Stay self-funded as long as possible.” I think I have been quoted saying the same thing, but over the past year I have come to realize that you can wait too long to raise outside capital. When I founded LayerOne I raised money first and then built the [...]

Startup Pressure = Ethical Dilemmas (Update)

Pascal said, “Things are always at their best in their beginning.” I think the reason they are ‘best’ is because they are simple. When you start a company everything is black and white. Over time things become more and more complex and the ‘right’ decisions are not always obvious. I would argue this makes doing [...]

Regulate and Tax Online Poker, Don’t Send it Underground

Today the Obama administration effectively shut down Internet poker in the United States by indicting 11 people including the founders of three of the largest sites. The crackdown makes almost no sense. Some form of gambling is allowed in all 50 states – many states like California allow poker rooms. I contend that two things [...]

Pitching the VC and not the Business

Many entrepreneurs spend a lot of time working on their ‘pitch’ only to fail miserably when they finally deliver it to a venture capital firm. I think many entrepreneurs are so fixated on their delivery they fail to pay attention to their audience. In high school and college I spent a LOT of time participating [...]

Startup Myths: Twitter

Have you ever started a company? The who, why, what and where often become muddled the farther you get from the start. Over the course of a startup there are usually several course corrections. Each time a team makes a correction they often alter the ‘history’ of the startup to fit their new course. First [...]

Erasing Houston from Space History

I was disappointed to hear that the Obama administration decided not to send one of the retired Shuttles to the home of Shuttle mission control – Houston. I was almost angry when I heard that the administration decided to dismantle almost ALL of the existing shuttle related installations in Houston to send them to New [...]

Passive versus Active Check-ins

ReadWriteWeb has a post titled, “2011: The Year the Check-in Dead” that basically argues the check-ins for check-ins sake are dead. I would tend to agree. There was a time a year ago when check-in apps were hot and we began to talk about ShopSavvy as a retail check-in application. In essence each time a [...]

Integrity is worth more than your career

Recently I started tweeting startup related quotes at the start of each day. This morning I read a quote by Ryan Freitas the founder of Second Verse. He is quoted as saying, “Your reputation is more important than you paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” The quote reminded me of a [...]