July, 2012

Entrepreneurs Have Control When Things Work, VCs Have Control When They Don't

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I did an interview yesterday in Buffalo, NY where I was the past couple days for the launch of the Z80 incubator. Grove Potter , the Business Editor for the Buffalo News, interviewed me for something like an hour. It was a fun talk.

Lying on your resume

Steve Blank

It’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the coverup. Richard Nixon and Watergate. Getting asked by reporter about where I went to school made me remember the day I had to choose whether to lie on my resume. I Badly Want the Job.

Trending Sources

Niche 2 Win, Baby.

500 Hats

Most startups think they have to be AWESOME to succeed. 1 of These Things != The Other. Actually, this is quite far from the truth – in fact, you can be incredibly mediocre and still be quite successful. sounds inspirational, i know, but stick with me for a minute.).

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Lead Developer to CTO at a Startup


I received a great question via LinkedIn: I'm the founding engineer and working hard to launch my startup. I seem to encounter a lot of people who want to attach a CTO label to me as I'm the only programmer on the founding team of three. While I do fill that role at the moment, I'm a little hesitant to refer to myself as a CTO as we still haven't launched a product, acquired a single user, or turned or a penny in profit.

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The Hustler

Instigator Blog

You spend enough time with enough startups and you genuinely come to appreciate the importance of The Hustler. The Hustler plays a few levels above where he * should, but gets away with it because of sheer willpower, ego and perceptivity. Tweet. The Hustler learns the rules quickly — breaks those he needs too — and dances around those he shouldn’t. The Hustler is focused on big vision, but marries that with strategy, telling a compelling and actionable story at all times.

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Pink is the New Purple!

500 Hats

Dear Marissa: Think Different. I’d like to write a different Open Letter to Marissa Mayer, that plays to both her strengths, as well as those of Yahoo. It’s a bit off the wall, but if you think it thru with me, I bet you’ll agree with the strategy.

Unrequited Love

Steve Blank

If there’s only one passionate party in a relationship it’s unrequited love. Here’s how I learned it the hard way. The Dartmouth Football Team. After Rocket Science I took some time off and consulted for the very VC’s who lost lots of money on the company. The VC’s suggested I should spend a day at Onyx Software, an early pioneer in Sales Automation in Seattle. In my first meeting with the Onyx I was a bit nonplussed when the management team started trickling into their boardroom.

Pricing to the demand curve

Chris Dixon

Many college microeconomics courses include the following exercise. The teacher offers the students an imaginary trip to Hawaii, and asks them to write down on notecards how much they are willing to pay for the trip. The teacher takes the notecards and graphs the bids.

7 Ways to Cure Post-Pitch Depression


It’s one of the most frequent questions: What if I can’t get funded for my deal? What next? Do I keep trying forever, drowning in the myth of persistence? Who can I complain to? Where do I get my appeals hearing? . Here are my seven favorite cures for post-pitch depression. .

The Power Of Diversification

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I have written about this topic before but it's important and I want to say it again. Investing in startups is risky. If you make just one investment, you are likely going to lose everything. If you make two, you are still likely to lose money.

Entrepreneurs Who Can See Around the Corner

Startup Professionals Musings

The ultimate compliment that any entrepreneur can get is that they can “see around corners.” This is a statement that they are willing and able (and successful) at projecting market and technology turns, not just straight-line innovations.

late bloomer, not a loser. (I hope)

500 Hats

most of the time I think of myself as a failure. when I’m optimistic, I think maybe I’m just a late bloomer. I know a lot of folks won’t understand this perspective, but when I was growing up I was always the smartest kid around. it was expected that I would do great things, by my mom, by my teachers, and most importantly, by me.


Steve Blank

TE·NA·CIOUS /T??N?SH?S/. Adjective: Not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or a principle: “a tenacious grip” Not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action. When I was a entrepreneur I’d pursue a goal relentlessly. Everything in between me and my goal was simply an obstacle that needed to be removed. This week I had another reminder of what it was like. Plenty of Time.

We Versus I

Feld Thoughts

I saw an email from a CEO the other day. In it, he said “I” over and over again. There were numerous places where he referred to “my company”, “my team”, “my product”, and “my plan.” ” It bummed me out. I know the people on “his team” and they are working their asses off. The company is an awesome company and the CEO is a great leader.

New Early Stage Financing Options for Entrepreneurs


If you are new to the entrepreneurial world of startups, you are likely confused by the terminology of seed-stage, lean startups, micro-VCs, and Super Angels.

Helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Like many of my friends and colleagues, I was touched by this heartfelt post by Dave McClure yesterday. This part really rings true to me: and so here I am: still standing in the arena, in hand-to-hand combat with demons mostly of my own making, aiming to make a small dent in the universe. nowhere near a great success story, yet fighting the good fight and perhaps helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own.

From Airbnb to TaskRabbit to Zimride, sharing is becoming big business


Skip to Main Content. USA TODAY. Subscribe. Mobile. Travel. Money. Sports. Your Life. Weather. Tech: Blogs. Technology Live. Game Hunters. Science Fair. |. Products. Products Home. Edward C. Talking Tech. Talking Your Tech. Kim Komando. Shop for Gadgets. |. Gaming. Gaming Home. Game Hunters.

How bundling benefits sellers and buyers

Chris Dixon

There is a widespread belief in technology circles that bundling of cable TV, newspaper, magazine and other information goods will go away now that those products can be distributed à la carte on the internet.

Reflections and Impressions from a 10-Day Meditation Course

Ben Casnocha: The Blog

It was during the 8-9 PM meditation session on the 8th Day — by then I was 80 hours into the 10 day, 100 hour meditation course — when I experienced something remarkable.

The Most Obvious Mobile Ad Unit and What the New York Times Got Wrong

Both Sides of the Table

The New York Times recently ran an article titled, “ Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind.” ” I love the NY Times and am a paying subscriber. But this article missed the real trend. The premise of the article is that in an increasingly online world ruled by techies who don’t want to talk on the phone, the era of being able to call the company in which you do business is winding down. They cite Quara, Google, Twitter & Facebook as obvious examples.

Fundraising Recommendations for Startups (Part I)

VC Cafe

Image credit to HowardLake, Flickr. I’ve been contacted by several members the VC Cafe Network on LinkedIn who are asking for assistance in fundraising for a web startup or a mobile app.

Partners Forever (or close to it)

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Mitt Romney is taking some flack for continuing to have ongoing involvement in Bain Capital well after he supposedly left the firm for good in 1999. I am not supporting Romney for President as I can't get comfortable with his party's views on social issues that matter a lot to me. But I have a fair bit of empathy for him on this specific issue. I am still technically a partner in a venture capital firm (Euclid Partners) that I left in early 1996.

Software Inventory


Joel on Software. Software Inventory. by Joel Spolsky. Monday, July 09, 2012. Imagine, for a moment, that you came upon a bread factory for the first time. At first it just looks like a jumble of incomprehensible machinery with a few people buzzing around.

BuzzFeed’s strategy

Chris Dixon

BuzzFeed’s CEO, Jonah Peretti , recently sent out an email to employees and investors summarizing the company’s strategy and progress. I really liked his email so I asked Jonah if I could blog it and he gave me permission. This isn’t just the usual cheerleading email – there is a real strategy here (I especially like the strategy choice in section 3), and it’s working. I’m an investor in BuzzFeed and friends with Jonah so of course I’m biased.

Q&A with Nathan McNeill, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer for Bomgar

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

In 2003, Joel Bomgar asked his college friend Nathan McNeill to help him launch a business selling software that he developed to remotely access and fix computers, known today as remote support software.

Tech Reporter Contact List

Feld Thoughts

I get asked all the time for a list of “tech reporters / bloggers” to contact around an announcement. A few weeks ago, I was pointed to a list on the web by Brownstein & Egusa titled the Tech Reporter Contact List. It’s actually seven lists. Top 100 Tech Blogs. Top Tech Blog Reporters. Top 100 Newspapers. Reporters At Top 100 Newspapers. Popular Bloggers. Mobile Blogs. SEO Blogs. As a bonus, there’s also a good Beginners Guide To PR up on the same site.

How to Find Startup Co-Founders Online and in the Real World

VC Cafe

“ You have to sit by the side of a river for a *very* long time before a roast duck will fly into your mouth “, said Guy Kawasaki. First-time entrepreneurs shouldn’t wait for their “roast duck” either.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Twenty years into the personal technology revolution and we are still using address books that work pretty much like physical address books. It makes no sense. The mobile address book should be hyperconnected to our digital life, informed by it, and responsive to it. I remember back in early 2011, Steve Greenwood walked into our old offices on the 14th floor and told us that he intended to build that hyperconnected mobile address book.

Scaling lessons learned at Dropbox, part 1


Rajivs blog. RSS Archive. July 12, 2012. Scaling lessons learned at Dropbox, part 1. Rajiv Eranki. I was in charge of scaling Dropbox for a while, from roughly 4,000 to 40,000,000 users. For most of that time we had one to three people working on the backend.

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Some Fresh Twitter Stats (as of July 2012, Dataset Included)

Diego Basch

This weekend I fetched 1M random user profiles from Twitter, just because. I figured it would be enough to answer some interesting questions about Twitter. Here’s what I did, along with some conclusions. As you may know, each Twitter user is assigned a numeric id.

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If You See Yourself Here, Skip the Startup Dream

Startup Professionals Musings

People who can’t manage their own lives don’t make good entrepreneurs. Small businesses require multi-tasking, work prioritization, and decision-making, with no entourage of assistants and specialists. That’s why Fortune 500 executives usually don’t survive as startup CEOs.

Give your Direct Mail Campaign a Boost – 7 Tips to Make it Work for You

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

We talk a lot about email marketing and other forms of electronic marketing, because that’s our primary focus. But ‘traditional’ marketing methods are still viable, and even if you have a purely online business, you can find success with non-internet-based marketing ideas.

Have You Fallen Into The Busy Trap?

Feld Thoughts

Are you “too busy.” ” When someone asks you how you are doing do you immediately respond with something like “I”m incredibly busy.” ” If the answer is yes, go read the amazing opinion piece in the NY Times by Tim Kreider titled The ‘Busy’ Trap. I’ll wait. I’ve spent the last month at my house in Keystone in Maker Mode.

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Cause & Effect

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I've been reading sci-fi and thinking about sci-fi's relationship to technology innovation. I posted last week about Twitter and the Metaverse and noted that Neal Stephenson had imagined things in the early 90s that happened almost twenty years later. But of course it is possible that many of the things that are built by technologists are reactions to reading sci-fi and wanting to realize the fertile imaginations of sci-fi authors.