Sat.Jun 12, 2010 - Fri.Jun 18, 2010

It’s Better to Beg for Forgiveness than to Ask for Permission

Both Sides of the Table

I have always believed in the saying, “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.&# It’s a way of life. It’s not about abusing situations but about knowing when to push the boundaries.

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7 Ways to Identify Your Strengths

Life Beyond Code

This has been said before but it can be said again – “work on your strengths and manage your weaknesses (even if it means hiring help in those areas)&#. But the question is how does one identify his or her strengths? Here are a few ways: 1.

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What the Elephant God Can Teach Tech Entrepreneurs


This weekend I was at a family celebration in New Jersey and spent some time with an uncle who is a chemical engineer by training but also well versed in the Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures. So well versed that he is in high demand throughout the world performing weddings and other Hindu ceromonies in his retirement, giving any donations from his activities to charity. We talked about the curiousity and symbolism around Ganesha, most well known as the Elephant God.

8 Questions to Ask When Interviewing at a Startup

Instigator Blog

Job interviews are meant to be conversations. The interviewer asks some questions and the interviewee does the same. It’s never a good sign when an interviewee doesn’t have any questions. It shows a lack of interest. This is particularly true when interviewing for a startup job because there tend to be so many more unknowns at startups compared to more established, bigger organizations. Recently someone asked me, “I’m thinking of taking a job offer from a startup.

How Many Times Should You Tweet Your Blog Post?

Both Sides of the Table

Last September I was on a panel with Guy Kawasaki talking about Twitter. He said at the time that he Tweeted 4 times for every story that he wrote. FOUR TIMES! The exact same Tweet. I couldn’t believe it.

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Ads for startups

Venture Hacks

For the last few months, we’ve been using InfluAds to power an ad widget near the top right of Venture Hacks. I think of InfluAds as “ads for startups&#.

Customer Development Funnel Image v.4

Market by Numbers

Last December, I created the first version of this image, depicting how you might think through your customer acquisition and conversion funnel. In January, I modified the image and added tooltips. In April, a newer, tighter version was

the vc in me.: One of the Most Important Traits in a Founder: Self.

the vc in me

We all know human beings aren't perfect - not even close. It is almost impossible for a person to be great at most things in life - we have our strengths and weaknesses - whether its in relationships, friendships, sports

Spencer Fry — Freemium Model

Spencer Fry


The Four Cornerstones of Every Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

By Akira Hirai The thought of preparing a business plan for the first time can be very intimidating. There are many "moving parts," and it’s easy to get lost in the details.

Startups and the Magic of Seven

Leveraging Ideas

An interesting thought from Keith Rabois on Quora : To be truly successful on the Internet, you need to build something that becomes one of seven sites that a large swath of users will regularly use.

When You’re a Hammer Everything Looks Like a Nail

Both Sides of the Table

Over the years I collected (or thought up) a series of short-hand phrases to remind me of life’s lessons that are applicable to business. One of my favorite ones is “what you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.&# The definition is kind of obvious.

Working at Google - the first 6 months

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing

So, what is it like working at Google? How is it different than working at Microsoft? I have answered that question at least 500 times in the past 6 months, so I thought I should write a more detailed answer. Google still feels like a startup. Larry and Sergey are very visible and active. Larry sat at the table next to me at dinner last night at 8:00PM on campus. Everything moves fast, and can change at a moments notice.

Platforms: Of Governance and Taxes

Non-Linear Growth

I like analogies. This week, Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures wrote a thoughtful post based on an analogy between software powered platforms and governments. Bob Warfield of the SmoothSpan Blog did a follow-up post claiming that application developers should seek platforms that act like Switzerland; something Warfield has apparently been saying since 2007. The government-platform analogy is good, albeit imperfect. The most salient aspects of the analogy are in the area of governance.

The Pattern-Seeking Fallacy

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

What do these have in common? This pitcher has retired 5 of the last 7 batters.". "We We tried 10 AdWord variants and combination D is the clear winner.". The Bible Code predicted the Sept 11 attacks 5,000 years ago.". "We

Useless Feedback

Instigator Blog

Not all feedback is created equal. A lot of feedback is useless. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the person providing the feedback. Oftentimes it’s the fault of the person requesting it, because they don’t really understand why they’re asking for it in the first place. Startup founders need to go out and validate what they’re doing before they build anything. Or they need to build a super simple minimum viable product and solicit feedback on that.

How to Solve Business Problems Effectively

Startup Professionals Musings

Creating a startup, or managing any business, is all about problem solving. Some people are good at it and some are not – independent of their IQ or their academic credentials (there may even be an inverse relationship here).

How can you improve LTV and CAC? « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog


Great post Jeremy! Would love to see more discussion like this on optimizing revenue vs acquisition costs. I definitely agree that it is often the right decision to focus early on on maximizing LTV. In addition to your reasons

I’ve Failed Over and Over and Over Again in My Life

Feld Thoughts

What a great short Nike commercial staring Michael Jordan. “I’ve I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”.

We should discuss this.

47 Hats

And now we can at I just put into production Version 2.15, adding Group-centric Discussions to S2D. What’s Group-centric? It’s my stab at keeping Discussions and their Posts on-topic.

Designing products for single and multiplayer modes

Chris Dixon

The first million people who bought VCRs bought them before there were any movies available to watch on them. They just wanted to “time shift&# TV shows – what we use DVRs for today. Once there were millions of VCR owners it became worthwhile for Hollywood to start selling and renting movies to watch on them. Eventually watching rented movies became the dominant use of VCRs, and time shifting a relatively niche use.

10 Ways To Be Your Own Boss

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The folks at Behance and Cool Hunting asked me to talk at their 99% Conference a couple months ago. The 99% conference is aimed at creative professionals and is focused on Edison's "99% perspiration.". And in the spirit of how to get your ideas to happen, they asked me to talk about entrepreneurship and the myriad ways you can "be your own boss." There are way more than 10 ways you can do that, but I only had twenty minutes so I focused on 10 of them.

Founders 2010 #4: Let’s Be Honest

Feld Thoughts

Your friends Jason and Brad make guest appearance, as does the infamous Do Not Call list. "Let’s "Let’s Be Honest" The Founders | TechStars Boulder | Episode 4 from TechStars on Vimeo.

MicroISV Digest – 06/17/2010

47 Hats

Community News: A quiet week… Interesting questions with useful answers: For mISVs that have a day job. How do you balance the effort with work, family and other obligations? Where to find study case report on startups? What are Some of the Most Successful Low Budget Startup Marketing Campaigns You’ve Seen? News/posts for microISVs and Startups: So who are the 50 prominent startups who you should keep an eye on? Louis Gray knows.

Identify The Known Unknowns: Leverage Analytics Custom Alerts

Occam's Razor

Most of the time spent by Marketers & Analysts tends to be spend looking for "known knowns" Things we know and expect to see in the data, we look to see if they are there. " " Oh look Google is still our Number 1 referrer and we are selling lots of product x as we always do.

Open VBX

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Yesterday our portfolio company Twilio announced the developer availability of their Open VBX platform. Techcrunch and GigaOm had good posts on it. Techcrunch called it " open source google voice for business " and Om Malik said "OpenVBX is simple and yields the one thing users want most: a voice mail box that also forwards calls to different numbers." " There is other open source PBX software out there, namely Asterisk and Freeswitch.

Who Wants To Be A Tech Star?

Feld Thoughts

Today’s first Tech Star video has nothing to do with TechStars. Instead, it will go down in history as another nerd period piece by Terry Kawaja from GCA Savvian. I first met Terry when we hired him to be CFO of Raindance Communications to help take it public.

Is Your VC Founder Friendly?

Steve Blank

The role of a founding CEO in a startup searching for a business model is radically different than a CEO building and growing a company. Some VC’s get it, others may not. So if you’re the founder of a startup, you may want to consider who you take money from. Is Your VC Founder Friendly? How do you figure out which VC firm is best for you? Here are five questions to consider. What startup stage do they typically invest in? Do they “get&# Customer Development ?

This Week in VC with Om Malik & Paul Jozefak

Both Sides of the Table

To see the video of This Week in VC click on this link. What a pleasure that I got to spend an hour talking with both Om Malik (whom I’ve always respected his views) and Paul Jozefak , a venture capital partner at Neuhaus Partners in Germany (and formerly the head of Europe for SAP Ventures).

Bits Interview

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

One of my favorite bloggers is Nick Bilton who blogs about tech for the NY Times. He covers the basics, like Twitter's purchase of Smallthought last week , but also blogs about cool stuff you might not know about like this story about an MIT Fellow who is using kites and balloons to record the impact of the spill. So when Nick asked me a few weeks ago if I would sit down with him and do an interview, I said yes. I don't really like being profiled much.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night Updated

Feld Thoughts

I’ve always been a huge Van Gogh fan. Starry Night is one of my favorites and is also regarded as one of Van Gogh’s best (or most) important works, even though he apparently didn’t like it very much.


Startups: So You Think You Can Dance

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m not much of a TV person, but my family loves one of the popular “reality” shows, called “ So You Think You Can Dance ,” so I’m sort of forced to watch it every Wednesday night. Over time, I’ve concluded that even startup entrepreneurs can learn a few things from this one.

This Week in VC with Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital

Both Sides of the Table

We had a special edition of This Week in Venture Capital this week shooting out of the Next New Networks offices in New York. Our guest was Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital.

Work Market

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

This is a cross posting of a blog post I wrote this morning on the USV blog. We are big believers in the power of Internet marketplaces to bring efficiencies and new opportunities to people and businesses. And the market where this has the most potential of all is the labor market. So we are excited to announce our latest investment - Workmarket. Workmarket is exactly what it sounds like, a marketplace for employers and workers to connect to get work done.