thegongshow: An entrepreneur once told me a story of the evolution of Advanced Chess, and it’s been rattling around in my head for awhile now. Advanced Chess is a form of Chess where each player is allowed to use all possible resources at his/her disposal to make a move. One can use computer AI or ask friends for help. Anything goes. The Grandmasters use Advanced Chess to help expand their...
One year later! →
Quite a lot happening since then.
The danger and power of press
Steve Blank during his SXSW talk, as relayed by J.J. Colao of Forbes (via ParisLemon). Even talented, hardworking CEOs and founders can get caught up in the hype. Why? Blank lists seven reasons: 1. Ego 2. Ego 3. Ego 4. Vanity metrics 5. Attract talent 6. Get funding 7. Drive customer demand If CEOs get caught up in doing press for reasons other than the last three, he says, their...
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t...– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of Le Petit Prince. (via zachklein)
Imagine you go back 40 years and you were given 25 to 30 per cent of all the...– The FT on the future of higher ed (here)
Measuring Higher Education
When we talk about the efficacy of college the only accreditation worth measuring is getting a job. There needs to be a lot of room in college for self-exploration, but thankfully all that work doesn’t appear on students’ transcripts. An op-ed in yesterday’s NYTimes tears into the declining grading standards across higher education, but mostly picks the wrong target. Kevin Carey...
Our tree comes alive!
When I try to tell them my name over the phone, they can never spell...– My old office mate, Komer. Customer Support is the new Ellis Island.
At Facebook and Google, they know your underwear size before you walk in the...– NYTimes quoting an entrepreneur contemplating an acquisition. Surely, there’s some middle way here.
Fraught and messy though an artistic life may be, is there a drug that can...– David Rakoff in Half Empty Startups have that, too. Plus, there’s money and you build things.
After completing an apprenticeship to a confectioner in 1873, Milton S. Hershey...– Via Wikipedia. In other words, Hershey was a kickass serial entrepreneur. He started his first company at 16, and when it failed at age 22 he started another one in the same space. After a $28m exit at age 43 he started his third company, which 110 years later now has a market cap of $16b.
Perpetually is now Smarsh Web Archiving!
After an incredible roller-coaster of three short years, I’m extremely proud to announce that Perpetually has been acquired by Smarsh! The technology as we envisioned it — perfect, interactive archives of any website — is already thriving under its new name: Smarsh Web Archiving. I’ve also joined Smarsh to grow web archiving across its 15,000 customers. We’ve all...
Normal For NYC Private Schools
High school fundraiser, on phone: ... And what degree did you get from your college?
Me: B.A. in art history and computer science.
Fundraiser: Just the one degree?
Me: Yes. Just the _one_ degree.
Fundraiser: And would you like to list a spouse? What is your wife's name?
Me: Uhhh... No. No wife. No.
Internships are Really Apprenticeships
This sentiment from Mixpanel is spot on. Done right, “internships” are really much more like a productive, paid apprenticeship: In 2008, I interned at Slide, Inc. and it was one of the most valuable summers of my life. I went from being a college hacker interested in starting a company to learning the intricacies of product design and working with a team. At Slide, Inc. we stayed up...
Market forces + jobs + competitiveness + giant...
Microsoft and others are pushing to legalize gay marriage in Washington, arguing that this inequality makes the state less competitive: As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. Win them over with markets – an awesome...
Every really good, really experienced CEO that I know shares one important...– Ben I’ve definitely made this mistake – and learned from it. At breakfast this morning I just complemented Jack on some tough, decisive and quick decisions he’s made recently at Seat Geek.
Art history majors are so rare they’re lost in the noise. They account for less...– How Art History Majors Power the U.S. Economy: Virginia Postrel - Bloomberg I’m an art history major, and proud of it.
Not Ugly Yak: My experience with Word Lens.
New York City Demands More New Work City!
Tony, Peter and some of New York’s most dedicated freelancers, startups and small teams are building a thriving community, and it’s time to expand. Literally. New Work City started 18 months ago as a shared office for entrepreneurs, and has grown alongside New York’s tech scene ever since. Today they’re announcing an upgrade and new home in Tribeca. Personally, I’m...
Demoing in front of 850 of our closest friends at NYTM was a great time, and the response has been amazing! Thanks, everyone!
Seth Godin’s Flipping The Funnel argues that your company shouldn’t be spending vast sums on advertising, but instead should “Turn your customers into salespeople.” Yeah, well — tell me more, obviously! He writes, Here’s a quick example. The chart at right compares Web traffic at Ford.com (which is supported by more than a hundred million dollars’ worth of...
Look Back (just this once)
I love talking with Kevin Prentiss — He spends as much time thinking about sales as I do thinking about software. I basically want to steal his brain and graft it onto my own. ANYWAY, we both want to grow our companies more quickly, and we both sometimes think we haven’t achieved most anything just yet. But Kevin pointed out how myopic that perspective can be. While I grabbed a pen he...
Funding is Friction
David Rose occasionally shows up in my inbox by way of Columbia’s BVC mailing list. This week he hit a nerve: The bottom line is that raising money from anyone, including both angels and VCs, is really, really tough. Since only the top 2% of companies looking for angel funding succeed in getting it, that means you have to be one of the top two deals out of a hundred who are looking for the...
Stephen got his green card approved!
Action Oriented Startups
Via Fred Wilson, I believe that in startups, like venture investing, the cost of making a bad decision is not nearly as great as the benefit of making a good one. So I like action oriented leaders. … If you are “action oriented” in your hiring, you’ll make more hires and more of them will not work out. This feels exactly right for startups, and it’s one of the...
We’ve got some awesome projects in the queue at Perpetually. If you’re into innovative uses for the browser, using the full DNS database for something altogether different, and know (or want to learn) Python, please contact me somehow! Thanks!
TechCrunch has labeled this year’s TechCrunch50 as, basically, the triumph of the dull. As one of the companies on stage, let me respond by saying, Thanks! It wasn’t clear we could do it, but we did! And your praise means everything. Sarah Lacy writes, I want to see huge audacious failures and huge gaudy wins. This follows Arrington’s argument a couple weeks back that...