The Frank Peters Show

It was payback time recently for me; Frank Peters wanted his chance to turn the tables and interview me on his show. Since he had been good enough to do a video interview with me a while back (here), and because he is a great guy, I said sure, why not. We had a great chat about the angel and early stage ecosystem, crowd-funding and what the future may hold.  Tip of the hat to Frank for the excellent library of work he has built up on the show over the years. It’s Show #372; listen to it via Streamflash player or iTunes

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If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Thoughts on CrowdfundingPattern Matching Can Cause BlindspotsGetting Off The Ground; Early Formation EconomicsWhy Angels Chase ElectronsDelusional EconomicsThat Vision Thing,  Loch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OverturePick Your Founder/Co-Investors Carefully & Reflections on the Nature of EntrepreneursShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder?When Do You Need My Slide Deck?,  and 20 Bootstrapping Ideas.
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Lessons From the Start-Up Genome Project

Stanford & Berkeley entrepreneurship professor Steve Blank did an excellent write-up about the new report published by Startup Genome Project (report here; free registration required). I want to call attention to Steve’s write-up because it is fun reading in terms of the crazy origins of the project. And the report itself is a must-read for every entrepreneur and early-stage investor out there, but as a teaser,
here are fourteen of the key conclusions reached by phase one of the study in looking at 650 very early stage web companies: [Read more…]

What Publishers Just Don’t Get: Why Zite Wins

Publishers will never be able to establish successful mobile platforms. The Zite model of customized content will win. Why? Because publishers think editing means curating their own proprietary content. In the days of the printing press, limited square inches on the broadsheets, slower news cycles and information scarcity rather than information overload, they might have been right. But today, editing means [Read more…]

Where the Puck is Going

Vinod Khosla, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, a long time partner at Kleiner Perkins, and a principal in well-respected Khosla Ventures, just published a great piece in TechCrunch on the “unhyped” new areas in Internet and mobile that interest him.  These are the areas he expects to produce the next batch of great opportunities and start-ups.  It is well worth a read, but here are the twelve areas he identifies:  [Read more…]

Multiple Monitors Does Not Equate to Multi-Tasking

Image courtesy of MacWorld Magazine, June 2008

I am a long time member of the cult of multiple monitors. And the practice is really taking off.  But the NYT has it all wrong.   [Read more…]

Two Things Crowdfunding Movement Needs to Succeed

My buddy Daniel Sullivan of Crowdly wrote me recently for input regarding his crowd funding project www.wefund.us which is focused on driving grass roots support for the crowdfunding bill of Senator Scott Brown, Democratizing Access to Capital Act (S.1791), which allows a non-accredited investor to invest up to $1,000 in a company.  (For a bit of background on the accredited investor concept, including recent revisions to the rule, see this NYT piece published last week.)

It is an interesting project and I am supportive of the concept (though I acknowledge the potential for issues down the road.) Dan asked for some input on a couple aspects of the project, and it gave me an excuse to crystalize my thinking on the issue, so I figured I would share that thinking here.

[Read more…]

Ten Rules For Navigating in The Age of Outrage

Is Social Media the New Participatory Democracy?

Verizon just folded like a cheap lawn chair on their recently-announced plan to impose a ridiculous $2 fee for customers who used a one-time electronic bill payment feature on their website. Turns out that charging customers for the right to pay you was not popular: the internet rose up and roared. Almost immediately after announcing it, Verizon was faced with a 50,000+ signature petition demanding that they withdraw the proposed new fee. The protestors even raised the ire of regulators who publicly expressed concern and threatened to have a closer look. (Some WSJ coverage here.) Verizon had no choice but to beat a hasty and humiliating retreat.

I think this is the latest example a very broad and very deep trend at work.

[Read more…]

The Future Of Publishing – The Book is Dead; Long Live the Book

Is the traditional publishing model dead?

I’ve touched on this topic before (for example,  Amazon becoming a publisher; Amazon really stepping up publication efforts; ebook growth; blogcasting), but three recent events bring it back to the forefront. First was a conversation with someone at a TCN panel talk I gave last week who had just self-published her own book, second was a conversation with a friend who had just published a book with a traditional publisher and third was an interesting piece just published by Matthew Ingram at GigaOM about the value of publishers.

At the panel last week I was discussing intellectual property issues in the start-up context, and one of the participants was focused on IP questions around a book she had just published. The questions were straight-forward, but what was interesting was that when asked who her publisher was, she said that she had self-published.

[Read more…]

LinkedIn’s Snowball Effect

Am I alone in noticing a pronounced snowball effect with LinkedIn lately?  As I noted in my post on their 100M member milestone in the Spring of 2011, I was an early-adopter of LinkedIn, joining before approximately 99.8% of the current members (I was member number 231,537 out of the 100M+ current users).  I attribute this to the fact that I was working in a technology company when LinkedIn started, and I was generally interested in the nascent social networking area, so I received early invitations and ended up fiddling around with the new site.

And as a result of my joining early,…

[Read more…]

Going Green

[This post is part of a series about our net-zero residential solar project – to see a list of links to the full Solar Project series, click here or click here to bring up all Green-related posts. Next Post in Series.]

For reasons I cannot explain, solar energy has always fascinated me. So prepare yourself to see a bit more by way of green topics in this blog. A big part of the impetus for those posts is the impending conversion of our home to a net-zero solar-powered residence. What that means, for the uninitiated, is a house that produces 100% as much energy from the sun as it uses over the course of a year. In fact, if the design calculations are correct, and we scrimp and conserve power just a tiny bit more, we may even be able to eek out an actual surplus. Due to the benefits of net-metering, this means the power company will actually pay us more than we pay them in a year – a negative electricity bill – very cool. We are in the final planning and paperwork phases for of the project, so construction won’t start for a few weeks. Expect many more updates on the project to follow in coming months.

In the meantime, for my first general interest green post, I’d like to share a really cool new program worth checking out.

[Read more…]