Why I Changed My Twitter Avatar

[C]ities around the country have had to tackle our economic problems largely on our own. Local elected officials are responsible for doing, not debating. For innovating, not arguing. For pragmatism, not partisanship. We have to deliver results at the local level - and that’s one reason why, since the 2008 financial collapse, most of the [...]

6 Months of Cash

I don’t like generalizing advice to startups but I’m about to do so here: If you have around 6 months left in cash, then your #1 priority is to raise more money or get to break-even. Some corollaries and related thoughts: If you have less than 6 months of runway, the first step is to [...]

Why I Never Started My Own Company

My Dad started his own company. He is a first generation American, PhD in engineering and invented the first fully automated fortune cookie machine. He is an inventor. Other than watching sports (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), he enjoys nothing more than building stuff. He wanted to build things for other people. [...]

Your (Potential) Investor’s Business Model

“[O]ne thing I should tell you is that our approach is our approach, and we don’t even claim it’s the right approach.”-Jeff Bezos, 9/6/12, on Amazon’s business model Different investors have different business models. Everyone runs their business differently. I believe that this is important for founders to remember as they raise money. It sounds [...]

Quick Thoughts on Acquihires/”Soft Landings”

We are now spending a decent amount of our time helping companies with acquihires and “soft landings.” Here are some quick, random thoughts: We think of “acquihires” and “soft landings” differently. In “acquihires”, investors get their money back and possibly more. Founders still have leverage and options when negotiating with acquirers. In “soft landings,” investors [...]

Get It in Writing.

I’ve worked with Ron Conway since 2007. Other than my Dad, he’s been the biggest mentor and influence in my career. His style is “lead by example” - he’s never sat me on his knee (I would pity his knee) to explain his best practices. I learned by osmosis and by observing how he handles [...]

Thoughts on Facebook Distribution

A few days ago, Facebook announced a feature where a FB user can follow someone’s actions in a 3rd party app. Those actions then show up in that FB user’s feed. For example, if I follow someone on Socialcam, those person’s actions show up in my FB feed. It effectively allows a FB user to [...]

New York State of Mind

Some lingering thoughts from our trip to NYC last week: I love Locanda Verde. One of my favorite new restaurants. Partly owned by Robert DeNiro, my favorite actor. Even better.Some of SV Angel’s biggest “winners” will come from NYC. But I wouldn’t be surprised if our biggest winner in the next few years hails from [...]

The Best Thing I’ve Read in 5 Years

I’ve read a lot on investing and startups since I started about 5 years ago. Along with Fooled by Randomness, this is my favorite piece that I’ve read on business and putting things in perspective: The Trap of Marginal Thinking by Clayton Christenson. Some excerpts: The language of the disruptive attackers was completely different: “It’s [...]

Have you thought about gaming Twitter?

This was stuck as a draft. In light of posts like this and this, it feels stale already. But, I thought I’d publish anyway. A prominent VC asked an SV Angel portfolio founder this question in a pitch. It was in the context of acquiring users. Now I’m no Mike Moritz when it comes to [...]