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That was big and brave and won't win you a lot of friends (Motley Crue in particular seems to have taken offense) The founder of every successful company will receive real offers during the course of their company. They all know that when they take that offer is the day they "cashed out" and therefore quit on that particular vision. So it's true in that sense.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on An acquisition is always a failure
Oh awesome! The secret sauce is definitely app updates. Parents will love that because the kids will love that. Imagine tipping it on its head and it says "I'm Gabby in gymnastics!!"
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Ubooly’s Lovable iPhone Toy Is Not Your Average Stuffed Animal
There appears to be 3 key elements to payment processing. i) Fees Charged, ii) Fraud capabilities and iii) Ease of working with the organization. I think this article focused on the 3rd bullet point only which perhaps limited its effectiveness. It certainly did a good job of capturing the sentiments right now in the space around that third bullet point. And for developers the 3rd group is the most important. However, it would have been nice to see some discussions around the other bullet points as they matter more to non developers within an organization. Many of the debates around Stripe, if negative, are folks that scoff at paying higher fees forever just to save a couple of days up front and work with a nicer API (although amongst developers these are truly in the minority) Lastly, like Square, I think Stripe has done an amazing job of growing the TAM. Just like Square, people who couldn't accept cards before (wouldn't qualify) now can. Many "traditional" people in the payment space are licking their chops believing that once Stripe customers get larger they'll be able to pick them off with much better fees and fraud detection etc. I'm not sure if that confidence is misplaced but the point is they don't feel threatened by Stripe - they think it's creating a much larger base of smaller fish that wouldn't have formed otherwise.
Great to see a lot of passion around the topic in general!
10 months, 1 week ago on Exactly How Screwed Is PayPal? (Hint: Very)
@KarlZimmerman @chood531 Yes. I think apartment.com comparables aren't all that helpful. The Bay Area is a very big place and has some pretty wild swings. You can live across the Bay in Oakland with a 15 minute BART ride and cut your rent in half if you're so inclined. You're still in the "heart" of the action though. In my case I was looking for an established neighborhood with good schools (vs SOMA)
11 months, 3 weeks ago on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Building a Company in Austin
I looked to move to Austin before finally settling upon Raleigh/Durham. I'd spent 10 years in the Bay Area and 6 in Boston. In the end I felt like Austin was in a really tough predicament if you were weighing up a move/relocation there. It struck me that it was about "80%" of the Bay Area. Housing was cheaper but not much cheaper, traffic was better but not much better, weather was good but summers were suffocating. Airport was definitely a limiting factor. In the end I determined "I might as well spend the "20%" extra and go back to the Bay Area where there's double the opportunity." Not that I'm down on Austin. I think what happens is in 5 or 10 more years Austin turns the corner and the opportunity catches up with the "Cost of living" equation and evens them out.
@alanhuynh You make a lot of good points Alan. I think the argument that Airbnb is "special" and that alone means it should be treated differently is pretty weak and likely to fail. Airbnb's better option is to argue that they're expanding the net pool of tax $$'s through direct and indirect means. That's the language of this debate - that's my main point.
1 year, 1 month ago on Airbnb Faces Off Against 40-Year Old San Francisco Hotel Laws
I think the problem with this article is it's focused on the wrong location. The "problem" here is that the City relies on those tax dollars to run a wide range of programs. If it believes that Airbnb is causing a decline in those revenues then it needs to address that issue.
Airbnb may have an interesting new model but don't lose site of the fact that its in the accommodation business. Airbnb may argue that they actually increase the overall market vs just cannabalize the existing one. In which case the overall tax rate for all could be lowered based on this broader aggregated demand.
There may also be a principal from states that passed on taxes for online sales like software for a period of time to encourage the "internets" Airbnb could try that approach.