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Dude. Innocent until proven guilty means we don't punish him till then. It doesn't mean we have to reserve judgment and say nothing. Why do people always confuse these two issues.

8 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Darren-Sharper-suspected-in-seven-rapes-11-druggings-in-four-different-states.html

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While I'm not disagreeing with the general thrust it does seem unfair to compare the quality of responses on Twitter vs Jelly just due to number of end users. Jelly feels very new and I wouldn't be surprised if the community ultimately defined a use case that drives subsequent traction (much like how breaking real time news became the true catalyst for Twitter - who knew that going in?)

8 months, 1 week ago on Sorry Biz: So far, Jelly isn’t my new jam

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@yanntn  "It gets preference over all the earlier dollars, and carries a greater than 2-times liquidation preference. In layman’s terms, that means the first $160 million (at least) that Stripe ever gets in an exit goes straight to those investors." Given the author's believe $500 mil is quite achievable then these investors are pretty much assured of doubling their investment at the very least. 

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Memo to Stripe: Winning the hearts of Valley startups is not winning payments

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@mcarney Thanks Mike. I think where the logic for me breaks down is "the $500 mil to $1 billion exit" Most of the signals here say they've doubled down for the long run. The leadership team is really young and is probably happy to stick at this one for 5 - 10 more years and still be early 30's. The valuation makes them much too rich of an acquisition any time soon based on revenues/earnings so buys the founders more time. And the amount raised really helps them batter down the hatches. 


Braintree's BOD/investors looked at Braintree and decided for (I assume good reasons) it was time to exit. Stripe's BOD/investors looked at Stripe and said "time to double down and scare off acquirers" I'm going to assume both are smart people. Stripe indeed believes conditions are favorable to build that enormous company (PayPal is POS focused and attached to eBay and the market (tablets) are eliminating the distinction between CNP and POS so they can attack an adjacent vertical with very little retooling etc)  I think they can hit enormous scale. At least, there's nothing showing that they can't yet. 

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Memo to Stripe: Winning the hearts of Valley startups is not winning payments

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This would make more sense if Stripe was claiming it had won payments. Isn't raising $80 million an indication that you are i) *hoping* to win payments and ii) realize it's a pretty dang significant task that's why you need $80 mil not $8 mil. Lastly, if you need $80 mil how to you ensure you don't dilute the heck out of your existing investors and employers? Large valuation? 


Also,  it's a little contradictory to say "Hey winning SV doesn't mean you're winning payments Stripe just look at Braintree and PayPal!" People in the payments industry in general roll their eyes at SV people who think Stripe, Braintree and PayPal ARE payments. 


The amount they raised and the valuation says a lot more about the current state of private and public markets and that's a really interesting article. But spending a lot of time lamenting valuations for an individual deal just seems to be a futile experiment. Braintree's valuation shocked a lot of people. Now this makes PayPal look like it got a deal?


Finally, Stripe always solved a harder problem than Braintree and addressed more of the stack. So I think an Apple's to Apple's comparison can only go so far. 

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Memo to Stripe: Winning the hearts of Valley startups is not winning payments

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Hey Paul. I was confused by the goal of your article. The early part is perplexing. You seem to be drawn into then back away then get drawn into the real meat of this topic. That is, the sense that many people have that there are now two classes of worker's appearing in the Bay Area. But after some oscillating you turn your attention to ValleyWag. 


"makes it twice as disgusting to see a putrid, but highly visible subset of the technology press trying to co-opt the sincere anger of Bay Area workers and spin it into disingenuous, smug faux-classbaiting horseshit, for pageviews and cash bonuses." 


It's not really enough to claim that their motives are for pageviews and cash bonuses. Writing for pageviews and cash bonuses is the reason *everyone* in your profession writes articles. Afterall, one man's pageviews is another man's indication that this is a story that deeply matters to people and is resonating. 


Then the very first time, in the very first sentence, where you get to Nick and ValleyWag you make sure to point out they're not from round these parts. Unfortunately, that plays very well into one component of this discussion. That those from the Bay Area believe that they're somehow different and better than the rest. Put another way we all know that sometimes it takes people *not* from somewhere, with all the attached bias, to make an objective assessment of the situation. Does a NY Times reporter have to live in every town that he/she writes on for the story to be credible? 


The much more interesting story here is how does the Bay Area deal with what's happening? Cities like London and New York have 100's of years of history to draw on to deal with inequality issues. Phase I of Silicon Valley dramatically changed sleepy towns with very few incumbents and many of those benefitted dramatically via the rise in Real Estate. Phase II moved into the existing metropolises of San Francisco and Oakland and ran smack bang into very entrenched into multi generational communities and ways of life and turned them upside down in 5 years or less. There it's not being greeted by all as the savior. If you dislike Nick's approach do a better job of covering what's happening vs dedicating so much time going after 1 guy and one publication. 

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Look Who’s Gawking: Inside Nick Denton’s phony, hypocritical class war against tech workers

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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 year, 6 months ago on An acquisition is always a failure

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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!!"

2 years, 2 months ago on Ubooly’s Lovable iPhone Toy Is Not Your Average Stuffed Animal

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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!

2 years, 3 months ago on Exactly How Screwed Is PayPal? (Hint: Very)

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 @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)

2 years, 4 months ago on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Building a Company in Austin

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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. 

 

 

2 years, 4 months ago on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Building a Company in Austin

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 @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. 

2 years, 6 months ago on Airbnb Faces Off Against 40-Year Old San Francisco Hotel Laws

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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.

2 years, 6 months ago on Airbnb Faces Off Against 40-Year Old San Francisco Hotel Laws

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