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I feel like this is one of those articles you should have sat on for a little while longer, until you had more facts and a clearer picture of what is really going on. Anytime a blog post is written that needs multiple updates, it's highly likely you jumped the gun. Honest mistake, but I think it's important that you guys acknowledge this and apologize to Google.
3 months ago on The day that Google Drive broke my trust (Updated)
@DouglasCrets @emmetgibney haha no, I've never spoken at or been invited to speak at anything before, but hopefully someday I will be ;-)
4 months, 1 week ago on Maples’ Law: A million ways your startup can die and only one unsatisfying way to make sure it lives
This reminds me of something I've thought a lot about lately, "The Great Man Theory". There is a debate over whether man makes the times or times make the man (or woman for that matter). Malcolm Gladwell talks about this at length in his book "Outliers". Malcolm suggests that we are a product of the circumstances of the environment and times that we grew up in. Would Steve Jobs have been quite so successful as he was if he wasn't an adopted child growing up in the Valley during the early stages of the tech industry? Was he a mixture of rebellious angst, genius and perfect circumstance, or were his circumstances irrelevant? Would he have been nearly as successful if he were born 10 years later? Perhaps he would have ended up in prison instead, who knows.
I think it's in our nature as entrepreneurs to ascribe success to our personal characteristics, to naively believe that our destiny is within our control. We tend to write off luck much more than we should. The expression "luck is when preparation meets opportunity" comes to mind. When you're good you get lucky more often, even if opportunity presents itself just as often as it does to someone else. I'm from Alberta, Canada and our old premier (ie governor) was asked once what his theory was for politics and he said that he looks for a parade of people, then he runs to the front of it and yells louder than anyone else. I see that as acceptance of the fact that life is like a boat. It is going the direction it is going regardless of what any one person thinks their influence may be, and the ones who succeed are the ones who accept the fact that they're sailors at the mercy of the sea.
I know others will disagree with this, namely Farhad Manjoo, but I'm incredibly interested to see what Aereo does. Farhad hated on them big time in his piece:
Frankly I think Aereo is important simply because it will force the broadcasters to start thinking more about providing a better experience for their customer, rather than trying to protect their oligopoly. Hulu was probably destined to fail from the start because it was too closely related to the oligopoly.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Hulu achieved what the networks wanted. The problem was the unlikely success it found along the way
Sarah, the biggest reason to hate this deal, is that it WASN'T Goolge who bought them. This isn't to say that Google can't replicate their footprint in the future, but imagine if ZipCar was made up entirely of self-driving cars!? Not only would you not need to ever own a vehicle, you would someday not even have to worry about getting a drivers license. You just walk down the street to the Google Car rental lot, press the button on your app to activate the car, tell it where you need to go and then presto.
Although as I write this I think the driverless cars of the future will just roam around like cabbies picking up fares for a fraction of the cost, and if you needed them to wait for you in the parking lot of Safeway then you just pay for them to wait for you.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on There are just so many reasons to hate the Zipcar/Avis deal
I think what it comes down to is the trade off between solving some deeply satisfying technical challenges, and making money fast. If you want to make money fast then look no further than consumer internet services (ie Instagram, et al). Where else can you focus your technical chops for 2 years and exit close to $1billion? Whereas the current market cap of Tesla Motors is just under $4billion, and their road to success is exponentially more challenging.
It's a shame in some sense that we no longer live in an era of grandiose ambitions. Sure Dubai and China are building some incredibly tall skyscrapers, but those achievements don't come close to the space race. The world needs more Elon Musks. Although, in all fairness, he started two internet software companies before he had the bankroll to chase his dreams ;-)
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Why Silicon Valley innovation has stalled
I like CamelCase too, and even used it on my company's name!
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Was 2012 the year CamelCase died?
@MoonlightLuke you've got some high standards if Bryan failed, $175 million...
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Your 2013 resolution: Come to terms with being “only” an engineer
This article reminds me a lot of "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber. As a very brief primer for those who have not read it, a business should function as a system made up of the following types of people:
1) Technicians offering the front line services, or creating the products (this could be programmers at a software startup, or hair stylists at a salon)
2) Managers who oversee the technicians and keep them on task with the vision that is set at the top
3) Leaders/Visionaries who create the vision and generally enable everyone else to do what they need to do
The great majority of businesses are started by people who are technicians who want more control over their lives, are sick of being told what to do by managers they do not respect, or want to strike it rich on their own. The fact that most businesses are started by technicians is simultaneously why most businesses fail, because these people are skilled at being a technician, not at managing a team or setting a vision that people will believe in. They end up doing less of what they actually enjoyed doing, and instead deal with all of the crap like legal, admin, investor relations etc etc.
The point of what Bryan is saying (at least as I'm interpreting it) is that if you are a great technician, and you like being a technician, there is nothing wrong with staying a technician. Don't let your ego, or greed sway you to do something that you actually won't enjoy doing. It's not to say that many great companies won't be built by engineers, we all know that many successful companies are built by engineers. If you feel completely compelled to start your own company, nothing anyone is going to write is going to stop you, but DON'T for god's sake start a company because it's the cool thing to do.
If anyone had any doubts as to Steve Jobs' influence on this industry (I doubt there are many), they need only look to this video to see his influence in spades.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on VIDEO: Every major product launch of 2012 in two minutes
Has the increase in seed funding resulted in an increase in the aggregate value of companies receiving series A funding? Since the number of companies getting series A funded is staying the same the only way this massive increase in seed financing is a good thing is if the value of those companies is higher than the previous batch. Something else worth noting (although I doubt it's the case) is that it could simply be that the tracking of seed funding is getting more accurate (ie before there were companies getting funded that just didn't get counted in the tally).
Assuming the "Series A Crunch" is happening, the real question is if that's a good thing or not? The answer depends on where you're sitting.
If your team is building something with no clear business model that helps tweens kill time on the internet, then it's probably pretty tough right now. However, if your team is building some SAAS product that seems pretty close to finding product market fit, then you are probably much more likely to get some love from the VCs, and if a bunch of consumer startups start going belly up then finding smart engineers is going to start getting a little easier. Corrections might be painful, but very necessary.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Jason is wrong: Winter is coming, and revenues aren’t the answer for everyone
aka Justin Timberlake and Paul Rudd......
5 months ago on Finally, actual data: Series A crunch will kill 1,000 companies, $1B in angel money
Looks like Sean Parker and Jim Breyer were right all along:
I took mandarin at university and learning the characters was incredibly painstaking. I've been using Memrise for the last month or so and I can testify to the fact that this platform is an amazing learning tool. I've learned more characters much faster than I could previously. Not sure how useful it will be for other curricular, but for mandarin it has been amazing.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Memrise adds $5.1 million in new funds
I think calling the current shift in focus towards enterprise a "fad" is probably a poor choice of words. If you look at the software industry as a whole I think it's quite possible that enterprise software accounts for more profit than consumer software. It's much more difficult to make money from consumers than it is from a business. If your point is more about how the definition of the term "enterprise software" has become much looser then I think you're probably right. One last point I might add to that whole discussion is that what's changing now in "enterprise software" is that companies can be formed that offer a pricing model that actually CAN scale from SMB to full on enterprise environments (ie Box, Twilio, and maybe now Evernote).
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Evernote launches enterprise version. But do employees want to share their digital memories?
For relaxing times, make it Suntory time...
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Evernote raises another $85M seeking to get short-termers out well before an IPO
Best picture ever... on a side note, how come I never see you commenting anymore @sarahcuda ?
8 months, 1 week ago on Why Silicon Valley and Wall Street See Facebook So Differently
I have a new found respect for you Sarah. The really big dreamers are the ones who built Apple, and Microsoft, and Facebook, and Google etc etc etc...
This article reminds me a lot of what Vinod Khosla has said repeatedly about startups, and his philosophy around investing. He wants a non-zero chance of success, and most importantly he wants to see that success is actually worth it. In other words, who cares if you succeed and you've made some picture sharing app (I mean really, who cares). It should be something that really changes the game.
It was not rational to believe we could put a man on the moon, or that we would be able to build machines that could fly, or that we could build a railway that traversed a continent. It's always the irrational ones who manage to do some really significant things in this world. This makes me think of another famous moment, from Steve Jobs, where he says you need to be really really passionate to be successful, that you need to be a little bit crazy not to give up, because it's really really hard.
9 months ago on David Sacks’ Argument Is Rational, It’s a Good Thing Silicon Valley Isn’t
@Takeshi Young the closest comparison I can make to this comment would be if you were to go to Autoblog and leave a comment on an article about the Tesla Model S that said "Outside of the gearhead world, no one has heard anything about this car". What's your point?
10 months, 1 week ago on Exactly How Screwed Is PayPal? (Hint: Very)
The ship hit the iceberg more than a year ago, they're fighting over who gets a life boat now.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on At This Point, RIM’s Shareholders Are Getting What They Deserve