Former professional in private equity and real estate, who's spent the last few years acquiring product management and development skills. Obsessed with value proposition, and drawn to un-sexy verticals. Love NYC, but always wishing I was in LA.
It's good to hear a technical counter opinion to the 23andMe mission, which is certainly laudable in its intent.
1 week, 6 days ago on It is game over for 23andMe, and rightly so
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Video suggests that Henry Blodget and Louis CK may be the same person
Vineet - Where do companies like Box, Salesforce, Workday and your own company, Egnyte, fall on this spectrum? Are they exposed to a program like Muscular?
1 month ago on NSA secret programs are actually good for the cloud
One of your best articles in awhile in my not humble opinion. Well articulated.
1 month, 1 week ago on Hustle and flow
This is interesting. I met another guy, Adil Wali, who was a co-founder at ModCloth who co-owns a dev shop in Mexico called Crowd Interactive. As I understood the story, Crowd Interactive came about as a way to provide development resources for ModCloth, but reduce some of the overhead by also taking on client contract work. The team in Mexico ended up being highly proficient and has continued on as an independent dev shop. I met several team members in NYC, and was super impressed. About two years ago they generously offered to let me work from their space in Colima and provide mentorship as I was learning to code - for free! They also host the annual Ruby on Rails conference for Mexico.
I have no ongoing relationship with Crowd Interactive, but think the story is relevant to what Andy Kieffer is doing in Guadalajara. Giving him the benefit of the doubt in terms of how he's treating local employees and partners, I think there's enough green grass in places like Mexico to still do well and do good. Best of luck to them.
1 month, 1 week ago on Tequila and Tacos: How this former Valley exec is poaching US talent for his Mexican startup lab
Great summary and context Hamish. Thanks.
1 month, 1 week ago on Yep, games are going to be a giant cash cow for WeChat
@mcdruid this doesn't strike me as something that needs to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. @Penenberg what might the ballpark cost of this be if dealing with black hat service providers?
1 month, 1 week ago on I challenged hackers to investigate me and what they found out is chilling
@wtpayne Well for one, he stated that they had the ability to transfer/steal all of his money. These funds are not insured for such theft. I'd consider that a pretty significant impact. Additionally, imagine if the information had been collected, but not used until they went on a vacation, say out of the country. Having to access to communications (address books, email accounts, twitter, etc.) or money could leave you and your children stranded. Lastly, since they had already compromised one of the family day-to-day machines they could just sit there and eavesdrop, gathering more useful and damaging information over time.
Interesting that we never heard about Karsten going after Apple and their iTunes Ping endeavor...
2 months ago on Ping vs. Ping: How an email app received a cease-and-desist from a golf company
They've been delivering value, but have also been dancing around a clear message describing when or why a potential customer/SMB would come to them. I've found myself fumbling for words on occasion when I'd point someone to Docstoc if they asked what they did. The acquisition of BestVendor following their creation of License123 really closed the circle on the value proposition.
It's not mentioned in the article, but a big revenue opportunity for them might be as a plug-n-play distribution platform for other things an SMB might need/want. For instance, SaaS solutions (one-off or bundled), professional services (bookkeeping, HR), etc. AMEX and Intuit could compete with them, or just save the money and use it to be affiliate fees for profit sharing to Docstoc. Not hard to imagine someone coming to Docstoc setup their store or restaurant and simply selecting additional bundled services at discount ( Google Apps for 6 employees, an Intuit POS system, etc.). It might have some parallels to Heroku's Add-on marketplace.
2 months ago on DocStoc’s got a brand new bag: Redesigned small business portal offers personalized content and resources
I'm always looking for ways to communicate things in a more visual way. Love the interface. Hope their paid product gets some traction.
2 months ago on Data for dummies: Silk takes its simple visualizations tool to the enterprise
Love stories like this. 37signals is always heralded as the crowned prince of bootstrapping and autonomy, but they their attitude can be aloof at times and rigid. It's great to see examples of companies thriving under the constraints of bootstrapping and then leveraging VC money for what it's best at, growth and scaling of a product or service that has traction.
Keep up the great work Wrike!
2 months, 1 week ago on Wrike raises $10M to expand beyond its bootstraps
@eringriffith good conversation and interview.
One thing though, your side of the audio kept cutting in and out. Naval's was fine.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Listen to PandoWeekly with Naval Ravikant of AngelList
@dbennahum I was just thinking the same thing. Aside from the brief mention of online relationships and fb, it doesn't seem a relevant topic in the manner it was written up.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Sex, love, and the hook-up generation
While your previously articles were thoughtfully written, I didn't find them particularly valuable or actionable. This one is universally helpful. There's no scenario where this wouldn't help improve the feedback cycle.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on The best way to take feedback: Keep quiet
Good on him!
3 months, 3 weeks ago on StackSocial: We’re profitable and haven’t touched our Seed capital
@Francisco Dao Many people live in a physical environment that have all of those things. In fact, isn't that high school for many people? Perhaps it's just that it's nearly impossible to wall yourself off on the Internet. In the physical world you can move into exclusive and/or gated communities, work in well-secured office buildings and vacation away from the rif raf.
4 months ago on I’ve come to hate so much of the internet
@Hil_Davis excellent question. I agree with @mcarney 's discretion on the matter though. There are plenty of variable that could weigh on the overall success of the transaction.
Separately, I question many people's expectations around multiples for these type of companies. Because e-commerce stores leverage the internet there seems to be an assumption that they should trade at multiples similar to more pure play technology companies that sell software or deliver SaaS solutions. While these e-commerce platforms obviously leverage technology, they have more in common with the old-guard brick 'n mortar retailers than they do with Microsoft.
For starters software vendors and SaaS providers have relatively high costs related to upfront product development and then ongoing sales. However, the costs to deliver the software or SaaS solution to each additional customer is close to zero, which can lead to increasingly high margins over time for a successful product or service. While intelligent beauty certainly makes heavy use of technology, they're mainly repackaging existing software and libraries to serve a specific use-case (there are exceptions I'm sure where they are creating something new from scratch). This technology and the Internet allow them to avoid the overhead costs of brick 'n mortar retail, but they're margins still have long-term constraints. The cost of manufacturing the end product is out of their control, and likely won't decrease much considering they mostly sell high-volume mass produced goods.
So... they can increase volume, but margins improvement is difficult and ultimately limited. With that in mind, what multiples do you (@Hil_Davis / @mcarney ) think are appropriate? What are more comparable sectors?
4 months ago on Target buys DermStore and Sensa is on the block. Intelligent Beauty focuses on JustFab’s $1B potential
@eringriffith It would be good to have a sense of proportionality with some of these numbers and stats. For instance, what is the total employment number to put the +2,200 tech jobs in 2Q13 against. While I think tech is important, I'm curious whether it actually makes a dent in employment in relation to entire ecosystem. I feel like the financial services industry adds and throws away this many jobs in an almost cyclical manner. Since I don't have any numbers at hand this is purely my own pondering...
Do you have any insights on this?
4 months ago on NYC tech hiring bounces back in first half of 2013
Good interview Hamish. Love Luis von Ahn. The stuff he's built and researched has turned out to be so useful to the world. It's also almost poetic watching how the concepts that began around 2000 with Captcha keep evolving and being re-applied each step along the way for a new purpose and with different effect each time. The art of refinement.
Definitely find more doers like him for the interviews!
5 months ago on Listen to our PandoWeekly interview with Duolingo’s Luis von Ahn