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NEWSFLASH: Stop trying to change the world.  Participation is HARD ENOUGH.

This myth that startups aspire to "change the world" is a fallacy.  Do some companies change the world?  Certainly.  Do they set out to change the world explicitly?  I think that's a mistake of EPIC proportions.  Focus on participation because real change is a deep deep rabbit hole.

1 year, 2 months ago on Maybe Silicon Valley companies succeed because their founders care more about what they do than where they do it

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Harsh, but if that's the goal we're talking about then history shows he's not the guy, lest we repeat the Dodgeball letdown of being swallowed up and discarded by a bigco so we can complain about it in the press for years down the road... or IPO on a $1M run rate and a $20M burn rate.

1 year, 3 months ago on Is Waze overvalued or is Foursquare undervalued?

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Are you reporting that Foursquare has fielded offers from the same companies that were vying for Waze, but at far less than $1B?  Is this an opinion piece or are you reporting something between the lines... because if I didn't know any better I'd say you just announced Dennis Crowley's ouster using some misdirection... he's done, but Andrew Mason style where people still want to work with him on future projects.  If he couldn't find that $1B suitor his highly option diluted employees and patient investors need somebody else running that company.

1 year, 3 months ago on Is Waze overvalued or is Foursquare undervalued?

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@timrpeterson And then also it's been a really bad day at my colo provider, so that's probably making me a jack### right now about it.

1 year, 4 months ago on Jason Calacanis: Why I told YouTube to go away and keep their money

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@timrpeterson The playback tends to stop if I browse off this tab and requires a refresh and manual seek to recover... maybe the issue is isolated to Chrome?  I mean I guess I'm pissed because the content is so great it deserves a working platform.

1 year, 4 months ago on Jason Calacanis: Why I told YouTube to go away and keep their money

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How a valley media company chooses the absolute worst video player on the internet completely blows my mind.  Whatever this thing is I hate it and you should go to YouTube or something that actually works.  Branding doesn't matter if the technology is from 1998.  Disappoint.

1 year, 4 months ago on Jason Calacanis: Why I told YouTube to go away and keep their money

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What are the odds Mayer makes Tumblr literally a Youtube competitor?  YT pre-rolls are on every view now so we know users tolerate it.  That would be an interesting evolution of the product imho

1 year, 4 months ago on Why Yahoo’s track record with acquisitions isn’t relevant to Tumblr

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I've never seen such a thorough moat strategy.  These guys are absolutely maniacal.

1 year, 4 months ago on Google is keeping iCloud’s promises

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I'd be interested in hearing from USV, AH and GV and others that are making investments in the space.

1 year, 4 months ago on Dept. of Homeland Security freezes accounts between Dwolla and bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox

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Some of the issue is supply side.  They don't have enough inventory to target.  But the supply issue is because their ads are too expensive (i.e. - they don't convert like Google).  It's classic chicken & egg problem.  Their ad product stinks.

1 year, 5 months ago on Facebook gives Wall Street what it wants with mobile. Doesn’t make Facebook ads any less crappy

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@mcarney @neoganda Also, conferences and merch for certain chans like Geek & Sundry might generate modest revenue.  I hope YT figures this out cuz the content is pretty great and the rumor is the funding isn't supporting new channels.

1 year, 5 months ago on An inside look at the first major acquisition of a premium YouTube channel

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It was the purple leggings.

1 year, 5 months ago on Not-so-humblebrag: PandoDaily gets two Emmy nominations

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@rob4 @elicolner I never sought an education for its entertainment factor... that said, being exposed to world class scientists and their ideas in person is life changing, in and especially out of the classroom.  If we frame the debate purely on the presentation we'll be ignoring a huge benefit of going to a 4 year university - access to the best facilities and mentorship available.  It is a scarcity because it's truly rare, not because of some marketing scheme.  Broadcasting lectures is not analogous to the opportunity that the current system provides students because there aren't enough PhDs to mentor everybody.

1 year, 5 months ago on Why online education is mostly a fantasy

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 @TimMensch @ForrestHiggs 

The K-12 system is partly free babysitting services for underage people in this country.  How would you replace the supervision element of the current system with an online course system?  Would parents take their kids to work with them every day or something?

1 year, 5 months ago on Why online education is mostly a fantasy

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@rob4 A lecturer in front of the class room is more engaging - hands down.

1 year, 5 months ago on Why online education is mostly a fantasy

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In my startup managers are not allowed.

The management system is really whack, because rather than be 100% committed to the product and the business vision, as we are, managers are really around to control cost.  I swear there must be a meeting in the basement of every big dumb company where all the managers hang out figuring out creative ways to limit people's careers so that they can hit their budgets.

I was once promoted by a previous manager, that will go un-named, that told me that I was the best eng 2 in the company while he was handing me the eng 2 title.  Which basically means, I was a senior engineer getting paid as a junior engineer the day prior and getting paid as a mid level eng until the day I quit regardless of my actual performance and the value I was generating for the company.  So disappointing.

1 year, 5 months ago on Invest in people, not resources

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I totally agree.  Higher learning can be a lot of things, including painful.  When you're forcing yourself to master topics just to try to keep up with your peers, that is often *more* rewarding than just learning the material and taking the test.  It's about finding what you thought your limits were and then blowing past them.  I can't imagine doing that type of high octane, high order work all alone sitting at the computer.  Call me old fashion, but it just doesn't feel right.

1 year, 5 months ago on Why online education is mostly a fantasy

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Good stuff.  Thanks for sharing your story Gour.

1 year, 5 months ago on Boom, crash… what? A dotcom train wreck finds a remarkable second coming

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@nathanielmott @elicolner I see Path as a very stubborn company in their approach to the product that they put out... and it's paying off huge right now.

1 year, 5 months ago on Apple continues to “think different” — it’s just that “different” is, well, different

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This article is timed nicely with Path's coverage over at wsj, me thinks.

1 year, 5 months ago on Apple continues to “think different” — it’s just that “different” is, well, different

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Tough to compete with traditional mobile games & board games... not to mention feature activity apps based on mainstream characters.  It's pretty crowded.  That said, with all that advisory firepower and her personal brand I think they'll do great.  Can't wait to see how they meld the physical world with their apps.

1 year, 5 months ago on Punky Brewster’s Moonfrye raises $2.5 million to deliver DIY activities to parents and kids

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VoiceBunny is soooo buttery.  I need some of that marketing wizardry.  Great job!

1 year, 5 months ago on Why I turned down investor money for my startup

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So Canva is in Perth or Sydney?  I <3 both cities, but I have an affection for Perth.

1 year, 5 months ago on How an Australian startup raised $3M in seed funding from Silicon Valley

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@g_c $640K is not much for a professional staff.  They've done quite a bit already for that amount.  Keep in mind that people raise $100M to do mobile apps...

1 year, 5 months ago on Clay Shirky says NSFWCORP has unlimited cash. Great! Now we’re screwed

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@paulcarr @elicolner His central thesis seems to point in two opposite directions, and teeter on a semantic argument between a news "industry", which he defines as a unified editorial authoritative body, and a news "ecosystem", which he defines as a diffuse interest graph of sharing.  Basically he seems to think that the news industry is dead and/or dying in spite of Twitter.  I argue the opposite.  The news industry is thriving because of Twitter.  I think this tweet from yesterday sums up what I'm trying to say...

@stuwhitney: Twitter isn't beating the tar out of cable news on this story. Newspaper reporters on Twitter are.

There is no news industry

"The opening paragraph of our report says that there is no such thing as a news industry. That’s not a prediction either: The days when you could point to anything in this country and call it “the news industry” are already in the rearview mirror."

Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present

"The news ecosystem of 2020 will be a study in expansion, with heightened contrasts between extremes. More people will consume more news from more sources. More of these sources will have a clear sense of their audience, their particular beats or their core capabilities. Fewer of these sources will be ‘general interest’; even when an organization aims to produce an omnibus collection of news of the day, the readers, viewers and listeners will disassemble it and distribute the parts that interest them to their various networks. An increasing amount of news will arrive via these ad hoc networks than via audiences loyal to any particular publication."

1 year, 5 months ago on Clay Shirky says NSFWCORP has unlimited cash. Great! Now we’re screwed

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@paulcarr @elicolner I believe you.  I'm pretty ignorant on this.  As a consumer of news, I don't understand his argument.

1 year, 5 months ago on Clay Shirky says NSFWCORP has unlimited cash. Great! Now we’re screwed

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Subtitle: "Clay Shirky has been at the forefront of thinking about the future of journalism for the better part of a decade."

Conclusion: "...there's no such thing as a news industry."

Is he smoking crack?  I'm being serious.  Is he mentally ill or something?

1 year, 5 months ago on Clay Shirky says NSFWCORP has unlimited cash. Great! Now we’re screwed

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@JerryJao Totally agree.  #4 is golden.

1 year, 5 months ago on Do you really want coffee or is this some kind of trap?

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Figure out your value proposition.  It's a REALLY hard egg to crack and it takes a LONG time.  Your advice is solid about focus.  Apple fumbled along for 20 years aspiring for that simplicity and elegance that they capture in their contemporary product line, but it was ridiculously hard for them even.  Their products were garbage all the way to the early nineties imo but they eventually figured it out.

The issue with most startups is often times there's just not enough cash to burn through to reach our ambitions.

1 year, 5 months ago on Building products consumers actually want

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@AnoopSuri @elicolner Our top universities are heavily impacted in computer science and engineering, mostly because a lot of people have passion for these areas of study.  All this is going to do is make the situation worse for students graduating high school trying to get a great education in the field and work here.

Here's a plug for my alma mater http://students.ucsd.edu/academics/advising/majors-minors/impacted-majors.html

1 year, 5 months ago on New immigration plan outlined: Startup visa is a go, H1-B quota to rise, tougher monitoring required

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As a moderate dem, I believe that this is bad policy.

The current H1B system employs 270,000 immigrants per year via the 65,000 new applicants and the 205,000 that receive extensions.  What this bill indicates is that soon we'll have 500,000 skilled immigrants per year living and working in the country.  How is it helpful to the US to give our highest paying and most secure jobs to newcomers when our unemployment rate is so high?  The argument that these are extraordinary talent hiring needs is bogus.  I've worked with many immigrants over the years and they are average workers, undertrained in some cases, extraordinary in other cases but the trend is exactly the same as American worker pools - average.

Lumping this in with our primary immigration problem (the 11M undocumented immigrants from Mexico) is a mistake that will cost us our own ability to compete for fair compensation based on unadulterated market forces.  The fact that the tech companies lobbying for this provision are more profitable than ever in history says it all.  They don't need more skilled labor.  They want to doctor the labor pool so that it's immobile and undervalued.  This whole thing stinks of a race to the bottom.

1 year, 5 months ago on New immigration plan outlined: Startup visa is a go, H1-B quota to rise, tougher monitoring required

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I always share your URLs to Facebook.  I guess as a sharer (not a republisher), it would be supremely useful to see how many of my people click through so I know if I'm spamming them or not.  It's not very common for my friends to "like" for whatever reason...

1 year, 5 months ago on Now publishers are lining up to give away their content for free

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I just looked at all the pictures.

1 year, 5 months ago on I speak fluent Nerd. I speak fluent Hipster. I speak fluent D-Bag.

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Punk ass book jockey!  Removing Pando from my RSS... wait.

1 year, 5 months ago on The Internet is making you fat, stupid, and poor. Here’s what to do about it

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@ikonoklast 6) Blow yourself out of the water.  7) Shotgun a Diet Coke.

1 year, 5 months ago on Microsoft’s new strategy: Pray

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Break up the company?  Wait.  Huh?

1 year, 5 months ago on Microsoft’s new strategy: Pray

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New tagline!  NSFW: we aren’t the South’s Oldest Daily Anything

1 year, 5 months ago on Paywalls are scary! But aren’t newspaper publishers supposed to be brave?

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This is a strange problem to solve.  It sounds like Ev is going back to his Blogger roots, even though he already contributed to fixing the most immediate problems with blogging - non-writers like to write but aren't that committed to producing great long form content because they probably have day jobs and possibly are illiterate, and a shocking amount are openly drunk online.

Twitter has left massive opportunities open to competition lately.  Their policies are bad towards both their users and their developers.  Their advertising play is reportedly working, but at what cost?  I wish he were solving those problems right now.


1 year, 5 months ago on How Medium promises to be the antithesis of Twitter

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What are the MAUs for these different products?

1 year, 5 months ago on It’s Yahoo, not Google, who sorely needs to acquire a hit mobile messaging platform

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When SEAL Team Six DEVGRU is made up of online learners we should have this discussion again.

1 year, 5 months ago on Should you pay $250K to go to college?

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Awesome read.  I 100% agree.

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

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Tough call.  I mean they're obviously THE imminent company in that space, but there's a lot more to network services than sync file sharing, at least on the consumer side.  I'd be surprised if Apple came in at $20B before public scrutiny of that business.

1 year, 6 months ago on If Apple were smart, it would buy Dropbox, no matter the cost

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When the robots do finally take over, they'll send us personalized shoes and other fine goods.

1 year, 6 months ago on The robots are coming: Swisslog shows the US ecommerce crowd its automated fulfillment tech

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I like Alba.  She's real sharp & comes across as authentic.  The app looks amazing, but also expensive to produce & maintain.  This feature rich app play is difficult.  I'm surprised they didn't just do a straight forward ecommerce offering for v1 and go from there based on customer feedback.  You know... agile or whatever.

1 year, 6 months ago on Honest launches a new iPhone app, an important step to becoming more than a diaper company

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You're going off today Michael.  What is this your 3rd post already?

You're totally right.  This idea makes a lot of sense.  There's tons of running room on the backend to build services for stakeholders on both sides of the transaction too.  Dealing with banks is not sustainable.  They're really bad at their job.

1 year, 6 months ago on Realty Mogul proves real estate crowdfunding works with its first completed deal

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Funny stuff.  People should be free to judge... but it makes them look bad most of the time.

1 year, 6 months ago on Should VCs publicly criticize companies?

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