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You had me conned just for a second. Well played, Pando. Well played. 

1 year, 7 months ago on The 41 hottest guys in tech

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Sarah, this is a great article.

Clearly founders will have a massive emotional investment in their companies. Startups are build on the vision, toil and persistence of the founders. On the positive side, this means an enduring passion to drive the business on, focus and commitment. The flip side of that is what happened with Jerry Yang. Decision making becomes so entrenched in emotive reaction that the business takes a hit to preserve the moral authority of the founder.

I'm glad Reid has come forward with this. I think it goes to a core distinction: the business is not the founder. The smart founder should be focused on the success of the business - that should be their core motivation, surely? They should be able to acknowledge a lack of experience, or skills going forward. More than that they should be able to separate their own ego from the future of their "baby" as a going concern. Certainly it's possible that a founder can grow with a business into an accomplished CEO, and there's masses of history of that. What I think we're starting to see now, and what Reid is talking around is acknowledgement that it isn't always the case.

There are, of course those founders that appoint external CEOs and the company goes from strength to strength (Sendgrid immediately springs to mind). That the discussion is happening now, and in positive terms is good news.

1 year, 9 months ago on Reid Hoffman strikes a blow at the cult of the founder. Is he right?

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That's some good creative writing.

For those whom it affected, I will share my magical mantra, to be used only in times of dire emergency.

"Something will turn up, it always does."

You don't have to have hope, as much as to know that nothing is permanently immutable. Change is the only constant.  

1 year, 9 months ago on When hope slips away

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A media stream in more than one respect.



Sorry.

1 year, 9 months ago on Meet Musical Toilet, the latest innovation in the “connected bathroom”

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I always thought that was the point.

For every passionate and driven individual, there is the headstrong and deluded one. In my mind the crunching of numbers is the check and balance to the wild headlong charge some entrepreneurs make. Certainly it's a romantic ideal to find backers that have the same vision that you do, but honestly I'd find it just as comforting (if not more so) that someone whose primary concern is return on capital has independently and dispassionately evaluated my business and *agrees* it's likely to be successful. If the numbers aren't good then it's surely about the business establishing a bump in that research. If you make that indent successfully with the resources at hand, you'll find many more sources of funding becoming available. I suspect that having the neutral backer will also make you far more careful with your own expenditure.


1 year, 9 months ago on The VC’s paradox: We can’t all be black swans

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"HR admins on a train" or "Catherine does dead dinosaurs". 

Possibly a new tee design: "I'm the other WITN viewer" or similar :)

Congrats to all on one year. Long may it continue.  

1 year, 9 months ago on WITN: Happy birthday, us!

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Interesting metaphor about childcare and business with regards to trusting your gut. ISTR Dr. Spock opens with 'Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.' Possibly the same applies?

I hope everyone had a good festive period.

1 year, 10 months ago on WITN: Fairy tale of Las Vegas

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@sarahlacy @staciefrederick What I found interesting about that segment was that the disagreement was one of scale.

I think if Paul had said his desirable quality was a *passion about good writing* as opposed to a history of writing, or if Sarah had said that given two identically desirable candidates, she'd favour the one with the history of writing, there would have been less heat. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Does your accountant need to be a writer? A surprisingly contentious WITN

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@sarahlacy @RedRookDigital That's my point exactly. We're presented with a Pando-filtered-and-condensed version of the original article in Pandostyle and Pandovoice. I remember Hamish staying up until ludicrous o'clock filtering, digesting and repackaging.

The issue as I see it is the [source: ]. That original source is NOT your idiom, it's TC's or Betabeat's or CNNs. I will, therefore, read the ticker (and follow it on Twitter) but I'm a lot less likely to view the original source.

1 year, 11 months ago on Does your accountant need to be a writer? A surprisingly contentious WITN

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That's an interesting WITN. 

Paul, have you considered if the eventual model will be a monthly e-book 'subscription' with the daily / weekly offering providing updates and expansions? Essentially each writer or genre becomes their own e-book series, with the option to follow particular threads further on the site. Purchase of the e-book gives you access to that stream (somehow). That pushes you further down the publishing organisation route - but please remember not to go so far as 'platform'.

Sarah, I love the PandoTicker. I think it's biggest downside is that it's hosted on Pando. Bear with me with this - readers come to Pando for a particular style, ethos, standard etc. The Ticker is excellent for short bite-sized digests of what else is out there, but clicking on an origin story described in the ticker takes us away to another site. We get presented (indirected by Pando) with content created by a different organisation with a different voice and different journalistic standards. Often, for me, the summation is enough. I won't necessarily click through, but I do get value from the sidebar itself. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Does your accountant need to be a writer? A surprisingly contentious WITN

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 @eak4  @JenniferSiegler  @DoraJenner  @pud

when they got caught gouging, yes. Which invalidates the whole benevolency. That and it lasting a whole day.

1 year, 11 months ago on A final word on Uber and their ghastly attempt to spin their way to sainthood

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 @agarillon  @AndySwan So "practiced altruism" is for the egotist's benefit, as opposed to altruism for the benefit of others with no expectation of personal benefit? The rational belief is that self sacrifice is wrong unless it is under the expectation of future greater personal benefit? (Again, genuinely asking if my understanding is correct)

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @MattTrue Ok, I'll buy that, I wouldn't find it surprising that she'd write about what she perceived in the public domain. The issue with that must be that as a philosophy it is no longer *as* relevant, since it's so anachronistic.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @bennash  @MattSchofield  @RedRookDigital I disagree, that's unworkable unless everyone regulates themselves to the same degree. In industries with light regulation we've seen that that isn't the case.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @MattTrue You'd have to ask Paul directly, but my reading of it was that the "supermen"'s strike is not exceptional. Removal of either aspect causes collapse. Exemplifying the supermen ignores that their role is unexceptional. The perform a function in the same way the workers do, By ignoring that fact, and only considering the result of the removal of a single aspect, (again, my reading) Paul was saying was short sighted and deliberately obtuse.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @AndySwan Hi Andy, serious question - I thought Objectivism views altruism as the greatest evil possible, since it denied the most basic imperative of all life - to succeed and advance one's own interest.

How does that fit with helping those you love, or dealing with others as equals? Aren't you (by considering their needs, or using your own resources to better their lives) denying your own self interest?

You seem to have a genuine knowledge of the subject matter, and whilst (on first reading) Rand's views seem diametrically opposed to what I consider morally right, I'd like to know more to create a more informed opinion.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @MattTrue  To clarify: you seemed to be under the misunderstanding that the article had said that the government was violating the rights of workers (in the same way that you described the "supermen" being). That wasn't what the article said. It said that Rand ignored the possibility of the  same economic collapse in that eventuality, which you've agreed with.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @bennash  I only really understood the last few sentences of that, sorry. The argument isn't "innovation is bad because..." its that zero regulation is bad because it leaves the customer unprotected.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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 @MattTrue  It isn't. However, in the event that the workers up and quit, the country collapses too. Having the supermen without the workers is just as damaging as vice versa. The point hanging on the fact that one result is ignored.

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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Wow. Just blown away. The next time you’re back in Blighty a diet Coke is on me.

 

I have to admit I wasn’t overly familiar with Rand or Objectivism prior to the NSFW article you shared a while ago, but I’d always seen its tenets espoused by people I assumed were being deliberately provocative, or dangerously naive. The more I learn about it, the more I realise that it’s not its’ followers that are dangerously naïve, but the ideology.

 

I was one of the first to comment on Nathaniel’s original post. I thought it was a great piece of journalism and an interesting investigation. It was, to my mind, something that merited more exploration. I’ll leave Travis’ responses aside, save to say they did nothing to persuade me that the article *wasn’t* accurate, despite my reading it with an open mind.

 

NSFW’s opening of my eyes to Randism (the moniker “Objectivism” is patently absurd for an ideology that is so entrenched in the subjective needs of the individual) through an article from a former adherent was, frankly, terrifying.

 

It’s not that I can’t understand the “regulation is bad” mentality. Regulation is there to restrict actions (which are deemed harmful to society). Oftentimes that means supporting the incumbent for the very reason that they *adhere to the current regulations*. Someone aiming to shake things up, to disrupt, will butt against those incumbents and regulators if their mode of disruption is attempting to ignore those regulations. Of course, some regulations are bad, outdated, inefficient. Of course some incumbents abuse regulations and hide behind them as protectionism. Of course protectionism is the opposite of the laissez-faire capital free market.

 

Except that that’s not the intent.

Regulation is there to protect the vulnerable.

Paul mentions this in the context of those unregulated taxis whose drivers sexually assault or rape. It’s an interesting idea to suggest that they’d be forced out by better competitors, and it may even be a valid point if their motive was profit.

Except that that’s not their intent.

Without the safeguards and trappings of regulation the vulnerable are exploited, and not for profit. In my mind I can’t help but conflate that sexual exploitation with “it’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission”.

 

Ignoring, or circumventing regulation is a world away from innovating on a business model. Placing profit over safety is not sustainable long term. Driving positive change is not done by bullying or petulance.

 

 

2 years ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption

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Is there an unlock for watching each WITN in full? I must be nearing my achievement and level-up soon.

 

All kidding (and Terry Jones housewife impressions) aside, I found this one really interesting. Mainly because of the conflict in it. Whilst not something I envy, the drama does make for food for thought.

 

As soon as you started talking about the spin out of Crunchbase, my first reaction was that surely Angel.co could see the opportunity it presented, but then when you pointed out the Eldon link the penny dropped. Wouldn't it be fun (for a given value of "fun") if the whole TC sale to AOL was a massive troll by Mike to get them to fund him in a really roundabout way?  Sell the business, have the value drop, buy back the profitable pieces at a reduced price.

 

I'd also like to thank Paul for the "don't be British" advice. So noted. Your frustration was evident. Hindsight is a great thing, and pain the best teacher, but neither one is necessarily easy to live with.

 

 

2 years ago on Why Isn’t This News? Fun In The Sun

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Movie rights optioned yet, I wonder?

2 years ago on Color to shut down: Bring on the I told you so’s

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 @fred_ox It didn't read (to me) like Nathaniel was defending anything, just trying to lay out that for all the David vs. Goliath disruption rhetoric, there were two sides to the story. I'm all for Uber, Hailo et al shaking things up, but in this specific example in NYC it seems like the Mayor's office wasn't anti-Uber, and even the TLC recognised the need to update legislation (even if they were using the current version as a means to restrict entry).

I have to wonder what would have happened if Uber had waited until February to enter NYC.

2 years ago on Who’s the real bully, Uber or New York?

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Eli: Still a termsheet power player.

 

2 years ago on Why Isn’t This News? Croatia

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Just got my download link, thanks.

2 years ago on Validation Board: Embrace the Lean

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Will be at SWManchester in November. Looking forward to it. More so now there's an added incentive.

2 years, 1 month ago on Startup Weekend Going Massively Global in Fall Battle

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Who WOULDN'T want to get in on this?

2 years, 1 month ago on WOW. Anonymous Donor Buys Out Rest of Jonah Peretti Tickets, on One Condition…

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Congratulations on both the article being a balanced reflection of you, and of course on your pregnancy.

2 years, 1 month ago on Well at Least They Called Me “Queen”

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What was the rest of that sentence, Paul? The video cuts out at "for me..."

 

Another interesting WITN, which I think you could (if you were so inclined) boil down to arguments over success, and art versus business.

The sides are almost: the content guy wants to produce art, something with meaning, the businesswoman wants to make something sustainable and wealth generating. Obviously I'm massively over generalising (art without a patron results in hunger, business without a product is the same) but I think it's reinforced by the arguments you made on "proving".

Business can be very digital. The business is working or not - it's growing, satisfying shareholders, and over the long term the income is greater than the expenditure. That sort of success you can see in black and white on a balance sheet.

Can a content model ever be "proved"? Sure you can please some people on a subjective level, but tastes differ, and change over time.

If I had to place a bet on it, I believe Paul would NEVER feel like he'd proved his point, the nature of art would never allow it, and his own drive to perfect that art would mean he'd never feel he'd achieve that goal. Sarah would feel she'd made her point at a given level of profit, and work to maintain and improve the standards of the business.

 

Also, its a known fact that young Bruce Wayne initially turned to comfort eating following his orphaning.

 

2 years, 1 month ago on WITN: Tiny Batman Cars, Vegas, Plus Paul Preaches (Another) Sermon on Journalism

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I voiced agreement on Twitter, but I'm in two minds now. The revolutionary half is still saying "if you want to be a platform, start out as a platform!" the pragmatic half saying "the company has a duty to its investors to maximise value".

I am pleased that there are those committed to revolution (NSFW included). Nothing changes by following the well-trod path. I applaud that you have a business model, and that you are focusing on revenue and break-even.

2 years, 1 month ago on Platforms Are For Pussies

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Did you actually get to the game in the end?

2 years, 1 month ago on Why Isn’t This News: The Baby Stays In The Picture

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I'm totally going to try that "audio is dropping out" thing to ignore people on conferences from now on.

I kid, of course.

2 years, 2 months ago on WITN: Paul Carr Announces His Own Big New Hire, Mark Ames

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Didn't I read that Thompson was seriously ill? I thought that was the reason for "stepping down". I'm glad his recovery was speedy.

2 years, 3 months ago on Scott Thompson Joins ShopRunner as CEO: Um, I Guess Everyone Deserves Another Chance?

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I had to replay the last few seconds to be sure it was wooden duck...and it was.

Love WITN, I could happily listen to the back and forth daily.

2 years, 3 months ago on WITN: Not Safe For Work Corporation Launches! At Last!

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Fantastic stuff, thanks.

2 years, 4 months ago on Three Things I Have Learned From Ev, Biz, and Goldman

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Also, please remember that things you post on publicly accessible internet sites CAN BE ACCESSED BY THE PUBLIC.

2 years, 4 months ago on The One Amazing Secret That People With Ears Don’t Want You To Know

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I think the list is accurate enough.

Whilst I'm happy enough being an H (at least until the product is finished, and has some demonstrable traction - then we'll see) my biggest issue is with the use of the word "entrepreneur". All of the self-proclaimed entrepreneurs I've met have been at best FOs. At worst they've been douchey Hs with delusions of self importance. Indeed, I believe the literal translation of entrepreneur is middle-man. Whilst that may be accurate to an extent (representing the EBMPs), I think it does a disservice to those people making something unique, to those building something outstanding, and those who care more for creating a business than earning a label and a lifestyle (yes, even though they *could* probably be called middle-men).

Founder is, for me, a far more fitting and pleasing appellation.

 

2 years, 5 months ago on The New Entrepreneur Classification System

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 @hamishmckenzie  Now I feel like my knowing smiley wasn't enough for you to get that I was "in on it" and I feel like a jerk :/

2 years, 5 months ago on How to Understand Silicon Valley Speak

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I could be wrong, Mr. English degree, but isn't it plebe?

Oh and hubris would be another one to look at.  :)

2 years, 5 months ago on How to Understand Silicon Valley Speak

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I don't doubt there'll be big exits in NYCs future, but as you say, its a relatively young ecosystem. It is also a comparatively smaller ecosystem for the moment. Further, whilst big IPOs and "blockbuster" exits are great news for investors and tech journalism alike, you have to look at the companies growing in NYC and ask which of them need that kind of injection of the public's money.

2 years, 6 months ago on New York Tech: Where Are the Big Exits?

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Maybe this could be a Pando reader meme. Tees with "FTL". The assumption would be that it stood for faster than light, which is an admirably PR-y type slogan. Pando readers would, however know it was loofah related.

2 years, 6 months ago on Why Isn’t This News: Exclusive Very Sneak Peek At NSFW Corp (Kinda)

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Its a weird one, for sure. Stripping away who is filing the suit, it seems like a valid claim - that shareholders are understandably upset that an asset acquired for a hugely marked down price was then left to rot, rather than re-invigorated. I'd be *vexed* to find out about the board meeting etc. info you listed. That's not the way to run a business, as much as run it into the ground. Criterion SHOULD be taken to task if that is true.

 

The belief that it could be restored isn't necessarily unreasonable, even as your customers age and move away *the world keeps making more*! Ok, that's semi tongue-in-cheek, but you don't have to look far for an example of how well that kind of churn can be handled. In fact Paul is intimately acquainted with such an example - Michael Acton Smith of Mind Candy.

 

Adding the heartbreak of seeing your creation mismanaged is another dimension. I'd like to think that it's a case of the founder genuinely wanting to make a success of a business model he believed in. There is, of course, always the possibility that it's a case of DFWCLG syndrome.

2 years, 6 months ago on The Bebo Lawsuit, and the Tragedy of Departed Founders Who Can’t Let Go

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 @paulcarr  Touche. :)

2 years, 6 months ago on Why Isn’t This News? ‘Owl’

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AOL vs Yahoo? Is this the unloveliest contest of all?

It's an interesting difference in tactics, I can't see why Yahoo would have gone so offensive so quickly.

2 years, 6 months ago on It Had to Happen Sooner or Later: AOL Actually Outsmarts Someone

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Who doesn't like Owls?

2 years, 6 months ago on Why Isn’t This News? ‘Owl’

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