Founder of Addroid
This is nice to see as people don't buy business models, they buy products.
6 hours, 47 minutes ago on After the reset at Kleiner Perkins, a new mentorship program: ProductWorks
@Stockman I don't follow stocks but happy to hear how that relates to the story and my comment.
2 days, 3 hours ago on Adaptive Medias acquires tiny RTB platform Ember, hopes it’s enough to start an ad-tech blaze
I think it's interesting to consider the recent exit of GradientX. The number was not made public but I feel pretty safe in thinking that it was in the $10MM to $20MM range considering they raised a healthy $3.75MM round pre product. I really wonder how much farther along GradientX was than Ember. Exits and funding rounds always seem so random. Both had very little traction before they pushed the eject button. GradientX had a veteran team and a huge round of VC while Ember seemed to have the opposite. The internals are different but the product and traction seem identical. Crazy right?
2 days, 6 hours ago on Adaptive Medias acquires tiny RTB platform Ember, hopes it’s enough to start an ad-tech blaze
@GregM1234 @neoganda Thanks Greg, I'm not a farmer but I don't find aquaponics really interesting. What I don't understand is the claim, "they produce the equivalent of an acre’s worth of traditionally farmed crops."
An acre is 43,560 SQFT while a shipping container is 450 SQFT or 900 if you stack—minus a little room walk. You might be able to crop leafy greens every 30 to 45 days with no seasons to concern yourself with but with the cost of power and nutrients I have to think that it's still gonna be pretty difficult to do 50x over a one acre dirt farm cropping a few times a year.
I wonder who the customer base is so far? Who needs to grow food under lock and key with a considerable power and nutrient bill?
2 days, 6 hours ago on Freight Farms raises $1.2 million for greenhouses built in old shipping containers
I wonder what the ROI is for a $75,000 grow box that isn't growing marijuana. As an example, how much bib lettuce would you yield per year and could the price compete with industrial sized farms? What's the eco system like for wholesalers who don't want to sell their crops one by one at a farmers market? It looks like they are using LEDs but I wonder what the energy costs are. I have so many questions!
2 days, 14 hours ago on Freight Farms raises $1.2 million for greenhouses built in old shipping containers
I think therefore I inflate.
6 days, 15 hours ago on Neuroscience may help us understand financial bubbles
Jason has been grinding away on this for years. It's not the most exciting category—certainly not trendy but he built value anyway. He created what looks like 35 jobs and just pulled what I'm sure is millions off the table all while helping people in the local startup community. Seems pretty good. I'm happy for him. Salâmati!
1 week ago on Intuit acquires Docstoc to broaden its offering to the smallest of small businesses
@PatrickSF Geez, you're giving writing tips on a guest post? If you're running a company it's really hard to find the time to craft 900 words on your topic of expertise without throwing your competition or competing technologies under the bus. It's also takes a lot of thought and consideration to not have your post sound like a giant plug for your company. I think it was a solid read and an important message.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on The worst practice in advertising is far too common (and expensive)
What drives me crazy about the Native hype machine that's propagated across the adtech landscape over the last year, is that it's stolen the conversation away from the real problem of the mobile cliff. 29 percent of web traffic comes from mobile devices yet the workhorse of digital advertising—and lets just cut the shit here—is the 40k Flash banner. The industry has wasted a year waiting for Native to replace those "ineffective banners" however the tonnage will never be in one-off executions because there's simple no way to attain scale.
If you have a HUGE site like Facebook, Twitter, or even BuzzFeed you can make up any ad format you want because you have enough reach to make it worth while for advertisers. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't meet that criteria yet somehow that fact of life has been drowned out in relentless waves of PR campaigns and blog posts insisting that this shiny new object will change everything we've ever known about advertising.
Native certainly has it's utility but I'm glad to hear that were starting to sober up.
For anyone interested in a nostalgia blast from 10 months ago here's my guest post on the topic: http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/30/will-the-real-native-advertising-please-stand-up/
4 weeks ago on Native advertising is trolling us all
So lets say you raise an average $1.5MM round of VC but as things move forward you realize the business model or market hypothesis isn't right. Is it too challenging to reserve $50k to $100k to pay back you loyal early adopters? As a founder it should be pretty clear you're headed for an iceberg and the ship is going down. Why burn through that very last scrap of money, that belongs to the customers (deposits) not the investors, when you know the fate is sealed? That's something I never understood as I've watched this happen a handful of times. Is that last $50k of money, that was not the founders to begin with, really going to help pull the nose up after burning through $1.xMM or more in some cases?
I also don't think that the average person buying a item online has any idea of startup dynamics and the risk is certainly not called out when making a purchase. "Buy this item but don't come crying if we go out of business because we're just a startup!" These are businesses not Kickstarter projects.
I can understand the righteous indignation and frustration that I've seen in the comments. They paid for something and didn't receive it and couldn't even get their own deposit back in some cases. I don't feel comfortable telling people who got ripped off, "Get over it."
4 weeks, 1 day ago on This just in: Startups will stumble with customer service. Get over it
Merger + Pivot = Mervot! It's like a Reese's peanut butter cup of startup goodness.
1 month ago on Pose and Little Black Bag merge, promise a match made in “content plus commerce” heaven
Is a middle-aged founder considered a minority?
1 month, 1 week ago on Eric Ries: “All the best stories are not necessarily told by white men”
Great interview and good to see Pando switched to a simple YouTube player :)
I was able to watch the whole thing. Hooray!
1 month, 2 weeks ago on PandoMonthly LA with Upfront Ventures’ Mark Suster, the full interview
Anyone happen to know if these ads are Flash or HTML based? I wish they had a few demo units on the site—looks interesting.
it's also great to see what a well run adtech company can do with very modest funding. They've really taken the ball quite far off that first round. Inspiring!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on PaperG brushes off competition from Google, continues to grow profitably
@langadorf Francisco generally writes opinion pieces on the startup culture which, I think we can all agree, gets a little too high on it's own supply. He's a cynic without doubt but I think it's important to have that junk yard dog on the property to call bullshit on the posers and sycophants who are misdirecting the work that needs to be done in favor of more self-serving social or egoic goals. On this one the cheese slipped off the cracker and we all had a chance to turn the tables and call bullshit on his bullshit. We all had our fun but ultimately I think his heart is in the right place and I think it's ok to miss the ball once in while. I also wouldn't be interested in reading this blog if the writers were afraid to take a few risks now and then. I don't always agree with everything he says, and I don't have to, because if I wanted to read a bunch of safe and in-the-box PR drivel I'd go back to TechCrunch.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on By definition, Silicon Valley has few legitimate entrepreneurs
Yikes! Franchises are mostly debt financed so your personal capital risk is minimized AND those businesses already have scale which greatly reduces the risk or the second part of the definition.
FYI you don't just walk into an accelerator like its CVS and pick up your 50 grand. You need a product and traction and that's gonna cost you money out of pocket.
I feel like you minimized how extremely difficult it is to build something useful and then get someone, who's never heard of you before, to give you money for that product.
An ironic banner in the sidebar makes me think of my own issue. I have an competitor who currently has a patent filed for a technique that was initially used in the 90s for webcams. We are both repurposing the technique to serve video into mobile placements. We both have a slightly different approach yet I'm not filing because I don't really believe in it.
Of course the risk is that someone actually grants this patent and I find myself in world of hurt. This is the joy of not being funded—of course my competitor is. If I had 8 million to splash around like mDialog I might just file something to cover that base and play what is clearly a game.
The whole thing is just a bummer. With that said, in this case, the patent seems legit. Well done.
2 months ago on mDialog receives two killer patents around serving dynamic ads within streaming video
Kudos for coming up with a new model. I like it!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on MassChallenge: World’s largest accelerator shoots for impact over equity
The infographic and post didn't mention the fun fact that the first banner in 94' got a click through rate of 78%. Everything was a novelty on the internet back then and banners were no exception.
The industry built big business on top of this metric but as the novelty faded the bitterness and overall negative sentiments increased. Rich media companies set us up for failure with strategy of selling ROI based on CTR and posts like this italicize that mistake.
So adtech made a bet on CTR and that failed but all is not lost. I think it's important to ask yourself this question: when was the last time you clicked on a bus bench?
Clearly the question is rhetorical but the point is that all of the major advertising formats lack this type of interaction (the click) yet are considered quite effective, even though they're really not that effective.
“TV spots have a 0.05 percent response rate if you consider that the average U.S. adult sees 6,000 commercials each month and responds to 3. Billboards have a lower, 0.03 percent response rate. Radio fares best at about 0.13 percent, but the truth is, responses to all advertising are low.” - Ben Kunz, 5 (Un)Alarming Stats About Banner Ads
No one likes going the dentist but it's a fact of life. By the same token, you don't have to love ads but they support the consumer internet. All the good free stuff is ad supported and I think that's a reasonable value for value exchange. So to me, it feels down right pedantic to call out something so innocuous as a simple banner.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Friendly reminder: We’ve hated banner ads since the beginning of banner ads
“Startups tend to ignore the importance of old-timey expertise.”
In the late 90's, before the first bubble, everyone was giggling with excitement over the idea that the internet simply changed everything. The old way of doing business was for chumps. The theory was that we were all just going to walk in with our websites and take over everything. The conviction was pathological and you could get high off the fumes after talking with the CEOs and Business Development "gurus"—people actually used that word with a straight face back then. The VC money flowed so they all bought Areon chairs by the dozens and sprinkled them around their offices in which they painted one wall orange and another wall green! Even the HR director was going to be a millionaire. It's so easy and we're all so much more clever then those idiots with those old style brick and mortar businesses.
However, everyone soon realized that no one ever asked the customers if they wanted to buy groceries or pet supplies online. It turned at that just because you owned Broadcast.com, well, it unfortunately didn't mean anyone wanted to hear what you were broadcasting. We all got to learn that building an audience of customers on the internet was just as difficult as it was offline. It turned out that all the exact fundamental principals of business still rang true. The opportunity to disrupt the establishment was there, and that vision is playing itself out now 15 years later, but you can't just walk in and claim it one day.
In 2000 the internet shit the bed. Webvan alone burned up $830 million in funding before filing for bankruptcy. It was carnage.
Here's the current problem: if you just graduated from collage then that means you were watching WWF in your Underoos when this all went down.
There are no shortcuts. Period. Rohit Singal is selling shortcuts… at a steep price. Beware.
3 months ago on Calling all non-trepreneurs: your moment has arrived