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LA is a funny place.  People are always talking about the same handful or tech companies here but typically these are just the ones written about in the blogs and tech press.  I have known Rami for many years and he has built Technocel into a incredible LA success story that very few people even in LA know about.

It is exciting to see him reinvesting in the LA community and I am sure that together Rami and Gerard will make a impact with Tylt Labs.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Shocker: Manufacturing is hard. This new VC will handhold you through it



I have been a fan of Pando, I have friends who have invested in your company as well as work at Pando.  I respect what you have done as a entrepreneur in what I would consider a tough field.  I am also a friend of both Josh and Diego, who have gone out of their way to always help me as a local LA entrepreneur.

When I woke up to Michael's original article I could not believe what I read and figured it had to be true as what was written was just way to big to be just a rumor.  Over the course of the day multiple people that I know from outside of LA sent texts and called saying they could not believe that Beachmint was gone. 

I can say that with my own eyes, Beachmint is still going and Diego and Josh are still there.  I have no knowledge of how well they are doing but the original headline has proved to be both false and damaging to their company.

You then wrote a update later in the day and what you said about Diego really bothered me,

"What makes this particular case a challenge for me is that Diego Berdakin has a history of not being completely straight with us and blasting our reporting without presenting any evidence to the contrary. So while he would certainly know if he’s still at the company or not, the fact that he’s saying the story is “100% false” is difficult for us to reconcile with extensive reporting on the health of the company and Berdakin’s track record as a source. (Note to entrepreneurs: This is why being straight with reporters is generally a good policy. It means you get the benefit of the doubt in cases like these.)"

There are many metaphors which I could use to describe how bad this type of thinking can be and what kind of horrible outcomes can happen when people start using past experiences with a certain person or group to make decisions about how they choose to treat that person or group.

Whether Diego has been straight with you in the past or not is irrelevant.  Right is right and wrong is wrong.  I believe it is acceptable to use your past direct experiences with someone to determine whether or not to say write about their new feature.  But it is not OK to say that because this person has a "history" that you will decide to not give them the "benefit of the doubt in cases like these"

It is very hard to build a company and I believe that the right thing to do regardless of your opinions on the founders of Beachmint would be to properly retract and correct the article in order to allow the over 100 employees of Beachmint to continue to build what will hopefully turn out to be one of LA's great start ups.

1 year ago on How we’ve responded to BeachMint’s most recent demands


 @JDavidBeatty The problem with inductive charging is the other side (the phone needs it also).  Since there are not that many phones out with inductive charging built in we decided to shelve it for now.

However if Apple was to come out with inductive charging or another large phone we would look into making something portable to charge it.

2 years ago on Say Goodbye To Ugly Portable Phone Chargers


@ZachMcGohan Thank you. It is awesome that we are so exposed to the customers through this. We already have so many great new ideas based on feedback.

2 years ago on Say Goodbye To Ugly Portable Phone Chargers


@philmcn Thanks!

2 years ago on Say Goodbye To Ugly Portable Phone Chargers


 @robinsinghvi In the market you are talking about there are a ton of competitors.  We wanted to differentiate for a market that we felt was not being served, which is a all in one charger for things like your coffee table, conference room, etc.  Where there might not be a plug near you but you still want to charge and use the device in that location.  


Also part of the fun of Kickstarter is that you can make a hypothesis about for a product and then see if people want it before you manufacture it.

2 years ago on Say Goodbye To Ugly Portable Phone Chargers


Nice job to the team.  These guys executed well and crushed it.

2 years, 1 month ago on Mobile Chat Platform Maker Acquired by LivePerson [Updated]


Michael, I can not believe what a careless and uneducated statement you make about ReturnPath.  ReturnPath's sending guidelines which they aggressively enforce on their customers are actually more stringent than required by law.


ReturnPath serves a very important need for almost every successful company in Tech.  Without ReturnPath it would be very hard to guarantee delivery into the inbox, even if you are following all of the guidelines for high volume senders.   How do you think companies like DropBox get all of the emails out there, are they spammers?


When I was the CEO of I was able to see first hand what a important job that ReturnPath did.  They have built a amazing team and an incredible business, which is why it tweaked me so much to see how you painted them in this post.


Since you are writing about email tools it would probably be in your best interest to do some homework on ReturnPath and learn what they do and why they are so critical to the ecosystem.

2 years, 3 months ago on SaneBox Offers Solution to Email Overload