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I find it hard to believe that it never came up. There are plenty of reasons why you wouldn't want to get rid of Karp, but only a fool wouldn't have evaluated the possibility. If there was that big a need for a COO, clearly there were issues that needed to be addressed and CEO replacement should have been part of the conversation. But, you know, nobody likes to talk about this stuff in public nor feels the need to once there has been a big exit.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Bijan Sabet: David Karp’s job was never in danger
Sounds like a twist on Ning, frankly. That didn't go so well for Bianchini.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Mightybell: A social platform banking on the web’s lack of community
This is a great, great idea, Erin.
7 months ago on Let’s kill the demo day and replace it with a one-year reunion
And most startups fail, period. In fact, most small businesses fail too. Thems the brakes, as they say. Sure, there are certainly some fatal mistakes made that might have turned potential successes into eventual failures, but the larger truth is that most aren't ever going to make it at all. That is the nature of this game.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on What do failed startups have in common?
He may be smart, he may be a good entrepreneur, he may be a jerk too. What seems pretty clear is that taking $300-600M off the table as part of an enterprise that is failing in an enormous fashion is morally repugnant.
9 months ago on Fred Wilson still has confidence in Mark Pincus
Here's the thing...to each their own. You, @Francisco Dao, don't like this kind of behavior and neither do I. But others are fine with dismissing it and making excuses, which is their choice. In the end, what matters is that you surround yourself with the kind of people you appreciate and that's that, regardless of what other people might tolerate or think. Life is too short to be around assholes, however you might define them.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Stop making excuses for people
@ForrestHiggs I agree 100%. It is a problem and it isn't easy, but that's no excuse to pass the core issues by simply to shove technology down people's throats.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Why online education is mostly a fantasy
@elicolner Which is part of the reason the dropoff rates for MOOC courses are so enormous. You'll hear the folks at Coursera or EdX talk about the enormous number of signups...they rarely, if ever, talk about the small percentage of students that finish the exercises, view all the videos, or show any mastery of the topic.
@Crystal808 I agree with you on the library analogy. Even with fairly open and easy access, there are still issues with libraries, particularly in communities that suffer from underperforming school systems. That being said, online learning is far from some magical silver bullet.
There was an insipid discussion of MOOCs last night on Charlie Rose. More blithering nonsense from the folks behind EdX and Amplify (some classroom bullcrap from FOX) as well as the harbinger of BS - Thomas Friedman. Seriously, any time Friedman is on board, any critical thinking goes straight out the goddamn window.All these clowns could do - clowns with some of the best educations and access around - was to cite the vanity metrics of signups as a sign of success so far. They could barely admit that there is no clear evidence that any of this is making a difference, although they did touch on the fact that the business model is non-existant at this point. I loved the garbage around never having had any data on how kids learn - because, you know, teachers never give homework, quizzes, or tests. Ridiculous.While the zeitgeist seems to be about blaming our education system for all sorts of failures and to automatically prescribing technology as a solution, we are failing to look closely at what is really wrong with education in this country. There is plenty of data out there to show that the issues are far more about socioeconomics and that the "issues" clearly show up when you segment out the minority of underperforming schools/student bodies. The solution isn't tablets in every child's hands, but dealing with the instability and risk factors in children's lives. Less broken homes, more employment, less starvation and poverty, more community support...handle the public policy stuff and you can bet schools will be more productive places where kids will learn a great deal more.
So you thought you needed money and you pitched VCs. Then you didn't decide to accept any offers, although it is unclear whether that means you received legit terms sheets or just had some interesting overtures made to you. What really changed your mind? Was it a decision that bootstrapping and retaining ownership was best or did you simply not get any offers that were attractive? It certainly seems like you worked to get the attention of guys like Fred Wilson...yet you raised no money? To put in that effort and decide to change course...there has to be more interesting things to say about that then what you wrote above, no?
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Why I turned down investor money for my startup
Anyone who thinks there hasn't been any innovation in education since the printing press is a fool. Not all that long ago, most children received little to no schooling whatsoever. One of America's great contributions to humanity was the creation of public schools, education available to all and funded by the government so cost would never be an issue. You could add to that the creation of state colleges, land grant institutions, etc. as well, all of which has happened in less than 200 hundred years. It is not a coincidence that our nation has risen meteorically during this time. So, sure, education can use some shaking up, but it isn't exactly the stodgy institution some make it out to be. It is part of our very core as a citizenry and any innovation we take on should be considered in historical context.
11 months, 1 week ago on Should you pay $250K to go to college?
Most people doing the sharing don't give a crap what the people they are sharing with might think outside of what those people will think about the sharer. Really, all this bullcrap of peddling advice - advice which is almost always someone else's - is just a sad attempt by many to drape themselves in a false cloak of wisdom and experience. You know, if I tweet shit out all the time that sounds smart, it must mean that I'm smart. I am amazed at how many folks just go post Paul Graham or Fred Wilson or Steve Blank's stuff, over and over again. Not a knock on those guys, but tweeting that stuff just shows that you know how to use your browser to find their old blog posts. Good for you! Hell, it doesn't even mean you read the stuff, let alone understand it and have applied it to anything you actually do.Me? I tweet stuff sometimes. But I have three rules when it comes to sharing content. First, I better have read it and have something to say about it. Second, it better not be the same old crap that everybody else is sharing (meaning I only share stuff that I haven't seen elsewhere). And, third, if I don't agree with it or do it myself, I better be sharing it to start a conversation or an argument about something because I think its important. Sharing isn't about shining up my own reputation or persona - my actions are. So, any content I share had better come from a place of engagement and provocation than shining up my stupid online image.
11 months, 1 week ago on Please stop with the recycled hypocritical advice
So, wait...you busted your ass for two years to build the company and then relaxed, right? I agree with your core point, but don't gloss over what you had to put into MetaLab to get to the point where you could delegate more, relax a bit, and get some breathing room. If most businesses don't start out with a hair-on-fire attitude, they will never get to the point where they can benefit from your advice at all.
11 months, 1 week ago on You don’t have to make yourself miserable to build a great company
@Thedisco Whoops. A great place to LIVE!
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Because of asset seizures, I am starting my new company outside California
Come to Virginia, brother. Much better tax structure, far friendlier to business, and just a great place to leave. And, lest you think it can't compare to NYC...there is an absolute mountain of tech and media talent in the DC metro region, the living is a bit more affordable (just a bit), and we can hold our own when it comes to things like culture, food, music, etc.C'mon, man. You will love it.
@cjcornell Good additions. I've lost count of all the semi-retired CFOs with corporate backgrounds who think every startup should be running to pay them as consultants.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on How to scare off bad actors in the startup ecosystem
Wait! You mean all that talk of "Moneyball" investing might just be BS?
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Terabytes of deafening noise
@Francisco Dao And now my "learn something everyday" checkbox can be marked. Ringelmann effect...good stuff.
12 months ago on When does something become too big?
I think those calling themselves junkies aren't really addicted to anything other than having a phrase to describe a fleeting, albeit passionate, obsession with a segment of the economy that is currently enjoying the limelight. They spin their work or educational history, along with any number of other ancillary experiences, as having been part of or related to startups, no matter how tangential or remote. This is why you hear crap about lemonade stands or building stuff with Legos, why launch party attendees usually outnumber users after 30 days, and why there was even a shot at getting Randi's horrible mess of reality programming on Bravo for a season.
1 year ago on Startup junkies: What are they really addicted to?