LA startup evangelist, co-founder and editor of LA Tech Rise
Agreed! Writing quality almost always improves when there is a monetary reward and incentive.
Are you familiar with Venice startup Assignmint? They're making it easier for writers to get paid for their work.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Writers should be paid
Fully agree. @SlashCJ wrote pretty much the same advice the other day on LA Tech Rise and I hope people keep talking about it. Generalists make the best founders.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on You don’t want experts. You want jacks-of-all-trades
I know you're in NY, but feel free to write "hella printers" like we all know you want to. Pando is based in NorCal, right?
1 year ago on HP’s Slate 7 is an “entertainment solution” stained by printer ink
I thought it was a pretty uninspiring press release. PS4 feels already on the brink of obsolescence and it's not even out yet. In the years since PS3, everything has changed as mobile and social gaming and entertainment have evolved rapidly.
Sony is far behind on mobile, cloud, social... PS4 seems more like a sequel than a new generation, given how much has changed during Sony's unreasonably long development process. I'm not convinced they'll be at the top of the living room entertainment competition in 2014.
Watch Dogs does look like a hell of a lot of fun, though.
1 year ago on PlayStation 4: A living room console built for a mobile era
Fantastic post, Bryan. You've put concisely what I've been learning the hard way in my own pursuits in the content business. Tying the brand to an individual is so limiting, and as you pointed out, it adds tons of risk without the reward to the company and/or brand.
1 year ago on Don’t make it about you…
My primary concern is that some people don't understand that Ecommerce is not tech.
There are some really interesting developments in ecommerce, and some very large businesses being built, but it is absurd to apply disruptive tech expectations to ecommerce business. (Unless we're talking about technology that supports and enhances ecommerce, like payment innovations or solutions like Magento, for example.)
This has been a source of some annoyance in Los Angeles, in particular, where ecommerce makes the most noise (see most recent PandoMonthly). This becomes a problem when it makes it even harder for real technology startups to get the attention the somewhat unsophisticated angel investment community down here. I can't blame a "stuff-in-a-box" company for taking disruptive tech valuation multiples while they're available, but it kinda sucks for the less noisy, more innovative teams struggling to bridge the gap to Series A land.
1 year ago on Ecommerce 2.0: Hope or hype?
@Pv @ZSekar Thanks for the response. #3 is particularly interesting, especially since you say you've seen many startups miss the point. Anything happening at the moment when learning must give way to scaling is an exciting story.
On #1, I just can't seem to see the relevance. If you already know, it's because of some learning method, but saying you don't need an MVP post-learning is almost too trivial to mention. Is there an entrepreneurial example of this in action? You mention that in this case, only a large marketing budget or a niche approach would work, but can you really approach a niche with only product development and ignore customer development?
#2: other than a company which is culturally incapable of attempting a Blank/Ries approach, I still feel that a lean approach would be the fastest and most efficient, regardless of which resource the company is limited by. The only "bigger fish to fry" I can think of is the fear of needing a fundamental culture shift just to make intrapreneurial approaches viable, which could definitely be a valid fear in some cases.
1 year ago on Three reasons not to build a Minimum Viable Product
Someone help understand this post, because from what I'm reading I feel like it should be titled "Zero reasons not to build a Minimum Viable Product". Each of the three listed "reasons" either validates the MVP approach, or is totally irrelevant.
"to put it another way, in order to be viable, their minimum must be enough to compete against existing players plus some sort of differentiation."
This is still an MVP... You could still run a Bill Gross style test without actually building anything expensive.
Not caring about being wasteful is just a shoddily-run experiment. The Apple example is both based on guesses and frankly more convincing as an argument for MVP building.
Having already achieved P-M fit is the reward for building and testing MVPs. Not hanging on to an MVP past its usefulness for learning is good advice, but it is not a "reason for not building a MVP".
Is this post really just an attempt to more clearly define the term MVP since it, and "lean" are both so often misused? If so, wtf is with the title/headline? Just linkbait?
I'm not actually trying to be bitchy, I just think this subject, book, and both authors deserve more clarity, not less.
1 year, 1 month ago on Three reasons not to build a Minimum Viable Product
Not yet having won/graduated yet doesn't make you a loser. Getting held back or staying put for years and years because you're going nowhere might.
The idea of graduating to being the speaker at a speaker series you used to attend sounds pretty inspirational to me, perhaps more so if the attendance is and always was open.
1 year, 1 month ago on Networking is for losers, pt. II — the problem with communities
It's definitely strange how often people throw around "Lean startup" without even a vague sense of its meaning or that it comes from lean manu. Probably Steve Blank's term "customer development" would have been less misunderstood. It seems like people thought the term "lean startup" was more sexy because they immediately assumed it meant raising less cash.
Very cool interview with an action sports entertainment startup in LA using customer development and fast iteration came out today on LA Tech Rise: Lean Startups Are Like Skate Ramps
1 year, 1 month ago on How the Lean Startup idea went from idiotic to overhyped
Never would have occurred to me, but I'm definitely giving it a spin.
1 year, 1 month ago on If you had to reinvent scrolling, it might look like MagicScroll
How reliable is the internet on that boat?
1 year, 2 months ago on Unreasonable at Sea: It’s an accelerator, on a cruise ship
Holy hell I never thought I'd see Larry Clark pop up on Pando. Calling him a filmmaker might be a stretch. (Teenage Caveman is unintentionally hilarious, I'll admit)
1 year, 2 months ago on When veteran filmmaker Larry Clark is embracing TinyPass, you know micropayments are set to go mainstream
I have to join the anti-Buzzfeed crowd on this one.
I'll agree that rape jokes are not, and will never be, funny. Unlike other horrific events that have become more acceptable fodder for comics, rape is always "too soon".
That being said, I stand fully on the side of comedy and free expression and against censorship and hyperbolic attacks. Failed jokes are a necessity of the art form*, shitty fact-checking and hypocritical, hyperbolic "journalism" are not. Freedom of expression is more fundamental than a free press, but the press is given a louder voice than the artist when it voices the truth and deserves its vaunted status.
*For example: Louis C.K. is not funnier than me because of genetic mutation, but because of his work ethic and mindset which has him testing his material against audiences to find the best routines. He must go through unfunny and probably offensive jokes to get to his eventual comic gold. The nature of comedy, at its core, is audience reaction, and it is created by those with the courage to fail painfully. When the right balance is struck, comedians can help us examine things about ourselves and our society, including our biggest failings and worst insecurities; this is why I defend it and its free expression, even at the cost of offensive material.
Journalism, at its core, is factual reporting. When it fails that test, it is no longer journalism.
1 year, 2 months ago on BuzzFeed reeling from Oatmeal-induced nausea…just when it was getting serious
@sarahlacy @ZSekar We appreciate it, believe me! I can't wait for the next Pando Monthly down here; your conversation with Elon might still be the high point of LA Tech this year, at least for me.
1 year, 2 months ago on SV Angel’s David Lee stuns Valley insiders with a move to LA
I guess L.A.'s awesomeness alone is bringing talent and $ from up north, hopefully we can generate enough good companies to take advantage.
Interesting to consider alongside the recent Startup Genome Ecosystem Report:
If Naval is right, the need for large number of full-time top quality employees may sooner be limited to the Facebooks and Googles. If innovative companies can gain success like Instagram with very small core teams of equity employees, freelance/outsource work could feasibly round out their workforce during many of the early stages.
The economics for the big/mature companies will only come into play in the event that innovation is more financially viable through buying Youtube and Instagram instead of paying out billions in payroll to full-time engineers in R&D. Right now they seem to prefer a mix of both strategies.
1 year, 2 months ago on Ask any entrepreneur: The freelance economy is a sucker’s game
Truth is always a weapon against the opaque and dishonest.
1 year, 2 months ago on Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and information as a weapon
@emil_c @ZSekar @MatthewMountford I maintain that the wishes of the victim's family* and morality are not identical. Logic is what gives language weight to the reasonable.
You have yet to even attempt to defend your assertion that photojournalism is inherently immoral, and in the journalistic setting of this publication, and this article specifically, I this is troubling.
*ignoring that they are in hindsight!
"What I do know, is that if I was the wife or daughter of the man who died on the tracks, I wish there was a firefighter in place of the photographer."
How you could possible "know" this is truly amazing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology
1 year, 3 months ago on New York Post “controversy” is why dino-journalists piss me off
@benwerd @ZSekar I do see why you might worry about possibly signing some agreement giving access to your whereabouts and location history to an insurance company, of all things.
1 year, 3 months ago on Really progressive insurance: MetroMile wants drivers to pay per mile