LA startup evangelist, co-founder and editor of LA Tech Rise
@neoganda Gotta agree with Matt on this. It has more than a few truths but ends up little more than a rant. Without real urgency you can always expect conversations with sophisticated investors to go nowhere. Depending on your situation, the lesson may be no more interesting than "grab the dumb money when it's available", but if you can generate real interest in your round and/or enough revenue not to desperately need it then you have leverage, which makes investment conversations a whole lot more interesting.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Startups Anonymous: “What I’d Really Like to Say to Investors”
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.
1 year, 2 months 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.
1 year, 4 months 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, 5 months 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, 5 months 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, 5 months ago on Don’t make it about you…
@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, 5 months 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.
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, 5 months 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, 6 months 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, 6 months ago on If you had to reinvent scrolling, it might look like MagicScroll
How reliable is the internet on that boat?
1 year, 6 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, 7 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, 7 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, 7 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, 7 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, 7 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, 7 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, 7 months ago on Really progressive insurance: MetroMile wants drivers to pay per mile
@benwerd You probably don't have to worry about your diagnostics switch sending your whereabouts anywhere. The smartphone, gps device, etc, that you already own on the other hand...
@emil_c @ZSekar @MatthewMountford It is exactly their training, not their morality, which guides their initial, swift action and makes them excel at it.
You make a large number of assumptions about this cameraman and his speed. Yet you ignore human reaction time, which, depending on his alertness before the incident, could have been quite long. At the same time, his training would have, conceivably, readied his camera subconsciously, as you seem to be pointing out.
In your hypothetical: do you imagine the firefighter would wish the journalist ran in, untrained, beside him and got in the way? How have you equated distance from action to immorality? Is it because of some perceived detachment from the plight of others? Do you also imagine that the firefighter's training is to be emotionally attached to every potential victim? This would be counter-productive. Every emotional response this firefighter has can increase the danger to himself and anyone he is hoping to help. Yet you don't deride his profession's detachment. Again: how, exactly, is a distant photographer inherently immoral?
"That's pretty immoral" - Do you make perfect moral judgments in 1/1000 of second? If so, do you demand that all people have that impossible ability as well?
"Photographers are an immoral group of people" - I guess you are pretty good at judging quickly, at least in the context of generalizing entire groups of people.
Definitely a cool enough experiment to try out - I'm looking at picking up a Nexus 7 tablet, and I think the wifi only + Karma would be pretty slick.
1 year, 7 months ago on The Karma hotspot: ambitious, clever, and hopefully not too naive
@leftfield123 Exactly. And if you start every day with that full charge, you actually never go to the gas station, saving yourself hours per year.
The supercharger is important because it expands the already feasible battery-powered car's abilities, bringing it one step closer to being a widely used primary form of transportation.
1 year, 7 months ago on Free transportation for life
@bgoldberg @ZSekar OK, I see more clearly now how your post came its conclusion.
I still personally have trouble making so clear a moral judgment on the individual points.
The snap reaction of taking the photo, unless it was done callously at the expense of giving aid, is not an action I could assign moral value to either way, possibly not even with much more information than we have about the situation.
After the photo was taken, the photographer could have:
On publishing the image on the front page, I have to agree with you personally that doing so for sales rather than news is very much a disservice to both the public and the profession, and thus, in the long-term, clearly the wrong choice. I would, however, very much like to hear the counter-argument to this view, as it may be quite interesting, unless it truly was nothing more than callous tabloid amorality.
This post very clearly cuts to the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the journalists Bryan is targeting until the end when he starts preaching in extremely bold terms with no substantiation and instantly loses credibly in my eyes.
"Every single journalist should be appalled by what the New York Post did...The freelance photographer — even if he couldn’t help the poor man — should not have snapped the photo and sold it.The newspaper should not have put the picture on the front page."[My bolding]
None of the above quoted statements are conditional, and so, as worded, are moral statements. They state that these particular actors should not have acted the way they did. Though the specifics of its meaning and usage have been debated for centuries, 'should' is a moral term. The author implies that these parties acted wrongly, and that all individuals in similar situations should act differently. His defense of these bold moral statements: "Done."
"Done" is not a argument. “It’s not a moral grey area” is a thesis; in this case, it is left defended.
The closest the author comes to defending his proclamations is to suggest that had the image been freely posted to YouTube, these same parties would have reacted differently. This, at least, serves to point out the hypocrisy and false moral indignation the author is railing against.
Fake moral outcry is infuriating for many of of us observe. Publicly making moral judgments and even imperatives, without any hint of fundamental philosophy, doctrine, or argument, is far more arrogant. These are necessary to make such blanket statements worthy of, at least, conversation or debate.
As stated, Bryan, is just angry and wants us all to know that if we act differently than he claims he would, than he is morally superior.
Maybe, when journalists are pissed, editors have more careful work to do.
Anyway, I actually found the writing informative and eye-opening until the ending made the writer seem so similar to his targets.
@John Timms @ZSekar I made zero statements about what you may or may not be personally in favor of; I merely made a comment containing my own observations, using the reply function to keep things organized. My point was, and is, that the appearance of "picking winners" may be a very small price to pay if long term societal and technological progress can be reasonably hoped for as a result of public-private interaction.
I don't know how, barring flawed logical leaps entirely your own, you came to take very basic statements of facts and my own opinions so personally. Perhaps Livefyre's format of using your @ handle to format the thread is what is distressing you.
@John Timms The $80 Billion auto bailout certainly succeeded in "sustaining the business" of GM and of Chrysler, yet furthered our progress towards neither energy independence nor emission reductions the way the Dept of Energy's 'Manhattan Project' proposes to. (Of course, the auto bailout also cost >600 times more...)
Propping up losers to maintain the status quo seems more damaging, to me, than risking "picking winners" when there is a long-term, economic, security, or environmental goal to the latter policy.
@jimmiebjr This downtime is only relevant when you travel beyond the range of the car in a single day or trip. If you regularly travel more than 230-300 miles without returning home for the night, then obviously a Tesla is not your go-to vehicle. @Jason is quite correct to leave unwritten the, also obvious, fact that the vast majority of Americans use their automobiles as local personal transport (as opposed to a workhorse). This is even more true in urban settings, where population density multiplies the benefit of charging stations such as a Tesla supercharger.
I'm very interested to see where this company goes. I don't know how they'll beat GoPro on the premium side with the current iON lineup; the new Hero3 Black is clearly superior. Even so, it's great to see competition on the high end of the action camera space; that should keep the pace of innovation from dropping off. Price wars alone are far less satisfying.
1 year, 8 months ago on Keep your iON The Game with a new action sports camera
The uplifting and winning Duracell strategy is only one without a link to a source... Quite literally the only link I would have clicked in this whole article is the one that was left out.
Help us out, Adam!
1 year, 8 months ago on Branding in the time of catastrophe
I just inked a deal with a software startup today - now just waiting for the paper check to travel via USPS across the whole country...
1 year, 11 months ago on What Ever Happened to the Promise of B2B Ecommerce?
Interesting analysis regarding the present and future of journalism - though I'm confused by the vague and preachy conclusion.
What particular responses are "supposed" to be exhibited, and, more importantly, who gets to arbitrarily decide what is and isn't the correct response that we're "supposed" to have? Is it a particular religion, legal precedent, consensus in psychological theory, or just whoever is writing an article and making normative statements without justification? None of these, in the few cases that there exists relevant data, can make more than an arbitrary claim as authority. The author bases his conclusion on what I have to assume is individual opinion born of what he imagines his own emotional response would be, but then claims that somehow anything different is not just interesting, but "horrifying"; perhaps if Paul was of this younger generation of articulate eye witnesses, his emotional response would not so quickly overwhelm his journalistic skills.
Anyway, food for thought, at the least.
2 years ago on Lights, Camera, Reaction: When Did Eye-witnesses to Horror Become So Disturbingly Articulate?