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Interesting article - would like to see more coverage of internet ad economics with data...

10 months, 4 weeks ago on The music world may have found itself a new big villain: YouTube


@paulcarr @SirFizzlepop Diggles III

"not a non-profit relying on donations to support our work"

Or *also* relying upon tax exemptions that everybody else has to pick up the tab very good reason "non-profits" have to report top executive salaries to the IRS.

And, in this day of hugely inflated college and hospital salaries, does "non-profit" really mean anything other than "what-would-be-shareholder-dividends/gains-instead-go-to-inflated-insider-salaries"?

"Non-profit" does not mean "no profit" - in reality it means..."mostly tax-dodging scam".

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Holy cow. ProPublica’s top editor’s salary more than three times higher than total online donations




Does Vox allow comments?

If so, I haven't located their comment link.

If not, I wonder why.

"Explainers" that don't allow reader commentary aren't so much "explaining" as propagandizing - which is so MSM 1990's.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on “Everything you need to know about X.” Why explaining the news is harder than it looks


Nice piece.

Nobody every talks about the "Ex-friends and family" down-round...

1 year, 3 months ago on Avoiding the pitfalls of raising money from friends and family


@davemholmes @bgoldberg 

Golly, just think how "unfair" it is for the 314 million other Americans (not to mention the other 6+ billion other human beings) who don't get to cram into the same 7 mile by 7 mile arena of climate controlled insanity that is SF?

Why no socialized rotation of housing rights (every American gets 3 months to live on a California beach at OKC rent prices)?

After all, the very same zero-interest rate Fed policies that are juicing California coastal real estate prices (substitute store of value) are *completely* destroying the interest earning power of *every* dollar saver.

Why not a "Fed-windfall" property tax on all US coastal real estate?

1 year, 3 months ago on Pandohouse Rock: Income inequality in San Francisco



"Advertisers are savvy to the fact though that the inventory is cheap"

Exactly - CPMs are very low - that's why BI (for all its billions of pageviews) is making a whole $10 million per year, gross (and those are *Hank's* one can only imagine what the actual ones are...heh...)

1 year, 3 months ago on Henry Blodget told me slideshows are “native digital storytelling.” Here’s what I think of that



"How do we know that"

Exactly - consider the source before you swallow the numbers...

Also, why hasn't anyone inquired into the possibility that the slide show structure basically games various automated spiders surfing the next?  It seems a distinct possibility to me - especially considered the fact that there *is* a "show all" feature that apparently goes unused by a shockingly high number of supposed "human beings".

I'm betting good ole Hank is selling billions and billions of fictive pageviews...seen by no one other than spidering programs...

1 year, 3 months ago on Henry Blodget told me slideshows are “native digital storytelling.” Here’s what I think of that


"32 million uniques on average each month"

Cough cough.

There are 315 million *people* in the US (almost certainly the overwhelming locale of the uniques for this niche) and perhaps 60% are on line in a given month (look at Google's 180 million US uniques for instance).

I doubt very, very much that 1 out of every 10 human beings in the US visit a car dealer's website - each month, every month.

I call BS.

1 year, 3 months ago on Kind of a big deal: Dealertrack buys for $1 billion


I'm waiting for the mutual fund managed by Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan.

Speaking of which, where is Ashton Kutcher's syndicate?

1 year, 6 months ago on AngelList syndicates are changing seed investing, whether VCs like it or not



*Start-up* focused syndicates...very good idea.

Curator/Calacanis focused syndicates...maybe not so much.

I wonder if the accredited investors able to play in Angel List's sandbox really need to piggyback on a celebrity curator (it isn't like AL is flooded with dumb-money dentists looking to invest...yet)

Said AI's might do just as well employing their own judgment or invoking passive indexing by investing in a wide array of startups.

Any potential intermediary conflicts of interest are thereby avoided.  

As is the carry. 

1 year, 6 months ago on Calacanis plays God: How to go from zero to $1M in a weekend thanks to AngelList Syndicates


Hmm...lot of TV/net mashups in the air (this and Twitter) - wonder how much of it has to do with the internet getting 40 cent CPMs and television still getting $10 CPMs.

Lotta room for TV to pay off net providers to direct internet users back to TV...

1 year, 6 months ago on Dijit partners with broadcasters to remind users to watch TV


Less expensive production is one part of the equation of getting indies to a (much) wider audience.

Exhibition is another - and how many mainstream theater owners are not intimidated by the Big 6 and their booking practices?

And the biggest hurdle?  


Notice who owns 90% of television networks?

The same Big 6 studios who want every possible cinema dollar going to *them*.

(As if your average indie/indie distributor could afford TV advertising anyway).

What is *really* needed for greater awareness of indies to catch on, is a decently/well capitalized indie *distributor* who knows how to navigate the exhibitor and advertising minefields.

This should be theoretically possible but I don't think the indie community focuses enough upon the advertising/distribution/exhibition aspects of film-making.

Not "creative" enough - but absolutely crucial if a film is going to be seen by anything other than a boutique audience.

All the attention is paid to the one-off process of making the film - not the overhead infrastructure needed to get indies *known*.

1 year, 6 months ago on Conversation @


"the concept of “cobbling”

Wasn't that "hobbling"?

If not, I'm *really* going to watch myself around shoe-makers.

(Really, really makes you rethink why exactly that dirty old man Geppetto wanted "a real, live boy") 

1 year, 6 months ago on Conversation @


"FFF brings along the actors, director, and other principals for a red carpet event..."

Sounds too expensive for the possible incremental revenue generated.

Batched/grouped/shared services make sense (sharing the overhead of distribution) but you have to think that shared marketing (ad buys, etc.) is a better way to go.

1 year, 9 months ago on Can MouseTrap Films save independent movies?


@MatthewCase @sca721 

That is why I called him lazy and sloppy.

And there is a point where laziness and sloppiness meshes with cowardice.

This article is that point.

I don't see any apologies or corrections here yet.

1 year, 9 months ago on Yup, sexually-repressive nations watch a lot of porn too


Outstanding, underappreciated article.

1 year, 9 months ago on Conversation @



"Because the majority of startup stories that get published highlight either raising funds or an exit. "

Absolutely true - but, if you think about it, it doesn't have to be this way - pretty easy to set up a website to accept and publish the audited financial results of cash-flow positive private companies.

In fact, unless the publication of said results are intended to condition the market in anticipation of a near term public stock sale, I don't know if the SEC could even say boo about it.

But it would publicize the *real* world of micro start-ups that are low-to-no funded but are nevertheless cash-flow positive - today, now.

As opposed to the endlessly churning, idiotically over-hyped VC universe of over-funded start-ups which are continually hustling/conning the next round of investors, all the while desperately jonesing for a big money exit before the whole house of cards is exposed (looking at you...take your pick of SV "virtual financial reality" "market cap" hustlers...).

This was an important post - thanks LR.

1 year, 10 months ago on The amount of money a startup raises shouldn’t be the only metric of respect


Rather, the value of a universal virtual currency would be its transcendence of borders."


The value of an alternative virtual currency will be the *inability* to hike supply of said currency in order to purchase political power at the expense of expropriating established savings.

You know, like the central bank master forgers are doing the world over as we speak. (Zimbabwe Ben, etc.).

By pumping out fiat money supply increases of 30% (or more) per year, while real world assets are - at best - growing at 3% per year, the holdings of every saver in existence are confiscated (without anything resembling legal authority - hello, Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment).

Every saver in existence is being diluted to destruction in order preserve the privileges of the Political Class.

Cutting the operational hands off the fiat money master forgers is the *ultimate* value of an alternative currency - not circumventing Forex fees.

1 year, 10 months ago on For the bitcoin economy to grow, anonymity needs to die


@mcarney @neoganda 

Wow, $1 CPMs are...low for video.

Hell, even Facebook-glutted display advertising gets 50 cent CPMs - traditional TV probably averages out at $10 - or 10x as much as Youtube views.

The "problem" with any internet distributed media is that the cost of entry is so low - leading to a zillion competitors, all driving the CPMs down to very low levels.

TV gets its $10 CPMs because,

1) There are a limited number of broadcast and cable channels

2) Only 4 major, enormously indebted carriers account for the vast majority of delivery (Comcast, TW Cable, Direct TV, DISH)

3) Only 6 extremely wealthy content providers provide the vast majority of content and have a stranglehold on content libraries (Disney/ABC, Universal/NBC, Warner Bros/Time Warner/WB, Fox/Fox, Paramount/CBS, Sony).

These oligopolies enforce "price discipline" on CPMs the way mafia dons enforce loyalty.

*But* - once online video becomes as easy to access as traditional TV (ie, channel surfing) then TV CPMs are going to crash to something much closer to $1 than $10.

There will simply be *way* too many content providers for the Content Mafia to rule the roost.

Roku, etc. is getting closer and closer to establishing this world all the time.   

1 year, 11 months ago on An inside look at the first major acquisition of a premium YouTube channel


Nice post - but I have a question/topic I rarely see addressed in tech blogs - given the high failure rate (soon to get worse) what is the tech "salvage market" like?

Do internet startups follow wise coding practices (commenting, etc.) that make the subsequent reuse of their projects feasible?

Or does all that previously funded programming effort inevitably vanish (rather needlessly in my opinion).  

After all, there are many non-technology reasons internet startups fail - from misbegotten marketing to simple poor timing.

This argues for a tech "salvage market" where the viable pieces of failed companies can be purchased for pennies (penny?) on the dollar.

What do players like Sherwood Partners have to say?

Do they really only end up selling email lists and Aeron chairs in practice?

Or does actual code find new homes?

2 years ago on If you’re going to rebut the Series A crunch, it’s a good idea to know what it is first


$125k = "Incredibly affordable"

Ok - in the alternate reality that is SF (what, with your $5 tacos and all...)

In post apocalypse LV, $125k is known as "median price".

2 years ago on A crowdfunded house for techies in Vegas. What could possibly go wrong?


And why, at bottom, has all the QE savings dilution occurred?

To purchase political power from the debtor class (whose debts are diluted through money printing), the political class (who are paid via money printing), and the "political client" class (whose welfare and entitlements are funded by money printing).

And all of this unsustainable political pandering is supported by a stagnant (at best) or actively disintegrating (more likely) real US economy.

This is the true nature of Weimar America.

2 years ago on Why Libertarians and gold hoarders love Bitcoins


"They want to destroy the Fed"

Before it destroys them - and the economy they live in.

Let's boil everything down to basics - since 2008, Zimbabwe Ben and the Fed have more than tripled the base money supply (which ignores further multiplicative leveraging banks are empowered to do) and now after multiple rounds of "Quantitative Easing" (really nothing more than money printing under a market tested name) they continue to add in excess of $90 billion *per month* to the base money supply.

And the real US assets that the money supply ostensibly represents? -  They have not even remotely tripled (or quadrupled).

These real assets (which are the only real wealth there actually is) have perhaps grown 12% since 2008 - close enough to zero (relative to the 300% to 400% hike in money supply) to be meaningless.

Net result - there is (lying in wait like a silently growing cancer) 3 to 4 times the US currency to purchase the same amount of real assets.

Anybody who believes this won't end in ruinous inflation eventually, believes that US government economic statistics are not carefully designed to omit unpleasant facts (see US CPI vs. international commodity prices or US "unemployment rates" vs. employed-to-population statistics). 

The Fed has essentially destroyed 75% of US savers' wealth without having anything resembling legal authority.

As with the decade of delusion (roughly 1998 to 2008) the US economy is essentially a zombie economy - dead but not realizing it yet.

Thus the Alternative Currency Aeneid.

2 years ago on Why Libertarians and gold hoarders love Bitcoins


"If those fuckers"

I suggest you don't go on sales calls.

2 years ago on The future of journalism: It’s time to pick a side


@paulcarr @PatrickSF @twandosaurus 


I think you have been naive with regard to what the business side of a media company (start-ups and middle market at least) have to put up with in order to survive.  

This is a near universal malady among "editorial" side types (infinitely worse in the Era of the Local Media Oligopolies, when the editorial side really were insufferable, morally posturing pricks who had no clue how their salaries actually got paid for...)

It is a jungle out there.

And it always has been.

Why do you think there are really only four major multi-channel TV distributors (DirectTV, DISH, TWC, and Comcast-US Gvt...heh) and only seven truly major cable content providers (Disney, Viacom, Sony, TW, Fox, Discover, and Comcast-US Gvt).

It isn't because nobody else wants to be a media power.

It is because these companies have all their partners scared sh*tless and run their competitive domains just this side of mafia dons.

And right about now you might be feeling the icy finger of fear any startup founder (should) feel - *before* starting up their business (when it is easiest to "pivot" if necessary).

2 years ago on NSFWCORP gets banned by Vegas distributors. Maybe this is why print is dying


"minimum wage workers handing out cards advertising escort services"

Voila' - You have identified your natural distributors...

2 years ago on NSFWCORP gets banned by Vegas distributors. Maybe this is why print is dying


@hamishmckenzie @yodoggg @antnisP

Let me know when Pando hires adults who can admit error gracefully - I might come back.

Snark doesn't offset stupidity - it highlights it.

2 years ago on Why are so many news sites still so unreadable? A few of the best and worst



Ditto - there is insightful digital media journalism out there.

This ain't it.

2 years ago on Pageview journalism is killing us


"capitalize on men’s fear and insecurity of successful women by reducing them to pin-up models"

If you really think that is why men like "pin up models" (of any sort) you need to drop your PC, patchouli scented man-purse and grow a pair of listicles.

2 years ago on Pageview journalism is killing us


"questionably employed as self-proclaimed “gurus.”

At least they aren't "coaches".


2 years ago on You Might Be A Smanker If…


It isn't 1998.

The myth of private market c(r)ap has been exposed repeatedly between then and now.

Just because you can sell 1/200th of the company for amount X (in cash? maybe...maybe not...only insiders really know) does not mean the company is "worth" 200x - unless you can actually drum up another 199 investors (99.5%) of the shareholder base who share this "valuation".

Private company "market craps" may give certain naive entrepreneurs and LPs woodies but anybody who has observed the startup market for more than 5 minutes over the last 15 years understand that such metrics are little more than french ticklers wielded by NYC bankers cruising the Valley. 

2 years ago on DFJ led a $30M shareholder liquidity round that valued SpaceX between $4-5 billion



One pretty decent source of (semi) reliable return information are the periodic reports that CALPERS, CALSTERS, etc. put out.

The mega public pension funds are so widely invested in VC that their investment return lists (which took threatened lawsuits to pry out of them) cover a decent percentage of the PE/VC universe - in a (relatively) un-gamed format (more or less).

It would be fantastic if somebody had the time to compile and cross reference the detailed VC/PE fund return results that a dozen or so mega public pensions put out - that would probably capture about 85% of the active VC universe.

It would also be nice if somebody used the Wayback Machine to get the fund results for funds that CALPERS has already exited...

2 years ago on Why Mike Maples says we should ignore almost all data about the venture industry


"There are two reasons why", four.

3) Institutional investors with absurd assumed rates of return (7% plus, in a world where the US government is ruthlessly sterilizing the natural consequences of its 100% Debt-to-GDP ratio by printing money endlessly) *have to* reach for yield - regardless how hopeless or delusional.

Otherwise they end up on the laundry list of belly-up Cal municipalities with the public pension obligations of third world kleptocracies.

4) Placement agents.  Kickbacks.  See CALPERS.

2 years ago on That venture capital shakeout is still taking way too long


SV has officially jumped the shark.

The Valley has been through two massive capital blowups (at least) in the last ten years or so and *still* the fixation is on getting the next round of VC funny money upon which to build a bullsh*t market cap of alleged hundreds of millions or billions (based upon the highly conditioned sale of .5% of utterly illiquid corporate stock).

*Not* upon building a sustainable business that is cash-flow positive within a reasonable period of time.

Because, you know, that would be *hard*.  

Selling the demented fantasy round by round is sexier...and ever more stupid.

No, SV has become Hollywood without the attractive people and STDs - an endless series of hyping hustlers whose ability to achieve and sustain an objective accomplishment (like corporate profitability - not endless stock spinning) is increasingly non-existent.

Pathetic and doomed.

Achieve *real* profitability in a reasonable time frame (not the VC circle jerk) or, please, STFU SV.

2 years, 3 months ago on Amid the crunch, VCs subtly remind entrepreneurs what angels can’t do


1) In the era of the internet hyper-supply, the premium is on getting to the point,

2) Directing your readers' attention efficiently,

3) And extinguishing the authorial ego inherent in the "long form"


"While the economics of high cost delivery facilitated demand for the "long form" in the era of the Book, the economics of no cost delivery in the era of the Internet will compel the "short form".




"I’m shocked that the Web hasn’t done more of this. "


It is because *very* few people have enough of interest to say (on a given topic - let alone Dan Savage, door knob licker extraordinarie) to justify 5000+ words.


People's attention is valuable and under constant demand in the era of the internet - authors' content decisions need to reflect that.


Given the surfeit of authorial supply that is the web, the premium is on *getting to the point* (not getting off on your longueurs).


Writers (perhaps only writers of a "certain age" or *certain* ego) are deluding themselves if they think there is a huge audience for their long form work on the internet/in ebooks.


While the economics of high cost delivery facilitated demand for the "long form" in the era of the Book, the economics of no cost delivery in the era of the Internet will compel the "short form".


Notwithstanding the near hysterical citing of isolated ebook authors' marked success, the truth is that ebooks are going to follow *exactly* the same trajectory as the web - a huge demand (of readers), subdivided into obscurity by a huge supply (of newly-enabled) authors.


Look at the shrinkage of web CPM rates and their vast inferiority relative to television CPMs (perhaps 50 cents per 1000 readers vs. 10 *dollars* per thousand viewers) - this is because the internet, while having a vast reach, also has a vast supply - because the barriers to entry are low - driving CPM prices down, down, down.


Television still retains (barely) the monopoly on the megaphone that local newspapers used to have - propping up their profits.


Ebooks are almost exactly like webpages in their economics - low barriers to entry = vast supply = prices driven very low (note how almost all of the orgasmically received eBook success stories are priced at $3 and under).  


And the hundreds of thousands of eBooks selling a few dozen copies at $2.99?  


They don't get hyped.  


Either before or after the fact.

2 years, 6 months ago on New York Times writer taps startups for all the news that doesn’t fit the print


 @jargente Well...there was a lot of money put into play in the late 90's and median VC returns have been negative ever since (take a look at Cambridge reports).


A VC money blizzard may be good for the overall economy (Google, et al did get built after all) but a disaster for most investors (be they LPs or angels - the latter at least having the virtue of blowing their *own* money...) - witness the now nameless thousands of startups that have disappeared - with billions in LP funds - since 1995.

2 years, 6 months ago on VCs in Angels’ Clothing: The Sneaky New Trend of “Deal Scouts” in Silicon Valley


"Meanwhile, venture capital was disbursed at its highest level in years"


Actual stats, please.

2 years, 8 months ago on Record Venture Capital and IPOs Push SF Rents Up a Whopping 23%


"Meanwhile, venture capital was disbursed at its highest level in years"

2 years, 8 months ago on Record Venture Capital and IPOs Push SF Rents Up a Whopping 23%