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@MatthewMountford "I don’t think fundraised companies deserve less respect. Anyone who decides to add something to this world by creating a business where one didn’t exist before is impressive in my book, no matter how he goes about it." - There is no disrespect to hardcore tech companies, funded or otherwise. This seems to simply ask that the favor is returned when it comes to startups that aren't looking to go that route.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on The amount of money a startup raises shouldn’t be the only metric of respect
@williamle83000 your logic is flawed for a number of reasons. The biggest is that in order to identify the person, you would need to have specific knowledge of that person meeting all of the criteria in the story. It would be closer to
• X number of people who are engineers have asked Francisco to be an advisor
• X number of these engineers cut off communication for X number of months
• X number of these engineers also went skiing
• X number of these engineers also went to X number of parties
• X number of these engineers also went to Mardi Gras
• X number of these engineers were also invited to a 50Kings event.
There is nothing low-brow or passive aggressive about it. You are superimposing a personal hangup onto the article and blaming the writer for not catering to your preferred communication style.
8 months, 1 week ago on A cautionary tale of squandered talent
@williamle83000 maybe they don't highlight anything for you and whatever issue/past experience prevents you from taking a clean, simple article at face value but you are the only person here managing to lose the details in some made up offense. Maybe take that as a sign?
@williamle83000 if I were the founder in question, I wouldn't feel slammed, I'd feel like I just got a wake-up call with actionable steps for what to fix. For those of us not focused on the method of delivery, the play by play is instantly actionable and therefore preferable to digging through a parable.
"... but I suspect many, such as this engineer, judge themselves by what they are capable of doing instead of what they actually do. Those who are guilty of this kind of thinking have been able to coast on their gifts for so long that they’ve cursed themselves with a dangerous mix of arrogance and laziness."
It makes for some interesting conversations when people demand the capabilities speak louder than the laziness.
"This will not be one of those loco-social-mobo sectors where there is a ton of investment, and a whole Y Combinator class jumps on the bandwagon en masse. And really, that’s a good thing, because it’s a sector too important to be destroyed by the Valley’s quick attention span hype cycle."This is one of the cleanest, clearest tear-downs of what is going on at the intersection of education and technology. I'm glad that Pando is going to do some investigation/reporting because the ecosystem is in need of quality information and short-form just isn't going to do it. I hope that a) some of it sinks in and people start to understand the importance of investing in the sector and b) it shifts the frame of reference on what constitutes a winning play vs. a vanity metric in edtech.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on The promise (and refreshingly low hype) of online education
The last 2 or 3 pieces you've written have been really great. Looking forward to more writing of this caliber.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on You are not as good as you think you are
Pitch-perfect. Now if only we could get angels and VCs to fund more entrepreneurs who are building on the precipice of a future at LEAST one step ahead.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on How visionaries see the future
@bcosta526If you want to have kids and focus on the family as your priority, that is awesome. My mother did it for my sister and I. The difference between women like her and women who write articles like the slaughter hackjob is that my mother never expected a meteoric rise to stardom in the corporate world to be handed to her while she wasn't investing in that market. Silly to make your choice and then expect the same opportunities and access as someone who was willing to make a difference choice when presented with the same options. But in the event I'm wrong and you are somehow entitled to a life built on work you didn't do, I'll be petitioning to have the last line of Frost's "The Road Not Taken" changed to "And then complained for the rest of my life." to better speak to your situation.
9 months, 1 week ago on In this corner there’s Sheryl Sandberg. In this corner there’s Anne-Marie Slaughter. And then there’s reality
Forgive the run-ons but here is something specific and refreshing about the way you advise people not to wait for permission from someone else's definition of success to begin carving out their own. Focusing on the opinions around what it is or isn't to be ethnic or female in this industry is poisonous. It allows people like Slaughter to continue to hide behind comfy 9-3 jobs while speculating about people who took risks she never dreamed of. I'm not saying that sexism and challenges don't exist for those who haven't traditionally fit the mold but I am saying that I'm not interested in the opines of a person who never dared to take the chance but wants us all to pretend that somewhere along the way she was interchangeable with the likes of the women who she nonchalantly slags off.
also @condofranca , there is a significant difference between knowing what happened, understanding what happened and being smart enough to know if what happened is relevant. Rest assured that Pandodaily writers tends to know which is which.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on In this corner there’s Sheryl Sandberg. In this corner there’s Anne-Marie Slaughter. And then there’s reality
Nice to see a nuanced, applicable reclamation of a concept nearly co-opted to death by startup hipsters. This definition allows for the understanding that apple does build MVPs. They are called "first generation" products.
10 months, 1 week ago on Three reasons not to build a Minimum Viable Product
@MironLulic1 do you have a copy?
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Do we need to talk about suicide?
"Could these deaths have been avoided? Perhaps. Is it worth exploring why this happens and if it is, in fact, a trend? Absolutely."
Couldn't agree more and I'm making it a point to reach out to my network of founder friends to really check in at least once per week. If just one of these situations can be avoided then exploring the origin despite the inherent discomfort becomes worth it.
Thank you for addressing the heart of the issue @Francisco Dao.Bravo. I understand the personal tragedy that is the loss of a dear friend and I'd never want to do or say anything to minimize the earth-shattering nature of it but there has to be a way to make it count beyond the personal impact, to learn from it so that we can help some of the folks who are getting lost between the lines. We need to reclaim the right to ask for, give and accept personal help without feeling like it reflects poorly on us professionally. If we can't, then its really is just a show.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on The show
First - I really wish people would read articles for comprehension. Some of these comments are crazy.
Second- you've nailed it. The bottom up approach doesn't work long-term for 99% of startups. Investors keep pouring money in startups trying to get there and maybe one out of five hundred will cross the finish line. Meanwhile investors don't realize that they could have saved time and money backing the team fully at the start and letting them build a top-down approach that has a chance to tackle the problem where it exists.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Education startups: The bottom-up approach doesn’t work here
Thanks @Pv Pv. It is an interesting time to be a founder trying to do something that goes against "conventional valley wisdom". We need more investors who's investment strategies match, in practice, the innovation they tweet about wanting so badly. Don't tell me you "wanted flying cars" while wiring funds to a me-too subscription commerce startup. =)
11 months, 1 week ago on Why Silicon Valley innovation has stalled
@Francisco Dao and @Pv I couldn't agree more. It seems many investors say they want to fund innovation but only invest in companies that look the same built by founders that look the same while somehow expecting the results to be different. I'm grateful for the few who've been intellectually curious enough and willing to get out of formulaic comfort zones and help entrepreneurs push through sustained innovation to find deeper innovation.
Sarah, you owe me the large sip of coffee I wasted on a spit-take when I hit "Using Chatter is like watching your dad trying to moonwalk."
12 months ago on Dear Yammer and the entire cloud wave: If you expect companies to use your software, it has to work
Mel Gibson. Do I really need to explain?
1 year ago on Casting call: Who should star in the inevitable John McAfee movie?
I recently went through the Brandery and I loved it. It served and continues to serve my company well. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the founders about what I saw from the inside. My list was as follows:
1) In collegiate music programs, there is often a halfway presentation point called a Jury. You present your work in front of a panel of professors and they vote on whether or not you've got the tools to be successful. If they vote yes, you move forward. If they vote no, you are out of the program. The teams faking their way to demo day are sent packing and the remaining resources (mentors, investors and so on) are spent on companies with a real chance of success.
2) Get to the point with demo day. a) Ask your startups “Where do you want to be on demo day? What do you want to be able to say about your company?” and use the time at the accelerator to drive relentlessly toward that goal with a list of deal -breakers. If you hit a deal-breaker, go back to the drawing board. Being unable to deliver on your alleged value proposition is a much bigger issue than a demo day performance. b) Bonus points if you explain that demo day is an arbitrary point in time. Investors have their own timelines and processes in place which have nothing to do with demo day. Entrepreneurs who are expecting YC style checks to roll in during cocktails are in for a rude awakening. c) Every time someone presents an idea with wireframes at a demo day, they are chipping away at the reputation of the rest of your companies. Being harsh now will save time, money and heartache later
3) Less deal-flow should mean more focus on funding. If you aren’t in one of the immediate networks known for making it rain on those startups, learn about what it takes to raise. Build your due diligence binder a month before you need it. Don't give the steep learning curve a chance to kill your company.
1 year ago on We know accelerators are headed for a shakeout — but do they?