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One of the legends of value investing, Peter Lynch, said he always looked for companies that didn't have fancy offices and weren't overspending on non-essentials. Lynch made zillions for Fidelity mutual fund investors. Warren Buffett, I think, is much the same.

1 month ago on Startups Anonymous: The easiest “NO” our angel fund ever delivered

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"Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back."

1 month, 1 week ago on Startups Anonymous: You may know my name, but I’m a fraud

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I just visited friends in Utah. No one has ever thrown money at them. Some people in that town work 3-4 jobs making $9 a hour tops. If they're married, both work those kind of schedules and raise kids too. You think you're frazzled?


Your best option is to re-double your efforts at your company and forget trying to impress people. I've been self-employed a long time. Sometimes we need to kick ourselves in the ass and ignore whatever the supposed realities are.  

And, oh yeah, Chrissy Hynde has some relevant advice here. Seriously. :)

http://youtu.be/5zzlROBMTlo

1 month, 1 week ago on Startups Anonymous: You may know my name, but I’m a fraud

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Scoble said recently that people at Google aren't wearing Glass much anymore because they don't want to be identified as Google employees. The Google bus in SF and Oakland has been blocked and had windows smashed.


People are tiring of overly entitled children who think they are magnificent because they built an iPhone app or work for a tech company. As for job creation, I know plumbing contractors who have created more jobs than any number of Valley startups and who, wait for it, aren't enormously impressed by themselves.


When people believe their own hype, it generally does end up blowing up in their faces,

8 months, 1 week ago on Techbrats Goldberg, Shih, and Gopman do not represent the tech industry

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The title of the article is great link bait. However, there's no investigation here from the investigation editor.  A "expert in grotesque arrogance" accuses someone else of being the same without explaining why their grotesqueness gives them such discernment, or why, in the case of Snowden, being a dick (if he is one) invalidates his actions,


But makes for great link bait. 

8 months, 1 week ago on Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blowhard

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Sheriff Paul Babeu in Arizona last year showed how to handle a media crisis perfectly.

He was running for re-election when rumors surfaced that a male Mexican ex-lover said Babeu was trying to deport him.  The media exploded in speculation. Could this hard-ass, right-wing sheriff be gay?

Within about a day Babeu called a press conference and flanked by his top brass walked out and his first words were "I am gay" followed by a strong defense of gay marriage and gays in the military. He then said the charges against him were baseless and ended the press conference.

He was easily re-elected. People appreciated he was completely upfront and honest about it.

So, when faced by a media firestorm, get in front of the story fast. Stop the speculations. Be the news, don't follow it, and of course, be honest and real.

1 year, 2 months ago on Sean Parker is right

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Parker said he has media handlers. They should have been out there calling people, doing interviews, refuting stories when the story first broke.

Having said that, what pretends to be journalism now is too often hit-and-run wolf packs savaging the target. What happened to Parker is what is happening to Paula Deen and Zimmerman trial witness Rachel Jeantel. Slime and move on.

1 year, 2 months ago on Sean Parker is right

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This kind of justification happens with monotonous regularity in politics. People excuse behavior when their side does it that they attack the other side for doing. When challenged on this, they generally get defensive or say you must be working for the other side.

1 year, 3 months ago on Stop making excuses for people

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I don't much care if Target knows what food I buy with their 5% discount ATM card. But them I'm not alcoholic or a binge eater. As for medical apps that share data, no way my wife or I will use them, the potential for abuse it too great and there appears to be no way to get erroneous data out of the system..

In a related vein, I know several people who are in professions where they really do not want to be ID'ed when out shopping. Facial recognition software already exists. It's only a matter of time until devices like Glass have them.  


1 year, 3 months ago on You are your data: The scary future of the quantified self movement

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Follow the money. Major US banks  have been caught laundering drug money and received slap on the wrist fines and no criminal prosecutions. If that happened in Mexico, we'd call it corruption, wouldn't we?

1 year, 4 months ago on Access denied | FP Passport

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Great profile. Thanks. The Catholic Church almost always re-assigns priests after a few years in an area. They tried to do so with Boyle and met with so much protest that they rescinded. Good.

1 year, 5 months ago on A lot of companies claim to change the world. Homeboy Industries actually does

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I lived in Utah recently. You can start an LLC online in Utah in literally 10 minutes and be registered in 24 hours for $30. California doesn't have online registration, you have to pay by check, it takes months and costs $800. Why? There is no value-added here for Cali over Utah LLCs.

Utah wants you to start a business. They make it easy. taxes are low and the state is solvent. California is broken. Another thing, two years ago Utah decided their public pensions would be in trouble in a few years if they didn't do something. The Utah legislature fixed it in one year with no squabbling.

The guy who drove me to SFO on the Super Shuttle recently says his state licenses and permits cost him over $1,000 a year and he can't afford health insurance.

1 year, 6 months ago on Screw you, California — I ate foie gras last night. At a restaurant

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@Todd Dunning @polizeros Thanks for so deftly proving my point. But I said nothing about socialism, you lept to that assumption then used it as a straw man. And the numerous countries of Europe that are at least nominally socialist will be startled to discover they are bastions of misery. 

Here's a talk that was banned at TED. Someone had the effontery to say "Rich People Don't Create Jobs." Oh, the head TED sniffed that the talk wasn't banned but was not chosen. But of course that amounts to the same thing and is  evasion of their part. So, rather clearly, TED isn't interested in politically upsetting topics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKCvf8E7V1g

Via Business Insider: "As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don't actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer's March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks "too politically controversial" for the site...".

1 year, 6 months ago on The cult of ideas

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Ted has also more than once killed talks that seriously criticized capitalism. Their intellectual open-mindedness does indeed does have boundaries. 

1 year, 6 months ago on The cult of ideas

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It's not just in startups. It's in rock and roll, Hollywood, and anywhere there's big fame and money. "Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides" I've been clean and sober a long time and know of someone who at the peak of his major fame locked himself in his mansion doing drugs and lived like a paranoid hermit. He said, "On the outside I had it made, on the inside I was a train wreck."

I do know if you work 24/7 on something you lose perspective and it becomes your sole focus with everything fading into insignificance. That's not even remotely healthy.

1 year, 7 months ago on Do we need to talk about suicide?

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@JenniferSiegler @polizeros Hey, nice straw man. Because that's not what I said. Zero Hedge and other financial blogs have exposed the sleazy dealings of HFT and hedge funds and in some cases have forced even our bought and paid for Congress to stop the most worst of the abuses.

Let's see Wells Fargo, HBSC and other banks have been found guilty of laundering hundreds of billions of drug money and the feds, when they can stay awake long enough, are moving up the food chain to SAC Capital after putting several openly corrupt hedge fund people in prison, so yeah, I think the system is gamed and openly corrupt.   

How corrupt? This corrupt.

"Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor

Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions

Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claims

1 year, 7 months ago on It’s time to throw in the towel on Apple

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@bgoldberg @polizeros I did read it! But too quickly, apparently. 

But I still think Wall Street is gamed. However, as always  "the stock is not the company."

1 year, 7 months ago on It’s time to throw in the towel on Apple

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Or your article could have been clever satire. Hmmm

1 year, 7 months ago on It’s time to throw in the towel on Apple

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The stock market is so gamed and driven by high frequency trading that it's no longer much of an indicator of anything substantive. But yeah, the bloom is off the Apple rose.

1 year, 7 months ago on It’s time to throw in the towel on Apple

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Two or three words chained together with a capital letter and special character are difficult to crack, like "dogCatbird*" but easy to remember.

1 year, 7 months ago on Think you’re safe at a coffee shop? Think again

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@nathanielmott @polizeros I think your article was quite fair!But that never stops the zealots...

1 year, 8 months ago on Apple is the ghost of technology’s present, Google is its future

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Hoo boy, the Apple fan boys are gonna be coming at you, I predict.

1 year, 8 months ago on Apple is the ghost of technology’s present, Google is its future

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@juliaallyce Exactly! Especially in tech and the web, they just want to know what you can do for them and don't care about credentials.

1 year, 8 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@whiteface Farming, Community Supported Agriculture, self-reliance, and most especially resilience is something John Robb is talking about a lot at Resilient Communities. http://www.resilientcommunities.com/

He thinks a societal reset is coming so People Get Ready and get in touch with and work together with people in your local communities. Which I think is what you're saying too.


1 year, 8 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@JulieWickstrom A student loan calculator just said a 10 yr $40,000 loan at 6.8% would be $460 a month. Ouch.

We need to understand  big banks are borrowing from the Fed at 0.10 % and using that money to make risk-free student loans at 6.8% when in a sane world those loans would be at 1.5%.

1 year, 8 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@JulieWickstrom @polizeros 

I bounced around at crappy jobs for a while when young, discovered computers at one of them, then got a two year degree in computer programming at Pierce College in Los Angeles in 1982. Their entire focus was to teach you enough to get your first job as a programmer. I got that job, and thank them for their approach. They didn’t teach theory, they taught me a trade.

However, back then Pierce College was free. It’s still quite inexpensive but the waiting lists for classes are endless which makes graduating in a timely manner problematic. By contrast, getting a 4 year degree at a university now could easily put you $50,000 in debt.


1 year, 8 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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Great article.

High schools killed off vocational training (AKA shop) years ago. It needs to come back. Being a car mechanic, carpenter, plumber, etc can, as you mentioned, pay well plus the work can be quite steady. Ditto for some white collar occupations. My wife became a CPA because she figured she'd always have work, and so far she has.

Get a niche. That would be my advice. Find something you do better than others and which, if possible, there isn't much competition for. Among other things, I specialize in dragging dinosaur DOS database applications into Windows. Lot of companies, some quite big, still run these legacy apps. Trust me, there's not much competition for what I do either. 

Also, people need to have several occupations and things they do now, not just one. 

The only way out of the budget and debt crisis is by inflation, AKA the trillion dollar coin. It won't be pretty...

1 year, 8 months ago on Young people are screwed… Here’s how to survive

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@Penenberg Defcad.org already has CAD files for gun parts, just download and print.Most shooters homeload and I doubt if bullets could be printed (but who knows) but certainly 30-round clips (or 100-round- clips for that matter) could and probably will be 3D printed.

1 year, 8 months ago on Journalists, gun owners, and shooting the wrong privacy horse

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Larry Page and Sergey Brin aren't flashy and probably decided early on to keep their lives private.

As an aside, 3D printing will make gun control laws obsolete. Outlaw 30 round clips and the design to 3D print them will start floating around the net. Some students recently 3D printed key parts for an AR-15, test-fired the gun, and the parts survived six rounds before breaking. All that's needed now is tweaking the alloys and production techniques to make reliable parts.

1 year, 8 months ago on Journalists, gun owners, and shooting the wrong privacy horse

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@Francisco Dao 

We ignore the empty kids at our peril. Gang researchers have found that the sense of belonging that gangs and drug cratels bring is a major reason for their success in recruiting no matter how toxic the results. "Hey kid, we got a party house for you and your friends with girls, drugs, and money. Just do a few things for us."

That's how they recruited El Sicario at age 14.
http://www.amazon.com/El-Sicario-Autobiography-Mexican-Assassin/dp/1568586582

"In this unprecedented and chilling monologue, a repentant Mexican hitman tells the unvarnished truth about the war on drugs on the American. El Sicario is the hidden face of America's war on drugs. He is a contract killer who functioned as a commandante in the Chihuahuan State police, who was trained in the US by the FBI, and who for twenty years kidnapped, tortured and murdered people for the drug industry at the behest of Mexican drug cartels."

1 year, 8 months ago on Alienation, tragedy, and the canaries in the coal mine

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I think our society is losing its bearings. We don't really have leaders anymore (well, Silicon Valley does, but national politics doesn't.) Banks launder hundreds of billions and escape with no criminal prosecutions. Why should any teenager then respect our supposed Rule of Law since it clearly is selectively applied? As stress fractures continue to form in our increasingly polarized society then sometimes the unhinged and deranged fall through them and sometimes they pick up guns.

1 year, 8 months ago on Alienation, tragedy, and the canaries in the coal mine

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Anger-fueled suicides – A society without dreams

http://sharif.commonway.org/anger-fueled-suicides-a-society-without-dreams/

Sharif Abdullah says he’s been saying the same thing for twenty years about anger-fueled suicides, that we need to get to the real issues. He grew up hard in the 1960's in Camden NJ, was involved with Black Liberation groups including the Black Panthers, was a lawyer, then became “increasingly disillusioned with the adversarial process as a means of social change."

I highly recommend his article. Here's a key segment.

"Unlike the shooters, I was lucky. Part of my “luck” was being raised poor and black in Camden, NJ, America’s underbelly. Being raised in the Sixties, a time of “black consciousness”. I could label the emptiness in my chest “racism”, and therefore had a focus for my anger and rage.

The shooters, raised as white, heterosexual, middle-class males living in middle-class towns, had no readily available labels for their anger. They had no focus for the emptiness, the gaping holes in their chests. They had no consciousness movement. They had no ideology. There was nowhere for the emptiness and anger to go – but out. (Important note: The labels are irrelevant. There was NO DIFFERENCE between my emptiness and that of the shooters)"

1 year, 8 months ago on Alienation, tragedy, and the canaries in the coal mine

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When we moved to San Jose, someone born and raised here said don't even think of using Craigslist to buy or sell anything because there are way too many scams and it's dangerous. In the previous area we lived in, a small town, Craigslist was used by everyone and there were zero problems.

1 year, 8 months ago on Santa brought you a new iPhone? Careful how you sell the old one

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I call it the YouTube syndrome where if you post a video on YouTube that gets 700,000 views then you must be important. Along with this goes a strange disconnect from reality. I am famous / a thought leader / entrepreneur  because I say I am, validated by hits on my blog or YouTube. Ask Hannah "Chick Bank Robber" Sabato how that's working out.

Yes, execution is just as important as the inspiration. Someone like Chris Pirillo is quite successful on YouTube. He's also been doing it for years and works tirelessly.

BTW, a friend worked at a strip club once. They are real practiced at separating the mark from his money. She said $5,000 nightly tabs for one person were common. Sometimes they'd keep the mark going with private dances in the back room with $700 bottles of champagne until his credit card was maxed out.

1 year, 9 months ago on What you believe is irrelevant

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And you never really know just who you're talking to either. When I lived in LA, there was a strange guy at the fringe of a social group. Two days before the Academy Awards someone said, I'd sure like to go. He said, I can get you tickets. We all laughed.

He got the tickets. (As it turned out, his parents were Hollywood mogul types...)

1 year, 9 months ago on Networking is for losers

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May your dad recover and if not, that it will be speedy and merciful. We recently lost my stepmom and my dad was just diagnosed with bone cancer. I mentioned to a friend of my stepmom that when the end came, it was stunningly fast. She said, better way too fast than way too slow...

Yeah, we do need easy simple ways for everyone to stay in touch during family crises. My sister handled all the phone calls in the final weeks of my stepmom's life. Her husband said sometimes there were constant calls for hours on end and it put a huge strain on her. 

Too much of our health care system is inadequate. I blogged once about health care. A friend in Scotland commented that he'd had open heart surgery and another major operation closely together, that everything was done right, he was fine, the bill was zero and "I think you Yanks are insane."

Adcourt121, I've been clean and sober twenty two years now and was in dire shape when I was 18. Congratulations on your son. Six months is a long time. 

1 year, 9 months ago on How technology is failing my family

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This made me think of the Dropkick Murphy's "Warrior's Code," their tribute to boxing legend Mickey Ward, who could take just unbelievable punishment and end up winning anyway. 

"It’s another murderous nightAnother left hook from hellA bloody war on the boardwalkAnd the kid from Lowell rises to the bell."

Sometimes, if you can, it's all about getting up off the ground one more time.

1 year, 9 months ago on The last day

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That was positively poetic. Thank you.

1 year, 9 months ago on The last day

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The Rise of Siri explores what John Robb has been saying for a while. The government is hollowing out. Other entities, probably corporations and hopefully engaged groups of citizens acting on a local level, will be doing what governments can no longer do.

As Robb points out in his book, Walmart and Blackwater, not the government, were the first on the ground after Katrina with help and supplies. Walmart loaded trucks with supplies and just rolled in (ignoring local police who told them to stop.) Blackwater was hiring by the wealthy as security.The book is thought-provoking and a good read. More, please.

1 year, 10 months ago on Friday fun: Apple, David Petraeus, and a dystopian near-future

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 @Adriana_Herrera Good site! Fashion and its marketing is fascinating. Even those like me who favor non-fashion fashion like Royal Robbins, Ex Offico, and LL Bean (looks good in the city, can be worn on the trail, indestructible)  I guess are making fashion statements too and marketers probably already have us categorized.But politics has far more impact than the choice of a shirt, yet the same marketing is used.

1 year, 10 months ago on Understanding the irrational voter

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This explains why the two candidates rarely discuss anything meaningful much less controversial. Why risk potential backlash from voters should you mention Mexico drug cartels, the euro crisis, crime in high places, or real solutions for the recession when it's, gosh, so much more important to focus your spin / pitch at left-handed soccer moms in the Midwest or whoever the focus of the hour is on, then say something contradictory the next day in attempts to appeal to some other group. Truth and reality need not intrude and are unwelcome.But therein lies the problem. Politics is not fashion. It has deep and lasting effects on all of us.  

1 year, 10 months ago on Understanding the irrational voter

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The apology was a good thing but c'mon, iOS 6 must have been beta tested by thousands before it was released. How could Apple have not known Maps had problems? (And I have an iPhone)

1 year, 11 months ago on Mapgate Is Over. Apple Won. Customers Won. Google, Not So Much.

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Politics in the US is more polarized now than in any time in decades, including the 1960's.The opposing sides generally don't even listen to what the other says, except to figure out how to use it against them. Long-term, this isn't healthy. Sometimes empires do fall. I think maybe this is what Francisco is talking about.

 

The US is supposed to be We the People. Right now it's more like warring tribes. If if was a start-up, people would say it's in danger of splitting into pieces.

1 year, 11 months ago on The Unfinished Story of Us

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