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Didn’t Get Into TechStars? Don’t Sweat It

July 22, 2011 3 minutes

I’m a mentor for TechStars and am very excited about the next cohort of companies. The competition was fierce this year (way up from last year). As a result the companies and teams look amazing.

Obviously this means a lot of great…

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7 Ways to Raise Money Without Giving Up Equity

May 08, 2011 5 minutes

My friend Sheryl of Greenopedia was just accepted to Startup Chile, which provides office space, a little seed money and an adventure in Chile, without giving up any equity. This seems like an incredible opportunity for any seed stage internet company. This…

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Looking for techie to fix serious bug!

April 13, 2011 1 minute

I’ve been nominated for “Best Startup Technologist” in the Seattle 2.0 Awards for the 3rd year in a row…. This proves that there is a very serious bug in the nomination software which has remained unfixed for three years. If you know…

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How to recruit top engineers to your startup

January 20, 2011 4 minutes

I’ve had the good fortune of working with great engineers and I’ve hired somewhere around 40 to 50 of them in last 5 years. Since I believe that having second-rate people will kill a company, I’ve put a lot of thought and…

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Favorite tools for late night startup hackers

January 16, 2011 3 minutes 10 photos

Working flexible/crazy hours and from various locations is the norm in the startup world, and I’ve been meaning to write a quick post about some of the useful tools I’ve come across for helping collaboration in my startup, MediaPiston. I just saw…

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A Simple New Year’s Resolution: Wake Up!

December 31, 2010 4 minutes

Perhaps my New Year’s Resolution should be to blog more since I haven’t posted here since July! This post diverges from the regular tech and startup material (for more of that, see my recent guest post on the 500Startups blog, “The Entrepreneur’s…

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Add logs, pour fuel (VC money), light match (beta release day)

July 07, 2010 3 minutes

I often bump into entrepreneurs while they’re in the midst of fundraising. I usually ask “why are you raising money?” and what I often hear is, “because we are running out of money” or “in order to quit my job and so…

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LeadsCon: a crash course in “show me the money!!”

June 23, 2010 2 minutes

Any entrepreneur looking for a quick crash course in how to extract money from online, and who learns through immersion, should attend LeadsCon in New York City on July 26 – 27, 2010. (update: see discount links below!)

Whereas at a web…

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New York Times 50 Most Challenging Words (defined and used)

June 15, 2010 7 minutes 2 photos

The New York Times recently published a list of 50 fancy words that most frequently stump their readership. They are able to measure this data thanks to a nifty in-page lookup mechanism, which you can try here. Try double-clicking the word “epicenter”.…

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #3: Why You Can’t Read a VC

June 10, 2010 3 minutes

This post is the third of a series on “unexpected lessons” learned through my experience as co-founder and CEO of Snapvine, a venture-backed mobile social networking service founded in 2005 and acquired by WhitePages in June of 2008.

When I set out…

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #2: Channel your Inner VC to Understand Startup Valuations

May 27, 2010 4 minutes

This post is the second of a series on “unexpected lessons” learned through my experience as co-founder and CEO of Snapvine, a venture-backed mobile social networking service founded in 2005 and acquired by WhitePages in June of 2008.

Snapvine was my first…

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #1: Quitting the day job

May 09, 2010 3 minutes

This post is the first of a series on “unexpected lessons” learned through my experience as co-founder and CEO of Snapvine, a venture-backed mobile social networking service founded in 2005 and acquired by WhitePages in June of 2008.

In the years just…

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If you want to ship, cut, cut, cut!

April 17, 2010 2 minutes

I’m helping a startup founder who is outsourcing the development of a project. Tensions are running high on both sides as the project slips. The CEO is getting about two updates a week, mostly just “it’s ready to test now, the bugs…

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3 Things I’ve Learned To Recruit Great Hackers

April 09, 2010 1 minute

1) “try before you buy” –> enlist contractors that aren’t tied to agencies so you can retain the option to hire full time.

2) “lots of coffees” –> do the leg work of meeting interesting people even if they aren’t looking. Nothing…

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How much traffic do you get from being on the front page of Hacker News?

March 20, 2010 2 minutes

Last week’s post “Sell Ice Cream, Not Cream and Ice ” received 30X the traffic that I my blog posts normally receive.

Normally I get about 50 to 100 visits per post, but this time my post was voted onto the front…

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Sell Ice Cream, Not Cream and Ice

March 12, 2010 2 minutes

Doing a startup? Think carefully about the differences between technology , product and business.

The startup world is full of incredibly smart people who design new applications that “change the world” but lack a clear business model (product, but no business). It’s…

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Avoid This Startup Mistake: Losing Customer Focus

February 20, 2010 2 minutes

In 2006 when we launched Snapvine’s first viral widget and phone app for teens, it went viral overnight. We were overwhelmed with success within 3 weeks: our servers were swamped with signups - 1 million of them within the first 7 weeks.…

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Crucial first hire: the "do-it-all office admin"

December 16, 2009 4 minutes

Back in June of 2006 after having closed a small series A, it was time to move out of our spare rooms, get some basic startup office space and hire a couple of employees so we could move fast and get on…

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The positive follow-up to complaints, failures and ideas.

November 09, 2009 1 minute

Complaints can be annoying, but when paired with solution ideas are valuable. Failure by itself is a negative but when it comes with honest learning is the foundation of innovation. Ideas by themselves can be worthless but when accompanied by follow-through can…

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FiReGlobal West Notes

October 20, 2009 3 minutes

Last week I attended FiReGlobal West as a guest speaker on a CTO Challenge Panel discussing how technology can help increase civic engagement at all levels of government.

Here are a few rough notes I took (and my opinions interwoven) throughout the…

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