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Month: September 2012

9/25/12

9/25/12

Good morning, All,

We got to a lot of pitch events – where investors are always present – as well as accelerator demo days – where there are even more investors present. Of course we always query them for their feedback post-event.  Most often we hear: ‘yes, interesting, but we’ve seen this before.’ Or, ‘they’re in a crowded space.’ Newsflash: libraries and bookstores – on and offline – are filled with books, and yet when you get down to it, there are only seven plots in all of literature, and actually, they can be boiled down to three: man v man; man v nature and man v himself. So any fiction writers on the list? Give it up: it’s been done and why the New York Times should even bother with a bestseller list is beyond us. To make matters worse, Mark Zuckerberg Says There Are Only ‘6 People In The World With Good Ideas’ (http://read.bi/QmXzDU) – himself included, of course, and let’s not forget that FB was far from being the world’s first social network. (Oh, and in case you missed it, and speaking of social networks, they’re back: https://new.myspace.com/play.) Remember: only seven plotlines.

Given all of this, what’s an entrepreneur to do? Answer: what you’ve always done. Keep building. Never give up on building the better mousetrap. Of course, Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but that’s not what we’re talking about. As Erin Griffin notes in her pandodaily piece about ER Accelerator Demo Day which took place last week, “If Facebook has taught us anything it’s that an idea doesn’t have to be original or first to succeed. It just has to be executed the best.” (Politics, Planes and Paperwork: http://bit.ly/Q2cPpD). A fine point, that may well elude many an investor. (She also notes that conversely, the best execution doesn’t always win, either. Remember betamax?). Investors like founders with great backgrounds or track records. Look, they dumped millions into Color (Color.com Raises $41 Million For Building Location Photo- and Video-Sharing Social Network: http://bit.ly/SNchkr) yet a handful of unknowns founded instagram – an industry hit which left the Color investors waaay in the red. Pun intended. You’ve never heard of Sulia – but you someday may: This Tiny New York Startup Is Showing Facebook How It’s Done. http://read.bi/USQ87O. It’s the world’s first subject-based social network. They organize short-form content into channels. It’s free, and built in a way so that they can someday monetize their content. No brainer for advertisers:  here’s your dedicated audience. You don’t have to go looking for them. They’re right here in this channel. May be time to take a cue from companies like Sulia and don’t just make your focus to build lean, or do more faster. Build smart and build it your way. As Oscar Wilde said, be yourself… everyone else is already taken. End of story. Onward and forward. Read More...

9/18/12

9/18/12

Good morning, All,

The iPhone 5 was introduced last week and while it has made moves forward (Apple introduced iPhone 5, 4” screen, 7.6 mm thick, 112 grams, 4G LTE capable, A6 processor, Lightning dock connector: http://tnw.co/Raj50k) – and is the fastest-selling iPhone to date, the battery is still not removable, and we know that the FBI can listen in, even when the phone is turned off – which is true of all smartphones, just for the record. Still, supposedly forward technology moves. So quickly, in fact, that again, we don’t stop to consider the consequences. When gmail was first introduced in 2004, no less than 30 civil liberties groups were in court arguing that with their ad serving, GOOG was reading our email and targeting us – a clear invasion of privacy. Was then and still is, yet gmail has become part of the internet landscape and we have happily given up our privacy and lots of it for the sake of convenience (How Google products go from creepy to cool: http://cnet.co/LU15kA). If they can do it, so can the government. A precedent has been set. As the writer says, convenience trumps privacy – are you cool with that? Now with Google Glasses, the company literally wants to get inside your head – and that’s just not cool by any stretch of the imagination (Google’s Project Glass is cool, but it raises a number of privacy concerns: http://tnw.co/OulVHe). Technology and the internet have certainly sped things up – including the rate at which we get used to things, like the disappearance of our rights. We’re like children who’ve been distracted by the lollipop and don’t see that doctor (or worse) coming at us with the needle. Social media has only exacerbated the issue. We’ve said it before: with all of the information we readily share via facebook, twitter, foursquare and whatever other SM technologies you care to throw into the mix, there’s nothing that can’t be known, mined and discovered within a few simple keystrokes. We know that this isn’t news to you. Every now and again, we like to tap you on the shoulder as a gentle reminder, since we are the early adopters and more importantly, the creators of this brave new world. The so-called information highway is being charted, and moreso every day. Let’s be careful out there, and respectly of our users/customers. We live in a world where there are so many security cameras out there watching that we now have security cameras watching the security cameras (apologies: we can’t find the link to the article, which appeared last week). Remember the expression, ‘off the grid?’  We have seen the grid, and it is us.  Onward and forward.

Deadlines: Read More...

9/11/12

9/11/12

Good morning, All,

It’s 9/11, and maybe because it’s also a Tuesday, as it was on that 9/11 eleven years ago, it’s especially difficult for those of us who were in New York City that morning not to recall the events of that day. And to reflect on what we’ve lost since then.

We had quite a few friends who escaped from the fall of the towers and we’ve heard the stories, first hand, about how they made their way uptown, on foot, since public transportation had been shut down, and did it, exhausted, emotionally drained and covered in the remains of both the buildings and of the people who lost their lives in them. Read More...

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