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Month: June 2015

SiliconAlleyCats

SiliconAlleyCats

Good morning, All,

This week’s newsletter is on a more personal note, as we have several announcements.

At the last June breakfast, we announced that we had launched SiliconAlleyCats, a new consultancy with long-time SOS member Marc Prosser. Part of the inspiration for it came out of the breakfasts, where each month, we bring in a top investor to meet with a small group of entrepreneurs, address an aspect of investing, answer your questions, and give you a chance to pitch to them. Despite the fact that many of you have great ideas, we did notice that you don’t know how to present them, or yourselves: you tend to bury the lead. That’s what SiliconAlleyCats is here for: to provide help in three core areas - introductions to angel investors and venture capitalists, media strategy, and online marketing guidance. And you know the charge of SOS – we’re here to help. We can help you to refine your presentation, and we certainly know the investors. Read More...

The experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one

The experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one

Good morning, All,

We often come across companies who outsource development. It always looks attractive – and it’s so much more affordable, right?  If that’s your decision, Godspeed - but quite recently, someone we know did just this and the experience was far from a good one. Or a successful one. If you are one of those intrepid souls who decides to go the outsourced route and work with a team outside of the US, some advice from what we have both heard and observed first-hand over the years:

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

Good morning, All,

Of course, the subject line is a reference to Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand.

Steve Jobs was a blatant and unapologetic thief – in the name of innovation, of course. He wasn’t the only one. Both he and Bill Gates walked out of Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) with IP that would changed both their companies forever – for the better, and hey, Xerox, so long and thanks for all the fish. Seems to have set the tone for Silicon Valley in general, if necessary: when it’s in the name of innovation, all is forgiven. Read More...

wisdom comes not with money, but with age

wisdom comes not with money, but with age

Good morning, All,

It’s June and a good time to take a look back at the year so far. There’s a lot of chatter about diversity, but of course, it’s all just talk and all more or less superseded by Cultural Fit, which is nothing short of a kinder, gentler, more acceptable way to discriminate against anyone and everyone, without having to justify it. It’s one of those terms that is so pliable that it can pretty much cover anything and everything – and no one walks away with hurt feelings.

Right? Read More...

Howard Hawks

Howard Hawks

Good morning, All,

Five years before he won the Nobel Prize for literature, William Faulkner, who was also a quite prolific writer of Hollywood screenplays, happened to be on the golf course one day with Howard Hawks (award winning director) and Clark Gable (Hollywood heartthrob, A list star of his time). Although ordinarily rather taciturn, that day, Faulkner happened to have engaged in a quite lively discussion with Hawks about a film they were collaborating on, for which Hawks wanted Faulkner to work on the screenplay, based on a book by Ernest Hemingway. Side note: there was a legendary rivalry between Hemingway and Faulkner, and Faulkner once bet Hemingway that he could take his least popular book and turn it into a his most successful film. He did: To Have and Have Not, novel by Ernest Hemingway; screenplay by Faulkner, Hemingway and Hawks; directed by Howard Hawks.

Back to the golf course: after listening to the conversation for a while, Gable turned to Faulkner and said, “You’re a writer, Mr. Faulkner?” and without missing a beat, Faulkner answered, “Yes, Mr. Gable, and what do you do?” Read More...

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