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Month: August 2017

The Life Hack Edition

The Life Hack Edition

According to Life Hacks, most of the problems in your life are due to two things: you either act without thinking, or you think without acting.

Sometimes the best thing is to walk away and come back to the problem later, once you’ve had a chance to clear your head.

The solar eclipse was last week – the first one in that stretched across the continental US in nearly four decades – and quite a few Americans stopped to watch. The Solar Eclipse Cost the U.S. Economy a Huge Amount of Money, said Vanity Fair. Some nearly $700 million, in fact, and never mind the Atlantic Monthly nonsense. Read More...

How to Kill Competition: The Tech Uberlord Handbook

How to Kill Competition: The Tech Uberlord Handbook

Considering James Damore’s memo and the information that has come out since then (Women say they quit Google because of racial discrimination: ‘I was invisible’), last week was not a good one for the tech uberlords.

We won’t get into the politics, but several of the big tech players, including Cloudflare, GoDaddy Inc., Google, Facebook, Twitter, GoFundMe, Spotify and Airbnb decided to threaten freedom of expression online by blocking and/or otherwise not doing business with so-called white supremacists. Not all so-called hate groups, mind you, or groups that might otherwise be a danger to, say, children et al (Facebook Refuses to Remove Flagged Child Pornography, ISIS Videos).

Says the Wall Street Journal (Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry: The moves by tech companies like Cloudflare have been chided for threatening freedom of expression online), “The debate intensified over whether the growing number of tech companies that blocked white supremacists and a neo-Nazi website on the internet have gone too far, as a prominent privacy group questioned the power a few corporations have to censor.” Read More...

The Things We Think and Do Not Say: James Damore and that Jerry Maguire Moment

The Things We Think and Do Not Say: James Damore and that Jerry Maguire Moment

Think Bigger

Think Bigger

We hear startup proposals from entrepreneurs – many of whom are Millenials and this is not a swipe at Millenials at all, not to worry – and oftimes their ideas include a social good component. We have nothing against social good – au contraire – and often, no matter what the full platform/pain-point solution, the entrepreneur tends to focus on the social good component. Often to the exclusion of all else, or they may bring it up five to ten minutes into the investor pitch.

Things To Remember:

  1. You’re there at the pitch to get money/funding from the investors
  2. The investors are about money, too – they have LPs to answer to
  3. No matter how worthy your social good angle, bottom line: consumers are selfish – what’s the value add to them, besides the fact that, say, you want to educate every single person in the world? Nice – how does your laundry detergent help me (and we mean the royal/inclusive ‘me’ here) to completely remove all stains (if that’s what you’re offering) at a price point that’s going to inspire me to give up my current laundry detergent. Nice that it’s also going to completely reverse the effects of water pollution and you also have a social good angle – you want to contribute 50% of the profits to help educate the world, but at, say, $200 for a box of detergent, no matter how good your overall intentions, that’s a non starter.
  4. Investors have the attention span of a gnat, with all due respect to our investor friends out there. It’s not that they’re necessarily ADHD: they’ve been there/done that/heard it all before/burned the tee shirt: they want to know about your product, not your conscience. Being able to pay back their LPs – with nice returns – that’s what helps them sleep at night. Too.

Get to the point, throw in the social good angle later, if you need to, or to roughly cite Jerry Maguire, it’s you lost me at ‘hello.’

Same with your customers. Read More...

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