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Category: Advice

Unicorn, Shmoonicorn. Is It a Fantasy?

Unicorn, Shmoonicorn. Is It a Fantasy?

Image by Julieta Mascarella from Pixabay

If we noticed anything this week, it was that it may be time to rethink unicorns and hockey stick growth. We know what investors look for: TAM (Total Addressable Market) and it had better be big, as it’s all about ROI.

WeWork is planning their IPO, and after years of expansion and so-called hockey stick growth, the cracks are showing. Business Insider laid out The history of WeWork’s meteoric valuation rise — and fall, including “the coworking startup’s governance, real estate holdings, succession plan, employee retention, and questionable patent purchases have spooked potential investors. WeWork has amended its SEC filings twice already to address several of those concerns, but it might not be enough.

“According to a Reuters report, WeWork will target a $10 billion valuation for its IPO, drastically lower than the $47 billion valuation it last fetched in private markets. A $10 billion public valuation would be only slightly above the total amount of funding WeWork has taken in as a private company: about $8.39 billion since 2011, according to Pitchbook data.” Read More...

Antitrust: The Bill Gates Playbook

Antitrust: The Bill Gates Playbook

This week, in addition to the Federal probe, “States to Launch Google, Facebook Antitrust Probes,” The Wall Street Journal et al reported. As one commenter said, “The real problem with both is their pernicious theft of our personal data and sales of that data to all sorts of entities looking to prod us, outrage us, excite us, sell us, etc. This is what their businesses have become: resale of stolen data.”

Google (is also being) Targeted By 50 U.S. AGs In Potential Sweeping Antitrust Investigation Read More...

Startup Success: Does Yours Have a Fat Chance or Slim Chance? Hmmm…

Startup Success: Does Yours Have a Fat Chance or Slim Chance? Hmmm…

Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

Good question, considering that most startups do fail.

We’ve been heads down working on the upcoming SOSapp, and as the team was aggregating the different disciplines/consultants/service providers that a startup may need, one thing that was glaringly missing from the list was writers – blog writers, copywriters, etc. Everyone can write. But can everyone effectively communicate?

Coincidentally, a friend sent along a piece that first appeared online in the Web 1.0 days – author unknown – delineating some of the vagaries of the English language. Since we’re in the waning days of summer and Yours Truly is still a bit under the weather due to Lyme disease, we thought we’d keep it light, share – and add a couple of points of our own: Read More...

Online Dating and the Missed Opportunity

Online Dating and the Missed Opportunity

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

App dating is a crap shoot, to be sure. We have friends who have been using the dating apps for years, to no avail, despite the number of apps available and the number of people using them. As of 2017, Tinder alone had over 100M downloads  and 57 million monthly active users (both free and paid).

So where’s the disconnect, literally?

In our opinion, expectations and preconceptions could be part of it. Too much surface information and not enough commonality might be part of it, too. Our friends who use the apps and potentially initially ‘meet’ someone immediately hit LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram et al to cross reference. Read More...

Lyme Disease and the Entrepreneurial Bug

Lyme Disease and the Entrepreneurial Bug

Image by 13smok from Pixabay

A different kind of editorial this week, due to our having contracted Lyme Disease, which basically turns you into something of a narcoleptic for at least several days.  We’ll be fine – it was caught early. And note to self, since our doctor told us that many people wait two weeks before seeking treatment, thinking that it’s merely a summer flu, since it has many of the same symptoms: ache and pains and fever.  The bullseye shaped rash doesn’t develop immediately, and it doesn’t show up at all in some cases. It takes at least 24 hours to develop, and it’s not always shaped like a bullseye, or even large, so it can be mistaken for a spider bite. Still, the same antibiotics are prescribed for the same amount of time. But you do have to see a doctor.

Don’t ignore it. Waiting to seek treatment can lead to serious and permanent health issues.

As a head’s up, you don’t have to be out in the country or even in deer country to contract the disease: a friend told us that a friend of his had gotten it in Central Park, while walking his dog. If you’re going anywhere where there’s grass or wooded areas, make sure to apply insect repellant (by the way, the infected area is extremely painful and sensitive to the touch for days). Summer’s not over yet and Lyme Disease-bearing ticks are around until early Autumn, so let’s be careful out there. Read More...

FakesBook (It’s Not At All What You Think)

FakesBook (It’s Not At All What You Think)

If you’re not yet aware of DeepFakes – hyper-realistic manipulations of digital imagery that can alter images so effectively that it’s largely impossible to tell real from fake – time to pay attention. The technology – and the problem – is escalating quickly.

According to Futurism, A Spy Used a Deepfake Photo to Infiltrate LinkedIn Networks. “Many of Jones’ connections told the AP that they were initially suspicious of the profile but accepted anyway.” We personally never accept a LinkedIn invitation from anyone whom we don’t know or haven’t met. The platform is about connecting with people to build your network of contacts for professional or business purposes. Why would you accept an arbitrary invitation? Yet people have argued with us that the more connections you have, the better. No better time than now to disagree. Read More...

The Secret Formula for a $1T Valuation

The Secret Formula for a $1T Valuation

AKA, Who Wants to be a Trillionaire? Ok, maybe not a trillionaire, but running a company with a shot at getting to the trillion dollar status, has been there, or is damn close or potentially able to get there? Notice that Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook – four of the FAANG stocks – all have something in common: they all have 100M+ plus users, and are “trusted” platforms – “trusted” being an odd choice of words here, in our case, but work with us.

While Netflix is also part of the FAANG stocks and ergo potentially a trillion dollar player, the company is now experiencing something less than that Silicon Valley-venerated hockey stick growth, as Netflix reports slowing subscriber growth for the first time, which is also part of our point here. Read More...

Summer in the City: Tech and the #NYCBlackout of 2019

Summer in the City: Tech and the #NYCBlackout of 2019

Tech has long been held up as the great disintermediator and a panacea when it comes to making our lives easier. That may be true, for the most part, but what happens when the power grid goes down, which is precisely what happened this past Saturday evening, July 13, thanks to a Con Ed equipment failure that left the west side of Manhattan from 30th to 72nd Street, without electricity for some four hours.

We were there, right in the thick of it. Read More...

Overdue: The Internet Declaration of Independence

Overdue: The Internet Declaration of Independence

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

The U.S. just celebrated Independence Day, when we pause to take stock of what the founders fought for: liberty and justice for the citizenry, which were not necessarily granted to them in the countries from whence they’d come.

There are always fireworks.

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger recently published his proposed Declaration of Digital Independence, and it’s a must-read. “Humanity has been contemptuously used by vast digital empires. Thus it is now necessary to replace these empires with decentralized networks of independent individuals, as in the first decades of the Internet,” he begins, and he does delineate the many abuses of the tech oligarchs, including: Read More...

Libra. In Facebook We Trust?

Libra. In Facebook We Trust?

Facebook announced the soon-to-debut of Libra, its new cryptocurrency, last week, saying that it hoped to bring billions of the unbanked into the digital economy, providing them with basic financial services through their cellphones, eerily echoing Facebook’s original mission to bring the world closer together with its social platform, in case you missed the irony.

We all know how that worked out. Read More...

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