At Lerer Ventures I created the first version of The Guide to NYC Tech after dozens of people asked me the same dozen questions, over and over. What are the best co-working spaces? Which lawyer should I hire? Where are good places to take a meeting? Who are the key investors to know? How do I…
“In other words, the gene-centric model survives because simplicity is a hugely advantageous trait for an idea to possess. People will select a simple idea over a complex idea almost every time. This holds especially in a hostile environment, like, say, a sceptical crowd. For example, Sean B Carroll, professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin, spends much of his time studying gene expression, but usually uses gene-centric explanations, because when talking to the public, he finds a simple story is a damned good thing to have.”—Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon (via ninakix)
Since early last year when I last revisited my list of incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces based in NYC, the options have literally exploded.Because of the vastly expanded number of facilities, I have instead posted a new listing instead of updating the old listing. What is certain…
“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”—
…when MIT researchers spent an entire year following 2,600 employees, observing their social ties, even using mathematical formulas to analyze the size and scope of their address books and buddy lists, they found that the more socially connected the IBM employees were, the better they performed. They could even quantify the difference: On average, every e-mail contact was worth an added $948 in revenue.
The best predictor of team success is not smarts or effort — it’s how team members feel about one another.
“But in fact, great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again. Perfection and polish aren’t nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener.”—Seth’s Blog: Gardens, not buildings (via ninakix)
Nobel-winning economist R.H. Coase passed away yesterday. Here are my thoughts. When the crash of 1929 hit, Ronald Harry Coase was an undergraduate student at the London School of Economics, working on a Bachelor’s degree in commerce. Thanks to his professor Arnold Plant, he decided that markets…
Ashlee Vance spoke to Musk about his Hyperloop idea:
As for safety? Musk has heard of it. “There’s an emergency brake,” he says. “Generally, though, the safe distance between the pods would be about 5 miles, so you could have about 70 pods between Los Angeles and San Francisco that leave every 30 seconds. It’s like getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland.” Musk imagines that riding on the Hyperloop would be quite pleasant. “It would have less lateral acceleration—which is what tends to make people feel motion sick—than a subway ride, as the pod banks against the tube like an airplane,” he says. “Unlike an airplane, it is not subject to turbulence, so there are no sudden movements. It would feel supersmooth.”
The hot thing amongst pundits at the moment seems to be to snark this to no end and mention it in the same breath as things like the Segway. But I unequivocally love everything about this. I want to live in a world where this exists. I really hope someone builds it.
“Understanding customer needs and building the product to solve those needs are critical. But so is developing a process to destroy the inertia of doing things “the old fashioned way” and catalyze users to change their workflows to enact change.”—http://tomtunguz.com/product-market-adoption (via francoismathieu)
I kept busy by thinking about how running that marathon was much like doing a startup. - Dan Martell
People say doing a startup is like a marathon. It’s actually a roadtrip at night with no headlights. You think you’re going to Toledo but you’re actually going to Miami and you might not have enough gas so you might need to buy gas from someone who might take you out if you aren’t driving well. - Ben Silbermann via Jason Shen
This is what running a startup is like…every day (cue video). - Jason Calacanis
Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly. - Paul Graham
In my tiredness, my scars, and my strength I have noticed that launching and running a start-up is a lot like war. - Ryan Wood
Running a startup is like having all the bad guys from Die Hard attack you, but you’re way more scrawny than Bruce Willis. - Aaron Levie
“When you’re doing what you love to do, you become resilient. Because that’s the habit you create for yourself. You create a habit of taking chances on yourself and making bold choices in service to doing what you love. If, on the other hand, you do what you think is expected of you or what you’re supposed to do and things go poorly or chaos ensues - as it surely will - you look to external sources for what to do next because THAT will be the habit you’ve created for yourself. You’ll be standing there frozen on the stage of your own life.”—Dick Costolo, in his commencement address to University of Michigan’s spring 2013 graduating class (via maxsnotes)
“A startup is like a mosquito. A bear can absorb a hit and a crab is armored against one, but a mosquito is designed for one thing: to score. No energy is wasted on defense. The defense of mosquitos, as a species, is that there are a lot of them, but this is little consolation to the individual mosquito.”—
Something I’ve found difficult to completely embrace, but which understanding has been super important, is the idea that there is a ratio for everything. I’ve started to call this Ratio Thinking, and I’ve found myself describing this to quite a number of people recently.
In San Francisco, you can find the “Airbnb-of-everything.” Just as Airbnb capitalized on the fact that many of us have a spare bed, bedroom, or even apartment from which we’d gladly make some money, many other industries have…
None of this means that Tesla should abandon its goal of building the world’s best electric cars. By competing on service, style, and the dependability of its vehicles, it can sell a lot of cars while also letting rivals use its core technology. But to be a great tech company, it’s no longer enough to just make great products. You’ve also got to let others build stuff on top of your technology—you’ve got to build a platform. Elon Musk gets this, and that’s why his company isn’t emulating just one tech behemoth. Tesla is Apple on the outside, but it’s Google at its core.
I love the concept of using your would-be rivals to build infrastructure for you.
“To recap some of the qualities of the PayPal mafia: high-quality people, a common bond, an ethos of sharing and cooperation, concentrated in a region and industry. These make it rich in opportunity flow, and the same factors make any network and association worth your while.”—
“The most ambitious component is a pair of opt-in energy-saving programs that kick in when demand for energy is at its highest. When these periods roll around, Nest owners can rack up extra savings by letting the thermostat intelligently decrease their household’s energy needs. And it’s not just the homeowner who benefits: Nest’s new features are also intended to serve another class of customers entirely: the utility companies.”—
Remember that the only representation of you, no matter what your station, is you — your presentation, your demeanor. You simply must attend. Stand when someone enters the room, especially if you are lowly and he is the boss, and even if the reverse is true. Look them in the eye. Ask yourself: Does anybody need an introduction? If so, before you say one word about business, introduce them to others with pleasure in your voice. If you can’t muster enthusiasm for the people you happen upon in life, then you cannot be gracious. Remember, true graciousness demands that you have time for others.
“Great companies are vibrant, they can hardly contain themselves. It’s because they’re made by believers who want to find other believers and convert the rest.”—An email from Scott Kraft. (via zachklein) - YES.
Every VC talks about ‘value add’. The unique ways in which they believe they can help you build your business, be a great partner, and increase the chance of your start-up being a success. These include their network, recruitment, strategic advice, operational experience etc.
“So many folks in the venture capital business are sheep that just want to follow the herd. They are momentum investors purchasing highly illiquid investments. That is a recipe for disaster. Momentum investing works in highly liquid markets (sometimes). From what I can tell, it almost never works in private markets.”—
“Products and services which were previously outside their domain will increasingly be under their jurisdiction,” says Daniel Castro, senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based research and educational institute.
So, what are these devices?
Castro says that companies increasingly will be operating in “smart buildings” with advanced HVAC systems that are connected to the rest of the corporate network.
Many utility companies will be deploying Web-connected smart meters at customers’ facilities to allow for remote monitoring.
Companies are tying their physical security to their network security, so that data from security cameras and authentication readers are coming under the purview of enterprise IT.
Retailers such as WalMart, Target and Best Buy already use RFID and other tracking technologies to manage supply chain logistics, says IDC’s Michael Fauscette. IoT is a natural next step.
Then there’s “operational technology,” where enterprise assets such as manufacturing equipment, fleet trucks, rail cars, even patient monitoring equipment in hospitals, become networked devices, says Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner.
3D printing has recently captured the imagination of Internet. With the promise of on-demand products and near-zero lead time, people dream of downloading and printing products in their bedrooms and not having to wait for them to arrive. There is…
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of Le Petit Prince. (via zachklein)
“If you go to work and do what you’re told, you’re not being negative, certainly, but the lack of initiative you demonstrate (which, alas, you were trained not to demonstrate) costs us all, because you’re using a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have added more value. […]
Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”
— Seth Godin
I could not agree more with this post by Seth Godin. Having people on your team operate at neutral is often more costly than having someone negative on the team. At least with someone underperforming or negative it’s clear when you need to part ways, but the neutral team members tend to stay around longer than they should.