Showing posts from October, 2006

Are early stage startups and normal lives incompatible?

I've been thinking about this the last few months. Much has been written about how todays startups are made up of a bunch of under 25 year old single guys living together in a house they rent to start an internet company.

Well, it's bascially true.

But there's another group that's also well suited for this lifestyle (and it's very much a lifestyle: it effects every part of what you do).

Who? Middle aged folks (between 40-60) who are either single/divorced or empty nesters.It’s not a large percentage of this group.But there’s a lot more potential startup guys in this group than you might think.

I'm in my 40's. I'm divorced. I'm in good health. I don't feel much different than I did when I was 25. I don't party like a 25 year old any more, but I have no problem staying up to 2am, working through weekends and doing whatever it takes. I also have no problem using my personal resources to make this fly, including my house as our office/develo…

SEO and politics= just a matter of time.

in Online Media Daily today:

A GOOGLE SEARCH ON THE name "George Allen"--a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia running to retain his seat--now returns his official Senate page as the top organic result. But if some bloggers have their way, the top result will instead be "New 'N Word' Woe For George Allen," a CBS News article from September, highlighting the Senator's alleged use of a racial slur.
This is an interesting development. The Dems manipulating SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for their candidates benefit?

If you think of it, also makes complete sense. People likely to vote are also likely to use the internet. If you use the internet a lot, what do you do if you want to know more about someone? You Google them.

the Dems have been getting their butts kicked for years now by Republican media manipulation (Fox News anyone?), but this is an area where they might actually have a chance to level the playing field a bit.

Is it good? No. It sucks. …

The HELLISH World Of Four, no 5, Browsers

Did they PLAN to make the lives of web focused services companies hell?

It does feel a little like they're picking specifically on us, but I'm sure there are thousands of other small Web2.0 developers saying the same thing right now.

I also think you've just seen the 'rapid' development on the web drop to half speed. At least for awhile.

Why? Because we effectively have to now develop for 4 browser environments. IE6 ,IE7, FF1.5 and FF2.0. And in reality, a 5th as well, Safari on Macs.

And, sadly, these bright shiny new versions of browsers did not bring everyone in line with agreed on standards. In particular IE7. Nothing is simpler, everything is more complex and, now, we have to develop 5 different set of hacks for each browser. At least for the next couple of years.

At least we have some time until Vista comes out.

Well damn, that took all 10 minutes. I wrote the above words and, in my mail I get this:
Like it or not, starting this morning every machine built b…

Is Angel investing good?

Great discussion with Kimbal Musk and Brad Feld, hosted by Podcaster, blogger and investor, David Cohen. Damned interesting stuff. Kimbal, apparently, told David that he no longer believed in angel investment at a tech meetup in Boulder and David decided he wanted to go deeper, and to podcast it. So the three of them met at one of Boulders best restaurants (which happens to be owned by Kimbal) and chatted about it over coffee. Check out David's blog here, and listen to the podcast on ClickCaster here. Or click on the title of this blog entry.

What follows is a recap of the podcast in my own words with some color commentary. If you're going to listen to the podcast, you can skip the rest of this (and I'd encourage you to listen.. it's short, about 22 min, and loaded with great info).If you’re more of a reader than a listener, then read on…

Kimbal thinks a $500K investment is the same as a $50k investment (you get a prototype, but not alot more). Even with $500K, yo…

The First Board Meeting Redux

Well, that was an experience.

In my last post, I talked about the run up to our first Board of Director's meeting. We had that meeting on Friday.

Sooo... Things I learned from my first board meeting as a first time CEO:

Tell your CMO not to try out his EVDOhighspeed wireless card with Skype (for the first time) to call into the meeting.

Make sure you've checked every single one of your spreadsheets and that all the numbers match up perfectly, because your directors are going to find the ones that don't quite jive, guaranteed.

Make sure you have enough time. If you need 3 hours (not, say, 2) Schedule 3- not 2.

If the meeting time gets changed, make very sure all the directors know about it at least a week beforehand, even if you're not setting up the meeting personally. You should, personally, check to make sure everyone's on the same page on day and time. This seems obvious (and like a small thing). It's not.

Ride herd on the time spent on each agenda item. Dire…

The First Board Meeting

Our First Board of Directors Meeting is tomorrow.

It's been an interesting experience. The board is made up of 3 of our investors (Brad Feld, Niel Robertson and Jerry Colonna) along with Marsha Davis, our CFO and myself.

Brad and Jerry have been on the boards of, I would guess, hundreds of companies. They've been to thousands of these. Niel's started several companies and been to more than his fair share himself.

Me? My first. At least as a CEO.

Yes, I've been one of the guys who presents to the board before (usually some staid group of industry luminaries at a Fortune 50 company). I always knew they were just tolerating me though. They generally weren't really sure what I was talking about (the curse of being the guy in a big company who's presenting the 'vision' and future directions). You'd think they'd find that interesting... oddly, these companies tend to shy away from things that change their businesses. Even really good companies. …

Andy's got some magic

Judy's Book InsightsThis is cool, and I'm going to do it with ClickCaster at our next group meeting.Andy's the CEO of Judy's Book (click here for the Seattle version of the site: JudysBook ) and he's got some great approaches to business.  I've only been reading his blog for a little over a month now and I've already gotten some incredible insights from some of the shortest of posts.  Very Zen Andy... keep it up man!

On deadlines and director meetings

All I can say is shit.Our first Board of Director's meeting is Friday.  And we have a big deadline for delivery of a custom podcasting site for one of our customers, and, of course, we rolled out a slew of new features and capabilities, all this week.  And, of course, all the fun that goes with it (ton's of directors questions;  requests for more info; oh.. yea, that's a serious bug we didn't catch before rollout; you want that new server farm up and running when?  That's funny Scott;  the artist and the developer fight, all of it at once).Always seems to work that way doesn't it?The good news is the team is pulling together well, and we're identifying (and addressing) the holes in our communications systems, processes and methodologies for getting things done.Sometimes, even though it's damned frustrating some days, overall, I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing than getting this startup company from 'emerging' to real.  I haven…

Gas Price Manipulated To Influence Nov. Elections?

Noticed how drastically the gas prices have come down the last month? I get gas as Costco, and go sometimes 3 or more weeks before filling up (thank you Toyota Yaris) and I keep my receipts. The last price? $2.97 for regular in Mid Sept. Today? $2.29. That's a significant drop. Think there's any connection between that and the upcoming elections? Did you know that Bush's popularity rating is more directly tied to the price of gas than just about any other single polling measure out there? It is.

Ahh.. come on. That can't happen right?

From Lew Rockwells blog (
An article appeared this Saturday in the New York Times pointing to some unusual trading by Goldman Sachs in the gasoline futures market. As Raymond Keller, who spotted the article, points out, "They always hide the good stuff in the low circulation Saturday edition."The article's worth reading. O…