Showing posts from February, 2008

1 in 100 U.S. Adults Behind Bars

This is just wrong.

In today's New York Times:
For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.How can the land of the free be #1 in citizens in prison globally?

China: #2. Russian #3.

USA: #1.

Hell, 5 states spend more on prisons every year than they do on higher education.

How this founder found the right CEO

During the last 9 months I've had the 'happens more than you think' founders experience of bringing in the wrong CEO, and then bringing in the right CEO. It was an incredibly enlightening experience. What I learned is obvious in hindsight, and it's pretty simple, really, coming down to one don't and one do.

1) Don't put your trust in others judgment, implicitly, of a potential CEO's fit.

I love my investors. They're great people and I continue to communicate with them regularly and several of them still regularly give me great advice. In this particular case, my investors help in hiring my first CEO didn't work out very well.

This was largely my fault.

This fellow came highly recommended. However, my initial impression of him during our first meeting wasn't positive and I ignored my instincts. It wasn't that he wasn't competent, it was just that we didn't particularly like each other all that much. We had several more meetings and…

Legal spying and telco's

There is a point where you have to say: I don't care what good they did or could do, this evil they just now committed is enough of a reason to vote them out of office.

Allard helped: I expected it. He's at least doing what he thinks is right (regardless of how misguided). Still, he needs to go.

But this is wrong. Salazar ALSO helped: I didn't expect it. He really needs to go. More than Allard because he can't be trusted to do the right thing or follow his principles.

We need to swap out the congress. We start this election. It'll take a few more elections, but everyone who's there now, tainted by the stink of corruption, needs to go.

We need a fresh start.

Senate Approves Telco Amnesty, Legalizes Bush's Secret Spay Program

By Ryan SingelFebruary 12, 2008 | 5:59:31 PMCategories: NSA The Senate overwhelming voted Tuesday evening to legalize President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program and grant amnesty to the phone companies that helped out with th…

Boulder is the smartest city (again)

According to Forbes Magazine, Boulder is (2nd time in a row) 'The Smartest City in America'.

From the Denver Post:
The rankings were based on the percentage of adults 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree. In Boulder, 53 percent of adults do. Ninety-three percent graduated from high school and 4 percent have a PhD.Hopefully we won't get arrogant about it. I hate smart-ass cities.

Outlook? Anyone? Or: Gmail. The New Outlook?

As an experiment, I asked a bunch of people I know that are under 25 and not developers if they use Microsoft Outlook- the defacto email program of corporate america. The response I got was consistant.

U25: What?

Me: "You know... for email".

U25: "Is that new? I use Gmail (yahoo, hotmail)"- effectively: web based mail-it's all they use.

The ones who did know what Outlook was were developers and they didn't really answer when I asked the question, they just sneered.

In the startup world, everyone I know uses Google Domains and Gmail (we do).

Gmail. The new Outlook?

To patent or not to patent......

That is the question.

Startups have a devils choice to make when they create new products and services, especially if it's a new area where the process patent's applicable.

But should we do it?

Brad Feld doesn't much care for software patents. Others, such as Jason Haislmaier, a local IP lawyer, beg to differ.

I recently went to an intellectual property crash course for entrepreneurs that Jason gave to a packed room. Most of what he talked about I knew, but much of it had been forgotten over the years. It was enlightening.

Of course, I had to take into account the messenger. Jason makes his living creating IP value by doing things like helping guys like me to create patents. But, he made some excellent points.

He relayed a few stories about how, for instance, a company without much revenue recently raised 30 million in funding based almost solely on the value of one patent they held. And, of course, he pointed out a few things like the famous Amazon one click patent that,…