29 April 2013

Charlie Munger: Think Like An Investor

Charlie Munger's Thoughts on Just About Everything: "I have a friend here in Los Angeles whose father owned a little machine shop. He was accepted into the Harvard Business School, but he asked to defer his admittance for one year so he could help run his father's business. A year later, he asked if he could defer again. Harvard asked, "One year ago, how many employees did your dad's business have?" "Fifty," he said. "And how many does it have now?" they asked. "Nine hundred," he said. They told him he didn't need Harvard, and maybe he could just come back in a few years and endow the place. This type of thinking is no longer present at Harvard, which is too bad. Business school teaches from the perspective of a career in business, not as an investor in business. But there are great benefits to thinking like an investor."

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26 April 2013

The standard outcome with disruptive technology

the standard outcome with disruptive technology is failure--

Charlie Munger's Thoughts on Just About Everything: "Bill Gates has said that the standard outcome with disruptive technology is failure. That's what happens most of the time. There are good examples of this. IBM  dominated big computers but failed with small ones. Eastman Kodak used to be the ultimate high-tech company. Now look at it."

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24 April 2013

The Death of Upcoming

The Death of Upcoming.org - Waxy.org: "  . . . In hindsight, selling Upcoming to Yahoo was a horrible mistake. Selling your company always means sacrificing control and risking its fate, and as we now know, online communities almost always fail after acquisition. (YouTube is the rare exception, albeit one with billion-dollar momentum.) But Yahoo was a particularly horrible steward for the community. I built Upcoming because it scratched a personal itch, and I was delighted when so many others found it useful. For the small group of old-schoolers that remember it in its prime, Upcoming made their lives better. I've heard stories of people finding friends and spouses through Upcoming, people lonely in a new city tapping into new communities, impromptu parties gaining momentum. I'm going to miss it. . . ." (read more at link)

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22 April 2013

SEC and Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act

SEC's Division of Trading and Markets Grants Relief from Broker-Dealer Registration for Online Platform that Permits Investment in Start-Up Companies | Holland & Knight LLP - JDSupra: "On March 26, 2013, the SEC's Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter indicating that it would not recommend enforcement action under Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act if a venture capital fund adviser and its management company (collectively, the "fund") operated a platform through which its members could participate in Rule 506 offerings. The no-action letter is the first relief from broker-dealer registration for a platform that provides investors with a means to invest in start-up companies following the enactment of the JOBS Act. However, the no-action letter does not in any way address the JOBS Act's crowdfunding exemption, or the ability to conduct a Rule 506 offering using general solicitation, as those final rules have not yet been adopted by the SEC." (read more at link)

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19 April 2013

An acquisition is always a failure?

An acquisition is always a failure: "if you consider yourself a visionary, the only honest response to your own acquisition is to admit your failure, dust yourself off, and start building your next company."

An entrepreneur is someone who, almost artistically, designs a living entity which embodies the values, beliefs, and ambitions of the creator. It’s impossible for a larger entity to swallow a smaller one without completely reshaping it. When this process begins, a wild visionary – the entrepreneur type – is the most toxic, indigestible actor imaginable. (source, supra)

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17 April 2013

Jack Dorsey, Square, entrepreneurship

JACK DORSEY: How to start, that's the hardest thing to do. It's about taking risks, whether you're starting your business or work in an organization, whatever charity or cause. It's about the attitude of strong purpose and conviction . . . It's about having that idea and the execution (source infra)

Twitter's Jack Dorsey on entrepreneurship - CBS News: "Co-founder (Jim McKelvey) also a St. Louis native wasn't able to sell glass art because he didn't accept credit cards (McKelvey was unable to process a $2,000 transaction). We took a month and thought about how to enable him to make transactions, came up with this device. It worked and we showed it to people. Square charges a transaction fee of 2.75 percent. It's unheard of because no one has done that before."

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15 April 2013

Where Silicon Valley Makes Its Biggest Deals (video)

From $45 Wagyu beef burgers that aren't on the menu to the luxury suites, Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman gives a tour of the Rosewood Sand Hill resort in Menlo Park, California. (Source: Bloomberg)

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12 April 2013

Low number of Q1 VC exits reported

Trouble in VC land?

Unusually low number of Q1 VC exits reported - Silicon Valley Business Journal: "U.S. budget and world economic worries appeared to have made for a very small exit window for venture-backed companies in the first three months of 2013. Only eight venture-backed U.S. companies went public in the period, raising $672 million, according to a report from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. That is far below the 19 IPOs that raised $1.7 billion in the first quarter of last year. The number of public debuts was unchanged from the fourth quarter but the amount raised was down 52 percent."

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10 April 2013

When Your Worst Performers are the Happiest Employees

When the Worst Performers are the Happiest Employees - At Work - WSJ: “ . . . Low performers often end up with the easiest jobs because managers don’t ask much of them,” he said, so they’re under less stress and they’re more satisfied with their daily work lives. Meanwhile, dedicated and conscientious workers end up staying at the office late, correcting the work of the low performers, and making sure clients or customers are satisfied. This pattern breeds frustration and disengagement in the high performers—and perhaps ultimately drives them to seek work elsewhere. “They feel stressed and undervalued, and it starts to undermine the high performers’ confidence that the organization is a meritocracy,”. . . ." (read more at link above)

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08 April 2013

The problem with social entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship can be defined as doing well while doing good--the problem is that social entrepreneurs usually end up doing neither 

Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 14 Notes Essay: " . . . There is both an economic aspect and a psychological aspect to perfect competition. The economic insight is that the battles are so fierce because the stakes so small. Since profits are competed away, people are fighting over scraps. The psychological insight is that the economic insight is really weird. Why in the world would people want to fight for scraps? But there’s a psychological counterpoint to the psychological insight, and that is that people fight because they think it’s the cool thing to do. This explains the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship, which can be defined as doing well while doing good. The problem is that social entrepreneurs usually end up doing neither. . . ." (read more at link above)

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05 April 2013

Reinventing self is a new normal in this economy

 launch a business to address a need virtually overnight--

Reinventing self is a new normal in this economy | www.ajc.com: "For years now the economy has been forcing people to take stock of their lives and in some cases reinvent themselves. . . . Jared Nichols, a strategy consultant and author of “Leading the 21st Century: the CEO’s guide to Thriving in a Volatile & Uncertain Future,” said that barriers to creating new businesses are all but gone and that people are better equipped, better connected, and far more resourceful than at any point in human history. “In the 20th century the individual was subjected to a hierarchy of information, resources, and connections,” Nichols said. “Today if an individual sees a market need they can launch a business to address that need virtually overnight.”. . . . "
read more at link above

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03 April 2013

When Things Don't Work Out - audio by Fred Wilson

A VC: When Things Don't Work Out: " . . . There are two interesting things here that I always think about. The first is that even the very best investors in the VC business only get a hit about 1/3 of the time. That means that they have their share of "slog it outs" and "hit the walls" too. I am certainly in that camp. The second is that we end up spending an incredible amount of time and energy (hopefully not money) on the 2/3 of our investments that don't work out. When everything goes well, you really don't need that much from a VC. Of course, I have added value in all of my winners. But its the ones that don't work that I have left my blood, sweat, and tears on. And that's the paradox of being a VC that cares. Which is the only kind of VC you want to work with."

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01 April 2013

Sailing startups to market

Sailing startups to market: Q&A with Unreasonable Institute's Daniel Epstein
Eleven passionate tech entrepreneurs with great companies innovating in various areas decided to spend 100 days aboard a ship sailing around the world in order to do that… all made possible by Unreasonable at Sea. The initiative, pioneered by Daniel ...read more at link above


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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs | TechCrunch: " . . . . persistence is not the self-help cliche “Keep going until you hit the finish line!”. The key slogan is, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence." - James Altucher

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