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Human Subjects

August 24, 2014: We’ve learned in recent days that Facebook, Twitter, and one of the dating sites are messing with us for testing purposes. Evidently we all acknowledged user agreements in which we agreed to be human subjects. ThoseShow More Summary

Dirty Tricks

August 17, 2014: The finer points of business competition have been the headlines in recent weeks, and this bears some discussion.  There was “donut-gate” here in Austin when BigCommerce sent its recruiters with donuts into other companies’ offices in an effort to steal employees. Show More Summary

An update on my angel investing & AngelList Syndicates

Angel investing is a brutally hard job...… said no one ever! [ 1,600 words on the topic below. Click to tweet: http://ctt.ec/_G49d ] I’m absolutely loving being an angel investor. It’s a blast to meet smart folks with killer ideas who...Show More Summary

Keep It in the Box

August 10, 2014: When seeking funding for an early stage company, it’s a good idea to temper all that creative energy that fuels your product design and ambition and make your pitch conform to investors’ standardized expectations. Tags: pitch decks disclosures standards

Startups are about SCALE

Startups today are about one thing: scale. As in getting big and doing it fast, like: Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Snapchat and a couple dozen others. In this email I want to accomplish two things: 1. Explain why SCALE is so critical today. Show More Summary

Marvel Movie Easter Eggs Explained

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“The Expected Value of a Startup Is Zero.”

August 3, 2014: The headline above is a direct quote from John Harthorne, Founder & CEO of MassChallenge. He graced us with his presence on July 30 as part of the ImagineAustin Speaker Series. This particular event was held at the Dougherty Arts Center, which offers a wide range of arts programs for children. Show More Summary

Shucks

July 27, 2014: We have a young team working this summer on an interesting robotics project in our Longhorn Startup space known as The FLASK. I anticipated they would enroll in our Lab course this fall, but it appears they have been recruited away by an ambitious new accelerator in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Show More Summary

Swiss Army Knife Deals

July 20, 2014: The action over the last few days has for me revolved around three interesting deals that I would put in the Swiss Army Knife ( “SAK” ) category. Seasoned and skilled entrepreneurs created all three, and in two of the three there has been no external investment to date. Show More Summary

Forget Silicon Valley: if you want to know what it's like in a start-up, watch Ghostbusters

Silicon Valley is an HBO show about the ups and downs of working at a start-up – it starts this week on Sky. It does a great job of satirising the culture of Southern California, but it really only captures the experience of a handful of founders – the proverbial Zuckerbergs, kids in T-shirts who [...]

Money Follows

July 13, 2014: One of Dan Gilbert’s maxims at Quicken Loans is this: “Numbers and money follow, they do not lead.” I came to that conclusion myself early in my career. If you are an entrepreneur, you must do enough calculating up front to ascertain what’s theoretically possible with your idea. Show More Summary

The 90 Second Lord of The Rings Remake

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The Story of Cruise (YC W14): How 4 people built a self driving car in 7 months.

The Beginning: One is the Loneliest Number Spend any time on HackerNews and you’ll hear one piece of advice repeated ad nauseam : “Find a great co-founder”. For Kyle Vogt, this was a no-brainer. Kyle has had great success following this advice in the past (he’s the former co-founder of Justin.TV and Twitch.tv). Show More Summary

Beware the ‘Edifice Complex’ — and 9 Other Ways to Damage a High-Growth Startup

Here are 10 ways to grievously damage your high-growth tech startup – and hurt the perception of Silicon Valley in the process. None of these are specific to any one company ; they’re general patterns we’ve observed across multiple cycles of tech startups. MOREFiled under: Uncategorized

What if the Moon was Removed From Earth?

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Watch Famous Movie Characters Take Selfies

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This Fake Star Wars Episode VII Filmset Footage is Pretty Awesome

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Meet the Ferrari F40 Specialist

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Fatal Traction

July 6, 2014: Many of you will recall the 1987 hit movie Fatal Attraction starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. It was a genuine thriller and had the number one world box office ranking that year. Unfortunately, since...Show More Summary

MO-MENTUM

June 29, 2014: This week the topic moves from YO to MO. I’m positing that launching your idea into a market with genuine MOMENTUM at just the right time is the path to a big success. It’s just as treacherous to start too soon as to start too late in your chosen area of opportunity. Show More Summary

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