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  • Apache Spark native functions

    - 14 Nov 18, 1:09pm -
  • Unicorn pressures and startup failures
    The startup anti-patterns section of my blog summarizes the repeatable ways startups waste time & money and, often, fail. Learning from startup failure is valuable because there are many more examples of failures that successes. (Anti-)Patterns becom…
    - 26 Apr 16, 12:35pm -
  • Advertising marketplace design
    In the past decade several Nobel prizes in Economics have been awarded in the broader area of market (mechanism/auction/game) design. This is not surprising as the combination of Internet connectivity and ample computing resources are causing automat…
    - 13 Oct 15, 8:34am -
  • Angel investing strategies
    My friend Jerry Neumann wrote a great post on angel investing strategies, dissecting truth and myth about different betting strategies and sharing his own approach. The question of luck came up and a commenter linked to my work on data-driven patt…
    - 7 Jul 14, 4:03pm -
  • JSON and JSONlines from the command line
    At Swoop we have many terabytes of JSON-like data in MongoDB, Redis, ElasticSearch, HDFS/Hadoop and even Amazon Redshift. While the internal representations are typically not JSON but BSON, MsgPack or native encodings, when it comes time to move larg…
    - 21 Jan 14, 1:14am -
  • My most favorite math proof ever
    Math is beautiful and, sometimes, math becomes even more beautiful with the help of a bit of computer science. My favorite proof of all time combines the two in just such a way. Goal: prove that the cardinality of the … Continue reading →
    - 25 Nov 13, 12:51pm -
  • Monitoring Redis with MONITOR and WireShark

    Monitoring Redis with MONITOR and WireShark

    At Swoop we use Redis extensively for caching, message processing and analytics. The Redis documentation can be pithy at times and recently I found myself wanting to look in more depth at the Redis wire protocol. Getting everything set up … Continu…
    - 28 May 13, 10:57am -
  • Google and the ecosystem test
    I am roaming the halls of Google I/O 2013 and wondering whether Google’s platform passes the ecosystem test. … no platform has become hugely successful without a corresponding ecosystem of vendors building significant businesses on top of the pla…
    - 16 May 13, 8:29pm -
  • Anatomy of an online ad

    Anatomy of an online ad

    I’ve been asked to explain how online ads are delivered many times and every time I’m surprised by the complexity of covering even the most basic elements of how ads appear on Web pages. Since Wikipedia’s article on ad serving … Continue read…
    - 17 Apr 13, 1:35am -
  • Startup anti-pattern: platform risk
    One of the fastest ways for a startup to grow has always been to ride on the shoulders of a successful platform: from Microsoft/OSS in software to AWS in cloud computing to iOS/Android in mobile to Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest in social to … Continue…
    - 5 Mar 13, 11:18am -

Instigator Blog

  • Here comes 2020 (and what I’ve been up to for 3+ years)

    Here comes 2020 (and what I’ve been up to for 3+ years)

    Almost three years ago I wrote a blog post titled Hello, 2017. That was the last blog post I wrote. Since then I’ve been completely heads down building Highline Beta. It’s been quite the journey. Building a startup is basically an all-consuming e…
    - 20 Dec 19, 1:51pm -
  • Hello, 2017

    Hello, 2017

    2016 was one heck of a year. It started with a fairly big shakeup professionally. I didn’t end up taking much time off; instead I started meeting with lots of people and looking for my next adventure. In July, 2016 I announced the launch of my new…
    - 5 Jan 17, 10:10pm -
  • “You Don’t Look Like a Founder”

    “You Don’t Look Like a Founder”

    WTF does that even mean? It means: You’re not a young white guy. And it’s total bullshit. Heather Anne Carson, co-founder @ Repable recently posted this on Facebook: (She didn’t ask me to write this.) Oy. It’s not surprising that guys feel /…
    - 27 Oct 16, 8:59am -
  • Who Really Wants to Work in a Factory?

    Who Really Wants to Work in a Factory?

    In a recent presentation I gave on the use of data in the product management/development process there was one slide that I ended up taking out. It didn’t fit the flow of the talk, but I think it’s still an important point. Here’s the slide: Th…
    - 24 Oct 16, 9:35am -
  • Data is an Input and a Filter into the Product Development Process

    Data is an Input and a Filter into the Product Development Process

    Recently I spoke at CrunchConf in Budapest. It was a great experience. The conference is fantastic for people interested in data (e.g. data analysts, scientists, product managers, etc.) Having said that, I’m not a data scientist. I don’t spend th…
    - 17 Oct 16, 3:43pm -
  • Speaking Gigs, Training, Discounts, Free Tickets and More

    Speaking Gigs, Training, Discounts, Free Tickets and More

    I don’t normally post about speaking engagements, conferences or training sessions that I’m conducting, but there are a bunch of upcoming events that I hope interest people. Along with that, I have discounts and free tickets to give away–so why…
    - 13 Oct 16, 11:32am -
  • Finding Your Inspiration

    Finding Your Inspiration

    Founders need inspiration. I believe most founders have a deep well of inspiration inside of them that they’re able to draw from as needed. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to survive. But that’s not always enough–founders need to find inspira…
    - 10 Oct 16, 9:24pm -
  • Data should be the Common Language in an Organization

    Data should be the Common Language in an Organization

    - 22 Sep 16, 7:30am -
  • The Startup Rollercoaster is Real

    The Startup Rollercoaster is Real

    You know what’s hard?   Starting a company. You know what’s fun?   Starting a company. There’s something about the insane challenge that makes starting a company so incredible. Having said that, I really don’t enjoy being told I’m wrong…
    - 12 Sep 16, 9:02am -
  • Introducing Highline BETA – a Startup Co-Creation Company

    Introducing Highline BETA – a Startup Co-Creation Company

    Today, I’m launching a new company: Highline BETA. I’m co-founding Highline BETA with Marcus Daniels. I’ve known Marcus a long time and we’ve stayed in touch throughout the years. We’ve now found the right time and opportunity to work toget…
    - 11 Jul 16, 7:55am -

SBA: Small Business Cents



    • Which metrics do Valley investors tend to check first?

      Which metrics do Valley investors tend to check first?

      When investors see our business for the first time, they need to wrap their head around it. It's like films - they often start with a bit of scene-setting before jumping in with the plot.Investors also like to hear the main numbers up front. They'r…
      - 26 Aug 15, 3:15am -
    • Disrupt or compete

      Disrupt or compete

      Pontus Siren at Innosight illustrates the difference between direct competition and Disruption by looking at one of the most competitive industries - shipping.The basis of competition in the industry continues to be the efficiency of moving a metal…
      - 4 Apr 15, 5:15am -
    • Estimating your market size from non-technical sources

      Estimating your market size from non-technical sources

      Bart Doorneweert is a Dutch textile and agriculture entrepreneur who's operated in India and East Africa. Looking at situations where market data is unavailable and running experiments is expensive, he shows how it's important to learn from analogs.…
      - 4 Apr 15, 3:15am -
    • How you grow affects your defensibility

      How you grow affects your defensibility

      There's a connection between how you choose to grow, and how defensible your business is from competition. Just like it's easy to throw gasoline on a fire to get it going with a boom, it's stoking the coal that produces all the heat in the long-run.…
      - 31 Mar 15, 11:15am -
    • Hidden cofounders

      Hidden cofounders

      Suranga Chandratillake on partners, friends, etc, as hidden cofounders:I’ve found that “hidden co-founders” – husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and even parents – are often a crucial factor in the success of a startup. Why? Because…
      - 6 Mar 15, 4:15am -
    • True ecosystems

      True ecosystems

      I somehow missed posting this last year, when it was published. An excellent article by our very own Salim Virani, on the topic of ecosystems.Sal and the rest of the FounderCentric team spend a lot of time working with incubators, accelerators, gove…
      - 6 Jan 15, 4:15am -
    • The fatal pinch

      The fatal pinch

      Paul Graham explains how startups that are burning through their first round of funding often don't realise they're about to die, and need to either make more money or cut expenses:There may be nothing founders are so prone to delude themselves abou…
      - 14 Dec 14, 12:25pm -
    • The psychology of a VC, and how to take advantage of it

      The psychology of a VC, and how to take advantage of it

      Great article by Roberto Bonanzinga looking at investment difficulties from the point of view of how the VC decision processes happen:The decision struggle has two different dimensions: first, the venture capitalist needs to convince himself/herself…
      - 9 Dec 14, 3:15pm -
    • Early stage capital in EU vs US

      Early stage capital in EU vs US

      I've covered this topic before, obviously, but this seemed like an excellent article, worth linking to.In short, things haven't changed much since I posted those articles 4 years ago: European VCs are still slow to respond, slow to make decisions, r…
      - 6 Dec 14, 10:15am -
    • I don't know

      I don't know

      Mark Suster:She reminded us that in the world we live in we are often expected to be experts. We are expected to know everything and many people rush to conclusions given a limited set of information.(...)Learning comes from starting with a point-…
      - 6 Oct 14, 5:15am -
    Emergency Comeback
    Shorts Fix
    Dosha Pops
    In The Lights PR


    • Hello world!
      Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
      - 14 May 15, 6:21pm -
    Lux Smiles Dentistry

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