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  • Unicorn pressures and startup failures

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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 -
  • Startup anti-pattern: ignorance

    Startup anti-pattern: ignorance

    Listening to a startup pitch a few weeks ago I had to exercise effort not to shake my head in disbelief. The presenters were describing the products and business model of an established company I was very familiar with and … Continue reading →
    - 4 Mar 13, 2:00pm -

Instigator Blog

  • 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 -
  • The Product Manager’s Portfolio

    The Product Manager’s Portfolio

    It’s not always easy for a product manager to explain her precise role in building product. Every company defines product managers differently, and a product manager’s output is sometimes difficult to see or quantify. Product managers tend to use…
    - 9 Jun 16, 10:46am -

SBA: Small Business Cents

  • Should You Consider B2B Franchise Opportunities?
    Have you ever thought about starting a B2B franchise?B2B, short for business-to-business, is a sector of franchising that’s a bit under the radar. That’s because these franchises are not...
    - 3 days ago, 21 Feb 18, 2:29pm -
  • 7 Simple Steps for Mastering Social Media
    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more — social media can be pretty overwhelming at times. But hold on!Success in social...
    - 9 days ago, 15 Feb 18, 12:34pm -
  • Small businesses are the heart of our communities
    February 14 celebrates a day of love and commitment. It’s not only Valentine’s Day – it marks the beginning of my second year leading the SBA. And I feel more committed than ever to doing what I...
    - 10 days ago, 14 Feb 18, 10:12am -
  • Build Your Small Business Credit: 4 Key Differences That Matter
    As individuals we spend years establishing, managing and protecting our good personal credit ratings. With strong personal credit, access to favorable interest rates and terms when applying for...
    - 15 days ago, 9 Feb 18, 1:24pm -
  • 5 Reasons to Hire Your Child
    Nepotism—the practice of using power or influence to favor relatives—has a poor connotation. However, when it comes to your business, it may just be a great idea,...
    - 18 days ago, 6 Feb 18, 12:44pm -
  • African American History Month
    Entrepreneurship is part of African Americans’ history… and future   Damon Hopson wasn’t sure his professional cleaning company, Consultant Services, Inc., could remain in...
    - 19 days ago, 5 Feb 18, 11:35am -
  • How to Get the Most From Cable TV Advertising
    There are dozens of ways your small business can advertise—but for many consumers, television still holds the most sway. In fact, a recent...
    - 24 days ago, 31 Jan 18, 3:49pm -
  • How to Recover from Business Setbacks
    February 11 is "Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day." What better time for entrepreneurs to come to terms with the fact that setbacks happen—and that wallowing in them...
    - 24 days ago, 31 Jan 18, 12:22pm -
  • SBA Presents Six-Part Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Navigate the HUBZone Program
    The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to government...
    - 30 days ago, 25 Jan 18, 5:56pm -
  • What are business plan events?
    What do you think of when you hear the phrase “business plan?” Does that bring to mind a formal document that starts with a summary and includes modules describing...
    - 32 days ago, 23 Jan 18, 5:44pm -



    • 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 -
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.


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

    About PopMuse

    A curated aggregation of musings from across the land and of different subject matters for the scanoholics.