An EIR on Campus
Last weekend, I went back to Wesleyan, my alma mater, to talk to undergrads interested in startups about internships in New York this summer. These meetings were part of a new initiative from Digital Wesleyan, a group represented by Jim Friedlich, Jake Levine and myself, to fund 10-week internships for Wes undergrads at startups. We’ve noticed a supply-demand paradox that would benefit from an...
Backwards TVs, Harmonized Commutes
My roommates and I are reorganizing some stuff in our apartment as some people are moving out. While we moved our TV yesterday, the mass of cords and boxes required to make it all work struck me as absurd. Here’s a picture: That’s the pre-req for watching Game of Thrones and maybe checking email at home. Here’s what it takes to do the same at Konditori, our local coffee shop just...
Today I gave a class about bitly data at Social Media Week called ‘What’s in a Click?’
Un-Cramping The Kitchen
When you say two heads are better than one and collaboration is key, you scratch the surface of why a team can be more adept than a single person at hashing out an idea and executing a project. But when too many of those key collaborators evolve into cooks in a cramped and musty kitchen, brainstorming becomes a tooth and nail death match for which ingredients in which proportions should be...
technicolor dream quilt
On Friday, I had coffee with a guy who’s interested in a sales position at bitly. We talked for awhile mostly about what bitly was and what it meant to the web. Just before he left, David pulled this picture up on an ipad and said he hoped bitly became something similar. It stuck with me and I started thinking how often people ask what bitly will end up being… …a profitable...
Let's Talk Whenever
At bitly, we’ve always stressed a Let’s Talk Whenever policy with everyone. We also have weekly meetings to talk about the past five days, ideas, issues, and anything inbetween. These one-on-ones are so crucial because everyone can talk freely. When else do you catch up with colleagues? When you update each other on the progress of a particular project or meeting…or during...
Earn It, Experience Not Required
One of the most common reasons I’ve heard from anyone, regardless of age, who’s interested in moving to a startup from a different field is a desire to ‘have an impact’. This could be taken as a generic, well-worn answer to the vague question: why startup instead of ‘x’...
Surviving Web to Mobile
A few days ago, Fred Wilson wrote a post discussing native mobile apps that wouldn’t exist without mobile as a platform. This got me thinking about which web first services are building effective mobile apps that will keep them user-relevant as mobile becomes the dominant platform for online consumption? The mobile concern is obvious all the way up to Facebook, which has seen web-based...
New York, it was an adult portion. It was an adult dose. So it took a couple of...– Levon Helm, The Last Waltz, RIP
A Sense of Urgency
A common metaphor that’s often used to describe starting your own company is that of building an airplane and learning to fly it while its falling from the sky. The downside risk of starting a company from nothing stacks all odds against you, requiring nimble intelligence, fearless determination, and the vision to see something where others don’t. Its a gamble with...
The Dead were pioneers in nontraditional marketing…focused on first...– Barry Barnes, Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Grateful Dead
I think people spend a lot of time thinking about ideas. I spend far too much time thinking about thinking about ideas. What is the structure and emotion of the mindset that comes up with a ‘great idea’? You’re supposed to have blank canvas right? Where you can be uninhibited, creative, counter-intuitive? But… then you might start thinking about everything and so not one...
Vanity vs. Voyeurism
Last week at Betaworks, Britta Schell, the Director of Digital Insights at MTV, gave a talk about how millenials - those comprising the 13-29 age group - are converging their offline and online selves. The most interesting finding was how these individuals have begun to curate their facebook profiles to reflect not their real-life personas but their own ideal self-images. Come to life in pictures,...
Identity: Alone in the Car
I’ve read a ton of posts over the past month about identity and how online experience influences identity. Some of my favorites are: Everybody Wants To Be Special Here and Identity Online. Maybe I’m just delayed in my thought process around identity or maybe it took me re-reading a favorite section of Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men to begin to represent online...
We’ve all been reading that the current tech period we’re in is more stable and less bubbly because the multiples are more concrete. Big companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga have real, sustainable revenues to go along with their user growth and hype. Its a good sign for the longevity of the industry that along with disruptive products and innovative ideas, there is a focus on...
On Innovative Education
A few weeks ago, I was talking to one of my best friends Newman about the U.S. education system. I’d recently watched Peter Thiel, Michael Roth and others debated the merits and shortcomings of higher education on PBS and we were typing over gchat about whether our system was broken, worth it, and what needed to be done. At one point Newman said something really poignant that at first I...
My first panel at the Fashion 140 Conference at Lincoln Center on May 4th. I spoke along with Iced Media’s Leslie Hall, KMart’s Robin Creen, Diesel’s Rebecca Goodman, and Twitter’s Hong Sun about Return on Investment in Social Media.
you can create shareholder value as ‘exhaust’ by focusing on an...– Fred Wilson, AVC.com
See It, Save It: Birthright Earth
There’s no doubt that Green is trending right now, on twitter, on facebook, on google real-time search; its been bagged and tagged as cool, which on a certain level is fantastic. Such momentum doesn’t come along very often. Banksy pieces scream environmental concern, car engines run on energy efficiency, and the current Green movement has ignited its own pop culture firebrand, as...
My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But, ah, my foes,...– Edna St. Vincent Millay
Take My Wallet
I often joke with a friend of mine about when we’re going to to have all of our media, news, and email accessible in our heads. No battery or other hardware required. Its not yet clear how far we are from a Minority Report level of instant, internal access to everything on our desktops and in our pockets. But I for one am dreaming of more consolidation of my various multimedia and online...
Living Small: Job Search 2010 part II
Your job search is a job in itself - this phrase is often offered as a passing nugget of advice from someone who doesn’t have or want to give the time to really help you out. Its a phrase that isn’t all that helpful and isn’t entirely true. The focus required during a job search is certainly on par with a full-time job, but during job search you are immersed in a much more...
Can't Knock The Hustle: Job Search 2010
Tomorrow it will have been 1 year and 1 month since I moved to New York looking for my first full-time job since graduating in 2009. It was a long, long process during which I questioned my reasons for moving, my desire to be in New York, and whether or not I could hack it at all. Ultimately, it has worked out and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on job search. So take it as you will,...