Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Winner: Best Geek Holiday Card

The folks at Meetro win. I love their style:


Happy Holidays!

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Learning: Data, Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom



I liked this, from Nivi, summarizing some of the points in the book Re-Creating the Corporation:
Learning is the acquisition of data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

And what are those things?


  • Data consists of symbols that represent objects, events, and their properties. For example, the speedometer in a car presents data.

  • Information is data that has been made useful. Information answers who, what, where, when, and how many questions. Information is helpful in deciding what to do, not how to do it. For example, the information that you are driving at 120 mph will help you decide whether to speed up or slow down. But information won’t tell you how to do it.

  • Knowledge consists of instructions and know-how. Knowledge answers how questions. For example, your driving knowledge tells you how to control the car’s speed.

  • Understanding consists of explanations. Understanding answers why questions. For example, you understand why you are in the car in the first place: because you are driving your kids to get ice cream.

  • Wisdom is the ability to perceive outcomes and determine their value. It is useful for deciding what should be done. For example, the wise may decide that driving recklessly may lead their children to do the same in the future.




Enjoy!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

VMware Fusion Beta - Virtualization for Mac OS X

Looks like VMware Fusion Beta is now Open.

The "Fusion" codename is used to describe the project that is, basically, putting VMware Workstation type capabilities onto the Mac OS X operating system. From their web site:
The new VMware desktop product for the Mac, codenamed Fusion, allows Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. It is built on VMware's rock-solid and advanced desktop virtualization platform that is used by over four million users today.

With Fusion, you can run traditional PC applications on your Mac: if you need to run PC applications, you can now do so by leveraging the power of virtual machine technology.

Here's the message I received with the announcement:
We are excited to announce that the Fusion beta program is now live. Fusion is the codename for a new VMware desktop product for Mac that will enable Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. It is built on VMware's robust and advanced desktop virtualization platform that is used by over four million users today.

You can find detailed information about this new VMware product, answers to frequently asked questions, links to download the product, release notes, etc. at: www.vmware.com/fusionbeta.

We ask that you give us candid feedback on the software and documentation. If you encounter problems while testing this release, please submit a bug report by clicking on Service Request located in the Quick Links section at: www.vmware.com/fusionbeta.

We also have a discussion forum where you can interact with the product team and other beta users to discuss product features, post questions, exchange tips and tricks. You can access the forum by clicking on http://www.vmware.com/community/forum.jspa?forumID=371.

With Fusion you can now run any of the over 360 virtual appliances available at the Virtual Appliance Marketplace (http://vam.vmware.com) on your Mac. Virtual appliances are pre-built and pre-configured applications bundled with an operating system so they can run on any hardware or operating system.

Best regards,

The VMware Fusion Team

Happy Holidays!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Surgery Is Controlled Trauma


The title of this post is a quote from this very enjoyable and easy to read book, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside, written by Katrina Firlik. I've already loaned the book to my daughter, so I can't go into too much detail in this review.

Suffice it to say that Katrina is a neurosurgeon, which is a rather exclusive profession. Furthermore, she's a female neurosurgeon, which makes her even more rare. And, an excellent writer. Yikes. She is a talented one!

I'm not a doctor.

I don't even play one on TV.

Closest I ever came was getting my Wilderness EMT certificate.

I'm not a writer.

I don't even play one in the blogosphere.

Closest I ever came was, well, writing this blog!

Katrina does a nice job introducing the life of a neurosurgeon and mixing in patient stories, medical school stories, politics of the job, and tools of the trade.

OK, but this is a blog about Venture Capital, right? So why the review of a surgeon's book?

First, I like all things medical. Second, the neurosurgeon profession appears to be a very exclusive one, much like that of a VC. And, it turns out that Katrina is married to Andrew Firlik who just so happens to be a Venture Capitalist with Foundation Medical Partners. There. I tied it all together for you.

Just go read the book.

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Questions To Ask Before Marriage

Well, just moments after I announce my engagement, I stumble upon the following New York Times article, Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying.

Here they are:

  1. Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

  2. Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

  3. Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

  4. Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

  5. Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

  6. Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

  7. Will there be a television in the bedroom?

  8. Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

  9. Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

  10. Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

  11. Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

  12. What does my family do that annoys you?

  13. Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

  14. If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

  15. Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?


The good news. Amy and I have covered most of these already.

Heck, even if you're married, these are good discussion points to review at your anniversary with your spouse.

In my opinion, the key ones here are: communication, money management, and a similar moral compass.

Oh, and did I mention Communication?

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Web Site Rankings Galore



There are a plethora of great sites for gathering Internet market data and site usage trends these days. But, who to trust? Who's got the best data? Who is best at tracking the rise of a young Internet startup company?

Unfortunately, there is no one right answer. And, in fact, much of the time I find that I cannot believe or triangulate on the data that I do find from the available services. However, you gotta have some data, so I find that I have to use all of the following services in order to form a reasonably clear picture of the usage of Internet sites.

So, what's out there?

Over the next couple of weeks (gotta have something to do over the holidays!), I'll dig a bit into each of the following sites. In the mean-time, please do get some great background information from Fred and Om. Fred Wilson asks Whose Numbers Are Right? Om Malik states that Alexa can be injurious to your wealth. The services we will look at include:

Stay tuned!

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I No Longer Have A Girlfriend

This post is decidedly personal. More Blog Transparency for you.


I no longer have a girlfriend.


On Tuesday (December 19, 2006), I popped the question to Amy, my ex-girlfriend.


Those famous four words.



She said yes.


So, I now have a fiancée!


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Who’s On First

One of the things you may not know about me: I was a huge Abbott and Costello fan when I was growing up. The Internet has brought back many of those early memories, and even mashed them up a bit.

Here's a quick YouTube collection of Who's On First for your enjoyment this holiday season.

The Original (Abbott & Costello):







Who's On Force (Yoda & Jar Jar):







Animated (Christopher Walken & Morgan Freeman):







Hu's On First (George W & Condoleeza Rice):







A Nice Impression (this is harder than it looks, and these guys did a nice job):







Finally, Jews On First (In Living Color, Lou Farrakhan & Al Sharpton):







Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This Is Cool: 9/11 Commission Report as a Comic Book


Check out "The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation".

It's the "9/11 Commission Report" repurposed into a hardbound comic book format. Courtesy of Cool Tools:
This is a comic book version of the 911 Commission Report. No joke. It takes the narrative of the official National Commission Report and transforms it into a page-turning thriller. It's a very fast read. Their visual timeline of the four hijacked flights is scarily clarifying. The artists do a marvelous job of weaving the many threads that lead up to the event of 911. In fact before reading this I had not appreciated how interconnected the many previous encounters with the jihad network were. This graphic book also reveals in simple pictures how seriously the government bungled many early clues, how sadly it bungled its real-time response to the events and how it continues to bungle the complexity of this new world. The comic does all this while remaining faithful to the the Commission's text, yet underscoring its clarity by telling the story in pictures. It's a showcase for the power of the cartoon media. Highly recommended.

Not too late for that one last gift for someone special... They've been good... right?

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Charles River Ventures Lifestyle

Exactly 7 weeks ago, I wrote about the newly launched Charles River Ventures "formalized" seed program known as QuickStart. In the article, CRV QuickStart: It's All About The Dealflow, I concluded with:
I predict a very busy holiday season for Tai, Zachary, and Wu!

Doh!

Looks like I was right about that. Check out Susan Wu's calendar (posted today):


Also, be sure to take a look at Susan's most excellent blog on Venture Capital.

I'm glad to hear that I was right about the need for such a formalized seed program. And, as predicted, it looks like the CRV QuickStart team is getting increased access to Dealflow, a most excellent by-product of the program.

It would be great if the QuickStart folks shared some of the stats with us... once they get through the "very busy holiday season"! Many congratulations.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

VMware User Group & The Next VMworld

I attended the second VMware User Group meeting here in the Bay Area last week.

The VMware User Group meets quarterly with monthly "Chalk Talk" sessions that include a much smaller (about 20) and more interactive audience. Check out the Forums as well.

Mehrdad Amir, Sr. Systems engineer for VMware, kicked things off with a quick overview of the VMware DRS, VMware HA, and VMware Lab Manager products:

  • This stuff, when combined with VMotion, is IT candy. So sweet.

  • Certainly makes me wonder why the vast majority of organizations are still running their data center on non-virtualized infrastructures.

  • So, the good news here is that this will all change in the next 5 years, as the underlying virtualization infrastructure becomes commoditized, and even starts coming "in the box".

  • I especially appreciated hearing about the success of the VMware Lab Manager product. I was/am an advisor and an investor in Akimbi, the company that was acquired by VMware, and it is their Slingshot application that is now branded as VMware Lab Manager.

  • Finally, the VMware Consolidated Backup product was discussed, which allows for server-less backups to be done, directly within the SAN, and without the need for SAN-based snapshots. Very cool.


It was also announced that the next VMworld conference will be in September 2007 and will be held somewhere in San Francisco, likely at the Moscone Center.

Faan DeSwardt, Director of Enterprise Architecture for Wyse Technology, talked about their success with server consolidation using these VMware products:

  • Getting a 15:1 ratio: 15 physical servers consolidate down to 1 physical server

  • The server reduction allowed for fewer network switches, reduced cooling, fewer UPS, reduced power consumption

  • Also achieved greater reliability, availability, and load balancing using VMotion

  • Reduced complexity achieved by using just 3 standard VM images instead of 30+ Ghost images, which greatly reduced the amount of time it takes to keep these reference builds up-to-date with Microsoft security patches

  • Estimated a direct $265K reduction in CAPEX and $20K/year saving in OPEX


Frank Arroyo, Account Services Account Manager for PG&E, presented an overview of the PG&E Virtualization Incentive Program:

  • Basically, if you can show a reduction in servers through the use of virtualization technologies, PG&E will give you a one-time CASH incentive to put the virtualization in-place within your data center

  • You will need to decommission the old servers (this is about power reduction, after all)

  • Example cited: One customer consolidated 92 server down to 8 and received a $22,586 check as their incentive

  • Based on typical power use of servers, incentives can range from $150 to $300 per server removed through a virtualization project. Incentives are capped at 50% of the total project cost, or $4.0M, whichever is less.

  • Not really appropriate for startups, as the incentives only work if you are removing servers.

  • This is unfortunate, as startups should receive an incentive to put a virtualized infrastructure in-place before they get big! Is VMware (or their competitors) listening?


I hope to see you all at the next VMware User Group meeting!

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Photo Sharing Sites Go Unlimited

Say "Cheese"!

I've been watching the digital media sharing market pretty closely of late. In today's post, we look at a few photo sharing sites. I'm currently building a business plan about serving the user base of the major photo sharing sites. There, I've said it! And, hence, the reason for fewer and fewer posts to this blog.

What has been catching my eye is the plethora of photo sharing sites that are now starting to offer free (or nearly free) photo storage, sharing, and serving. Even for your highest-resolution pictures. Digital photography has taken the world by storm, and digital video is right behind it. These markets are growing quickly.


The Flickr Blog recently announced the new unlimited uploads being offered to Flickr Pro customers (Pro accounts cost a mere $24.95/year):
And it's even better to give the gift of Flickr since now your recipients will get unlimited uploads — the two gigabyte monthly limit is no more (yep, pro users have no limits on how many photos they can upload)! At the same time, we've upped the limit for free account members as well, from 20MB per month up to 100MB (yep, five times more)!

Flickr is a great site for photographers. I gladly pay the $25/year to subscribe. They are my preferred photo sharing site right now.


Yahoo! Photos is a 100% FREE service that allows you to upload an unlimited number of photos to the site. There are some constraints, like that you can only have 300 photos in a single "album", and the do ask you to use their photo printing service once in a while. But, they don't force you to do so.

Note that Yahoo! also owns Flickr. So, if you're looking for FREE or very cheap photo sharing, you should be looking to Yahoo!


The Kodak EasyShare Gallery is also a FREE photo sharing site that allows for unlimited, high-resolutionn photo storage. There is one catch, however. Unlike Yahoo! Photos, Kodak EasyShare Gallery does require you to use their photo printing service, else they will start deleting your precious memories. Not a big deal, really. They just ask that you make a purchase once every 12 months. Seems reasonable. And, a single 4x6 photo is currently just $0.15, so it's not going to break the bank to order a print each year. Basically FREE.

Are there other services that are FREE, or less than $36/year, which allow you to store an unlimited number of photos (or videos!) in their full and original high-resolution format?

Please add to the comments!

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

More VC Support for User Reviews 2.0


Back in August, I wrote an article (Entrepreneurs Need To Drink...) about how painful and time consuming it was to find a coffee maker that matched my needs. I ended that article with this note:
Venture Capital Note: The process of finding and reading user-generated product reviews is really painful and time consuming. Nobody has found a way to build a great social networking site around reviews which attract, rate, build a reviewer’s reputation, and rewards them for their contributions. Or, a site that aggregates the reviews of the hundreds of shopping sites with proprietary review engines.

I noticed today that Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital has come to the same conclusion, with examples around planning travel or finding the right Italian restaurant that is kid-appropriate:
For example, I'm planning a vacation in March. This morning I spent a bunch of time going through TripAdvisor. But I'm not sure that the people on the site have the same requirements as I do. Does John Doe want to spend as much or as little as I'm prepared to spend. Does John Doe have three young kids? etc etc. So when they say a resort is "wonderful" there isn't any context for me.

Bijan's article, User Reviews 2.0, does a nice job expanding on my points. We feel each other's pain.

So, where's that next great review site?

The company that can figure out how to do this right and make it 10x easier than it is today will have enormous opportunities for revenue generation and value creation. They will have my business and the business of millions of other consumers.

Also, be sure to read BijanBlog. High quality and entertaining posts put it in the list of feeds that I read daily. I like that he talks about his kids (who are off-the-charts cute) on his blog.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Are You The Pack Leader?


If you have a dog in your house, or if you have friends or family members that have dogs, or if you come across dogs in your work, then you should know about Cesar Millan.

Cesar is a true entrepreneur.

He was born and raised in Mexico, came to America and bootstrapped his own business for training and rehabilitating dogs in Los Angeles at his Dog Psychology Center. His clientele grew to include celebrities with troubled canines (or was it really troubled celebrities?), and he eventually caught the attention of the folks in TV (we are talking about Hollywood, after all, very near the place that I grew up!).

The National Geographic Channel picked him up in 2004 and ran a series of Cesar doing what he does best. Cesar rehabilitates dogs and trains people. He is The Dog Whisperer.

I only learned about the show a couple months ago. And... The show is great!

I've had dogs in my home for most of my life. I learned a ton of what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong by watching the show. You should watch it too! Here's the blog.

Malcolm Gladwell, of Tipping Point and Blink fame, wrote a great piece for New Yorker magazine on Cesar titled What the Dog Saw. Then followed up with this blog article, which got a lot of great discussion.

The New York Times follows up with an Op-Ed piece written by Mark Derr. Apparently, Mr. Derr is not a fan of Cesar's approach of being the Pack Leader (being "calm and assertive" with your pet; treating it as a dog expects to be treated and not like it is a human baby) and closes with the following point:
Veterinary behaviorists, having found that many aggressive dogs suffer from low levels of serotonin, have had success in treating such dogs with fluoxetine (the drug better known as Prozac).

Yeah. Drugs will solve the problem! Give me a break. I don't think Mr. Derr has actually watched the show. I'm amazed that the New York Times even ran this. Well, if you read the bio for Mr. Derr, you see that he is pushing a book and chooses to do it by creating conflict-generated buzz. Thanks, but I'll pass on the book, Mr. Derr.

However, if you want to check out Cesar's stuff on Amazon, try:


Being the Pack Leader of your startup is a whole different matter. Do not try these techniques on your software developers.

Happy Holidays!

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Body Worlds 2

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Boston and had the good fortune of attending the Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science. I would have to say that it was perhaps the most fascinating science museum exhibit that I have ever enjoyed. Highly recommended. If it comes to your town - go see it!

From the Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies Press Release: "BODY WORLDS 2 features more than 200 real human body specimens, including 20 whole body specimens, which effectively demonstrate the relationship between healthy lifestyles and healthy bodies. Guests can compare smokers’ and non-smokers’ lungs as well as healthy and diseased hearts. Close-up studies of health ailments, depicted in the exhibition, provide viewers an opportunity to reevaluate their lifestyles and consider more healthful habits."

The plastination process allows for these actual human body donations to be preserved in a way that is simply magical.

The exhibit combines the best of Art, Science, and Learning.

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Kernel-based Virtual Machine hits Linux


Many congratulations to my good friend Moshe Bar and his team over at (stealth-mode startup) Qumranet. Techworld reports that the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) project has been accepted into the 2.6.20 version of the Linux kernel distribution.

KVM is an Open Source kernel driver that basically allows a Linux kernel to host virtual machines, as plain old Linux processes, that can run Linux or Windows (or other x86-based operating systems). It runs only on hardware that support Intel's VT instruction set (which is fine) and will soon support the AMD-V instruction set as well.

This is cool for a number of reasons.

  • It's Open Source, released under the GPL.

  • It basically turns the Linux that we all know and love into a "hypervisor".

  • Linux-as-hypervisor makes sense because Linux already knows how to manage devices, memory, processes, multi-cores, etc.

  • VMware ESX is, essentially, a "hypervisor" - a small kernel, built on Linux as it turns out, that boots to load other guest operating systems in protected space. Could Linux + KVM be a credible threat to VMware ESX? Perhaps, someday. But the KVM team has a ton of work to do to get there.

  • Yet another confirmation that out-of-the-box virtualization is being completely commoditized.

  • Xen is an external hypervisor which lives outside of (below) the Linux kernel. At present, I am a bigger fan of hypervisors that live within a commercial operating system (like Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X), rather than below it (like Xen).


For more information, check out the KVM Whitepaper. It is well written and explains the differences between the Xen approach and theirs. Also check out the KVM Sourceforge Project page.

The KVM team has done a very nice job, and I really like the architectural approach, but they have a long way to go:

  • Fraser Campbell reports that KVM was "decided slow" when he tried it.

  • Currently only supports uniprocessor guest operating systems.

  • The Linux commit of the project included the following comment: "Performance currently is non-stellar due to the naive implementation of the mmu virtualization, which throws away most of the shadow page table entries every context switch." Not good. Workarounds for this included waiting for new releases of Intel and AMD processors that supported nested page tables. That would be a 3+ year wait for a new processor spin to end up in the hands of paying customers.

  • Of course, none of this matters in the enterprise if you cannot manage it... Hmm. I wonder where Qumranet will fit?


Unfortunately, the "KVM" acronym is a horrible one. It makes me, and likely every other datacenter person, think of "Keyboard Video Mouse".

Qumranet has received VC funding from Sequoia Capital and Norwest Venture Partners.

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Thursday, December 7, 2006

Adobe Contribute 4 Review

I completed my free 30-day trial of Adobe Contribute 4 in November.

I'm a blogger, not a serious web designer.

For me, as a blogger, I found Adobe Contribute to not quite be there yet. I will not be spending $149 to buy this as a blog editor (way over-priced for the blogging marketplace). I would like to see Adobe come up with a special edition which is really focused on being the best blog editor on the planet, at a very low price point. I think they would find a large and growing market for such a piece of software. Adobe Contribute can do it, but not in its present form. The blogging support felt more like an add-on to an already-existing product. I would be happy to be a beta customer for a true blogger-focused offering.

Here are the rough notes I took while kicking the tires on Adobe Contribute:

  • Crash == Lose Article!
    While writing my first large article, Adobe Contribute 4 crashed on me (I'm on a Mac), losing all of my hard work. Not nice. As a result, I've learned to save the document after every paragraph. I don't want that to happen again. I would expect a publishing tool priced at $149 to save my document while I type and not lose data during an application or operating system crash.

  • The WYSIWYG editing is both too good and not good enough.
    The editing window is designed to look like how the article will look when it is actually on the blog. As a result, you get a giant screen filled with static blog junk all around it, which limits the working area for the article itself. That's not really how writers want to write. Why can't I turn off that part of the WYSIWYG and just have a box for the article that is WYSIWYG?

  • Formatting is unnecessarily restricted.
    I can't center a paragraph, for example, so it makes it impossible to center a picture on the page. I think this is some limitation or bug with how Contribute interprets the CSS of my blog template (I use Wordpress). Still, it's pretty annoying.

  • Where's my cursor?
    At least on the Mac, I frequently cannot find my cursor, or the cursor is shown as being one space away from a character, but pressing Delete will erase the character instead of the space that was shown. Very annoying.

  • Multiple categories not supported for an article.
    I'm not sure that Contribute has full support for the MetaWebLog API. You could only specify a single category for a post. What? So, I had to edit each article in Wordpress after submitting it. Also, there's no way to enter in Trackbacks to ping. What?

  • Bullets don't look right.
    Could be another CSS interpretation problem, but my bullets have bad formatting while entering text, but appear correctly on the blog.

  • Spell-check is not performed automatically while I type.
    I have to ask for the spell-check to happen before I publish. That's just another step in the workflow that I shouldn't have to remember to do (and would often forget). Make it automatic with the squiggly red line under misspelled words, please. For $149, I completely expect this.

  • Insert Link or Image often fails with nasty error message.
    I start every article by inserting an image. After inserting the image, I would no longer be able to enter in a Link (anchor). I would receive a nasty "region" error message, implying that I was tring to edit something in the static part of the page. The workaround was to save the article and reload it.

  • Trackback support weak or completely absent.
    Trackbacks should be figured out automatically in the background, based on the links that I enter into my article. This would be a killer addition to the product for bloggers. The tool should determine the trackback address to use for each article that I link to.

  • Safari integration lacking.
    On the Mac, Contribute only support Firefox 1.5. I couldn't get the toolbar support to work on Firefox 2.0 or on Safari.

  • Problems connecting with one of my wordpress.com blogs.
    I've got a test blog on wordpress.com that is separate from this blog. Contribute could not connect to it because I use a different user-id to edit that blog. Contribute expectes the user-id to match the name of the blog, or something silly like that.

  • Wrong installation path.
    Contribute installed into "/", rather than "/Applications" folder. I think I figured out that the Contribute installer application was different enough from the typical installer applications that, strictly speaking, this was my fault. However, I think Contribute should follow installer prompts in a way that follows the norm.

  • Adding an Image by dragging?
    I was never able to add an image by dragging it directly into the article. Furthermore, I could not add an image to an article by browsing to the page and selecting it. Contribute only allowed me to add images from my local hard disk. I.e., it was not nearly as helpful as it could have been for image management.

  • Setting publish date for the blog article?
    I found no way to set or change the date of an article.

  • Publish from Microsoft Office capability is Windows only.
    Why? I've got Microsoft Office on my Mac, too...

  • Integrates with NetNewsWire!
    I was pleased to find that Contribute integrates with NetNewsWire. However, the integration was pretty simple and I didn't like the format of the articles/links that were chosen.

  • ##TITLE## with ##CONTENT## added as an entry to my RSS feed
    When i did my first post, there was a phantom entry made that ended up in my RSS feed, but not on the website itself. I have no idea why.

  • Can't insert a bitmap "bmp" image?
    Contribute does not appear to be able to handl .bmp images. That's unfortunate, and required me to convert the images manually.

  • Not a Mac Universal application at present
    That didn't bother me, since I'm on a Power Mac, but for $149, it should be Universal by this time.

  • Firefox extension did not work with FireFox 2, and crashed Firefox 1.5.

  • How do I edit raw HTML?
    I could not find any way to edit the raw HTML that was being generated. I sometimes need to do that to properly embed videos or other media.

  • Trackback URL is NOT a list of Trackback URLs that you should notify of your post!
    Apparently, their use of Trackback URL is just to specify where other should trackback to this particular article. I leave that up to the Wordpress application, so I'm not sure why they exposed that field, but neglected to expose the list of trackbacks that you'd like this article to ping.


On the plus side, I did like the auto-resizing of images.

Contribute is a nice piece of software, but I just don't see it being a match for the blogger community yet. Hopefully Adobe will take another crack at it, and fully embrae the Mac audience, which sorely needs a professional-grade blogging tool.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Big In Japan Open Sources Their Ruby On Rails Tools



The kind folks over at Big In Japan have graciously decided to Open Source the code they used to build their demo web sites. It's all Ruby on Rails code, and it's being released with a GPL license. The code trees being made available include:

Very cool. I just love the Open Source community.

I have actually been writing some code of late, and it's great to have some reference code to check out. Not sure if I'm going to go with Ruby on Rails yet, however.

And, for the record. I have no idea if this is big in Japan.


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Is My Toyota Prius Hybrid Worth It?

+


Lifehacker asks if a hybrid is worth the money. They reference an excellent article written by OmniNerd, which is worth a read by anyone considering the purchase of a hybrid vehicle.

Since I recently purchased a 2007 Toyota Prius hybrid, I thought I'd comment.

First, the OmniNerd article is very well written and researched. Many thanks to the author. The conclusion is basically that the cost of hybrids is higher than the return you will achieve through the reduction of gas consumption. I think this conclusion doesn't surprise most people, but it's great to back it up with some good math.

OmniNerd also points out that hybrid batteries will need to be replaced in 8-10 years. They did not add this cost to the total cost of ownership of a hybrid vehicle in their calculations. If they did, the hybrids would have looked even worse. However, they do note that hybrids appear to be holding their value better than a comparable non-hybrid.

For me, the cost of the vehicle is a sunk cost -- I save until I can buy a car, then pay cash. I'm a delayed gratification kind of guy. As such, the OmniNerd calculations of the loan payments versus a paid-off 1999 Honda don't really factor into my mind. For those that are financing, the monthly payments certainly would.

For me, I feel like I have an extra $25 in my wallet every time that I visit the pump now. I like that feeling. I'm 6-weeks into ownership of the Prius with 2,400 miles on the beast already. Overall mileage for me is currently 47.7 MPG. Your mileage may vary.

OmniNerd neglects to mention the lower emissions as a value of the hybrids -- one that is harder to put a price on. The stats on the windshield showed the Prius to have one-fifth to one-tenth fewer emissions than non-hybrids. I like that feeling, too. Whenever I sit at a 3-minute stop light with the engine completely off and think about the 50 other cars around me chugging gas and spewing emissions while we wait our turn, then multiply that number times the hundreds of thousands of red lights across the world at that very moment, it certainly makes me think.

Who has done that math?

It's gotta add up.

Oh, and OmniNerd has no way to calculate the value I receive by using the carpool lanes because I drive a low-emissions high-mileage vehicle. Lower stress, longer life.

So, yeah, I paid more up-front than a comparable non-hybrid car. No argument about that. But, I was happy to do so for all the other benefits.

Finally, Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive really is a masterful piece of engineering. Hybrids will become a natural part of most cars in the next 5-10 years. Battery technology will also improve in that time (I look forward to the introduction of Lithium-Ion batteries, naturally), and you will see common MPG ratings of 80+ MPG within 5 years (perhaps much sooner).

So, back to the math. If we all doubled our mileage, our oil consumption would drop in half. That's easy math. Triple it and it drops to one-third. You get the idea. Progress continues, and I welcome it. I'm happy to support the innovators.


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Google Reader: Actually Quite Good

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I've been using NetNewsWire for as long as I've been reading RSS feeds. I like it. A lot. It's a very well done piece of software. However, it has pretty much stopped any new, active, or interesting development since Ranchero Software (the makers of NetNewsWire) was acquired by NewsGator.

Well, that's not entirely fair. There is an Alpha version of the 3.0 release available that I have been using for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, it doesn't really have anything new. I was looking forward to the expanded view, but the performance was so poor that I quickly turned that option off.

The other problem I was having with NetNewsWire is that the overall performance and memory consumption had greatly increased. You see, I had been using NetNewsWire as the search engine to look through my 311 feeds for articles that I was interested in. As such, I never deleted an article from the cache. I always had about 10,000 articles that were unread and tens of thousands of articles that had been read. I don't think NetNewsWire really could scale to the sheer number of articles effectively, without consuming memory and making my laptop swap.

I looked at Google Reader when it was first announced, but it was complete junk.

Google updated it, so I decided to give it another try.

Congrats to the Google Reader team. It's actually quite good! It just may stick for me.

I particularly like the "Expanded View" and quickly stepping through articles with the "j" keyboard shortcut.

Now, if I could only get a couple more features...

  • The ability to have "smart tags" that search through articles and the articles that match the search criteria end up in the "tags" folder automatically. I use this to automatically spot the companies that I care about that are hits in my collection of RSS feeds.

  • The ability to search through all the articles in all of my RSS feeds, going back to the beginning of the feed. Google is a search company, right? Why isn't there a "search" field on the Google Reader page?


I'm sure I'll find other features that I'd like once I spend more time in Google Reader. I'll keep you posted.


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Gizmondo & Ferrari Destroyer Does (Little) Time


I previously covered the excellent Wired story about Bo Stefan Eriksson and the crazy happenings over at Gizmondo. The court results are in. Stefan is doing 3.5 years for embezzlement and drunk driving. Seems pretty lenient, if you ask me. You would think the DUI alone would result in more jail time - it certainly would if it happened in his home country of Sweden. Oh yeah. He was fined $5,000. Deputy District Attorney Tamara Hall says that "justice has prevailed".

Josh Goldman at CrunchGear comments:
An LA court sentenced him to 3 1/2 years in jail after entering a guilty plea to charges of embezzlement and drunk driving, which was sparked by his spectacular crash of a Ferrari Enzo into a telephone pole. His multi-million dollar home was seized as well, and he’ll be getting a swift boot out of the country after his time is served.

The BBC article is here. And, Emma Boyes at GameSpot UK sums it up nicely as well.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

VC is Local… And Global… And Local


I love the Venture Capital model that Draper Fisher Jurvetson has put in place for building a very distributed partnership that can act locally while being completely global. As a result, they get some serious cross-pollination effects that give their firm a competitive advantage.

This is keiretsu for the new millenium.

VC firms that cannot figure out how to effectively embrace the global aspects of the technology markets will not be able to compete.

Matt McCall of DFJ Portage Venture Parnters wrote a great article on this topic:
We have firms using Russian & Estonian programmers, selling product to Asia and competing with European competitors. New technology models in mobile are popping up in Asia & Europe years before the US and next generation silicon is emerging from China before our Valley brethren can get out of the starting blocks. Interestingly enough, both of the CEO’s above had heard of FeedBurner, located in Chicago, and had several RSS efforts they wanted to potentially work with them on.

Seeing all of these firms interacting and talking is a big rush for me. It reminds me that our world is much more than simply building the best Midwest technology firms but rather about building the best global technology firms. The spoils accrue to the #1 or #2 firms and the rest get table scraps. Without this global perspective, it becomes very difficult to understand this global market.

Major agreement.

Hats off to DFJ for thinking out of the box / out of the US, and for putting a VC firm structure in place that supports the "think globally, invest locally" philosophy.


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Wireless Electricity: Now That’s A Market


Some time ago, I wrote about the obvious need for wireless electricity -- even if it's as simple as the power I use to recharge my devices. I say "obvious", because you don't have to be a genius to know that wires hold us captive. Removing wires gives us freedom and mobility. Freedom and mobility are good. Duh. Trickle-charging my devices while I roam would go a long way to extending the life of my battery, methinks.

Anna Salleh for ABC Science Online has the story:
Assistant Professor Marin Soljacic, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present his team's work at the American Institute of Physics forum in San Francisco this week. [...]

Prof Soljacic says he has found a way of transmitting energy so that only the devices that it is recharging will pick it up, so it will not affect humans.

Instead of using traditional radiation, he wants to use the part of the electromagnetic field that is 'non-radiative'.

He says devices can be tuned to the frequency of this field and thus act as a sink for all the energy the transmitter gives out.

Prof Soljacic says this would prevent energy radiating out to areas it does not need to go to, providing an efficient and safe method of wireless energy transfer.

"The team calculates that an object the size of a laptop could be recharged within a few metres of the power source," he says. "Placing one source in each room could provide coverage throughout your home."

Prof Soljacic also thinks the technology could be used to power freely roaming robots in a factory.

Yeah, baby.

I'll let somebody else test that first. In the mean time, where'd I put that extension cord? Tesla must be so proud.


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STIRR Founder Mixer 1.8


I attended the STIRR Founder Mixer 1.8 tonight in Palo Alto. Charles River Ventures sponsored the event and introduced their QuickStart program to the packed house. Then, the four invited companies got to present a 60-second elevator pitch about their business, and answer a question or two from the host. All the presenters did an excellent job.

For my part, I was attending as an "Advisor Capitalist" -- someone who invests in an early stage company only if he/she feels that they can actually add value to the company by working with the founders directly. That value can come in the form of fund raising assistance, business planning, technology review, architectural considerations, partnering strategy, pricing analysis, competition, corporate structuring, or organizational plan/issues.

My reactions on the presenting companies below...


Frucall allows you to call 1-888-DO-FRUCALL on your mobile phone while you are shopping to find out the best online price for an item. You enter the barcode number of the item of interest, listen to the response, choose to buy from Frucall immediately, get product information verbally, or bookmark the item for later review from your PC. I see where they are going, but I don't think that consumers want to buy items from their mobile phone for mail-order delivery while in a retail store shopping for an instant gratification purchase. Perhaps that's just me. I tried the service with the bar code from my iLife '06 package, but couldn't get a match. Also, it's hard for people to know which numbers constitute the whole bar code. And, the ad at the beginning was pretty long. This might be easier with an SMS message of the bar code...


Kongregate is a casual games site that allows you to play (Flash-only?) games online for bragging rights. I love the market. Couldn't try the service, as it is not open for use quite yet. They describe themselves as "online hub for players and game developers to meet up, play games, and operate together as a community". I also like the fact that "Kongregate shares microtransaction and advertising revenue with contributing developers, who retain the full rights to their games." Well done. The challenge, of course, is to build the player and developer user base concurrently.


Krugle is the place you go to find code and find answers. Krugle is a well-funded startup with funding from folks like Emergence Capital Partners, Omidyar Networks, First Round Capital,
and Rustic Canyon Partners. Krugle also has a seasoned CEO on board in Steve Larsen. I'm a big fan of Krugle. I wrote CVS and contributed it to the Open Source community back in 1989, so I love any tool that helps developers build great software more efficiently. Krugle does that.


What Expedia is for Hotels, Liftopia is for Ski Resorts. OK. Full disclosure. I did live in Colorado for 16 years and I am a snow boarder. But, that's not why I like Liftopia. I think these guys are onto an under-served market. Their CEO really seems to "get it". Their site is nicely done. Unfortunately, they don't have too many resorts on board yet, but some good, hard business development work will get them there. I expect to see some good things from these guys.

All in all, a very enjoyable STIRR event. Just a bit too loud.


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Microsoft Zune in One Word: Yawn

'Nuff said.


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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Zimbra Collaboration Suite 4.0


Previously, I've talked about how my Nokia E61 smartphone does not seem to work correctly with the IMAP IDLE support offered by my Dreamhost email server. I contacted Dreamhost support about this, and they tell me that it's not their fault. It must be a bug in the Nokia E61 IMAP client.

The problem is that the Nokia E61 Email client, when connected to my Dreamhost email server via IMAP, refuses to download new email automatically. I have to specifically ask it to do so. Having grown tired of that, I decided to give Zimbra a try.

The problem with Zimbra is that if you are a Sole Proprietor and only need a single mailbox for your business, trying out Zimbra can be a pretty costly experiment. Lots of the Hosting Partners that support Zimbra charge big setup fees and large monthly fees for Zimbra Mobile support, which I needed for my Nokia E61 to have full access via the Nokia Mail for Exchange (ActiveSync) client.

Having found no love from the Hosting Partners in the US, I moved on to the UK. Simply Mail Solutions offered the full Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 4.0 Network Profession Edition with support for Zimbra Mobile and iSync synchronization for my Mac iCal and Address Book contacts. They offer this with $0 setup fee, the ability to purchase just one mailbox, and for the low monthly price of under $8 (US). Competitors in the US were charging setup fees more like $99 and monthly fees of over $20. Simply Mail Solutions won the business.

What was even better was that their customer support was excellent. Keith over at Simply Mail Solutions set up my account and took very good care of me.

If you are looking for Zimbra mailbox support, check these guys out. Tell them I sent you.

I will return later with my reactions to the Zimbra product.


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I Hate Spam: Mac OS X Edition



I Hate Spam.

I get lots of SPAM email -- about 75 SPAM email messages per day.

As a result, I need a good SPAM filter.

In this edition of the I Hate Spam series, I wanted to introduce you to the best darn email SPAM filter that I have found for the Mac OS X operating system. SpamSieve.

I've tried both SpamAssassin and DSPAM on my Dreamhost email server. They continue to let SPAM messages through, no matter what I do to "train" and configure them. I have even gone so far as to run my email through SpamAssassin first, then DSPAM second and only deliver it to my inbox if neither believes the message is SPAM. Even doubled up, SPAM continues to get through. More on this in a separate article.

However, I have found a great tool that runs on my Mac OS X laptop and does an excellent job at filing away the SPAM. Not perfect, but pretty darn close, and much better than the combination of SpamAssassin and DSPAM described above.

Don't even bother using the built-in "Junk" folder that Apple includes with Mail.app. It, too, is Junk. Instead, get SpamSieve. It's cheap, well integrated into Mail.app, and it just works.


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Saturday, November 11, 2006

VMworld 2006: It’s A Wrap


Last week's VMworld 2006 Conference is over, and it was a record-breaking event for VMware. With an estimated 7,000 attendees, the event continues to grow each year. There is clearly lots of interest in Virtual Machine technologies.

Manek Dubash of Techworld does a nice write-up of the event. Looks like VMware Workstation 6 will continue to be the tool-of-choice for dev/test use, with the following expected additions:

  • Record/replay - which allows you to record entire the runtime state of the VM as it changes, and then play it back for debugging purposes

  • Support for Vista as host and guest, and for Solaris 10 as a guest

  • Virtual battery for laptops that shows battery life

  • Easy virtual disk mounting for Windows so you can mount a VM disk file as a drive

  • New virtual hardware to include USB2 and a 64-bit sound driver

  • Max RAM moves from 4GB to 8GB

  • Improved and more flexible shared folders

  • Cross-platform drag and drop and copy/paste operations

  • Improved inter-operability with remote control software such as VNC

  • Support for multiple displays

  • Experimental support for quad-core machines and more virtual PCI slots


The killer feature here is the Record/Replay capability. Nice.

ACE 2.0 features were also divulged:
The product, which was demonstrated in alpha at VMworld this week, allows administrators to distribute pre-packaged virtual machines to users in a secure manner. This means, for instance, that contractors can be allowed to attach to the enterprise network using their own laptops but only via the ACE VM.

ACE (the Assured Computing Environment) is great because it gives IT administrators security and control over the client environment. It also puts VMware into a space owned by Citrix -- and it's not a small space. Expect other startups to go after similar opportunities, like Moka5. There is absolutely big money to be made here, as IT environments continue to pendulum swing of distributed vs centralized administration and the need to reduce the amount of human time consumed by client administration and maintenance. Virtual client machines allow for distributed clients that are managed and secured centrally.

VMware also announced the Virtual Appliance Marketplace. Virtual Appliances are a great way for companies to distribute their solutions in a pre-built, pre-configured, pre-tested, pre-certified environment. Also a nice way to package try-before-you-buy packages of solutions. After all, who really wants to install 10 different open source applications just to be able to test out your particular solution? Instead, just give them a nice clean VM with everything ready to go. Remove the friction. Check out rPath if you need help building one of these.

Mendel Rosenblum, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of VMware, did a keynote address. Particularly interesting to me was the mention of Nested Paging. Techworld covers it:
He also showed a demonstration of a future AMD CPU feature, Nested Paging. This technology moves the mapping of virtual machine memory page tables to physical memory into the CPU hardware. Rosenblum demonstrated an extreme example of how applications could be accelerated --AMD's Margaret Lewis said that acceleration of memory-intensive tasks such as compilation is likely to be around 43 per cent. Lewis said that this technology, first announced in August, would be available in 2008.

AMD continues to lead Intel in the hardware virtualization race (I, personally, like their SVM approach to Intel's). VMM page table mapping done by hardware would make a huge difference to overall perceived performance.

Finally, be sure to check out the Beta of VMware Lab Manager. This is the result of the Akimbi Systems acquisition that I've mentioned previously. I'm proud to have been an ever-so-tiny part of this success story. I look forward to watching the next steps of VMware's continued maturity.


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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Mary Meeker: Not So Meek


Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley presented some great data today at the Web 2.0 Summit today. Last year, her talk was the highlight of the conference, and this year's presentation does not disappoint. Take a look!

The slides: The State of the Internet, Part 3

Comments:

  • It looks like the hard work that went into the Internet Bubble is finally starting to pay off. At least, for a few of the best companies, as it should be.

  • In public markets, about 2% of technology companies have created about 100% of net wealth. This is not Pareto's 80/20 principle. Expect the love to be shared more over the next few years.

  • About 60% of Internet traffic may be P2P file sharing of unmonetized video. No surprise here. Videos are huge, easy to rip, and easy to distribute. Don't expect this to change.

  • Mobile data services revenue ~$20B -- comparable to online ad revenue. Supports what I was saying in my article on Version.

  • Mobile: 2.5G and 3G Subscribers projected to be close to 2B in 2009. Big market? Um, yeah.

  • LOTS of room for Internet Ad Revenue opportunities. I would expect a big drop in Direct Telephone with a movement to Internet / Online in next 3 years.

  • It's no surprise that Microsoft has moved to selling their own audio hardware with the Zune. Apple showed them that the big money is made on the hardware devices ($14B in CQ3:06) and not in the sale/distribution of audio/video through iTunes ($1.8B in CQ3:06).


Richard MacManus does a nice summary with additional points.


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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Heroes and YouTube


On last night's episode of Heroes...

Zach films his friend, Claire ("The Cheerleader") exploring the bounds of her amazing regenerative powers -- she quickly heals after any injury, making her basically unbreakable and unkillable. Claire's younger brother, Kyle, finds and views the tape and recognizes a money-making opportunity:
Kyle: I'm gonna put this thing on YouTube, make like a million bucks.

And the quick response:
Zach: YouTube's free, you idiot!

Silly siblings of heroes.

They should put it up on Revver.

Heroes is not just cool because it's an epic story told well.

It's cool because the studios are finally starting to integrate with the audience. Hiro's got a blog (shocking name choice for our Japanese Hero, I know), and Comic Book Artist Craig Byrne runs the 9th Wonders! site with lots of forum activities. And, let's face it, who doesn't love the fact that the show has an integrated comic book being created and exposed with each episode, time travel, regular people who can fly, and the tagline of "Save The Cheerleader, Save The World".

And, you can even watch the show on-line (with a commercial break between each part).

Well done, NBC.


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Saturday, November 4, 2006

Dan Primack Launches peHUB!


Matt Mashall at VentureBeat gets an early jump on the new Private Equity Hub, known as peHUB, that will be announced on Monday and run by Dan Primack of Thomson Financial.

John Furrier interviewed Dan on PodTech.net. Here's the MP3 of the podcast, and John's write-up.

In the podcast, Dan says:
It's supposed to be kind of a public forum for the private equity community. Everyone from early stage VCs all the way up to the mega buyout folks, and kind of everybody who touches them, whether that be entrepreneurs, or attorneys, or bankers, or business school students. Yeah, it's blog-based, it's going to be myself and the editorial team here writing, and we also have a group of about 50 guest authors who will regularly be contributing to the site. And, again, it's a kind of wide range. We've got venture capitalists, we've got big buyout folks, we've got some entrepreneurs, we've got placement agents for funds, and limited partners -- it's a good group!

I've introduced you to Dan and PE Week before. peHUB will be must-read for the VC/PE community as well. Congratulations, Dan. I look forward to the conversations!


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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

CRV QuickStart: It’s All About The Dealflow

Looks like the story of the day is the CRV QuickStart announcement from Charles River Ventures. It's basically the formalization of a Seed-Stage investing program that many VC firms have:

  • They put in up to $250,000 as a convertible note to get you to Series A.

  • The note earns interest and CRV has the right to roll the note and the interest into the company's Series A at a discount of up to 25%.

  • CRV also has the right, but not the obligation, to contribute up to 50% of the Series A funding.


These are all perfectly standard "market" terms. I did exactly the same thing with Allocity, which was seeded in precisely the same way by Mohr Davidow Ventures (and subsequently acquired by EMC). Angel investors also do convertible notes all the time. This really is the simplest way to structure things at the seed-stage.

But, lots of VC's do seed investments like this. Why is this one special?

It's not so much that it's special, but it's very smart for CRV to formalize the program and make it public. It's also wise for them to show the terms in public. That way, everyone knows what they are signing up to when they send in their investor pitch.

For CRV, this does one thing: It gives them access to a lot of dealflow and allows them to make more, smaller investments. It's a smart move.

Fred Wilson wrote:
There is a lot to like about this deal. I hope Charles River shows us the best deals that come out of this program!

I agree! Now, Fred distinguishes his firm from CRV QuickStart by stating that Union Square Ventures is much more hands-on. I don't know how hands-on CRV intends to be with this program, but there is nothing stopping CRV from hiring a person or two to shepherd these seed-stage companies to greater success. Time will tell.

Josh Kopelman wrote:
It also is a recognition of some of the challenges that larger venture funds face. Take a hypothetical traditional $400M VC firm. In order to achieve a 20% IRR, the fund must return 3x their initial capital over a 7 year term -- or $1.2B. Now say this hypothetical VC firm typically owns 20% of their portfolio companies at exit (an industry average). That means that at exit their portfolio needs to create $6 Billion dollars worth of market value (ie, $1.2B / 20%). Assuming that their average investment size is $20M, that means that they invest in 20 companies -- this assumes an average exit valuation of $300M PER COMPANY. Given the tight IPO Market and an average M&A exit value of less approximately $150M, this math creates some real challenges.

Josh makes an excellent point, but it's a grander discussion than the topic at hand. And, it's a discussion worthy of a separate post. CRV QuickStart is not intended to solve this dilemma -- it's just about getting earlier access to quality dealflow.

Josh goes on to point out some conflict of interests around the way that CRV has structured the deal:

  1. A convertible note could cause CRV to want a low valuation in Series A so that their early risk will purchase them more shares. I.e., will CRV really be helping the companies make progress during the seed round, or will they be motivated to hold back in hopes of buying more of the company in Series A? This is poppycock. It's absolutely in CRV's interest to help the companies during the seed and to secure a great valuation and solid footing with a VC syndicate partner.

  2. Concern about bad optics if CRV decides not to invest in the Series A. Yeah, that's something that would need to be addressed. However, if the company cannot address those simple optics issues, then I have little hope that they can build a successful company.

  3. Josh questions whether someone like CRV could devote the hands-on time necessary to nurture many of these investments. I think that's a great problem for CRV to have. I agree with Josh, but believe that CRV can solve this easily by hiring early-stage entrepreneurs and advisor capitalists (like myself) to help them with the load and give them a piece of the action.


Michael Arrington wrote:
Angel investors, ranging from individuals like Ron Conway and Jeff Clavier, to small funds like YCombinator and First Round Capital, have taken real market share from established venture capitalists by moving quickly and investing small amounts of capital instead of force feeding unwanted millions on a young startup. While taking a ton of early capital may sound enticing, companies can price themselves out of small but lucrative acquisitions simply because they’ve taken too much capital.

I love what Paul Graham is doing at YCombinator. I would add Perry Wu to the list.

Matt Marshall wrote:
CRV has downsized considerably in recent years. The firm now manages a $250 million fund, down from a whopping $1.2 billion fund they’d raised during the Internet bubble years. The team estimate they’ll do between 25 and 50 deals over the next three years.

This sounds a bit like what was happening at Sevin Rosen Funds, another firm that has been around a very long time and has naturally been shrinking the fund size based on the current VC market. SRF had found great success doing seed-stage and incubator type deals in the past (informally), but has struggled lately with the fact that the seed-stage companies are Internet properties. It's great that CRV is formalizing their program and adapting. That's the only way to survive.

Best of luck to CRV and their team.

I predict a very busy holiday season for Tai, Zachary, and Wu!


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