TradingFloor

Building a marketplace? Just make sure it clears

As an investor, I love marketplace businesses — from craigslist and eBay to Etsy and Kickstarter, digital platforms that empower individual seller / entrepreneurs are one of the opportunities I love most. But last week’s Padmapper brouhaha — and Amanda Peyton’s dead-on analysis — were an important reminder of just how hard functional marketplaces are continue…

monopoly

Little Greed vs. Big Greed

I’ve hugely enjoyed Blake Masters‘ transcripts of Peter Thiel’s Stanford CS183 lecture series (if you haven’t read them I can’t recommend them highly enough). Two of Theil’s most powerful ideas — secrets and monopoly-seeking — came together for me this morning in a conversation with a local entrepreneur. This post is a quick recap of continue…

SLUT

The changing role of public-private partnerships in a talent economy

As part of my ongoing research into the making of high-performance entrepreneurial ecosystems, I’ve begun spending more time with folks at the intersection of the private + public sectors: city and state economic development professionals, university commercialization offices, public finance experts and the like. My first lesson from these conversations is the how critical public-private continue…

Atlas

Why founders need broad shoulders

Earlier today I spent a fruitless half-hour trying to convince a solo founder that he would a be lot better off if he recruited a co-founder *before* he tried to raise money, not after. (Side note — the Startup Genome report makes this case much better than I ever will). The founder’s counter-argument was that continue…

Fear

Fearless hiring

Founders create culture, indelibly. Even at 50,000+ employees you can see Jeff Bezos’ personality and values at work in every corner of Amazon; similar stories can be told about Apple, Oracle, Bloomberg, and any other founder-led company. Knowing that every early hire will have a lasting impact on your company culture can be scary for continue…

Screen-Shot-2012-06-05-at-3.07.22-PM

Harry Houdini, Founder + CEO

Harry Houdini was an illusionist and escape artist who died almost 100 years ago. But what he *did* and what successful startup founders do are more alike than they may seem. A few days ago I tweeted out a phrase that stuck in my head as I was driving my kids to school (the kids continue…

hurdle-fail

Capital raises come in twos

This is another one of those ideas that seem obvious to me now, but didn’t always — and I keep hearing from entrepreneurs that it’s new information to them, which tells me I should write it down. Chris Dixon is one of the most articulate entrepreneur / investors I know of on the many risks continue…