Time is cleaner of fragilities

Originally posted on Om Malik:

Wired recently published an opinion piece by Nassim N. Taleb, well known for writing books such as The Black Swan and Anti-Fragile. 

I am not saying here that there is no information in big data. There is plenty of information. The problem — the central issue — is that the needle comes in an increasingly larger haystack.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with the best selling author and thinker, about a year ago. Having just published Anti-Fragile, Mr. Taleb and I ended up talking about data and it’s growing influence.

This being a rainy weekend, I ended up looking into my old notebooks and found some disjointed bits from that conversation. This particular one stood out, for no apparent reason — though at the time I must have thought these pronouncements were important, and thus needed to be scribbled down in my notebook.  (I am not…

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Home decor don’ts…

Originally posted on A barbaric YAWP across the Web:

I spend a lot of time reading home decor blogs and sites. What can I say? It’s part of my job. Sometimes I come across stuff I like – and sometimes I’ll even come across ideas I’ll incorporate at home. There’s plenty of stuff I think is cool, but not for me. And plenty of stuff I just don’t care for at all. But it’s rare I find something that just makes me think, “WHY?!” immediately followed by an “oh, hell no!”

The sandbox desk thing… It’s actually a sort of art installation/project, but that didn’t stop several interior decor bloggers from grabbing the image to support posts about “relaxing decor”, or “ways to make your home look like a million bucks”!

Can I just say, I don’t think sand IN my house is a good idea. Ever. It’s sand. It’s gonna get everywhere. Cleaning. Ugh. And I don’t…

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Example Hiring Plan at Different Startup Stages

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

Let’s say you have this great working prototype assembled with a few early paying customers and just raised $250,000 in seed money. Now, assuming things go well, and you’re thinking big, you’re on a path to raise money every 12-18 months and (hopefully) build a huge company.

Here’s an example of how things might go at each stage:

  • Idea Stage – Two co-founders (one with domain expertise and one technical) come up with an idea, scrape some money together, and get a prototype built
  • Seed Stage – Hire a lead developer and employ some contractors to help polish a few elements as part of the search for product/market fit
  • Series A – With product/market fit in place and 100 paying customers, the multi-million dollar Series A is secured and it’s time to hire two more engineers, a marketing manager, customer success manager, sales manager, and two sales reps (always hire sales…

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What I am reading today

Structure Data 2014

Originally posted on Om Malik:

I am going to be in New York for a few days when team Gigaom hosts its annual Structure Data conference on March 19-20, 2014. This year’s conference is about real life uses of data and will include speakers from companies such as D-Wave Systems, Uber, Ford Motor Company, Turing AI, Foursquare, Uber and many others. I will be interviewing Paul Maritz of Pivotal (and former CEO of VMware.) Plus we will have always fun and insightful Lew Cirne of New Relic at the conference, talking about data, metrics and his crazy shirts. Hope you can come to the conference. More details here.

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Mentor Comment: I’m in it for the money

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

Recently I was talking to someone that reached out to meet and learn how to get involved helping startups in the community. We did the standard introduction talk for 15 minutes about our respective backgrounds and established some of our views on technology and markets. Finally, I made the ask, “So, why do you want to help startups?”

Normally, the response is something along the lines of “I enjoy giving back” or “I want to stay current and relevant.” In this case, the answer was “I’m in it for the money.” Hmm, I thought. Being in it for the money makes sense for some people but most of the community that I interact with on a regular basis is in it to help other people and make a positive impact on society. Yes, money is important, but potential mentors that lead with wanting to make money aren’t going to support…

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A TV commercial for Facebook? What’s not to “like?”

Originally posted on Gods of Advertising:

Weird yes but “we are not alone.”

I don’t know which ad agency, if any, created this ad for Facebook but I “like” it. A lot. In the news –somewhat controversially- for spending enough money to bail out Greece on a texting application, it’s nice to see Facebook doing a bit of image advertising that’s just plain fun.

Not that Facebook needs to build awareness but they could use a bit of freshening and, for me, spots like this do it. Instead of marketing some new feature, Facebook goes old school (how ironic is that?) and comes through with advertising about the very thing that made Facebook cool in the first place: community.

In this case it’s people who dig Sci-Fi. We see a bunch of geeks sporting costumes of their favorite Martians just being real and that’s about it. We hear the iconic theme music from 2001 A…

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