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Self Expression is a Tough Business

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

A few days ago Fred Wilson wrote a post about Tumblr claiming that much of its success could be attributed to self expression. I would agree with this and experienced it firsthand at Nexopia.

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But, there is a challenge with sites like these and lots of difficulties in building long-term sustainable businesses. The issue stems from sites that experience incredible growth as they are seen as “cool” among the masses, generally young people, that use them. The problem with cool, is that it is not sustainable. This is true both on and off the web. Can anyone name a fad or product that was cool 20 years ago that still is today? On a side note, I am waiting for the day that tattoos are no longer cool. Man, there are going to be some people with a lot of regrets. Anyone know of an innovative tattoo removal company that needs investment? Click to continue »

Working Towards a Minimum Viable Product

Monday, May 17th, 2010

One of the hardest things for a company to do is work towards the first launch of a product. It is no coincidence that many products, and companies, emerge from an idea that someone just threw out there for people to use. Generally these products are far from complete and missing tons of useful features, but the basic concept provides a user the ability to do something that catches their attention.

Some of the hottest startups today fall under this assumption. The first iteration of Twitter was built in 2 weeks inside a company known as Ideo as a side project. The first revision of Facebook was built in a month from a Harvard dorm room. Foursquare was launched as a simple iPhone application with limited functionality other than to tell your friends where you are. Click to continue »

Developing a Product

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Over the last couple of years I have tried to immerse myself in learning product development.  As a technical person by nature, it always frustrated me when great ideas and technologies would go to waste because no one could appreciate them.  I have now realized that it is normally because no product of value was developed around that technology that ultimately led to its demise. Click to continue »

Stealth Mode? NDA? I’ll Pass Thanks.

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Over the past few weeks I have had 3 separate run-ins with companies in “Stealth Mode”. It is worth noting that these companies are all in spaces where their technology is not patentable and they are going to be focusing on consumer internet.

Over the past couple of years I have become extremely turned off of launching a company with this approach. The first thing that has to be realized is that whatever the idea might be, many other people have the exact same idea at the exact same time. It is also a little obnoxious to think that your idea is so good that everyone else will drop whatever they are doing and go after it if they learn about what you are doing. This is nicely summarized in the TechCrunch post – Get Over Yourselves: Nobody Cares About Your Secrets. Click to continue »