Billion Dollar Buyer

Billion Dollar Buyer is a show on CNBC where a billionaire entrepreneur from Houston meets with small business owners on their own turf to negotiate a purchase that will both improve the billionaire’s customer experience and help that business grow.  Every episode features the billion dollar buyer, two businesses soliciting an offer, and the process they all go through to ultimately walk away or close a deal.  Sounds simple enough, right?  And yet you’d be surprised the mistakes these business owners make that results in missing their single biggest sales opportunity.  Each episode of this show is two useful business case studies. Continue reading

Stanford

Stanford is a great place to read and write.  Startup founders and employees have always frequented Stanford for various reasons.  Some of them are also students.  So the school is also a good place to network and meet people.  I thoroughly enjoy my experience whenever I visit The Farm, which at one time in my life was almost daily.  Thinking about Stanford brings back only good memories. Continue reading

Well Its All Right (End Of The Line)

My writings from the first several years of this blog were often written at Stanford University in the Meyer Library.  Don’t look for the building on campus.  After more than forty years, it’s not there anymore.  Hugh Hefner recently passed away.  And Tom Petty.  And the namesake of the Monty Hall problem.  All gone.  Eventually I will get around to redesigning this site about not just startups, but a mix of popular culture and technology.  Like WiredNerdistLaughing SquidBoing Boing.  This blog has already jumped the rails from technology to whatever I feel like writing about.  But the theme of any blog doesn’t really matter anymore anyway because the vast majority of visitors land on a site, not on the home page, but on whatever specific post shows up in the search engine search results for whatever they searched for.  I feel obligated to write something because I haven’t in awhile.  I’m just kinda rambling, though, so don’t mind me.  Just go on with whatever you’re doing. Continue reading

Batman

Batman from the 1960’s will always be the Batman.  This superhero that originated in 1940’s comic books has been depicted and re-imagined numerous times in live action form.  The ’60s Batman television show remains iconic and beloved even fifty years later because of its performances, visual style, and cultural significance. Continue reading

HomeAway Is The Future Of Vacation Rentals

HomeAway is a global marketplace for vacation rental properties.  The market for home-sharing has continued to grow in recent years, along with the potential problems of such services.  The biggest threats to home-sharing companies like Airbnb, and its hosts, are apartment building owners and the hotel industry, particularly in major cities like New York.  Airbnb controversially partnered with The Clinton Foundation, presumably to gain some political influence in the White House.  Be that as it may, the President-elect of the United States owns apartment buildings and luxury hotels, not just in New York, but all over the world.  HomeAway, which only allows listing of whole properties, is an established company that provides safe, secure vacation rentals. Continue reading

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

wonkavatorEccentric reclusive founder that lives in his factory?  Makes sense.  Other factories sending in spies to steal his secret recipes?  Of course they would.  Long before Steve Jobs ever stood on a stage talking about the magic of his new products, there was that legendary magician Mister Willy Wonka.  More founders than will admit have likely been influenced by this movie.  Now is as good a time as any to reflect on Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Continue reading

Triumph of the Nerds: The Personal Computer

triumphofthenerdsTriumph of the Nerds is a three-part documentary about the history of the personal computer industry.  The documentary begins with the PC’s origin with hobbyists, continues through the era of IBM compatibility, and concludes with the emergence of graphical user interfaces and start of the Internet Age.  The media continues to release new documentaries and movies to cash in on mainstream interest in the high-tech industry.  Here is a good documentary from 1996 about the history of the personal computer industry told through interviews with the real people that lived through it: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, Larry Ellison, Ed Roberts, Steve Wozniak, and more. Continue reading

Y Combinator Trademark Rejected As Generic

justiceThe venture capital firm named Y Combinator can’t get a trademark on its company name.  In public filings at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the venture capital firm sought in November of last year a trademark on the phrase “Y COMBINATOR”.  The trademark office subsequently rejected the application as generic.  The company then apparently fired its attorney and hired another lawyer to try and get the trademark anyway.  Regardless of the ultimate outcome, this trademark dispute is just another embarrassment for a firm that continues to look less like the “Harvard of venture capital” and more like an elaborate and mismanaged funnel for acqui-hires. Continue reading

Startup CEO Is A Field Guide To Scaling Up

startup_ceoStartup CEO is a book about scaling a startup from inception through revenue and growth.  The book is organized into five parts: storytelling, building human capital, execution, organizing a board of directors, and managing yourself and others.  Startup CEO is written by Return Path co-founder Matt Blumberg.  Return Path is a global data solutions provider recently named by Fortune as one of the best medium-sized companies to work for.  Like Venture Deals, this book is part of the Startup Revolution series. Continue reading