Archive for 2010

Why Google deserves our fear, and respect

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Be afraid, very afraid: a crazy info-graphic on Google’s reach, search domination (in addition to a fast growing portfolio of additional products), and their financial resources.

The importance of investor signaling in venture pricing

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Hunch’s Chris Dixon (abbreviated):

Don’t take seed money from big VCs – It doesn’t matter if the big VC invests under a different name or merely provides space and mentoring.

– Don’t try to be clever and get an auction going (and don’t shop your term sheet).

– Don’t be perceived as being “on the market” too long.

– If you get a great investor to lead a follow-on round, expect your existing investors to want to invest pro-rata or more, even if they previously indicated otherwise.

Read the full post.

TEDx is (probably) coming to a place near you

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Ted Events MapI’ve always wanted to attend the TED Conference, but it was generally too expensive ($3,750/$6,000) or inconvenient (Palm Springs for a simulcast or Long Beach, CA, to attend in person).  However, the speakers and topics of discussion always left me placing the event on a pedestal in my mind, hoping to aspire to it some day.

Well, now I can at the local level, which has the potential to have more direct impact on my life.  TED has created a new event called TEDx that, “enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events..”

My application to TEDxSF was accepted today. If you’re going, hit me up at the event.

Starbucks, Your Friendly Neighborhood Dealer

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I work near the financial district in San Francisco. Around here, I can find a Starbucks on practically every city block. Having been a coffee lover for years, I have found this to be a good thing. While there are Blue Bottle options nearby, the cost difference always persuades me to go for the “cheap” alternative. Oddly, these days Starbucks is the cheap alternative for coffee.

So much of the flak against Starbucks and its competitors deals with the insane calorie content many of their desert-like drinks contain, which I always avoid yet I see teens (and pre-teens) consuming like water found at an oasis. But that’s not my vice.

Nevertheless, I went to Starbucks.com to check out their nutritional information (don’t use the “Compare All” tool – it drops out some of the stats). I’ve never been the type to add sugar or other candy/syrup into my coffee drinks, but nevertheless I was curious about what I’ve been putting into my body on a daily basis.

What I found surprised me.

First, my habit:

Mornings: A small (I refuse to use Starbucks’ annoying naming convention for cup sizes) coffee, a splash of whole milk
Afternoons: Caffè Americano, a splash of whole milk. I started getting Americanos after lunch because, time and time again, I would order a coffee only to discover it was burnt and undrinkable. Burnt Starbucks drip coffee takes on the aroma and flavor of fresh pencil shavings. If it isn’t fresh, it’s absolute trash.  This happens during the afternoon when they aren’t dealing with as many customers.

In any case, look at the chart below from the information posted on their own site. One medium coffee (Grande) has the equivalent caffeine content of over four shots of espresso! An Americano is equivalent to two shots.

Starbucks Caffeine Content Comparison

It’s no wonder I keep going back for more, even on the weekends (my wife is hooked, too). And to think that we all blame ADD and ADHD on the internet, video games and texting. Turns out we’re all speed freaks!

Twitter Offers Locally Trending Topics

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Nice addition to Twitter’s right-hand-column that I noticed yesterday, “Local Trends.”

Local Trending Topics on Twitter