When it comes to platforms, it has been well understood - the best platforms start out as applications.
A platform without a “killer” app, is like a tree falling in the forrest. No one knows and no one cares.
As a result platforms are born with “app first”
Facebook’s platform, F8, was born…
The phrase “party rounds” refers to financing rounds where there is no lead investor. Instead, lots of investors - often including large VCs - put in $100k each or less.
Party rounds have been popular for a few years now, so there is enough history to know how they turn out. For investors,…
Dentist appointment in a few hours – View on Path.
This is the teaser page for Mailbox, a new product by the Orchestra team. I can’t say too much yet, but I’ve seen what they’re up to (we are investors, after all). It’s potentially game changing when it comes to email. And those who follow my email saga closely will know that I would not say that lightly.
They have a bit more about the process of evolving from Orchestra to Mailbox here. The best excerpt:
At first the idea seemed crazy. Email felt like this massive thing that startups don’t mess with. “This path is paved with corpses,” one friend told us. To be really blunt, we were scared. But as we explored the idea and the capacity of our team to tackle it, we felt emboldened. We realized we could apply everything we had learned about building fast, friendly, mobile collaboration tools to the inbox. We can’t replace email, but we can change how we interact with it.
Bingo. It’s not about replacing email. That has been tried and tried and tried and failed and failed and failed. It’s about changing the way we perceive email.
Mailbox is not quite done yet, but it will be worth the wait. Trust me.
There is one clear lesson from Digg’s sale: the technology that powered a once-massive social network is worth about $500,000. All the rest of the value derives from the people that use it. Though scaling is tough, any developer in the world can build some profiles and let people connect up. It’s an act of genius — or an act of God, by which I mean luck — to design a site constitution that makes people want to build their online lives at your URL (or in your app). Social networking companies are not technology companies as much as they are community companies.
Excellent NBA Finals cover photo on this week’s Sports Illustrated, shot by Greg Nelson.
Last year, Nelson was a featured photographer in this TIME Lightbox feature “What Makes a Great Basketball Picture? A View of the NBA Finals from Sports Illustrated.”
During the start-up phase at Fairchild Semiconductor there had been no sense of bosses and employees. There had been only a common sense of struggle out on a frontier. Everyone had internalized the goals of the venture. They didn’t need exhortations from superiors. Besides, everyone had been so young! Noyce, the administrator or chief coordinator or whatever he should be called, had been just about the oldest person on the premises, and he had been barely thirty. And now, in the early 1960s, thanks to his athletic build and his dark brown hair with the Campus Kid hairline, he still looked very young. As Fairchild expanded, Noyce didn’t even bother trying to find “experienced management personnel.” Out here in California, in the semiconductor industry, they didn’t exist. Instead, he recruited engineers right out of the colleges and graduate schools and gave them major responsibilities right off the bat. There was no “staff,” no “top management” other than the eight partners themselves. Major decisions were not bucked up a chain of command. Noyce held weekly meetings of people from all parts of the operation, and whatever had to be worked out was worked out right there in the room. Noyce wanted them all to keep internalizing the company’s goals and to provide their own motivations, just as they had during the start-up phase. If they did that, they would have the capacity to make their own decisions.
The young engineers who came to work for Fairchild could scarcely believe how much responsibility was suddenly thrust upon them. Some twenty-four-year-old just out of graduate school would find himself in charge of a major project with no one looking over his shoulder. A problem would come up, and he couldn’t stand it, and he would go to Noyce and hyperventilate and ask him what to do. And Noyce would lower his head, turn on his 100 ampere eyes, listen, and say: “Look, here are your guidelines. You’ve got to consider A, you’ve got to consider B. and you’ve got to consider C. ” Then he would turn on the Gary Cooper smile: “But if you think I’m going to make your decision for you, you’re mistaken. Hey… it’s your ass.”