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Archive | In the Ring

How Are You Going to Win?

“How are you going to win?  It’s not going to come from blog posts or angel money – it’s going to come from having a great product and lots of customers who want to buy it.  That’s what we should be focusing on.  What is it going to take to make that happen? “I keep […]


Tomorrow is one of my old co-founder‘s birthday. My phone reminded me. Unfortunately, we no longer speak. The end of SpeakerText was neither fun nor pretty. We fought over the scraps, echoing that old adage about academia: Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low. Yes indeed, […]

The Minimum Viable Startup

I am the founder of a beer & booze delivery service called Swig! We partner with licensed brick & mortar retailers to sell their booze online in the Swig! marketplace. It’s my first attempt at running a truly “lean” startup. When we built Humanoid in 2011, we burned through ~$400,000+ just to get the product […]

Facebook & the Future

Facebook is not a “social networking” company; Facebook is an identity company. Your data is their castle; your friend network is their moat. Today, Facebook positions themselves as a mere advertising company. This will change soon. Within 5 years, Facebook will enter the payments game. Real payments––for real stuff, not just virtual goods. At first, […]

Becoming a CEO. Yeah, I Suck.

There’s a lot I suck at. I’m bad at financial calculations. My Excel proficiency is amateur, at best. I don’t know what EBITDA means. I’m still learning how to hire business people (kinda tough since this is my first office job). I can be a bit disorganized. I often interrupt productively engaged engineers with questions […]

My Old Town

I’ve watched New York grow up from afar. In May of 2010, I moved out of my apartment in Harlem. I was broke. My original co-founder and I had split. My attempts at raising money on both coasts had imploded. And despite very publicly stating an intent to move to Silicon Valley, I didn’t even […]