Archives / March, 2018

Book: Waking Up White

My dad, brother, and I are now doing a monthly book club together. One of us chooses a book, we all read it, and then we do an hour-long video conference and talk about it. We’ve done this for about six months now and it’s wonderful. A few months ago Daniel chose Waking Up White,…

Spring Break Should Be A National Holiday In The US

  I’m a fan of spring break. I’m a believer in regular vacations. I love it when people I work with get away and disconnect. And, I do it at least four times a year. Spring break feels like it has gotten out of control. Rethinking it could be interesting. This year, at least 50% of…

Academic Research on Accelerators

The first accelerator, YC, was founded in 2005. The second, Techstars, was founded in 2006. Wikipedia has a good summary of the history of accelerators. Now that we are 13 years into the accelerator journey, an accelerator is a well-established construct that is part of the global startup ecosystem. They have evolved over the years,…

Facebook As The Ultimate Surveillance Machine

Whenever someone tells me about the progress humans have made, I remind them that since the beginning of humans, man has been trying to kill his neighbor to take over his backyard. And yes, as Amy likes to regularly remind me, it’s often men doing the killing. Simultaneously, governments around the world have spent zillions…

Sandpaper Only Works If It Is Rubbing Against Something

I recently heard the line “sandpaper only works if it is rubbing against something” and loved it. From Wikipedia: “The first recorded instance of sandpaper was in 1st-century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum. Shark skin (placoid scales) has also been used as an abrasive and the…

The Laws Don’t – and Can’t – Keep Up With Technology

A law with good intentions, but horrible side effects, passed yesterday. You probably haven’t heard about it because of the brouhaha over 97,513 other things. It’s called SESTA/FOSTA and the EFF has a good summary of how Lawmakers Failed to Separate Their Good Intentions from Bad Law. Craigslist responded immediately (and rationally) by taking Craigslist Personals offline….

Privacy and Facebook – The Non-Surprise

In 2008, I gave a talk at my 20th-year reunion at MIT Sloan. The title of the talk was something like “Privacy is Dead” and my assertion, in 2008, was that there was no longer any data privacy, anywhere, for anyone. I’ve been living my life under that assumption since then. The current Facebook scandal…

Jason Returns to the 313 for Startup Grind Detroit on April 5th

As many of you know, my partner Jason is from Detroit. The 313. The Motor City. The D! He’s going back home for a special event and I encourage anyone near Detroit to go hang with him. In case you don’t know about Jason, prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Jason was a co-founder of SRS…

Book: Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley

I read Emily Chang’s book Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley the day it came out. Yes – I stayed up until after midnight (way past my bedtime) reading it. It’s powerful. I bought a bunch of copies for different people and I recommend every investor and entrepreneur in the US read it. While…

AMA for the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator

“Technologies that have revolutionized so many sectors of the economy have the potential to transform the way we do conservation. We’re at the front end of a new ‘nature-tech’ revolution and nature stands to win big from it.” Brian McPeek, Chief Conservation Officer of The Nature Conservancy As many of you know, Techstars and The…