Archives / September, 2005

Attributes of a good venture capitalist

When I was interviewing for my job at Mobius I asked Dave Jilk interview not only with MDs and other associates, but also with portfolio – who had briefly been an associate at Mobius and was then (as he is now) running a portfolio company – what he thought the most important attributes of successful VCs were (as an aside, I don’t know that I appreciated at the time what a good sign it was that the VC I was interviewing to joined had me company CEO’s to get their take). Without hesitation he said that in a nutshell good VCs need to have attention deficit disorder. I laughed about it then, but I think its time that I acknowledged…

What’s your million dollar idea?

Thanks to JB for pointing this out.  Pretty interesting idea.  I particularly like it from a data representation standpoint (see my post on that subject  here).


My daughter reached an important American milestone yesterday – her first credit card offer.  Four months shy of her 2nd birthday I’m not entirely sure she’s ready to handle the responsibility, but I did send the response card in to see what would happen (I circled her date of birth and indicated her occupation as ‘pre-school student’).  I’ll keep you posted.


hAs you could probably tell from my last post, I’m getting more onto the tagging bandwagon (I haven’t posted about this, but have in the past expressed skepticism privately to a number of you in off-line exchanges).  In case you missed it, NPR did a nice piece on tagging tahis evening. Here’s a link to the story. Props to and flickr who were both featured prominently.

Why Microsoft needs RSS

Everyone knows that Microsoft announced at this year’s Gnomedex their support for RSS in their Longhorn (now Vista) release. A quick search on Google or Technorati comes up with plenty of people who have already weighed in on the subject (I particularly like Nick Bradbury’s post here). Most of the talk, however has been around how RSS integrates into IE (see the IE blog post on RSS integration here) and the associated ease with which IE users will be able to subscribe to feeds, create feeds and some of the ways they are extending RSS to handle lists and a common data store, etc. The rest has been centered around Microsoft’s RSS effort for developers to enable them to more…

A little perspective

My dad sent me the following link that shows a map of the New Orleans flooding overlayed on a map of Boston (great UI).  Being from Boston, this is a particularly relevant scale for me (particularly since I’ve spent a total of only 2 days in New Orleans in my life).  Even if your’re not from the Boston area I think you’ll find the perspective helpful in understanding the true extent of what happened last week.

Accidents in North American Venture Capital

As a member of the American Alpine Club I look forward each year to the arrival of my copy of Accidents in North American Mountaineering.  This is a book that the club publishes annually that documents climbing and mountaineering accidents that are reported each year in the United States and Canada.  The idea, of course, is to educate the climbing community on things that can go wrong in the backcountry in an attempt to make everyone safer (as if the threat of dying were not enough, we also have to worry about being written up in Accidents. . . ).   A typical entry might be titled: Fall on Snow – Unable to Self-Arrest, Faulty Use of Crampons and would…

Was Hobbes Right?

Louisiana are pretty remarkable. Gunmen targeting medical convoys. Widespread looting. Here’s some aerial photography that shows the water covering neighborhoods.  Here’s a link to a photo series from the WashingtonPost (if this link doesn’t work for you there’s a link from the post home page).  Its unbelievable to see what’s going on and disheartening to watch some of the behavior that is emerging in what has become somewhat of a lawless area (I’m not talking about people stealing groceries to live on – I’m talking about the people looting from jewelry stores and the like).  Reports of the devastation in In one of my philosophy classes in college we read Hobbes and Rousseau back to back and had to write a paper on…

Less than Zero

I wrote a post a month ago about the US personal savings rate falling to zero in June – its 2nd lowest level since the great Depression.  It’s worth reading the comments to that post, which pointed out the following: 1) people are stupid; 2) don’t get too hot and bothered about just one data point; 3) the savings rate was actually slightly positive – at 0.02% – not actually zero; 4) there’s hidden savings in the US in the form of R&D, education spending and gains in home equity values that, while not exactly putting money into a bank account, is the equivalent of ‘investing for the future’; and 5) higher savings rates don’t necessarily translate into economies growing…