The Future of Music is Crowdfunding

I have seen the future of music, and it is crowdfunding. This weekend, I ran across a Kickstarter project for Amanda Palmer’s new album. Three relevant facts: 1) Until this weekend, I had never heard of Amanda Palmer, and I imagine that’s true for most of you. 2) The average advance that a major studio … Continue reading The Future of Music is Crowdfunding

Bought vs. Sold (Why Jive is a dinosaur & Dropbox is the future)

Both Dropbox and Jive are successful companies that are much in the news recently. Jive just filed its S1 for its IPO, while Dropbox raised its first major round of funding at a $4 billion valuation. What’s most interesting to me is that they represent polar opposites in terms of business models. They illustrate the … Continue reading Bought vs. Sold (Why Jive is a dinosaur & Dropbox is the future)

What If Every Developer Focused On Lifestyle Businesses?

I recently ran across this post from Justin Vincent, where he argues that entreporn–the overwhelming focus on chasing “the next big thing”–holds developers back from their full potential. Instead, he writes: “The absolute truth is that each and every one of us can build a business that can support us.” That’s bullshit. While Vincent makes … Continue reading What If Every Developer Focused On Lifestyle Businesses?

To Make Money, Be A Garbageman

Plumbers and garbagemen make a good living despite their lack of PHP coding skills. That’s because they’re willing to do the necessary but unpleasant. Basic economics teaches us that prices are determined by supply and demand. Scarce skills like being able to throw a baseball 100 miles an hour are highly compensated. But talent isn’t … Continue reading To Make Money, Be A Garbageman

What Internet Startups Can Learn From Comics And Porn Stars

It’s no secret that media businesses have struggled with monetization in the Internet era. Journalism, for example, is famously in free-fall. But all the hand-wringing conceals a simple fact: There is a very successful model that has been around for decades, and it still works today. All we have to do is learn from porn … Continue reading What Internet Startups Can Learn From Comics And Porn Stars

@jowyang and the Circle of Life

A hot news item out of Silicon Valley is that my old friend Jeremiah Owyang has left Forrester Research to form the equivalent of a rock supergroup by joining Charlene Li, Ray Wang, and Deb Schulz at Altimeter. This is great news for all of those aforementioned rockstars, but it is also a classic example … Continue reading @jowyang and the Circle of Life

Business Idea: Offshoring To Detroit

Fact #1: As the U.S. government begins to impose more “buy American” provisions on the economy, companies will be pressured to stop outsourcing to China and India. Fact #2: The median home price in Detroit has dropped to $5,000. That is not a misprint. I smell an arbitrage opportunity. Why not buy up Detroit real … Continue reading Business Idea: Offshoring To Detroit

Business Opportunity: Men-Only Gyms

I go to the gym about three times a week to run on the treadmill. One of my pet peeves is that the television choices are neither fish nor fowl; they’re a peculiar mixture of men’s and women’s programming. To wit, here is what’s generally playing on the four screens, from left to right: 1. … Continue reading Business Opportunity: Men-Only Gyms

Why Savvy Shoppers Buy From Shysters

I recently had an interesting experience with 8HourTrafficSchool.com. Over the Winter break, I received a speeding ticket. I was going with the flow of traffic, and was probably unfairly singled out (it was a classic SoCal speed trap, designed to catch people coming off the high-speed I-5 and onto the 405) but you can’t fight … Continue reading Why Savvy Shoppers Buy From Shysters

But can you fit that VC under the salary cap?

PEHub has a fascinating story about how you could radically remake the VC industry by replacing the current fund structure with a system of allocating funds to individual VCs: Venture capitalists are a lot like professional athletes. They often work in teams, but are largely judged on their individual statistics. A great VC can be … Continue reading But can you fit that VC under the salary cap?