Friday, February 29, 2008

Compete V Comscore: Bad Blood

For some reason, The toolbar puts a 'warning' on This is not the case for Alexa, Hitwise, or Quantcast.

Bad blood??

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Warren Buffett, Flat Taxes, Nivi

Nice pull, Nivi: Warren Buffett on taxes:

"The system is tilted towards the rich. . . We need to flatten income and payroll taxes, and those making under $30,000 shouldn’t be bothered. . . the best way to stimulate the economy is to give money to the poor. They will spend it.”

Us progressives keep talking about staying away from a flat tax - well, first we need to get to a flat tax - payroll taxes capped at the first $100K in salary? We tend to forget just how regressive to tax regime is in the U.S. - to say nothing of progressive, or even flat.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alexa V Compete: Yapta, Farecast, Farecompare

Not sure what all this means, but it's interesting:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Via the incomparable Virginia Heffernan, co-author of that under-appreciated work of staggering genius, The Underminer,

Stuff White People Like

Guess Where??

This is a 'where am I?' contest. If you can guess where this this picture was taken you win a killer prize. Does it look like Seattle in February? Or, does it maybe look more like Miami Beach in February?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vote For blist - Webware 100

blist is a Webware 100 finalist, and I am asking you to: Vote Here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Extended Sunset At 35,000 Feet

One of my very favorite things in life is flying West through a sunset - chasing the sun at five hundred or so miles an hour makes it go on and on and on.

Chasing The Flame - Samantha Power

A shockingly impressive new book from Samantha Power, one of the world's most valuable and impressive people, Chasing The Flame, traces 30 years of UN nation building, human rights, and humanitarianism efforts in conflict zones throughout the world through the career of the late UN diplomat Sergio Vieira De Mello.

Committing this story to the page (many pages!) adds significantly to our body of collected knowledge & experience. Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Domain Sale Datapoint:

Back in July 2007, Wayne Gould, Hong Kong based Sudoku entrepreneur (not domainer!) sold to Real Networks. Price? Single digit millions USD.

Can I get some more subscribers?? This is unique investigative journalism here!

Apes & Androids - Nights Of The Week

Current best song: Nights of the Week by Apes & Androids:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

U GV GLD PLZ: Service Provider Edition

We announced an A round investment in blist today from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morganthaler Ventures.

Two of my favorite bits of press coverage come from John Cook at the Seattle P-I and Anthony Ha at Venturebeat.

One thing that goes hand in hand with venture capital investment announcements is fielding calls from various types of service providers and recruiters. We're generally not especially receptive to these types of sales pitches - if we need something, we'll find you - but if you do call in, make sure we know that you can accept payment in Flooz, or maybe even Beenz, and you'll get on our good side. If you make a strong case for e-gold, that might work, too :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Seattle Vs Silicon Valley - Haters

Last week, John Markoff touched off a blog meme comparing the Seattle start-up environment with Silicon Valley's with his New York Times article. We got some John Cook, some Glen Kelman, and some Michael Arrington. Starting from the top with Markoff, this wasn't an especially substantive argument - kind of like 'tastes great. less filling' - both are good places, but in sifting through the comments on these posts, a real difference started to become apparent to me. Haters. The hater quotient in Seattle is higher than in the Valley. Ideas are apt to get shredded in Techcrunch comments, but on John Cook's blog, commenters get nasty and personal immediately - and that negativity is less encouraging to a community of innovative entrepreneurship and risk capital.

After reading a couple of nasty comments on John Cook's Askablogr post, I lost it, and had to write. Some more examples, comments on coverage of Redfin, Jobster, Judy's Book. Get a life, guys! I know Glenn and Jason and Chris and Andy - they are all impressively smart, successful and energetic guys. Guess what, lots of startups close down, lots of startups dig big holes to climb out of by raising too much money too fast - but it's not dumb money, that's how the venture model works, the singular successes pay for the myriad others - and you don't find the successes without the rest of the portfolio.

Positivity is one area where Silicon Valley still has the edge over Seattle.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Today - Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Great afternoon sail today in Seattle - Sun, Wind, Water, Mountains - It doesn't get any better than this!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sucker For Investment Scam Ads

Might as well be Tom Vu:

Askablogr Via Chris Devore

Some how there's this weird trend - maybe you could even call it a phenomenon - where my friends are all adding the AskABlogr widget. I've even heard tell that AskABlogr comes from the fertile mind of Chris Devore over at Crash Dev.

. . . And now I've got it, too.

imeem music on mattishness

Emailing someone else with an imeem widget on their blog one too many times about a track they should add to their playlist led me to believe that I should put my own damn widget on Mattishness. So, it's right there in the right sidebar, you can listen to what I'm listening to. Obviously, if you're reading this in email or a feedreader, you'll need to click through to the blog proper and probably scroll down.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valueless Ad Clicks

See, Dave? This is exactly what I'm talking about!

Half Of All Clicks On Display Ads Are Worthless

Online advertising has a large Zero Sum component to it - redistributing money from ad buys to ad publishers!! I'm not saying no one sells anything through Adwords or Adsense - or display ads for that matter - but the net flow is towards the publishers (or ad networks, of course!)

Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Climate Change

I am continually shocked by how infrequently people worry about freshwater shortages. Take the latest projections of Lake Mead going effectively dry by 2014 - this isn't some kind of nebulous global warming fear - this is happening now, and your grandparents in Arizona are going to turn on the tap, and no water will come out. It doesn't feel like the year 2000 was that long ago, so I know that 2014 will sneak up like tomorrow. I used to work as a water resources consultant, I've been reading the same articles for years, with no real progress - and we can't afford it.

Andrew Chens Stealth Startup

Love it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I ran across a lawyer with a sense of humor today whose email address is:



Friday, February 8, 2008

LinkedIn Invite Variations

LinkedIn Invite Variations from the literary lions at McSweeney's

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Reuven Carlyle For WA State Rep

My friend Reuven Carlyle is running for Washington State Representative in the 36th District - Queen Anne, Magnolia, Ballard, Fremont, Phinney Ridge.

You can find out more about Reuven here.

Charlie O'Donnell's Best Post Ever

Yeah, his blog loads really slowly because all the Myspace-y widget type stuff - but his post about product features/aspects that you shouldn't ignore is a really good one. It's really a 'table stakes' post - everyone else is doing these things - and if you're not - you are bringing a knife to a gunfight.

In a similar vein, Andrew Chen has an older post about hi-power social features - that are hard to be competitive without.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Leaky Ad Conversion Loops

Paul Fisher has a good post up talking through some recent behavioral studies on people interacting with ads online. Basically, you're never going to be able to fully 'close the loop' on conversion from advertisement to sale, there are always leaks, even online, even with AdWords and CPA - though granted, the ROI is much more measurable than say in a Super Bowl ad :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Social Networking - 2 Contact Points

I have a rule of thumb for social networking: If you are friends with two of my friends who are not themselves friends, then that is serendipity - and I should add you as a friend.

This applies more strongly to 'personal' social networks like Facebook than business-oriented social networks like LinkedIn - business is all about reaching out to people you don't know.

blist - Big In Japan