Month: June 2015

Introducing SliceMatrix: a tool for the exploration of large matrices


This is what Uber looked like before it took over the world


Today Uber operates in 57 countries with more that 160,000 drivers, but back in 2010 Uber was just a couple of bros with the dream of turning a mere cab ride into the kind of experience worthy of, in the words of founder Travis Kalanick, “a frickin’ pimp.” An “UberCab,” if you will.

“For almost a century the process of requesting a car service has been extremely similar to what it is today,” the founders wrote in their very first UberCab blog post, still up on a Tumblr site unearthed by the site “You could place a request by telephone for a car arriving the next day or you could walk to the street and hope that an available taxi would happen to pass by at the same time.”

Uber is in the midst of planning a massive, two-building, 423,000 square-foot headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood…

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Could This 1970s Patek Philippe Be The Inspiration For The Apple Watch?

I don’t often covet objects, in this case, it’s literally “the case” + that band, so I guess I covet the design & construction.

When people ask to borrow money, the words they use can foretell whether they’ll pay it back

The Power of Long-Term Compounded Growth

David Cummings on Startups

Recently I was reading about Liquid Web and their new CEO from Atlanta, Jim Geiger (founder of Cbeyond). Liquid Web is a well known web hosting company with over 400 employees and many thousands of customers. Now, when thinking about web hosting, it’s often viewed as a commodity and a low growth industry. Only, Liquid Web was on the Inc. 5000 last year with 79% three year growth. Founded in 1997, Liquid Web has well over $50 million in revenue (probably much higher) and shows the power of long-term compounded growth.

Here are a few thoughts on long-term compounded growth:

  • Starting with $1 million in revenue, at the end of 20 years of 20% per year growth, the company would have over $38 million in revenue
  • Recurring revenue businesses are among the easiest to grow every year because of the existing base of business to build from (that’s one of the…

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Get on a Plane

David Cummings on Startups

Several months ago I was talking to a successful, serial entrepreneur. He had sold several companies and hadn’t had to work for many years. Even still, he loved creating companies and so was at it again with his next startup. After talking for a while, the topic of travel and sales meetings came up. Naturally, he loved chasing big deals and was on the road 50% of the time. His mantra: get on a plane. There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction.

Here are a few thoughts on the importance of getting on a plane:

  • People buy from other people they like (this is one of the reasons the best product doesn’t always win)
  • Collaboration tools like Google Hangouts and Skype Video are good, but in person is significantly better
  • Rapport and strong relationships help when challenges inevitably arise (e.g. bugs, downtime, late delivery, etc.)
  • Body language and subtle feedback are critical when negotiating important…

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Lessons Learned from Failed Startups

David Cummings on Startups is a new site that aggregates info on failed startups. As an entrepreneur, some of my most important lessons learned came from failures. Take the eCrowds post mortem – poor customer discovery, mismatched on-boarding costs relative to monthly pricing, and slow application speed – now it’s included in Autopsy, and more accessible to entrepreneurs.

Here are a few thoughts on failed startups:

  • Failure is a normal and accepted part of the startup ecosystem
  • Most startups will fail
  • Even if a good idea was too early, it’s still a failure
  • One of my favorite questions to ask entrepreneurs – regardless of success or failure – is “what did you learn?”
  • Running out of money is most common reason startups shut down

Entrepreneurs would do well to research startups on and learn from previous experiences. With the recent growth in tech startups over the past few years, look for an increase in failed…

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What Twitter Can Be.


Disclaimers: 1) This is a very long read. Thinking about a company and using its product obsessively for nine years straight will do that to you. 2) My funds and I own a lot of Twitter stock. 3) I do not speak for Twitter. 4) I have no inside information about Twitter. The company could already be building all the stuff below. I sincerely hope they are.

Summary For Executives And Non-Executives Alike:

I believe in Twitter. The company itself is improving, not worsening. The stock market doesn’t get that because Twitter has failed to tell its own story to investors and users. Here is how I think that story could unfold:

Hundreds of millions of new users will join and stay active on Twitter, hundreds of millions of inactive users will return to Twitter, and hundreds of millions more will use Twitter from the outside if Twitter can:

  1. Make Tweets…

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What does it look like when a central bank pimp slaps a market?

from my friend @mktstk about some of our common interests $MACRO $USDJPY $ZB_F $TLT and #ASIA