Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hollrr on VentureBeat

My buddy Hegarty was on VentureBeat Video promoting Hollrr. He comes on half-way through.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Groupon: Patxi's Pizza

One of my favorite SF Pizza places, Patxi's, is doing a Groupon. The idea behind Groupon is they negotiate a heavily discounted coupon or credit from a business. The business likes it because Groupon delivers a ton of people to the place. Groupon's customers like it because they get a heck of a deal from the venues Groupon works with. Groupon takes a cut, of course. I just bought my first special, $20 of food at Patxi's for $10 at Groupon.

Friday Chill Music (February 27, 2010)

Last weekend I was doing my usual Saturday morning Yoga at The Pad on Union. We had a new teacher and after she introduced herself she hit play. What followed was the best yoga soundtrack I've ever heard. Below are the songs that I could remember - I was namaste-ing after all.

Note: In this playlist, Radiohead comes up early but in reality, it was about halfway through the class when we were doing some gnarly crunches, so it was perfectly timed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Startup Visas

The Walm sent me this article on a new policy that would give startup founders a visa. As proposed right now, there are some huge loopholes, but generally, I really like the idea. It reminded me of a short speech I gave on H1B Visas while I was at Kellogg. Here is my presentation. At the time, there was a real possibility that my buddy Hegarty would have to go back to Ireland after school. Luckily, he landed a job with Microsoft, worked hard for them for 2+ years, and then started Hollrr. This Visa program would have been perfect for him.

Also, make sure to check out slide 6 and Scott McNealy's quote about Andy Bechtolsheim. It's hard believe that one guy could have such a huge impact on the tech landscape.
H1B Visas

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Reccomendation: Ignore Everybody

Thoroughly enjoyed Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod. Terrific, practical book for entrepreneurs. Part motivational book, part tactical, always funny and really great advice.

Sidenote: I'm finding that I'm reading books way faster now that I have my Kindle and I'm comfortable using it.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Terrific, practical book for entrepreneurs. Part motivational book, part tactical, and always funny and true advice.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Afternoon Humor: Some People...

A Kenny Kellogg reader sent this picture in along with the following description. I can't believe some people live their lives calling this work...

[Redacted] is one of the many consulting firm teams here and this is their “work room.”  Please check out the attached Jackson Pollack painting of consulting jargon, tech buzzwords, and regurgitated Malcom Gladwell concepts.

Friday Chill Music (February 19, 2010)

Eclectic but awesome...

Inst Msgs

My friend Ann Le created this really cool video series called Inst Msgs, which is based on true social media stories. I'm blown away by the production value. Great job Ann!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hipsters Making Fun of Hippies

Clip courtesy of Taylor Meyer who is back to submitting to Kenny Kellogg.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LuvvBugg: Free Dessert Thursday night at Patxi's Pizza on Fillmore if you LuvvBugg

Free Dessert Thursday night at Patxi's Pizza on Fillmore if you LuvvBugg. Mention LuvvBugg or show your phone screen. Thanks @patxispizza!

You can find Patxi's on Yelp. Btw - did you know Patxi's was started by a Zachary's veteran? The best pizza in Berkeley came to San Francisco!

MS Fundraiser - Team AntarctiKate @ Vertical Express

My buddy, Brian Mullen, is embarking on year two of his MS fundraiser - Vertical Express Ski Challenge for MS. He has assembled a bunch of groups to participate up at Squaw Valley and is documenting all the fun they are having in preparation on this blog - Team AntarticaKate. I hope you check out the blog.

Btw - Brian is raising awareness and money for MS because 1) he's a great guy, and 2) his wife, Kate, was diagnosed with MS a few years back. She's battled through the condition and is quite the inspiration. If you want to donate to Kate's team, here is the link. I just did!

Rework & Meetings

Loved this trailer for the new Signal & Noise book, Rework. I've been in meetings like this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greece: Our Problem

Time for some financial nerdiness in this great editorial on Greece linked to by Paul Kedrosky. Read the whole thing. My favorite passage is below. I'm thinking through this argument and I'm not sure it's correct, but posting as food for thought here.

"It was "hold your nose and save Wall Street" or a return to the dark ages. As Joseph Stiglitz, Willem Buiter and Paul Krugman were at pains to point out back then, an alternative existed: we could have done a GM/Chrysler on the banks. Expropriate the equity holders, pay 15 cents on the dollar to the bondholders and nationalize. Had we gone down that route, there would have been different winners and losers. Small business would have been a massive winner.
Rather than create zombie banks that are too busy pretending Ford is a great company (Ford owes banks 24 billion) and commercial real estate is about to turn a corner, they would carry on extending credit to small business. Sticking money into the zombies has had 100% the opposite effect of what was advertised. It has caused "extend and pretend" to the borrowers who are too big to fail and has throttled the little guy. Business was a loser.
The newspapers have us think that bankers were the winners. We did not do too poorly, but we are not the big winners. The big winners here are the baby boomers. That's because they have their name against some 80% of the value in all pension funds and insurance policies.
And if the banks had gone down, that's who holds their debt and much of their equity. Bottom line, had the banks gone down, no insurance product would be worth a penny more than the paper it's printed on. So basically, the 2008 bailout sacrificed business, i.e. our generation, but saved our parents. The US bailout was intergenerational transfer, pure and simple. Now, our parents did not have enough kids."

Monday, February 15, 2010

A gift from Ashish & Kim! They want me to wear it on a date.


Regular readers know that in my personal portfolio, I have a pretty big position in Gold & other precious metals. Sometimes my faith in Gold waivers and I think about selling a big chunk, but then I get a video like this forwarded to me, and I realize that people who created so much economic destruction (& profit for gold owners) are still in charge. Who knows what will happen with gold, it's incredibly volatile, but it seems like a smart bet after watching this video.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brain Aneurysm Foundation Social Network

Our work on Ben's Friends, the patient to patient support networks for people with rare diseases, continues. Currently we have 5 owned and operated sites and another 3 that we have partnered on. We have approximately 3,000 members now and in January we had about 140,000 page views on the 5 owned and operated networks. Not too shabby for a couple of guys just trying to do their part.

Last month, we were approached by the Brain Aneurysm Foundation (BAF) to help them start a support network for people with Brain Aneurysms and we succeeded in launching with them. This is a new tactic for us because we typically start the networks ourselves, but we felt like trying something new and BAF has been very fun to work with. If you or a loved one has suffered from a Brain Aneurysm, you are not alone. Check out

If you suffer from the conditions below, there are Ben's Friends support networks for you to find support at as well, and many more will be coming over the next year. If you would like to get involved or help us start another network for a condition not yet covered below, email me at scottorn(at)bensfriends(dot)org.

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
Ataxia (International)
Ataxia (U.S.A.)
Brain Aneurysms
Crohn's Disease
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LuvvBugg: A Mad Lib for the Ideal Suitor

One of the reasons we launched was to give women a public outlet for all the awesome things they say in email or text, but never get beyond their immediate friends. Here's a great example with a screenshot below. Find more highlights at

"the ideal suitor can complete all of these sentences : ________are a girl’s best friend. you got the ______honey, i got the time. but mom, could i maybe have two __________."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Race Day was Great

I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon today. Big props to Alex Bain for motivating me along the way. He set up such a simple running program that it was easy to train for the race. Here's a picture of Megan Coles and me after the race. I got separated from Bain & Crew during the race so I didn't make theirs.

Thanks for the song suggestions, Beckers! Ran across the line listening to "Stand Up Against Cancer" for my girl Lauren.


This song, Ghosting, by the Freelance Whales is my favorite song right now. I plan on listening to the the entire Weathervanes album a couple times while running a half marathon today. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Chill Music (February 5, 2010)

My friends and I have been buying tons of concert tickets recently. The only catch is that all the concerts are in March & April. Still, I'm pumped up though and here is a mix of bands I'll be seeing in a couple months.

*Note: The Freelance Whales aren't coming to San Francisco anytime soon, but I'm addicted to that CD so I had to include them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

LuvvBugg - Real-Time Updates from the Dating World

We released LuvvBugg to the public today. LuvvBugg is a service for Real-Time Updates from the Dating World. It's great if you are going on a date and your friends want to follow along.

Here's an example of LuvvBugg in action:

Presenting to a Group

The Himmelsblogs and I saw a comedy show starring Jason Segel on Sunday night. We were pleasantly surprised when Segel greeted us at the door, asked us how many people we had in our party and then showed us to an usher. It put us in a good mood immediately. That was still on my mind when I read this excellent blog post on how to present to a group that was forwarded by a co-worker. There are a ton of good tips here but I want to add one, greet your guests and establish some goodwill before you start speaking. It worked for Segel, and hopefully it will work for us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Founder Dilution Model

Awesome dilution model for startup founders posted by Own Your Own Venture and linked to by Healy Jones. I highly recommend you check it out if you are thinking about starting your own business, especially a venture funded one.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama Q&A

Impressive Q&A from Obama with Congressional Republicans. It's a great reminder of how great of a speaker he is and how good he is at positioning his policies as "common sense." He uses language like "that doesn't make sense," which average joe can connect with. I'm interested to see what happens over the next year because he's in a bad slump and I suspect the Democrats will get crushed in the next Congressional election. But that will give Obama a political enemy to use as a foil. Right now, he's having a hard time getting his base inspired because the Democrats control the house. There is no bad guy right now, and every movement needs an enemy (sad but true). I have a hard time visualizing him losing the next election after two years of battling a Republican majority.