Saturday, August 15, 2009

Things I Would Have Tweeted...


...if Twitter weren't down.

Chris Yeh-ism of the day: "Revolution plays well to early adopters, but the mainstream is looking for solutions, not revolutions." (from a comment on Oliver Young's blog)

Great insights from Gil Yehuda: Same people plus same process yields same results. To get different results, you need different people, or a different approach to the problem. Since it's hard to change the people, work on changing the way they think.

How can we cure the income gap for black men in America? Have them take more math classes. Longitudinal study shows each extra required maths course raised the annual income of black males by 15%.

Another great quote: "Excellence is a form of deviance. You become excellent because you are doing things normal people do not want to do, by choosing a path that is risky, painful, and not appealing to others."

Why The Odds Are Stacked Against Entrepreneurship (vs. VC)

In a recent post on Growthology, Paul Kedrosky asks why so many B-school students that he meets want to be VCs rather than entrepreneurs. This is my response:

***

While entrepreneurship as a whole is a very positive ROI endeavor, the odds are stacked against the individual entrepreneur.

Even venture-backed companies only succeed about 1/10 times; it's the fact that those success deliver such outsized returns that make the VC model work.

(Note--by "success," I mean a major hit; the rule of thumb is that of 10 companies that get VC funding, 6 will go to zero, 3 will meander along as middling successes, and 1 will be a hit)

Let's say that an entrepreneur can start a new company once every 4 years, and has a peak period in his or her career of about 20 years (age 30-50). That gives you 5 swings at a home run.

If your chance of failure is 90%, after your career as an entrepreneur is over, you'll have a 59% chance that none of your companies ever succeeded.

On the other hand, thanks to the portfolio effect, VCs have a much better chance of recording a hit or two, and a nearly 100% chance of collecting 2-3% management fees on the capital they raise.

Now don't get me wrong...VC is a tough business, a fact most entrepreneurs don't appreciate, so the analysis above is a gross oversimplification. But it is true that while the average (mean) entrepreneur does better than the average VC, the median VC does a heck of a lot better than the median entrepreneur, who sacrificed his or her career to the greater good, and probably would have made a lot more money sticking to a corporate career.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How To Find Out What Google Thinks You Like

I've often said that there's no privacy anymore, and that Google knows everything about you.

Ever wondered what Google thinks it knows?

Just click to http://www.google.com/ads/preferences and you'll find out.

Here's what Google thinks of me:

Category
Business - Advertising & Marketing - Marketing Services
Business - Management & Corporate Operations - Strategic Planning
Finance & Insurance - Investing
Internet - Web Design & Development
News & Current Events - Technology News
Shopping - Coupons & Rebates
Social Networks & Online Communities - Blogging Resources & Services
Society - Legal - Intellectual Property
Society - Social Science - Economics
Sports - Basketball

Wow, they've got me pegged to within an inch of my life. Though I'm mildly surprised that "Jessica Alba" didn't at least make a brief appearance.