Showing posts with label Brad Feld. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brad Feld. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Paul Graham Is Not That Innocent

Let me state the obvious first. I am a huge admirer of what Paul Graham has built in Y Combinator. And I have drawn enormous inspiration from many of his essays on tech startups. And it was an honor to once get featured in the same BBC article as Paul Graham and Brad Feld. (Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC)

And now let me get to the topic at hand. Yes, Paul Graham was misquoted. But that does not change the fact that Paul Graham is guilty of sexism just like I am. I would not accuse him of extreme sexism. I might save that for a ton of men in India. But guilty he is. Why do I say that?

You were there when girls around you were 13. If you did not see sexism then, then you were willfully blind. You very well participated in it. Sexism starts early. Young girls feeding on sexist media do weird things with what they eat. That is sexism.

I don't think there is something fundamental about men and women that makes men head for STEM. Once girls get hit by the pot of sexism early on, they kind of lose their balance, and they end up making weird choices like not going towards STEM with greater gusto than they do.

Paul Graham wondering as to why 13 year old girls don't code more is not exactly like Newton wondering why the apple fell on his head. But sexism IS social gravity. It is all pervasive and all powerful, and all men participate in it, it is only a matter of degree, some more, some less, but we all do.

Sexism is really cutting edge, as is racism. It is as if not more cutting edge than the Internet itself, only the Internet is technology and communications and commerce, sexism and racism are social. It is like I am at this Internet Society event, Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee on stage. And I was and am a huge admirer of the guys. I literally think of the Internet as a new country, a feeling further enforced by a recent Indian Supreme Court decision that is blatantly homophobic. (Homophobia is sick, okay?) And I ask my question of Tim. If the Internet is a country which of you is George Washington, which is Thomas Jefferson? Tim gets offended and says "different race" in an unpleasant way. And I am like, I don't believe this motherfucker. And I made a "mad scientist" remark. (Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Is Not A Country)

Paul Graham said recently something about "heavy accents," and there he was not misquoted, and I thought that was a racist thing to be saying.

Fred Wilson: Girls Who Code
Paul Graham: What I Did Not Say
Taylor Rose: Girls Haven’t Been Hacking for the Last 10 Years
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Congrats Brad Feld For Running 50 Miles

How did the guy do it? I am amazed. So impressed. This is so inspiring. Makes me wanna do it.

Brad Feld: American River 50 Mile Endurance Run
I had decided to break the race up into five segments of 10 miles each..... The first 10 miles were easy. I used an 8:2 run:walk pace and held myself back. ..... the “runner drift” settled in a little around mile 15 (where it’s impossible to stay focused on a straight line) and I remember looking up a few times and being startled by a bike heading right at me ...... I took a Gu gel every 30 minutes with water and a salt tablet every hour. At the aid stations I refilled my water, grabbed a few more Gu’s, and ate some pretzels, boiled potatoes and salt, and a dixie cup of coke (yum). ...... By mile 29 it hit me that I’d now run the furthest distance in my life. I went through mile 30 with the thought of “only 20 miles to go.” And this is when it started getting really hard. The segment between 30 and 40 was physically and mentally tough. ..... By the mid-30′s my pace had slowed from 12 minute miles to 18 – 20 minute miles, which became depressing. I only had one really dark mile where I started feeling sorry for myself, but during this mile I got a hilarious txt message from my friend Andy which jolted me out of my dark spot. ...... At mile 41 I met up with my assistant Kelly at an aid station where she joined me for the last nine miles. ...... Somewhere around mile 43 or 44 I started having trouble getting my feet to go where I wanted them to go. ...... There was a short downhill stretch – I took off running with a loud manic scream at the top of my lungs. ....... As we went through mile 48 I realized I might break 12 hours. At 49.25 it flattened out and I sprinted for the finish and came in two minutes and change under my goal. ...... my first non-Gu meal in 12 hours while Katherine and crew drove back to San Francisco to have some “excellent pizza” that they could only find in San Francisco. I called Amy and had a celebratory talk – she had done an awesome job of keeping track of things during the race (due to RunKeeper live) and being my communications director for the day. I dropped my coach Gary a note of thanks and then ate and ate and drank a beer and ate some more. ...... When I got back to my room, I discovered a very lonely second water bottle sitting just where I had left it 14 hours earlier. For the first time all day I had tears in my eyes, but of laughter – at myself.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

As We ForgiveImage via WikipediaSean Parker. You have not replied to my email yet. Or was it a tweet? I forgive you. There's still time.

Brad Feld. You have been hogging the mountains. I forgive you.

Albert Wenger. I remember asking you to come alone. I forgive you.

Rachel Sterne. I think I spotted you in Zuccotti Park. I forgive you.

David Karp, next time comb your hair. I forgive you.

And I forgive the Chinese. Let them come.

Charlie O'Donnell At His Inspiring Best

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Robin Hood: My German Nickname

A German newspaper called me Robin Hood On The Internet when I was in the thick of my democracy work for Nepal early in 2006. First it was a newspaper article. Apparently that drew some interest. I got an email saying a whole bunch of radio stations in Germany wanted a piece of me. So I showed up at their studio near Grand Central and did the interview. I don't have a copy. But I got told there would be voice over in German, totally understandable.

"Robin Hood Im Internet"

Around the same time I overslept through a BBC talk program where I was supposed to call in. I felt bad.

BBC Calls

When I got called Robin Hood in 2006, I was simply amused. Wow, of all things you would call me that? But now I think I could use that nickname as I gear up to do microfinance work.

If it were not for the fucked up immigration laws in this country, I'd already be on my way.

Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

Monday, May 23, 2011

Video Blogging Would Beat Panels And Ignite

JFK (film)Image via WikipediaInternet Week Fail Whale
Ignite NYC Premonitions

It is only a matter of time before I get into video blogging in a dedicated way. Video blogging, to my mind, would beat sitting on panels and presenting at Ignite, neither of which I am opposed to.

Brad Feld says he does what he does not for accolades or money, but because he has stayed curious. So maybe the lesson there is to work on being curious if you don't have the accolades and the money already. Those will follow if you stay curious. And staying curious is a reward on its own. It perhaps is the primary reward.

Fred Wilson does not like to sit on panels. He has sat on panels. But he does not like to.

JFK absolutely hated the idea of shaking hands.

To me all of that points to the promise of video blogging.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Moment Of Appreciating Disqus

Image representing DISQUS as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseFred Wilson put out this blog post earlier today: Social Media's Secret Weapon - Email. Brad Feld wrote a reply post within hours: Implementing Social Media’s Secret Weapon. Fred Wilson showed up in Brad Feld's comments section for the post like Brad Feld had showed up earlier in Fred Wilson's comments section for his post. I read the two posts and all their comments. The little back and forth the two had at Brad's blog is really something. I am like, thank you Disqus. How else could I have become privy to this?

These two dudes go way back. They are old friends. I once saw a picture of the two of them in a group photo. It is from way back. And these two also made it onto a list of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world a few weeks back, I don't know if it was Fortune, or Forbes, it was one of those. Long before I saw that list I have admired the excellence of their minds. Both of them also happen to have great blogs. They do a good job of giving you a front row seat to their action if you drop by often enough.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Proverbial White Male

I don't know if you have ever visited my blogroll, but it is a mouthful. It is the most elaborate, comprehensive blogroll of any I have visited. And because it is so elaborate and encyclopedic, I have had sections. That has not been good enough, and so I have had at the top a section called A1. Even that became a little too elaborate. So I just made a much shorter list called This Just In. These are people whose every blog post I want to read as soon as they come out, and preferably comment on them as well.

Third World Guy
The Arab Revolutions And My Rethinks On Britain And France
Minority Majority Nation?
To You I Offer Buddhism And Yoga
Social Media Is For Real
Obama 2012 Is On
New York City
Rootlessness And The City

I made the list. It is short. Every single person on the list is the proverbial white male. What's wrong in the picture? It also bothers me that most are VCs. I wish it were mostly entrepreneurs. But the best entrepreneurs don't blog. Some good ones do. And there are some out there who I just have not come across yet. Please suggest names.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nuggets From The Paulson Auditorium

SOUTHERN SWEET CORN NUGGETSImage by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR via FlickrStartUp Week: Final Event: Biggest Event?

- 2005, there were very few blogs around.
- Vin Vacanti has a great blog.
- Fred Wilson, Mark Suster, Chris Dixon, Brad Feld.
- Josh Auerbach: "All my knowledge comes from blogs."
- It is easy to do market research.
- The lean startup movement.
- You will be amazed by how many people are willing to talk to you.
- The best way to build a business is without any investment money.
- We don't do NDAs. We will laugh at you if you ask.
- Outsourcing is not an option.
- If your proposal is outside the thesis of a VC firm, you are not going anywhere.
- Talk to people. Engage with people at their blogs.
- Cool. Uncool. Cool again.
- Chris Dixon: "1/3rd of my companies are profitable with seed money."
- You have to be active online.
- You have to blog. You have to tweet. This is the number one piece of advice. You are not going anywhere in tech without these.
- Internships with big brand name companies are overrated.
- Entrepreneurs - it's a personality type.
- If you send a form email, you will get a form response.
- Show me that you put some work into that email. You read up on me.
- No investor will read a business plan.
- You and your team.
- What all could go wrong? What can I do to mitigate? Put down in writing.
- Build your relationship with investors over a period of time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

StartUp Week: Final Event: Biggest Event?

I started out thinking all events are created equal. But you get hints thrown in here and there. There is expectation in the air. The event tomorrow looks like will be the biggest event of the week. And I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, 4/14: Fundraising: VCs, Angels and Accelerators Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Albert Wenger (@albertwenger), Lawrence Lenihan (@lawrencelenihan), Firstmark Capital, Hilary Gosher (@hilbil175), Insite Venture Partners, David Tisch (@davetisch), TechStars

April 14, Thursday, 6-8 PM, NYU Tisch Hall, Paulson Auditorium (UC-50), 40 W. 4th Street

Anthony De Rosa

I did two great events earlier in the evening, but the best part was walking from the first to the second with Anthony De Rosa, known as soupsoup on Tumblr.

Monday, April 11, 2011

StartUp Week: Develop, Design, Pitch

StartUp Week At NYU April 6-15
2,000 Squats
Getting To Meet Mark Suster In Person
Meeting Brad Feld
StartUp Week: Job Fair: Fish Market

They shifted the venue from the first floor to the fifth floor. The food part was a pleasant surprise. I was not expecting. But after the first speaker was done, it was food time. After all three speakers got done, I went ahead and ate some more. I did not have dinner later.

During the first break Holly sitting across the table remarked: "You look happy."

"I am a happy person," I said taking in what I thought was a compliment to my general demeanor.

"I think it's the food," she cut me short.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A Boulder Invitation From Brad Feld Himself

This is deeply touching.

Brad Feld:"It was great to finally meet you in person. Come visit us in Boulder anytime - we'll make sure you really feel like you are at home!"

Now I get to plot a trip to Boulder.

Meeting Brad Feld

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Meeting Brad Feld

I got to meet Mark Suster yesterday, and Brad Feld today, and I get to meet Vin Vacanti next week. In Vacanti's case it will not be my first time, but still. What do you think is going on? StartUp Week, that's what.

TechStars' Geographical Advantage Over Y Combinator
Brad Feld
StartUp Week At NYU April 6-15
To: Brad Feld, Subject: Iran And Me (Digital Ninja/Commando)
Happy July 4 Fred Wilson, Brad Feld
An Immigrant Story For Brad Feld
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC
To Iran, With Love (3)
To Iran, With Love (1)
To Iran, With Love (2)

Both Mark and Brad recognized me right away. We have interacted online. I have interacted more with Brad than with Mark. At one point I was trying to get Brad to fund my work into Iran democracy.

"Oh, hey," Brad said when it was my turn to greet him.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

48 Hours

It was two days before Demo Day at Y Combinator and Daniel Gross had moved from product to product like I had changed majors at college. The guy had nothing for Demo Day. The textbook thing to do for Paul Graham was to say, you know what, you had your 12 weeks, tough, you are out. But Paul Graham took the road not taken, and that made all the difference.

Greplin: The First Y Combinator Company To Get Me Excited

Greplin happened during the final 48 hours.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top VC Bloggers: The Numbers Don't Look Right

TechCrunch has an interesting post: The Top 20 VC Power Bloggers Of 2010.

It's good to see Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Chris Dixon, Charlie O'Donnell, and Albert Wenger on the list. These are people I have met in person or, in Brad Feld's case, interacted online. Of all the people on the list, I personally know Fred Wilson best, either in terms of how often I visit their blog and leave comments at their blog, or in terms of how many times I have met in person.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chris, Come In At 50K

Fred, How About Some Money?
Future Of The Internet: Easy, Says Dixon
Hola Charlie, A 50K Opportunity
FinTech: I Am Loving The Term

Chris. I want you to come in at 50K. This offer does not come with a Board seat, obviously. But maybe Fred Wilson will keep a good watch over your money as well, don't you think?

You are my favorite Super Angel. You are right up there with Caterina Fake. I have been reading about Super Angels for months now. There is a part of me that wants to know what they are all about, and hence the offer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TechStars' Geographical Advantage Over Y Combinator

Image representing TechStars as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase
TechCrunch: TechStars Launches Ten New Startups In Seattle: six of the first twenty companies to go through the program have been acquired by larger companies, and about 70% of its companies have been funded and/or are now profitable.
Y Combinator is in the Valley. Y Combinator has done something remarkable. I think Y Combinator is the reason we have a new species in town: the super angel. But Y Combinator is in the Valley. Being in the Valley, in the Valley alone is a disadvantage. People don't buy servers anymore. They have Amazon web services. Times have changed. Some of the best programmers I know are self taught people. All the material you need to teach yourself programming is available online for free. And so the idea that you have to be in the Valley to be part of the action, well, that is passe.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Does Robert Scoble Know Me?

Scoble, Longhorn EvangelistImage via WikipediaMaybe he does. Likely he does not. I have left a few comments at his blog. I have retweeted a few of his tweets. I have a Direct Message from him on Twitter, and I know enough about him to know that does not make me special. I mean, that guy has thousands of "friends" on FourSquare. He asks to be stalked. I don't think he has self esteem issues. I think he is a social media guinea pig to himself. He wants to go out there and try it out. He once retweeted one of my tweets. He has replied to one or more of my comments at his blog.