Archive for April, 2008

“Valley of the Shadow”

Posted by Nick

This weekend at UCSC’s College Eight reunion, I had a chance to speak with and listen to Sunil Paul and Reid Hoffman on the topic of Green Entrepreneurship. (This same week, my Partner, Sir Savage, shared a stage with another beauty, Caprice.) During his discussion, Reid referred to startup teams as “the walking dead”, inasmuch as you’re in with a group of folks, walking through the Valley of the Shadow from Day 1, with no free cashflow and mounting liabilities, and somehow you carry on, half alive, if only through sheer will.

It’s a true statement–startups are essentially the walking dead en small masse. In order to see their way to success, many endure bleak, dark periods where their faith in the corporate mission is tested.

Though dark, these times are by no means hopeless. Indeed, others have weathered similar storms before, oftentimes to much success afterwards. Reid and Sunil offered these instructive thoughts to captain the ship through during trying times:

1) Establish an Advisory Board of seasoned professionals who can help provide long-term, ongoing guidance;

2) Scale your organization and it’s reach through online networks to reach new, untapped audience;

3) Value and set a precedent of professionalism and partnership with your early customers–they are your most valuable and will set the tone for all relationships to come.

Wild weekend. Beautiful in San Francisco–do come visit.

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April 27, 2008 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Flowers in Their Hair

Posted by Nick

San Francisco’s long had a green vibe to it. Curbside recycling rates in the San Franciscan metropolitan area rank among the highest in the nation, and with ecopreneurs like Recycle Bank entering the mix, these rates are quickly being matched nationwide. California will likely continue to be fertile ground for new ideas that power the green economy. Across every industry in California (indeed, the globe), a green revolution is underway. Local government initiatives such as the cities of San Francisco’s and Palo Alto’s are awakening the collective unconscious of urban preservation. Venture Capital firm’s such as Vinod Khosla’s and Al Gore’s & Dave Blood’s Generation Management are creating green jobs through double bottom line investments. The Federal government, for its part, continues–albeit slowly–to increase incentives for renewable energy standards and programs. Looking forward, it is imperative that federal investment continue into these innovative enterprises through mechanisms such as the Federal Income Tax Credit for solar installations. Coupled with the grassroots initiatives such as the one spearheaded by Van Jones at the Ella Baker Center, and the larger, global, consumer tide turning communities green, California remains poised to benefit and prosper from the coming Green Renaissance.

It’s fertile ground out West. As a native, I hope you’ll join us, if only in spirit. And should you go so far as to come to California, please, do, wear flowers in your hair.

April 27, 2008 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

Why entrepreneurs succeed…

Not because they have good ideas, or money, or the golden touch… but because if you get out there and do it, you are often exposed to a multitude of other opportunities. If you start talking and walking, you get places.

This is one of the best quotes I’ve come across that describes why starting a business is both exciting and rewarding. So start talking ideas, and make them happen.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

W. H. Murray (often misquoted as Goethe).

We also came across this video this week, which blew our minds!

April 18, 2008 at 1:36 am 2 comments


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