Archive for 2017

  • Sumo in Osaka: Time for Spring Renewal

    March 26, 2017

    Since I’ve started the habit of posting on sumo championship days, I figure why not keep the momentum. This Osaka basho was especially significant for a few reaons: First, it was Kisenato’s first tournament as a newly-minted grand champion Yokozuna. The first Japanese native Yokozuna in 19 years, “Kise” set out to prove to the […]

  • You can’t manage what you can’t measure (or, How to enter the multiverse)

    March 15, 2017

    I just read a sci-fi thriller about parallel universes that may be a candidate for this year’s summer reading list. Part of the plot invokes the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. In the past I’ve reflected on the impact of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in journalism, but this novel in combination with this excellent interview with Chris […]

  • Back by popular demand: Buy, Sell, or Hold

    March 9, 2017

    A year ago I played Buy, Sell, or Hold on a trip home to Silicon Valley (the logic being that not all but many global trends start in California). The post proved so popular that I decided to play the game again last week. (For those not familiar with the game: Buy, Sell, or Hold? […]

  • This week’s conferences on Mobile and Gaming trigger a nostalgic trip down memory lane

    March 3, 2017

    [Note: this is the English version of yesterday’s piece I wrote for Japan’s publication, The Bridge. The Japanese version can be found here.] This week we have the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Both major technology conferences; both happening at the same time. So difficult to choose… […]

  • One of the most basic errors in pitching a VC rears its head again

    February 27, 2017

    A lot has been written on why entrepreneurs who are pitching for VC funding should aim for endorsed introductions rather than sending unsolicited emails as strangers. I’ve even crafted some guidelines for entrepreneurs in How To Pitch Me (connect via one of my portfolio companies, engage with me on my blog, approach me at a […]

  • The disruption in mobile gaming monetization that few are talking about

    February 21, 2017

    With GDC approaching next week, mobile gaming is on my mind. Truth be told, I was never much of a gamer myself, yet the industry has always fascinated me from an investment perspective. In 2016 we witnessed numerous noteworthy events in mobile gaming: the record-breaking success of Pokémon Go, the critically debated walking start to […]

  • 12 employee incentives for your startup which hardly cost a cent

    February 13, 2017

    I like to preach that Silicon Valley no longer has a monopoly on tech innovation. Startup ecosystems around the world have emerged and have produced many game-changing innovations over the past couple decades. Yet in one area several of these communities (not all, but many) remain in the dark ages relative to North America: employee […]

  • Hatsu basho: Kisenosato finally breaks through

    February 7, 2017

    It feels appropriate to bring the relief of closure to a topic that I’ve referenced in recent pieces: the fate of Japanese sumo rikishi Kisenosato. In Goeido’s perfect sumo tournament: when talent and consistency converge and Sumo in Kyushu: the lesson of killer instinct, I drew some broader lessons about the qualities of diligent work […]

  • Act Globally, Eat Locally

    February 1, 2017

    By 2050, we’ll need to find a way to feed 9.7 billion people. Current food production methods will not suffice. They’re too inefficient (it takes at least 9 calories of food production to produce 1 calorie of edible meat) and harmful to the environment (see Environmental impacts of farming). Many developed countries will even struggle […]

  • A day without AI is like a day without wine

    January 23, 2017

    As I mentioned in my predictions post, I believe 2017 will be a breakout year for deployment of Artificial Intelligence. By this I mean that AI companies will start to master the processes of expectation management and social engineering in order to bring AI across the chasm of consumer perception. Several VCs smarter than I […]

  • More entertaining than nitrous oxide, but M&A was no laughing matter for AirGas

    January 17, 2017

    Even those who may not get excited about the stodgy industrial gases business but with a passing interest in the topic of M&A may find this story intriguing. It gives a glimpse into two hostile takeover defenses: the poison pill and a staggered board. It’s also a tale that hits particularly close to home (if […]

  • Experimenting vs Predicting

    January 11, 2017

    I am more inclined to invest in entrepreneurs who excel at experimenting rather than excel at predicting. I acknowledge the irony of writing this on the heels of posting a series of tech predictions for 2017. Let me explain. The act of making predictions is fun… and invaluable. It’s a prerequisite that entrepreneurs form a […]

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