20 11 / 2013

Tesla Motors held a job fair last Saturday at their factory at Fremont, CA. Dozen of departments had their booths to talk to attendees. Mostly mechanical, electrical and computer engineers are wanted. Unfortunately, they did not provide a factory tour :)

15 11 / 2013


In my experience, a lot of startup execs understand the relationship side of working with venture capitalists, but they don’t have a deep knowledge of how VC funds work as businesses. This means they can’t really understand why VCs invest the way that they do, or what their concerns are with…

06 11 / 2013

Are all new form-factors among wearable devices really solve your problems in the most convenient way?


Up until the mid-2000s people wanted to bring their desktop experience to mobile devices, thus the appearance of smartphones. With the development of technological convergence, it became possible for one device to combine most of the things users’ needed: camera, mobile phone, Internet browser, GPS, you name it.

Once smartphones technology advanced and its use became widespread, it became apparent that it wasn’t the most convenient and comfortable form factor for certain tasks. People started experimenting with different shapes for devices. The main focus of these trends were:
1. The combination of the required data,
2. The right place (location), and
3. The most convenient way (form factor) to capture it.

For example, taking photos is easier from a glass form, while gathering data about your sleeping habits or workouts would be more comfortable from a person’s wrist, hence smartwatch-type devices.

By now, it seems like wrist-wearable shapes and glass shapes are going to compete for being the major form-factor, especially when Google Glass is released into the mass market.

However, I think that eventually each form factor will find its own best use, focusing on certain tasks and solving particular problems very well. Here are some start-ups that are good in Form-factor/Task fit problem:

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09 10 / 2013

gatech said: What made you pick up the weddingsnap cards and take a photo of them? I'm curious. I thought I would lose the bet to my friends/coworkers.


Hi Kumar! 

Getting back to your question regarding your cards laying on the stairs at Red Rock Coffee at Mountain View, things that actually caught my sight were:

1. Photos on some card faces: just plain curiosity.

2. Social networks logos on cards: well it was not just a photo dropped randomly by someone, it was marketing piece of paper. 

3. There were many of them, about 4 or 5. So I thought, that it was intended to catch attention.

So what was the bet with your friends? did they think nobody will pay attention to so many cards under their feet? :) 

Was that an marketing experiment of your startup?  Can you share your thought on results you got?

How many cards you places at how many places? And which places actually generated feedback?

Did anybody else mentioned those cards?

And what’s the story behind WeddingSnap becoming  Eversnap http://www.eversnapapp.com/ ?

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09 10 / 2013


Sustainable development, sustainable business, sustainable world. All of these terms are currently massively in use across the web and media. You don’t have to be an expert to realize that all these sustainable concepts are applicable for hi-tech startups.

As I see it through the lens of knowledge I have about sustainable practices, there should be three main focus points for a startup to be sustainable.

First, a sustainable idea.

You can convert any idea into a good business only if it is timely delivered to the market.

If it takes you too long to convert your idea into a working product, you can lose the battle without having fired any single shot. I believe there are plenty of examples for this kind of cases. We are also watching how some companies try to catch up with the ideas and solutions in the markets where they are late guests. Say Google+ in social, MeeGo and Maemo in the mobile OS market or HP tablets.

On the other hand, if your idea is ahead of the time it is invented, it will be underestimated. As it was for DodgeBall, the early concept of Foursquare; the idea which the founder had was too brilliant at that time. For instance, there were no GPS on cell phones, needless to say that smart phones per se would come 4-5 years later. Great example of good timing is launching Siri application on iOS. Adam Cheyer, co founder of Siri, had initial idea back in nineteen nineties. But up to 2006 it was not possible to create Siri with full potential due to the lack of available technologies. Adam describes the timing process as:

Timing the Future: 

1. You can be too early.
2. Identify trends.
3. Design something the world will want in two years.

at the talk on his 5 life advices outlined briefly here: “Life is a Gas - 5 life advices from Adam Cheyer founder of Siri”.

To build a successful startup and grow it into a 100-year company, as Evernote mission states, you will need a Sustainable Idea. This means that your idea should pass a time-stress test. Solutions that you are going to build should address the real problems that people face, regardless of the time they live in. Today, 10 years ago, or a decade from now.

As an example, let’s examine the Fabulous Four Companies. Did they all have sustainable ideas at startup phase?

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06 10 / 2013


Over the past three years we’ve watched with amazement as Instagram has grown to a global community of more than 150 million people capturing and sharing the world’s moments. Instagram is a place where people come to connect and be inspired, and our focus with every product we build is keeping it…

3 years and 150M users later, Instagram starting monetization game. Some time in the past Twitter was thinking that putting paid tweets into user’s feed will be harmful. But eventually it became the most efficient way of advertising for Twitter. Let’s see how things will go for Instagram.

27 9 / 2013


National Coffee Day is this Sunday, September 29th. We know, we know… every day is coffee day to you. But we think the almighty java deserves its own special day. To celebrate, we dove into our 4.5 billion check-ins to find some of the most popular coffee shops in the U.S.


Good portion caffeine makes from owl an early bird. Every morning I kick start my day for new discoveries. Foursquare helps me to discover good coffee spots since 2009 when I was one of early adopters. Amazingly since then I used Foursquare to find coffeeshops in places all around the world: from Moscow to Dhaka, from Prague to San Francisco. I had a chance to try 5 out of 10 busiest coffeeshops list.

(Source: foursquare)

25 9 / 2013


Adam Cheyer - most famous for creating Siri, had an exciting talk at Startup Weekend Berkeley last week [1]. Besides Siri, Adam founded two more up-to-date successful companies: “Genetic Finance" and Change.org. Amazingly, Adam founded all three companies simultaneously in early 2007 with only one, main goal in mind, to Impact Users. Well, actually around the Christmas Holidays of 2006, he made a public “New Year’s Resolution” to run 5 projects with high impact in 2007. As we can see 6 years later, three out of five have actually made a huge change in people’s life in different ways.

Here are five points Adam shared with us during the event, along with his reflections on the past 6 years.

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