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Krash won't crash

on Sat, 12/21/2013 - 20:57

I love what the team at Krash is doing. They're building a nice new version of cohousing.  Previously seen mostly in immediate-post-college, counterculture, and artist communities, Krash is targeting a new customer: founders / employees at (primarily infotech) startups.

The Krash facility is typically a place that can house a couple of dozen short-to-medium turm renters or more, with 2-3 single beds / room (including linen & cleaning service), multiple common kitchens, common living areas, and all the tech goodies that tech startup people need, from fast network to IdeaPaint walls and ping


Why zero-revenue companies can be worth billions

on Mon, 12/02/2013 - 19:08

In a recent blog post, Fred Destin of Atlas Ventures (again) added sanity into the discussions about why zero-revenue companies can receive valuations of many billions of dollars.

I agree with everything he said. There's one more point I'd add: Large scale audiences have a valuation-per-engaged-user.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all started out as zero-revenue companies. But after they achieved the scale and level of ongoing user-engagement that they have today, the smart management teams started inserting various ways to monetize the engaged users.

The Boston Tech Line

on Fri, 06/28/2013 - 20:11

I've recently been struck by the the office locations at which I've found Boston area startups taking root. And a pattern emerged for me: the center of gravity is along the MBTA Red Line.  And there are so many companies it now significantly outweighs the historically-named "128 Corridor."

This shift in the Boston tech scene is so significant that I think we (the Boston tech community) should name this new corridor, and start using the name to bring attention to it. The mere act of doing so can accelerate the reality of it.

Minimize use of CxO titles at early company stages

on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 02:36

I'm about 10 months into helping a bunch of startups through organizations like TechStars, MassChallenge, and others.  And I've seen an emerging trend among startups that I want to discourage: The over - and inappropriate - use of "Chief (fill-in-the-blank)" titles.

"What's the problem," you ask?  "Why not give people CxO roles?" There are a bunch of reasons:


Families - not age - affects startups

on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:15

On February 17, 2013, Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe wrote an article Exploring the Age Divide in Boston Start-Ups. It infuritated me for two reasons: 1) It's probably true, but 2) for different reasons than Scott asserted.

Scott's premise is that start-ups are only the domain of young, 20-somethings. He concludes "older people" (over 30?) don't do startups because they:

  1. Moved to - and so work - in the 'burbs;
  2. Won't put in the hours required by a startup;
  3. Have atrophying skills (e.g. Java vs. RoR);
  4. Are less malleable and trainable;
  5. Have higher salary expectations than startups can supply;