The Tumblr community

One of the things I really like about Tumblr is the vibrant community.

For example, Tumblepedia was created by Cameron Hunt. Cameron doesn’t work for Tumblr but he’s a big part of the community. Tumblepedia is a very helpful site with and also has some very cool Tumblr themes. 

I’m finding more and more tumblelog’s that I enjoy, like Bill Israel’s tumblelog. It turns out he’s a very active part of the community as well. He has created some beautiful Tumblr themes. We’ve never met but I reached out to Bill last week and he returned my email right away. He has been simply amazing & helpful to me personally.  And I want to thank him. My tumblelog is based on his design.

And then there is Daniel Ha. Some folks have told me that they don’t want to use Tumblr because the current version doesn’t have comments. Well my tumblelog has comments because it’s very easy to integrate the Disqus commenting service. Daniel Ha is the founder of Disqus and he tumbles at ObscurelyFamous.  And he’s another person that I’m thankful to have met.

The Tumblr community rocks. 

I’m now Tumbling

I met David Karp last year. He was helping out a number of folks create, design and develop their web properties. We started spending more time earlier this year when we made our investment in Next New Networks. David had been helping Fred Seibert (cofounder of NNN) for years

At that time David also showed me his latest creation – Tumblr. And since then we’ve gotten to know each other and I started to really love what Tumblr was all about. Tumblr makes blogging super simple. And you can create a tumblelog just by linking & sharing in addition to a “traditional” blog posts like this one. If you have found blogging to exhausting but love the idea then give Tumblr a try. It’s a lot of fun.

Some great examples of tumblelogs powered by Tumblr include:

Fred Wilson
Jake Jarvis
Jakob Lodwick
Kevin Rose
David Karp
Marco Arment
Andrew Parker 

By early fall, David decided to create Tumblr Inc and spend his time building out the service. We recently invested in the company along with our friends at Union Square Ventures, John Borthwick, Fred Seibert, Jakob Lodwick and Albert Wenger.

David is gearing up for a new release of Tumblr on November 1st and the new stuff looks fantastic.

And I’m now tumbling as well. So this will most likely be my last post on typepad.

Please check out my new site at www.bijansabet.com from now on. And I hope to see you on Tumblr too.

(note: If you are subscribing to his feed then you don’t have to make any changes to your reader. This feed will now grab my new site. Thanks to Brad Feld and David for the tip on how to do this. If you aren’t reading this feed than subscribe now 🙂

The Fall of an American Icon


  THE FALL OF AN AMERICAN ICON 
  Originally uploaded by maebmij.

It’s hard to believe that this was the cover of Business Week in 1996 (full story here)

Everyone at the time was predicting the downfall of Apple Computer.

And today Apple announced yet another amazing quarter. They sold 10M ipods, 2.1M macs and 1.1M iphones this quarter. They generated $3.5B in net income for the year. The company now has over $15B in cash and no debt. And the are telling the street that Q1FY08 is going to be huge.

This company is simply incredible.

Go Apple.

(disclosure: i own apple stock. and i’m not selling anytime soon)



The Fall of an American Icon

Let’s get rid of the Non-Compete

I spent nearly 10 years working in the bay area. I worked at a number of startups and most importantly I worked with some amazing people. And I worked with those same amazing people over and over again in different companies.

My experience was hardly the exception. Many great companies in Silicon Valley have teams that have worked together time and time again.

When I moved back to Boston I forgot all about non-competes. I was frankly surprised that employers not only require them but they actually enforce them. This means that if you leave a company, you are not allowed to work for a competitor. The definition of a “competitor” is often broad and confusing.

As a result Boston startups have a real disadvantage from day 0. Boston entrepreneurs have one arm tied behind their back compared to their west coast counterparts. Imagine if Mass. didn’t have a non-compete. What could the successful alumni from EMC, Lotus, Lycos, Akamai, DEC, Avid, Sonus, Groove, etc have possibly created after leaving those companies?

Or think about the reverse? What if CA had a non-compete. We might not have seen Intel, AMD, Apple, Oracle, SalesForce.com, Adobe, ,  develop the way they did (those companies were started by entrepreneurs that were at “competitive” companies prior).

There are many reasons why the east coast vs west coast debate continues. There are some complex issues at work and it might take some time.

Getting rid of the non-compete should be an easy one though. Let’s do it.



Let’s get rid of the Non-Compete

Flickr+Twitter by Dave Winer

I’ve been using Dave Winer’s Flickr-to-Twitter for a few months now.

Using Dave’s software, I take a photo with my iPhone or Curve, email it to flickr, and it automatically posts to Twitter with the name of the photo and the url. It works simply and perfectly.

It’s one of my favorite uses of Twitter & flickr. Sharing a photo “in the moment”. But it is been a closed service and unavailable to the general public.

Until now. Dave has decided to open up the service to anyone. If you use Twitter and use Flickr then this is a no brainer. You’ll love it.

If you use Flickr and haven’t tried Twitter than I bet this will get you start twittering away.



Flickr+Twitter by Dave Winer

Radio 2.0

Several years ago I simply gave up on the radio. I decided it wasn’t for me. Music on the radio felt stale and I couldn’t stand the commercials.

So I decided to listen to my personal music collection as a substitute for radio. It began with a big honking server that stored my Mp3 collection. I have gone through too many “player” devices that access this server. My favorite right now is Sonos. And while we love our Sonos and mp3 server. It’s not a system to discover new music. It’s just a fancy home networked ipod in many ways.

Music discovery for me nowadays is practically 100% online. Places like Hype Machine, Project Playlist, various mp3 blogs, Last.fm give me more than i could imagine.

But I can’t get any of that internet radio goodness in the car or on my home audio system. For our cars, we are satellite radio subscribers. Lauren has XM radio. I have SIRIUS in my car. It’s better than terrestrial radio but in many ways it’s still lame.

The big problem with broadcast radio (satellite or terrestrial) is that it’s broadcast. It’s one-way. You can’t share it with friends. You can’t comment on it. You can’t keep history. You can’t create a playlist. You can’t personalize it. And broadcast will never give you the range of internet radio content. Even satellite radio, with all of their channels, has a limited playlist per channel.

The broadcast radio industry is trying to catch up. HD is smart. And they recently agreed on an iTunes-based tagging service. Linking broadcast with the web is a good idea. It’s certainly better than my current method of tagging the radio 🙂

HD radio and satellite radio feel like a band-aid. it’s just an interim step while we wait for the inevitable. We want a full internet radio experience in our cars, on our mobile phones and on our home entertainment systems.

That’s what I want. Give me Radio 2.0



Radio 2.0

Getting trashed

Someone recently trashed me pretty good.

It was an entrepreneur and he wasn’t happy that I didn’t invest in his company. I was very clear on why I wasn’t going to invest this time around. I told him directly & clearly & quickly. But I guess that wasn’t good enough. So he took it out on me behind my back. And I found out. Maybe I was supposed to?

The odd thing is that this person then called me for advice a week or so later. He has a bunch of VC friends so i was a quite surprised that he reached out to me about his particular question.

Odd behavior coming from a guy that trashed me.

Anyway, I answered his questions and gave him some pointers.

Felt good giving him advice. But also felt pretty bad too.

Time to forget it I suppose.



Getting trashed