Cat People (Putting Out The Fire) -David Bowie

via echolot:

Saw Inglorious Basterds last night and it really is an amazing movie. Utterly fantastic performance by all actors (most notably Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Brad Pitt and August Diehl). This is the track playing when Shosanna Dreyfuss (Mélanie Laurant) prepares for her vengeance, putting on make-up, Rambo-style. She’s a true revelation and the track is a perfect fit for this scene.

I gotta see this movie.

Writing down your life story

We spent Thursday and Friday in New York City.

Yesterday, we arrived at my parents in Long Island. Last night after the kids went to bed, my dad told us some amazing things about his childhood that I had never heard before.

My brother and I have learned a lot about my parents lives over the years but I know there are gaps missing from the stories. And there are certainly photos missing. The old photos we have aren’t tagged or organized at all and we don’t have any videos naturally.

I told my parents that they should write down their life story. Start at the beginning. They have led fascinating lives. One little tidbit: They both came from different countries to the United States in the 60’s. My mom is from Korea. My dad is from Iran. They met after medical school during their residency in New York. My mom was supposed to be arranged but she met my dad. There is so much more to their story….

These days many of us are sharing our lives on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, blogs and flickr. It’s an attempt to write down and share our life story. From the seemingly mundane to the other end of the spectrum.

I hope my kids can one day check out my shared life to get another window into my life story.

And hopefully they will do the same for the next generation.

Beware of the complicated deal (part II)

A few months ago I wrote about the woes of complicated deals.

I’ve recently seen a number of complicated deals and thought it was worth sharing the issues that come along with them.

One of our companies is looking for an independent board member. We have a few candidates in mind. One of them in particular seems like a great given his track record. But that person wants a complicated arrangement. I haven’t seen anything quite like it in any of our other portfolio companies. I’ve encouraged the CEO to offer this person a simple standard offer (for this type of position) or just move on. I am a big fan of this individual but not the deal being proposed.

I’ve also seen a number of startups lately where the employees have different deals, terms, incentives, employment contracts etc. I’m all for a meritocracy where some employees deserve more compensation. However, I would highly recommend keeping the terms standard and just dial up (or down) the cash and stock. Everyone should have the same terms when it comes to vesting, acceleration, severance, bonus schedule, etc (except the founders in some cases). It’s easier to keep track, minimizes resentment (or regrets) and makes future hires easier.

The last one I’ll share today is equity financing terms. The first problem with complicated terms in financing documents is the chance that honest mistakes are made along the way. It happens.


The second problem is that you have to live with those complicated terms and most likely will have to give those same rights to future investors as well. Those complicated terms live on forever and might even compound. That’s not good for the founders/employees and it’s not good for the early investors.

As always the best things in life are simple.