Sen Dodd’s bill vs startups

I was running around yesterday bouncing from meeting to meeting but I did see this tweet by Josh Kopelman.

I hit “favorite” on Tweetie which is my way of bookmarking the tweet to read later.

So this morning I clicked through and read the entire article on the Huffington Post.

Senator Dodd is proposing a bill that introduces a review period on angel investments and reduces the number of angel investors.

That section would require, for the first time, companies seeking angel investment to make a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which would have 120 days to review it. This would both raise the cost of seeking angels and delay the ability of companies to benefit from their funding.

The negative impact of the SEC filing requirement would be aggravated by the proposed doubling of the net worth or income thresholds required for investors to be “accredited." 

I’m not sure why Senator Dodd feels compelled to go after startups and angel investors but this is simply nuts. Angel investors play a critical role in the startup ecosystem. 

I encourage you to contact your elected officials and let them know how you feel. That’s what I’m going to do.

via jenrobinson:

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (radio rip)


A studio version of this unreleased track debuted on BBC Radio this morning. Naturally, the radio rip was on every blog on my radar before I got out of bed. Great to hear the official version of this live cut that made the rounds last year. From the forthcoming High Violet, out May 11 on 4AD. 


Startup Presentations

It’s easy for a VC to give feedback on presentation and demo styles. We see zillions week in and week out.

The great ones stand out.

But it’s easier said than done which is one of the reasons why I regularly give presentations. Whether it’s at a conference, or our annual shareholder meeting or a meetup or panel or whatever. It’s important to practice what you preach.

This afternoon I was at the YC Demo Day in Mountain View and sat through 26 startup presentations, back to back with just one brief break in the middle.

My head is spinning but I have to say, they all did a mighty fine job presenting their companies. 

Things that stood out from a presentation point of view:

1 – You could see the passion in their eyes. These folks were pumped and it showed. And keep in mind this was Day 2, so they did this whole program the day before. Tireless passion. You can’t teach this. 

2 – Each presentation was roughly 5 minutes long. It sounds awfully quick but they made the most of it.

3 – I loved the rhythm of these presentation. Quick intro of the founders, problem description, product description and then demo. Bam, bam, bam. Perfect. 

4 – A number of entrepreneurs used humor in their presentations in just the right amounts. Too little and the presentation can by dry. Too much and it’s just, well, a joke. But the right amount is a wonderful way to engage your audience. 

5 – Practice, practice, practice. It’s obvious that Paul Graham, the founder of YC, plays a huge role in helping these (mostly) first time entrepreneurs find their way and put together their presentations. And it’s also obvious that these founders practice their pitch over and over again so they can nail it in a room full of strangers. 

I really enjoyed todays YC demo day. Very cool companies and founders showing how much is possible with a small amount of capital. 

Well done!

My Daytrotter drawing

One of my favorite music sites is Daytrotter

It’s such a cool site – love the music and the feel of the site. I also dig the drawings of the various artists. 

I’ve gotten to know George Howard from this blog and it turns out he works with Daytrotter. Today, i received this cool Daytrotter drawing based on my current profile pic on Twitter

I really like it and will most likely make it my new image on my various social nets.

Thanks George!

The U.S. Congress seems to have taken the first steps toward offering government protections to American citizens in regard to their health care. This is being accomplished via an extremely imperfect set of inconsistent regulations, cobbled together as a result of courage, compromise, and cowardice, in ways that will infuriate many, but which will help millions. I’m not much of a praying man, but I say Hallelujah and Amen.

My trouble with eBay

I use eBay from time to time. I buy things that I can’t purchase easily from Amazon or locally, like out of stock items. The perfect use case for me these days is buying vinyl records on eBay. It’s worked like a charm for me every time and I’m buying records across the globe.

Selling on eBay is awful in my experience. I have a lot of gadgets. So recently I decided to list some of them on eBay.

The process to list an item is painful in my opinion but that’s not the bad part.

The bad part is what comes next. Endless requests from people asking if you will end the auction early, or go around ebay, or people bidding & winning an auction and then flaking out. I’m now 0 for 3. I think I’m done.

There has to be a better way. What do you think? Is my experience likes yours or is it much better for everyone else?