Archive for July, 2006

The World’s Loss

Jul 30 2006 Published by under General

The world lost an amazing guy on July 29th – my friend Gary Childs passed away at the age of 50. His personality brought warmth wherever he went causing infectious smiles to spread throughout the room.

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Gary had a bigger heart than anyone I’ve ever met, connecting with countless people around the world because he sincerely cared about them, regardless of whether they were a friend or stranger. His passion and love cannot be replaced. He was a lot of things to a lot of people but most importantly he was a friend to all. If you had the pleasure of meeting him then you know what I’m talking about.

I miss you already Gary. Thank you for everything.

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Interesting New VC Partner

Jul 26 2006 Published by under Startup Strategy

Opus Capital pinged me with an interesting email today drawing my attention to their new partner. They’ve hired Serge Plotkin, a Stanford associate professor who is an expert in security, networking, and storage.

The most interesting line of the email, that wasn’t included in the press release: “the addition of Serge gives Opus Capital’s portfolio companies unique access to his technical expertise”.

In-house technical expertise that is then made available to portfolio companies – sounds like a value-add service aiming to help create competitive advantage. It will be interesting to see how Opus utilizes Plotkin’s skills.

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Personal Filters

Jul 25 2006 Published by under Startup Strategy

Recently I took a call from a friend asking me for a book recommendation – it turns out he had failed to find a good one after walking around the bookstore looking, randomly, for a “good book on sales”.

I remember when I used to gamble on books. I’d check out the new releases, I’d take a peak at a few books on the shelves, and then, well, I’d randomly pick one. What prompted the decision? Who knows. It doesn’t matter because I regularly picked awful books.

After one especially bad book I had had enough. I was tired of reading garbage — consuming books is a finite thing and my attention is increasingly scarce.

So I started to build personal filters. Certain friends, Amazon recommends, select blogs, … I started to only read books that came through a collection of these filters. The result? I haven’t read a bad book since. Seriously.

I’ve now done the same with music and am starting to do it with movies, events, etc. These are smash-ups of ultra low-tech filters with high-tech solutions.

The results are great but I feel like we’re on the cusp of making the entire process more efficient through technology. Leveraging a number of different sources – Amazon, AttentionTrust, Root Vaults, Pandora, … – we’ll soon have incredible personal filters.

While we should get excited about what’s ahead, we should also remember that there are way too many still wandering the book store, searching randomly for that “good book”.

The challenge is to bring the value of personal filters to them in a consumable way. There’s still a long way to go with that.

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Songs of Summer – “Youth”

Jul 23 2006 Published by under General,Media

A few months ago my friend and roommate at the time, Allan, recommeneded I give Matisyahu a listen. So I did. While I liked it, I didn’t really get into him at the time.

Well, Matisyahu has now been recommended to me by a few others so I gave him another listen. And I strongly recommend you check this guy out.

His music is unique and enjoyable. A “popular Hasidic Jewish Reggae artist” (how often do you read that?), Matisyahu’s story is great.

Here’s his song, Youth, a great song of summer.

Speaking of Allan

He was called to the bar on Friday – congratulations! Allan was my random roommate in first year and grew to become a best friend. It’s incredible to see someone so close realize a goal that they’ve been working towards for so long. I’m proud of you Al.

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Washington DC

Jul 23 2006 Published by under General

I spent the weekend in DC with my brother catching up with some great friends at a bachelor party.

While I love the perks of frequent flier miles (being able to give Dave a trip to DC for his bday was great) I now officially can not stand Air Canada. I won’t get into it but Friday night was a terrible experience.

However, after our TSN turning point Saturday morning things were amazing from then on.

So many wild laughs. Such a great trip. It was a pleasure to meet so many great new guys.

Saturday was mellow, hanging out at a pool. Saturday night was, as to be expected, crazy. And Sunday, before we headed to the airport to catch the plane, we visit a few of the landmarks around DC.

Congrats Sebastian, Happy bday/graduation Dave. Thanks for an incredible weekend.

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