Adventures in Venture Capital

Let GitHub Sort Unicorn Investors From the Real Deal

Peter Thiel (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Venture capital returns follow the power law, according to Peter Thiel.  He’s right. Look at your favorite venture capitalist, then look at her exits. You may see many names you know, but start to break down for how much each one sold or how much they are valued. You’ll see just one or two big wins swamp the rest.

Peter Thiel himself made almost all of his startup returns from Facebook, not directly from his years at PayPal. Even the venerable Y Combinator sees almost all future profits deriving from just two companies: AirBnB and DropBox. Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

PayPal App Just Made Splitting Your NYC Restaurant Check a Lot Easier

Someone's carbo-loading. (Photo via

Splitting the cost of a dinner between friends can be frustrating now that so many people don’t carry cash. But thanks to a new partnership between MyCheck and PayPal, the process just got a lot easier — as long as you’re dining at a participating restaurant.

Starting last week, PayPal’s mobile app incorporates technology from MyCheck, an app that enables customers to split their restaurant bill item-by-item and pay through the app. It eliminates the awkwardness of trying to split up a restaurant bill line-by-line and saves time, enabling diners to pay through the app and leave whenever they want.  Read More


Booting Up: ‘Selfie’ Named Word of the Year, But At Least It’s Not ‘Moist’

SELFIE (Photo: Celebuzz)

Starting today, Uber passengers can now pay for their rides using PayPal. [GigaOM]

We’d love to be at the meeting between the RapGenius guys and the songwriters’ group accusing them of stealing their work. [The Wrap]

The usage of the word “selfie” shot up 17,000% since two years ago with the Instagram accounts of Betabeat’s staff accounting for half of that. [USA Today]

If you have all of your 401(k) invested in Bitcoins, yesterday was a worrying time since it lost nearly $300 of its value in a half hour. [GeekWire]

The founders of Myspace blame Rupert Murdoch for destroying the site and nothing else. [Huffington Post]

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (PayPal BattleHack, ATT Hackathon, Social Retail Summit, Startup Grind)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

Its summertime! And instead of eating out at the same ol’ joints, I want to try out some new places. So send me your restaurant recommendations (and maybe mention what you liked about them and which dishes I should try). Read More


Booting Up: You May Now Makeout With the Digg Reader iOS App


Digg Reader, which many bloggers would like to kiss on the mouth, is now available as an iPhone app. [TechCrunch]

Three key figures in the technology world were inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame yesterday: storied venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, the late hacktivist Aaron Swartz and open source deity (and foot thing eater) Richard Stallman. [Business Insider]

A young Icelandic man who served as a long-time Wikileaks volunteer was actually a double agent, passing information about Wikileaks onto the FBI in exchange for $5,000. Cheap date. [Wired]

In case you didn’t already transfer your X-rated material over to Tumblr, Google doesn’t want you to make money off of your porny Blogger account. [The Verge]

PayPal has launched an initiative (read: viral marketing scheme) to help tackle payments in space. Makes sense, given how much its cofounder Elon Musk is invested in making it to Mars. [PayPal blog]

New York-based network TV streaming service Aereo is launching in Chicago in September. [Deadline]

Thielin' It

Immortal Billionaire Peter Thiel to Write Book Your Weird Uncle Will Give You for Graduation

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Peter Thiel, the dashing PayPal founder who was born when Ray Kurzweil and a unicorn cyborg mated beneath a full moon, is adding “author” to his long list of accomplishments. The New York Times reports that Mr. Thiel, a utopia-obsessed angel investor who spends a large chunk of his life convincing impressionable geniuses to eschew college degrees, is currently working on a book about “building companies” called Zero to One. Read More