Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (The Pinteresting Edition)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & 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 follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at]

Alley vs. Valley 2.0?
Holy Guacamole! Am I hallucinating or are micro-blogging pioneer and Silicon Alley darling Tumblr and the latest social media “pinning” sensation, Reddit for girls and current Silicon Valley obsession Pinterest heading for an epic startup throwdown? Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

The Best Tech Events This Week (The NY Giants SuperBowl Champions Edition)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & 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 follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at]

Believe In Yourself
Back in mid-December just seven weeks ago, the Giants were 7-7 after a loss to low-ranked Redksins. Folks were calling for coach Tom Coughlin’s head, Eli Manning was being doubted as an elite quarterback and it seemed like the Giants’ post-season hopes were fading fast.

As a startup entrepreneur, it is common to be told that something is not going to work or that your startup is going to fail or that you don’t have what it takes. But real entrepreneurs never let that discourage them. In fact if anything that puts a spark inside them and motivates them even more to go out and prove their detractors wrong. Read More


Breaking: Guy Works from Home, Cooks Himself Breakfast (Or “A Response to Chris Dixon on Startups and Journalism”)

Via Business Insider.

Maybe you’ve heard of (Harlem) startup PolicyMic, the startup most famous for:

- Having a former Goldman Sachs trader who quit his job venture into StartupLand,
- Being a fancy politics forum where the ability to speak is doled out in a currency of “Mics,”
- Having contributors like Condoleezza Rice, and especially,
- Being based out of Harlem. Harlem! How utterly progressive/gentrification-forward!

Well, Business Insider has finally cracked the largest story on (Harlem) startup PolicyMic basically ever. Are you ready?

Boom: Read More


What Obligation do Startup Founders Owe Their Investors?

What did you sign?

This is a guest post from Eric Wiesen, a general partner at RRE. It originally appeared on his blog.

The recent acquisition of Gowalla by Facebook is just the latest incidence of the potential tension between investors and founders when a company is acquired primarily for the team rather than for the technology, product or business that they’ve built. People around the web will take the opportunity to observe that in situations where a company is acquired in this way, the founders typically get a package of equity to motivate them to join (and remain at) the acquiring company, while investors usually get anywherefrom zero to a small return on invested capital. Look around and you’ll find people willing to condemn the founders for unethically “selling out” their investors and you’ll find people who say the exact opposite, that such a company didn’t have saleable assets anyway, and so investors are owed nothing because the business failed. Read More

Hackers Beware

Hacker Poll Finds Stock Options Are a Risky Bet

There is an informal poll running on Paul Graham’s Hacker News right now asking startup workers about their experience with stock options.

“Just want to see how much people earn actual cash from their employee stock options. If you joined a startup as an employee and had some stock options, how much did you earn during exit or IPO?”

The most common response by far: None – my stock option vanished and don’t own any Read More

Startup Life

U CAN’T HAZ SADZ: The Hushed Dangers of Startup Depression


EARLIER THIS MONTH, ON A SUNDAY MORNING, the startup world woke up to that rare stripe of news which quietly sends shockwaves reverberating throughout an entire culture of people: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22 years old, had passed away. The cause of death “appears to be a suicide,” noted a San Francisco police officer who spoke with CNN. A forthcoming coroner’s report will make a final determination. Mr. Zhitomirskiy was one of the four co-founders of Diaspora*, once breathlessly hyped in a May 2010 New York Times article as a “cry to arms” against Facebook, in a story that employed a classic tech narrative: four brilliant young men, on the verge of changing the world, subsisting on ramen and pizza.

Y Combinator’s Hacker News link to the item racked up pages of comments, many devoted to shouting down those who wanted to have a discussion about depression in the technology and startup community, noting it as an inappropriate moment for that topic. One user noted that a breaking news thread announcing Mr. Zhitomirskiy’s death was “a terrible place to have a discussion about ‘the stresses of life … related to tech.’”

Another disagreed: “We don’t talk about suicide in society very well let alone within the startup community. Founders find themselves in extremely stressful situations and living lifestyles that exacerbate the effects of this stress.”

This second comment read in contrast to the first, whose final suggestion on the matter was to “have that discussion inside your head” for the time being, and then go talk about it some other time. Read More