My February Resolution

My February Resolution
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“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” –Jack Handey, Saturday Night Live

I was scheduled to have foot surgery last Friday morning.  As I was both reading my emails on my iPhone and helping my wife Shannon with the kids’ school lunches that morning, I popped a bite of cheese and salami into my mouth.  A minute later I realized I had broken the cardinal rule of no food or drink eight hours before surgery.  My surgery had to be rescheduled, and

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Calling All Engineers: Why So Serious?

Calling All Engineers: Why So Serious?
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“Why so serious?” –The Joker in Batman Returns

If you are fortunate enough to be building software for a living, do us this small favor: Put a little more personality into your products.

The best products pay deference to their creators. They’re functional, but they also can be fun at times, whimsical, punchy, interesting, sexy and surprising. Done well, they mimic the best parts of the personality of the teams that created them.

The classic example of adding personality to a product is Google’s homepage. Is there a more

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Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

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I spent this morning at the Career Day of my youngest kids’ elementary school (West Mercer) with about 30 third, fourth, and fifth graders.  My session was entitled “Your $100,000,000 Idea.”  My goal was to explain what a venture capitalist does, lay out the criteria we use to make investments (team, product, market, business model and timing), and give each student the opportunity to pitch a new business concept. I told the students that each group would pick a winning idea, and I would publish the winners here.

To my surprise, the ideas the students came up with were incredibly

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My Holiday Gift to You: The Funniest VC Video Ever

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We may not know each other, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give you a meaningful holiday gift.  I recently got an email from a high-ranking official in Nigeria offering to reward me with a huge amount of money if I just sent a few dollars to help someone wrongly accused get out of jail.  I then got a similar email from a Ugandan prince.  People are so giving this time of year.

So from my family to yours and without further ado, here’s Gary the Snoman!

http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/7ki

My favorite line (although there are a lot to

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Do Diligence on Us

Do Diligence on Us
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“Think of him as chewing gum. By the end of the game, I want you to know what flavor he is.” – Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman), Hoosiers

Entrepreneurs don’t do enough diligence on their investors.

As venture investors, we do a lot of diligence on you. We call references, both on and off your reference sheet. In our partnership discussion, we talk about your strengths and weaknesses, your character, your ability to grow the business, your idiosyncrasies, whether you will want to sell too early, your willingness to take feedback, and everything else under the sun. We are making a bet on you just

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