Making Holograms Real

Looking Glass, a Brooklyn-based company we recently led the Series A investment in, just released HoloPlayer One, the world’s first interactive lightfield development kit. This is a new interface that lets groups of people see and interact with floating 3D scenes without VR or AR headgear. While it’s an early release dev kit, it’s still as close to achieving the dream of the hologram shown in Blade Runner 2049 as I’ve seen.

This is relevant in my world because an investment theme we think a lot about is Human Computer Interaction. While it’s dangerous to try to predict the future, I think it’s a safe bet that in 20 years humans won’t be interacting with computers in the same way they are now. Amazon Echo is an example of one massive HCI shift that will impact our lives for years to come. Looking Glass is betting that another HCI

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Good Bad Like Dislike

There’s a magnificent exercise that I like to do for myself on a periodic basis. I’m sure it has a more formal name but I call it “Good Bad Like Dislike.”

I create a two by two matrix that looks like this:

I then go through my calendar for the next few months as a starting point to stimulate things to put in each box. I’m careful not to put specific items in the box, but concepts. For example, “Managing Other People” often ends up in “Bad – Dislike” box when I realize, through my forward calendar review, that I have a set of activities where I’m managing others. Or, instead of Good-Dislike: Company X Board Dinner, I end up writing “Board Dinners” in the Good-Dislike Category.

To be more specific, I deeply dislike managing others. While I might have been good at it a long time ago, and

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Book: The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap – From Concept to IPO

The NYSE recently published a book – The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap – From Concept to IPO that I’ve been involved in. I wrote a chapter and made a number of introductions to the team working on the book that resulted in a number of other chapters.

The book covers a variety of stages of company development, including:

  • The Seed Stage: Starting a Company
  • The Growth Stage: Scaling the Business
  • Late Stage: Preparing for the next chapter
  • The Exit: Strategies and Options
  • Corporate Governance and Other Considerations

It’s free to download in PDF, EPUB, or Kindle.

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Do You Reduce Stress Or Increase Stress?

Mark Cuban had a great line a few weeks ago at the interview I did with him and Charlie Ergen at Denver Startup Week. He said:

“I like to invest in people who reduce stress and avoid people who increase stress.”

As I was dealing with something yesterday, this reappeared in my brain but slightly modified.

“I like to be the person who reduces stress and avoid people who increase stress.”

My world is filled with people who increase stress. It’s particularly true around negotiations, but it is also prevalent in board level interactions, relationships with founders, dynamics with leaders, and everything else that has to do with companies. And this is just in my business world. When you wander into other areas, like politics, news, and even social situations, the level of stress (which often masquerades as drama) is remarkable.

One of my meditation routines from Headspace

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Backing Up Your Stem Cells

The science fiction of the last 30 years is rapidly becoming reality as technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence are becoming more real and present with each passing day. While my jetpack still seems ponderously far away and cars are becoming self-driving instead of flying, we are making progress.

In medicine, progress is methodical and incremental. As lives are literally at stake, it’s imperative to move forward in a logical and data-driven manner. The resulting regulatory requirement of clinical trials may sometimes be seen as an innovation-stifling burden, but lengthy clinical trials protect patients by ensuring safety and efficacy of therapies. The result? As real advancements are being made in biotechnology, such as engineered cells to fight cancer or using stem cells to regenerate the spine, news and hype eventually quiets during decade long timeline for these technologies to clear trials. There is a bright horizon of therapies

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Zebras Uniting at DazzleCon

Yesterday, I wrote about the upcoming CO Impact Days. In it, I pointed to a Medium post titled Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break, which turns out to be the Zebra Manifesto.

Per the manifesto, a Zebra (unlike Unicorns) are real:

  • Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.
  • Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.
  • Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text from Mara Zepeda, one of the founders of the Zebra Movement and authors of the manifesto, saying that we should talk. We had a great discussion where I learned more about Zebras, the Zebra Movement, and the upcoming DazzleCon Conference in

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