Best of Reaction Wheel

The other night someone asked me “Have you ever thought about ____?” I can’t believe you’re asking me that, I thought, I wrote a 20 page post on that four years ago.

I’ve written 270 posts over the last seven years. Most of them suck, especially those prior to 2010. A few of them I think are pretty good and have stood up over a couple of years. This is a list of those.

On entrepreneurship

Who profits from innovation? Startups or incumbents? (September 2014)
How you capitalize on being early to market.

How to kiss your elbow (September 2012)
How to see Product Market Fit when it happens.

You Can’t Learn from Failure, You Can Only Learn from Success (April 2013)
Why you should focus on how to win, not on how not to lose.

On being an asshole (March 2013)
The difference between criticism and critique; an oblique attack on lean launchpadesque pedagogy.

On adtech

The Immediate Future for Adtech Startups (November 2013)
Why it’s too late to start a programmatic company.

Advertising, the Fallacy of Perfectibility, and the Best Minds of My Generation (April 2011)
How the matching problem (ie. adtech) is as economically important as the price problem.

Open Source the Ad Exchange (January 2010),
Everybody’s an ad exchange (The Thin Exchange, 1) (April 2010) and
The End to End Principle in Ad Exchange Design (The Thin Exchange, 2) (April 2010)
I predict that the ad exchange is doomed but argue for saving it.

The last days of the ad exchange (June 2010)
I accept that the ad exchange is doomed and predict client direct.

Disruptive innovation, buy vs. build, the most pernicious lie in business, and how to know if you’re fooling yourself (October 2011)
What Christensen meant by Disruptive and why adtech isn’t it.

The long siege of Corbenic (February 2010)
The problem adtech is solving and a prediction for a move to Marketing Tech.

Fiddling while Rome burns (June 2010)
I make several predictions about the Google/Invite deal’s aftermath, all of which have turned out to be correct.

Your personal data is not worth anywhere near what you think it’s worth (June 2012)
Why companies helping you monetize your own personal data will not work.

On angel investing

Betting on the Ponies: non-Unicorn Investing (July 2014)
This is half a summary of my thinking on angel investing and half an extended rant.

Angel Investing Series:
This was my attempt at breaking up my extended rants on angel investing into readable pieces. It was meant to be a much longer series.

  1. Intro: Why I’m Not an Angel (March 2013)
  2. How to spend your time: The Work-Work Balance  (March 2013)
  3. Positioning: How to be When What you Sell is a Commodity (March 2013)
  4. Portfolio Construction: Transcending Hobbyism (March 2013)
  5. Deal Flow: The Signal and the Noise (April 2013)

Selecting, not filtering: Give me a reason to say yes (February 2012)
How I choose companies to invest in.

On the Venture Capital Industry

In Praise of the Business Plan (October 2013)
A rant about product demo pitches.

Prepping for a meeting with someone who wants to become a VC (February 2010)
Why you don’t want to be a venture capitalist.

On fixing VC ourselves (May 2012)
One thing wrong with the VC industry and my suggestion on fixing it.


Musing on luck & Thank You (January 2010)
An uncharacteristically earnest post, about learning humility, back when I still had it.