I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career in startups, from an engineer and designer to…


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I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career in startups, from an engineer and designer to a Founder and CEO. I’m now a General Partner at Spark Capital, an early stage venture firm that does things a little different, and has invested in some great companies

I currently serve on the board of (alphabetical order):

Capella Space (SAR and a World of Information)

Cruise (On Cruise

Discord

North (Fka Thalmic Labs) (It takes time)

Postmates (Building a three-sided marketplace)

Proletariat 

Smash.gg

Sonder (Re-inventing the hotel

Zum

Other: 

Hallway Chat podcast w/my partner Bijan

What happens when self-driving happens 

Insiders vs Outsiders 

Startups are not a game of chess 

I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career in startups, from an engineer and designer to…


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career in startups, from an engineer and designer to a Founder and CEO. I’m now a General Partner at Spark Capital, an early stage venture firm that does things a little different, and has invested in some great companies

Investments (alphabetical order):

Other: 

This blog has been retired, as I’m mostly getting my thoughts out on other platforms. The three most…


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This blog has been retired, as I’m mostly getting my thoughts out on other platforms. The three most commonly used platforms for me now are:

1) Twitter is probably my most frequented spot: I’m nabeel

2) I will occasionally post longer pieces on Medium (potentially)

3) Hallway chat podcasts are available via Soundcloud and iTunes

I am also on Snapchat as nabeel where I post daily right now. 

And lastly, I post photography of entrepreneurs, landscapes, and my family on Instagram as nabeelo 

And, as always, experimenting with what’s new.

This blog has been retired, as I’m mostly getting my thoughts out on other platforms. The three most…


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This blog has been retired, as I’m mostly getting my thoughts out on other platforms. The three most commonly used platforms for me now are:

1) Twitter is probably my most frequented spot: I’m nabeel

2) I will occasionally post longer pieces on Medium (potentially)

3) Hallway chat podcasts are available via Soundcloud and iTunes

I am also on Snapchat as nabeel where I post daily right now. 

And lastly, I post photography of entrepreneurs, landscapes, and my family on Instagram as nabeelo 

And, as always, experimenting with what’s new.

bijan: Nabeel and I recorded episode 20th of our podcast,…


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bijan:

Nabeel and I recorded episode 20th of our podcast, Hallway Chat yesterday. Stuff we talked about (not necessarily in this order):

-hardware startups

-Apple Watch, iPad Pro

-Are we overdue for a hot new mobile app, Peach, Snapchat

-VC blogs, why we haven’t been writing more and new years resolutions

-our tech habits while traveling on vacation

-As our firm grows, we chat a bit about internal changes and evolution

Please let us know if you have feedback, topic suggestions or questions that we should address in future shows. We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comments or tweet us. Thanks! 

New Hallway Chat! Tweet at us any feedback.

bijan: Nabeel and I recorded episode 20th of our podcast,…


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




bijan:

Nabeel and I recorded episode 20th of our podcast, Hallway Chat yesterday. Stuff we talked about (not necessarily in this order):

-hardware startups

-Apple Watch, iPad Pro

-Are we overdue for a hot new mobile app, Peach, Snapchat

-VC blogs, why we haven’t been writing more and new years resolutions

-our tech habits while traveling on vacation

-As our firm grows, we chat a bit about internal changes and evolution

Please let us know if you have feedback, topic suggestions or questions that we should address in future shows. We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comments or tweet us. Thanks! 

New Hallway Chat! Tweet at us any feedback.

Insiders vs Outsiders


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At the age of 13 I was a geeky outsider, and online life (BBSes in that pre-Internet age) allowed me to find the first tribe of people that I really related to. It was that little band of outsiders that got me into coding, hacking, design, and startups. In my first experiences with the online world no one knew your race, age, gender, or really anything except for your ability to make words, code, or art.

Silicon Valley thrives and survives because it is a meritocracy, perhaps the most inclusive place in the world. Years ago Paul Graham wrote a piece on “Cities and Ambition” that still resonates with me. His premise was that every major city has a culture with a prevailing value: Cambridge, MA values how smart you are above all else, LA values fame, NY values money, etc. For me the best version of silicon valley has Continue reading “Insiders vs Outsiders”

Insiders vs Outsiders


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




At the age of 13 I was a geeky outsider, and online life (BBSes in that pre-Internet age) allowed me to find the first tribe of people that I really related to. It was that little band of outsiders that got me into coding, hacking, design, and startups. In my first experiences with the online world no one knew your race, age, gender, or really anything except for your ability to make words, code, or art.

Silicon Valley thrives and survives because it is a meritocracy, perhaps the most inclusive place in the world. Years ago Paul Graham wrote a piece on “Cities and Ambition” that still resonates with me. His premise was that every major city has a culture with a prevailing value: Cambridge, MA values how smart you are above all else, LA values fame, NY values money, etc. For me the best version of silicon valley has Continue reading “Insiders vs Outsiders”

Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from…


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Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from him. He and his wife Ray were amazing designers, but they were also hugely influential in how everyone from a graphic design student to startups to Apple thinks about the process of designing today.

It’s his birthday today, so I wanted to share notes from a 1949 talk he gave at UCLA called “Advice to Students.” It’s masterful, and I think of the last line often.

Make a list of books
Develop a curiosity
Look at things as though for the first time
Think of things in relation to each other
Always think of the next larger thing
Avoid the “pat” answer — the formula
Avoid the preconceived idea
Study well objects made past recent and ancient but never without the technological and social conditions responsible
Prepare Continue reading “Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from…”

Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from…


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from him. He and his wife Ray were amazing designers, but they were also hugely influential in how everyone from a graphic design student to startups to Apple thinks about the process of designing today.

It’s his birthday today, so I wanted to share notes from a 1949 talk he gave at UCLA called “Advice to Students.” It’s masterful, and I think of the last line often.

Make a list of books
Develop a curiosity
Look at things as though for the first time
Think of things in relation to each other
Always think of the next larger thing
Avoid the “pat” answer — the formula
Avoid the preconceived idea
Study well objects made past recent and ancient but never without the technological and social conditions responsible
Prepare Continue reading “Charles Eames is a hero of mine, as you may have noticed the quote on the top of this blog is from…”

Introducing our new partner, Kevin Thau


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Introducing our new partner, Kevin Thau:

So happy to have Kevin join the family!

bijan:

Today we are announcing Kevin Thau is joining us as a General Partner based in our new office in San Francisco. My partners and I have known Kevin for nearly 10 years, having served on a board of directors at one of Kevin’s companies for pretty much the entire time we have been in business at Spark. In many ways we grew up together in this business. We know each other, work well together and have the highest regard for his character.

Introducing our new partner, Kevin Thau


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Introducing our new partner, Kevin Thau:

So happy to have Kevin join the family!

bijan:

Today we are announcing Kevin Thau is joining us as a General Partner based in our new office in San Francisco. My partners and I have known Kevin for nearly 10 years, having served on a board of directors at one of Kevin’s companies for pretty much the entire time we have been in business at Spark. In many ways we grew up together in this business. We know each other, work well together and have the highest regard for his character.

“We have exciting news at Spark Capital and I am delighted to share it with you. Today we are…”


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We have exciting news at Spark Capital and I am delighted to share it with you.

Today we are announcing Kevin Thau is joining us as a General Partner based in our new office in San Francisco. His professional bio is on our website here.

My partners and I have known Kevin for nearly 10 years, having served on a board of directors at one of Kevin’s companies for pretty much the entire time we have been in business at Spark. In many ways we grew up together in this business. We know each other, work well together and have the highest regard for his character.

I remember when Ev decided to turn off SMS delivery at Twitter back in 2008 because we were paying for every tweet on a variety of mobile carriers. The costs were mounting. It was a painful decision but the right call. Kevin joined Continue reading ““We have exciting news at Spark Capital and I am delighted to share it with you.

Today we are…””

Yesterday bijan and I took live video for a test drive with…


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Yesterday bijan and I took live video for a test drive with Periscope, and since they are still in private beta we recorded it for posterity. Here’s a dropbox link to the video or you can listen to it in podcast form above. 

We talked about Periscope & Meerkat, the Apple Watch, and the state of seed and late stage valuations in startups. 

Yesterday bijan and I took live video for a test drive with…


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Yesterday bijan and I took live video for a test drive with Periscope, and since they are still in private beta we recorded it for posterity. Here’s a dropbox link to the video or you can listen to it in podcast form above. 

We talked about Periscope & Meerkat, the Apple Watch, and the state of seed and late stage valuations in startups. 

Building a three-sided marketplace


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


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Today Postmates announced a long term exclusive partnership with Starbucks. It’s a big milestone on its own, but it also represents another major step in the transition of Postmates from restaurant delivery service to on-demand logistics network.

The very first meeting I had with Bastian, the Co-Founder and CEO of Postmates, was in their old dingy office in the Mission. It was a multi-hour deep dive into the business, on everything from pricing models, to courier earnings, to user experience. But the moment that has stuck out the most since then was when I asked why Postmates was focused on food.

Postmates since the very beginning has described themselves not just as a food delivery business, but a logistics platform. When I asked Bastian “why food as a focus then?” he immediately got animated, in that way he often does, and started talking a lot about liquidity.

He drew

image

Continue reading “Building a three-sided marketplace”

Building a three-sided marketplace


This post is by nabeel hyatt from nabeel hyatt


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Today Postmates announced a long term exclusive partnership with Starbucks. It’s a big milestone on its own, but it also represents another major step in the transition of Postmates from restaurant delivery service to on-demand logistics network.

The very first meeting I had with Bastian, the Co-Founder and CEO of Postmates, was in their old dingy office in the Mission. It was a multi-hour deep dive into the business, on everything from pricing models, to courier earnings, to user experience. But the moment that has stuck out the most since then was when I asked why Postmates was focused on food.

Postmates since the very beginning has described themselves not just as a food delivery business, but a logistics platform. When I asked Bastian “why food as a focus then?” he immediately got animated, in that way he often does, and started talking a lot about liquidity.

He drew on the whiteboard an x/y graph that charted out everything that Postmates could possibly deliver. It was a pretty exhaustive list. On the Y axis he put the size of each market, and then quite insightfully on the X axis he put frequency of use.

image

His assertion was that you were teaching consumers a new behavior: that you could get anything from your city to your door in minutes. If he converted a single person to love the service, he wanted to focus on a category that would be purchased frequently, so that merchants and couriers (Postmates) could see the most benefit from one converted customer.

Of course he wanted to be a logistics platform eventually, but restaurants were the thing in that upper right quadrant, the only thing that consumers would buy multiple times a week. Basically, what Beanie Babies and other collectibles were to eBay, restaurants were going to be for Postmates. Only in this case the frequency was even more important because unlike eBay, Uber, and other two-sided marketplaces he was building a three sided marketplace: between couriers, merchants and consumers. 

That bet paid off. A focus on local merchant food delivery allowed Postmates to build the largest on-demand delivery network, with nearly 10k Postmates. They built a network large enough that by late last year they were ready to roll out their logistics platform and API. And after a few months beta period, today they announced their first major partnership with Starbucks.

Obviously Starbucks is a pretty amazing partnership on its own. They have over 21,500 locations across the country, and are the #1 mobile commerce app in the U.S. That will of course mean higher growth for the company, but as with any marketplace it’s also a big benefit for the other participants, namely for Continue reading “Building a three-sided marketplace”

Early Oculus Gear VR experiences


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gearvr

The holidays gave me a chance to spend some extended time with the new retail version of the Samsung Gear VR with Oculus. I think this is easily the best product publicly available for experiencing virtual reality. 

Mostly this is due to ease of use and portability. The Gear VR ships with the first version of the Oculus App Store, so all you need to do is slip the phone in the Gear VR, put it on, and you are done. You literally never need to touch the phone except to charge it.  

I now keep the Gear VR in my car or office, and in just a couple weeks I’ve demo’d virtual reality to more people than I had in the previous year with the Oculus DK2 and its predecessors. 

While the day to day experience is polished and easy for anyone, getting things set up the first time definitely had a few hiccups. With that in mind here are a couple notes:

– I’d describe the current virtual reality as a “swivel chair experience.” It’s great to swing around 360 degrees, and helps to keep your shoulders still which is important since the Gear VR doesn’t have positional tracking (it tracks your head not your shoulders). At some future date I’m sure we will get to walking around, haptic chairs, and Omni stands, but for now the swivel chair is it.

– Bluetooth headset is required. I prefer an earbud style so I don’t have another thing to put on top of my head. These Jaybird BlueBuds I got via Wirecutter work really well. 

– The lenses fog up. Use anti-fog wipes like you would for snowboarding goggles, or I just created a little gap in the top of the goggles to let air out (the hole is not viewable with them on).

– If you are looking to make the plunge it’ll cost you about $250 for the Gear VR, and then $700 for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, both can be purchased online but be aware that you need a U.S. unlocked version of the Note 4. I made a mistake first purchasing an unlocked phone on Amazon, only to have return it since it was international. The easiest path for me was just walking into Best Buy and asking for an unlocked Verizon version of the phone. You want an unlocked phone on a carrier that you use for another phone, so you can swap in the sim for carrier supported updates. Other than that you won’t need a contract or monthly payments. 

Once set up though, the thing is a breeze, which of course brings us to the

image

Continue reading “Early Oculus Gear VR experiences”

This is a video from a talk I gave from a few months back on…


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The Spark Sessions: OKRs & Goal-Setting – Nabeel Hyatt from Danya Cheskis-Gold on Vimeo.

This is a video from a talk I gave from a few months back on adapting OKRs to the realities of startup life, with a brief write-up on the Spark blog for those not video inclined. There is a part 2 of this that Jon Tien did that is pretty awesome, hopefully we get to post that in the future.