Gillmor Gang: In The Bag


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

This may be counterintuitive. I hope so. I remember the day I first started using Twitter. My friend Gabe Rivera suggested it would be a good idea to sign on to the fledgling network. Basically it was a land grab — claim the real estate of my name. I most likely was aware of the fundamentals of the new service, but wary of actually making some sort of overt splash. Why would I want to, as the frame of the day went, announce what I was having for lunch?

But I knew Gabe was right; I should get in line for the day it became clearer what good this was for. As Professor Irwin Corey would say Adam first said to Eve: stand back, I don’t know how big this is going to get. So I did, and sat back for almost a year. Eventually some thread caught my eye, or my ego encouraged me to think somebody might be interested in what I was having for lunch. That led to a series of discoveries we all made about how this thing might work, if it could just not crash from its unscalable neo-scalable scripting language roots.

One of the most interesting things to do in those early days was to misuse the network for creative purposes. If the logic of posting was to deliver meaningful content that would be of interest to larger audiences, we knew where that was headed. Celebrities, verified accounts, a triple A version of the big leagues of mainstream media. Logical maybe, but not what I was interested in. To the contrary, I relished the exact opposite, an experience where the result was something other than what we already had. One trick I had was to talk conversationally to the tiny audience of those I was pinging with their username.

This may or may not have predated the @mention, but the intent was to send a message to someone who was notified of the attempt by a notification. Alternatively, following a small but targeted series of accounts created a stream of posts from people who shared some implicit common interests. Either way, eventually these @mention clouds became a rich source and object of breaking news, jokes and a stew of social energy. I enjoyed the occasional response, and would reply in place as though I was having a private chat. The theory went: if this annoyed people, they would unfollow me and be happier for it. Many did, and were.

Skipping ahead to now, I still use Twitter in this way for the most part. I set my notification stream to display a subset of my follows, first around 50, then 100, now upwards of four or 500. It is annoyingly disruptive of the top of my screen; reading an e-book book is an intermittent experience at certain hours waiting for the stream to slow down when I’m trying to read the first couple of lines of a page. But what I get is an almost subliminal collage of random stuff from a not-so-random group of what reminds me of a coffee house circle of friends in college days. The major news media breaks through repetitively when someone dies or succeeds, but also there are the mutterings of entrepreneurs and thought leaders, captains of industry who relish the direct channel, politicians of the digital underground, comedians, culture cowboys and cowgirls, right, left and centrist.

It’s a living breathing thing, and it’s different from everything else. Facebook is what you think of it, but I’m sadly grateful for its function as the glue between family, friends and a shared personal history. Never mind that it’s impossible to find something once it flits by. I hate it yet appreciate it nonetheless. But Twitter is an imperfect pacemaker in my chest, beating with the pulse of the nation, the notifications starting in Europe, then the East Coast, finally the Valley and Hollywood before I get sidetracked by reality and over the hill to the next day.

As Michael Markman quotes Jerry Seinfeld on this Gillmor Gang episode, “It’s never in the bag, and you’re never out of the running.” Yes, Trump dominates the service, and every other network as we careen toward the election. Twitter fills in some of the pandemic’s gaps in traditional campaigning. Some are good with Twitter; some are not. But when the shouting’s over and the ballots counted, Trump may or may not be left standing. Twitter surely will. Just don’t call it Shirley.

__________________

The Gillmor Gang Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, September 11, 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter and join the notification feed here on Telegram.

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook … and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.

Gillmor Gang: Table Stakes


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

I quite like the iPad Pro 11 inch with the Magic Keyboard. In the Land of Pandemic, where every day is Saturday, the tablet is king. With no real purchase on the chaotic flow of life, the rules — any rules — of the road are very dear to me. Structure is arbitrary but mandatory. Strategy is Niagara Falls: slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch. What exactly do I mean?

First, the tablet is a strange beast. Caught between the laptop and the phone, you’d think it would be a constant compromise. It’s not. Each time I add a step to the workflow, it re-cements itself as a coherent whole. In a world ruled by the next notification, context switches are disruptive; hand-offs are not. One minute the iPad is a media grazer. The phone rings. Answering it on the Watch frees me from the tether, answering on the iPad offers a click of the phone icon in the upper left to move to the phone.

I know it sounds a bit nuts to explain or even discuss, but add up the iterative improvements of this platform and you achieve some real productivity. Not the enterprise kind, nor the media hacker kind, but the palpable sense of progress in fashioning a place in this new digital world. Slowly but surely I’ve moved process after process to the iPad Pro. Gillmor Gang production, or more precisely editing, mixing, rendering, posting, annotating, testing, now all on the single device.

To begin with, I decided to junk Final Cut Pro as the editing platform, simply because it ran only on the Mac. It’s much more powerful than its replacement, LumaFusion, but once I plug the software into the iPad, it lights up the improved features of iOS 13 and the Files app. The Magic Keyboard peripheral adds a USB connector to plug in an external drive, and while it’s a bit of a trudge to get it to work almost like OS/10, soon it’s easy to move files over from Zoom on the Mac where the camera is positioned better in the center of the display.

I used to doubt Apple would provide remedies for these weird design gotchas, like the camera on the side of the display in landscape mode. The Magic Keyboard doesn’t let you position the iPad in portrait mode, and it wouldn’t work anyway with Zoom in 16:9. But then again, the keyboard cases up until the Magic Keyboard don’t support backlit keys. Now the iPad Pro is my main writing tool, its slightly underpowered keyboard winning out over my MacBook Air. The Magic Keyboard is expensive ($300), but Apple’s attention to detail reinforces my commitment to the evolution of the platform.

The Keyboard’s trackpad is similarly goofy in its implementation, sitting uneasily between the touch platform of the screen and the keyboard alts and text editing precision of the Mac. You learn quickly how to navigate between the two worlds, however, intuiting that future implementations should build on the elements of the hybrid that work. I’ve followed the press musings about the future of Mac OS and iOS, but now I’m growing comfortable with the assumption that inexorably the shift in power has tipped over. Perhaps it’s the price performance in the move off of Intel to Apple’s in-house chips.

Or perhaps it’s the feeling that momentum patches problems out of a desire to keep locked in to the process flow of modular apps and services. I’m using Quip to write this, knowing the iPad version doesn’t yet provide a word count feature like the Mac version does. So I went searching for Apple’s bundled Pages app and got the answer. My assumption is that these common services will soon become table stakes.

Beneath the tech veneer, the iPad reminds me of the power of directed evolution. As trivial as a backlit keyboard seems in the overall scheme of things, that Apple knew all along what the blocker was on this platform augurs for the future extensions we know are coming in this Work From Anywhere moment. Not just the big ideas but the little ones, that grow through steady adoption into giants of a shift necessary to contain unexpected catastrophes and minor scrapes of the regular kind. I wasn’t sure why I felt driven to spend so much time unifying my tools and strategies for virtualizing my computing experience. Now that we live full time in this moment, it’s these little things that count.

__________________

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, September 4, 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter and join the notification feed here on Telegram.

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook … and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.

Gillmor Gang: Love & Fear


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, May 31, 2020. For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Zoom Normal


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Brent Leary joins the Gang as we blend streaming, Zoomcasting and sheltering from the storm.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Digital Ben


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Steve Gillmor. The original is [linked here]

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, March 29, 2020. The Gang returns with a Zoom recording, checking in from London, Seattle, Palo Alto, Boston and the Bay Area.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Digital Ben


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, March 29, 2020. The Gang returns with a Zoom recording, checking in from London, Seattle, Palo Alto, Boston and the Bay Area.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Digital Ben


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, March 29, 2020. The Gang returns with a Zoom recording, checking in from London, Seattle, Palo Alto, Boston and the Bay Area.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

More Revenue Than Adobe, Nvidia, or AMD — and as Much as Spotify, Twitter, Snap, and Shopify Combined

Kevin Rooke: Imagine a startup with $12 billion of revenue, 125%+ YoY revenue growth (two years in a row), and Apple-esque gross margins (30-50%). Without knowing anything else about the business, what would you value it at? $50 billion?

Source: More Revenue Than Adobe, Nvidia, or AMD — and as Much as Spotify, Twitter, Snap, and Shopify Combined

Which Markets Are the Most And Least Served by Seed Investors?

About a year ago, my partner David Beisel talked about how seed fundraising is no longer a local game , and that the best entrepreneurs seek out the best investors for them outside of their home market. That being said, it’s much easier to put a seed round together when you have a local lead who can help catalyze the round.

Source: Which Markets Are the Most And Least Served by Seed Investors?

US$1.3 Billion In Venture Capital Funding Found Its Way To Africa In 2019

Home » Startups » US$1.3 Billion In Venture Capital Funding Found Its Way To Africa In 2019 Venture Capital is growing and nothing proves this more than WeeTracker’s Decoding Venture Investments In Africa 2019 report. [Image source: WeeTracker Report] VC investment grew from US$725.6m in 2018 to US$1.34b – the first time it has crossed a billion on the continent.

Source: US$1.3 Billion In Venture Capital Funding Found Its Way To Africa In 2019

Founder Superpowers | Basis Set Ventures

‍ Every venture capitalist looks for strong founders, but what makes a founder strong is open for debate. With limited time to interact with founders before making decisions, investors often over-index on potential signals like age, school, technical credentials and experience.

Source: Founder Superpowers | Basis Set Ventures

Deal Breakers, Part 2: A Red Flag List from Top VCs

Product Related “Companies where the product isn’t already awesome” — When a founder says they now need to hire a designer, red flags are going off. Quite a few well-known investors have been quoted stating that “UX is built into great products from the beginning.” Although that is a popular opinion, most VCs will also have a big picture conversation with you around product, the roadmap and the process of how decisions will be made.

Source: Deal Breakers, Part 2: A Red Flag List from Top VCs

Deal Breakers, Part 1: A Red Flag List from Top VCs

Founder Related and Quirky Red Flags You send someone else to do your meeting with investors — Not really sure why this would ever happen for an early stage company. The Founder needs to be able to sell a vision in order to be successful and by having someone else represent them in a meeting with investors it causes stirs up all sorts of question marks.

Source: Deal Breakers, Part 1: A Red Flag List from Top VCs

The Value Of Accepting Equity For Your Services

I was in touch with a mix of academics, inventors and entrepreneurs as a student in Boston when I started my company American Patent Agency, which helps founders obtain patents on the inventions behind their businesses. While ideas were plentiful, the same could not always be said about venture capital.

Source: The Value Of Accepting Equity For Your Services

Gillmor Gang: Old Friends


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, December 22, 2019. Most likely the last show of 2019, an analysis of 2020 in streaming media, the primaries and the influence of old and new tech.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Old Friends


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, December 22, 2019. Most likely the last show of 2019, an analysis of 2020 in streaming media, the primaries and the influence of old and new tech.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Old Friends


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday, December 22, 2019. Most likely the last show of 2019, an analysis of 2020 in streaming media, the primaries and the influence of old and new tech.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Cash Machine


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday June 23, 2019. Streamed live to Twitter, or just slightly after the fact. Debates and free media, or how Facebook could take crypto global with Libra and the Democrats the White House in 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @ekolsky, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Cash Machine


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday June 23, 2019. Streamed live to Twitter, or just slightly after the fact. Debates and free media, or how Facebook could take crypto global with Libra and the Democrats the White House in 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @ekolsky, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Gillmor Gang: Cash Machine


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Sunday June 23, 2019. Streamed live to Twitter, or just slightly after the fact. Debates and free media, or how Facebook could take crypto global with Libra and the Democrats the White House in 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @ekolsky, @kteare, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook