Which job should I take?


A young, soon-to-be college grad approached me last week to ask how he should choose between the internships and job opportunities that were coming his way. He knew enough to know that taking a short term view in this decision might limit his long term prospects, but he wasn’t quite sure how to take the long term view. This is what I told him. There is no single metric for evaluating a job...

Startup vs. Small Business


You’ve just founded a company, hired a handful of employees, and you’re doing business on the internet. That makes you a startup, right? Maybe not. To a venture capitalist or an angel investor, the term startup is principally defined by high growth potential. So before you break out the pitch deck and start canvassing VCs, let’s take a minute to consider the possibility that what you...

The Art of the Elevator Pitch


You’ve started a business and now you’re looking for investors, employees and advisors. Even if you’ve made the effort to get a warm email introduction, don’t expect your prospects to read through a long and rambling description of your business. You need to get to the point — and fast.

Why is this so hard?


If you work in a startup, occasionally the pressure gets to you. It can feed your insecurities and make you doubt yourself.  Even when you’re working your heart out, it never seems to be enough.

Accelerator vs Incubator


Back in 2005, Y-Combinator opened the doors of its tech accelerator in Silicon Valley and since then many others, in many cities, have done likewise. The biggies are probably TechStars, Y-Combinator and 500 Startups, but I can point to 50+ in cities across and outside America — and they work in roughly the same way, with the same goal in mind.

Managing Angel Investors


When a founder asks for advice on how to handle another investor, it’s usually because something has gone horribly wrong in their relationship. Some of the problems are easy to spot, but also easy to avoid.  You said yes to everyone When a company takes small amounts of money from a large number of investors, the founders can find themselves answering an unending number of questions, smoothing...

The Woman Question


Lately, I’ve been hammered by a flurry of articles, emails, tweets, and pitches all circling the same topic — Women in Tech. There are apps, conferences, incubators and funds — all purporting to meet the special and unique needs of female founders and funders. It would be great if something came out of this women-centered whirlwind, but I’m not sure using ‘Woman’ as a prefix can...

Repairing Bad Culture


I’ve been asked a few times lately to explain the culture of UX designers – mostly to non-design managers who are finding management of design teams excruciatingly painful.

Advice to a 1st Time Founder


A week ago, I was nestled behind the Great Firewall of China with very little in the way of social media to distract me, and that gave me a chance to think pretty deeply about an email from a 1st time founder. She was looking for feedback on her investor pitch and asking, in a very polite way, ‘How do I get your money?’

I’m a seed investor in 30+ great companies. I've served as a Board member, an Advisory Board Member and a Techstars mentor. I consult in product strategy and design.

Once upon a time, I worked for Google in product management and user experience, led an Android team in NexusOne ecommerce and logistics, designed new identity and monetization tools for YouTube, redesigned Google Earth, and managed the design team that produced Sketchup, StreetView and My Maps. While at Cisco, I contributed to more than 40 network and device management tools and was privileged to learn my craft on-the-job at Netscape. I hold patents and patents pending in mapping, navigation and monetization.

I take pitches at a handful of demo days and by personal referral only but I no longer review or respond to blind pitches.