Here’s a bold bet for the century: manufacturing will return to the U.S. The 20th century was largely about realizing the vision of the Industrial Revolution: a world of plenty, where goods could be cheaply manufactured and efficiently distributed to consumers. We’re entering an era where those problems are largely solved thanks to the magic of Capitalism and global trade – the world is not lacking for Stuff. Even the poorest in the US don’t lack for T-shirts or underpants.
In this talk for StartupMonthly‘s Demo Day I outline the analogies between hacking together software (not the malicious sort!) and hacking/founding companies. The rundown? You need to just start, even though the road is tough and even though the beginnings may be humble. Find and keep good people everywhere you go. Know what you’re good at and not and find people to fill the holes in your capabilities. Don’t try to hide/protect your ideas – keep an idea board around.
In this video, I walk folks at Blackbox through my Guide to Stock & Options and the ins and outs of founder stock, options, term sheets, and more.
A funny thing happens to technical founders: as the company you built takes off and a proper Engineering Team develops, you find yourself doing less and less code. You need to spend your time managing the business, recruiting new talent, setting direction for the product, prioritizing tasks, and the like. As the percentage of time you’re spending coding drifts from to 50%, you’re surprised to note that you’re now only a quarter as effective; the context switches just kill you and the team is evolving new best practices and tools and building out the system’s complexity fast enough that it takes at least ~20% of full-time just to keep up.
This recorded talk comes courtesy The Founder Institute, where I am a mentor. Many products fail to gain user adoption because they are built from the perspective of a technologist with unnecessary complexities. As I explain in the video below, it’s important to “make the main thing people do with your product as simple as possible” to attract users and give them a feeling of confidence. In this talk from 2011’s San Francisco Founder Institute, I explain that you need to build products with empathy for the user to create something that resonates.
A talk I gave at TEDxValenciaSt in 2011 on the importance of imagining the ideal freed from the constraints of knowing how you’re going to build something!
My interview with Karina Pikhart and Peter Cantisani about Karina’s startup 6dot, which is making a new portable Braille labelling system.Peter Cantisani & Karina Pikhart Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Dr. Jade Wang of NASA Ames talks about The Game, her long, fascinating voyage to America from China as a child and her time here in Silicon Valley.Jade Wang & Her Dog Podcast: Play in new window | Download
David interviews Dr. William Marshall of the NASA Ames Research Center about his current projects to build low cost satellites, the neccessary creation of a lunar base, and his path in coming to Silicon Valley.Dr. William Marshall Podcast: Play in new window | Download
David Weekly interviews James Halliday and Peteris Krumins, the CEO and CTO (respectively) of the newly-established Browserling, a browser testing firm in which David made his first angel investment. (The interview was done a mere hour after closing the round!) James describes his drive down from Alaska to the Bay Area to pursue funding for his startup and Peteris describes his childhood with computers in Latvia and his meeting James on IRC.