Blog Archives

Check these references before making a hiring decision

Buddy Ed Sim just posted a useful note on the Importance of back channel reference checks. The person you are looking at hiring, or take money from, will volunteer contacts who will provide glowing reports about her/him. In order to get a more nuanced view (nobody’s perfect), you do want to find other references in or through your own network. Former colleagues are obviously the most natural sources, and in the case of a senior startup executive, former investors also fit the bill. Services helping with these “investigations” are obviously search engines, specialized databases like Zoominfo (which has an uneven quality of data and coverage) and LinkedIn (that has even developed a specific feature for that purpose).

As Ed states, it is critical to do a thorough job when going through these references, because like software bugs, fixing a mistake costs way more than avoiding one:

A wrong hiring decision for an early … Read more »


Brightcove’s “whole tail” advertising and delivery platform

Brightcove, the company founded by Jeremy Allaire, is disclosing its advertising platform offering in this Clickz piece. This goes a step further from the pre-alpha launch presentation Jeremy gave at the Web 2.0 conference.

The company has developed a platform to allow commercial video publishers of all sizes to distribute their video content over the Internet using Flash. Smaller publishers can use a self-service interface, while larger ones will have access to more advanced tools used by traditional broadcasters. Publishers upload their video, categorize it with metadata tags, choose a design template, create graphic overlays with their brand or an affiliate’s brand, and publish the Flash file.

Publishers will be able to monetize their content either by selling and serving their own ads, by running ads from Brightcove’s ad network, or by selling their content for purchase or subscription. The Brightcove platform allows publishers to create customized video players to distribute on their own site, or on affiliate sites. Brightcove offers … Read more »


The “Build It/Flip It” Bubble Discussion

Great post from Ross re  A Flip/Flop Bubble of Microventures? in which he "attacks" the concept of  startups launched and bankrolled by former "bubble entrepreneurs" for the sole purpose of flipping them to large established players.

[...] there are a ton of former entrepreneurs getting back in the game these days. The lure isn’t just that markets are opening again. A mindset is developing in the valley that you can and should develop startups for quick flips. If you have your own cash, you can seed a play like this yourself, filling a targeted niche — both in product, market and engineering expertise. I even heard of a major portal getting into seed funding to encourage it. Perhaps this whole thing was started by Google’s micro-acquisitions. I don’t have any data on this trend, as it is the most private part of equity, but it is the talk of many … Read more »