Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy birthday s'mores!!!

How do you stay young and relevant?

I'm about to publish and email to the about turning 40 today, and I thought I would ask you all a simple question:

How do you stay young and relevant?

Eagerly anticipating some epic answers!

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Friday, November 26, 2010

Anyone know VC Roundtable by Gloria Guenther?

Don't know anything about this event. Anyone out there know if this event exists and if it is a pay-for-play scam? -- JMC
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 3:19 PM
Subject: FW: Pay-to-play Angel Groups


I just read your two essays re: Keiretsu and other angel pay-to-players. Couldn’t agree more………

Here is another one that, in my opinion, is flying below the radar. It seems to be a one-woman show called VC - Private Equity Roundtable, run by one Gloria Guenther, “Executive Director”.

She has no address on her business card, only a personal phone number and a personal Email address. I believe that no web site exits.

She is located somewhere in Silicon Valley. She holds her monthly meeting in the auditorium at Xerox Parc, in Menlo Park. 

She charges $100 for lunch (A pre-packaged sandwich) for one time guests, and, if one is interested, a $1, 500 annual fee to attend future lunch meetings as a guest.

I believe she does personal prospecting for guests through local networking efforts.

The meetings start off with a presentation by a local VC success story, followed by elevator pitches from 3-4 local startups. The new firms must pay a fee (I’m not sure of the amount, but believe it’s in excess of $1,500) to make a presentation.

Keep up your efforts……………

(Please do not publish my name or Email address)

Regards,  REDACTED 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Interview with Seth Priebatsch, founder of

Really enjoyed talking with Seth, who is bizarrely composed and insightful for a 22 year old. Zuckerberg look out! :-p


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Toyota Land Cruiser--what year is this?!

iPad 2 to feature webcam, retina display and ISB port!!! (not a joke)

The latest evidence: DigiTimes (via ComputerWorld) has five new features we can expect from iPad 2:

  • Video phone feature, presumably FaceTime.
  • Thinner glass on the display panels, which could mean it's slightly lighter.
  • Retina display is coming.
  • A USB connection so you don't have to use Apple's proprietary standard.
  • 3-axis gyroscope for improved gaming. This feature is in the iPhone already.

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Calacanis Interview at FOWA 2010

Black Friday 2010 Deals, Walmart, Apple, etc.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mahalo softball/leave work early day!

LA Ideas #2: The DMV Rich Jerk Tax

I recently posted an idea for tunnels that would let east/west traffic on Santa Monica, Wilshire and Olympic go underground for 10 blocks, thus avoiding the folks going North and South on the 405. This would generally keeping traffic flowing in all directions because you would a) let the 405 traffic have more room to "pocket" and queue up and b) the East/West folks would have 10 blocks of green lights instead of a 10 blocks of gridlock!

Today I've got another Los Angeles idea, based on my experience at the DMV. The wait today was somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours.

What if there was a "rich jerk" line, where affluent folks could pay $1 for every minute they save--with a minimum payment of $50. So, if the wait time is two hours it would be $120 to cut the line. If the wait time was 30 minutes it would be the minimum of $50.

I'm guessing 25-200 people would do this every day, and each DMV location would make $25-100,000 a month, or $250k to $1m a year in revenue. With hundreds of DMV locations this would add up a lot. 

Because the rate is variable, growing as the wait grows, it would naturally rise and fall with need.

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler (video)

Mahalo.... where you can learn *anything* :-)

Love to eat turkey! :-)

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kevin Pollak's chat show featured on!

I love watching Kevin Pollak's show grow into a web powerhouse! 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

How to brine, season and cook a turkey (videos)

The Mahalo video group has been taking the time to shoot really great videos for our top performing how to and topic pages, and I couldn't be more happy with the results.

Really great stuff: 
How to Cook a Turkey:
How to Cook Ham:
How to make Thanksgiving Cookies:
How to Brine a Turkey:
Thanksgiving Football Schedule:
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes:
How to Make Thanksgiving Cupcakes:
How to Make Thanksgiving Desserts:
How to Make Thanksgiving Stuffing:
Thanksgiving Ham Recipes:


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

I love when someone signs up for @mailchimp on my recommendation!

Q:To qualify for @LAUNCH, does the product need to be finished to apply?

We get this question a LOT: 

Q: To qualify for LAUNCH 1.0, does the product need to be finished or near completion to apply?

A: Our goal is to have companies open their sites, at least for beta clients, at the event.

We expect that folks applying for LAUNCH 1.0 -- especially those applying in December and January -- will have only partially functional sites, so we accept screen shots/mockups and even wireframes for sections of the site that are not yet complete.

In your application, simply state: "Here are the pieces of the site that are complete, and here are the pieces that will be ready for
the LAUNCH conference."

More about the LAUNCH conference:

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I love red rooibos tea with honey.

old press photo

Cleaning out some old boxes and found this old shot from the late 90s.

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Do you qualify to launch at LAUNCH?

There are two competitions going on at LAUNCH: LAUNCH 1.0 and LAUNCH 2.0.

The 1.0 competition is for companies which have not yet launched, and
the 2.0 competition is for companies which have already launched but
which are either launching a significant new version or a completely
new product.

In order to qualify for the LAUNCH 1.0:
1. There must be no press or blogger coverage of your company. This
means no story in Mashable, ReadWriteWeb or TechCrunch. If your
product is covered already, then it is launched already and you are
disqualified from being in the LAUNCH 1.0 competition
2. You must not have demoed your product at another event. So, if you
launched your product at a major public event, it can not be part of
the 1.0 competition.
3. Your website, blog and twitter accounts must not explain, or have
screen shots showing, what your product does.

In other words, to be part of the 1.0 competition you must show the
world your product FOR THE FIRST TIME on stage.

Note: You maybe have a small closed beta of your product running, but
it must be closed and the members of your beta must not be blogging
about it. You are responsible from keeping your product private and
closed. You may not pre-brief the press on your product launch, as we
all know certain press outlets will break your embargo and ruin the
massive excitement around your on-stage launch!

In order to qualify for the LAUNCH 2.0:
a) Your must be releasing an amazing new version or feature to your product or
b) You must be doing a significant new product or pivot

An example of releasing an amazing new feature (a), would be when
Twitter launched their redesign ( ) or
when Facebook launched Groups ( ). An example of a
feature that would not be significant enough would be Twitter
launching something minor like their @earlybird deal account (

A good test for (a) is asking yourself "are our users going to notice
the changes, and consider them significant?" ).

An example of a company launching a new product that would qualify
include when David Sacks of Geni launched spinout Yammer at
TechCrunch50--and won! Another example, would be when Phil Kaplan of
AdBrite lauched Spottt (

A good test of (b) is asking yourself "does this product have a new
domain name, a new logo and/or a new business model?"

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

It takes 37 gallons of watch to make the beans needed for one cup of coffee.


Another issue concerning coffee is its use of water. According to New
Scientist, using industrial farming practices, it takes about 140
liters (37 US gal) of water to grow the coffee beans needed to produce
one cup of coffee, and the coffee is often grown in countries where
there is a water shortage, such as Ethiopia.[45] By using sustainable
agriculture methods, the amount of water usage can be dramatically
reduced, while retaining comparable yields. For comparison, the United
States Geological Survey reports that one egg requires an input of 454
liters (120 US gal) of water; one serving of milk requires an input of
246 liters (65 US gal) of water; one serving of rice requires an input
of 132 liters (35 US gal) of water; and one glass of wine requires an
input of 120 liters (32 US gal) of water.[46]

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Gallo hits another free throw!

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_2153.MOV (664 KB)

Courtside to clippers game, face value of tickets? $650. Cost on stubhub? $200!!!!

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Jason and Toro circa 1997

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Courtside at knicks!

Groupon launches 3-5 day deals "Grouponicus"

This is kind of big news.... I bet these deals generate millions of dollars each. 

I think Andrew & Team should go for the IPO instead of selling to Google. You can always sell to Google or Yahoo AFTER the IPO! :-)

I just love Groupon as a customer and as an entrepreneur... what a great team, concept and run these guys have had! 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Saturday Rotation

I've got a really great Saturday going.... here's my rotation:

1. Play with London
2. Do 20 minutes of email
3. Play Starcraft 2 quick match
4. Write 200 words for JasonNation
5. Play with London
6. Clean out the three dozen boxes from the attic to make room for baby stuff. 

What's your Saturday rotation? 

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Friday, November 19, 2010

Solution to 405 backup nightmare: east/west tunnels under Wilshire & Santa Monica

I wonder if a tunnel like the Park Avenue Tunnel in New York City, that run under the 405 cross on some of of the East/West arteries (i.e. Santa Monica, Wilshire, Olympic, or Pico) would help move the East/West traffic enough to help with the North/South traffic. 

Imagine the follow scenario: 

1. your driving East on Santa Monica five blocks before the 405 and in the middle of the road is a ramp down into a tunnel like the one attached.
2. you enter it and there are TWO LANES with no lights that travel for 10 blocks. 
3. you come out of the tunnel five blocks east of the 405 mess. 

Of course during the morning the two lanes would shift to move WEST BOUND traffic under the 405/Santa Monica exchange. 

I'm guessing (does anyone know?) that at least half the traffic during rush hour is simply passing by the 405. This would accomplish two goals:

a) get folks heading east and west quickly on their way
b) get folks heading east and west out of the way of folks getting on the 405
c) a much bigger pocket around the 405 for cars to queue up in 

Someone has to have thought of this yes?


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WHOA: Does YouTube now supports email updates from channels?

Whoa, I've never seen this feature before!

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

What do you guys think of the new ad unit in my email newsletter?

How much do you think I could charge for this ad unit if I'm sending my email to 22k+ absurdly high-end subscribers in technology, startups and finance?

$250 CPM would be ~$5,000, and if you were running a conference, law firm or hosting company like RackSpace it would easily be worth it yes?

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Friday, November 12, 2010

San Francisco Poker table and dealer for hire

Anyone know a professional poker dealer with a table and chips in San Francisco.

Thinking of having a game on Monday and Tuesday at Web 2.0 and need a dealer.   

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Cold cure: korean red ginseng and manuka honey from New Zealand

Web 2.0 Summit (poker) on Monday and Tuesday

I will be staying at the Palace Hotel for Web 2.0 Summit in order to take meetings around Mahalo, angel investing and the LAUNCH conference on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. 

If you're looking to meet for coffee, please ping me jason AT Potential reasons we should meet include:

1. You are a developer and want to work for Mahalo, or one of my angel investments.
2. You are a new startup and want to launch at the LAUNCH Conference on Feb 23rd and 24th 2011 in San Francisco.
3. You want to be a partner/sponsor of the LAUNCH Conference! 
4. You are a startup seeking angel investment and want to show me your product!
5. You are a large media company with a lot of capital and traffic, and would like to help grow Mahalo from 20M monthly uniques to 50m. :-)    

Note: We will NOT be playing poker with a bunch of CEOs and VCs at 9PM Monday and Tuesday night. Even if we were, there wouldn't be any seats open. :-)


Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Saturday, November 6, 2010

TechCrunch takes down Google/Twitter sexual assault story--any idea why?

Anyone venture to guess why TechCrunch took this story down? 

Googler Accuses Twitter Engineer Of Sexual Assault, Trial By Twitter Commences
 Mike Rundle @flyosity
Mike Rundle 
Twitter engineer @flo sexually assaults female geek @noirins at Apache Con? Wow. Not good.

about 2 hours ago via webRetweet

Google technical writer Noirin Shirley wrote a blog post earlier this evening entitled “A hell of a time,” describing her experiences last night at ApacheCon in Atlanta. Shirley recounts a drunken post-conference party she organized in her hotel room and describes a rather disturbing (if true)  interaction with Twitter engineer Florian Leibert;

“He brought me in to the snug, and sat up on a stool. He grabbed me, pulled me in to him, and kissed me. I tried to push him off, and told him I wasn’t interested (I may have been less eloquent, but I don’t think I was less clear). He responded by jamming his hand into my underwear and fumbling.”

With such incendiary subject matter it was no surprise that the post rose to the top of HackerNews in a matter of hours. What’s even more interesting is that the accusations have been taken to Quora and Twitter with people @ replying both Leibert and Shirley with the post.

“It’s not the first time something like this has happened to me, at all. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me at a tech conference. But it is the first time I’ve spoken out about it in this way, because I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it.”

It is notable that alleged wrongdoing now has a realtime venue to play out, primarily because of the prominence of the players of this drama in the tech community and the fact that both people involved are on Twitter.

Neither Leibert or Shirley have tweeted anything since the recounting of the incident was published and Shirley makes no indication she has filed any formal complaint.

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups