Archive for January 2012
The willingness to reach out to someone you don’t know is crucial to the art of connecting, and especially important in uncertain economic times. Those who are in mid-career and may have worked for one company for years should learn connecting skills before they need them.For instance, most people’s natural inclination is to seek out friends at meetings and mealtimes. Banikarim says not to do that. “It’s easy to sit with someone you know,” she says. “It’s hard, but more interesting, to sit with someone you don’t know. This is not like high school. It’s not just the losers who don’t have somewhere to sit.”
Processing Big Data, faster…what’s not to like?
A New Faster Fourier Transform Can Speed One of IT’s Fundamental Algorithms
POPULAR SCIENCE – NEW TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE NEWS, THE FUTURE NOW | JANUARY 18, 2012
The Fast Fourier Transform From many irregular signals, one. Christine Daniloff via MIT NewsEven faster than the fast Fourier … read more
This is such a great idea. Really interested to see how this company evolves…
Wrapp Mogul: Why LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman Is Investing In The Social Gifting Site
FAST COMPANY | JANUARY 18, 2012
Hoffman’s previously tossed cash at Facebook, Groupon, and Zynga. Now the Greylock partner sees potential in the data you can … read more
VMTurbo deserves recognition for Cloud Operations Manager’s innovation, ease of implementation and excellent value. Their product deploys as a virtual appliance and offers completely real-time data, which assists in capacity planning and dynamic workload orchestration. It also supports multiple hypervisors and multiple tenets, and it even has its own application programming interface.
CEO’s and managers in high growth environments don’t have time to micro-manage. They need staffers who can JFDI, without requiring a lot of care and feeding.
If you have someone on your team who is consistently overdelivering, requires little supervision, and makes the team around them markedly better, promote them immediately and give them more responsibility along with that promotion.
A promotion is a great way for a CEO or manager to recognize ‘A’ players, to position them as role models within the team or company, and to regain valuable management bandwidth.
If you’re thinking seriously about promoting someone, especially at a startup, then it probably means you should do it. I have managed people who fit into the ‘Promote Fast’ bucket before, and the only regret in my time working with them was that I did not promote them sooner.
I don’t think username/password can last much longer as the primary means of authentication on the web. Rampant phishing has made it all to common for unsuspecting “normals” (and even those who are more tech savvy) to inadvertently open themselves up to malicious purchases, or massive promulgation of spam emails and social network comments from their account. It’s only going to get worse as phishers get more and more sophisticated.
One way to slash the number of successful phishing attempts would be for B2C sites to start adding mobile-based authentication as part of their login process on top of the usual username/password combo.
Yes, this would negatively affect the user experience, as the user would need to provide more info than username and password at login, but it would reduce the attack surface of a typical internet user dramatically.
With this type of authentication scheme, when you login with your username/password pair, your phone is called if the username/password combo is accurate. At that point, your cell phone will ring, and you’ll need to pick up and press a button to show that you are indeed the person who just entered that username/password info. This is a powerful concept because if the phisher doesn’t have your phone, and he/she can’t do any damage.
For added security, a site could also use the phone authentication to protect certain critical operations post-login (e.g. a mass delete, a message to a large number of contacts, a purchase above a certain pre-set threshold).
No consumer site has tried to “sell” me this kind of two-factor authentication lately as part of their user experience. However, if that site is buying or selling anything on my behalf, I’m open to a slightly more clunky user experience in order to add another layer of protection.
There are companies who provide two-factor authentication as a service, but clearly it is not terribly popular in the consumer web or B2C world (or, maybe just with the sites I use — as I never bump into it).
Is the user experience so poor that it’s not worth implementing these solutions? Basic two-factor auth is not that hard to build, so I can’t imagine that it would be a technology issue (or a cost issue if working with a 3rd party web service that provided this functionality). Or do the consumer sites themselves and their customers not really see this (phishing) as an existential threat?
Seems intuitively that mobile and / or multi-factor (e.g. phone + username/password + something else) authentication is a big area of opportunity given the current trends in phishing and security, but maybe I am missing something.
What am I missing? :)
Very happy to see this tonight. Sarah’s super sharp and it’s no surprise she’s working her way up at BVP.
Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), a global venture capital firm, today announced the promotions of Abhijeet Muzumdar and Sarah Tavel to vice president.
I just heard that Highland Capital Partners is hiring a Senior Associate for their IT/Communications venture capital investment team. The role is based in Cambridge, Mass. They are a highly regarded firm and I have some personal experience with them (did a project for them in business school and also worked for one of their portfolio companies, VMTurbo). It’s a great firm and if you’re looking to learn the venture capital business, it would be a great place to cut your teeth.
I’d also encourage you to subscribe to my email list if this job, or others like it, are of interest to you. I promise not to spam you and will only send information related to venture capital jobs and careers. Please input your email address in the field (and click ‘Submit’) below if you would like to subscribe.
Just read (and loved) this from Reviews: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith | LibraryThing (thanks to Jerry Colonna for pointing out the book):
Goldsmith discusses 20 behaviors that will stifle or derail a successful career. The habits are very common and easily recognized by others, but not necessarily by oneself. These habits are:
1. Need to win at all costs.
2. Desire to add our (my) two cents to every discussion.
3. Need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
4. Needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we (I) think make us sound witty and wise.
5. Overuse of “No,” “But” or “However.”
6. Need to show people we (I) are (am) smarter than they think we (I) are (am.)
7. Use of emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Need to share our (my) negative thoughts, even if not asked.
9. Refusal to share information in order to exert an advantage.
10. Inability to praise and reward.
11. Annoying way in which we overestimate our (my) contribution to any success.
12. Need to reposition our (my) annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
13. Need to deflect blame from ourselves (myself) and onto events and people from our (my) past.
14. Failure to see that we (I) am treating someone unfairly.
15. Inability to take responsibility for our (my) actions.
16. Act of not listening.
17. Failure to express gratitude.
18. Need to attack the innocent, even though they are usually only trying to help us (me).
19. Need to blame anyone but ourselves (me).
20. Excessive need to be “me.”
21. Goal obsession at the expense of a larger mission.
So, what does all this mean for venture capitalists and limited partners, and what relevance, if any, does it have for entrepreneurs?First, for Venture Capitalists, recognize that an overwhelming number of people and firms in our industry are trying to succeed conventionally and that an enormous amount of capital will flow to companies that represent what has recently come into fashion. If you are doing a deal, do you really KNOW that it is the best company in a given market space? Do you really understand the sheer number of competitors that already exist? What do your best entrepreneurs, particularly the young ones, think about this deal? Above all, do not fear the unconventional.Secondly, for Limited Partners, recognize that success in the future will not necessarily look like success in the past. Outsized returns come from unusual risks. You want your general partners to invest in and build the next generation of great companies; recognize that those opportunities aren’t necessarily going to be in “hot” spaces when they do the deals. Instead, listen for the tension, listen for the controversy, listen for how your GP’s expect value to be created in non-standard ways.Finally, for entrepreneurs: Be bold! Be original! See where the crowd is going. Understand the “new” conventional wisdom and the extraordinary flows of capital that gravitate toward it and do something different. Be determined and, most of all, do not fear failure.In the end, it all comes down to how you think about failure. I tell my companies not to fear failure. I tell my students not to fear failure. I tell my children and myself not to fear failure. I would rather fund someone who has failed for the right reasons and is hungry than someone who was successful and either complacent or lucky. For venture capitalists, failing conventionally is not really taking a risk. It is just doing what the rest of the industry is doing and dying a slow death. The only way to really fail or succeed is to take big, unconventional risks. To do less is to condemn yourself to mediocrity.