May 31, 2012

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You? I think there are two kinds of entrepreneurs, and sometimes, you can be both.  There is the kind that starts businesses, and there is the kind that builds businesses. The kind of entrepreneur who starts businesses but usually doesn’t like running or building them are typically serial entrepreneurs.  How can you spot one?  They: Have an idea a minute and a bit of ADD – they are attracted to bright shiny objects – they can’t focus Would rather generate 1 good and idea and 19 bad ones than just 1 good one Are always thinking about the next thing, only excited by the possibility of what could be, not by what is Are more philosophical and theoretical than practical Probably shouldn’t run businesses for more than a few months Are likely to frustrate everyone around them and get bored themselves Are really fun at cocktail parties Say things like “I thought of auctions online way before eBay!” The second kind of entrepreneur is the kind of person who can run businesses but may or may not come up with the idea.  Typically, these people: Care about success, not about having the idea Love to […]

July 19, 2007

Everything That is New is Old

Everything That is New is Old With a full nod to my colleague Jack Sinclair for the title and concept here…we were having a little debate over email this morning about the value of web applications vs. Microsoft (perhaps inspired by Fred, Brad, and Andy’s comments lately around Microsoft vs. Apple). Jack and his inner-CFO is looking for a less expensive way of running the business than having to buy full packages of Office for every employee to have many of them use 3% of the functionality.  He is also even more of a geek than I am. I am […]

June 18, 2006

A Good Laugh at Microsoft’s Expense, Part II

A Good Laugh at Microsoft’s Expense, Part II Three minutes of quick video entertainment awaits you.  What if Microsoft redesigned the iPod packaging?  Watch here.  This could be any big company, not Microsoft. Makes you really realize how much “less is more” in terms of product design and packaging.  Like Google. Thanks to Frank Addante from StrongMail for turning me on to this clip.  See Part I if you want another quick clip about punishing developers for buggy code.

January 25, 2006

Spam is Dead. Long Live Spam!

Spam is Dead.  Long Live Spam! As pointed out in The Register yesterday (and picked up by Whit in his feed), it’s now been exactly two years since Bill Gates declared that Microsoft would eliminate spam in two years. Hmmm.  Let’s think about that.  Filters do keep getting better, which Gates predicted.  But challenge/response filtering seems to be dead in the water, and the notion that we’re all going to pay for email stamps seems to be toast as well. So where are we?  Spam is certainly more of a nuisance than a true crisis these days, which is even […]

December 8, 2005

Counter Cliche: How Much Paranoia is Too Much Paranoia?

Counter Cliche:  How Much Paranoia is Too Much Paranoia? Fred’s VC cliche of the week this week, Opening the Kimono, is a good one.  He talks about how much entrepreneurs should and should not disclose when talking to VCs and big partners — companies like Microsoft or Google, for example. In response to another of Fred’s weekly cliche postings back in April, I addressed the issue of opening the kimono with VCs in this posting entitled Promiscuity.  But today’s topic is the opposite of promiscuity, it’s paranoia. I was talking with a friend a few months back who’s a friend […]

November 3, 2005

A Good Laugh at Microsoft’s Expense

A Good Laugh at Microsoft’s Expense Anyone who has ever had a frustrating moment with any Microsoft product (um, that probably means everyone) must watch this 4 minute video.  Thanks to my colleague Carly Brantz for turning me on to this gem. Update:  new link for this video as of June 18, 2006 here.

June 22, 2005

Why We Love Email Authentication, But Why It Won’t Stop Spam

Why We Love Email Authentication, But Why It Won’t Stop Spam Microsoft made a big announcement today that they’re taking email authentication, in the form of Sender ID, very seriously.  They’re using a stick, not a carrot.  Emailers who do not publish a proper Sender ID record are now going to (a) find themselves in the bulk mail folder at Hotmail and MSN, and (b) have a big fat disclaimer thrown on top of their emails from Microsoft warning users that the email’s source can’t be authenticated. At Return Path, we’re big fans of authentication, and we’re sponsoring the upcoming […]

April 11, 2005

You Heard It Here First, Part II

You Heard It Here First, Part II Tomorrow, Return Path is going to announce that we have acquired the Bonded Sender Program from IronPort Systems (the release is here).  As usual, I’m happy to pre-announce M&A activity on my blog in exchange for a moment of self-promotion. Bonded Sender is the industry’s oldest, best known, and most effective whitelist/accreditation program.  In a nutshell, it’s a bitch for mailers to qualify for it — they have to demonstrate that they’re a super high quality mailer and get certified by our partner TrustE — but once they do, they have relatively guaranteed […]

March 24, 2005

From Blog to Book – Beyond Bullets

From Blog to Book – Beyond Bullets Hats off to fellow blogger Cliff Atkinson, who has just published a book called Beyond Bullet Points.  Cliff and his company, Sociable Media, consult on PowerPoint and presentations and have a great theory about how to do great presentations. They follow the “clear, simple, and please God not so boring” guidelines espoused by a number of us in the business world, including Brad and of course Seth.  (BTW, if you haven’t read Seth’s e-book/treatise on Really Bad PowerPoint, you should do that as well, although I can’t find a link to it at […]

February 1, 2005

Doing its Part

Doing its Part Fred had a good posting on spam today, riffing on a New York Times article that  is very “doom and gloom” on spam and how it’s taking over the world.  I’ll buy the Times’ argument that there’s an increasing amount of spam out there these days, but as with Fred, I still maintain, as I did in this earlier posting, that we’re out of crisis mode and are on the path to resolution as improved filtering technology and false-positive identification services trickle down to broader usage. What I think is interesting, though is the amount of criticism […]

May 26, 2004

SPF and Caller ID for Email Merge – What Does This Mean?

Yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft is going to merge its nascent Caller ID for Email authentication standard with the more populist Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an interesting development in the war on spam. But what does it really mean? It means that sender authentication is headed towards a standard. Where once there were three, now there are two (Yahoo Domain Keys is another standard, although it’s still a little unclear whether it’s competitive or complementary). Authentication is an important component of the war on spam because it allows ISPs and other email receiveing servers to verify that the sender of […]