Food for Thought #5: Funding Unicorns, Bubble, Success & Discomfort

Jason Calacanis (via This Week In Startups): Investing legend Ann Winblad on funding software unicorns, finding talent & auditioning the future

Investing legend Ann Winblad on funding software unicorns, finding talent & auditioning the future

Hummer Winblad Venture Partners was founded in 1989 as the first VC fund to invest exclusively in software companies. Today Jason sits down Ann Winblad, technology investing legend and the firm’s Co-founder and Managing Director. Jason and Ann discuss Ann’s journey as an entrepreneur and a wide range of riveting topics.

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Food for Thought #4: Mobile Internet, Story of Pocket, What Are We Doing?

Benedict Evans: Forget about the mobile internet

Forget about the mobile internet
Image from squarespace.com
For as long as the idea of the ‘mobile internet’ has been around, we’ve thought of it a cut-down subset of the ‘real’ Internet. I’d suggest it’s time to invert that - to think about mobile as the real internet and the desktop as the limited, cut-down version.
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Food for Thought #3: Inside Amazon, Startup Failures, Leadership

David Streitfeld (via The New York Times): Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.

SEATTLE — On Monday mornings, fresh recruits line up for an orientation intended to catapult them into Amazon’s singular way of working. They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported. To be the best Amazonians they can be, they should be guided by the leadership principles, 14 rules inscribed on handy laminated cards.
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Food for Thought #2: Zirtual Implodes, Startup Halo Effect, WeChat

Biz Carson (via Business Insider): A startup dissolved overnight and laid off its 400 employees via email with no warning

A startup dissolved overnight and laid off its 400 employees via email with no warning

Zirtual shut down with no notice — only an email at 1:30 a.m.

In the middle of the night, a startup that had raised $5.5 million dissolved and disappeared. It deleted its Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and Google+ profile. It changed its website to say it was “pausing operations.”
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Food for Thought #1: Self-Management, Dropbox, Optimizely

Our first edition!

Leo Widrich (via Buffer): What We Got Wrong About Self-Management

What We Got Wrong About Self-Management

When Buffer moved to self-management, we assumed that meant a flat organization. Now we're embracing hierarchy. Here's what we've learned along the way.

We eventually started to discuss whether this is the right setup for us. We concluded that it wasn’t, yet we were uncertain about how to move forward still.

We started to have this big knot in our brains. We had talked so much about being self-managed, about transcending the traditional management paradigm, and yet now we were realizing that there was still hierarchy?

Frankly, sitting with this question for some time was a great test, as it brought up many emotions around doubt in discussions between Joel and myself. I now believe that, for us, seeking a flat structure was a misperception of what self-management means.

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