Posts from July 2004

The Streets (Continued)

Max commented in my original post on The Streets. He said, “i like the first cd, original pirate material, a lot more. better melodies. better stories. have you listened to it?”

Well I hadn’t.

But I went straight to Amazon and got Original Pirate Material.

Max is right that the melodies are better. I don’t know if I like Original Pirate Material better than A Grand Don’t Come For Free. But its great and I know its going to be on my iPod a lot in the next couple weeks.

#My Music

Bored of Directors (Continued)

There’s a reason that so many directors are bored. They aren’t showing up. It’s really hard to be engaged in a meeting when you are hanging out in your office listening in on a phone to a meeting happening 1000s of miles away.

I got into the venture business in the mid-80s. I was 26 years old and had no idea what a board meeting was. But I was lucky to be learning the business at the heels of someone who knew exactly what a board meeting was. His name is Milton Pappas and he is still working in the venture capital business.

I hadn’t been in the venture business for more than a month when Milton grabbed me and said, “I’d like you to come to a board meeting with me.” I was excited.

We didn’t call in, we got on a plane and went.

But it wasn’t a day trip even though the company was in Boston and we were in NY.

We left around 4pm and got up to Boston in time for the Board dinner. That was where the interesting stuff happened. We got into the business, talked about what was working and what was not. We talked about who was getting it done and who was not. The whole Board was there. We drank a couple bottles of wine, had great converstations, and got into the business.

After the dinner broke up, the management went home but the directors retired to the bar for a nightcap. The conversation moved back and forth between the business and other stuff. These guys were friends. They knew each other and enjoyed each other.

The next morning we got up and had breakfast with all the other non-management directors. Each of us had slept on the dinner conversations. We went back over it and got on the same page. By the time we got into the car to head to the company the board was together and knew what they wanted to get done at the meeting.

The meeting itself was pretty anticlimatic. The management made a presentation. The board listened. Then management made some recommendations. The board pushed back on some things. They played it well. They were united and made good points. Management listened. Everyone left on the same page.

It’s hard to pull off meetings like this anymore. Everyone is too busy to do face to face meetings. Nobody wants to burn a day and a half for a board meeting.

But it’s too bad. Because I believe the old way is the right way to do a meeting. Startup business face critical issues every month. An experienced board can really help make the right decisions. But a two hour meeting won’t get it done.

So if you are bored, get on a plane and go to the meeting. It make a huge difference.

#VC & Technology

Great CD, Great Cause

Those who regularly read my blog posts on music know that I love the following bands/artists:

Death Cab For Cutie
Ben Kweller
Bright Eyes
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fountains of Wayne
Nada Surf
The Flaming Lips
Tom Waits

Well guess what? My brother Ted, aka Jackson, just pointed me to a great CD compilation featuring all of these artists and more doing political protest songs.

You can get it right now by making a $25 contribution to I just did.

Check it out.

#My Music#Politics

$100 million and counting

In my post about Fahrenheit 9/11, I said the movie was going to do over $100 million at the box office.

Some friends of mine who don’t share my political views took umbrage with that. I made a bet with one of them.

Guess what? I won.

I’ll repeat what I said in my original post:

“Finally we have something to vent our pain with. And that is why this movie is going to do over $100 million at the box office before its done. And that is why America is so polarized. And that is why George W. Bush may well lose an election when the economy is turning sharply in his favor.”



I think there are some big things happening in the area of digital photography.

I’ve been trying to post more and more photos to my blog. And when I do, I always enjoy the result.

I got Picasa working on my laptop this weekend and that’s been a big help. I finally have the equivalent of iPhoto on my Windows laptop. I can shrink photos down to the sizes they need to be for posting.

josh_ice_creamAnd this weekend, I set up a Fotolog.

I am going to post my Fotolog photos on my blog too. It would be great if TypePad would let me embed a link to my Fotolog in the photos I post, but I don’t see how I can do that right now.

Fotolog is pretty cool. I am going to try to post a photo every day. That will force me to use my digital camera a lot more. Maybe that will take me to the place that digital photography is headed.

I think that the ubiquity of digital cameras, the increasing connectivity of them (wifi, wireless phones, etc), and the evolution of online photography storage will lead to a different kind of behavior around photography. In the past, the cost of film, the work required to store, categorize, and display the photos in albums or frames, relegated photography to special occasions for most consumers. I think that’s going to change in a bunch of fundamental ways.

And I want to get there before the mainstream does so I can figure out how to profit from it.

#VC & Technology


For those of you who aren’t aware of this Company, Ontrack provides an incredible service.

I was reminded of them when I read John Batelle’s post about getting his digital life back. He found Ontrack the same way I did.

About two and half years ago, my crack tech guy did something that everyone has done at least once in their life. He hit the wrong button. And our entire exchange server was gone.

It was a huge problem. And we tried a bunch of fixes. None of them worked.

Then we found Ontrack. It cost us a boatload of money, most of it coughed up by our crack tech guy in free work for a while. But we got our exchange server back.

I know this sounds like a commercial. But I promise you I haven’t been paid a dime to say this.

I just know the pain of losing your data. And the joy of getting it back.

#VC & Technology