Posts from Web design

Mobile First Web Second (continued)

I wrote a post called Mobile First Web Second a few months ago. In it made this point:

The thing I like about these kinds of apps is they are with you all the time and can be used in moments of downtime. As such they lead to higher levels of engagement. But because they are also web apps and connected to a web scale network, they can offer a lot of value that mobile only apps cannot.

Since writing that post, I keep coming back to this theme again and again. I think it is a critical element for success in today's web startup environment.

We had a dinner party the other night at our home. A friend asked me what the inspiration for the most recent AVC redesign was. I told her that I wanted AVC to feel like a mobile web site. I told her that I love how web pages look on the iPad and I wanted AVC to look great on an iPad.

I was meeting with the team from one of our portfolio companies a few weeks ago and we were talking about a redesign of their new web service. I had told them I thought the initial design was too busy and too complicated to work well in the market. They showed me the iPhone app they were planning to release soon. I said "just do that on the web." And happily they told me they were thinking the same thing.

Using the mobile web as a constraint to think about web design is growing in popularity. I see it in my own efforts and the efforts of our portfolio companies. When users spend more time accessing your service over a mobile device, they are going to get used to that UI/UX. When you ask them to navigate a substantially busier and more complex UI/UX when they log onto the web, you are likely to keep them on the mobile app and off the web app.

I'm starting to think a unifying vision for all apps should start with the mobile app, not the web app. And so it may also be mobile first web second in designing web apps these days.


The New Launches In Beta

Taking a cue from the advice we give to companies all the time, we've just launched the new in beta form last night. It still has a few kinks to get out, but it is mostly there.


When Brad and I first thought about our firm's website back in 2004, we quickly decided it should be a blog and that is what it has always been and it is what it will always be.

Our investment thesis is not a static thing, it is a living and evolving thesis, and the only way we know how to express it is in a series of blog posts in reverse chronological order. As we've added to the firm, our website has grown to include new voices like our partner Albert and also Andrew and Eric. It was time to refresh the look and feel and organization, but we've not changed the goal of the website.

There are three things I'd like to highlight. The first is our "focus" page. On this page we've simply collected all of the blog posts that we've written over the years on that are about our investment strategy. If you read all of the posts on the focus page, you'll understand what we invest in and why. And as our focus evolves, you'll see new posts explaining how we are evolving and why.

The second thing is the portfolio company page. Each portfolio company has an entire page on and that page is dynamic. Here is the Boxee page on It has a short explanation of the company's business and then links to recent posts from the company's blog, along with photos, videos, and tweets from the company. This page is powered by a slick tool from Magnify. We appreciate their help in making these pages come to life. I think they are terrific.

And I'd also like to highlight the team member page. It is also powered by Magnify and includes a similar set of content as the portfolio company page. Here is my page on

The new look is the work of a talented web designer named Phoebe Espiritu. In addition to her considerable talents, she is terrific to work with. The project was managed by Eric Friedman and I'd like to thank him for all of his effort on it.

I'm very pleased with how this came out. Our business and portfolio is changing rapidly and we've now got a website that changes in real time with it. That's the way it should be.

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