My first self-created “illusquote” on missing your inner child (instructions for finding, creating and using them for marketing inside)

There is a “one-two” punch feeling to good illustrated quotes and it’s probably that feeling  of Aha! That sets in when the image and the quote, each good one their own, mesh well together.

photo

Illustrated quotes are becoming a social phenomenon and i enjoy browsing through the latest each morning  by checking the latest quotes across Instagram, pinterest, pheed and Tumblr.

A good illustrated quote can serve as a ultra-simplified infographic and get you some good traction on social media.

To create your own quote feed, just go to colabo.com and create a board for “quotes”.

To create an illustrated quote yourself, find an eye-catching image you like, compose (or copy) the text (not too long) and use a photo editing app (i used picsplay), merge them together and share with the world (one of the above social networks is where you will find most appreciation for your work).

Credits – photos from Paris-based photo retoucher Christian Girotto and French photographer Quentin Curtat. Qoute source is unknown.

Video interview i did at SXSW with Startup Daily on startup experience past and present

Video interview at SXSWwhile in South by Southwest conference last April, the super nice folks from Startup Daily conducted an interview with me about Stepwells and general startup experience. they had some good though provoking questions and some i wish i had shorter clearer answers but i guess that is how most people feel after such interviews. http://ow.ly/bv0J2

Economist of the year nomination proposal

While listening to a piece on NPR on social profiling of immigrants in Spain i heard this quote which i had to run again to make sure i heard it correctly (thanks NPR for a great mobile app). Here is Fernando Fernandez, at Madrid’s IE Business School with the following astute observation:
“the number of illegal immigrants in Spain has decreased in recent years Which was to be expected in a crisis, because illegal immigrants are not necessarily stupid. They’re illegal, which is a different thing”.
http://www.npr.org/2012/05/29/153901342/spanish-police-accused-of-racially-profiling

Good job Fernando, you make the world a better a place one observation at a time!

5 best tips for entrepreneurs that I learned while skateboarding

When I tell people that I still skateboard regularly, they are often surprised as tech geeks and hard-core skaters are groups that don’t usually overlap. It’s been my passion since childhood and by skating I don’t mean nice, clean cruising on a longboard but rather street spots, skateparks, tricks, falls and getting kicked out of places by security guards.
The way I see it, skateboarding is to entrepreneurship what team sports are to corporate careers. A childhood activity that teaches you the basics required to perform professional tasks.
Here are some of the most important lessons I learned while skating that any entrepreneur should know:

  1. There are no rulebooks and no one to ask permission from
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The reason for your zombie performance when you are jetlagged

I know a lot of folks who are sure that functioning without sleeping is just a matter of endurance.
As anyone trying to have a meaningful conversation with those folks would know, that is not the case and their mental performance is noticeably reduced (the eyes are open but the response is not there..).
I feel this way every time I am jetlagged.
A new research – http://goo.gl/tVLWH – sheds some light on the inner functions of a sleep deprived brain of rats (that is anything less than 6 hours per night for humans).
While the rats appeared to be awake by any measurable criteria (brain wave frequencies, motor skills, external appearance), certain parts of their brain selectively shut down.
Pragmatic take-aways:
1. Scheduling meetings on a different time zone – if a meeting is crucial, try to schedule it to a time that will allow you to sleep enough before(on hours that would match your night time in your time zone) and the meeting takes place in what would be a waking hour in your origin’s time zone.
2. Take into account that you will not be performing at your peak on days you haven’t slept enough – Sometimes acknowledging the problem is already 80% of the solution and letting other people know in advance puts you in a better position than appearing zoned-out in a middle of an important conversation.
3. Be all you can be – Yes you can function with little sleep, we have all done that. You might even be able to avoid people noticing those droopy eyes but at least for your own sake know that unless you sleep 6-8 hours per night, you are running at partial capacity.

How do VC firms value a start-up? – my answer to this question on Quora

http://www.quora.com/How-do-VC-firms-value-a-start-up – With all due respect to financial models, even with mature public companies the models are just a way to rationalize a reality in which you are worth as much as the last person was willing to pay for you (which is why the same company with the same financial results can change in valuation drastically between bubbles and panics). The same reality applies in early stage companies. To start the valuation discussion somewhere two things are taken into account: 1. What were recent valuations of similar start-ups (product, team, revenue) 2. How much money does the company need or what kind of sums does the investor like to invest and what kind of stake does the investor want to have by the end of the round. Often case the simplified process goes like this: 1. Does the investor want to invest in the company? 2. If so, what kind of sums the investor wants/can invest in such stage 3. What type of stake does the investor want to get (after the money and the new shares are issued) and reverse the total round size to accommodate equity needs 4. if more money is needed or more investors are interested, optimize to achieve goals of all investors and rationalize the total sum from the company perspective somehow.. This is really why most rounds for technology companies look so much alike (when looking at deals done in same period of time) even though the companies can have vast different financial needs