Investment disclosures

jkottke:

Here at kottke.org, we’ve invested in a couple of “start up” companies and thought it was time to disclose that information. We’re happy to announce that we’ve participated in a friends-and-family angel series-α round for Vooza, a “mobile web app that’s realtime, cloud-based, social, and local.” Joining us are several other great investors like Tim Conway, Paul Grayjoy, Mark Anderrssonn, Freddy Dubs, Denim Roberts, Katrina Faux, and Petrus T. Heel.

We also invested in a follow-on crowdfunded round for Ponzify several months ago.

Forget Facebook. Forget Groupon. Forget everything you know about Silicon Valley. Because Ponzify isn’t like other tech companies. We don’t promise results. We show them to you, on a piece of paper, that has your name and a monetary figure that increases every month.

Our business model is simple: Attract users, advertisers, positive press and a corporate buyer; then, pull the chord on that golden parachute and have cable news book you as an expert on startups from time to time. There may be a book deal in there, too. We haven’t decided.

Users love our product because it’s something free. Venture Capitalists love it because they can imagine themselves talking about it at T.E.D. or on Charlie Rose. Trust us: Once you invest in Ponzify, you’ll have a difficult time investing your money anywhere else ever again.

Such is the pace of technology and business at the intersection of technology and business that we’ve forgetten who else invested in Ponzify but rest assured that it didn’t include any women. Both these companies are going somewhere, you should check them out or you might miss them.

gigaom:

And they say that there is no tech bubble. (via Deal Breaker)

I’m fairly certain that I (kinda) helped this guy with his Ph.D. implementation while I was in college. Seriously.

gigaom:

And they say that there is no tech bubble. (via Deal Breaker)

I’m fairly certain that I (kinda) helped this guy with his Ph.D. implementation while I was in college. Seriously.

“One interesting place this comes up is at Netflix — the basic math behind the Netflix code tends to be conservative. Netflix uses an algorithm called Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE, to geeks), which basically calculates the “distance” between different movies. The problem with RMSE is that while it’s very good at predicting what movies you’ll like — generally it’s under one star off — it’s conservative. It would rather be right and show you a movie that you’ll rate a four, than show you a movie that has a 50% chance of being a five and a 50% chance of being a one. Human curators are often more likely to take these kinds of risks.

In some ways, I think that’s the primary purpose of an editor — to extend the horizon of what people are interested in and what people know. Giving people what they think they want is easy, but it’s also not very satisfying: the same stuff, over and over again. Great editors are like great matchmakers: they introduce people to whole new ways of thinking, and they fall in love.”

Eli Pariser. I’m currently fascinated by this topic and the startups attacking the related problems (percolate, summify, knowaboutit, etc.) and I can’t wait to read Pariser’s book.

The Filter Bubble: How the Web Gives Us What We Want, and That’s Not a Good Thing

“Compare that to Amazon Cloud Drive or IBM Smart Cloud or Microsoft Cloud Power. Perhaps Dropbox’s catchy name and simple approach are in part why the startup is rocketing in popularity.”
Color’s business model is pretty unappealing to me but this explains at least part of Bill Nguyen’s statement that Color is a datamining company.

Color’s business model is pretty unappealing to me but this explains at least part of Bill Nguyen’s statement that Color is a datamining company.