Vision versus Hallucination – Founders and Pivots

  • Founders are great at seeing things others don’t – at times it’s a vision, most often it’s a hallucination
  • Founders want immediate action – often they call it a pivot
  • A Pivot should not be an excuse for a lack of a coherent strategy or a lack of impulse control
  • Disconnect your insights from you mouth for 72-hours
  • If you can unilaterally overrule your co-founders there are no brakes on you
  • Your board members are not your brainstorm buddies-find others you trust

Good stuff as usual, Steve!

Snowballing! @reddit co-founder plans 'Internet 2012' bus tour via @CNN

"From taxes, to health care, to immigration -- Democrats and Republicans can't seem to agree on anything," reads the text on the project's IndieGoGo fund-raising campaign. "But there's one thing no one's really talking about that both sides should be championing: The Open Internet."

Ohanian, who also founded travel site Hipmunk and philanthropic geek-merchandise vendor Breadpig, was active in this year's fight to derail the Stop Online Piracy Act. That bill and related legislation were designed to crack down on illegal sharing of copyrighted material, but critics attacked it as an overreaching assault on Web freedoms.

Ohanian said that the success of Reddit, which was launched in 2005 with just $12,000 in funding, speaks to the importance of a free and open Internet to the economic growth both parties promise to deliver. The site was bought by Conde Nast in 2006 and, last month, had nearly 40 million unique visitors.

"We got to live the American dream by having this great startup success at a company that continues to grow," he said in an interview with CNN. "There is really no other industry right now where you can say that.

"There are companies right now, starting up all over the country, who could be the next Google."

Tour leaders have drafted what they're calling the Internet Declaration of Freedom. It calls for promises to never censor the Web, promote international access to fast, affordable Web services and defend online privacy, among other things.

And they're encouraging both major U.S. political parties to add Internet freedom to their official platforms.


Love. Thank you, Doug! Let's keep this momentum going after the official news Republicans have added internet freedom to their platform.

"Ignore your competition" and "Don't be mean to @mollyringwald" and other social media tips from me @PopMech

Ignore what your competition is doing. Shortly after we launched Reddit, we found out about another social-news site, Digg. We realized that what your competitors do should be irrelevant. Stay focused on your own plans and strategy. More often than not, what can ruin a business isn't what a competitor does, but rather something that happens internally. When we started Hipmunk, a travel site, we were well aware of Kayak. We didn't focus on being better than them. We just set about creating what we thought would be the best travel search site. This single-minded focus can be applied to almost every venture on the Internet.

Thank you for the interview!

Reddit's Alexis Ohanian Plans Bus Tour To Make Internet Freedom A 2012 Campaign Issue @Forbes

With the bus tour, Ohanian says he hopes to change the focus from opposing bad legislation to building good Internet policy into mainstream politics. “ Lots of smart people have been telling us it’s easier to be against something, but it’s important to be for something,” he says. “In our case, it’s the right every American has to an open Internet.”

Giddyup, America.

With SOPA gone, setting Internet advocacy’s next stop @WashingtonPost covers Internet 2012 Bus Tour

Reddit and the site’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian have an idea: they’re launching a bus tour that will introduce the Internet itself as a player in the 2012 election.

“The bus will be half-red and half-blue, with ‘Internet 2012’ on the side of it, where the candidate’s name would be,” Ohanian said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The tour kicks off in Denver, Colo. — the site of the first presidential debate — and will conclude in the city that hosts the first vice-presidential debate, Danville, Ky.

Help get our bus going -- click for the indiegogo!

Y Combinator's Young Startups Tout Revenue Over Users @Bloomberg

“It’s looking like the funding market won’t be as great for the next 6 to 12 months because of the macro economy,” said Aditya Bali, co-founder of BufferBox, a service for delivering e-commerce goods to physical kiosks in grocery and convenience stores. “If you’re just going to run through a whole bunch of money over the first couple months, but you haven’t actually figured out how you’re going to make money, we’re seeing less of those companies.”

BufferBox, founded in Waterloo, Ontario, last year, is in talks to raise money from top-tier VC firms, Bali said. He said those talks have been helped by fees the company takes from e-commerce sites.

“We don’t really need your money, because this is what we’re doing,” Bali said of the VCs. “But if we have your money, we can go that much faster.”

“That’s the whole way to get investors excited,” he said.

Sounds like I missed another impressive Demo Day. This is my jealous-face.

Y Combinator's @Harjeet Taggar: Mark Zuckerberg Would Hate Corporate Incubators

How can they tell the difference?

Track record would be one obvious differentiator. YC has been around longer than any of the other accelerators, and it's produced larger companies. There's just a lot more data and a lot more people who have gone through YC, which gives us an advantage. Paul Graham is probably the most prominent founder of Y Combinator, but he was also prominent before Y Combinator, and that's the type of person you would want.

Preach, brother!