venture capitals

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  • GUY WHO INVENTED THE AUTOMATIC FLUSH TOILET: Craig! I just had a great idea! It's like a regular toilet only it costs more, wastes water, and actively inconveniences the user!

nadineyoussef4321  asked:

Hey I keep seeing throughout your blog something about stories that you did? I'm not sure what they are but I'm hella interested so can you please give me a bit of info on what they're about and where I could possibly read them? Thanks and have a great day!

Oh, Turncoat? It’s my Fallout 4 story! 

Tumblr - All my stuff, including chapters and art!

AO3 - Easier reading format, also comments and suggestions!

“Working for the Railroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be - especially when the Brotherhood’s got a bounty on you and the Institute’s got your number. Turner finds a friend in a disgruntled detective that might have taken on a case too big for his britches, and the two of them fall into a plot that might just be more than enough for the both of them.” 

It’s a story about my character, Ridley Turner, an ex-Brotherhood knight who ventured up from the Capital Wasteland to the Commonwealth. 

Events transpire that lead to her leaving their ranks and joining the Railroad, wherein she meets Nick Valentine. But under the orders of Elder Maxson, Paladin Riddik has made it their goal to see Turner sentenced for treason. 

But Riddik’s madness begins to take hold, and their goal is no longer to simply take Turner in – they want to see her suffer the consequences of her betrayal.

I’m almost done with Turncoat, too! I already have a sequel planned, Call of Far Harbor, where I plan to use Creepy!DiMA to his full potential! 

Jay Z Launches Arrive To Fund Startups, Offer Branding Support And More

Tech Crunch writes:

Jay Z’s new venture capital firm Arrive, has arrived — the rap and business mogul has been planning the launch for a while, according to reports that surfaced in February, but a press release from parent company Roc Nation made it official on Monday. The investment platform will work with early-stage startups, and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business development, branding and more to help those select companies flourish, per the official announcement.

Arrive’s unique sales pitch to potential investment targets revolves heavily around its experience in brand building — the company is unique among VC firms in terms of its exposure to the task of managing and building up artists, as well as athletes. It’s hoping to leverage that experience into something a bit different from the status quo in venture capital, according to the release, which could be a very appealing edge indeed to consumer-focused startups looking to accelerate their growth.

Keep Reading.

the old view of startup culture is where scrappy little underdogs come up with a Clever Idea that transforms the world by giving us technology that makes our lives better, like HP and Apple and Microsoft starting out as a few nerds working out of garages and inventing home computers and crappy printers, etc.

the new view of startup culture is a bunch of insanely wealthy investors dividing a ridiculous amount of venture capital between a number of moonshots, most of which will vanish without a trace but a few will be able to take advantage of their deep pockets to steamroll their way into a monopolistic position and use it to extract massive amounts of rent out of the economy to reward the investors who can then grab another bunch of hopefuls from Stanford and repeat.

oh and they have an app, or something.


Here are 50 things to keep in mind if you want to be a better entrepreneur:

  1. Don’t let emotions cloud your decisions.
  2. Accept criticism, no matter who gives it to you.
  3. Never stop networking.
  4. Learn from your own mistakes.
  5. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
  6. Around every corner lies an opportunity for you to sell something.
  7. Don’t get too greedy… pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.
  8. Try not to mix your family life with your business life.
  9. No matter how successful you are, you shouldn’t stop learning.
  10. Spending money on good lawyers and accountants will save you more money in the long run.
  11. Don’t pick a stupid company name and if you do, don’t change it later on.
  12. Hiring employees won’t solve most of your problems.
  13. Be agile because slow and steady won’t win the race.
  14. Being agile isn’t enough, you also have to be scrappy too.
  15. Having a good business partner will be a key factor in your success.
  16. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.
  17. It is easier to save money than it is to make it.
  18. You don’t always have to innovate; there is nothing wrong with copying.
  19. Have a marketing plan.
  20. Don’t under estimate your competition; you can’t always know what they are doing.
  21. Watching movies like Boiler Room, will teach you how to sell.
  22. If you don’t have a business mentor, you better get one.
  23. Your income will be the average of your 5 closest friends, so pick them wisely.
  24. Diversifying is a good way to play things safe.
  25. It doesn’t matter what you want, it only matters what your customers want.
  26. When others are fearful, you should be greedy. And when they are greedy you should be fearful.
  27. You don’t always have to pay for advice. You’ll be amazed with the free advice you can get pick up from the web.
  28. The best chances you have of becoming rich is through your willingness of working hard.
  29. Even the most idiotic business idea can make money.
  30. Sex sells and it always will.
  31. An easy way to make more money is to up sell to your current customer base.
  32. Base your business decisions around metrics.
  33. There is no such thing as a safe bet.
  34. You don’t have to start a business to be successful.
  35. Raising venture capital is harder than being struck by lightening.
  36. Staying under the radar isn’t always a bad thing. Being out in the open is a great way to attract more competitors.
  37. Learn to be a team player.
  38. If you ever get screwed over, think twice before you burn the bridge.
  39. Learn to manage both your personal and business money.
  40. Live in a location filled with entrepreneurs.
  41. If you don’t take any risks, there will not be any rewards.
  42. Don’t let anything stand in your way.
  43. Sometimes you have to wait for good deals to come to you.
  44. The smartest route isn’t always the easiest route.
  45. Being too aggressive can backfire.
  46. With networking, it isn’t about whom you know, it is about whom your network knows.
  47. It’s never a bad thing to know too many rich people. Whether you like them or not, they can always come in handy. So make sure you always play nice with them.
  48. Use your email signature to promote your business.
  49. Don’t be afraid of social media. It is a great channel for customer acquisition.
  50. You’ll learn more from starting your own business, than going to business school.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you improve your entrepreneurial skills. And if you have any other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment.


App-Hungry in India                                          

When Harsh Vardhan Mandad and his Mumbai flat-mates brainstormed ideas for the next killer app, they fueled the sessions with late-night deliveries of local fare. The curry rice and spicy wraps inspired their big breakthrough.

They started Tiny Owl, a smartphone application that helps hungry city-dwellers scour nearby eateries for deliveries. The service now handles 2,000 orders each day and has caught the interest of venture funds including Sequoia Capital, an early backer of technology giants such as Apple Inc. and Oracle Corp.

India is becoming the land of the errand app. A growing number of startups cater to people who want to avoid the poor roads and polluted air, and can afford to do so because of the plentiful cheap labor. Almost anyone can use an app to have someone pick up groceries, drop off a letter at the post office or prepare a lunch that runs 75 rupees ($1.20) with delivery.

Read more in the Bloomberg Business story by Adi Narayan. 

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

In this week’s issue, Tad Friend profiles Marc Andreessen:

In many respects, he is the quintessential Silicon Valley venture capitalist: an imposing, fortyish, long-celebrated white man. (Forbes’s Midas List of the top hundred V.C.s includes just five women.) But, whereas most V.C.s maintain a casual-Friday vibe, Andreessen seethes with beliefs. He’s an evangelist for the church of technology, afire to reorder life as we know it. He believes that tech products will soon erase such primitive behaviors as paying cash (Bitcoin), eating cooked food (Soylent), and enduring a world unimproved by virtual reality (Oculus VR). He believes that Silicon Valley is mission control for mankind, which is therefore on a steep trajectory toward perfection. And when he so argues, fire-hosing you with syllogisms and data points and pre-refuting every potential rebuttal, he’s very persuasive.

Photograph by Joe Pugilese

Respect (Jay Park)

Anonymous asked: Hello there! Could you write a plot where the reader (the girlfriend) has injured her ankle but she still insists to work & Jay keeps trying to stop her but they end up in a quarrel & a sweet make up? Not sure if it makes sense haha. Thank you! Side note, really love your writing.

Originally posted by jaywalkerzz

    “Hey babe, just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing. I guess maybe you’re probably taking a nap right now or something. Anyway, give me a call when you get a chance! Love you.”

    You clicked back to the homescreen of your phone once Jay’s voicemail finished, sending him a quick text in response: sorry, i’m actually at work; i was working on some stuff. dinner tonight? love you too :)

    You slid your phone back into your desk drawer before getting back to work.

    At the end of the day, you took the elevator down to the ground floor of the building, limping out while taking as much care as you could with your ankle. When you stepped out the door you stopped dead. There, leaning against the side of his Mercedes, was Jay, arms crossed and one eyebrow raised. “I thought you weren’t going to work today?” he said as you crossed the sidewalk.

    “I never agreed to that,” you said, stopping at the bike rack to unlock your bike.

    “Yo, what are you doing?” he asked, his footsteps pounding on the sidewalk as he ran over to you. “You biked here?”

    “Yeah,” you said. “Jay, chill. It’s not that bad.”

    “It is if you can hardly walk on it,” he said, and before you protested, added, “I’ve seen how much pain you’re in when you walk. And I’ve had plenty of injuries before. I know how it goes.”

    “Thanks for looking out for me,” you said. “I just… I can’t not go to work because I messed up my ankle a little.”

    He sighed. “But you need to heal!”

    You looked at him skeptically. “Did you sit at home all day every time you injured yourself? Because I really can’t imagine you doing that.”

Keep reading

Androbot and Axlon

Androbot and Axlon were tech companies formed by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell through his startup firm, Catalyst Technologies Venture Capital Group.

Bushnell helped form Androbot in 1982, a company that introduced personal robots for education and entertainment purposes. The company stopped production in 1984. After Androbot closed its doors, Bushnell launched Axlon and successfully sold a number of consumer electronic toys and products. Some Androbot designs were repurposed or simplified and sold as Axlon products. They operated into the late 80’s and even released some of the last games for the Atari 2600.

The following is not meant to serve as a complete company history; rather two robots of note have been selected from each company to give a sense of what robots in the early to mid 80’s were capable of. 

TOPO – Androbot (1983)

TOPO-I sold for $795 USD in April 1983 ($1860 approx. today) and stands 36 ½" tall. All of the TOPO robots had a vacuum-formed ABS plastic body and a steel base. TOPO-I had no processors and rather used a one-way RF control from an Apple II+ to provide the brains and memory. Despite the robots imposing form factor, it was essentially a giant remote controlled toy. TOPO-I sold for six months and sold around 1000 units.

The subsequent TOPO-II and TOPO-III models were released shortly thereafter complete with Bushnell Signature nameplate, bi-directional IF-transmitters, additional sensors, text to speech capabilities, and the ability to control several TOPO’s at once. The TOPO-II was released at a cost of $1590 ($3720 today).  These later robots could be guided throughout a home using BASIC commands or a modified version of LOGO. They could also memorize prerecorded paths for simple English command line playback. The main difference between the TOPO-II and TOPO-III models was the TOPO-III fold-out “arms” were removed from case design to reduce production costs. Very few TOPO-III’s a known to exist.

B.O.B. (Brains on Board) was going to include an on-board XT motherboard and sell for $2500.00 in April of 1984 ($5850 today) but Androbot closed its doors before this could be realized.

The last robot in the series, the TOPO-IV was meant to borrow heavily from B.O.B.’s features but due to Androbot’s sudden closure, never made it past the design stage.


“He teaches you about computers. He entertains. Socializes. He’s one of the family. Your friend and guide to the incredibly sophisticated Age of Androbotics™. He’s TOPO.

You’ll wonder how you ever got along without him.
You Command: TOPO performs.

Once you’ve acquainted TOPO to his new home, a simple computer command or joystick movement will start him off and running. For instance, while you’re in the kitchen, the keyboard command “TOPO TO PATIO” will send him over a previously-memorized route to serve drinks to guests from optional Androwagon™($95). A wireless infrared communication link relays information between TOPO and your computer throughout your house.”

ANDROMAN – Androbot (1984)

ANDROMAN stood 12.6” tall and had a January 1984 release date but was never sold. Only one prototype is know to exist and there are very few photos of the unit publicly available.

ANDROMAN was meant as a Robot game companion/augmented reality control accessory for the Atari line of home consoles, similar to Nintendo’s R.O.B. released the following year. The first ANDROMAN-related game involved controlling a virtual ANDROMAN from an on-screen play field and as well guide the actual robot on a 4-foot wide gaming mat using special “target cards” and “dimensional pieces” that mirrored the on-screen action. The robot also featured speech synthesis, meaning the robot could encourage the player to do well and “heckle” poor performance.

Additional game cartridges complete with new target cards and dimensional pieces were planned but no other screen shots have been made available.

ANDROMAN was to be sold to Atari for $1 million but due to bad blood between Atari and Androbot investors the deal fell apart. There is some speculation that this may have lead to the eventual downfall of Androbot. I suspect any commercial game concept that asks for an additional 4 square feet of living room space will have complications. Like most of Bushnell’s early robot designs, this may have simply been too ambitious for its time.


From Androbot: Makers of B.O.B. and TOPO ­– the world’s first personal robots.

Introducing ANDROMAN. He’s a real-life gaming robot.

What could be more exciting that today’s most challenging video game? A video game robot that comes to life right on your living room floor!

ANDROMAN is a sophisticated mini robot. And he’s a real-life video game set designed specifically for your Atari VCS 2600 now (and other compatible VCS systems later).

The ANDROMAN game set include ANDROMAN  himself along with special accessories to create the kind of realistic game environments you’ve never seen on a video screen. A video game cartridge supplies action on your TV screen and an adapter lets you control ANDROMAN with a joystick using an advanced two-way infrared data link.

ANDY – Axlon (1985)

ANDY cost $119 US in 1985, ($258 approx. today) and stands 13.5” tall. The robot was named after the robot’s designer Andrew Filo. FRED ($295 US) was a robot designed at Androbot in 1983 and included an additional stylus and was marketed as a drawing robot but was never sold. All known ANDY’s were created from unused FRED components but no longer included the stylus to reduce production costs.

ANDY was sold for use with ATARI 800 (48K). Axlon provided wiring schematics making it possible to modify Andy’s interface to work with Apple II. At least 2300 ANDYs were produced but according to Antic Editor, Nat Freidland there may have been enough parts for 10,000 units.

“Meet ANDY, he won’t bring you breakfast in bed but he will give you food for thought.”

As his marketing would suggest, ANDY was probably not the most useful robot in the world. At its most simple, ANDY can be controlled with a joystick in port 1 and pushing the fire button will make him whistle, although the included software needs to be running. A joystick in port 2 allows operators access to interface with the computer allowing more ambitious hobby robotics enthusiasts to try their hand at creating simple “personality” routines in BASIC, or the included simple “English command” software known as the PERSONALITY EDITOR.

“Mercurial, Angry, Sad, Noisy, Friendly, Musical, Rakish, Flirtatious, Laid-Back, Whimsical, Unpredictable

  • ANDY is a unique electronics accessory that brings a new dimension of fun and learning to your Atari 800 (48K) or commodore 64.
  • Comes complete with the PERSONALITY EDITOR and a sample BASIC program on disk. Control Andy with the PERSONALITY EDITOR or from BASIC, LOGO, ACTION, FORTH, etc.
  • Comes complete with built-in Sound Generator and Light, Sound and Bump Sensors, Compose different moods and tasks for Andy.

ANDY’s PERSONALITY EDITOR allows you and your family to explore the robotics world using simple English words. Once you get used to piloting Andy around one command at a time, you can group words together for more sophistication.

ANDY can perform on virtually any surface – word, vinyl, even the living room carpet. His 4 “D” cell batteries will keep him alive in excess of 7 hours.

Meet ANDY, he won’t bring you breakfast in bed but he will give you food for thought.”

COMPUROBOT-I – Axlon (1985)

COMPUROBOT-I sold for $30 ($65 approx. today) and stands 6.5” tall. A 4-bit microprocessor on board runs programs that are entered by pressing a sequence of keys via a 25-key keypad located on top of COMPUROBOT’s head. The robots memory can hold up to 48 Commands.  COMPUROBOT can be programed to move forward, backward and in circles in any direction. Users can set sequences that are as short as 2 seconds up to an hour. A one-minute demo-mode is included, highlighting all of COMPUROBOT’s features.

COMPUROBOT-I is the first in a series of COMPUROBOTs though their form factor varies greatly from version to version. COMPUROBOT-I takes a number of styling cues from Disney’s “VINCENT” robot from the movie, The Black Hole. Also, this design was later produced by UK’s GCL, as GEORGE. Along with the same basic design, all of GEORGE’s features are identical to COMPUROBOT-1.

The COMPUROBOT line was very successful due to its low entry point and allowed children and those curious a first-hand experience in programming with this educational toy.

March of Robots Conclusion

Thank you to @ChocolateSoop for organizing this event, @NolanBushnell for making such a great series of robots, @astutegraphics for creating the best drawing tools in existence, and of course @wacom for their involvement in the contest. An extra special thanks goes out to my followers and supporters, you guys make it possible for me to continue creating cool new things!

As a final observation I present the following: George Opperman was responsible for designing the original Atari logo was quoted, “In six months I went through 150 designs. Anyway, I kept trying to stylize the ‘A,’” I suspect that stylized ‘A’ in both Androbot and Axlon logos may have been born from Opperman’s work on the Atari logo back in the day.

March of Robots was a lot of fun everyone and I hope to participate next year. Keep on roboting everyone!

I may continue working on new robots during March but I need to clear my plate for some exciting new projects. :D


Sure, those high school health classes might tell you how to properly use contraception, the basics of what to expect during pregnancy, and how to generally care for a newborn. Hell, for my final I had to carry around for a week one of those mildly-creepy dolls that cried and wet itself. What they didn’t tell you in class is that one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Yeah, your mother probably sat you down one day when you were young and told you about your period. Maybe she discreetly left a box of tampons under your bathroom sink. Maybe she was one of the “cool” mothers and took you to the doctor to start you on the pill after you had been dating that one guy for a while. She probably sat down on your bed, a maudlin smile crossing her face as the enormity of her baby girl growing up twinkled bittersweet through her mind. She talked to you about safety and responsibility, of making wise choices, and reminding you how she didn’t get to sleep through the night until you were three because you were such a fussy baby. What she didn’t tell you is that you were her third try. She didn’t say you had two brothers or sisters passed ill-formed and bloody, unviable clumps of cells and false limbs squeezed from her body in that cold, sterile abattoir of a hospital room. Your mother will never tell you this. No mother will tell her daughter this, but statistically there’s a good chance it happened. People say new life is a miracle, but the reality is miracles take a bit of practice to get just right.  

I met my husband during my sophomore year of college. I was a plain girl, but had dated men on and off since high school. I was no virgin, but you wouldn’t catch me putting out on the first date. We suited each other well. He wasn’t extraordinarily handsome, but he had the chiseled jawline of Greek statue. He was sentimental and had a soft sweetness about him that instantly endeared him to me. He was not the wild, fun guy that you went on a couple crazy, memorable dates with, but the sort of man you settle down with. He was a finance major, and had a comically overblown New England accent that you think you’d only hear in comedy sketches. He was strong but gentle, and had very close ties with his family. This is the sort of man you meet and know instantly that he was made for fatherhood. Made for raising and taking care of his family, and I loved him for it.  After about a month, I invited him over to my apartment with definite plans in my mind for our first time. I had the wine, the candles, the soft jazz. He was very much a romantic, and I thought for sure he’d find it beautiful.  After a light dinner and some heavy kissing, I took his hand and began to guide him to my bedroom. He stopped suddenly and released my hand upon realizing what I was implying. He smiled, blushed a little, and told me he was actually waiting for marriage. I knew he was religious – Catholic in particular – but I hadn’t known he was that Catholic. I was raised in a nonreligious family. We weren’t any sort of diehard atheist avengers; just that religion wasn’t a thing for us.  I knew he attended Mass with his family on holidays, but hadn’t realized he was such an adherent. I already loved him, so I (not without a little disappointment) respected his wishes.  

We continued dating over the next two years, and he got an amazing job offer for a big-name venture capital firm a week before he was to graduate. He took me to meet his family in Massachusetts shortly after graduation, and they were your typical New England bunch. They were well-meaning, but very loud and very Catholic.  Again, not in any sort of creepy cult sense, but they had me go to Mass with them (very long and very boring) and their home was littered with crucifixes and Virgin Marys. 

Keep reading

When we first started with app idea it was more focused on travel and the ability to meet people abroad. As we massaged the idea and kept working it we took it to a whole direction and I believe much better. 

A key in business is flexibility you must be always able to adapt on the move. To many business use the saying “we are a big boat, it takes a while to change”. Being in  the tech age, everything changes quick. You either sink or swim. 

Back to our app…

It shares about 10% of the original idea. Now it is much more scalable and have a bigger audience. Users should need to leave our app to gather any other info or transact on another platform. I want it to be an efficient on stop app for users. Easy, enjoyable and efficient.

It is important to ink out all the details before you get into UX design.  

jerkstorecalling  asked:

🔥 robots

you heard it here first: the imminence of completely autonomous self driving robot cars is a myth. 

it is an immensely complex task that would require self contained, human-like ai, and shouting “neural nets” and “machine learning” isn’t going to make a system that only works in meticulously mapped out cities with clear, sensor frindly weather like sf suddenly become viable. unprofitable companies like uber need to keep attracting venture capital with the fantasy of utterly destroying labor, and tech journalists are too dumb to be critical of industry claims and too attached to the myth of technology solutions to social problems, so no one will acknowledge this. it will be an endless parade of imagining plans for separate pathways for packs of autonomous cars and ways to share big driverless cars that just end up reinventing public transportation before going nowhere.

the story of imminent robot cars will be used as another excuse to further depress truck driver salaries as lane following cruise control proliferates from luxury cars to standard and commercial vehicles, and continued divestment from infrastructure spending is going to be justified with the added excuse of upcoming driverless cars being more space efficient or some shit. 

the actual robot car that has enough intelligence to understand all of the non-explicit social cues involved in city driving, drives you from work to the bar to home automatically and drives uber while you’re not using it? never happening. elon musk can eat my entire ass

What makes a great VC?

I get asked this all the time.

Let me start by giving my definition of a great venture capitalist.

At the end of the day it’s someone who generates significant (actual) returns on invested capital, treats founders with care and respect, learns from their mistakes and is a pleasure to work with (works hard, committed to a portfolio company) and can do this work at this level over a long period of time.

My partner Santo is a good example. He led a number of Series A investments resulting in outsized winners (i.e. over 9 figures in proceeds) in each of our first three funds. The fourth fund is still early but I’ve seen his work and I have little doubt he will keep the streak going. And he treats founders directly and fairly. He has now backed 4 founders in this fund that he backed previously. And we are talking to another one right now.

There are plenty great VCs by my definition above in our in other firms worth highlighting. Without a doubt that list includes Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Josh Kopelman, Bill Gurley, and Mary Meeker. I should probably stop naming names because I’ll inevitably forget someone (but one thing for sure: any list that doesn’t factor in actual returns or cost basis isn’t useful).

So what are the common characteristics of these VCs?

Well here’s my take: it’s not necessarily someone with direct startup experience. Its not gender. It’s not where you went to school. It’s not pre-venture success. It’s not operating experience. It’s not where you were born and it’s not where you live.

My own observation is its more about endless curiosity, a passion for learning, a rigorous work ethic, an ability to connect and inspire, empathy, patience, and a natural ability to believe what others don’t – and of course some good luck along the way.