Monday, February 28, 2005

March meeting full up

Sorry all, the March meeting is now full up. Anyone who has not RSVPed "yes" as of last night will no longer be able to attend. :-( Very sorry, but the regular attendees have asked me to keep things small -- and first come first served seems like the only fair way to do that.

Hopefully beginning next month, we'll be able to have the event at the CommerceNet offices again and accomodate more people -- but at this location we have serious space constraints. Thanks for being understanding! If you want to be invited for next time, do continue to send emails.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

     -- Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted by Fred Wilson, who thinks "action and risk taking is what separates great entrepreneurs from the pack"

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Get to the point -- FAST

Allen Morgan: "What problem is [your] startup solving? To maximize your chance for a second meeting, do something that I know is really, really hard: concisely and clearly answer that question."

Friday, February 25, 2005


What is so important in your life that it makes you want to get up every day and live life to the fullest?

     -- Randy Komisar, The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Living

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Seek inner fulfillment

Pro Services Journal has an article on writing professional and personal missions. The article defines inner fulfillment as
Being active,
Doing meaningful things,
Both with a sense of progress.
Of those three, doing meaningful things is the most challenging. The article proposes that the first critical step to finding meaningful work is to "write a work mission -- that is, your purpose for working -- that has as much value for you as possible." This can start us on the path of enlightened self interest to create as large a purpose in life as possible.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Don't ghettoize creativity

Caterina Fake quotes a Fast Company article on the six myths of creativity in business. My favorite of the six is the myth that creativity only comes from creative types. Says the article:
As a leader, you don't want to ghettoize creativity; you want everyone in your organization producing novel and useful ideas, including your financial people.
See also: Hugh Macleod's thought-provoking How to be creative.

Monday, February 21, 2005

RSVP behavior

One of the worst things about Evite, in my humble opinion, is that it rationalizes an unequal information exchange. The host must provide all his information up front; whereas the guests are incentivized not to respond till very late if at all. By responding early they give up an option, and as we all know an option confers value. Also, the way Evite is set up, there's some social pressure to give a reasonable excuse... and you know, a lot of the time the excuse is really that you're tired and just want to chill with a beer at home... so it's easier all around just to not respond at all.

Which is to say, I totally understand... but now I need to even up the incentives. We're now alarmingly oversubscribed for the March meeting, and people are still asking for invites. It looks like it may become necessary to limit attendance -- and if so, we're taking the first N people who said yes. Furthermore I tend to drop people who don't RSVP. If you can't come this month, that's perfectly fine -- just respond "no" and I'll keep you on the list for future meetings -- but help me help you by giving me a crisp yes-no answer as early as possible. Thanks!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Enjoy the moment

The thing that sticks in my head from Dave Sifry's talk, after a couple of weeks, is his plea to enjoy the moment, especially the time when you're a 10-person company totally focused on building a product. He spoke about how there was so much pressure to grow quickly if you're a hot startup, and how when it's all over the things you'll remember as a founder are the early days with a close-knit team. Especially for engineers, I thought this was brilliant advice.

Some favorite entrepreneurship posts

About six months ago I assembled some of my favorite entrepreneurship blog posts and articles in a post I called Entrepreneurship 101. I do like to go back and re-read those posts and articles from time to time; occasionally I'll find a line or a piece of advice I really like and I'll write it down (or blog it), too.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

March 106 announcement

The Evite for the March meeting just went out. Our guest on March 9th will be Jeff Winner, former VP of eng at Friendster and current principal in venture accelerator Alacrity Partners. He'll be speaking on the entrepreneur's favorite topic: funding! Come and take the temperature of today's Valley funding climate with us.

If you didn't get an Evite, you aren't on the mailing list. Please email me at if you want to be. Invitees, we are close to maximum capacity now -- in other words, I can't afford to buy more margaritas! :-) -- so please encourage people who want to attend to check in with me.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mark Jen says hi

New 106-er Mark Jen wrote about how much fun it is to meet us. We are friendly and we will give you margaritas!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rifkin's herculean post

After over a month, Rifkin finally managed to squeeze out a mammoth egg: his full report on 106Miles #1 with Joe and Graham. Prepare to take the rest of the evening off to digest!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jeremy and Mike post

Fastest blogger in the West Jeremy Zawodny got his recap of the evening up before he went to bed. Mike Rowehl (of Mobile Mondays fame) followed up with more detailed notes -- although his link to my personal blog is a little odd :-). Thanks to everyone who made it out despite the last-minute change of venue, and of course thanks to CommerceNet for the margaritas and nachos.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Success or control?

On his blog, Joe tells a story about the night Architext got funded with his trademark self-deprecating charm. What he and Graham had condensed out of many experiences like that was a question that every entrepreneur needs to ask him or her self: success or control? Joe and Graham counselled us to decide early which way we tilted on that axis -- and then live by that decision. Obviously it's not a totally binary decision, but every team leans one way or the other by instinct.

So... success or control?

Change of venue

The place for February's meeting has changed:

2907 El Camino Real
Redwood City

Sorry for the short notice!