Inspiration for the next wave of innovation (or the shifting influence of Star Trek to Harry Potter)

If the last wave of technology innovation was inspired by Star Trek, the next period will be driven by Harry Potter.

Thinking back to the start of the Stark Trek in the 1960s, the technology was science fiction and mainly focused on adding new devices to our lives.

The next wave is about taking technology and better integrating into our existing lives to make our lives easier.

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Spending time with the Splice and Namely teams in NYC

I was fortunate to spend time with the Splice and Namely teams last week on my trip to NYC.

Most of my interactions are with the Founding team members of a company – especially the company’s CEO – but I really enjoy meeting and spending time with the broader team for meals or a group activity.  Startups are truly a human experience and every company has an incredibly different culture – and by spending time with the broader group, you get a better idea for how the company is growing.

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How Smartphones Change Cars (Learning from Prior Mistakes)

Prior to the launch of Apple’s App Store in 2008, each individual carrier tightly controlled their platform selectively working with third party publishers and pushing their own products to end customers.

With the launch of the App Store, Apple (and then Google) claimed control of their platforms and created a much larger and open environment for developers to build and market products to end customers.

The result was a more vibrant ecosystem for consumers to choose applications from and a broader base of developers supporting the platform – with the carriers eventually relegated to being simply dumb pipes.

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Why the FDA was Right to Block 23 and Me

There was a surprising amount of resistance yesterday regarding the FDA’s letter warning the genetics company 23 and Me about marketing their test as a diagnostic service.

To clear up a couple of issues:

1. The FDA is not requiring 23 and Me to stop administering the test.  The FDA is requesting 23 and Me stops marketing it as a diagnostic test without having previously proven efficacy.

2. The FDA is not solely against 23 and Me.  While the most high profile, the FDA has been targeting similar low-cost genetic companies over the past three years asking companies to provide the necessary analysis to validate their claims.

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Presentation Lessons from the Montgomery Conference

I spent last week at the Montgomery Conference in LA watching some of our companies present. For background, the Montgomery Conference is for later stage companies to pitch their business to growth investors – usually defined by having greater than $10m in revenue.

Since the majority of these companies were beyond where we’d play at True, it was a great opportunity to watch how others reacted to presentations and for patterns of success.

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The Magic of @SidecarSF (Hint, It’s the People)

Back when I was transitioning out of Perfect Wave Records, I bought a one way ticket to London with no plans and no final destination.

(Pro Tip: When showing up in the Heathrow Airport with long, shaggy hair after an overnight flight from NYC and no return ticket and no real purpose – you will have a hard time with immigration)

Once landed in a hostel, I sat down and made a list of anyone I had ever met who lived in Europe and started to make a plan on how to spend my time.

(It was a very short list.)

The most awesome thing that came out of those first meetings in London was my introduction to CouchSurfing.

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Don’t Waste Time on Garbage Miles (or Are You Really Making Progress?)

Since joining True a few years ago, I’ve picked up a hobby of long distance running as a way to relax in the morning before work.

Talking to others who run – one of the most fascinating concepts that has come up – is the concept of the “Garbage Mile”

Loosely, a “Garbage Mile” is:

Miles run with no purpose, that often fall in the range of too slow for threshold work and too fast for endurance training.

Or more simply – miles run with no purpose – for the sake of hitting a milestone (be it days run per week or a mileage goal)

And while no mileage for training is bad – the debate is around whether or not the small marginal benefit of these miles outweighs the potential high cost of an injury (which is more likely in these scenarios.)

Viewed through the same lens – its interesting to think about day-to-day work – especially at startups where long hours and all-nighters are seen as a badge of honor.

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