February 24, 2017

Regaining control of your personal Internet data

I’m so excited to be working with Privacy Labs. While we are not yet allowed to talk about their product, their vision of enabling Internet users to regain control of their personal data is very important to me.

You can read more on Privacy Labs on my Lemnos post here!

February 23, 2017

A sharp but worn knife

I’ve always wanted a great, expensive knife. A knife worthy of Crocodile Dundee. A knife that infers prestige. That desire for me was some part masculinity, some part prestige, and some smaller part security.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to buy that knife. Purchasing it, I had a few moments of elation, then the knife became a collectable. It was just expensive enough to warrant being coddled. Its main job was to come out on occasion to be shown to friends, to be worthy of praise, discussion, and comparison.

I mentioned that I wanted a great knife. One day it (finally?) struck me that the knife wasn’t happy. I’m not trying to go Marie Kondo on you, I just thought about the world from the knife’s perspective. Its greatness didn’t come from being a collectable, spending 99% of its time in a drawer. In that moment, I couldn’t tell you if the knife was truly great?

I made the painful decision that this knife had to become a EDC (Every Day Carry).Painful because I knew I would ruin the knife’s pristine condition through daily use. It was only after using the knife every day for weeks that I realized it truly was a great knife. That I loved its action, how well it kept an edge, how durable it was, how it looked as it gained its patina. Only when it was worn through use did I appreciate the knife. Showing the knife to others was no longer about the knife, it was about what I had done with it. Its use gave it value, not diminished it. When I realized this, I knew both the knife and I were happy.

My knife, while real, is a metaphor. Love what you have. Only carry what you love. An object is worthwhile not for what it could do, but for what it did.

July 06, 2016

Second Wave Hardware

Here is a writeup of an event we recently put on for veteran hardware entrepreneurs. If you think your job as the CEO of a hardware startup gets much easier after NPI (new product introduction), think again. It’s good to come together and talk about the opportunities and challenges associated with a startup dealing with demand planning, team scaling, retail introductions, international sales, etc!

February 12, 2016

My perspective on IoT

I had the opportunity to speak at ARM’s TechCon 2015, presenting a VC’s perspective on the Internet of Things (IoT). Here are my thoughts on IoT!

April 16, 2015

What a button inspires to be

From a panel in a Caltrain car. I love this panel, though from an experience perspective it gives little hint of what is affected (open/close) by the buttons. Why do I love it? Large physical buttons. Well worn through use. And the fact it needs a key to activate the buttons. these are buttons that live in the real, physical world and affect big, interesting things (like trains!) IMG 0073

Those who can't hear it must be deaf

I cring when folks say they can't hear the difference between MP3 (~ 192Kbs) and lossless audio, or almost worse, when my daughters and others say with a straight face that they don't know what lossless audio is and have no reason to care. We've created a generation of music lovers who've never heard the whole song. If I were a non-vocal band member, I'd beg for you to listen to lossless versions of my music. MP3 compression removes so many of the nuances of the guitar, horns, and other background instruments, replaced with a muddy blend of everything behind the (overly?) strong vocal track. I suppose if you are listening to music with terrible earbuds the difference might be harder to ascertain, but there is a subtle and important improvement that most have never heard. Do yourself a favor. If you love music but have never heard lossless audio, get ahold of a decent pair of cans (under $200) and a few of your favorite songs uncompressed. Don't know where to get lossless audio? It is as simple as re-ripping an audio CD in iTunes. Then listen to the guitar, listen to the instruments behind the vocals. Hopefully you'll hear something you've been missing for a long time.

What's wrong with this picture?

From the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas... IMG 0004 I knew I was in trouble right away with the mirror image buttons. What do they open and close?! It turned out the buttons were nowhere near the item (curtains) they affected, but at least their impact was quickly clear. Aria's rooms are technical marvels, but the room's user interface is challenging. IMG 0005 This was my first experience with a Control4 enabled room, but that experience was less than ideal. I spent a good 15 minutes pushing buttons on this panel to figure out what would happen.