I ask every single founder I get to spend time with one on one, a very simple, yet important question: “What will your product and as a result, the world, look like in 5-10 years if your company is wildly successful?” It seems like an open-ended question, right? Well it’s meant to be, but you can clearly tell which founders are going to build something big by the answer or those that are building something much more short term. It also surfaces those that are obsessed with the product. It’s very related to a question Hunter Walk asks many founders. Here are the things I look for in the answer: An overarching ambitious vision that is way bigger than what you’d see today If you saw AirBnB in 2009 without talking to the founders, you’d think of it like Couchsurfing in terms of vision – impressive yet limited. I…Continue Reading
The photo for this article shows Gordon Gekko from Wall Street with a cell phone. In the 1980s, this was a toy for the super elite and rich. If you knew someone with a cell phone, they were loaded. Now, 2 billion going on to 4 billion people will have a cell phone. So, what do Uber, Tesla, and Apple all have in common with Gordon Gekko’s cell phone? They all started out as companies making products that were for the 1% and often touted as just “toys”, but now they are (or soon will be) available to the 99%. The most successful services start out as products for the 1%, but have visions that scale them to the 99%.. I apologize for the baity headline – by no means am I suggesting building a product that stays for the 1% forever, but starting with the 1% as your minimum…Continue Reading
The last mile is defined as the movement of people and goods from a transport hub to a final destination in the area. Think of it as the UPS shipment from Amazon’s Warehouse or UPS hub to your doorstep. It’s often the most difficult part of e-commerce logistics. It’s also what creates the most friction. People like to order online, yet only 6.6% of all retail sales were done online in the past quarter. Waiting a day or more for the gratification of buying something is more friction filled for 95% of the population (general statement) than getting in your car and driving to the store. That’s all going to change in the next ten years as we can subjectively agree that ordering something from your phone or your computer is much easier than going to an actual store. Well within ten years, I believe we will be able to…Continue Reading
Every six months or so, I’m going to do a quick review of what’s on my home screen and what that might mean. I think a person’s home screen is a powerful form of expression and says a lot about how they use technology. With that said, I’m one data point and a skewed data point at best since I’m in tech. First screen is just the dock The first home screen that I have is really just the apps I have on the dock as I keep everything else on the second screen. These are the key apps that I cannot live without and spend most of my time in. They’re Twitter, Spotify, Gmail, and Safari. Twitter is almost always open and an addiction of sorts. Spotify I keep a tap away for exercise purposes. Gmail is there because well email doesn’t stop. Safari is basically a proxy for…Continue Reading
As it was said in Home For the Holidays, “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one.” That couldn’t be more true in the mobile web versus native app debate. Yet there should be no real debate – both tools suit different tasks best. I see two important elements missing from the current discussion though; what should the mobile web be used for, and what is the role of the web browser in a mobile world. The mobile web focuses on what it does best, content. That’s where it’s “winning”. Everything else should be an app. Many think that because the mobile web isn’t winning in all categories, such as time spent, that it must be dying. Yet players in the mobile web shouldn’t be competing with games like Angry Birds or productivity apps like Evernote. The technology for gaming isn’t there and it doesn’t take advantage of what the mobile…Continue Reading