2014

Framework Benchmarks Round 9

TechEmpower

The latest round of our ongoing Framework Benchmarks project is now available! Round 9 updates several test implementations and introduces a new test environment using modern server hardware.

Working with Developers

SoCal CTO

There was a lot of passion in the room last week when I presented Working with Developers at the Stubbs Precellerator. I guess it should not be a surprise that Founders have lots of challenges working with developers. So I promised that I would provide a follow-up after the session.

The Audacious Plan to Make Electricity as Easy as WiFi

Both Sides of the Table

When I first met Meredith Perry she was 24. That was three months ago this week. Today I’m handing her the largest A-round check I’ve ever written as a VC as we lead her $10 million A-Round at uBeam.

IP 427

The five C’s of Business Partners: a marriage without the sex

Berkonomics

By Richard Sudek. Dave’s note: Our guest insight this week is by Richard Sudek, an associate professor of entrepreneurism at Chapman University Graduate School of Business.

Coach 300

You Are Never Too Old To Learn To Surf (aka: Don’t Be Afraid To Suck)

InfoChachkie

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. I have a confession: I used to quickly become frustrated whenever I tried something new and I didn''t quickly excel. Rather than attempting to master the new activity, I would moved on to another task, seeking a gentler learning curve.

I’m Eric Greenspan, not Eric Greenspan nor Eric Greenspan

Eric Greenspan

Every day my website gets hit by someone looking for Chef Eric Greenspan of the Foundry on Melrose and of Food Network fame. Sometimes I get hits from someone looking for Eric Greenspan the LA attorney who has represented Christina Aguilera and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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One million HTTP RPS without load balancing is easy

TechEmpower

As we and our collaborators prepare Round 9 of our Framework Benchmarks project, we had an epiphany: With high-performance software, a single modern server processes over 1 million HTTP requests per second. Five months ago, Google talked about load-balancing to achieve 1 million requests per second. We understand their excitement is about the performance of their load balancer 1.

EC2 368

The Case for Optimism and Risk at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Last week a company we enthusiastically backed, uBeam , led by a very special entrepreneur, 25-year-old Meredith Perry , announced a $10 million round of financing.

Course 427

Why Your Startup is More Likely to Succeed if You’re Authentic and Passionate

Both Sides of the Table

In my Twitter bio is says that I’m “ looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs ,” which almost sounds like I was just looking for a cliché soundbite to describe myself.

The Silent Benefits of PR

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve been having this PR discussion with three separate portfolio companies at once so I thought I’d just publish my thoughts more broadly. I have written many times about PR so if you want a deep dive on the “how” of PR you may enjoy reading some of these posts.

Press 424

What Startup Advisors Do I Need?

SoCal CTO

Bob Dorf just published a post Where are the Hackers? Solving the Founder-Tech Gap that came out of some fun conversations that Bob and I have been having. A large part of this conversation is what kinds of advisors startups should be looking for. A little while ago, I suggested that Every Web/Mobile Startup Should Have a Technical Advisor. The conversation with Bob was about what the composition of advisors should look like.

Putting Tom Perkins Comments into Context

Both Sides of the Table

Tom Perkins is one of the founding members of the venerable venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins.

UCSD 427

Three things you need to have when raising money.

Berkonomics

Here’s more advice from professional investors for aspiring entrepreneurs. Each of us has a list of things we look for early on when identifying whether we want to go to the next step in analyzing a plan. Come to think of it, these are good for challenging any business plan.

Want To Live Life With No Regrets? Follow These 43 Life Lessons

InfoChachkie

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. In the Fall of 1990, H. Jackson Brown sat at his kitchen table, pulled out a pad of paper and began writing advice to his son, who had just entered college.

Mentor 281

Guy Fieri Missed Some Great Santa Barbara Spots for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Eric Greenspan

First, I’m a huge Guy Fieri and Triple D fan and in general, the Food Network. An old friend Susie Fogelson works there and I was actually on the Food Network’s Private Chefs of Beverly Hills “Glamping” episode.

Santa Monica To Get Silicon Valley Coffee Chain Philz Coffee

socalTECH

The Very First Startup Founder You Need to Invest in is You

Both Sides of the Table

This week I wrote about obsessive and competitive founders and how this forms the basis of what I look for when I invest. I had been thinking a lot about this recently because I’m often asked the question of “what I look for in an entrepreneur when I want to invest?”

Invest 420

How VCs Think About Adding New Partners

Both Sides of the Table

Let me start with the news that I’m excited to share with you. After years of trying to persuade Kara Nortman to become a partner at Upfront Ventures I can officially announce now that she’s joined us effective immediately.

Here is How to Make Sense of Conflicting Startup Advice

Both Sides of the Table

Everybody has a blog these days and there is much advice to be had. Many startups now go through accelerators and have mentors passing through each day with advice – usually it’s conflicting. There are bootcamps, startup classes, video interviews – the sources are now endless.

Why I’m Standing Today with My African American Friends, Family & Colleagues

Both Sides of the Table

“It stops today.” ” I spent the entire day yesterday in a deposition so I was offline from the world around me – a rare day of no email, no social media and even no news.

Study 413

What is the Definition of a Seed Round or an A Round?

Both Sides of the Table

Marc Andreessen kicked off another great debate on Twitter last night , one that I’ve been talking about incessantly in private circles for the past 2-3 years – what actually IS the definition of a seed vs. A-round.

Upfront Ventures Raised New $280 Million Fund

Both Sides of the Table

We’ve been dying to tell you all for a while that we had raised a new venture capital fund and of course given SEC filing requirements the story was somewhat already scooped by the always-in-the-know Dan Primack a few weeks ago. We raised $280 million.

The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

Both Sides of the Table

There has been much discussion in the past few years of the changing structure of the venture capital industry. On the surface the narratives have been. The rise of “micro VCs” or seed-stage funds. The rise of alternative sources of capital (crowd funding and the like).

Accelerators: a recent and positive trend

Berkonomics

Often I see executive summaries from entrepreneurs who have never managed any form of business, or even managed employees in their past life, and who don’t know the first thing about business formation and managing for growth.

Coach 268

Social Media Faking It – Cheaper Than You May Think, But Still Not Worth It

InfoChachkie

A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. How much will social media fame cost you in 2014? At $6,800, it is probably cheaper than you thought. This money will buy you a million Twitter followers, get you a million YouTube views and 20,000 Likes on your Facebook page.

How I got a Countrywide Loan Modification from BofA

Eric Greenspan

It was 2008. My home had peaked at value and my business was slowing. My mortgage payment was $14,400/month. I of course paid only the negative amortization amount of $8,000 per month tacking the difference back on to the principal each month.

Latest Oculus Rift Idea: The Matrix, But For Chickens

socalTECH

Irvine-based Oculus VR , the virtual reality technology developer which was just picked up by Facebook for $2 billion--has a lot of developers with great virtual reality game and simulation ideas and software in the works.

Ideas 274

Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Both Sides of the Table

Obsession. The drive to succeed at all costs. When second place isn’t good enough because we live in winner-take-most markets. The desire to be better than anybody else in one’s field.

How to Kick Start Your Community’s Startup Scene

Both Sides of the Table

I just returned from 3 days in Cincinnati including attending the annual meeting of one of Upfront’s LPs – Cintrifuse.