Framework Benchmarks Round 9


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. Since the first round, we have known that the highest-performance frameworks and platforms have been network-limited by our gigabit Ethernet. For Round 9, Peak Hosting has provided a high-performance environment equipped with 10-gigabit Ethernet at one of their data centers.

In Defense of Uber: An Unbiased Opinion

Both Sides of the Table

The story on Uber has been written about ad nauseam, which is why I’ve been reluctant to weigh in. But enough people have asked my perspective so I decided to weigh in with my non-conformist view. I love Uber and I don’t believe there has yet been a real scandal. Grievances – yes. But scandal? I’m not so sure. For starters – I’m not an investor in Uber. I wish I were. I had a chance to be in the seed round and unfortunately didn’t do so.

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


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. He is Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurism and Business Ethics, and Chairman Emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel group in the United States. Enjoy! .

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. And every once in a while, someone is looking for me, Eric Greenspan, the serial entrepreneur, dad and closet chef, chief consultant at Greenspan Consulting and Chief Storyteller at schoolofbookkeeping.com. Eric Greenspan, chef.

Can You Ask for Office Rent Relief? How to Manage Your Lease During COVID-19

Office leases are one of companies’ largest expenses, and if your whole team is working from home with no clear end in sight, you may be wondering what to do about your lease.

Working with Developers


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. This is that follow-up and hopefully it’s useful to people outside of the session as well. Challenges I started by asking the founders in the room to tell me some of the challenges they have working with developers.

Announcing the 2014 socalTECH 50: Southern California's Ones To Watch


This is our second year of creating our list of the top 50 people to watch in Southern California''s technology industry, and it was NOT an easy task. As we found last year, it''s a tough, unforgiving task to narrow down a list of the folks in Southern California''s technology industry to just fifty to watch.

More Trending

Post in Sales

Technology Council

I have the opportunity to work with a large number of sales teams and to see what makes for highly successful ones and ones that struggle. In my experience the #1 determining factor in sales team success is whether the company has the right sales people on board or not. There are 10’s, if not 100’s, of different sales jobs in the market and like numbers of different types of sales people fit those jobs.

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One million HTTP RPS without load balancing is easy


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.

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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. As I’ve written about recently, at Upfront Ventures we started talking a couple of years ago about wanting to fund stuff with more meaning.

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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. The press around the raise & company was fantastic and the promise of their technology – wireless charging that works as easily as WiFi – would positively affect many of our lives. What person hasn’t crouched at an airport to get 18% extra on one’s battery before boarding an airplane?

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Why ADD Might Actually Benefit Startup Entrepreneurs

Both Sides of the Table

This weekend I was reading the NY Times online and I came across this excellent piece about ADHD written by Richard Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry.

Bad Notes on Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

This week. On the phone … Me: So, you raised venture capital? Him: Yeah. We raised a seed round. About $1 million. Me: At what price? Him: It wasn’t priced. We raised a convertible note. Me: With a cap? Him: Yes, $8 million. Me: Ah. I see. So you did raise with a price. It’s just a maximum price. You’ll find out the minimum when the next round is raised. Him: Huh? Last week.

Three things you need to have when raising money.


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. First: You must address a big market, large enough to allow a new entrant to have a shot at making a dent with a great product or service, and growing to a size that will make the company valuable at the exit.

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. When I bought house, this was a non-issue as the value had increased a tremendous percentage from when I bought back it in 2005. Now that’s the crazy part. How did I even buy it in the first place?

What Startup Advisors Do I Need?


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.

Santa Monica To Get Silicon Valley Coffee Chain Philz Coffee


In another sign that Southern California--and particularly, Santa Monica--is gaining further credibility as a recognized technology center: Philz Coffee , a coffee chain which is synonymous with being at the tech epicenters of Silicon Valley and San Francisco, is getting set to open up a new location in Santa Monica.

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


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. Mr. Brown''s aphorisms eventually evolve into twenty one books, including four New York Times bestsellers. With Life''s Little Instruction Book , Mr. Brown became the first author to simultaneously hold the number one positions on both of the NYT''s hardback and paperback lists.

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Building Corporate Value: The Five Keys

Technology Council

By Charles J. Curto, Managing Principal of Tech Coast Equity Group. At a meeting of the Technology Council’s Entrepreneur Society, David Knecht, Partner with the CPA and management value consulting firm of Milam, Knecht & Warner, presented Building Corporate Value: The Five Keys. Below are take-aways from his presentation. David began by emphasizing that the basis […]. Events Company Value EBITDA Strategic Planning

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. Yet along with “authenticity” they are two of the key attributes I look for when I meet with companies I may consider funding one day. Passion is also the featured heavily in nearly every presentation I give to entrepreneurs or on college campuses or in talks with MBA students.

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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. PR is an insanely valuable activity in early-stage companies. Very few investors understand this and even fewer startups.

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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. He just had his Mitt Romney moment and his name will forever be etched in the collective consciousness of the tech community for this terribly insensitive and tone deaf letter to the Wall Street Journal. The headline of Mr. Perkins letter to the WSJ? Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?

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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?”

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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. I have known Kara for 7 years and knew almost immediately after meeting her that I wanted to work with her one day in some capacity. Thus began my marketing campaign.

Accelerators: a recent and positive trend


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. I used to tell them to find a partner with knowledge in business creation and management. Although that is still a good idea in many cases, there is a recent alternative available to some entrepreneurs on a competitive basis that seems most attractive and positive.

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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. Not too long ago, Guy did a show in my home town of Santa Barbara. In short, he blew it (and I mean that in a nice way as he missed some of our finest DDDs). Not that the restaurants he chose aren’t solid, but the great ones remain uncelebrated.

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. What is a founder to do?

Latest Oculus Rift Idea: The Matrix, But For Chickens


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. However, the latest idea to make the rounds is an original one: to use the hardware to create what would essentially be "The Matrix", for chickens.

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Puking On The Emotional Startup Rollercoaster


A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Startups are an emotional rollercoaster; moments of sheer terror interlaced with bone-crushing, mind-numbing and highly addictive exhilaration. However, if unmodulated, the highs can become too high and the lows way too low. Long-hours, uncertainty and the never-ending pressure to survive can cause you and your team to overreact to wins, as well as setbacks.

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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. I had been awake since 5am, returned home from work at 9:15pm and was exhausted with my only goal of decompressing and tuning out from the world. I could not. I barely slept last night.

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. This is something I think entrepreneurs don’t totally understand and it’s worthwhile they do. My view: “Spending any time or energy trying to game the ‘definition’ of your round of fund raising is a total waste. Nobody cares.

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). The poor performance of the asset class (this analysis has largely been wrong as I pointed out here –> most analyses were clumsy rear-view mirror looks at the data).

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. This blog started from a series of conversations I found myself having over and over again with founders and eventually decided I should just start writing them.It would often make my colleagues laugh because they’d hear me like a broken record and then the next week read my ramblings in a post.

The Magic of the Irish – Dublin’s Resurgence on the Global Tech Scene

Both Sides of the Table

I wrote this on my flight home from f.ounders & web summit in Dublin, Ireland late last year. I think I was too hung over to finish it, hit publish and move on. So here is attempt two now that the alcohol is mostly out of me. The Magic of the Irish. Scenes from my counter-top on my last night in Dublin. I recently returned from a 5-day visit to Ireland, my first time back in 10 years and the start of what I hope will be a more regular travel schedule there.

It’s mostly in the execution.


“Everybody’s got a plan – until they are punched in the face,” stated boxer Mike Tyson. My experience personally reviewing over three hundred executive summaries each year, all sent to me unsolicited, seems to bear out the truth in Tyson’s statement. Anyone can build a good – or great – plan.

Facebook Doesn’t Seem to Care

Eric Greenspan

I’ve spent tens of thousands on Facebook ads for my companies and for clients’ I have built and manage many pages. I often have issues that need Facebook’s attention. They have the worst customer service of any company I deal with. Facebook doesn’t seem to care. If you have an issue renaming or merging a page, you get an email that says “denied.” ” Can you appeal or even respond? Can you call them? Can you email them?

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