Skip to content

How To Evaluate A CEO from Starbucks CEO and a Top Silicon Valley VC

There is no more important role in any company than the CEO. So much has been written about what it takes to be a leader and there are different kinds of CEOs – big company, start up, technology, services and many more. (You can see an interesting Wharton study of Founding v Professional CEO analysis here) If you are building a company, investing in a business or thinking of hiring (your) CEO replacement, what criteria should be used to see if you have the right person?

Read more

Saying Goodbye to My Father – A Living Eulogy

I wrote this “living eulogy” for my dad in February 2012. I shared it with him when he was in the hospital. I wanted him to know how I felt about him while he was here. He liked it. Personally I never liked the idea of eulogies when people tell you how they feel after you’re gone. I wanted Dad to know it while he was here.  He left us April 27th after a 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer. I read this at his private family burial on April 30th and I wanted to share it with you. Read more

The Number 1 Trait of A Successful Internet Startup Is…

According to the StartUp Genome report, the top factor to make an Internet startup successful is:

1. Founders that learn are more successful: Startups that have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth.
I agree that flexibility, agility and humility to accept outside input help drive success.

Why Is Innovating in the $20 Billion Games Industry So Hard?

The video game industry is – paradoxically – very traditional and resistant to change. That’s odd when you consider the history of video games and its the first 100% digital industry ever – All content has always been created and consumed on a screen. Yet for years, the business has been about putting this digital content onto plastic disks and cartridges then selling them at retail stores. However these major video game publishers like EA, Sony, Nintendo, Activision, Microsoft and UbiSoft are having a tough time with the “digital transition” not wanting to upset the sacred cow of the powerful few retailers that currently move 90% of their revenues. Now the social games and app businesses roar ahead leaving traditional video game publishers scrambling to answer their moves.

This shouldn’t be a suprise – they have seen this coming for over 12 years! An earlier company I founded in 1999, Gigex, was a leader in digital downloads of game demos, trailers and MMOs. We believed that the network would flatten distribution of content across the Internet. We didn’t focus on transactions, just getting the content into people’s hands. We tracked that distribution data and provided predictive trends that video game publishers used to predict future sales. We tried to sell them cost per click ads (before Google) but they said that was “too complicated” a model and instead wanted a flat rate. They said we had the “wrong” business model – (I guess we were a little early for that one! )

Read more