Amazing experiment by One Laptop Per Child

Posted: November 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: link | No Comments »

Just to give you a sense of what these villages in Ethiopia are like, the kids (and most of the adults) there have never seen a word. No books, no newspapers, no street signs, no labels on packaged foods or goods.

“We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He’d never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.”

Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

Originally from MIT Technology Review


Y Combinator Now Accepting Late Applications

Posted: March 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: link | Tags: , | No Comments »

Interesting move by Y Combinator to now accept late applications.

“But it seems too much to expect that everyone who will start a startup in June will have decided to by the beginning of March, so this cycle we’re going to try something new. We’re going to consider late applications right up till the summer cycle starts at the beginning of June.”

A very pro-entrepreneur move and a prudent one, I think, for Y Combinator, as well.  Given the rapidly changing markets that early-stage ventures exist in, it’s certainly reasonable to expect that that a cutting edge idea in April might not be a good fit the following program period.  As a result, YC is making sure that there’s no excuse for them not to be able to take a look at great concepts when it makes sense for the entrepreneur, rather than try to fit them to an arbitrary schedule.  It also seems like another key element to consider in the comparison between graduate school and seed-stage accelerator programs for entrepreneurs.

From Y Combinator’s Posterous.


Legal Innovation for Startups from Legal River

Posted: February 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: link | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Link: Legal Innovation for Startups from Legal River

Legal River, a LaunchBox Digital company, recently launched a Terms of Service generator and a similar tool for creating Privacy Policies.

Along with their new StackOverflow-style Q&A forum, I think these are great moves for the company.  Granted, there are many nuances and details that must be considered and each company is different, there are also a number of common legal questions and action items that startups have.  Thus, it would be a real savings if there was a common checklist and resource to accomplish these without having to pay the lawyer bills.  After all, most lawyers just pull these things out of their document repository and simply customize them for each client.  The more that startups can do this on their own, the more we can save the legal dollars for when it really matters.

These recent offerings from Legal River, in my opinion, are much, much more valuable than their initial lawyer search engine (when we started this past spring, we just asked around in the community for lawyer recommendations – I don’t think we would have trusted an online search engine to find us a reliable attorney).

This touches on what Dave McClure wrote about back in 2007 – innovate and automate.  Nearly three years later, not much has changed.  It’s good to see some innovation.


Time Horizon Does Matter

Posted: January 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: link | No Comments »

Link: Time Horizon Does Matter

Very thought-provoking post on how the time horizon of investment strategies can have an important impact on investment decision making.


Dear MBAs who want to work at startups – from This is going to be BIG!

Posted: January 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: link | 3 Comments »

Link: Dear MBAs who want to work at startups – from This is going to be BIG!

Love the post. This is fantastic advice for anyone who wants to work at a startup and for MBAs who are ready to move into the 21st century as far as networking. 

Every entrepreneur who’s deeply engaged in running the business has problems to solve and trying to figure out how to get a new employee excited about working on those problems takes time away from other tasks. If someone came to me and already laid out a plan for how they could tackle one of our current issues or something that’s coming down the road, it makes it such an easy decision, because now, rather that needing to explain what it is they would need to do, it’s clear they’re already thinking on the same wavelengths as my team.

The ideal startup hire should be seeking out products that they love (and use) and engaging directly with the team via their discussion forum, Twitter, Get Satisfaction with ideas and suggestions for the product.

I’m surprised more MBA programs haven’t started encouraging their students to put more effort into blogging as a networking tool. All that thinking and writing that goes on in classes – what better outlet for that than a blog focused on how you want to apply the skills and getting input from the community into your ideas. And even if you don’t want to work at a startup, there are plenty of connections to corporate America that can be made via social media, as well.

Hopefully both MBAs and MBA programs are reading this post!

Edit: Link updated.


VeloCity – University of Waterloo Entrepreneur Bootcamp

Posted: January 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: link | No Comments »

Link: VeloCity – University of Waterloo Entrepreneur Bootcamp

Interesting new summer “dormcubator” program for students from the University of Waterloo:

The VeloCity Entrepreneur BootCamp (VEB) will enable top student entrepreneurs to fast track the launch of their technology-based startups. Selected students will be mentored by some of Canada’s most experienced and successful entrepreneurs. They will live rent-free at VeloCity and will work out of office space provided at no charge by the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo’s research and technology park.

The students will each receive $3,000 (up to a maximum $9,000 for each team) and own 100 per cent of their intellectual property. As well, they will attend seminars and workshops on important business-related topics. It is the first nation-wide, residence-based program of its kind in North America.

More information in this press release.  Interested students can apply here.