White Bear Yard – home for startups in London

Posted: May 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: photo, posts | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Last month, while in London, we met up with an American friend who’s building a startup in the UK. His company and five others are working out of a new space in Clerkenwell called White Bear Yard. If you’re looking for an example of a great space for startups to work in, this should be one of your models. The space is fantastic and the companies are equally exciting – I’m sure we’ll see great things from this cohort.

The space was originally part of IDEO’s London studio, but is now the home to a bunch of motivated entrepreneurs (IDEO is still on one floor of the building). Below are two photos I took with my Blackberry, though they don’t really capture the essence of the space. It’s a very contemporary space, very airy and open, with nice areas for the companies to collaborate. And, for those times when you need to unwind, the space comes complete with a rooftop garden (also very nice!)!

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check it out. Follow White Bear Yard on Twitter and read more in this post on VentureBeat.

Located up a fairly nondescript alley in Clerkewell:

A vibrant home for startups – after hours…:
White Bear Yard - London Startups White Bear Yard - London Startups

EDIT: Added link to White Bear Yard: http://www.whitebearyard.com/

A month of travel

Posted: April 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: photo, posts | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

March was a busy month.  I visited my sister in Minnesota, lots of interesting folks in San Francisco, had a fun trip to San Diego and Mexico, and then a productive business trip to Europe.  Just under 17,000 miles flown and I was only home for four days in the entire month.  As those who travel with me will attest, I’m quite the professional traveler and enjoy optimizing my travel experience with tricks from my consulting days – upgrades to the Executive Lounge, skipping check-in lines with various elite status, etc..  It’s fun and it makes the travel craziness a little more bearable.

But a big difference from the big business consulting travel I’m used to was that a lot of this was on my dime.

So, why spend a month on the road, spending my own money (and more importantly, time)?  In short, I believe very much in investing in yourself.

There’s been a lot written recently about building personal brands and using social media to connect with interesting people.  Unfortunately, though, I don’t think there has been anywhere near as much written about what to do once you make these connections virtually.  And a big part of that is actually getting to know the people that you connect with that are interesting and that you can potentially collaborate with.  So, I think there’s a lot to be gained from getting on a plane every so often and meeting the people that you connect with virtually in person.  While I like Polycom’s products, there’s just no substitute for meeting someone in person, looking them in the eye, and figuring out what you have in common.

And so, for most of March, that’s what I was doing.  Which was also why this blog has been rather quiet in the last month, as well.

I’m sure that the highlights of the last month will come up in the next couple of blog posts.  In the meantime, here are some highlights that I’ve posted to Flickr.

San Francisco

Alcatraz at Sunset Fisherman's Wharf Fisherman's Wharf and San Fran in the background The famous sea lions

San Fran Cable Car Stanford's campus

I spent about a week in the Bay Area meeting with a variety of contacts.  It was great catching up with everyone that I hadn’t seen in a while and wonderful to put faces with names for those that I hadn’t met before this trip.

San Diego and Cruise to Mexico

Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego Cute little guy in Cabo, Mexico Departing San Diego

Following San Fran, a bit of personal travel :)

London and Dublin

Dublin, Ireland Big Ben, London London

Then off to Europe for some business development.

Tottenham Spurs v Portsmouth

Tottenham Spurs v Portsmouth Tottenham Spurs v Portsmouth

A good introduction to European football.

Posted: February 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: photo | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I was reviewing my Feedburner stats recently and saw something interesting.  I’ve kept the same Feedburner feed URL for both of my attempts at blogging (the first time, during college, which ended sometime in 2007; and now this second effort at getting a personal blog going!)  The slope of the subscribers line at the start of both of these time periods is interesting.  Back in 2006, it was a very gradual climb in subscriber growth.  This time around, growth has spiked much more quickly.

I’m attributing much of this to the importance of social media – blog posts are broadcast and retweeted so much more in today”s world.  Before, sharing and broadcast options were more limited.

I think this is an interesting comparison between the time periods, with my own little sample set, and clearly shows the importance of using social media to drive readers to your posts.

Posted: January 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: photo | Tags: , , | No Comments »





@cdixon aka Chris Dixon challenging VC’s and entrepreneurs who don’t blog.

I think the supply/demand balance has changed in the last 3 years. Startups are now choosing VCs for the small amounts they need, not the other way around, and a lot of judgments about how “entrepreneur-friendly” a VC is is made via their public online presence.

Build a brand, folks. It’s part of your job now.

Caterpillar Cowboy’s last sentence is important – already just weeks after starting to blog again in earnest, I’ve already seen the power of using blogs and Twitter to get in touch with people who share my views.  People who I wouldn’t otherwise have any way of getting in touch with.  It’s all about building a personal brand for yourself.

Posted: January 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: photo | Tags: , | No Comments »

Another university-centric seed-stage business accelerator to add to the list - Carolina Launch Pad, operating at UNC, just announced its 2010 participating companies.  Participants provides mentorship + business resources and is starting its second year of operations.  Glad to see this trend continues to spread!