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The formula to go from zero to VC-funded in seven slides

Originally posted on Quartz:

After last week’s Monday Note, “Three Slides Then Shut Up—The Art of The Pitch,” I was subjected to a bit of email ribbing. My honorable correspondents, many of them entrepreneurs themselves, questioned my rationality, insisting that it’s psychologically and emotionally impossible for entrepreneurs to be so boldly concise as to limit their presentations to three slides. Indeed, how many three-slide presentations had I actually seen in a decade plus of venture investing? Upon the fourth slide, is the presenter sent packing?

True, I know how difficult it is to restrain yourself when you’re given a chance to present the breadth and depth of the miracle that you’re but one investment away from realizing. I know, because I’ve been there…but thanks to the pressure of an IPO Road Show and the robust ministrations of investment bankers, I crossed the threshold into frugal enlightenment.

Sadly, I’ve not seen more than a…

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You Can Now Use Your Cellphone As A 3D Modeling Tool

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Researchers have created a new technology that uses the camera and accelerometers in an average cellphone to measure real objects in 3D space. Created at Carnegie Mellon University, you can use the system to build “3D models of the world” just by waving your phone around an object or scene.

The accelerometers, called inertial measurement units, roughly tell the phone’s software the position of the phone in space. IMU’s are very noisy and rarely usable to truly assess a phone’s actual orientation with any degree of real accuracy but coupled with the camera you can get far more useful results.

“We’ve been able to get accuracies with cheap sensors that we hadn’t imagined,” said Simon Lucey, associate research professor in the CMU Robotics Institute in a release. “With a face tracker program, we are able to measure the distance between a person’s pupils within half a millimeter.” Such measurements would…

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As police militarization increases, Bounce Imaging claims its device can reduce violent confrontations

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

bounceRecent tragedies in Baltimore, Ferguson, and elsewhere, have put a national spotlight on everyday policing procedures as well as how law enforcement behaves and reacts during high-pressure situations. Although many of the most publicized incidents resulted from seemingly split-second decision making, the events have drawn attention to bad police behavior during home raids gone awry.

One small startup may have developed a tool that can not only help limit tense policing situations but may also have applications beyond law enforcement.

Bounce Imaging, a company working out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, has been testing a new camera that it hopes will both protect law enforcement/military personnel from potentially life-threatening situations and lead to a decrease in violent interactions between those suspected of crimes and police.

The company’s product, currently called the Explorer, looks like some futuristic, large rubber Wiffle ball. However, the throwable tactical reconnaissance device is outfitted with 6…

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Nobody cares about your code

Originally posted on Musing Mortoray:

Nobody cares about your code. It was quite a shocking moment when I learned this in my programming career. I would take great care in polishing my code only to find out nobody actually cares. It’s not the code that counts, it’s the product. Knowing that makes you more productive and improves the appreciation of your work.

Code is a tool

As programmers our job is not to write code. Our job is to supply software that provides some feature somebody needs. Coding is the primary tool we use to do this. But it’s just a tool. We don’t say a carpenter’s job is to use a hammer. Their job is to create something with their tools.

Some of our processes can however mislead us into thinking code is the product. Do we see refactoring as a way to get better code, or to get a better product? Portray it…

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Python & Java: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Originally posted on Python Conquers The Universe:

I wrote this little piece a long time ago — it was last updated in May 2007. In 2009 I moved it from my website to this blog. At this point I consider it an historical artifact, in the sense that I consider it frozen; I’m no longer going to update it when, for example, Java acquires a new programmer-friendly feature.

During the years when it was on my web site, I received a number of email comments. I responded to them all, but no one — other than their authors and me — ever saw the comments and my responses. By moving this piece onto a blog, I hope that folks who feel like commenting can do so more easily, and can share their comments with a wider audience.

During the years when it was on my web site, virtually all of the comments that I received were from…

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Death to remixes: The enormous hidden threat of Soundcloud’s ZEFR partnership

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

soundcloud-remixers-in-the-cold“SoundCloud is by and large one of the rare pure and good things on the internet that the world, in an artistic sense, would be worse off without.”Leslie Horn, “How SoundCloud Changed Music Forever”

Yesterday, Techcrunch wrote what at first glance looked like a pretty basic “Startup X partners with Startup Y” story. It reported that SoundCloud — which is basically “YouTube for audio” — had struck a deal with Los Angeles’ ZEFR, a company that tracks and identifies content uploaded to open platforms so that copyright owners can monetize it through ads. ZEFR already offers this service to YouTube, and for SoundCloud the partnership is a logical step toward the platform’s ambitions to turn its wild and free network into something that produces meaningful revenue for both SoundCloud and its creators.

Which isn’t an inherently bad thing. If I upload someone else’s work to SoundCloud and a million people stream it, that creator deserves…

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Securing A Huge Growth Round

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s Note:David Frankel is a Managing Partner at Founder Collective, an early-stage VC firm based in Cambridge and NYC that has made investments in over 150 companies including Uber, BuzzFeed, Coupang, Makerbot, PillPack and SeatGeek.

Pitching VCs is a serious challenge at any stage, but asking for a $30-60 million check is usually the sale of a founder’s life. Convincing an investor to accept a valuation that most normal people think you’d deserve in a year’s time (at best) piles on the challenge.

I’ve recently been working with a few of our portfolio companies on these kinds of deals and wanted to summarize what we’ve seen work.

A word of warning: Most startups don’t qualify. Ten-figure checks go to those with significant tangible growth in revenue or DAUs, real margins, or a crystal-clear path to strong monetization. To qualify, your graphs should be at 45-degree angles at worst.

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