YouTube meme: S**t People Say

Satire isn’t always cruel, and mostly these videos are not. Satire does throw life into sharp relief, and these videos, a cross-section for my VC:VC theme certainly do. Some (most) are R-rated for language.

Sh*t Startup People Say from Venturebeat on Vimeo.

Yes, we do!

Very well worth the 61 seconds to watch to the end even if you are not a programmer.

Venn Diagrams of the World, Union!

geek-diagramAfter my posting What about Dweebs, which neatly shows a Venn Diagram taxonomy of Dweebs, Geeks, Dorks and Nerds, I let my obsessive side loose looking for other Venn Diagrams relevant to the various parts of my VC:VC world. In case you want to refer to it as I make wry comments later, I reproduce the picture here. It turns out there are a bunch of us obsessing about Venn Diagrams right now (some googling will confirm that).



As a Brit, I liked this one, explaining the whole “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” thing. 



And now, to prove I am a nerd, and a British one at that, a Venn Diagram Pun:


VentureCyclistThe VC:VC construct itself is a Venn Diagram of some of my life interests … where my venture capital world, my cycling, and my community interests coincide (or overlap).





Here’s another Venn Diagram I first saw on the walls of Techstars Boston, originally posted by Bud Cadell on his blog under the title How to be Happy in Business. This is a non-trivial commentary on building and running a business (geeks and nerds in particular need no further prompting to study this closely). SweetspotI found another variation on this theme on Flowing Data (which also links back to Bud’s graphic as well). Both make important points… but, if only business was so easy.  




Scale-Urgency-WillingnessToPayStan Nowak, Founder & CEO of Silverlink Communications, a Sigma portfolio company on whose board I sit, talks about the importance of seeking out markets with scale, urgency and willingness to pay. With a tip of the hat to Stan, here is it is as a Venn Diagram.





How about a diagram describing something technical… well, I previously shared my sketch of Dennis Devlin Devlin Security Diagsuggestion about information systems security, noting that a system is secure when it does exactly what it is supposed to do, and nothing more! (It strikes me this is a good definition of quality as well as security.) 




For fun, check out this interactive TwitterVenn website that uses a Venn Diagram to show overlap between terms you can find in the tweets over a the last day. You can use your own search terms … these are “chocolate, milk, hot”.



Over in the non-profit world, check out the questions Sasha Dichter asks with “The Simplest non-profit Venn Diagram ever”.ven-a2

How much overlap do think there is between the circles?





And finally, my own comment on how too few charities and too many startups are in the wrong place…

For-Not Profit Venn


I quoted my friend Paul Gompers here and here in the past as saying that management is the optimization of resources and entrepreneurship is the optimization of opportunity.

Now I find what I assume is the original source of the quote from HBS professor Howard Stevenson:

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.

This is a slightly purer form of the concept … not optimizing, but pursuing opportunity. I like it. Gompers’ juxtaposition of management and entrepreneurship is itself elegant and powerful, but more as a comparison than the Stevenson wording where entrepreneurship stands alone.

Hat tip to whoever pointed me at the Inc article where this was uncovered, apparently in a preview copy of the book Breakthrough Entrepreneurship by Jon Burgstone and Bill Murphy, Jr.

Why chocolate matters to a smarter planet

Why does anyone need to ask?


And what does this say about IBM, able to turn even chocolate into something just too earnest?

The Shortest Starbucks Order

StarbucksLid.JPGBack in 2006 I posted on The Longest Starbucks Order (it is still a good traffic-source from Google searches). Today I want to talk about my shortest Starbucks order: no lid, please.

I have realized over time that barista handling of the lids always leads to one of those “I wonder how often they wash their hands” moments.

This train of thought began one day in my local Peet’s. They don’t put the lids on your coffee for you. They have a stack of lids next to the milk, sugar and stirrers. Why do they do that, I wondered. After all, Starbucks goes the extra mile and puts the lid on for me. And then as I reached over to put the lid on for myself I was conscious that my hand was all over where my mouth was about to be … and that gave me pause for thought. Over at Starbucks, I thought, they put the lid on for me, and it’s the cleanliness of their hands I have to worry about, which is indeed a little more worrying that the cleanliness of my own (call me a snob).

Starbucks stores all seem to be uniformly scrupulous about maintaining cleanliness of the area behind the bar, the milk steamers, the spoons etc. The staff are careful to use tongs and tissue for food items, baked goods, hot breakfast snacks, to ensure they are not touching the food. However, when I order my drink, the baristas do not wear gloves and their bare hands are touching the lid, smooshing it down all around, including from where I am about to drink. And, perfectly understandably, for they are human after all, these pleasant, happy, well-trained baristas, touch their own face, sweep back their hair, touch each others’ hands as they pass cups … in short, their hands are short of food-prep hygienic. Movie reference: “Outbreak”… ugghhh!

I don’t want to make Starbucks baristas’ lives harder. I don’t want them to wear gloves. In fact I want to make their lives simpler. Please just stack the lids and let me place my own.