Is it time to wean yourself off of the smartphone?

Smartphones continue to enhance our lives, but all of the great apps, features and social connections can add stress. Is it time to cut back on smartphone usage or maybe we need smarter smartphones that route only the most important information to us.

The Midas List? Yeah, sure, & I’m Brad Pitt

The new Forbes Midas List is out and it ranks the top 100 venture capitalists. The list ranks uber-VC Fred Wilson below those whose performance is average at best. I find the list confusing, thanks to an ambiguous and somewhat faulty methodology.

Data without context is dirt

Data, I believe is like plastic. You can use it to make wonderful things. However, like plastic, it can be a great polluter and create havoc on the environment. Or as I like to say, data without context is dirt.

Brad Feld: Why SOPA and PIPA must be stopped

SOPA and PIPA bills, both in their substance and, significantly, the process by which they have moved along, fail this test. As such, they reveal a disturbing picture about the policy process in Washington and threaten to create significant and unintended consequences.

Today in Cloud

It’s been fascinating to see the flurry of attention over the past few days for a piece of Microsoft work that was first reported months ago. The New York Times appears to have started the ball rolling, with a piece by Randall Stross. Brad Feld, Rich Miller, Heather Clancy and David Linthicum were amongst those to pick the piece up again. And the basic premise? That computers running in or near domestic properties could be used to heat those homes. So far, so good… but how do we get power and cooling to those machines, and how do we ensure that data moves quickly enough between them? There’s a reason we cram racks close together, and it’s not just to save money on the surface area of a data center building.

Why Startup Visas Don’t Go Far Enough

Silicon Valley investors are campaigning to broaden immigration rules to let more would-be technology entrepreneurs into the United States. The movement, which is gaining momentum, has the right motivations – but history suggests that campaigners must gather support form outside the traditional hi-tech bubble if they want to turn their proposals into law.

One VC’s 3-Step Filter for Saying ‘No’

I’ve you’ve ever been stung by the rejection of a VC, this post ought to help you put the experience into perspective. In Why Am I Passing?, VC blogger Brad Feld lays out the filtering process he uses to determine whether or not to even invest time looking at a potential portfolio company.

Sure, plenty of VCs can pay high-minded lip service to the question of how, and why, they vet ideas the way that they do, but Feld’s essay offers one of the clearest — and therefore most credible — explanations I’ve heard yet.

He writes: “Every day I tell at least one entrepreneur that I am passing on investment in their company. Some times I tell 10. I don’t know what the most in one day is, but it’s probably more than 25. [So] I’ve come up with a set of filters to quickly turn down deals. This is an important process as [I] want to maximize my time working with my existing portfolio companies.”

Who can argue with that rationale? (And there is always comfort in numbers!) So, Feld continues:

My first pass filter has three parts to it.

1) … “is this in a theme that I’m currently interested in.”
2) … whether or not I think the people involved can create a huge company.
3) … “is this deal potentially in the top five things we are currently looking at.” [emphasis ours]

Clearing the top five priorities in Feld’s field of interest seems a discouragingly high bar, but it makes perfect sense… Read More about One VC’s 3-Step Filter for Saying ‘No’