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Fred Wilson and Friends

Starting a company is hard, so you're going to need a lot of advice along the way.

There are many entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers who churn out business advice daily, but it's a pain figuring out which sites are worth reading.

We've compiled a list of our favorite sources of small business and tech news for entrepreneurs.

Running the gamut from hilarious, to informational, to controversial, to thought-provoking, these blogs are all must-reads for anyone who's running a business.

Quora

Blog: Quora

Blogger: Any entrepreneur you want to follow, from Fred Wilson to Marc Cuban

Why it's so great: Quora is a Q&A site where experts actually take the time to seriously answer your questions. You can follow topics like "startups" and "entrepreneurship" and people like Fred Wilson or Mark Zuckerberg.  Answers get voted up by by the community so that only the best ones shine. You can find answers to questions like "What is the best way to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship?" or "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Sample: "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Top answer by Robert Scoble:

I hang around high-profile people often. Here's some things that can help you connect:

  1. Listen. If they say your idea sucks, listen to the feedback, take notes, and ask for contact info. Then go fix the problems, or come up with another idea and demonstrate you listened.
  2. Get to the point. People like Ron Conway are busy. They are wildly rich, so the only thing that is limited in their life is time. You are taking away some of their most precious resource, so get to the freaking point. Don't try to chit chat or ask about their kids or make small talk. Go right for the big ask. They are used to it.

PandoDaily

Blog: PandoDaily

Blogger: Sarah Lacy

Why it's so great: Sarah Lacy and her band of bloggers at Pando are making an effort to become the "site of record for Silicon Valley." Much of the staff came from TechCrunch, so they're well sourced. Lacy conducts exclusive interviews with high profile people in tech and curates the top tech/entrepreneurship stories from other startups in the site's right rail.

Sample: AngelList has Transformed Seed Investing -- Are Recruiters and Job Boards Next?

Last week Naval Ravikant went to an industry dinner. He asked a friend in the venture business how things were going. The friend slumped over in his chair, shrugged sadly and said, “The business is becoming commoditized.”

It’s an extreme interpretation, and not everyone shares it. Times have never been better for a handful of firms who are rolling in the returns, raising as much from LPs as they want and still doing business the way they always have.

But matters have also never been more polarized for the VC-haves and have-nots, and this sad-sack VC has a few people to blame. Chief among them is his friend Ravikant, whose site AngelList has dragged the stealthy, back-room world of venture capital kicking and screaming into the light — something many industry watchers never thought could be done.

And now, AngelList is doing the same thing it did to VCs to recruiters.

LinkedIn Today

Blog: LinkedIn Today

Blogger: LinkedIn curates articles based on your professional profile and your social connections.

Why it's so great: LinkedIn Today curates articles that are fitting for your industry and that people in that industry are sharing. As such, it's a good source of entrepreneurship and business news all in one place.

Sample: Articles on LinkedIn Today:

Hiring Your First Set Of Employees - Greylock Capital

Facebook Testing a New 'Want' Button - Inside Facebook

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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andreessen

Marc Andreessen was on Charlie Rose this week, and he dropped this super smart nugget on the tech industry:

The core idea we have, the core theory we have, is that the fundamental output of a technology company is innovation and that's very different than a lot of businesses, right? The fundamental output of a car company is cars. Or the fundamental output of a bank is loans. The fundamental output of a tech company is innovation, so, the value of what you've actually built so far, and are shipping today is a small percentage of the value of what you're going to ship in the future if you're good at innovation. So the challenge tech companies have is they can never rest on their laurels with today's product, they always have to be thinking in terms of the next five years of what comes next and if they're good at running internally and are indeed a machine that produces innovation, they tend to do quite well over time. It's when things go wrong internally and they stop innovating, which happens alot, that the wheels at some point tend to come off.

This quote is great insight to the difference between Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.

The reason Instagram was worth $1 billion without any revenue is because people in the Valley look at the company and think, "the value of what it's going to ship in the future is huge." People outside the Valley see a money-losing photo app and think it's worthless.

As for the other part, it helps to explain why companies like AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft have gone sideways for years now.

It also explains why Google is working on glasses and self-driving cars. It's trying to produce the next generation of innovation. It might make its money from search, but as Andreessen points out, it's really in the business of innovation.

Watch the full interview >

Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.

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Eugene Marinelli and Quinn Slack

We don't know much about Eugene Marinelli and Quinn Slack, or their new startup, Blend Labs.

But we have heard this much: It has just raised $2.5 million from Facebook investor Peter Thiel and venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, according to a source.

It makes total sense, given that Slack and Marinelli are both former software engineers at Palantir, a secretive Thiel-backed company which processes massive amounts of data for corporate clients and government agencies.

We couldn't find an SEC filing showing the investment, though there are ways for companies that want to stay stealthy to avoid such filings (by, for example, filing with state regulators).

From what we can see, Marinelli and Slack are interested in the following hot areas:

  • Big data. They just gave a presentation at Stanford about using technologies like Hadoop, HBase, and Scala to handle huge quantities of information. Or as they put it, "you have a ton of data, need to handle a lot of users, and want to perform heavy computation over the data."
  • The social graph. They posted code to GitHub, an open software repository, for "Facebook social data modeling." And their Stanford presentation shows an example of handling data about individuals including email addresses and groups they belong to.
  • Mobile platforms. Slack has contributed some code to the Play 2.0 platform, which is used for mobile applications.

Okay, so that doesn't give us many clues to what Blend Labs is doing. But big-data applications for social and mobile platforms seems like it hits just about every investing buzzword.

Andreessen Horowitz, Slack, and Marinelli did not respond to emailed inquiries about the investment.

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 Brita d'Agostino

Photo illustration: Brita d'Agostino

Wired magazine’s Found page represents our best guess at what lies over the horizon, from touchscreen windshields to organ farming. Now, we’re inviting readers to help create Found pages: What do you think our world will look like in 10, 20, or 100 years?

Found
Found: Imagine the Future of Child Safety Seats
More Artifacts From the Future

Each month, we’ll propose a scenario and present some ideas and concepts. Then it’s up you: Sketch out your vision and upload your ideas (below). We’ll use the best suggestions as inspiration for a future Found page, giving kudos to contributors, and we’ll add our favorite submission to this story.

Your next challenge: imagine the future of conventions. Will the singularity happen during CES? Will Louis CK’s TED talk change the world? Will nerds get in line eleven months in advance to see Jossbot 8000 unveil Avengers XXIII?

You can send us your ideas in text form, but we’re keen on getting visual entries. Check out these links to some CC-licensed photos on Flickr to fire up your imagination:

The venue:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:E32011.jpg

Registration
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TED_2005_Registration.jpg

The attendees:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/elfidomx/5971750876/

The Demos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuson/15713734/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricardodiaz/3601410171/

The Presentations:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tedxsomerville/6820878308/

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:David_Bolinsky_presentation_at_TED_2007.jpg

The Ware:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:True_Blood_-_2011_International_Comic-Con.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:David_Bolinsky_presentation_at_TED_2007.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Comic-Con_2010_-_Walking_Dead_Image_booth.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/juplife/4610355530/in/photostream/

Use the widget below to submit your best idea and vote for your favorite. The image must be your own— submitting it gives us permission to use it on Wired.com and in Wired magazine. Please submit relatively large images (ideal size is 800 to 1,200 pixels, or larger on the longest side). Include a description of your idea and how you made it.

We don’t host the images, so upload it somewhere else and submit a link to it. If you’re using Flickr, Picasa or another photo-sharing site to host your image, provide a link to the image, not to the photo page where it’s displayed. If your photo doesn’t show up, it’s because the URL you have entered is incorrect. Make sure it ends with the image file name (xxxxxxx.jpg).

Check back over the next few weeks to vote on new submissions, and look for an update announcing our favorite.

For information regarding use of information about you that you may supply or communicate to the Website, please see our Privacy Policy. Except as expressly provided otherwise in the Privacy Policy or in this Agreement, you agree that by posting messages, uploading text, graphics, photographs, images, video or audio files, inputting data, or engaging in any other form of communication with or through the Website, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, enhance, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, display, or sublicense any such communication (including your identity and information about you) in any medium (now in existence or hereinafter developed) and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so. In addition, please be aware that information you disclose in publicly accessible portions of the Website will be available to all users of the Website, so you should be mindful of personal information and other content you may wish to post.

2007 bug

Also in this issue

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Face.com logo

It's been rumored for quite some time, and now it's official: Facebook has swooped in and purchased Face.com. The company's facial-recognition technology is already used to offer auto-tag suggestions when users upload photos to Facebook, and now the social network owns every bit of it. In a statement to AllThingsD, Facebook said that "this transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house." It's believed that the move (in addition to its acquisition of Instragram for $1 billion in April) is Facebook's attempt to strengthen its mobile offerings. No official word on how much the company (and its desirable domain) cost Facebook, but "multiple sources" tell TechCrunch that it's about $100 million. The...

Continue reading…

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TEDxBend - Blake Canterbury - The Easiest Way to Help Other People

Blake is the Founder and CEO of beremedy -- the simplest way to help other people. beremedy is an organization that uses social media to connect those in need with those that can help. It's based on the concept that there are the resources in every community to meet the needs of that community. beremedy has been named one of the "3 best twitter usages worldwide" by CNN (3/20/11). beremedy was one of the leading organizations in bringing aid to Haiti after the earthquake using social media to network organizations, the UN and US Marines. Through social media they have been able to help thousands of people and they're just getting started. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
From:
TEDxTalks
Views:
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fb_feature_2x616

If Facebook were a country, a conceit that founder Mark Zuckerberg has entertained in public, its 900 million members would make it the third largest in the world. It would far outstrip any regime past or present in how intimately it records the lives of its citizens. Private conversations, family photos, and records of road trips, births, marriages, and deaths all stream into the company’s servers and lodge there. Facebook has collected the most extensive data set ever assembled on human social behavior.

http://www.technologyreview.com/featured-story/428150/what-facebook-knows/

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palm reading

The editors over at Edge.org asked some of the most influential thinkers in the world — including neuroscientists, physicists and mathematicians — what they believe are the most important scientific concepts of the modern era.

The result is "This Will make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts To Improve Your Thinking," a compilation of nearly 200 essays exploring concepts such as the "shifting baseline syndrome" and a scientific view of "randomness."

We've highlighted 39 of the concepts here, crediting the author whose essay highlights the theory.

Cognitive humility

Decades of cognitive research shows that "our minds are finite and far from noble. Knowing their limits can help us become better reasoners. ... Perhaps the most dire consequence is that human beings tend to be better at remembering evidence consistent with their beliefs." 

Gary Marcus, director, New York University, Center for Child Language. Author, Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind from This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

Cognitive load

Our brains can only hold so much information at once. When there's too much "information overload," we tend to get distracted easily and not retain what we're learning.

"Working memory is what brain scientists call the short-term store of information where we hold the contents of our consciousness at any given moment — all the impressions and thoughts that flow into our mind as we go through the day."

Nicholas Carr, author, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains, from This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking.

Constraint satisfaction

When presented with too many choices — no matter how beautiful or beneficial — it can be overwhelming, and we are paralyzed by indecision.

That's why having constraints, or any sort of limits, is beneficial and leads to solutions. 

In fact, "much creativity emerges from constraint satisfaction. ... Einstein had one of his major breakthroughs when he realized that time need not pass at a constant rate."

Stephen M. Kosslyn, director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University,
from This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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matrix

Cheat codes are secret combinations that unlock special abilities in video games.

Reddit users have compiled a long list of "real-life cheats" that can help you navigate the mall, the bar, Macy's and everywhere else.

We've picked out our favorites and are sharing them here. 

If you need to withdraw more than your limit, sometimes you can withdraw twice from the same ATM or the one next to it before the bank stops you.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

When you're talking to someone, cross your arms to check if they're listening. If they cross theirs as well, they truly are.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

If you have crushing chest pain, call 911 first. Then chew some aspirin. I work in cardiology.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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