Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Ron Conway Experience ™


startups in ny (love it)

Monopoly – Shadow Banking System Edition(tm)

Monopoly is a painfully boring game. However, I’ve invented a way to
make it fun. I call it Monopoly – Shadow Banking System Edition(tm)

Here’s how it works. It’s the same as regular monopoly except you can
make any kind of deal and write any contract you want, including but
not limited to:

1) Equity financings. E.g. Player A gives B $1000, and in return A
gets 5% of future cash flows from so and so of B’s properties.
2) Derivatives. Players can sell you an option to buy a property, an
option on cash flows or even an option an options. You can write call
options, put options, futures, collars, butterflies – anything you can
think of.
3) Securitization. You can securitize whatever you want. Don’t get
your mortgage from the bank – bundle them up and create securities.
Split the interest from the principal and sell them separately.
Whatever. If you can write it in a contract and find a counterparty,
it’s legal.

Additional optional rules:
– “Too big to fail” if you have at least 2 monopolies and are going
out of business, roll one die and if you get anything except a 6, the
bank gives you $10,000.
– Trade real money for fake money. Being rich in real life gives you
an unfair advantage – just like real life.

The Steganography game

The Steganography game

3 or more players:
1 player is transmitter
1 player is receiver
remaining players are intercepters

goal is for transmitter + receiver is to send an arbitrary sentence
from transmitter to receiver *using only the public sites on the
internet* while not having the message intercepted by the

suggested places to place messages: blog comments, social networks, twitter etc.

transmitter / receiver cannot make references to non-public shared
knowledge they have (“go to the url that is the same name of the girl
i dated in college”)

it is ok to use shared knowledge if its inferable from information on
the internet (“go to the url that is the name of the person who first
formulated the law of gravity”)

intercepters, unlike transmitter/receivers, are allowed to privately communicate

game begins by transmitter posting a comment to this blog post

Cliff & Jen


Sent from my iPhone

View from IAC building


Sent from my iPhone

nyc tech startup blogs

matt and cody blogged about the need for nyc startup blog that can
call “bullshit”…

i am all for having an independent nyc startup blog. in fact i blog
about this last year

besides the usual challenges of creating a new organization etc,
here’s the problem as i see it.

when you call “bullshit”:

if the stuff is petty/personal, you end up valleywag type rumors,
which i don’t really see that as helping anyone.

for the non-petty stuff, only insiders have this info. to take a
simple example, most active investors know the valuations of the last
rounds of most companies that raise money, yet that info rarely makes
it to the press. there are tons of non-petty things I’d love to see
in the press about the actions of certain VCs, founders etc but I’ll
never write because unfortunately there would be backlash (not just
against me but against companies I invested in, friends etc).

so i’d love to see some examples of non-petty stuff that might
realistically be reported.

at any rate, I support any non-valleywag style blogs about nyc
startups, and would be happy to get involved to help etc.