Monthly Archives: February 2011

Graphs presentation at Google NY

Google was nice enough to invite me to talk at their NY headquarters yesterday about a blog post I wrote a while back called Graphs.  I brought along two of my Hunch colleagues Matt Gattis and Hugo Liu.  The presentation is really meant to be accompanied by us talking – I hope to have the video of the event to post soon – but in the meantime here’s the presentation we used.  It was a really fun event – thanks for inviting us, big G!

Full screen version here, embedded version below.


the hardest movies for netflix to predict stars for

2152 9979 8612.3465 0.9290 0.7610 What Women Want
3151 5287 8215.4221 1.2466 0.7259 Napoleon Dynamite
3864 12056 7156.1952 0.7704 0.6323 Batman Begins
13255 8142 7082.5500 0.9327 0.6258 Crash
1307 8154 6641.5898 0.9025 0.5868 S.W.A.T.
3282 5755 6420.6328 1.0562 0.5673 Sideways
1145 8988 6196.8724 0.8303 0.5475 The Wedding Planner
5991 5279 6004.4476 1.0665 0.5305 Sin City
528 5216 5394.2187 1.0169 0.4766 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
6255 6765 5337.6030 0.8883 0.4716 Bewitched
313 5859 5215.5594 0.9435 0.4608 Pay it Forward
5239 7531 5048.7674 0.8188 0.4461 The Longest Yard
2913 5759 5023.0223 0.9339 0.4438 Finding Neverland
5317 5229 4907.2340 0.9687 0.4336 Miss Congeniality
11812 6209 4859.4754 0.8847 0.4294 Million Dollar Baby


D.E.N.N.I.S system for VCs

Demonstrate value: “we invested in Google, Twitter and Facebook”

Engage physically: “Loved your deck, come meet my partners”

Nurture dependency: “Let me introduce you to some people”

Neglect emotionally: [stop returning emails for a few weeks]

Inspire Hope: “saw you on TechCrunch – are you still raising money?”

Separate entirely: “we aren’t investing in your space right now”

some thoughts on video discussion with kevin systrom of instagram

Talking to entrepreneurs for TechCrunch's "Founder Stories" has been a great educational experience for me.  (The fact that I've learned so much is one reason I lobbied to change the name from "Startup Sherpa" to something else since with these talented entrepreneurs I've been anything but a sherpa).  So far I've talked to Perry Chen of Kickstarter, Kevin Systrom of Instragram (part 1 is up and part 2 coming soon), Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures (not posted yet – and yes he's an entrepreneur along with being a super investor – wait until you see the video), and David Karp of Tumblr (only a portion posted so far).  

Going forward I plan to rewatch the shows and blog about the parts that I found most useful/educational and try to add a little interpretation.  I am supposed to be on vacation this week so for now I will just mention a few off-the-cuff moments about why I enjoyed talking to Kevin @ Instagram so much and what I learned:

1) the decision to pivot pre-launch when they already had ~100 friend loving their existing app
2) the way they thought about creating a new photo sharing app. they listed 3 simple problems they had with existing apps and tried to solve them. simple and elegant.
3) the importance of timing – instagram and other photo sharing apps all came out around the time of the iPhone 4 which with HD was finally a true camera replacement.
4) the fact that he came from Google along with a lot of the other founders of hot social startups (twitter, 4sq) makes you think the wonder if the problem at Google with social isn't talent but how they deploy it.  (kevin mentions that he could have never pivoted pre-launch at a big company).

You can watch part 1 here and feel free to leave thoughts in the comments below.