Chao Lam

Working on the next small things …

Archive for May 2011

The Girl with the Purple Sarong

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OK, not quite a Stiegg Larsson novel, but this story is incredibly fascinating on so many levels:

  1. A classic story of how our hero recaptures something stolen (a laptop and birth certificate) from him, with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way
  2. A story of how technology is planting wormholes through geography: our hero retrieves belongings 500 miles away from alleged perpetrator
  3. Most of the action involves collaboration via social media, amongst hero and his twitter followers
  4. The story itself is told via storify in what is mainly a series of tweets
It’s interesting on each level, but all smooshed together, I’m sure this will make the rounds. Go check it at
http://storify.com/btballenger/man-tracks-stolen-laptop-thousands-of-miles-away
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Written by Chao

May 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Did AVC Fred Wilson make a logical fallacy?

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Super VC/Blogger Fred Wilson just wrote another great post, this time about First Time vs Serial Entrepreneurs.

However, I’m humbly suggesting he could have mixed up causation and be viewing things from a skewed sample.

It seems like the main thing that would attract Wilson about a first time entrepreneur would be that she is gaining user traction. After all, by definition, there isn’t much else to go by! It’s very likely that there are lots of first time entrepreneurs that do not get the right product into the market at the right time, arguably even more proportionally than serial entrepreneurs.

Likewise, what would attract Wilson about a serial entrepreneur (esp. compared with a first time entrepreneur) would naturally be her track record! It seems much more likely that Wilson would back a startup with less market traction IF the founders have a good track record than without.

So, I don’t think it’s true that first time entrepreneurs are better at getting significant user traction quickly. I think it’s really, really hard for both first time and serial entrepreneurs; and arguably it gets a little easier with experience.

However, I can see how if you observe from Wilson’s point of view it’ll seem like of the companies he’s backing, the one’s founded by first-time entrepreneurs have fewer user traction issues; that’s perfectly understandable. But it doesn’t mean first time entrepreneurs in general are better at establishing user traction.

Written by Chao

May 2, 2011 at 4:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized