Posted on January 21, 2015 by

The Uber for Xs are Missing the U(rgency)

Marketplaces on Craigslist

Why on-demand marketplaces need urgency. Jeremy Levine and Rafi Syed recently posted about the nascent opportunity that remains in unbundling horizontal marketplaces (Amazon, Craigslist) into distinct verticals (taxis, home cleaning, shared rentals). This opportunity is illustrated through the now-famous craigslist defragmentation pitch deck slide: Sourced from http://www.leighdrogen.com/the-law-of-unbundling/; Originally created by Andrew Parker The proliferation of the vertical marketplaces is Read More

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

Dashfire Portfolio Company Artifact Uprising Acquired by VSCO

Today, we are honored to announce the acquisition of Artifact Uprising, a Dashfire portfolio company, by VSCO.  There is no singular path for startup success, just a number of right paths; most of which are celebrated as successful in hindsight. The founders of AU, Jenna, Katie, and Matty, paved their own path. In fact, had they shared their roadmap with the Read More

Posted on October 25, 2013 by

Invest in Introductions.

Last Wednesday, I spoke to the inaugural Startup Institute class in Chicago about how to “introduce” themselves to startups.  This reminded me of an introduction I gave for Georgetown’s business school head, Dean David Thomas.  I’ve copied the intro below and included a few takeaways on what I did right and could have done better. Read More

Posted on October 10, 2011 by

Ignite Your Own Technology Venture.

I presented at Ignite Chicago late this summer. Ignite is a speaker series (see: local TED Talks) where presenters discuss a topic of their choice for five minutes but have only have 15 seconds per slide before it auto advances. Not easy.  The topics ranged from why dogs should wear seat belts to bob dylan’s Read More

Posted on July 12, 2011 by

Defining My Relationship with Google+.

Dear Google+, I really want things to work out between us.  I know that my relationships with your siblings have ended abruptly (see: Buzz & Wave), but I’m extremely loyal to your family (see: Search, Gmail, and Maps) and want to invest the time to make this happen. Your family is the Kennedys of the internet, and you were crafted by Read More

Posted on June 21, 2011 by

Personal Board of Directors.

I was recently asked to join the board of directors…of my friend Sammy.  He calls it his Personal Board of Directors (PBOD) and I am responsible for career guidance.  I love the recruiting space and if I can be helpful to my friends re: resumes, interviews, and introductions, I will.  It is not your standard Read More

Posted on May 10, 2011 by

Get Social. It’s Important.

First Round Capital Associate Position

My friends and family often ask why Twitter and LinkedIn are important.  Admittedly, as I reactively joined Twitter and LinkedIn after I started Dashfire, I am still learning the ropes.  That said, I am convinced it is crucial to be proactive on both and I wrote the below post to respond to their questions.  Let me Read More

Posted on March 10, 2011 by

Microfinance DOES Improve the Lives of the Poor. Just Ask Them.

Rick Desai Microfinance

All good things must come to an end, right?  I hope that’s not the case for microfinance even after the industry endured a tumultuous 6 month stretch.  A wave of farmer suicides in India were attributed to  unbearable debt obligations funded  by micro loans from microfinance institutions (MFIs).  Among those implicated was SKS, the darling NGO-turned-publicly-traded-and-extremely-profitable MFI. Read More

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

Meet ProFounder.


BucketFeet, a Dashfire partner company, raised money for their business through an innovative platform called ProFounder.  ProFounder allows entrepeneurs to access capital from a broad community without much of the standard legal hassles associated with fundraising.  In their words: “We want to see a world in which all people are empowered to pursue their dreams Read More

Posted on February 4, 2011 by

Seeking AT&T.

When Cingular acquired AT&T in 2004, former AT&T CEO John Zeglis asked in a press conference: “Hey, Verizon–can you hear us now?”  Brash and bold.  The two companies have since battled hard for subscribers.  AT&T won the Apple iPhone contract and then Verizon’s DROID DOES commercial paved the way for Google’s Android.  Then they fought Read More

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