Archive for the ‘Weblogs’ Category

It’s vs its

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

A brief break from email and startup posts for a grammar nit post.

It’s quite irritating to me to see smart people constantly misusing "it’s" in place of "its" like Fred Wilson did when he wrote "it’s users can and will leave" regarding Facebook.  This may well be a total anomaly for Fred; I’m just picking on him because he happened to be the third or fourth  sharp blogger I’ve noticed do this in the last few days.

I’m a big fan of informality in blog posts and write tons of run-on and otherwise crappy sentences in my blog posts.  But I still consider it’s/its, they’re/their/there, and other sloppy grammar mistakes to be below the bar I consider acceptable even in blog posts or emails.

OK, that’s all.

Welcome to Email Dashboard!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Well, welcome to my
blog.  Ever since I re-joined the startup world, people keep asking me stuff
about email and startups, and I keep sending them email telling them all about
what’s going on and my opinions on this and that.  And I always think to myself,
boy, it sure would be nice if there were some vehicle available where I could
write this stuff once and people could just go look at it rather than repeating
a bunch of the same discussions over and over again via email.  After about the 50th time I mentioned that to friends, someone said “oh, you’re serious? 
You know you just need to start a blog, right?”

So, here we are.  After
doing my last startup, Moai Technologies, from 1996-2001, I took a couple years
off before deciding to jump back into the tech world.  During that time, I spent
a lot of time talking to people about what was always the biggest pain for me
during my time at Moai – keeping up with the endless stream of email I
received.  And it turned out a lot of people had the same problem.  So, after a
couple of years of traveling, a little consulting, and a lot of research, I
teamed up with my partner from Moai, Frank Kang, and soon got my friend Brad Meador
to join us and we focused on making email better for
everyone at my new startup, ClearContext.

We spend a lot of time
focusing on some specific problems for a very specific subset of email users at
ClearContext – primarily high-volume business email users using Microsoft
Outlook.  But the problems and interesting challenges in email and information
are much broader than that.  That’s what I plan to talk about in this blog.  In
this always-connected, high-tech information world many of us live in, how can
we best keep up without going crazy?  Figuring out how to make email better is
one part of it, but many other types of communication mediums (cell phones,
voicemail, text messaging, IM, blogs, etc.) also come with a lot of the same
problems that many of us are already struggling to deal with in email.  I spend
most of my day thinking about email, so that’ll be a big focus of what I write
about, but I’ll also be giving my thoughts on many of these other mediums as
well.  Hopefully Brad, Frank, and other friends will stop in from time to time
to share their thoughts.

I also get asked a ton
about the business of business itself, specifically high-tech startups.  Having
done the whole “big VC-funded” thing and now taking a largely bootstrapped (with
a little bit of angel money now) strategy, I have plenty of thoughts to share on
the pros/cons of these approaches.  I also serve in an advisory capacity to
numerous startups who all face their own unique challenges.  So, you’ll see
plenty of perspectives on general startup stuff from me here as well. 

And, of course, I’ll do
what every other blogger does and use this as a place to indulge myself by
writing about random things I do or find interesting!  Thanks for checking out
the blog, hope you find it interesting and/or