Peter Shih – Another Tech Founder Amuck


uptown_shih(Photo by Ed Park via Uptown Almanac)

Tech Founder Complains About the Shithole City He’s Forced to Make His Millions In

Previously, I mentioned the mess surrounding Greg Gopman, (formerly?) CEO at Today I’ll add a short note on the other Muckey amuck Peter Shih. His famous rant is 10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition It appears he is still in charge of, a pre-ordering system.

I can see why Mark Zuckerberg got adult supervision for facebook.



CNBC – The (Stock) Market is Rigged


What impresses me is the standard deniers and the standard blind-men that show up for these events. In any case, (…), pants on fire.

This story starts with Michael Lewis‘ new book Flash Boys (ISBN:0-393-24466-0)

The New York Times Magazine has an adaptation by Michael Lewis, if you’d like to read a chapter.

TheGreatHFTDebateThis Week on CNBC: Katsuyama vs. O’Brien – (3:05)

In context, William O’Brien &  BATS Global Markets is one the companies highlighted as “riggers”.  In case you missed this, CNBC asked the question Is the (stock) market rigged?, with reponses from the following

  • Henry Blodget – Business Insider, says “The Concept (…) is Crazy.”
  • Larry Kudlow – CNBC commentator, says “No. I don’t believe its rigged.”
  • Mark Cuban – shark investor, says, “Well …  that suggests Micheal Lewis is right. And something is rigged and not right.”
  • William O’Brien – BATS Global Markets President, “Brad and Micheal shame on you….”
  • Brad Katsuyama – featured above, “I believe the markets are rigged, and you are part of the rigging,” to William O’Brien.
  • Micheal Lewis – author of the book, “I visited BATS, and …”. He never complete because of O’Brien interrupting and the CNBC editing.

At (~2:28) the story moves to the unemployment numbers for the quarter.

riggedMarketDebateCNBC trails with a story where Peter Nabicht, of Modern Markets Initiative, claims that “the high volume of participants” makes it legitimate.

High-frequency trading benefits investors: Advocate – (5:06)

In the video – when pressed, he (Peter Nabicht) says the real issues are: “Insider Trading, Front Running, & Early Access to Data”. CNBC counters(~3:55), much as Mark Cuban does,

if you take a High Frequency Trader, like Virtu, and they only lose money one (1) day in 1238 (3+years). (It can only be rigged.)

Then there is this:

Silver Lake-backed high-frequency trader Virtu Financial pulls IPO in wake of Michael Lewis book

CNBC’s  Bob Pisani has an article that explains the technical.
The New York attorney general to probe high-frequency trading.

And finally, SEC official: What’s hurting the ‘little guy’

Greg Gopman – CEO Amuck


Video of Protest

In San Francisco, there has been a bit of protest with regard to how technology startups are changing the city. The applicable advice to entrepreneurs’ is,“when in Rome do as the Romans do.”

To be fair, Greg is not the only fool; he is a bit of a scapegoat.

When I was in high school, a probing social question was asked. One person replied in a mean-spirited manner. To which the teacher replied,

Yes, of course, I understand. When you see your fellow human in the future and that person is lying in the gutter, you will do your best to kick that person back in the gutter again.

valleywag.com_gregGopmanGopman’s statement that got him to resign (or be fired) was:

(…) there is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. (sic)

Just to fair to Greg, he is also being egged on:

One comment (…)

“If it were up to me I’d put them all in labor camps.” (sic)

Another (…), writes,

“You are the Jedi Master of the Angelhack. Go for whatever u like man.” (sic)

When I saw links to a video of him at a TED Conference, my first thought was there might be some reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. The video is a monologue of him pitching his company. The audience is bored. Watch it yourself, if you are inclined.



Welcome to Startupland! Greg Gopman at TEDxSacramento Published on Jul 26, 2013


Y Combinator

I often forget to mention the fourth founding member of Y Combinator . Today I won’t.

yc500Honestly, I never heard of this organization until I had a few weeks of work at Anybots – a maker of avatars for virtual telepresence. My friend John Sokol gave me call. He said, “I need your help. I’m working at a very cool robotics company and we need to fix this thing.” (That part for another day.)

Trevor_Blackwell_2007In the course of things, I came to know Trevor Blackwell. He is best known in the tech community for creating a walking robot on Valentine’s Day 2007. Later I came to know of Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, wife of Paul, & Robert Morris.


Robert Morris is best known for creating and letting run wild the firstRobert Tappan Morris
Internet Worm. The ironic part was that he was a student at Columbia while his dad was security expert for the government.


Jessica LivingstonJessica Livingston is best known for Startup School and her book, Founders at Work (2 of 32 chapters online).


Paul Graham, head of Y Combinator, is best known for his essays on Paul Grahamentrepreneurship. He also appears to be an astute observer of culture, stating on closing the Boston office of Y Combinator,

“Boston just doesn’t have the startup culture that (Silicon) Valley does.”

Paul also notes there are two important things to understand about startup investing (as a business)

  1. that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners
  2. that the best ideas (initially look) like bad ideas.


Guy Kawasaki – “The Art of the Start” @ TiECon 2006

“The Art of the Start” @ TiECon 2006 – (39:46)
TiECon 2006
  1. Make meaing. – (~4:20)
    * Increase the quality of life.
    * Write a wrong.
    * Prevent the end of something good.
    Theory: “Make meaning to make money.”
  2. Create a Mantra. – (~6:20)
  3. Get Going. – (~12:00)
    * Think different, make it 10x better. (Don’t do better sameness.)
    * Don’t be afraid to Polarize People.
    * Find a few soul mates.
  4. Define a business model – (~15:00)
    * Be Specific
    * Keep It Simple
    * Ask Women about your business model (~16:15)
  5. Weave a MAT – (~17:00)
    * Milestones
    * Assumptions – Review as needed.
    * Tasks
  6. Niche Thyself – (~19:45)
  7. 10/20/30 Rule – (~24:00)
    * 10 slides/20 minutes/30 point font
    * Font Rule: Smallest font size is half the age of the oldest person in the room
  8. Infected People – (~27:20)
    – work experience, educational background, love your product
    * Ignore the Irrelevant
    * Hire better than yourself – fight the bozo explosion
    * Apply Shopping Center test (~29:10)
  9. Lower Barrier to Adoption (~30:00)
    * Flatten the learning curve
    * Don’t ask people to do something you won’t do
    * Embrace your envagelist
  10. Seed the Cloud – (~31:45)
    * Let a hundred flowers blossom
    * Enable test drives
    * Find the Influencers
  11. Don’t let the bozos grind you down – (~33:30) – 7 Sins of Newbie Entrepreneurs

by Dana Brownlee
published March 7, 2014

My comments are in italic in between each point

  1. Not setting aside enough cash reserves to support yourself.
    This is an excellent point. This is what I call, “not having enough cash flow”. Using “credit cards” is NOT the move to make. Entrepreneurs make safe bets – don’t use credit cards.
  2. Using assumptions that are overly optimistic during planning.
    This points toward a realistic heartbreak. Often people give up on you, before you do; this includes customers. You might make it, but they won’t. Keep expectations in-line – always.
  3. Not properly evaluating your business model.
    I have made this mistake all too often. Some good advice is to have someone unrelated to you evaluate the model. I have heard the suggestion that a woman should do this. It sounds reasonable.
  4. Trying to do everything yourself to save money.
    Very true. Often this involves a shortage of resources – which includes not having good contractors. Get networked and you will find those resources.
  5. Not being willing to work like a dog during the early days.
    This is hype. Sure work hard, but not like a dog. Work constantly and pace yourself. Make your “off” time work relate – such as when expanding into a new area, take a 3-5 day vacation and make 1-2 days related.
  6. Pricing your product or services too low or high.
    Pricing the product too low is generally the case – as a problem. If it is too high, most entrepreneurs lower the cost – but your pricing should be 3x to 5x of production cost, else your wasting everyone’s time.
  7. Not having a growth strategy.
    If your making money, this is not a bad problem. NO GOOD entrepreneur complains about too much business. A GOOD entrepreneur hustles to get money – everyday.