Category Archives: Startups

Learn Angel Investing in Seattle

It wasn’t long ago that I couldn’t even spell “Angel Investing”. I knew I wanted to get involved in startups.  I wanted to put some of my money to work in a way where I could be ‘close to the action’. But I had not idea where to start. And then I was doing angel investing, but I was just doing it stupidly. If you are like I was I highly recommend you make it …Continue reading

Seattle Startup Internship Opportunities

When I was in college I did an internship with a big company (IBM; working on submarine sonar systems) and learned amazing things (including that I didn’t want to work for IBM <g>). I also did a short internship for a professor writing Fast Fourier Transforms in FORTRAN. In addition to running my own little software company that I had started in high school, these internships were hugely valuable to me later in my career. …Continue reading

Use the 520 Bridge Toll to MAKE money

If you are self-employed or travel for business (not commuting) the IRS will allow you to deduct 55.5 cents a mile. The only trick is you need to track the business miles you drive and be able to produce a detailed log for your return. I have a whacky product idea that will make it brain-dead-simple for people to generate a mileage log at tax time. If I see enough interest it may push me …Continue reading

Looking for a Software Developer Intern

I am working on a whacky startup idea (unrelated to any of the startups I’m advising or my yet to be announced ‘real’ startup). It’s highly speculative at this point and while I’m willing to put time into it, I’m not willing to spend much money. Someone suggested I try to get a CS student to help as an internship. So yesterday the following was posted on the University of Washington CS department intern-job board. …Continue reading

Wanna Invest in the Seattle Startup Community?

Do you love the idea of startups? Do you want the Seattle Startup scene to thrive? Do you want to invest in early stage startups but don’t know how to get started? I’m committed to helping make Seattle a world leader for creating new technology businesses. I’ve jumped in by doing my own angel investing, mentoring and advising, and of course working on my own startup. But as I’ve done this, I can see that …Continue reading

My Best Hiring Stunt To Date

I’ll be doing some serious recruiting soon. I will only hire the best, and attracting the best requires them noticing jobs are available. This got me thinking about “best-practices” for driving recruiting. Watching others lead, and as a manager myself, I’ve seen that no one way is “the right way.”  As a manager, it depends on who you are as a person.  I’ve seen successful teams get built around the “serious boss man” and I’ve …Continue reading

Formally Advising The Buddy Platform

I love startups. I love developers. I love Seattle. Given that my own startup will be based in the Seattle area (news on that coming soon!) it is important to me that the Seattle startup scene thrives. I’ve thrown myself out to the community and have been blown away by all the great people and fantastic ideas. I’ve lost count now of how many early stage folks I’ve met with in the last 6 months. …Continue reading

I sincerely tried, but I still hate Linux

Before you read further, go read this post by David Gewirtz: Why I’ve finally had it with my Linux server and I’m moving back to Windows I guess I’m an idiot too. About 6 months ago I made the decision to leave Microsoft after 21 years. I knew I was going to build a startup, and I knew that the developers I’d want to hire were, to say it kindly, not familiar with Windows. It …Continue reading

How Often Do Startups Join Together?

In talking to and mentoring dozens of startups I’ve noticed that many of them are in similar spaces; working on the same general problem, yet not quite competitors. Almost complimentary. This raised a question for me: In the history of the modern startup universe, how common is it for really early stage (say 2-5 people with only friends & family funding) ventures combine with others? I ask because it seems to be a good idea …Continue reading

Filtering My Angel Investments

I love early stage startups. So much so, that I will sometimes invest my own money when the startup is not much more than a few bright people with an idea. This is called angel investing. I have the following currencies I can offer early stage companies: Money Time I decided long ago that I would separate those two currencies. I did this partially because , when I worked at Microsoft, it was impossible to …Continue reading

Crowd Sourced Design Works

I have updated the look and feel of the Kindel Systems, LLC website and this blog using a crowd source design. And I like how it turned out. Now that I am no longer working for a big corporate giant I have a bunch of endeavors I am working on (including my yet-to-be-announced new company). I’m doing consulting, angel investing, serving on boards of directors/advisors, and several other things that either generate income or assets. …Continue reading

Be Either an App or a Platform, Not Both

If you think the thing you are building is both an “app” and a “platform” you will fail. Oh, and if you think it’s going to be a just a platform, you will fail too. (Update: April 6, 2012 – I updated this post with some typo fixes and minor tweaks). A recent story on Hacker News gave me an excuse to write down my thoughts on this subject. I’m reposting here in order to …Continue reading

After 21 Years: Goodbye Microsoft

Today I announced that after 21 years I am leaving Microsoft to build a new company. I’m not yet ready to disclose details about the new venture but I can say I will be staying in the Seattle area to build it. It has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud. I’m insanely excited to get started. Subscribe here or follow me on twitter if you want to hear more …Continue reading

90% of the Decisions You Make Don’t Matter

In my post The 5 Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor, I noted that “90% of the decisions you make don’t matter; real success comes in being able to identify the 10% that do and focus on those.” The best, most effective leaders can free their teams up to get stuff done by making lots of decisions quickly and enabling those decisions to stick. We all regularly hear criticisms of ineffective leadership voiced as “Decisions …Continue reading

The 5 Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor

This post is about how to achieve focus in any endeavor you embark on by simply writing down the Purpose, Principles, Priorities, People, and Plan (the 5Ps). An endeavor could be a software development project, a job search, or a phase in your life. I have personally found the 5Ps a useful tool for small projects (e.g. prepping for a VC demo/presentation) as well as large scale projects that include 1,000s of people. (Update: April …Continue reading