Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Up, Up and Up

It’s earnings season on Wall Street and the news is very good:

Amazon- Q1 profit up 29%
Apple- Q1 profit up 36%
Google- Q1 profit up 30%
Broadcom – Q1 profit up 22%

Most of the results are due to non-US strength, but they are very stong results across the board…

Filed under: Other

Web 2.0 Expo Party List

If you’re in the Bay Area for the Web 2.0 Expo, here’s a list (which has a public Google Calendar as well) of updated, collected, filtered, processed, pre-selected, recommended expo-related events.


Filed under: Events, Conferences and Panels

Should I stay, or should I go?

This is the eternal question every Londoner (or any urbanite) faces:

You’ve missed the bus- do you walk to the next stop to try to catch it, or do you stay put and wait for the next one to come along?

There is a precise mathematical equation that can be used anytime you’re faced with this dilemma:


The long and short of it is, if you walk to the next bus stop- chances are the bus will pass you by, and you’ll end up waiting even longer…so stay put.

You can read the full proof here, Walk versus Wait:
The Lazy Mathematician Wins
, if that’s your thing.

Filed under: Other

Can i haz VC?

A great post over on Under the Radar on VC slang:

VC vocab for those of you who are about to venture into, well, venture…and for those of you who could use the refresher:

Star: A portfolio company that generates 5-10x ROI upon exit

Walking Dead/Zombie: A portfolio company that can only generate an ROI, equal to the amount of money invested into it.

Dog: A portfolio company that has no chance of returning any money to its investors.

Kennel Capital: A portfolio of dogs

Dogcatcher: A VC whose portfolio is kennel capital

ArchAngel: A serial Angel investor who has, to date, invested in a number of starts. (See Jeff Clavier)

Blowfish: An early-stage (often pre-revenue) stratup entrepreneur who claims that his company makes better chips than Intel, better software than Microsoft and who knows more about customers and their needs than Dell.

Conservative Estimate: Overly optimistic financial forecasts that inexperienced first-time entrepreneurs generate using Excel.

And our personal favorite…..

Putting Lipstick on a Pig: When an entrepreneur tries to create a positive spin on a negative event (ex. Our management team leaving us at this time affords us an opportunity to retool our entire business focus and go-to-market plans). It can also be used to describe a bad product that is re-launched with new dressed-up front-end or the process in which a VC will over spin a portfolio company’s stort to facilitate a high exit.

And just in case you missed Max’s excellent post on VC wear (that still has me laughing), you can browse some more originals like the one to the left over at Venture Capital Wear.

Now you can talk like a VC and dress like a VC. (YMMV.)

Filed under: Venture Capital

Nsyght – Social Search Beta released

The guys over at nsyght have been burning the midnight oil… they released a beta version of the social search engine today, and techcrunch has a full blown review.

As Mike points out on the UK site:

This tiny boostrapped startup from West London wants to take your bookmarks and social network and use that to create more relevant search results. The idea is that, over time,a user will have a totally custom-built search index specific to them and their tastes…

…Try a search on “iPhone development” across Wikia, Nsyght and Google. Nsyght comes off pretty well – and they don’t have anywhere close to Wikia’s funding.

In my experience, I would agree- a search like iphone development will give you good results (pretty much any early adopter/geek search will yield better results than Google, et al.) If you haven’t taken time to test “social driven search”, now’s the time to do so…

Filed under: Search

Jajah on spamming spree… [updated]

[Update, April 9] Just had a call from the guys at Jajah. They were very apologetic and stressed that they had not begun spamming their user base. Some background investigation is currently underway to determine how/where this message got sent…(watch it be my fault)

Even if it did come from Jajah, a call to rectify definitely things puts it right in my book….Jajah is again my favorite voip service. :-)

What is it with tech companies these days? First Bebo go and spam everyone and now Jajah (my now ex-favorite voip service) goes spamming my contacts WITHOUT my consent:


Do you want to talk to jason@emailaddressremoved for FREE?

Initiate a regular phone-to-phone call with JAJAH at www.jajah.com.
Between registered JAJAH users telephone calls are free of charge. I am
already registered, so effectively we can talk for FREE. Even before
you register you get 5 free minutes. No download, no installation, no
headset. Try it out now!

jason@emailaddressremoved also left this message for you:

Initiate a regular phone-to-phone call with JAJAH at www.jajah.com.
Between registered JAJAH users telephone calls are free of charge. I am
already registered, so effectively we can talk for FREE. Even before
you register you get 5 free minutes. No download, no installation, no
headset. Try it out now!

Curious? Check out www.jajah.com, get 5 free minutes and register to talk JAJAH too!

Note: Your Email address was only used for this message.

Talk JAJAH! http://www.jajah.com/

WHAT?! I was floored when I got a response to this email. Very naughty Jajah…


Filed under: Mobile

Quote of the Day- Gordon Brown

Responding to criticism that the UK property market is crashing, Gordon Brown stated:

"We’ve seen house prices rise by about 180% over the last 10 years and
they have risen by about 18% over the last three years, so a 2.5% fall
is something that is containable," Brown said.

A quick check shows that Bear Sterns was up 150% over the last 10 years as at Dec 2007 ($90/share)…

Then, the bottom fell out and the stock is trading down (87%) YTD ($10/share). What destroyed their share value? The credit crunch.

Guess what’s about to crack the UK housing market?

Filed under: Other

Ireland Venture Capital/Startup Events

Continuing with the Startup Events theme, I thought I’d start posting what I’m seeing around Europe. Conor over at Argolon gave me the low-down on what’s happening on the green isle:

Dublin has traditionally been the mobile dev centre here (Movidia, Newbay, Xiam, Puca, S3, Rococo etc etc) and I think that is still the case. Scattered around the country you have start-ups like Cubic Telecom and YouGetItBack in Cork, VoiceSage in Limerick, Nubiq in Waterford. We’re only just dipping our toes into mobile/wireless etc in LouderVoice with SMS reviews/customer feedback. Medium term aim is full LBS functionality along the lines of Socialight or Whrrl.

We had the big success with DemoBar last autumn and there was supposed to be a follow-up in January but it hasn’t happened yet. TechLudd is a new monthly meetup but it is mainly concerned with the web (and techies). The OpenCoffees in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Belfast and Dublin are still pretty small (we average 15 or so in Cork) but particularly strong mobile presence in Limerick. They are also kicking off a BarCamp there pretty soon. Web2Ireland is still probably the best place to keep an eye on for events. The TechLudd guys have also recently started http://irelandstartupevents.com/ which looks good. Finally, Mobile Monday Dublin seems to be a bit quiet at the minute (http://www.momodublin.com/)

I found out via irelandstartupevents.com about the upcoming Adobe Air developer day here in London (too late, now full)…

What other resources/upcoming events should the budding europreneur know about? Post any thoughts in the comments…

(+ I’m planning a trip to Denmark in the near future- anything I should be sure to catch?)

Filed under: Events, Conferences and Panels

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