How VCs really spend their time

Marc Andreessen nails it again:

How VCs spend an awful lot of their time, and why you should feel sorry for them:

My friends who are VCs seem to spend a surprising amount of their time working with their failing companies.

The reason goes right back to the definition of a VC’s ideal investment: their winners are succeeding — they don’t need very much help.

Some of the best VCs in the industry spend most of their time on their successes, helping to boost them to higher and higher levels of success.

But generally, life in the VC trenches seems to consist of trying to jumpstart or otherwise fix fatally flawed startups.

Can you imagine how un-fun that would be?

This has to be the one of the Top Five dirty little secrets of venture capital.

He does re-iterate a point I made on Shantanu’s blog a few weeks back: the best venture parter to work with is one who’s been in the industry for 20 years.

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Migrate from .Mac to Gmail in three steps


It’s almost that time of year again- the annual “Do I keep .mac, or do I leave it” decision. I’ve had a mac email address since the iTools days when it was all free. After years of paying my mac tax, I’ve decided to leave .mac and migrate to my own domain (hosted within my gmail account).


Google lets you manage your own domain effortlessly. I’ve set up a Google Apps account for which lets me manage about 100 emails on the domain.

The key here is I’m reading and managing everything from within one unified inbox at my gmail account (could have been from within the account, but I already use most Google products through my existing gmail account).

Google have made it dead easy to migrate from any service. For .mac there are three steps:

Step One– Move *all* your messages into your Inbox. This includes your sent messages. Although Google won’t register sent messages in your gmail inbox, nor in your gmail “sent” folder, it does add them to your archive- with the right date AND threading. This makes it easy to import all your inbox and sent messages- making them easily searchable.

Step Two– Go to the Settings>Accounts>Get mail from other accounts. Add .mac (even though it refers to POP accounts). You’ll need to input your username, password and these pop server details:, port 995, select “use secure connection”, select “archive incoming messages” and you’re off to the races.

I chose to leave the messages on .mac just in case I change my mind over the next five months. Google only loads 200 messages at a time, so it will take a while for all your emails to automagically appear in gmail (but they will and the time stamps will all be correct also.)

Step Three– There is no step three! (well, maybe some cleaning up, select as read/filing/tagging you might want to do, but not required. You might also want to uncheck that “auto renew” button for your .mac account).

Final Thoughts

Why leave .mac? Well, aside from calling it .crap for years…

I don’t use the blogging tools (I use TypePad).
I don’t use the photo albums (I use Flickr Pro).
I don’t use iDisk other than for backup- and a total of 2GB doesn’t get you very far (I now use Mozy, which offers 2GB for free, but pay the $50 per year to back up my entire HD).
I don’t use the iSync bookmarks feature I use Google Browser Sync and Delicious.

.Mac costs me about $150 per year (I have my wife, mom and dad on the service so it costs more than the standard $99). My current set up costs me about $75 net per year (Typepad gets offset with Adsense)- and I get much, much more for my money.

Other small details: .mac’s spam filter is pitiful. I had to buy Spamsieve a while back (excellent software) which meant that I had to read emails in my Google has caught every spam message that .mac missed. Also, the tight integration with calendar is great as well (i.e. there’s an event mentioned in an email and a “add to calendar” appears to the right of the message.

Any questions or problems doing the same, drop me a line: blog at jasonball dot com.

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