Lynda.com co-founder Lynda Weinman will join me for a fireside chat at LAUNCH Education & Kids on June 27 at 9am! The company uses online video to teach technology, design & business skills and has 2.5M members, nearly 100k videos across almost 2k courses.
We’ve sold out of tickets for this event, but we have a few exhibitor tables left. Use this code (20OFF523) for 25% off!
Yahoo is going to buy Tumblr for $1B on Monday according to reports.
I will explain to you why the media is freaking out, why big companies need to make more bets like this, why Yahoo is the perfect home and why Zuckerberg should offer $2B.
Media… Freak Out!
Over 20 years in the industry I’ve learned that when something gets bought for $1B or more, people tend to freak out.
People can comprehend millions of dollars, because we all know folks who have a million or more dollars (or homes worth that). When you start talking about 100s or 1,000s of millions, people get emotional and some start lashing out.
Journalists are one of the first groups to lash out. Why? Because they have no chance of making big money in their jobs, and they have to fight for $5k raises while their pensions are replaced with 401ks. Also, they tend to have covered startups like Tumblr from year one and they can’t reconcile how something that didn’t exist five years ago is now worth $1B — and that they don’t have to balls to create something.
F@#4k it, Yahoo Should Buy 10 Tumblrs
Here’s the truth: a billion dollars is nothing to a company like Yahoo or Google or Facebook or Apple or Microsoft.
If there were 10 startups like Tumblr, with 100M+ users and $50M-$100M in revenue potential a year, it would actually make sense for Google, Yahoo or Facebook to buy all 10.
Roll the dice.
Because those companies have tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in market cap and cash, and if one in 10 of those startups turn into YouTube, it’s worth it.
Read the complete editorial on LinkedIn here.
Sign up for jason’s email list at http://jasonnation.com/
Quick updates on the LAUNCH Festival can be found here: http://festival.launch.co/
The bigger points:
1. 5,000 folks coming, 2,000 seats in the main room = largest conference in tech!!!
2. Scholarships available for founders, builder, developers and designers.
3. Live crowdfunding for the first time in history!
4. First round of judges… so blessed to get this level of support.
5. Our first Hackathon has $50k in prizes — the most ever!
Thanks to my amazing group of partners including The Social+Capital Partnership, Bing, MailChimp, WSGR, Sequoia Capital, Google, CRV, Zelkova, Yammer, Media Camp, DFJ, DYN, Treehouse, Silicon Valley Bank, Media Temple, NewAer, Tokbox, FilePicker, Plantronics, Docstoc.
I’m going to play day 1C (Monday) of the World Series of Poker Main Event. If you’re interested in buying “equity” in me I’m selling straight equity (1% = $100), with 10% of any winnings coming off the top for charity.
So if you bought 1% for $100, and I won $1M you would get $10k – 10% for charity…. so $9k.
If you’re interested email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be doing updates from http://www.twitter.com/jason
Two months ago I wrote a piece calle The Age of Excellence over at LAUNCH.co (the website/blog associated with the LAUNCH Festival/TechCrunch50 conference I’ve been running for the past five years or so).
If you haven’t read it you can do so here:
I’m working on two follow up pieces:
- Enforcing Excellence (or ‘Techniques for Reaching Excellence’)
- The Age of Efficacy
If you have any thoughts on this go ahead and email me jason AT calacanis.com
• 14 minutes in: Steve explains how he knew he wanted to invest in Space Monkey. Watch: http://goo.gl/rqtER
• 24 minutes in: What was it about Alltuition that Steve fell in love with? Watch: http://goo.gl/Q9hWS
• 30 minutes in: Great features vs. great design–which trumps the other? Watch: http://goo.gl/3LrZn To spread the word about this engaging episode, just tweet this: "On #TWiST, Steve Chen joined the show to discuss his angel investments & shared a sneak-peak of his new venture, ScreenDate. goo.gl/Ksyis" Coming up on Friday, May 25, an historic TWiST first will be taking place: the battle of the meetups! See three companies from Sweden go head-to-head with three from South Africa in a battle for international startup supremacy! Be sure to tune in at a special early time of 12pm PT time, right here: http://thisweekin.com/live Thanks for your viewership and support!
Carolyn, TWiST Producer
@cbedgood Friends don't let friends miss TWiST. Forward them this email and tell them to subscribe at http://thisweekin.com/email =-=-=-=-=-=-=- Steve Chen of ScreenDate – TWiST #259 1:00-2:45 Today we have another serial entrepreneur turned angel investor, Steve Chen.
2:45-3:15 Welcome Steve. How did we first meet?
3:15-7:00 Thank you to Squarespace for supporting the show! Everyone thank @Squarespace!
7:00-9:00 What happened with GoPlanIt?
9:00-10:00 How did the business do after launch?
10:00-12:00 Has starting a company become easier in recent years?
12:00-14:00 How many companies have you invested in to date?
14:00-19:45 Steve details why he knew that Space Monkey would be a fit as an investment.
19:45-21:00 Tyler: What was the hardest part about investing in Space Monkey? What hesitations did you have?
21:00-21:45 I don’t think Drew cares and I’ll tell you why: I’m not going to leave Dropbox.
21:45-24:00 Huge thanks to our friends at Trada for their support! Everyone thank @Trada!
24:00-26:00 Let’s talk about Alltuition: what did you love about them?
26:00-28:00 How much do you think the startup world today is driven by UX?
28:00-30:30 Looking at the design site Behance.
30:30-32:30 If you look at a company with great design but with few features, do you bet on it?
32:30-39:00 How did you become a restauranteur?
39:00-41:30 What’s the impact of early adopters in the restaurant business?
41:30-44:00 Steve discusses what he likes about Tyler’s company, Skweal.
44:00-47:00 Why do restaurant owners feel hostility toward Yelp?
47:00-50:00 Does a business have to pay a fee to be a part of OpenTable?
50:00-54:00 Can you buy traffic to OpenTable?
54:00-56:00 How would a digital menu work?
56:00-58:30 Is the perception that, if you have a loyalty program, you’re a failing restaurant?
58:30-01:00:30 Insight from Tyler: It’s like a used wedding ring.
01:00:30-01:04:30 What is the most unreasonable customer situation that you’ve ever had to endure?
01:04:30-01:09:00 Jason shares his best restaurant trick for clearing out a table from his dad.
01:09:00-01:12:00 Steve tells Jason about his new project, ScreenDate.
01:12:00-01:14:00 Is there a mobile component?
01:14:00-01:16:45 So does the algorithm work like page rank?
01:16:45-01:20:30 So this forces people to be realistic?
01:20:30-01:26:00 Insight from Tyler: It’s like British postage stamps?
01:26:00-01:27:45 Tyler shares an anecdote about a run in with a tall women.
01:27:45-01:30:00 Everyone check out ScreenDate.com. And be sure to eat at 5A5 Steak Lounge when you’re in San Francisco. Thanks Steve. We’ll see you all next time.
01:30:45-01:31:00 Insight from Tyler: It’s like patenting a nuclear weapon. ==============================================
TWiST video on iTunes: http://goo.gl/oDycP
Web Design audio on iTunes: http://goo.gl/Nz6NW
Web Design video on iTunes: http://goo.gl/xJcXw Thanks for watching!
Carolyn, TWiST Producer
Education Startup Seeks Managing/Executive Editor
Hey, I'm the founder and CEO of a startup named Mahalo. My name is Jason Calacanis.
I've built some solid brand in the past, like Engadget, Silicon Alley Reporter, TechCrunch50, LAUNCH, Cinematical, Open Angel Forum and TVSquad. You might have heard of one or two of them. Or not. They're kind of niche products.
Anyway, we're a venture-backed startup with really cool offices in Culver City. Our mission is to help people "learn anything," and we do that by providing courses primarily in the form of apps on iPad, iPhone and Android devices.
Additionally we publish our content on YouTube, the web and Apple's iBook platform.
Here's our “Learn Guitar” iBook, which has been getting amazing reviews:
It's also available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Android:
And you can see this course on the web:
Finally, here's a video on YouTube where our guitar instructor, Jen Trani, teaches you how to play an A minor chord:
Yes, the same course available in five different place. Someday we'll probably have these courses on Samsung, Apple and Sony TVs. Right about now you're probably saying, "Wow, this is a really neat idea: Mahalo makes awesome courses available everywhere, and they only charge a couple of bucks for the app while providing it free with advertising. Genius!"
Yes, it's a good idea, and it's working. But we're just getting started.
In the past six months alone we've had 950,000+ downloads of our apps and 200M views on YouTube. In fact, we've probably broken 1M app downloads while you were reading this.
The big opportunities right now are mobile, social, education and video. We're three of those four, and we're going to try to figure out the "social" part of education next year.
Our courses have grown from "7s and 8s" on my internal scoring system to "9s and 10s." This awesome leap has occurred thanks to a really hard-working team that regularly puts in 50- and 60-hour weeks.
We have an awesome team right now. Just smart, creative and fun people who really bring it every day. We have no bozos at the company. Zero.
We've become absurdly obsessed with quality, and in the last month, Apple has featured our products three times—without us asking. They just did it. We think that means we're ready to scale our business and make many, many more courses.
Right now I'm the CEO of the company, and I'm running all of the product department (both features of apps and the content within them). I could really use the help of a managing/executive editor type (to use a magazine term). This will allow me to focus more on CEO-type activities.
So, I'm looking for a hard-working, passionate individual who can manage and improve the following functions:
a) managing a team of 15 internal writers, producers, video editors and group leaders, as well as 25 freelancers.
b) managing the production process from start to finish. This means idea generation, casting, pre-production, shooting, post-production and product release.
c) researching what courses we should produce next.
d) maintaining our "8 or better" rule, and over the coming months, helping to develop a "9 or better" benchmark.
e) hiring awesome video editors, writers and producers—most of which will have under five years of experience and need to be developed.
From my perspective, getting featured in the App Store and having almost a million downloads in four months means we're doing something right. We're ready for your talents!
I recently wrote an article on the subject of excellence, and I think it would be a good idea to read it if you're thinking of working with me: http://www.launch.co/blog/the-age-of-excellence.html
Since what we're doing is a new product (interactive video books) for a new medium (tablets and smartphones), there is little chance you'll have five years experience making "interactive vooks." Well, maybe if you worked for Voyager back in the 1990s, but I think there are about 12 people who worked there and most are retired. Who knows, maybe you worked on the Blender or LAUNCH interactive CD-ROMs.
The proverbial "ideal candidate" for this job is someone who has managed a team of 15 creatives producing dozens of products a year. Those products might have been magazines, books or DVDs.
You should have a superhuman ability to tell the difference between a good and great product.
You should be able to communicate exactly what would make a product that's an eight, nine or 10—and lead a team to execute your advice.
You should know what makes one photo brilliant and another. Why one illustration is instructive and another is banal. Why one blurb is clever and another is trying too hard. Why one video is brilliantly entertaining and another is cheesy.
Bottom line: you should want to do great work with a great team—no matter the cost.
If you want to change the world, innovate, make a dent in the universe, get rich and build a huge company, email me. Worst case scenario we die trying!
Send a cover letter, resume and what you think of the Apps listed above. Thoughts on where education, mobile and content are going are awesome as well.