Op-Ed

Though there are many San Francisco transplants out there, I figured that there are people in L.A. tech who are like me, with the same curiosity to check out what’s going on up north.

We’ve all heard some variation of the quip that overnight success actually involves years of striving, with presumably several failed efforts and false starts along the way. But when entrepreneurs experience failure, whether it’s their first encounter with it or an especially spectacular failure, it can be a major blow financially as well as emotionally. Here are my thoughts on how to recover from a significant business setback.

The best way for mobile to climb toward greater heights is to stand on the shoulders of new, advanced infrastructure – but getting that infrastructure also requires the support of our community.

The technical failure of Google Hangouts has done a disservice to the entire privacy conversation by limiting the use, re-use and remixing of Snowden’s comments. Mainstream news outlets have little to work with in reporting on his SXSW dialog and now are limited to paraphrasing his comments through anchor commentary.

“The road to failure is often paved with good intentions,” famed writer Samuel Johnson might have said.

I am an incredibly lucky founder. My startup, Pristine, is piggy backing off of the success of Google, and even Apple, in many profound ways. Pre-iPhone, people could only conceive computers as Windows-like desktops. A computer was not a microprocessor running an operating system, but rather a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and Windows. Why?

There’s a famous scene in Pirates of Silicon Valley (a movie that chronicled the origins of Microsoft and Apple) in which Bill Gates is meeting with IBM executives. The IBM executives agree to license software from Microsoft because “there’s no money in software anyways.”
The IBM executives weren’t stupid. They failed to recognize an inflection point in technological history in which profits would shift from hardware to software.

Hypothesis: users of every major computing platform have come to consider each platform indispensable for their daily activities in both consumer and enterprise contexts. Let’s examine each of the major computing platforms to understand this assertion:

Commerce and trade are fundamentally based on exchanging asymmetries in one another’s ability to produce value at a given cost. As such, commerce intrinsically creates mutual value. That’s why it works. Moreover, the option to trade with more parties creates more value by fostering larger volumes of and more competitive trading.

What if there’re opportunities? What would they look like? What can we learn from the rise of smartphone apps to assess the opportunities for consumer Glass businesses?