Miscommunication is a big issue. I would dare say that it’s kind of a minefield that is our own creation .. It begins a second after we make the first contact with a person and comes to an end with an impressive explosion... Our biggest mistake is that, for no good reason, we almost always assume complete alignment in both sides’ expectations without trying to pick our partner’s brain in order to figure out what his expectations from us are. There is one thing, however, that we are in complete alignment with our partner on – he also doesn’t miss an opportunity to widen this expectation gap…. And there is no one out there to alert us of the coming clash. There are many sources of miscommunications and they are mostly related to our different personalities. Squared personalities are likely to miscommunicate with liberal ones, and aggressive personalities will find a hard time aligning expectations with passive ones. But this is easy to identify – we all know squared from libe

'Made in....Earth'

One of the very few drawbacks of being ‘Made on Earth’ is that we live in a 24 hour cycle… it's not a coincidence that our internal cycle matches one-to-one with that of Mother Earth... We adapted ourselves, generations after generations to be powered by a 17 hour battery that needs 7 or so hours to recharge (with severe power falls after heavy lunch…). I even know a few people that are powered by a 7 hour battery that needs 17 hours to recharge. And this is not the entire bad news, it's even more problematic when you calculate how many hours out of the 24 hour frame are wasted on running the daily self-maintenance (we have to: sleep, eat, clean up, dress up, the t o i l e t s...), leaving a ridiculously low number of hours a day for the ‘real thing’ whatever it may be. It's true, that we have all learned to enjoy that maintenance part of our lives, and some of us claim vigorously that this IS the real thing (especially the sleep and eat part..), but let's face re

Shy Venture Partners

Take a look at some of the names we VCs give to our funds. We cannot be blamed for treating this issue lightly… lots of different names but still a common theme – we go after the romantic-slash-heroic-slash-aggressive-slash-assertive impact.. We can associate ourselves with shiny, shiny stars (Polaris, Norwest, Gemini and Star Ventures), with real BIG and old trees (Sequoias or Eucalyptus go well here).. with sexy locations (Highland, Carmel, Valhalla, Menlo) or other unique qualities that not surely mean much but definitely sound good – Accel, Benchmark, Genesis..... One VC I kind of know personally went as far as naming itself after a tiny, tasty, red fruit, that is hidden – so the story tells – behind big leaves, a search for sweetness that resembles the VC process in identifying winners.... so hidden is that Pitango fruit that not too many people know its even there… One fund has simply listed the names of its partners.. they call themselves Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byer

Choosing a Board of Friends

I want to talk a little bit about the board of directors of a company. It all begins because you have a dream. You want to be the commander of a spaceship, just like Captain Jean-Luc Picard. You want to design and build the kind of a spaceship that has never been seen before, and you want to take your ship with the help of your loyal crew (this exact team that you actually haven’t started recruiting yet..) to a place “where no man has ever gone before… ( at least not voluntarily..)” . You know what you need to do, because you are a one hell of a person. It’s really not complicated…All you’ve got to do is: 1. Raise money to build ship (and it comes together with a board member, for free..) i. Build team of ship designers and builders ii. Design ship (report to and consult with your director) iii. Build the damn ship.. iv. Consult, report, discuss open issues with your one-man-board v. Solve expected problems.. vi. Solve unexpected problems (consult with Director #1) 2. Ra

Crossroads to Better Places

A crossroad is a decision point… a decision point is an opportunity to make a change… which in turn, is a chance to improve things… and ‘improving things’ is a humanity mission statement… Not true? So, if this is basically true, why are we all so afraid of crossroads? So scared that when we reach one, we only want to be past it, even at the cost of making a wrong decision… Apparently, people feel much safer when their destiny is not in their hands. There is a good feeling in driving between two concrete walls that take you somewhere… not-sure-where… doesn’t- matter-where……. What is a Crossroad ... A crossroad is usually a state of mind – a result of your decision that a change is a smart move and the timing is right. Unlike driving on the highway, a crossroad in real life is custom made; you just need to ask for one and it’s there…. Only thing… if you are not sensitive enough to get yourself to the right state of mind in time, you will either- (the better option) - hit a wall one

The Magnificent Crisis..

We all have our lifestyle – I have mine. I like my lifestyle a lot.. As a matter of fact, also other people like my lifestyle .. :-) – so it must be a good thing.. this lifestyle of mine. I have a T-shirt which best describes my lifestyle. It says– ‘Work hard, party harder’…. I do work hard (just for the record) and while I’m not a party animal, I’m a many-things-addict .. and just-doing-nothing is not one of them.. I was really proud of my lifestyle, when I recently discovered that my precious, restless, life style has a mental definition… it’s called The Middle Age Crisis …... God forbid….. You know, it’s that weakness that follows the realization that this no-big-hit person that is staring at you, is actually looking in the mirror... So after you get over the immediate trauma, the next phase is the determination that something must be done and NOW! 'I must look young and good again' , you think to yourself .. and the fact that you actually never looked too good... is not

Risk mitigation - the rules of crossing deserts

Being involved in a start-up sounds extremely romantic…well, everything that is not realistic is romantic…Our business is to find the crossing point between romantic and economic… For me, founding or investing in a start-up is as romantic as committing to join a very, very long and dangerous mission to explore a legendary land that happens to be exactly on the other side of a hostile, unexplored desert. It gets even more complicated than that because this promised land, if it exists at all, will allow only a few to pass through its gates and, since the demand for miracles and other romantic rewards is always more than the supply… there are other 'brave' teams trying to do just that... cross the same desert for the NO-promise that one of the teams may... maybe... get in. The bad news, most of the teams won’t make it. The good news, there is a big graveyard very close by with plenty of room for everybody…. So, when I’m meeting with young and eager entrepreneurs looking for mon