One man's opinion on Venture Capital Basics

Water solution a slingshot

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/09/11/kamen.water.slingshot/index.html

Dean Kamen has been working on this problem for a while.  I want his solution to work. I want to be able to say that a single dishwasher size unit can be made cheaply to purify water.  If he adds in chlorination so that it stays clean, even better.

But right now, getting the cost down is the challenge. 

vapor compression distiller

evaporate the water (boil) and then distill it.

Busy week post analysis

From attending the CCPIT event on Wednesday and the mava event later that evening. Along with the event at american university on thursday with the cmu event following, it was a packed week. Add to that one more meeting with montgomery county green task force and the short week didn't seem so short.

But in each of these events I can point out a contact that was used or reinforced at each event.

Busy but good week.

Triple-A Ratings Not at Risk - The Wall Street Journal.

The problem is that Moodys has already gotten other ratings wrong.  Why not get these wrong as well?

Triple-A Ratings Not at Risk

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125248220746294987.html


Back-to-School Sales Augur Retail Woes - The Wall Street Journal.

So there might not be pent-up demand out there. It could just be people are going to spend a lot less this season. 

A couple of elemets struck me. One is no more rush to spend. Another was that with more of the same items in every store, we might see a slowdown in price matching policies.  

Retailers used price matching as a way to get customers in, but the trick was that each retailer would have a slightly different version listed on sale. So there was no way to match it's identically. 

Methane release being measured

Arctic Methane is being released

The good news, we are finally paying attention to this situation.

The bad news, it's not stopping, and it's getting worse the warmer things get.

So even if we do stop all emissions growth right now, we are probably in a spiral.

Small changes are not enough.

How career dreams die

 
How career dreams die.  What it takes to dissuade people who have no chance at a career from wasting time/money/effort/resources on pursuing that career.
 
It takes a lot, and it takes knowing what failure looks like during that time.
 
Entrepreneurship is a career, not a fall-back system.
 
Few folks have the temperment, patience, dedication and energy required to really succeed.
 

Not the right way for farm on every floor

From The New York Times:

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: A Farm on Every Floor

With climate change and population growth threatening the viability of traditional farming, the time is right for the world to build the first vertical farm in an urban center.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/opinion/24Despommier.html

The quick answer is learn more.

The author discloses he is trying to startup a company that does vertical farming buildings. And that he feels venture capitalists should give him money to try.

NYTimes: In Brazil, Paying Farmers to Let the Trees Stand

From The New York Times:

BY DEGREES: In Brazil, Paying Farmers to Let the Trees Stand

In an effort to prevent farmers from cutting down rain forest,
environmental groups are offering money.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/science/earth/22degrees.html

Cash in early

WSJ.com.
Silicon Valley Workers Seek to Cash In Early

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125081385350848101.html

This changes things for both the investor and the company.

But hidden in the article was some more chilling news.

In 2002 the average time to exit was 3.3 years. Now it is 8.3 years. So on average in 2002 the company was started in 1999. Today the company has been started in 2001.

Angel Investors Become a Little Less So

From The New York Times:

ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE: Angel Investors Become a Little Less So

The recession has caused some angel groups to take a look at the cost of coaching entrepreneurs and listening to their pitches.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/business/smallbusiness/20edge.html

Working with the MITEF, where companies are not charged $2000 to present, I do understand the challenges for the entrepreneurs angels and the folks who are trying to facilitate introductions.
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