Hell & Back Again!


Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” This attitude is what saved me in my personal life and with my startups. Don’t stop. Don’t dwell on the negatives. Figure out a way to get through the mess. That’s the only way out.

The Nix by Nathan Hill

nixJust read THE NIX by Nathan Hill. It’s brilliant, hilarious and mind-bending… that is, for the first half of the book. After that, it slowly loses its brilliance.

Is it worth reading? Definitely, if only for the first half. It’s Hill’s debut novel, and it’s an amazing achievement for a first-time author.

I expect big things from him in the future. But it’s simply too long. He could have cut it down by 30% and had a perfect novel.

Captain Hoff’s 7 Tech Predictions for 2017

2017 Predictions1) AR & VR will disappoint as adoption fails to meet expectations. Let’s face it, the experience on low-end devices is dismal, and most people don’t want to pay for high-end devices.

2) There’s lots of hype around the Blockchain, but it’s nothing but a piece of technology. Blockchain startups aren’t worth anything unless they’ve figured out a real business model.

3) General AI will fail. It’s too complicated. Narrow AI that solves customers’ most pressing problems is where the smart money is.

2017 Social Media Strategies Summit


Learn from leading marketers here to share how they achieve success on social.

Discount Code is FOUNDERS15 (for 15% discount)

Register Here!

Sun Basket Rings the Nasdaq Bell!

Adam Zbar

I’m so proud of Adam Zbar and the Sun Basket team. They were just invited to ring the bell on the Nasdaq exchange, a great honor. Their startup provides healthy meals, including gluten free, paleo and vegetarian.

Adam and I were partners and cofounders of our previous startup, and it’s great to see him on his way to an IPO, while he makes the world a healthier place!

You can visit Sun Basket at https://sunbasket.com/

DeveloperWeek 2017 Conference & Festival


We’re offering our community 100 free OPEN Passes ($350 value) to DeveloperWeek 2017 Conference & Festival (Feb. 11-16, San Francisco), the world’s largest vendor-neutral developer conference & festival with 8,000 participants.

Register for an OPEN Pass here by Friday, January 27 using the promotional code: DW17-MU33

The 5th annual DeveloperWeek features speakers from Facebook, Google, IBM Watson, Docker, HP, Intel, Eventbrite, and 100+ more. New topics in 2017 cover VR & AR Dev, Artificial Intelligence Dev, Microservices, Mobile Dev, and dozens more.

South of No North by Charles Bukowski


I’m on a Charles Bukowski binge. Just finished reading SOUTH OF NO NORTH.

Juicy Bukowski Quotes:

“To be young is the only religion.”

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t.”

“The courage it took to get out of bed each morning to face the same things over and over was enormous.”

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

Hollywood by Charles Bukowski


Just read HOLLYWOOD by Charles Bukowski. It’s been years since I indulged in Bukowski’s barroom banter, and it was just as messy, screwed up and thoroughly delightful as ever.

His drunken, misogynistic musings are crude, crafty and hilarious. If you’ve never tried Bukowski, grab a bottle and chug it down. He’s the real deal.

Bukowski Quotes:

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.”


FashionDon’t miss the FashionTech event on Jan 16th 2017 in Hong Kong. It’s part of the StartMeUp Hong Kong Festival, an event sponsored by the HKSAR Government.

Date: 16 Jan 2017
Time: 5:30 pm – late
Venue: PMQ, Hong Kong

FashionTech is glad to promote existing and new FT products from all over the world during the FashionTech show (with top models/a massive catwalk + rich media + products showcase). More details are here: http://www.fashiontech.asia // http://www.startmeup.hk or simply check out their Facebook Page!

Founders Space Pitch Day

Join us for Founders Space Pitch Day & Mixer in San Francisco.

Judging the startups will be top VCs, Angels & Corporate Investors.

There will be incredible startup pitches, investors, networking, food and drinks!



  • 2:45 pm – Doors Open
  • 3:00 pm – Food & Drinks
  • 3:15 pm – Networking with Startups, Angels & VCs
  • 3:30 pm – Introduction to Judges (Investors)
  • 3:45 pm – Startup Pitches Begin

The $100 Startup


Just read THE $100 STARTUP by Chris Guillebeau. It’s a great book if you plan on starting a small business. It’s full of useful tips and encouraging words for entrepreneurs who want to quit their day job and work for themselves.

However, if you plan on starting a venture funded tech startup, this isn’t your book. It’s not written for entrepreneurs who want to build a big business that investors would be interested in funding.

The Ultralight Startup


Just finished reading THE ULTRALIGHT STARTUP by Jason Baptiste. It goes into detail about how to launch a startup without much money or clout.

If you haven’t read many books on launching startups, this is a good book to get you going. However, if you’ve read a lot or have experience, you probably can skip this book. You’ll know most of what it says already.

The American


Just read THE AMERICAN by Henry James. What makes this novel so fascinating is that a wealthy man, who has nearly everything, is denied his true love precisely because of his good and honorable nature.

If he had been the least bit deceitful or immoral he could have obtained his prize. Unfortunately, his own goodness condemns him to a life without love.



STARTUP LESSON: I find myself creating a lot of videos for partners overseas. This is one where I’m talking to investors in Shanghai. I’ve done videos for conferences, signing ceremonies, startup pitches, and even weddings.

Making a video can take a lot of time, so I’ve optimized the process. I do every video in a single take, so there’s no editing. I also try to use a background that looks professional. Lighting is key. If you’re stuck in a hotel room, stand in front of the window, angel the camera upwards so the bed doesn’t show, and move your face close to the camera.

Industries of the Future


INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE by Alec Ross is a smart, well-written book about how startups and technology are changing business and where things are headed. The biggest takeaway is that open societies where women can fully participate will flourish, while overly restrictive governments that curb free markets will suffer.

STARTUP LESSON: Eat Less, Do More!


STARTUP LESSON: I love eating, and I eat way too much. It’s a freaking miracle I don’t weigh 300 pounds. But I’ve learned that the less I eat, the more energy I have. When I cut my food consumption in half, I have double the energy.

I just need to start doing this on a regular basis.

Guinea Pigs (Venture Heads) Video

Venture Heads is our series about Silicon Valley VCs and Kool-Aid drinking startups. In this episode, a paranoid startup founder tries to pitch his idea without revealing what it is.

Ningbo Exhibition

imagesThe government of NINGBO will host an exhibition on April 14-17. They will bring some startups from the Bay Area to NINGBO, CHINA, for the 3 days exhibition.

The government will pay for the airplane tickets and hotels. They will also provide a nice booth for the startups.

Register for this Event

For more information, please contact Jasper at jasper [at] redcubestudio.com

Holy Moly (Venture Heads) VIDEO

Venture Heads is our series about Silicon Valley VCs and Kool-Aid drinking startups. In this episode, a paranoid startup founder tries to pitch his idea without revealing what it is.

The Blockchain Fintech Summit of Silicon Valley

This one-day conference seeks to bring together government, industry leaders, financial institutions, investors and academia to discuss innovative strategies and solutions to the applications of Blockchain.

Register Here

Given it is in its early stage, Blockchain still has many challenges to overcome in terms of cross-border collaboration, including technical difficulties, information asymmetry across geographies and ambiguities regarding business applications. Through actively engaging thought leaders in the field, we hope to help attendees develop a better understanding of Blockchain and its role in bringing further innovation to the economy.