Featured Stories

Sex, Lies & Pseudo Science: Why Google Must Fight Back

Google James Damore

Google’s firing of James Damore is big news in Silicon Valley. Damore was an engineer at Google when he wrote a 10-page memo claiming that women are not ideal for some engineering and management positions because of biological reasons. He said Google was wrong in trying to increase the number of female engineers and managers.

A Lesson from Uber’s Ugly Side

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Benchmark, one Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, is suing Uber’s founder and former CEO, Travis Kalanick, claiming fraud and other transgressions.

As evidenced by the recent spate of stories, Kalanick was grossly irresponsible and tended towards cutthroat business tactics. My belief is that what goes around comes around. Kalanick acted unethically, and now he’s paying the price.

I always tell startup founders not to cross the line. It’s good to be aggressive. It’s good to push the limits. But don’t do anything illegal or unethical. That’s crossing the line.

DNA Editing & Neo-Sapiens

homo-deus

Is DNA editing going to make homo sapiens obsolete? I think the answer is YES!

Scientists in the United States have just edited the DNA of human embryos to erase a heritable heart condition. This opens the doors to a new era in medicine and a lot of controversy. If we can do this, we can start remaking our species.

This is what I’ve been talking about: healthier, smarter, stronger children. Get ready for a wild ride into a future of neo-sapiens!

Beware of ICOs

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Don’t buy the ICO hype! An ICO is an initial coin offering that blockchain startups are using to fund their growth. The problem is that virtual coins are extremely risky investments. This year, ICOs have raised over $500 million in the US and more in China. Speculators can drive up prices by 1000x in a single month.

Equbot is First to Take IBM Watson to Wall Street

Equbot

Founders Space alumni Equbot is the first use IBM Watson to help pick stocks.

“Each day, the Equbot Model ranks each company based on the probability of the company benefiting from current economic conditions, trends and world events and identifies approximately 30 to 70 companies with the greatest potential for appreciation and their corresponding weights, while maintaining volatility comparable to the broader U.S. equity market.”

CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/16/ai-assault-on-stock-market-ibms-watson-is-getting-into-etf-business.html?view=story&%24DEVICE%24=native-android-tablet

ETF-com: http://www.etf.com/sections/daily-etf-watch/etf-watch-ibms-watson-drive-fund?nopaging=1

Smart: http://www.smart2zero.com/news/ibm-watson-pick-stocks-new-etf

Finding Focus

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With the launch of INNOVATION EXPLOSION coming up, I’ve been under a lot of pressure to record episodes for my new podcast on HimalayaFM. The problem is that I have no time. I’ve been traveling and speaking nonstop. So today, I locked myself in my hotel room, turned off my phone, and began recording.

Nothing is more important than focus. Sometimes, you need to force yourself to withdraw to be creative. For me, I need uninterrupted blocks of time. I need to get into the flow. I can’t do it in short burst.

Believe in Yourself

Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. Everything you say and do is informed by your belief. Your own success and failure are a result of your belief.

If you don’t believe you can do something, you’ll never do it. But if you believe you can do it, you’ll find a way to get it done, or at the very least, you’ll find out what you can do.

Keep Dreaming

Dreams

I had a dream last night about an entrepreneur who kept pitching the same startup at competitions over and over. He was once a successful lawyer, but now he spends all his time working on a startup called Moo Pet that never seems to go anywhere.

Despite being unable to make his startup succeed, he can’t imaging going back to his old life. So he is caught in a sort of purgatory. It’s like Dante’s Divine Comedy, where he’s trapped in Limbo between Heaven and Hell. I’m sure you know someone like this!

Making Your Elephant Fly

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A friend of mine is struggling to chose her path through life. She doesn’t want money; she wants a purpose. She wants to do something meaningful.

I’ve struggled with this same thing throughout my life. What’s the most meaning thing I can do right now? How can I make a real impact on people’s lives? How important is money versus doing something to better in the world. Even today, I’m asking myself the same questions. Is there a better direction I can take?

Our Brains are Hardwired & Ancient

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Our brains aren’t like computers. They don’t have any software. There’s no operating system. It’s 100% hardware. It’s like if you had a computer and everything was hardwired.

Fortunately, the design of our brains is nothing like a computer, otherwise, we’d be stuck. Our brains are an incredibly complex tangle of neurons, which are divided into regions. Each of these regions can communicate with 50% of the other regions.

From Rags to Riches

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More than any other people in the world, Americans believe in going from rags to riches. The American Dream is that anyone can rise up from poverty and make a fortune.

The irony is that the United States is actually one of the harder countries to make your fortune. In Canada and Denmark, people have practically twice the odds of rising up from the bottom 20% to the top 20%. However, if you live in certain cities, like San Francisco or Seattle, your odds are close to Canada, while if you live in places like Nashville or New Orleans, your odds are much, much lower.

The Challenges & Potential For Taiwanese Startups

BNext

As the CEO of Founders Space, one of Silicon Valley’s top startup accelerators, I have been to Taiwan a number of times to give lectures and run startup programs. We also work closely with the Taiwanese government, NCTU and other partners helping Taiwanese startups come to Silicon Valley, make connections, raise capital and go to market. During this process, I’ve seen both the challenges startups face and the potential for success.

Continue Reading…

Why Do People Need to Sleep?

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Why do people need to sleep? Isn’t it a waste of time? If you live to be 75, you’ll spend 25 years sleeping. That’s a good chunk of your life.

“Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” – Virginia Woolf

“The only time I have problems is when I sleep.” – Tupac Shakur

“Life is too short for sleep” – Captain Hoff

Thryve Launches

Thryve

The gut houses nearly 100 trillion microbes that are potentially more influential to your wellness then genetics. Our exclusive state-of-the art testing is not available at your traditional doctors office and finds up to roughly 90% of microbes.

Test

With a simple home test, you’ll uncover how these microbes affect your metabolism, inflammation, food intolerances, and many more.

Thryve is a Founders Space graduate, and we love what they’re doing!

Captain Hoff’s 7 Tech Predictions for 2017

2017_Predictions

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Captain Hoff’s 7 Tech Predictions for 2017

Unicorn Spotting!

Unicorn
I found two Unicorns today in San Francisco, and they were so sweet that I gobbled them up. Nothing like a billion-dollar macaroon!

Hell & Back Again!

Hell

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.

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.

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/

Yik Yak’s Troubles Are Not Its Business Model

yik-yak-employeesHigh-flying Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app, just laid off 60% off it employees. It raised $62 million from Sequoia Capital in 2014. As I always say, it doesn’t matter how much money you raise if you don’t have the right product.