Lessons learned from starting companies.

Entrepreneurship is creating products to solve important problems; and then identifying and recruiting people that can turn those products into sustainable businesses.

I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember.

What does it feel like? Like being on a ledge, somewhere deep in the pit of my stomach; a place where I need to feel my foot slightly over the lip in order to feel alive, but where it’s also hard to feel satisfied enough to step fully down.

The world is orienting towards increasing optimization. We are training the algorithms of the global, connected AI…

Nine aphorisms that help illuminate the early stage journey

  1. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. This is the perfect medicine for the typical imposter syndrome complex. It is easy to think that because you don’t know how things are going to work out, that you are an imposter to the throne. You have no right taking your investors’ money, your team’s careers, your customer’s attention. But does anybody really have it all figured out? Aren’t we all making this up as we go? We will our ideas to power, out of sheer curiosity and novelty, and then — voila — ours becomes the…

Part I: Describing the Problem

Privacy in the Age of Social Media

Facebook prompts its 2 billion users every day with a simple question, ”What’s on your mind?” This gentle nudge is the beginning of a rich funnel of engagement cues that remove the friction of privacy concerns from users and helps drive the company’s $70 billion dollars of annual advertising revenues. Similarly, the flashing cursor inside of Google’s search box conditions billions of users to share their most intimate intentions, generating more than $100 billion dollars a year in sales.

The immediate benefits of convenience often distract users from longer term privacy interests, and so Internet companies keep making it easier…

Nana Kass

What would Nana Kass have said had I told her that an American Nazi youth drove his car into a crowd of people protesting a White Supremacist rally in Virginia?

She would have shaken her head back and forth and muttered “eeesh” under her breath, almost in disbelief that her struggle to survive Auschwitz was in vain.

Time was when I thought all I had to do to earn her pride (give her nachas) was to graduate from a good college. Now I am not so sure.

A few years ago I decided to honor her memory by getting her…

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock”

I met Anthony Scaramucci in 1999 when he was an angel investor in one of our portfolio companies at Flatiron Partners. I remember talking with him a few years later when i was considering starting a bridge fund for startups that were hitting the wall in 2002. He was awesome and energizing. …

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost the ability to prevent our ISPs from selling our Internet browsing history to others without our consent. I think this will do a lot to get consumers to pay attention to the value of their attention. Nobody likes to have their property sold to others without their consent.

Ten years ago, I helped start a consumer data advocacy group called AttentionTrust.org. We build a Firefox extension called the “Attention Recorder,” which enabled people to take more control of their clickstream trails by visualizing them and sharing them with others. …

Everybody is afraid of jail. Thats the point: to keep us from doing bad things to each other.

The first wave of cronies like Flynn and Manafort are going to try to cut side deals with FBI et al. to minimize their own sentences, because they can’t assume that Bannon and Sessions will protect them from jail; not as the rumors of what happened last year settle into truths.

Next, Bannon and Sessions will need to testify under oath to preserve immunity for themselves: gracious retirement, heroes of their own racist fan clubs.

Ultimately, Trump himself will need to leave…

Our best hope at regaining confidence in our identity as pioneering, gracious and powerful Americans rests on proving (accepting?) that the Russian government conspired with Donald Trump & Friends to impact the 2016 presidential election.

This process will require us to acknowledge that we lost a new World War to the Russians. Unlike the rubble of Dresden after World War II, our loss is not so obvious to the naked eye. The bombs dropped on us were largely silent — spyware, secret debts and disinformation. …

Searching for American values between the hash marks.

1. Patriots.

The Role of the Entrepreneur in the age of Trump.

When I think about my entrepreneurship over the past twenty-five years, it has been driven by the desire to create things that are bigger than me and last longer than my own personal interest, using new technologies that were previously unavailable. I don’t start companies in order to bolster my own image. If that happens, it’s only a byproduct of creating something that was useful to another group of people.

Nevertheless, we are now being managed by somebody whose only experience is creating things that bolster his image: Skyscrapers. Universities. Beauty Pageants. Television Shows. …

Seth Goldstein

Mission-Driven Entrepreneur, Artist, Angel, Mentor, Mensch: Spartacus / Turntable / Majestic Research / SiteSpecific. More on me at www.sethgoldstein.com

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