DROdio http://danielodio.com A Sanctuary for Founders and Entrepreneurs en-us Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:35:46 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Follow Me I will Follow back http://danielodio.com/community/587804 Follow me @dianotaylor

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Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:30:08 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/587804
The Contour+2: A deeply flawed yet awesome camera http://danielodio.com/community/the-contour-2-a-deeply-flawed-yet-awesome-camera The new Contour+2 camera is like a fine Italian sports car... built in the 1980's, before they got their quality control process figured out. Awesome and stunning, yet deeply flawed and aggravating. Here's my initial review from the brief time I've had the camera. I'm not yet sure if I'll be keeping it]]>

The new Contour+2 camera is like a fine Italian sports car... built in the 1980's, before they got their quality control process figured out. Awesome and stunning, yet deeply flawed and aggravating.

Here's my initial review from the brief time I've had the camera. I'm not yet sure if I'll be keeping it or returning it. I really want to keep it, but I'm not sure I can deal with its flaws.

This whole saga started because I'm looking for a camera to replace my Kodak Zi8 camera.

The Awesome:

The camera records in 720p or 1080p, and the picture quality is great. It has an external mic jack (although sadly, it's only 2.5mm mono). Its profile is sexy (much more so than the GoPro Hero cameras). I can use my iPhone as a viewfinder, and to start & stop recording, which is awesome. It comes with a waterproof camera case.

The Terrible:

The camera is inconsistent in many ways. Here are a few of them:

Complete data loss: By far the biggest issue I have with the camera is that if I record for an extended period while also charging the camera (90 minutes or more, it seems) the camera will lock up, and not stop recording. In fact, there's no way to stop recording except to pull the battery out. This has the effect of corrupting the micro SD card and erasing all the video that was taken. This already happened to me at one important event -- I lost the keynote and many interviews from this event. I haven't yet found a work-around to this problem, and Contour support isn't very stellar (they moderate their forum, so even just posting issues is a super painful process).

For example, here's a pic where I've turned the recording switch off, but you can see the front recording light is still on:

The only way to get the camera to stop recording was to remove the battery. This corrupted the data card completely.

Charging: The camera is inconsistent in the way it charges. For example, In this picture I'm using a PowerGen block to charge the camera. See the red light on the top of the camera? That means it's charging.

But if I unplug the USB cable and plug it right back in, the red charging light goes away. About five minutes later, it'll turn back on. Why does it take five minutes? Is it charging in those 5 minutes? I have no idea.

The internal mic is also just terrible. I mean, so horribly bad that it's unusable. And what's with having a 2.5mm mono jack? The folks over at Contour haven't exactly prioritized audio in any way on this camera, which is a shame.

I may return this camera and try the GoPro Hero3 camera out. It's not as elegant of a piece of hardware, but I'm hoping that GoPro may be more advanced in its software and audio prioritization. It's a real shame, though. I really want to keep (and love) this camera.

Here are some other pictures of my "ideal rig" setup with a RODE mic:





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Sat, 18 May 2013 22:47:58 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/the-contour-2-a-deeply-flawed-yet-awesome-camera
AngelList Recuriting Pro Tips http://danielodio.com/community/angellist-recuriting-pro-tips I believe that AngelList is going to be a HUGE resource for companies to use for recruiting. So I'm going to start leaving some pro-tips here as I learn & navigate the AngelList system. I'll also invite the AL folks to comment directly on this post.

Today, from what I can tell, there are 16,834 candidates on AngelList Talent:

I expect that number to balloon substantially over the coming 12 months.

Stay tuned for pro tips in the comments below. Also feel free to post your own, as well as questions on how we use AngelList at ShareThis for recruiting.

NOTE: The AL Talent system is changing literally daily -- amazing how much development they're doing on it. So many of these things will almost certainly be out of date a few months down the road.

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Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:08:17 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/angellist-recuriting-pro-tips
Convertible Notes -- Discussing the Valuation Cap numbers http://danielodio.com/community/convertible-notes-discussing-the-valuation-cap-numbers Awhile back, I turned Martin's awesome valuation cap spreadsheet on convertible note valuation cap numbers into a Google doc, and I've since gotten a lot of "edit" access requests for it from entrepreneurs. Here's how to make your very own copy that you can edit privately:

BTW, if you're looking into convertible notes, you might also like this post on optimizing an AngelList profile. I've got a bunch of other entrepreneur-friendly posts as well; just drop me a note in the comments and tell me what you're looking for. A few of my faves:

OK -- Here's how to make your very own copy of the spreadsheet: (and here's why I'm sharing it)

1. Click here to run the script that will make a copy of the doc (you must be signed into a google/gmail account). You'll see this:

2. Then you'll need to "accept" authorization to make a copy:

(Note: The permissions say the script can "view and manage the files in your Google drive." But the only thing it's doing is copying Martin's doc into your Drive; not viewing any of your docs.)

3. Then, just hit "open document" like this:

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any issues in the comments below.

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Wed, 07 Nov 2012 23:01:23 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/convertible-notes-discussing-the-valuation-cap-numbers
Just landed at SFO: What you should do first http://danielodio.com/community/just-landed-at-sfo-what-you-should-do-first

I just had someone whom I originally met in DC come by our office here in SF.  He's out here trying to get a new startup off the ground.  

I told him I'd send a few ideas his way to help him figure out how to take advantage of being in SF.  Instead of sending him a private email, I figure it'd be great to get it going as a public conversation where other entrepreneurs can contribute as well.

So here's the question:  If you were new to SF with a startup idea, what would you do first?

Here's my quick initial list:

1) Create a demo or prototype.  People in the Valley won't take you seriously unless you have something to show them.  The litmus test:  It's interesting enough that the person doesn't feel like they've seen it all before.

2) Find experts in your field to believe in you:  Getting some social proof in the Valley is super important.  Pick whomever is at the top of their game in whatever field they're in, and find a way to meet them, and show them the demo you made.  Get them interested in what you're doing.  And if you can't get them interested in what you're doing, then that probably means you need to iterate more on step #1.  

If you're not sure how to get access to whichever Subject Matter Expert it is that you want to meet, then you need to start learning to think creatively.  Hint:  Use the networks (like LinkedIn & Facebook) of people you know to get intros to the SMEs you want to meet.  People will usually take an intro if it's from someone they know.

And ideally, you can get one or more of them to become an advisor in your startup, maybe for a quarter point of equity or so.

3) Apply to Y Combinator, 500 Startups and all the other accelerator programs.  It's worth doing, for a couple of reasons:  First off, you'll get invaluable feedback from incredibly smart people in the field.  And secondly, you might actually get in.  There are a lot of places you can learn about how to optimize your chances for getting into YC.  While you're at it, read all of Paul Graham's essays.  They're incredibly good.

4) Go to Meetups.  There are tons of meetups in the Bay area about every conceivable topic.  It's a great place to meet people who are also doing interesting things in whatever field you're in.

Other than that, the best thing you can do is to actually build something interesting and get a group of users to be passionate about it.  That type of traction trumps any amount of talk.

Once you feel that you're ready to start looking for funding, you can read a bunch of articles I have on leveraging AngelList.

And lastly, pat yourself on the back.  Few people have the gumption to pick up their lives in another city and make a blind move out to the Valley.  Welcome, and good luck.

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Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:14:38 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/just-landed-at-sfo-what-you-should-do-first
What We're Looking For When Angel Investing http://danielodio.com/what-were-looking-for-when-angel-investing My wife and I have recently started doing some angel investing (you can see what startups we've invested in on my AngelList profile). If I sent you to this blog post, it's probably because you thought we might be interested in investing in your startup.

Here's a guide on what we're looking for:

As I wrote in this blog post, we consider angel investing to be just about the riskiest thing one can do with one's capital. So we are very, very careful about how we deploy our cash to invest in startups.

For us to justify an investment in a startup, we have to believe that our cash has a greater potential return (and of not being lost completely) than any other alternative -- and since we're very bullish on ETFs for equity growth, and LendingClub for putting cash to work to get monthly distributions, that's a pretty high bar for us, because the reality is that most startup bets will fail.

Some angel investors mitigate this risk by investing in a large number of startups, and this is an approach we've discussed, and may pursue at one point. If & when we do this, we'll be much more likely to be more aggressive with angel investments.

But for now, the main thing we need to see is a lot of traction, a team that knows how to create, and quickly, and a huge addressable market. Here's how our two public investments to date met those criteria:

  • AngelList is the marketplace for angel investing, and the macro trend is that crowdfunding will become more public and more accessible to ordinary Americans. No company is as well positioned as AngelList to capitalize on that trend, and we think it's going to be huge.
  • AltSchool is reimagining how K-8 children learn in a really smart way. The parents I talk to that are familiar with AltSchool are very passionate about their model. It's an incredible team with very strong traction and a trillion dollar market, and they raised a $33MM round from some of the best VCs in the industry, including FoundersFund and Andreessen Horowitz shortly after we invested.

If you think you have a startup of similar caliber, we'd love to hear about it.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 01:58:28 +0000 http://danielodio.com/what-were-looking-for-when-angel-investing
Cheating with Macro Photos http://danielodio.com/community/cheating-with-macro-photos My wife loves to take macro photos. But the macro lens we would get is $679. So we tried to cheat by getting a $9 Macro Extension Tube Set. But it turns out you can't cheat your way to great photos. There were several problems. The main one was that the lens that comes with the GX1 is a power lens, bu]]>

My wife loves to take macro photos. But the macro lens we would get is $679. So we tried to cheat by getting a $9 Macro Extension Tube Set. But it turns out you can't cheat your way to great photos.

There were several problems. The main one was that the lens that comes with the GX1 is a power lens, but the tubes don't allow for any power to flow to the camera. This means that the camera thinks there's no lens, but more importantly, you can't focus the lens, so it only works at a fixed point.

I could live with that, if it took great macro pics at that point. But it doesn't. The pictures are blurry. Here's the best shot I could get with the tube:

If anyone has any idea on how to get great macro pictures with a Four Thirds lens that doesn't cost over $600, I'd love to hear about it.

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Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:48:37 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/cheating-with-macro-photos
Zoho CRM http://danielodio.com/community/133699 Hey guys,

I've recently started using a crm, and I picked Zoho because its free for 1-3 people.

I'm pretty much brand new to using any CRM so I'm a little confused as if its worth all the effort to spend my time doing data entry. Especially since I'm sending about 20 cold emails a day to prospects.

So my question is, should I type in the emails of all those prospects as leads?

Is the mail merge functionality smooth?

My best guess is that I type in the 20 prospective cold email leads and filter under "today's leads", send them an email, then use a task to follow up with that group.

My concern is that its a lot of time spent on data entry. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance

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Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:58:58 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/133699
McIntire Visits ShareThis http://danielodio.com/community/mcintire-visits-sharethis ]]> A group of U.VA. McIntire students came to visit some Silicon Valley startups during their Spring Break. I'm a COMM '98 McIntire alum, and I had the opportunity to host them at ShareThis. We had a fun, wide-ranging discussion around social, advertising, entrepreneurism and more. Here's the video:


Here's the Hackpad notes that resulted from our meeting:

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Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:25:12 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/mcintire-visits-sharethis
SETT Bugs! by Tynan http://danielodio.com/sett-bugs Note from Tynan:

Hey guys, if you find a bug in SETT, reply to this with the info. You can embed screenshots if necessary or paste error messages. If you've experienced a bug that someone else has already reported, you can vote it up so that we know it's more important.

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Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:02:44 +0000 http://danielodio.com/sett-bugs