Silicon Alley Roundup: Losses, Innovation, and Keeping It Simple

It was a rough week.  The Packers lost to the Giants.  Sure, I live in New York, but there is one thing, okay, maybe two things, I will never agree with New Yorkers on: the Giants and the Yankees.  Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the team just didn’t even come out to play, and unfortunately, it cost our team the season.  Sure, there is next year, but it isn’t this year.  I’ll just need to wait for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 20/20 cricket to begin in April.  Today, January 20, is officially Cheese Lovers Day, so go find yourself some good cheese to celebrate.  Murray’s Cheese near Union Square may be in order for a grilled cheese lunch today.

Sarah Burke (September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012)

On a more serious note, I am deeply saddened by the loss of freeskier Sarah Burke (via Powder Magazine).
Some of you may know that skiing holds a deep place in my heart, and unfortunately too many of my idols and peers from the freeskiing and outdoors world have passed away at a young age.  Sarah Burke, is yet another skier that was tragically taken from us after she ruptured a vertebral artery while training on a half pipe at Park City, UT which led to further neurological complications she was unable to fight through.  Her family has amassed over $550,000 in medical bills and a fund has been set up for them at GiveForward.  Sarah will be deeply missed.  If you can, please donate here:

For my friends and family, ski fast, go big, and most importantly, ski safe.

Roundup Reads for the Week:

•On a more positive note, Betabeat reported that Amit Gupta, co-founder of Jelly NYC and Photojojo, has found a bone marrow transplant donor after months of social media searching.  It is amazing what the tech community can do when it comes together.

•Matt Wilson couldn’t be more right with his letter to startups, “Dear Tech World, Please Grow Up” on  Yes, flip flops and hoodies are comfortable, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act professionally.  Rolling in at 11 am is fine, but you know what’s cooler? Rolling in at 7 am.

•Innovation has become a buzz word in corporate America, and one that usually means adding a tinge of social media into something, or merging features from two different together to not only help your bottom line, but give you something ‘new and innovative.’  Innovation is becoming overused and Harvey Briggs provides a great read on reducing the dilution of the word that no longer holds the same value it used to: The Innovation Obsession (Innovation Management)

•One of those ouch moments. gets busted and shut down, so the hacker group Anonymous has hacked the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music Groups.  Payback is a b*tch, isn’t it?

•There are countless books, papers and articles on this topic, but Inc. breaks it down into four simple traits of great leaders in an article that is worth a skim to remind you of the basics.


•One of our Silicon Alley startups, Lot18, has unfortunately laid off 15% of its workforce in an effort to climb down, only to climb back up in other areas.  People see it as a negative, but my gut instinct is that it is trimming the fat as they say, only to evolve in new areas.  They are young, and they are growing.


Quote of the Week:
“No one gives a shit about your shit. Keep it simple.” CEO Peter Stern on product development


Videos that inspire:
•Out of respect for Sarah Burke, I’m opting out of the tech video this week and highlighting how sick of a skier she truly was:

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