The Problem with Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest

Is Steve Case's Rise of the Rest making a big difference for the rest? What is Rise of the Rest? According to Steve Cases, Revolution Web Site: Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort powered by Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 8,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 33 cities. The Rise of the Rest is all about creating a robust startup ecosystem in 33 cities, by going on a bus tour, awarding $100K to pitch contest winners in 33 cities. In addition, just like 99% of every other VC in the world, Rise of the Rest will invest in worthy startups outside Silicon Valley. Basically, it's the startup version of the American Idol tour. It spreads some money around, some temporary excitement, anoints one company, Queen for a Day.. and they bolt out of town. My problem with Rise of the Rest is it reminds me of the reason so many companies fail...

Revisiting the 100 DC Tech Startups I Don’t Hate

Aww those  DC Tech Startups. Got to love them or hate them. In today's post, we ((we love calling me we) look back at the 100 #DCTech Startups we as in I don't Hate. Way back in April 2014 I made a friendly wager with the Washington Post's Steven Overly that I could name 100 DCTech companies that didn't make me want to vomit. Thusly (he said with the grand pomposity of one who refers to himself as we),  the 100 #DCTech Companies I Don’t Hate: The Steven Overly Challenge was born. I lost that wager because at the time I was only able to come up with 42 companies. Probably because most of the good companies aren't stupid enough to be constantly yelling, "Hey! Look at me!" at the local tech press like DCInno or Tech.co or Techally.Dc.(look for the upcoming Mr. Cranky post on the Buzz to Biz Ratio). Most of the good companies hide in the isolation of caves and come out when they've made it. Now 3 years after the challenge, I...

Peter Paul and Mary - Mr Cranky Startups

Mr Cranky Startups – Where Have All The Founders Gone?

Mr Cranky Startups. It's a love hate relationship that reminds me of a song: Where have all the founders gone, Long time passing, Where have all the founders gone, Long time ago, When will they ever learn? At least I think that's how the Peter, Paul and Mary song went. Mr Cranky Startups Rant Lately, I've been wondering about the weakness in DC Tech startups. It seems to me that the rate of startup founders dipping their toes in the DCTech pond has slowed considerably. Yet before I am added to the list of purveyors of Fake News which is just another name for the Local DC Tech press, like DCInno, let me admit that this is kind of a trumpish statement, since I'm short of actual data and base my observation on feelings. Startups growth rates were up rapidly around 2008 and peaked around 2012. Today there is a lack of new startups and more importantly a lack of new quality startups (see The Startup Turd to Gold Ratio). Worse still, there are very few great startups like Hurdlr (who? you say. My point exactly) are operating in secret. In fact most great companies spend more time developing product and customers instead of wasting limited resources courting the local tech...