That was fun. Ok – not really.

We had someone copy some of our stuff yesterday. I commented in an interview with Connie Loizos on StrictlyVC that drama is fun from time to time.
Read More …

Y Combinator Companies Copies Us – Drama

We are a heads down, drama free group so today, when a Y Combinator company copied us, it resulted in some excitement for the team. Here is a post on the YC copycat that we published on our team blog earlier today.



We’re really proud of our data and technology at CB Insights. We’re also extremely excited about what we’ve done on the design and data visualization front to help our clients tell stories and get answers from the data.

And now it seems others are excited by it as well.

Yesterday, a Y Combinator company launched that has a striking resemblance to our own product. You can see screenshots below. Of course, using the exact color scheme and text could be oddly coincidental.

Read More …

Wow – walking 21 miles to work

James Robertson walks to his Detroit factory job every day. A total of 21 miles and has had perfect attendance for a job that pays $10.55/hour.
Read More …

Trust the Process

Hiring is hard. Our plans call for us need about an additional 20-25 folks this year. That means around 2 hires per month and this assumes zero voluntary or involuntary attrition (which is unrealistic to be honest).
Read More …

Kinder, Gentler Super Bowl Ads

In this year’s Super Bowl commercials, I noticed less of the guy humor that felt more prevalent in year’s past. I don’t dislike that humor so this is not a value judgment and just an observation. Even Go Daddy didn’t do it (I think it was a mistake as their ad sucked and was crazy boring).

But there was a lot of cuteness and a touch of sadness or the positive upliftting message in this year’s ads. Budweiser went with the cute puppy and then a bunch of others went emotional including Coca Cola, McDonalds, Toyota, Microsoft and Dove to name a few.

Read More …

Questions I Ask on Reference Calls

I talked a bit about the importance of references so figured I’d share the questions I usually ask. If you have other questions you ask when doing references that you think really get at the heart of how good a candidate is, let me know.

Read More …

Our 2014 investor update

So we published some info about CB insights 2014 revenue, churn, clients, and focus areas for 2015.
Read More …


Some jobs lend themselves to hard metrics. Sales/biz dev is one such place. But a lot of roles don’t. A lot of my former roles were strategy or analysis driven and so there was no hard metric. It was always soft and intangible and relied on people’s impressions.  When I worked in VC and corp dev, it was all about deals. It wasn’t explicitly but implicitly, you wanted to do deals in those roles. Sometimes, I think folks did bad deals just to make the deal count go from zero to 1. They’d never admit, but subconsciously, it happened.
Read More …

F’n Wackos – Our New Public Menace

As a parent, I’ve been watching the whole Disney measles outbreak caused by the lunatic anti-vaxxer movement.

A quote by Melinda Gates in this article from the Verge sums it up well:

Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine, because they have seen death. [Americans have] forgotten what measles deaths look like.


What is more alarming about the whole episode is how stupid a segment of Americans are who believe this crap.  People who actively believe celebrities like Jenny McCarthy or Oprah Winfrey for medical treatment advice and put the most vulnerable – children – at risk.

Yes – these are the people are now “qualified” to provide medical advice in our celebrity gaga culture.

Read More …

Industry Punditry

The weathermen sure did nail the blizzard predictions for snowfall. </sarcasm>

One of the things that I’ve wondered about since my time at was if anyone out there keeps the pundits honest. All the analysts who during the dot com days predicted unsustainable models would be huge or that X, Y, Z company would be huge.

Read More …