Weedconomics

The intersection of theoretical economics and practical reality are often akin to the collisions between the Roadrunner and ACME products. Often these two forces align over time, but the blackboard simplicity of supply and demand curves rarely work out so cleanly in real life, particularly when there is transformational change.  In Colorado, the collision between theory and practice is seen…

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Where are Wearables We Want to Wear?

Wearables -- electronic devices attached to the body in some way -- are generating some serious buzz, capturing imaginations with visions of science fiction coming to life.  Although wearables have been on the market in some form or another since a complex and miniature  abacus was attached to a ring in the Qing dynasty, dramatic improvements in sensor technology and data…

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Five Best Blogs: January 2014

If blogs aren't visual enough for you, WonkBlog has a series on the best graphs of the year, while back on the blog side, here are some thoughts from Ben Horowitz on taking the mystery out of scaling a company; Tim Harford on why there are no new ideas, only remixes; the folks at First Round suggest the best advice for entrepreneurs in 2013; a…

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Your genes, your data?

23andMe is a high-profile startup that offers direct-to-consumer DNA testing.  Send in a little spit swab, and they provide a variety of contextual reports on inherited traits, genealogy, and possible congenital risks. Their home test - most recently priced at just $99 -- received notice within Time's Best Inventions of 2008, roughly a half-million people ordered them, the company completed a…

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Chasing the Unicorn

Among the various images of venture capitalists, add one more: unicorn chasers. For it turns out that the billion dollar exit that most VCs obsessively stalk may not be mythical, but they are extremely rare. Seed-stage fund Cowboy Ventures went through the math for the past decade, and found 39 companies valued at over the elusive $1 billion milestone.  These 39…

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And the Winner, in Second Place…

Everyone loves a winner.  But what happens when the champion eventually ends up in second place? The novelty of The New means that entrepreneurs often place great belief in the first-to-market strategy -- particularly in industries with large network effects.  But as with many of the myths of entrepreneurship, much of this enthusiasm may be misplaced, as studies for over a decade have…

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Five Best Blogs: December 2013

This month, read some very cogent reasons why an entrepreneur turned down $5 million in venture funding, or go the other direction and get Paul Graham's advice on how to raise money, and if you have already tried, take comfort in some reasons why you can't raise money; elsewhere there is Tim Harford on 10 email commandments to stay efficient; Freakanomics…

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Tinder: Why Some Apps Sizzle and Other Fizzle

As anyone who has tried to build an app knows, creating something that not only engages users, but hooks them -- getting them coming back multiple times, day after day -- is no simple task. When one of these apps appear, ease of use and addictive features mean they take off like wildfire, leaving apps that struggle to acquire users…

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One Cool Thing: Brewster

As social media and communications technologies proliferate, everyone seems to have more friends, but in different places. High-school friends, professional friends, virtual friends, and friends both with and without benefits.  And their information might be in several places -- email on one social network, phone number in another, employer in a third. Luckily, there is Brewster.  Both a desktop and…

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Airwaves of Disruption

Disruptive technology is often seen as binary: you are or you are not.  However, it's more often a matrix: a technology can be anywhere from slightly to very disruptive to a user base that also varies in size. Even a small disruption in a large industry can ripple into a sizable wave. But when you combine significantly new technology with…

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