Saturday, June 23, 2007

Memories of Ben

Pritchard. Dude you rocked. No really you totally always rocked and always will.

One of my old buddies Ben Pritchard recently passed away when his heart gave out during a bike ride. He had a heart condition for as long as I can remember.

Its really freaking me out the prospect of our mortality.

Ben and I used to hang out in high school we rowed together freshman year, rode bikes together and did some photography together.

We lost track of each other when he moved to Rochester NY following high school. I even moved out here to NYC, but even though we were much closer geographically we were outside of each other's sphere. Its not until his sudden death that I am reminded of all the fun times we shared.

He reminds me how important it is for us to be kind to each other and to always remain positive. Ben is in Bike Heaven now probably BMXing over some gnarly clouds on a bike that weighs like 2 pounds or something.

Ben you will be missed.

Williamsburg, I don't know you anymore

Two years ago as a newly minted college graduate I moved to the oh-so-hip Williamsburg area of Brooklyn.

This little canton of hipsterness has been the last bastion for the un-corporate to thrive.

After 9 months of hipsterville I had had enough, thats when I packed my bags and over a year ago moved back into Manhattan. It was almost hard for me to leave behind the coolest, most artsy people of New York. But living in Brooklyn I discovered that indeed I am not hip. I wear a suit (with a tie or bowtie), I wake up before noon, my office is not a coffee shop and I am not in a band.

Williamsburg and I left in amicable terms.

Last night I attended a toshi party across the street from the domino sugar factory. It was a horrendous affair. This promoter guy packs in 2,000 people into this old building , has some djs and a pretty much open bar. I've gone to a couple of these over the years but this year's Swedish Party will be my last.

Leaving behind the toshi party I arrived within four blocks to my old bastion - The Levee. Its one of my favorite NY bars and was ground zero for most nights back in the Brooklyn days.

The place was packed. More so than I had ever seen it before. The culture had changed. The people were not hip. There was a paucity of tattoos. I didn't see the oh-too-familiar Brooklynites I used to hang out with. In fact the only person I knew was one of the bartenders.

"It totally sucks working here now" was her response to my question "What happened here?"

Williamsburg is no longer the cool spot for hipsters. Thats my opinion and its final. My pad in Spanish Harlem is a lot cooler and cheaper than Williamsburg. Its also quicker for me to get to work in Midtown - registering a cool 15 minutes by subway.

Way Short Williamsburg, Long SpaHa.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wesabe Funding

I'd like to bring attention back to Wesabe. A company I profiled back in March.

Yesterday, it was officially announced that Union Square Ventures has invested $4M into the company run by Jason Knight and Marc Hedlund.

Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham have made a smart move by investing into the consumer finance market. I got the impression from Jason that his business had a lot going for it, seems that I am not the only one who thinks the same way.

Its a good feeling to feel ahead of the curve, some sort of validation that at least one thing I have written about is believed in by others.

Trying to stay out of this...Curve vs. iphone

The Iphone.

I have never been disgusted by technology. I've been pissed off at technology for not working properly, but I tend to leave the rest of my emotions out of my tech assessments.

This brings me to today. I am disgusted with the iphone. What a dirty little word. It sounds so innocent.

I've been attempting to stay out of the apple cellphone conversation and have been awaiting its debut before passing any judgment. But I can keep my silence no longer. I am sick and tired of hearing about this gadget of all gadgets.

The features it merits worthwhile are nothing too special. The internet on the phone, oh my, the curve has that.

A camera? Yup, the curve's got that too. Music, check, video, check.

My phone does not have a touch screen and it does not allow me to pick through my voicemails either. But I like the tactility of touching my full keyboard, I also have never really cared about the order of my voicemails. God forbid my mother's message comes to me after that of a client. If anything, I would start to avoid certain messages if I knew who they came from. But wait, isn't that why we have caller ID? Check again, every phone manufactured (save for rotary phones) has caller ID.

Is the curve as sleek or cool. I think so. Did Jobs invent the cellphone. No. But I've heard enough.

Good luck with your $500 phone. It should be a success. I am long AAPL, but even longer RIMM. The legions of stock brokers, investment houses, finance people and techies who depend on their blackberries are the main audience who can afford one of these babies and they aren't going anywhere but back to their crackberries for their fix.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More on facebook applications

Tonight Howard and I contemplated the future of Facebook Applications.

Its pretty crazy how quickly these little buggers have spread. Over the weekend I was on and got a better insight into how facebook is operating, but from a third-party perspective, kind of like mashable, but only for facebook (also, I realize there are many run-on sentences in this blog as I have been notified many times before).

One of the most prolific facebook app developers is Aryeh Goldsmith a Brooklyn native who has according to one of my sources published 8 applications already, including his most recent application Facebook Bucks.

Its amazing to see how quickly new developers will be able to rise above the rabble and see their creations become used by mainstream consumers/FB addicts.

Despite slashdot's recent story about the hold-ups and waiting process for applications to become approved I think this is only a short-term setback and nothing more. The overwhelming popularity of this was not something that Zuckerberg had planned for, thus his staff is momentarily overwhelmed.

Dave Morin has his work cut out for him as the head of the facebook apps platform.

This is a great story to cover and watch as fb apps grow exponentially. The real question is when will it plateau?

I am in love (with my track bike).

I love my bikes. I have three of them. Its kind of my addiction.

1. 1959 Cinelli 10-speed road bike.
2. Crappy converted fixed gear single speed.
3. 2007 Fuji Track Bike with Red Deep V Velocity Rims (my new baby).

Wheelset was purchased and installed by the kind folks over at Trackstar NYC.

Hope to see some of you this summer as I cruise around in style. Black and red baby - the only way I ride.

If you're ever in NYC or you already live here, let me know, you could borrow one of my bikes and we could take a spin around Central Park.

Venture Capital Blogger

Today I joined the ranks of the Giants. Not the San Francisco or New York Giants, but of the feedburner VC realm.

The fact that we can have industry groups surrounding our blogging "expertise" is something that I almost find comical. But at the end of the day, it feels good to know that your efforts have been recognized.

Thanks to Brad Feld for adding me to this group. I now have a greater pulpit to proselytize my woeful remarks.