I was hoping to see a larger blog post at TechFlash on the OVP summit John Cook attended yesterday, but it didn’t happen, so here’s an unedited copy of John Cook’s twitter feed (@johnhcook).

There was some really interesting notes that may be of interest to entreprenuers that deserves to be preserved before it scrolls off the twitter timeline.  If you’re not already following John Cook’s tweets, you really should…

# OVP summit: First talk is “the elephant in the room.” And the elephant? Bad times in the VC business.9:41 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Langeler says that only 15 percent of venture funds have made a profit since 2001. It’s grim but Langeler says it’s cyclical.9:43 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP Summit: Langeler says it’s ironic that Washington state is considering taxing VC profits now that no one has any.9:46 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Langeler says old that this is a good time to start a company and that those who survive will do well when market improves.9:48 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Langeler “clean tech is a very large and complex space.” OVP looking at deals where IT meets clean tech in the tools arena.9:52 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Langeler says that WA can be a leader of intersection of clean tech and IT.9:56 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Langeler is bullish on clean tech: “this economy has helped bring out some entrepreneurs that we haven’t seen before.”9:57 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP: Dense policy talk on carbon trading from Karla Bell. “(Americans) come late to the party and u usually like to take the party over.”10:40 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP: Langeler says carbon trading market has gone from €0 to €100 billion in 4 years and there was no software layer underneath it.10:48 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: PNNL’s Mike Davis says national labs should take on problems that are of “national impact.”11:53 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Davis says national labs do A work but D promotion of that work.11:55 AM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Ed Lazowska says Seattle tech industry is in the minors compared to Boston and SF. Says we are smug and self satisfied.12:45 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska says the power of universities is the students they educate and entrepreneurial energy they pass on.12:48 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska says Seattle can be a leader in global health, citing PATH and Gates foundation.12:50 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska says you need to get rid of mediocrity at UW, replacing bad faculty and administrators.12:52 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska says problem with the state is that we are all one big happy family where every college and VC fund is above average.1:02 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska continues to slam the state saying officials bend over backwards for a sheet metal co. in Renton but nothing for IT.1:04 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP Summit: Lazowska says students with an entrepreneurial bent go to Stanford and says Washington has few research labs.1:16 PM May 12th from TwitterFon

# OVP summit: Lazowska says UW medicine is top notch but the rest of the campus has a long way to go, including computer science and eng.1:20 PM May 12th from TwitterFon


Congrats to Leo and his team, its always good to see a friend launch a startup, especially one that is very nicely done!

Yesterday GetHundos launched their limited beta, not limited in functionality, but limited to UW students to help seed the community with some critical mass.

To begin, you’ll need to have a UW email address to signup.  You are then presented with a topic of the day, and the person with the wittiest response wins cold hard cash – US$100 – not virtual gifts, not virtual dollars, not virtual anything, real cash…

Wittiest responses are determined by the community through digg style voting system with a added twist called supervotes (+10 votes) and bombs (-10 votes).  Your wittiest responses are limited to 160 characters, nobody wants to read an essay, and you can attach a photo to help illustrate.

You also have a feed, which tells you everyone that +/- voted you, supervote or bombed you.  This feed allows you to build a friend / rival network, which is encouraged with the ability to hate on someone or become their friend.  The bigger your network, the more likely you are to win…

Keep an eye out on: www.gethundos.com as they open up their beta…

Side thought: Supervote and bombs (could this be the solution to pay for clicks on digg?).  It isn’t clear how you get more bombs and supervotes, but I suspect it will be an item for sale.  Not sure if you can supervote yourself, but that would be revenue generator in the future that can grow as they get more users/votes.  +10 votes is only meaningful now with yesterdays winner – winning it with 27 votes, buy 3 supervotes and you earned yourself $100, but down the line when winners have votes of 500+, that’ll cost you some real money to buy enough supervotes.  This effective stops sites that exist purely to buy votes on sites like digg unless their pricing is out of wack to the market rate.

Crush or Flush did a press release on a new advertising feature that we officially launched last week – Golden Ticket. We had a successful trial with our v-day promo where advertisers got their product in front of users to Crush or Flush their product. Golden ticket is a form of interstitial survey advertising where the user can Crush the product to find more details or Flush if they are not interested.

Here are some press articles on Golden Ticket:

IceBreaker Launches Ad Campaign: Users Get To Crush Or Flush Brand Names

MocoNews.net, Tricia Duryee, April 15, 2008


Syndicated by Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/15/AR2008041500669.html

Crush or Flush offered to advertisers

RCRWirelessNews, Colin Gibbs, April 15, 2008


Crush or Flush Adds Advertising Golden Ticket

WirelessandMobileNews, Staff, April 16, 2008


IceBreaker Goes Dynamic with Brands

WirelessWeek, Rhonda Wickham, April 16, 2008


We just started our V-Day promo where we are giving away TVs, vacation packages and $100 Visa gift cards. To kick things off, we are featured on the Marcus D show on 106.1 KISS FM where he talk about some ‘sexy’ and maybe some not so sexy stats about WA that we gathered from our service. Today’s stat was ‘wheres the sexiest people in WA’… its not Bellevue or Seattle… its Stanwood, WA (?!?!?)… We’ll be featured on there once a week till V-Day, so tune in for some more interesting stats.

The weeks leading to V-Day should be interesting, it will be the first time we’ll have so much promotion going on at the same time for Crush or Flush from carriers to off-portal promotions like 106.1 KISS FM. I will be keeping a keen eye on how off-portal promotions translates to new registrations as this will be the first time we have had off-portal exposure.

The CEO of Redfin shares his financial model and the real numbers for the last 2 years. Very interesting data indeed, even if you just read it for the data points.

The estimates were deliberately made to look worst so that they can utter the words “we beat projections” when it comes to funding later rounds. Interestingly though, I guess everybody does that, and I guess all the VC also know that this is done, so how much of this is already taken into account by both sides?

Also wouldn’t creating the worst financial model also lower your valuation for the current round where you would probably give up a sizable chunk of equity? Interesting how this is balanced out… take a higher valuation now, meet expection down the line and probably still get the same funding with more equity in the founders hand, or lower expectation, give up more equity now and make it easier to get a 2nd round, but by then you have given up more equity.

Financial Models for Underachievers: Two Years of the Real Numbers of a Startup

Very nicely written article on the jump from a big company, Microsoft, to a small startup… pretty much sums up the same things I’ve said when people (outside MS) ask WHY?


Really good panel on doing a startup on the cheap…


Best line: “North of 5 million a year, a billion page views a month, no employees” – Markus Frind, Founder, PlentyofFish.com



Today we announced our latest funding round, $7.2mil from Frazier Technology Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Here are some links to the news: PRNewswire, seattlepi: John Cook’s Venture Blog, Puget Sound Business Journel, MarketWatch

today Josh, our VP of marketing began our press tour for crushorflush.com, we saw some early press coverage from John Cook’s Venture Blog, PRWeb Podcast and Komo 1000 news radio

100,000+ users


today we hit 100,000+ users, we did this in less than 90 days since launch – on a graph this definitely looks like the hockey stick that most startups try to mimic as soon as launch. In these 90 days we added wml support, cartoon masking for dirty words, some light ux redesign and upgraded from a single server to a server farm that can handle the increased number of users