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Commentary: Here are the problems with Seattle’s Startup Initiative

Editor’s Note: Nick Licata is a Seattle City Councilmember. Recently, a Seattle Times editorial lauded the Seattle City Council for requiring clear goals, measurable outcomes, effectiveness and accountability standards for funding projects in our 2014 budget. For the most part, we accomplished that this year. But one exception struck me as failing to meet all of… Read More

Photo via Kevin Lisota

Silicon Valley VC view: 5 reasons why Seattle will become a hub of business cloud services

I’ve recently read several articles about the difficulties that Seattle entrepreneurs face when building business-to-business companies.  While some might find this discouraging, I actually see this as a great opportunity. From my perspective in Silicon Valley, the Seattle region is right on the cusp of developing its own enterprise start-up ecosystem, particularly focused on business… Read More

Nathan Kaiser at 2bar in SODO

Commentary: A lean startup approach to making booze

I worked at tech startups for the past 15 years — Drugstore, Allrecipes, nPost, and Blue Box Group to name a few. But last year, I opted to take on a different kind of startup: The capital-intensive manufacturing business of legally, legitimately making booze. In 2008, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 2959 and, for… Read More

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Commentary: Yes, startups are a lot like surfing

Seaton Gras started a tech incubator because he wanted to help entrepreneurs more easily create companies.  He named it SURF Incubator — an acronym for Start Up Really Fast. But If you prod a bit more and ask him about the name, he might just dive into an analogy of how startups and surfing are quite similar…. Read More

Matt Lerner

Commentary: How I taught my kids Python programming

I wanted to expose my kids to programming because it’s a great skill and a powerful way of thinking. And my kids spend enough time playing Angry Birds and Cut the Rope on my iPhone that I figure they should get a peek behind the curtain at how programming works. So whether you’ve never programmed… Read More

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The geography of tech: Seattle’s oft-forgotten tech ecosystem

The October 21st story in The New York Times —  “Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News” — includes Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos among “Silicon Valley and its various power brokers.” News flash: Amazon.com is not located in Silicon Valley. Nor is the company that pioneered PC software (Microsoft). Nor the company that invented desktop publishing… Read More

Flickr photo via Jon Jordan

The 6 habits of highly successful, fast growth companies

Pull together a list of Seattle’s fastest-growing companies and you’ll see a wide variety of industries, leadership styles, go-to-market approaches and organizational structures. But pull back the top layers that make them different, and you’ll likely find a handful of operational, productivity and management habits that make these companies look more alike than you otherwise… Read More

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Let’s talk about culture: It’s more than ping pong tables and free soda pop

Within a few days of Facebook announcing plans to build a residential housing community that is walking distance to a sprawling Menlo Park, Calif. campus described by the Wall Street Journal as already, “so full of cushy perks that some employees may never want to go home,” a former Google contract worker questioned here at GeekWire as to whether the plush… Read More

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Commentary: Outdated regulations threaten a connected and competitive future

Microsoft.  Amazon.  Expedia. These are among the tech giants that are household names and have grown and flourished in the Pacific Northwest.  Another generation—companies like Mobisante, Inrix and BYNDL—are raising capital, hiring and innovating at a pace that rivals tech hubs elsewhere in the U.S. While it doesn’t enjoy the geek glamor of Silicon Valley,… Read More

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How to ditch Microsoft and join a great startup

Guest Commentary: The last few months have not been great for Microsoft. First, the Surface turned out to be a flop. Then, Ballmer resigned without a successor in sight and admitted he missed the boat with smartphones. And two weeks ago, he held a company meeting where he bawled that Microsoft was still the best… Read More

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Angel investing: The walls come tumbling down

Today is the first day it becomes legally permissible for startups and emerging companies to advertise their offerings. Or to tweet that they are raising money. Or to generally solicit for investors at public pitch events. What’s that you say? Startups have been generally soliciting at pitch events, demo days, conference contests, for some time now?… Read More

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Why George Gilder is right about the role entrepreneurs play in driving the economy

In his new book Knowledge and Power, futurist George Gilder challenges existing economic theories of both Keynesians and libertarians by placing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship at the center of economic development. In the early 1990’s, Gilder predicted the “end of television“ as the source of mass media entertainment, news and information; the importance of fiber optics with… Read More

Should Microsoft trade rain for fog? Photo by Mark Dalmulder, via Flickr

How San Francisco maps to Seattle: A reference guide

[Editor's Note: This guest post by tech writer and editor Matt Rosoff originally appeared on his personal blog.] So you’re moving from San Francisco to Seattle? Or from Seattle to San Francisco? I’ve done both, and the two cities have a lot in common. San Francisco is bigger, more expensive, more socioeconomically stratified, more ethnically… Read More

Bill Gurley. Photo via Wikipedia

A dozen things I’ve learned from Bill Gurley about investing and business

Editor’s note: Tren Griffin has created a list of a dozen things he’s learned from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bill Gurley, one of the keynote speakers at the GeekWire Summit on September 12. This is part of his “Dozen Things” series. Griffin is a senior director at Microsoft who previously worked at Craig McCaw’s Eagle River.  You can… Read More

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Hey, startups: Pretty soon you’ll be able to talk about your fundraising efforts

The world changes for startups on September 23. How? On that date, thanks to the JOBS Act, it will become legal for startups to “generally solicit” and “generally advertise” their securities offerings. Startups haven’t been able to actively promote their private fundraising efforts, well, since before we were all born. This is big deal. What do these… Read More

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What Bezos buying The Post teaches us about business threats

Jeff Bezos set off quite a bit of handwringing and soul-searching when he purchased The Washington Post earlier this month for $250 million, from the digital disruption and destruction of the media industry, to debate over exactly where the Amazon.com founder lives (in case “the other Washington” wasn’t clear enough), to the inevitable online shopping jokes. Clearly, owners of… Read More

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5 startup tips for taking informed risks

Entrepreneurs by definition are risk-takers. They break new ground and are unfailingly willing to step off the well-trodden path of conventional practice. For entrepreneurs, “risk” takes many forms: career (choosing a start-up over corporate stability); reputational (attaching name and reputation to an initiative that has real potential for failure); commercial (entering markets that may be… Read More