Ask yourself: Why are we working on this project? Photo via Shutterstock.

Why are we working on this?

You’re a recent grad from a top engineering school. You come to a hot startup, and in your second week, you volunteer to implement an ambitious new feature. You slave away at it for a week, burning the midnight oil, trying to impress your new colleagues. You’re brilliant: you find an ingenious algo that solves… Read More

lyftseahawks

Embarrassed in Seattle

I have called Seattle home for more than two decades and my wife and I are raising our children here.  There’s a lot to enjoy and be proud of about Seattle – the City Council’s vote on ride sharing earlier this week isn’t one of them. Seattle is a different city from when Microsoft imported me shortly… Read More

Last year's expert champ, Avi Cavale, of Shippable.

How I raised $2 million in funding by playing ping pong

It all started at last year’s GeekWire ping pong and anniversary bash. I had just founded my company, Qhode (now called Shippable). We were building a geeky product, a continuous integration and deployment service targeted at software developers. Even though we were solving a real problem, I had no idea how to market it. I… Read More

whatsapp111

Why Seattle needs a WhatsApp

I woke up this morning thinking about WhatsApp. Not so much about the mouth-dropping $19 billion price tag that Facebook put on the five-year-old Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup, the biggest venture-backed M&A exit ever. But why a deal of this size, style and scope is so desperately needed in Seattle. I’ve argued in the past… Read More

Pike Place Market sign. Photo via Runner310

Seattle needs a new nickname, but please no Silicon!

During the dot-com boom years, it seemed like every major city (and even some minor ones) looked to affix the “Silicon” moniker to themselves, part of some false hope that a nickname would in some way help bring prestige, jobs and wealth. Names such as Silicon Alley (New York); Silicon Hills (Austin) and even the… Read More

beastmode111

Seattle’s startup scene masters Beast Mode, could use a little Richard Sherman swagger

Seattle is not a city of showboaters or salesmen. It’s historically a stoic place, one of humble underpinnings where actions speak louder than words. That’s why cornerback Richard Sherman’s off-the-charts defensive play and subsequent comments in the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers rattled our psyche a bit. Here was a man who… 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

surfing1

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

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