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


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 founder Jeff Bezos among “Silicon Valley and its various power brokers.” News flash: 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


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


Commentary: Outdated regulations threaten a connected and competitive future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


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


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

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


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 founder lives (in case “the other Washington” wasn’t clear enough), to the inevitable online shopping jokes. Clearly, owners of… Read More


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


The ‘ify’ naming fad: Did Spotify start it?

Back in 2011, The Name Inspector wrote a post about the proliferation of startup names that make creative use of the suffix -ify, such as Spotify. At the time, he deemed the trend “disturbifying,” identifying about a dozen and a half examples. Those were simpler times. If The Name Inspector had realized, in all his innocence, just how… Read More


How youth sports made me a better startup founder

A few recent conversations have turned towards youth sports participation and the valuable life lessons they provide.  One in particular stood out to me – youth sports participation is one of the best training grounds for a startup founder. How would I know?  I was a competitive athlete pretty much since the time I could… Read More


HealthCheck: Software monitoring inside out

When we release software to customers, we immediately begin to consider how to monitor it. The goal is to find problems as early as possible, and always before our customers. We start with the basics: disk, memory, CPU load. Still, because of the complexity of the products we develop, there are countless examples of things… Read More


5 years of Apple’s app store: Software and Seattle’s bright future

This week marked a diverse set of technology milestones: Apple’s app store turned five; Microsoft announced that it’s reorganizing and Amazon’s stock crossed $300 per share. For those of us who’ve grown up in the software industry, it’s been a week underscoring the fact that software is eating the world. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention…… Read More


5 bootstrap dos and dont’s to cement and grow your business

You may be familiar with bootstrapping, an economic circumstance in which intrepid entrepreneurs launch and operate a business with little more than their ingenuity and chutzpah. Usually, bootstrap capital is sourced from savings accounts, credit card lines and, when possible, a supportive network of friends and family. Such capital is scarcely sufficient to launch the… Read More

Photo via Keith Cooper

A dozen things I’ve learned about venture capital (in 999 words)

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series by Tren Griffin, a senior director at Microsoft who previously worked at Craig McCaw’s Eagle River. Other posts include “A dozen things I’ve learned about business” and “A dozen things I’ve learned about investing.” 1.  “The problem is that extraordinary performance comes only from correct non-consensus… Read More


Top 5 reasons why startups are wasted on the young

Okay, I admit it.  In my entire life, nothing has made me feel older than pitching to VCs on Sand Hill Road.  Maybe because they all look like they are barely out of high school (at least the ones I was allowed to meet with initially, for the most part). Maybe it’s because I am… Read More