Reading List: Ban Booth Babes, Learning from Angry Birds, Euro Startups Headed to U.S.

With the furnace on the fritz, I’m sitting at my desk a bit like Bob Cratchet in fingerless gloves churning through my morning’s reading.  Here are a few stories that are warming my heart and mind.


There are lots of reasons I prefer not to go to CES, not the least of which is that I find the culture of Las Vegas trade shows to be soul sucking.  Leave it to OneThingNew to take on the Consumer Electronics Association and demand that booth babes must go. Most interesting to note that it is a European gamers convention that is leading the industry to the moral high ground.


Inspiration, particularly when it comes with working with people, comes from the oddest places.  Here, a young first-time manager shares a moment of insight on how better to manage his “flock” while playing Angry Birds.  Does make me wonder, though, which bird am I.


In a guest post on VentureBeat, Faruq Ahmad and Priss Benbow make the case that now is the time for European startups to dive into the U.S. market.  The post makes a strong argument that economic conditions in the U.S., in contrast to Europe, make the aggressive move to the U.S. market not only feasible but smart.  The authors overlook one important advantage that many Euro startups have over their U.S. counterparts.  While U.S. entrepreneurs have been deeply focused on the consumer mobile market, many European startups have been working on enterprise-class problems, building solutions and infrastructure for business customers who actually buy things.


Finally, Dave McClure’s most recent Slide Share deck is generating buzz, if not heat.  In it, he elucidates his strategy as clearly as anything he’s ever said or written about very early stage investing.  He calls his strategy “Lots of Little Bets” and explains that a “little bet” is not so much an investment as the cost of diligence.  Some people have called Dave’s approach at 500Startups a crap shoot, suggesting he’s more a gambler than an investor.  This deck says something different, and perhaps smarter:  Dave is putting an option on the right to invest in a company, much like a movie producer buys the film rights to a book or script.

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