An Uber Lesson for ICOs

I woke up this morning to the news that Uber’s board asked CEO Travis Kalanick to resign.  After a year of allegations of sexual harassment, questionable competitive tactics and employee turnover, this isn’t much of a surprise.  For those of us who have been hearing some of these stories for years while watching the company’s  … Read more


Posted: June 21st 2017 None

Token Thoughts on the Blockchain Boom

The past 10 days have been heady for anyone in the cryptocurrency space.  The market cap of digital currencies increased to over $90 billion last week (a 50% increase in 7 days).  Bloomberg put together the chart below to show relative value increases in major cryptocurrencies.   There is also a lot of buzz about  … Read more


Posted: May 30th 2017 None

The Humanity of Our AI Future

In 1991, as an undergrad, I wrote a paper on social cybernetics and its role in robotics.   Out of curiosity, I just did a quick Google search on social cybernetics and found this article comparing and contrasting AI and the study of cybernetics. In 2017, as a VC, I’m still fascinated by the topic of  … Read more


Posted: March 6th 2017 None

Market Truths

After a tumultuous week in global markets, today the US stock market ended higher on the session. On the heels of macroeconomic data that showed strong fundamentals in the US, along with overtures from China to slow its downturn, the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 3.9% and the Nasdaq (which includes Apple, Google, Intel and  … Read more


Posted: August 27th 2015 1

Rethinking Impact Investing

Impact investing, venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship are all areas in practice and theory that have been close to my heart for years. As regular readers of my blog know, I was born in Nairobi and grew up visiting the developing world in the 1980s, after my family moved to the United States. If I  … Read more


Posted: May 13th 2015 3

On the Rocks

I spent last weekend in Boulder, Colorado rock climbing for the first time in years. It was a reinvigorating weekend with a dear friend who had first introduced me to the sport. I reflected on why I love rock climbing so much and how many parallels I find to entrepreneurship. So many of us are  … Read more


Posted: April 7th 2015 5

The Magic of Abra

One of the challenges of communicating the power of the blockchain over the past couple of years has been the absence of a “killer app”. An application on top of the infrastructure that renders the complex technology behind it invisible — and only shows a seamless, magical customer experience. Today Abra launched to the world.  … Read more


Posted: March 5th 2015 3

When Third is First

In 2011, I wrote about Jugaad, according to Wikipedia “a colloquial Hindi word that can mean an innovative fix or a simple work-around”. I noted in the blog post that Jugaad is “now an acceptable management technique…and also applies to any kind of creative and out of the box thinking which maximizes resources for a  … Read more


Posted: June 16th 2014 1

Billion or Bust?

I  just wrote a short piece which Quartz published today.  I’m re-posting below.  Do I think we are in a valuation bubble?  I think that later stage valuations are frothy (for reasons I explain below) while earlier stage valuations are starting to stabilize from previous highs (with the exception of the superstar serial entrepreneur)  –  … Read more


Posted: January 27th 2014 None

Nest-ing Data

A few observations from the just announced Google $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a Silicon Valley based company that sells “smart” thermostats and smoke detectors: – Build vs Buy: Even for a company with significant resources such as Google, it is difficult to innovate beyond core products .  While Google was  better than most companies  … Read more


Posted: January 13th 2014 2