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Comment From experience (Score 1) 205

I have talked to VCs a number of times. Always wound up finding other funding in the end, but got a lot of perspective on what VCs are looking for and how they anticipate getting it.

Number one: a VC expects 5x-10x return on investment. That return is typically from selling to another company (which may itself be a VC). It may also be from revenue but VCs these days are less interested in active revenue. They want to sell the company and move on.
Number two: They don't care so much about the actual technology. It's important to have good demos etc, but it's kind of a tertiary concern. VCs are investing, first and foremost, in people who they think will get it done. Not just on the tech side, but on the business side.
Number three: The more you talk about the tech's details, the worse it gets. Focus on why this makes sense to consumers at a high level. Focus on why YOU are special. Not the algorithm. YOU.
Number four: It is enormously helpful to have important industry people to vouch for you. Find filmmakers or producers or somebody who are successful with recognized achievements, and have them write mini-recommendations for the tech.

As engineers, it is very tempting to try and explain to a VC why your algorithm is so much more clever than what's out there. Do not bother. That's not what capital is about.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 2, Insightful) 604

Far more lives were affected by the lockdown than by the bombing itself. Who are these hypothetical "someone"s you speak of? The victims' families?

I meant affected in a non-trivial way. My life has been "affected" by reading about it, and someone who was advised to stay indoors while they caught the suspects was "affected", but to say your life has been affected by it in a way that can be counted against someone who had a leg blown off is an insult.

Civil panic would be a horrible way to "honor" the death of one of my loved ones.

Civil panic being "Please stay indoors while we finish chasing down the other person who did this to your loved ones" ? I guess in that situation you would probably have places you need to be though, and who cares if having everyone moving around while an armed chase plays out makes casualties/hostage taking/escape more likely?

Comment Re:we had reasonable guesses though (Score 1) 604

170 marathon runners / spectators were wounded and children were killed in this attack intended to kill/maim as many innocent people as possible.

What does this have to do with neighborhood gun crime, or car crime, or whatever? If those gunmen had indiscriminately opened fire on a crowd of people, just because they wanted to maximize the damage, and 170 people were maimed and children were killed, I am sure you would get a similar response. (And presumably there would be people saying "that's nothing: in the neighborhood I live in people have got stabbed and mugged before and there was no lockdown then! this is becoming some kind of fascist state!"

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 0) 604

It is so embarrassing seeing people in this discussion saying how few people were killed, what a terrible thing it is that Boston was locked down for a day, and how could the police do that.. I just cringe at the thought of someone who's life was affected reading some of the comments in this discussion.

Comment Re:rediculous (Score 4, Insightful) 604

If they ever get 20 guys again like 9/11 and they all just get rifles and randomly start shooting people all over the country like the Washington sniper did this countries going to become a police state if the police react like this.

Right; more people are killed by car accidents every day than by 20 snipers taking out people at random across the country. I say in that situation the police should ignore the snipers and go look for drunk drivers and speeding!

Frankly until terrorists are killing more people within the US than cancer and heart disease put together, I don't see much point going after it.

Comment Re:proportion and disproportion (Score -1, Flamebait) 604

It becomes normal to do what some community colleges in my area are doing, which is to have an active shooter drill once a year in which adult college students are locked in a dark room for 30 minutes and told they can't leave. (This passive response is, BTW, not at all in line with what experts recommend in such a situation.)

Awwww.. did that 30 minute emergency drill ruin your day?

And I thought the people whos limbs were blown off and children were killed had it bad.. We need to realign our priorities!

Comment Re:Home of the Fearful (Score 5, Insightful) 604

As a non-American I find this weird:
  • A couple of people execute a plan to blow hundreds of innocent athlete/spectators' limbs off,
  • The police use technology to work with the public to catch/kill them in a matter of days with no additional casualties,
  • Some Americans then go wallow in self-hatred over either
    • How scared they are of the police intruding on their freedom,
    • Or how easily scared they are.

I can't believe people are saying to the effect of "only three people died, less than the deaths caused by normal crime." Surely there is a difference between those looking to maim hundreds of innocent people and the sum of everyday crime?
How can people be so wishy-washy about this? A couple of complete assholes have just ruined hundreds of peoples' lives, and people feel conflicted about the manhunt that ended in their death and arrest?

Comment Re:Judo (Score 1) 692

And I'm sure if Forbes wrote "Bitcoin is a fantastic idea, I fully support it" you would be saying "oh he is just taking the contrary position because he knows reverse psychology blah blah blah" ?

Maybe (just.. maybe) he says he doesn't think Bitcoin is money because he doesn't think Bitcoin is money?

Comment Re:You're not kidding (Score 1) 583

But I know enough to ask questions. I have had grave concerns about the validity of their design since I first read about it on slashdot some years back. It seemed to me the case had not been made that bitcoin was not vulnerable to rapid destruction of value, due to attacks on fundamental flaws in its design.

Hard-hitting analysis there.. Any cryptographers want to walk us through the technical issues raised here, maybe allay our fears?

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