3 Day Startup NYC: Day 1 Mentoring

I love innovation. I love working with smart people. And I love working with limited resources around extremely tight deadlines.

3 Day Startup: 30 bright entrepreneurs. Ideas flow Friday night, business plan and product demo need to happen by Sunday night.

The program started out of UT Austin, and I attended as a participant at their first event. I actually pitched the idea that the group ended up building that weekend, which ended up spinning out into a company now called Moodfish. Nik has since taken Moodfish 1000x further, well beyond the simple idea I had. 3DS has grown tremendously since and is now a worldwide operation. They've held events in Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Portugal, Israel, Chile, and China.

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Questions on Startups from Luke Carrière

When I was working on my PhD in Austin I got involved with a group called 3 Day Startup (3DS).  The idea is simple: get 40 bright, motivated, and entrepreneurial students in a room for 3 days, and have them build something. 3DS has grown since I attended their first 3 day event, and they now hold these events world wide.  They'll be holding their first 3DS in NYC on April 20, and I'll be helping out (as an advisor this time and a sponsor through Etsy). Luke Carrière is organizing the event, and he sent me a list of questions about my startup experience, answered here.

What is your advice to future entrepreneurs? Do what you love, and start a company if that’s your passion. Entrepreneurship is about value creation, disruption of current standards, and ownership. How did you recognize the opportunity/research the feasibility of the idea? 

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Why ad networks should optimize for precision and not recall

When I was working on my PhD living in Austin, I owned several motorcycles, and spent lots of time online researching parts, upgrades, repairs, etc. on sites like svrider.com and vfrworld.com. Without sites like these, when I had a problem with my motorcycle, I would have had to read the shop manual, go to the parts store, talk to a mechanic, call friends to ask for help, etc. I still did these things on occasion, but online resources made information more immediately accessible, and made my research much more efficient. This sort of information availability is one of the defining disruptions of the web.And not surprisingly, deep content is really my favorite “part” of the web. But internet ads, especially those on many of the sites I frequent, just don’t get my attention. Many ad networks today claim to have awesome semantic targeting technology that can develop complex models of interpreting content in order to place the most relevant ad. But if a forum post is discussing steel brake lines for a motrcycle, and the ad network only has a generic ad for an auto parts store, then the placement can only be so relevant, regardless of technology. Some of the best content on the web is quite deep, but most ad inventory generally lacks required specificity. The reason why ad networks today aren’t able to get my attention has nothing to do with their technology. It has 100% due to lack of inventory.

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