Entries by matt

Recommendation and discovery and Chris Dixon, oh my!

Chris Dixon recently wrote (in an incredibly brief post) that recommendation systems are features, not products, and pointed out that Hunch was only compelling after being bought by eBay, where it successfully powers both recommendations and discovery on the site (not 100% sure on this).  I agree with Chris and have a few notes. 1) […]

Making the unbanked into the banked with tax prep

I love AdventFinancial.  It isn’t just because their co-founder is a friend and one of the nicest guys I know, but they actually have a great business in a space that often doesn’t have much greatness: tax prep. The pitch is pretty simple.  Mostly, two kinds of people get their taxes done in the US: the rich and […]

Product = Perspective

I was lucky enough to get to act as an advisor at USV on Saturday as part of Gary Chou’s great weekend program that allows startups to get three perspectives from field experts on the products they are planning to release.  I say lucky enough because as Matt Smith of Shutterstock pointed out, being an […]

How to make people stop hating Facebook

There has been a lot of griping about Facebook lately.  IPO trouble, privacy concerns, the “what is this doing to society and do I really want to contribute?” crowd.  They’re getting slaughtered in the press, on Wall Street, and in the court of public opinion, and they seem to be doing shockingly little about it. […]

Black, urban, and wired

Young black men are hacking the internet.  Not the code itself, but the actual process. Repeatedly, while taking the subway in NYC, I have overheard groups of young men talking about the truly interesting ways that they are paying attention to technology and they are almost always black.  Five stops on how to get the […]

Notes from a talk to high schoolers

I got invited to talk to a group of 90 high schoolers at Columbia yesterday, and as usual, I didn’t prepare slides but just took a walk and thought about the things I’ve learned (and repeatedly not learned) along the way. For one, I’ve learned always to curse when talking to either high school or […]

When laughter ruins a joke (and the internet)

I went to see Woody Allen’s new film last week and I have to say that you should never, ever see a Woody Allen film in New York City, unless you are a born-and-bred New Yorker.  It will ruin the experience. For one, because it was “indie”, the theater was literally the length of a […]