Archive for the articles Category

Yokum Taku’s Take On Vesting

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, buzzpal updates, other people's blogs, startups, venture capital with tags , , , on August 30, 2009 by chrisco

If you are (or are interested in becoming) a startup founder, early team member or investor, check out Yokum's blog.

A lot’s been going on over at BuzzPal these past couple of months. Besides design and development work, we’re growing the team, forming a new company, negotiating terms, drafting documents, and generally working through all the administrative stuff you gotta do to get a clean start.

One of the questions everybody goes through at this point is: “Who should get how much equity and under what terms and conditions and vesting”? Yokum’s article (below) is about that “vesting” part (other parts to be discussed some below).

Yokum suggests standard 4-year vesting with a 1-year cliff, then equal monthly vesting. It’s hard to argue with that.  Indeed, it’s what I got at MCG (I got options that where converted to restricted stock before our IPO in 2001) and it’s most people get if and when they get equity.

That said, Basil Peters, whose blog,, should also be on your list, makes a strong case that, for founders and co-founders at least:

“[T]he most fair and equitable structure, and the one that maximizes the alignment between the founders and the investors, is to vest like this:

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The Gift-Card Economy

Posted in articles, marketing on May 1, 2009 by chrisco

The Gift-Card Economy
By Virginia Postrel
The Atlantic

Great reminders for startups and fun for everyone else, especially if you’re into behavioral studies, paradoxes, and marketing.

Mother’s Day is coming up. Which do you think Mom would enjoy more—a day-spa gift certificate that expires at the end of June, or an otherwise identical gift certificate that expires a year from now?

The answer is obvious. Longer is better, of course. Mom will have a higher chance of making it to the spa if she has a whole year to find a convenient time.

Perfectly logical—and probably wrong

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Wired Article: Apple Aggressively Pursues ‘Pod’ Trademarks

Posted in articles, other people's blogs, startups on March 24, 2009 by chrisco

This is an important article for for just about anyone who has (or is creating) branded products and services.

Here at BuzzPal, we went through a very similar trademark case in 2006 and 2007 (cleared by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2008). We stood up for ourselves against the $30-million-VC-funded California company (and their NYC lawyers) and won (it was a respectful, friendly, and fair negotiation).

It will be interesting to see how the Sector Labs vs. Apple Computer case turns out (follow it live here on the USPTO website). I suspect a settlement will be reached that will either (A) allow Sector to use its VIDEO POD trademark, but in a narrowed scope, or (B) result in Apple making a payment to Sector in exchange for Sector agreeing to abandon the VIDEO POD mark and re-brand their product.

Now on to the article:

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Jason Calacanis: How To Demo Your Startup

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, events, other people's blogs, recruiting, startups, venture capital on September 6, 2008 by chrisco

This is the one of the best articles I’ve seen on this topic. Yes, it’s long, but it’s worth it, at least if you’re doing a demo any time soon. Now on to the article, which was first published on Jason’s email list, then on TechCrunch.

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Jason Calacanis: Fire Your PR Company

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, contests & promotions, events, other people's blogs, recruiting, startups, venture capital on August 23, 2008 by chrisco

Jason totally nails it. You’ve got to be real, you’ve to got to be passionate.

See Mike Butcher’s excellent addition to the conversation on TechCrunch UK. Also, congratulations to TCUK for being named the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine.

Now on to Jason’s article, which was originally posted on (that’s also where the comment thread is).

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BuzzPal Mentioned in the Media Today

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, buzzpal updates, events, other people's blogs, recruiting, startups, venture capital on July 17, 2008 by chrisco

BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party, got it’s first press mention today:

The article is about the new generation of Swedish startups and Seedcamp, which is basically the European version of Ycombinator. BuzzPal may be participating in Seedcamp, coming to it based on the suggestion of Anders Fredriksson, one of last year’s participants. Anders is a friend and contact here in Gothenburg. Thanks, Anders. -Chris

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The Equity Equation

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, recruiting, startups, venture capital on July 14, 2008 by chrisco

Spent some time today looking for some good articles to share on the eternal “how much equity” question. This Paul Graham article is one of the best I’ve found so far.

The Equity Equation
By Paul Graham
July 2007

An investor wants to give you money for a certain percentage of your startup. Should you take it? You’re about to hire your first employee. How much stock should you give him?

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