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Steve Case is the co-founder of America Online, the company that democratized online access. Steve is currently the chairman of the Revolution investment firm and also the Case Foundation. President Obama named him Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Additionally, Steve has chaired Startup America and Startup Weekend, initiatives to promote entrepreneurship.

In short, he’s a billionaire. But let me tell you a story that will give you a better insight into the man. I had dinner with Steve and his crew immediately after Apple blew up the contract for Steve’s company to create an online service for consumers called AppleLink Personal Edition.

I remember telling him that Apple did him a big favor because Apple was, and still is, a hardware device company. Steve asked me to consult to what became America Online and to do some online conferences, and I agreed. (I should have gone to work for the company, but what did I know?)

Two years later I saw Steve, and he asked me if I was still working with his folks. I told him that I wasn’t. Then he asked me if I ever got the stock options that were promised, and I told him that I hadn’t but not worry about them because I hadn’t done that much.

But he insisted that I get the options, and let’s just say that those options were like the proverbial two fish in Matthew 14 that fed thousands of people. He didn’t have to give me those options, but they changed the...

My friends at Mercedes recently loaned me a Mercedes AMG to test drive, and I’d like to share my favorite pictures and thoughts with you.

I hate to admit this, but I’m not sure I’m man enough for this car. It is a fantastic 503-horsepower engine (built by Sven Seyfried) with two seats strapped to the back–I mean this in only the most positive way!

Think of it as a Zdeno Charo slapshot or a LeBron James dunk. It can hold a hockey bag–which is essential to me, and I was able to achieve 23.5 mpg on a drive from Santa Barbara to Menlo Park (not that mileage is a high priority for people who buy this kind of car).

Bottom line: if you want to drive a sophisticated bad-ass triumph of teutonic engineering, this may be the car for you.

Sony brought approximately twenty journalists and reviewers to Portland to try the a7R II and RX-10. I only used the a7R II, mostly with the Sony FE 2.8 35 mm lens (real men use prime lenses).

These are samples of my pictures. I’m not a “real” photographer so if you see anything that’s sub-optimal, it’s probably me, not the lens or camera.

Some of the key features:

  • 42 megapixels
  • Five-axis stabilization
  • Maximum ISO of 102,400
  • 4K video recording

Here are some articles from other members of the trip:

Bottom line: much smaller and lighter than the usual DSLR, leading-edge technology, cool but not in-your-face-I-have-more-money-than-brains looks. I’d buy one.

A good Father’s Day gift embodies two qualities: insight into the male psyche and the appearance of a careful decision. Cost is hardly a factor at all. Because you only have six days left to shop, here’s a list of ten items for most modern dads.

Anker USB charger. Wall or desktop $25.99. A dad’s credo is ABC: always be charging. These multi-port wall chargers enable dad to take care of his phone, tablet, and camera. You might want to buy him two for family vacations when all the other members of the family need a way to charge their devices too.

Lumsing High Capacity 10,400 mAh battery. $19.99. Even if you bought your dad an Anker charger, he may need some juice during the day, and this is the mother of all batteries. Right now it’s $20. I bought another one when getting its Amazon link. Dad should just charge it and put it in the bottom of his bag or in his car’s glove compartment.

Newer Digital Grey Card Set.  $8.30. Is there anything worse than a digital photo with poor color balance? If dad would simply take a picture of this card to make white-balance editing, all his photos would be better. He might never go through this trouble, but at least he’ll know that his color balance could be better.

Gordy camera strap.  $18. Unloved dads have cameras with straps that came from the camera...

Doctors conduct postmortems to figure why people died. They do this to solve a crime, prevent the death of others, and satisfy curiosity. However, once somebody dies, it’s too late to help him.

Entrepreneurs and their investors also often analyze why a product, service, or company died—especially if it’s someone else’s company. And, as in the case of dead people, a postmortem is too late to do much good for a defunct product, service, or company. Enter the concept of premortems, coined by Gary Klein, chief scientist of Klein Associates, and author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions.

His idea is to get your team together and pretend that your product has failed. That’s right: failed, cratered, imploded, or “went Aloha Oe,” as we say in Hawaii. You ask the team to come up with all the reasons why the failure occurred. Then each member has to state one reason until every reason is on a list. The next step is to figure out ways to prevent every reason from occurring.

You can’t ask the team to report the issues and challenges because regular meetings are governed by mind games and unwritten rules—for example, not embarrassing your friends, not looking like a poor team player by criticizing others, and not making enemies. You can’t tell me that everyone is completely open and honest in these gatherings.

By contrast, people are not laying blame on one another and on other groups in a premortem (a properly conducted...

At any conference, there are ten times more panelists than there are keynote speakers, so the odds are higher that you’re on a panel than giving a keynote speech. Therefore, rocking a panel is an important skill for evangelists, too.

A panel looks easy. There are four or five other people on it, and it lasts only sixty minutes. How hard could it be? Herein lies the problem: because everyone thinks a panel is short and easy, no one prepares for it. In reality, a panel is harder than an individual speech because you cannot control a panel like your own keynote speech, and you get much less air time.

This is what to do if you want to be the person everyone comes up to talk to after a panel:

  • Know the subject. If you’re invited to a panel about a subject that you don’t know, decline the invitation. I don’t care how wonderful the opportunity seems to be. If you can help it, never provide a way for people to learn that you’re clueless.
  • Control your introduction. The first mistake that most panelists make is assuming that the moderator has an up-to-date and accurate bio. The moderator either knows nothing about you or has done a cursory Google search and found a bio that is incorrect. Therefore, before the panel starts, hand the moderator a three-sentence bio and ask her to read it verbatim.
  • Speak up. The optimal distance between your lips and the microphone is one inch. This is because...

This is a reprint from Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media. By Aliza Licht. I’m publishing it because many students are about to begin their summer internships, and I want them to have the most valuable experience possible.


When you enter a real work environment for the first time, especially as a college student starting an internship, remember why you want to be there: First and foremost, to learn real marketable skills that can enhance your resumé and to secure a strong referral from your supervisor. You do not go about getting these things by thinking, “Oh, I’m just an intern, so this experience doesn’t really matter.” Too many people make the mistake of thinking that since they don’t “really” work somewhere, how they present themselves isn’t of consequence. On the contrary, how you present yourself matters more because you’re trying to prove yourself and break in.

By the last day of your internship, your boss should be begging for you to stay. She should be saying things like, “What are we going to do without you?” That is a lasting impression. That is a reference nailed. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Dress the part: The more you can dress to fit the office culture, the easier it will be for people there to visualize you...

In the early days of starting up, the ability to scale is overrated. “Scale,” in case you haven’t heard the term, refers to the concept that there are processes in place that are fast, cheap, and repeatable because there will soon be millions of customers who generate billions of dollars of revenue.

For example, if Pierre Omidyar had to test every used printer offered for sale, eBay couldn’t scale. If Marc Benioff had to make every sales call, couldn’t scale. If James Hong’s parents had to check every picture to see if it was porn, Hot or Not couldn’t scale.

Holding yourself to a mass-scaling test in the early days is a mistake—putting the proverbial horse before the cart. This is akin to wondering if you should start a restaurant because it may be impossible to scale the perfectionism of an executive chef for multiple locations.

How about first ensuring that people within in a twenty-mile radius like the food before working about scaling the restaurant? That is, see if the business will work at all. For example, a company that I advise called Tutor Universe provides tutoring service via smartphones. Think of it as “Uber for tutoring.”

The long-term plan was that students could ask questions about any topic and receive help in under fifteen minutes. However, in the beginning, a critical mass of tutors for every subject didn’t yet exist. Many startups face just such a chicken-or-egg challenge: if you had...

Once upon a time there were two engineering PhDs who were clueless about how to start a company. All they knew how to do was code. They were so desperate for money and adult supervision that when an experienced businessperson showed interest and offered to help raise money, they, in their own words, “followed him like dogs.”

However, this adult didn’t know much about tech startups and caused them to make many mistakes in legal and financial matters. They parted ways but only after much aggravation and the significant legal expense of undoing incorrect decisions.

This is not an unusual story, and it’s an understandable one. First-time entrepreneurs are looking for any particle of positive feedback, reinforcement, and advice, so they jump at the first sign of interest. The demand for adult supervision in the form of advisors, board members, and investors far exceeds the supply, so you may need to take a chance with people who are untested in these roles. If no one will dance with you, the temptation is to dance with the first person who asks.

Here is a test to separate the contenders from the pretenders. These questions will help you identify good advisors, board members, and investors (if you have the luxury of choosing investors).

  1. What kind of corporation should we form? Answer you’re looking for: “C corporation” assuming the goal is to create the next Google.
  2. In what state should we incorporate? Answer you’re looking for: “Delaware.”
  3. Do our investors have to be accredited investors? Answer you’re...