Google Ventures, Zurb, MyPad: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News
In the run-up to the long weekend, we churned out a few of our patented long stories.
—My big opus for the week was a writeup of a lengthy conversation with Bill Maris, the managing partner at Google Ventures. Maris shared insights about Google Ventures’ founder-friendly operating philosophy and its roots in his own experiences as founder of Burlee, a dot-com-era Web hosting service in Vermont.
—I also profiled Zurb, a fascinating Campbell, CA-based interaction design firm where the emphasis is on business and strategy as much as Web design.
—My Friday column focused on MyPad, the San Francisco startup behind the most popular Facebook app for the iPad. Facebook itself is widely expected to release an iPad app this fall, and I predicted that this will mean the demise of nearly all of the third-party Facebook apps, except for MyPad.
—Frequent guest op-ed contributor Steve Blank shared two great posts with us last week. The first was about the Startup Genome Compass, a report from Max Marmer’s Startup Genome Project that found that the leading cause of death among startups is premature scaling. In a second post, Steve argued that most state, municipal, and foreign governments get it wrong when they try to clone Silicon Valley, mostly because they don’t understand the distinctions between the different types of startups, and they fail to create ecosystems that can foster this diversity.
—Companies from the 2011 class at Mountain View, CA-based seed accelerator 500Startups went on tour in New York, giving their pitches to East Coast investors, as my colleague João-Pierre Ruth reported.
—Former Zynga executive Andrew Trader (aka “A.T.”) was promoted to venture partner at Maveron, the Seattle- and San Francisco-based venture firm, as my colleague Curt Woodward reported. Trader had been an entrepreneur-in-residence at Maveron since last fall.
—Palo Alto, CA-based E la Carte, an alum of Dogpatch Labs and Y Combinator that specializes in tablet-based ordering systems for restaurants, raised $4 million in a funding round led by Chicago-based Lightbank, as Greg Huang reported.