Preparing for a coaches’ meeting, parts 1 and 2 (DRAFT)

Draft! Revised version to appear as a two-part series on NWEN’s blog.

Congratulations to the 20 companies who advanced to the second round of the First Look Forum!  Hopefully by now you’re already scheduling your meetings with the coaches.   We’ve got a great list of coaches, including some of the highest-profile investors and entrepreneurs in the Seattle area.  From a startup’s perspective, it’s a huge opportunity — and potentially a little scary.

Back in fall 2009, I was in that situation with Qworky.  We were delighted to make it into the second round, and through the luck of the draw one of our coaches was one of the angel investors on our shortlist of “people we really really want to meet”.  Huzzah!  But then everybody’s schedule got busy and we didn’t prepare as thoroughly for the meeting as we had intended to.  One of the other founders still hadn’t left their previous job, and the other had some conflicts, so I wound up doing the meeting by myself …

And I bombed.
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The home stretch: part 6 of “The Agile One-pager” (DRAFT)

Draft! Revised version to appear on NWEN’s blog.

The first four parts of the series (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) have gotten us close.  Now it’s time for the final push.  For impatient readers, here are the tips

  • Go back over the section descriptions in the application form and double-check that you’re addressing the right questions in the right places.
  • Do a section-by-section, line-by-line review
  • Formatting and wording changes can often save you a half-dozen valuable lines, but don’t remove all the white space or emotion
  • Make it look great.  Have you included a logo?
  • It won’t be perfect.  Relax.  Nobody else’s is either.

Read on for more …

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Sharpening and tightening: Part 4 of “the Agile one-pager” (DRAFT)

Draft! Revised version to appear on NWEN’s blog.

In the first three parts of the series (1, 2, 3) we got to an initial version of an executive summary and begin iterating on it. This installment focuses on improvements in a couple of individual sections. For impatient readers, here’s the tips:

  • Get feedback from a lot of people — they’ll see different things
  • You can get great feedback even if people don’t read the document
  • Iterate repeatedly.  Incremental progress adds up.
  • A picture is worth 1000 words

Read on for more …

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Imagine this … (DRAFT!)

DRAFT !!!!   Revised version published on I Will Opt Out as What Just Happened?
For more discussion of Opt Out Day and what’s next, please see
We Won’t Fly, Fly With Dignity, I Will Opt Out, and FlyerTalk

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Tales from the Net

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Women in tech startups: how each of us can help change the ratio, parts 2 and 3 (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Feedback welcome!

Part of a series for NWEN’s blog

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Women in technology startups: a few things each of us can do (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress, feedback welcome!
revised version intended as a two-part series on NWEN’s blog

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31 months later: The Economist’s Debate on Privacy (DRAFT! Feedback welcome!)

DRAFT! Feedback welcome!
Revised version to be posted on Tales from the Net.

Economist Debates: Online Privacy.A debate between Marc Rotenberg of EPIC and Jim Harper of Cato, moderated by Martin Giles.  Because, y'know, who cares what women think?

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An open letter to President Obama on the Patriot Act (DRAFT)

Draft! Work in progress!  Feedback welcome!

The open letter will be published Monday evening, and this will be one of many posts announcing it.

Final version intended for Pam’s House Blend

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Social network activism and the Patriot Act (DRAFT)

DRAFT Work in progress! Feedback welcome!

Final version intended for The Seminal and Pam’s House Blend

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Can Skittles help fix the PATRIOT Act and FISA? (DRAFT!)

DRAFT!  Final version published on The Seminal.

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#diversityfail: Guys talking to guys who talk about guys — and Chris Anderson’s FREE (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress!

Update, July 9: my brother Greg of The Happy Accident had some great feedback on this draft: he didn’t know until the last paragraphs why he was reading it.  Until then, it seemed like an attack on Alex — which wasn’t at all my intention.   Why we do drafts, chapter 1023 and counting; thanks, Greg, for the feedback.   Apologies to all for any offense or misimpression.  I revised the final version of the post substantially.

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Disinformation, trolls, and #pman: more serious than Skittles (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress!  Feedback welcome …

Final version to appear on The Seminal

If you’re joining the series already in progress:

  • Lessons from Skittles for poets and activists introduced the series, briefly described how Skittles’ Twitter-centric viral marketing campaign caught fire, and concluded that Activists and poets — and anybody else who wants media attention without spending a lot of money — should consider including Twitter in their plans.
  • Mr. President, do you like Skittles? and Activism at the speed of Skittles, looked at how a small group of activists used Twitter to highlight a question about homeless vets and it was answered on the White House blog less than 48 hours later. The conclusion: Things happen very quickly in the Twitterverse
  • What rhymes with Skittles? shifted attention to poets, looking at my brother Greg’s 30 Poets/30 Days project and the #kidlit #poetry hashtags, and concluded that Everybody knows: fun rules.

This week, we’ll turn our attention to a more serious matter: the protests in reaction to Moldova’s disputed election results. As a “flash mob” congregated in Chisinau’s central square, the Piata Marii Adunari Nationalethe, and dramatically hoisted the EU and Romanian flags on Parliament, the #pman hashtag became a key communication channel for supporters and media around the world.

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