Category Archives: jason baptiste

Florida Entrepreneurs in the Valley

tesla motorsI spent most of last week out in the Valley for some portfolio discussions and had the chance to catch up with some old friends. It was a nice reunion, giving me a taste of the impact Florida entrepreneurs are making in the Bay Area.

For example, I sat down with the MyBlogLog guys (Todd Sampson et al), founded in Orlando, FL prior to their acquisition by Yahoo and move to SF. That crew has spawned a host of new startups, including Gnip, Lookery, yet to be released Famery & Zentact, and a few others that are still on the drawing board.

I also saw Jason Baptiste (Publictivity), Phil Carter (QuinStreet), and Randy Glein (DFJ Growth, UF alum). Bryan Scott (prior Inflexion intern) is a busy man over at OpenDNS; he and I missed each other this time, but I really like his current gig.

None of these guys forget their roots. If you’re ever out West, look them up…maybe they’ll have their Tesla’s by then.

Related images: dfj growth, famery, gnip, lookery, mybloglog, opendns, publictivity, tesla, tesla motors

Startup on Other People’s Servers (OPS)

A came across Peter Yared’s Musings while looking for details on his latest startup, wdgtbldr. Peter previously built ActiveGrid and has some great nuggets to share the second time around.

His post, A Startup in the Cloud, captured an accelerating trend with big implications. We’ve heard plenty about all the web programming advances that allow 1-2 founders to launch a web 2.0 site quickly — remember Jason Batiste, Frank Astor and Brian Breslin’s $500, 2-week WeblogWire launch? The other exciting trend is the growth of inexpensive, hosted productivity apps allowing founders to go beyond launching a site, to truly running a business with a superior cost structure.

This reminds me of the entrepreneur/VC reference to building companies with Other People’s Money (OPM). In this case, you’re leveraging Other People’s Servers (OPS) — and you benefit from the economies of scale (not to mention cut-throat SaaS pricing). Securing OPS is a lot easier than OPM, and the benefits can be significant. Peter is building wdgtbldr with an OPS approach, leveraging CRM, conference calling, analytics, email, forwarding, fax, forums, wikis, accounting, calendar, code control, campaigns, and QA — all for less than $400/month. Amazing.

Related images: peter yared, jason baptiste, frank astor, brian breslin, saas

Will I See You at NextMiami?

miami skylineI know it’s late notice, but I am now confirmed for the NextMiami shindig tomorrow night. Jason Baptiste, Nathaniel McNamara and a bunch of other smart folks are getting together Wednesday, July 25, 7:30-11:30pm at 510 Ocean Drive, Miami, FL. You can check the Facebook event page or the NextMiami Ning for more details.

Miami’s startup network is buzzing and gets me excited every time I visit. I look forward to seeing some new faces and old friends…