Dan Shapiro

CEO of Glowforge, creator of Robot Turtles, proud dad

Livesheeting Techstars Demo Day

Much as I did before, I’m running a live, world-writable spreadsheet of my notes on the pitches from Techstars demo day 2012. Things are just getting started as I write this now and the lineup of companies looks strong. You can follow along in realtime (questions & comments very  ...

Continue Reading

What you probably don’t know about NDAs

This blog post was originally published in Xconomy, after which I promptly forgot about it and left it to languish in my drafts folder until today. There is no love like a first time entrepreneur’s love with nondisclosure agreements.  They are a romantic dream: secret pacts bonding two  ...

Continue Reading

A cap is not a valuation

(apologies in advance: the content of this blog post is for startup financing geeks) I was having drinks with a dozen founders who should know better. “So YC company valuations are up around $10mm.  And some are $20mm+.” “What!?” I exclaim.  “That’s crazy!  ...

Continue Reading

How to be half as effective

When I founded Ontela with my friends Charles and Brian, we were all sick of big companies.  There were a lot of things we wanted to do differently, but one of the big ones was to build a company that wasn’t a faceless bureaucracy.  (Hindsight: good goal) A company where everyone was  ...

Continue Reading

Pyramid Pitching

Everyone knows of the mythical elevator pitch. You find yourself in an elevator, rocketing towards the penthouse suite of a downtown office edifice, when you realize that the person standing next to you is a powerful and influential investor. She asks what you do, and you calmly deliver your  ...

Continue Reading

Tacocopter Basics

The Tacocopters are coming. Sure, the original pitch was a clever troll aimed at credulous and impatient fast-food junkies. But the numbers don’t lie – a typical taco weighs less than a pound, and aircraft that can autonomously fly a few dozen ounces of payload to your doorstep are  ...

Continue Reading