Livermore Fire Update: Now 15,000 Acres


Livermore Fire Update: Now 10,000 Acres



107F/42C in Pleasanton. Hard to believe we’re just a short ride away from San Francisco where it’s 77F/22C today.


House Burns While I Attend Launch: Silicon Valley

Yesterday was supposed to be a relaxing day of networking and watching startup pitches at Launch: Silicon Valley 2008, a joint event of SVASE and Garage Technology Ventures. The event started smoothly, with 400 or so participants when I received disturbing news: my next-door neighbor’s house was one fire. These side-view photos were taken from my window:

Here’s a video courtesy of the Pleasanton Weekly:

It was a bit of a nerve-wrecking day. “Luckily” enough the neighbor’s son and daughter both live in town, so they had a place to temporarily move to, until the house becomes habitable again.

Update (6/12):  Apparently reconstruction will take several months, just as bad (or worse) than building a new home.  The problem with old houses is that you have to bring everything up to current code.  My neighbors, a nice elderly couple are now looking for a house to rent until they can move back.


DemoCrunch 2008

This year’s TechCrunch 50 Conference is planned to coincide with DemoFall, the (other) premium startup Launch event.

VentureBeat attempts to (well, sort of) explain it with scheduling, but make no mistake, this is a fairly open move against DemoFall, to establish TechCrunch50 as the premier startup launch event. There’s no question that TechCrunch can pull in just about the entire VC community – in fact given the audience pricing, $2000 early bird, and $3000 regular, it’s hard to believe anyone but VCs can afford to attend. Well, VCs and students, as those with a student ID can get in for $149.

The presenting companies will not be charged – that’s a huge differentiate vs. Demo. As I said before, you almost have to be already funded to be able to afford Demo’s fees. I leave it to you to decide which one is more startup-friendly.smile_wink

Of course they want a real launch show, so the one hard condition is that your product /service will have to be new (unseen) at the Conference. Several commenters are already complaining that they are launching before September, which automatically disqualifies them.

I have a solution for you “early birds”: come join us at Launch: Silicon Valley 2008 jointly presented by SVASE and Garage Technology Ventures. Five of last year’s 29 presenters received venture funding, in aggregate of $30M. That’s not $140M, but not too shabby, eithersmile_regular.

How to participate? If by June 10th, 2008 (the day of the event) you will have a product or service available, but have not been out in the marketplace for more than a few months, then send an Executive Summary of no more than 2 pages to Submission deadline: May 9th, 2008. (Garage Technology offers a useful Writing a Compelling Executive Summary guide.) Last year’s 30 (actually, 29) presenting startups were selected from 170 submissions. For details – and attendee registration – check out

See you there!

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