Avi Freedman's Tech and Biz Topics

on internet plumbing, gadgets, nerd herding, and other related topics

Tweetstorm on Seed/A Funding

Inspired by Danielle Morril of Mattermark, I decided to document some of the things I’ve learned and have been sharing with startup CEOs recently.

Full tweets on twitter w/ some responses.

1/ Thanks so much @DanielleMorrill for the tweetstorm earlier, and @jasonlk and others! Killed the afternoon but great reading!
2/ Will share some notes on our seed and A rounds. Things I wish I could tell myself && || others back in time.
3/ For seed…
4/ Decide if you want a note or priced. If unsure, do note and be open to priced round if you/lead falls in love + passes diligence.
5/ But get going! Don’t wait. Same as YC advises is true, especially as soon as you start talking to investors.
6/ If you want to do a priced round, the race is on for a lead.
7/ If you start w a note, send monthly updates to investors and ask then include firms (for seed or A) you really liked.

Kentik (Formerly CloudHelix) Is Launching!

I’m excited to announce the launch of Kentik, formerly CloudHelix!

We’ve been working with Box, Yelp, Neustar, and other great customers to shake things up in the stale network monitoring space.

We’re bringing a modern, scalable, and SaaS approach to terabit-scale visibility into network availability, efficiency, attacks, and performance.

More at my Kentik blog post here.

CloudHelix Is Hiring!

CloudHelix is hiring!

We’re on a mission to rescue our friends in the the devops, netops, and secops crowds from crufty enterprise tools and expensive, closed security appliances!

Come work with a fun team working with some of the largest and smartest customers in the world. We’re based in San Francisco but open to talk to wizards worldwide.

Future Blog Topics/Thoughts (Will Take Requests)

A few people write me most weeks asking to cover something in networking, storage, working in big or small companies, or other geekly areas.

I’m moving my master list of potential future topics here and will extend it over time.

… The hardest decisions to make are the ones where you can’t identify an obviously better or worse choice. Just choose. (triggered by http://lifehacker.com/make-tough-decisions-and-move-on-with-the-two-minute-ru-615962167)

… Do what you are passionate about because you can be world class at it – I administered the Sun networks for they wanted me for physics and math at Temple University. Profs wanted me to switch majors to both because I could be a top student in their topics but I knew I’d be a Salieri or worse, never great, never seeing the problems and geeking and dreaming the solutions. (triggered by http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/07/08/math-science-popular-until-students-realize-theyre-hard/)

… On partners and cofounders – make sure you’re a match in values and goals, of course. Ideally you could all represent biz, tech, internal managemen, finance, marketing well enough to speak with the ‘voice of the company’ to insiders or outsiders, and sync with the others/the domain expert partner. At Akamai, working with Jonathan Seelig (had run the network group, + did BD, + was cofounder) and Tim Weller (CF) was amazing for this reason as we worked together.
(triggered by http://blog.aha.io/index.php/how-to-choose-a-great-co-founder/)

… Link to Matt Ringel’s Akamai post about “don’t spend more than N minutes before asking for help”.

… On hiring – compsci degrees used to ensure that you had written a program of more than a few hundred lines and had worked on a team. Often in the compiler or OS classes. Now we have github and OSS, but fewer universities seem to be doing this. Still, asking about both of these things is useful. Not to strictly no-hire but to know if people have worked in teams before, in particular.

Quick Mailman Search

In case it’s useful to anyone, I wrote a quick proof of concept for
doing search with mailman lists (code after the break).

The background is – I subscribed to a mailing list and shortly thereafter
there was a call for feedback posted. One of the points was:

“We’re looking specifically for systems that offer strong search and
archiving features, to help manage the wealth of knowledge that [redacted]
generates. What other specific functionality should we look for in a new

This is a closed list so google doesn’t pick up and index the archives.