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Infrastructure for Marketplaces: The Shovels and Picks of the End-to-End Marketplace Gold Rush!

by Guimar Vaca Sittic Building marketplaces is really hard. The hardest nut to crack is building liquidity: having a critical mass of buyers and sellers. One of the main reasons marketplaces fail is that they don’t live up to the expectations of their buyers, and consequently, of their sellers. Buyers typically not only expect the type of quality of service to be comparable to that of an Amazon or Zappos, but also, they are unaware that the service in a marketplace is provided by a third party rather than by the company itself. Given these high… Read More

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One Step Closer To Streamlining the Car Buying and Selling Process

As an entrepreneur and investor, I am fortunate enough to collaborate with startups on a regular basis, learning about their ambitions and plans to shake up their respective industries. In my previous blog post, The used car buying and selling process is broken and we are going to fix it!, I discussed how one of the startups I work with, Beepi, is streamlining the process of buying and selling cars by removing the labor and hassle for the consumer – with the click of a mouse. Less than five months since launching, Beepi has surpassed all… Read More

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Farewell Harvard!

Even when I was little I knew I wanted a dog, preferably a Labrador. I remember begging my parents to get one. They finally saw the wisdom of my request and Ucla joined our family. For 16 years, he was a constant fixture in my life with his wonderful almond eyes and insatiable thirst for life. Despite lacking proper training, he always instinctively knew what to do. He always ran to the right of my bicycle on open roads going exactly at my speed. We played a game where I had to steal a ball from him through whatever means… Read More

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Think Like a Freak

Freakonomics and Superfreaknomics – the bestselling books of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner are no longer news to the readers of this blog. However, their new work – Think Like a Freak is worth a shout-out. In Think Like a Freak, Levitt and Dubner use their famed unconventional analysis in explaining the hidden side of things. The readers of Freakonomics will recognize the authors’ thinking process and their unorthodox approach. But their compelling story telling and the new topics covered make this work a page-turner for anyone interested in behavioral economics, or in simply thinking outside of the box. In… Read More

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The used car buying and selling process is broken and we are going to fix it!

The used car industry is massive. There are 40 million used cars sold per year in the US representing $320 billion in value and $70 billion in industry revenues. The average household buys a $8,000 used car every 3 years. This is the second largest household expenditure after housing. Given how massive the industry is, it’s shocking how awful the used car buying and selling process is. To sell a car online, owners have to endure the pain of taking pictures, describing their car and posting them on Craigslist, eBay Motors or Auto Trader. They have to receive people at their… Read More

My first interview in Spanish!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Emprendedor Universal … in Spanish! They asked me to relate my entrepreneurial journey, focusing on the challenges I faced along the way. I also shared what I have been up to since leaving OLX along with advice for budding entrepreneurs. If you want to hear me embarrassing myself in Spanish, you can listen to the interview at: http://emprendedoruniversal.com/fabricegrinda/ It’s also available on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/12-fabrice-grinda-angel-inversionista/id865252986?i=313805747&mt=2Read More

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Why I bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 instead of a HTC One M8

For the past year I have been the proud owner of a HTC One. As the new generation of phones emerged, it became time to re-evaluate my decision. I almost picked the HTC One M8. It’s clearly the better looking phone with a finely brushed aluminum body (vs. a generic plastic body for the S5). It has much better speakers. The HTC Sense interface is more streamlined and the HTC One M8 comes in a Google Play edition. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has much better battery life, camera and is water resistant. Some might also point out that the battery… Read More

Larry Page’s story is fascinating

Nicholas Carlson just published a fascinating in depth article about Larry Page. It covers his evolution over the last 15 years. When he started out at Google, he was an immature CEO who fostered conflict and micromanaged. He resisted the idea of giving up the CEO role to Eric Schmidt and over the years disengaged himself from the product role at Google. Android fostered his renaissance. He had the vision to buy the company without permission (which was not blocked because the $50 million made no difference to Google’s bottom line) and to foster its development. He learned to delegate… Read More