Last Post on This Blog!

All of my original postings have been moved to http://illinoispartners.com/blog/ and I will stop posting them here as of May 2014. Anything that I write from now on will be posted on the Illinois Partners web site. I also have a site on Forbes.com which you can follow at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilkane/.

Thank you for reading! See you on the other side.

The Four Questions

For my monthly blog post on Tech Cocktail I talk briefly about the four questions that must be asked at every Passover Seder and during every investor pitch.question mark

Note: My blog is moving to http://illinoispartners.com/blog/. Please sign up there to receive future blog posts.

Neil Kane

How You Get Slaughtered in a Down Round

Here is my latest post on Tech Cocktail about what happens to the founders in a down round. 

Note: My blog is moving to http://illinoispartners.com/blog/. Please sign up there to receive future blog posts.

Neil Kane

Watch Out for Convertible Notes

Here is my latest post on Tech Cocktail about the hazards of financing your company with convertible notes (debt).  

Debt

Debt (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

Note: My blog is moving to http://illinoispartners.com/blog/. Please sign up there to receive future blog posts.

Neil Kane

Dear Microsoft, I’m Breaking Up With You

Note: My blog is moving to http://illinoispartners.com/blog/. Please sign up there to receive future blog posts.

Microsoft logo

This isn’t about you, it’s about me. I used to love spending time with you, but now, givenhow you’ve changed, it’s time for me to move on. You’re not yourself anymore. I’m breaking up with you.

I say this with a very heavy heart. When we got married 25 years ago with Windows 2.0, our relationship was blissful—and that was after years of heavy petting with DOS. I savored the challenge of getting to know you and would spend hours reading your manuals. Eventually I even worked for you and got my Microsoft certification.

But once you stopped meeting all my needs, I started sleeping around. First it was with my Android phone. It had its share of problems, that’s for sure, but with each release it got better. Then I got in bed with iOS when I bought an iPad. Despite these dalliances, at the time I remained completely infatuated with Windows—Windows 7. It has been rock solid and stable even if my three-year-old machine is starting to show some of that middle age lethargy characteristic of Windows boxes.

But whereas with each successive version of Windows (I skipped Windows 98 and Vista), I’ve gotten more productive, we’ve now stalled. And if a relationship doesn’t move forward, it dies. The experience of using Windows 8/8.1 is so frustrating, and there are so many good alternatives—maybe even better alternatives—now available, that the time has come to do what once seemed unthinkable.

Forcing me to use a touch interface on a laptop computer with a track pad or two button mouse is idiotic. The tile interface may in fact be a good touch interface, and it’s probably great on phones. But with a mouse, it sucks big-time. And what is incomprehensible is that by forcing me into the tile interface, which makes no sense for the type of computing I do, you have driven me away. It’s harder to do the work I do on Windows 8 than it is on Windows 7 or Windows XP for that matter. Now Apple is the only company with a decent laptop.

The Windows 8 critics talk about their frustration of shoehorning a desktop operating system on a tablet. I have the opposite gripe…shoehorning a tablet UI on a desktop—and giving me no alternative.

If Windows 7 were still available, I’d buy another laptop right now (I still have two laptops, including one that I use daily, running Windows XP).

If Windows 8 had a cascading start menu and I could hide the tile interface, I’d buy one right now.

But neither of the above is true, and by making the decision to “force” the new UI on loyal, long-term customers, my lifetime value is now going to go to another company. Apple and/or Google are going to get my share of wallet. And it didn’t have to be this way.

I’m not a fanboy of Apple products, and there are a few things about my iPad that I dislike. This isn’t the old “Windows vs. Mac” debate. You’ve obsoleted a product that I have mastered and have replaced it with something that is virtually unusable and far inferior to the alternatives I have, and thus it’s time for me to move on.

And I don’t want to do this. I will pay twice as much for a MacBook as compared to a comparable Windows machine.

This was a hard letter to write. We had some good times, and I shall remember them fondly.

My Blog is Moving!

Dear loyal reader of the Belief Without Evidence blog:

I’ve moved my blog content over to my website at www.illinoispartners.com and the blog posts can now be found at: http://illinoispartners.com/blog/. If you are receiving this post by email it’s because you are a subscriber to my blog. PLEASE go over to the Illinois Partners website and re-subscribe because my future blog posts will be posted to that site. There’s a box on the lower right hand portion of the screen where you can enter your email address. Eventually this site will just become an archive of old posts.

Thank you!

Neil Kane

Prenups for Startups: How to Structure Founding Teams

I Want a Divorce

I Want a Divorce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone in my network in Chicago was contemplating starting a business and wasn’t sure how to structure his arrangement with his partners/collaborators…and protect themselves in the event things didn’t work out. This sparked a rich online discussion which became the catalyst for this month’s post on Tech Cocktail. 

In Prenups for Startups: How to Structure Founding Teams I share my experience and provide guidance based on many things I’ve seen work…and not work. 

I welcome your comments as everyone’s personal experiences may be vastly different.

Neil Kane

Report on the White House Lab-to-Market Summit

English: South façade of the White House, the ...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

On May 20, 2013 a group of national experts in technology transfer convened in Washington, DC to discuss how to improve the nation’s effectiveness at bringing federally-funded research to market. Neil Kane was honored to be an invited guest at this Summit. A summary of the meeting was the topic of this month’s blog post on Tech Cocktail. A full copy of the report can be found on the home page for this blog www.beliefwithoutevidence.com in the Flash Widget in the lower right hand corner…you can download the report there.