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No Compunction about No Competition

Quite often, it seems, people violate, or come too close to violating a non-compete clause after they sell a company. Here's the latest example.

Davis previously sold a recruiting blog to Jobster, and worked with the company for a while. He eventualy left, but apparently had a non-compete in place.

I never really understand why this noncompete stuff ever comes up.

When I sold MyTrafficNews to Traffic.com, I worked hard for them, and enjoyed it. When the contract was over we parted as friends. I gladly signed the non-compete.

Now I'm running another startup, but in a totally different indsutry. As much as I loved the traffic business, I'm very happy to NOT be in it any more.

That's why I don't understand when this kind of thing comes up. I would think entrepreneurs, by nature, would want to move on to a different challenge, and apply what they learned in one area to a different industry or niche that needs the same kind of new thinking.


Let's Make a Deal

So, the conservatives on the court decided that free speech really should be free when it comes to politics, but that it isn't free when you are a student and you are saying something the school doesn't like.

The liberals are holding a view that would seem to illustrate why big cities like liberals and everywhere else is getting more conservative. What the liberals said in those two rulings is that students should be able to publicly advocate drug use or anything else they want, anywhere they want to, including on school grounds. But people or groups with money should not be able to speak about politics in public.

Teens can say anything anywhere, but a group of people can't get together and comment on politics.

The liberal position in this case is just so much gobbledygook, so full of convoluted language that even the AP had a hard time finding a good quote.

The other side, however, is much easier to make clear because it is just easier to boil things down to their essence and then choose what is obviously right:

"Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor."

I really wonder, though, if Roberts couldn't have achieved a unanimous vote on both.

Look, I know this is a stretch, and it shows my Libertarian bent, but what if Roberts said to Souter, "David, really, if you really think kids should be able to say anything anywhere, I don't like it and my wife will kill me because I have small kids, but I could handle all that and vote with you because a bunch of potheads aren't going to get anyone else to smoke dope with some nonsense signs anyway. Also the schools have plenty of ways of keeping those punks in line. I'll suck it up and vote with you on that if you will embrace the spirit of free speech that you advocate for in that case, and apply it to the political speech case and vote with the majority. This way you get half of what you want, rather than being zero for two."

I know vote trading is wrong, illegal, etc., but with a couple of unanimous or at least near-unanimous decisions the court could really let everyone know that this is still America, and we really do have free speech.


Rest of the story on LifeLock

I linked to the story of the guy who stole his own father's credit cards to start a business, something that violates the nature of Credit Card VC.

There was one bit of the story that bothered me, however, and it was that the story originally broke in the Phoenix New Times, parent company of a newspaper I once toiled at. In the years since I've left I've seen that the New Times company has gutted investigative reporting in Denver, and all over the country including at the Village Voice in New York City.

So the thing that didn't quite make sense for me about the story was that the original investigative reporting came from the New Times.

Now, thanks to Mike Arrington, we know the rest of the story. The only way the New Times was able to do an "investigative" story was by pasting together an anonymous email, probably from the credit reporting agencies who might lose business if this company does well.

I'm not saying Maynard is a saint, but if that company takes away a bit of business from the big three credit agencies, I have no beef with that; and Maynard is gone.
My other takeaway? Thanks goodness for the Interweb, and especially guys like Arrington who are willing to pull back the curtain a bit on the way the media works.


“Despite”?

University Hospital is the last I see in a series of this kind of announcement.

Despite moving to a new facility, the University of Colorado Hospital is expected to layoff up to 70 people by the end of the month due to a budget shortfall.

"Despite"???? How about "Because of"?

We've seen this several times in Denver just in the last few months. Certainly newspapers are laying off around the country, but the layoffs at the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News come just after moving into a shiny new building shown here under construction (in a link that gives a clue about when Google took all those cool new street level pictures) or here for some more recent shots.

And just a few blocks away is the DAM expansion, a dramatic new building that millions of people are not going to. Hence, they had a round of layoffs also.

What does this have to do with your startup? Well, just when you are thinking that it's time to get a fancy new office, maybe that's the time to hunker down.


Another Credit Card VC adopter

I know I'm linking to Guy twice in a row, but his latest post makes it clear that he fully groks the Credit Card VC ethos:

By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09

Because of Truemors, I’ve learned a lot about launching a company in these “Web 2.0” times. Here’s quick overview “by the numbers.”


  • 0. I wrote 0 business plans for it. The plan is simple: Get a site launched in a few months, see if people like it, and sell ads and sponsorships (or not).

  • 0. I pitched 0 venture capitalists to fund it. Life is simple when you can launch a company with a credit-card level debt.



Now, Guy will tell you that this is not the next Microsoft or Google, it's a service that may grow on its own and maybe someday some bigger organization will want to add it to a portfolio because of the user base or whatever, and so it may have a nice exit someday.

But the best part, I think, for Guy is that when people send him business plans about how they really need to have $1 million Angel Round so that the team can develop a prototype, he can look them right in the eye and say, "Why? I launched a site for $12,107.09, and within two weeks it had 315,000 hits in Google. Why do you need 82.596 TIMES the money I spent to do what you want to do?"

They better have a darn good answer to that question.