Someone is always eavesdropping on me or I’m so predictable


In September last year, I was having a drink in San Jose with someone from Japan. He’s an old friend of mine and it had been over 25 years since the last time I saw him in person. He now runs a public real estate development company in Japan, and we talked about a US real estate project tied to EB-5 visa program. EB-5 is one-of-a-kind category to get a green card by merely investing money on the US soil, either half million dollars or a million, depending on the location. Many projects and businesses are specifically structured to attract EB-5 investors, and one of them is 15 Hudson Yards, a high-end condominium development in New York. We talked about 15 Hudson as my friend was interested in bringing similar crowdfunding scheme to Japan. We chatted over some other stuff; then I went home.

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Who created unicorns?

Unicorns – startups valued over $1 billion – were once as rare as the namesake mythical creature, but now they count almost 150.  A herd of unicorns is called a blessing; quite ironic when the bursting smell of unicorn bubbles is wafting over the valley.

Who created the unicorns?

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Can Theranos be the third blood test lab?

Can Theranos pivot to become a blood test lab (if it hasn’t already)?  To see if their low prices can be sustainable, I compared some of them against Japan’s nationally mandated low fees. (Japan’s healthcare cost is 10% of GDP, as opposed to 17% in the US.) Above chart is the result. For 41 tests I compared, Theranos tests were 2.5 times more expensive on average than the same tests in Japan.   While this doesn’t prove Theranos-as-a-test-lab would work, it’s reassuring.

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Which startup database is better? Comparing CB Insights, PitchBook, PrivCo, DataFox and Mattermark


I recently compared several private-company databases, as my one-year subscription to CB Insights was coming to an end.  I casually signed up for free trials for similar services, without any intention of doing the thorough comparison I ended up doing.  But here I am, having created a 26 column spreadsheet dissecting PitchBook, PrivCo, DataFox, mattermark, and CB Insights, I would like to share what I have found.

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