TONIGHT, Let's ALL MAKE LOVE in SHOREDITCH

Waxing philosophical ... with morphine and Thai hired help


¡Bong! [It takes more than severe first-degree burns from a drug-related snowboard accident to keep our Tech Venture Capitalist down. This week finds him recuperating, and in a reflective mood - Ed]

Where's the Bong? I've been away - but only to hell and back. Let me explain.

It was all going so well in the sunshine at Tignes. The company was fantastic, with Charles from the Trampery joining me for some well earned RnR time - just me, a few close Shoreditch tech friends, and my family of snowboards. The trouble started when I decided to combine my passions. You should never let your passions combine, just as you should never, ever let your incubator startups compare term sheets.

So there I was tuning Jemima - all my snowboards have personalities, and names - with a thorough waxing, when I decided I needed some refreshment. Just a little pick-me-up.

Well I think the fumes from the wax were affecting my judgment. Now, I've freebased cocaine just about everywhere, but never using [This passage has been removed at the manufacturer's request] or on a [This passage has been removed for safety reasons].

Once the flame lit, I knew I was in trouble.

Man, I saw all my M&A Exits flash past me at once. It was only because [This passage has been removed for legal reasons] happened to be passing - fancy seeing them there! - that saved me.

I don't remember much about the trip back to England, because of the morphine.

So all this week I've been in my Old Street Condo, unable to Tweet. Near death experiences do make you reflect on the the things in life that really matter. And here I have to thank the gentle and tender มาลัย (which means Garland of Flowers in Thai, which is so beautiful, and was able to come at short notice) for putting me in such a relaxed frame of mind. It's มาลัย who has been changing the Kamal CDs. I'm just not in the mood for Nah and Rooge and Phetsta right now. Not with all the itching.

And so it got me thinking.

Most of you know me as the legendary powerhouse behind Woodstock Capital and Bong Ventures. Or just as the creator of today's thriving internet startup scene - rightly hailed by the switched-on team at No.10 as the future of the British economy. I am the IT in TechCITYUK.

But fewer people know my spiritual side. That's because I don't like to talk about it. People do ask me, though, "Steve, who are your spiritual heroes?"

And that's easy to answer. There are two. I live my life according to the principles laid out by 孫武 (that's Sun Tsu to you) in The Art of War - and the teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Sadly only one of these guys is on Twitter.

I can see the puzzled looks. But there is no contradiction here, I believe they are complementary to the kind of weightless friction-free 21st Century capitalism we are trying to create in Shoreditch. It's one we can all create together. I know Rohan shares my vision.

(More recently I have also been deeply inspired by the novels of this American guy called Ayn Rand, which had been left behind by one of my old pals from Woodstock. The characters are really alive and the stories, where the entrepreneurs always WIN, have a happy ending. Ayn Rand started the RAND Corporation, which used computer models to end the Vietnam War. Which it also started. But more on that another time).

It was just as the morphine was wearing off and the phone was ringing nonstop with The Registrar website wanting my column, and me spelling out with my eyes to มาลัย to "Pretend you no speak English at all", that I remembered something. Something so cool I had already written it down.

"Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness," his Holiness Tweeted this month. And that's just what I tell my hopeful young entrepreneurs as they learn that sadly, no Series A funding will be forthcoming and Bong Ventures has now acquired the assets (including all intellectual property) of the company as specified by the seed-funding term sheet. The door's over there and don't even think about breathing on the Puyehue bottles, please guys.

From the tears in their eyes, I can tell that working with Bong Ventures has been a moving, learning experience for them too.

And one more thing…

I've been mentoring Nick

I've been mentoring the brilliant Nick from The Apprentice for some time now - but I am forbidden by the BBC from telling you more. Keep an eye out an youd might just catch me, though.

Finally congratulations to brilliant young Shoreditch web entrepreneur Luke Bozier, who has teamed up with MP Louise Mensch to create a new social media marketing agency. There are too few of these in Shoreditch, too few anywhere actually, and their site already looks fantastic.

Luke is one of my inspirations, and Garland-of-Flowers printed out this fabulous profile of Luke which lists his many achievements.

"Bozier is a lover of Silicon Valley where they have an adage “Fail fast”. Luke Bozier has extended it with his 'Fail Fast, Fail Often' approach to business".

That is SO true. In Shoreditch, we can't FAIL often enough. FAILURE is pretty much guaranteed.

Bong OUT. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading
  • China’s COVID lockdowns bite e-commerce players
    CEO of e-tail market leader JD perhaps boldly points out wider economic impact of zero-virus stance

    The CEO of China’s top e-commerce company, JD, has pointed out the economic impact of China’s current COVID-19 lockdowns - and the news is not good.

    Speaking on the company’s Q1 2022 earnings call, JD Retail CEO Lei Xu said that the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic had brought positive effects for many Chinese e-tailers as buyer behaviour shifted to online purchases.

    But Lei said the current lengthy and strict lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing, plus shorter restrictions in other large cities, have started to bite all online businesses as well as their real-world counterparts.

    Continue reading
  • Foxconn forms JV to build chip fab in Malaysia
    Can't say when, where, nor price tag. Has promised 40k wafers a month at between 28nm and 40nm

    Taiwanese contract manufacturer to the stars Foxconn is to build a chip fabrication plant in Malaysia.

    The planned factory will emit 12-inch wafers, with process nodes ranging from 28 to 40nm, and will have a capacity of 40,000 wafers a month. By way of comparison, semiconductor-centric analyst house IC Insights rates global wafer capacity at 21 million a month, and Taiwanese TSMC’s four “gigafabs” can each crank out 250,000 wafers a month.

    In terms of production volume and technology, this Malaysian facility will not therefore catapult Foxconn into the ranks of leading chipmakers.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels
    The little lander that couldn't (any longer)

    The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.

    Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.

    "InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."

    Continue reading
  • The ‘substantial contributions’ Intel has promised to boost RISC-V adoption
    With the benefit of maybe revitalizing the x86 giant’s foundry business

    Analysis Here's something that would have seemed outlandish only a few years ago: to help fuel Intel's future growth, the x86 giant has vowed to do what it can to make the open-source RISC-V ISA worthy of widespread adoption.

    In a presentation, an Intel representative shared some details of how the chipmaker plans to contribute to RISC-V as part of its bet that the instruction set architecture will fuel growth for its revitalized contract chip manufacturing business.

    While Intel invested in RISC-V chip designer SiFive in 2018, the semiconductor titan's intentions with RISC-V evolved last year when it revealed that the contract manufacturing business key to its comeback, Intel Foundry Services, would be willing to make chips compatible with x86, Arm, and RISC-V ISAs. The chipmaker then announced in February it joined RISC-V International, the ISA's governing body, and launched a $1 billion innovation fund that will support chip designers, including those making RISC-V components.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022