Mark Bivens

"My Venereal Disease" (and other startup naming blunders)

{Note: This post is meant to provoke but is not intended to offend. Most of the startups I mention, and I’ve met a lot of them, have pretty good products. Moreover, I credit their founders for their creativity and daring in a language that is not their native tongue: important traits of successful entrepreneurs.} Over […]

Should I accept an unpaid internship?

Should I accept an unpaid internship?

From time to time people ask my opinion on whether they should accept an unpaid internship offer. My answer to the question usually involves more questions: Is the job with a startup that is hard-pressed for cash, or rather with an established company, investment bank, or VC fund? Is the uncompensated period clearly delimited in […]

If I could turn back time

If I could turn back time

With summer drawing to a close, it seems appropriate to revisit our little thought experiment about time travel. The responses from readers proved both entertaining and inspiring, even a bit emotionally touching in some cases. Before I report on the reader feedback, however, I’ll explain my rationale in suggesting this exercise. As I’ve proselytized before, […]

If I could travel back in time, I'd…

How would you complete this sentence? It’s deep summer here in Europe right now, so let’s hold a little creative thought experiment. Imagine you met someone with a time machine that could help you travel backward in time to a single point earlier in your life. What would you do? To which point in time […]

How a Scrabble champion reflects our new era of disruption

The Championnat Mondial de Scrabble Francophone (the French-language world Scrabble championship) crowned its winner last week: Nigel Richards. If that name doesn’t sound French to you, that’s because it isn’t. Nigel Richards hails from New Zealand. In fact, he doesn’t even know how to speak French! New Zealander wins French Scrabble Championship sounds like a […]

Nikkei acquires FT, and debunks several myths

As rather recursively reported in the FT last Thursday, Japan’s largest media company, Nikkei, will acquire the Financial Times Group from Pearson for a handsome £844 million. The eleventh hour offer for the London-based global news organization stunned rival bidders, and debunked several myths along the way in my opinion: Myth #1: Japanese acquirers are […]

RudeVC's summer reading list 2015

Time for the RudeVC summer reading list again. The only guidelines for qualifying for this list are: i) to have some connection to startups, technology, VC, or Europe; and ii) to not be too heavy or overbearingly intellectual (it is summer, after all). It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower. I […]

When engineers mix with artists, amazing things can happen. So why segregate them?

Skimming through the alumni magazine of my undergraduate engineering school, I stumbled onto an article about a student project from a course called Data as Art. Data as Art is a course that groups students from my engineering school alma mater with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in a combined art-meets-engineering curriculum. […]

LINE Stickers still are a thing

Although there are not many of us in Western Europe who use LINE as their primary messaging app (outside of Spain, where LINE penetration is remarkable), the multi-purpose platform that is LINE continues to entertain and stimulate creative new use cases around the world, like being coupled with Instagram to drive e-commerce in Thailand. I […]

Is corporate VC a KPI for a bubble ?

It feels like there are an awful lot of corporations setting up venture capital departments these days. I say ‘feels’, because my evidence was purely intuitive and anecdotal… until now. Compiling the data for global corporate venture deals all the way back to 1995 proved challenging. In fact, there were so many conflicting sources that […]