Mark Bivens

Crazy Bad Advice

This post is directed at the small fraction of people that are crazy enough to attempt what conventional wisdom says is impossible. You know who you are. Your professional life is on the right track. if you keep your head down and don’t rebel too much, you will gradually work your way up the corporate […]

Has anyone hacked the time zone problem with the cloud?

Has anyone hacked the time zone problem with the cloud?

Whew, I made it through another month of March without embarrassingly shirking any business meetings. March is always the most challenging month for me to uphold the standard I set (and expect of others) of arriving on time for meetings. The difficulty stems from a combination of two primary factors: traveling across time zones, and […]

Break out the violin: another EU top 5 ranking

Break out the violin: another EU top 5 ranking

Last week CBInsights published a report on aggregate VC deal volume in the top five European geographies over the past four years. I encourage you to experiment with a free trial of the service for the underlying data, but here’s the headline graphic: This chart triggered some predictable wailing and gnashing of teeth in France, […]

5 annoying habits of ineffective tech conference moderators

Does anyone else feel like we’re on tech conference overload in Europe these days? It feels to me like we’ve reached the saturation point. Of course, not all tech conferences are the same. What makes a great conference? Pardon the clich√©, but I would have to say, ‘the people’. Specifically, the speakers/panelists, followed by the […]

What Etsy can teach us about company culture

Over the weekend I perused Etsy’s IPO filing document. Even though less ubiquitous in Europe, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Etsy: What a compelling business that successfuly positioned itself at the heart of several converging trends: sharing economy, online marketplace growth, e-commerce growth, employment dispersement, individual creativity, etc. The IPO will represent another significant milestone for […]

My 5 takeaways from MWC 2015

Here are my five takeaways from the Mobile World Congress 2015. Read these for a day 1, 2, 3 recap of the Congress. With nearly 100 thousand delegates, MWC is undisputably the world’s largest mobile conference and a can’t-miss event… unless you’re into innovation, then go to 4YFN, which takes place the same week (props […]

The Hierarchy of VC Bloggers (just for fun)

Nic Brisbourne, veteran VC and Founder of Forward Partners, posits that everyone should be a writer. It’s not difficult to understand such a sweeping assertion coming from a writer of Nic’s calibre. I largely agree, not necessarily for everyone, but that most people purporting to work around innovation should look for some way to regularly […]

Introducing the European FinTech RUDEscape

Wow, the appetite for FinTech in Europe is booming, with VC funding reaching dizzying heights. It’s not just Europe, by the way. A recent visit to Bangkok confirmed that even in the emerging startup ecosystem of Thailand, FinTech is hotter than a spicy som tam salad (more on that later). With the entire sector representing […]

We should pay attention to how LINE is turning Instagram into an ecommerce app in Thailand

On a recent exploratory visit to Bangkok, I witnessed first-hand a consumer shopping behavior that absolutely blew my mind and underscored how the West does not have a monopoly on business model innovation. Incidentally, my secret for glimpsing generalized consumer behaviors in a foreign country is to eschew the convenience of taxis or Uber in […]

Negotiating your compensation, part deux

When I first moved to France fourteen years ago, the joke among educated expats was that the best way to get hired for a job in France was to apply for one in which you possessed direct experience in the exact same sector but for lower pay. This is admittedly a slight exaggeration, but back […]