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Martin Tobias
Works at Ignition Partners
Attended Oregon State University
Lived in seattle, wa
3,230 followers|9,575 views
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Martin Tobias

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Got pitched a company today that would be the rentacoder for investment research. You post the analysis you want done. Contractors bid on it. What do you think ?
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Ward Plunet's profile photoMamun Khan's profile photoBrian Fahrlander's profile photoPaul Clark's profile photo
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hi friends......
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Martin Tobias

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First day of school! Finn gets to wear the middle school uniform now. Soooooo excited
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She's beautiful.& Very cute.
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Martin Tobias

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The folks over @techstars wanted me to come talk to the Seattle entrepreneur class today about what motivates me as an entrepreneur. I put together some slides here http://www.slideshare.net/martingtobias/martin-tobias-techstars-90611. Basically my philosophy is "find a problem that pisses you off and solve it". In the slides I go through five problems that pissed me off enough to start or invest in companies.
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KoNster LP's profile photoCliff Baldridge's profile photoKaisa Hernberg's profile photo
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já jsem čech i'm czech no emerikan
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Martin Tobias

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I updated my bikes on the street project. Bikes.zapd.net

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Are you aware of Steve Roberts? He rode a recumbent across America, and literally lived on the road. He pulled a "trailer" of sorts funded by BSD.

He got tired of stopping to read/send email, so he learned to put the lower-nibble on his left hand, the upper nibble on the right, and pressed his thumb when the code was right...then memorized the binary code for every character!

Nowdays he's gone from "WheelDweller" to "SeaDweller", living on a tri-cat boat (kinda like Waterworld) will all kinds of electronics on-board...
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Martin Tobias

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Morning surf sessions are always so nice
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Have him in circles
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Martin Tobias

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Finn lost a tooth! A 12 year Molar I guess. Yea! 
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Paul Clark's profile photo
 
Is that two teeth there, or am seeing things?
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Martin Tobias

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Ok, time to write something VC related here (sigh).

Last night over amazing tacos a friend asked why I had as my startup mantra "find a problem that personally pisses you off and solve it". There is a long explanation and a short one. I will go with short today

Startups are not easy. Most fail. In fact on a percentage basis tech startups have the worst record of any business period. You have all heard how bad restaurants are on failure rate. Tech startups are worse. And they generally consume more money in their failure. The odds are way stacked against you. If you have a good idea, chances are you won't be alone in working that problem. One of my greatest frustrations as a VC is that the tech startup ecosystem is so efficient that every interesting problem/idea gets multiple quality teams well funded for every problem out there. Startups are not only competing with incumbents, last generation products, and customer inertia against change, they are also competing against other startups with similar solutions, similar funding and just as flashy demos.

So what have I found to make the difference? To cause a startup to break out? Founder passion beyond the economic return. That is where taking your quest personal comes in. If you don't take it personal, in my experience you won't have what it takes to get through the hard times or to make that pivot that really cranks up the product or to design that totally wow why didnt I think of that feature.

What are the worst kind of entrepreneurs? MBAs. Yes that is right, even the Harvard guys. If you believe every problem has a solution in a spreadsheet and market research, you are missing the key ingredient in success: personal passion.

With the news yesterday of steve jobs retirement, this issue of personal passion making the difference has come that much more clear. When jobs left apple and turned it over to the MBAs from brand management from pepsi, products stagnated and the company almost died. Steve came back, got personally involved in every product and bang! The most valuable tech company on the planet.

Find a problem that personally pisses you off. Then go solve it!
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Aaron Shechet's profile photoDave Cox's profile photoBrian Fahrlander's profile photoPaul Clark's profile photo
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Martin, I stumbled across this Post in a Google Search for "Tech Startup Failure Rate versus Restaurants" after I finished reading the following:

"startup restaurants are very difficult to get funding for. triple risk--business, lease, location--compared to tech startups."

This was from a Company that "assists Startups" in obtaining Funding.

I did not get "Pissed Off" per se, yet I "WONDERED" why there was not A RESTAURANT WITH A THEME REVOLVING AROUND "NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL HISTORY," and I opened one, THE NEGRO LEAGUE CAFE - CHICAGO (JULY 2004 - MAY 2009) http://www.rsgmag.com/public/115.cfm

I lost my lease in May 2009 to a Landlord that speculated Chicago would get the 2016 Olympic Bid and I am now "On Deck" to "Re-Open" in Baltimore Spring 2012
http://mobile.baltimoresun.com/p.p?a=rp&postId=780484&scopeKey=34&postUserId=46&m=b

http://www.bmoremedia.com/devnews/negroleague041911.aspx?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150158815564476_15748059_10150159545269476#ffd8a15ba28412

I am currently seeking Funding to Purchase Real Estate in Chicago and "Re-Open," yet I have run up against the "RESTAURANTS ARE TOO RISKY B.S." I dawned on me today to see what was the Failure Rate of Tech v. Restaurants, to that end, Thank You Very Much for your Reassurance and adding "Another Arrow to My Quiver of Passion + Manifest Destiny."

Sincere Regards,
Don Curry
thenegroleaguecafes.tumblr.com
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Martin Tobias

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Back in Seattle. Miss Hawaii already. 
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Bye bye sun. 
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Todd Suttle's profile photoAnna Spadaro's profile photo
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nice..
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People
Have him in circles
3,230 people
Work
Employment
  • Ignition Partners
    Venture Partner, 2 - present
  • Tippr
    CEO, 8 - present
  • Microsoft
    Manager, 2 - 2
  • Loudeye Technologies
    CEO, 2 - 11
  • Imperium Renewables
    CEO, 5
  • Accenture
    Manager, 2 - 2
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
seattle, wa - medford, or - corvallis, or - gainesville, fl - munich germany - milan italy - stockholm sweden - reading england - paris, france - barcelona, spain - portland, or - ocala, Fl - sarasota, FL
Story
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I like solving hard problems. Got any?
Education
  • Oregon State University
    Double major Computer Science and Business Marketing, 81 - 86
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