[Podcast] Audeze CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram

Sankar Thiagasamudram is the co-founder and CEO of Audeze, a maker of high-quality headphones, which are all the rage with audiophiles and music professionals. Sankar, who started his life working for a high-end 3D graphics company, is an engineer by training and audiophile in real life. He co-founded the company with Alexander Rosson. They were pioneers in putting (a proprietary) planar magnetic designs with extremely thin-film driver materials and powerful custom magnets inside their headphones. I experienced the Audeze magic when I got EL-8 as a gift from a friend. I recently caught up with Sankar to talk about their new gaming headphone, Mobius, and more importantly about Apple’s HomePod, computational audio, the headphone boom and how head-fi changing our expectations of music. He shared his tips on how to buy headphones, his thoughts on other headphone brands including fashion/luxury headphones such as Master & Dynamic. You can listen to Continue reading "[Podcast] Audeze CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram"

[PhotoSet]: Sunrise on Ocean Beach, San Francisco

Ocean Beach, San Francisco: I have made it a ritual to pick up my camera and go for a walk every Sunday morning. I want to capture the city of San Francisco in the soft morning light, long before it is overrun by Ubers and Lyfts. Long before people wake up from their late nights, to capture the fog, the magic, and its sheer beauty. Plus who can resist the pink and blue hues that dominate the mornings in California? All photos made with Fuji xPro2 and Fuji 35mm lens. Continue reading "[PhotoSet]: Sunrise on Ocean Beach, San Francisco"

What to read this weekend

The sheer volume of articles I consume every day should make it easy for me to find gems to share with you. Unfortunately, not many pass the must-read-share test and thus get sent to the bin of forgotten. But the ones that do make it to the top are worth sharing and most importantly reading. Here are my recent picks. Continue reading "What to read this weekend"

True & the VC Firm of the year

National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) named our partnership, True Ventures, as the venture capital firm of the year. It is always an honor to be recognized by our peers, but in the end, the award is a reflection of the people who we serve — the founders, their teams and their families. 10,000 of them. It has taken over a decade to get here — one startup at a time. Some of them are big (Automattic), some define the zeitgeist (Blue Bottle, Peloton, and Ring) and others are writing the script of tomorrow today, companies like Veniam and Zymergen. Continue reading "True & the VC Firm of the year"

Podcast: A chat with Tony Haile

Tony Haile is the CEO of Scroll, a New York-based company that is helping media outlets build a sustainable pay-to-read strategy. From 2009 to 2016 he worked for Chartbeat, a digital media analytics company. As a result, he thinks a lot about media, economic models and the open web. He talks about it with reporters, on panels and, obviously on podcasts such as this. We have gotten to know over the years — me as a recovering media entrepreneur who thinks the end is near, always get into arguments with Tony, who oddly remains optimistic about the digital medias future. I am obviously right, and we get into this during this podcast. We talk about Tony’s journey into technology, Facebook and big dumb media incumbents. My words, not his. You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or download it from the iTunes.

SEC vs Theranos & what it means for Silicon Valley

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Theranos, CEO Elizabeth Holmes and company President Ramesh Balwani accusing them of massive fraud. Holmes has settled the lawsuit and has been stripped of her position the CEO. As part of the settlement, she will pay $500,000 in penalties and won’t be allowed to serve as an officer or director of a private company. It is quite a comedown for an entrepreneur who often graced the covers of business magazines and was a constant presence at the posh conferences. She also convinced investors to invest $700 million in the company at vertigo-inducing valuations. And even though SEC’s actions are a mere slap on the wrist with no admission of guilt on part of Holmes, the nuanced message of SEC actions is clear enough for rest of the unicorn club.
Continue reading "SEC vs Theranos & what it means for Silicon Valley"

Words to live by…

Life is a book. You need to know when to turn a page Givenchy, the man behind the namesake fashion atelier passed away at the age of 91. This one quote has helped me with my own life and career transitions.