Tag Archives: DMCA

Copywrong: Brilliantly Disruptive Startups from Napster to Pinterest

Entrepreneurs tend to focus on opportunity rather than risk, and rightly so. As Steve Blank has written, at its core, a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. In the lexicon of the lean startup movement, once “product-market fit” has been achieved, the focus shifts to scale and execution as the startup matures into a growth company.

In a sense, risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin to early stage startups. The huge risk that eclipses all others is that the product or service being offered simply won’t succeed — there is no product-market fit, at least at numbers that would make for a financially viable business — in which case (assuming competent execution) the perceived opportunity, viewed broadly, wasn’t really there to begin with.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that risk items on which legal and financial experts focus seem like afterthoughts to many startups. After all, if value isn’t created in the first place, isn’t it premature to worry about its impairment? Even at large corporations, legal departments are jokingly dubbed the “Department of Sales Prevention” because of their tendency to insist on the elimination of all risk from deals. Continue Reading

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

One of the highest profile liquidity events in the first half of 2012 was Facebook’s deal to acquire Instagram for $1 billion. The popular mobile photo-sharing service should fit well into Facebook’s growth strategy as a public company, but its eye-popping valuation — more than that of the New York Times, for those keeping score… Continue Reading

If You Build It, They Will Abuse It

If You Build It, They Will Abuse It

As a completely made-up statistic, assume that 0.01% of users are sociopaths or predators who cause serious damage to the community and its other members. With 10,000 users, that’s one guy. With a million, it’s a hundred people. With 100 million registered users — the scale at MySpace when I left — it’s ten thousand. That kind of math illustrates why every major consumer Internet company has an abuse team that serves as the first line of defense against all kinds of ugliness. Continue Reading

Crowdsourced Auto Design: Local Motors Audaciously Challenges the Status Quo

As part of Social Media Week, I visited the Autodesk Gallery for a panel discussion entitled “The Next Challenge For The Crowd: Quickly Build Real, Hard, Complex Shit That Matters (Like Cars).” With a title like that, I was not about to miss it. The Rally Fighter parked out front (around the corner from a Tesla roadster, natch) foreshadowed the fascinating discussion inside. Many of the ideas which had been swirling around in my head for the past week coalesced in this 90-minute conversation with Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors; Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL; and Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired, moderated by Matt Johnston. Continue Reading

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