10 Kick Ass Quotes from @DaveMcClure

EEHeadline Dave McClure in Paris

Dave McClure has become notorious for speaking his mind in very–ahem–colorful ways. From his blog and Twitter accounts to his pitch sessions with 500 Startups companies, McClure doesn’t hold back.

“He will go through and tear up people’s accents, and these things feel sometimes politically incorrect, but they are not,” Populr.me CEO Nicholas Holland told The NibzNotes7Tennessean. “He is speaking the truth. He makes fun of my Southern accent. He called me a hillbilly on day one. First, you’re thinking, I can’t believe he is saying this, but he is basically saying what everyone is thinking.”

Tough love aside, Dave McClure is also one of the most passionate startup advocates out there, championing women, minorities, and startups from all over the world. Here at Nibletz, we’ve learned a thing or two from him, including how to handle a PR snafu.

Here are some of our favorite Dave McClure-isms:

“Find investors who have a clue about the products & services they invest in, who use the products & maybe even write/speak about them”–Startups & VCs: Learn How to Design, Market, and Eat Your Own Consumer Internet Dogfood

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“being an entrepreneur is a friggin’ FEAR FACTORY, and a living nightmare every day of the week.”–Fear is the Mind Killer of the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

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“There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money.”–What Hasn’t Changed: The Internet Keeps Getting Bigger

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“DON’T do a startup…you will fail!”–Why NOT to do a startup, because you will fail loser.

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“Crap. any minute now these fuckers are going to realize I can’t keep this up very long and then I won’t be a Golden God anymore.” —Fear of Flying

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“A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about: What its product is. Who its customers are. How to make money.” On Quora

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“I figured maybe I had some talent as an investor… since it seemed like I was only a half-assed entrepreneur.”–late bloomer, not a loser (I hope)

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“We’re happy to discover we have a few black swans, but our MISSION is to groom ugly ducklings.”–Screw the Black Swans: Ichiro is our role model not Barry Bonds

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And that tweet he probably wishes we’d forget:

“HAY MISS THANG: female founders, u apply to #w2pitch yet? Only 6 days left.” Poor Dave…


 Photo credit

What You Can Learn About PR from Dave McClure


Dave McClure


Agree or disagree with him all you want, Dave McClure knows how to make a scene. He’s notorious for speaking his mind and saying what everyone else is thinking, but no one else will say.

Last night, Dave posted the tweet above to reach out to women founders for the Women 2.0  PITCH event. Women 2.0 CEO Shaherose Charania replied to his tweet with a laugh and a <3.

Soon after Dave’s tweet, though, New York investor Sarah Kunst replied:

Dave McClure Miss Thang


Regardless of who you think is right and wrong in this situation, we can all learn a lot from the way Dave McClure handled the it.

Engage your critics

It would have been easy for Dave to ignore Sarah’s tweet. Or at least acknowledged it and gone about his evening. As a big investor in women, unsexy, and startups everywhere else, McClure hardly needs to justify his own thoughts on women in tech.

Instead, he spent most of the night talking to and retweeting his harshest critics. One woman he retweeted said she had lost respect for him and 500 Startups.

Now, personal attacks are one thing, but calling out the company is another. Again, it would have been easy for Dave to ignore or dismiss this tweet about his accelerator, which had nothing to do with his personal Twitter account. Instead, he gave his critic a platform and announced to all his followers that the 500 Startups brand was being doubted.

Throughout the evening, Dave asked questions and tried to understand the criticism. I don’t know of anyone who thinks he’s sexist, but he quickly admitted that if he offended one woman, he might very well have chosen his words incorrectly.

Which leads us to the next lesson:

‘Fess up and try to fix it

Immediately, Dave admitted that he could have been wrong. He explained what he meant, but he listened to the people criticizing him and learned from how they felt. After a couple of hours of this, he tweeted:

Dave McClure women


Same heart, different words. After understanding the problem, Dave didn’t try to defend himself or stand his ground. He changed his wording so that the most women would hear the message.

He ‘fessed up and tried to fix it. (Here’s looking at you, Snapchat.)

The other lesson learned from Dave McClure about good PR? A little controversy goes a long way. You all know about the Women 2.0 PITCH event now, don’t you.


5 Tips On Design From Dave McClüren Swedish Design Genius: More At Warm Gun!

500 Startups, Dave McClure, Warm Gun, Design conference, startups


daveswedish1. Design is color. And by color, I mean primary colors, everywhere.

2. Comic sans is so hot right now.

3. Design for conversion, not for aesthetic. So long as it adheres to point #1.

4. When your design induces seizures, you know its good.

5. Designers & startups are like Dolce & Gabbana. Put them together + its magic!

500 Startups is at it again with one of their awesome one day conferences for creatives, startups, and innovators. This time the focus is measurable design. 500 Startup’s Warm Gun conference takes place November 22nd, and you’ll get to enjoy intoxicating amounts of design knowledge from some of the best speakers in the world.

You’ve heard of Tryptophan right? That’s what makes you sleep the day away after Thanksgiving dinner. Well at this 500 startups conference, you’ll experience 500-o-phan, a chemical overdose of 500 awesomeness which will leave you napping the following day. Hence, the reason it’s only a one day conference.

In true 500 Startups fashion they’ve left the pikers on the side and promise only the hottest “gun slingers” and “hot shots”. You won’t find any posers, just people that know what they’re talking about in regards to design. Here’s the lineup so far.

Jared Spool, CoFounder and CEO UIE
Julie Hovarth, Designer, GitHub
Cap Watkins, Product Design Lead, Etsy
Joshua Taylor, Product Designer, Evernote
Andrew Watterson, Designer, Asana
Luke Wroblewski, CEO & Co-Founder, Polar
Carrie Whitehead, Product Manager, Zappos
PJ McCormick, UX Design Lead, Amazon
Joshua Porter, Founder, Hubspot
Marc Hemeon, Senior UX Designer, YouTube
Karen Hanson, VP of Design Innovation, Intuit
Frederico Holgado, Lead UX Developer, MailChimp
Michelle Haag, Director of Design, Ebay
Michael Boeke, Product Manager, BrainTree
Christine Tsai, Partner, 500 Startups
Christen O’Brien, Partner, 500 Startups
Frank Yoo, Mobile Product Lead, Lyft
Drew Domm, Design lead, Sosh
Cesar Salazar, Venture Partner, 500 Startups
Bjorn Jeffery, CEO & Co-Founder, Toca Boca


500 Startups is looking for startups that use design to dominate – consumer, b2b, they want it all. Are you transforming something mundane or necessary into beauty so stunning that unicorns weep? Are you using design to inform, inspire, and delight your users while watching your conversion multiply? Are you making everyone’s day better, one UX at a time? Apply for the Double Rainbow Double Unicorn Startup Design Award for a chance to rock the mic & score a 25k investment from 500 Startups.

Warm Gun is November 22nd at Hotel Kabuki 1625 Post Street in San Francisco.
You can register here.

And don’t forget about this amazing conference:


Dave McClure: Buying A House Is Far More Risky Than Investing In Startups

Dave McClure,500 startups,investing,startup news, TWiSTStartup people love to hear about Dave McClure the founder of 500 Startups and early stage investor. Most clamor at the opportunity to get just a glimpse of facetime with him and everyone hopes that their startup makes it into the 500 program so they can learn from one of the masters.

A lot of people love to hear him speak because his speeches and appearances are always riddled with curse words, GASP, but really he’s just using language that allows him to communicate as fast as his brain is moving.

In talking with a mutual friend who grew up with Dave McClure, the friend said “Dave is like a whirlwind, like the tasmanian devil. I used to worry that his brain would explode”.

So needless to say people listen because McClure is always making great points. One of those points was in his appearance last month on This Week In Startups (TWiST).

While everyone is waiting for the SEC to stop twiddling their thumbs on crowdfunding, McClure was talking about what a pain in the ass it is for someone to invest in startups and get “accreditation”.

It’s much easier to buy a house than it is to invest in a startup, but as McClure pointed out in the interview with Jason Calicanis, buying a house is a far more risky endeavor.

There’s a certain amount of money that anyone should be able to fucking burn or blow on startups. We encourage a ridiculous amount of money to go into the residential real estate market which has burned people fucking terribly in the last five years. Ridiculous numbers of people in this country are upside down on their mortgages and bankrupt because legitimate, regulatory-approved agents have shoved real estate fucking mortgages down their throats. We have subsidized this with our tax dollars, we are the people.

Like you fucking blame the investment bankers? Fuck You.

It’s you voting for your representatives who are in the pockets of Sallie Mae Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, whatever who are shoving shit down the pipe. Like Moody’s and all these other people who have crap verification. . .

If you want to protect the small investor, don’t let them buy a house in this country, because that is the most dangerous thing you can do with your money. Period.

Investing in startups which might fail? You only lose $1. You invest in a house, you put 5% down or sometimes 0% down and you can lever up a ridiculous amount of money. You can lose 20 times your investment and people do it every day and they think it’s a good idea. McClure said on the show.

When you trace back the super genius that is Dave McClure, Sith Lord of 500 Startups you’ll come to find that he isn’t some Zillionaire throwing money at startups for fun. He’s done well for himself but he’s still raising money as fast as he’s investing it. Sure, like everyone else he wants to make money but he’s looking more at making an impact on the world through the technology companies he and his partners touch.

Many people don’t realize that even if they saved up say $50,000 over the course of two years to do some small angel investments, if they’re only making $150,000 they can’t technically be an accredited investor. Of course they could put a down payment on a house, or two.

See the TWisT here.

Source: Ian Kennedy’s Everwas

We’ve got more from 500 Startups here.

Dave McClure Does The Harlem Shake At SXSW 2013

Dave McClure, 500 startups,SXSW,SXSWi,startupsSXSW 2013 wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of epic Harlem Shake videos, but to the startup community this is the most epic of all.  Sith Lord at 500 startups, Dave McClure led a panel discussion that in true form, began with a harlem shake.

Check out the video below.

500 Startups Dave McClure Headlining Conference In New Orleans April 22-25

Dave McClure, 500 startups,Pubcon, startup event,startupDave McClure the infamous Sith Lord of 500 startups and huge advocate for startups globally, will be the keynote speaker at Pubcon 2013 in New Orleans. The conference focuses on social media and search and is hosted at the state of the art New Orleans Convention Center.

McClure will discuss his vast experience helping to grow and cultivate startups. In addition to being the founding partner at 500 startups he also hosts regular Silicon Valley meetups called Startup2Startup and of course Geeks On A Plane. To date McClure has invested in over 250 startup companies through his 500 Startups fund and their Mountain View based accelerator program which goes out of it’s way to attract talent worldwide. Some of his investments include MakerBot, TaskRabbit, SlideShare,Mint.com and Twillio.

McClure’s experience spans two decades including serving as PayPal’s Director of Marketing from 2001 thru 2004. While in that role he launched the now infamous PayPal Developer Network. He’s also worked with other well known companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, O’Reilly Media, Intel and Microsoft.

“We’re thrilled to feature Dave McClure as a keynote speaker at Pubcon New Orleans 2013, where his unique spin on the role of social media and optimization in Internet startups will make for a fascinating and insightful presentation,” said Brett Tabke, founder and chief executive of Pubcon.

Michael Slaby, the Obama For America Chief Integration and Innovation Officer, will kick off Pubcon. In addition to playing a major role in the 2008 Obama campaign, Slaby has also served as the digital global practice chair at Edelman and chief technology strategist at Tomorrow Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s venture capital fund.

Pubcon promises to announce more high profile speakers in the coming weeks.

You can register for Pubcon here


Dave McClure, The King Of Everywhere Else, Makes First German Investment: Versus IO

Dave McClure, 500startups, Versus IO, German startup,startup,startup newsWhile here at nibletz we are the “voice of everywhere else” Dave McClure, Sith Lord at 500 Startups and founder of Geeks on A Plane, is the reigning king of “everywhere else”, to prove that his first investment in a German startup has just been revealed. McClure has invested $100,000 in comparison platform Versus IO.

We’ve been covering the German startup since earlier this year and even had the opportunity to interview their CEO Ramin Far, earlier this month.

Versus IO in it’s simplest form is a comparison engine that allows  you to compare two different things side by side. With Versus IO you can compare gadgets, electronics, and even cities. They are quickly ramping up to having 640 different comparison verticals.

It’s not just a “hot or not” style comparison either, for instance in their cities comparisons they use over 100 different factors including: education, crime rates, climate, infrastructure, safety, economy, business, culture, people and a whole lot more. What makes the platform truly unique is the fact that they aren’t in the business of selling things so there’s no chance that the comparison’s get skewed over things like price, discount and offer.

“We’re extremely excited about the investment from Dave and the role he will play in helping to take VERSUS IO to the next level in terms of what we offers users and the direction of the business”,  Far, said in a statement. “Dave’s experience of working with growing companies will be invaluable for us moving forwards. 2013 has the potential to be huge for us to be even more successful than 2012 has been.”

This $100,000 investment is the first for McClure in a German company and it appears that it’s separate from the 500startups fund.


Check out VersusIO here

Here’s Dave McClure’s blog

More startup news from “everywhere else”

Check out some of the 500startups graduates at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference

Meet Indian 500 Startups Company TradeBriefs, Email Newsletters Making People Experts

TradeBriefs,500 startups, Dave McClure,startupSree Vijaykumar, the founder of Indian startup TradeBriefs, has turned an email newsletter business into a bonafide startup with big upside potential. Some may think that email newsletters are old school, and that in this age of mobile first startups and apps, apps and more apps, how could there possibly be room at the 500 startups lair for an email newsletter startup?

TradeBriefs is in the current class at 500startups so obviously there’s more than meets the eye with these email newsletters.

“We have managed to silence our naysayers. People didn’t think an email newsletter business could thrive, but we have successfully demonstrated that our formula works.. Our subscribers and advertisers are both happy, which is great and now we are ready to scale.” Vijaykumar told us in an interview. Scaling is what they are focusing on while they are in Mountain View participating in the 500 startups accelerator program.

TradeBriefs is part human editor and part learning algorithm. They say that their newsletters are helping professionals in their concentrated fields become industry experts.

TradeBriefs began with an industry newsletter for India’s retail industry and quickly expanded to four other verticals including; Telecom, Finance, IT and FMCG. They are planning on adding verticals and expanding out of India.

In the US, Fierce has been able to make a viable business out of email newsletters, turned into websites, within the tech industry. Now, in addition to their websites, and newsletters Fierce also hosts major industry events in the telecom, mobile and tech industries. Is it possible for TradeBriefs to do the same thing? Obviously 500 Startups thinks so.

Check out the rest of our interview with Vijaykumar below.

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It’s Tea Time At 500 Startups With Hawaiian Startup Tealet

Tealet,500startups,Hawaiian startup,startup,startups,startup interview, dave mcclureSubscription startups are blowing up these days. It seems there’s a subscription service or subscription box for just about anything (and everything). We’ve reported on, or interviewed, quite a few here at nibletz, including KlutchClub, Bulu Box, FlavrBox and hip hop artist Nas’ subscription startup 12 society.

Today we’ve got Hawaiian startup Tealet. Tealet is about sampling tea just as much as it is about discovering tea. Tealet co-founder Elyse Peterson told us in an interview “Tealet tells the stories of tea growers around the world and allows tea drinkers to explore these teas through a bi-monthly subscription service.”

After the customer gets their tea bi-monthly tea samples they can go back to the tealet website and order larger quantities of the teas they like.

Tealet isn’t about mass produced coffee house teas or even the teas that you can pick up at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Through Peterson’s personal experience, connecting with actual tea growers around the world, Tealet members are getting access to the most interesting and best tasting farm grown teas in the world. Check out the interview below to read how Peterson fell in love with farm grown teas and the farmers who make it.

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500 Startups Unveiled Today: Meet Australian Startup Kickfolio The Easiest Way To Test iOS Apps

Kickfolio,500 startups,Australian Startup,startup,startups,startup interview,Dave McClureThe startups that were selected to convene in the top secret 500 startups lair in Mountain View California this fall were revealed today. Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups along with Paul Singh have assembled another cohort of ass kicking, startup crushers, including Australian startup Kickfolio.

The rare breed of talent chosen to undergo the top secret 500 startups program come from all facets of the tech world. There are publishing startups, web tools, integrated browser plugins, analytical startups and even developer resources. That’s the category that Kickfolio fits in.

McClure and his team pick startups for a variety of reasons, undoubtedly the fact that this team has a co-founder named Diesel, must play into the flavor of startup monsters McClure is currently working on. Couple that with the fact that these Aussie founders swear Kickfolio is the best way for developers to test iOS apps and you have a recipe for startup inhalation.

We got a chance to talk with that particular founder, yes the one who goes by Diesel. Check out our interview with Diesel Laws below.

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Washington DC Startup: Contactually Manages Your Relationships Contextually In Your Inbox INTERVIEW

Washington DC startup Contactually launched their contact relationship management tool for email back in January. Contactually is backed by Dave McClure’s 500 startups and has also raised over $200,000 in angel funds.

Contactually’s tool works right in your inbox and connects you and your contacts through email and LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Klout, Quora, Flickr, and more social networks. The service syncs all your contacts relevant data into your new online address book that works seamlessly with GMail and Google Apps.

Contactually provides an easy to navigate contact dashboard which highlights your weekly activity along with your action items. It also sends reminders to you via email based on your action items with your contacts. It’s an extremely useful tool for business professionals, prosumers and even startups who often have a hard time keeping tabs on all the balls they are juggling.

We met some of the nice folks at Contactually when we were in DC for Capital Connection, TechBuzz and the TechCocktail Startup America events last month. Check out our interview below:

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