Francisco Dao


Francisco Dao is the founder of 50Kings, a private community for technology and media innovators. He is a former leadership columnist for Inc.com, a lifelong entrepreneur, author, and former stand-up comic. He writes every Tuesday and Thursday for PandoDaily.
  • RSS
  • ruby_sparks

    Creating the perfect world is trickier than you think

    In the movie “Ruby Sparks,” a novelist played by Paul Dano falls in love with a character he’s written, whom he believes is the ideal woman. Eventually, she comes to life and they have a relationship. But despite the fact that he created her based on his image of the perfect girl, and can even alter her personality through his writing, he finds dating the real life Ruby to be much more complicated than he imagined. The underlying…
  • crapshoot

    Life turns on just a few moments

    Have you ever wondered how your life turned out the way it did? Or if you’re young and just starting out, what will determine your future? Most people think the course of their lives are wholly born from the fruits of their own hands, but the truth is that life is mostly determined by just a few moments that are often decided by someone else. I’m not suggesting we have no input, and it’s a complete lottery. Clearly our personal…
  • tired_horse

    Hustle and flow

    I have a good friend who, in an attempt to look productive and important, is constantly tweeting and posting about how hard he’s hustling. Not only are his boasts painfully transparent, but sadly, his ideas about what makes someone effective are usually just plain wrong. For example, a few days ago he posted a motivational video with the following quotes: “If you’re going to be successful, you gotta be willing to give up sleep…” and “…you gotta want to be…
  • two_devils

    Is it better to be motivated by money or ego?

    Over dinner last week, my friend Micah explained there are essentially two types of bloggers, those motivated by money and those motivated by ego. As he made his argument about the different incentives and behaviors of each group, I started thinking about how entrepreneurs also fit into these same motivational categories. Money or ego? Which one was the more effective driver? Which one produced better results? Obviously the two are not mutually exclusive, we all need money and…
  • college_students

    Entrepreneurship has become as commoditized as college

    As most of you know, the tech industry has made a sport out of bashing college. One of the core criticisms of higher education is that college degrees have become ubiquitous and commoditized. The argument posits that so many institutions of suspect quality are handing out degrees like candy that college has lost its value as a reliable credential and is therefore no longer worth pursuing. Having graduated with a useless degree from Cal State Northridge, I generally agree with…
  • money_donkey

    Operating on a character driven OS

    Nine years ago, after starting several businesses that had left me dissatisfied, I decided I would stop focusing on money and only pursue things that were interesting to me. At the time, I just wanted to do something fun. But what I didn’t realize back then was that I was actually switching my personal operating system from one based on money to one based on character, and the change would be far more profound than I could have ever imagined.…
  • mannequin

    By definition, Silicon Valley has few legitimate entrepreneurs

    In the New York Times excerpt of Nick Bilton’s upcoming book about Twitter, there’s a line where he mentions how it’s an oddity that startup founders refer to themselves as “entrepreneurs,” since many of them “have no understanding of how to run a business or turn a profit.” I thought this was an interesting point and started wondering if Bilton was applying an unreasonable definition of the word. What qualifications must be met before someone can accurately be defined…
  • the_box_pd

    How Silicon Valley limits your thinking

    People often point out the “anything is possible” spirit of Silicon Valley, but there’s a downside to the constant talk. For those still searching for their true calling, or even just an opportunity that resonates with them, the entrepreneurial buzz is both distracting and surprisingly narrow. I saw this firsthand when my intern recently asked me, “How does a person find their professional path? Silicon Valley is a very confusing place to do that I’ve come to notice. I’m realizing…
  • google_trailer_HQ

    Is tech really the right bet for Anytown USA?

    These days just about every place is trying to create its own Silicon Valley. Everyone is so completely sold on technology as the savior of the economy, we now have Silicon Canal, Silicon Slopes, Silicon Sandbar, four Silicon Beaches, three Silicon Prairies, and a dozen other Silicon named areas just in the United States. Overseas we have Silicon Glen, Silicon Fen, Silicon Wadi, Silicon Welly, and the list goes on. But is this focus on tech really the smart…
  • 5998597868_59fc07d468

    VCs, Sears, and the disappearing middle market

    A few weeks ago, I was chatting with Satya Patel of Homebrew about trends in the venture capital industry. For reasons you’ve probably heard before — startups require less money, Angel List has opened the industry, etc. — he predicted the VC industry would shift from resembling a standard distribution curve with a large middle segment to an inverse curve with an emphasis on the lower end. The industry would evolve into lots of early-stage firms competing with…

More articles »