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.
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  • Crowd

    The downside of following “everybody”

    On Tuesday, I mentioned the “tyranny of extroverts,” a set of expected behaviors assumed to be superior, simply because they are louder or more visible. And since all of the tech industry extroverts are at Burning Man this week being as loud and as visible as possible, I figured I would continue writing for the introverts who stayed home. Part of the tyranny of extroverts is the allure of “everybody.” Extroverts, and those who aspire to be extroverts, are driven…
  • Conversation

    It’s okay to hate small talk

    Do you hate small talk? If you do, you’re definitely not alone, perhaps not even in the minority, and yet many people feel guilty about disliking meaningless conversation. We are so conditioned to view social behavior as an absolute good that avoiding small talk is considered rude. This is part of something I call “the tyranny of extroverts,” a set of expected behaviors that are assumed to be superior, simply because they are louder or more visible. As someone who…
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    We are now the establishment

    For a place reputed to be the epicenter of the greatest creation of wealth in the history of the planet, have you ever noticed how uncomfortable Silicon Valley seems to be with its money? Compared to Hollywood where conspicuous consumption has no limits, or Wall Street whose sole measurement is money, the Valley seems almost embarrassed by its riches. I’m not the first to notice this. Last year, Nick Bilton wrote about the tech industry’s penchant for downplaying its…
  • girls

    Sex, love, and the hook-up generation

    When I got myself an intern a few weeks ago, all I wanted was someone who would listen to me rant, but talking to her has been fascinating. It’s been a bit like spying into the lives of 20-something/college age kids and, at the risk of sounding like an old prude, what I learned was horrifying. I had always assumed the stories about the easy hook-up culture of today’s youth were overblown hyperbole fueled by the unsubstantiated boasts of teen…
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    A guess at Path’s brilliant valuation strategy

    Anyone who has studied pricing knows that we commonly perceive value based on the most readily available reference points. In a practice known as “price anchoring,” fashion and luxury stores have been exploiting this psychological glitch for years by showing us the highest priced products first. Once we see a $1,500 suit or a $2,000 handbag, everything else seems like a good deal. This is how we get fooled into thinking a $50 t-shirt at the Armani store is a…
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    Why startup culture is such a fragile and precious thing

    Have you ever wondered what creates startup culture? Most people associate it with words like “scrappy” and “passion” but never explain what drives people to be scrappy or passionate in the first place. It has become one of those terms that everyone tosses around and pretends to understand while nobody comes clean because they don’t want to be the first to admit they don’t know what they’re talking about. People assume all startups are naturally endowed with some kind of…
  • life_internet_feature

    I’ve come to hate so much of the internet

    To say I have a love/hate relationship with the Internet would be selling short both “love” and “hate.” On the one hand, the Internet is such a significant part of my life that when people ask me where I’m from, I sometimes answer, “I’m from the Internet.” I make a significant part of my living from the Internet. My friends are on the internet. Much of my learning comes from the internet, and without question, I can never fully disconnect…
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    Mo’ people, mo’ problems

    A good friend of mine always seems to choose the most complicated option for whatever he’s doing. When he’s starting a business, and he has started several, he never does it alone or with a co-founder or even with employees. Instead, there is always an array of strategic partners, contractors, sponsors, volunteers, and every other tertiary player you can think of. When he moves his residence, instead of looking for a simple apartment, he tries to arrange a collection of…
  • trevor

    Why startups rarely change the world

    I’m sure nobody wants to hear this and I’ll be viciously attacked for suggesting it, but despite the constant refrain from entrepreneurs that they’re trying to change the world, startups rarely do anything significantly world-changing. It’s not really their fault, changing the world almost always requires massive amounts of money, groundbreaking technology, and a lot of time — three things most startups don’t have. Really big paradigm shifting developments are so costly and require such a long term outlook that…
  • groupies

    “Change-washing” and the new groupie delusion

    At almost every nightclub in Hollywood there’s a VIP section that rarely ever contains more than a couple of actual VIPs. Instead, they’re populated by groupies, “somebody’s” friends, and various other wannabe types. For every star or legitimate VIP in LA there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these dreamers running up bar tabs, buying trendy clothes, and trying as hard as they can to play the part of the doers without doing much of anything. Fueled by the groupie…

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