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Francisco Dao

Columnist

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...
  • 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...
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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....
  • 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...
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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...
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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...
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    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...
  • sharks feature

    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...

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