July 17, 2012

Yahoo Homepage Before and After Marissa Mayer :)

Posted in Category: Tech — Amr Awadallah @ 12:15 am | link | | comment (0)

Yahoo Homepage Before Marissa Mayer:

Yahoo Homepage Before Mayer

Yahoo Homepage After Marissa Mayer:

Yahoo Homepage After Mayer

Congrats 🙂

— amr

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November 15, 2011

The Geometry of Startup Valuations.

Posted in Category: Tech,Work — Amr Awadallah @ 10:40 pm | link | | comments (1)

I frequently find that I have to explain to candidates joining Cloudera (and existing employees) how not to be overly concerned about dilution of their percent ownership when a company is experiencing strong growth.

Towards that end I created the chart below to illustrate how percent ownership is just a small part of the total equation. The core concept is that the “paper” valuation of your stock options is equal to twice the area of your sector under the pie, and the area of your sector is proportional to your angle (i.e. your percent ownership) multiplied by the radius squared (where radius is the stock price). Hence if a startup raises a new round of funding at a large radius then that quickly out weighs any shrinkage in the angle of ownership due to the to the squaring of the stock price. I am not saying that you shouldn’t worry about dilution at all, you should obviously try to get the best deal and keep dilution low, but don’t be overly obsessed by dilution, it is just one factor in the grand scheme of things.

Fortunate startups that demonstrate repeatability/efficiency of their business model raise additional funds at a large radius so that they can fuel further growth thus making the pie larger for everyone. On the other hand startups that get overly concerned by dilution and avoid raising money (depsite being in a growth market) can fall in a penny-wise pound-foolish trap where they end up being a zombie company that goes nowhere (I know many such startups, and by the time they realize their mistake it is usually too late).

Cheers,

— amr

PS: For stock options, the “paper” value is (area of sector) minus (cost of sector), where cost of sector is angle * strike-price^2.

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February 19, 2008

Blu-ray is still a loser.

Posted in Category: Tech — Amr Awadallah @ 6:31 pm | link | | comment (0)

First, I assume every body saw the announcement today from Toshiba that they are raising the white flag and shutting down their HD-DVD format:

Toshiba Quits HD-DVD, Sony’s Blu-Ray Wins

That said, is Blu-Ray really a winner? I am not referring to fact that eventually downloading will take-over (downloading a 10GB HD movie still takes many hours over 1Mbps), but I am referring to fact that the standard DVD format still looks great if you have a DVD player with up-sampling technology.

I am a gamer and have eyes that are very sensitive to resolution, I totally see the difference between standard TV broadcast and HD TV broadcast, that is definitely worth it.

But it is very rare that I see a movie in Blu-Ray (on my PS3) which I think is far superior than a standard DVD with up-sampling (on the same PS3 btw). Only one movie impressed my eyes a bit in Blu-Ray format, and that was Crank. Even then, the difference was not so great to the extent that I would feel bad watching the standard DVD version with up-sampling.

What up-sampling does is increase the standard DVD resolution from 720×480 (NTSC) to the true HDTV resolution of 1920x1080p (note that smaller HDTVs run at 1920x1080i which “fakes” the 1080 by interlacing the odd and even lines). So the up-sampling is effectively expanding every 1×1 pixel from the original DVD resolution to roughly 2.67×2.25 pixels in the HDTV resolution by interpolating the possible values between the original 1×1 pixels. For a stationary photo the eye might notice the degraded picture and aliasing jaggies after this process, but for a moving picture it is very hard for the eyes to catch that.

In summary, don’t run out and buy a blu-ray disk player (unless you need a PS3 🙂 ), getting a normal DVD player with up-sampling is just as good and you will have more choices at Netflix/Blockbuster.

— amr

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