Parenthood, business, and investment

I was recently interviewed by Sarah Spear at The Parentalist, a new blog featuring parents who are “making an impact on the world, in business and in their local communities”.

You listen to (or download) the audio:

Or watch the video:

On a related note, today I added the job “Parent at My Family” to my LinkedIn profile.  Why is that?  Parenthood teaches you:

  • Putting the needs of others ahead of your own
  • Functioning with next to no sleep
  • Dealing with life-and-death unexpected emergencies
  • Motivating others
  • Communicating with people with a wide range of skills
  • Managing conflicting priorities
  • Building community
  • Financial management in uncertain conditions
  • … and the list goes on …

All of these are critical skills for business success in general, and startup success in particular.



Parliament passed the Copyright Amendment Act into law under urgency last night, effectively forcing Internet Service Providers to police people allegedly infringing copyrights, with the ultimate sanction being a $15,000 fine and disconnecting the offender from the Internet.

The whole idea is stupid and irritating on many levels, but to me, the worst aspect is the abuse of urgency.  Urgency is only meant to be used when things are, well, urgent, but in this case it’s being used to stifle debate.

Even more irritating is Labour’s response, with Clare Curran crowing that Labour only passed 13 bills under urgency in their 9-year tenure.  That’s 13 bills too many in my book, and includes such standouts as the Terrorism Suppression Act and the Seabed and Foreshore Act.

I’d dearly like both major parties to revise their policy on urgency, as it is a clear threat to democracy.  They may be using it on something as seemingly innocuous as the Copyright Amendment Act today, but they’re on a slippery slope pointing back toward the days of Rob Muldoon.

I was quoted in the Herald from one of my tweets as being “p****d off”, but I’m really livid. If democracy slips away from us, we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

My advice to budding entrepreneurs

A couple of months ago, the great people from interviewed me to collect my sage advice for budding entrepreneurs.

Here is what I told them:

What is WebFund all about?

What’s the difference between a good idea and a good business idea?

What should I think about before approaching an investor?

How important is scalability for a business idea?

Are investors looking for individuals or teams?

You really need a team around you, and there’s no shame in sales!

How do I find the right business partners?

Start small, and talk to potential investors as early as possible.

What are investors looking for?

How do I test out my business idea? What if I fail?

Dear Green Party, please stop sending me stuff

Dear Greens,

I have written to you on a number of occasions pleading with you to stop sending me snail mail. I have now moved house, and yet you continue to send mail to my old address which the Post Office then redirects to my new house, inconveniencing even more people and causing the wastage of ever more resources.

Please, please stop sending me stuff.

Thanks, and kind regards
Dave Moskovitz