6 posts categorized "February 2014"

Action February 25 on the Washington State crowdfunding bill

Note from Bill: this is a guest post by  & Joe Wallin.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 25th, the Washington State Senate is having a hearing on HB 2023, titled the Washington Jobs Act of 2014.

HB 2023 is a state crowdfunding bill.

It would allow Washington startups to raise up to $1M during any 12 month period, from accredited and non-accredited investors. There are individual investor caps in the state bill that track the same individual investor caps in the federal JOBS Act.

If passed, the bill would be substantially more accessible for startups than the federal crowdfunding bill. 

You can read the latest text of the bill at this link: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2023-S.E.pdf

There are several articles that have been written about this bill that can help you get up to speed on it:

If you would like to attend the Senate hearing tomorrow, your presence at the hearing and support of the bill would be greatly appreciated.

If you want to attend, please RSVP at hb2023.eventbrite.com

Other data:

Full text of the bill: 2023-S.E

House bill report: 2023-S.E HBR APH 14

Official web site: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2023

Senate Committee web site: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WALEG/bulletins/a6a571

Map of Olympia, WA: Campus map

Smells like court

I think Dropbox is awesome and wish that company every success (don't sell us users out!).

But there is a tradition on this blog of watching Dropbox's missteps with attempts to update its terms of service.

CaptureThis time it's a phrasing thing, which I take to be indicative of a low-grade, possibly tech industry-shared, fashionable disdain for the court system.

The phrasing I'm calling out is in a Dropbox email to users explaining why the company's terms of service are being changed to default to arbitration, rather than adjudication in courts, to resolve disputes:

"We’re adding an arbitration section to our updated Terms of Service. Arbitration is a quick and efficient way to resolve disputes, and it provides an alternative to things like state or federal courts where the process could take months or even years. If you don’t want to agree to arbitration, you can easily opt out via an online form, within 30-days of these Terms becoming effective. This form, and other details, are available on our blog."

"Things like courts." Pesky, bothersome, unattractive things like taxpayer-funded, independent tribunals to adjudicate prosecutions, commercial disputes, family matters. Slow, inefficient, deliberate. Many of the same drawbacks as representative democracy itself!

And jurors!

Heaven forbid that users of popular apps should sit in and pass judgment on what terms of service Silicon Valley imposes!


According to my phone, it's as warm right now in Seattle as it is in San Francisco. 52°.

12482874693_05a4a60602_cWhat's more, that's only 3° cooler than the current temperatures in Los Angeles and Orange.

And it is sunny in Seattle.

Too early to call spring in Seattle.

Over this past weekend, visiting Los Angeles, I saw small, streetside cherry trees blossoming in (I think it was) Culver City.

There are many gorgeous, old, beautiful cherry trees in the neighborhood I live in Seattle, rows and rows of such trees lining several side streets.

When my eyes start to itch from the cherry tree pollen, I'll know spring in Seattle is near.

Pictured: construction site at 8th and Seneca this morning in Seattle.

Investment crowdfunding exemption in Washington State?

My friend, the startup lawyer, Joe Wallin, and Washington State Representative Cyrus Habib, have teamed up to promote an investment crowdfunding exemption for Washington.

(Washington, you will recall, is the home of the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.)

Investment crowdfunding exemption in Washington State?

But, though the proposed legislation was cleared in a committee, it appears to be having trouble getting to the floor for a vote.

If you live in Washington State. - or even if you don't, and think that small, local crowdfunding exemptions are a good idea - consider emailing the persons identified in Joe's campaign materials, here.

As readers of the crowdfunding posts on this blog know, I think state crowdfunding exemptions are the way to go. The federal crowdfunding exemption, whenever it arrives, won't be useful. But individual states have the opportunity to tailor exemptions to meet local circumstances.

Geeks on buses: Seattle v. San Francisco edition

Seems like every newspaper is now writing about the luxury coach controversy in the hipper neighborhoods of San Francisco.

I was last in San Francisco last spring, only for a week, and I saw plenty of these unmarked buses on the roads.

They shuttle Googlers, Applers, Facebookers, to and from the city to the office parks and campuses farther south. These are not carriages licensed to serve the general public.

I've heard of similar coaches, equipped with wi-fi, shuttling to the Microsoft campus in Redmond from Seattle, and back. I've known people who worked at Microsoft but live in Seattle who rode them. But I don't think I've ever actually seen one.

12259256883_dc47057f83_zSo I'm acknowledging, in advance, that my point today is drawn from anecdote, and may not be supported by data. For all I know, vast swaths of Microsofties and Kirkland Googlers are being transported secretly from sleepy Ballard to Redmond every morning.

Here's my point: if you walk through Amazonville - the emergence of which is effectively shifting the center of commercial Seattle northward - you see Amazons waiting for the Metro King County bus.

Not the Amazon bus, but the same bus anyone with $2.50 may board.

What's more, based on my unscientific, anecdotal observations, the Seattle employed are boarding routes to other parts of Seattle.

They aren't leaving town.

They don't treat the city like a bedroom, merely.

Language and invention

An upcoming media personality I really, really like is Mike Pesca of NPR.

I say "upcoming" because I hear him on shows recently other than the NPR staple news magazines, talking on subjects other than sports.

Mpesca-7a60f001efa175c7aedfb099527722e0c563a355-s3-c85Or on local stations talking about sports, too.

He was on Seattle's local NPR affiliate, KUOW, earlier this week, talking about the Super Bowl, of course. He pretended to be offended when asked to predict the score, but then quickly cut his own protest off and said the Seahawks would win 24-20.

As I said, I've been hearing him on the NPR news magazines for years, talking about sports. He always makes any sport sound interesting because he offers smart opinions that reveal something about the player, or the sport, or the contest - not himself. (Every time the other NPR sports commentator, Frank Deford, comes on, I shut the radio off.)

But, again, I hear him now talking on non-sports topics. Maybe it's just me getting out more, but I suspect he is pushing to burnish his brand as a media personality outside of sports.

Last night I was driving between beers and heard him on an uneven show moderated by Luke Burbank, talking about the supposed poplular misuse of the English language.

The riff he and Burbank were given was the use of the word "literally" in vernacular conversation. People say "literally" when they mean, of course, "figuratively."

Both Burbank and Pesca pretended to hate what they were naming an abuse of usage.

Burbank uttered the uninformed truism that language is about "expressing ideas," but while Pesca humored the riff they were supposed to string out, Pesca, dressing up his tutoral to Burbank as a concession to the social scientists who are non-judgmental about language usage, explained how common usage re-works languages and that meaning follows metaphor.

The next station in this train of thought, of course, is to acknowledge that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

But I think I wanted to veer somewhere else, which was to say, almost all language starts as metaphor, and what makes language so powerful, when your metapor is strong enough, is that your metapor ends up reshaping what is normative, what you see, what you account for, how you frame choices to your unconscious.

All this money and business attention to technical innovation in our culture, and yet the very rulemaking of human consciousness is still in the hands of novelists, poets, songwriters. Nice thought, that.

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