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LAUNCH 004: Producers' Picks: Best Products of 2010 from 16 Insiders


In this issue we asked our favorite product designers, pundits, visionaries and angel investors what products they loved in 2010. We're certain that their selections will suck a week or two out of your life, and a couple hundred bucks from your bank account. Don't say we didn't warn you! Vote for your favorite products of 2010 in the LAUNCH "Best Products of 2010" survey here: What did we miss? Tell us - @Launch / #launch.

Jason & the LAUNCH team (Carolyn, Kate, Kirin, Krute, Mo, Nick & Tyler)

Producers' Picks: Best Products of 2010 from 16 Insiders
1. Pishevar: "It's going to be one of the foundational Internet brands."
2. Kalanick: "They're f$%king legitimately awesome."
3. Borthwick: "It came of age in 2010."
4. Zappacosta: "It's a web-based password management solution that just works."
5. Spivack: "I would gladly use it instead of XM Radio in my car."
6. Gold: "Parents can no longer hate video games for making their kids couch potatoes."
7. McLeod: "It made me have happy giggles that only well thought-out tech can bring."
8. Boggs: "Huge time saver for me - especially around tax time!"
9. Pandya: "The impact has been undeniable to artists, geeks, & children."
10. Holovaty: "My home internet connection is 2x faster than with my previous router."
11. Howard: "They put a beautiful spin on task management."
12. Staff of reddit: "It's like The Sims, for guys, and dangerously addictive."
13. Horn: "This is going to make donations 10x easier in the new year."
14. Williams: "I'm a junkie, can't travel without it."
15. Rosenthal: "It's become essential for my team when we're traveling to new cities."
16. Kedrosky: "It finally made me upgrade from my cracked & busted iPhone 1.5."

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LAUNCH003: Responses to Jason's "What I Learned from Zuckerberg's Mistakes"


We love receiving your thoughtful feedback and want to continue the conversation around Mark Zuckerberg's [] developer-driven culture. We've selected a dozen responses below from Etsy to Netflix. Additionally, we summarize the L002 survey and find that almost none of your trust Facebook. Original essay in L002: [ ]

all the best,

Jason & the LAUNCH team (Kirin, Kate, Nick, Lon, Tyler & Krute)

P.S. Talk about #Launch on Twitter


Responses to Jason's "What I Learned from Zuckerberg's Mistakes"
1. Eric Stephens of Etsy: "traditional model of product development is broken..."  
2. Joe Ranft: " yourself a favor, don't create a developer only culture"
3. David Doolin: "Anytime I hear the words ‘code monkey' it feels like a slap in the face"
4. Paul Reinarz: "<FAMOUS FOUNDER> mentioned this...and it changed our development process"
5. Paul May: "we push releases... EVERY DAY... knowing... we're going to... f$%k things up"
6. Chad Williams: "This is like saying a food company should just put food out without thinking about if it might kill a few people"
7. Josh Borthwick: "I'm going to take those recommendations into our sales-driven culture"
8. Misha Manulis: "unless a person is a psychopath, doing the right thing is simple"
9. German Vargas: "I find that people who are willing to move sideways...are useful"
10. Kevin Foxe: "let the guys who know how to make it, make it and get out of the way"
11. Terry Chapman: "we at times get caught up in our own cleverness and create things that our wives...hate"
12. Kade Dworkin: "You never stumble upon an opportunity by standing still"

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Complete List of Incubators and Accelerators (like Y Combinator)

LAUNCH is doing a survey of incubators. We’d like to know which ones are hosting a new class, when the deadline is, etc. Here’s what we have so far (alphabetical order by US state). Let us know in the comments if you have any particular information we missed. Know one that we missed? Fill out the form here, and we'll add it to the list.

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LAUNCH002: What I Learned from Zuckerberg's Mistakes

by Jason Calacanis

In May I "ghosted" my Facebook page based on my feelings that Facebook was a bad actor, not worthy of our trust and very bad for our industry.

[ Ghosted: removing all content and leaving a note explaining why you left. ]

After a seven-month hiatus from the service for everything except a) reviewing new features (as an angel investor and pundit must do) and b) using Facebook Connect to log in to various services, I've got some observations I'd like to share.

My hiatus has lead me to answer a couple of questions, including "Is Facebook evil, clueless or unlucky," and I've actually had an epiphany around how products are made.

Have I changed my stance on Facebook screwing our collective user base over and over and over again? Not really, but I've learned to appreciate Zuckerberg's process.

Let's start, shall we?

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LAUNCH001: The Path of Most Resistance

Elevator Pitch
A private photo-sharing and social networking site that limits you to only 50 friends in an effort to protect privacy and, perhaps, increase sharing in the safety of small numbers.

What’s Really Going On
Facebook started as a throttled social network that was limited to those with an .edu email address. has started out small and is slowly perfecting features, and it will eventually open up and go head-to-head with Facebook.

Few launches were so anticipated in 2010 as social network

And for good reason: the site (launched mid-November) was founded by early Facebook engineer Dave Morin and Napster’s Shawn Fanning -- and it’s backed by an all-star list including legendary angel Ron Conway, Index Ventures (the “Sequoia Capital of Europe” as one entrepreneur referred to them), the hard-working, blue-collar First Round Capital and actor-turned-angel Ashton Kutcher.

Click to read more ...