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Christian Renaud
The American Outback
Recent Activity
Catherine, In response to the DNSSEC issue we have been discussing across facebook and twitter. DNSSEC was collaboratively conceived and developed over many years because of DNS hijacking by bad actors, which causes real problems (read 'opportunities for misuse, theft, surveillance, etc.') for electronic communications. It ensures that the site you are communicating with is actually who it purports to be, and not someone standing in front of your bank claiming to be a bank employee and taking cash deposits only. Unfortunately, as is the case with IPv6, it will take considerable time to implement this across all of the Internet, barring some large-scale exigency that creates a sense of urgency for the major ISPs. This is a technological downside to the multi-owner, international, nature of the Internet, in that large-scale change takes excruciatingly long to implement. Backing up a step prior to using DNSSEC as the whipping horse, please explain why the existence of piracy of movies or music, and the minimal real GDP impact of that, justifies legislation that allows for US Government control of root DNS servers, surveillance, and capricious blacklisting of sites they are informed by commercial interests that may (or may not) have pirated content? Creation of legislation that gives the US Government the ability to subjectively manipulate DNS requires that the current open/non-signed model of DNS be perpetuated, and not fixed. This implies that the US Government's enforcement of MPAA/RIAA lobbyists has been prioritized higher than SCADA or Telemedicine or any other critical applications that requires a secure and trusted point-to-point connection. Ultimately, it's not up to the (international) technology sector to defend DNSSEC or DNS or any other Internet protocol from the US Government. It's the responsibility of the US Government to justify such disproportionate measures such as mandating that we persist with the current functional-yet-flawed DNS model when it is known to have negative repercussions on security of critical communications. Christian
Agreed Geoff on all counts. I was disappointed that she chose to focus on a 'poor me' theme and the cliche midwestern bashing from the big VC, rather than the opportunity and growth.
Agreed. This is a midwestern entrepreneur problem too, which is "I'm going to do this in my own backyard first, then scale regionally, then perhaps nationally." when you have competitors going national day one. Find where the need exists the strongest, and do it there.
Shane, The fee is refunded in full if the group determines the proposal is 'out of scope' of the groups interest. Should it be determined that the group is interested in the space, but the company presents poorly or information comes up in the due diligence process that causes the angels to not invest, the fee is not refunded. Fair? Please let me know your thoughts. C
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2012 on A coaching moment at Christian Renaud's Blog
Tony, not just the smaller ones. Lets do it regionally!
Christian Renaud is now following Mike Duncan
May 7, 2012
John, thanks for your comments. Appreciate the reasoned feedback. 1) Although I agree that seasoning and 'boomerang' youth that import talent back into the state are beneficial, I do not agree that we need to export as many as we are exporting. Demographically, we are losing youth and not replenishing them with net-imports, which creates a hole in our labor pool. Even more so in the startup world that I live in, which sometimes feels entirely populated by 20-somethings. 2) We are a good importer of students that come to be educated from out of state/country, and I'd prefer that we find a way to retain those smart folks than export them back out to their place of origin. In order to do that, as you say, we need to create sexy opportunities at startups to keep them from leaving. We're in a bit of a chicken-egg situation with that at present, but hopefully we have enough heretics like my friends and colleagues that want to build here that they will bootstrap a broader effort. 3) I don't propose that we need to grow faster than the national average, but that we need to grow at the national average. We currently do not. As far as quality of life and finding a 'work smarter, not harder' balance that allows us our luxuries and quality of life while not 'living to work', I think it is a great ideal that everyone is striving for that no one elsewhere in the world has yet to find either. We can play to our lower costs (and lower wages) to attract some people who are disenchanted by other urban centers, which will address some of the population loss. In this case, I believe at a certain point we'll drop below a certain population point (and not raw population number, but the dependency ratio, reproductive rate, and composition of the work force, exacerbated by macro-economic factors like social security, medicare/medicaid, and unfunded pension programs public & private) that it will be nearly impossible for us to recover from. I assert that we need to take the actions proposed in my blogpost ASAP. That will help us build our own uniquely Iowan innovation ecosystem, and not a poor replica of a coastal one.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2011 on Are Iowans Risk Averse? at Christian Renaud's Blog
Lynn, Sorry to miss you tomorrow. Comments on your comments: 1) Indeed. We need to accept risk and failure as natural steps in growing. Just as in grade school, you learned by your mistakes. The same is true for the rest of life. 2) Indeed. Big miss on my part. Maytag should be in there and I'll add it as an in-line note. 3) I have no idea other than it's an easy way to say import/export sectors/clusters of an economic base. Porter and the HBS people usually do good research, and I try to read people who do their homework. :-)
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2011 on Are Iowans Risk Averse? at Christian Renaud's Blog
For those of you that permalinked our RSS feed to this blog, please refer to the new blog at: We will be blogging there moving forward. Thanks! The SCDSM team. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2011 at StartupCity Des Moines
How scary is it that there's actually a term for our entire civilization's collective inbreeding? Good catch Kirps!
So the answer to the conundrum is 'we are all serially inbred'. Boy, that's encouraging.
We all use tools on a daily bases to assist us in the completion of specific tasks. They can be a manual device such as a hammer or stapler. They can be a mechanical device such as a washing machine or food processor. They can be considered a high-tech device... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2011 at Random Sutras
It’s spring in Iowa! I can tell because it was 68℉ last week, yesterday we had thunderstorms, hail and tornados, and tomorrow we are expecting snow. Gaia (mother earth) is going through a transition. For me, it seems like a hard transition, similar to birth. But when she has completed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at Random Sutras
Stop. Take a breath. Despite all the flurry of activity around SxSW, various entreprenurial and startup events, meetups, and so on, it's time to find a nice quiet place and pause to remember the purpose of all this noise: To connect with other like-minded people and communicate your ideas and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at StartupCity Des Moines
(Sorry, I couldn't avoid the play on words there) We are frequently asked the status of StartupCity Des Moines, so we're going to keep a running update going here on the blog as to where we are in physically launching the incubator. A number of governmental (and quasi-governmental) entities have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at StartupCity Des Moines
I love saying that phrase. It's one of the happiest times, when your product is finally ready for customers. I've said it nearly 50 times in 42 years. I say 'your product', but it's really the child of everyone who worked on it. It doesn't matter if you had the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2011 at StartupCity Des Moines
Christian Renaud is now following Dianna Anderson
Jan 18, 2011
There are a number of things that an incubator provides: heat (in the form of advice), connectivity, access to sources of capital, a space to create, and speed (among many other things). This post is only about speed. Think about all of the mythos for successful startups that you've ever... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2011 at StartupCity Des Moines
You're deep in the melee of starting your company. You have potential and current investors pressuring you for Board seats. You have employees, friends and colleagues telling you to need to have this or that skill set represented on your staff. You're still eating 49 cent noodles trying to figure... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2010 at StartupCity Des Moines