Bursts of Color

By Geoff Donaker

Bursts of Color - Vegas, Baby

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Bursts of Color - Vegas, Baby
By Geoff Donaker • Issue #57 • View online
Last week my family and I took a summer vacation to… Las Vegas. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. I was skeptical about it beforehand given the known combination of: (a) scorching summer weather and (b) the whole Sin City thing. Nonetheless, it all worked out and we had a great time.

My kids at the playground, Vegas style
My kids at the playground, Vegas style
Elements of Family Fun in Vegas
Here are a few things that made Las Vegas enjoyable for a full week with the family:
  • Stayed in a hotel with no casino (there are a bunch of them now, which cuts way back on noise and insanity)
  • Got outdoors to kayak, visit the Grand Canyon, etc.
  • Added some goofy “only in Vegas” stuff like driving excavators
  • And of course, good meals and shows
Water in the American West
One can’t visit the desert without thinking about water. And through luck of timing, I read Cadillac Desert shortly before going to Vegas. If you live in the Western US and haven’t read this or something like it, I highly recommend it. Turns out that our dry landscape would not support much civilization without the big water projects like Hoover Dam. The book’s also filled with fun facts, such as:
Las Vegas and Reno represent 95% of Nevada’s economy, but use 10% of its water (alfalfa growers use most of the rest).
On a Whole Different Tangent: Hype For Startups
Las Vegas is ground zero for hype in all its forms, so it was funny to read Sarah Tavel’s post last week about the role of hype in startups. I tend to agree with her take that most startups should be cautious of investing in PR or other hype-drivers too early:
Hype is better used after you get to product-market fit, not before. If your product is ready for it and your flywheel is spinning, it can turbocharge that flywheel. If on the other hand, you are newly launched or creating a new format that still requires constant tweaking and vigilance, it can be lethal. 
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Geoff Donaker

Bursts of Color is a newsletter for start-up leaders who work with Burst Capital. It's meant to include products, people and ideas that I think are interesting and maybe relevant for you.

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