Taylor Davidson · Articles about technology and photography
I've written hundreds of articles about technology, digital media, photography, and venture capital, and been quoted or featured in Fast Company, Wired, Fortune, MIT Technology Review, AdAge, and more. Join 24,918+ people and subscribe →
Finance · 20 posts
Understanding FP&A roles at growing companies? ↗
What the various roles in finance mean at a startup, and how to think about hiring for finance as companies grow.
Cap Table Hygiene ↗
Technical and practical considerations to keeping a clean cap table.
How to Build a 13 Week Cashflow Model ↗
Plus when and how to use it in business decision making
New Courses on Financial Modeling ↗
Courses on modeling cap tables, venture funds, and more.
Benchmarks for Early-Stage Financial Projections ↗
Data sources and approaches to benchmarking your metrics for private, early-stage companies.
Cap Table Scenario Modeling for Fundraising and Exits ↗
Using the Cap Table and Exit Waterfall and an import of a share register to create scenarios for fundraising rounds and proceeds from exits.
How to model token allocations and distributions ↗
Translating tokenomics into a forecast of changing allocations over time.
How to Model a Venture Capital Fund ↗
What it means to create a financial model for a venture capital fund, the various ways you can create a portfolio construction and operating cash flow model, and templates and examples that you can use for modeling your fund.
Building an Early-Stage SaaS Financial Model ↗
Discussing the core building blocks of an early-stage SaaS financial model.
Foundations of a VC Fund Model ↗
The foundations to building a forecast model for a venture capital fund.
How to Make a Budget for a Rolling Fund ↗
Best practices for effective budgeting for a rolling fund.
Metrics for Venture Capital Funds ↗
Key metrics for performance reporting for venture capital funds.
Templates and Resources for Modeling Venture Funds ↗
Links to posts, resources, and Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Causal template models.
Analyzing mortgage refinancing
Sharing a spreadsheet I built for understanding the personal economics of mortgage refinancing
Why I started using Github to version control spreadsheets
How I started using new ways (to me) to manage financial models for Foresight.
How to Forecast Your Online Course Earnings
Plus, download a sample model to outline your potential earnings
Why I teach financial modeling instead of Excel tricks
How I created a financial model for my course about financial modeling
Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program
How an installment purchase plan is yet another wedge into the mobile industry.
Financial Models Are (Still) Always Wrong: Create One Anyway
After a lot of interest from entrepreneurs for a simplified version of that model, today I’m releasing a streamlined version that will make it easier for entrepreneurs to start understanding the equation underlying their businesses.
Financial Models Are Always Wrong: Create One Anyway.
Why is creating a financial model important?
Personal · 19 posts
Robot coloring pages for kids
Free downloads for your coloring enjoyment
Piper Dauphine Davidson
18 from 2018
Eighteen photos from 2018 to summarize the year.
What's your favorite number?
My answer is probably not what you think.
How to Pack for a Family Trip (and the 10,000 things I packed)
I'm joking, I don't think it was actually 10,000 things. But it felt like it.
A new podcast about balancing life and career, on the Forbes Network.
How I manage my personal finances with Slack, Zapier and Google Sheets
This year I'm testing a new way to manage my family's finances.
Non-stuff is easier than non-self. We blame the demands of daily work and family life for making zen (and minimalism) unattainable, but the real reason is more raw: fear, ambition, desire, jealousy.
14 from 2014
Fourteen photos from 2014 to summarize the year.
Moving on from kbs Ventures
After a great three years at kbs+ Ventures, the time has come for me to move on. I'm excited to announce that I recently resigned to pursue new endeavors.
“Five years isn’t long, but it’s long enough.”
Five years is long enough to make lifelong friends.
I want to...
When you think “I want to..”, what do you do?
It's not Life's responsibility to make our lives great. That's up to us.
New Orleans, LA
Making Myself Uncomfortable (A Zombie's Journey)
A story about a zombie's early morning flight from New Orleans to San Francisco.
How to Pack for a Nomadic Life (and the 79 things I packed).
The 79 things I packed for a trip around the world.
The data revolution in baseball continues.
On technology and data-driven decision-making in baseball.
Ambient Intimacy: Creating Archetypes from Avatars
Expanding on a couple short notes about ambient intimacy; learning to take the good with the bad. ##Intimacy without being Intimate. Intermittent, one-way, more of a “crush” than love; the feeling of...
A little known fact: I'm actually a baseball geek.
A little known fact: despite my range of geeky interests, my deepest area of knowledge is actually baseball. Always has been, always will be. In another life I would have been a General Manager (GM)...
Be Undeniably Good
How to make it.
Perspective · 63 posts
How will we use AI to build spreadsheet forecast models? ↗
From spreadsheet jockey to prompt CFO, the intersection of artifical intelligence and financial forecasting will bring experimentation to spreadsheets and new opportunities to financial modelers.
Why image recognition, voice interfaces and machine learning will change your homescreen
How new technologies to see, interact with and understand the world - image recognition, voice interfaces, and machine learning - will change mobile operating systems... and your homescreen.
Bots, the new-new-old thing
Why are bots notable? Not because of what they are, but because of what they can do.
Algorithms and The Pursuit of Advertising
Instagram's shift to an algorithmic feed is an age-old story playing out yet again. And Snapchat? Coming soon.
The Entrepreneur's 2016 Gift Guide
What to get now to start planning for 2016.
Why is a shoe company a "startup"?
On the role of technology in startups, and why shoes, furniture, mattresses, clothes, food, and "non-tech" businesses are the hot startups of the moment.
The future of big data, ad blocking and tracking
Is big data a big asset or a big liability? That is up to us. Let's consider how we are using data to make better products and ads while dealing with security, privacy, and tracking.
Artificial Intelligence in Fintech
The financial services industry has seen the buzz over artifical intelligence before, but will the result be different this time?
Small (and Big) Data
Data abstinence and artificial intelligence.
How the Future of Mobile Apps Impacts Ads and Brands
The future of mobile apps will create new avenues for mobile ads. But it all starts with user experiences.
Users, meet Advertisers
The shift from a product people love to a product advertisers love is tough. But that should be expected.
Why the password needs to be replaced
I'm more excited about Apple's watches than their phones. Here's why.
23 Things I've Learned as a VC
Looking back at three years in venture
Why Mobile Unbundling Isn't Inevitable
The state of mobile app unbundling today, and how app extensions, deep linking, and notifications could alter the rationale for unbundling.
The Internet of Things is about people, not things.
A talk I gave at Startup Iceland, 2014
The State of Programmatic Advertising
... will be defined by the sites we make popular and the ad units made to fit them.
Why Deep Linking Matters
Mobile apps are adding back the structure of the web, bit by bit.
The Peer-to-Peer Movement
Signs of how peer-to-peer technologies will disrupt the centralization of the Internet.
Card Architecture and Card Design
Cards are not the first form of embedding interactivity, but it's the one with the biggest future. Look beyond the design of cards to the architecture behind them.
Publishing as a Product, Pageviews as Users, and What The Shift Means
Re-thinking publishers as intent engines, and what it takes to get there
The mobile single-purpose app strategy
Thin wedges can be valuable icebergs.
Fundraising for Entrepreneurs
Slides from a talk about Fundraising for Early-stage Entrepreneurs I gave at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, Feb 14, 2014
It's a fascinating time to be a publisher
An overview of digital publishers today.
How "native advertising" will shift from the buzzy savior of advertising to the new normal
Programmatic content + programmatic buying, FTW.
Mobile messaging, brands, and adtech
Mobile communication apps may not appear to be adtech companies. But then, neither did social networks.
Feedback from Founders
I surveyed all the entrepreneurs I've met about what I did right AND wrong as a VC. Here's what they said.
Angellist Syndicates is crowdfunding without the crowd. For now.
It's impossible to think about Angellist Syndicates without looking at the broader picture of equity crowdfunding.
A VC's take on CGI 2013
Thoughts from Clinton Global Initiative by a tech venture capitalist.
The most interesting companies in advertising are built for people first, marketers second.
If you want to figure out the future of adtech, look to where consumer technology is going.
Why it's hard for startups to hack brands and agencies for growth
There's a difference between business development and selling.
Everyone talks about achieving Inbox Zero, why don’t we talk about Notification Zero?
What's Native Today Will be Programmatic Tomorrow
On Native and Programmatic | John Battelle’s Search Blog If I had to wager a guess, I’d have to say that programmatic will be a larger force, but only if you take “native” to mean the native units at...
Hardware is Feeding the World
Software might be eating the world, but hardware is feeding the world.
Perhaps instead of web first, or mobile first, we should think about international first and what that means.
The next set of winners in web services will use the organizing principle of “context first” to build on top of social platforms, mobile platforms and data platforms to rethink how their business operates.
Intent Data, the Key to Internet Marketing
Detailing how first-party digital intent data can be used by marketers and advertisers, and why intent data is not the same as social data. Startup idea enclosed.
How crowdfunding could impact the venture capital industry
What happens when everybody’s a venture capitalist? The crowd is waiting to disrupt yet another industry, and the time is now for the venture industry to take advantage of it.
Why digital intent matters
A glimpse into why we are going to hear a lot more about intent in digital marketing.
The best technology fades into the background
The best technology fades into the background, because people don’t care about tech, they care about what it does.
The Theory of the Nine Rakes
How a joke from the Simpsons tells a story about the power of commitment.
Capital One and Klout (a look into a current promotion)
A look into a recent Capital One promotion using Klout, which highlights an important reality about Klout: marketers need Klout as a metric of influence and a way to allocate dollars, resources, and...
Intent Engines, Sponsored Actions, and Internet Marketing (why Pinterest, Polyvore, and Personal et. al. matter)
Social services as intent engines, and why they are important to advertisers.
Tim Tebow and the Minimum Viable Offense
The idea of a minimum viable product doesn’t apply just to startups.
How to start charging for what you make
A summary of a short talk I gave at Tribecon 2011
The bubble is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed.
Bubbles happen, but they happen for entirely different reasons every time.
Facebook's potential Adsense competitor
In a “world where more stuff is known by more people”, how will social data link with ads across the web? Here’s one idea.
The real challenges technology companies face today are human, not technical.
And that’s a normal part of the cycle, not a failure of venture capital or innovation.
Information, Intelligence, and Wisdom. There's a business in every part of the stack.
Data is great. Analytics are great. But the applications of data are even better.
The Missing Loop in Health Hacking
Health hacking technology and communities are all missing something. Today’s product and community diversity is a sign of immature products and value propositions, but tomorrow’s diversity will be a sign of competitive differentiation.
Hardware is the new software. Entrepreneurs and investors, get on board.
The opportunities for the hardware entrepreneur have never been better.
Bankers always maneuver faster than regulators (Facebook and Wall Street)
Everyone’s going to pay attention to Facebook raising $500 million. But pay much more attention to where the money is coming from.
The kids are alright.
Studies about generational differences matter. But not in the way we typically interpret them.
Why we create without getting paid
Why do people spend time creating without getting paid? Three big reasons, in my mind: 1) creating is a form of entertainment, 2) it’s never been easier to create and publish for free, and 3) creating creates. We can say yes without having to convince anyone else to say yes. And it’s great. But shifting from free to paid isn’t as easy as we may expect.
Doing Good is Good Business
Doing good is good business. “Social good” can be the base of a strong business model, and I believe we’re steadily coming closer to a point where a business without a “social good” is not a sustainable business. And I’m not talking about environmentally, culturally or morally sustainable, but strategically, economically and financially sustainable.
Where Meaning Meets Business
“Where meaning meets business” is a simple construct that can help us allocate our money, time, attention and love; why should we do things that don’t matter?
The Passing of the Polymath
Once admired for their breadth of knowledge and ability, polymaths are now ironically mocked for the exact same quality. Why?
A Personal API could be a modularized, standardized interface for collaboration.
Continuing the conceptual thinking around a “personal API”
Modeling Viral Loops
Articles on modeling viral customer acquisition loops
Content is cheap, context is expensive. Is it any surprise which one we lack?
Why is context scarce?
How to Fail - 25 Lessons Learned through Failure
Close observation and unfortunate first-hand personal experiences have taught me many lessons about why companies fail. Here’s 25.
What Startups can learn from Billy Beane
Moneyball was about strategy, not tactics: constantly measuring and re-evaluating tactics and alternatives, not about determining and defining the “winning tactic”.
Cutting a desire path through life
Desire paths are how people have chosen the best route to navigate their physical world, whether it is the “intended” path or not.
Photography · 33 posts
The Augmented Future (of Photography)
Augmented, mixed and virtual reality will change popular photography.
On Photography (in 2016)
What happens when photography technology diffuses into society?
Why does real photography matter?
The impact of selfies and computational photography on professional photography today.
The key to winning Instagram
"You have to be interested to take interesting pictures."
Beyond Better Images
I'm excited about technologies that help us create better photos, not just better images.
Software is Eating the Camera
How software is changing the form and substance of cameras and photos
The Future of Mobile Photography Apps
iOS 8, Android L, and the implications for mobile photography
My goals are to solve problems, be creative, have fun and make money while I sleep.
Social photography is changing stock photography.
From Shutterstock, to Getty, to EyeEm and 500px, social photography is having an impact on stock photography.
The most interesting trend recently is the rapid rise of news coverage by everyday citizens with a cell phone camera... This has given way to a very intriguing shift in global comprehension of what constitutes privacy.
I think there will always be a need for photography agents because some creatives don’t want to get involved with the business side of the work.
I’m excited beyond reason (i.e. a little crazy) by the mass adoption of photography as a tool of vernacular communication.
Kyle Dean Reinford
Digital technology is what brought me in to the photo industry.
How a single sentence changed how I see
On a spring Saturday a year ago I sat down for a photography portfolio review at International Center of Photography. What I learned applies far outside the world of photography.
From Photogram to Instagram
Behind changes in mediums and messages, from the photogram to the instagram
The Filter Future
Digging a bit into Vine and Instagram, here’s the path to the next round of innovation in consumer photography. And it’s not in “filters” in the current sense of the word.
Share snippets, and enjoy it. But don’t stop there. Share stories also.
Photographing Summer in Boston with the Camera You Have on You
A recent feature in Gizmodo talking about how I shoot
The Misplaced Debate About Instagram
Technology changes faster than culture, incumbents never like being disrupted, and “photography”, “photographer”, and “photos” don’t mean what they used to.
The Lytro isn't a new camera, it's a new medium.
The Lytro is a discontinuity in digital camera evolution.
Collaboration works best when both parties are curious about the outcome; hiring works best when you have a fixed objective.
Two key points about collaboration, through the lens of photography.
Everyone is a photojournalist.
... and that’s ok. Because even though everyone is a photojournalist in their own way, the dedicated photojournalist still has a valuable role to play.
Can OpenPhoto unbundle the photo industry?
A vision of an unbundled sharing and stock photography service.
The deluge of the amateur photographer, redux.
Retracing an old discussion about the impact of the deluge of the amateur, linking together yesterday’s fair take by the NY Times with a post of mine from September 2007
DSLRs are SUVs
Do people really want bigger cameras? No, and that’s why the micro 4/3 innovation is important, not as a sign that micro 4/3 is the solution the mass market wants, but that DSLRs aren’t really what the mass market wants, either.
Unbundling the Photography Industry, Redux
Break down the stack of services in the photography industry and imagine a photography sales platform that operates as a search engine through the internet’s warehouse of images; the current issues in the photography industry are signs of long-term pressures and hints of the industry’s future.
Lesson 5: Make Great Work
It’s still about the art.
Lesson 4: Connect with context and content
It’s always been about creating great content, but there’s now a larger opportunity than ever to deliver great context.
Lesson 3: Take advantage of the oversupply and target your brand, your niche, your fans, your customers
Forget about fighting the market. Stand above the market and create your own.
Lesson 2: Take advantage of the atomization of demand and expand the scope of consumption
What are the business opportunities for photographers?
Lesson 1: Photographers are your customers, not your competition
Where is the money in photography?
Five Lessons: How Photographers can Create New Business Models
The start to a five lesson series about how photographers can create new business models.
Everyone is a photographer.
Photography as communication, not just art.
Travel · 99 posts
My Cities, 2022
19 cities and 60 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2021
15 cities and 40 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2020
7 cities and 21 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2019
16 cities and 43 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2018
9 cities and 26 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2017
21 cities and 54 nights away from home.
In an unexpected meeting with unexpected people about unexpected ideas.
New York, NY
Saying good morning to the one who unlocks the gate. Except this morning, she couldn't.
New York, NY
To the rude, dangerous, obnoxious taxi driver: thank you.
New Orleans, LA
If in doubt, walk.
London, United Kingdom
On the edge of the world, looking for the swimming hole.
Cardigan, United Kingdom
Caught in the Act
Southern Peninsula, Iceland
Bias for Curiosity
San Francisco, CA
My Cities, 2016
22 cities and 72 nights away from home.
My Cities, 2015
23 cities and 141 nights away from home.
New Orleans, The Food
72 hours of New Orleans food
Do Lectures, Australia
Talking about esoteric technology? Easy. Talking about my life? Hard.
My Cities, 2014
28 cities and 148 nights away from home.
How to Take Photos Underwater
Copake Lake, NY
Where twisters come from.
20 Things I Pack for Living
What I use to live when I travel.
The Do Lectures
What I do when I'm in London
The Great Saunter
Manhattan, New York, NY
Up in the Air
The nostalgia of the airplane window photo
Exploring Castles in the Sky
Las Vegas, NV
My Cities, 2013
30 cities and 109 nights away from home.
13 from 2013
Thirteen photos from 2013 to summarize the year.
Hidden Valley, PA
New Paltz, NY
What laid down the path.
Los Angeles, CA
Living in public.
Peering past the tourists.
Getting lost is part of the fun.
Using the frame I brought with me.
Escaping The City
It's amazing how many great escapes are available outside NYC.
How to do Tanglewood right.
How Sundays are supposed to be lived.
Eagle Bridge, NY
Using what we have.
Sag Harbor, NY
From a 25 mile ride from Sag Harbor to Amagansett and back.
Hudson River Valley, NY
Adventures out of NYC
Providence, Rhode Island
Walking the streets of Providence
San Francisco, CA
The sights of business travel.
Circumnavigating the island of Manhattan
Manhattan, New York, NY
Venturing outside the bubble.
New Orleans, LA
What I recommend in NOLA
There's something wonderful about exploring a place out of season.
Before the world arrives.
St. Augustine, FL
Pulled to the edge.
My Cities, 2012
28 cities and 97 nights away from home on a quiet year.
Understanding Paris's love locks.
A Week at a Colorado Dude Ranch
Black Mountain Ranch, CO
Spending Thanksgiving Giving Back
My Cities 2011
Continuing a meme, below are my cities in 2011. As always, only cities where I spent a night count, the * means I visited multiple times on non-consecutive days, and the # in parentheses are the...
Unsilent Night, 2011
New York, NY
My Cities 2010
Continuing a meme, below are my cities in 2010. As always, only cities where I spent a night count, the * means I visited multiple times on non-consecutive days, and the # in parentheses are the...
My Cities 2009
Continuing a meme, below are my cities in 2009. Only cities where I spent a night count, the * means I visited multiple times on non-consecutive days, and the # in parentheses are the number of...
I love the street food in Asia.
What I love about street stall eateries in Asian cities.
The smooth subversion of air travel
Alain de Botton, in A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary, after discussing the brutality of airport car parks and their unforgiving fluorescent lights, We may ask of our destinations, ‘Help me to...
The Tuttle Club
A note about Tuttle, my new favorite ritual in London.
Three days hiking in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria (a story untold)
An improvised three days hiking in the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria.
Looking out, looking in.
A hot, languid day train from Bulgaria to Romania, (Veliko Tarnovo to Bucharest via Ruse)
An introvert, in the wild.
Introverts live differently than extroverts. Not surprisingly, they also travel differently. Trust me, I know.
Creating the means to match the spirit (How to Plan for Travel)
Responding to a request to outline the logistics of a nomadic life beyond the small matter of what to pack.
One night on a train from Istanbul to Sofia
Snippets from an overnight train ride on the Bosphorus Express from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria on my current little jaunt.
Street Art from Istanbul, Turkey
A request for street art, fulfilled.
The term flaneur may date back to another era, but it’s an idea and an action more relevant today than ever.
Zombie travel is travel without conscious thought.
A nice, but misguided, attempt to connect the principles behind Umair Haque’s Zombieconomy to our choices of how to travel, followed by a bit of a rant. Lonely Planet, Zombie Travel: For what shall it...
One Night at an Internet Cafe in Tokyo (a recommended experience)
One Way to Sleep in Tokyo (Not Recommended)
One way to spend a night in Tokyo, not recommended. The Plan II, Tokyo, Japan, July 2009 I’ll tell the full story behind a better way soon…
I expected to like Durango, and I did.
Compared to Reno, which I thought I would hate (but didn’t), I expected to like Durango, Colorado (and I did). It’s hard to explain how we create images in our minds of places we’ve never visited....
How to Live a Nomadic Lifestyle
A couple thoughts from my current trip on how to live a nomadic lifestyle… ##“What you own ends up owning you.” Carry a low “life overhead”: remember that “owning little” is as much of an attitude or...
My Cities 2008
72 different cities in 5 countries.
A smoldering ghost town tucked away in Pennsylvania.
Unordered Thoughts from India
People or places? Which has a bigger impact on our memories? Can we make a distinction between the impact of the two on our experiences? Which is more rewarding? Over the past month I have been saving...
My Cities 2007
77 cities on a year on the road
Our face to the world
Half Dome, Yosemite, CA
Where tourists and travelers meet
Get On The Bus
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
One more day, Ashburn, VA
A Misplaced Day
The misleading lure of travel
Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, West Virginia
Virginia Beach, VA
My Cities 2006
26 cities on a year full of travel