Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

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My phone number is (415) 335-9116

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I cancelled my home phone number a while back. It occurred to me that I am now slightly more difficult to call since my cell number is not in directory assistance like my old home phone number was.

I have two numbers that both terminate at my cell phone. One I keep somewhat private, but the other one is fully public and listed on my other website and on this blog on the About page.

The number is (415) 335-9116. Since this number makes my cell phone ring, please only call it when you think I will not be sleeping. Thanks.

Written by Kevin Warnock

February 28th, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Having fun with the Nokia phone ringtone

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Much of the modest success I have achieved in life has resulted from Nokia Ventures (later renamed Blue Run Ventures) investing in, Inc., which I later sold to Purple Communications.

While that investment was in 1999, I still have a warm spot in my heart for Nokia Ventures and for Nokia the company that makes mobile telephones.

The Nokia default ring tone is so well known and so associated with Nokia phones that I suspect most people in the world can sing the ringtone by heart. That’s assuming the ring tone is the same throughout the world, which I strongly suspect it is.

Watch what happens in this video I found on YouTube when a talented violinist encounters the Nokia ringtone during a public solo performance in front of an audience.

This is a funny video, and you have to watch through to the end for it to be funny.

Written by Kevin Warnock

January 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

Warren Hellman dies at age 77

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Warren Hellman dies at age 77. This is a screen shot from the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle website on December 18, 2011.

Warren Hellman dies at age 77. This is a screen shot from the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle website on December 18, 2011.

Warren Hellman has passed away. He was 77 years young.

Here is a PDF file of the nice article from today’s San Francisco Chronicle newspaper – Warren Hellman dies at age 77. Article from San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, December 18, 2011.

Here’s the link to the article itself. Please read the article at the SFgate website and only access the PDF file if the SFgate link goes dead in the future.

I met Hellman in 2006 when he won the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship Lifetime Achievement Award.

My readers will recognize the Lester Center, for I have been attending its events regularly almost since its inception 20 years ago by my friend Jerry Engel, Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship was founded in 1991 through a gift from W. Howard Lester, Chairman of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Hellman received his lifetime achievement award from the Lester Center at a gathering of the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, one of the many events produced by the Lester Center.

Here’s a screen capture from the website of Hellman and Friedman LLC, which shows Hellman’s bio and photograph.

Sadly, I don’t recall any details from the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum where I met Hellman, as that was half a decade ago.

Hellman and Friedman LLC website biography of Warren Hellman. Image from

Hellman and Friedman LLC website biography of Warren Hellman. Image from

Written by Kevin Warnock

December 18th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

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If you are moving your money out of a big bank today, move it to San Francisco Fire Credit Union!

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Bank Transfer Day 2011

I am a huge fan of the San Francisco Fire Credit Union. It’s simply the best financial institution I’ve ever dealt with.

San Francisco Fire Credit Union is the Apple, Inc. of financial institutions — it’s that good.

Just this week I needed to have a document notarized. SF Fire Credit Union provides notary services to its members (customers) free of charge. Marguerite was the notary that helped me with this. It probably took half an hour of her time, and so we were able to talk a bit. She’s worked there for six years. This was hard to believe because she looked to be about 25 years old, but maybe she started when she was 18 or 19? Marguerite displayed zero annoyance at my interupting her regular duties in the back office. In fact, I would even say she was sweet — a feat given that notary work seems to be a thankless job. I’ll say thank you though. Thank You Marguerite!

I’ve had notary work done elsewhere, and often there is an attitude you pick up that you are bothering them. I don’t know where my credit union finds its employees, but they do a universally good job. Even when I asked to talk with a mortgage specialist about refinancing my mortgage at today’s low rates, I was ushered right into the back to meet with a very smart specialist who devised a plan in minutes.

Not long after I met CEO Darren Herrmann at their annual breakfast for members, I sent him a message via a comment box on the front page of their website. Amazingly, he called me on the phone 15 minutes later to thank me for my message. I’ve relayed that story here before, but it’s such a good story and since today is Bank Transfer Day, I thought I’d share the story again.

Written by Kevin Warnock

November 5th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Steve Jobs

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Apple, Inc. home page October 5, 2011, the day Steve Jobs died

I saw Steven Paul Jobs in person only a few times, once at Stanford University when he was showing his NeXT computer, once on the floor of NeXTWorld, the tradeshow for NeXT computers, one or more times giving keynotes at MacWorld, and most recently at a Mexican restaurant in Palo Alto, California. The most recent time was about 18 months ago, with my friend and former coworker Hib Engler. Engler pointed out Jobs sitting in the doorway dining area of the restaurant, where burritos sold for about USD $7.00. I couldn’t believe it was Jobs, so I got up and walked out the door, and then back in, passing within a foot of Jobs both times. I was able to look directly at his face, and I am 100% certain it was Jobs.

I was and remain impressed that Jobs ate in such an affordable restaurant.

Steve Jobs passed away today, October 5, 2011. I’m writing this on an iMac. My phone is an iPhone. My laptop is a MacBook. I’m hooked on Apple products, with no regret. Jobs changed my life and changed so much more of the world than one person can dream of.

PS – I had a nice conversation with a woman about Jobs this evening on BART coming home from UC Berkeley where I had a couple of meetings today. I told her about this blog, and if she’s reading this I invite her to friend me on FaceBook or send me a message.

Written by Kevin Warnock

October 5th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Craigslist ‘renew’ button is a great new feature

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Jim Buckmaster Craig Newmark of, photo from

Jim Buckmaster Craig Newmark of, photo from

Until recently in order to push a Craigslist posting back to the top of the listings, one would have to delete it and then repost it, a many step process.

I noticed not long ago there is now a ‘renew’ link-button in the ‘manage’ column of options. When one clicks this renew link, the post is reposted to the top of the listings. This is a big time saver.

Thank you Craigslist.

Written by Kevin Warnock

July 2nd, 2011 at 11:00 pm

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I met the founder of Dark Garden at SFMade’s Ramp It Up event

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I met Autumn Adamme this evening at Ramp It Up, a fundraiser by SFMade.

I first wrote about SFMade in February, 2011.

Adamme is the founder of Dark Garden, a San Francisco manufacturer of fine women’s corsets. Adamme operates a retail store at 321 Linden Street, and I believe all her products are made at the store.

I found Adamme to be inspiring. She moved away from home at age 16 and started Dark Garden in her garage when she was only 18 years old, in 1989. She has operated this business continuously her entire adult life. I can’t think of any other entrepreneur that started so young and stayed with their original venture for as long. Adamme looks to be about 30 years old, so she hasn’t let the daily grind of running a successful business beat her down.

Dark Garden is a lovely store. I was there a couple of times helping a woman select and buy a corset. The staff is very pleasant and passionate about what they’re doing. The location is down a small street, and the decor is funky, warm and sexy – I found it a perfect environment for what they sell. I’ve been to many high end lingerie stores, and while Dark Garden isn’t selling lingerie, I found the vibe at the Dark Garden store the most appealing, personal and real of all.

I’m writing abut Dark Garden because I am considering leaving the Internet entrepreneurship world and getting into manufacturing. This is a big and somewhat scary move for me. I love hearing stories like those Adamme shared with me this evening, and I wanted to let her know that she made an impression on my thinking.

Written by Kevin Warnock

May 25th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

The most persuasive video I’ve seen on YouTube

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While reading Digg or Reddit this morning, I came across the most persuasive video I’ve yet seen on YouTube. This apparently is a television commercial urging viewers not to drink or use drugs and then drive. The production values are astonishingly great, and this video must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce… it’s that good.

I think this video should be shown in schools and where alcohol is served or sold. It brought tears to my eyes and I thought about it several times throughout the day. This is a difficult, even gruesome video to watch, but it’s just so well done it’s really a must see.

Anti-impaired driving TV commercial

Written by Kevin Warnock

December 5th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized