Finding startup opportunities in the pandemic; Windows 11 launch; Defending the Blue Yeti mic

Given all the uncertainties, a global pandemic may be the wrong time to pursue a new startup idea, but in many ways the timing couldn’t be better.

That’s one of the lessons we learned from our GeekWire podcast conversation this week with an entrepreneur and investor in the Seattle area Shirish Nadkarni, Author of the book From Startup to Exit: An Insider’s Guide to Starting and Scaling Your Tech Business.

Shirish Nadkarni

The changes in user behavior caused by the pandemic and the shifts in technology platforms fit in with one of the lessons Nadkarni wants to teach entrepreneurs.

“Look for opportunities where there is either a major technology shift or a macro trend that either exposes an old problem or allows you to uniquely come up with a solution that was not possible before,” says Nadkarni. “I think these are the best chances for an idea to be successful.”

We also talk about startup opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning; the impact of the IPO and SPAC craze on startup psychology; and the impact of remote working on investment and recruitment.

Nadkarni founded the cellular email pioneer TeamOn Systems, which was acquired by Blackberry in 2002, and co-founder of the language learning site Livemocha, which was acquired by RosettaStone in 2013. He began his career at Microsoft, working on Windows development tools, overseeing MSN’s transition to a web portal and the lead acquisition of Microsoft Hotmail.

On the news this week …

And in our final section we hear from a loyal listener Steve case (no, not the AOL founder), with feedback too our last episode behind the scenes about the audio technology we use for the show. I had critical things to say about them Blue yeti microphone on the show to which Steve gave this answer:

I like and use the Blue Yeti (with an external pop filter). It was the logical choice as I did a bit of voice-over and thought about podcasts. The Yeti is perfect for podcasts because of its three condenser capsules and four modes, making it good for one person (kidney mode) or for face-to-face interviews (bidirectional mode). Of course, that was in the days leading up to the quarantine, when we were actually sitting on the other side of a microphone from someone outside of our household.

Many people using these for podcasts, YouTube videos, and the like, seem to have no understanding of the modes – or even which side to talk to. This is a side address mic, but I see people speaking into the end or even the back when cardioid mode is used. Then people are way too close to the microphone, without a pop filter and the gain set to full. The built-in gain control is a great feature, but with the ability to change the gain on the microphone, the responsibility is to set it correctly.

Noticed! Thanks to Steve for his insight. You can reach us at [email protected] with your thoughts on microphone technology or any other topic we may discuss on the show.

Listen to this week’s episode above or subscribe to any podcast app.

Audio editing by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel LK Caldwell.

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