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Misconceptions and Expectations about Palestine

I had dinner last night with my host, a local VC, and my friend from MercyCorps who does work in Gaza, and we had a very interesting discussion about outsiders’ perception of Palestine versus reality.

My friend from MercyCorps is preparing a “one pager” she’s going to use for fundraising, and I read through it to offer a second set of eyes. The stories of the help they’re providing and the impact they’ve had was great, but the most powerful part was simply a list of facts about Gaza.

Before reading the fact sheet, I had an image of Gaza. A mid-sized town, maybe 30k-50k people. Mostly one or two story buildings, most dilapidated and largely in ruins. Very little electricity, very poor education system. The only pictures or videos I've seen of Gaza were of bombs and missiles raining down, the city tinted green by night vision cameras.

But I was completely wrong. Gaza has a population of 1.7 million people. There are several universities there. And of those university students, 60% are women (and that includes in subjects like Computer Science). And apparently, they have great internet there.

Matter: Powering the Next Generation of Breakout Media Companies

On DROdio

I just accepted an invitation to be a mentor at Matter, a startup accelerator in San Francisco. Matter is focused squarely on media entrepreneurs. If you're an entrepreneur looking to create the next breakout media company, I recommend checking it out. Also worthwhile is Turner & Warner Bros' Media Camp program. (Here's Socialize's demo day preso from Media Camp, class of 2012. We've since sold Socialize to ShareThis.)

I'll also be holding "asynchronous office hours" on this blog, in the Community section. If you're an entrepreneur and want to post with any thoughts, advice, or challenges you're facing, I and other entrepreneurs will be happy to have a conversation with you that other founders can participate in. It's a way for us to share knowledge.

The picture above is a screenshot from the Matter promo video, showing Brendan Baker talking about an analysis he did around AppMakr's $1MM fundraising round. We also recently decided to sell AppMakr as a matter of "focusing on focus," which I talk about here.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to connect with great media entrepreneurs!

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