With the year coming to a close, we wanted to pull out some of the awesome, thought-provoking guest posts written by investors, founders, and entrepreneurs for VentureBeat in 2013. Make sure you check these out before the year comes to a close:

Porch cofounder Ronnie Castro and his family.

Above: Porch cofounder Ronnie Castro and his family.

Image Credit: Lacey Yantis, SomethingLarger.org


I have brain cancer. What’s your excuse?

By Ronnie Castro. If you think your entrepreneurial journey is tough, just read this guy’s story and put your own life in perspective. From the article: “When you come close to dying, and survive, a lot of things change. Decisions become more black and white, trivial problems disappear, time becomes precious.” Read more…


Above: Image via Women Who Code


30 years of being the only woman in the room — and how that’s changing

By Ellen Leanse: “As an investor, barely a day passes that I don’t hear a pitch from a bright, ambitious, woman founder addressing anything from dementia care to easy connectivity for the Internet of things. Again and again, they say they’d rather work with a female VC, rather have women advisers and board-members. I’m frequently told that they would prefer to collaborate with other women in a single-gender setting. For the first time in a long tech career, I’m starting to think they have a point.” Read more…


Above: Image by Tom Cheredar

Image Credit: Source: Tom Cheredar


R.I.P. Boxee: 3 lessons to learn from Boxee’s demise

By Nathan Betzen, XBMC community manager: “For a long time, many of us at XBMC were big fans of Boxee. The company led the good fight against content providers on behalf of consumers. Boxee spoke before congress in favor of unencrypted signals and consumers everywhere. It pushed XBMC semi-mainstream. Boxee did many things right. But as time went on, it started doing more and more things wrong.” Read more…

online resumes

Above: Job seeker photo Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock

Image Credit: Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock


Why I can’t work at Google

By David Hardtke, Bright.com chief scientist: “Every year or so a clever Google recruiter contacts me. I’d really like to work at Google at some point. Google’s like Mecca for an information retrieval specialist. But each and every time they contact me, I still get the same question: Who do you know at Google? They beg me for names. Herein likes the problem – I don’t know anyone at Google.” Read more…

Music image via CS Stock/Shutterstock

Above: Music image via CS Stock/Shutterstock

Image Credit: Music image via CS Stock/Shutterstock


Why we haven’t reached digital music’s golden era

By Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin: “Hypothetically, digital music fans should currently be living through a golden era. But short-sighted interests could be leading us into a dysfunctional new era of the music business instead. Allow me to explain.” Read more…

Fry Futurama money

Above: Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Image Credit: Futurama


What makes a great VC

By Micah Baldwin: “Every year as the newly minted VCs begin to settle in and blog/tweet, there is a bevy of posts about how venture capital as it stands today is broken, and they, with their new insights and operational histories, are going to fix it. Of course, most of them become what they rail against over the course of the next few years. As I have started to think more and more about jumping the fence full-force into the investing side of the entrepreneurial equation I keep asking myself two questions…” Read more…

Top image via wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

Above: image via wavebreakmedia/ Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock


Why hiring B players will kill your startup

By Jon Soberg: “B players and C players are far worse than D’s and F’s. In fact, in my experience, B players are the worst hires you can make. Before getting into the details, it may be useful to level-set and explain what I mean by these employee stereotypes (although there have been some differences of opinion over the years.)” Read more…


Above: Original unicorn image via Sari ONeal/Shutterstock

Image Credit: Original unicorn image via Sari ONeal/Shutterstock


Why hiring unicorns will kill your startup faster than ‘B players’

By Nicholas Holland: “Regardless of their level of experience or expertise, most entrepreneurs can agree that unicorns are majestic, magical creatures that absolutely do not exist — never have and never will. So, it seems a little ridiculous when I hear people talk about stacking their startup’s roster with only unicorns — aka A Players — while completely dismissing anyone for employment that’s considered a ‘B player.’ Those people need a reality check when it comes to hiring.” Read more…

Conscience photo via Shutterstock

Above: Conscience photo via Shutterstock

Image Credit: Job seeker photo Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock


Why devs should start choosing conscience over profit

By Jason Cavnar, CEO of Singly: “I am concerned that as we head further down the path of Bravo reality shows, developer-trafficking websites, and tech press coverage that reads more like a tabloid than an industry, we’re perpetuating a false narrative about what motivates technical innovators and what true technical innovation can and ought to be. Fortunately, another class of developer is on the rise, even if they’re not on the cover of Time magazine.” Read more…

Apple's rejection of the UDID is a chance for mobile marketers to find new, more responsible ways to track consumers

Above: Illustration via Tom Cheredar

Image Credit: Made by Tom Cheredar


9 surprising reasons mobile apps get rejected from Apple’s app store

By Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin: “Apple’s App Store review process is designed to keep the app ecosystem healthy and to protect users from low-quality or hostile apps. And the system mostly works. But sometimes an app is rejected for reasons you might not expect, and it can force developers to scramble to either push back launch dates or even have to redevelop key features. Before you head down that road, here are nine surprising reasons apps get rejected…” Read more…

Troll face image via iunewind/Shutterstock

Above: Troll face image via iunewind/Shutterstock

Image Credit: Troll face image via iunewind/Shutterstock


We’re changing the narrative of the patent troll story

By Hillary Foss. Rather than submit to patent trolls, FindTheBest fought back — hard. They used an innovative legal strategy too, using RICO (the anti-racketeering law) to accuse their troll of essentially shaking them down with an extortionist move. From the article: “Kevin personally pledged $1 million to bring this case to court and seek justice. We also made the decision to file a civil RICO case against those behind the patent infringement case as a result of the blatant extortion and deceptive practices of the individuals we were dealing with.” Read more…

The one-lane Healthcare.gov is about to become a multi-lane highway.

Above: via Healthcare.gov/screenshot


Fmr. White House CTO: What’s next for Obamacare website

By Aneesh Chopra. In this piece, Chopra weighs in on HealthCare.gov’s troubles — and its potential. From the article: “But the real story, likely to play out over the coming months, will be its rise as a new platform for innovation – one that will lead to the creation of new private sector services to improve our nation’s health.” Read more…

iphone love

Above: iPhone case image via Shutterstock

Image Credit: iPhone case image via Shutterstock


5 dates in 5 nights: Our spies test Grouper, Tinder & more

By Rachel Balik & Robert Leshner. Two intrepid singles each test out five different dating services, and report back with his-and-hers perspectives. From the article: “A few days after my date, I received a message from another potential date, Jason, with a poem. “Roses are red, violets are blue. I think you’re pretty. Please sit on my face.” I replied, “Do you think that’s an acceptable way of talking to someone, or are you trying to be offensive?” And then I deleted Tinder.” Read more…

Homer Simpson brain

Above: Image via Fox


No, big data will not mirror the human brain — no matter how advanced our tech gets

By Christian Madsbjerg, cofounder of ReD: “Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could create minds as powerful as our own but more reliable, less in need of coffee, and incapable of making mistakes? It’s a tempting proposition. But it’s also a red herring, leading the tech conversation astray.” Read more…

image courtesy of Hasbro

Above: image courtesy of Hasbro


Don’t be Furby: What investors look for in hardware startups

By Matt Witheiler, principal at Flybridge Capital Partners: “When I entered the venture capital world five years ago, investing in hardware startups was essentially impossible.  Sure, there were a few companies in the space, but finding ones you were actually excited about wasn’t easy.” Read more…

Honorable mentions: