Ben Kuo has been a fixture as an evangelist for startups and innovation in Southern California for many years, and I've appreciated our nearly 20 year friendship. We actually recorded this conversation several months ago, and yet it's almost timeless, as the challenges we face in business, in startups and in the ecosystem largely persist.

Ben is the founder of SOCALTECH LLC, a company that provides regional high tech news, interviews, venture deal flow tracking, and more. SOCALTECH's flagship publication is socalTECH.com, a web site focused on high tech in Southern California. I consider Ben the tip of the spear for startup, tech and investor news in the region, and remember him as one of the first folks I met in the community when I arrived back in the early 2000s.

Before focusing on SOCALTECH, Ben was a product manager and engineer for Troika Networks, which was in storage area networks.  He also started and sold a website RealEats.com for restaurant reviews, well before Yelp!

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