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‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave.
This is going to be cool to see, but also has a certain ick-factor I can’t shake. The system is fundamentally broken, even if I’ve benefitted from it.
investing  uber_mafia  business  airbnb  venture_capital  startups  vc  investments  uber 
5 weeks ago by alexpriest
An Alternative History of Silicon Valley Disruption | WIRED
“They promised the open web, we got walled gardens. They promised individual liberty, then broke democracy—and now they’ve appointed themselves the right men to fix it.”
tech_backlash  tech  startups  politics  culture  business  how_we_work 
november 2018 by alexpriest
Own the Demand – Florent Crivello
Last point is the strongest. “Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall reckons Google will pay $9B to Apple this year to remain iOS’ default search engine — an amount that could go up to $12B next year (source). By comparison, Microsoft’s search engine Bing generated $1.7B in revenue in 2017. So Apple’s “search engine business” is roughly 5x as big as Microsoft’s — all while, you know, having no actual search engine.”
apple  demand  tech  technology  business  supply  economics  google  uber 
november 2018 by alexpriest
Why Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Need to Be Disrupted
Whoosh.

“Ask yourself: If ice cream were making teens more prone to suicide, would we shrug and seat the CEO of Dreyer’s next to the president at dinners in Silicon Valley?”
regulation  monopoly  economics  startups  business  amazon  google  facebook  apple  tech  government 
october 2018 by alexpriest
Leslie’s Law: When Small Meets Large, Small (Almost) Always Wins | First Round Review
Good basics.

“When a sleek, small player enters the market, it does so by creating a low-friction, high-fit and finish product that is sold at a low price to a large market. These new products are sold to a portion of the market that cannot access the larger products due to the cost of entry (in dollars and complexity) and the cost of ownership. The larger company may not even notice that they have entered the market since there are no mano-A-mano customer confrontations.

This leaves the smaller company free to expand upward into the market. Their leading edge customers whose needs are expanding, and their own interest in expanding their market upward spurs them on to increase the features and functionality of their products. From the perspective of the large incumbent companies this upward migration is imperceptible. They aren't worried so they don't pay attention to it. But it’s happening.”
business  startups  tech  economics 
october 2018 by alexpriest
The End of Snap & Tesla | The Daily | Gartner L2
Wow.

"When Elon Musk committed blatant market manipulation (“funding secured”) for the sole purpose of scratching his id, he waved his middle finger in the face of our system. The excuses we make for “innovators” are unhealthy and un-American. Many are drafting off the perversion of having a criminal gang in the White House. But the US, more than a nation of innovators, is a nation of laws. We benefit, every day, from the notion that justice is blind. The Edison of our generation (and he is a genius) stuck his chin out and dared us to hit him. The SEC found its voice and complied."
snap  tesla  snapchat  facebook  social_media  economics  business  startups  tech  technology  finance 
october 2018 by alexpriest
How the ‘brainy’ book became a publishing phenomenon | Books | The Guardian
Oooh. "These are febrile, unpredictable times, with society facing new challenges and quandaries each day, from the rise of populist politics to the migrant crisis to climate change. Mark Richards, publisher at John Murray Press, sees the return to serious works of nonfiction as a response to the spirit of the age. “We’re living in a world that suddenly seems less certain than it did even two years ago, and the natural reaction is for people to try and find out as much about it as possible,” he says. “People have a hunger both for information and facts, and for nuanced exploration of issues, of a sort that books are in a prime position to provide.”"
books  how_we_live  culture  politics  business  trends  history 
october 2018 by alexpriest
A 4-Day Workweek? A Test Run Shows a Surprising Result - The New York Times
THIS THIS THIS THIS. "In Perpetual Guardian’s case, workers said the change motivated them to find ways of increasing their productivity while in the office. Meetings were reduced from two hours to 30 minutes, and employees created signals for their colleagues that they needed time to work without distraction."
work  how_we_work  how_we_live  culture  balance  work_week  business 
july 2018 by alexpriest
A Complete Guide to Getting What You Want
“But once we take that reality on board—that fear and uncertainty always come along for the ride in any worthwhile endeavor—it becomes simple. Not easy, but simple. You decide what you want and just do the next thing. And if you don’t know what the next thing is, the next thing is to figure out the next thing.”
how_we_live  getting_what_you_want  business  anxiety  productivity  how_we_work  life 
july 2018 by alexpriest
Amazon, the Brand Buster
I’ll say it again... Amazon is the only company that truly scares me.
tech  business  technology  retail  brands  monopoly  amazon 
june 2018 by alexpriest
How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) - Wait But Why
So much good here.

“This is probably an unhealthy way to think about careers, but the way many societies are right now, a person’s career quadruples as the person’s primary identity. Which is kind of a big thing.

So yeah—your career path isn’t like my shitty sweatshirt. It’s really really deeply important, putting it squarely in “Definitely absolutely make sure to be a chef about it” territory.”

###

“If you look at the biographies of your heroes, you’ll see that their paths look a lot more like a long series of connected dots than a straight and predictable tunnel. If you look at yourself and your friends, you’ll probably see the same trend—according to data, the median time a young person stays in a given job is only 3 years (older people spend a longer time on each dot, but not that much longer—10.4 years on average).

So seeing your career as a series of dots isn’t a mental trick to help you make decisions—it’s an accurate depiction of what’s actually happening. And seeing your career as a tunnel isn’t just unproductive—it’s delusional.

Likewise, you’re limited to focusing mainly on the next dot on your path—because it’s the only dot you can figure out. You don’t have to worry about dot #4 because you can’t anyway—you’re literally not qualified to do so.

By the time dot #4 rolls around, you will have learned stuff about yourself you don’t know now. You’ll also have changed from who you are now, and your Yearning Octopus will reflect those changes. You’ll know a lot more than you currently do about the career landscape and the specific game boards you’re interested in, and you’ll have become a much better game player. And of course, that landscape—and those game boards—will have themselves evolved.”
culture  business  how_we_live  lifestyle  career  how_we_work  life 
april 2018 by alexpriest
Conway’s Law
Yes! I’ve always said the org chart matters more than you think. “It’s a powerful reminder that the team makeup matters a lot, especially in the beginning. We are all naturally biased in many ways and we bring that to the software table when we build."
organizations  how_we_work  management  leadership  business  startups 
april 2018 by alexpriest
Seth's Blog: Whose meeting is this? A simple checklist
YESSSS.

[] There's one person responsible.
[] The time allocated matches what's needed, not what the calendar app says.
[] Everyone invited is someone who needs to be there, and no key party is missing.
[] There's a default step forward if someone doesn't come.
[] There's no better way to move this forward than to have this meeting.
[] The desired outcome is clearly stated. The organizer has described what would have to happen for the meeting to be cancelled or to stop midway. "This is what I want to happen," and if there's a "yes," we're done.
[] All relevant information, including analysis, is available to all in plenty of time to be reviewed in advance.
business  productivity  meetings  list  advice  wisdom  how_we_work 
april 2018 by alexpriest
E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient - The New York Times
They seem to have forgotten what the “P” in EPA means.

“A divided market could require substantially different car designs, experts say, putting the American auto industry into uncharted territory. It remains unclear how the issue might be resolved. One possibility is that two very different auto markets emerge, one with cleaner cars generally along the coasts, and another with more polluting cars concentrated in Middle America. On the other hand, automakers might also opt to generally adhere to the stricter California standards nationwide, blunting the impact of any Trump administration rollback of federal rules.”
emissions  epa  trump  environment  climate_change  business  fuel_standards  policy  cars 
march 2018 by alexpriest
12 Things Everyone Should Understand About Tech – Humane Tech – Medium
Whoosh. Lots in here.

"One of the most important things everybody should know about the apps and services they use is that the values of technology creators are deeply ingrained in every button, every link, and every glowing icon that we see. Choices that software developers make about design, technical architecture or business model can have profound impacts on our privacy, security and even civil rights as users. When software encourages us to take photos that are square instead of rectangular, or to put an always-on microphone in our living rooms, or to be reachable by our bosses at any moment, it changes our behaviors, and it changes our lives."
tech  ethics  technology  business  silicon_valley  corporate_social_responsibility  corporate_culture 
march 2018 by alexpriest
Show me a business problem and I’ll do my best to avoid it
"We’ve built our business on avoiding problems. It’s the fundamental reason we’ve been able to do what we do, and keep doing it — profitably, and with a small team — for 18 years and running. Whenever we make big decisions, we make them in the context of future cost. Basically, how much will things suck later if we do this today?"
business  culture  how_we_work  corporate_culture  work  startups  teamwork  team 
march 2018 by alexpriest
If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week?
Holy cow this is good. Difficult not to just highlight the whole piece..

"A professional’s insecurity is rooted in the inherent intangibility of knowledge work. How do you convince your client that you know something worthwhile and justify the high fees you charge? The insecurity caused by this intangibility is exacerbated by the rigorous “up or out” promotion system perpetuated by elite professional organizations, which turns your colleagues into your competitors. How do you convince your boss that you’re worth more than your closest colleague? There is no chance for a professional to rest on their laurels — or even to rest.

Exacerbating this problem, elite professional organizations deliberately set out to identify and recruit “insecure overachievers” — some leading professional organizations explicitly use this terminology, though not in public. Insecure overachievers are exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, yet driven by a profound sense of their own inadequacy. This typically stems from childhood, and may result from various factors, such as experience of financial or physical deprivation, or a belief that their parents’ love was contingent upon their behaving and performing well."
work  how_we_work  psychology  burnout  career  business  success 
february 2018 by alexpriest
Deputize or Die 💀
Good one.

“So, logically it makes sense to urge leaders to delegate. In actuality, this is terrible advice. Instead, we should be deputizing.

Delegating is the act of distributing a task to someone else. Deputizing is the act of distributing an authority to someone else. That may seem like a subtle difference, but when you're leading an organization through change, that difference is crucial. 

Delegating means “do this task and bring it back to me.” Deputizing means “own this process and bring me the results.””
business  management  how_we_work  leadership  work  NOBL 
february 2018 by alexpriest
Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye
So interesting.

“The tipping point will come when 20 to 30 percent of vehicles are fully autonomous. Countries will look at the accident statistics and figure out that human drivers are causing 99.9 percent of the accidents.

Of course, there will be a transition period. Everyone will have five years to get their car off the road or sell it for scrap or trade it on a module.”
uber  cars  self_driving_cars  tech  business  technology  transportation  culture  public_transit  how_we_live 
november 2017 by alexpriest
Why We Don’t Vote With Our Wallets
“There are hundreds of explanations for our inconsistency, according to Julie Irwin, a professor at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, who studies ethical consumerism. “It’s just really hard to think about this stuff,” she said. “It’s uncomfortable; people need to get on with their day. It’s not that they don’t care. People who care more are often more inconsistent with their values. It just upsets them more.””
boycott  corporate_culture  culture  corporate_social_responsibility  business  uber  protest 
october 2017 by alexpriest
WeWork, LOL
I mean...

“So the WeWork math is:

(Small office company)+ (Free tequila tastings)= HUGE OFFICE COMPANY.”
tech  wework  how_we_work  real_estate  business 
october 2017 by alexpriest
On Russian Meddling, Mark Zuckerberg Follows a Familiar Playbook
Worth a read. “Like all tech leaders, Mr. Zuckerberg is often hailed as a visionary, but his primary talent is as a reactor. His true skill is not in seeing ahead, but in looking back and fixing where Facebook has failed. And what’s noteworthy is that when he marshals Facebook’s considerable resources to address a problem, Mr. Zuckerberg has a track record of making things right.”
tech  zuckerberg  leadership  facebook  business  politics 
september 2017 by alexpriest
What the Rich Won’t Tell You - NYTimes.com
So interesting. "Nonetheless, their ambivalence about recognizing privilege suggests a deep tension at the heart of the idea of American dream. While pursuing wealth is unequivocally desirable, having wealth is not simple and straightforward. Our ideas about egalitarianism make even the beneficiaries of inequality uncomfortable with it. And it is hard to know what they, as individuals, can do to change things."
culture  inequality  economy  nyc  wealth  business  economics 
september 2017 by alexpriest
Unconscious Thought Theory
Seems obvious, but kind of not. Fascinating.

"We can work out simple problems with our conscious minds quite easily, but we have 'bounded rationality' and find complex problems significantly more difficult. If we consciously think too hard about a complex choice, we consequently may well make the wrong choice.

A better way is to let our unconscious mind choose, giving it sufficient information and then letting us decide at a later moment. Unconscious thought can be defined as thought or reasoning that takes place when conscious attention is directed elsewhere.

This is similar to the principle of incubation in creativity, where you ponder the problem and then do something else whilst your unconscious comes up with good ideas.

Conscious thought is linear and convergent, whilst unconscious thought is parallel and divergent, making it far more powerful in considering a wide range of possibilities. The problem is that our conscious mind does not always trust what our unconscious mind thinks, in particular its ability to think rationally.

Conscious thought is not as logical as it thinks and is very liable to bias, effectively weighting decisions according to criteria such as social desirability."
health  psychology  business  decision_making  mental_health 
september 2017 by alexpriest
Google Doesn’t Want What’s Best for Us
"We have an obligation to care about the values of the people who run Google, because we’ve given Google enormous control over our lives and the lives of our children. As the former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris points out, “Without realizing the implications, a handful of tech leaders at Google and Facebook have built the most pervasive, centralized systems for steering human attention that has ever existed, while enabling skilled actors (addictive apps, bots, foreign governments) to hijack our attention for manipulative ends.”"
business  values  culture  corporate_culture  silicon_valley  google  diversity  tech 
august 2017 by alexpriest
NYTimes: I Got the Wrong Drug. And a $2,500 Band-Aid.
Hmm. Not exactly uplifting. "My idea had been to make the pharmacy pay for its mistake with a financial tap on the nose, so the pharmacists might be a little more careful in the future. But it was me who got the wake-up call, after realizing that no one involved, except perhaps the polite man in the main office, seemed to care whether I got the right medication, was sick or well, or whether this systemic problem would ever be cured."
business  law 
july 2017 by alexpriest
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