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alexpriest : startups   65

‘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 
march 2019 by alexpriest
Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?
Oh yes.

“Welcome to hustle culture. It is obsessed with striving, relentlessly positive, devoid of humor, and — once you notice it — impossible to escape. “Rise and Grind” is both the theme of a Nike ad campaign and the title of a book by a “Shark Tank” shark. New media upstarts like the Hustle, which produces a popular business newsletter and conference series, and One37pm, a content company created by the patron saint of hustling, Gary Vaynerchuk, glorify ambition not as a means to an end, but as a lifestyle.”
wework  how_we_work  startups  millennials  hustle  burnout  tech_backlash  work  work_culture  tech 
january 2019 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
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
Silicon Valley’s Keystone Problem: ‘A Monoculture of Thought’ - The New York Times
"Ms. Powell smartly recognizes a truth that many in the industry elide: A lack of diversity is not just one of several issues for Silicon Valley to fix, but is instead the keystone problem — the source of much else that ails tech, from its recklessly expansionist zeal to the ways its brightest companies keep stepping in problems of their own making.

In short, Silicon Valley’s problem is sameness, stupid — and in Ms. Powell’s telling, we are not going to get a better, more responsible tech industry until we get a more intellectually diverse one.

“I don’t think that everyone has an equal voice,” Ms. Powell said in an interview. “Even putting aside broader issues around gender diversity, ethnic diversity or class diversity, there’s also an issue around people’s educational backgrounds. If you have a hierarchy where engineers are at the very top and the people who are interfacing with the outside world are a couple rungs below that, you really miss something when those people don’t have an equal voice at the table.”

She added: “It’s a monoculture of thought, and that’s a real problem.”"
culture  tech  how_we_work  silicon_valley  technology  startups  diversity  learning  thinking  leadership 
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
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
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
Master the Art of Influence — Persuasion as a Skill and Habit | First Round Review
This is quite good.

“You’re not going to be successful if people you talk to don’t get it. Don’t stop developing new ways to explain it until they do.”

###

“If I initially throw out a valuation of $10M, but then I want to move it to $15M, I have to basically convince you that it’s worth all those values in between individually. Why is it worth $11M, $12M, etc.? Make sure you respect your own anchor points when making these types of arguments.”

To give you a simpler (and sillier) example, there’s a good reason why late night show hosts always lead with, “We’ve got a really great show tonight!” It doesn’t matter that you know they always say the same thing no matter what. As soon as you’ve contemplated whether tonight’s show is great, it’s been anchored in your mind that it is — your outlook on it is already positive, thanks to System I.

###

“They’re going to remember hardly anything you cram into that hour,” says Odean. “Because they’ll remember random parts, you want to construct a message that — when sampled at any point — reinforces your argument and remains persuasive. Keep it to the highlight reel and stick to a very short, simple message that you repeat in different ways again and again. When there are fewer things to remember, your audience is more likely to remember what matters.”
tech  startups  leadership  management  psychology  persuasion 
march 2018 by alexpriest
Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not - The New York Times
I can't help but think these people are fucking insane.

###

“When I meet people in the normal world now, I get bored,” Mr. Hummer said. “It’s just a different level of consciousness.”

The tone turns somber.

“Sometimes I think about what would happen to the future if a bomb went off at one of our meetings,” Mr. Buttram said.

Mr. Hummer said, “A bomb would set back civilization for years.”

A few days later, Mr. Hummer was working from his co-founder’s apartment.
bitcoin  blockchain  wealth  tech  startups 
february 2018 by alexpriest
NYTimes: If Tech Execs Act Like Spoiled Brats, Should We Spank Them?
"It will be difficult, but we should do this. Let’s get out there and test these techniques. We will see if we can civilize these corporate man-babies. If we are lucky enough to succeed, we can move on to an even bigger challenge: Washington. I’ve got a list."

So good.
corporate_culture  how_we_work  tech  culture  politics  startups  business 
july 2017 by alexpriest
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Very, very good. One highlight:

"Because Silicon Valley is a place where a newcomer can unseat the most established player, many people there believe—despite evidence everywhere to the contrary—that tech is a meritocracy. Ironically enough, this very belief can perpetuate inequality. A 2010 study, “The Paradox of Meritocracy in Organizations,” found that in cultures that espouse meritocracy, managers may in fact “show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women.” In a series of three experiments, the researchers presented participants with profiles of similarly performing individuals of both genders, and asked them to award bonuses. The researchers found that telling participants that their company valued merit-based decisions only increased the likelihood of their giving higher bonuses to the men."
how_we_work  startups  tech  discrimination  equality  business  culture  psychology  women  bias 
march 2017 by alexpriest
How to Be an Expert in a Changing World
"The first step is to have an explicit belief in change. People who fall victim to a monotonically increasing confidence in their opinions are implicitly concluding the world is static. If you consciously remind yourself it isn't, you start to look for change."
learning  tech  startups  business 
august 2016 by alexpriest
America’s Best Days Are Not Behind Us
Hear, hear. "Yes, household appliances look pretty much the same now as they did in 1970, but that doesn’t mean our lives in 2070 won’t be profoundly different."
startups  tech  history  culture  policy  politics 
august 2016 by alexpriest
The Power of Company Mottoes.
"When we have trouble making sense of what a company says about its business, it’s a sure sign of trouble."
leadership  language  business  startups  how_we_work  writing 
august 2016 by alexpriest
Zen And The Art Of Uber Driving | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
Fascinating perspective. "I think of Uber as a modern-day version of the Works Progress Administration during the Depression. Thanks to Uber, I am not poor. I am just . . . nobody."
uber  startups  business  tech  culture  sf 
august 2016 by alexpriest
The Babysitters Club
I can't emphasize enough how good this is. "Adulthood stretches pointlessly out ahead of us, the planet is melting off its axis, you will never have a retirement account. Here’s a hamster."
culture  tech  startups  apps  marketing  language  psychology 
august 2016 by alexpriest
One Nerd’s Take on the Future of Philanthropy
I like this. "This combination of ethical business practices (treating people the way I’d like to be treated on the way up) and philanthropic contributions (sending that elevator back down) is my effort to reflect the simple sense of fairness I learned as a kid. I think it’s a pretty good model for a new philanthropy, and I hope that others in Silicon Valley join me."
inspiration  philanthropy  policy  startups  culture  business  leadership  tech 
august 2016 by alexpriest
What Marshmallows Tell Us About Silicon Valley
"Life isn’t fair. But it helps if people believe it is." I've read similar articles like this before, but for some reason something clicked when I read this one. When you think about the fact that "elites" are generally happier with America than everyone else, it makes so much sense. It's not that they have more wealth or success—it's that for them, that delayed gratification actually paid off.
culture  economics  america  psychology  tech  startups 
june 2016 by alexpriest
To Avoid Burnout, Take Pleasure in the Journey, Not Just the Destination
"But as you build if the only thing that keeps you going is success still out of grasp you’re gonna hit a wall at some point. I’ve found – in my own work and through advising others – that one way to get over these walls, or minimize them altogether, is to be thankful in the moment. To take some satisfaction and pride in the journey."
tech  startups  inspiration  how_we_work 
june 2016 by alexpriest
The 3 Things That Keep Companies Growing
"Growth creates complexity, and complexity is the silent killer of growth." Good reminder on why we need to hold on to our founder's mentality.
tech  startups  business 
june 2016 by alexpriest
Dinner is Shipped
Loved this comparison of ready-to-make meals. "Life is expensive, and we have to pick our luxuries."
food  tech  startups  reviews 
june 2016 by alexpriest
Consider the Cable Guy
"...over the past 15 years, independent contractors have replaced millions of traditional employees such as cable installers, delivery truck drivers, and janitors, even though the work itself looks exactly the same." Worth a read.
business  tech  startups  policy  work 
june 2016 by alexpriest
Why the Unicorn Financing Market Just Became Dangerous... For All Involved
If you haven't read it yet, this missive from Bill Gurley is an *essential* read for those in the startup world today. In a nutshell: "The healthiest thing that could possibly happen is a dramatic increase in the real cost of capital and a return to an appreciation for sound business execution."
investing  startups  tech  finance 
june 2016 by alexpriest

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