Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Grassroots Organizing: The Stealth Hero
Monday, November 07, 2016
Hillary Is Winning, Do Not Fear
Too Dangerous For Twitter, Too Dangerous For Nuclear
Deep divisions within the Republican Party that Trump has helped stoke are revealed in a question on what the GOP should do if Trump fails to win the presidency.
Sunday, November 06, 2016
The technology industry has entered the field of medicine and aims to eliminate disease itself. It may well succeed because of a convergence of exponentially advancing technologies, such as computing, artificial intelligence, sensors, and genomic sequencing. We’re going to see more medical advances in the next decade than happened in the past century.
Abundance, Round The Corner
In the 1800s, aluminum was more valuable than silver and gold because it was rarer. So when Napoleon III entertained the King of Siam, the king and his guests were honored by being given aluminum utensils, while the rest of the dinner party ate with gold.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Elon Musk: To Mars Or Not To Mars
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Microsoft Mojo
Monday, October 24, 2016
FPGA: Field Programmable Gate Array
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Fingerprint Scanning Is Its Own Revolution
Microsoft Surface Phone Rumored To Feature Unique Fingerprint Scan
This has implications for taking voting rights to everyone, about letting people vote for an entire week from anywhere, instead of on just one day at one physical location (the voting rates could cross 90% as it should), this will take credit history building to the masses in the Global South, and thus a massive long overdue democratization of credit, this will make fingerprint scan as much a feature of phones as cameras, this has implications for global immigration, and security and policing, and education and health. This has positive implications for cyber security. This is good stuff.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Tim Cook Like Steve Ballmer?
Steve Ballmer faced a lot of criticism as CEO and he would get confused because he was bringing in a lot of revenue. A company is supposed to make money, right?
But he was not innovating. All the new products were coming from elsewhere. He did manage to buy Skype though.
Tim Cook has been toying with the dimensions of the various Apple products, and he has been bringing in a lot of money.
Is that a warning sign?
Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer | VentureBeat | Business | by Steve Blank
Friday, August 05, 2016
DealSpotr: Social, And Sharing, And Ecommerce And Deals
I am in the market for a Chromebook right now. And I was surprised to see a deal for $200 at the site on the very first page. It did not feel like I had entered too many details. The smarts of ecommerce sites these days!
On Facebook and Twitter you are sharing links to articles you read. On DealSpotr you are sharing deals from wherever you might find them on the web. DealSpotr is for the shopping kind. I am not a big shopper myself, but ecommerce is a perennial fascination. It ties into the monetization strategy of many tech startups. And the social aspect of the sharing thing intrigues me.
Should a deal you spotted ends up taking off, you get rewarded.
This is like when people would collect coupons, from a newspaper cutting here, a newspaper cutting there, only this is, of course, digital. But the coupon collecting of the good old days did not have the ease of sharing, and you were not rewarded simply for collecting coupons.
But then if you have an even modest social media presence, perhaps an active Twitter account, a blog with a decent readership, you could really up your engagement level with the site.
The site reminds me of Epinions.com which came out around the year 2,000. You wrote product reviews and you earned money if a lot of people read your reviews. This site is also a money maker for active participants.
You could earn a $20 Amazon gift card during your first visit at the site by doing the basics at this social couponing site.
The newsfeed format means you get deals as per the interests you have listed. And you can upvote deals. If one of the deals you thus upvoted becomes "hot," you get rewarded.
This site is much more focused than Pinterest, for the specific niche of deals and coupons and shopping.
The Best Way to Find Coupons Online is Using Dealspotr
Dealspotr Tutorial. How to Earn Your First Amazon Giftcard and Get Started Quickly and Easily With DealSpotr
Dealspotr – Simply the Best and Most Comprehensive Deal Site on the Web
How to Get the Best Deal: A Dealspotr Review
Dealspotr: How I earn an extra $100 browsing the internet
The 411 on My New Favorite Way to Spot Online Deals
Dealspotr: How it Works
Shop Customized Deals Daily with Dealspotr
Earn Gift Cards with Dealspotr
How I Earn Free Gift Cards Every Month
Save Time and Money with Dealspotr
Dealspotr: The Coupon Site Where You Can Earn!
Dealspotr Deal Sharing Community
Why Social Deals Can Change How You Save Money - Dealspotr Review
Dealspotr: Get Paid to Save Money
Earn Rewards with Dealspotr
Find Deals and Earn Rewards on Dealspotr.com
Dealspotr: A New Deal Sharing Forum Where You Can EARN Amazon Gift Cards!
Rake in the Savings with DealSpotr Plus Earn Amazon Gift Cards for Sharing Deals!
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Check Out This! Dealspotr
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A Risk-Free Way To Earn Amazon Gift Cards: My Honest Review of Dealspotr
Dealspotr Review | Rewarded for Sharing?
Dealspotr: Free Amazon Gift Cards!
Find More Savings & Earn Free Gift Cards with Dealspotr
Dealspotr Review: Save Money and Earn Money!
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Thursday, March 24, 2016
10 Breakthrough Technologies
Precise Gene Editing in Plants
“I hope to someday have grandchildren who are mystified at how, back in 2016, if you were to say ‘Hi’ to your microwave oven, it would rudely sit there and ignore you.”Reusable Rockets
spaceflight could become a hundred times cheaper..... the future of spaceflight will be far more interesting than the Apollo-era hangover of the past 40 years.Robots That Teach Each Other
an average experiment generates 100 gigabytes of information ..... Researchers are already working on autoimmune disorders, like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. Infectious disease is also in the sights of T-cell engineers.
Precise Gene Editing in Plants
CRISPR offers an easy, exact way to alter genes to create traits such as disease resistance and drought tolerance.
a lab in China has used it to create a fungus--resistant wheat; several groups in China are using the technique on rice in efforts to boost yields; and a group in the U.K. has used it to tweak a gene in barley that helps govern seed germination, which could aid efforts to produce drought-resistant varieties. ..... The gene-editing technique could be critical in helping scientists keep up with the constantly evolving microbes that attack crops ...... “It takes millions of dollars and many years of work to go through the regulatory process,” Kamoun says. “But the pathogens don’t sit and wait for you; they keep evolving and changing.” ....... Big and small companies alike are jumping in. ..... The big question is whether CRISPR crops will be governed by the same regulations as GMOs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already said some examples of gene-edited corn, potatoes, and soybeans (edited using a different method, known as TALENs) don’t fall under existing regulations. But both the United States and the more restrictive European Union are now conducting reviews of today’s regulations. And Chinese authorities have not said whether they will allow the crops to be planted.
Powerful speech technology from China’s leading Internet company makes it much easier to use a smartphone.
A growing number of China’s 691 million smartphone users now regularly dispense with swipes, taps, and tiny keyboards when looking things up on the country’s most popular search engine, Baidu. China is an ideal place for voice interfaces to take off, because Chinese characters were hardly designed with tiny touch screens in mind. But people everywhere should benefit as Baidu advances speech technology and makes voice interfaces more practical and useful. That could make it easier for anyone to communicate with the machines around us. ...... “The best technology is often invisible, and as speech recognition becomes more reliable, I hope it will disappear into the background.” ...... they offer a glimpse of a graceful future in which there’s less need to learn a new interface for every new device. ...... There are thousands of Chinese characters, and although a system called Pinyin allows them to be generated phonetically from Latin ones, many people (especially those over 50) do not know the system. It’s also common in China to use messaging apps such as WeChat to do all sorts of tasks, such as paying restaurant tabs. And yet in many of China’s poorer regions, where there is perhaps more opportunity for the Internet to have big social and economic effects, literacy levels are still low. ....... Robots or home appliances, for example, could be easier to deal with if you could simply talk to them. ...... a powerful new speech recognition engine called Deep Speech 2. It consists of a very large, or “deep,” neural network that learns to associate sounds with words and phrases as it is fed millions of examples of transcribed speech. Deep Speech 2 can recognize spoken words with stunning accuracy. In fact, the researchers found that it can sometimes transcribe snippets of Mandarin speech more accurately than a person. ....... Baidu’s progress is all the more impressive because Mandarin is phonetically complex and uses tones that transform the meaning of a word. Deep Speech 2 is also striking because few of the researchers in the California lab where the technology was developed speak Mandarin, Cantonese, or any other variant of Chinese.
The engine essentially works as a universal speech system, learning English just as well when fed enough examples.
Rockets typically are destroyed on their maiden voyage. But now they can make an upright landing and be refueled for another trip, setting the stage for a new era in spaceflight.
If this can be done regularly and rockets can be refueled over and over, spaceflight could become a hundred times cheaper.
Robots That Teach Each Other
What if robots could figure out more things on their own and share that knowledge among themselves?
DNA App Store
An online store for information about your genes will make it cheap and easy to learn more about your health risks and predispositions.
A $750 million solar facility in Buffalo will produce a gigawatt of high-efficiency solar panels per year and make the technology far more attractive to homeowners.
efficiencies in the lab are even higher: researchers have made exotic solar-cell materials with efficiencies of up to 40 percent.
A service built for the era of mobile phones and short text messages is changing the workplace.
Slack gives you a centralized place to communicate with your colleagues through instant messages and in chat rooms, which can reduce the time you have to spend on e-mail. Whether you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer, you can upload files, get and manipulate information stored in spreadsheets or other business applications, and easily search through past conversations. But many of the core features have been around since the 1990s. And there have been other “Facebook for the office” software packages that resemble Slack and have failed to generate anything close to the same level of enthusiasm. ...... more and more people now get work done on mobile devices, in collaboration with people who aren’t always in the same office at the same time. ....... Slack funnels messages into streams that everyone who works together can see. That “allows you to ‘overhear’ what is going on in an organization, which research has shown can lead to business impact,” he says. “It’s a kind of ambient awareness that you just don’t get from e-mail.” ...... Slack messages tend to be short and casual, much more like the mobile text messages that people are increasingly favoring over e-mail in their personal life
The electric-vehicle maker sent its cars a software update that suddenly made autonomous driving a reality.
give drivers something similar to what airline pilots employ in flight ..... The car could manage its speed, steer within and even change lanes, and park itself. ..... Everyone wanted to know what it felt like, the strange surrender of allowing a car to take control. The only moments that seemed like magic were when the car parked itself or changed lanes, mostly because watching a steering wheel turn all on its own was unnatural and ghostly. ...... the thing that quickly becomes strange is driving a car without Autopilot. “You’ll feel like the car is not doing its job,” he said. ...... my car accelerated and slowed more smoothly than it ever could have with me in charge.
Power from the Air
Internet devices powered by Wi-Fi and other telecommunications signals will make small computers and sensors more pervasive.
energy harvested from nearby TV, radio, cell-phone, or Wi-Fi signals ..... Transferring power wirelessly is not a new trick. But getting a device without a conventional power source to communicate is harder, because generating radio signals is very power-intensive and the airwaves harvested from radio, TV, and other telecommunication technologies hold little energy. ..... weak radio signals can indeed provide all an Internet gadget needs ...... tiny passive Wi-Fi devices could be extremely cheap to make, perhaps less than a dollar. In tomorrow’s smart home, security cameras, temperature sensors, and smoke alarms should never need to have their batteries changed.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Tech News (2)
An earlier incarnation, called the negative income tax, was pitched by the conservative economist Milton Friedman in the early 1960s as a way to curtail the growing government antipoverty programs of that era. ...... among many tech elites and their boosters, the idea of a basic income seems to have morphed from an antipoverty strategy into a radical new way of seeing work and leisure. ....... the economy is becoming increasingly dominated by machines and software.
A Future Without Jobs? Two Views of the Changing Work Force
A problem I have with the idea of a universal basic income — as opposed to, say, wage subsidies or wage insurance to top up the earnings of people who lose their job and must settle for a new job at a lower wage — is that it relies on an unlikely future. It’s not a future with a lot of crummy work for low pay, but essentially a future with little or no paid work at all. ...... They see a future in which a small group of highly skilled tech workers reign supreme, while the rest of the job world resembles the piecemeal, transitional work we see coming out of tech today (Uber drivers, Etsy shopkeepers, people who scrape by on other people’s platforms). ...... techies have a philosophical bent toward big ideas, and U.B.I. is very big. ..... Norwegians work 20 percent fewer hours per year than Americans; Germans 25 percent fewer. They have taken much more of their wealth in the form of leisure rather than money. ......
And, by the way, I’ve read about robots that can program. So maybe the programmers aren’t safe either....... It will be O.K., under this policy, to choose a life of learning instead of a low-paying bad job. ..... a universal basic income functions properly only in a world with little or no paid work because the odds of anybody taking a job when his or her needs are already being met are going to be fairly low. ...... If the idea of robots taking over sounds like science fiction, the idea of the American government agreeing to tax capitalists enough to hand out checks to support the entire working class is in an entirely new category of fantasy. ...... One of the reasons some libertarians and conservatives like U.B.I. is that it is a very simple, efficient and universal form of welfare — everyone gets a monthly check, even the rich, and the government isn’t going to tell you what to spend it on. Its very universality breaks through political opposition. .....
Andy Stern, the former head of the S.E.I.U., will soon publish a book calling for a basic income. ...... The techies, as usual, are either way ahead of everyone, or they’re living in some other universe. .....
tools and techniques we have developed in recent times — from gene sequencing to electron microscopes to computers that can analyze data at enormous speeds — are about to open up vast new frontiers of possibility.
Covering Donald Trump, and Witnessing the Danger Up Close
and the mood shifted, as well, turning tense and electric...... One young woman, a Trump supporter, was shoved against the metal barricades and began to cry. A group of older women left early, shortly after a man holding a “K.K.K. 4 Trump” sign was hustled out nearby.
How WeChat Is Extending China’s School Days Well into the Night
A Bitcoin-Style Currency for Central Banks
10 Breakthrough Technologies:2016
Reinventing Marketing in the Digital Era
Business Models, Information Technology, and the Company of the Future
The Nature of the Firm—75+ Years Later
Pentagon Hackers Are Waging America’s First Cyberwar
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Tech News (1)
Why Prospecting Asteroids for Precious Resources Is Now Possible [Video]
Most of the raw materials we value on Earth exist in much larger quantities in space. ..... “The first trillionaire in the world is going to be the person who first mines asteroids.”Drones Have Reached a Tipping Point—Here’s What Happens Next
Over the past few years, drones have moved from the "government phase" to the "consumer phase" into the "commercial phase." ........ Drones are demonetizing rapidly. Ten years ago, drones were million-dollar military/industrial things. Today they are on the shelves of Walmart. ...... "They started at $1,500 and now they're at $500 and they're soon going to $50, with even better technology onboard. The price decline in the industry is staggering." ..... "You will basically see supercomputer performance in toy level devices, just as we're already seeing with smartphones." ..... The next big breakthrough in drone research will be "sense-and-avoid." ....Right now, drones are either manually piloted or GPS piloted, but as we integrate them into our urban fabric, they'll need true autonomy...... "Drones will need to have eyes. Sensors like radar, LiDAR, stereo vision, sonar, and they'll need to use this to autonomously avoid obstacles and fly. It's environmental awareness and it is necessary to safely navigate worlds they've never explored." ...... The way we're going to digitize the planet is by putting sensors out there on drones ..... Satellites are going to be complementary, covering big areas but at lower resolution. ..... "Today the FCC doesn't have to regulate or give you a license for Wi-Fi because it's low power and self-de-conflicting — it's not a threat to anyone," says Anderson......"In the future, as drones become small enough, with low kinetic energy, and smart enough, I believe the FAA will regulate them like Wi-Fi. We want the FAA to create kind of an 'open spectrum' sandbox to allow for huge amounts of innovation."Eye on the Cure: Can Algae Genes Restore Vision in First Optogenetics Human Trial?
Given the power of optogenetics to fine-tune brain circuits, rumors of its potential use in humans as therapy have floated around since its inception...... In one previous study, after optogenetics treatment, previously blind mice could swim out of a chamber in which the escape route was brightly lit. On average, they escaped as fast as mice with normal vision.This Remarkable Robot Hand Is Worthy of Luke Skywalker
most Star Wars tech is beyond us...... Artificial bones were 3D printed from a laser scan of a real skeleton hand; ligaments were fashioned from ultra-strong, lightweight strings; and laser-cut rubber sheets act as soft tissue for stability, flexibility, and torque. All this is controlled by an array of servos and cables. ...... Some of the hardest tasks to automate in factories require human-level dexterity (e.g., handling circuit boards to tightly packing boxes). ...... Xu says we're making progress printing bone structures with biocompatible materials, making biodegradable ligaments, growing muscles in petri dishes, and learning to regenerate peripheral nerves.Space and Technology: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life
there are an estimated 100 billion billion Earth-like planets in our universe. ...... we're finding evidence of liquid water all over the solar system, and the one thing we know about life on Earth is the need for water. ..... in our own solar system, organic compound-glazed comets drift everywhere ..... we should be inside a life-spawning factory of a universe. ..... our universe has 500 billion billion stars like our own, and orbiting those suns are another 100 billion billion Earth-like planets. That is 100 habitable planets for every grain of sand on Earth. That’s trillions of opportunities for some other planet to grow life. ...... there would be one million planets with life in the Milky Way Galaxy alone ..... if even just a handful of alien civilizations have advanced beyond our current level of technological progress, humanity should be waking up to a universe like the world of Star Trek.The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know
try to predict the future when AI, robotics, VR, synthetic biology, and computation are all doubling, morphing and recombining… You have a very exciting (read: unpredictable) future. ..... VR will ultimately impact everything from real estate to retail and healthcare and education. Business meetings, conferences and concerts will soon all be held in virtual environments. ...... Over the past two years, well over $5 billion has been invested in AR and VR by all of the major technology companies, from Google to Microsoft and Samsung to HTC....... we're now reaching a crossover point where hardware technology will let us scan rooms and the people in it, and convert those scans into 3D objects at a very low cost ..... "There will be a magical turning point where the pixel size in our displays will get so small that you can't see them." ...... "When we've developed displays with between 4K and 8K resolutions (roughly), there will be a moment when we can't tell the difference between reality and virtual/augmented reality (at least with our eyes)." ...... we'll be able to animate you at a distance, talking to somebody else with a perfect representation of your facial movements. Think of a film like Avatar and how they transferred the actors onto those characters in the movie. You're going to be able to do that live, in a meeting, where you're going to be that character and it's going to move and express itself emotionally like you do. ..... Why go to conferences, school, or travel for business if you can have richer, deeper experiences from the comfort of your living room? ...... "If you can buy your kid a $600 virtual reality headset, and they can study five times as fast as anybody else, and they don't have to be in a particular neighborhood or near a school to do it, they are just going to adopt these things. They are that much better." ...... In success, your Magic Leap headset will allow you to view a virtual TV anywhere, on any wall, or a mobile phone screen on the palm of your hand, or the air in front of you, then there is no need to carry around clunky glass devices in your pockets or hang TVs on your walls.Why Big Tech Companies Are Open-Sourcing Their AI Systems
Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon have been making remarkable progress developing artificial intelligence systems. Recently they have released much of their work to the public for free use, exploration, adaptation and perhaps improvement. ..... “deep learning” — an approach that organizes layers of neural networks hierarchically to analyze very large data sets not just in search of simple statistics but also seeking to identify rich and interesting abstract patterns. ......Will the End of Moore’s Law Halt Computing’s Exponential Rise?
even experts do not understand when or how AI might become powerful enough to cause harm, damage or injury........ AI systems involve large — often very very large — amounts of code, so much that it stretches the ability of any single individual to understand in both breadth and depth. Scrutiny, troubleshooting and bug-fixing are especially important in AI, where we are not designing tools to do a specific job (e.g., build a car), but to learn, adapt and make decisions in our stead. The stakes are larger both for the positive and potentially negative outcomes. ........ Over the long run, Google and Facebook are not really in the business of selling ads, and Amazon is not in the business of selling merchandise. No, these technology companies are powered by your eyeballs (and data). Their currency is users. Google, for example, gives away email and search for free to draw users to its products; it needs to innovate quickly, producing more and better products to ensure you stay with the company. ...... AI is central because it, by design, learns and adapts, and even makes decisions. AI is more than a product: it is a product generator. In the near future, AI will not be relegated to serving up images or consumer products, but will be used to identify and capitalize on new opportunities by innovating new products.
Since 1991, the semiconductor industry has regularly produced a technology roadmap to coordinate their efforts and spot problems early. ...... Because the chief outcome of Moore’s Law is more powerful computers at lower cost, Kurzweil tracked computational speed per $1,000 over time. This measure accounts for all the “levels of ‘cleverness’” baked into every chip—such as different industrial processes, materials, and designs—and allows us to compare other computing technologies from history. The result is surprising........ Moore’s Law is the fifth computing paradigm. The first four include computers using electromechanical, relay, vacuum tube, and discrete transistor computing elements. ...... “When Moore’s Law reaches the end of its S-curve, now expected before 2020, the exponential growth will continue withDon’t Be Alarmed: AI Won’t Leave Half the World Unemployed
three-dimensional molecular computing, which will constitute the sixth paradigm.” –Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near .......... Artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, virtual reality, unraveling the human genome—these are a few world-shaking advances computing enables. ...... As a society, if we just believed that single trajectory of Moore’s, and none other, we would have educated differently, invested differently, prepared more wisely to grasp the amazing powers it would sprout.
we can pretty much automate the job of an airline pilot today. Indeed, most of the time, a computer is flying your plane. But society is likely to continue to demand the reassurance of having a pilot on board even if they are just reading their iPad most of the time. ....... We also need to consider all the new jobs that technology will create. For example, we don’t employ many printers setting type any more. But we do employ many more people in the digital equivalent, making web pages. ..... the Oxford report gives a 98% chance of umpiring or refereeing to be automated. But we are likely to have just as many if not more umpires and referees in the future, even if they use technologies to do their job better. ..... In the US, the average working week has declined from around 60 hours to just 33. Other developed countries are even lower. Germans only work 26 hours per week. .......... Society would break down well before we get to 50% unemployment.Where Artificial Intelligence Is Now and What’s Just Around the Corner
AIs will begin to sense and use all five senses. ...... We'll see revolutions in how we manage climate change, redesign and democratize education, make scientific discoveries, leverage energy resources, and develop solutions to difficult problems. ......... AI is being used to match clinical trials with patients, drive robotic surgeons, read radiological findings and analyze genomic sequences. ..... Ultimately, during the AI revolution taking place in the next three years, AIs will be integrated into everything around us, combining sensors and networks and making all systems "smart." ..... AIs will push forward the ideas of transparency, of seamless interaction with devices and information, making everything personalized and easy to use. We'll be able to harness that sensor data and put it into an actionable form, at the moment when we need to make a decision.In the Future, Ownerless Companies Will Live on the Blockchain
poised to transform global commerce ..... Blockchain has been called “the most disruptive thing I’ve seen in my career” ........ Fundamentally, banks, auditing firms, legal services, and security systems are designed to authenticate the transactions that ripple across our planet. .......China’s Curious Dream of Floating Nuclear Plants on the Ocean
Like the internet democratized the exchange of information, transforming entire industries in the process, the blockchain promises to democratize the exchange of value, a concept with staggering possibilities....... “in the same way that we don’t refer to the internet as ‘PayPal’, we should be clear that ‘Bitcoin’ does not mean blockchain. PayPal is just one service built on top of internet protocols—Bitcoin is similarly built on top of the blockchain.” ....... “while Bitcoin itself may not stand the test of time, we can be sure that the blockchain is not going anywhere.” ........... Technologically binding smart contracts would bypass the need for sprawling financial back offices and expensive legal systems requiring lawyers, judges, auditors, and insurance professionals. Imagine a scenario in which a land title could check an online registry and automatically send itself to a new owner, eliminating a need for expensive title insurance to verify the legitimacy of the transaction. ....... One might design an account that automatically donates to relief efforts in the case of any or certain natural disasters, thereby removing the need (or even the option) of a case-by-case donation decision. ...... Imagine that a portion of FEMA’s funds were programmed to check a Hurricane’s status, and in the case of a Category 5 storm that makes landfall—it could allocate money to the correct local offices. ...... At a basic level, corporations themselves are fueled by contracts. We may live to see a new era of business and commerce built upon a more automated legal framework. Legal scholars and computer scientists have pointed out that an ecosystem of self-enforcing contracts would give rise to what are called
distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs). ....... Imagine in the future —summoning a taxi that not only has no driver, but that belongs to a computer network, not to a human being. ...... a world where a network-owned drone service might power its units from network-owned charging stations. Supply chains built on top of such a system might further reduce the costs of delivering goods anywhere in the world. ....... The blockchain may then deliver the software smarts to eat away at parts of the economy we hadn’t considered ..... human society after the proliferation of the blockchain will be as unfamiliar to us as anything we’ve experienced.
a floating, ship-based nuclear power plant. ...... The plants would be situated between 8 and 12 miles from the coast at a depth of at least 100 meters. Power cables would run to switchyard facilities situated on land......Being placed so far from land would help protect the plants against earthquakes and tsunami waves, which are relatively small so far out...... the country will build at least 100 new nuclear power reactors in the coming ten years. ..... the country will use nuclear power to help reduce its current heavy reliance on coal, and in doing so, dramatically lower emissions of CO2 and air pollutants, which have reached health-threatening levels in many areas.Goodyear’s Awesome New Spherical Tire Design For Autonomous Cars
China will invest more than a trillion dollars in nuclear energy over the coming years.In time, it’s hoping to recuperate some of that by becoming a leading global exporter of nuclear technology. ...... ocean-based reactors would be more susceptible to terrorist attacks. ..... The US Navy has logged more than 5,400 reactor years and traveled more than 130 million miles. They have sailed all the seven seas, including some of the most hostile environments, without any publicized accidents.
Car bodies of the future might be completely 3D printed. They may be completely autonomous — and now, they might have multi-directional spherical tires. .... Reinventing the wheel ..... Why bother attaching them to the car at all, when you can simply keep them in place with magnets? ..... the way a magnetic levitation train works. .... These trains use electrically charged magnets to lift train cars anywhere from a fraction of an inch to a few inches above the tracks. Once the train car is hovering above the tracks, electricity supplied through coils in the tracks creates magnetic fields that move the train. Since these trains float frictionlessly above the tracks, they can reach speeds of over 300 mph. ..... Inspired by brain coral and natural sponges, the 3D printed tire treads are designed to stiffen in dry conditions and soften when wet, like a sponge, to provide powerful control in all kinds of weather. ...... “What I'd really like to see is a provision for the wheels to be hollow and with some type of access hatch. That way you could fill one wheel with dirty laundry, some water and detergent, and by the time you arrive at your destination, boom, clean clothes! You could also insert peeled avocados, limes and some type of pestle in another wheel to create a delicious guacamole as you drive. The third wheel could be used for smoothies.”
Big Tech Companies Need To Pay Individuals Globally
Over the long run, Google and Facebook are not really in the business of selling ads, and Amazon is not in the business of selling merchandise. No, these technology companies are powered by your eyeballs (and data). Their currency is users. Google, for example, gives away email and search for free to draw users to its products; it needs to innovate quickly, producing more and better products to ensure you stay with the company.
It only makes sense. When a foreign company goes and drills for oil in Saudi Arabia, it pays the country. When Google drills you for data, should Google not pay? Data is the new oil. Tech companies are about to build super rich profiles on individuals. That is fine as long as privacy is respected. And they pay. Google's money might show up in your Gmail account. You should be able to conduct local commerce wherever you are.
This is not really that different from AdSense/AdWords. Google pays you when you display Google ads on your blog.
Just like with ISPs, governments can make companies owning the big pipes allow many small companies to become the last mile provider, similarly, many of these big tech companies are busy building many big pipes of all sorts. At some point it might make market sense to allow for competition in the final mile.
Also true for finance. If the big banks can just make sure your bank deposits are safe, do they also have to be the people providing the basic services? Can not small startups who don't own buildings simply plug in and start offering services?
Google owns Blogger, but Wordpress beats Google's Blogger in blogging platform innovation. Wordpress does the last mile really well.
Like Mao said (at least for a short period of time, very short), Let a thousand flowers bloom.
This is a policy challenge. It is for governments to make sure free competition is kept to the max. Sometimes that requires liberating the last mile to small players who might be more nimble, with their ears close to the ground.
I read somewhere Google is giving 25% ownership to the Sri Lankan government for taking its Project Loon insanity to the ground in that country for use of the airwaves. That sounded close to perfect to me, and might be even more meaningful to many of the African countries. Oil holes in the sky.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
FlipKart: Owned 80% By Investors
I wish FlipKart all the best, but I can't see how a tech startup that is so weak at its foundation can be a trailblazer. It has been set to fall, if not now then later. The ownership structure is bull.
Rahul Yadav is another story that caught my attention months ago. The Indian media made it look like the guy sent out one wrong, arrogant email and that is why. That is missing the point. He had all the inklings of a tech startup founder. But the ownership structure there also was all messed up. And I gather Housing.com has bombed since. The hen got killed.
The Real Rahul Yadav Story
Rahul Yadav Has A Bright Future
I hope there will be a second coming of Rahul Yadav just like there was a second coming of Steve Jobs.
If FlipKart is owned 80% by investors, I am not sure it is the Indian Alibaba.
Saudi Arabia: SuperPower?
A tech startup founder is not a CEO. A tech startup founder has to be in a commanding position. Because you have to make drastic moves as you grow. And you need power to be able to make those moves. And the power comes from equity ownership. I don't know what the FlipKart investors are thinking.
A company owned 80% by investors, when it goes for its next round of funding, the investors will make the call. The founder CEO will not be at the negotiating table. That should never happen. An irrelevant founder CEO is not a founder CEO but an employee.
Tech Startup Equity Distribution
Zuck, Free Basics, India
Zuck, Free Basics, India (2)
Dorsey Ouster Was DNA Damage At Twitter
There is venture capital. And then there is vulture capital.
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Top Angel Investment Returns In History
What are the greatest historical angel investment returns?
Jeff Bezos also invested $250,000 in the first angel round in Google and that at today's prices his shares would be worth $1.6 billion. ...... In the hottest angel investment country in the World, the US, last year had some 227,000 angels and pumped $23 billion into start-ups, up 3% from 2004 ..... In 1996 there were only about ten angel groups in the U.S.; today there are more than 200. ....... the 1878 Paris Exhibition, a few highly prominent chaps by the name of J.P.Morgan and Spencer Trask decided to back a crazy idea called “electricity” that was being pitched by none other than Thomas Edison. ....... Back in 1994, there was a guy in the US selling books from his garage via the internet. 12 angels later and Amazon.com was born, 2005 sales were over $5 billion! ......... The second most famous angel investment in recent years (number one to come shortly) was probably the $100,000 check that Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim made out to Google after watching Larry Page and Sergey Brin demonstrate their search-engine software. The check was uncashable at first, as a legal entity, Google didn’t exist yet, but once the company’s incorporation papers were completed and filed, the money enabled Page and Brin to move out of their dorm rooms and into the marketplace. ............ even the likes of Apple, Kinko’s and Starbucks all got their starts with the help of angel investors, as did current rising stars such as Digg, LinkedIn, and Simply Hired. ........ Larry and Sergey .. Afflicted by the perennial shortage of cash common to graduate students everywhere, the pair took to haunting the department’s loading docks in hopes of tracking down newly arrived computers that they could borrow for their network. ....... Larry and Sergey continued working to perfect their technology through the first half of 1998. Following a path that would become a key tenet of the Google way, they bought a terabyte of disks at bargain prices and built their own computer housings in Larry’s dorm room, which became Google’s first data center. Meanwhile Sergey set up a business office, and the two began calling on potential partners who might want to license a search technology better than any then available. Despite the dotcom fever of the day, they had little interest in building a company of their own around the technology they had developed........ One portal CEO told them, “As long as we’re 80 percent as good as our competitors, that’s good enough. Our users don’t really care about search.” ......
Unable to interest the major portal players of the day, Larry and Sergey decided to make a go of it on their own. All they needed was a little cash to move out of the dorm — and to pay off the credit cards they had maxed out buying a terabyte of memory. So they wrote up a business plan, put their Ph.D. plans on hold, and went looking for an angel investor. Their first visit was with a friend of a faculty member........... Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, was used to taking the long view. One look at their demo and he knew Google had potential — a lot of potential. But though his interest had been piqued, he was pressed for time. As Sergey tells it, “We met him very early one morning on the porch of a Stanford faculty member’s home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, so he said, ‘Instead of us discussing all the details, why don’t I just write you a check?’ It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000.” ......... Since there was no legal entity known as “Google Inc.,” there was no way to deposit the check. It sat in Larry’s desk drawer for a couple of weeks while he and Sergey scrambled to set up a corporation and locate other funders among family, friends, and acquaintances. Ultimately they brought in a total initial investment of almost $1 million. ......... That December, PC Magazine named Google one of its Top 100 Web Sites and Search Engines for 1998. Google was moving up in the world. ......... Google’s appearance on Time magazine’s Top Ten Best Cybertech list for 1999.
Angel Investors: How The Rich Invest
There are currently between 5-7.2 million people in the United States who are accepted as accredited investors. This group of people, which represents as little as 1% of the U.S. population, is made up of wealthy individuals that make $200,000 or more in base salary every year, or maintain a net worth of over $1,000,000. ........ there are currently 756,000 angel investors in the U.S. who have made an angel investment or participated in a friends and family round of financing. ...... the New York Angels require every member to invest at least $50,000 during a 12-month period. ...... during the past 17 years, startups were accountable for creating 65% of the net new jobs. ...... Angel investing is becoming the new venture capital. 50,000 companies were started by seed capital last year while venture capital firms financed only 600.
The origins of angel investing
Since the late 1980s, a growing pool of individuals with moderate wealth have been adding early stage investments to their portfolio. Regardless of whether they are the orthodontist, the real estate flipper, or the middle manager at Boeing or Microsoft, the number of these private investors with truly moderate wealth have been investing in the local economy for over three decades and we are seeing a shift in who is allocating capital from the venture capitalists to the individual investors at the early stage. Many micro VCs or investment partnerships are being built as well as steady growth within the existing network of angel groups. These individuals who used to be lovingly referred to as "Aunt Agatha" and "The rich Uncle" have transcended those nametags and are now providing enough capital for startups to truly get off the ground. ....... during the time-span 1979 to 1995, Fortune 500 companies lost more than four million jobs, yet 24 million jobs were created in the entrepreneurial economy. During that time new business creation rose 200 percent (in comparison with a 17 percent population growth). That is an incredible rise in the affect entrepreneurs have on our economy and it hasn't slowed down since that time frame. .......
in 1874 Alexander Graham Bell used angel money to found Bell Telephone. In 1903 Henry Ford used a $40k investment from five angel investors to launch Ford Motors. In 1977 Apple accepted $91k from a single angel investor to grow. Heck even the Golden Gate Bridge was financed by the angel investor A. P. Giannini after the architect spent 19 years searching for funding........ That angel investor who put $91k into Apple received a return of 1,692x their investment (yes $154m). Thomas Alberg received a 260x return on his Amazon.com investment turning $100k into $260m. ....... You can see why investing in 29 losers at $100k makes sense if the 30th investment returns more than 30x.
Friday, February 05, 2016
Tech Power Couple
The two entrepreneurs, who celebrated their second wedding anniversary in October and are expecting their first child in May, have a uniquely modern marriage. In addition to their cozy home life and shared passion for active sports, Ms. Crowley is a client of her husband’s, using Foursquare’s location-tracking technology to market her company. ...... The Crowleys also cut a dash in New York’s tech-social scene, where the most influential people in the room are more likely to be wearing performance fleece than designer suits. ..... Geek mystique gets the Crowleys invited to A-list parties, including the recent James Bond premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater, where they posted an Instagram photo of themselves in black tie. Gossip-column sightings have also placed the Crowleys at events alongside new-media luminaries like Arianna Huffington, the Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer and the Hollywood star (and tech gadfly) Ashton Kutcher. ..... “We talk a lot online,” Mr. Crowley said of the couple’s daily interactions. “The pillow talk, so to speak, is more over instant messenger.” ..... “And how we’ve coexisted is, he does this really sweet thing,” she said, “which is, he’ll ask me, ‘Do you want my advice, or do you want me to just listen?’ Because, if I say, ‘I’d love your advice,’ then I’ve asked for it, and I can’t argue.” .... when their baby comes. .... Her husband added, “I can’t imagine it’s any harder than start-up stuff.”
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Android Phones Should Machine Record All Talk
Would it not be great? To have a directly elected President Of The World? Black lives matter, and every vote counts.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Dorsey Ouster Was DNA Damage At Twitter
Gigabit WiFi: Aereo: Starry: Chet Kanojia
Starry aims to deliver broadband-level wireless internet to your home with tech used by the military.
Aereo dared to take on the broadcast industry by streaming over-the-air TV channels on the internet -- that is, until the Supreme Court ruled that its technology was illegal. Now that company's founder, Chet Kanojia, is taking on yet another established industry: Internet service providers. Today at a New York City launch event he unveiled Starry, the first consumer company to use millimeter wave technology to deliver wireless internet access. Up until now, that's been a technology mainly used by the military for radar and other purposes. .......
Kanojia claims Starry's network, which runs in the 38Ghz unlicensed wireless band, will be able to deliver gigabit speeds to homes wirelessly for far less than traditional broadband. There also won't be any data caps......... 70 percent of Americans have no choice when it comes to their home ISP, while 20 percent don't have any access to broadband at all. ...... The underlying technology behind Starry isn't new -- the military has been using it for decades -- but it's never been used for a widespread consumer product before. Starry has the potential to be as groundbreaking as Aereo, I'm just hoping it sticks around longer.
The founder of Aereo is promising to bring gigabit internet to every home
as it attempts to leverage unlicensed bands of spectrum. ...... Kanojia wants to deliver extremely high-speed internet over the air using millimeter waves, which don't travel very far and aren't very good at penetrating obstacles — not even water in the air. ........ Starry will need to set up broadcast points in very close proximity to its customers or use some sort of mesh technology to improve its reach. ...... "What are millimeter waves you ask? It’s a little bit like witchcraft," Kanojia says. The company keeps repeating a dense list of technologies — OFDM modulation, MU-MIMO, active phased array — which apparently add up to a solution. Kanojia acknowledges that no one has attempted internet delivery over millimeter waves before because it's difficult to get a connection from outside to inside of a house. But Starry has supposedly figured out a way to "steer" the signal using a bank of tiny antennas that increase the connection's power and accuracy. "People historically assumed fiber was the answer at all times," Kanojia says. Starry's approach, he claims, is "the most meaningful, scalable architecture anyone has proposed to this point." ........ it's difficult for new competitors to enter the space. Laying wires is expensive, as is launching a more traditional wireless network, so Kanojia is once again in charge of a company taking an unconventional approach in an attempt to quickly enter and disrupt an established market. ...... Millimeter wave won’t go through a window
What is Starry? An Internet service and router unlike anything else
Super high-speed Internet can be beamed to your home with millimeter waves. Bridget Carey explains Starry and its helpful (but pricey) Wi-Fi hub. Also: Facebook is ending the Like as we know it.
The same technology that scans through your clothes at the airport can bring you Internet service.
@ckanojia This is mind blowing awesome! https://t.co/EKN4krT7h0 #starry— Paramendra Bhagat (@paramendra) January 28, 2016
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
How Do You Explain This? Brain Power?
Big Sitting Cash
Paul Graham's Social Essay
The Bernie Fuss
Taxation And Political Innovation To Less Inequality
The Planet? Or The Republican Party?
I believe Bill Gates has a pretty good program. He is getting billionaires to voluntarily give away money and prevent revolution. That is a great way to protect members of one's class.
On Bernie, I am just trying to understand what the guy is up to.
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. ....... by definition, if a startup succeeds its founders become rich. Which means by helping startup founders I've been helping to increase economic inequality. If economic inequality is bad and should be decreased, I shouldn't be helping founders. No one should be. ........ How can economic inequality not be bad? Surely it's bad that some people are born practically locked into poverty, while at the other extreme fund managers exploit loopholes to cut their income taxes in half. ...... economic inequality is not just one thing. It consists of some things that are very bad, like kids with no chance of reaching their potential, and others that are good, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin starting the company you use to find things online. ........ if you actually want to fix the bad aspects of it—you have to tease apart the components. And yet the trend in nearly everything written about the subject is to do the opposite: to squash together all the aspects of economic inequality as if it were a single phenomenon. ....... critical aspects of inequality, like the role of technology in wealth creation ......What Paul Graham Is Missing About Inequality
the pie fallacy: that the rich get rich by taking money from the poor....... multiple ways people become poor, and multiple ways people become rich ....... Before Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook, his default expectation was that he'd end up working at Microsoft. The reason he and most other startup founders are richer than they would have been in the mid 20th century is not because of some right turn the country took during the Reagan administration, but because
progress in technology has made it much easier to start a new company that grows fast........... there are a lot of people who get rich through rent-seeking of various forms, and a lot who get rich by playing games that though not crooked are zero-sum, there are also
a significant number who get rich by creating wealth......... variation in productivity is accelerating.
The rate at which individuals can create wealth depends on the technology available to them, and that grows exponentially.The other reason creating wealth is such a tenacious source of inequality is that it can expand to accommodate a lot of people. .......... as long as you leave open the option of getting rich by creating wealth, people who want to get rich will do that instead. ....... Most people who get rich tend to be fairly driven. ....... determination is the main factor in the success of a startup ...... a lot of the new startups would create new technology that further accelerated variation in productivity. ....... Variation in productivity is far from the only source of economic inequality, but it is the irreducible core of it, in the sense that you'll have that left when you eliminate all other sources. ....... Startups are almost entirely a product of this period. And even within the startup world, there has been a qualitative change in the last 10 years. Technology has decreased the cost of starting a startup so much that founders now have the upper hand over investors. Founders get less diluted, and it is now common for them to retain board control as well. ........
The acceleration of productivity we see in Silicon Valley has been happening for thousands of years. If you look at the history of stone tools, technology was already accelerating in the Mesolithic........ The evolution of technology is one of the most powerful forces in history. ...... an exponential curve that has been operating for thousands of years, I'll bet on the curve. Ignoring any trend that has been operating for thousands of years is dangerous. But exponential growth especially tends to bite you. ....... And to get rich now you don't have to buy politicians the way railroad or oil magnates did. The great concentrations of wealth I see around me in Silicon Valley don't seem to be destroying democracy. ....... a good number are merely being sloppy by speaking of decreasing economic inequality when what they mean is decreasing poverty. ...... Closely related to poverty is lack of social mobility. I've seen this myself: you don't have to grow up rich or even upper middle class to get rich as a startup founder, but
few successful founders grew up desperately poor........ There is an enormous difference in wealth between the household Larry Page grew up in and that of a successful startup founder, but that didn't prevent him from joining their ranks. It's not economic inequality per se that's blocking social mobility, but
some specific combination of things that go wrong when kids grow up sufficiently poor............ let's attack poverty, and if necessary damage wealth in the process. That's much more likely to work than attacking wealth in the hope that you will thereby fix poverty ....... if there are people getting rich by tricking consumers or lobbying the government for anti-competitive regulations or tax loopholes, then let's stop them. Not because it's causing economic inequality, but because it's stealing
It is good that Paul is wrestling with the question of income inequality, as Silicon Valley as a whole should be. ..... We have to understand what’s wrong with the world as it is, because only then can we envision the world we want to create, and think about how to get there. ....... we need to take a closer look at how one of Silicon Valley’s most treasured tools for creating wealth for employees — the stock option — has played an unexpected role in increasing income inequality. ...... even Thomas Piketty argues that
increased productivity and better diffusion of knowledge create more wealth for society and are among the forces that reduce income inequality......... on average, one group of people is becoming significantly richer, while another is becoming significantly poorer ...... the growth of the financial industry is central to the inequality discussion. ..... Financial markets have been extracting a larger and larger slice of the entire economy. ...... Around the turn of the century, financial markets provided capital to business and consumers at a cost of about 2% of the total economy. By 2013, that cost was up to 9%! (By contrast, the entire internet sector is about 5% of GDP!) ...... the size of the financial sector has increased at the same time as the role it plays in financing innovation and productive investment has decreased! ......
I think you have to ask yourself how much this “financialization of the economy” is also a major contributor to the Silicon Valley wealth that you celebrate in this piece......... Google increased US economic activity in 2014 by $131 billion dollars. That means that value created for other businesses in 2014 was more than double Google’s own $61 billion in annual 2014 revenue. (Note that the value creation number from Varian’s study is US only, while the revenue figure is worldwide.) Given that Larry and Sergey founded Google in 1998, you can count the cumulative economic impact in the trillions of dollars. And the consumer surplus provided by free access to vast amounts of online information has to be far larger. .......... As long as the startup creates more value for society than it takes out for itself, it can actually decrease inequality, rather than increasing it. ....... those services did indeed result in increased revenues for those 1.8 million Google business customers. As for the users of the Google search engine, we also participated in an exchange of real value, receiving free search services, navigation, office applications, and much more, in exchange for clicking on some of the advertisements that those paying Google customers placed via the service. ........
Financial markets are very different than the market of goods and services....... The price of a stock is fundamentally a bet on the future. ...... When a company fails to deliver value that lives up to that bet, but still cashes in through IPO or acquisition, the wealth that is gained by startup founders and early investors is taken from public market investors. This is a risk that both sides of the bet willingly take, and it has provided enormous fuel for innovation as it encourages innovators to take risks in hope of future rewards. But in over-excited markets, it’s too easy for many startups to aim to cash out with “dumb money” while the getting is good with no real plan for ever delivering real revenues or profits. ......... As it turns out, the value that Larry, Sergey, and other early insiders have realized from Google through financial markets roughly matches the share of Google’s profits they could have claimed as owners of a private company. But that isn’t always the case. ....... financial markets have increasingly gone from being a source of capital for companies to a kind of giant betting pool, in which winning and losing is much less correlated with underlying economic activity. ...... In an economy where financial instruments are increasingly unmoored from the real market of goods and services and profits derived from those services, it’s possible for many people to reap rewards that weren’t actually earned. I’m not just talking about bubble-inflated stock-based compensation that has made many people in Silicon Valley so rich, or the excesses of Wall Street banks which nearly wrecked the economy in 2008, but the entire structure of executive compensation. .........
stock options, which have paid such a large role in Silicon Valley wealth, have been misused, and have become a key part of the problem of income inequality....... in 75% of VC-backed start-ups, the entrepreneur gets zero. If becoming rich in Graham’s world means making $100 million (pre-tax), then 0.4% of entrepreneurs make the grade. .......... It reached the destructive extreme when the CEOs of banks, whose liabilities are guaranteed by taxpayers, began getting most of their compensation in options. ..... “Starting in the 1970s and accelerating in the 1980s, most CEOs and other top executives began to receive the bulk of their compensation in stock options, rather than as ordinary income. And in 1993, a well-intentioned law pushed by President Clinton limited the ordinary income that could be paid to top management, with the unintended consequence that even more of the compensation moved to stock options. The intention was to align the interests of management with the interests of shareholders, but is often the case, those good intentions were derailed by poor implementation. ......... Congress allowed a huge loophole in the accounting treatment of stock options — unlike ordinary income paid to employees, value paid through options need not be charged against company earnings. It is thus a kind of “free money” for companies, invisibly paid for by dilution of public market shareholders (of whom a large percentage are pension funds and other institutional shareholders representing ordinary people) rather than out of the profits of the company. As a result, executive compensation soared, to the point that
in one outrageous 1999 case, the CEO of retailer Abercrombie and Fitch received $120 million in option pay (not charged to the P&L), while in the same year, the company had only $150 million in earnings........... Meanwhile, there is an incentive to cut income for ordinary workers, because that still shows as an expense on the P&L. Cutting wages drives up net income and thus the price of the stock in which executives are increasingly paid. ....... there are strong incentives for financial maneuvers like stock buybacks, which too often replace productive re-investment in the underlying business ......
the use of stock options and other financial instruments led to a widening gap between the pay of executives and ordinary workers. In the 1960s, CEO pay was 20x that of the average worker. Now, it is 300x that of the average worker. This is a major driver of inequality....... Silicon Valley companies are actually better than many other companies, because they offer options to virtually every employee, but even there, those options are overwhelmingly weighted towards top management, with each lower rank of workers typically receiving a full order of magnitude less in value. ....... In the case of companies like Walmart and Amazon, productivity gains may also be given to consumers in the form of lower prices, as a way to expand the market share of a business. Or in the case of Google and Facebook, given to consumers as free services, paid for by advertisers. ......
we have forgotten the hard fought lessons of the 20th century, that workers are also customers, and that unless they receive a fair share of the proceeds, they will one day be unable to afford our products....... when we saw that many members of society were no longer able to afford the products our companies have on offer, we encouraged workers to borrow money at high credit card interest rates so that they could maintain the illusion of middle class wages, and even encouraged them to take on student debt so that they could retrain themselves for the jobs of the future that we were busy stripping away. And of course, when the government stepped in with a safety net to support those who could no longer afford even the bare necessities of life, businesses gratefully accepted the economic boost from their spending of government benefits, but claimed that those we no longer paid enough to live without that assistance were freeloaders. ........ the way that we allocate profits from increased productivity to top managers versus ordinary workers, or the way that our tax system favors capital gains over income earned by labor ..... You have to ask yourself, though, whether a Silicon Valley startup is more like the woodworker who made five chairs, or more like the high frequency trader. It’s clear that many startups are like the woodworker, but in bubble times like these, there are a lot of startups that are more like the high frequency trader. ...... we’ve figured out how to have machines make many of the products that we used to pay people to make. And we’ve figured out how get people on the other side of the world, in countries that are much poorer than ours, to accept much lower wages and much worse working conditions as a way to increase the profits of our businesses. ....... Doing this has actually increased the wealth of people in those other countries — income inequality has decreased worldwide, with fewer and fewer people living in abject poverty, and hundreds of millions of others beginning to enter the middle class. But in formerly rich countries, many people who used to be paid well for their work now have to compete for lower-paid jobs, while those who already own meaningful capital take a larger and larger share of the pie. .......... All it takes to increase income inequality is for there to be more companies practicing the “degenerate case” than practicing the virtuous kind of capitalism that creates more value than it extracts. ........ If you couldn’t successfully analyze a situation with statistics, half of the internet startups you celebrate wouldn’t exist! ..... If you’d spent as much time talking to people who work at today’s low-wage jobs, you might have a very different perspective. ....... you underestimate the increased role of financial markets in how entrepreneurs are compensated, so that even many companies without real profits can reap enormous stock gains. You have to realize that Zuck, like Larry and Sergey, is an outlier, in that he created an extraordinarily profitable business. .......
When a startup doesn’t have an underlying business model that will eventually produce real revenues and profits, and the only way for its founders to get rich is to sell to another company or to investors, you have to ask yourself whether that startup is really just a financial instrument, not that dissimilar to the CDOs of the 2008 financial crisis — a way of extracting value from the economy without actually creating it....... I call today’s economy “The WTF Economy.” It fills us with wonder, and it fills us with dismay. I’ve been working hard to understand what we need to change if we want to create a Next Economy that will preserve the wonders of innovation but also addresses the dark futures that we face unless we put people first. Let’s work together to harness the power of technology to decrease income inequality rather than increase it!
the entire internet economy, which does not all belong to startups, is 3.4% of GDP
Paul Graham “Clarifies” Again.
The median US household net worth is about $80k. ...... It’s common for the stock of a successful startup founder to be worth a hundred times as much, and not unheard of for it to be worth ten thousand times as much. ..................... To continue with my global warming analogy, no one gives a damn about one or two fires. Or even a thousand. They care about the planet’s temperature. ...... the aggregate measurement of “economic inequality” is no more influenced by wealth of any individual tech millionaire — even Bill Gates — than global warming is by one really, really hot fire somewhere. ..... a fire is a lot hotter than the much more ample air around it — not that that thing influences the planet’s temperature as a whole. ...... The successful ones do well. It is completely, radically, insanely uncommon for any tech founder’s stock to be worth a hundred times as much. The successful ones are, yes, successful. Most of them are not. Just like every other job. ...... Maybe you think Tech is good, and therefore tech millionaires are A-OK in your book (I would agree with you). ...... On the Forbes 400 richest people in the US list — the very one Graham mentioned: thirteen percent of the richest people (53) in America made their money in tech. The share of people who made their money via investments (aka hedge funds and the like), by comparison, is 24%. .......Tech Startup Equity Distribution
those tech billionaires on the Forbes 400 control $515 billion between them. The top 1% of the United States controls just shy of twenty eight trillion dollars.The Forbes 400 as a whole controls around $4 trillion. ....... There aren’t enough tech millionaires out there to make much of a dent in economic inequality. .......
How many millionaires has tech made? A million? Not even close. How many millionaires are in the United States? More than six million (and I am using the conservative definition, which excludes primary residences)........ You know how many millionaires there are in California? 777,000. But most of these aren’t tech millionaires. Los Angeles, being the 14th largest population of millionaires in the world, has 126,000 of them. San Francisco doesn’t even make the list. ........
The startup world could triple the number of millionaires it has made, and it would still be a drop in the bucket when it comes to economic inequality........ Microsoft made 12,000 millionaires. Google made 1,000. Facebook made 1,000 (to be fair,they’ve probably made one or two thousand more since their stock is killing it). Twitter made 1,600. Atlassian has made 100. I worked at a unicorn. It sold for a billion plus. I’d be shocked if it made more than 20. ........ Wonder where all that money went. Oh right. The VCs. And the 2 or 3 co-founders. ......
Every single person on that Forbes 400 list from tech was a founder, co-founder or a VC. Not a single early employee among them....... San Francisco isn’t in the top 20 cities on earth for millionaires. Or multi-millionaires. But you know what list it is on? Billionaires. San Francisco on its own, ignoring the rest of Silicon Valley, ranks #16 in the world for billionaires. ....... Tech startups are great, sure. But they have nothing to do with economic inequality. The funding structures of startups do. ............. The more you think about it, the more you realize that Paul Graham is trying to claim that startups are essential to our society (agreed) and the only way people will build startups is if we do it exactly as we do right now, and the top three people in a startup can get super super rich, like global elite rich, and everyone else in the company doesn’t. ....... It seems to me that people will still start just as many startups with less economic inequality in the world, just like they have in the past. ....... how upset the 99% of the Bay area would be if tech IPOs still made the number of millionaires as they did with Microsoft.
We need to, or voters and politicians need to, think of political innovation, and policy innovation the same way we think of technological innovation. What was 1776? Was that like launching Windows? What was it? Why did innovation stop at launching Windows? And who is responsible?
My Five Trillion Dollar Plan To Reduce Income Equality
- Put one trillion into solar.
- Put one trillion into physical infrastructure: roads, bridges, drones for broadband, schools, hospitals.
- Put one trillion into microfinance for people who can not offer collateral. Collateral is stupid.
- Put another trillion into solar.
- Give one trillion to a world government. On 1% interest. Do the Bond thing. Money is growing. Why are you complaining?