Showing posts with label Paul Graham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Graham. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Some Suggestions For Twitter

Twitter And Voice
Free Speech And Just Society
Should Elon Musk Be Owning All Of Twitter?
The Masses, Not Mars
Musk's 44 Billion Dollar Give To Foolish Fascism

My Twitter experience has not changed. Is that a problem? The guy from Mars took over. But my Twitter experience has not changed.

He is being criticized for having bought a 10 billion dollar company for 40 billion. I don't want to go into that. It is certainly a dip. But if it is a startup, it has nowhere to go but up. Although there are plenty of people saying this is his Waterloo. That is the New York Times hyperbola. It is a dramatic statement to make, but people like Paul Graham do not seem to be buying.

Since the early 2010s, I have looked at Twitter and thought, what a waste! So much potential, so little of it realized.

Could Musk be the break Twitter has needed? Or is this Musk's Truth Social?

I just had to say that. I don't believe it. I think Musk might be able to pull it off.

I quite like Twitter. I have an experience on Twitter that I do not have on any other social media platform. And so you are left wanting more.

What is it about Twitter? The brevity? The text? That 1% feel?

How about letting people verify for free? And instead of using government isued IDs letting people use biometric IDs provided by Twitter itself? A selfie? An iris scan? Fingerprint? And you get a checkmark? If not blue, then green. The bots don't have that.

If you can verify your name also with some sort of official ID, you get an additional checkmark. For free.

You could use an assumed name, but it would say so.

The ability to read 10 or 100 or 1,000 tweets at once. How do you read the sentiment?

Real time search engine. Twitter could be tops.

The Twitter archives are a wasteland. So unnecessary.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Paul Graham's Social Essay

The Refragmentation by Paul Graham

Though strictly speaking World War II lasted less than 4 years for the US, its effects lasted longer. Wars make central governments more powerful, and World War II was an extreme case of this. In the US, as in all the other Allied countries, the federal government was slow to give up the new powers it had acquired. Indeed, in some respects the war didn't end in 1945; the enemy just switched to the Soviet Union. In tax rates, federal power, defense spending, conscription, and nationalism the decades after the war looked more like wartime than prewar peacetime. [3] And the social effects lasted too. The kid pulled into the army from behind a mule team in West Virginia didn't simply go back to the farm afterward. Something else was waiting for him, something that looked a lot like the army. ....... John D. Rockefeller said in 1880..... The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return..... He turned out to be mistaken, but he seemed right for the next hundred years............. What happens now with the Super Bowl used to happen every night. We were literally in sync. ........ In his autobiography, Robert MacNeil talks of seeing gruesome images that had just come in from Vietnam and thinking, we can't show these to families while they're having dinner. ......... the "red delicious" apples that were red but only nominally apples. And in retrospect, it was crap. .........

For most of the 20th century, working-class people tried hard to look middle class. You can see it in old photos. Few adults aspired to look dangerous in 1950.

........ But the rise of national corporations didn't just compress us culturally. It compressed us economically too, and on both ends. ........ Along with giant national corporations, we got giant national labor unions. And in the mid 20th century the corporations cut deals with the unions where they paid over market price for labor. Partly because the unions were monopolies. ......... Much of the de facto pay of executives never showed up on their income tax returns, because it took the form of perks. ....... The ultimate way to get market price is to work for yourself, by starting your own company. That seems obvious to any ambitious person now. But in the mid 20th century it was an alien concept. ........ in the mid 20th century. Starting one's own business meant starting a business that would start small and stay small. Which in those days of big companies often meant scurrying around trying to avoid being trampled by elephants. It was more prestigious to be one of the executive class riding the elephant. ......... in the 20th century there were more and more college graduates. They increased from about 2% of the population in 1900 to about 25% in 2000 ........ people in the 1950s and 60s had been even more conformist than us ...... What J. P. Morgan was to the horizontal axis, Henry Ford was to the vertical. He wanted to do everything himself. ....... if you want to solve a problem using a network of cooperating companies, you have to be able to coordinate their efforts, and you can do that much better with computers. Computers reduce the transaction costs that Coase argued are the raison d'etre of corporations. That is a fundamental change. .......... IBM itself ended up being supplanted by a supplier coming in from the side—from software, which didn't even seem to be the same business. .........

Basically, Apple bumped IBM and then Microsoft stole its wallet. That sort of thing did not happen to big companies in mid-century. But it was going to happen increasingly often in the future.

......... This didn't seem as dubious to government officials at the time as it sounds to us. They felt a two-party system ensured sufficient competition in politics. It ought to work for business too. ...... The word used for this process was misleadingly narrow: deregulation. What was really happening was de-oligopolization. It happened to one industry after another. Two of the most visible to consumers were air travel and long-distance phone service, which both became dramatically cheaper after deregulation. ........

The companies in the S&P 500 in 1958 had been there an average of 61 years. By 2012 that number was 18 years.

......... the refragmentation was driven by computers in the way the industrial revolution was driven by steam engines. ........ The new fluidity of companies changed people's relationships with their employers. Why climb a corporate ladder that might be yanked out from under you? Ambitious people started to think of a career less as climbing a single ladder than as a series of jobs that might be at different companies. More movement (or even potential movement) between companies introduced more competition in salaries. Plus as companies became smaller it became easier to estimate how much an employee contributed to the company's revenue. Both changes drove salaries toward market price. And since people vary dramatically in productivity, paying market price meant salaries started to diverge. ........ Yuppies were young professionals who made lots of money. To someone in their twenties today, this wouldn't seem worth naming. Why wouldn't young professionals make lots of money? But until the 1980s being underpaid early in your career was part of what it meant to be a professional. ....... Almost four decades later, fragmentation is still increasing. ......... With the centripetal forces of total war and 20th century oligopoly mostly gone, what will happen next? ........

The form of fragmentation people worry most about lately is economic inequality, and if you want to eliminate that you're up against a truly formidable headwind—one that has been in operation since the stone age: technology. Technology is a lever. It magnifies work. And the lever not only grows increasingly long, but the rate at which it grows is itself increasing.

......... The ambitious had little choice but to join large organizations that made them march in step with lots of other people—literally in the case of the armed forces, figuratively in the case of big corporations. ......... as long as it's possible to get rich by creating wealth, the default tendency will be for economic inequality to increase. Even if you eliminate all the other ways to get rich. You can mitigate this with subsidies at the bottom and taxes at the top, but unless taxes are high enough to discourage people from creating wealth, you're always going to be fighting a losing battle against increasing variation in productivity. ......... When Rockefeller said individualism was gone, he was right for a hundred years. It's back now, and that's likely to be true for longer....... The first big company CEOs were J. P. Morgan's hired hands ........ "Our founder" meant a photograph of a severe-looking man with a walrus mustache and a wing collar who had died decades ago. The thing to be when I was a kid was an executive. If you weren't around then it's hard to grasp the cachet that term had. The fancy version of everything was called the "executive" model. ....... it is certainly not impossible for a CEO to make 200x as much difference to a company's revenues as the average employee. Look at what Steve Jobs did for Apple when he came back as CEO. It would have been a good deal for the board to give him 95% of the company. Apple's market cap the day Steve came back in July 1997 was 1.73 billion. 5% of Apple now (January 2016) would be worth about 30 billion. And it would not be if Steve hadn't come back; Apple probably wouldn't even exist anymore. ......... Google will pay people millions of dollars a year to keep them from leaving to start or join startups.

If computers have brought about so much disruption, imagine what artificial intelligence will do, and at what speed! I just hope we get to the age of abundance fast and end up in an era of no poverty, no disease. As to the massive surpluses, I am less worried about the rich. But even there social and political innovation can happen. You can't get rich unless a lot of people can buy what you are selling. Political innovation is not happening as fast as technological innovation. And that is bad news. It does not have to be. Tech itself is partly to blame. There has not been enough direct technological innovation applied to the political sphere itself. Technology has the option to give us truly participatory democracy, but it has not done it. Technology has the option to give us rich, robust, grassroots discussions. It has not done it. The impending age of abundance means everyone can eat, there is no overpopulation, but it will not happen on its own. I think where Paul Graham falls short is in not being able to see that maybe political innovation will also happen. Unless the purchasing power of the masses goes up exponentially, we can not create the truly super rich, and we will not be a multi-planetary species. In the age of abundance, there should be a floor beneath which no human being falls. And that floor keeps rising because productivity keeps going up, and rather fast.

This essay is remarkable social and political (and economic) insight by a dude only known for tech startups.

I happen to think we have to start by creating a world government. For one, we have an existential reason to do so. There is no other way to coordinate the fight with Climate Change. And other good things follow. Only one person one vote taken to its logical, global conclusion will give us the kind of political innovation we need. Right now the political systems of the world simply do not create enough pressure. The only reason Google floats is because enough people click on its ads. Right now nobody is voting at the global level. A head of state is only one person.

Barack Obama: FDR, Lincoln And Washington

Maybe Paul Graham should put some of his Dropbox money into my Kickstarter campaign. It's only 60K. I intend to disrupt global group dynamics.

Paul Graham Asks For Disqus 2.0 Or A Disqus Disruptor
Paul Graham Is Not That Innocent
Paul Graham's Black Swans
Paul Graham: Disrupt
Paul Graham Now Has Disqus Integration At His Blog
TechStars' Geographical Advantage Over Y Combinator
Plenty Still Broken In The World
Fred Wilson And Mark Suster Missing Out On AirBnB And Uber
Greplin: The First Y Combinator Company To Get Me Excited
Dave McClure: Super Angel: Foulmouth
Me @ BBC
Robin Hood: My German Nickname
Y Combinator: Conveyor Belt StartUping?
Jessica Mah, Mark Zuckerberg
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

Stay Tuned for the Technological Transformation of Governance
Just as early waves of technological innovation in education and health care simply attempted to digitize old practices — putting an analog class into a MOOC or a patient’s file into the cloud — early forays into governmental technology involved bringing civil services online and enabling citizens to follow government protocols on websites instead of in buildings. .....

new governance technologies preparing to reroute lines of authority and change what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century.

....... Others are helping teams to build consensus and budget together, dynamically and elegantly. Still others are creating operating systems for political parties that are already winning seats in government. .....

Whether we're facing climate apocalypse on Earth or colonizing Mars, the deciding factor between human civilization being extractive and oppressive, or cooperative and generative, will be how much we as a species have practiced the skills of equitable collaboration on a day-to-day basis — hearing diverse viewpoints and synthesizing them, consciously understanding the flows of power dynamics, and designing in the key factors of human wellness.

......... Human beings have been sitting in circles listening to one another for millennia, but software and the internet allow us to scale up these practices in a way we never have before. ....... Cobudget for funding and Loomio for decision-making. ........ Many of the worst aspects of command-and-control, mechanistic, hierarchical governance are consequences of limited communications technologies. If we can make distributed cooperation just as efficient, the need for those old governance forms — which cause a lot of human suffering in the name of efficiency — could be obviated. ..... The key difference is: are you privatizing everything, or are you building the commons? The real distinguishing factor isn't the governing practices, which may be similar to a point, but the governing purpose. Are we building in service of the people and the community, deeply rooted in social values and human rights, or are we in service of private interests, which only answer to their own internal logic of profit and power? ....... Already, in our network, Enspiral, where we run businesses in service of positive social outcomes, we constantly have to 'hack' company structures to make them reflect how we actually want to work. We're sticking to the law, of course, but there's some legal gymnastics involved and we're constantly having to blaze a trail. Are we a community? A company? A charity? None of the current forms actually quite fit, and the distinctions seem contrived. ........ One of the protections against government corruption in democracies is that the moment of the vote is hidden and blind. ......

the very idea that our key moment of agency as a citizen is ticking a box every three or four years is the insane part

..... Our 'democratic' system is another example of something developed a couple hundred years ago because of very limited communications technology — election dates in the US are still determined by how long it took people to go on horseback between cities. ..... What's actually incredible is when you create a society where people not only feel safe being open about their political opinions, but they genuinely discuss them with different people, and their opinion can evolve through that interaction — they can change their minds.

When citizen deliberation is possible, that's when truly amazing solutions can emerge, from synthesizing different views.

......... What can users of SMS-enabled mobile banking in Africa teach us about how our apps could work? People in warzones and disaster areas know a ton about decentralized networks, because centralised infrastructure fails them. Activists threatened by oppressive governments have heaps to teach us about privacy, identity, and leveraging online communications tools for effective action and resistance. ....... most people in this space are running completely analog processes using technologies like neighborhood meetings and science-fair like exhibitions of citizen-generated ideas. They are willing to pound the pavement.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Paul Graham Asks For Disqus 2.0 Or A Disqus Disruptor

Or how to listen when everyone is talking? This is like the email inbox problem. What is the solution? There is only solution for those who get manageable amounts of email. If you get a HUGE (Trump word) amount of email, I am not sure there is a solution. Similarly online, forget teaching people etiquette. You can restrict membership, or you can restrict comments to people who are willing to reveal their real ID, but if you are opening up the floodgates, I am sorry but we are not talking technology, we are talking human nature and human behavior. After DARPA (or Tim Berners-Lee or whoever, or maybe Paul Graham, Al Gore) invented the Internet, Julia Roberts discovered people hated her! We can improve upon it. Like Gmail has become so much better with five inboxes. But I don't see a "cure" to online flaming. Except, maybe, ignore what you don't like. See no evil, hear no evil.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Paul Graham Is Not That Innocent

Let me state the obvious first. I am a huge admirer of what Paul Graham has built in Y Combinator. And I have drawn enormous inspiration from many of his essays on tech startups. And it was an honor to once get featured in the same BBC article as Paul Graham and Brad Feld. (Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC)

And now let me get to the topic at hand. Yes, Paul Graham was misquoted. But that does not change the fact that Paul Graham is guilty of sexism just like I am. I would not accuse him of extreme sexism. I might save that for a ton of men in India. But guilty he is. Why do I say that?

You were there when girls around you were 13. If you did not see sexism then, then you were willfully blind. You very well participated in it. Sexism starts early. Young girls feeding on sexist media do weird things with what they eat. That is sexism.

I don't think there is something fundamental about men and women that makes men head for STEM. Once girls get hit by the pot of sexism early on, they kind of lose their balance, and they end up making weird choices like not going towards STEM with greater gusto than they do.

Paul Graham wondering as to why 13 year old girls don't code more is not exactly like Newton wondering why the apple fell on his head. But sexism IS social gravity. It is all pervasive and all powerful, and all men participate in it, it is only a matter of degree, some more, some less, but we all do.

Sexism is really cutting edge, as is racism. It is as if not more cutting edge than the Internet itself, only the Internet is technology and communications and commerce, sexism and racism are social. It is like I am at this Internet Society event, Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee on stage. And I was and am a huge admirer of the guys. I literally think of the Internet as a new country, a feeling further enforced by a recent Indian Supreme Court decision that is blatantly homophobic. (Homophobia is sick, okay?) And I ask my question of Tim. If the Internet is a country which of you is George Washington, which is Thomas Jefferson? Tim gets offended and says "different race" in an unpleasant way. And I am like, I don't believe this motherfucker. And I made a "mad scientist" remark. (Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Is Not A Country)

Paul Graham said recently something about "heavy accents," and there he was not misquoted, and I thought that was a racist thing to be saying.

Fred Wilson: Girls Who Code
Paul Graham: What I Did Not Say
Taylor Rose: Girls Haven’t Been Hacking for the Last 10 Years
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Monday, January 07, 2013

Paul Graham's Black Swans

Black Swan Farming
the best ideas look initially like bad ideas ..... The total value of the companies we've funded is around 10 billion, give or take a few. But just two companies, Dropbox and Airbnb, account for about three quarters of it. ..... we are just not prepared for the 1000x variation in outcomes that one finds in startup investing. .... in purely financial terms, there is probably at most one company in each YC batch that will have a significant effect on our returns, and the rest are just a cost of doing business. ...... You need to do what you know intellectually to be right, even though it feels wrong. .... the best startup ideas seem at first like bad ideas. I've written about this before: if a good idea were obviously good, someone else would already have done it. So the most successful founders tend to work on ideas that few beside them realize are good ..... the vast majority of ideas that seem bad are bad. ..... The fact that the best ideas seem like bad ideas makes it even harder to recognize the big winners. ..... how lame Facebook sounded to me when I first heard about it. A site for college students to waste time? It seemed the perfect bad idea: a site (1) for a niche market (2) with no money (3) to do something that didn't matter. ..... When you pick a big winner, you won't know it for two years. .... fundraising is not merely a useless metric, but positively misleading. ..... We can afford to take at least 10x as much risk as Demo Day investors. ..... The best we can hope for is that when we interview a group and find ourselves thinking "they seem like good founders, but what are investors going to think of this crazy idea?" we'll continue to be able to say "who cares what investors think?" That's what we thought about Airbnb ..... if you're flying through clouds you can't tell what the attitude of the aircraft is. You could feel like you're flying straight and level while in fact you're descending in a spiral. The solution is to ignore what your body is telling you and listen only to your instruments. But it turns out to be very hard to ignore what your body is telling you. Every pilot knows about this problem and yet it is still a leading cause of accidents...... The reason Google seemed a bad idea was that there were already lots of search engines and there didn't seem to be room for another. ..... I was genuinely worried that Airbnb, for example, would not be able to raise money after Demo Day. I couldn't convince Fred Wilson to fund them
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hartej Says Hello From Chile

Hartej popped up in my Gchat asking for a small favor.

Will I upvote something he just posted on Y Combinator? After getting them to send me a new password, I did.

Scott Weiss: The Path To Starting A Startup
it’s just that the most valuable lessons for successfully running a startup come from actually working at a well-run startup. I’d go even further to assert that the startup should be based in Silicon Valley and backed by venture capital..... If you’re trying to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship — the same two to four years at a startup isn’t even comparable to the equivalent time spent in school or a large company. There are probably five to ten times more lessons and relevance at the startup.
The Evolving Path To Starting A Startup
It has become cheaper than ever to start your own company, but scaling a startup is still extremely expensive..... It’s hard to launch your startup, when you’re too focused working at a VC funded startup in Silicon Valley while $100k in debt from Business School..... It’s far easier to raise capital if you have successfully exited a startup in the past. But, thanks to startup incubators and accelerators run by some of the top experts in the industry, entrepreneurs have multiple ways to build successful businesses ....... Being an entrepreneur is often about walking the unbeaten path. I dont think it’s by any means necessary to follow a strict regimented and strategized approach the way Weiss suggests. ....... You need three things to create a successful startup according to Paul Graham: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible..... As Naval Ravikant says, “Venture Capital is open to attack by disruptive new business models and technology”.
Scott Weiss needs to know Hartej Singh pinged me from Chile. I met him in New York. He flew over to take advantage of some of what the Chilean government has been offering to help create a local tech ecosystem. The wild west of tech innovation is not copyrighted by Silicon Valley, that's for sure.

How Start-Up Chile Is Attracting Startups From Singapore, London, and San Francisco
Socialance is a startup out of London that has moved to Santiago, Chile, for six months. The reason for the move is pretty straightforward: Start-Up Chile is giving the company $40,000 without taking any equity stake. And the rent is relatively cheap..... has attracted about 500 companies to its startup program since 2010. The program ends its first phase in 2014. By then, it will have provided grants to 1,000 companies for a total of $40 million. ..... the ease with which international companies are able to go to Chile for the six-month experience. The Chilean government manages all the paperwork to settle there. .... And if the company decides to stay, all they have to do is get a new visa after one year there. The cost? $100. ...... For Socialance, a freelance service, the move has given the company a chance to get free office space, some mentoring and a two-bedroom apartment for $500 a month. In London, Vigil said they paid about $4,000 for a three-bedroom house that was shared by five people....... And labor costs far less. Engineering talent can cost as little as $1,500 per month. In San Francisco, it can cost a minimum of $6,000 per month to hire an engineer.
Silicon Valley Guru Blasts Y Combinator Hype
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hollywood Might Not Get Killed, Any More Than Silicon Valley Might

Paul Graham: Kill Hollywood
SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying .... What's going to kill movies and TV is what's already killing them: better ways to entertain people.

Technically speaking Silicon Valley could be anywhere, the magic that happens in Silicon Valley could be replicated anywhere. But instead of Silicon Valley getting parceled out, what has happened is Silicon Valley has gone on to do the next big things like clean tech. It is amazing to me how many of the new energy companies are based in California.

I guess geography matters. It takes some time to build that optimum ecosystem. People meeting people in person is magic. You can't take that over to Skype or a Google Hangout.

I mean, I am a huge fan of Hollywood. I love watching movies. And I think there is a magic happening in Hollywood that is not going away any time soon. As far as the production of movies goes, they have nailed it.

Silicon Valley has staying power. Hollywood has staying power. But innovation and creation will get replicated across the country and across the world. I hope the movie houses adopt to the Internet better. And I think it will end up happening one way or the other. But something tells me it will not be a smooth ride. There's just something in the nature of change. Disruptions by definition are not smooth.

In the far future good movies could come out of anywhere, and could be seen anywhere. Hollywood could end up a rust town. As could Silicon Valley, theoretically speaking.

Movies have their place in the grand scheme of things. And software will not take that place. Although it is hard to imagine a future where software is not key to every single aspect of movie creation and distribution.

What Price A Movie?
MegaUpload, SOPA, PIPA
SOPA Went Down

We need a new generation of movie production and distribution companies. Just like we need a new generation of finance companies.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Plenty Still Broken In The World

photo of Paul GrahamImage via WikipediaPaul Graham has a new blog post out. The guy has a beautiful writing style. And he tackles the most amazing topics.

Paul Graham: Schlep Blindness
Schlep was originally a Yiddish word but has passed into general use in the US. It means a tedious, unpleasant task. ....... Most hackers who start startups wish they could do it by just writing some clever software, putting it on a server somewhere, and watching the money roll in—without ever having to talk to users, or negotiate with other companies, or deal with other people's broken code. Maybe that's possible, but I haven't seen it. ...... schleps are not merely inevitable, but pretty much what business consists of. A company is defined by the schleps it will undertake. And schleps should be dealt with the same way you'd deal with a cold swimming pool: just jump in. ....... The most dangerous thing about our dislike of schleps is that much of it is unconscious. Your unconscious won't even let you see ideas that involve painful schleps. That's schlep blindness. ....... For over a decade, every hacker who'd ever had to process payments online knew how painful the experience was. .... Because schlep blindness prevented people from even considering the idea of fixing payments. ....... Though the idea of fixing payments was right there in plain sight, they never saw it, because their unconscious mind shrank from the complications involved. You'd have to make deals with banks. How do you do that? ...... That scariness makes ambitious ideas doubly valuable. In addition to their intrinsic value, they're like undervalued stocks in the sense that there's less demand for them among founders. If you pick an ambitious idea, you'll have less competition, because everyone else will have been frightened off by the challenges involved. (This is also true of starting a startup generally.) ...... there's plenty still broken in the world, if you know how to see it.
I have said a few times being an entrepreneur is like being gay. I have a suspicion people are born or not born an entrepreneur, because there are so few of them. And by some estimates 1% of the population is born gay. I think that is also the share of entrepreneurs in the broader population.

In this blog post Paul Graham establishes the 1% within that 1%. Most entrepreneurs stay away from the big ideas, the big problems that need to be tackled.

I read the blog post twice.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Insuring" Angel Investors

An assortment of United States coins, includin...Image via WikipediaThe idea behind insurance is that you pay for auto insurance, I pay for auto insurance, and so do a million other people. Not a million get into accidents. When a few do, it is paid for by all collectively.

Angel investors get screwed by established venture capitalists routinely. In the later rounds the VCs hog the negotiations in ways that people who believed in you early end up getting the short shift. You end up not making money even when the startup does well.

And then there is the no small matter of losing your money entirely because the startup you invested in went down.

It is a numbers game. Startups are known to go down. The best VCs expect at least one third of their startups to go down. And at the outset they have no idea which one third.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paul Graham: Wrong About NYC

Image representing Sean Parker as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBaseI have been to the Bay Area. I have been to northern California. And by that I don't mean the Bay Area. By northern California I mean parts of that state from where the Bay Area looks south. I have been to Los Angeles. I have been to San Diego. I have been to the valley. And by that I don't mean Silicon Valley. I mean California's vast farmlands. I have been.

I have seen the Oracle buildings. They look just like in the pictures. I have walked on the campus of Stanford University. It is just beautiful. It is an amazing, amazing place to be. I might be exhibiting some Global South bias in appreciating the architecture of the Stanford campus. What stood out for me were the Mexican style tiles. I have been.

And I have read up on it. Silicon Valley has got to be just the most fascinating place on earth. It is myth. It is legend. But the difference between Silicon Valley and New York City today is that Silicon Valley is like this giant, mature corporation, New York City is this up and coming startup. Several of the next big things will come out of New York City. (My Web Diagram)

Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Robin Hood: My German Nickname

A German newspaper called me Robin Hood On The Internet when I was in the thick of my democracy work for Nepal early in 2006. First it was a newspaper article. Apparently that drew some interest. I got an email saying a whole bunch of radio stations in Germany wanted a piece of me. So I showed up at their studio near Grand Central and did the interview. I don't have a copy. But I got told there would be voice over in German, totally understandable.

"Robin Hood Im Internet"

Around the same time I overslept through a BBC talk program where I was supposed to call in. I felt bad.

BBC Calls

When I got called Robin Hood in 2006, I was simply amused. Wow, of all things you would call me that? But now I think I could use that nickname as I gear up to do microfinance work.

If it were not for the fucked up immigration laws in this country, I'd already be on my way.

Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Paul Graham Now Has Disqus Integration At His Blog

photo of Paul GrahamImage via WikipediaI took Paul Graham to task in this blog post for not having a place for people to leave comments at his blog. It is not even a proper blog, I said. I made it into a little bit of an East Coast, West Coast thing like the rappers do. Of course I like Paul Graham plenty. I was just playing along.

Top VC Bloggers: The Numbers Don't Look Right

So it was great to note Paul Graham now has Disqus integration at his blog. The next thing would be for him to start blogging daily. I would show up if he blogged daily.

Paul Graham: Y Combinator
Paul Graham: Disrupt
Greplin: The First Y Combinator Company To Get Me Excited
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

I still think what Paul Graham has is a book, not a blog. It is not updated frequently enough to be called a blog.