Showing posts with label chris dixon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chris dixon. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

May 17: News

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Bitcoin: Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon: 2014/2013

Why Bitcoin Matters BY MARC ANDREESSEN JANUARY 21, 2014 . A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers. ....... Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it. ....... Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and – I believe – Bitcoin in 2014. ...... First, Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science – one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world. ........... Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate. ........ What kinds of digital property might be transferred in this way? Think about digital signatures, digital contracts, digital keys (to physical locks, or to online lockers), digital ownership of physical assets such as cars and houses, digital stocks and bonds … and digital money. .......

Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger.

...... Bitcoin is the first Internetwide payment system where transactions either happen with no fees or very low fees (down to fractions of pennies). Existing payment systems charge fees of about 2 to 3 percent – and that’s in the developed world. In lots of other places, there either are no modern payment systems or the rates are significantly higher. ........... It’s not as much that the Bitcoin currency has some arbitrary value and then people are trading with it; it’s more that people can trade with Bitcoin (anywhere, everywhere, with no fraud and no or very low fees) and as a result it has value. ........ Critics of Bitcoin point to limited usage by ordinary consumers and merchants, but that same criticism was leveled against PCs and the Internet at the same stage. ........ “Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5 percent, which means conventional 2.5 percent payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5 percent to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice. Another challenge merchants have with payments is accepting international payments. If you are wondering why your favorite product or service isn’t available in your country, the answer is often payments.” ............. the claim made by some critics that Bitcoin is a haven for bad behavior, for criminals and terrorists to transfer money anonymously with impunity. This is a myth, fostered mostly by sensationalistic press coverage and an incomplete understanding of the technology. Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Further, every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds. .......... Bitcoin is a four-sided network effect. There are four constituencies that participate in expanding the value of Bitcoin as a consequence of their own self-interested participation. Those constituencies are (1) consumers who pay with Bitcoin, (2) merchants who accept Bitcoin, (3) “miners” who run the computers that process and validate all the transactions and enable the distributed trust network to exist, and (4) developers and entrepreneurs who are building new products and services with and on top of Bitcoin. ........... One immediately obvious and enormous area for Bitcoin-based innovation is international remittance. Every day, hundreds of millions of low-income people go to work in hard jobs in foreign countries to make money to send back to their families in their home countries – over $400 billion in total annually ............. banks and payment companies extract mind-boggling fees, up to 10 percent and sometimes even higher, to send this money. ........

it is hard to think of any one thing that would have a faster and more positive effect on so many people in the world’s poorest countries.

......... Bitcoin generally can be a powerful force to bring a much larger number of people around the world into the modern economic system. Only about 20 countries around the world have what we would consider to be fully modern banking and payment systems; the other roughly 175 have a long way to go. ........ Bitcoin, as a global payment system anyone can use from anywhere at any time, can be a powerful catalyst to extend the benefits of the modern economic system to virtually everyone on the planet. ........ A third fascinating use case for Bitcoin is micropayments, or ultrasmall payments. ........ Bitcoins have the nifty property of infinite divisibility: currently down to eight decimal places after the dot, but more in the future. ......... So you can specify an arbitrarily small amount of money, like a thousandth of a penny, and send it to anyone in the world for free or near-free. ......... Future email systems and social networks could refuse to accept incoming messages unless they were accompanied with tiny amounts of Bitcoin – tiny enough to not matter to the sender, but large enough to deter spammers .......... Bitcoin is a financial technology dream come true for even the most hardened anticapitalist political organizer. ......... in 1999, the legendary economist Milton Friedman said: “One thing that’s missing but will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A – the way I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and you may get that without knowing who I am.” ........ almost no country’s regulatory framework for banking and payments anticipated a technology like Bitcoin......... Far from a mere libertarian fairy tale or a simple Silicon Valley exercise in hype, Bitcoin offers a sweeping vista of opportunity to reimagine how the financial system can and should work in the Internet era, and a catalyst to reshape that system in ways that are more powerful for individuals and businesses alike.

Why I’m interested in Bitcoin . Some people assume that all Bitcoin advocates are motivated by a libertarian political agenda. That is certainly not my agenda. I’m a lifelong Democrat who supported Obama in the last two elections. I think the Federal Reserve plays an important function .......... it is also true that almost every significant computing movement had early proponents who were ideologically motivated ....... The developers of the first personal computers were closely aligned with the 60s counterculture movement. Open source software was originally created by people who believed that all software should be available for free. Early advocates of blogging and collaborative systems like Wikipedia were trying to democratize the production and dissemination of information. This isn’t coincidental: broad-based technology movements have depended on non-economic participants early on since it often took years for commercial participants to get involved. ........... the 2008 financial crisis. I thought the government did what it had to do at the peak of the crisis but missed an important opportunity afterwards to reform the financial system. ....... there were two ways to improve the system: from above through regulation (which I support), or from below through competition. ........ I started getting interested in Bitcoin about two years ago. Like a lot of people I initially dismissed Bitcoin as a speculative bubble (“Internet tulip bulbs”) or a place to stash money for people worried about inflation (“Internet gold”). At some point, I had an “aha!” moment and realized that Bitcoin was best understood as a new software protocol through which you could rebuild the payments industry in ways that are better and cheaper. ........

banks and payment companies charge $500B per year in fees to provide a service that mostly involves moving bits around the Internet

............. Let’s say you sell electronics online. Profit margins in those businesses are usually under 5%, which means the 2.5% payment fees consume half the margin. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers, or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2.5% to banks to move bits around the Internet is the worst possible choice. ......... the most exciting aspect of Bitcoin (and this is admittedly more speculative) are all the interesting new business and technology models that “programmable money” could enable. .......... I think Bitcoin could enable a micropayment system for the open web, and thereby provide a business model beyond banner ads for many important services such as journalism. .......... Bitcoin is a serious proposal for dramatically improving the payments industry. There are plenty of open questions but I think it’s an experiment worth running.

Coinbase The press tends to portray Bitcoin as either a speculative bubble or a scheme for supporting criminal activity. In Silicon Valley, by contrast, Bitcoin is generally viewed as a profound technological breakthrough......... The designers of the Web built placeholders for a system that moved money, but never successfully completed it. Bitcoin is the first plausible proposal for an economic protocol for the Internet........ But to proliferate widely, Bitcoin needs a killer app the same way HTTP had web browsers and SMTP had email clients. That’s why today I’m excited to announce that Andreessen Horowitz is leading a $25M financing of Coinbase, a service that provides an accessible interface to the Bitcoin protocol. ....... Consumers can use Coinbase to convert to and from other currencies and to pay for goods and services. Merchants can use Coinbase to accept payments and convert currencies. Developers can build new services using Coinbase’s API....... Coinbase has grown extremely fast and is now the most widely used Bitcoin service in the US.

The New California Dream Is in Portugal . a nation that now boasts an 89 percent vaccination rate, the world’s highest. Once derided as Europe’s budget-vacation destination, Portugal is now Europe’s top tourist spot several years running. ....... On so many levels, the country can seem like California’s European twin, albeit without the apocalyptic wildfires and lingering droughts. Lisbon especially teases Californians with echoes: as in San Francisco, there’s a stunning red-painted suspension bridge, this one straddling the Tagus River instead the Golden Gate (built by the same engineer who built the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge), seven steep hills, and iconic, many-hued cable cars. World-class surfing can be had 30 minutes away in Ericeira, and NazarΓ©. ......... “It feels like San Francisco–it even has a Golden Gate Bridge, and then that coastline from Lisbon to Cascais – the surf’s incredible.” ....... Many Californians’ new freedom to work from anywhere only elevates Portugal’s allure. The pandemic laid bare fissures in the state that have been building for years: out-of-control housing prices, an intractable homeless crisis, rising crime rates. We’ve witnessed a massive exodus the past year for the supposedly greener pastures of Austin and Miami. Or maybe not. Postal data proved this “phenomenon” was grossly exaggerated; most Bay Area evacuees moved ten miles to Alameda County, up to Sacramento or south to San Diego. ...... The Portuguese prize California’s billions in venture capital, deep entrepreneurial networks, expertise in sales, marketing and scaling startups. In return they offer driven, gifted employees who are fluent in English (the country ranks 7th in the world in speaking English as a second language), and friendly to boot. ......... Family comes first in Portugal, and the country offers a work-life balance that younger Americans especially demand ......... “The challenging part of SF was the lack of infrastructure for families,” he recalls.

“The competitive nature of daycare and the costs…it’s like putting your kid through Harvard.”

Portugal promised a balance of “just a beautiful country to raise our children.” ......... She quickly made friends and business contacts; blasting out 250 LinkedIn emails to Portuguese CEOs in the hope that one of them might talk with “a skinny tattooed girl,” she was stunned when “twenty-five of them had coffee with me.” Fiorentini is now head of personnel at the Lisbon office of Kencko, a healthcare startup. ........ “They often joke that once upon a time Portugal and California were one, and they split” ..... “The climate is the same, the plants are the same, it’s pretty wild.”

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chris Dixon @cdixon

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How Do You Explain The Rejection Of Good Ideas?

Great ideas, by definition, are not obvious. Precisely because most people can't think it, they are great.

Pinterest was rejected by pretty much everybody in the Valley. It had to become a hit in Iowa first, of all places.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Fred Wilson And Mark Suster Missing Out On AirBnB And Uber

Mark Suster
Mark Suster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
photo of Paul Graham
photo of Paul Graham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fred Wilson
Fred Wilson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fred Wilson was one of the earliest people Paul Graham reached out to as AirBnB was making its early moves. Wilson said, nah. And here is Mark Suster waxing eloquent on his missing out on Uber.

These are smart guys, well connected. They are VC bloggers I like. What happened? How did they miss out?

They say about companies, you become so good at one thing, you tend to miss out on the next thing.

AirBnB and Uber are alike in that there are physical things in their equations. There are apartments and cars involved. I think they sit on top of a mega trend where software actively interacts with the physical environment. And I feel many more large companies will get created at that intersection.

When you have stellar track records of information only kind of software plays, I guess you don't feel the love for the physical.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BuzzFeed Success "Secrets"

Chris Dixon is sharing some insider information.

BuzzFeed’s strategy
BuzzFeed. We passed 30M unique visitors last month, our revenue is on pace to be more than 3 times what we did in 2011, we have grown from 26 full-timers at the start of last year to 117 today ..... Nobody has built a truly great publishing company for the social age and we have a good shot to be the ones who do it. ..... we don’t publish slideshows. Instead we publish scrollable lists so readers don’t have to click a million times and can easily scroll through a post...... we don’t show crappy display ads and we make all our revenue from social advertising that users love and share. ...... we focus on publishing content our readers love so much they think it is worth sharing ...... We manage our own servers, we built our CMS from scratch, we created our own realtime stats system, we have our own data science team, we invented own ad products and our own post formats, and all these products are brought to life by our own editorial team and our own creative services team. We are what you call a “vertically integrated product” which is rare in web publishing. We take responsibility for the technology, the advertising, and the content and that allows us to make a much better product where everything works together. ........ skill is 63% luck. ..... “social advertising will be the biggest media business since cable television.” ...... we are equally obsessed with 1) entertaining content, 2) substantive content, and 3) social advertising. The teams that focus on each of these areas are equally important which is a key part of our success. We want our cute animals, humor, and animated gifs to be the best of their kind on the web – they aren’t just a cheap way to generate traffic. We want our reporters to have the best scoops, the smartest analysis, and the most talked about items – they aren’t just a hood ornament to lend the site prestige. And we want our advertising to be innovative, inspiring, and lead the shift to social – and not just be a necessary evil that pays the bills. ....... We love the silly, we love the substantive, and we love making advertising that is actually compelling

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Slow Down The Blogging

Blogging HeroesImage via WikipediaWork is picking up, and that might mean I might have to slow down the blogging a bit. But I don't want to. Blogging is working out for the mind, and it makes no sense for a knowledge worker to slow down on blogging.

But one post a day is the goal, and anything more is bonus. Or at least that is what I thought. I have been blogging several times a day for months now.

Blogging several times a day feels like this.

2000 Squats
Freehand Exercise: 1000 Push-Ups, 1000 Squats, 1000 Crunches

Some people have asked me, how do you make time for blogging? Implicit in that question is the suggestion that blogging is something you do on top of work. I don't see it that way. Blogging is part of my work. And, no, I don't mean AdSense peanuts. I mean blogging is like my online resume. My blog allows me to do a lot of work related socializing online. I have entered into credible conversations because I have an active blog.

Because I am an active blogger, I believe I am a more active reader of tech news.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gender And The Wilson Household

John LennonCover of John LennonOne thing I appreciate about the Fred Wilson family is that all of them blog. I really, really like that. It is not like they are odd, and I salivate for juicy details - although, as for some of Joanne's food posts. None of that. They are very normal as people. I have not met the kids (and that's fine with me), but I have met Fred and Joanne. I do visit Fred's blog near daily. The guy just recently got called officially the top VC in the world for the kind of return he has shown for the money he has raised. But I have followed him at his blog for two years before that admiring his excellence, and the quality of his mind. He is also just a good person. I have blogged about him a few times. More than a few times.

I have reblogged their three children on Tumblr multiple times. I have taken pleasure.

This crew is like the First Family of the NY tech ecosystem. And they are accessible. One day, some day, I am going to ask for Joanne Wilson's autograph.

One thing the Wilson couple talk frankly about is gender and gender roles. And I really, really appreciate that. We might or might not disagree, but I get suspicious of people who simply don't believe in bringing it up as a topic of conversation.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Chris Dixon Kind Of Person

Caterina, Chris and meImage by Zach Klein via FlickrThere Are Two Kinds Of People In The World

This blog post by Chris Dixon has been making the rounds of the blogosphere. It has generated many comments at the blog itself. I happened to see the post soon after it came out, and I was the first or second person to leave a comment. I returned a few hours later, and there were already close to 100 comments. Obviously the post had sparked something.

Future Of The Internet: Easy, Says Dixon

One of my favorite Chris Dixon posts is equally short, it is one where Chris is relaying as to how the Internet stands to transform anything and everything.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glass Half Full Phase

A carnival glass vase.Image via Wikipedia
Fred Wilson: The Word Bubble: There will come a time when the environment we are in will be in the rear view mirror. And entrepreneurs should be crystal clear about that. This is a time to raise money and sock it away for a rainy day. Because it will rain. ...... deals are actually companies and most venture investments are held for five to seven years. I've likened them to marriages over the years. Don't let the lust for the deal lead to a bad marriage that you have to be in for the next decade. ...... we are in the glass is half full part of the cycle. Investors are focusing on the upside and ignoring the downside. That part of the investment cycle lasts for a while and then things change and investors focus on the downside and ignore the upside. Markets are defined by greed and fear. We are in the greed mode right now
I will have to agree. A lot of people sat on a lot of money for about two years. But money does not want to sit still. Money wants to grow. And right now it feels like the basketball that was held at the bottom of the pool was let go. It is not going to end at the surface. It will eventually. But first it will go into the air a little. We are in the air a little phase.

But this is no bubble. I don't see an imminent industry wide collapse. Going out of business also happens in the restaurant business, all the time, but that does not mean the restaurant business is going through a bubble.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adding Intelligence To The Biggest Screen: TV

"Leopard" Icons in BlackImage via WikipediaApple added intelligence to the smallest screen: the phone. The iPhone happened. If you can move from the PC screen to the small screen, you should be able to move in the other direction as well. The TV screen is what you meet when you go in the other direction. It is not if but when. And Chris Dixon just posted a great blog post on the topic. Go read.
Chris Dixon: Apple And The TV Industry: the reasoning analysts used to predict the failure of the iPhone before its launch in 2007..... Why do you think they call it a Crackberry? Because the lumpy design and confusing interface of the device is causing people to break into cars? No, it’s because people are addicted to it. ...... What Apple ended up doing, however, was creating a phone that was so incredibly desirable to consumers that it completely restructured the industry, causing a massive shift of power away from the carriers. ..... the last thing the cable operators want is for internet-delivered programming that bypasses their cable channels to become widespread – they see that as the fast track to become a dumb pipe ..... let’s imagine Apple develops a TV that is as groundbreaking as the iPhone was. The biggest problem “smart TVs” have today is that they need clunky IR transmitters to control set top boxes because the cable operators won’t willingly interoperate. So a new Apple TV would have to drum up such incredible consumer demand that the operators would feel compelled to support it. This does indeed seem harder in the TV than in the mobile industry. At least in the US you had 4 nationwide mobile operators at the time of the iPhone launch. In TV, consumers normally have at most two real choices for traditional cable programming – cable and satellite – and two real choices for two-way internet – cable and DSL/FIOS...... Perhaps Apple won’t enter the market due to its structure. But that didn’t stop them in mobile phones where the structure was similarly difficult. The mistake analysts made about the iPhone was to assume the current industry structure would be sustained after Apple’s entry. I’d be wary of making the same assumption about the TV industry.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Proverbial White Male

I don't know if you have ever visited my blogroll, but it is a mouthful. It is the most elaborate, comprehensive blogroll of any I have visited. And because it is so elaborate and encyclopedic, I have had sections. That has not been good enough, and so I have had at the top a section called A1. Even that became a little too elaborate. So I just made a much shorter list called This Just In. These are people whose every blog post I want to read as soon as they come out, and preferably comment on them as well.

Third World Guy
The Arab Revolutions And My Rethinks On Britain And France
Minority Majority Nation?
To You I Offer Buddhism And Yoga
Social Media Is For Real
Obama 2012 Is On
New York City
Rootlessness And The City

I made the list. It is short. Every single person on the list is the proverbial white male. What's wrong in the picture? It also bothers me that most are VCs. I wish it were mostly entrepreneurs. But the best entrepreneurs don't blog. Some good ones do. And there are some out there who I just have not come across yet. Please suggest names.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nuggets From The Paulson Auditorium

SOUTHERN SWEET CORN NUGGETSImage by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR via FlickrStartUp Week: Final Event: Biggest Event?

- 2005, there were very few blogs around.
- Vin Vacanti has a great blog.
- Fred Wilson, Mark Suster, Chris Dixon, Brad Feld.
- Josh Auerbach: "All my knowledge comes from blogs."
- It is easy to do market research.
- The lean startup movement.
- You will be amazed by how many people are willing to talk to you.
- The best way to build a business is without any investment money.
- We don't do NDAs. We will laugh at you if you ask.
- Outsourcing is not an option.
- If your proposal is outside the thesis of a VC firm, you are not going anywhere.
- Talk to people. Engage with people at their blogs.
- Cool. Uncool. Cool again.
- Chris Dixon: "1/3rd of my companies are profitable with seed money."
- You have to be active online.
- You have to blog. You have to tweet. This is the number one piece of advice. You are not going anywhere in tech without these.
- Internships with big brand name companies are overrated.
- Entrepreneurs - it's a personality type.
- If you send a form email, you will get a form response.
- Show me that you put some work into that email. You read up on me.
- No investor will read a business plan.
- You and your team.
- What all could go wrong? What can I do to mitigate? Put down in writing.
- Build your relationship with investors over a period of time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

StartUp Week: Final Event: Biggest Event?

I started out thinking all events are created equal. But you get hints thrown in here and there. There is expectation in the air. The event tomorrow looks like will be the biggest event of the week. And I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, 4/14: Fundraising: VCs, Angels and Accelerators Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Albert Wenger (@albertwenger), Lawrence Lenihan (@lawrencelenihan), Firstmark Capital, Hilary Gosher (@hilbil175), Insite Venture Partners, David Tisch (@davetisch), TechStars

April 14, Thursday, 6-8 PM, NYU Tisch Hall, Paulson Auditorium (UC-50), 40 W. 4th Street

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Meeting Brad Feld

I got to meet Mark Suster yesterday, and Brad Feld today, and I get to meet Vin Vacanti next week. In Vacanti's case it will not be my first time, but still. What do you think is going on? StartUp Week, that's what.

TechStars' Geographical Advantage Over Y Combinator
Brad Feld
StartUp Week At NYU April 6-15
To: Brad Feld, Subject: Iran And Me (Digital Ninja/Commando)
Happy July 4 Fred Wilson, Brad Feld
An Immigrant Story For Brad Feld
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC
To Iran, With Love (3)
To Iran, With Love (1)
To Iran, With Love (2)

Both Mark and Brad recognized me right away. We have interacted online. I have interacted more with Brad than with Mark. At one point I was trying to get Brad to fund my work into Iran democracy.

"Oh, hey," Brad said when it was my turn to greet him.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Owning Equity, Owning House

Image representing Chris Dixon as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase
Chris Dixon: Eric Ries: a downturn will come in the next few years (most likely not a true revenue/profit downturn but early stage valuation + coolness downturn) ..... one of the worst things happening now is that companies lie to employees and only tell them the # of shares they own and not the % they own ...... the 21st century will be about convincing people that they should think about owning part of their employer the same way people in the 20th century wanted to own their house ...... the idea of creating a stock exchange where when you bought stocks you were force to hold them 4-5 years ...... he was probably the smartest and most interesting person I've heard in years ...... us "liberals" (me, Eric, Fred Wilson) who believe that hedge fund managers should pay the same tax rate as firefighters who run into burning buildings are in radical agreement about increasing the carried interest tax. Unfortunately every other VC seems to disagree with us. Looks like we lost this one and so need to move on. +1 for aristocrats. ..... ) being more scientific about how to help these companies succeed on less capital
Chris Dixon does not think we are in a bubble. Neither do I. But I was surprised to learn he also thinks we are a few years from a downturn, what I have called a mini bubble burst. It will not be like 2000 when it looked like the entire industry collapsed. But there will be plenty of winnowing out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alexis Ohanian: Angel Investor

I read somewhere you had to pick between the panels, two out of four allowed. So I showed up early for registration. Ends up you did not have to pick. So I went to all four. Well, there was a Seth Godin speech to begin with. I did that. And Chris Dixon spoke after the panels were over. And there was the social/networking part to cap it all. All in all it was a half day affair. It was a few trips between floors one and five for me. I got to take in half of each panel.

Startups And The Art Of Selling
Monetizing A Startup
Venture Capitalists And Their Thesis
Patrick Chen's Entrepreneur Exchange Summit
Idea to Initial Execution
March 25: Stern: Entrepreneurs Exchange Summit