Musings on the world of business

Thoughts on entrepreneurship, globalization and the interaction of culture and corporations. Why the name
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There are several worrying things about this new, profitless-on-purpose way of doing business. First is that the while some of the money used to fund money-losing start-ups comes from rich Silicon Valley investors, some large amount of it comes from public pensions, college endowments, and other, more modest sources. Lyft backer Andreessen Horowitz, for example, has gotten investments from the Imperial County, California, Employee Retirement System and the University of Michigan; the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System invests money with SpoonRocket backer General Catalyst. If you asked them, I’m sure that firefighters in Memphis and public schoolteachers in El Centro would have no idea that their retirement funds are being used to lower the price of my delivery lunches and rides across town. But that’s exactly what’s happening. And when these venture-backed price wars happen in dozens of high-end service sectors all at once, you have a strange cultural phenomenon in which Main Street dollars are being used to finance the lifestyles of cosmopolitan yuppies.

The technological achievements show cased in the “fire phone” are impressive. But I cannot shake the feeling that Amazon’s main purpose here was to add a calling feature and internet connectivity to the price gun. You know; the device people use as they walk around a store adding items to their registry. This is not a phone. This is a always connected credit card with a calling feature. I feel brazenly manipulated.

I am impressed by Amazon’s ability to flex its AWS muscle to solve freaking HARD problems. 

garychou:

Orbital Boot Camp applications closed last Friday, and I’m really pleased to report that despite the short, two week application window, the caliber of applicants is quite strong.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 62 people applied: filmmakers, writers, educators, designers, artists, technologists.

Provocative and simple enough to carry around in your head for the rest of you life.

In one of the last interviews Peter Drucker gave on NPR he tore into the whole leadership concept. He said the last thing the business world needs is more leaders. What it needs is more competent managers. I think he had a point. Leadership is putting yourself in front. Management is being of service.

peternixey:

These are the slides from the talk Taavet Hinkrikus and I gave yesterday at the O2 for Campus week and Wayra.

The talk is about how to build good quality product quickly in highly uncertain situations. It’s about building product in a pre-product-market-fit startup and I like to think that…

garychou:

This past March, I took over the old Kickstarter office in the Lower East Side. Since then, I’ve been primarily focused on cleaning it up, learning to become much more handy, and thinking of ways to use the space to fund the space.

The space is called Orbital, and my goal is to make it a…

6. “I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.

nickgrossman:

Over the past few weeks, the future of the open internet has come into sharp focus, as the FCC’s 2010 open internet rules were struck down in court, and then plans for new rules from the FCC came into public view. Amidst fears that the internet is f**ked, debate has raged about what…

patkinsel:

I’ve spent the last year meeting with entrepreneurs at varying stages. I’ve been struck by how frequently a company’s product practices and product organization are lacking - and how they’re in complete shambles more often than you’d think.

It’s a boring position to take, but I am proud of and…