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pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

But the naiveté of twenty-six-year old CEOs, the hubris of their venture capital advisers, and the narrowness of vision of the hacktivists, still fighting the battle of the 1990s and promoting open source, do not bode well. Bibliography Airbnb. “Airbnb Economic Impact.” The Airbnb Blog—Belong Anywhere. Accessed May 9, 2015. http://blog.airbnb.com/economic-impact-airbnb/. ———. “Airbnb’s Economic Impact on New York City.” The Airbnb Blog—Belong Anywhere. Accessed May 9, 2015. http://blog.airbnb.com/airbnbs-economic-impact-nyc-community/. ———. “Building Trust with a New Review System,” July 10, 2014. http://blog.airbnb.com/building-trust-new-review-system/. ———. “One Way Forward: After the Crash, Keeping the Roof Overhead, Airbnb Stories.” Airbnb. Accessed May 9, 2015. https://www.airbnb.com/stories/new-york/one-way-forward. ———. “Sandy’s Impact: Opening Doors in a Time of Need, Airbnb Stories.” Airbnb. Accessed May 9, 2015. https://www.airbnb.com/stories/new-york/sandys-impact. The Office of New York State Attorney General Eric T.

Eviction, Ex-Tenant Says.” 10 Marritz, Two True Stories from the Airbnb Wars.” 11 Airbnb, “Sandy’s Impact.” 12 Coscarelli, “Airbnb Poster-Child Was Evicted for Airbnb-Ing a Converted Barn She Didn’t Own.” 13 Hantman, New York: The next Steps. 14 Electronic Frontier Foundation, Airbnb, Inc. v. Schneiderman; Internet Association, “The Internet Association Files Amicus Brief to Quash the NYAG Subpoena against Airbnb.” 15 Chesky, “Who We Are, What We Stand for.” 16 Tam, “New York AG’s Office.” 17 Flamm, “Strange Bedfellows in Airbnb Dispute.” 18 Krueger, “On Behalf of Regular New Yorkers, Sen. Krueger Responds to Airbnb’s ‘Three Principles.’” 19 Tiku, “Airbnb’s New Office Has a Replica of the Dr. Strangelove War Room.” 20 The Office of New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, “Airbnb in the City.” 21 Airbnb, “Airbnb’s Economic Impact on New York City.” 22 Bingham, “The Sharing Economy: Q&A With Airbnb’s Chip Conley.” 23 UNWTO, “Annual Report 2013.” 24 Kassam, “Naked Italians Spark Protests against Antics of Drunken Tourists in Barcelona.” 25 Essers, “Amsterdam Using Airbnb Listing Service to Identify Illegal Rentals.” 26 Haverkort, “Airbnb Is Allowed in Amsterdam.” 27 Hantman, “Good News from Amsterdam.” 28 News, “Amsterdammers Can Rent Their Homes to Tourists via Airbnb after All.” 29 Hantman, “More Good News in Amsterdam.” 30 News, “Amsterdammers Can Rent Their Homes to Tourists via Airbnb after All.” 31 van Daalen, “Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes in Amsterdam.” 32 News, “Amsterdammers Break Airbnb Rules: Long Lets with Too Many People.” 33 Robinson, “Moving Forward in Barcelona.” 34 Robinson, “Update from Barcelona: Airbnb Policy Blog.” 35 Kuchler, “Airbnb to Collect and Remit Taxes for Hosts in Paris.” 36 French, Schechner, and Verbergt, “How Airbnb Is Taking Over Paris.” 37 Schofield, “Short-Let Apartments Spark Paris Row as Airbnb Thrives.” 38 French, Schechner, and Verbergt, “How Airbnb Is Taking Over Paris.” 39 Njus, “Portland Legalizes Airbnb-Style Short-Term Rentals.” 40 Peltier, “Airbnb Faces Big Fines in Portland If Hosts Don’t Get City ­Permits.” 41 Mesh, “City Commissioner Nick Fish Berates Airbnb Lobbyist.” 42 Davies, “Activists Vow to Buy Abandoned Cinema and Save Rome’s Bohemian Soul.”

Chapter 2 1 Botsman, “Transcript of ‘The Currency of the New Economy Is Trust.’” 2 Fowler and Rusli, “Don’t Talk to Strangers, Unless You Plan to Share Your Mac-and-Cheese.” 3 Tanz, “How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other.” 4 Botsman, “The Sharing Economy Lacks a Shared Definition.” 5 Owyang, “The Collaborative Sharing Economy Has Created 17 Billion-Dollar Companies (and 10 Unicorns).” 6 “From the People, for the People.” 7 Lapowsky, “Believe It.” 8 Schor, “Debating the Sharing Economy.” 9 Johnson, Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age. 10 Tam and Merced, “Uber Fund-Raising Points to $50 Billion Valuation.” 11 LeWeb, Douglas Atkin—Airbnb—LeWeb London 2013. 12 Leonard, “The Sharing Economy Gets Greedy.” 13 Bulajewski, “The Cult of Sharing.” 14 Cortese, “Loans That Avoid Banks?” 15 Clark, “A Transition at Peers to Create Greater Impact.” Chapter 3 1 Botsman and Rogers, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. 2 Chesky, “Shared City.” 3 Chesky, “Who We Are, What We Stand For.” 4 Baker, “Barclays: Airbnb Usage To Surpass Hotel Cos., But Not For Business Travel.” 5 Robinson, “Update from Barcelona: Airbnb Policy Blog.” 6 Bradshaw, “Lunch with the FT: Brian Chesky.” 7 Airbnb, “Airbnb Economic Impact.” 8 Airbnb, “One Way Forward.” 9 Said, “Airbnb Profits Prompted S.F. Eviction, Ex-Tenant Says.” 10 Marritz, Two True Stories from the Airbnb Wars.” 11 Airbnb, “Sandy’s Impact.” 12 Coscarelli, “Airbnb Poster-Child Was Evicted for Airbnb-Ing a Converted Barn She Didn’t Own.” 13 Hantman, New York: The next Steps. 14 Electronic Frontier Foundation, Airbnb, Inc. v.

 

pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Some of the key events played out as follows. Airbnb responded to the request by issuing a public statement in which the company reiterated its commitment to work with, not against, local governments. While acknowledging that there may be a few “bad actors” abusing their platform to operate illegal hotels, Airbnb argued that it was unfair to penalize thousands of hosts acting in good faith in order to stop a small number of illegal hotel operators and slumlords that were never part of the Airbnb vision. In a statement posted on the Airbnb site on October 6, 2013, David Hantman, their global head of public policy at the time, assured hosts that “in the days ahead, we’ll continue our conversations with the attorney general’s office to see if we can work together to support Airbnb hosts and remove bad actors from the Airbnb platform.

The organization’s website proclaims: “Far from being a harmless service where New York City residents can share their homes with guests to the City, Airbnb enables New York City tenants to break the law and potentially violate their leases, it exacerbates the affordable housing crisis in our neighborhoods, and it poses serious public safety concerns for Airbnb guests, hosts and their neighbors.”4 In May 2014, Airbnb agreed to hand over anonymized data on its New York City users, but only after a judge ruled that Schneiderman’s initial subpoena to access information on hosts across the state was too broad. Shortly thereafter, Schneiderman and his office issued a report, “Airbnb in the City.” This report indicated that between January 2010 and June 2014, a significant fraction of Airbnb stays and revenue in New York City were from hosts with three or more properties. (However, additional data shared with me by Airbnb’s New York City Manager Wrede Petersmeyer in December 2015 indicates that the fraction of stays and revenue from hosts with three of more properties was significantly lower between November 2014 and November 2015.

The first large Internet-enabled peer-to-peer market, eBay, was founded in 1995, went public in 1998, and it remains visibly successful as I write this book in 2015. Why did it take until 2007 for Airbnb and the others to emerge? What was missing until recently? Airbnb—Design Your World Right I first met Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, as a dinner guest in the summer of 2013, at a loft in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, where I mingled with a group of Airbnb hosts, NYC entrepreneurs, and sharing advocates. Chesky, a designer who trained at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), sees his foray into entrepreneurship with Airbnb as being part of the fifth chapter of his life. “I really loved hockey growing up,” he recounted when we spoke in the spring of 2015. “I went to Canada, then went to a youth sports academy for hockey.

 

pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

This means continually scouting the real estate markets for promising territories, investing in existing properties or building new ones, and spending large sums to maintain, upgrade, expand, and improve them. Upstart Airbnb is, in one sense, in the same business as Hilton or Marriott. Like the hotel giants, it uses refined pricing and booking systems designed to allow guests to find, reserve, and pay for rooms as they need them. But Airbnb applies the platform model to the hotel business: Airbnb doesn’t own any rooms. Instead, it created and maintains the platform that allows individual participants to provide the rooms directly to consumers. In return, Airbnb takes a 9–15 percent (average 11 percent) transaction fee for every rental arranged through the platform.1 One implication is that growth can be much faster for Airbnb or any rival platform than for a traditional hotel company since growth is no longer constrained by the ability to deploy capital and manage physical assets.

In response, an extension developer now offers professional support under the rubric of “Airbnb photography service” to create compelling images that should make an Airbnb host more successful. Extension developer Pillow (formerly known as Airenvy) supports hosts on the platform by providing tools to simplify property listing, guest checkin, and cleaning and linen delivery. Other developers, including Urban Bellhop and Guesthop, make travel arrangements for guests, such as dining reservations and babysitting services. With the assistance of outside firms, an Airbnb host can offer a suite of services that compares to those provided by a full-service hotel. In order to facilitate this extension of its platform’s functionality, Airbnb must open its business to participation by these extension developers. But calibrating its degree of openness is a challenge for Airbnb. If the platform is too closed—if it is too onerous for extension developers to hawk their wares on the site—it will lose the opportunity to provide valuable extra services to platform users, perhaps alienating participants in the process.

In some cases, superior platform design enables a platform to dramatically outcompete a preexisting rival. Airbnb initially had far fewer users than the much older Craigslist, which also provides listings of rooms and apartments for short-term rent. However, Airbnb did a much better job at the key platform functions of facilitation and matching. On Craigslist, a person seeking a room for rent had to drill down through an unmanaged list of options clustered by city and organized by time of posting. By contrast, Airbnb allowed a person to search through options organized not only according to these characteristics but also by quality, number of rooms, price, and mapped geolocation. Furthermore, users could also strike deals directly through Airbnb, whereas Craigslist users had to go off platform to make a rental agreement. This made Airbnb far easier to use and enabled the platform to rapidly outgrow the erstwhile category leader.

 

pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Bixi, B-cycle, CitiBike, DecoBike, Hubway, Social Bikes, and Velib are “like Zipcar for bikes.”3 Hello Health is “like Zipcar for online concierge medicine.”4 Ziplens is “like Zipcar for photographers.”5 SnapGoods is “like Zipcar for Gadgets.”6 And Cohealo is “the Zipcar for hospital gear.”7 Other platforms aggregate the excess capacity of assets that were individually too small to bother with and make them into something reliable and consistent, thus creating enough value to make tapping into those resources worthwhile. Airbnb, which allows people to rent out all or a portion of their own homes, is definitely the company of reference here, and in recent years there have been many start-ups that describe their business as “like Airbnb for x.” GetMyBoat is “like Airbnb for boats.”8 HovelStay is “like Airbnb for adrenaline junkies on a budget.”9 And Rover.com is “like Airbnb for your dog.”10 Both Zipcar and Airbnb are examples of access platforms that, through slicing or aggregation of excess capacity, enable users to get more value out of an asset by using it more conveniently and cheaply than they could before.

I connected his office with others in the sharing economy to see what might be done. I’ll admit that I failed to tap into the potential of excess capacity in cars because of insurance issues. But Airbnb did spring into action—1,400 Airbnb hosts in the New York metro area offered up rooms for free to those who needed them.26 The Airbnb website wasn’t structured for zero-cost rooms, and frankly, the connection between displaced families and Airbnb hosts was not well communicated. Some matches were made and real families benefited, but most rooms went empty. Still, the idea of using existing communities and platforms to respond to disasters took hold. Lessons were learned, and in 2013 Airbnb launched a disaster response initiative that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need when disasters strike.27 Since then, hosts have opened their door to displaced residents in response to emergencies around the world, including in San Diego in response to major fires; in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia for people affected by the Balkan floods; in London, Sardinia, and Colorado after serious flooding hit those regions; in Kefalonia after an earthquake hit the island; in Toronto and Atlanta following severe ice storms; and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

In response to a disaster, Airbnb emails hosts in the affected area to see if they want to participate. Listings can be set to “free,” and Airbnb waives its own fees. All the transactions are still supported by Airbnb’s usual guarantees. A small amount of investment from Airbnb providing those guarantees helps to make an enormous amount of accommodation available, supported by the work done all the way through the development of the platform. It’s an efficient way for people to volunteer support, but it needs the Peers Inc model to coordinate and provide accountability. This new Airbnb disaster response group is kept apprised of disaster response updates. When it partners with a city or state in advance of anticipated disasters (now there’s a crazy thought!), Airbnb can use its standard communication tools to prepare hosts by sending out emergency preparedness materials and inviting them to training programs.

 

pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Wave and Pay

The cycle repeats with The Recipient now acting as The Sender. This cycle, driving viral growth, is repeatedly observed across diverse startups. In a move that is now a part of startup folklore, Airbnb reverse-engineered an integration with Craigslist that allowed hosts on Airbnb to post their listings (value units created on Airbnb) simultaneously on Craigslist. Travelers on Craigslist (the external network, in this case) would see the listing and join Airbnb to make a booking. Over time, this integration, in combination with several other initiatives from Airbnb, created the repeatable cycle mentioned above and led to Airbnb’s rapid growth early on. INCENTIVES FOR VIRAL GROWTH An ongoing theme that we note through most of this book is the design of incentives for users. The design of incentives (both organic and inorganic), and consequently, of new behaviors and habits, is core to the creation of network effects, and it is also central to the generation of viral growth.

A horizontal reputation system, on the other hand, while feasible, would not be very useful because of the contextual nature of trust. Craigslist’s inability to cater well to high-risk interactions makes it especially susceptible to competition in these categories. ANOTHER AIRBNB? Airbnb famously leveraged Craigslist to solve its chicken-and-egg problem. It allowed hosts to post their listings to Craigslist and directed travelers back, from Craigslist to Airbnb, for the transaction. Additionally, it also lured sellers on Craigslist to list on Airbnb, offering a better transaction experience. More importantly, Airbnb has built a strong reputation system to build a worldwide community of travelers and hosts. It allows both parties to rate each other and has focused on building a huge corpus of reviews. Additionally, it offers verification services to verify hosts, where a photographer visits the actual listing and takes representative photographs.

This is what Tinder did by launching at college parties. ...AND BACK TO BORING CONFERENCES Finally, Airbnb figured its own way to make conferences work. While an alternative to the traditional hotel industry today, Airbnb gained initial traction by promoting itself around important conferences, in specific cities. This helped the platform aggregate a lot of transactions in a limited space and time. Conference attendees needed a place to stay, and hosts needed to see the platform bring them some business. When hotels would get fully booked, attendees would turn to Airbnb. By launching during events with high accommodation-seeking activity, Airbnb ensured there was enough value created for both sides to keep them engaged, and have them use Airbnb even beyond the conference. PLATFORM SCALE IMPERATIVE Concentrating in space and time helps the platform leverage existing offline activity by embedding its core interaction into this activity and making it more efficient.

 

pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Firsthand account of how former Y Combinator entrepreneurs mimicked the Y Combinator experience by pretending that they had just been accepted again. [>] Another way of learning: Derek Thompson, “Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Building a Company and Starting a Sharing Revolution,” Atlantic, August 13, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/08/airbnb-ceo-brian-chesky-on-building-a-company-and-starting-a- sharing-revolution/278635/. [>] As Brian recalled: Ibid. [>] Like clockwork: Tame, “From Toilet Seats to $1 Billion.” [>] The founders coupled these: Jessie Hempel, “More Than a Place to Crash,” Fortune, May 3, 2012, http://fortune.com/2012/05/03/airbnb-more-than-a-place-to-crash/. [>] The founders also had: Vella and Bradley, “Airbnb CEO—‘Grow Fast but not Too Fast.’” [>] Airbnb ended up with: Tomio Geron, “Airbnb Hires Joie de Vivre’s Chip Conley as Head of Hospitality,” Forbes, September 17, 2013, http://www.Forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/09/17. [>] In fact, Airbnb: Salter, “Airbnb: The Story Behind the $1.3bn Room-Letting Website.” [>] Airbnb has become: Thompson, “Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Building a Company and Starting a Sharing Revolution.” 8.

They were, and the founders let hosts know. The founders also had preconceived assumptions about what would work for Airbnb. For instance, they initially thought professional property managers would make good Airbnb hosts. They learned, however, that property managers were not the right fit for the company, whose quirky, personal vibe favored ordinary people who had never hosted before but were inspired to share their space and local knowledge. Airbnb ended up with better simple rules: (1) enter international destination cities, (2) focus first on recruiting hosts, and (3) share with hosts Airbnb’s hospitality principles, like providing professional-quality photos of their properties and having fresh soap on hand for guests. Airbnb’s initial rule of targeting the host cities of major conferences was a reasonable place to start, but like most people and organizations, Joe and Brian needed time and real-world experience to craft better simple rules.

., “Learning by Doing Something Else: Variation, Relatedness, and the Learning Curve,” Management Science 49, no. 1 (2003): 139–56. [>] Maybe you even know: Alex Konrad and Ryan Mac, “Airbnb Cofounders to Become First Sharing Economy Billionaires as Company Nears $10 Billion Valuation,” Forbes, March 20, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2014/03/20/. [>] You may not, however: Kathy especially thanks Florence Koskas for sharing her thoughts and bibliography. Two revealing firsthand video accounts from the founders are “1000 Days of Airbnb, Airbnb Founder—Brian Chesky—Startup School 2010,” 2010, www.youtube.com, accessed September 19, 2014; and “Joe Gebbia—The Airbnb Story,” 2013, www.youtube.com, accessed September 19, 2014. See also Matt Vella and Ryan Bradley, “Airbnb CEO—‘Grow Fast but not Too Fast,’” Fortune, July 18, 2012, http://fortune.com/2012/07/18/. [>] Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky: Jared Tame, “From Toilet Seats to $1 Billion: Lessons from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky,” in Startups Open Sourced: Stories to Inspire & Educate, May 30, 2011. [>] When the two friends: Jessica Salter, “Airbnb: The Story Behind the $1.3bn Room-Letting Website,” Telegraph, September 7, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9525267/Airbnb-The-story-behind-the-1.3bn-room-letting-website.html. [>] Because of the success: Ibid. [>] Y Combinator is a “seed accelerator”: Benjamin L.

 

pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Hosts are not paid in full until twenty-four hours after a guest has checked in. Airbnb charges hosts a standard 3 percent service fee and travelers an additional 6 to 12 percent depending on the reservation price. Aside from turning Airbnb into a real business with a profitable revenue model that has been growing at more than 10 percent every month since they launched, the founders believe that some form of payment “puts both parties on the best behavior and makes the whole process more reliable.” When Chesky told his grandfather about the idea behind Airbnb, “It seemed totally normal to him. My parents had a different reaction. I could not figure out why at first.” Chesky later realized that his parents grew up in the hotel generation, whereas his grandfather and his friends would stay on farms and in little houses during their travels. Airbnb is not very different from that experience.

The same is true of Collaborative Consumption. Airbnb has received an array of top-tier traditional press, from Time magazine to CNN, but founder Brian Chesky admits it’s the “viral thing” that has enabled Airbnb to build a critical mass of more than 85,000 users in more than 115 countries in less than two years. “People want to go to work on Monday and when asked what did you do over the weekend to be able to say, ‘Well, I hosted this brother and sister from Sweden.’ ” Users want to declare their collaborative, nonowning, or sharing status. “People approach Airbnb all the time with ideas on how they can help us. They will start forums, host their own Meetups, and more than 80 percent will write a review after their stay,” Chesky explains. An early fan even came up with Airbnb’s tagline, “Travel like a Human,” which the founders agreed perfectly summed up their ethos.

Chesky marvels, “When we started I never thought people would be renting out tree houses, igloos, boats, villas, and designer apartments.” For the most part, the people and places are not vetted, inspected, or interviewed by Airbnb. It’s up to users to determine if they want to host a guest or if they want to stay with someone based on kaleidoscopic photos of the property, detailed profiles, and other users’ reviews. As the site has grown, in fact, the founders have removed rules they initially thought would be required. They took away the initial cap on charges of $300 because they realized that people were using the Airbnb community for far more than budget accommodation. Today you can find castles for rent in England for $3,000 a night. The only fixed rules on Airbnb are that the travelers must be able to ask the host questions before they book, and rooms can’t be a commodity, which excludes most hotels.

 

pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Yes, hotels may be collecting some data behind the scenes, perhaps to market to you better in the future, but they have no interest in turning you down as a patron, nor do they have the legal right to do so based on your identity. Those rules don’t quite apply with Airbnb, which encourages users to log in with their Facebook accounts and provide detailed profiles. Some Airbnb users have reported being discriminated against because of their appearances. Franklin Leonard, who owns the Black List, a script discovery and reading service in Hollywood, recounted to me a story about trying to book Airbnb lodging for a business trip. Leonard travels frequently and had had success with Airbnb in the past. Six months before a film festival, he tried to rent a house in Austin for himself and several employees, but the owner refused, saying he wouldn’t rent anything more than three months out.

Tasks sometimes end up being more dangerous than advertised, and TaskRabbit doesn’t offer insurance or other protections for a contract worker who falls off a ladder or gets sick on the job. Property owners using Airbnb have to clean their homes, keep essential supplies stocked, and communicate with renters. The property owner must make sure his or her insurance will cover all eventualities, as Airbnb offers a $1 million “host guarantee” that it claims is not a substitute for traditional insurance. Members of the sharing economy also must worry about the legal gray area in which they’re doing their work. Airbnb and Uber have both resisted negotiating with municipal authorities. New York City officials have declared the former illegal, saying that it amounts to an unlicensed hotel operation. Zoning restrictions and leasing terms may also prevent someone from renting a room or residence on an informal basis. And a few high-volume landlords have used Airbnb to rent dozens of properties illegally, while others have used the service to run prostitution rings or host orgies.

Aug. 30, 2013. tomslee.net/2013/08/why-the-sharing-economy-isnt.html. 239 “unreasonable obstacles”: ibid. 239 Atkin’s connection to Peers: Nitasha Tiku. “Airbnb’s Industry Mouthpiece Astroturfs for Donations.” Valleywag, a blog on Gawker. Dec. 11, 2013. valleywag.gawker.com/airbnbs-industry-mouthpiece-astroturfs-for-donations-1481305550. 239 Pierre Omidyar and Peers: Ryan Chittum. “Fortune Flacks for the ‘Sharing Economy.’” Columbia Journalism Review. Dec. 10, 2013. cjr.org/the_audit/fortune_flacks_for_the_sharing.php. 239 “We’ll provide everything”: Peers. “Help Fix the Law in New York.” action.peers.org/page/signup/office-drop-by-in-newyork-. 240 “You are responsible”: Airbnb. “Terms of Service.” May 22, 2012. airbnb.com/home/terms. 241 Uber financing program: Mark Milian. “Uber Drivers to Get GM and Toyota Financing Deals.” Bloomberg News.

 

pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

All revenues, except for overhead, would go to its members, who would control the platform and make decisions. BAIRBNB VERSUS AIRBNB bAirbnb is a distributed application (DApp), a set of smart contracts that stores data on a home-listings blockchain. The bAirbnb app has an elegant interface: owners can upload information and pictures of their property.1 The platform maintains reputation scores of both providers and renters to improve everyone’s business decisions. When you want to rent, the bAirbnb software scans and filters the blockchain for all the listings that meet your criteria (e.g., ten miles from the Eiffel Tower, two bedrooms, four-plus star ratings only). Your user experience is identical to that in Airbnb, except that you communicate peer to peer on the network, through encrypted and cryptographically signed messages not stored in Airbnb’s database.2 You and the room owner are the only two people who can read these messages.

Insurance: Today Airbnb offers $1 million insurance for owners and compensates them for theft and damage. On bAirbnb, owners can get the bAirbnb insurance DApp. Renters with good reputations like you have lower insurance rates and needn’t subsidize renters who lack caution, scrutiny of prospects, or poor treatment of property. When you submit a booking request, bAirbnb sends your public key (persona) to the insurance contract for a quote. The insurance DApp contacts a list of trusted providers; fake insurers need not apply. Insurers perform their own calculations in real time through autonomous agent software based on the inputs to the contract—such as the market value of the owner’s house, how much the owner wants insured, owner reputation, your reputation as a renter, and rental price. bAirbnb takes the best bid and adds it to the nightly fee the owner wants to charge.

None of these companies existed a decade ago because the technological preconditions were not there: ubiquitous smart phones, full GPS, and sophisticated payment systems. Now with blockchains, the technology exists to reinvent these industries again. Today’s big disrupters are about to get disrupted. Imagine instead of the centralized company Airbnb, a distributed application—call it blockchain Airbnb or bAirbnb—essentially a cooperative owned by its members. When a renter wants to find a listing, the bAirbnb software scans the blockchain for all the listings and filters and displays those that meet her criteria. Because the network creates a record of the transaction on the blockchain, a positive user review improves their respective reputations and establishes their identities—now without an intermediary. Says Vitalik Buterin, founder of the Ethereum blockchain: “Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center.

 

pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, bounce rate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit

This is one of the more infamous and technical of the “great” growth hacking stories, and worked brilliantly until AirBbB began to directly contact Craigslist users. Those people had no idea who or what AirBnB was and began to complain that the company was using a “black hat” hack. The interactions AirBnB attempted to initiate were fairly aggressive, going out to Craigslist users who had specifically indicated they did not want to be contacted by commercial entities. While AirBnB was working outside of the Terms of Service for Craigslist, they characterized the relationship as “symbiotic.” This claim is highly semantic since Craigslist didn’t offer a public API in 2009. The AirBnB hack was a reverse engineered stealth integration. The engineers created a bot that automatically posted listings to Craigslist by logging in, acquiring a URL, filling in all the necessary information, and allowing the AirBnB user to hit the “post to CL” option. The coding behind the hack was complex and capable of jumping through a number of hoops on the Craigslist end, including the default anonymous address provided to posters.

If a self-promoter of any kind starts an AMA and refuses to answer hard questions, they are likely to be savaged by the Reddit community. AirBnB The San Francisco company Airbnb was founded in August 2008. It currently has more than 500,000 listings for lodgings available for rent in 34,000 cities and 192 countries. A wide variety if spaces are included, from whole house to rooms and even some private islands! The service’s success was largely dependent on a brilliant albeit questionably ethical growth hacking strategy involving Craigslist. Before they were shut down, Airbnb had an option for users to cross post their available accommodation listings to Craigslist, which created inbound links both for the individual user, but also for the Airbnb platform. This is one of the more infamous and technical of the “great” growth hacking stories, and worked brilliantly until AirBbB began to directly contact Craigslist users.

The coding behind the hack was complex and capable of jumping through a number of hoops on the Craigslist end, including the default anonymous address provided to posters. Without a doubt, AirBnB knew that if they were caught, they’d be kicked off, which is exactly what happened. They invested the time, money, and considerable programming resources to complete the hack anyway because they knew that by the time they were caught, they would already have captured their own user base and from that point could be self-sufficient. It is not unusual for a start-up to leverage the power of an existing big platform. Just look at the success Zynga has had providing access to its games via Facebook. The difference is that AirBnB took a guerrilla approach to the “bootstrapping” and did so without the knowledge or consent of Craigslist. Without question, the growth hack worked for AirBnB and it does illustrate the idea that all marketing techniques, including aggressive growth hacks, have a short lifespan.

 

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Another of Andreessen Horowitz’s venture investments is Airbnb, a peer-to-peer marketplace founded in 2007 that allows anyone to rent out a room in their home, transforming it into a hotel. By the end of 2013, Airbnb had topped 10 million guest stays from an active list of 550,000 worldwide properties in 192 countries that included spare rooms in homes, castles, and yurts.111 And in February 2014, the 700-person startup raised a $475 million round of investment at a valuation of $10 billion,112 which makes it worth about a half as much as the $22 billion Hilton corporation, a worldwide chain with 3,897 hotels and 152,000 employees. Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky describes the company as a platform of “trust” in which the reputations of guests and of hosts will be determined by feedback on the network.113 But Airbnb has been beset by such a scarcity of trust from the authorities that 15,000 New York City hosts were subpoenaed in May 2014 by New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman because they may not have paid taxes on their rental incomes.

No, the Internet is not the answer, especially when it comes to the so-called sharing economy of peer-to-peer networks like Uber and Airbnb. The good news is that, as Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen put it, the “sun is setting on the wild west” of ride- and apartment-sharing networks.44 Tax collectors and municipalities from Cleveland to Hamburg are recognizing that many peer-to-peer rentals and ride-sharing apps are breaking both local and national housing and transportation laws. What the Financial Times calls a “regulatory backlash”45 has pushed Uber to limit surge pricing during emergencies46 and forced Airbnb hosts to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.47 “Just because a company has an app instead of a storefront doesn’t mean consumer protection laws don’t apply,” notes the New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who is trying to subpoena Airbnb’s user data in New York City.48 A group of housing activists in San Francisco is even planning a late 2014 ballot measure in the city that would “severely curb” Airbnb’s operations.49 “Airbnb is bringing up the rent despite what the company says,” explains the New York City–based political party Working Families.50 The answer is to use the law and regulation to force the Internet out of its prolonged adolescence.

Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (New York: Routledge, 2005), p. 83. 107 Marc Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” New York Times, January 21, 2014. 108 Ibid. 109 Colin Lecher, “How Did a $10 Potato Salad Kickstarter Raise More than $30,000?,” Verge, July 7, 2014. 110 Sarah Eckel, “You Want Me to Give You Money for What?,” BBC Capital, May 1, 2014. 111 Ryan Lawler, “Airbnb Tops 10 Million Guest Stays Since Launch, Now Has 550,000 Properties Listed Worldwide,” TechCrunch, December 19, 2013. 112 Sydney Ember, “Airbnb’s Huge Valuation,” New York Times, April 21, 2014. See also Carolyn Said, “Airbnb’s Swank Digs Reflect Growth, but Controversy Grows,” SFGate, January 27, 2014. 113 Thomas L. Friedman, “And Now for a Bit of Good News . . .” New York Times, July 19, 2014. 114 Will Oremus, “Silicon Valley Uber Alles,” Slate, June 6, 2014. 115 See Dan Amira, “Uber Will Ferry Hampton-Goers Via Helicopter This July 3rd,” New York, July 2013, nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/uber-helicopter-uberchopper-hamptons-july-3rd.html. 116 Jessica Guynn, “San Francisco Split by Silicon Valley’s Wealth,” Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2013. 117 Paul Sloan, “Marc Andreessen: Predictions for 2012 (and Beyond),” CNET, December 19, 2011, news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57345138-93/marc-andreessen-predictions-for-2012-and-beyond. 118 Mark Scott, “Traffic Snarls in Europe as Taxi Drivers Protest Against Uber,” New York Times, June 11, 2014. 119 Kevin Roose, “Uber Might Be More Valuable than Facebook Someday.

 

pages: 52 words: 14,333

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

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Airbnb, iterative process, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, market design, minimum viable product, Paul Graham, pets.com, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Wozniak

The start-up world is full of companies taking clever hacks to drive their first set of customers into their funnel. The necessity of that jolt—needing to get it any way they can—has made start-ups get very creative. Let’s look at Airbnb again. The company’s most effective marketing tactic (besides making a great product) would never have been conceived or attempted by a pure marketing team. Instead, the engineers coded a set of tools that made it possible for every member to seamlessly cross-post his or her Airbnb listing on craigslist (because craigslist does not technically “allow” this, it was a fairly ingenious work-around). As a result, Airbnb—a tiny site—suddenly had free distribution on one of the most popular websites in the world. As Andrew Chen wrote in a case study of this tactic: Let’s be honest, a traditional marketer would not even be close to imagining the integration above—there’s too many technical details needed for it to happen.

And by the transitive property, anything that gets customers is marketing. That is what growth hackers have taught us. Run down the list of the start-ups we’ve talked about in this book, from Hotmail to Airbnb to Groupon to Spotify, and see the startling fact: tactics that no one would have previously described as “marketing” turned out to be the marketing steroids behind their business growth. For Hotmail, it was inserting an e-mail signature at the bottom that turned every e-mail sent by one of its users into a pitch for new users. For Airbnb it was craiglist infiltration, which allowed Airbnb hosts to use the site as a sales platform. For Groupon and LivingSocial it was their referral offers that paid users to share deals with their friends. And for Spotify, it was the free “advertising” it got from Facebook integration.

This was clearly a better market, but the founders sensed they could improve the idea further, so they pivoted slightly to target the type of traveler who didn’t want to crash on couches or in hostels but was looking to avoid hotels. This did better still. Finally, based on feedback and usage patterns, they shortened the name to Airbnb, abandoned the breakfast and networking parts of the business, and redefined the service as a place for people to rent or book any kind of lodging imaginable (from rooms to apartments to trains, boats, castles, penthouses, and private islands). This was explosive—to the tune of millions of bookings a year in locations all over the world. Airbnb had a good idea in 2007. The founders could have spent all their time and energy trying to force the “let people crash on your floor and feed them breakfast” angle and created a small business around it. Instead, they treated their product and service as something malleable and were able to change and improve it until they found its best iteration.

 

pages: 282 words: 80,907

Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, centralized clearinghouse, computer age, crowdsourcing, deferred acceptance, desegregation, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, High speed trading, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, law of one price, Lyft, market clearing, market design, medical residency, obamacare, proxy bid, road to serfdom, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, two-sided market

You can see the problem. Airbnb’s business model worked well enough in the beginning, when the market was small and the travelers were intrepid young people on tight budgets who were willing to take the time to find a good deal. Airbnb’s competitors in those days were similar Web services, such as the London-based Crashpadder (acquired by Airbnb in 2012) and the Toronto-based iStopOver (acquired by the Berlin-based 9Flats, also in 2012). Competition in those days was based largely on attracting more and more hosts and travelers in order to make the market thicker. That’s why bigger fish acquired littler fish. But as Airbnb became huge, with lots of hosts and travelers, it became increasingly common to have to make multiple attempts to nail down a reservation. Meanwhile, Airbnb’s main competitors were no longer other small Internet businesses, but giant hotel corporations such as Hilton, Marriott, and Best Western.

On any given call, the only thing the reservation clerk could tell you was whether, say, room 1226 at the San Francisco Hilton was available for the night you wanted. If not, you had to make another call to find out about room 1227, then another for room 1228. Booking a room with an Airbnb host was a little like that. So Airbnb had to figure out how a market with many hosts offering one room at a time could compete more effectively with hotels. Price was obviously important. But it was the spread of smartphones that helped Airbnb close the speed gap, and that may have mattered even more than price. Today, as hosts manage their reservations on their smartphones, they don’t have to wait until they return home to confirm a booking—they just check their phones. They can also, as soon as the room is booked, immediately update their Airbnb listing to remove its availability. That in turn makes it easier for a traveler searching for a room to find one that’s available, even though he or she still has to query one room at a time.

Markets that involve offers and responses require easy two-way communication. This is why the rise of mobile communications has been so important for the development of many Internet markets: smartphones shorten response times. Consider Airbnb, which makes a market between travelers looking for a nice, cheap place to stay and hosts who want to rent out their underused guest rooms and apartments. When Airbnb started in San Francisco in 2008, most people communicated with the Internet via computers. So if you wanted to make your guest room available for visitors the following week, you might use your laptop to post it on Airbnb in the morning before leaving for work. When you came home in the evening, you would check to see whether anyone had expressed an interest—and if so, you would confirm his or her booking. Easily done. Now look at the other side of this transaction.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

It lowers hotel room rates and transfers some of that value to people with a spare bedroom while also creating new value. While Airbnb rents castles and lodges the likes of Charlie Songhurst, its data also show that it is allowing people to travel who otherwise could not and is making it possible for people to stay on vacation longer. Where a typical tourist stay is three nights, the average Airbnb guest stays for five nights. Finally, Airbnb extends the opportunity for supplemental income to hundreds of thousands of households. I think it is no coincidence that the sharing economy took off during the economic crisis, when people throughout the United States and Europe needed extra income. Half of Airbnb hosts are moderate or low income. Of the 5,600 Airbnb hosts in Berlin, 48 percent of their earnings go for essential living expenses such as rent.

In the seven years since: Mo Ibrahim, “Celtel’s Founder on Building a Business on the World’s Poorest Continent,” Harvard Business Review, October 2012, http://hbr.org/2012/10/celtels-founder-on-building-a-business-on-the-worlds-poorest-continent/ar/1; “Mo Ibrahim African Leaders Prize Unclaimed Again,” BBC News, October 14, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24521870. eBay’s business is based: “Online Extra: Pierre Omidyar on ‘Connecting People,’ Bloomberg Businessweek, June 19, 2005, http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/195874-online-extra-pierre-omidyar-on-connecting-people?type=old_article. It has more than 800,000 listings: “About Us,” Airbnb, https://www.airbnb.com/about/about-us. With a valuation of $20 billion: Ingrid Lunden, “Airbnb Is Raising a Monster Round at a $20B Valuation,” TechCrunch, February 27, 2015, http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/27/airbnb-2/; “Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H),” Yahoo! Finance, http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=H; “#1006 Brian Chesky,” “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/profile/brian-chesky/. At the conclusion of Chesky’s creation: Steven T. Jones, “Forum Begins to Bridge the Housing-Transportation Divide,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 10, 2014, http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2013/04/24/hype-reality-and-accountability-collaborative-consumption.

., an empty apartment, empty seats in a car, or skill as a math tutor) and connect them with people looking for a specific service. One of the best-known examples is Airbnb. Every time I speak with the company’s cofounder and CEO, Brian Chesky, he repeats the company’s creation story to me. In autumn 2007, Brian and his buddy Joe were unemployed in San Francisco and trying to figure out how to pay the rent. All the hotel rooms in the city were booked up for a conference, so they decided to use their three unused air mattresses and breakfast cooking skills to create a low-end bed and breakfast. They marketed it as “Airbed and Breakfast.” It helped them pay the rent and launched the idea for Airbnb: a marketplace to connect underused lodging space with people struggling to find affordable accommodations. Fast-forward to today: Airbnb is effectively the world’s largest hotel chain without owning a single hotel room.

 

pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan

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Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

Well, his first twenty-six customers said he was a really nice guy. And you share three friends on Facebook! How do you know you’re not renting your DC apartment to the Unabomber? He has twenty-six ratings too from prior rentals, and he left them all spotless. And there you have the Airbnb narrative. All that’s stopping Uber and Airbnb from realizing their dreams of a better, more efficient world are the villains in this laissez-faire fairy tale: the cab and hotel lobbies that profit from the old economy status quo (at the expense of the rest of us, as the Uber and Airbnb lobbies are quick to remind us) and their bureaucratic counterparts in government who are too lazy or rule-bound to care about doing what’s right. Let’s start with what we can all agree on: the Uber app is awesome. Especially for the over-forty set who suffered under big taxi’s reign for most of their adult lives, there’s a head-shaking sense of amazement when you summon a cab with—literally—the touch of a button to pick you up from some godforsaken San Diego strip mall that happens to have the city’s best sushi (the taxi dispatcher said it would be “at least an hour”).

Especially for the over-forty set who suffered under big taxi’s reign for most of their adult lives, there’s a head-shaking sense of amazement when you summon a cab with—literally—the touch of a button to pick you up from some godforsaken San Diego strip mall that happens to have the city’s best sushi (the taxi dispatcher said it would be “at least an hour”). It’s like having your own personal cab genie. (Just mention Uber to an iPhone-owning senior citizen, and you’ll really see what we mean.) Airbnb is an epic leap forward when compared to the epic leap of faith involved in renting a room via its predecessors, the classified ads or Craigslist. But let’s not confuse a set of groundbreaking market innovations with the end of market frictions. Yes, there are entire websites devoted to Airbnb horror stories—the trashed homes, the tenant-turned-squatter. There’s an equal number of angry rants directed at Uber. Neither of us rents our idle real estate assets when we’re out of town and not because we’re old-fashioned. We’ve also experienced market frictions of a more mundane variety.

As a bit of add-on market research, one of us, Ray, decided to rent an apartment for the night via Airbnb. The renter’s credentials were impeccable. He worked at an international organization and traveled a lot—hence the oft-vacant apartment. His place was described by past Airbnbers as neat, clean, well located. What could go wrong? Well, after arriving well past midnight courtesy of train delays, Ray found an unmade bed and suspiciously stained sheets. Whatever its shortcomings, you can be fairly sure that you won’t be changing your own bedding at 2 a.m. when you’re booked at the Marriott. Did Ray leave an appropriately worded public review? No, actually. Because the host seemed like a nice guy, and anyway, what goes around comes around: you don’t want to get known on Airbnb as Mr. Critical. (Ray did send a private communication to the host suggesting he wash his sheets more often.)

 

pages: 270 words: 79,180

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit by Marina Krakovsky

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Black Swan, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, Jean Tirole, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social graph, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

With its feedback system and fraud department, eBay serves as a pretty powerful watchdog in protecting buyers from unscrupulous and incompetent sellers—and in eliciting the very best behavior from good sellers such as Ann Whitley Wood.28 Craigslist provides a lot of value as a Bridge, but it does very little in the way of policing the trading activity it facilitates, a shortcoming that’s opened up entrepreneurial opportunities for the hundreds of specialized start-ups that do a better job of ensuring honest buyer and seller behavior in a particular niche (on top of better user interfaces with more specialized search tools). Perhaps the best-known of these “spawn of Craigslist”29 is Airbnb: you can rent (or rent out) a room through Craigslist, but how comfortable would you be dealing with a stranger directly?30 In his book Game-Changer, David McAdams contrasts Airbnb, an effective Enforcer, with a rival company, HomeAway (which runs the site VRBO.com, Vacation Rental By Owner). Unlike Airbnb, HomeAway allows property owners to get away with deceptive descriptions of their rentals31—in part because, unlike Airbnb, it allows individual owners to opt out of reviews.32 Now, you might be saying that VRBO is not trying to be an Enforcer. In fact, VRBO might that say it’s right there in the name: “By Owner,” not by agency.

The number rises to $10,000 for Gold, $25,000 for Platinum, and an astounding $150,000 per month for Titanium. 17.You must also get consistently high feedback scores from your buyers: fall anywhere below 98 percent positive feedback, and you lose your PowerSeller status. 18.Interview with Ann Whitley Wood, September 24, 2013. 19.Along the same lines, a recent article pointed out that large players also dominate the Prosper Marketplace (where two-thirds of the lenders are hedge funds and other large institutions) and that nearly half of the hosts on Airbnb had at least three listings on the site, suggesting these hosts weren’t just renting out a spare bedroom. See William Alden, “The Business Tycoons of Airbnb,” New York Times Magazine, November 25, 2014. 20.Paul Resnick, Richard Zeckhauser, John Swanson, and Kate Lockwood, “The Value of Reputation on eBay: A Controlled Experiment,” Experimental Economics 9, no. 2 (2006): 79–101. 21.Nira Yacouel and Aliza Fleischer, “The Role of Cybermediaries in Reputation Building and Price Premiums in the Online Hotel Market,” Journal of Travel Research 51, no. 2 (2012): 219–26. 22.Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder, “Learning from the Crowd: Regression Discontinuity Estimates of the Effects of an Online Review Database,” The Economic Journal 122, no. 563 (September 2012): 957–89. 23.Michael Luca, “Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com,” Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12–016. 24.Carl Shapiro, “Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputation,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (November 1983): 659–79. 25.Investing in a storefront is one of several ways sellers can elicit trust among buyers.

Quality: Exclusion by Platforms with Network Effects,” Harvard Business School Working Paper, 11–125. 11.Julia Angwin, “Putting Your Best Faces Forward,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2009. 12.Note the difference between pseudonymity and anonymity; by giving users the opportunity to establish a track record under a given pseudonym, a system that allows pseudonyms combines the best features of anonymity with the best features of real names. For a discussion of some of the economics of pseudonyms, see Eric J. Friedman and Paul Resnick, “The Social Cost of Cheap Pseudonyms,” Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 10, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 173–99. 13.Airbnb does something similar. See Itay Fainmesser, “Exclusive Intermediation,” SSRN Working Paper, March 17, 2014. 14.Julie Weed, “For Uber, Airbnb and Other Companies, Customer Ratings Go Both Ways,” New York Times, December 1, 2014. 15.Gary Bolton, Ben Greiner, and Axel Ockenfels, “Engineering Trust: Reciprocity in the Production of Reputation Information,” Management Science 59, no. 2: 265–85. 16.For example, compare TripAdvisor (which enables anyone to post a review) with Expedia (where only customers can post a review): although someone can post a fake review on either site, it is much more costly to do so on Expedia.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Local Motors, an ExO, accomplishes the same thing for just $3 million—a 1,000x improvement, albeit not to the same production scale. Next, consider Airbnb, a company that leverages users’ extra bedrooms. Founded in 2008, Airbnb currently has 1,324 employees and operates 500,000 listings in 33,000 cities. However, Airbnb owns no physical assets and is worth almost $10 billion. That’s more than the value of Hyatt Hotels, which has 45,000 employees spread across 549 properties. And while Hyatt’s business is comparatively flat, Airbnb’s number of room-nights delivered is growing exponentially. At its current pace, Airbnb will be the biggest hotelier in the world by late 2015. Similarly, Uber, the Airbnb of cars—Uber converts private automobiles into taxis—has been valued at $17 billion. Like Airbnb, Uber has no assets, no workforce (to speak of) and is also growing exponentially.

A telling example is how Netflix, with its centralized DVD rentals and small footprint, easily outmaneuvered and eventually destroyed Blockbuster, despite its 9,000 stores and distributed geographical assets. In the software world, Salesforce.com, which operates 100 percent in the cloud, can adapt to changing market conditions much faster than can competitor SAP, given that the latter requires customized installations onsite. We’ve already discussed Airbnb, which by leveraging its users’ existing assets, is now valued at more than the Hyatt Hotels chain worldwide. While Hyatt has 45,000 employees spread out across its 549 properties, Airbnb has just 1,324, all located in a single office. Similarly, Lending Club, Bitcoin, Clinkle and Kickstarter are forcing a radical rethinking of the banking and venture capital industries, respectively. (No retail outlets are involved in these new financial tech startups.) Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is structured to maximize the benefits of a small-form factor.

From that date on, the cost of running a data center moved from a fixed CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost to a variable cost. Today, it is almost impossible to find a single startup that doesn’t use AWS. We have even found a simple metric that helps to identify and distinguish emerging Exponential Organizations: a minimum 10x improvement in output over four to five years. The following shows some ExOs and their minimum 10x performance inprovement over their peers: Airbnb Hotels 90x more listings per employee GitHub Software 109x more repositories per employee Local Motors Automotive 1000x cheaper to produce new car model, 5-22x faster process for a car to produce (depending on vehicle) Quirky Consumer Goods 10x faster product development (29 days vs 300 days) Google Ventures Investments 2.5x more investments in early stage startups, 10x faster through design process Valve Gaming 30x more market cap per employee Tesla Automotive 30x more market cap per employee Tangerine (formerly ING Direct Canada) Banking 7x more customers per employee, 4x more deposits per customer Look again at Waze.

 

pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, job automation, Lyft, side project, Skype, speech recognition

Your new apartment Almost all the time, Rob and I will book accommodation in advance through Airbnb. In certain regions (like South East Asia and South America), many people choose to book a hostel for a couple of nights and go out looking for serviced apartments when they arrive – which is possible because those types of apartment are plentiful and cheap there. While this method is less compatible with getting down to work, it's a viable option and might be worth considering. Whichever method you choose, make sure you know which amenities and features to look out for before you say yes to any apartment! For a detailed explanation of everything you want from an apartment (before you book it), register your purchase of this book at www.worktravel.co. If you've booked a place in advance (e.g. using Airbnb), here are some extra things you can figure out before you arrive, to save time and hassle once you get there: Ask the host about connecting to the wifi: will they be sending you the network and password in advance, or will it be written down somewhere when you arrive?

I might be on a teaching tour for telecommunications to any part of the world, or I might be staying in one location creating a circus show or training in something new and interesting. I do travel for the sake of it and make sure I have trips that I take just for the hell of it and work from wherever I am. I have a base near the circus school in Glasgow, but make sure that I spend time working with other schools around the world – recently in NYC and Brazil. Most of my travel is solo and could be in a hotel, Airbnb (www.worktravel.co/airbnb) or staying with a network of friends. I would normally spend around 50% of my time outside the UK Did you do the same work before you became a digital nomad? I did with regards to telecommunications, but I slowly moved from being office-based in London to being remotely based in Scotland, to now being based wherever I like. The circus school work developed in parallel and was set up to work in a way that ensured that I could still remain nomadic.

There's a Mac App called World Clock (www.worktravel.co/worldclock), which is useful for checking the times back home (or around the world) for meetings etc. Shameless plug: my app World Time Widget (www.worktravel.co/timewidget) does the same thing on iPhone. Having a local SIM makes life so much easier. [See Chapter 1: Settle In Fast for more information about buying a local SIM.] Airbnb (www.worktravel.co/airbnb) can be good for finding accommodation. Blake Boles: Adventure company owner Can you provide a bit of information about what you do and how you got into it? My company, Unschool Adventures (www.unschooladventures.com), leads international trips and U.S.-based educational programs for self-directed young adults. In a nutshell, I lead groups of ~10 teenagers (ages 14-19) on 4- to 6-week-long international trips that are focused on exploration, cultural immersion, and learning to become an independent traveler (recent destinations include Argentina, New Zealand and Nepal).

 

pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

They wondered, What if we take this idea on the road and test it in another city? With the 2008 Democratic presidential convention in Denver, they found the perfect place to launch—lots of people coming into town, not enough hotels. But how would those visitors, and the people with space to rent, learn about Airbnb? Gebbia and Chesky couldn’t afford ads; so they had to make news. The founders knew that the news channels would be doing stories about how crowded and overbooked Denver was. They pitched Airbnb as a “solution story” to news producers and ended up on CNN. The bookings came in and the Denver launch was a success. But Gebbia says they kept questioning, kept iterating and refining the model for another year before they felt they had it right. They used the site themselves, stayed in rentals, and asked, What’s working here and what’s not?

Why do we do things the way we do them? How many squares do you see? Why can’t computers do more than compute? (the question that helped “invent the Internet”) Why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress? (Airbnb’s formative question) Why can’t we find a place for out-of-towners to crash for a night or two? What if we provide more than just a mattress to sleep on? What if we could create this same experience in every major city? What if we take this idea on the road, and test it in another city? How would those visitors, and the people with space to rent, learn about Airbnb? What if you could pay online? Why are we limiting this to the US? What if we go global? Why should we, as a society, continue to buy things we really don’t need to own? What if we spent the next hundred years sharing more of our stuff?

The changes are fueled by the questions being asked—but those changes, in turn, fuel more questions. That’s because with each new advance, Thrun said, one must pause to ask, Now that we know what we now know, what’s possible now? In some sense, innovation means trying to find and formulate new questions that can, over time, be answered. Those questions, once identified, often become the basis for starting a new venture. Indeed, the rise of a number of today’s top tech firms—Foursquare, Airbnb, Pandora Internet Radio—can be traced to a Why doesn’t somebody or What if we were to question, in some cases inspired by the founder’s personal experience. One such example, which has become a modern classic business story, is the origin of the Netflix video-rental service. The man who would go on to start the company, Reed Hastings, was reacting to one20 of those frustrating everyday experiences we’ve all had.

 

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K

Once those pieces were in place and scaled a few years after 2007, Airbnb just took off, not only because all that complexity—someone in Minnesota renting a yurt from someone in Mongolia—could be reduced to one touch, but also because it could be done in a way that parties totally trusted. In fact, the most interesting thing Chesky and his fellow Airbnb makers made was one of the most complex things to make at scale: trust. Airbnb’s founders understood that the world was becoming interdependent—meaning the technology was there to connect any renter to any tourist or traveling businessperson anywhere on the planet. And if someone created the trust platform to bring them together, huge value could be created for all parties. That was Airbnb’s real innovation—a platform of trust—where everyone could not only see everyone else’s identity but also rate them as good, bad, or indifferent hosts or guests.

The idea was to create a global network through which anyone anywhere could rent a spare room in their home to earn cash. In homage to its roots, they called the company Airbnb, which has grown so large that it is now bigger than all the major hotel chains combined—even though, unlike Hilton and Marriott, it doesn’t own a single bed. And the new trend it set off is the “sharing economy.” When I first heard Chesky describe his company, I confess to being a little dubious: I mean, how many people in Paris really want to rent out their kid’s bedroom down the hall to a perfect stranger—who comes to them via the Internet? And how many strangers want to be down the hall? Answer: a lot! By 2016, there were sixty-eight thousand commercial hotel rooms in Paris and more than eighty thousand Airbnb listings. Today, if you go to the Airbnb website you can choose to stay in one of hundreds of castles, dozens of yurts, caves, tepees with TVs in them, water towers, motor homes, private islands, glass houses, lighthouses, igloos with Wi-Fi, and tree houses—hundreds of tree houses—which are the most profitable listings on the Airbnb site per square foot.

Today, if you go to the Airbnb website you can choose to stay in one of hundreds of castles, dozens of yurts, caves, tepees with TVs in them, water towers, motor homes, private islands, glass houses, lighthouses, igloos with Wi-Fi, and tree houses—hundreds of tree houses—which are the most profitable listings on the Airbnb site per square foot. “The tree house in Lincoln, Vermont, is more valuable than the main house,” said Chesky. “We have tree houses in Vermont that have had six-month waiting lists. People plan their vacations around tree house availability!” Indeed, the top three all-time popular Airbnb listings are tree houses—two of which made the owners enough money to pay off their actual home mortgages. Prince Hans-Adam II offered his entire principality of Liechtenstein for rent on Airbnb (seventy thousand dollars a night), “complete with customized street signs and temporary currency,” The Guardian reported on April 15, 2011. You can sleep in the homes that Jim Morrison of the Doors once owned or take your pick of Frank Lloyd Wright houses or even squeeze into a one-square-meter house in Berlin that goes for thirteen dollars a night.

 

pages: 383 words: 81,118

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Deng Xiaoping, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

They’ll list those rooms and their prices on Airbnb, and runners can search for a place that fits their needs and their budgets. As of November 30, 2015, more than a thousand places were already listed for the 2016 marathon. With Airbnb, runners will have more choices for more convenient places to stay than ever before, and many people in Boston will have some extra income. Airbnb is one of the leaders in what’s known as the “sharing economy.” That’s one of the most popular business buzzwords of 2015. A Google search of that phrase yields more than 30 million hits. According to Google trends, there weren’t any news headlines with “sharing economy” in them before February 2010. There were a hundred in November 2015, more than twice as many as in September 2014. What’s novel and what isn’t here though? Airbnb and other companies that are part of the “sharing economy” are multisided platforms.

Fizzle or Sizzle Part III Creation, Destruction, and Transformation 11. Moving Money 12. Gone Missing 13. Slower and Faster Than You Think Glossary Notes Index Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction MANY OF THE BIGGEST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD, INCLUDing Alibaba, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, News Corp., Rakuten, Tencent, and Visa, are matchmakers. So are many of the most exciting and valuable start-ups, such as Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Didi Kuaidi, Flipkart, Lending Club, Pinterest, Spotify, and Uber. What these businesses have in common is that they all connect members of one group, like people looking for a ride, with another group, like drivers looking for passengers. Matchmakers are very different from the businesses that have been the staple of college economics classrooms and MBA lectures for decades. They operate under a different set of economic rules.

Now we call these businesses multisided platforms.2 Don’t let the economists’ unsexy name fool you.3 Multisided platforms are anything but boring. Some even facilitate mating. Multisided platforms can create great value for society and fortunes for their entrepreneurs and investors. Three of the five most valuable companies in the world in 2015—Apple, Google, and Microsoft—use this business model.4 So do seven of the ten start-ups with the highest market values—including Uber and Airbnb.5 Let’s get one thing clear, though, before you invest more time in learning about multisided platforms from us. This isn’t a gee-whiz “use the [fill in the buzzword] strategy and you’ll make a billion, impress your boyfriend or your mom, and retire by the age of thirty-five” book. We aren’t going to tell you that the matchmaker strategy, which did make Bill Gates the richest person on earth, will work for you.

 

pages: 290 words: 119,172

Beginning Backbone.js by James Sugrue

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Airbnb, continuous integration, Firefox, Google Chrome, loose coupling, MVC pattern, node package manager, single page application, web application, Y Combinator

Let’s take a look at three of these companies and find out why they have chosen Backbone. You’ll find many more case studies listed at the official Backbone web site. 11 Chapter 1 ■ An Introduction to Backbone.js Airbnb Airbnb is one of Y Combinator’s greatest success stories, providing a collaborative sharing service for people to rent living space across 192 countries. Airbnb has used Backbone in a number of its products, from its mobile web application to web site features including wish lists and matching and in its own internal applications. An example of how Backbone is used in the mobile website can be seen in Figure 1-8. Figure 1-8.  Backbone features extensively in Airbnb’s technology stack While initially Airbnb used Rails in the back end with Backbone on the client side, it has evolved the mobile application to now use Node.js on the server, which also includes Backbone.

This results in the ability to share application logic that is relevant on both sides, without the need to rewrite in different languages. You can find out more about Airbnb’s use of Backbone at its developer blog at http://nerds.airbnb.com/weve-launched-our-first-nodejs-app-to-product/. SoundCloud SoundCloud is a German-based music distribution platform with the ability to upload or listen to user-created content. The team initially used Backbone as the underpinning of its mobile web application but has since utilized it for the front end of its desktop web site too, an example of which can be seen in Figure 1-9. 12 Chapter 1 ■ An Introduction to Backbone.js Figure 1-9.  SoundCloud desktop web site with player controls One of the reasons that the engineering team chose Backbone was that “it doesn’t prescribe too much about how it should be used.” Similar to Airbnb, SoundCloud decided to use Handlebars as the templating engine because of the ability to add custom helpers and the precompilation of the templates.

While this can help minimize the page load time, it can lead to delays when the user does actually request the information. If your application is built with server-side technologies, such as Grails, JSP, or .NET, it is possible that you could populate some of the initial models and collections with JSON data. This technique has become more popular, especially with Airbnb making its Rendr library available to all as an open source project on GitHub (https://github.com/airbnb/rendr). This project allows Backbone code to be rendered both on the client and on the server. More importantly, it makes it easy to pass the Backbone model content to your page when it is being rendered on the browser, allowing the server to perform the bulk of the network operations. Finally, you may decide to refactor the API calls that are made from the client to server side as a result of some performance analysis of your application.

 

pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

Danielle Sacks, “The Sharing Economy,” Fast Company, May 2011, http://www.fastcompany .com/1747551/sharing-economy (accessed November 12, 2013). 30. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), xv–xvi. 31. Bruce Upbin, “Airbnb Could Have More Rooms than Hilton by 2012,” Forbes, June 29, 2011, http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/06/29/airbnb-could-have-more-rooms-than-hil ton-by-2012/ (accessed June 18, 2013). 32. “Airbnb at a Glance,” https://www.airbnb.com/about (accessed June 18, 2013). 33. “Airbnb Global Growth,” https://www.airbnb.com/global-growth (accessed June 18, 2013). 34. Andrew Cave, “Airbnb Plans to Be World’s Largest Hotelier,” Telegraph, November 16, 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/leisure/10454879/Air bnb-plans-to-be-worlds-larget-hotelier.html (accessed November 26, 2013). 35.

These systems provide significant environmental benefits by increasing use efficiency, reducing waste, encouraging the development of better products, and mopping up the surplus created by over-production and -consumption.30 Sharing Everything Much of what we own goes unused some of the time. Sharing spare rooms or even couches has become a big-ticket item among enthusiasts. Airbnb and HomeAway are among the many start-ups that are connecting millions of people who have homes to rent with prospective users. Airbnb, which went online in 2008, boasted 110,000 available rooms listed on its site just three years later and was expanding its available listings by an astounding 1,000 rooms every day.31 To date, 3 million Airbnb guests booked 10 million nights in 33,000 cities, spanning 192 countries.32 In 2012 bookings were growing at a blistering pace of 500 percent a year, an exponential curve that would bring envy, if not terror, to any global hotel chain.33 Airbnb is expected to pass the venerable Hilton and InterContinental hotel chains—the world’s largest hotel operations—in 2014 by filling up more rooms per night across the globe.34 Like other shareable brokers, Airbnb gets only a small cut from the renter and owner for bringing them together.

Airbnb, which went online in 2008, boasted 110,000 available rooms listed on its site just three years later and was expanding its available listings by an astounding 1,000 rooms every day.31 To date, 3 million Airbnb guests booked 10 million nights in 33,000 cities, spanning 192 countries.32 In 2012 bookings were growing at a blistering pace of 500 percent a year, an exponential curve that would bring envy, if not terror, to any global hotel chain.33 Airbnb is expected to pass the venerable Hilton and InterContinental hotel chains—the world’s largest hotel operations—in 2014 by filling up more rooms per night across the globe.34 Like other shareable brokers, Airbnb gets only a small cut from the renter and owner for bringing them together. It can charge such low fees because it has very low fixed costs and each additional rental brokered approaches near zero marginal cost. Like all the new sharable sites, the lateral scaling potential on the Internet is so dramatic that start-ups like Airbnb can take off, catch up to, and even surpass the older, global hotel chains in just a few short years. Airbnb is a private firm operating in a shared Internet Commons. Couchsurfing, Airbnb’s major competition, is of a different mold. It started as a nonprofit organization and remained so until 2011. During that time, it picked up 5.5 million members in 97,000 cities in 207 countries.35 (Although it switched nominally to a profit-making operation in 2012, it continues as a free service, but users can pay a one-time $25 membership fee if they so choose.)36 Its members provide free lodging to each other.

 

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

The sharing economy version of that is a company called AirBnB, which allows homeowners to post their rooms online so people coming to visit can stay in them. It’s often less expensive than a hotel and many people like getting to know a city as a resident instead of as a tourist. Let’s say Julian has a house that he owns in Dallas, Texas. He usually has one spare bedroom, so he lists it on AirBnB as available. He has filled a market need that ten years ago would have only been available to someone with millions of dollars that could build a hotel. A market opportunity that would have been available to a few thousand people that could afford to build a hotel is now available to a few million people that may have a spare bedroom. There are not many more houses now in the U.S. than there were 5 years ago, but AirBnB has created more inventory (extra rooms to stay in) without creating more supply (building hotels).

If he had to pay a sales or customer service person to explain it repeatedly, his business wouldn’t have been profitable. The Long Tail revealed that niche and Andrew took advantage of it.33 How New Markets Create New Markets As the world economy continues to grow, new markets are created then fracture, creating even more new markets. AirBnB was built on the back of Craigslist. Because people would post their rooms for rent on Craigslist, AirBnB would copy over their new listings to Craigslist. People would find out about AirBnB if they were searching for rooms on Craigslist. They took one section of a bigger marketplace—short term housing on Craigslist—and built a company around it. Just like Jake and Andrew, they were able to serve that “small” market better than Craigslist. It’s not just major tech companies either. Let’s use Eventbrite as an example of a bigger marketplace.

There are not many more houses now in the U.S. than there were 5 years ago, but AirBnB has created more inventory (extra rooms to stay in) without creating more supply (building hotels). Uber and Lyft have done for the taxi industry what AirBnB has done for the hotel industry—anyone with a car can become a taxi driver by signing up online to drive for the service. In the past it was difficult and expensive to become a taxi driver. Some cities require drivers to invest tens of thousands of dollars to buy a medallion just to drive a taxi. Uber and Lyft now let anyone do the work by instead going through a background check. A lot of people use this as supplemental income when making a job transition. They don’t have to invest thousands of dollars—they can just sign up on the website and make a few thousand bucks a month between jobs. Others like Digital Ocean, a hosting company, have done the same thing with digital real estate by enabling cloud based development.

 

pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

THE WORLD OF COPYCAT INNOVATION is not limited to the types of counterfeit consumer goods sold in Chungking Mansions. Since the Internet revolution, with information so readily accessible, products, services, even whole businesses can be cloned and copied with ease. The Berlin-based company Wimdu, for example, is an exact replica of the successful platform Airbnb, a peer-to-peer rental market that provides an alternative to hotels. Wimdu was built by reverse-engineering Airbnb’s functions and borrowing from the site’s look and feel. Illustrating the power of iteration over pure invention, Wimdu created in a matter of months what it had taken Airbnb four years to develop. By June 2011, the company had raised over $90 million.7 Wimdu was started by three now-infamous German brothers—Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer—who have a history of reverse-engineering U.S.-based innovations and selling them back to the originator for a hefty price.

“Chinese Authorities Find 22 Fake Apple Stores,” BBC News, August 12, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14503724. 6. Julie Zaveloff and Robert Johnson, “China Unveils a Knockoff Version of an Entire Austrian Village,” Business Insider, June 4, 2012, http://www.businessinsider.com/china-has-built-a-copycat-version-of-an-entire-austrian-village-2012-6. 7. Robin Wauters, “Investors Pump $90 Million into Airbnb Clone Wimdu,” Techcrunch, June 14, 2011, http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/14/investors-pump-90-million-into-airbnb-clone-wimdu/. 8. Matt Cowan, “Inside the Clone Factory: The Story of Germany’s Samwer Brothers,” Wired, March 2, 2012, http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/04/features/inside-the-clone-factory/viewall. 9. Oded Shenkar, Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2010). 10.

At the same time, Internet-based platforms—so-called time banks—have allowed Spaniards to exchange services, skills, knowledge, and trades. These platforms permit unemployed and underemployed individuals to exchange what they do have for goods and services that they need. This trend toward “collaborative consumption” is taking place worldwide. As Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers chronicle in their book, What’s Mine Is Yours, sharing, trading, and selling idle items, time, and services is a rising trend. From Airbnb (a rental website that has gone from 120,000 listings in early 2012 to over 300,000 at the time of this writing) to Zipcar (the car-sharing service that was sold to Avis for $500 million in January 2013), people the world over are moving away from the fixed, formal “own it” model to a more fluid “exchange it” approach. The importance of the informal economy is starting to become more apparent in other European countries.

 

pages: 161 words: 44,488

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

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Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

Transparency asks the question: can we see it? Truth asks: can we verify it? HOW AIRBNB DESIGNED TRUST FOR STRANGERS What does Airbnb have to do with blockchain-based trust? A lot. There is a lesson from Airbnb, which has mastered the art of allowing strangers to sleep in your house without fear. At the onset, matching two strangers with each other and facilitating a transaction to completion is very similar to a blockchain facilitating peer-to-peer interaction between two (or more) parties that do not know each other. What is common to both situations is what lubricates the transaction and allows it to happen in an orderly and trustworthy manner. That common element is about sharing identity and reputation details. In the case of Airbnb, guests share a lot of information about themselves—a key step that helps the host in gaining confidence about trusting them.

On the blockchain, identity and reputation are the primary entry-level factors that effectively lock the peer-to-peer transaction in place. Says Joe Gebbia, Airbnb co-founder, “It turns out, a well-designed reputation system is key for building trust. We also learned that building the right amount of trust takes the right amount of disclosure.” Whereas Airbnb has designed for the human element of trust, the blockchain was designed for a parallel element of transactional trust, where the human is also part of it, but behind the scenes, and that human is represented on the blockchain via their identity and reputation status. Eventually, Airbnb could also apply a user’s blockchain identity and reputation to complement their current reputation and identification process. Why reinvent something if the blockchain provides a solid alternative that is portable to other services?

Introduction to Blockchain Applications The Blockchain’s Narrative is Strong A Meta Technology Software, Game Theory and Cryptography The Database vs. The Ledger Looking Back So We Can Look Forward Unpacking the Blockchain State Transitions and State Machines— What Are They? The Consensus Algorithms Key Ideas from Chapter One Notes 2: How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates A New Trust Layer Decentralization of Trust—What Does it Mean? How Airbnb Designed Trust for Strangers A Spectrum of Trust Services Based on Proofs The Blockchain Landscape Benefits and Indirect Benefits Explaining Some Basic Functions What Does a Trusted Blockchain Enable? Identity Ownerships & Representation Decentralized Data Security Anonymity & Untraceable Communication Blockchain as Cloud Getting to Millions of Blockchains Key Ideas from Chapter Two Notes 3: Obstacles, Challenges, & Mental Blocks Attacking the Blockchain with a Framework Approach Technical Challenges Market/Business Challenges Legal /Regulatory Barriers Behavioral/Educational Challenges Key Ideas from Chapter Three Notes 4: Blockchain in Financial Services Attacked by the Internet and Fintech Why Can't There be a Global Bank?

 

pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Feeding more activity to the ledger simply cedes more of humanity and business alike to a growth-centric industrial model that was invented to thwart us to begin with. That’s the problem with any of the many new ways we have of earning income through previously off-the-books activities. On the one hand, they create thrilling new forms of peer-to-peer commerce. eBay lets us sell our attic junk. Web site Airbnb lets us rent out our extra bedrooms to travelers. Smartphone apps Uber and Lyft let us use our vehicles to give people rides, for money. Unlike many of the other platforms we’ve looked at so far, these opportunities don’t lead to power-law distributions, because a car or home can be hired only by one person at a time. As long as you’re listed on the network and have decent reviews, you should do as well as anyone else.

As long as you’re listed on the network and have decent reviews, you should do as well as anyone else. From the consumer’s side, these apps are amazing. If you need a ride, you can open Uber and see a map of the area along with tiny icons for the available cars. Pick a car based on its location, the driver’s ratings, and the estimated price. The driver finds you based on your own GPS location and your profile picture. Payment happens automatically, tip included. Airbnb is equally seamless. Enter a place and date and the Web site instantly renders a map with available options clearly indicated. Roll over any location to see a photo, details, and ratings for each. Book the room, and you’ll find out where to meet your host or pick up the keys. Like Uber, it’s unparalleled for choice and convenience. For the providers, on the other hand, these services create a new watermark for how many of one’s hours and assets should be grist for the ledger and ultimately in service of some corporation’s growth.

Just as Lanier would have us share our data, these new companies would have us share our homes, cars, and anything else. Only it’s not really sharing; it’s selling. In fact, just as there used to be an Internet that ran entirely on “shareware,” there were originally free versions of these new asset-renting platforms. Couchsurfing.com created a global community of people who both give and receive space in their homes. Airbnb, its commercial successor, pitches itself the same way but operates very differently—not only do boarders pay for lodging, but the vast majority of rentals are for entire apartments. Their ads show people sharing an extra bedroom and a place at the family table, but the statistics reveal that the vast majority (87 percent) of hosts leave their homes in order to rent them.37 Homes become amateur hotels, as the original residents try to live off the arbitrage between the rent they pay, the rent they earn, and the cost of living somewhere other than home.

 

pages: 216 words: 61,061

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

A few years ago, most would have scoffed at the idea that a couple of Rhode Island School of Design graduates in an apartment with laptops would have more rooms available for rent than the Hilton corporation6 (not a Hilton or even the biggest single Hilton hotel—the entire Hilton Hotels empire). But that’s exactly what happened. The guys at Airbnb.com (air bed-and-breakfast; see what they did there?) found a brilliant, simple way to connect people who have space, from spare bedrooms to entire homes, with people looking to rent, like vacationers and business travelers, in an online marketplace. These days, their company is valued in the billions and highly profitable. I had the privilege of watching them pitch their idea at Y Combinator Demo Day, if not the foresight to invest in them when I had the chance. Airbnb is a perfect example of a company that technologically could’ve existed before social media connected the web—websites like CouchSurfing.org and even craigslist had been facilitating this for quite some time—but thrived when it did because social media had created a critical mass of people who were comfortable turning online relationships into real-world business transactions.

Airbnb is a perfect example of a company that technologically could’ve existed before social media connected the web—websites like CouchSurfing.org and even craigslist had been facilitating this for quite some time—but thrived when it did because social media had created a critical mass of people who were comfortable turning online relationships into real-world business transactions. Five years ago, I doubt you would’ve found many international hotel companies who were worried about startups disrupting their industry. They owned all those expensive, big, solid buildings, after all! It would take ludicrous amounts of money to build a hotel empire in a few years, but that’s exactly what Airbnb did—except they did it with pixels rather than bricks. It turned out that a vast empire of hotel rooms was in our homes the whole time. Airbnb is just one example of disruption enabled by an open Internet, but there are countless others happening as we speak. No one can predict just how these industries will be disrupted—only that it’s a matter of when, not if. That’s the nature of innovation. We make things that never existed before. In an industry without the biases and inertia of “how things should be done,” you’ll have a tremendous advantage over incumbents—some of whom won’t adapt fast enough, even when they realize they must.

You’ve undoubtedly encountered products or services that have frustrated you. Keep a notepad handy—I prefer digital, but analog is fine, too—and write down whatever is upsetting you. There’s a good chance you’ll find a business in those notes. Remember, Adam’s awful experiences booking flights for the MIT debate team motivated him to start hipmunk because he figured there had to be a better way to search for flights online. Similarly, Airbnb got its start because the founders needed to pay their rent and realized there were lots of other people who would pay to rent the founders’ unused space. So many successful companies start out like this: the founders were having a problem, and they found a way to solve it. A company doesn’t have to start this way, but it’s the easiest place to start. Make something you’d use (and, ideally, pay money for).

 

pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

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Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, éminence grise

Thompson FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 Among the various other startups in our shared office space, many of which went on to far greater things than AdGrok, was Getaround. To use that X of Y formulation so beloved of startup self-promotion, this was Airbnb for your car. By placing a small electronic device in your car to permit controlled access, you could list your car on a user-facing site that permitted searching and filtering. The borrower paid an hourly rate, Getaround took a cut, and you got paid for owning an often idle asset, similar to a spare bedroom on Airbnb. In the midst of this Brazilian telenovela we called tech entrepreneurship, fellow startup traveler Matt Tillman and I were plotting a bit of fun. I had noticed that a few of Getaround’s investors, no doubt as part of dogfooding solidarity, had placed their cars on Getaround’s site.

To paraphrase the very quotable Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, in the future there will be two types of jobs: people who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do. Wall Street was merely the first inkling. The next place where this shift would be seen at whopping scale in terms of both money and technology (though I didn’t realize at the time) was in Internet advertising. And after that, it would hit transportation (Uber), hostelry (Airbnb), food delivery (Instacart), and so on. To take the theory further, computation would no longer fill some hard gap in a human workflow process, such as the calculators used by accountants. Humans would fill the hard gaps in a purely computer workflow process, like Uber’s drivers. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. There’s an additional lesson here. This shift from humans to computers took place predominantly on the equity side of things.

Here’s some startup pedagogy for you: When confronted with any startup idea, ask yourself one simple question: How many miracles have to happen for this to succeed? If the answer is zero, you’re not looking at a startup, you’re just dealing with a regular business like a laundry or a trucking business. All you need is capital and minimal execution, and assuming a two-way market, you’ll make some profit. To be a startup, miracles need to happen. But a precise number of miracles. Most successful startups depend on one miracle only. For Airbnb, it was getting people to let strangers into their spare bedrooms and weekend cottages. This was a user-behavior miracle. For Google, it was creating an exponentially better search service than anything that had existed to date. This was a technical miracle. For Uber or Instacart, it was getting people to book and pay for real-world services via websites or phones. This was a consumer-workflow miracle.

 

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Go back ten years, and hospitality and lodging was an incredibly capital-intensive business. If you wanted to build a nationwide chain of available hotel rooms you had to, well, build those actual hotel rooms. But that’s not what Airbnb did. Technically, Airbnb is a hosting platform, except that term doesn’t exactly reflect the scale of disruption the company has wrought. By providing a place to post available spare bedrooms, open garage apartments, even empty vacation homes, this site allows anyone to turn unused space into a bed-and-breakfast. By mid-2014, just six years into their existence, Airbnb had over 600,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 192 countries and had served over 11 million guests. Most recently the company was valued at $10 billion—making it worth more than Hyatt Hotels Corporation ($8.4 billion)—and all without building a single structure.24 Then there’s Uber, a different kind of hosting platform—one going head-to-head with the taxi and limousine industry.25 Download the Uber app and you can order a car, get information about the driver, watch the car’s approach on a map, and, with your credit card already stored online, pay instantly.

The company simply provides a connection between people with assets (aka luxury cars) and you, the customer. In other words, by putting would-be passengers together with luxury vehicle owners, Uber cut out the middleman, dematerialized a boatload of infrastructure, and democratized a sizable segment of the transportation industry. And fast. Four years after launching their mobile, Uber is operational in thirty-five cities, and worth $18 billion. Quirky, Airbnb, and Uber are great examples of entrepreneurs taking advantage of the expanding scale of exponential impact. They have created billion-dollar companies in record time. They are the absolute inverse of everything we believed was true about scaling up a capital-intensive businesses. For most of the twentieth century, scaling up such businesses required massive investments and time. Adding workforce, constructing buildings, developing vastly new product suites—no wonder implementation strategies stretched years into decades.

Couple that with the incredible value proposition of abundant, longer, and healthier lives—there is over $50 trillion locked up in the bank accounts of people over the age of sixty-five—and you understand the potential. And understanding this potential is critical if you’re going to succeed as an exponential entrepreneur. Consider that, twenty years ago, the idea that a computer algorithm could help companies with funny names (Uber, Airbnb, Quirky) dematerialize twentieth-century businesses would have seemed delusional. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted access to a supercomputer, you still had to buy one (not rent one by the minute on the cloud). Ten years ago, genetic engineering was big government, and big business and 3-D printing meant expensive plastic prototypes. Seven years ago, the only robot most entrepreneurs had access to was a Roomba, and AI meant a talking ATM machine, not a freeway-driving autonomous car.

 

pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Beyond these situations in which a public interest must transcend governmental power structures, other industry sectors and classes can be freed from skewed regulatory and licensing schemes subject to the hierarchical power structures and influence of strongly backed special interest groups on governments, enabling new disintermediated business models. Even though regulation spurred by the institutional lobby has effectively crippled consumer genome services,3 newer sharing economy models like Airbnb and Uber have been standing up strongly in legal attacks from incumbents.4 In addition to economic and political benefits, the coordination, record keeping, and irrevocability of transactions using blockchain technology are features that could be as fundamental for forward progress in society as the Magna Carta or the Rosetta Stone. In this case, the blockchain can serve as the public records repository for whole societies, including the registry of all documents, events, identities, and assets.

Whereas Blockchain 1.0 is for the decentralization of money and payments, Blockchain 2.0 is for the decentralization of markets more generally, and contemplates the transfer of many other kinds of assets beyond currency using the blockchain, from the creation of a unit of value through every time it is transferred or divided. An approximate technological metaphor for Bitcoin is that it is analogous to the protocol stack of the Web. After the underlying Internet technology and infrastructure was in place, services could be built to run on top of it—Amazon, Netflix, and Airbnb—becoming increasingly sophisticated over time and always adding new ways to take advantage of the underlying technology. Blockchain 1.0 has been likened to the underlying TCP/IP transport layer of the Web, with the opportunity now available to build 2.0 protocols on top of it (as HTTP, SMTP, and FTP were in the Internet model). Blockchain 2.0 protocols either literally use the Bitcoin blockchain or create their own separate blockchains, but are in the same cryptocurrency decentralized technical architecture model of the three-layer stack: blockchain, protocol, and currency.

PayPal had been known for being on the edge of financial innovation, but it then became more corporate focused and lost the possibility of providing early market leadership with regard to Bitcoin. Now, PayPal has been incorporating Bitcoin slowly, as of September 2014 announcing partnerships with three major Bitcoin payment processors: BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin.37 Also in September 2014, Paypal’s Braintree unit (acquired in 2013), a mobile payments provider, is apparently working on a feature with which customers can pay for Airbnb rentals and Uber car rides with Bitcoin.38 In the same area of regulation-compliant Bitcoin complements to traditional financial services is the notion of a “Bitbank.” Bitcoin exchange Kraken has partnered with a bank to provide regulated financial services involving Bitcoin.39 There is a clear need for an analog to and innovation around traditional financial products and services for Bitcoin—for example, Bitcoin savings accounts and lending (perhaps through user-selected rules regarding fractional reserve levels).

 

pages: 233 words: 58,561

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley

Revenue doubled to $400 a week, and Joe checked to make sure it wasn’t a bug in their accounting system. But the numbers were real. So they did another round of interviews, and another round of improvements. Revenue doubled again to $800, then $1,600, then $3,200 a week. That growth didn’t stop. That startup was Airbnb. Today, the online hospitality marketplace operates in more than 30,000 cities and 190 countries. They’ve served more than 35 million guests. It turns out it was an amazing idea, but to make it work, they had to do those interviews. “There’s this gap between the vision and the customer,” Joe says. “To make the two fit, you have to talk to people.” Airbnb’s interviews showed the founders how the product looked through their customers’ eyes, revealing problems the founders themselves couldn’t see. Listening to customers didn’t mean abandoning their vision. Instead, it gave them the knowledge they needed to combine with that vision, so they could close the gap and make a product that worked for real people.

Instead, it gave them the knowledge they needed to combine with that vision, so they could close the gap and make a product that worked for real people. We can’t promise that your interviews will make you as successful as Airbnb, but we can promise that the process will be enlightening. In the next chapter, we’ll talk about how to make sense of what you observe: taking notes, finding patterns, and drawing conclusions about next steps. INTERVIEWER TIPS With a Five-Act script, your interviews are sure to be effective. However, there are a few more techniques Michael uses to make them even better. 1. Be a good host For just a moment, imagine you are the target customer who comes in for an interview. You’ve shown up to try some new product (you’re not quite sure what) in a building you’ve never been to before, and you’ll be watched by some person you just met.

By the time they turned in their final assignment (a revised version of the game), they’d observed how the probability principles operated in real life. We’ve heard about sprints in all kinds of contexts. Legendary consulting firm McKinsey & Company began running sprints, as did advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. The sprint process is used at government agencies and nonprofits, as well as at major tech firms, at companies like Airbnb and Facebook. We’ve heard sprint stories from Munich, Johannesburg, Warsaw, Budapest, São Paulo, Montreal, Amsterdam, Singapore, and even Wisconsin. It’s become clear that sprints are versatile, and that when teams follow the process, it’s transformative. We hope you’ve got the itch to go run your own first sprint—at work, in a volunteer organization, at school, or even to try a change in your personal life.

 

pages: 318 words: 77,223

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

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Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve

It is also one that facilitates timely price discovery and technological leapfrogging, particularly in some developing countries. It enhances “winner-take-all” tendencies and is inseparable from rapidly changing consumer behaviors that seek more self-directed lives. It is a phenomenon that has been visibly conducive for companies like Airbnb and Uber to enhance consumer access to services that for too long have been deemed too expensive and/or unpleasant. And they did so using a powerful combination of technology, mobility, and superior customer interfaces. Just think, Airbnb is now a major supplier of “hotel” rooms. Yet the company has not built a single building. Uber is expanding aggressively in cities around the world, capturing a growing share of the urban transportation system. Yet it has not bought a single cab or limo. Both “share” a substantial stock of underutilized assets.

The reasons for this are truly multidimensional, involving not just the range of economic, financial, geopolitical, political, social, and technological factors that we have already discussed. They also speak to the impact of innovation. Today’s innovations threaten quite a few existing industries and activities with what I have called disruptions from other worlds.2 Going back to Airbnb and Uber as examples, both have disrupted and redefined their respective industries using approaches that had very little, if anything, to do previously with the areas they are disrupting so effectively and profoundly. Remember, Airbnb is yet to build a hotel. Nevertheless in six years, it has accumulated a million rooms for rent, compared to some 700,000 for the Hilton group over a much longer time period. The result is a set of radical new game plans that fundamentally shake the target industry’s rules and operating approach.

Having observed how new structured products were used, I noted at that time that complex derivative products were acting as a “credit risk transfer technology” that was enabling in a big way the migration of risk “to a new set of investors inexperienced in this arena and posing exposure problems for the international financial system.”6 — This time around, the assessment of risk and return is accentuated by an intriguing new type of entrant into financial markets. Similar to what has happened in the accommodation space with Airbnb, the transport sector with Uber, fashion with Rent the Runway, and retail with Amazon—just to name a few—the financial service industry is seeing interest from disruptors from “another world.”7 These nontraditional players disrupt traditional industries through the smart application of technological innovations and insights from behavioral science. In the financial world, as a New York Times article put it, “they are focused on transforming the economics of underwriting and the experience of consumer borrowing—and hope to make more loans available at lower cost for millions of Americans.”8 Together with the expansion of P2P (peer-to-peer) interactions and crowdfunding, these approaches offer the possibility of improving the provision of financial services (especially to badly served segments of the population), lowering barriers to entry, reducing old-style overheads, and broadening sources and uses of loanable funds.9 But it is also an area where regulation is lagging and modes of operation are yet to be properly tested in a general economic downturn; it is also an approach whose collective rigor has yet to be subjected to a full market cycle.

 

pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Zipcar

Only in America could entrepreneurs rapidly transform couch surfing into a high-tech business worth more than $1 billion in the space of thirty-six months. With more than 100,000 listings available in more than 16,000 cities and 186 countries, it’s a real business. It has booked over 5 million nights’ accommodation. In July 2011 Airbnb raised $112 million from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, and General Catalyst. But the value of Airbnb isn’t what it brings to investors. Rather it’s the cash it puts into the hands of homeowners. The company says the average booking generates $80. Five million times $80 per night is $400 million.8 Even taken together, companies like Zipcar, Chegg.com, Rent the Runway, and Airbnb won’t transform the U.S. economy. Many of today’s consumer inefficiencies are habits acquired over decades, and they won’t be broken easily. But these businesses all got off the ground and gained critical mass, customers, and, crucially, funding in the teeth of the downturn.

AAA “Your Driving Costs 2011” can be seen at http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/YourDrivingCosts2011.pdf. 6. Data on Zipcar’s membership growth, membership, and business development was taken from press releases at the company’s media site: http://zipcar.mediaroom.com. 7. Data on student debt come from The Project on Student Debt, http://project onstudentdebt.org. 8. Data on Airbnb’s growth, size, and fundraising was taken from press release at the company’s media site: http://www.airbnb.com/home/press. Chapter 13. Supersize Nation: Scale, Scope, and Systems 1. Data on the number of Apple, Google, and Facebook employees come from the companies’ SEC filings. See also Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick, and Kenneth L. Kraemer, “Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod,” http://pcic.merage.uci.edu/papers/2011/Innovation JobCreationiPod.pdf.

But the culture is changing. Consider how quickly consumers’ attitude to housing has changed. At the height of the boom, people believed their home generated cash by serving as a source of home equity credit or by returning a profit when it was sold. Both of those dynamics have faded. But thanks to another postrecession business, efficient homeowners have come to realize that their home can still generate cash. Airbnb, founded in August 2008, is dedicated to the premise that lots of people are willing to earn money by renting out a room in their house and that lots of other people are willing to save money by crashing at a stranger’s place rather than a motel or hotel. As the company describes its mission, “We connect people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts [and] gain access to distinctive spaces.”

 

pages: 190 words: 52,865

Full Stack Web Development With Backbone.js by Patrick Mulder

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Airbnb, create, read, update, delete, Debian, MVC pattern, node package manager, side project, single page application, web application

What This Book Will Do for You The first goal of this book is to help you understand the different use cases of Back‐ bone.js. Since its first release in 2010, Backbone.js has built up a good reputation for improving the development of client-side web applications. There are a number of in‐ teresting projects and companies that use Backbone.js. For example, Walmart uses Backbone.js as the core library of its mobile shopping cart. Airbnb uses Backbone.js to let users and search engines browse available travel accomodations. DocumentCloud has built a document screening service with Backbone.js. There are many more exam‐ ples, and you can find an interesting overview in the Examples section of the Backbone.js documentation. Preface | ix Second, this book should help you climb the learning curve for getting things done on the client side.

An example stack for mobile web applications is given by Walmart’s mobile shopping cart, and we will discuss this stack based on RequireJS and Thorax in later chapters. If it is important that search engines can crawl your application, rendering of templates should be done on the server to provide links for search engine optimization and a fast first page load. Backbone.js integrates well with so-called isomorphic JavaScript appli‐ cations, where parts of an application can run on both the client and server. Airbnb’s Rendr.js library shows how client- and server-side rendering can be combined for this use case with Browserify and CommonJS modules. In other cases, a Backbone.js application is just part of a larger server-side web appli‐ cation. Some server-side approaches, such as Browserify and Express with Stitch, sup‐ port bundling JavaScript files with the CommonJS module format. Other server-side approaches support RequireJS-based workflows and JavaScript modules in the so-called AMD format.

Yet, as with many software development considerations, the right tool depends on your job. As the CommonJS format is the default server-side approach, you can have an option to run the same code on the server that runs in the browser, or vice versa. This can be interesting for certain kinds of applications, as we can share the same logic to render views or validate models on the server as in the browser. The Rendr library from Airbnb, for example, follows this approach. Also, because npm uses the CommonJS format by default, it can be nice to build quick prototypes and to experiment for learning purposes as we are doing here. We will discuss RequireJS in the second half of this book, when we are looking at static web pages, without backend integration. The general syntax to “require” Backbone as a CommonJS module looks like this: var Backbone = require('backbone'); How does this require work?

 

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

The site, Airbedand-breakfast.com, allowed people to offer rooms in their homes to visitors; it grew out of an experience that Gebbia and Chesky had offering space in their apartment to attendees of a 2007 design conference in San Francisco, where affordable hotel rooms were scarce. The service they built, which was renamed Airbnb.com in 2009, quickly became popular. On New Year’s Eve of 2012, for example, over 140,000 people around the world stayed in places booked via Airbnb; this is 50 percent more than could be accommodated in all the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.29 TaskRabbit also grew quickly; by January 2013 the company was reporting “month-over-month transactional growth in the double digits.”30 TaskRabbit allows people to offer their labor to the crowd while Airbnb lets them offer an asset. The peer economy now includes many examples of both types of company. Crowdsourced labor markets exist in specific domains like programming, design, and cleaning, as well as for general task execution.

Brabham, “Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving An Introduction and Cases,” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14, no. 1 (2008): 75–90, doi:10.1177/1354856507084420. 28. Alyson Shontell, “Founder Q&A: Make a Boatload of Money Doing Your Neighbor’s Chores on TaskRabbit,” Business Insider, October 27, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com/taskrabbit-interview-2011-10 (accessed August 12, 2013). 29. Tomio Geron, “Airbnb and the Unstoppable Rise of the Share Economy,” Forbes, January 23, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/01/23/airbnb-and-the-unstoppable-rise-of-the-share-economy/ (accessed August 12, 2013). 30. Johnny B., “TaskRabbit Names Google Veteran Stacy Brown-Philpot as Chief Operating Officer,” TaskRabbit Blog, January 14, 2013, https://www.taskrabbit.com/blog/taskrabbit-news/taskrabbit-names-google-veteran-stacy-brown-philpot-as-chief-operating-officer/ (accessed August 12, 2013). 31.

As the story of Lyft highlights, there are many legal and regulatory issues that will need to be resolved as the peer economy grows. While we certainly acknowledge the need to ensure public safety, we hope that regulation in this new area will not be stifling and that the peer economy will continue to grow. We like the efficiency gains and price declines that crowdsourcing brings, but we also like the work that it brings. Participation in services like TaskRabbit and Airbnb gives people previously unavailable economic opportunities, and it also gives them something to do. It therefore has the potential to address all three of Voltaire’s “great evils,” and so should be encouraged by policy, regulation, incentives like the ETIC, and other available levers. The peer economy is still new and still small, both relative to GDP and in absolute terms. In April 2013, for example, TaskRabbit was adding one thousand new people each month to its network of approved task completers.31 This is encouraging, but that same month there were nearly 4.5 million Americans who had been out of work for at least twenty-seven weeks.32 Comparisons like this strongly suggest that crowdsourcing does not yet play a significant role in reducing unemployment and bringing work to the economy as a whole.

 

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Since this is the new model of how to be powerful, it is natural that when you ask people what feels fair in paying for a benefit over a network, an ordinary person will imagine themselves to be in the new kind of seat of power, running the server—and from that perspective it feels right and proper not to have to pay for the risk side of the equation. Risk Never Really Goes Away Consider the startup Airbnb.com, which has grown very rapidly and is by all appearances the sort of quick candy investors love the most. It smells like one of those Silicon Valley stories that instantly attract gigantic fortunes. Ah, but there’s a catch. Airbnb’s business plan is to pretend risk does not exist. The idea is that many people travel, so while they are away there might be a spare bedroom going to waste. The full capacity of the world’s housing isn’t always used to maximum capacity! So, Airbnb applies the standard playbook to use the power of network technology to optimize the world. It connects people looking for a place to stay with people who have a spare bed in the right place at the right time.

It connects people looking for a place to stay with people who have a spare bed in the right place at the right time. The efficiency of the Internet ought to be able to disrupt the hotel industry just like Napster et al. disrupted the recorded music business! The number of available beds in the Airbnb system can quickly outstrip the entire hotel industry, and at almost no cost. This is classic Silicon Valley thinking. And it works! To a point . . . After millions of happy engagements, some horror stories started to appear. A woman in San Francisco lent her home to Airbnb visitors who trashed it and stole everything from her, including information to steal her identity. One of the Airbnb founders wrote on the company blog that the good experiences of millions of transactions shouldn’t be discounted because of a few bad ones. People are basically good, he decried. I agree that people are mostly good, and yet, in a functioning economy, it is necessary that those millions of good transactions account for the effects of fools, creeps, and just plain randomness.* *This is a universal quality of Siren Servers.

I agree that people are mostly good, and yet, in a functioning economy, it is necessary that those millions of good transactions account for the effects of fools, creeps, and just plain randomness.* *This is a universal quality of Siren Servers. I selected Airbnb, but I could just as easily have selected any of the other sites in which people coordinate their affairs efficiently so that some faraway entrepreneur enjoys their money without sharing their risks. Skout, a social network for meeting people, turned out to be the medium for a scattering of rapes of underage users. See http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2011/07/plot-thickens-airbnb-renter-horror-story/179250/1, and http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/after-rapes-involving-children-skout-a-flirting-app-faces-crisis/. This is how money has to work if it’s to be about the future at all.

 

pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

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3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

The social accommodation brand Airbnb, the car-sharing service Zipcar and music-streaming site Spotify are all examples of what is variously known, from slightly different angles, as the new trend for dis-ownership, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption. Now, thanks to these trends and the technologies that make them possible, you can enjoy the experience of a room, a house, a car, a CD, a handbag, a lawnmower, a musical instrument or even a dog – without all the hassle that comes with owning them. The success of Zipcar, for instance, reflects the space and cost that comes with keeping a car in a city, and the fact that, if you live in a city, you just do not need a car so much anymore. With Spotify, why own a CD or even a download, when you can listen to it whenever you want? Airbnb goes one better.

Joseph Pine II and James H Gilmore, The Experience Economy (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999) and B Joseph Pine II and James H Gilmore, The Experience Economy Updated Edition (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2011). For a quick introduction to the subject, read B. Joseph Pine II and James H Gilmore, “Welcome to the Experience Economy”, Harvard Business Review, July 1998. More on TOMS shoes: www.toms.com. More on the Common Threads Initiative between eBay and Patagonia: www.patagonia.com/us/common-threads. Watch Puma’s Clever Little Shopper disappear on YouTube. Stay with Airbnb: www.airbnb.com. Rent a car from Zipcar: www.zipcar.com . Get your music from Spotify: www.spotify.com. “London, one of the world’s most visited cities” Source: Deborah L. Jacobs, “The 20 Most Popular Cities In The World To Visit In 2012”, Forbes, 20 June 2012. In the 2013 rankings, Bangkok pipped London to the number one spot. CHAPTER FOURTEEN What about the Chinese? The description of Liu Dandan, Zhou Zhou, and Richard Lu is taken from the photoshoot for Bill Saporito, “A Great Leap Forward: Can China’s famously thrifty workers become the world’s big spenders?”

Airbnb goes one better. As well as giving people the chance to borrow other people’s goods, it also lets them share a good they already own: their own home. Beyond the obvious financial reward, there is also a participatory, social good that comes with Airbnb. It provides the people who let their rooms and their homes, and the people who stay there, with real connections. As a result, they tend to feel part of the new, innovative sharing economy, they feel more connected to other people, and they have more stories to share. Apple has become the world’s leading brand because of its ruthless focus on experience. Think, for a moment, how easy it is to operate an Apple device, and how slim the operating manual is. How different is that to the manual that came with, say, your VHS recorder in the 1980s? Do you remember how complicated it was to record a TV show back then?

 

pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman

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Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Entrepreneurs, forever operating with constraints, are the kings and queens of hustle, and the best examples of hustle in action. Be Resourceful: If You Don’t Have a Bed to Sleep On, Make Your Own It was January 2008. Airbnb founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk had a problem: they were broke. They started “Air Bed and Breakfast” thinking that anyone with an air mattress, extra couch, or bed should be able to make money renting out that space on a temporary basis. It wasn’t a bad idea. For example, during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Barack Obama spoke at a packed NFL stadium with eighty thousand seats in a city with a total of twenty-seven thousand quickly-sold-out hotel rooms. Thousands of Democratic supporters were scrambling to find a place to stay. Using Airbnb.com, Denver residents absorbed the excess demand by renting out their couches or beds to visitors.

Hundreds of thousands of travelers have since happily stayed on the bed or air mattress of a host. It’s hard to capture the essence of resourcefulness, but most of us know it when we see it. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was looking for a wife, he told friends who were setting him up on dates that he wanted a woman who was resourceful. But they didn’t get it. So he told them, “I want a woman who could help me get out of a Third World prison!” That did the trick.10 The Airbnb guys, if they had to, could probably break out of a Third World prison. Be Resilient: When the Naysayers Are Loud, Turn Up the Music Tim Westergren might be the most resilient man in Silicon Valley. He was inspired to start Internet radio business Pandora back in 1999 after hearing that Geffen Music dropped singer Aimee Mann from their label because she didn’t have enough paying fans. Westergren believed if Aimee Mann could be paired in an online directory with very similar yet more popular artists in an online directory, her fan base would broaden.

By the end of 2010, Pandora offered more than 700,000 songs in its library and had earned $100 million in revenue. The company IPO’d in 2011. For almost ten years, Pandora was beaten and battered by lawsuits, unfavorable legislation, and the constant threat of bankruptcy. Remarkably, Tim and his team hung in there, in pursuit of the opportunity to change the way people find and listen to music. Resilience and tenacity have kept them in the game, and they can do the same for you in your career. Both the Airbnb and Pandora teams were all at one point operating with severe resource constraints. They lacked money. They lacked know-how. They lacked connections. They lacked employees, advisors, partners. But could these ostensibly negative constraints have actually enhanced their ability to generate killer opportunities? Potentially. When you have no resources, you create them. When you have no choice but to fight, you fight hard.

 

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

This is the old tried-and-true model of creating trust, institutional trust, which requires a great deal of infrastructure and overhead, takes a long time to develop, is very inflexible, and is not very open to innovation. Airbnb is an application similar to Uber, used to locate a room or home to rent. Today, random people are going into random people’s houses, spending the night, and comfortably trusting each other. Technology provides built in checks and balances that allow this trust to form. And as with accepting a ride through Uber, the trust between those two parties isn’t long-term; it has to last only for as long as one is staying in the other’s home. Airbnb and Uber have become successful because both have 154â•…    Co n c l u sio n mechanisms to form trust without elaborate processes or contracts. Although bugs are still being worked out, these approaches are showing great promise, with very powerful potential applications to problem solving.

Wikipedia, for instance, was built on the premise that people enjoy interacting within a community, which in the case of Wikipedia, is a global village documenting human knowledge. As is the case with hackathons, very few people work to add knowledge and keep Wikipedia updated out of a sense of charity. Instead, they do it because it’s interesting, fun, and community oriented. And like Uber and Airbnb, Wikipedia employs a model that engages the trust of the community to help keep postings accurate and up to date. There also is a community-based trust model that deals with geographic data, to help keep platforms like Google Maps up to date in the face of changing street names or geography. Many parts of the developing world lack accurately recorded information on which to base maps, because survey data is incomplete.

Thanks to everyone who has provided moral support through my writing journey, including Chris and Nicole Stott, Ness Knight, Dom Dauster, Hans Reitz, Leland Melvin, Amy Moore-Benson, Maraia Hoffman, and Clay Morgan. Thanks to all those who are helping to spread the message of the orbital perspective. Thanks also to my mother and father, who started and supported me on this journey on and off Spaceship Earth. Last but not least, I want to thank Carmel, Ronnie, Joseph, and Jake. Index Abbey, George, 13–14, 16 “Act as if.” See “Fake it till you make it” attitude Africa, 131 Airbnb, 153–154 Anderson, Michael, 20 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 13–14, 31, 42 Atlantis. See Space Shuttle Atlantis Bangladesh, 52 Barratt, Mike, 39 background, 23–25 ISS and, 41–43 Russia, Russians, and, 24–27, 30, 31, 36, 37, 41 Beck, Beth, xiii Big picture perspective Chilean mine rescue and, 100–102 orbital perspective and, 133, 136, 167 worm’s eye view and, 80, 81, 112–113, 119–121, 167 Biosphère Environmental Museum, 163 Bolden, Charlie, 40, 98–99 Borisenko, Andrei, photo Botvinko, Alexander, 44 Brezhnev, Leonid, 13 Brown, David, 20 Brugh, Willow, 141–143, 160, 164 Budarin, Nikolai, 19 Burbank, Dan, photo Bureaucratic inertia, 119–121 Bush, George H.

 

pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Second, the world lacks a consistent, positive and common narrative that outlines the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, a narrative that is essential if we are to empower a diverse set of individuals and communities and avoid a popular backlash against the fundamental changes underway. 1.2 Profound and Systemic Change The premise of this book is that technology and digitization will revolutionize everything, making the overused and often ill-used adage “this time is different” apt. Simply put, major technological innovations are on the brink of fuelling momentous change throughout the world – inevitably so. The scale and scope of change explain why disruption and innovation feel so acute today. The speed of innovation in terms of both its development and diffusion is faster than ever. Today’s disruptors – Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and the like – now household names - were relatively unknown just a few years ago. The ubiquitous iPhone was first launched in 2007. Yet there were as many as 2 billion smart phones at the end of 2015. In 2010 Google announced its first fully autonomous car. Such vehicles could soon become a widespread reality on the road. One could go on. But it is not only speed; returns to scale are equally staggering.

This enables the effective use of under-utilized assets – namely those belonging to people who had previously never thought of themselves as suppliers (i.e. of a seat in their car, a spare bedroom in their home, a commercial link between a retailer and manufacturer, or the time and skill to provide a service like delivery, home repair or administrative tasks). The on-demand economy raises the fundamental question: What is worth owning – the platform or the underlying asset? As media strategist Tom Goodwin wrote in a TechCrunch article in March 2015: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.”9 Digital platforms have dramatically reduced the transaction and friction costs incurred when individuals or organizations share the use of an asset or provide a service. Each transaction can now be divided into very fine increments, with economic gains for all parties involved. In addition, when using digital platforms, the marginal cost of producing each additional product, good or service tends towards zero.

This is the new on-demand economy, where providers of labour are no longer employees in the traditional sense but rather independent workers who perform specific tasks. As Arun Sundararajan, professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU), put it in a New York Times column by journalist Farhad Manjoo: “We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the workforce will do a portfolio of things to generate an income – you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit”.27 The advantages for companies and particularly fast-growing start-ups in the digital economy are clear. As human cloud platforms classify workers as self-employed, they are – for the moment – free of the requirement to pay minimum wages, employer taxes and social benefits. As explained by Daniel Callaghan, chief executive of MBA & Company in the UK, in a Financial Times article: “You can now get whoever you want, whenever you want, exactly how you want it.

 

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

Peer-to-peer A new business model which is generating a lot of column inches for the idea of digital disruption is peer-to-peer commerce, the leading practitioners of which are AirBnB and Uber. Both were founded in San Francisco, of course – in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The level of investor enthusiasm for the peer-to-peer model is demonstrated by comparing AirBnB’s market cap of $20bn in March 2015 with Hyatt’s market cap of $8.4bn. Hyatt has over 500 hotels around the world and revenues of $4bn. AirBnB, with 13 members of staff, owns no hotels and its revenues in March 2015 were around $250m. Uber’s rise has been even more dramatic: its market cap reached $50bn in May 2015. This sort of growth is unsettling for competitors. Taxi drivers around the world protest that Uber is putting them out of business by competing unfairly, since (they claim) its drivers can flout safety regulations with impunity. Hoteliers have tried to have AirBnB banned from the cities where they operate, sometimes successfully.

 

pages: 123 words: 32,382

Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web by Paul Adams

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Airbnb, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, information retrieval, invention of the telegraph, planetary scale, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, sentiment analysis, social web, statistical model, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, white flight

* * * Quick Tips When we’re planning marketing campaigns, we should concentrate on content that is likely to spread among friends, and friends of friends, but we shouldn’t expect it to spread to people more than three degrees away from the people who first encountered the message. This is why it’s important to seed the content with many small groups. Using existing connections is a powerful way to build new connections. It highlights the shortest paths between people, which can be useful for sharing information to more relevant groups, or connecting with new people. Airbnb is a service that allows people to rent out their homes to strangers. As these people don’t know each other, which makes it hard to know who to trust, Airbnb used Facebook connections to make it possible to see whether you are connected to the other people through friends of friends. It’s now easy to ask the mutual friend about whether we’re likely to get on well with the host, or whether we’re likely to like their place. * * * Summary Our social network is made up of all the people we’re connected to (which we can largely control) and all the people they’re connected to (which we can’t control).

• The readers of my blog, thinkoutsidein.com, whose commentary always gives me new perspectives and helps me shape many early thoughts. New groups Thanks to you, for reading. I hope we’ll chat together face to face in a future group. Index A adoption thresholds 74–75, 76, 81 advertising historical increase in 132 new forms of 135, 142 reach approach to 133 targeted 80, 138, 139 See also marketing Airbnb service 46 Allen, Christopher 48 American Eagle Outfitters 41 American Express 120 anchoring 126 Apple products 122 Ariely, Dan 98, 128, 131, 144 associates 52 B Bahrami, Bahador 92 Barabási, Albert-László 31, 48 basic friendship pattern 55 behavior changing 123–124, 149 consistency of 118–119 consumer 12, 104, 106, 148 influence of 86–87, 109, 148 social proof and 86–87 technology and 9–10 understanding 150 beliefs 120, 149 Berger, Jonah 19, 27, 28 Bernoff, Josh 28, 69, 99 biases confirmation bias 127 environmental cues and 125–126 habits related to 123–124 influenced by others 118–119 perception of value and 120–122 BMW ads 19, 26 Bok, Derek 27 boyd, danah 32, 48 brain conscious 103, 107–109 decision making and 103–104, 107, 109–110, 148 memory and 111–113 nonconscious 103–104, 107–111, 148 patterns detected by 105, 110 brands, conversations about 20–21 broad friendship pattern 58 Broadbent, Stefana 14, 68 Brooks, David 48 C Call of Duty games 2, 3 cascades of ideas 73, 80, 81 choices, number of 120–121, 122 Christakis, Nicholas 48, 68, 94, 97 Cialdini, Robert 98 classic sales funnel 104, 106, 113 Cohen, Jonathan 128 comforters 53 communal laughter 16 comparison 126 confidants 53 confirmation bias 127 Connected (Christakis and Fowler) 48, 68, 97 connections degrees of separation between 43–45 independent groups and network 39 influence not correlated with 73 marketing campaigns for making 18 social network patterns of 33–35, 47 surfacing of common 45 conscious brain 103, 107–109 decision making by 103, 110 processing capacity of 107, 108 consumer behavior 12, 104, 106, 148 contacts, useful 52 conversations brands mentioned in 20–21 feelings shared in 19 information communicated in 24–26 reasons for having 16–17 topics of 18–22 who we engage in 23–26 credibility 139–142 Crossing the Chasm (Moore) 79, 83 cues, environmental 20, 21 culture, influence of 87–88 customer testimonials 137 Cyworld network 80 D De Vries, Marieke 128 decision making bias and 118–119, 125–126 comparison used in 126 getting help with 90 groups used for 92 nonconscious brain and 103–104, 107, 109–110, 148 presentation and 125–126 Dijksterhuis, Ap 114, 115 Dove ad campaign 46, 49 Dunbar, Robin 10, 18, 27, 34, 48 E early adoption 78–79 Eastern cultures 88 Emergence (Johnson) 114 emotional brain.

 

pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, clean water, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Earned It,” December 29, 2011, accessed September 5, 2012, http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/12/ 29/eddie-huang-got-tv-show-earned-it; Allison Benz, “A Day in the Life of a Chef,” Radio Blog, July 3, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://theradioblog.marthastewart.com/ 2012/07/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-chef.html; Evan Huang, interviews with the author, spring 2012. 203 One incubator that nurtures: Y Combinator Site, http://ycombinator.com/, accessed September 5, 2012. 203 Architect Charles Gwathmey: http://www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/gwathmey.htm, accessed September 5, 2012. 204 There are also manufacturing platforms: Bob Brunner, discussions in author’s class at Parsons; Tim Brown, discussions in author’s class at Parsons. 204 NY Creative Interns: Emily Miethner spoke at my class and I interviewed her in the spring of 2012; http://www.hercampus.com/career/ how-she-got-there-emily-miethner-founderpresident-ny-creative-interns. 204 Past events have included: http://nycreativeinterns.com/, accessed September 5, 2012; http://wearenytech.com/ 294-emily-miethner-founder-president-of-ny-creative-interns-community-manager-at-recordsetter-com, accessed September 5, 2012. 205 YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley: interview between Hurley and Bill Moggridge that I attended and participated in, 2011. 207 Brian Chesky, cofounder: Steven Loeb, “Airbnb Buys Up UK Rival, Crashpadder, Ahead of Olympics,” VatorNews, March 20, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://vator.tv/news/ 2012-03-20-airbnb-buys-up-uk-rival-crashpadder-ahead-of-olympics; Robin Wauters, “Airbnb Buys German Clone Accoleo, Opens First European Office in Hamburg,” TechCrunch, June 1, 2011, accessed October 22, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2011/ 06/01/airbnb-buys-german-clone-accoleo-opens-first-european-office-in-hamburg/. 207 And eBay has grown: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1017-941964.html. 207 Even Apple has begun: http://www.cultofmac.com/129150/ this-norwegian-man-made-millions-selling-siri-to-steve-jobs/. 208 On January 28, 2010: http://www.economist.com/node/15393377, accessed September 8, 2012. 209 Prophet of Profits: I came up with this term in talking about the Economist cover with Ben Lee. 209 Charisma, secularized from: accessed September 5, 2012, http://oed.com/view/Entry/ 30721?

So Hurley sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion in 2006, only eighteen months after he launched, thereby freeing himself up to pursue other projects. Pivoting by linking to a bigger platform—YouTube’s sale to Google, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s sale of Instagram to Facebook—is perhaps the strategy we’ve become most familiar with in the era of start-ups. Of course, the strategy works the other way too—rather than selling to a larger platform, some entrepreneurs scale by expanding their original platform. Brian Chesky, cofounder of Airbnb, bought smaller platforms similar to his company’s model—Crashpadder and Accoleo, both in Europe. This has been Larry Ellison’s strategy at Oracle as well. And eBay has grown by buying PayPal and other smaller companies. Even Apple has begun to do this by buying the company that made Siri. Of course, you can still pivot and decide not to scale, at least not much. The growing local movement is putting a higher value on staying in the neighborhood than it had in the era when globalization was uncritically celebrated.

 

pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

My spouse likes nothing better than to lie in bed and screen a favorite story on the ceiling till sleep. As I lay down, I set the screen on my wrist for 6 a.m. For eight hours I stop screening. 5 ACCESSING A reporter for TechCrunch recently observed, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.” Indeed, digital media exhibits a similar absence. Netflix, the world’s largest video hub, allows me to watch a movie without owning it. Spotify, the largest music streaming company, lets me listen to whatever music I want without owning any of it. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited enables me to read any book in its 800,000-volume library without owning books, and PlayStation Now lets me play games without purchasing them.

Instead you subscribe to Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, etc., or the entire suite of services, and its stream of updates. You sign up and your computer will operate the latest best versions as long as you pay the monthly subscription. This new model entails reorientation by customers comfortable owning something forever. TV, phones, and software as service are just the beginning. In the last few years we’ve gotten hotels as service (Airbnb), tools as service (TechShop), clothes as service (Stitch Fix, Bombfell), and toys as service (Nerd Block, Sparkbox). Just ahead are several hundred new startups trying to figure how to do food as service (FaS). Each has its own approach to giving you a subscription to food, instead of purchases. For example, in one scheme you might not buy specific food products; instead, you get access to the benefits of food you need or want—say, certain levels and qualities of protein, nutrition, cuisine, flavors.

This ecosystem of interdependent species keeps expanding, and will keep expanding as long as Facebook can manage its rules and its own growth as a firm. The wealthiest and most disruptive organizations today are almost all multisided platforms—Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. All these giants employ third-party vendors to increase the value of their platform. All employ APIs extensively that facilitate and encourage others to play with it. Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, PayPal, Square, WeChat, Android are the newer wildly successful multiside markets, run by a firm, that enable robust ecosystems of derivative yet interdependent products and services. Ecosystems are governed by coevolution, which is a type of biological codependence, a mixture of competition and cooperation. In true ecological fashion, supporting vendors who cooperate in one dimension may also compete in others.

 

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

Neither would the newspaper classifieds. The truth is they serve the same need: a directory of life solutions. And by the time the Yellow Pages reconfigured its output it was far too late. Airbnb. The hotel industry would never have taken into account the calculations of peer-to-peer accommodation as part of its market. It doesn’t even own any real estate! It’s unimaginable to believe that executives at the Hilton chain or the Starwood group of hotels would have considered Airbnb a threat, and certainly not a threat in the section of the market they define as high-end, luxury or business appropriate. Yet Airbnb has both unexpected luxury and growing numbers of business travellers as its audience. So much so that it’s now valued at more than US$10 billion (and it was only born in 2008). Uber. The first disruption to the car-rental and taxi-cab industries was the share car.

Inside Job (2010) Film about the global financial crisis. No Maps for These Territories (2000) Film presented by William Gibson. Something Ventured (2011) Film about venture capitalists. INDEX 3D printing access and accessibility see also barriers; communication; digital; social media — factors of production — knowledge adoption rates advertising see also marketing; mass media; promotion; television Airbnb Alibaba Amazon antifragility Apple artisanal production creativity audience see also crowd — connecting with — vs target Away from Keyboard (AFK) banking see also crowdfunding; currencies barriers Beck (musician) big as a disadvantage bioengineering biomimicry biotechnology bitcoins blogs borrowed interest brand business strategies change see disruption and disruptive change Cluetrain Manifesto co-creation coffee culture Cold War collaboration collaborative consumption collective sentience commerce, future see also retail and retailers communication see also advertising; promotion; social media; social relationships — channels — tools community vs target competition and competitors component retail computers see also connecting and connection; internet; networks; smartphones; social media; software; technology era; 3D printing; web connecting and connection see also social media; social relationships — home/world — machines — people — things consumerism consumption silos content, delivery of coopetition corporations see also industrial era; retail and retailers; technology era costs see also finance; price co-working space creativity crowd, contribution by the crowdfunding cryptocurrencies culture — hacking — startup currencies see also banking deflation demographics device convergence digital see also computers; internet; music; smartphone; retail and retailers, online; social media; social relationships; technology; web; work — cohorts — era — footprint — revolution — skills — strategy — tools — world disruption and disruptive change DNA as an operating system drones Dunbar's number e-commerce see retail and retailers, online economic development, changing education employment, lifetime see also labour; work ephermalization Facebook see also social media finance, peer to peer see also banking; crowdfunding; currencies Ford, Henry 4Ps Foursquare fragmentation — of cities — industrial — Lego car example gadgets see also computers; smartphone; tools games and gaming behaviour gamification geo-location glass cockpit Global Financial Crisis (GFC) globalisation Google hacking hourglass strategy IFTTT (If this then that) industrialists (capital class) industry, redefining industrial era see also consumerism; marketing; retail and retailers — hacking — life in influencers information-based work infrastructure — changing — declining importance of — legacy innovation intention interest-based groups see also niches interest graphs internet see also access and accessibility; connecting and connection; social media; social relationships; web Internet.org In Real Life (IRL) isolation iTunes see also music Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act (USA) keyboards knowledge economy lab vs factory labour see also work — low-cost language layering legacy — industries — infrastructure — media Lego car project life — in boxes — in gaming future — hack living standards see also life location see place, work making see also artisanal production; retail and retailers; 3D printing malleable marketplace manufacturing see also artisanal production; industrial era; making; product; 3D printing; tools — desktop marketing see also advertising; consumerism; 4Ps; mass media; promotion; retail and retailers — demographics, use in — industrial era — language — mass — metrics — new — post-industrial — predictive — research — target — traditional mass media ; see also advertising; marketing; media; promotion; television — after materialism media see also communication; legacy; mass media; newspapers; niches; television — consumption — hacking — platform vs content — subscription Metcalfe's law MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Moore's law music Napster Netflix netizens networks see also connecting and connection; media; social media; social relationships newspapers see also media niches nodes nondustrial company Oaida, Raul oDesk office, end of the omniconnection era open source parasocial interaction payment systems Pebble phones, number of mobile see also smartphones photography Pinterest piracy place — of work platforms pop culture power-generating technologies price see also costs privacy see also social media; social relationships product — unfinished production see also industrial era; product; 3D printing — mass projecteer Project October Sky promotion see also advertising; marketing; mass media; media quantified self Racovitsa, Vasilii remote controls RepRap 3D printer retail cold spot retail and retailers — changing — digital — direct — hacking — mass — online — price — small — strategies — traditional rewards robots Sans nation state economy scientific management search engines self-hacking self-publishing self-storage sensors sharing see also social media; social relationships smartphones smartwatch social graphs social media (digitally enhanced conversation) see also Facebook; social relationships; Twitter; YouTube social relationships see also social graphs; social media — digital software speed subcultures Super Awesome Micro Project see Lego car project Super Bowl mentality target tastemakers technology see also computers; digital; open source; social media; smartphones; social relationships; software; 3D printing; work — deflation — era — free — revolution — speed — stack teenagers, marketing to television Tesla Motors thingernet thinking and technology times tools see also artisanal production; communication; computers; digital; making; smartphones; social media; 3D printing — changing — old trust Twitter Uber unlearning usability gap user experience volumetric mindset wages — growth — low — minimum web see also connecting and connection; digital; internet; retail and retailers, online; social media; social relationships — three phases of — tools Wikipedia work — digital era — industrial era — location of — options words see language Yahoo YouTube Learn more with practical advice from our experts WILEY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT Go to www.wiley.com/go/eula to access Wiley’s ebook EULA.

 

pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, Zipcar

One of Amazon’s latest ventures is a subscription that offers to help other companies grow their subscription businesses. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers companies access to servers, software, and technology support on a subscription basis. Many of the world’s largest subscription companies, including Adobe, Citrix, Netflix, and Sage, use AWS, along with many of the highest-profile start-ups, like Airbnb, Pinterest, Dropbox, and Spotify. Amazon is pioneering the subscription model in virtually every area of its business, but the subscription model is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for quite a while. A (Very) Short History of the Subscription Model The history of the subscription business model dates back to the 1500s, when European map publishers would invite their customers to subscribe to future editions of their maps, which were evolving as new lands were discovered, conquered, and claimed.

Call them the Access Generation: a growing cohort of mobile, technically savvy young people who value access over assets. They prefer to stay nimble and rent a home rather than own one; listen to a song on Spotify rather than buy it from iTunes; or subscribe to Oysterbooks .com or Scribd rather than buy from a Barnes & Noble store. The Access Generation is behind the explosion of the new “sharing” economy. Sharing stuff has been around since stuff itself, but technology allows sharing to scale: websites like Airbnb match buyer and seller; your GPS-enabled iPhone allows you to find the closest Zipcar; Facebook and LinkedIn enable you to vet anyone you’re thinking of doing business with; and sites like PayPal allow you to safely pay for what you’re renting. Light-Switch Reliability When you walk into a room and turn on the light, you don’t hold your breath hoping the room will illuminate. You just expect the lights to come on because electricity has become so dependable.

“Florists Industry Reports,” HighBeam Research, accessed October 8, 2014, business.highbeam.com/industry-reports/retail/florists. Index The page numbers in this index refer to the printed version of this book. To find the corresponding locations in the text of this digital version, please use the “search” function on your e-reader. Note that not all terms may be searchable. Absolute Software, 116 access generation, 18–19, 22 accountants, 169 Acton, Brian, 2, 113 ADT, 116 Airbnb, 19 airplanes, 175 all-you-can-eat library model, 57–63 Amazon, 11–15, 84, 87, 89, 90 AmazonFresh, 14 Diapers.com acquired by, 15, 84–86 Mom, 85 Prime, 11–13, 14, 37, 84, 188 Subscribe & Save, 14–15, 25, 84 Web Services, 15 Ancestry.com, 30–31, 58–59, 135–36, 159, 163–64 Anderson, Chris, 16, 21 Any.do, 100 Apple, 22, 100 iPhone, 1, 19 iTunes, 57–58, 154 Joint Venture, 22–23, 79 One to One, 22, 23 Reseller network, 23 art education, 59–60 New Masters Academy, 59–62, 155, 166 Art Snacks, 187–88 Auger, Frank, 180–81 Avis Budget Group, 111 banking, 100, 177–78, 186–87 Bank of America, 126 BarkBox, 19, 92, 95, 165, 187 Barna, Haley, 39 Basecamp, 144, 145–46 Beauchamp, Katia, 39 Berkshire Hathaway, 118 Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), 140–41 Bezos, Jeff, 14, 86, 145 Bharara, Vinit, 84–85 BirchBox, 38–39, 88, 172 Blackburn, Jeff, 85 Blacksocks, 83, 84, 88, 151 Blake, Kathy, 49–52, 197 Blake, Suzanne, 50–52, 197 Blockbuster, 59 Bloodhound Technologies, 147 Bloomberg Businessweek, 58, 85 Blue Dolphin, 179–80 Brand, Stewart, 47–48 brand, unique, 87, 89, 90 Branson, Richard, 67 Broughman, Brian, 147 Buffet, Warren, 118 Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You (Warrillow), 3 Burkhart, Bryan, 33, 197 burning platform strategy, 166–67 business-to-business (B2B) companies, 55, 69, 158 Buterin, Dmitry, 29, 184–85, 190 cancellations, see churn rate Capital Factory, 142, 173 Carsanaro, Joseph A., 147 car sharing, 109 Zipcar, 19, 109–11, 113, 153 car theft, 116 Case, Steve, 69 cash, 138, 139–43 cash sources, 143–51 charging up front, 148–51 outside money, 146–48 robbing Peter to pay Paul, 143–46 CA Technologies, 141–42 CBS MarketWatch, 88 Centore, Anthony, 76–77 charging up front, 148–51, 184–85 Chase, Robin, 109, 113 chocolate, 93–94 Standard Cocoa, 22, 93–94, 165 churn rate, 130–31, 142–43, 172–74 Ancestry.com and, 136 and charging up front, 184–85 communication and, 185–87 Constant Contact and, 137 evergreen subscriptions and, 193–94 happiness bombs and, 187–88 Hassle Free Home Services and, 173 HubSpot and, 133–34, 180 logo churn and, 191–93 lowering, 174–94 Mosquito Squad and, 138 net churn and, 189–91 90-day onboarding clock and, 176–82 rogue jet concept and, 175–76 Salesforce.com and, 176 and targeting larger businesses, 188–89 wow timetable and, 182–84 Cisco, 117 Coca-Cola, 89 Cohen, Jason, 177 Cohen, Ted, 58 cohorts, 182 Colony, George F., 150–51 communication, 185–87 Conscious Box, 35–36, 86, 95–96, 164 Constant Contact, 18, 136–37, 183–84 consumables model, 81–90 Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, 11 ContractorSelling.com, 35, 49 cost of goods sold (COGS), 132 counseling, 75–77 Cratejoy, 86, 96–97 Crisara, Joe, 35 cross-selling, 191–93 Cue, 100 customer acquisition cost (CAC), 128–30, 138, 139, 143, 146, 151, 189 Ancestry.com and, 136 cash up front and, 148–51 Constant Contact and, 137 HubSpot and, 133–34, 149–50 Mosquito Squad and, 138 payback period and, 140–43 Crystal Cruises, 50 DanceStudioOwner.com, 49–52, 197 Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston, 49 Danielson, Antje, 109, 113 data, 20–21, 22, 96–97 Daugherty, Gordon, 141–42, 173 demand, 33–34 De Nayer, Pierre, 158 Desk.com, 77 destination clubs, 68–70 Diapers.com, 15, 84–86 discounted cash flow, 28 distribution channels, 20 DocuSign, 140 Dollar Shave Club, 81–83, 84, 87–89, 157, 175–76, 192–93 Dorco, 88–89 Dream of Italy, 48–49 Driesman, Debbie, 101 Dropbox, 100 Dubin, Michael, 81–83, 87 e-commerce: consumables model, 81–90 surprise box model, 91–98 Economist Intelligence Unit, 25 Elaguizy, Amir, 86–87, 96 elevator business, 40–41 Entitle, 59 entrepreneurs, 129 eReatah, 59 evergreen subscriptions, 193–94 Everything Store, The: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Stone), 85 Exclusive Resorts, 68–69 Facebook, 2, 19, 108, 146n New Masters Academy and, 61, 62 Family Circle, 179 Financial Times, 17, 48 first mover advantage, 146n float, 118–19 flower stores, 32–33, 34, 158–59, 195–96 H.Bloom, 33, 34, 39, 158–59, 197 Foot Cardigan, 165 For Entrepreneurs, 129 Forrester Research, 150–51, 192 Founders Investment Banking, 29–30 freemium model, 161–62, 164 free trials, 161–64 FreshBooks.com, 27, 144–48, 162–63, 164, 189 Fried, Jason, 144, 145–46 Fried, Jesse, 147 front-of-the-line model, 73–79 GameFly, 59, 155 Gartner and Forrester Research, 5, 24 Gates, Bill, 67 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), 127 Genius Network, 66–67, 155 Gerety, Suzanne Blake, 50–52, 197 Ghirardelli, 93 gifts: happiness bombs, 187–88 subscriptions as, 164–66 Gladwell, Malcolm, 71 Godiva, 93 Goodies Co., 20–21, 35 Goodman, Gail, 136, 183–84 Google, 55, 92 Apps, 24 Grano Speaker Series, 70–71, 159 Gray, Andrew, 168–70 Griffith, Scott, 109–10, 111, 113 Griffiths, Rudyard, 70 GrooveBook, 156–57 Hackers Conference, 47 Handler, Brad, 69 Handler, Brent, 69 Hansson, David Heinemeier, 144 happiness bombs, 187–88 Harland Clarke, 178 Hassle Free Home Services, 101–3, 173, 181, 194 H.Bloom, 33, 34, 39, 158–59, 197 Hearst, William Randolph, 16 Herbal Magic Weight Loss & Nutrition Centers, 24–25 Holland, Anne, 52–54 home ownership, 18 Hassle Free Home Services and, 101–3, 173, 181, 194 security businesses and, 4, 31, 116 Honda, 117 HubSpot.com, 131–36, 149–50, 180–81 Hunt, Sean, 37 Hunt, Stuart, 37 Hyssen, Alex, 24–25 Hyssen, James, 24–25 IBM, 126 inertia, 175, 180–81 information, 47–48 Infusionsoft, 176 Inspirato, 69–70 insurance companies, 117–19 International Air Transport Association, 175 Internet, 16, 137 reliability of, 19 Internet-based messaging services, 2 WhatsApp, 1–2, 108–9, 113, 157 iPhone, 1, 19 Islam, Frank, 101 iTunes, 57–58, 154 JackedPack, 91 Jacobo, Joshua, 59–62, 155 J.

 

pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

For many users, switching services means abandoning years of investment and starting over. No one wants to rebuild a loyal following they have worked hard to acquire and nurture. Reputation Reputation is a form of stored value users can literally take to the bank. On online marketplaces such as eBay, TaskRabbit, Yelp, and Airbnb, people with negative scores are treated very differently from those with good reputations. It can often be the deciding factor in what price a seller gets for an item on eBay, who is selected for a TaskRabbit job, which restaurants appear at the top of Yelp search results, and the price of a room rental on Airbnb. On eBay, both buyers and sellers take their reputations very seriously. The e-commerce giant surfaces user-generated quality scores for every buyer and seller, and awards its most active users with badges to symbolize their trustworthiness.

What first began as a nascent behavior at one campus became a global phenomenon catering to the fundamental human need for connection to others. As discussed early in the book, many habit-forming technologies begin as “vitamins” — nice-to-have products that, over time, become must-have “painkillers” by relieving an itch or pain. It is revealing that so many breakthrough technologies and companies, from airplanes to Airbnb, were at first dismissed by critics as toys or niche markets. Looking for nascent behaviors among early adopters can often uncover valuable new business opportunities. Enabling Technologies Mike Maples, Jr., a Silicon Valley “super angel” investor, likens technology to big-wave surfing. In 2012, Maples blogged, “In my experience, every decade or so, we see a major new tech wave. When I was in high school, it was the PC revolution.

 

pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

More than just a niche, Zipcar was bought by rental car giant Avis. The business of sharing has become investment-worthy and is even sparking new venture capital funds, like New York-based Collaborative Fund. And new services such as Airbnb, an online service that allows property owners to post rental listings for as short as one night, are creating whole new markets where once there were none. In 2013, ‘hosts’ on its platform booked five million nights in cities and suburbs across the world and in myriad types of real estate, ranging from tree houses to penthouses. The success of Airbnb has made not only the economic case for sharing resources, but the case for finding new models of ownership that reduce our consumption and increase the meaningful experiences in our lives. Starbucks has understood this need for decades.

Could we expect to see similar radical changes in organizations over the next 20 years? Would whole new functions be invented? In 50 years, would a company even resemble the typical business of today? The clues could be found in studying organizations like the Taproot Foundation and other pioneers working on the front lines of the new economy, and in trying to understand how Purpose Economy organizations like Etsy, Interface, and Airbnb differ from their predecessors of even a decade earlier. As I began to study the pioneers of the Purpose Economy, it became clear that marketing, human resources, and strategic planning were giving way to new methods of organizing and working, and that in order to thrive, organizations would need to rethink the ways they were operating in this new economy. And those are just the impacts of the Purpose Economy within organizations.

 

Backbone.js Cookbook by Vadim Mirgorod

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, create, read, update, delete, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, MVC pattern, rolodex, web application

Backbone made it easy to keep the app modular, organized, and extensible, so it was possible to program the complexities of LinkedIn's user experience. Moreover, they are using the same code base in their mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms. ff WordPress.com: This is a SaaS version of Wordpress and uses Backbone.js models, collections, and views in its notification system, and is integrating Backbone.js into the Stats tab and into other features throughout the home page. ff Airbnb: This is a community marketplace for users to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world. Its development team has used Backbone in many latest products. Recently, they rebuilt a mobile website with Backbone.js and Node.js tied together with a library named Rendr. You can visit the following links to get acquainted with other usage examples of Backbone.js: http://backbonejs.org/#examples Backbone.js was started by Jeremy Ashkenas from DocumentCloud in 2010 and is now being used and improved by lots of developers all over the world using Git, the distributed version control system.

We can still see some models are kept in the memory, but it happens because they are used by ControlsView. 257 Special Techniques See also ff The JavaScript Garbage Collector is described at the following location: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ericlippert/archive/2003/09/17/53038. aspx ff Memory leaks' patterns in JavaScript are described at the following location: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/web/library/wa-memleak/ 258 Index Symbols B $and operator 81 $equal operator 80 $exists operator 80 $has operator 80 $in operator 80 $ne operator 80 $nin operator 80 $nor operator 81 $not operator 81 $or operator 81 _.template() method 143 Backbone application basic views, defining 15 extending, with plugins 27 memory leak, avoiding 250 model, defining 21 model instance, creating 21 parameters, parsing in URL 26 Preview Invoice page 16 router, defining 15 starting 23 structure, creating from scratch 18 typical workflow 14 typical workflow diagrammatic representation 14 URL routing, implementing 24, 25 view, defining 22 view, rendering 23 views, spilting into subviews 17 wireframes, creating 15 writing 20-22 Backbone.Chosen extension 83 Backbone.Collection object 66 Backbone dependencies downloading 19 Backbone.Events managing 116 Backbone.HasMany 87 Backbone.history 25 Backbone.js about 6, 28 code, contributing 28 collections 65 documentation, working on 28 downloading 18 A acceptance validator 50 add event 119 add() method 69 advanced mapping deeply nested attributes, mapping 85 function, using 86 performing 85 Advanced REST client installing 181 advanced validation built-in validators 50 using, in model 49 Airbnb 6 append() method 126 Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) technique 236 asyncTest() function 222 at() method using 67 attrs parameter 35 events, managing 116 improvements 28 issue queue, working on 28 usage examples 6 used, for building RESTful frontend 190 Zepto, using with 98 Backbone.js documentation reference link 28 Backbone.js extension creating, with Grunt 211-215 tests, writing with QUnit 216-220 Backbone.LayoutManager about 163 downloading 163 used, for assembling layouts 163 Backbone.LayoutManager object 167 Backbone localStorage adapter downloading 206 Backbone.Memento extension downloading 42 Backbone model.

See  REST require.config() function 243 required validator 50 Require.js file downloading 238 requirejs() function 239, 242 reset event 119 reset() method 71 resource URI 180 REST 180 REST API architecting 180 RESTful backend prototyping, with MongoLab 181 RESTful frontend building, with Backbone 190-201 RESTful service mocking up, with jQuery Mockjax 220-222 restore() method 42 R.js 244 route event 119 params parameter 139 route parameter 139 router parameter 139 route:[name] event 119 router events handling 138, 139 S save() method 36, 187 schema definition URL 152 search engines used, for ensuring compatibility 245-247 Seoserver about 245 source repository 250 setElement() method 97, 100-102 set() method 33 setTemplates() method 161 setup() function 216, 219 shift() method 72 showDialog() method 228 Social Mobile Application 236 some() method 76 sort event 119 sort() method 73 specific HTML event listening to, Backbone.stickit used 133 stack about 72 collection, working as 72 standard operators, No SQL operators $equal 80 $exists 80 $has 80 $in 80 $ne 80 $nin 80 about 79 using 79, 80 start() function 25, 222 stickit() method 131 store() method 42 strictEqual() 218 subviews view, splitting into 103-106 switchPane() method 195, 196 sync event 119 sync() method 188 T teardown() method 216, 221 template loader implementing 145, 146 templates splitting, into partials 144 using, in view 142, 143 265 test() function 218 tests, for Backbone extension writing, QUnit used 216-218 throws() 218 toJSON() method 39, 90, 189, 220 triggered event handling 120 triggerEvent() method 46 trigger() method 116 U undelegateEvents() 137 undelegateEvents() method 110 unset() method 33 unshift() method 72 url() method 185 URL routing implementing, in Backbone application 24, 25 usage examples, Backbone.js Airbnb 6 Foursquare 6 Groupon Now! 6 LinkedIn mobile 6 reference link 6 WordPress.com 6 V validate() method 35 validation adding, to form 153, 154 validation errors handling 36 value() method 78 266 view about 93 collection, rendering in 101, 102 creating, steps 94 DOM events, handling 106-110 model, rendering in 99, 100 removing 97 rendering 95 splitting, into subviews 103-106 switching, Backbone.Router used 110-113 templates, using 142, 143 view element dealing with 97, 98 modifying, dynamically 97 view element updates overriding, Backbone.stickit used 132 W where() method 74 WordPress.com 6 workflow.js extension downloading 45 workflow, model creating 45, 46 Z Zepto about 93, 98 using, with Backbone 98 Thank you for buying Backbone.js Cookbook About Packt Publishing Packt, pronounced 'packed', published its first book "Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management" in April 2004 and subsequently continued to specialize in publishing highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions.

 

pages: 138 words: 40,787

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things by Daniel Kellmereit, Daniel Obodovski

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, connected car, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, first square of the chessboard, Freestyle chess, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet of things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, software as a service, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, yield management

As long as devices have clearly defined interfaces, this vision is possible and anything will be able to connect to anything else. Sanjay adds: At MIT we have a project called CloudCar. My car has an exact avatar in the cloud, and that is what I’m doing to my home. The idea is that I can lock and unlock my car remotely for my son, who is visiting and wants to drive the car. I can turn the engine on and off. I’m not that far away from essentially turning my car into the equivalent of Airbnb for cars. At Airbnb I can rent a room in someone’s house if I want. The idea is to do the same with the car, especially if it is just sitting there and just costing money. People should be able to log in and borrow somebody’s car, just pay twenty bucks and be done. They should be able to make it happen just using their cell phone.” As technology becomes available, we can see use cases like this gaining popularity in the future.

First of all, somebody will need to figure out a way to make the whole process of finding and renting someone else’s car simple. The second thing is the need for a paradigm shift in how people view their cars. For some, their car is a very personal thing, their fashion statement or status symbol, and not just a utility that can be shared with anybody else. The third area would be security; the idea that someone can hack into their car would scare most people away. Sanjay Sarma used Airbnb.com as an example of how things that were almost unthinkable before can become big business and how what used to be a niche market went mainstream. Considering that a connected car, a CloudCar, can always be tracked with GPS, it’s unlikely that it’s going to be hijacked, or at least it can be quickly recovered if it is. There’s probably a big enough market of people who would not mind renting out their car for some time to others.18 Finally, the issue of security applies to all connected cars and homes and needs to be addressed.

 

pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

On weeks when I’m not in San Francisco I’m either in New York, where ReadWrite’s parent company is based, or in some other city, making sales calls, trying to get tech companies to buy ads from us. It’s not a lot of fun, but I’m making a paycheck and keeping my eyes open for something better. ReadWrite’s offices are on Townsend Street, in the South of Market neighborhood, where all of the hot tech start-ups are located—Twitter, Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb. While the rest of the country is still licking its wounds from the worst recession in nearly a century, things here are buzzing. Start-ups are everywhere, and they’re all raising money. For a few years after the stock market crash in 2008, it was impossible for companies to pull off initial public offerings of stock. Without IPOs, the venture capital firms that put money into start-ups could not get a return on their investments, so venture funding fell off.

The two co-founders of Secret, a mobile app maker, raised a $25 million round of funding, put $6 million into their pockets, then nine months later shut down the company. “It’s like a bank heist,” one of their pissed-off investors said. (The investor later walked back that comment, saying it was a “poor choice of words.”) Start-ups seem to believe it is okay for them to bend rules. Some, like Uber and Airbnb, have built their businesses by defying regulations. Then again, if laws are stupid, why follow them? In the World According to Start-ups, when tech companies cut corners it is for the greater good. These start-up founders are not like Gordon Gekko or Bernie Madoff, driven by greed and avarice; they are Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., engaging in civil disobedience. There’s also a sense among start-ups that it’s okay for them to break the rules because they’re underdogs competing against huge opponents; they’re David, firing his slingshot at Goliath.

Sure, things got out of hand in the first dotcom bubble, and we had a crash, and now we were on the upswing again, but that didn’t mean another crash was coming. The crash of 2000 was an “isolated event,” Andreessen said, and the economy was heading into a “sustained boom,” almost the same phrase Doerr would use in Bloomberg a month later. Andreessen Horowitz has invested in some of the Valley’s most highly valued companies, including Pinterest, Airbnb, and Box, and enlists its publicity machine (both its own internal operation and its friends in the tech press) to further its interests. In the spring of 2014, when “software as a service” (SaaS) stocks went into a slump, and when Box was still hoping to go public but had started to look wobbly, Andreessen’s content factory sprang into action. The firm produced blog posts and podcasts explaining that SaaS companies were misunderstood.

 

pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

Chapter 25: International Growth 1 Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber Technologies, speaking at Fortune’s 2013 Brainstorm Tech Conference, video published on 23 July 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGbuitwkZiM. 2 Christine Lagorio-Chafkin, ‘Resistance Is Futile’, article for Inc. magazine, July/August 2013 issue, www.inc.com/magazine/201307/christine-lagorio/uber-the-car-service-explosive-growth.html. 3 Eric Schneiderman, ‘Airbnb Hit with Subpoena from NY Attorney General’, blog post on WSJ.com, 7 October 2013, blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/10/07/airbnb-hit-with-subpoena-from-n-y-attorney-general/. 4 Dan Primack, ‘More details on Uber’s Massive Funding Round’, article on CNN.com, 23 August 2013, finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/08/23/more-details-on-ubers-massive-funding-round/. 5 Catherine Shu, ‘Square Starts Mobile Payments in Japan, Its First Country Outside of North America, In Partnership With Visa’s Ally’, article on TechCrunch.com, 23 May 2013, TechCrunch.com/2013/05/23/square-starts-mobile-payments-in-japan-its-first-country-outside-of-north-america-in-partnership-with-visas-ally/. 6 Information taken from squareup.com/jp. 7 Jeff Blagdon, ‘Square Arrives in Japan, Its First Market Outside North America’, article on TheVerge.com, 23 May 2013, www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4358294/jack-dorsey-square-tokyo-japan. 8 Grace Huang and Takashi Amano, ‘Apple Won 76% of Japan October Smartphone Sales, Kantar Says’, article on Bloomberg.com, 29 November 2013, www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-28/apple-won-76-of-japan-smartphone-sales-in-october-kantar-says.html. 9 Hugo Barra interview with LeWeb in Paris, video published on 11 December 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?

Americans love having seals of approval from prestigious institutions, so the programme seems to yield great results for them, but the Europeans seem a bit more tepid about the format. Personally, I think you get back what you put in, and having access to their network of alumni and their inside knowledge is a precious resource. Let’s have a look the three top programmes. Y Combinator is probably the best seed accelerator. It was started in March 2005 and has funded more than 500 companies – including Dropbox, Airbnb and Stripe. It provides seed money, advice and connections during two three-month programmes each year. In exchange, it takes an average of about 6 per cent of the company’s equity. It receives about 1,000 applications for each class – and accepts about 38 – so it has a 4 per cent acceptance rate.1 Techstars is another US outfit that is jockeying for that number-one startup accelerator crown. It receives thousands of applications per year, but invests its money and time in only about 10 companies per location.

The Playbook comes directly from the CEO and executive team and presents an extensive collection of strategies for overcoming obstacles on a local level, and includes everything from how to launch and operate social-media channels, to how to throw a launch party, to how to recruit key employees (such as D-Ops, or driver operations staff, and CMs, community managers) and deal with regulators. This last point is particularly important. As it expands, Uber has run up against regulatory and legal issues. Governments – around the world and in the US – are very concerned at the pace of change and their ability to control it. Numerous startups are succeeding at causing governments similar problems. Airbnb and its new-fangled approach to monetising your spare room or apartment drew ire from the New York Attorney General, who said the people renting their properties are breaking the law.3 With a fresh injection of cash – a quarter of a billion dollars in August 20134 – Uber is now very well positioned to escalate its operations, move even faster and fight legal battles. In many locations, it seems that Uber is slowly changing perceptions and is even seeing the laws change in its favour – something previously unthinkable.

 

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

For instance, it’s conceivable a stock market correction or crash could simultaneously lead fewer people to buy cars and/or more people to sign up as Uber drivers to supplement or replace their jobs. Ditto with Airbnb and others that have more variable than fixed costs compared to incumbents (e.g., Hilton). What’s the Rush? Can You “Retire” and Come Back? I’m in startups for the long game. In some capacity, I plan to be doing this 20 years from now. Here’s the reality: If you’re spending your own money, or otherwise not banking on management fees, you can wait for the perfect pitches, even if it takes years. It might not be the “best” approach, but it’s more than enough. To get rich beyond your wildest dreams, it isn’t remotely necessary to bet on a Facebook or Airbnb every year. If you get a decent bet on ONE of those non-illusory, real-business unicorns every 10 years, or if you get 2 to 3 investments that turn $25K into $2.5 million, you can retire and have an outrageously wonderful quality of life.

Pro tip: Your writing does not get better after the third glass. Don’t Overestimate the People on Pedestals “Get inside the heads of the people who made things in the past and what they were actually like, and then realize that they’re not that different from you. At the time they got started, they were kind of just like you . . . so there’s nothing stopping any of the rest of us from doing the same thing.” TF: Both Marc and Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, have read and recommend Neal Gabler’s biography of Walt Disney. Marc also mentioned a Steve Jobs quote in our conversation, which is printed in full below. It was recorded in a 1995 interview conducted by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association, while Jobs was still at NeXT: “Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you.

They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull. Could bitching and moaning on paper for 5 minutes each morning change your life? As crazy as it seems, I believe the answer is yes. * * * Reid Hoffman Reid Hoffman (LI/TW: @reidhoffman, reidhoffman.org) is often referred to as “The Oracle of Silicon Valley” by tech insiders, who look at his company-building and investing track record (Facebook, Airbnb, Flickr, etc.) with awe. Reid is co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, which has more than 300 million users and was sold to Microsoft for $26.2 billion in cash. He was previously executive vice president at PayPal, which was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion. He has a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. Behind the Scenes Reid, along with Matt Mullenweg (page 202), is one of the calmest people I’ve ever met.

 

pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

David Johnston is a senior board member at the Mastercoin Foundation, the body that coordinates the funding for the Mastercoin project, which offers a special software platform for developers to design special decentralized applications that can run on top of the bitcoin blockchain. He says blockchain technology “will supercharge the sharing economy,” that emerging trend in which apartment owners use Airbnb.com to rent out quasi hotel rooms and car owners sign up as self-employed taxidrivers for smartphone-based Uber and Lyft. The idea is that if we can decentralize the economy and foster multiple forms of peer-to-peer exchanges, people will figure out profitable ways to turn much of what they own or control into a marketable service. Johnston is known for having coined the term DApp, for “decentralized autonomous application,” to describe the kind of specialized software programs that could thrive in blockchain-based settings.

This new system is called several things: the sharing economy, the mesh economy, the collaborative economy. Got some extra computing power sitting on your desktop? Share it with those who need it. Got a car sitting idle in your driveway? Share that. Got a big idea? Share it online and raise the money online to fund it. Business symbols of this era so far include the personal-apartment rental site Airbnb, the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, the peer-to-peer lending network Lending Club, and the taxi services controlled by individual car owners Uber and Lyft. In some respects these new business models are extensions of a process that began far earlier with the advent of the Internet. While no self-respecting bitcoiner would ever describe Google or Facebook as decentralized institutions, not with their corporate-controlled servers and vast databases of customers’ personal information, these giant Internet firms of our day got there by encouraging peer-to-peer and middleman-free activities.

Investors are simply lending U-Haul money, peer-to-peer, and in return getting a promissory note with fixed interest payments, underwritten by the company’s assets. Unlike a blockchain model, the lending is done in a centralized way in which the investor must trust the company itself, but the middleman-less mechanism has some of the same effects as projects touted by cryptocurrency advocates. Other big companies are also looking to figure out an adaptive response to the onset of new crowd- and sharing-based business models such as those employed by Uber, Airbnb, and Lyft. Silicon Valley–based Crowd Companies, which advises old-world companies on how to survive in this new economy, boasts an impressive list of clients, among them Visa, Home Depot, Hyatt, General Electric, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and FedEx. All are trying to figure out how to adapt their businesses to a centerless economy. What about the payments industry? Well, it looks to be dabbling in all three strategies in response to the challenge from cryptocurrencies.

 

pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

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3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, information retrieval, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, women in the workforce, young professional

These platforms will become more significant as large corporations increasingly look to small groups or individuals for their insight and innovation, and small groups look to connect with each other to build scale and reach. Corporations will engage interested individuals and teams with prizes, partner with them for a specific project, or buy them – much as Uber bought the robotics team from Carnegie Mellon. Similar to the gig economy, the sharing economy as a commercial entity provides the promise of a flexible source of income. Through renting out spare room capacity with Airbnb, the most high-profile example, individuals can generate useful income. As well as providing a source of income, we expect these ecosystems will also help people better blend work, leisure and home. As people work more flexibly in small and focused teams where they feel passionate about what they are doing, so the barriers between work and leisure become eroded. It is also interesting to reflect that before the rise of industrialization, production took place primarily in the family home where work and leisure were blended.

Travelling light The major investment of the explorer and independent producer stage is in intangible assets – particularly transformational assets. So during these periods, financing is always going to be tricky. That is why developments in the technologies of the sharing economy are so interesting.19 The sharing economy is a great way of enabling people to remain asset-light or to bring income in to finance their asset accumulation. Sharing platforms such as Airbnb, Simplest, Lyft or even Dogvacay are all examples of an emerging economy where people share capacity of assets that they may have purchased or created. So not only is it possible to put off making big financial decisions, it is also possible to reduce the exposure to these financial decisions. Buying a house or a car is expensive, as it involves purchasing a capital stock and making a financial commitment.

Many have established legislation for the second stage of life – the working stage – and assume that workers are either in full-time or part-time work, with each category clearly defined. As our discussion about leisure and the working week showed, governments will need to allow for a significant range of lifestyle and work-style choices, and simple characterizations of full-time and part-time will make little sense. This is already apparent in what has been called the ‘sharing economy’. The growth of sharing businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb, has already brought to the fore complex questions such as ‘What is an employee?’ and ‘Who is responsible for benefits such as healthcare and pensions?’ In the past, trade unions have spoken for the collective rights of their members. The profiles of these unions are only just emerging in the sharing economy and we can expect more battles as the rights of these flexible workers are contested in the courts.

 

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, first square of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Older workers might recall a time when factory work was still good work, easy to find, even for those without much education. Or they might remember a time when offices were jammed with clerical staff hammering at their typewriters and shuffling piles of paper around. But the pace of change is such that even the youngest members of the labour force can remember a different world. Services such as Uber and Airbnb, virtually unknown at the beginning of this decade, are fundamentally transforming industries that employ millions of people. Products such as Slack, a chat service designed to make it easier for colleagues to collaborate, are altering communication within workplaces, and clever bots that can email your contacts or order you lunch participate in the conversation just like human colleagues. The pace of change particularly disorients workers in their forties or fifties, those whose decades of experience as a taxi driver or an administrative assistant might suddenly become less remunerative, or even worthless, in the years of work left to them before their planned retirements.

Labour-market woes are growing because humanity is choosing, decisively, in favour of the fruits of the digital age. We choose all the time: when we hail a car using Uber, when we buy a cheap smartphone assembled on the other side of the world, when we stop paying for cable television because we can stream everything we want to watch, when we rate plumbers on Yelp, when we book a holiday villa on Airbnb. As technology improves, we will find ourselves lured into more fundamental changes. Going carless, or skipping a high-priced university in favour of online courses, will cease to be sacrifices forced on people by a lack of resources and will become the easier, more liberating decisions. We plunge into the unknown future because the technologies that transport us there offer us the promise of something better.

Thank you, Lisa, for your love, inspiration and support. I wouldn’t have made it without you. Index The index that appeared in the print version of this title does not match the pages in your eBook. Please use the search function on your eReading device to search for terms of interest. For your reference, the terms that appear in the print index are listed below. Acemoglu, Daron ageing populations agency, concept of Airbnb Amazon American Medical Association (AMA) anarchism Andreessen, Marc Anglo-Saxon economies Apple the iPhone the iPod artisanal goods and services Atkinson, Anthony Atlanta, Georgia austerity policies automation in car plants fully autonomous trucks of ‘green jobs’ during industrial revolution installation work as resistant to low-pay as check on of menial/routine work self-driving cars and technological deskilling automobiles assembly-line techniques automated car plants and dematerialization early days of car industry fully autonomous trucks self-driving cars baseball Baumol, William Belgium Bernanke, Ben Bezos, Jeff black plague (late Middle Ages) Boston, Massachusetts Brazil BRIC era Bridgewater Associates Britain deindustrialization education in extensions of franchise in financial crisis (2008) Great Exhibition (London 1851) housing wealth in and industrial revolution Labour Party in liberalization in political fractionalization in real wages in social capital in surpassed by US as leading nation wage subsidies in Brontë, Charlotte Brynjolfsson, Erik bubbles, asset-price Buffalo Bill (William Cody) BuzzFeed Cairncross, Frances, The Death of Distance (1997) capital ‘deepening’ infrastructure investment investment in developing world career, concept of cars see automobiles Catalan nationalism Central African Republic central banks Chait, Jonathan Charlotte chemistry, industrial Chicago meat packers in nineteenth-century expansion of World’s Columbia Exposition (1893) China Deng Xiaoping’s reforms economic slow-down in era of rapid growth foreign-exchange reserves ‘green jobs’ in illiberal institutions in inequality in iPod assembly in technological transformation in wage levels in Chorus (content-management system) Christensen, Clayton Cisco cities artisanal goods and services building-supply restrictions growth of and housing costs and industrial revolution and information membership battles in rich/skilled and social capital clerical work climate change Clinton, Hillary Coase, Ronald Columbia University, School of Mines communications technology communism communities of affinity computing app-based companies capability thresholds cloud services cycles of experimentation desktop market disk-drive industry ‘enterprise software’ products exponential progress narrative as general purpose technology hardware and software infrastructure history of ‘Moore’s Law’ and productivity switches transistors vacuum tubes see also digital revolution; software construction industry regulations on Corbyn, Jeremy Corliss steam engine corporate power Cowen, Tyler craft producers Craigslist creative destruction the Crystal Palace, London Dalio, Ray Dallas, Texas debt deindustrialization demand, chronically weak dematerialization Detroit developing economies and capital investment and digital revolution era of rapid growth and industrialization pockets of wealth in and ‘reshoring’ phenomenon and sharp slowdown and social capital see also emerging economies digital revolution and agency and company cultures and developing economies and distance distribution of benefits of dotcom tech boom emergence of and global imbalances and highly skilled few and industrial institutions and information flows investment in social capital niche markets pace of change and paradox of potential productivity and output and secular stagnation start-ups and technological deskilling techno-optimism techno-pessimism as tectonic economic transformation and trading patterns web journalism see also automation; computing; globalization discrimination and exclusion ‘disruption’, phenomenon of distribution of wealth see inequality; redistribution; wealth and income distribution dotcom boom eBay economics, classical The Economist education in emerging economies during industrial revolution racial segregation in USA and scarcity see also university education electricity Ellison, Glenn Ellison, Sara Fisher emerging economies deindustrialization economic growth in education in foreign-exchange reserves growth in global supply chains highly skilled workers in see also developing economies employment and basic income policy cheap labour as boost to and dot.com boom in Europe and financial crisis (2008) ‘green jobs’ low-pay sector minimum wage impact niche markets in public sector ‘reshoring’ phenomenon as rising globally and social contexts and social membership as source of personal identity and structural change trilemma in USA see also labour; wages Engels, Friedrich environmental issues Etsy euro- zone Europe extreme populist politics liberalized economies political fractionalization in European Union Facebook face-recognition technology factors of production land see also capital; labour ‘Factory Asia’ factory work assembly-line techniques during industrial revolution family fascism Federal Reserve financial crisis (2008) financial markets cross-border capital flows in developing economies Finland firms and companies Coase’s work on core competencies culture of dark matter (intangible capital) and dematerialization and ‘disruption’ ‘firm-specific’ knowledge and information flows internal incentive structures pay of top executives shifting boundaries of social capital of and social wealth start-ups Ford, Martin, Rise of the Robots (2015) Ford Motor Company fracking France franchise, electoral Friedman, Milton Fukuyama, Francis Gates, Bill gender discrimination general purpose technologies enormous benefits from exponential progress and skilled labour supporting infrastructure and time lags see also digital revolution Germany ‘gig economy’ Glaeser, Ed global economy growth in supply chains imbalances lack of international cooperation savings glut and social consensus globalization hyperglobalization and secular stagnation and separatist movements Goldman Sachs Google Gordon, Robert Gothenburg, Sweden Great Depression Great Depression (1930s) Great Exhibition, London (1851) Great Recession Great Stagnation Greece ‘green jobs’ growth, economic battle over spoils of boom (1994-2005) and classical economists as consistent in rich countries decline of ‘labour share’ dotcom boom emerging economies gains not flowing to workers and industrial revolution Kaldor’s ‘stylized facts of’ and Keynes during liberal era pie metaphor in post-war period and quality of institutions and rich/elite cities rich-poor nation gap and skilled labour guilds Hansen, Alvin Hayes, Chris, The Twilight of the Elites healthcare and medicine hedge funds and private equity firms Holmes, Oliver Wendell Hong Kong housing in Bay-Area NIMBY campaigns against soaring prices pre-2008 crisis zoning and regulations Houston, Texas Huffington Post human capital Hungary IBM identity, personal immigration and ethno-nationalist separatism and labour markets in Nordic countries and social capital income distribution see inequality; redistribution; wealth and income distribution India Indonesia industrial revolution automation during and economic growth and growth of cities need for better-educated workers and productivity ‘second revolution’ and social change and wages and World’s Fairs inequality and education levels between firms and housing wealth during industrial revolution during liberal era between nations pay of top executives rise of in emerging economies and secular stagnation in Sweden wild contingency of wealth see also rich people; wealth and income distribution inflation in 1970s hyperinflation information technology see computing Intel interest rates International Space Station (ISS) iRobot ISIS Italy Jacksonville, Florida Jacquard, Joseph Marie Japan journalism Kaldor, Nicholas Keynes, John Maynard Kurzweil.

 

pages: 215 words: 55,212

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky

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Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, Google Earth, Internet of things, Kickstarter, late fees, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social web, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, walkable city, yield management, young professional, Zipcar

The catch: you will likely find yourself sleeping on a living room couch. To get started, both travelers and hosts set up profiles, define their expectations, and start connecting. The best way to verify a CouchSurfer is to check out his or her references, the required evaluations written by both surfers and hosts at the end of a stay. Airbnb: Online marketplace allowing anyone, from private residents to commercial property managers, to rent out their extra space. http://www.airbnb.com CouchSurfing: Connects travelers with locals. Enables members to share hospitality. http://www.couchsurfing.org Dopplr: Members share personal and business travel plans with their private networks. http://www.dopplr.com Driftr: Platform for sharing travel information. http://www.driftr.com EveryTrail: Platform for geo-tagged, user-generated travel content.

 

Early Retirement Guide: 40 is the new 65 by Manish Thakur

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Airbnb, diversified portfolio, financial independence, index fund, Lyft, passive income, passive investing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Vanguard fund, Zipcar

Now since one of financial independence's main purposes is to live the best life you can for your goals, if you have found your dream home and are appalled at the idea of moving, that's perfectly ok. This just means financial independence might be a little further away or you might have to make tradeoffs in other purchasing decisions. There are a few other ways of reducing the impact of your housing costs on your early retirement timeline: 1. Rent out unused rooms on Airbnb.com, and earn some extra money and make new friends along the way 2. Use space heaters to only heat frequently used rooms and cut down on money spent to heat the whole house. 3. Get roommates who cover your monthly mortgage payment with their rent payments. If you do decide to start looking for a new home that truly fits your needs and aligns with your desired lifestyle and goals, keep an eye out for rooms that can serve multiple purposes.

 

pages: 420 words: 79,867

Developing Backbone.js Applications by Addy Osmani

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Airbnb, anti-pattern, create, read, update, delete, database schema, Firefox, full text search, Google Chrome, Khan Academy, loose coupling, MVC pattern, node package manager, pull request, side project, single page application, web application

Khan Academy Offering a web app that aims to provide free world-class education to anyone anywhere, Khan Academy uses Backbone to keep its frontend code both modular and organized. MetaLab MetaLab created Flow, a task management app for teams using Backbone. Its workspace uses Backbone to create task views, activities, accounts, tags and more. Walmart Mobile Walmart chose Backbone to power its mobile web applications, creating two new extension frameworks in the process - Thorax and Lumbar. We’ll be discussing both of these later in the book. Airbnb Airbnb developed its mobile web app using Backbone and now uses it across many of its products. Code School Code School’s course challenge app is built from the ground up using Backbone, taking advantage of all the pieces it has to offer: routers, collections, models and complex event handling. Backbone Basics In this section, you’ll learn the essentials of Backbone’s models, views, collections, events, and routers.

 

pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

At the time he raced 6 Hours of Silverstone, it had been about five years since he first drove any car at all. That makes him one of the fastest risers in championship racing. Despite that, Heinemeier Hansson is far better known among computer programmers—where he goes by the moniker DHH—than car enthusiasts. Though most of his fellow racers don’t know it, he’s indirectly responsible for the development of Twitter. And Hulu and Airbnb. And a host of other transformative technologies for which he receives no royalties. His work has contributed to revolutions, and lowered the barrier for thousands of tech companies* to launch products. All because David Heinemeier Hansson hates to do work he doesn’t have to do. DHH lives and works by a philosophy that helps him do dramatically more with his time and effort. It’s a principle that’s fueled his underdog climbs in both racing and programming, and just might deliver a win for him as the cars slide around the rain-slicked Silverstone course.

INDEX The pagination of this electronic edition does not match the edition from which it was made. To locate a specific passage, please use the search feature on your ebook reader. Abagnale, Frank William, Jr., 7–8 Abrams, Jeffrey Jacob, 131–33 Academy of Management Review (journal), 117 Addieu (iPhone app), 58 Adidas AG (sports equipment), 192 “Advanced Chess” (Upworthy study), 218n73 Advertising Age (magazine), 149 Adweek (magazine), 149, 150 AHumanRight.org, 176–77 Airbnb (website), 80 Aldrin, Edwin Eugene (“Buzz”), 145, 147 Alexander the Great (king of Macedon), 38, 175 Alias (TV series), 132 Amabile, Teresa, 146 Anthony, Carmelo, 191, 192 Apple, Inc., 116 Aristotle (philosopher), 38, 46 Armstrong, Neil, 145 Arthur, Chester, 24–25 Ashton (video gamer), 14 athletics, recognition ahead of academics, 166 auto racing DHH driving skills, 95–98 Formula 1, 41–42 GT3/GT4/GTE races, 96–97 6 Hours of Silverstone, 79–80 Avicii (Tim Bergling), 134 Aykroyd, Dan, 56 Bad Robot Productions, 131–33 “Bad Romance” (video), 120, 142, 153 Barrie, J.

 

pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher

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Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, clean water, collaborative consumption, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

In Philadelphia, venture capital firm First Round Capital moved from suburban Conshohocken to University City. The list goes on and on as companies competing for younger workers realize they need to move to where the talent wants to live. Nowhere is this more obvious than in San Francisco, where some of the hottest tech start-ups are forgoing Silicon Valley for the city itself. Twitter, Zynga, Airbnb, Dropbox, Uber, Pinterest, and Yelp are among those that have opted to build new headquarters in San Franciscos proper instead of the stretch of suburbs that make up the Bay Area peninsula. Several venture capital firms, too, longtime fixtures of Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Road, have recently announced plans to either relocate or open satellite offices in San Francisco. In the mornings, the traffic on the 101, the main commuting freeway out of San Francisco toward the Valley, is now heavier heading out of the city than the reverse.

Motorola Mobility is shuttering: Sandra Guy, “Motorola Mobility Leaving Libertyville for Merchandise Mart,” suntimes.com, July 26, 2012. “The whole corporate campus seems”: Eddie Baeb, “Crain’s Special Report: Corporate Campuses in Twilight,” Crain’s Chicago Business, May 30, 2011. In New York City, UBS: Charles V. Bagli, “Regretting Move, Bank May Return to Manhattan,” New York Times, June 8, 2011. Twitter, Zynga, Airbnb, Dropbox: A notable exception to the tech moguls’ fascination with cities is Steve Jobs, who lived and worked his whole life in the suburbs (he lived in a Tudor house in Palo Alto, and Apple’s headquarters were in nearby Cupertino). But when Apple-owned Pixar moved to a new headquarters in Emeryville, California, Jobs pushed the designers to emphasize central locations where employees could mingle with one another with the hope of fostering creativity.

 

pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

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4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

This is all the more reason for those who care about their fellow human beings to want to see a strong social safety net—even the likes of Hayek and Friedman, who are invoked as the spiritual leaders of so many on the modern Right, understood as much. There’s also a modicum of rational self interest to be had here: if workers weren’t (rightfully) scared to death at the prospect of losing employment, they might do less to seek government subsidy for industries that were in decline or in need of stark changes to their business models. Ahem … Hollywood? Or the hotel industry, from the perspective of bed-and-breakfast facilitator Airbnb, or the taxi industry, from the vantage of the on-demand car service Uber, and on and on. Specifically, government guarantees of health care—a Medicare-for-all program, more efficient than the private insurance system—and pensions more robust than Social Security—would give Americans some assurance that they wouldn’t starve. They’d enable entrepreneurship, as health care access is a concern that forces people to scurry towards and hold onto jobs they don’t want 94 L abor S ides w ith the B osses instead of starting their own shops (though this predicament will be somewhat improved under Obamacare).

Like most of these networks, Foursquare was built on open source software and its services are delivered over the Internet. They were able to grow to over one hundred thousand users on less than $25,000. Craigslist radically reduced the cost of classified advertising. They replaced the call centers, printing presses, trucks and trees that used to be necessary to alert the world that you wanted to sell your couch—with a digital photo and a drop-dead simple electronic posting mechanism. Airbnb has re-invented the way travelers are matched with beds, and in the process enabled hundreds of thousands of people around the world to capture the value in their spare bedroom. Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare spend little or nothing to acquire new users or to propagate a new feature. We hear a lot about viral marketing but I did not internalize its implications until I watched David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, introduce a new feature: by hiding it. 282 O n the F reedom T o I nnovate When I was an entrepreneur in the software business we spent a ton of money and time to introduce a new feature.

Policymakers and regulators who have longstanding relationships with these incumbents are receptive to these requests because they are usually couched in language about the safety or security of consumers, and because there are only a few people—most of whom are in this room—who are explaining the risks of these proposed policies and regulations. Over the next few years there will be a steady stream of these requests. The hotel lobby in New York City has already convinced the city council to outlaw temporary hotels. The bill was presented as a consumer safety measure to prevent slumlords from turning dilapidated tenements into squalid, unsafe hotels. The councilmembers never considered the bills’ impact on Airbnb but the hotel lobby knew exactly what their proposed language meant. The Research Works Act played out in a very similar way in Washington. Its original sponsors understood it as the elimination of a government mandate 283 HACKING POLITICS that forced researchers to embrace a specific business model. The academic publishers who sponsored the bill knew very well that it would slow competition from open-access journals.

 

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

While insurance companies have recoiled, three states have passed laws to protect car-sharers from losing coverage.30 The model is spreading, and now there are social technologies powering peer-to-peer systems for sharing all kinds of expensive private assets. Airbnb does the same for renting out homes for short-term stays, and logged 5 million bookings worldwide in 2011. While they do compete on price with traditional businesses, these services also bait us into more efficient behaviors by turning faceless commercial transactions into human social encounters. It’s infinitely more rewarding to rent the poet’s flat in San Francisco on Airbnb than to book a soulless hotel room on Expedia. Sharing systems can be deployed rapidly—often the only additional infrastructure that’s needed is the Web. And there are tangible environmental benefits. While spending a night in some hotels is less carbon-intensive than spending a night in the average US home, building the hotel in the first place accounts for a significant share of its total lifetime carbon emissions.31 Construction is an incredibly wasteful sector of the economy—according to the United Nations’ Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, “the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings constitute about 40 per cent of solid waste streams in developed countries.”32 Frank Duffy, an architect who is one of the world’s leading experts on workspace design, argued that—at least in developed economies—we have already built all of the buildings we will ever need.

My wife Nicole has been there always, as a sounding board, honing my reasoning and helping me actually turn some of these ideas into real projects. Finally, my brothers John Townsend and Bill Townsend, who were my original urban mentors, showed me the wonders of Boston and Washington as a teenager, and spurred my love of the city forever. Index Access Together, 166 Accountability Department, U.S., 265 ACM Queue, 266 Adams, Sam, 83 Aerotropolis (Kasarda and Lindsay), 24 Agent.btz, 269 Airbnb, 163 air-conditioning, early solutions for, 19–20 air defense, computer systems for, 63 Air Force, U.S., 63, 259 “air-gapping,” 269 AirPort, 128 air transportation, 63 digital technology in, 32–33 Albritton, Dan, 301–2 Alexander, Christopher, 142–44, 285–86 Alfeld, Louis Edward, 81–82, 86 Allan, Alasdair, 271 Altair, MITS, 153 Altman, Anne, 65 Amar, Georges, 106, 133 Amazon Web Services, 263–64 American Airlines, 63–64 American Express, 62 Amin, Massoud, 35 Amsterdam, 279 analog cellular, 53 Angelini, Alessandro, 91–92 Ansari X PRIZE, 202–3 API (application program interface), 150 Apple, 49, 128, 148, 271 Siri of, 233 apps, 121–26, 144–52, 183, 213, 235 to address urban problems, 156–59 badges for, 148 contests for, 156, 200–205, 212, 215, 225, 227–30 for navigation of disabled, 166 situated software as, 232–36 “Trees Near You” as, 201–2 variety of, 6 Apps for Democracy, 156, 200–201, 203 Arab Spring, social media in, 11–12 Arbon, 37 Arcaute, Elsa, 313–14 Archibald, Rae, 80 Archigram, 20–21 Architectural Association (London), 20 Architectural Forum, 142 Architecture Without Architects (Rudofsky), 111–12 Arduino, 137–41 ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), 259 ARPANET, 111, 259–60, 269 ArrivalStar, 293 Arup, 32 Ashlock, Philip, 158–59 Asimov, Isaac, 73–75, 88 Association for Computing Machinery, 260 Astando, 244 AT&T, 35–37, 51–52, 111, 260, 272 dial-up Internet service at, 36 Atlanta, Ga., 66 Atlantic, The, 75 AutoCAD, 302 AutoDesk, 302 automobile, as new technology, 7 Ayers, Charlie, 252 Babajob, 178–79 “Baby Bells,” 195 Baltimore, Md., 211 Banavar, Guru, 66–67, 69, 90, 306 Bangalore, 66, 178–79 Cisco’s smart city engineering group at, 45 as fast-growing city, 13 Ban Ki-moon, 181–82 Banzi, Massimo, 137 Baran, Paul, 259–60 Barcelona, 10, 246–47 destruction of wall of, 43 Barragán, Hernando, 137 Barry, Marion, 199 Batty, Michael, 85–87, 295–97, 313, 315–16 Becker, Gene, 112–13 Beijing, 49, 273–74 Belloch, Juan Alberto, 223 Beniger, James, 42–43 Bentham, Jeremy, prison design of, 13 Berlin, 38 Bernstein, Phil, 302 Bettencourt, Luis, 312–13 Betty, Garry, 196 Bhoomi, 12–13 big data, 29, 87, 191, 292–93, 297, 305–6, 316, 319 “Big Ideas from Small Places” (Khanna and Skilling), 224 BlackBerry Messenger, riots coordinated via, 12 blogosphere, 155 Bloomberg, Michael, 147, 205–6, 304 Boing-Boing, 156 Booz Allen Hamilton, 30 Bosack, Len, 44 Boston, Mass., 212–17, 239–41, 306–7 “Adopt-A-Hydrant” in, 213 Discover BPS, 240–42 Office of New Urban Mechanics in, 213–16 “What Are My Schools?”

 

pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

But their evident competence—particularly when they were compared with Mt. Gox—generated so much confidence that Wences and Micky began moving their trading to Bitstamp. Mt. Gox still had 80 percent of all Bitcoin trading, but Bitstamp’s market share began to creep up. For those looking to buy smaller quantities of Bitcoin—BitInstant’s specialty—people found their way to Coinbase, a San Francisco–based startup that had been opened by a veteran of Airbnb and a former trader at Goldman Sachs at the beginning of 2013. The company had managed to interest several investors and had maintained a bank account with Silicon Valley Bank. But even with Coinbase executives at the bank made it clear that the Bitcoin business was testing their patience. In order to stay on top of anti–money laundering laws, the bank had to review every single transaction, and these reviews cost the bank more money than Coinbase was bringing in.

Despite the crash, everyone with a Bitcoin idea found that there was now no shortage of eager investors in Silicon Valley. In May, Pete Thiel’s Founders Fund announced that it was putting $2 million into BitPay, the payment processing company that allowed merchants to accept Bitcoin and end up with dollars in their bank—taking advantage of the Bitcoin network’s quick and cheap transactions. But the company that was attracting the most attention was Coinbase, founded by the veterans of Airbnb and Goldman Sachs. The twentysomething cofounders had clean-cut looks and soft-spoken ways that naturally engendered confidence. Investors liked that the pair avoided the ideological talk of overthrowing the Fed and instead sold their company as a safe and easy place for consumers to buy and hold coins that wouldn’t be subject to endless delays and scrutiny from the authorities. They also had real professional experience at well-known companies, something that had been in short supply in the Bitcoin world up to this point.

Other banks were taking similar, if less aggressive, steps. As the comments at Lawsky’s hearing suggested, this was nearly the opposite of the attitude in Silicon Valley, which had not been implicated in the financial crisis. The tech industry was increasingly confident about its own ability to change the world, emboldened by the success of companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Some of the most popular tech companies were ones such as Airbnb and Uber that openly challenged cumbersome regulations like those imposed on hotels and taxis. In the financial networks that Bitcoin was hoping to challenge, tech investors like Fred Wilson saw just another set of regulations that could be disrupted to create a more efficient market. If anything, the financial industry seemed even more open to disruption because the incumbent businesses were so afraid of breaking the rules.

 

pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, computer age, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

During my visit, Billy Joel, James Taylor, and Simon and Garfunkel played softly in the background. We sat around a low table, the garage door that serves as the front entrance open to the street. As Zeiger sees it, the Internet has gone through two distinct phases. The first, in which his old employer, Google, was the victor, involved democratizing access to content. The second, characterized not only by Facebook and Twitter, but also by Uber, Airbnb, and Yelp, has been about democratizing access to other people. When Zeiger was at Google, one of his roles was to help the company understand this transition as it pertained to healthcare. He discovered a small, e-mail-based cancer community run by a guy named Gilles Frydman whose wife had a serious cancer. Frydman noticed that many of the participants in this community were migrating to Facebook, despite the fact that Facebook doesn’t work very well for health communities.

This makes it harder for nimble new entrants to come in and begin taking over a previously ignored part of the market, the pattern of disruptive innovation famously described by Clay Christensen. It was the deregulation of the airlines in the 1980s that paved the way for Southwest Airlines and JetBlue. And the relatively unencumbered world of the Internet has allowed the emergence of companies like Amazon and Airbnb. Such disruptors often sneak around the edges of a market (and sometimes the law; think Napster or Uber), and, by the time the incumbents wake up and begin trying to defend their franchise, the new service is too entrenched to take down. When this example is applied to the world of healthcare IT, the incumbent that everyone refers to is Epic. The best example of an upstart company trying to take it on is athenahealth.

“It would take a superhero,” he said, and a picture of Jonathan Bush flashed on his screen. This was not a compliment. This slide was rapidly followed by a series of videos that displayed a smorgasbord of unflattering, histrionic, and sometimes buffoonish Bush interviews and stage appearances. In one particularly damning mash-up, Bush slings around virtually every Internet buzz-term: “creating network effect, creating an Airbnb.” “a little bit of Facebook.” “it’s a little bit like Salesforce.com, but we do more work.” “athenahealth is a cloud-based service—we sell results. Amazon has great software, athena has great software; Amazon sells stories, we sell paid claims, settled appointments, filed claims.” Einhorn then cued another clip, this one of the King of Market Hype, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money. “Even before Marc Benioff [founder of Salesforce and the person generally credited with popularizing the idea of cloud-based commerce] knew what a cloud was,” said Cramer, “Jonathan Bush did—you can say that he invented the damn thing.”

 

pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, megacity, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

In the last Renaissance, people went to the town square to find each other; in the New Renaissance, the town square is always with us, in the form of real-time, location-based data on our identities, choices and behaviors. We go to it anytime to fulfill an ever-widening range of needs—to shop, eat, exercise, travel and meet with one another. We can match partners for love or sex (Match.com, Tinder), match entrepreneurs with investors (kickstarter.com, indiegogo.com), drivers with riders (Uber, Lyft), spare rooms with travelers (Airbnb), public stewards with street-level concerns (SeeClickFix.com), people in need with good Samaritans (causes.com, fundly.com), problems with the talents to solve them (hackathons, InnoCentive.com) and victims with aid-givers and watchdogs (ushahidi.com), to name a few. None of these feats or forums were possible even 10 years ago. Now they are an integral part of how we all talk, learn, create, share, do and help, and allow us to do all these things more quickly, more efficiently, at a bigger scale and (sometimes) privately.

Eulogies at fourteenth-century funerals commended the renunciation of worldly goods; by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they praised industry and acquisition.73 Today, the onus is again on the wealthy to justify their hoards, although the underlying morality is increasingly secular. No fortune is wholly earned by its possessor’s own efforts. Parents, teachers and luck all play a big part along the way—as do publicly provisioned goods like knowledge, technology, markets and infrastructure. Digitization, by multiplying the market reach of a single good idea, yields a “winner-take-all” effect (think Facebook, Uber or Airbnb) that only widens the gap between what one justly earns and what one accumulates.74 The evidence says that the rich haven’t done nearly enough to make that gap acceptable to the societies they live in. Since the turn of the century, total global private wealth has more than doubled; the number of millionaire households worldwide has more than tripled (from 5.5 to 16.3 million); and those millionaires—despite making up only 1.1 percent of households globally—have concentrated more than half of all private wealth into their own hands.75 Global private giving is harder to quantify, but it certainly hasn’t kept pace.

Afghanistan, 59, 166, 230 Africa, 195, 236–8, 249, 252–3 and development, 59, 78, 99–101, 161 and Ebola, 181–3 and education 81, 82, 95 and exploration, 18–19, 21, 40, 55–6, 63, 67 and global financial crisis, 188 and HIV/AIDS, 76, 98, 185 and Internet access, 96, 197 and life expectancy, 76 and politics, 23, 90 and population growth, 53–5, 84 and trade, 63, 72, 97, 183 and urbanization, 54–5 AIDS. See HIV/AIDS Airbnb, 145, 261 Al-Qaeda, 166, 207, 210 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, 241 Apple, 43, 241 Arab Spring, 24, 36, 211, 222–4, 228 architecture, 142–5 Aristarchus, 133–4 Aristotle, 89, 144, 256, 260 Arthur, Brian, 132, 246 astronomy, 29–30, 105–7, 133, 148, 150, 156, 263. See also Copernicus, Nicolaus Australia, 20, 43, 225 automation, 116, 146, 167 Aztecs, 9, 19, 93 al-Baghdadi, Bakr, 207, 208–9 Barker, Robert, 30 Berlin Wall, 4, 7, 10, 21–2, 77–8 Bhopal Union Carbide disaster, 99 bin Laden, Osama, 166, 210 Black Death, 1, 70, 72–3, 93, 143, 173–5, 177, 184 Bohr, Niels, 124 Bonfire of the Vanities, 8, 203–4.

 

pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

This enmeshment, often referred to as ‘digital transformation’, is fuelled by an unprecedented degree of investment and rapid innovation. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of young entrepreneurs around the world use computers and computer technologies to disrupt business models that held sway for centuries. Think of Airbnb, which has placed digital dynamite at the foundations of the hotel industry; or Uber, which has done the same for taxis. Both companies have reinvented how their respective industries are making money by pulling down barriers to entry and allowing anyone who can drive a car (Uber), or has a place to rent (Airbnb), to become taxi drivers and hoteliers. The list goes on and on. Twenty-something start-up founders become billionaires overnight, demonstrating that in the twenty-first century everyone can become a Thomas Edison. The tremendous impact of information technology on the economy is well documented.

INDEX Entries correspond to the print edition of this book. You can use your device’s search function to locate particular terms in the text. 3D printers 290 A Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare) 49 abduction (form of logic) 196–7 abiogenesis 184 Adams, Douglas xviii Aesop’s fables 19–20 aesthetic practices in early humans 9 Africa, exodus of human ancestors 3–4, 6–7, 8–9 A.I. (film) 56–7 AI Singularity 58, 126, 127, 129, 247, 270–5, 290, 302–3 Airbnb 233 algorithms 210–11 Al-Jazari 34 alternative therapies 40 Amazon 233, 246 androids 53–9, 66–73 Andronicus of Cyrrhus 30, 31 animal magnetism 40 Anthropic Principle 126–9 anthropomorphism 19–23, 25–7 antibody recognition system 282–3 Apple 81–2, 233 application programming interface (API) 265 Archimedes (287–212 BCbc) 30, 31 Aristotle 102, 103, 143, 134–42, 195–7 art 3–5, 9, 12–13, 15–18 Artificial Intelligence and human representations of the world 17–18 and the advent of computers 51–3 anthropomorphising inanimate objects 26–7 attitudes towards 45–7 challenges for researchers 52–3 computational model 211–16 current research directions 255 definitions of intelligence 48–9, 52 emergent properties of systems 182–3 emotional connection with 66–73 empirical perspective 152–3 evolution into a simulated universe 127–9 extracting meaning from data 255 human relationships with androids 53–9 imagining true AI 296–303 impacts in the second machine age 266–9 inability to perform basic human functions 275–9 limits of conventional computer technology 275–9 narrative of fear 45–7 narrative of love 45–7 origins of the discipline 256–9 potential for catastrophe 63–6 renewed interest from the 1980s 259–66 sentience in computers 65–6 theological reactions to 67 threat of taking over 58–9 see also AI artificial neural networks 285–7 Ashby, W.

 

pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

* * * For a good example of how the innovation economy is upending traditional models, check out Elance, a rapidly growing online service that enables entrepreneurial freelancers to earn income in hundreds of ways, including as editors, graphic designers, creative writers, software developers, and researchers. Need your logo designed? Go to Elance. Need careful research about an article? Go to Elance. Elance is hardly unique. Millions of people are generating income through the online microeconomies of sites like Care.com, Freelance.com, eBay, oDesk, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, Teachers Pay Teachers, iTunes, Kickstarter, and on and on. These marketplaces represent the wave of the future, where anyone can: • reach lots of customers readily. • build an online reputation through customer feedback and examples of work. • succeed in a world where customers don’t care about education credentials or standardized test scores. • thrive in an economy that values skills (liberal arts as well as STEM) that matter

Social media shed light on a candidate’s personality and judgment. Increasingly, employers recruit in the same way you’d want to commission an artist to do a portrait—reviewing portfolios of work instead of interviewing Art History majors from Ivy League colleges. HireArt is a New York City start-up focused on providing employers with authentic ways to assess a candidate’s fit for open positions. The company works with employers (e.g., tech companies like Airbnb and Facebook) to craft rigorous and appropriate challenges that in turn gauge an applicant’s competence and passion for a position. For example, when applying for a sales role, an applicant might be asked to write an email pitching a product. It’s unlikely that someone without real expertise or interest would step up to this challenge. But applicants who can’t imagine anything more fun than taking this on have a chance to demonstrate their capabilities, whether they went to an Ivy League college, attended a community college, or dropped out of high school.

 

pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

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1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Gini coefficient, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, market bubble, nudge unit, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, urban planning

Managers hope that their employees will also act as ‘brand ambassadors’ in their everyday social lives and seek advice on how to influence them to do this. Meanwhile, neuromarketers have begun studying how successfully images and advertisements trigger common neural responses in groups, rather than in isolated individuals. This, it seems, is a far better indication of how larger populations will respond.7 The rise of the ‘sharing economy’, exemplified by Airbnb and Uber, and studies such as the pay-it-forward experiment, offer a simple lesson to big business. People will take more pleasure in buying things if the experience can be blended with something that feels like friendship and gift exchange. The role of money must be airbrushed out of the picture wherever possible. As marketers see it, payment is one of the unfortunate ‘pain points’ in any relationship with a customer, which requires anaesthetizing with some form of more ‘social’ experience.

Index A4e, 110, 111, 112 Abrams, Mark, 99, 101 Accenture, 119 Achor, Shawn, 114 Activity Savings Account, 240 Ad Slam contest, 275 addiction, 204, 207 Adorno, Theodor, 99 advertising, 73, 85, 86, 93, 95–6, 100, 101, 102–3, 186, 188, 189, 215, 253, 256, 262, 275 advertising-free spaces, 275 affect scales/questionnaires, 241 Affectiva, 72 affective computing, 222, 237 Affective Computing research centre (MIT), 221 Airbnb, 188 Aldridge, Beren, 246, 247, 248, 250 Alfa-Bank, 240 algorithms, 6, 204, 220, 221, 226, 237, 239, 261 altruism, 131, 182, 191, 195, 211, 243 American Psychiatric Association (APA), 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 174, 177, 178, 271 American Psychological Association, 87 amitriptyline, 164 Anderson, Chris, 185 Andrejevic, Mark, 260 antidepressants, 143, 163, 164, 166, 175 anti-psychiatry movement, 168 Apple, 37, 135, 159 apps, 3, 5, 26, 64, 135, 221, 228, 230, 232, 274 Ariely, Dan, 238, 257 Aristotle, 5, 20 Ashton, John, 274 Atos, 110, 112, 113 attitudinal research, 100, 147 Ayd, Frank, 164 Back, Les, 269 Bain, Alexander, 48 Barclays Bank, 178 Basu, Sanjay, 252 Beating the Blues, 222 Beck, Aaron, 165, 175 Beck Depression Inventory, 165, 175 Becker, Gary, 149, 151, 160 behaviour, 31–2, 262.

 

pages: 102 words: 29,596

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh

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Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, new economy, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, Steve Jobs

About the Authors REID HOFFMAN is Executive Chairman of LinkedIn Corporation and a partner at Greylock Partners. In 2003 he cofounded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service, in his living room in Mountain View, California. Today, LinkedIn has more than three hundred million members in two hundred countries and territories around the world. In 2009 Reid joined Greylock Partners, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. His investments include Airbnb, Facebook, Flickr, and Zynga. He serves on a number of for-profit and not-for-profit boards, including Kiva.org and Endeavor. Reid earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from Stanford University. BEN CASNOCHA is an award-winning entrepreneur and author from Silicon Valley. He is coauthor with Reid Hoffman of the #1 New York Times bestselling book The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.

 

pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor

Or they make sure they buy from and work with other local freelancers to keep the ecosystem healthy. They buy their groceries at the local food co-op. They attend classes. They teach classes. They go to networking events not just to hand out business cards, but to find other freelancers that share their passions.37 In the new sharing economy we’ll all be freelancers. We’ll rent out our spare rooms on Airbnb and drive our cars for Lyft. We’ll have a “portfolio of jobs” and live our lives by “essentialist” principles: We will live with “intention and choice” and celebrate the joy of “fulfilling a purpose” and making “small choices that lead to big change.”38 It’s all about adapting ourselves and acquiring the necessary skills and connections to make it in the world. This is the new American Dream. Sure, there are problems in society, but we don’t need to change the world.

 

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

In San Francisco, drug dealers in Dolores Park began using Square, a small white plastic device that connects to the iPhone and allows anybody to accept credit card payments, enabling hipsters who eschew cash to charge their ecstasy and pot. In New York, prostitutes tired of the cameras and overly inquisitive doormen at chic Manhattan hotels have turned to Airbnb to rent apartments for their trysts. The prostitutes pose as students or tourists, and the unsuspecting New Yorkers who rent their apartments have no idea their own beds are being used to entertain multiple clients and to host orgies. One escort service claimed it was saving “a fortune” by using Airbnb. “It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf,” said a twenty-one-year-old sex worker. Whatever the technology or Internet service, criminals are there at the earliest stages, innovatively turning the newfangled tools to their advantage.

Golay, “Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data,” Rand Corporation, 4. 7 Several executives were kidnapped: Byron Acohido, “How Kidnappers, Assassins Utilize Smartphones, Google, and Facebook,” USAToday.​com, Feb. 18, 2011. 8 Sensing a market need: “Woman ‘Ran Text-a-Getaway’ Service,” BBC News, July 16, 2013. 9 In San Francisco: This was based on the author’s personal observations, and I have a photograph of the incident. 10 “It’s more discreet”: Dana Sauchelli and Bruce Golding, “Hookers Turning Airbnb Apartments into Brothels,” New York Post, April 14, 2014. 11 While organized crime groups: The information on the organization of modern cybercrime organizations came from a variety of sources, including personal experience and investigation, consultation with senior law enforcement officials working in the field of cyber crime, and online resources such as “Cybercriminals Today Mirror Legitimate Business Processes,” Fortinet 2013 Cybercrime Report; Trend Micro Threat Research, “A Cybercrime Hub,” Aug. 2009; Information Warfare Monitor and Shadowserver Foundation, Shadows in the Cloud, Joint Report, April 6, 2010; Patrick Thibodeau, “FBI Lists Top 10 Posts in Cybercriminal Operations,” Computerworld, March 23, 2010; Roderic Broadhurst et al., “Organizations and Cybercrime,” International Journal of Cyber Criminology, Oct. 11, 2013. 12 Active criminal affiliates: Dmitry Samosseiko, “The Partnerka” (paper presented at Virus Bulletin Conference, Sept. 2009); “The Business of Cybercrime,” Trend Micro White Paper, Jan. 2010. 13 In other words: Cisco, Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report, 9. 14 Actors in these online crime swarms: Broadhurst et al., “Organizations and Cybercrime.” 15 As noted previously: Dunn, “Global Cybercrime Dominated by 50 Core Groups.” 16 Some Crime, Inc. organizations: See Brian Krebs, “ ‘Citadel’ Trojan Touts Trouble-Ticket System,” Krebs on Security, Jan. 23, 2012. 17 One group of cyber thieves: Bob Sullivan, “160 Million Credit Cards Later, ‘Cutting Edge’ Hacking Ring Cracked,” NBC News, July 25, 2013; “Team of International Criminals Charged with Multi-million Dollar Hacking Ring,” NBC News, July 25, 2013. 18 Some digital criminal marketplaces: Thomas Holt, “Exploring the Social Organisation and Structure of Stolen Data Markets,” Global Crime 14, nos. 2–3 (2013); Thomas Holt, “Honor Among (Credit Card) Thieves?

 

pages: 519 words: 118,095

Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth

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Airbnb, asset allocation, bank run, car-free, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, Firefox, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, index card, index fund, late fees, mortgage tax deduction, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, Paul Graham, random walk, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, speech recognition, traveling salesman, Vanguard fund, web application, Zipcar

You can then volunteer to host—by offering a spare couch or bed to travelers—or request to "surf" in somebody else's home. Couch-surfing lets you save money and make new friends in the cities you visit. (Here's a real-life overview of the couch-surfing experience: http://tinyurl.com/GRS-couchsurfing.) You'll find similar communities at The Hospitality Club (http://hospitalityclub.org), Airbnb (http://airbnb.com), and Servas (http://usservas.org/), which has been around for over 60 years. (Note that you have to pay to join Servas.) Tip Hi Everywhere! (http://hieverywhere.com) is a free site that helps you find (or be) a volunteer tour guide. You tell the site when and where you plan to travel, and if a local guide is available, she can sign up to show you around the city. Volunteer tourism Some folks want to go beyond sightseeing and get a real feel for the culture, and volunteer tourism is a great way to do just that.

 

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Smart electricity meters in your home could turn the washing machine off and the heating down at peak times when prices are high and also allow you to sell surplus electricity to the grid from solar panels or a wind turbine on your roof. A global pioneer is Italy’s Enel, the state-owned energy utility, which has deployed more than 30 million smart meters to its customers since 2001.552 The internet is also making it easier to connect people who want to rent out rooms, cars and all sorts of other things with those who want to borrow them – a new sharing economy that offers huge potential for growth. Airbnb, a company based in San Francisco, allows people to rent out accommodation for the night; by the end of 2013 ten million people had used its services, many of them in Europe.553 It now has several European rivals: Wimdu and 9flats, both based in Berlin, and London-based onefinestay, which also offers upmarket services. Car-sharing services have mushroomed too. Some are, in effect, more flexible car-rental companies that allow you to hire a vehicle by the hour off the street.

The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.” 540 Eric Beinhocker, The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics, Harvard Business School Press: 2006 541 John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936 542 John Maynard Keynes, The Great Slump of 1930, 1930 543 Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Chicago: 1988 544 http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul/16/business/fi-overheat16 545 The unemployment rate rose by only two percentage points. 546 James Mirrlees and others, "Mirrlees Review: Reforming the tax system for the 21st century", Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2010. http://www.ifs.org.uk/mirrleesReview/design 547 http://www.ifs.org.uk/mirrleesreview/design/ch17.pdf 548 The new Basel III capital-adequacy rules, which have been transposed into EU law through a package of regulations known as CRD IV. 549 Some countries, such as Switzerland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Slovenia do tax the imputed rental stream of owner-occupied housing. http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/events/2011/2011-11-24-property_taxation/pdf/andrews_housing_taxation_for_stability_and_growth_en.pdf 550 http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/events/2011/2011-11-24-property_taxation/pdf/andrews_housing_taxation_for_stability_and_growth_en.pdf 551 http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/events/2011/2011-11-24-property_taxation/pdf/andrews_housing_taxation_for_stability_and_growth_en.pdf 552 http://www.economist.com/node/13725843 553 http://www.indyposted.com/226135/airbnb-adds-250000-properties-6-million-guests-2013/ 554 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20890174 555 http://www.lamachineduvoisin.fr/ 556 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fd8a20ca-3b3a-11e3-a7ec-00144feab7de.html 557 On 1 January 2012 there were 78.6 million under 15s in the EU and 98.4 million people aged 50–64. All figures are from Eurostat, population on 1 January by five years age groups and sex.

 

pages: 170 words: 51,205

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, optical character recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

Our cameras—digital betas—cost several times more than modern SLR and Red digital cameras, and produced footage that was nowhere near the same quality. Today, you could replicate our whole setup for much less than ten thousand dollars. And that’s not all: these days, when your crew goes on location, it can book its own plane tickets—no travel-agent fees—shop around for customs processing, save big money with Airbnb and hotel discounters, and so on. The time filmmakers spend writing their scripts and recording their interviews and editing down their footage costs just as much as it ever did. But every other cost has gone down. These are the capital costs—the costs that you’d typically borrow or raise funds to cover. The stuff that you need time for has stayed fixed, but time is something you can provide on your own, without begging patrons or investors for help.

 

pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

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Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

A few years ago, one of the founders of Google gave a talk in which he said that the way he judges prospective companies and entrepreneurs is by asking them “if they’re going to change the world.” Which is fine, except that’s not how Google started. (Larry Page and Sergey Brin were two Stanford PhDs working on their dissertations.) It’s not how YouTube started. (Its founders weren’t trying to reinvent TV; they were trying to share funny video clips.) It’s not how most true wealth was created, in fact. Investor Paul Graham (who invested in Airbnb, reddit, Dropbox, and others), working in the same city as Walsh a few decades later, explicitly warns startups against having bold, sweeping visions early on. Of course, as a capitalist, he wants to fund companies that massively disrupt industries and change the world—that’s where the money is. He wants them to have “frighteningly ambitious” ideas, but explains, “The way to do really big things seems to be to start with deceptively small things.”

 

pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

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Airbnb, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

On the back-end there are agreements with companies to “drop-ship” orders to the end customer, so there is no need for inventory on hand. Taking advantage of the SEO skills gained from studying at night after his former job, Jasper was able to get the website ranked highly for a number of popular search terms, sending a steady stream of customers to their site every day. With a few online businesses up and running and his apartment in Holland making money on AirBnB, Jasper managed to visit 13 countries last year! “I started off celebrating NYE in Bangkok, went surfing and diving in the Philippines, hiked the great wall in China, went skiing in Austria, skydiving in Hungary, and visited friends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo and partied in Vegas, Amsterdam, Montreal, Budapest and Stockholm,” he said.

 

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Once admitted, the would-be entrepreneurs are given spending money, whiteboards, and desk space and told to dream up something worth funding in three weeks. Most do, which says as much about the Web’s ankle-high barriers to entry as it does about the genius of the participants. Over the past six years, Y Combinator has funded three hundred such companies, with such names as Loopt, Wufoo, Xobni, Heroku, Heyzap, and Bump. Incredibly, some of them (such as DropBox and Airbnb) are now worth billions of dollars. Indeed, the company I work for, Condé Nast, even bought one of them, Reddit, which now gets more than 2 billion page views a month. It’s on its third team of twentysomething genius managers; for some of them, this is their first job and they’ve never known anything but stratospheric professional success. But that is the world of bits, those elemental units of the digital world.

 

pages: 270 words: 79,068

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

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Airbnb, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

Thank you, Mike Volpi, for being on the board of a very scary company. Finally, thank you, Boochie, Red, and Boogie, for being the best children that I could imagine. ABOUT THE AUTHOR BEN HOROWITZ is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building the next generation of leading technology companies. The firm’s investments include Airbnb, GitHub, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Previously he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007. Horowitz writes about his experiences and insights from his career as a computer science student, software engineer, cofounder, CEO, and investor in a blog that is read by nearly ten million people. He has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Fortune, the Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among others.

 

pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman

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4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

.: mayor of Inglewood, former police chief of Santa Monica David Byrne: musician, founding member of the band Talking Heads Naomi Campbell: actress, supermodel Adam Carolla: podcaster, former host of syndicated radio call-in program Loveline John Carroll: journalist, former editor of the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun Sean B. Carroll: evolutionary development biologist, geneticist Mr. Cartoon: tattoo and graffiti artist Carlos Castaneda: anthropologist, author of books describing his shamanism training Celerino Castillo III: DEA agent who revealed the CIA-backed arms-for-drugs trade in Nicaragua Brian Chesky: cofounder and CEO of Airbnb Deepak Chopra: author, physician, alternative medicine advocate Michael Chow: restaurateur Chuck D: musician, music producer, former leader of Public Enemy Steve Clayton: research futurist for Microsoft Eldridge Cleaver: leader of the Black Panther Party, author of Soul on Ice Johnnie Cochran: defense attorney who represented O. J. Simpson Jared Cohen: director of Google Ideas Joel Cohen: population specialist, mathematical biologist Kat Cohen: university admissions counselor, author of The Truth About Getting In William Colby: CIA director, 1973–1976 Elizabeth Baron Cole: nutritionist Jim Collins: management consultant, expert on business and management, author of Good to Great Robert Collins: neurologist, former chairman of neurology at UCLA School of Medicine Sean Combs: musician, music producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur Richard Conniff: author who specializes in human and animal behavior Tim Cook: CEO of Apple, Inc.

 

pages: 219 words: 73,623

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

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Airbnb, index card, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live

I have to take my pills as usual and come in for my Ovidrel injection and my ultrasound the day before. Mike’s only instruction is that for the twenty-four hours before the IUI, in order for his sperm to be at peak numbers when he “donates,” he should abstain from masturbating. A few weeks later, it is the morning of the procedure. I have a terrible cold. In addition to Trying, we are in the process of moving and I have three Airbnb apartments to go see later in the day. I couldn’t be more stressed. Then, in the cab on the way to the doctor’s office, Mike confesses to me that he forgot his one instruction and masturbated the night before. On the doctor’s table, before I get basted, the nurse shows me the tube of sperm with Mike’s name on it. “Confirm this is your husband,” she says. There has just been a highly publicized lawsuit against a sperm donor clinic by a lesbian who was basted with the sperm of a black man rather than the white man whose profile she had chosen.

 

pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny

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Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

Why Romney didn’t more often express how he earned his wealth remains a mystery. Some companies need capital in order to buy another company that fits well with their business. Wall Street financiers find the investors to make the latter happen, and just the same they’re hired by the companies being purchased so that shareholders can attain the best price possible for their shares. And while housing is not a capital good (though Airbnb is helping home and apartment owners to capitalize their houses), we can’t forget something as simple as mortgage finance. Some banks undoubtedly went overboard in the 2000s (goaded on by a federal government willing to buy those mortgages, think Fannie Mae) with their lax lending standards, but it remains the case that what is an essential consumption item has become more accessible in the modern United States thanks to banks bringing together savers and borrowers.

 

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

More than $2 billion worth of goods and services have been exchanged, without money, on Bartercard.com. Freecycle has 5.7 million members across 85 countries. (Once, while working on a political campaign and short on cash, I furnished an entire apartment complete with refrigerator and washing machine from Freecycle.) By 2015, more than 10 million people in the United States and Europe will belong to a car-sharing service like Zipcar.41 AirBnB, one of several Web sites that allow people to share their empty guest bedrooms with strangers, now lists more available rooms in New York City than the largest hotel in town. Our economy and our civilization are at a critical juncture. As Bill McKibben related in Rolling Stone magazine: “June [2012] broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere—the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 × 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”42 We have a moral imperative to move away from oil, and radical connectivity can unlock a range of opportunity in the small—from sharing to more vibrant local economies.

 

pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, David Brooks, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

And, like those antiaircraft gunners during World War II, we’ll be compelled to adapt our own work, behavior, and skills to the capabilities and routines of the machines we depend on. * The internet, it’s often noted, has opened opportunities for people to make money through their own personal initiative, with little investment of capital. They can sell used goods through eBay or crafts through Etsy. They can rent out a spare room through Airbnb or turn their car into a ghost cab with Lyft. They can find odd jobs through TaskRabbit. But while it’s easy to pick up spare change through such modest enterprise, few people are going to be able to earn a middle-class income from the work. The real money goes to the software companies running the online clearinghouses that connect buyer and seller or lessor and lessee—clearinghouses that, being highly automated themselves, need few employees.

 

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

For Levchin, “the next big wave of opportunities exists in centralized processing of data gathered from primarily analog systems.” He sees the beginnings of the trend in the rise of “collaborative consumption,” in which the spare capacity of things like cars and apartments is matched, via digital exchanges, with eager consumers. “A key revolutionary insight here,” Levchin says, is “the digitalization of analog data, and its management in a centralized queue to create amazing new efficiencies.” But Uber, Airbnb, and all the other resource-sharing businesses only hint at what’s in store. What’s really exciting is the prospect of rationalizing the most underutilized analog resource of all: people. “We will definitely see dynamically-priced queues for confession-taking priests, and therapists!” exclaims Levchin. And from there we can move on to maximizing the utilization of the human mind itself. “How about dynamic pricing for brain cycles?”

 

pages: 325 words: 90,659

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, bitcoin, business process, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, Mark Zuckerberg, microcredit, price mechanism, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Skype

Although cannabis has more or less come out into the open in Colorado, Johnson still suggests that we take a table in the corner of the restaurant, so that we can talk with more privacy. Johnson describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” who dabbled in technology during the dotcom boom. Now that reefer fever has come to Colorado, he has decided to make a go of the marijuana business. He says he has more than thirty different projects under way, including Cannabeds.com, which aims to be a pot-centric rival to Airbnb, the online lodging service, and an as-yet-unnamed taxi service, which he bills as a cannabis-friendly version of Uber, the taxi-calling smartphone app. He has a cannabis-themed hotel in the works, too, along with umpteen other projects. Is there really demand for all this stuff? “Absolutely!” Johnson exclaims. “It reminds me of the dotcom era in the 1990s. That was moving fast. But this?”—he looks around conspiratorially, as if hoping no one else will steal his idea—“This is moving faster.”

 

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

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affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay

Things come up: you catch a cold; you need to stay home for a plumber; a friend calls to say he’s visiting town unexpectedly. With a broad plan, or no plan, it’s easy to accommodate these obstacles and opportunities. Some people manage to take this to extremes. Marc Andreessen is one of the first Internet wunderkinds: he cofounded Netscape in 1994, sold it for over $4 billion, and founded a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invested in companies such as Skype, Twitter, and Airbnb. Besieged by invitations and meetings, Andreessen decided that he would simply stop writing anything in his calendar. If something was important, then it could be done immediately. Otherwise it wasn’t worth signing away a slice of Andreessen’s future. “I’ve been trying this tactic as an experiment,” he wrote in 2007. “And I am so much happier, I can’t even tell you.”14 Another example: Arnold Schwarzenegger insisted on keeping his diary clear when he was a film star, and even tried to do so when he was governor of California.

 

pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

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Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

A whole fracking industry was financed on cheap credit. More ship keels were laid down. Mines were excavated in Australia and Brazil. Factories were built in China and Vietnam and Malaysia. This created a historic excess of supply of everything from jet planes to iron ore to shoes. Cheap money made usually unprofitable investments possible; technology accelerated their impact everywhere. Think of how businesses like Airbnb or Uber have liberated once unused assets—spare bedrooms and empty car seats—and brought them to market. This is a historic, rapid increase in supply. Similar technologies are at work in manufacturing, logistics, and information technology. It was as if hundreds of gallons of lemonade were suddenly available on that beach. Prices collapsed. And because demand had also collapsed in the face of that inequality that so worried Janet Yellen, there was no one to buy up all the new supply.

 

pages: 2,020 words: 267,411

Lonely Planet Morocco (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Paul Clammer, Paula Hardy

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air freight, Airbnb, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, illegal immigration, Skype, spice trade, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

However, in riads, the limited accommodation means that discounts on single occupancy are fairly minimal. Apartments » If travelling in a small group or as a family, consider self-catering options, particularly in low season, when prices can drop substantially. » Agadir, nearby Taghazout, Essaouira, Assilah and the bigger tourist centres on both coastlines have a fair number of self-catering apartments and houses, sometimes in tourist complexes. » Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) offers good rental options in many Moroccan cities. Camping » You can camp anywhere in Morocco if you have permission from the site’s owner. » There are many official campsites. » Most official sites have water and electricity; some have a small restaurant, grocery store and even a swimming pool. » Most of the bigger cities have campsites, although they’re often some way from the centre. » Such sites are sometimes worth the extra effort to get to, but often they consist of a barren and stony area offering little shade and basic facilities. » Particularly in southern Morocco, campsites are often brimming with enormous campervans.

 

pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Similarly, no longer would you have to rely on centralized storefronts to accumulate and resell collectibles; eBay connected buyers and sellers directly. It was the same with music promotion and distribution, airline tickets, and—in some cases—advertising. The old gatekeepers’ business models relied on inefficiencies of technology, and the Internet changed that dynamic. It’s even more true today. AirBnB allows individuals to compete with traditional hotel chains. TaskRabbit makes it easier to connect people who want to do odd jobs with people who need odd jobs done. Etsy, CafePress, and eBay all bypass traditional flea markets. Zillow and Redfin bypass real estate brokers, eTrade bypasses investment advisors, and YouTube bypasses television networks. Craigslist bypasses newspaper classifieds.

 

pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

8 www.etsy.com http://dangerousprototypes.com/ 10 A machine that picks up small components and places them on printed circuit boards. 9 Makers at Work Osborn: A lot of people seem to be getting into 3D printing. I have a 3D printer and a CNC laser, for instance, and I’ve even seen pick-and-place machines in people’s garages. Have you seen 100kGarages11? Seidle: No I haven’t. Osborn: It’s basically Airbnb for like CNC or 3D printer rentals. So if you go on there, you can just search for an eight-foot-by-four-foot CNC router and find one in someone’s garage who is willing to rent it out. I searched for just that and there was one twenty minutes from my house. So it is pretty cool to just think about the possibilities there. Seidle: Very cool! Yeah, I haven’t heard of that site, but I’m definitely seeing more tool sharing services.

 

pages: 513 words: 141,963

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari

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Airbnb, failed state, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, McJob, Naomi Klein, placebo effect, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Steven Pinker, traveling salesman, War on Poverty

Harm Reduction International covered the costs of my trip to the World Federation Against Drugs convention in Stockholm, Sweden, in return for a short report on what I saw: thank you, Mike Trace, for facilitating this. Le Monde Diplomatique sent me on assignment to Uruguay, and I drew on some of the same material in my report for them and my article about President Mujica: thank you, Renaud Lambert and Serge Halimi, for making this possible. Airbnb and Greyhound buses made it possible for me to afford to stay in so many different places. Amanda Fielding and the Beckley Foundation shared much of their cutting-edge scientific research with me. The two best biographers of Billie Holiday, Julia Blackburn and Donald Henderson Clarke, were very generous in sharing their insights and lessons, and Julia’s archive was invaluable. Billie Holiday’s godson, Bevan Dufty, was extremely kind with his help and sharing his mother’s notes and insights.

 

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Germany introduced a Kurzarbeit scheme to keep workers in their jobs part-time while using their remaining time to up-skill in programs jointly funded by industry, unions, and government. Is the sharing economy another path to economic salvation? Platforms that enable the rental of assets owned by others such as automobiles or housing have created economic activity that is expected to reach over $300 billion by 2020. Uber and Airbnb enjoy skyrocketing valuations because they provide the marketplace for billions of connected individuals to transact among themselves. Sharing economy is in fact a misnomer: It is rather the full flourishing of self-regulated peer-to-peer capitalism, one in which people get paid for work in micro-increments, but as they do, connectivity becomes the foundation of whatever stability they have. The nineteenth-century sociologist Émile Durkheim would celebrate today’s shift from vertical dependencies toward horizontal interdependencies.

 

pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Wright Mills, Character and Social Structure: The Psychology of Social Institutions, New York: Harcourt, Brace 1953. 62The term was invented by Clayton Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press 1997) and subsequently became vastly popular among business school academics and managers. For a critical assessment see Jill Lepore, ‘The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong’, New Yorker, 23 June 2014. In management discourse, the concept is associated especially with platform firms like Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb and Amazon, which have in common that they have ceased to offer their workers regular employment. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, disruption has in 2015, with the usual delay, arrived in Germany as the leading management buzzword: ‘Nicht mehr zu zählen sind die Bücher, Reden, Studien zu dem Thema. Regelmäßig werden die, Disrupter des Jahres’ ausgezeichnet. Marketing-Leute können sich besoffen reden über die ‘digital disruption’, gewöhnliche Beratungsfirmen gönnen sich den Zusatz ‘The Disruption Consultancy … Nicht mal Praktikanten sind sonst noch anzulocken: Ready to disrupt?

 

pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

To try to meet these targets, investors turn to private equity titans, who have a reputation for being able to turn big profits quickly, often by downsizing firms and selling off assets, but also by accessing areas of the private market that are closed to those who aren’t financial insiders. One of those areas is the technology industry. In large part because of the short-term, myopic pressures imposed by the public markets (described in detail in chapter 4), Silicon Valley companies, which are the fastest-growing in the country as a group, are opting more and more not to go public unless they absolutely have to. Think of firms like Uber or Airbnb, which have resisted IPOs even though they have raised billions of dollars in private money, the sort of funding that used to require a public listing. These firms don’t want to list on the public markets if they can avoid it, because they know that this would quickly turn them into fresh targets for activist investors and others who will make it hard to execute long-term strategies. This means that if you want to get in on the wealth creation of these firms, you have to team up with a hedge fund or a private equity fund that’s investing in such markets.