Kickstarter

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pages: 163 words: 46,523

The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Success Stories of Artists, Inventors, and Entrepreneurs by Steinberg, Don

3D printing, crowdsourcing, Kickstarter, Skype, Y Combinator

We also use distinctive terminology that has become standard on Kickstarter. For example, by posting a creative project on Kickstarter to raise funding, and setting it up to run for a certain number of days, you are starting a “campaign.” Someone who launches a Kickstarter campaign may be referred to as a “creator.” People who donate money are called “backers,” and what they give is a “pledge.” When a project reaches its financial target, it is considered “funded.” The items that backers receive as thanks for their pledges are always called “rewards.” People who are hip about all things Kickstarter occasionally refer to a campaign as, simply, “a Kickstarter.” A person who launches a campaign may also be called “a Kickstarter.” So, yeah, a Kickstarter can launch a Kickstarter on Kickstarter. Hey, it’s a flexible word, and the author and publisher of this book don’t have to pay a royalty every time we use it, so there you go.

A lot of things like gadgets or software that has a sort of niche audience, you can see why they’re not being manufactured en masse, but there is a global audience. If someone’s trying to offer it and they’ve got a good design, a good team, a good pedigree, that’s a good example of what Kickstarter is for. Is there a good way for someone to pitch a Kickstarter campaign to you? Coldewey: It depends a lot on the quality of the product. The best way to pitch it is to make it seem most like a Kickstarter project. In what way? Coldewey: Not just, we’re using Kickstarter, but, this is a project that’s suitable for Kickstarter. Where it’s like, we’ve got a cool idea and we want to make it, but we have no ability to make it, and all it takes is $20,000. That’s the purpose of Kickstarter. If you can’t convince me that Kickstarter is the right way to connect with people for your product, then it seems wrong. If you’re trying to make a hundred hand-quilted iPad cases or whatever, why don’t you put it on Etsy and make them on demand?

Born as a so-crazy-it-just-might-work notion, Kickstarter was quickly becoming a breeding ground to nurture more such outlandish ideas. But even then, Kickstarter had barely shifted into second gear. By 2011, Publishers Weekly magazine calculated that Kickstarter had become the No. 3 publisher of indie graphic novels in the United States, in terms of the number of book projects it funded. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival, a major showcase for independent films, featured seventeen movies that had received Kickstarter funding, amounting to 10 percent of the festival’s lineup. Early in 2012, Kickstarter announced that it expected to fund creative projects to the tune of $150 million for the year, a slightly larger sum than the 2012 fiscal year budget for the National Endowment for the Arts. (Kickstarter keeps 5 percent of all project funding, so the company and its early backers are clearly doing fine financially.)


pages: 254 words: 61,387

This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World by Yancey Strickler

basic income, big-box store, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial independence, gender pay gap, global supply chain, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Nash: game theory, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical bankruptcy, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, white flight

We would do what was best for Kickstarter’s mission, not use it to do what was best for us. Unlike Silicon Valley companies burning through piles of cash, we stayed small and lived within our means. Kickstarter began operating profitably in its fourteenth month in business. A bit more than one hundred people work out of Kickstarter’s office, an old pencil factory in Brooklyn that the company bought years ago. Kickstarter doesn’t even have a landlord. It was this same independent spirit that led Kickstarter to become a public benefit corporation (PBC). A PBC is a for-profit company that’s legally committed to balancing shareholder interests with producing a positive benefit for society. In 2015 Kickstarter became a PBC, explicitly setting higher standards for its conduct and impact. Kickstarter and Patagonia are two of the best-known companies to have made this conversion.

Many Kickstarter projects underwent a similar transition from new and unproven idea to mainstream acceptance. The tabletop game Cards Against Humanity started as a Kickstarter project backed by several hundred people. So did Oculus Rift, which was a prototype in a garage when its Kickstarter launched. Pebble invented smartwatches with its string of Kickstarter projects. Hundreds of restaurants, movie theaters, galleries, and other public spaces are open today thanks to their backers and the platform. All these projects began as ideas just like Kickstarter itself. During Kickstarter’s first year, I reviewed nearly every project when it launched. Over the years I personally helped musicians, artists, dancers, game makers, technologists, designers, filmmakers, and others put almost every kind of creative project you can imagine into the world. I even advised masters like Neil Young and Spike Lee and got a close glimpse at how they work.

They include pledges to: “Not use loopholes or other esoteric but legal tax management strategies to reduce [the company’s] tax burden” “Not lobby or campaign for public policies unless they align with [the company’s] mission and values, regardless of possible economic benefits to the company” “Always support, serve, and champion artists and creators, especially those working in less commercial areas” “Engage beyond [the company’s] walls with the greater issues and conversations affecting artists and creators” “Donate 5% of its after-tax profit towards arts and music education, and to organizations fighting to end systemic inequality” These commitments established redlines for how Kickstarter must always behave. The values they represent aren’t vague platitudes. They have teeth. Within a year of becoming a PBC, Kickstarter began publishing a new, separate website called The Creative Independent. The Creative Independent is a growing resource of practical and emotional advice for creative people. It publishes an interview or essay every weekday from artists and creators about their practice and its challenges. Its ultimate ambition is to become a kind of Wikipedia for creativity. The Creative Independent has no advertising, charges nothing for its content, and has a full-time staff. Kickstarter pays for all of it. And yet there’s no Kickstarter logo anywhere. Kickstarter is listed in the site’s footer as its publisher, but otherwise derives no direct benefit.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

But Krupnick was facing this dilemma in 2010, which meant that he had another option: a website named Kickstarter. Founded in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Charles Adler, and Yancey Strickler, Kickstarter is perhaps the most successful of a new generation of “crowdfunding” sites that organize financial support for creative or charitable causes through distributed networks of small donors. On Kickstarter, artists upload short descriptions of their projects: a book of poetry that’s only half completed, a song cycle that has yet to be recorded, a script for a short film that needs a crew to get produced. Kickstarter’s founders defined “creative” quite broadly: technological creativity is welcome, as are innovations in such fields as food or design. More than a few microbreweries have been launched on Kickstarter, and one of the most successful early projects (in terms of funds raised) involved turning the iPod Nano into a wristwatch.

But as Jacob Krupnick discovered, Kickstarter is no pipe dream. Two and a half years after Chen, Adler, and Strickler launched the site, they announced that Kickstarter was on track to raise roughly $200 million for artists in a single fiscal year. The entire annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is $154 million. The question with Kickstarter, given its growth rate, is not whether it could ever rival the NEA in its support of the creative arts. The new question is whether it will grow to be ten times the size of the NEA. The peer-network approach to funding worthy causes is hardly limited to Kickstarter alone. Over the past few years, dozens of services have emerged, targeting different problems with similar crowdfunding techniques. Some, such as the Australian service Pozible, share Kickstarter’s focus on creative ideas; others tap into large networks of patrons to support nonprofit charities, such as the site Causes.com, cofounded by Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame.

And that’s not including the political campaigns that have been revolutionized by crowdfunding techniques over the past decade. — Kickstarter and its fellow crowdfunding sites work because the services are built on peer-progressive values. Kickstarter, for instance, took on an existing problem that markets had traditionally fumbled—how do we find and support interesting new creative forms—and radically increased both the density and diversity of the participants. It gave thousands of creative people direct access to the wallets of millions of potential patrons. Before Kickstarter, if you were the sort of person who was interested in supporting fledgling artists, it was actually quite hard to meet fledgling artists, and almost impossible to meet them in bulk. Kickstarter changed all that. It increased the density of links connecting artists and their would-be supporters, and it increased the diversity of those groups.


pages: 297 words: 90,806

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier

cloud computing, crowdsourcing, game design, Google Hangouts, gravity well, index card, inventory management, iterative process, Kickstarter, pirate software, side project, spice trade, trade route

Double Fine had found a fourth option: Kickstarter, a “crowdfunding” website that had launched in 2009. Using this website, creators could pitch directly to their fans: You give us money; we’ll give you something cool. During Kickstarter’s first couple of years, users of the site were hobbyists, hoping to earn a few thousand dollars to shoot short films or build neat folding tables. In 2011, however, the projects started getting bigger, and in February 2012, Double Fine launched a Kickstarter for a point-and-click adventure game called the Double Fine Adventure.* It shattered every record. Previous Kickstarters had been lucky to break six figures; Double Fine raised $1 million in twenty-four hours. In March 2012, just as Microsoft was canceling Stormlands, Double Fine’s Kickstarter concluded, having raised over $3.3 million from 87,142 backers.

Then Josh Sawyer and Adam Brennecke came to Urquhart with an ultimatum: they wanted to launch a Kickstarter. They preferred to do it with Obsidian, but if Urquhart continued to stonewall, they’d quit, start their own company, and do it themselves. To sweeten the pot, Sawyer added that he’d be happy to keep working on pitches for publishers, as long as someone at the company started planning a Kickstarter. It helped that other Obsidian veterans had also expressed a great deal of interest in crowdfunding, including Chris Avellone, who had been publicly praising Kickstarter for months, even going as far as to poll Obsidian fans about what kind of project they’d want to help fund.* Urquhart relented, and within the next few days, Adam Brennecke was locking himself alone in an office, trying to come up with the perfect Kickstarter. One thing became immediately clear to everyone who was left at Obsidian: they needed to make an old-school RPG.

You’d get a box by pledging at the $65 tier on Kickstarter, they decided. For the snazzy limited edition, which came with a cloth map, you’d have to pay at least $140. In August, Brennecke sat down with Obsidian’s owners and gave them the full pitch. This would be “D&D without the bullshit,” he told them. Project Eternity would take the best parts from those old-school RPGs that everyone loved, but it’d ditch the features that felt obsolete after the last ten years of innovation in game development. Brennecke told them he’d budgeted for a Kickstarter goal of $1.1 million, but he secretly thought they could hit $2 million. “Obsidian employees want to make this game,” he wrote. The owners agreed. They said Brennecke could put a small team together and launch the Kickstarter in September. From there, Brennecke pulled Josh Sawyer away from the dreary world of pitching and asked him to start designing the game.


pages: 561 words: 163,916

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality by Blake J. Harris

4chan, airport security, Anne Wojcicki, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, computer vision, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, financial independence, game design, Grace Hopper, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, QR code, sensor fusion, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, white picket fence

All of the hardest stuff (Optics, display panels, and interface hardware) is done, right now I am working on how it actually fits together, and figuring out the best way to make a head mount . . . The goal is to start a Kickstarter project on June 1st that will end on July 1st, shipping afterwards as soon as possible. I won’t make a penny of profit off this project, the goal is to pay for the costs of parts, manufacturing, shipping, and credit card/Kickstarter fees with about $10 left over for a celebratory pizza and beer. I need help, though . . .” After listing a few of the things he needed help with (a logo, ideas for the Kickstarter video, etc.), Luckey published the post on MTBS3D. He felt hopeful—hopeful that this might be “the kind of thing that jumpstarts a bigger VR community.” But also: he suddenly felt very aware of the fact that he was only nineteen years old.

If just one of them believed in the Rift enough to equip their engines for virtual reality, then almost overnight thousands of developers could start building games in VR. Hopefully, Iribe thought, CliffyB really meant what he had tweeted. “I saw you tweeted about Ouya,” Iribe said. “The reaction to their Kickstarter . . . I mean, it’s just . . . crazy.” Bleszinski couldn’t help but nod in agreement. There was just no other valid reaction. It was crazy.6,7 Ouya’s Kickstarter campaign went live on the morning of July 10. In just eight hours, on the heels of over eight thousand backers, the campaign surpassed its fund-raising goal of $950,000.8 Even crazier: Ouya would end up raising $8,596,474 (from 63,416 backers) by the end of its thirty-day run.9 Iribe knew it was unrealistic to envision Oculus’s Kickstarter campaign achieving that same kind of runaway success. Not only was Ouya’s $99 product significantly cheaper, but it was also something that gamers had no trouble believing; as they always did, the challenges only served to inspire Iribe.

“REALLY REEEEEEALLY NEED YOU TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FOCUSED ON OCULUS SDK . . .” Iribe texted Antonov late at night on August 4. “Dillon’s resigning from Autodesk on Monday and joining Oculus!” “You don’t think it’s a bit early?” Antonov replied. “What will he be doing a month from now, when the Kickstarter is over and we don’t yet have SDK & Kits to give out? I guess organizing forums and Korean community?” “Localizing Kickstarter, press release, first press event, etc.,” Iribe said. “We need Korean devs buying Kickstarter kits.” “Well that is obvious . . . just to me it sounds like part a part time job until kits actually ship. Right now we are in a hype-spin marketing wave; but then we’ll need to buckle down and actually get it all ready . . . I just feel you are not allowing ANY time for R&D.” “Carmack’s demo allows us to do so.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, IKEA effect, 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, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, 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

And then, thanks to Kickstarter, they got ready to out-sell Sony, too. The Pebble team set a Kickstarter target of $100,000. It reached that in just two hours (I was one of those early backers). And then it kept on going. By the end of the first day, it had passed $1 million. By the end of the first week, it had broken the previous Kickstarter record of $3.34 million. After a little more than three weeks, Pebble had already passed $10 million in backing and had pre-sold 85,000 watches. At that point, the team declared the product sold out and got on a plane to Hong Kong to figure out how to actually make such a huge batch of electronics (although they had made smartwatches before, the most successful of them had sold only 1,500 units). Before Pebble’s monthlong Kickstarter fund-raising period was over, it had already achieved the most successful smartwatch launch of all time—and all before actually shipping a single watch.

The biggest projects on Kickstarter, like it or not, are consumer goods. It simply fills a market need that was there all along, waiting for someone to tap it. Voting capital For all Kickstarter’s egalitarian charms, once projects are funded, creators are pretty much on their own to get them actually made. As they’ll quickly discover, the idea is the easy part. Supply-chain management and manufacturing are much harder, to say nothing of just running a small business. What if a community could help decide which user-submitted product ideas get made, just like Kickstarter, but then a team of product-development professionals helps steer the project, handling all the tricky factory issues? That, in a nutshell, is the model of Quirky, which launched around the same time as Kickstarter in 2009 and is growing just as fast.

And all this without giving up any of the company, getting into debt, or even doing much more than posting a video and project description on a website. Underground VC Kickstarter solves three huge problems for entrepreneurs. First, it simply moves revenues forward in time, to right when they’re needed. One of the reasons startups traditionally have to raise money at the start is to pay for product development, tooling, purchasing components, and manufacturing, all of which they’ll presumably get back later when they sell the products. But if they can turn those sales into presales, which is essentially what Kickstarter does, they’ll have the money when they need it and won’t have to raise venture capital or take out a loan. Second, Kickstarter turns customers into a community. By backing a project, you’re doing more than pre-buying a product. You’re also betting on a team, and in turn they update you with progress reports and respond to suggestions in comments and discussion forums during the product’s genesis.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

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

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, 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, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Charles Adler presentation in the author’s Parsons course Design at the Edge, spring 2012. 87 The first Kickstarter projects: Ibid. 87 Between its launch in 2009 and October 2012: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats, accessed October 4, 2012. 87 which had an operating budget: http://www.arts.gov/about/budget/ appropriationshistory.html, accessed October 19, 2012. 87 A campaign for new watches: “Transform Your iPod Nano into the World’s Coolest Multi-Touch Watches with TikTok + LunaTik by Scott Wilson and MINIMAL,” Kickstarter campaign site, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ 1104350651/tiktok-lunatik-multi-touch-watch-kits. 87 San Francisco–based studio raised: “Doublefine Adventure,” Kickstarter campaign page, accessed September 11, 2012, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/ double-fine-adventure?ref=live. 88 JOBS Act, new legislation: Mark Landler, “Obama Signs Bill to Promote Start-Up Investments,” New York Times, April 5, 2012, accessed September 11, 2012, hhtp://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/us/politics/obama-signs-bill-to-ease-investing-in-start-ups.html; Ryan Caldbeck, “How the JOBS Act Could Change Startup Investing Forever,” TechCrunch, March 16, 2012, accessed September 11, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/16/ crowdfundingstartups/. 88 We all hold a number: I am deeply indebted to my wife, Leslie M.

CHAPTER 4 85 Charles Adler loved music: I first met Charles in Chicago at the Design Research Conference put on by the IIT Institute of Design from October 24 to 26, 2011. He gave a presentation at that conference about the origins of Kickstarter. I interviewed him November 9, 2011, and he gave a talk in my Parsons course Design at the Edge the following spring (2012). 86 Chen was living in New York: Charles Adler, personal interviews with the author. Charles Adler presentation in the author’s Parsons course Design at the Edge, spring 2012; Carlye Adler, “How Kickstarter Became a Lab for Daring Prototypes and Ingenious Products, Wired, March 18, 2011, accessed September 11, 2012, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ ff_kickstarter/2/. 86 All transactions are handled: Yancey Strickler, “Amazon Payments and US-Only” Kickstarter Blog post, October 3, 2009, http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/amazon-payments-and-us-only, accessed September 11, 2012. 86 On one level Chen, Strickler: Charles Adler: personal interviews with the author.

Investors, or “patrons,” help create something new and perhaps important. The experience is not a simple transaction like buying a work of art at a gallery or an album off iTunes. It’s deeper and richer. The first Kickstarter projects raised $1,000, $5,000, even $25,000. But the audience for participating in the creative process proved both larger and more willing to invest than the founders had imagined. Between its launch in 2009 and October 2012, successful Kickstarter projects raised a total of $316 million, mostly for art and music. If Kickstarter continues to grow at this rate, it will soon rival the National Endowment for the Arts, which had an operating budget of $146 million for 2012. But Kickstarter doesn’t finance just art and music. A campaign for new watches based on the iPod nano music player (you snap it into a special wrist band) raised nearly $1 million; the resulting products, TikTok and LunaTik, sold tens of thousands for their designer, Scott Wilson, at his company Minimal in Chicago.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

“Benkler’s dream”: Benkler, “Carr-Benkler Wager Revisited.” “Kickstarter is not a store”: Strickler, Chen, and Adler, “Kickstarter Is Not a Store.” “public benefit corporation”: Yancey Strickler, Perry Chen, and Charles Adler, “Kickstarter Is Now a Benefit Corporation,” Kickstarter (blog), September 21, 2015. www.kickstarter.com. Kickstarter’s charter boldly: “Charter,” July 2017. www.kickstarter.com. “We told people”: Perry Chen, discussion with authors, March 10, 2017. A study at the University of Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, “Wharton Crowdfunding Study,” July 2017. www.crowdfunding.wharton.upenn.edu. The platform has generated: Yancey Strickler, “Kickstarter’s Impact on the Creative Economy,” Kickstarter (blog), June 28, 2016. www.kickstarter.com. “Really it’s to allow”: Perry Chen, discussion with authors.

Perry decided not to sell Kickstarter or take it public, but to turn it into a “public benefit corporation”—an emerging corporate and legal structure that binds the company to serve society, not just its shareholders (building on the idea behind B Corporations [B Corps], a voluntary certification for socially responsible businesses). Kickstarter’s charter boldly, and in plain English, paints a picture of a very different kind of new power behemoth: • Kickstarter will care for the health of its ecosystem and integrity of its systems. • Kickstarter will never sell user data to third parties. It will zealously defend the privacy rights and personal data of the people who use its service, including in its dealings with government entities… • Kickstarter will not cover every possible future contingency, or claim rights and powers just because it can or because doing so is industry standard. • Kickstarter will not lobby or campaign for public policies unless they align with its mission and values, regardless of possible economic benefits to the company. • Kickstarter will not use loopholes or other esoteric but legal tax management strategies to reduce its tax burden.

But he went on to argue that Kickstarter’s model of funding is closer to “Benkler’s dream,” in that “artists would get funded by people ponying up real money without expecting to make big bucks in return because of social motivations.” Kickstarter was funded by top venture capitalists like Union Square Ventures. It could easily have made Perry Chen, its first CEO, and his co-founders filthy rich—especially if it sought to further commercialize its core model. But Perry and Kickstarter took a very different turn. In a famous blog post in 2012, as the platform was reaching scale and becoming a cultural touchstone, the founders declared “Kickstarter is not a store,” and introduced measures to steer the site away from simply becoming a way to preorder a product. Perry decided not to sell Kickstarter or take it public, but to turn it into a “public benefit corporation”—an emerging corporate and legal structure that binds the company to serve society, not just its shareholders (building on the idea behind B Corporations [B Corps], a voluntary certification for socially responsible businesses).


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, 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, uber lyft, Wave and Pay

Ironically, while MySpace remains a mere footnote in the history of social networking, YouTube, meanwhile, has grown to become one of the most relevant platforms of our time. 2.It plays on the producer-as-sender dynamic. Encouraging producers to spread their creation at the point of production drives growth for many content platforms. Some platforms like Instagram, Kickstarter and SurveyMonkey actively encourage this as part of the user workflow. 3.The spread of the unit helps to complete an incomplete interaction. An unanswered question on Quora is a spreadable unit demanding social feedback in the form of an answer. A fresh survey on SurveyMonkey needs responses. A Kickstarter project is a bid to potential funders to come over to Kickstarter and fund the project. While not necessarily a requirement for all spreadable units, the incompleteness of the interaction creates an active call to action for the recipient, prompting them to act. Spreadable units remain the most important, yet least understood, element of designing for viral adoption.

A platform may often benefit more from the opinions of a few users than from that of the entire user base. Agoda allows only users who have already booked and stayed at hotels through them to rate those particular hotels. This prevents users from entering false reviews, a problem that is often associated with TripAdvisor. Agoda’s social curation system is designed to manage curation rights. KICK-STARTING SOCIAL CURATION SYSTEMS Social curation doesn’t kick-start on its own. Many social curation systems are built on editorial curation efforts. Platforms like Quora and Medium have succeeded in building highly effective social curation systems by starting editorially and building a culture of quality on the platform. The creation of culture is especially important when sampling judgment is subjective. Decisions to downvote answers on Quora can be subjective.

This strategy works when the following design considerations are satisfied by the platform: 1.The platform offers a compelling organic incentive for producers to bring consumers onto the platform. 2.The ‘off-platform’ influence and following of the average individual producer is significant enough to attract a large number of consumers to the platform. 3.The platform allows producers to interact with their followers (consumers) in a much more efficient way than currently allowed by alternative channels. TOOLS TO HARVEST FOLLOWERS One of the most common manifestations of this strategy is seen in the launch of platforms like Kickstarter and Udemy. These platforms allow producers to ‘harvest’ their existing connections and followers on other networks like email, social networks, and blogs. Kickstarter allows project creators to raise funding from their connections and followers. Skillshare allows teachers to teach a course to their followers (and subsequently others). These ‘follower harvesting’ use cases offer compelling incentives for producers to bring in their following. Over time, as different producers bring in their followers, the platform builds out a network of all producers and consumers, allowing followers of producer A to consume from producer B, and so on.


pages: 140 words: 91,067

Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-PESA by Tonny K. Omwansa, Nicholas P. Sullivan, The Guardian

BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, income per capita, Kibera, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, software as a service, transaction costs

The Super MoneyMaker, which simultaneously pumps and pushes water (up to 100 metres away), sells for roughly $105—three months’ wages for the average purchasing farmer. The smaller, more portable, manually-operated Hip Pump, which alternates pull- and push-pumping, costs about $40. Since it entered the Kenyan market in 1998, KickStart has sold over 64,500 pumps (and over 178,500 worldwide). KickStart’s surveys, conducted two months and 18 months after purchase, document a dramatic impact. Purchasing households experience an average 1100% rise in farm income— from $100/yr. to $1100/yr.—and a 200-300% rise in HHI income, in the first year of pump ownership. KickStart has faced two main impediments in selling its pumps. One is a lack of finance; the second is lack of access to a water source. Most smallholder farmers who lack access to a stream or pond can reach water by digging a 5- to 60-foot well.

As manual bucket-andrope irrigation from ponds and streams requires two person days for each eighth of an acre, most farmers subsist by cultivating commodity crops fed by monsoon rains, such as maize. These crops yield low financial returns and are primarily stored to feed the household. Early adopters of KickStart pumps, as with any technology, were better educated and more financially secure, and thus less risk averse. For many farmers, $40 or $105 is an unimaginable expenditure; for others, it seems possible and certainly desirable given the quick returns on investment, but difficult to come up with the money. So KickStart has leveraged M-PESA to design and develop a mobile layaway service: Tone Kwa Tone Pata Pump (Swahili for “Drop by Drop Gets the Pump”). Years ago, KickStart noticed that informal cash layaway was occurring, as many local agricultural retailers who had good relationships with farmers would set up layaway programs. But not all farmers had good relationships with dealers, and without a high level of trust, cash-based layaway is limited.

With the formal layaway service when a farmer makes a payment, he receives a confirmatory SMS from Safaricom, followed by one from ******ebook converter DEMO Watermarks******* KickStart. From KickStart’s perspective, mobile money is cleaner for accountability than cash, which would require dealers to maintain records. Farmers like the system because they can make payments from home, saving themselves the time and money that a trip to the dealer would require. Farmers put down 15-18% of the total cost, depending on the product, and then have three months to complete payments (if they drop out of the program, their money is refunded, minus a non-refundable service fee and a cancellation fee of the same value). Payments can be any size above a minimum of KShs. 100 shillings ($1.25). Farmers use M-PESA’s Pay Bill function to send mobile money to KickStart’s “business number”. Many have never before used Pay Bill, which is more heavily used in urban settings to pay utility bills, and initially there is some hesitation, but support from salespeople and the dual confirmation messages quickly encourage them to continue.


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

Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, 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

Actually, most investments are done via duffel bags full of cash—or via wire transfer. 5. Okay, I have to confess. I didn’t eat any ramen during reddit. My low-cost staple was hummus. The Armenian way. 6. Note to Mark: If you’re reading this, it’d better not count as billable time. 7. That would be the aforementioned Kiko.com, undone by Gmail’s web calendar. 8. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android 9. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/04/pebble-smartwatch-breaks-kickstarter-record-in-five-days/ 10. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1610300135/brooklyns-cool-colonie-restaurant-coming-soon-to-b?ref=search 11. Yoda, in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back (1980). There’s a good chance, based on my reader demographic, that you may not know this movie very well. If you do, you may not even think it’s the best one of the series.

A friend and fellow startup dude, Chris Dixon, describes the extreme version of this by saying, “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.”3 One example of this would be Kickstarter. Their first project, Drawing for Dollars, surpassed its humble twenty-dollar goal by raising thirty-five dollars, which came from three backers who bought artwork from an artist in Long Island City.4 Less than three years later, a team using the same platform raised ten million dollars in preorders for a futuristic watch called Pebble.5 The idea of a group of people pitching in to make something come to fruition is hardly novel, but the way the Kickstarter team leveraged the Internet to pitch to millions of people simultaneously (as opposed to a coterie of traditional investors) certainly was. Know What You’re Doing Once you’ve identified a problem, you might be tempted to dive right in and start trying to solve it.

Pebble had trouble, even after graduating from Y Combinator and after a dogged effort at raising awareness on AngelList—too many investors were worried about hardware startups, reflecting the fact that most investors prefer software, which scales, over anything else. So Pebble began a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of their first batch of watches, aiming to raise one hundred thousand dollars in preorders. They raised that in mere hours. Once potential customers got a look at their product, everything changed. Granted, these watches look awesome, and the “dream team” they’d assembled was a bright group of Canadians from the University of Waterloo, but even founder Eric Migicovsky was surprised when the campaign raised more than ten million dollars from about sixty-eight thousand people worldwide ($10,266,845, to be exact).8 They actually capped preorder requests in order to satisfy expectations, but not before nearly every publication that covers tech or gadgets gushed about their unprecedented Kickstarter campaign. I know this team well, not only because I was there in the room for their Y Combinator interview but also because I ended up managing the team that does their social media.


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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, 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, Richard Feynman, 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, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Census Bureau.” 3 Devin Thorpe, “Why Crowdfunding Will Explode in 2013,” Forbes, October 15, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2012/10/15/get-ready-here-it-comes-crowdfunding-will-explode-in-2013/. 4 Victoria Silchenko, “Why Crowdfunding Is The Next Big Thing: Let’s Talk Numbers,” Huffington Post, October 22, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victoria-silchenko/why-crowdfunding-is-the-n_b_1990230.html. 5 Laurie Kulikowski, “How Equity Crowdfunding Can Swell to a $300 Billion Industry,” The Street, January 14, 2013, http://www.thestreet.com/story/11811196/1/how-equity-crowdfunding-can-swell-to-a-300-billion-industry.html. 6 “Floating Pool Project Is Fully Funded And New Yorkers Everywhere Should Celebrate,” Huffington Post, July 12, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/floating-pool-project-is-fully-funded_n_3587814.html. 7 AI with Joshua Klein, 2013. 8 Dan Leone, “Planetary Resources Raises $1.5M for Crowdfunded Space Telescope,” Space.com, July 14, 2013, http://www.space.com/21953-planetary-resources-crowdfunded-space-telescope.html. 9 For a good breakdown of these rules, please see http://www.cfira.org. 10 AI with Chance Barnett, 2013. 11 This information sits on a banner across the top of their landing page: https://www.crowdfunder.com, our numbers were gathered in June 2014. 12 See http://blog.angel.co/post/59121578519/wow-uber. 13 Tomio Geron, “AngelList, With SecondMarket, Opens Deals to Small Investors for as Little as $1K,” Forbes, December 19, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/12/19/angellist-with-secondmarket-opens-deals-to-small-investors-for-as-little-as-1k/. 14 John McDermott, “Pebble ‘Smartwatch’ Funding Soars on Kickstarter,” Inc., April 20, 2012, http://www.inc.com/john-mcdermott/pebble-smartwatch-funding-sets-kickstarter-record.html. 15 Dara Kerr, “World’s first public space telescope gets Kickstarter goal,” CNET, July 1, 2013, http://www.cnet.com/news/worlds-first-public-space-telescope-gets-kickstarter-goal/. 16 McDermott, “Pebble ‘Smartwatch’ Funding Soars on Kickstarter.” 17 See https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-build-a-goddamn-tesla-museum--5. 18 Kerr, “World’s first public space telescope gets Kickstarter goal.” 19 Cade Metz, “Facebook Buys VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion,” Wired, March 25, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/03/facebook-acquires-oculus/. 20 All Indiegogo stats come from AIs with founders Danae Ringelmann and Slava Rubin, conducted in 2013. 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid. 23 AI with Eric Migicovsky, 2013. 24 See www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin109275.html. 25 Eric Gilbert and Tanushree Mitra, “The Language that Gets People to Give: Phrases that Predict Success on Kickstarter,” CSCW’14, February 15, 2014, http://comp.social.gatech.edu/papers/cscw14.crowdfunding.mitra.pdf. 26 AI with Ringelmann and Rubin, 2013. 27 AI with Migicovsky. 28 AI with Ringelmann and Rubin. 29 AI with Migicovsky.

PART THREE: THE BOLD CROWD Chapter Seven: Crowdsourcing: Marketplace of the Rising Billion 1 Netcraft Web Server Survey, Netcraft, Accessed June 2014, http://news.netcraft.com/archives/category/web-server-survey/. 2 AI with Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart. 3 Jeff Howe, “The Rise of Crowdfunding,” Wired, 2006, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/crowds_pr.html. 4 Rob Hof, “Second Life’s First Millionaire,” Bloomberg Businessweek, November 26, 2006, http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2006/11/second_lifes_fi.html. 5 Jeff Howe, “Crowdsourcing: A Definition,” Crowdsourcing, http://crowdsourcing.typepad.com/cs/2006/06/crowdsourcing_a.html. 6 “Statistics,” Kiva, http://www.kiva.org/about/stats. 7 Rob Walker, “The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter,” New York Times, August 5, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/magazine/the-trivialities-and-transcendence-of-kickstarter.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 8 “Stats,” Kickstarter, https://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats. 9 Doug Gross, “Google boss: Entire world will be online by 2020,” CNN, April 15, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/tech/web/eric-schmidt-internet/. 10 “Global entertainment and media outlook 2013–2017,” PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2013, https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/global-entertainment-media-outlook/. 11 Freelancer Case Study based on a series of AIs. 12 Quoted from AI: Matt Barrie. 13 Tongal Case Study based on a series of AIs with James DeJulio. 14 reCAPTCHA and Duolingo Case Study based on a series of AIs with Luis von Ahn. 15 During the completion of this book, a Bay Area startup called Vicarious wrote an AI program able to solve (i.e., read) CAPTCHAs with an accuracy of 90 percent.

By 2013 that number had jumped to $526,460,675 in loans from 1,047,653 Kiva lenders while maintaining a 98.96 percent repayment rate.6 This was also the same time when crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter came into being, giving birth to a new way to raise money for creative projects. Want to make a movie? Cut a new CD? Design a new kind of watch? Just put a video up on either of these sites and ask the crowd for the money. It didn’t take long before theNew York Times started calling Kickstarter “the people’s NEA [National Endowment for the Arts],” and well, they weren’t kidding.7 In 2010, the site raised over $27 million and funded 3,910 projects. The following year, the amount raised jumped to $99 million, funding 11,836 projects. In 2013, these figures were north of $480 million and some 19,911 projects.8 And Kickstarter is only one example. While Indiegogo has not released its growth numbers, in early 2014, its success was impressive enough to command a $40 million equity investment, the largest venture investment yet for a crowdfunding start-up.


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Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel

3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

If that’s the case, it also explains why there aren’t that many truly revolutionary business leaders: The risk is huge, and having a true vision for a product or service that doesn’t exist can be a solitary place to be… until now. DIRECT RELATIONSHIPS MINIMIZE RISK. Kickstarter does more than initiate interesting and obscure projects; it helps kick-start businesses by matching them with consumers who are interested in a direct relationship. The platform doesn’t begin and end with a project being funded. The entire journey is often shared (both on Kickstarter and other online social networking channels), so that the relationship between the consumers (the backers) and the creators can strengthen through the process. With Kickstarter, business owners can figure out if they’re producing something that people actually want, instead of producing something and then having to create the market for it. At first blush, Kickstarter seems foreign given how we have seen business to date, but doing some digging into it reveals that it may be the smartest way for businesses to develop true direct relationships with consumers: by getting them involved in defining the value of the products long before they go into production.

That sounds like a solid first year of sales considering the product doesn’t even exist yet—not to mention the four thousand strong and loyal direct relationships that have been created. Is this all new media hyperbole? Does this truly have an effect on business? Consider this last piece of data from the Kickstarter world: In February 2012, Yancey Strickler (one of Kickstarter’s co-founders) said in an interview with Talking Points Memo that Kickstarter was on course to disburse over $150 million to its various projects in 2012. To put this into perspective, the National Endowment for the Arts had a fiscal 2012 budget of $146 million. On top of that, several Kickstarter projects have topped $1 million in funding from backers. As Kickstarter’s popularity continues to grow and inspires new and exciting entrepreneurs, we’re starting to see that businesses that create powerful direct relationships based on value can achieve staggering financial results.

Without knowing if there would be a market for Pen Type-A and not having the resources to turn this design concept into any semblance of a serious business model, they turned to one of the hottest online destinations, Kickstarter, to get a feel for the potential market. If you don’t know about Kickstarter, well, now’s the time for you to find out: Kickstarter is a simple crowdfunding platform that allows individuals to post their creative projects (everything from music and film to technology and journalism) and to start an online threshold-pledge system for the funding of the project. It is, without question, the most interesting thing happening online right now. In short: If you can’t get a movie deal, you can post your project to Kickstarter, define the budget, and invite anybody and everybody who thinks it’s a good idea to become a backer. This doesn’t mean that a backer is an investor in the actual company; rather, backers are pre-paying for a product that has yet to be developed (creators establish different levels for backing a project and what those levels receive in terms of products and services).


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The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

By far the most disruptive and powerful technological tool behind the revenge of tabletop games has been Kickstarter. Since the crowdfunding service began in 2009, it has quickly become the de facto launchpad for tens of thousands of board and card games, large and small. At any given time there are roughly two hundred new tabletop game projects raising money on Kickstarter, and roughly half reach their fund-raising goal. Tabletop games are one of the most popular projects on Kickstarter, in terms of both dollars raised and the success of fund-raising campaigns. Kickstarter does not regularly break down its statistics for the games category (which includes both video and tabletop games), but in 2013 the company told the New York Times that tabletop game projects raised $52.1 million that year, compared to $45.3 million for video games. Kickstarter has done more to fuel the creation of games than anyone since Milton Bradley.

During the trip, they quickly grew bored and began making games out of paper, but shortly after the trip, Frobert wrote to Vernaza and told him about an idea he had for a Risk-style game based on drug cartels. Over the next few years, they worked to develop the game, and took early prototypes to board game industry trade shows, including Germany’s massive Essen Spiel, where they learned about Kickstarter. When they launched their Kickstarter campaign in late May 2015, the goal was to raise €29,000 to fund Deal: American Dream. I met Vernaza with just six days left, and only €20,000 raised. “No one tells you how much Kickstarter is a ride,” he said, as he unrolled a prototype board for the game and set up the cards. “It’s really a ride.” Deal: American Dream sets competing criminal networks against each other in the drug-producing and -consuming markets of the Americas. You pick a gang (Chicago mafia, Mexican cartels, Vancouver yakuza, etc.), raise funds, buy soldiers, take over territory, then move and sell dope to earn respect points.

Vernaza took the Southwest, and I fended off his attacks in the Midwest and Texas until I controlled Miami, and finally his home nation, Colombia, where I shipped enough dope back to America to win. Deal: American Dream was a fun, fast-paced, original game. I pledged $10 to the campaign, and followed Kickstarter over the next week. With five days to go, it looked increasingly unlikely that Vernaza and Frobert would reach their goal, but a sudden surge of backers in the last three days pushed them past their goal. The game should now be commercially available. Deal: American Dream had filmed its Kickstarter video at Snakes & Lattes, and I first encountered Vernaza there just before it launched, during one of the monthly game designer nights the café holds in its back room. If Kickstarter and Board Game Geek are the digital communities driving the revenge of board games, then these evenings are their analog equivalent. Each month, twenty to thirty game designers, ranging from well-known professionals to first-time amateurs, invite their peers to play and give feedback on prototype games.


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

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Joi Ito, 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

For Mesh businesses, it is an ongoing imperative to understand the community, what its members consider valuable, and how to deliver that value. If you do, they’ll love you for it. And think you’re cool, too. CASE STUDY: Kickstarter In April 2009, a new way to fund creative ideas and projects made a splash on the Internet. Designers, filmmakers, journalists, inventors, artists, and other creatives flocked to Kickstarter, a platform for soliciting small yet consequential monetary contributions from donors. Kickstarter is powered by a unique funding method that is not about personal investing: project creators maintain 100 percent ownership of their intellectual property. Starting a project on Kickstarter is free, but currently projects are posted by invitation only, and must be based in the United States. Founder Perry Chen says Kickstarter plans to assist international project creators in the future. To initiate a project, creators set a funding goal and a deadline of up to ninety days after the project’s posting date.

With viral support, donations can pile up quickly: one $8,900 book project was 200 percent funded within the first forty-eight hours. Even if the funding goal is surpassed, projects can accept pledges until the funding deadline arrives. Kickstarter applies a fee of 5 percent to the amount raised. The caveat: if a funding goal isn’t achieved, all pledges are canceled, and no money changes hands. As donors and artists bring their own social networks to the site, the potential for donors to find new interesting projects, and for artists to reach more donors, naturally builds. Perry reports that Kickstarter is increasing the number of projects and the volume of its transactions at a rate of about 20 percent a month. Kickstarter has momentum, a growing following, angel investors, and a big idea—perfect ingredients for success in the Mesh. A similar service is off and running in France called Kisskissbankbank. 3 Mesh Design WHAT’S HERE: heirloom design, or the half-life of crap; the welcome return of Mr.

With the book and the Mesh directory, she’s empowering people to connect with each other and build profitable, sustainable businesses together. How very meshy of her!” —DENISE CARUSO, former New York Times technology columnist; senior research scholar, Carnegie Mellon University “Gansky lucidly describes how a new generation of companies make their community’s passion, intelligence, and resources a core part of the business itself. Kickstarter is honored to be included as part of this new movement.” —PERRY CHEN, cofounder and CEO, Kickstarter “At ThredUP, we fully embrace what Gansky calls the Mesh and are rapidly growing our service, community base, brand, and ecosystem around a new business model dedicated to extending the life of kids’ clothing and making parents very happy!” —JAMES REINHART, cofounder and CEO, ThredUp “Crushpad is a true Mesh business. Equal parts winemaking, Internet, and community involvement, Crushpad enables anyone with a true passion for wine to create their very own at the highest level.


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WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But it Should Be,” Money Talking, WNYC, January 16, 2015, http://www.wnyc.org/story/failure-not-an-option-but-it-should-be/. 286 Three had no investment at all from VCs: Bryce Roberts, “Helluva Lifestyle Business You Got There,” Medium, January 31, 2017, https://medium.com/strong-words/helluva-lifestyle-business-you-got-there-e1ebd3104a95. 286 which he called indie.vc: Bryce Roberts, “We Invest in Real Businesses,” indie.vc, retrieved April 3, 2017, http://www.indie.vc. 287 tens of millions in distribution: Jason Fried, “Jason Fried on Valuations, Basecamp, and Why He’s No Longer Poking the World in the Eye,” interview with Mixergy, April 4, 2016, https://mixergy.com/interviews/basecamp-with-jason-fried/. 287 “if growth is not immediate and meteoric”: Marc Hedlund, “Indie.vc, and focus,” Skyliner (blog), December 14, 2016, https://blog.skyliner.io/indie-vc-and-focus-8e833d8680d4. 289 “faster than any company in Silicon Valley”: Hank Green, “Introducing the Internet Creators Guild,” June 15, 2016, https://medium.com/internet-creators-guild/introducing-the-internet-creators-guild-e0db6867e0c3. 290 at the Vatican in November 2016: Fortune +Time Global Forum 2016, “The 21st Century Challenge: Forging a New Social Compact,” Rome and Vatican City, December 2–3, 2016, http://www.fortuneconferences.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Fortune-Time-Global-Forum-2016-Working-Group-Solutions. pdf. 290 by $165 billion: Google, Economic Im-pact, United States 2015, retrieved Dec-ember 12, 2016, https://economicimpact. google.com/#/. 290 more than 60% of their traffic came from search: Nathan Safran, “Organic Search Is Actually Responsible for 64% of Your Web Traffic (Thought Experiment),” July 10, 2014, https://www.conductor.com/blog/2014/07/organic-search-actually-responsible-64-web-traffic/. 291 commissioned a report: Yancey Strickler, “Kickstarter’s Impact on the Creative Economy,” The Kickstarter Blog, July 28, 2016, https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarters-impact-on-the-creative-economy. 291 have gone on to great success: Amy Feldman, “Ten of the Most Successful Companies Built on Kickstarter,” Forbes, April 14, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2016/04/14/ten-of-the-most-successful-companies-built-on-kickstarter/#4dec455f69e8. 292 register as a public benefit corporation: Yancey Strickler, Perry Chen, and Charles Adler, “Kickstarter Is Now a Benefit Corporation,” The Kickstarter Blog, September 21, 2015, https://www.kick starter.com/blog/kickstarter-is-now-a-benefit-corporation. 292 regular cash distributions to their shareholders: Joshua Brustein, “Kickstarter Just Did Something Tech Startups Never Do: It Paid a Dividend,” Bloomberg, June 17, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-17/kickstarter-just-did-something-tech-startups-never-do-it-paid-a-dividend. 292 shareholder value primacy has no legal basis: Lynn Stout, The Shareholder Value Myth (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2012). 292 argues otherwise: Leo E.

It would have set a great precedent if, having won big, the Oculus founders had treated their initial backers as if they had been investors, letting them in on some of the windfall.) While the absolute numbers are far smaller than those for Google, Kickstarter’s ratio of value captured to value created is far better. Since Kickstarter charges a fee of only 5%, that means the company’s total lifetime revenues were roughly $250 million, a tiny fraction of the value created. Because Kickstarter is a private company, and Yancey Strickler, its cofounder and CEO, made clear that he has no plans for the company to sell or go public, it’s impossible to estimate what Kickstarter would be worth if it were to do so. But Kickstarter is in the game for the long haul, committed to creating value for its participants rather than extracting it. Kickstarter has gone so far as to register as a public benefit corporation, a designation that places a legal requirement on the company to consider its impact on society and not just on shareholders.

The value created for the ecosystem should be a paramount concern. In the summer of 2016, crowdfunding pioneer Kickstarter commissioned a report from a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, which concluded that since its founding in 2009, Kickstarter had funded a total of $5.3 billion in projects, creating 8,800 new small businesses employing approximately 29,000 people full-time, and working with another 283,000 part-time collaborators. Many of those projects doubtless failed, just like those backed by venture capitalists or started as local businesses, but many have gone on to great success. Some have even joined the supermoney economy. One project, Oculus, was later sold to Facebook for $2 billion, of which Kickstarter received nothing. (Unfortunately, neither did any of the project’s backers. It would have set a great precedent if, having won big, the Oculus founders had treated their initial backers as if they had been investors, letting them in on some of the windfall.)


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

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, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

The book is available for purchase at http://www.bulldozingtheway.com/. 16. https://buy.louisck.net/news/a-statement-from-louis-c-k 17. https://buy.louisck.net/purchase/live-at-the-beacon-theater 18. http://www.gq.com/entertainment/tv/blogs/the-stream/2012/03/aziz-ansari-dangerously-delicious-standup-online.html 19. http://bigthink.com/ideas/42326 20. Kickstarter statistics are constantly updated at http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats. 21. http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/10000-successful-projects 22. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/at-sundance-kickstarter-resembled-a-movie-studio-but-without-the-egos/ 23. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/magazine/22madmen-t.html 24. Levine, Free Ride, 141. 25. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/02/i_paid_4_million_for_this_.html 26. http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/164/major-league-baseball-advanced-media-bam 27.

Self-financing and hitting up friends is probably what bands have always done when they want to record something but don’t have a record deal; what has changed is that Kickstarter (like other Web resources) reduces the search and transaction costs for hitting up friends (and in some cases others who find out about it), including the cost of distributing the rewards that incentivize the donors or investors. And it’s hardly a unique story. Among the over 26,000 projects successfully funded on Kickstarter since its inception in 2008, a third have been music albums, another third film or video, and about a tenth writing and publishing projects.20 Not one of these projects needed a big studio, big record label, or big publisher to back them.21 Approximately one-tenth of the films premiering at Sundance Film Festival in 2012 were at least partially funded on Kickstarter, leading David Carr to remark in the New York Times that “at Sundance Kickstarter resembled a movie studio, but without the egos.”22 And Kickstarter is just one of several crowd-sourced funding sites.

Among the over 26,000 projects successfully funded on Kickstarter since its inception in 2008, a third have been music albums, another third film or video, and about a tenth writing and publishing projects.20 Not one of these projects needed a big studio, big record label, or big publisher to back them.21 Approximately one-tenth of the films premiering at Sundance Film Festival in 2012 were at least partially funded on Kickstarter, leading David Carr to remark in the New York Times that “at Sundance Kickstarter resembled a movie studio, but without the egos.”22 And Kickstarter is just one of several crowd-sourced funding sites. Others include Indiegogo.com, focused on funding indie films, and PledgeMusic.com, for musicians. After the Great Unknowns’ second album, Andy went back to academia. Kickstarter had given them enough funding to make another album but not enough to cover the marketing and touring expenses the band would accrue when promoting the album professionally. All the band members have day jobs but play music seriously. Without the support of big labels, they and others of their generation are building small audiences and scraping together the money to pursue their careers. The nature of commercial music making has changed, clearly, and with it traditional artistic career paths.


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To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Take just one example: Johnson thinks that a site like Kickstarter offers a much better model of funding arts than, say, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); in fact, he thinks it’s just a matter of time before Kickstarter overtakes the NEA. “The question with Kickstarter, given its growth rate, is not whether it could rival the NEA in its support of the creative arts. The new question is whether it will grow to be ten times the size of the NEA.” Elsewhere in the book, Johnson writes that he doesn’t want to scrap the NEA, only to make it work more like Kickstarter; what’s most interesting about his argument, however, is that he doesn’t spell out why the NEA should become like Kickstarter and what makes the latter’s model superior. Perhaps, Johnson simply doesn’t have to, as his audience can anticipate the argument that is implied: the Kickstarter approach is simply better because it comes from “the Internet.” This odd and shortsighted claim focuses on the mechanics of the platform rather than on the substance of what institutions like the NEA actually do.

Now, this is a very different model from the top-down hierarchical model of the NEA, in which a bunch of artsy bureaucrats make all the decisions as to what art to fund. But the fact that Kickstarter offers a more efficient platform for some projects to raise more money more effectively—bypassing the bureaucrats and increasing participation—does not mean it will yield better, more innovative art or support art that, in our age of cat videos, might seem old-fashioned and unnecessary. Sites like Kickstarter tend to favor populist projects, which may or may not be good for the arts overall. The same logic applies to other governmental and quasi-governmental institutions as well: if the National Endowment for Democracy worked like Kickstarter, it would have to spend all its money on funding projects like the highly viral Kony 2012 campaign, which, all things considered, may only be of secondary importance to both democracy promotion and US foreign policy as a whole.

When you have the BBC’s lawyers backing you up, you’ll probably take many more risks than if you are relying on crowdfunding. But if Kickstarter is your platform of choice, you’ll probably forgo venturing into the thorny legal issues altogether. Both of these arguments show the danger of viewing the nimble and crowd-powered Kickstarter as an alternative (rather than a supplement!) to the behemoth that is the BBC, or in the American context, the NEA. This might fit quite nicely with David Cameron’s rhetoric of the “Big Society”—whereby individuals take on the roles formerly performed by public institutions—but it would be a mistake to treat the two approaches as producing the same content through different means. Some content is simply unlikely to get crowdfunded. Johnson, however, does not want to make his case for reforming the NEA on aesthetic grounds; for him, Kickstarter is better because it’s more Internet-like and more participatory.


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Full Stack Web Development With Backbone.js by Patrick Mulder

Airbnb, create, read, update, delete, Debian, Kickstarter, MVC pattern, node package manager, Ruby on Rails, side project, single page application, web application, WebSocket

The Bigger Picture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Before You Get Started Backbonify Your Stack Using npm Local Backbone.js Backbone.js via Content Delivery Networks Modules, Packages, and Servers CommonJS Modules Beyond index.html Browserify Combining Express.js and Stitch When Things Go Wrong Conclusion 1 2 2 4 5 6 8 9 10 13 15 16 2. Kick-Starting Application Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Creating a Wireframe Decoupling State from the UI Models and Collections Views Backbone.js and MVC Preparing a Click Dummy Basic HTML and Style Building a Data Layer Basic Events Conclusion 18 19 21 22 22 24 24 26 31 34 3. Building the User Interface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 iii Referencing jQuery Interfacing the DOM Basic Rendering Bindings to Data Changes Basic View Templates Rendering a Collection Handling UI Events DRYer Views and ViewModels Conclusion 35 36 37 39 41 42 43 46 47 4.

You should have played a bit with Browserify or with a JavaScript package manager that bundles multiple JavaScript files into one file. The widely popular RequireJS and Java‐ Script AMD module format will be discussed later in the book. For the next chapters, we’ll stay in the web browser. You will learn about the basic abstractions that Backbone.js provides, and we will discuss Munich Cinema, the main example application of the book. 16 | Chapter 1: The Bigger Picture CHAPTER 2 Kick-Starting Application Development Don’t make me think is mentioned by Steve Krug as the most important principle in designing user interfaces. When you browse a list of movies, for example, it is nice to initially see just the film posters and for the movie details to be visible only upon request. In a web browser, the user experience of browsing movies results involves processing events that result from input devices such as a mouse or keyboard.

To start, we sit down with our designer and sketch out what the browsing experience could become. The movies are the most important entities on the website, so we want to preserve the context to quickly switch from one movie to another. Therefore, we want to combine a list view of the movies with details views. There also needs to be an easy way to navigate back and forth between the movies. 18 | Chapter 2: Kick-Starting Application Development During our conversation with the designer, we decided that patrons like Mary would be interested to interact with Munich Cinema as follows: • It would be useful for them to be able to filter and search movies (e.g., by the same director or in the same genre) so that they can decide which movie to go see. So a search box with some way to filter movies would be nice. • After having seen a movie, they might want to share their experience by adding a rating.


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Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, 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, zero-sum game

The Kicker Since I have long been concerned that the Internet has killed more jobs than it has created, I have been keenly interested in ventures that might reverse the trend. Kickstarter is a relevant experiment. Its original motivation was to make philanthropy more efficient, but here the focus will be on the way Kickstarter facilitates finance for new business ventures. Entrepreneurs raise money from the multitudes in advance of doing something they propose to do, but in a way that bypasses traditional ideas about finance.* Early supporters don’t get equity, but they do often get something concrete, like a “first edition” of a new product. Is this not a sterling example of how the ’net can make capital available to unconventional innovators in nontraditional ways? What’s not to like? *Kickstarter is just one example of many. The idea is trendy, and is promoted in recent legislation such the 2012 JOBS act.

Indeed I like it, and I especially like that my friend Keith McMillen was able to launch an innovative music controller using it. Keith has been a celebrated musical instrument designer for years, and he had an idea for a new kind of digital musical device called the QuNeo. Instead of going the usual route of pitching investors, he used Kickstarter to pitch his future customers directly. They loved the idea, and his QuNeo controller became one of Kickstarter’s fine early success stories. Hordes of customers lined up and prepaid for a device that didn’t exist yet, turning into pseudo-investors and customers at the same time. Kickstarter as a tool for funding product development isn’t perfect. It would be even better if it supported the creation of risk pools for multiple projects, and an insurance or risk management system for customers. Siren Servers suffer the delusion that someone else can always take all the risk, that ignored risk will never come around to bite you.

Can an innovation hub really radiate all risk away from itself? Kickstarter has experimented with changing the rules to reduce the risks taken by supporters of projects. For instance, inventors were at one point suddenly forbidden from showing realistic renderings of what an end product might look like. That rule supposedly reduced the risk that a supporter would perceive a project to be closer to fruition than it really was. Even if the rule had the desired effect, is it not absurd to deny inventors the ability to show pictures of what they intend to create? But it’s the sort of strategy a Siren Server must resort to in order to retain an arm’s-length, risk-free state of being. Here is the question and answer about the policy from the Kickstarter website: How will Kickstarter know whether something is a simulation or rendering [ . . . instead of a photograph of a physical prototype]?


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The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

Businesses like Dropbox, which turned down a nine-digit offer from Steve Jobs and subsequently raised money at a four-billion-dollar valuation. For developers that don’t wish to surrender any control, Kickstarter represents yet another funding option. Founded in 2008, Kickstarter is a crowd source funding platform that had attracted $175 million in contributions as of April 2012. The model is simple: for a commission of 5% on each project—and a few additional percentage points due Amazon for usage of their payments network—Kickstarter provides artists, filmmakers, developers, and others with a direct line to potential individual investors. Unlike traditional venture capital, however, Kickstarter claims no ownership stake in funded projects—all rights are retained by the project owners. Though Kickstarter is by no means focused strictly on developers, they have been among the most impressive beneficiaries.

Though Kickstarter is by no means focused strictly on developers, they have been among the most impressive beneficiaries. Of the top projects by funds raised, the first three are video games. In March 2012, Double Fine Adventure set the record for Kickstarter projects, attracting $3.3 million in crowd-sourced financing. Number two on the list, Wasteland 2, raised just under $3 million, with third place Shadowrun Returns receiving $1.8 million. The Kickstarter model is less established than even seed-stage venture dollars, but it shows every sign of being a powerful funding option for developers moving forward. In little more than a decade, developers had gained access to free software, affordable hardware, powerful networking tools, and more entrepreneur-friendly financing options. Things would never be the same again. Chapter 4. The Evidence What Would a Developer’s World Look Like? If members of the newly empowered developer class really are the New Kingmakers, shaping their own destiny and increasingly setting the technical agenda, how could we tell?


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

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, 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, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

If the funding goal is reached, the creative entrepreneur receives their money. Between 2009 and 2015, close to nine million people pledged close to $2 billion for hundreds of thousands of projects on Kickstarter, and the word has entered the lexicon of popular culture. Every day, hundreds of people decide they are going to “Kickstart” their projects. What’s in it for the funders? Part of it is the pure joy of seeing a cool idea receive the funding it needs to get off the ground. Part of it has to do with getting early access to cool new things. However, even if the project is a commercial venture, investing in a Kickstarter gives you no ownership stake. I spoke to Kickstarter’s founder and CEO Yancey Strickler about this in spring 2014, and at the time he asserted that he had no intention of taking the platform into the “capital for equity” realm.

In fact, late in 2015, the company reaffirmed its position by becoming a benefit corporation, renewing its longstanding commitment to supporting the arts and culture, and articulating other values and commitments it intended to live by.43 If one looks at the composition of projects funded on Kickstarter, some of the “gift” motivations become clearer. A large percentage of Kickstarter projects are those that would have traditionally been funded by a foundation or a wealthy local business looking to support the arts, or through a charity walk, or by a group of friends. As Brian Meece, the founder and CEO of Kickstarter competitor RocketHub told me in 2013, crowdfunding is a social event, and a successful project is one that is curated in the same way you would a good party. In many ways, thus, the psychology of funding projects on Kickstarter is much more social than commercial. It is much more a gift economy than a market economy, with the norms associated with philanthropic giving.

The platform ensures that the well-heeled OneFineStay guests will enjoy all the amenities they might expect from a high-end hotel, including cleaning, fresh linens (on a daily basis if needed) and 24/7 guest services. In other words, while the space may be supplied by crowd, the hospitality is not provided by the homeowners but rather by the platform itself. Funding: Kickstarter, Kiva, Funding Circle, AngelList The peer-to-peer financing arena provides additional examples along the gift-market spectrum. The quintessential crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, for example, provides a way for people to fund a wide variety of projects, be it a new film or performance, the development of a new app, or a new product. A typical sequence of funding works like this. First, creative entrepreneurs launch their project with a funding goal. Second, people on the platform who feel strongly about the project contribute an amount they can afford.


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

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, 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, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, “Creating Shared Value: Redefining Capitalism and the Role of the Corporation in Society,” Harvard Business Review, January 2011. 6. Trade School, “About,” http://tradeschool.coop/about. 7. Ibid. 8. Kickstarter, “Stats,” www.kickstarter.com/help/stats. 9. Accenture, “The ‘Greater’ Wealth Transfer: Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth,” 2012, www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-capitalizing-intergenerational-shift-wealth-capital-markets-summary.aspx. 10. Adrianne Jeffries, “If You Back a Kickstarter Project That Sells for $2 Billion, Do You Deserve to Get Rich?” TheVerge.com, March 28, 2014, www.theverge.com/2014/3/28/5557120/what-if-oculus-rift-kickstarter-backers-had-gotten-equity. 11. Greg Belote, “What If Oculus Crowdfunded for Equity? A 145x Return,” WeFunder, March 26, 2014, https://wefunder.me/post/42-what-if-oculus-crowdfunded-for-equity. 12.

In exchange for instruction, teachers received everything from running shoes to mixed CDs, from letters to a stranger to cheddar cheese.”6 A year later, the Trade School decided to turn to Kickstarter again to raise $9,000 to repeat the experiment for a longer period of time and to pay for some materials and a staff coordinator. Successful for a second time, the idea attracted attention from cities around the world. Trade Schools were opening in Oakland, Singapore, London, New Delhi, Sherbrooke, Jamaica, Purchase, Guadalajara, Cardiff, San Francisco, Bangkok, Paris, San Francisco, New Haven, and Milan, and all of them were seeking advice and support of the original group in Brooklyn. So the team turned back to Kickstarter to raise $10,000 to reimburse the freelance engineers and designers building an open-source Web platform that would make the lives of volunteers in all those cities much easier.7 Since 2009 Kickstarter has funneled nearly $1.4 billion to more than 70,000 projects, which are usually small, one-of-a-kind efforts.8 It’s great for pilots or small projects, but not enough to get a platform through the controlled kernel phase.

GIFT CROWDFUNDING AND EQUITY CROWDFUNDING The Peers Inc structure has enabled a new class of crowdfunding for all kinds of efforts, unleashing, organizing, and empowering small-scale funders. We’ll follow Caroline Woolard, a Brooklyn-based artist and organizer who founded the Trade School, a platform for participation in which anyone in the New York community could sign up to teach a one-session class, which was offered free to anyone who showed up to attend. She successfully raised money using Kickstarter several times. Kickstarter and Indiegogo (among others) let people contribute money to projects of all kinds without taking any equity. Instead of equity, donors are given a range of thank-you gifts depending on how much they’ve contributed. In 2010, Caroline co-founded a community experiment in a small storefront in Brooklyn, where people took classes in exchange for barter. Over the course of thirty-five days, eight hundred people participated in seventy-six single-session classes.


pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Robert Atkinson, “It’s the Digital Economy, Stupid,” Fast Company, January 8, 2009. 9. Carl Franzen, “Kickstarter Expects to Provide More Funding to the Arts Than NEA,” Talking Points Memo, February 24, 2012, available at http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/kickstarter-expects-to-provide-more-funding-to-the-arts-than-nea.php; Carl Franzen, “NEA Weighs In on Kickstarter Funding Debate,” Talking Points Memo, February 27, 2012, available at http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/the-nea-responds-to-kickstarter-funding-debate.php. That said, Kickstarter has a high failure rate. Roughly half the projects that seek funding don’t succeed in reaching their target. See Samantha Murphy, “About 41% of Kickstarter Projects Fail,” Mashable Tech, June 12, 2012, available at http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/kickstarter-failures/. 10. Comments at Wired Business Conference, New York City, May 1, 2012. 11.

But the Web—the very technology that seemed poised to topple salespeople—knocked down barriers to entry for small entrepreneurs and enabled more of these craft makers to sell. Ditto for eBay. Some three-quarters of a million Americans now say that eBay serves as their primary or secondary source of income.8 Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs find fund-raising easier thanks to Kickstarter, which allows them to post the basics of their creative projects—films, music, visual art, fashion—and try to sell their ideas to funders. Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, 1.8 million people have funded twenty thousand projects with more than $200 million. In just three years, Kickstarter surpassed the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts as the largest backer of arts projects in the United States.9 While the Web has enabled more micro-entrepreneurs to flourish, its overall impact might soon seem quaint compared with the smartphone.

We try to convince the boss to loosen up a few dollars from the budget or the human resources department to add more vacation days. Yet none of this activity ever shows up in the data tables. The same goes for what transpires on the other side of the ever murkier border between work and life. Many of us now devote a portion of our spare time to selling—whether it’s handmade crafts on Etsy, heartfelt causes on DonorsChoose, or harebrained schemes on Kickstarter. And in astonishing numbers and with ferocious energy, we now go online to sell ourselves—on Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Match.com profiles. (Remember: None of the six entities I just mentioned existed ten years ago.) The conventional view of economic behavior is that the two most important activities are producing and consuming. But today, much of what we do also seems to involve moving.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

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

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, commoditize, 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, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, 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, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Korean pop dance video “Gangnam Style”: Officialpsy, “Psy—Gangnam Style M/V,” YouTube, July 15, 2012, accessed August 19, 2015, https://goo.gl/LoetL. 9 million fans to fund 88,000 projects: “Stats,” Kickstarter, accessed June 25, 2015. raise more than $34 billion each year: “Global Crowdfunding Market to Reach $34.4B in 2015, Predicts Massolution’s 2015 CF Industry Report,” Crowdsourcing.org, April 7, 2015. about 20,000 people who raised: “The Year in Kickstarter 2013,” Kickstarter, January 9, 2014. unless the total amount is raised: “Creator Handbook: Funding,” Kickstarter, accessed July 31, 2015. highest grossing Kickstarter campaign: Pebble Time is currently the most funded Kickstarter, with $20,338,986 to date. “Most Funded,” Kickstarter, accessed August 18, 2015. 40 percent of all projects succeed: “Stats: Projects and Dollars Success Rate,” Kickstarter, accessed July 31, 2015. SeedInvest and FundersClub: Marianne Hudson, “Understanding Crowdfunding and Emerging Trends,” Forbes, April 9, 2015.

The technology of sharing enables the power of one fan who is willing to prepay an artist or author to be aggregated (with little effort) together with hundreds of other fans into a significant pool of money. The most renowned crowdfunder is Kickstarter, which in the seven years since it was launched has enabled 9 million fans to fund 88,000 projects. Kickstarter is one of about 450 crowdfunding platforms worldwide; others, such as Indiegogo, are almost as prolific. Altogether, crowdfunding platforms raise more than $34 billion each year for projects that would not have been funded in any other way. In 2013, I was one of about 20,000 people who raised money from fans on Kickstarter. A few friends and I created a full-color graphic novel—or what used to be called a comic book for grown-ups. We calculated we needed $40,000 to pay writers and artists to create and print the second volume of our story, called The Silver Cord. So we went onto Kickstarter and made a short video pitch for what we wanted the money for.

So we went onto Kickstarter and made a short video pitch for what we wanted the money for. Kickstarter runs an ingenious escrow service so that the full grant (in our case $40,000) is not handed over to the creators until and unless the total amount is raised. If the drive is even a dollar short at the end of 30 days, the money is returned immediately to the funders and the fund-raisers (us) get nothing. This protects the fans, since an insufficiently funded project is doomed to fail; it also employs the classic network economics of turning your fans into your chief marketers, since once they contribute they become motivated to make sure you reach your goal by recruiting their friends to your campaign. Occasionally, unexpectedly popular fan-financed Kickstarter projects may pile on an additional $1 million above the goal. The highest grossing Kickstarter campaign raised $20 million for a digital watch from its future fans.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

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

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Here are just a few of the non-obvious keys we learned. Find the MED for Kickstarter Traffic If you want to raise a lot of money on Kickstarter, you need to drive a lot of traffic to your project. And you want that traffic to be comprised of prospective backers of your project. Applying the concept of MED (“minimum effective dose” from The 4-Hour Body), we knew we needed to discover and focus on the best traffic sources. My friend Clay Hebert is a Kickstarter expert. One of the things he taught me is a simple trick using bit.ly tracking. Bit.ly is a link shortening service used by millions of people . . . and Kickstarter. If you add a + to the end of any bit.ly URL, you can see stats related to that link. For example: Here are stats for the shortlink Kickstarter generated for our campaign: http://kck.st/VjAFva+ [TF: This will blow your mind.

For example: Here are stats for the shortlink Kickstarter generated for our campaign: http://kck.st/VjAFva+ [TF: This will blow your mind. Go to any Kickstarter project, click on Share, and pick a social network, like Twitter. A pre-populated tweet will appear with a shortlink. Copy and paste the link alone into a new tab, add + to the end, and hit Return. Voilà.] To discover the top referral sources, we gave our VA a list of Kickstarter projects similar to ours and asked her to list the referrers for each project. Based on this data, we decided to focus all of our attention on just two goals: Getting coverage on the right blogs Activating our networks to create buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and email We knew that if we did this, we would be listed in Kickstarter’s Popular Projects sections, which is how you get people who are browsing Kickstarter to check out and back your project.

Some platforms require “all-or-nothing” funding goals; others permit partial funding; some raise money for completed projects; some, like Patreon, fund ongoing projects. Patreon supporters might fund a monthly magazine, or a video series, or an artist’s salary. The most famous and largest crowdfunder is Kickstarter, which has raised $2.5 billion for more than 100,000 projects. The average number of supporters for a successful Kickstarter project is 241 funders—far less than 1,000. That means if you have 1,000 true fans, you can do a crowdfunding campaign, because by definition a true fan will become a Kickstarter funder. (Although the success of your campaign is dependent on what you ask of your fans). The truth is that cultivating 1,000 true fans is time-consuming, sometimes nerve-wracking, and not for everyone. Done well (and why not do it well?) it can become another full-time job.


pages: 52 words: 14,333

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

Airbnb, iterative process, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, market design, minimum viable product, Paul Graham, pets.com, post-work, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Wozniak, Travis Kalanick

We all find ourselves in the same position: needing to do more with less and finding, increasingly, that the old strategies no longer generate results. So in this book, I am going to take you through a new cycle, a much more fluid and iterative process. A growth hacker doesn’t see marketing as something one does, but rather as something one builds into the product itself. The product is then kick-started, shared, and optimized (with these steps repeated multiple times) on its way to massive and rapid growth. The chapters of this book follow that structure. But first, let’s make a clean break between the old and the new. What Is Growth Hacking? The end goal of every growth hacker is to build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself. —Aaron Ginn There’s no business like show business.

While their marketing brethren chase vague notions like “branding” and “mind share,” growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth—and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users. They are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something. But don’t worry, I’m not going to belabor definitions in this book. What’s important is we’re all trying to grow our business, launch our website, sell tickets for our event, or fund our Kickstarter project. And the way we do it, today, is fundamentally different from how it used to be done. Instead of launching products with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets, the growth hackers we will follow in this book began their work at start-ups with little to no resources. Forced to innovate and motivated to try new things, growth hackers like these have built some of these companies into billion-dollar brands.

With the collapse or crumbling of some of the behemoth companies and the rapid rise of start-ups, apps, and websites, marketing will need to get smaller—it will need to change its priorities. When you get right down to it, the real skill for marketers today isn’t going to be helping some big boring company grow 1 percent a year but to create a totally new brand from nothing using next to no resources. Whether that’s a Kickstarter project you’re trying to fund or a new app, the thinking is the same: how do you get, maintain, and multiply attention in a scalable and efficient way? Thankfully, growth hacking isn’t some proprietary technical process shrouded in secrecy. In fact, it has grown and developed in the course of very public conversations. There are no trade secrets to guard. Aaron Ginn, the growth hacker tasked with rapidly updating the technology behind Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and now director of growth at StumbleUpon, put it best: growth hacking is more of a mind-set than a tool kit.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, 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, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, 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, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Delaney and Robin Sidel, “How Miscalculations and Hubris Hobbled Celebrated Google IPO,” wsj.com, August 19, 2004. 52. Interview with Scott Heiferman, conducted by e-mail, September 2014. 53. Sarah Lacy, “Pando in 2014: Looking Back on an Exhausting, Transformational Year,” pando.com, December 25, 2014. 54. Max Chafkin, “True to Its Roots: Why Kickstarter Won’t Sell,” fastcompany.com, March 18, 2013. 55. “Kickstarter Is a Benefit Corporation,” kickstarter.com, September 21, 2015. 56. J. D. Alois, “Neil Young’s Pono Music Is Now Equity Crowdfunding Following $6.2 Million Kickstarter Hit,” crowdfundinsider.com, August 13, 2014. 57. Mike Masnick, “Larry Lessig Launches Crowdfunded SuperPAC to Try to End SuperPACs,” techdirt.com, May 1, 2014. 58. Jeremy Parish, “How Star Citizen Became the Most Successful Crowd Funded Game of All Time,” wdc.com, January 13, 2015. 59.

“In the Internet industry, you’re basically a custodian of your own idea for maybe three to five years and then you’re supposed to sell. That’s insanity,”54 Kickstarter cofounder Perry Chen told Fast Company when he was trying to explain his platform’s approach to venture funding. He and Yancey Strickler started the now-famous crowdfunding site with $10 million in 2009 but made investors agree up front never to sell their shares. “We hope that we can return some of these funds to shareholders through some kind of profit sharing or dividend,” Chen explained, “and that’s it.” Six years later, in 2015, Strickler still enjoyed enough authority over the direction of the company to turn Kickstarter into a benefit corporation.55 None of his shareholders objected. He’s offering his investors something that’s anathema to conventional thinking: a way of participating in living commerce, a sustainable mission, and a continual flow of dividends.

He’s offering his investors something that’s anathema to conventional thinking: a way of participating in living commerce, a sustainable mission, and a continual flow of dividends. It treats money less like ice than like water. Besides, if the Kickstarter platform works as planned, there will be a whole lot less need for venture capital at all. Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding sites such as IndieGogo and Quirky, seek to democratize fund-raising. They give small businesses and independent creators a way to bypass investment by instead seeking funding in advance from their future customers. It’s how a musician like Amanda Palmer funds her tours and albums, Neil Young funded development of his high-fidelity digital music device Pono,56 and Lawrence Lessig funded his super PAC, Mayday.57 Individuals have raised a few hundred dollars to produce products from coloring books to news articles.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

4chan, AGPL, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WikiLeaks

While crowdfunding need not limited in topic, Kickstarter is focused almost exclusively on funding creative and community focused projects. Part of their goal is to create a lively community of makers who support each other. At the end of their first year, they gave out a number of awards including the project with the most contributors, the project that raised the most money, and the project that reached their goal the fastest, but the award that might be most telling is for the “Most Prolific Backer”: 93 “Jonas Landin, Kickstarter ’s Most Prolific Backer, has pledged to an amazing 56 projects. What motivates him? “It feels really nice to be able to partially fund some one who has an idea they want to realize.” <blog.kickstarter.com/post/318287579/the-kickstarter-awards-by-the-numbers> One curious conundrum arose when Diaspora sought only to raise $10,000 to develop an open source social networking platform ended their campaign with $200,642.

There was a total breakdown in communication, trust, transparency, etc <www.maryrobine ekowal.com/journal/my-very-bad-experience-with-fundablecom/> <boingboing.net/2009/08/22/fundable-rips-off-hu.html>. Kickstarter Kickstarter.com has taken up this concept of crowdfunding with what seems to be significant initial success. The premise is simple: an individual defines a project that needs funding, defines rewards for different levels of contribution, and sets a funding goal. If that pledges meet the funding goal, the money is collected from pledgers, distributed to the project creator, who uses the funding to make the project. If the project does not reach the funding goal by the deadline, no money is transferred. Most projects aim for between $2,000 and $10,000. Kickstarter pledges are not donations, as most of the contributions are associated with tangible rewards, nor are they a form of micro-venture capital, as funders retain no equity in the funded project.

<blog.kickstarter.com/post/318287579/the-kickstarter-awards-by-the-numbers> One curious conundrum arose when Diaspora sought only to raise $10,000 to develop an open source social networking platform ended their campaign with $200,642. <www.kickstarter.com/projects/196017994/diaspora-thepersonally-controlled-do-it-all-distr> Their fundraiser came at the same time as a wave of Facebook privacy roll-backs, perfectly matching the simmering discontent with Facebook to their privacy focused project. This enormous success has created a high level of public scrutiny that has led to public complaints about a number of aspects of the project, including the openness of their development process. <identi.ca/conversation/32668503> Though this is not the place to discuss the relative merits of these process-based critiques, it is worth noting that this might be an example of too much of a good thing.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Gus Delaporte, “Norway takes Manhattan,” Commercial Observer, October 8, 2013; Gus Delaporte, “Norway’s wealth fund to acquire stake in Times Square Tower for $684M,” Commercial Observer, September 9, 2013. 61. Jeremy Grant, “Temasek’s dealmaking reflects big bets on rise of the consumer,” Financial Times (London), April 14, 2014, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/79d9824e-bb9a-11e3-8d4a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz36evevz5a. 62. www.kiva.org/about. 63. “Stats,” Kickstarter, www.kickstarter.com/help/stats?Ref=footer. 64. Rob Thomas, “The Veronica Mars movie project,” Kickstarter, March 13, 2013, et seq., www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project. 65. “Alibaba sells loan arm to Alipay parent in pre-IPO change,” Bloomberg News, August 12, 2014, www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-12/alibaba-sells-loan-arm-to-alipay-parent-in-pre-ipo-change.html. 66. Jeff Glekin, “India’s reliance on Chinese cash comes with risks,” Reuters, January 17, 2012, http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/reliance-communications-on-chinese-cash-idindee80g0b420120117. 67.

These are often of particular interest for smaller companies that do not have access to more traditional capital sources such as public markets and bank loans. Peer-to-peer lending and fund-raising platforms such as Kiva and Kickstarter know no national borders. Kiva, a web-based platform that allows users to lend money to people around the world, has reached over 1.2 million lenders, intermediating more than $600 million in loans.62 Since its founding in 2009, Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing platform for creative projects—from movie documentaries to board games—has coordinated $1.3 billion in pledges from more than 6.9 million people.63 Among the notable projects funded on Kickstarter was the Veronica Mars movie, a sequel to the television show, which raised $5.7 million from more than ninety thousand “backers.”64 Alipay, the payment processing company launched in China by e-commerce giant Alibaba, has a unit that provides financing to small businesses.65 Exploit New Commercial Opportunities Companies with access to privileged sources of capital will have a clear competitive advantage.

“Medtronic launches CareLink Express™ Service” (press release), Medtronic, August 14, 2012, http://newsroom.medtronic.com/phoenix.zhtml?C=251324&p=irol-newsarticle&ID=1769548. 50. Amy Dockser Marcus and Christopher Weaver, “Heart gadgets test privacy-law limits,” Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203937004578078820874744076. 51. Kiva website: www.kiva.org/about. 52. Kickstarter website: www.kickstarter.com/help/stats?ref=footer. 53. Martin Hirt and Paul Willmott, “Strategic principles for competing in the digital age,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2014. 54. Amit Chowdhry, “WhatsApp hits 500 million users,” Forbes.com, April 22, 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2014/04/22/whatsapp-hits-500-million-users. 55. Darrell Etherington, “Snapchat accounts for more photo shares than Instagram as pic sharing set to double in 2013,” TechCrunch, May 29, 2013, http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/29/snapchat-accounts-for-more-photo-shares-than-instagram-as-pic-sharing-set-to-double-in-2013. 56.


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Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, buy and hold, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Much of the focus of crowdfunding has been around Kickstarter, the American leader in this space. Kickstarter provides a platform for funding by pre-selling your idea, rather than providing equity in the business. For example, you have a conceptual music idea, and you pre-sell the idea through Kickstarter with the hope of getting enough monies to fund the implementation of the idea (unlike other sites where you get an equity stake in the business). Kickstarter kicked off in business in April 2009 and, three years later, had seeded $200 million in funds across 50,000 projects. Most of these projects are related to entertainment and the arts (about sixty percent of all projects), although some are technology and related fields. For example, in their most recent success, Kickstarter generated $10 million in funding for a new venture called Pebble.

In addition, social media is creating new business models, some of which have already been mentioned such as SmartyPig. In this section, we look at some of these new financial service models and, in each section, pick a leader to focus upon in depth. There are many new financial service operations emerging using social media covering Capital Markets (Etoro, Stocktwits, etc), Corporate Banking (Funding Circle, Kickstarter, Market Invoice, Platform Black, The Receivables Exchange, etc), Retail Banking (Zopa, Moven, Simple, Bitcoin, etc), Payments (Currency Cloud, Square, mPowa, etc) and Insurance (Friendsurance). These sites are all newly launched in the past decade and are firmly based upon proven social models of finance. In general, the services fall into four categories of social finance: Social money and payments; Virtual currencies; Social lending and saving; and Social funding and investing.

For example, in their most recent success, Kickstarter generated $10 million in funding for a new venture called Pebble. Pebble is a smartwatch that will connect to a smartphone. According to the Wall Street Journal, it raised more than $1 million in its first day on Kickstarter (April 17 2012) based upon an offer to pledge $115 to pre-order the watch. By mid-May 2012, Pebble had achieved its goal of raising $10.27 million. The funds were gained from 68,929 people, making it the most crowdfunded start-up ever in dollar terms at that time. There is nothing like a cool gadget to get people excited. Nevertheless, as mentioned, most of the projects are related to music, film, art, theatre, design and publishing, and these provide some interesting stats. For example, of the platform’s 7,388 successful music projects in June 2012, 6,446 of them (87.3%) had raised $10,000 or less; 238 of them raised more than $20,000; 8 raised more than $100,000; and one (Amanda Palmer) raised more than $1 million (stats from Billboard).


Science...For Her! by Megan Amram

Albert Einstein, blood diamonds, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, double helix, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, pez dispenser, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Wall-E, wikimedia commons

The United States of America has to handle the economics of 314 million people (aka 157 million eligible bachelors, that’s what I’m talking about, babes! Plenty of fish in the sea!). It’s not easy to finagle, especially since America has been hemorrhaging money in the twenty-first century. That’s why the United States has turned to the crowd-sourcing fund-raising site Kickstarter to fill in the cracks! * * * National Debt by the United States Government * * * ABOUT THIS PROJECT: Hi you guys! Joe Biden and the rest of the gang here! :) We’re looking for some awesome people to help us Kickstart our dream project of having a functioning federal government! That’s where you come in: all we’re asking for is a little help. And twenty trillion dollars. As you may know, we (the United States government) are a little strapped for cash. Salvage a first-world government’s economy?

It’s been in the works for many years now, and we think it could be great. Thanks to Kickstarter, we have a chance to reach individuals who will personally bail us out of this mess. How great for us! I know it’s a crazy dream, but hey—this is a country of dreamers. Dreamers and Christians. HELP US, BACKERS, YOU’RE OUR ONLY HOPE!: Just a little Star Wards humor for ya! “LOL!”: Live A Little! Give A Lot (“GOL”)! PLEASE PLEDGE!: We’ve tried pretty much everything else at this point: war, selling some cars, literally making more money (you’d think that would work!!), blaming people, blaming gay “people,” war, and debt. None of that has touched the debt. Except debt, which has made the debt worse. Also, war! If we’re able to meet our Kickstarter goal, you will have literally been part of a miracle. A miracle in the great Judeo-Christian tradition of this fair country.

• My Girlfriend Application Cover Letter • “Legitimate Rape” • Top Mis“conceptions” about Rape • Nobel Prize in Medicine • Behind the Scenes: Rosalind Franklin’s Lab Space & Technology The Big Bang • Tips for Hosting Your Own Big Bang • Planets • Internet Comments about the Moon • Stars • How to Get the Stars’ Hot Looks! • Astrobiology • Carbon Dating • E-mail • Shakespearean Spam • E-male! • Which Dating Site Is Right for You? • This Spring’s Cutest Calling Cards to Leave on Your Serial Killer Victims! • Sexual Assault . . . and Pepper! . . . Spray! • Fun Ways to Freeze Your Eggs! • What I Imagine Porn Looks Like • Economic Technology • Kickstarter: Eliminate the National Debt Project • Electronic Music Women in Science “Trading Dungeons”: How to Spruce Up Your Basement Dungeon • Women in Science • How to Tell if You’re Upset Because You’re PMS-ing or Because You’re Caught in a Basement Dungeon • Hot or Not?! • Famous Women Scientists . . . Without Makeup! • Men in Women in Science • Women with Jobs?! * * * Kale!!!! Conclusion (including a big picture of me with all my girlfriends) Final Exam Test your comprehension of Science . . . for Her!


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Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

In that situation, unoptimized code can be ruinous. That’s what Lance Ivy found out when Kickstarter got popular. In 2012, three years after it was launched, Kickstarter started to get its first “million-dollar” campaigns. Among the first was a campaign by veteran video-game designer Tim Schafer to create Broken Age, his latest title. Schafer initially wanted to raise $400,000, a huge sum for Kickstarter at the time. But Schafer’s fan base rallied around the cause, and within 24 hours they had come close to raising a full $1 million. To capture the excitement of the moment, Schafer’s company streamed footage from their office, showing the staff as they followed the increasing Kickstarter pledges. In a cycle of hype, that made fans more excited—so they kept on loading and reloading Schafer’s Kickstarter page. Everyone wanted to see the instant the campaign tipped over from $999,999 to $1,000,000.

Everyone wanted to see the instant the campaign tipped over from $999,999 to $1,000,000. And that, as it turns out, was a problem for Kickstarter’s existing design. “They’re all streaming it, saying ‘let’s all celebrate this moment, this is Kickstarter history,’” Ivy says. But he hadn’t yet optimized Kickstarter to deal with such crushing amounts of activity. His development team was pretty small; they’d been focused on all sorts of other design challenges. Neither Ivy nor the other engineers had ever predicted this sort of user behavior would emerge—“people so excited they’re sitting there, refreshing the page over and over,” Ivy says, laughing ruefully. So he and his teams hadn’t bothered to torque how a main campaign page loads. They simply didn’t imagine it would ever be an issue. Now it was a problem, and a brutal one.

Now it was a problem, and a brutal one. With so many people eagerly pounding away on the same page, they were inadvertently staging a “denial of service attack,” a flood of traffic that brings a server to a halt. “We went down,” Ivy says. “We went down multiple times.” Nobody minded, thank God. On the contrary, back in those days “breaking Kickstarter” was considered to be a mark of pride, a proof of your campaign’s viral success. But Ivy knew fans wouldn’t always be so forgiving, and that meant optimizing Kickstarter so it wouldn’t burn through so many resources when a campaign heated up. One key trick: They wrote code that auto-updated a campaign’s pledge amount in real time, so that rabid fans could sit and watch it tick upward without constantly refreshing the page. So they rewrote and rewrote and rewrote the code base, “refactoring” it, as it’s called, to slowly transform it from a mass of rapidly iterated good-enough-for-now code into something that was increasingly streamlined.


pages: 302 words: 73,946

People Powered: How Communities Can Supercharge Your Business, Brand, and Teams by Jono Bacon

Airbnb, barriers to entry, blockchain, bounce rate, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Debian, Firefox, if you build it, they will come, IKEA effect, Internet Archive, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, lateral thinking, Mark Shuttleworth, Minecraft, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, planetary scale, pull request, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, Y Combinator

“Firefox Crop Circle,” FirefoxCropCircle.com, accessed November 30, 2018, https://firefoxcropcircle.com/circle/; “SpreadFirefox,” Mozilla Firefox, November 2013, https://blog.mozilla.org/press/files/2013/11/nytimes-firefox-final.pdf. 25. “Pebble Time—Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises,” Kickstarter, accessed November 25, 2018, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/getpebble/pebble-time-awesome-smartwatch-no-compromises/description; “Exploding Kittens,” Kickstarter, accessed November 25, 2018, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elanlee/exploding-kittens/description. 26. Haydn Taylor, “Minecraft Exceeds 90m Monthly Active Users,” Games Industry, October 2, 2018, https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-10-02-minecraft-exceeds-90-million-monthly-active-users. 27. Minecraft Forum, accessed January 9, 2019, https://www.minecraftforum.net/forums; Minecraft Wiki, accessed January 9, 2019, https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_Wiki. 28.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, telephone interview with Jono Bacon, November 7, 2018. 14. Kate Clark, “Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Artist Collaboration Platform HitRecord Raises $6.4m,” TechCrunch, January 31, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/31/joseph-gordon-levitts-artist-collaboration-platform-hitrecord-raises-6-4m/. 15. “Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games Corporation,” Kickstarter, accessed November 1, 2018, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen; P. Ariyasinghe, “Star Citizen Hits $150 Million in Crowd Funding,” Neowin, May 20, 2017, https://www.neowin.net/news/star-citizen-hits-150-million-in-crowd-funding/. 16. Lizette Chapman and Eric Newcomer, “Software Maker Docker Is Raising Funding at $1.3 Billion Valuation,” Bloomberg, August 9, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-09/docker-is-said-to-be-raising-funding-at-1-3-billion-valuation. 17.

HITRECORD doesn’t just provide a rewarding way to make art with others, but everyone whose contribution is included in a final funded HITRECORD production is compensated (to date, nearly $3 million has been paid to the community).14 The value was clear. New businesses often see particularly interesting value in community. As an example, Star Citizen, a popular multiplayer space combat game used Kickstarter to raise $500,000 to build their game and have subsequently raised $150,000,000 in crowd-funded donations and have built a community of 1.8 million players.15 Other companies have used community growth as an opportunity to build market relevance, such as the cloud infrastructure company, Docker, who started out life relatively unknown, but built a passionate community around its technology that helped them to subsequently become a staple in the technology infrastructure industry.


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

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, 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, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Large numbers of bottom-up ideas, properly filtered, always trump top-down thinking, no matter the industry or organization. Seely Brown and Hagel call this “scalable learning,” and given the growth rates of ExOs, it is their only possible strategy. In the best cases, ExOs feature both—that is, ideas are developed bottom-up and get acceptance/ratification/support from the top. In the end, the best ideas win, regardless of who proposed them. In an effort to kick-start this kind of thinking, Adobe Systems recently launched the KickStart Innovation Workshop. Participating employees receive a red box containing a step-by-step startup guide and a pre-paid credit card with $1,000 in seed money, and are given forty-five days to experiment with and validate innovative ideas. Although they have access to coaching from some of the company’s top innovators, the rest is up to them. In 2013, nine hundred of Adobe’s 11,000 employees participated in the workshop.

Validation is achieved by obtaining measurable evidence that an experiment, product or service succeeds in meeting pre-determined specifications. Tools such as UserVoice, Unbounce and Google AdWords can accomplish this. Crowdfunding is a growing trend to help fund ideas using the web to assemble very large numbers of comparatively small investors—thus not only raising capital, but also reflecting the interest of the market. Two well-known examples of crowdfunding companies are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In 2012 there was an estimated $2.8 billion raised via crowdfunding campaigns. By 2015 that number is expected to climb to $15 billion. The World Bank predicts crowdfunding to grow to $93 billion by 2025. In addition to raising enormous amounts of money for causes and startups, such platforms are also democratizing access to working capital. Gustin, a premium designer jeans company, uses crowdfunding for all of its designs.

The result has been an industry-wide transformation, allowing new entrants and hobbyists into the field, which has benefitted all players in the business, including Illumina. Though few industries have experienced such a stunning transformation as biotech, similar trends can also be seen in many other hardware arenas. Thus, while a basic 3D printer in 2007 cost nearly $40,000, the new Peachy Printer—recently funded on Kickstarter—is now available for just $100. And that’s only the start: Avi Reichental, CEO of market leader 3D Systems, sees no obstacles to bringing his company’s high-end 3D printers to market for just $399 within the next five years. Another example of this trend includes single-board computers for robotics and education, where the open sourced Raspberry Pi platform has proved transformative. The same is true of single-board controllers, where Arduino has assumed dominance.


pages: 137 words: 44,363

Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro

4chan, crowdsourcing, index card, iterative process, John Gruber, Kickstarter, late fees, Steve Jobs

But if you are not confident in the value of your work, there’s no way you’ll be comfortable charging a fair price. Approaching Pricing A few years ago I was fortunate enough to work with a company called Kickstart (not to be confused with Kickstarter, the excellent crowd-sourcing project funding service). Kickstart is an NGO (non-governmental organization) that designs and manufactures low-cost water pumps for use in impoverished agricultural areas of the world, mainly in Eastern Africa. They have an amazing track record of helping people lift themselves out of poverty by using these simple, easy-to-fix water pumps to irrigate crops. They create jobs. Here’s why I’m mentioning it: they don’t give away the pumps, like most NGOs would. They sell them. The Kickstart founders spent years working with NGOs who donated equipment and tools to those in need, only to return to the scene and find that the equipment had been scavenged for parts or was sitting unused and rusting away.

The Kickstart founders spent years working with NGOs who donated equipment and tools to those in need, only to return to the scene and find that the equipment had been scavenged for parts or was sitting unused and rusting away. People didn’t value (or need) what they had been given. So Kickstart decided to sell their pumps, marketing them as the “Super MoneyMaker.” The results were impressive. Instead of free hand-outs, the Super MoneyMaker became an item the poorest people in the world would save up for. Only people who actually planned to use one would buy one. When you pay for something with your own money, you value it more than when you get it for free. You take care of it. Most telling, people would scavenge from other things to repair their Super MoneyMakers. Undercharging for your work has the same effect. You’re telling your client the work has little value. Clients value you in direct proportion to how much it costs them.

See commencement fees developers 115 directing other designers 122 E Eames, Ray and Charles 9, 130 elevator pitches 15 enforcing contracts 55 engineers 116 establishing a feedback cycle 76, 80 ethical responsibilities 28 F feedback guidelines 78 firing people 127 G Gillum, Katie 87 Gruber, John 121 H Hall, Erika 2, 82, 110 I indemnity 54 information designers 113 intellectual property transfers 53 internal dysfunctions 62 invoice approval 92 K Kalman, Tibor 9, 130 Kickstart 33 kill fees. See termination fees L late payments 97 lawyers 47, 89, 98 leadership 124 Let’s Make Mistakes 87 Levine, Gabe 48 Licko, Zuzana 9, 130 lines of credits 98 lowballing 43 M maintaining relationships 16 marketers 118 market research 36 myth of the magical creative 6 N negative feedback 71 networking 15 O organizing client feedback 82 outbound client contacts 20 P Papanek, Victor 9, 130 payment milestones.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

Thousands of platforms have opened, and the most successful one, Lufax, has already eclipsed Zopa in total financing volume. The total market for peer-to-peer lending in China is estimated to have surpassed $100 billion in 2016. Kickstarter and its competitors, such as Indiegogo, offer a related service. Kickstarter alone has helped start-ups generate direct sales in excess of $3 billion, with one in three projects being successfully funded (and only about 15 percent of funded projects eventually failing). Recently, Kickstarter has teamed up with equity crowdfunding platform MicroVentures to offer backers a chance to buy equity in small businesses. What’s interesting is that Kickstarter built a platform for start-ups to go beyond a simple purchasing or funding transaction and offer comprehensive, rich, and continuous information to backers, quite a bit like an early data-rich market, so as to provide them with a lot of information in their decision-making and also keep them in the loop later.

Rigby, Jeff Sutherland, and Hirotaka Takeuchi, “Embracing Agile,” Harvard Business Review, May 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/05/embracing-agile. General Electric and Siemens are decentralizing: “The Multinational Company Is in Trouble,” Economist, January 28, 2017, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21715660-global-firms-are-surprisingly-vulnerable-attack-multinational-company-trouble. media giant Thomson Reuters aims to: Mary Johnson, “How to Kickstart Innovation at a Multinational Corporation,” Thomson Reuters blog, April 7, 2016, https://blogs.thomsonreuters.com/answerson/kickstart-innovation-multinational-corporation. recruit the talent their firms required: Eben Harrell, “The Solution to the Skills Gap Could Already Be Inside Your Company,” Harvard Business Review, September 27, 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/09/the-solution-to-the-skills-gap-could-already-be-inside-your-company. fluidity of human labor inside an organization: Lowell L.

But we may understand this case also as a metaphor for the rise and eventual fall of money-based markets, and the success of information intermediaries over monetary ones. We suggest this may happen throughout the financial services sector as finance capitalism is replaced by data capitalism. Venture capitalist Albert Wenger, whose firm has funded many successful start-ups in the financial sector from Kickstarter to SigFig, likens the fate of traditional banks in the age of rich data to another image of a tempest threatening a ship—a “Spanish Galleon full of raided gold sinking in a storm.” It has access to all the capital but lacks the insight, based on information, to circumnavigate the perilous weather. – 8 – FEEDBACK EFFECTS THE AIRBUS 330 ROSE MAJESTICALLY INTO THE EVENING air on June 1, 2009, as it lifted off from Rio de Janeiro’s international airport.


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Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

Properly Utilizing Trust and Scale 152 92 percent of consumers: Cited in “Consumer Trust in Online, Social and Mobile Advertising Grows,” Nielsen, April 10, 2012, http://www.nielsen.com/ca/en/insights/news/2012/consumer-trust-in-online-social-and-mobile-advertising-grows.html. 152rated referrals: Anita Campbell, “85 Percent of Small Businesses Get Customers Through Word of Mouth,” Small Business Trends, June 10, 2015, https://smallbiztrends.com/2014/06/small-businesses-get-customers-through-word-of-mouth.html. 153 smaller businesses thrive: Fareena Sultan and William Qualls, “Placing Trust at the Center of Your Internet Strategy,” MIT Sloan Management Review 42, no. 1 (Fall 2000): 39–48. 153only 29 percent actually do so: “Anatomy of the Referral: Economics of Loyalty,” Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, and Advisor Impact, Salisbury, NC, December 2010. 15388 percent of American consumers: “Local Consumer Review Survey 2014,” BrightLocal, 2014, https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey-2014/. 11. Launching and Iterating in Tiny Steps 168 predictability, accessibility: George Whitesides, “Towards a Science of Simplicity,” TED Talks, February 2010, https://www.ted.com/talks/george_whitesides_toward_a_science_of_simplicity. 170 the most-funded KickStarter project ever: “Pebble Time—Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises,” Kickstarter, accessed October 9, 2017, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/getpebble/pebble-time-awesome-smartwatch-no-compromises. 170( didn’t ensure Pebble’s long-term success): Lauren Goode, “Fitbit Bought Pebble for Much Less Than Originally Reported,” The Verge, February 22, 2017, https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/22/14703108/fitbit-bought-pebble-for-23-millionw. 171 best suited for consumer-facing products: Olav Sorenson, “Could Crowdfunding Reshape Entrepreneurship?”

And because he’d already spent a decade building an audience that was ravenous for his Ugmonk brand, Jeff’s Kickstarter campaign was able to generate over $430,000 (surpassing his original funding goal by 2,394 percent), garnering him more than enough to cover all the costs required to put Gather into production. Jeff was now able to ramp up production to an existing audience for this product, and he got funding directly from that audience instead of from outside investors who might not have completely shared his vision. As mentioned earlier, the Pebble watch, one of the first smartwatches created, would not have even gotten off the ground if it hadn’t been for their crowdfunding efforts—which quickly became the most-funded Kickstarter project ever. (Even raising over $20 million from 78,471 backers, however, didn’t ensure Pebble’s long-term success.)

Every minute you spend as a company of one in the ongoing development of a new product is a minute you aren’t seeing how well it solves a problem, and even worse, you aren’t making money from it or building toward your MVPr. That’s why getting a working version of your product released as quickly as possible is important: your company needs to start generating cash flow and obtaining customer feedback. Andrew Mason founded Groupon as a basic website where he manually typed in deals and created PDFs to email to subscribers from Apple Mail. Pebble, a smartwatch, started with just a single explainer video and a Kickstarter campaign (no actual product, even) that raised more than $20 million to fund its development; Pebble was eventually sold to FitBit. Virgin started as a single Boeing 747 flying between Gatwick, England, and Newark, New Jersey. Once these startups were up and running, they were able to build from customer feedback and make positive changes. In much the same way, companies of one need to continually iterate on their products to keep them useful, fresh, and relevant to the market they serve.


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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, 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 Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, 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, zero-sum game, Zipcar

“Peer-to-Peer Lending: How Zopa Works,” Zopa, http://uk.zopa.com/about-zopa/peer-to-peer -lending (accessed June 11, 2013). 3. David Bornstein, “Crowdfunding Clean Energy,” New York Times, March 6, 2013, http:// opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/crowd-funding-clean-energy/ (accessed March 6, 2013). 4. “Amazon Payment Fees,” Amazon, http://www.kickstarter.com/help/amazon (accessed June 11, 2013); “What Is Kickstarter?” Kickstarter, http://www.kickstarter.com/hello?ref=nav (accessed June 11, 2013). 5. “What Is Kickstarter?” 6. “Re-imagining US Solar Financing,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance (June 4, 2012) from David Bornstein, “Crowdfunding Clean Energy,” New York Times Opinion Pages, March 6, 2013, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/crowd-funding-clean-energy/?_r=0 (accessed November 8, 2013). 7. Ibid. 8.

Zopa, the U.K.’s first peer-to-peer lender, has processed loans of more than £414 million.2 Peer-to-peer social lenders brokered $1.8 billion in loans by the end of 2012, forcing the big banks to take notice.3 A more recent offshoot of peer-to-peer social lending is something called crowdfunding. Kickstarter, the leading crowdfunding enterprise, was launched in April 2009. Here’s how it works. Kickstarter goes around conventional investment vehicles and raises finance capital from the general public on the Internet. Originators of a project put their plan up on a site and pick a deadline by which the necessary funds have to be raised. If the goal is not reached by this deadline, no funds are collected. This provision ensures that the project has enough financing to at least make a go of the venture. The money pledged by donors is collected by Amazon payments. Kickstarter collects 5 percent of the funds raised and Amazon charges, on average, an additional 3 to 5 percent.4 Kickstarter, unlike traditional lenders, has no ownership in the ventures.

Kickstarter collects 5 percent of the funds raised and Amazon charges, on average, an additional 3 to 5 percent.4 Kickstarter, unlike traditional lenders, has no ownership in the ventures. It’s merely a facilitator. By November 2013, Kickstarter had fostered 51,000 projects with a 44 percent success rate. The projects had raised more than $871 million. Kickstarter limits the project funding to 13 categories—art, dance, design, fashion, films and video, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater.5 Various crowdfunding platforms offer different forms of compensation. Donors can either pledge funds as gifts or receive the comparable value of the funds extended to the borrower in the form of goods or services once the project is up and running, or provide funds as a straight loan with interest, or invest in the project in return for equal shares. Although still a small player in the financial sector, crowdsourcing funders are playing an important supporting role in the creation of many of the new start-ups in the IoT infrastructure build-out.


When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence by Stephen D. King

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, congestion charging, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, loss aversion, market clearing, mass immigration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population

As those who’ve manned the printing presses for countries succumbing to hyperinflation know only too well, paper money never actually runs out. Money can always be created and, if necessary, dropped from the sky out of helicopters or other suitable flying machines. It’s increasingly clear, however, that no amount of policy stimulus has returned Western economic growth to the rates enjoyed by my generation in decades past. While most of the debate regarding our current economic challenges focuses on the best cyclical measures to kick-­start economic growth, this book offers something different: an analysis of what happens if the recovery simply fails to materialize or is substantially weaker than those seen in the past. Its mixture of economics, politics and history is deliberate. Without an understanding of the political and historical context, economics on its own threatens to become increasingly irrelevant. Armed with the requisite knowledge, however, it’s just about possible to tease out the kinds of structural reforms that may ultimately be needed to enable us to escape from the stagnation trap.

Even as Japanese companies carry on repaying the debts built up in the 1980s, so the Japanese government year by year continues to add to public sector debt. Japan is caught in a trap. Private companies don’t want to invest. An ageing population prefers not to spend. The resulting lack of demand inevitably puts pressure on government to spend more. Yet, too often, extra government spending, rather than kick-­starting economic growth, has merely led to the construction of so-­called ‘bridges to nowhere’, vanity projects that say more about the ‘pork barrel’ nature of political reality than about the strength or otherwise of the overall economy. One good example is the town of Hamada in Shimane prefecture. With a population of around 70,000 mostly elderly people, it benefits from the Hamada Marine Bridge – largely devoid of traffic – a university, a prison, an art museum for children, a ski resort and an aquarium, all of which represent gifts from current and future Japanese taxpayers.

However, back in 2010, most forecasters – including the Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent fiscal watchdog – concluded that loose monetary policy alone would lead to a decent recovery in economic activity that, in turn, would allow room for some kind of fiscal contraction without too much collateral damage. It wasn’t so much reckless fiscal 67 4099.indd 67 29/03/13 2:23 PM When the Money Runs Out austerity that threw the UK economy off course but, rather, the impotence of monetary policy. Von Mises would have regarded this attempt to kick-­start Western economies through ever more desperate monetary measures as the failed pursuit of illusory, not real, prosperity – claims on future economic activity that might never materialize. Yet our societies have not been prepared to make the ‘real’ versus ‘illusory’ distinction. We think we’ve discovered the secrets of ever rising prosperity partly because we’re terrified of the consequences should prosperity crumble in our hands.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

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

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, 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, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

While this worked as a controlled pilot project, the next step is to understand the commercial viability of offshore OMEGA systems for a variety of uses, including biofuels production, wastewater treatment, and carbon sequestration. 3. Kickstarter: Crowdsourced Investment Kickstarter, an online platform for crowdfunding independent creative projects, launched in 2009 using secure online fundraising platforms (itself a recent disruptive technology). The platform recognized and filled a gap for creative entrepreneurs, designers, and other freelancers wanting to maintain creative control over their projects. The founders like to highlight this process as being rooted in the time of Mozart or Mark Twain, who solicited money from their communities and gave that community one of their finished products. Even so, Kickstarter’s inventive use of technology to harness the power of the creative community has enabled a crowd-sourced $789 million for 53,672 different projects, and in the process, Kickstarter has become one of the most influential bright spots in and beyond the tech world. 4.

The portion of the economy connected to purpose will continue to grow as companies dedicate more of their business to creating purpose, and as more innovative organizations, such as hybrid non- and for-profit companies, are created. That was true also for the Information Economy. Leaders of that economy, like HP and IBM, started with a foot still in manufacturing, creating hardware to store and manage information. Today, we see the early Purpose Economy stars anchored in Information Economy platforms; Facebook, which enables self-expression and community on a massive scale, is a great example. Kickstarter, which now provides more funding for the arts than the National Endowment for the Arts, is another. With the rise of the Information Economy, most companies eventually adopted information-driven systems and tools into their operations and products, such as GPS in cars and robotics in manufacturing. It wasn’t until the auto industry in Detroit really embraced the Information Economy that they were able to turn their fortunes around.

For years, she had been connecting with her audience and exchanging her music for their support in the form of sofas to sleep on and home-cooked meals. As so many of Amanda’s fans offered up their homes and food freely, she realized that people felt her music was helping them, and that they wanted to help her in return. After her fan volunteered to pay her for the free album he’d burned, she decided to make her music free and to open up to her community, asking them to support her directly. She launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the making of her next album, and it generated nearly $1.2 million in contributions from 25 thousand people—the same number that her record label had considered so shabby. Amanda’s story perfectly expresses how people are looking for more personal domain in their lives, which she has achieved. It also demonstrates that people are looking to contribute their time, energy, and money to things that matter to them, and they find meaning in doing so.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, 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, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and Counterparty created a new venture, Medici, announced in October 2014, to provide a decentralized stock market for equity securities in the blockchain model.42 Crowdfunding Another prime example of how financial services are being reinvented with blockchain-based decentralized models is crowdfunding. The idea is that peer-to-peer fundraising models such as Kickstarter can supplant the need for traditional venture capital funding for startups. Where previously a centralized service like Kickstarter or Indiegogo was needed to enable a crowdfunding campaign, crowdfunding platforms powered by blockchain technology remove the need for an intermediary third party. Blockchain-based crowdfunding platforms make it possible for startups to raise funds by creating their own digital currencies and selling “cryptographic shares” to early backers.

Another use case for smart contracts is setting up automatic payments for betting (like limit orders in financial markets). A program or smart contract can be written that releases a payment when a specific value of a certain exchange good is triggered or when something transpires in the real world (e.g., a news event of some sort, or the winner of a sports match). Smart contracts could also be deployed in pledge systems like Kickstarter. Individuals make online pledges that are encoded in a blockchain, and if the entrepreneur’s fundraising goal is reached, only then will the Bitcoin funds be released from the investor wallets. No transaction is released until all funds are received. Further, the entrepreneur’s budget, spending, and burn rate could be tracked by the subsequent outflow transactions from the blockchain address that received the fundraising.

Sample list of Dapps Project name and URL Activity Centralized equivalent OpenBazaar https://openbazaar.org/ Buy/sell items in local physical world Craigslist LaZooz http://lazooz.org/ Ridesharing, including Zooz, a proof-of-movement coin Uber Twister http://twister.net.co/ Social networking, peer-to-peer microblogging66 Twitter/Facebook Gems http://getgems.org/ Social networking, token-based social messaging Twitter/SMS Bitmessage https://bitmessage.org Secure messaging (individual or broadcast) SMS services Storj http://storj.io/ File storage Dropbox Swarm https://www.swarm.co/ Koinify https://koinify.com/ bitFlyer http://fundflyer.bitflyer.jp/ Cryptocurrency crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter, Indiegogo venture capital funding In a collaborative white paper, another group offers a stronger-form definition of a Dapp.67 In their view, the Dapp must have three features. First, the application must be completely open source, operate autonomously with no entity controlling the majority of its tokens, and its data and records of operation must be cryptographically stored in a public, decentralized blockchain.


pages: 170 words: 51,205

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

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

San Franciscans are ranked eighty-seventh in global payers; below Oslo, ranked eighty-sixth, where the average payment is $58.” Humble isn’t the only innovative collector of donations. Kickstarter uses “crowdfunding” to raise money for creators—people solicit funds to complete a project, and make a pitch (text and video) explaining why donors should trust them to use the money wisely. Then they specify premiums and gifts to be given to exceptional donors—give ten dollars and I’ll send you a postcard with a custom sketch; a hundred dollars gets you a custom portrait; ten thousand dollars gets you an original comic book starring you and your friends. Kickstarter has also been used as an effective means of collecting preorders before a production run: Give me fifteen dollars, and I’ll send you a book. Once I have enough fifteen-dollar commitments in hand, I can have the books printed and ship them out.

In 2011, she launched her “Week in Hell” project, where she locked herself in a hotel room for five days, papering the walls with poster-paper and then decorating every inch of the paper with illustration. The event was meant to commemorate her twenty-eighth birthday, and she sought to raise $4,500 on Kickstarter from fans who got to watch her draw on a live video feed and received pieces of illustrated paper. She raised $25,805. In 2012, she sought $30,000 from her fans to rent a New York City storefront and paint nine giant paintings inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Within a week, she had $55,000. By the time the project ended, she had $64,799 (including the $8,000 per painting she took in for the seven canvases she sold as part of the highest-level Kickstarter reward). Like many painters through history, Crabapple relies on patrons to pay her bills—but her patrons number in the thousands, and she needn’t worry about the caprice or high-handedness of a few fat cats as she paints her way into history. 2.6 Does This Mean You Should Ditch Your Investor and Go Indie?

You take control out of the hands of the content creator, and out of the hands of the public, who can no longer decide whether or not they want to offer their support. Two years ago, I conducted a crowdfunding campaign that raised over a million dollars in capital so that I could put out a record without a major label. People scratched their heads—why would this happen? How did she do it? The newspapers, the journalists, the bloggerati all weighed in. Was this the future of music? Was my Kickstarter “repeatable”? Am I a freak, an outlier, a strange charity case that an outlying public accidentally raised above the norm? Not from where I’m standing. There are many more of me—there already have been, and we are legion. It’s repeating as we speak. We are a new generation of artists, makers, supporters, and consumers who believe that the old system through which we exchanged content and money is dead.


pages: 293 words: 78,439

Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today's Business While Creating the Future by Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Internet of things, invention of hypertext, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, obamacare, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, pez dispenser, recommendation engine, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, the market place, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transfer pricing, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Among Singtel’s regional associates (companies in Southeast Asia in which Singtel holds a significant, but noncontrolling, stake), Globe Telecom in the Philippines has been the most aggressive in developing a similar structure. In 2012, Globe CEO Ernest Cu backed a proposal from Minette Navarrete to create a separate investment vehicle called Kickstart Ventures, jointly owned by Singtel and the Ayala Corporation, the family-controlled conglomerate that constituted the other significant investor in Globe. One of Kickstart’s missions is to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Philippines, a country with a young, technologically savvy population. Between 2012 and 2015 Kickstart made twenty investments in early-stage companies in the Philippines. Impressed by the progress, in early 2015 Cu convinced his board to set aside $50 million to expand Kickstart’s investment activities. Increasingly, companies have decided that this kind of corporate venture capital is critical given the pace and scale of change in the global market.

., 41 Hoffman, Reid, 49 HOPE acronym, 65 Horowitz, Ben, 206 House of Cards, 35 House of Payne, 98 Houston, Drew, 151 the how, changing in transformation A, 36–45 Huffington, Arianna, 27 Huffington Post, 27, 28 Humana, 183 Hundred Flowers Campaign, 117 Hurley, Chad, 97 HyperText Markup Language (HTML), 3 IBM, 8, 54, 132 Watson, 70, 204 ibrutinib, 19 Icahn, Carl, 15 ideas, sharing, 149 identity crises, 168–173, 193–197 IDEO, 61 Imbruvica, 19 industry entrant activity, 104–105, 112 Innosight, 61, 77, 93 Innov8, 143–144 innovation business model, 40–42 in business models, 20 catalysts in, 104–105 creating safe spaces for, 143–145 in established companies, 71–72 for improving today and creating tomorrow, 55 incumbents’ failure in, 14–15 pace of disruptions and, 4–5 physical environment and, 148 predictability and, 137–139 sharing ideas and, 149 simplifying experiments and, 148–149 Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage (Foster), 71 The Innovator’s Dilemma (Christensen), 14–15, 36, 71 The Innovator’s Extinction (Ulmer), 71–72 The Innovator’s Guide to Growth (Anthony, Johnson, Sinfield, and Altman), 62 Instagram, 48 Institute for Health Sciences, 204 Intel, 78–79 InterActive Corp, 49–50 interface management, 75, 80–87 arbitration in, 86–87 exchange teams in, 82–83 transfer pricing in, 85 internet browsers, 2–3, 47 media transformations from, 2–3 Intuit, 132–133 inverse mentors, 150–151 investment curiosity and funding of, 141 at Deseret, 30 estimating potential of existing, 119 at SingPost, 52–53 by venture capitalists, 103–104 iPhone, 4, 92–93, 104 iPod, 92–93 Israel, Simon, 53, 142 iTunes, 92–93 Janssen, Paul, 16 Janssen Pharmaceuticals, 16–22 business model innovation at, 42 postdisruption job to be done at, 39 Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS), 130–131 Jasper, 143 Jassy, Andy, 53–54 Jensen, Michael, 177 job loss, 7 at Deseret, 30 at Media General, 157 Jobs, Steve, 4, 8 destruction by, 132 focus of, 116 influenced by Xerox, 13 Motorola and, 92–93 transformation journey of, 181–182 job to be done, 21 determining defensible postdisruption, 36–39 Johnson, Lyndon, 116 Johnson, Mark, 36, 53, 62, 109–110 Johnson & Johnson, 16–22, 177–178 Joyce, Jim, 64 Karim, Jawed, 97 Kay, Alan, 154 Kennedy, John F., 24, 115–116, 117, 132 Kickbox, 148–149 Kickstart Ventures, 143–144 Knewton, 56, 67 Knight, Wayne, 95 Knight Ridder, 97 Kodak, 1–2, 4, 11 Kodak Moments, 1–2 Koonin, Steve, 95 KPO, 51 KSL, 8, 9, 29, 68 Kuhn, Thomas, 68 Lafley, A.G., 124, 137 Lasseter, John, 4 Lazarus, Mark, 95 Lead and Disrupt (O’Reilly and Tushman), 53, 54 leaders and leadership commitment to transformation A implementation by, 43–45 conflict arbitration by, 86–87 conviction to persevere and, 24, 155–179 courage in decision making and, 91–113 on crises of commitment, 186–189 on crises of conflict, 189–193 curiosity in, 24, 135–154 discussion questions for, 210 in dual transformation, 23–24 exchange teams and, 83–84 exposing to new thinking, 145–147 focus and, 24, 115–133 greatest challenge facing current, 5, 11 hands-on involvement by, 44 in maintaining transformations, 162–163 mindsets for success in, 23–24 opportunity of disruption and, 11–12 overestimation of alignment by, 119 profiles of transformation, 182–186 purpose and, 176–178 understanding customer problems and the job to be done, 38–39 The Lean Startup (Ries), 65, 153 LeBlanc, Paul, 58 le Carré, John, 153 Lee, Christopher M., 67–68, 86–87 Lee Hsien Yang, 136 Lee Kuan Yew, 136 LegalZoom, 207 Lenovo, 92 Levitt, Ted, 37, 175 Lew, Allen, 144–145 Lim Ho Kee, 53 Linford, Jon, 84 LinkedIn, 49 Lin Media, 156 local maximums, 6 lunar module frame, 131–132 Lyft, 205 Lynch, Kevin, 32 Major League Baseball, 98–99 Manila Water, 117–128, 184–185 determining goals and boundaries at, 121–123 focus at, 142 growth gap determination at, 118–121 outcomes for, 127–128 strategic opportunity areas of, 123–127 Mao Zedong, 116–117 Marcial, Sharon, 127 margins, 122 “Marketing Myopia” (Levitt), 175 markets identifying constrained, 59–63 opened by disruptions, 5 Marriott, 8 Martin, George R.R., 5 Martin, Roger, 124, 140, 177 McClatchy, 97 McGrath, Rita, 65, 146 Meckling, William, 177 media companies founded after disruption in, 47–50 streaming, 33–36, 93–95 transformations in, 2–3 Media General, 155–157 Medicity, 183 Medtronic, 72–73, 74 Merck, 22 metrics, 42–43 microlenders, 73 Microsoft, 4, 49, 54 Mint, 132 mission statements, 177, 178 mobile phones, 3–5, 91–93 banking and, 151–152 shipping industry and, 202–203 Monte Carlo techniques, 98–99 moonshot, 24, 115–116, 131–132 Morton, Marshall, 155–156 motivation, 175–176 leaders on, 194 Motorola, 4–5, 92 M-PESA, 201 Mulally, Alan, 153–154 Mulcahy, Anne, 14, 86 multisystem operators (MSOs), 96, 98–99 Murdoch, Rupert, 97, 109 Myspace, 48, 97, 109 Narayen, Shantanu, 31–33 National Basketball Association, 98–99 National Science Foundation, 56 Navarrete, Minette, 143–144 Nestlé, 204 Netflix, 23, 97, 104 Amazon Web Services and, 54 business model innovation at, 40, 42, 146 business model of, 106 content creation at, 34–35 decision making at, 93–95, 102 early warning signs at, 108 metrics at, 43 postdisruption job to be done at, 39 transformation A at, 32–36 transformation B at, 69–70 transformation journey at, 181 net present value (NPV), 110 net promoter scores, 78 Netscape, 2–3, 47 News Corp, 48, 97 Newspaper Association of America, 3 newspapers.


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Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us Into Temptation by Chris Nodder

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, game design, haute couture, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, late fees, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Netflix Prize, Nick Leeson, Occupy movement, pets.com, price anchoring, recommendation engine, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, Stanford prison experiment, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile

The Spore creature creator gave users a feeling of “owning” the character they developed before the full game was available. (spore.com/trial) Kickstarter’s whole business model could be described as making people feel ownership before they’ve bought a product, or indeed before it’s even been made. The idea is that you pledge money and become a backer of a proposed creative project. Obviously, if the project doesn’t meet its funding goals you aren’t billed. That means that if you want the product, it’s in your interest to persuade as many other people as you can that they too should get involved. With three hours to go, Double Fine had already easily become the highest financed Kickstarter project in the site’s history. The Double Fine project pushed all the right pre-ownership buttons. (kickstarter.com) One example of a successful Kickstarter project is Double Fine Adventure, a point-and-click computer game.

Based on nothing more than reputation and a promise to include backers in regular updates as the game development process progressed, Tim met his funding goal of $400,000 in just eight hours. Even he was surprised when funding topped the one million dollar mark within twenty-four hours. By the time the Kickstarter project closed, he had 87,142 backers for a total donation of more than $3.3 million. That left him 834 percent funded, and therefore he could add more characters and better technical effects, and release on more platforms and in more languages than he had ever intended. To increase the chances of success, most Kickstarter projects draw people in with escalating rewards for pledges at different levels of involvement. Double Fine Adventure promised a copy of the game to people pledging at the $15 level, with various stages including signed books and posters at $500 up to lunch and a tour of the offices at the $10,000 level.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

See: https://www.digitaltrends.com/music/interview-mark-kelley-of-marillion/. by 2015, a worldwide total of $34 billion: Ben Paynter, “How Will the Rise of Crowdfunding Reshape How We Give to Charity?” Fast Company, March 3, 2017, See: https://www.fastcompany.com/3068534/how-will-the-rise-of-crowdfunding-reshape-how-we-give-to-charity-2. Kickstarter: See: https://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats. Pebble Time: John McDermott, “Pebble ‘Smartwatch’ Funding Soars on Kickstarter,” Inc., April 20, 2012. See: https://www.inc.com/john-mcdermott/pebble-smartwatch-funding-sets-kickstarter-record.html. $300 billion: Massolution/Crowdsourcing.org, 2015 CF Crowdfunding Industry Report. See: http://reports.crowdsourcing.org/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54. crowdfunding as “potentially the most disruptive of all the new models of finance.”: The Future of Finance, the Socialization of Finance (Goldman Sachs Report, March 2015).

Typically, a crowdfunder presents their product or service to the world, usually via a video posted to a dedicated site like Kickstarter, and asks for money in one of four forms: as a loan (technically peer-to-peer lending), as an equity investment, in exchange for a reward (e.g., a T-shirt), or as an advanced purchase of the proposed product or service. And it can add up to a lot of money. The very first crowdfunding project took place in 1997, when the British prog-rock band Marillion raised $60,000 through online donations to finance a US tour. Twenty years later, the size of that market had grown considerably, reaching, by 2015, a worldwide total of $34 billion. And while Marillion had to invent the entire back-end process that drove their campaign, today’s entrepreneurs can choose from any of the six hundred different crowdfunding platforms available in North America alone. Kickstarter, for example, one of the most popular reward-based platforms, has launched over 450,000 projects, with over $4.4 billion pledged to the site.

Kickstarter, for example, one of the most popular reward-based platforms, has launched over 450,000 projects, with over $4.4 billion pledged to the site. It has also sped up the startup process considerably. The most successful Kickstarter campaign to date, a smart watch called Pebble Time, raised just over $20 million in little over a month—something that would have taken years to accomplish in Marillion’s day. And like many other digital platforms, crowdfunding is riding atop Moore’s Law and experiencing double-digit growth. By 2025, experts project the total amount of money moving through the ecosystem will rise to $300 billion. Yet the biggest development isn’t in the amount of cash involved; rather, it’s who gets access to that cash. Peer-to-peer microlending sites like Kiva have brought available capital to parts of the world where investors have long turned a blind eye, while reward-based programs have given us everything from difficult to fund ocean cleanup technologies to pie-in-the-sky breakthroughs such as Oculus Rift.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

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

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, 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, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, 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

They spent lavishly on visible goods such as jewelry and clothing to show they were prosperous and to differentiate themselves from the masses. In this sense, the nouveau riche, just like their counterparts in earlier Roman, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations, bought and consumed goods for self-advertisement as much as, if not more than, utility. What interests us the most is not the luxury status or elitist side of conspicuous consumption that Veblen referenced, but the excessive mass consumption binge kick-started in the 1920s that exploded in the mid-1950s. We refer to the endless acquisition of more stuff in ever greater amounts as “hyper-consumerism,” a force so strong that there are now more shopping malls than high schools in America.2 There is now more than sixteen square feet of shopping mall for every man, woman, and child in the United States.3 Our challenge is not the fundamental consumer principle in itself but the blurred line between necessity and convenience; the intoxicating addiction of defining so much of our lives through ownership; and the never-ending list of things we “have to have.”

Pastor Jerry Falwell railed against video games, the Internet, and “godless” movies, and former vice president Dan Quayle’s and the media’s rant against Murphy Brown turned into a political circus. But today it is this generation of “valueless” children that is changing the world with sophisticated inventions such as Meraki (a low-cost Internet service for poor communities), new funding models such as Kickstarter (a “crowdfunding” model for creative projects), powerful online networks such as Meetup (an online platform that makes it easy for anyone with shared interests to organize local face-to-face groups), and community tools such as WordPress (an open-source blogging software). All these ventures were founded by entrepreneurs under thirty. Regardless of what term you use to describe them (Generation Y, Generation We, or Millennials), one consistent trait connects them: They are coming of age in an increasingly collaborative world.

More than 2.5 million people around the world respond to some kind of Meetup invitation every month and more than two thousand local groups, from stay-at-home moms to small business owners to walking clubs, get together face-to-face each day.42 “We are using the Internet to get off the Internet and form a twenty-first-century civil society,” Heiferman commented.43 In 2006, a couple of years after leaving BBH, Gallop found herself thinking, “How could I take all the good intentions most of us have on a daily basis, our single biggest pool of untapped natural resource, and transform them into shared actions?” Like Chris Hughes on Obama’s campaign, Gallop also knew she had to make her initiative fun and avoid the “yawn factor” by adding a healthy dose of what she refers to as “competitive collaboration.” She launched IfWeRanTheWorld.com early in 2010. It’s essentially a crowdsourcing project based on the similar principles of microfunding sites such as Kiva or Kickstarter. People are motivated to do big things by taking all easy steps, microactions that in Gallop’s words “can bring about great leaps.” When you arrive at the site, you are asked to complete the statement, “If I ran the world, I would___.” Gallop illustrates how it works with a simple example. “The blank would be filled with something like ‘plant a garden to feed the local homeless.’ ” On the IfWeRanTheWorld platform, the user and the community all help break down the goal into microactions that friends, family, neighbors, businesses, celebrities, or total strangers can all help complete.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

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

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, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, 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, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

. [>] In an insightful article: Tina Fey, “Lessons from Late Night,” New Yorker, March 7, 2011. [>] Indiegogo’s rules reflect: Kathy is grateful for the superb research help of Annie Case in comparing Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Christina Farr, “Indiegogo Founder Danae Ringelmann: ‘We Will Never Lose Sight of Our Vision to Democratize Finance,’” Venture Beat, February 21, 2014, http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/21/; Dan Schawbel, “Slava Rubin on How Indiegogo Has Created Jobs,” Forbes, October 4, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/10/04/; Jessica Hullinger, “Crowdfunding Clash: How Indiegogo Wants to Kick Kickstarter’s @$$,” Fiscal Times, May 30, 2014, http://thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/05/30. [>] Parenting is another domain: Diane Sonntag, “10 Golden Rules of Positive Parenting,” accessed July 31, 2014, http://www.babyzone.com/kids/positive-parenting_222185; Alyssa S.

Doctors use boundary rules to decide whether or not a patient is suffering from a particular disease. Police officers use them to determine whether a suicide note is authentic. Even female hyenas apply them when deciding on a mate. Because these rules define the boundaries of inclusion or exclusion, they sometimes take the form of negative prohibitions, like the “thou shalt nots” of the Ten Commandments. Employees at Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website, for example, had rules to screen every potential project and reject those that did not fit one of its categories, like movies, art, or books. Although they live on the wrong side of the law, professional burglars, like judges, also rely on boundary rules. The choice of which house to enter is a high-stakes decision for burglars. If they break into an occupied home, they risk capture, prison, or worse if the homeowner is also a gun owner.

The prior chapters describe how people initially learn rules—by using common approaches such as personal experience, applying analogies, and negotiating, and in a systematic way by identifying what moves the needles and where the bottlenecks lie. In contrast, this chapter focuses on how people and organizations can improve their initial rules, and accelerate their process for doing so. The hero of our first example, Shannon Turley, did not have the benefit of this book to kick-start his initial simple rules, but he has been remarkably successful at fine-tuning them. As an innovator in his profession, Shannon demonstrates how people can successfully refine and enhance their rules. CRAFTING BETTER SIMPLE RULES Shannon Turley was a not-so-talented athlete at Virginia Tech, class of 2000. A self-described Appalachian American from West Virginia, Shannon was a walk-on track athlete who majored in the science of human nutrition, food, and exercise.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

., Catherine Clifford, “How Turning CrossFit into a Religion Made Its Atheist Founder Greg Glassman Rich,” CNBC, October 11, 2016, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/11/how-turning-crossfit-into-a-religion-made-its-founder-atheist-greg-glassman-rich.html. The Mouse Book Club provides a good example: For more on the Mouse Book Club, see https://mousebookclub.com. “mobilizing literature”: “About,” Mouse Books Kickstarter campaign, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mousebooks/mouse-books. “Damn! . . . If this guy is billing out”: “Unlock Your Inner Mr. T—by Mastering Metal,” Mr. Money Mustache (blog), April 16, 2012, http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/16/unlock-your-inner-mr-t-by-mastering-metal. “It was simply taken for granted”: Crawford, “Soulcraft.” “I just don’t appreciate social networking”: “Jim Clark in Conversation with John Hennessey,” YouTube video, 1:04:07, recorded May 23, 2013, posted by “stanfordonline,” June 26, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

But they haven’t. People are more eager than ever before to play Scrabble with neighbors, or trash-talk co-workers over poker, or line up in the Toronto cold for a table at Snakes & Lattes. The classic games that were popular in the pre-digital 1980s—Monopoly, Scrabble—remain popular sellers today, while the internet is fueling innovations in new game design (one of the most popular categories on Kickstarter is board games), leading to a renaissance in smarter, European-style strategy games—a movement best exemplified by the megahit Settlers of Catan, which has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide since it was first published in Germany in the mid-1990s. David Sax argues that this popularity is due in large part to the social experience of playing these games. “Tabletop gaming creates a unique social space apart from the digital world,” he writes.

These examples can seem to place high-quality leisure into an antagonistic relationship with newer technologies, but as I hinted above, the reality is more complicated. A closer look at the Mouse Book Club makes clear that its existence depends on multiple technological innovations. Printing books requires capital. The project’s co-founders, David Dewane and Brian Chappell, raised this money with an online Kickstarter campaign that attracted over $50,000 in funding from more than 1,000 backers. These backers found their way to this campaign in part because of bloggers like me who directed their online followings toward the project. Another key aspect of the Mouse Book Club model is helping readers understand and discuss the books they’re sent, enabling them to maximize the value they receive from their reading experience.


pages: 400 words: 88,647

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, IKEA effect, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, standardized shipping container, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

Crowdfunding platforms that finance new ventures Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or KissKissBankBank enable lone inventors to raise funds to start and scale up an enterprise. This is particularly appealing to the millennial generation, who no longer trust the safety of a job. For instance, 40% of young millennials say that they want to be their own boss. But most banks and venture capitalists will not risk investing in start-ups launched by these 20-somethings. This doesn’t bother the 20-somethings; they just try to emulate Eric Migicovsky who, aged 27, launched Pebble, a start-up that makes smart watches which connect to phones and notify users about e-mails, text messages, incoming calls and social-media alerts. In early 2012, Migicovsky unveiled his project on Kickstarter, hoping to raise $100,000 in seed capital.

And in the sharing economy, firms such as Airbnb (sharing homes), RelayRides (sharing cars) and ParkatmyHouse (sharing parking spaces) are taking advantage of the internet and social media to enable ordinary people to monetise their idle household assets. Many of these disruptive digital ventures are being launched by millennials (popularly known as generation recession), who can raise capital on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, KissKissBankBank and MedStartr. Digital disrupters are not all young bootstrap entrepreneurs. Technology heavyweights including Apple, Google, Cisco and IBM are investing heavily in driverless cars, smart grids, connected homes and consumer medical devices. A massive shakeout in the automotive, construction, energy, health-care and other mature industries seems imminent. When asked who her company’s main competitor would be in five years’ time, a senior executive at a large US industrial firm answered: “Google.”

A large number of open-source initiatives and crowdfunded projects are drastically bringing down the cost of 3D printers, making personalised manufacturing more affordable and accessible to more people. For instance, in May 2014, in an effort to make 3D printing accessible “to billions”, Autodesk, a design software provider, released Spark, an open-software platform that aims to make 3D printing simpler and more reliable. The same month, M3D, a start-up, raised a whopping $3.4 million on Kickstarter to produce a $300 super-easy-to-use 3D printer. One particularly impressive product of 3D printers is spare parts for fighter aircraft. In December 2013, BAE Systems, a British multinational defence and aerospace company, tested Tornado jets that had several 3D printed metal components in them. The company is now developing ready-made parts for four squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft. BAE Systems engineers believe that some components will now cost less than £100 ($158).


pages: 182 words: 53,802

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Banks by Ann Pettifor

Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mobile money, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, the market place, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail

Savings as a consequence, not precondition of credit When young people leave school, obtain a job, and at the end of the month earn income, they wrongly assume that their newfound income is the result of work, or economic activity. This leads to the widespread assumption that money exists as a consequence of economic activity. In fact, with very rare exceptions, it is credit that, when issued by the bank and deposited as new money in a firm’s account, kick-starts activity. It was probably a bank overdraft that helped pay the wage she earned in that first job. Hopefully, her employment created additional economic activity (because, for example, she helped produce and sell widgets) which in turn generated income and savings needed to reduce the overdraft, repay the debt and afford her wage. In a well-managed financial system, money provides the catalyst, the finance needed for innovation, for production and for job creation.

The newly created money is given to the government to compensate for the drop in tax revenue. A money-financed helicopter drop would require collaboration between the Treasury and the Bank of England. In keeping with its current operational independence, the process would begin with the BoE determining the size and timing of the helicopter drops.35 The People’s QE proposal is a type of programme in which the Bank of England would ‘… inject money into the UK economy that can kick-start economic activity in this country, reinvigorating government, local government, the private sector and household economies …’ To this end central bank money would be used to finance investment spending and lending. Primarily, central bank money would be used to finance the purchase of bonds issued by public sector institutions to directly finance government spending on infrastructure projects, or new money would be created to finance the lending of a green or public investment bank (as in Strategic QE and Green QE).36 Adair Turner’s Overt Monetary Financing (OMF) and Positive Money’s Sovereign Money Creation (SMC) both offer the option of distributing the newly created money directly to citizens, or using newly created central bank money to finance public investment spending.

Falling prices and profits in the rubber and tyre industries invariably led to unemployment in those industries. Rising unemployment led to lower wages and incomes, and this in turn weakened demand for a nation’s goods and services. As a result, prices fell further, leading to more bankruptcies and unemployment … and the downward cycle became almost unstoppable. Expanding the public money creation ‘belt’ in a period of economic emaciation such as that described above will not kick-start investment and employment, or generate new income. Indeed, the world already has too much money – in the form of debt – as monetary reform activists repeatedly remind us. One reason private banks are not lending into the economy is that potential clients are already too heavily indebted. Another is that potential clients are refusing to borrow because they, while heavily indebted, are fearful of economic conditions because few customers are ‘coming through the door’.


pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

It’s also the whole point: Since it’s so much easier to start a microbusiness, why do something different unless or until you know what you’re doing? Small is beautiful, and all things considered, small is often better. Unconventional Fundraising from Kickstarter to Car Loans What if you’ve thought it through and you do need to raise money somehow? Whenever possible, the best option is your own savings. You’ll be highly invested in the success of the project, and you won’t be in debt to anyone else. But if this isn’t possible, you can also consider “crowdraising” funds for your project through a service such as Kickstarter.com. Shannon Okey did this with a project to boost her craft publishing business. She asked for $5,000 and received $12,480 in twenty days thanks to a nice video and well-written copy. Before going to the masses, Shannon went to her bank for a small loan.

Unfortunately, when she mentioned “craft publishing,” she was dead in the water. “They looked at me like I was a silly, silly woman who couldn’t possibly know anything about running a business,” she said. The rejection turned into an opportunity. Taking the project on Kickstarter generated both funds and widespread interest in the project. Nearly three hundred backers came through with donations ranging from $10 to $500, leaving the project fully funded with capital to spare. Oh, and Shannon was not one for going quietly. After she reached the $10,000 level in her Kickstarter campaign, she printed out the front page of the site, wrapped the page around a lollipop, and sent it off to the bank’s underwriters. “I think they got the message,” she says. As I collected stories for the book, I was mostly interested in people who avoided debt completely.

The One-Page Business Plan If your mission statement is much longer than this sentence, it could be too long. 7. An Offer You Can’t Refuse The step-by-step guide to creating a killer offer. 8. Launch! A trip to Hollywood from your living room or the corner coffee shop. 9. Hustling: The Gentle Art of Self-Promotion Advertising is like sex: Only losers pay for it. 10. Show Me the Money Unconventional fundraising from Kickstarter to unlikely car loans. PART III LEVERAGE AND NEXT STEPS 11. Moving On Up Tweaking your way to the bank: How small actions create big increases in income. 12. How to Franchise Yourself Instructions on cloning yourself for fun and profit. 13. Going Long Become as big as you want to be (and no bigger). 14. But What If I Fail? How to succeed even if your roof caves in on you. CODA DISCLOSURES AND INTERESTING FACTS BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!


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

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, 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, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, 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

Eric Rosenbaum is one of the creators of MaKey MaKey, an “invention kit” that makes it easy to turn ordinary household objects into video game controllers (turn bananas into piano keys, create a joystick out of a pencil drawing). Eric and his business partner, Jay Silver, used Kickstarter to raise funds for their project. With an initial goal of $25,000, Rosenbaum and Silver ended up raising $568,106. What makes this case study interesting is how two fringe cultures of innovation—the open-source culture and the shanzhai culture of pirated innovation—collide. Through a strange series of events, Rosenbaum and Silver discovered a clone of their idea, called DemoHour, on a Chinese Kickstarter site. And the MaKey MaKey founders didn’t like it. It wasn’t so much that the Chinese borrowed elements of their idea: MaKey MaKey is open-source, which means it is available for change and iteration.

The irony is that if DHL asked to come back tomorrow, Rembert and Stuckert think the county would open their arms. “But we shouldn’t be spending our public dollars and giving it away to international corporations,” they said. “We need to invest locally and in small businesses.” Rembert and Stuckert are focused on keeping the drumbeat of community hustle alive, making sure the town doesn’t slip back into dependency on big business. Their advice to others to kick-start community hustle? “You have to learn to be a catalyst and not a dictator. Having a charismatic personality certainly helps move things, but it’s less about one person. The biggest thing is learning how to get out of the way of things,” Stuckert told us. A lot of their process for engaging community has been about really asking people in town what they want Wilmington to become in the future. “Getting a community to be self-critical, where people feel like they are shaping the economic priorities, is key,” Rembert said.

To the many hackers and computer scientists who shared their tales of genius and mischief, particularly Sam Roberts, Nathaniel Borenstein, and DM. To all of the fellow writers at Prufrock Coffee and Café Oberholz who commiserated with us during shared episodes of writers’ block, as well as Asi Sharabi, who provided a desk to work from when it was needed. And finally, heartfelt and enormous gratitude must go to Fran Smith for her kind, wise, and compassionate guidance along the way. A big thank-you to our Kickstarter backers who helped get this project off the ground—without a committed grassroots financing campaign, we never would have made it this far. To Laura Gamse, our talented filmmaker, who traveled with us to India and China and whose father diligently emailed us misfit material throughout the journey. To the community of staff and fellows at Ashoka with whom we connected around the world. And to members of the One/Thousand network, who supported us throughout this entire journey.


pages: 170 words: 45,121

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

collective bargaining, game design, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, speech recognition, Steve Jobs

The temptation is to not want to use any space because (a) you can’t imagine that anybody doesn’t know what this site is, and (b) everyone’s clamoring to use the Home page space for other purposes. Take Kickstarter.com, for example. Because of their novel proposition, Kickstarter has a lot of ’splainin’ to do, so they wisely use a lot of Home page space to do it. Almost every element on the page helps explain or reinforce what the site is about. Kickstarter may not have a tagline (unless it’s “Bring creativity to life”) but they do put an admirable amount of effort into making sure people understand what they do and how it works. “What is Kickstarter?” is clearly the most prominent item in the primary navigation. ...but don’t use any more space than necessary. For most sites, there’s no need to use a lot of space to convey the basic proposition, and messages that take up the entire Home page are usually too much for people to bother absorbing anyway.


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

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, 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, uber lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Allan Grant is a cofounder of hired.com: Billy Gallagher, “Hired Raises $15M in Series A at Valuation Around $60M,” TechCrunch, March 24, 2014, http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/24/hired-raises-15m-series-a/. Chris Cassano, a twenty-five-year-old from Florida: Chris Cassano, interviewed by Paul Vigna, June 12, 2014. He posted a description of it on Kickstarter: Chris Cassano, “Piper: A Hardware-Based Paper Wallet Printer and More,” Kickstarter, July 10, 2013, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/299052466/piper-a-hardware-based-paper-wallet-printer-and-mo. “Money’s great, too”: Nathan Lands, interviewed by Paul Vigna, June 13, 2014. According to surveys conducted by news site CoinDesk: “State of Bitcoin Q2 2014 Report Reveals Expanding Bitcoin Economy,” CoinDesk, July 10, 2014, http://www.coindesk.com/state-of-bitcoin-q2-2014-report-expanding-bitcoin-economy/.

After proposing to Beccy, he made a second proposal: after their honeymoon, they would conduct an experiment—they would live for ninety days on nothing but bitcoin and film the whole thing for a documentary. It was the kind of on-a-lark thing only young people could do, and to his surprise, Beccy readily accepted the challenge. As if all that wasn’t challenging enough, the Craigs added another wrinkle: they would drive across the United States, fly to Europe, fly to Asia, and then fly back to Utah. They would pay for every stage of this round-the-world trip with bitcoin. They launched a Kickstarter project to fund the film, raised $72,000, bought themselves a little publicity, and hired a film crew. While it is reasonably feasible today, in 2015, to spend nothing but bitcoin for three months, this was mid-2013—just before a parade of well-known businesses announced they would accept bitcoin, as we’ll discuss in the next chapter. At that time, the Craigs’ quest seemed quixotic at best. Few businesses took bitcoin, and most vendors hadn’t even heard of it.

With his program, the user would print out the code and store it off-line. It didn’t take him long to create a prototype-dedicated printer based on a Raspberry Pi, a tiny, inexpensive motherboard that came with in-built security protections, which were necessary to avoid the problem of inadvertently registering your code on your hard drive whenever you communicated with a less well-protected printer. He posted a description of it on Kickstarter and immediately sold twenty-five. That netted him about $4,000. In September of 2013, he got a call from Kenna, inviting him out to 20Mission. The unusual deal was that Cassano could live and work at 20Mission in exchange for a small stake in his company; Kenna would essentially act as an angel investor for Cassano. So the Floridian moved to the hacker house in December. He had housing, office space, a product, and a backer.


pages: 336 words: 90,749

How to Fix Copyright by William Patry

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, barriers to entry, big-box store, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, means of production, moral panic, new economy, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Both collectives are made up of individual clarinetists from around the world who pool their resources to commission new works from composers.40 The collectives encourage as many clarinetists as possible to become involved by contributing financially and by performing the works commissioned. The collectives thus break with the traditional model of passive financial donors: members are expected to do their part in spreading culture by also performing. The Kickstarter project is another example of crowd-sourced funding of creators.41 Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Kickstarter helps artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects to life. Kickstarter uses Amazon.com’s Flexible Payments Service so that individuals from around the world can pledge money to specific projects detailed on the site. Creators have an incentive to make their projects as appealing as possible because they are competing against other proposals, and because they do not receive any money unless the project’s financial goals are met in full within a specified, short time frame.

Mellon Foundation, The Economic Environment of American Symphony Orchestras, March 2008, available at: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/packages/pdf/Flanagan.pdf. 268 NOTES TO PAGES 28–33 40. Information about the collective may be found here: http://www. clarinetcoco.com/. The collective is part of a larger collective effort, the Fractured Atlas, which helps artists and arts organizations function more effectively as businesses by providing access to funding, healthcare, and education. See http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/ about. 41. See www.kickstarter.com. 42. The European Union, for example, launched 2009 as a year of creativity and innovation. See http://create2009.europa.eu/. 43. This publisher is not Oxford University Press. 44. See Robert Caves, Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce (2000, Harvard University Press). 45. Reproduced in Copyright Law Revision Part 3: Preliminary Draft for Revised U.S. Copyright Law and Discussions and Comments on the Draft 286 (September 1964). 46.

(Beatles song) 16 Holmes, Oliver Wendell Jr. 19, 20 Hootie and the Blowfish 138 Hoover, Herbert 109 Horkheimer, Max 121 I Infopaq International A/S v. Danske Dagblades 213 iTunes 8 J Jagger. Mick 31 Jay-Z 98, 101–102, 178 Johnson, Mark 135 Johnson, Samuel 15 Jones, Alex 148 Justifications for copyright 8 K Kames, Lord 85 Karakunnel, Ben 261 Karp, Irwin 30 Kaspar clarinet mouthpieces 95 Keynes, John Maynard 90 Khan, Zorna 315 n. Kickstarter program 28 Kindle 9 321 Kretschmer, Martin 302 nn., 303 Kur, Annette 314 n. Kutiel, Ophir (“Kutiman”) 101 L Lady Gaga 9 Landes, William 103, 105 Lara Croft, Tomb Raider 22 Lennon, John 16, 95–96 Leval, Pierre 168, 196, 212 Litman, Jessica 299 nn. Little Nicky (terrible movie) 28 Lobbynomics 6 Lula da Silva 259 M Macaulay, Lord Thomas 70 Madison, James 131–132 Mallet, Sir Louis 85 Mamet, David 186 Manacles 91 Manet, Édouard 19 Marcellus, Robert 95 Marley, Bob 172 McCartney, Paul 16 Melos 30–31 Military bands 28 Mises, Ludwig von 39–40, 49 M&Ms 25 Model T cars 3 Monty Python 158 Moore, Joyce 8 Moore, Sam 8 Moses (Moshe Rabbeinu) 163 Mozart, Amadeus 15, 95, 100, 245 Mt.


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AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator

COPYKITTENS China’s early copycat internet companies looked harmless from the outside, almost cute. During China’s first internet boom of the late 1990s, Chinese companies looked to Silicon Valley for talent, funding, and even names for their infant startups. The country’s first search engine was the creation of Charles Zhang, a Chinese physicist with a Ph.D. from MIT. While in the United States Zhang had seen the early internet take off, and he wanted to kick-start that same process in his home country. Zhang used investments from his professors at MIT and returned to China, intent on building up the country’s core internet infrastructure. But after a meeting with Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, Zhang switched his focus to creating a Chinese-language search engine and portal website. He named his new company Sohoo, a not-so-subtle mashup of the Chinese word for “search” (sou) and the company’s American role model.

The year was 2010, and Guo was responsible for the influential Zhongguancun (“jong-gwan-soon”) technology zone in northwest Beijing, an area that had long branded itself as China’s answer to Silicon Valley but had not really lived up to the title. Zhongguancun was chock-full of electronics markets selling low-end smartphones and pirated software but offered few innovative startups. Guo wanted to change that. To kick-start that process, he came to see me at the offices of my newly founded company, Sinovation Ventures. After spending a decade representing the most powerful American technology companies in China, in the fall of 2009 I left Google China to establish Sinovation, an early-stage incubator and angel investment fund for Chinese startups. I made this move because I sensed a new energy bubbling up in the Chinese startup ecosystem.

Beyond direct job losses, artificial intelligence will exacerbate global economic inequality. By giving robots the power of sight and the ability to move autonomously, AI will revolutionize manufacturing, putting third-world sweatshops stocked with armies of low-wage workers out of business. In doing so, it will cut away the bottom rungs on the ladder of economic development. It will deprive poor countries of the opportunity to kick-start economic growth through low-cost exports, the one proven route that has lifted countries like South Korea, China, and Singapore out of poverty. The large populations of young workers that once comprised the greatest advantage of poor countries will turn into a net liability, and a potentially destabilizing one. With no way to begin the development process, poor countries will stagnate while the AI superpowers take off.


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

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, 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 cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, 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, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, 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, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Our goal here is to provide not a comprehensive or systematic overview but simply a sketch which we hope will convey the growing scope and importance of platform companies on the world stage. INDUSTRY EXAMPLES Agriculture John Deere, Intuit Fasal Communication and Networking LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, Snapchat, WeChat Consumer Goods Philips, McCormick Foods FlavorPrint Education Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, edX, Duolingo Energy and Heavy Industry Nest, Tesla Powerwall, General Electric, EnerNOC Finance Bitcoin, Lending Club, Kickstarter Health Care Cohealo, SimplyInsured, Kaiser Permanente Gaming Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation Labor and Professional Services Upwork, Fiverr, 99designs, Sittercity, LegalZoom Local Services Yelp, Foursquare, Groupon, Angie’s List Logistics and Delivery Munchery, Foodpanda, Haier Group Media Medium, Viki, YouTube, Wikipedia, Huffington Post, Kindle Publishing Operating Systems iOS, Android, MacOS, Microsoft Windows Retail Amazon, Alibaba, Walgreens, Burberry, Shopkick Transportation Uber, Waze, BlaBlaCar, GrabTaxi, Ola Cabs Travel Airbnb, TripAdvisor FIGURE 1.2.

As we’ve noted, every interaction starts with an exchange of information that has value to the participants. Thus, in virtually every case, the core interaction starts with the creation of a value unit by the producer. Here are a few examples. On a marketplace like eBay or Airbnb, the product/service listing information is the value unit that is created by a seller and then served to buyers based on their search query or past interests. On a platform like Kickstarter, the project details constitute the value unit that enables potential backers to make a decision whether to fund it. Videos on YouTube, tweets on Twitter, profiles of professionals on LinkedIn, and listings of available cars on Uber are all value units. In each case, users are provided with a basis for deciding whether or not they want to proceed to some further exchange. The filter. The value unit is delivered to selected consumers based on filters.

By 2006, YouTube’s reach outgrew Myspace’s, and the adoption graphs have only diverged further since then. 3. The seeding strategy. Create value units that will be relevant to at least one set of potential users. When these users are attracted to the platform, other sets of users who want to engage in interactions with them will follow. In many cases, the platform company takes the task of value creation upon itself by acting as the first producer. In addition to kickstarting the platform, this strategy allows the platform owner to define the kind and quality of value units they want to see on the platform, thereby encouraging a culture of high-quality contributions among subsequent producers.7 When Google launched its Android smartphone operating system to compete with Apple’s, it seeded the market by offering $5 million in prizes to developers who came up with the best apps in each of ten categories, including gaming, productivity, social networking, and entertainment.


pages: 268 words: 76,702

The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball

Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, Chelsea Manning, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, packet switching, patent troll, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Crocker, Stuxnet, The Chicago School, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, yield management, zero day

Part Two THE MONEY 4 The Money Men IF YOU WERE going to imagine an office designed to host some of the internet’s hottest start-ups, betaworks’s1 New York studio would be almost exactly what you’d picture. We’re in New York’s fashionable Meatpacking District, surrounded by designer shops, restaurants and bars, and just yards from the Hudson River. As you walk into the building you’re greeted with a wall of some of the biggest successes of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, in which betaworks invested. There is a prototype Oculus Rift VR headset ($2.4 million raised), Hickies no-tie shoelaces ($580,000 raised), the Light Phone, an ultra-minimalist mobile phone ($415,000), and Sammy Screamer, a mobile alarm to ‘keep an eye on your stuff’ ($90,840), all on show as I visit. In the reception to the huge open-plan space, replete with the expected kitchens, chill-out areas, ultra-modern seating and more, you can catch snippets of conversation which also sound exactly like a tech investment company should.

It has invested in Twitter, in part through two companies who were eventually bought out by Twitter,2 Tumblr, and a number of other companies that make up the social internet. These have included bit.ly, the URL shortener (more important when web addresses counted towards your Twitter character limit) and analytics tool, and Giphy, the online gif repository now built into a number of social media tools. In addition to its Kickstarter investment, betaworks also backed the blogging network Medium (founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams) and the podcasting company Gimlet Media (now owned by Spotify).3 It’s also funded numerous analytics companies used by social media businesses and content creators, and even built the hit iPhone and Android games Dots and Two Dots, before spinning those out as a separate company.4 The way betaworks operates is by investing in companies when they’re still very small – sometimes taking them into their studios when they might still only have a handful of people (often the co-founders) working for them, and haven’t raised any money yet.

The company seeks to get those exits within about seven or eight years – considered a long investment in the VC world, but one explained by its preference for early-stage investments. Wenger came to the VC game in a very similar way to Borthwick: he was president of del.icio.us, a service to share bookmarked websites (and so a precursor to Twitter and similar services), and then an angel investor in craft site Etsy and the social network Tumblr.13 USV currently invests in Soundcloud, Kickstarter, Stripe (a payments service), Foursquare and duolingo. It has exited investments including Twitter, Tumblr, Etsy and Zynga (maker of Farmville).14 But Wenger’s ability to spot what was coming, he tells me from the corner office of USV’s nineteenth-storey offices in Manhattan, just yards from the Flatiron Building, pre-dated most of the internet boom by a long way. It started from the first time he tinkered with the web – just four years after its 1989 invention.


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Origin Story: A Big History of Everything by David Christian

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cepheid variable, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, demographic transition, double helix, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, nuclear winter, planetary scale, rising living standards, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, Yogi Berra

The universe, he once wrote, was “the Sensorium of a Being incorporeal, living, and intelligent.”1 Early in the twentieth century, Einstein was so sure the universe was unchanging (at large scales) that he added a special constant to his theory of relativity to make it predict a stable universe. Is the idea of an eternal or unchanging universe satisfying? Not really, particularly if you have to smuggle in a creator to kick-start the process, as in “In the beginning there was nothing, then God made …” The logical glitch is obvious, though it has taken some sophisticated minds a long time to see it clearly. At the age of eighteen, Bertrand Russell gave up on the idea of a creator god after reading the following passage in the autobiography of John Stuart Mill: “My father taught me that the question, ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question, ‘Who made God?’

There were gradients of light, temperature, and density, down which free energy flowed, like water over a waterfall. Each star poured energy into the cold spaces around it, generating flows of heat, light, and chemical energy that could be used to build new forms of complexity in nearby regions. Those are the flows of free energy that allow life to flourish here on planet Earth. Gravity had kick-started the transformation of matter into stars by fusing protons despite the barrier created by their positive charges. This is a pattern we will see over and over again. It’s a bit like the cup of coffee that helps you get going in the morning. Chemists refer to this initial shot of energy as activation energy; it’s the energy of a lit match that starts a conflagration. One kind of energy changes something so as to release other flows of free energy that are much greater than the activation energy.

For the first time since plate tectonics had created the single supercontinent of Pangaea, two hundred and fifty million years ago, genes, organisms, information, and diseases could flow within a single worldwide system. The world historian Alfred Crosby described this ecological revolution as the “Columbian Exchange,” and he showed that globalization would transform the biosphere as much as it transformed human history.3 In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels argued that these changes kick-started modern capitalism. The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonization of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, post-work, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

The great cyberneticist Stafford Beer taught us that the “purpose of a system is what it does,” and if smart contracts work not to protect but to undermine working people, we must conclude that on some level this is what they are for.10 Nor are workers the only ones who might find the rug pulled out from under them in a world of smart contracts. Think of Kickstarter, for example. The crowdfunding site asks sponsors to pledge a sum of money toward a project (i.e. it is a box that contains value), and disburses that sum to the project originators only if the aggregate amount amassed in this way exceeds a preset threshold (and that box unlocks when certain conditions have been met). Kickstarter takes a cut for providing the platform on which pledges are aggregated and then paid out. But a well-designed smart contract framework would handle that whole process on a peer-to-peer basis, and do it for a relative pittance of Ether—a few pennies, against a few percentage points.11 A world of functioning smart contracts, then, holds existential peril for those intermediary enterprises like Kickstarter whose whole business model can effectively be boiled down to a single conditional statement.

“Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond blockchain,” 2016, p. 41, gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492972/gs-16-1-distributed-ledger-technology.pdf. 8.Michael Del Castillo, “Prenup Built in Ethereum Smart Contract Rethinks Marriage Obligations,” CoinDesk, June 1, 2016. 9.Chrystia Freeland, “When Labor Is Flexible, And Paid Less,” International Herald-Tribune, June 28, 2013. 10.Stafford Beer, “What Is Cybernetics?”, Kybernetes, Volume 31, Issue 2, 2002. 11.Kickstarter exacts a 5 percent commission on successfully funded projects, kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter+basics. 12.Graham Rapier, “Yellen Reportedly Urges Central Banks to Study Blockchain, Bitcoin,” American Banker, June 6, 2016; see also Nathaniel Popper, “Central Banks Consider Bitcoin’s Technology, if Not Bitcoin,” New York Times, October 11, 2016. 13.Pete Rizzo, “Bank of Canada Demos Blockchain-Based Digital Dollar,” CoinDesk, June 16, 2016. 14.See, e.g., a proposal for London’s budget to be executed via blockchain.

See Facebook Institute of Advanced Architecture Catalunya, IAAC, 109 intellectual property, IP, 104, 106, 281, 284 intent recognition, 227 Intercept (online magazine), 252 International Harvester Scout, 158 International Labor Organization (ILO), 133 International Mobile Equipment Identity number, IMEI, 4, 137 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 122 internet of things, 31–62, 155–6, 209, 277, 285, 312 at the scale of the body, 33–6 at the scale of the city, 48–59 at the scale of the room, 36–48 business models for, 46 security vulnerabilities of, 42–5 Inventing the Future (Williams and Srnicek), 88, 203 Johnson, Eddie, 235 Jollibee fast-food chain, 43 Joyce, James, 261 jugaad, 291 Kabakov, Alexander, 241 Kaczynski, Theodore, 310 Kafka, Franz, 160, 244 Kanjoya, startup, 198 Kasparov, Garry, 263 Kay, Alan, 305 Keikyu Corporation, 198 Kelly, Kevin, 34 Keynes, John Maynard, 184 Kickstarter, 155 Kuniavsky, Mike, 31 Kurgan, Laura, 53 kyriarchy, 111 Landless Workers’ Movement, Brazil, 169 Lee Sedol, 264–5, 268, 270 lethal autonomous robotics, 226 Levitt, Steven D., 237 Liberator 3D-printed pistol, 108 lidar, 23 Liss, Jo, 268 Lofland, Lyn, 79 logical positivism, 52 Los Angeles Police Department, LAPD, 229 Lovecraft, H. P., 269 Machii, Isao, 266–7 machine learning, 8, 16, 60, 185, 192, 194, 209–57, 308 maker spaces, 93 MakerBot, 85, 88, 101, 104–5, 107 mapping, 22–5, 275, 278 Mann, Steve, 77–8 Marx, Karl, 70, 305 MasterCard, 120 Mason, Paul, 88 Mauthausen, 61 McDonald’s restaurant chain, 194–5 McDonough, William, 96 McNamara, Robert, 57 Merkle roots, 123 Metropolitan Police Service, London, 231 Microsoft, 38–9, 262, 275 minimal techno (music genre), 221 Minority Report (movie), 227, 230 MIT Technology Review (journal), 243 Mitte, Berlin neighborhood, 71–2 Monobloc chair, 106 Monroe, Rodney, 230 Moore’s Law, 88, 93 Morris, David, 256–7 Mountain View, California, 284 M–Pesa digital currency, 117 Music Genome Project, 220 Musk, Elon, 222 National Institute of Justice, 233 National Public Radio, 41, 192 National September 11th Memorial, 65 National Technical University of Athens, 173 NAVSTAR Global Positioning System, 21 NBC Universal, 220 neural networks, 214–16, 219, 264, 266 Nevada, 192 New York City, 51, 56–8, 136, 238 New York Times (newspaper), 177 Next Rembrandt project, 262–3, 265 near-field communication standard (NFC), 17, 117 Niantic Labs, 65 Niemeyer, Oscar, 261 Nieuwenhuys, Constant, 190 Niigata, Japan, 301–2 niqab, 295 Nixon Administration, 204 nonvolatile memory, 15 North Dakota, 192 Norwegian black metal (music genre), 221 Nuit Debout protests, 3 Occupy movement, 167, 169 Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, 82 O’Neil, Cathy, 249 open source hardware, 102 OpenTable, 39–40, 46 Osborne, Michael A., 195 Ostrom, Elinor, 171 output neuron, 215 overtransparency, 240–1, 243 Pai, Sidhant, 98 Pandora music service, 220 Panmunjom Truce Village, 65 Pareto optimality, 55, 59 Paris, 1–6, 292 Pasquale, Frank, 244, 253 path dependence, 232, 299 PayPal, 120, 136, 220 PCWorld, 45 People Analytics, 198, 226, 232 perceptron, 214 Père Lachaise cemetery, 2, 5, 26 persoonskaart, Dutch identity card, 60 Pew Research Center, 41, 193 Pinellas County, Florida, 256 Placemeter, 51 polylactic acid plastic filament (PLA), 94, 98, 101 Pokémon Go, 63–5, 76, 79 Polari, 311 policy network, 264 Pollock, Jackson, 261 Pony Express, 256 porosity, 28, 173 POSIWID, 155, 302 Postcapitalism (Paul Mason), 88 power/knowledge, 62 predictive policing, 227, 230, 232, 235 PredPol, 229, 231, 236, 244, 254 proof-of-work, 128–30, 140–1, 143, 290 prosopagnosia.


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The Open Revolution: New Rules for a New World by Rufus Pollock

Airbnb, discovery of penicillin, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, double helix, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, Live Aid, openstreetmap, packet switching, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, software patent, speech recognition

This would be similar to the work of existing public arts programs around the world, though it would cover information-production but not live performance. User-choice (the “Kickstarter” or “X-Factor” model) – say 10% – would allow some active consumer-choice in the allocation of funding to particular artists, projects or even general policies (supporting blues artists, for instance). Artists would propose projects, such as an album or new song, with a budget. Citizens would each be allocated “voting dollars” with which they could support such projects (with unused dollars being allocated proportionally). This would give the public some control over up-front funding, and has similarities to crowdfunding schemes such as Kickstarter or audience-voting on shows such as X-Factor. So, you could have an Open music system in the Netherlands and pay artists more than they receive now, for less than the cost of a bus ride each month, or a even bottle of water.

Finally, we need policy-makers to see the opportunity, and necessity, of an Open world. For, ultimately, it is only by our collective, political action that we can effect the large-scale reforms we need. To find out more about what we can do to make an Open world and how you can get involved, visit: https://openrevolution.net/make-it-happen * * * Wikipedia is a hugely impressive voluntary effort, but it was kick-started commercially and it too has benefited from state spending: its content is largely collected from information already published elsewhere, much of it produced in state-supported academia (or in commercial contexts such as journalism). One way or another, a good deal of the Open material available to us today has been supported by governments and business.↩ Coda: The Original Copyfight Fifteen hundred years ago, in 6th-century Ireland, a dispute over the copying of a book led to a pitched battle.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, 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 Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Next time just hand them a handle of vodka and a pack of cigarettes,” one founder of an Internet startup wrote in a notorious post titled “10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition.”56 Another tech founder and CEO was even more blunt, calling San Francisco’s homeless “grotesque . . . degenerate . . . trash.”57 Equally disturbing are the technorati’s solutions to the poverty and hunger afflicting many Bay Area residents. In May 2014, the Google engineer and libertarian activist Justine Tunney, who in 2013 tried to fund a private militia on Kickstarter,58 came up with the idea of replacing food stamps with Soylent, a “food product” that claims to “provide maximum nutrition with minimum effort.” “Give poor people @soylent so they can be healthy and productive. If you’re on food stamps, maybe you’re unhealthy and need to eat better,” Tunney tweeted, without bothering to check first with people on food stamps to see if they wanted to eat what the technology critic J. R. Hennessy calls “tasteless nutrition sludge.”59 No matter. In a month, Tunney had raised $1 million on Kickstarter for a repellent social experiment that brings to mind Soylent Green, the 1974 dystopian movie about a world in which the dominant food product was made of human remains.

As Peter Goodman, the former global editor of the Huffington Post, wrote to Arianna Huffington before very publicly quitting his job in March 2014, “there is a widespread sense on the team that the HuffPost is no longer fully committed to original reporting; that in a system governed largely by metrics, deep reporting and quality writing weigh in as a lack of productivity.”26 What Goodman calls “original reporting” has, according to the media reporter Joe Pompeo, been replaced by a Buzzfeed-like focus on social and mobile platforms where “people love sharing stories about health and meditation and exercise and sleep.”27 “The unfortunate fact is that online journalism can’t survive without a wealthy benefactor,”28 mourns the GigaOm columnist Mathew Ingram. And I’m afraid the same is increasingly becoming true of many unprofitable bookstores, too, which are desperately relying on crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter to raise money from benefactors.29 And, of course, there is no lack of rich benefactors from Silicon Valley who are buying up the very old media that their revolution has destroyed. The poachers are now the gamekeepers. There is Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommate, Chris Hughes, a cofounder of Facebook, who bought the venerable New Republic magazine in 2012. Then there’s Amazon right-libertarian CEO Jeff Bezos, who acquired the equally venerable Washington Post newspaper in 2013, no doubt giving all its reporters a required reading list including The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Black Swan.

To put this into perspective, in 2009 all the content on the World Wide Web was estimated to have added up to about half a zettabyte of data.20 But, rather than infinite, the possibilities of most of the new electronic hardware at CES 2014 were really all the same. They were all devices greedy for the collection of networked data. These devices, some of which were being crowdfunded by networks like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, were designed to connect our dots—to know our movements, our taste, our physical fitness, our driving skills, our facial characteristics, above all where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. Wearable technology—what the Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his keynote speech at the show called a “broad ecosystem of wearables”—dominated CES 2014. Sony, Samsung, and many, many startups were all demonstrating products that wouldn’t have been out of place at that old East German Ministry for State Security in Berlin.


pages: 416 words: 106,532

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske, Jack Tatar

Airbnb, altcoin, asset allocation, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, packet switching, passive investing, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, smart contracts, social web, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others positioned themselves online as a way for connecting entrepreneurs and investors. In exchange for investors pledging money, the project or company promised to return the fruits of its labor, depending on the amount a specific investor pledged. Recognizing that this platform was a fertile ground for scams, the sites implemented policies and procedures to protect investors. For instance, Kickstarter maintains investor funds in escrow until a project is funded to a sufficiently high level. If not enough people invest, then funding stops and investors get their money back. Many projects have been funded by investors who simply wanted to see it become a reality, while others funded projects to receive the product. To get a feel for what Kickstarter can provide to investors interested in the bitcoin and blockchain space, simply type those terms into the search box on the Kickstarter site.8 Opportunities for investing in documentaries, books, games, and application development can be found.

As markets mature over time, there is more regulation on what information asset issuers must provide and by whom that information must be verified and audited. With cryptoassets, however, these standards are not yet in place. To get an idea of what havoc misleading asset issuers can create, we’ll examine an example from early equities markets. About 80 years after Tulipmania, in the early 1700s, the first international bull market came to rise.16 Kick-started by infamous entities such as John Law’s Mississippi Company in France and John Blunt’s South Sea Company in Britain, the equity markets were whipped into a buying frenzy fueled largely by duplicity. Both the Mississippi Company and South Sea Company had convoluted structures and were heavily marketed as pursuits to establish a presence and exploit trade in the burgeoning Americas, even though they had only marginal success in doing so.

To get a feel for what Kickstarter can provide to investors interested in the bitcoin and blockchain space, simply type those terms into the search box on the Kickstarter site.8 Opportunities for investing in documentaries, books, games, and application development can be found. Fund a documentary on Bitcoin, for example, and on completion investors receive a DVD of that documentary. One of the most compelling aspects of crowdfunding was that it not only allowed dreamers to build their product or business, it allowed investors of all levels to participate in seeing these dreams come true. Prior to crowdfunding, in those cases where investors wanted to share in the equity opportunities provided by a startup, they still had to be an accredited investor. While the intention of requiring investors at this stage to be accredited is good, it has the side effect of locking the average investor out of some of the earliest stage investments with the highest returns.


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

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

Nobody wants to stick their neck out on their own, without an understanding that other lenders are likely to start lending, and that consumers are likely to consume. Just as the prisoners would optimize their respective outcomes were they able to confer and act in a binding unison by which they agreed to stay mum, so too would our economy be best off if all of the economic actors agreed that they’d spend together, and kick-start a real recovery. That’s another way of looking at some of the effects of deficit spending: a form of enforceable collective action, decided upon through the deliberation of our (somewhat) democratic governmental institutions. This is not to say that our government’s actions are determined in an altruistic fashion with the public welfare as decision makers’ highest end—quite frequently the opposite, in fact.

My testimony, which I had assumed would be a small quixotic gesture protesting a foregone conclusion, ended up being just one more voice in a resounding global chorus, one which simultaneously defended and demonstrated the power of a free and open Internet. The defeat of SOPA was a true victory. But for those of us (un?)lucky enough to work as professional recording artists, the question that still looms is, how, or perhaps even if, we should be trying to make a living on our art. Do we forego labels and CD sales completely and take a leap of faith on Kickstarter? Do we have the kind of fan base that will support that? Is there a cloud-based model that is fair to artists? To be honest, though I consider myself both an activist and a musician, I actually find myself surprisingly UNinterested in learning the ins and outs of the music industry itself; both the one that is dying, and the new one that is being born. I want our message to get out, and I want to be able to work full time as a musician, but how exactly that happens I don’t particularly care.

Please email David Segal at David@DemandProgress.org if you want to receive direct updates as action pages and tools go live This Saturday, more than seventy representatives from leading tech companies and advocacy groups from across the political spectrum participated in a meeting to coordinate action against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The meeting, which included leaders from Tumblr, Foursquare, Etsy, Kickstarter and reddit was remarkable for the array of participating organizations and its focus on how to mobilize to inspire millions of Americans to take action to tell Congress that this bill is deeply flawed. Representative Zoe Lofgren opened the meeting with an overview of the current state of the legislation, emphasizing the need for Americans to call their representatives EARLY THIS WEEK to voice their strong discontent with the bill: It is slated for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on THURSDAY.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

He knew he was opening up a new way of computing, built for mobility, and would need his pocket computers to do just as many things as his desktop Macintosh computers were able to do. He would eventually call it the App Store. Doerr knew opportunity when it was in front of him. He tried to seize it. “Steve, I see what you’re doing. I see it. I want to be a part of this,” he said. “I want to put together a fund to kickstart this thing.” Doerr was falling back on his VC instincts. Every few years, investors like him would go to their institutional partners to pool millions of dollars in a new fund. Venture capitalists like Doerr would then use that money to purchase stakes in promising startups around the Valley. Like Bill Gates and his era of Windows-based applications, Doerr saw that an iPhone App Store would open a huge new field to programmers—whose startups he could fund.

“I think Kleiner should do it.” The call shocked the investor. Doerr knew how controlling Apple was under Jobs’s reign. Everything had to be perfect, from the industrial design led by Jonathan Ive—a dapper British lieutenant and longtime confidant of Jobs—to the software and apps under the direction of Scott Forstall, a fiery and talented executive leading Apple’s mobile operating system. Asking Doerr to kickstart a sea of new smartphone apps with a multimillion-dollar fund would create a wave of innovation much messier than Apple was used to dealing with. But Doerr wasn’t going to question an opportunity. He offered to raise $100 million from his limited partners, an unheard-of amount of money—especially one earmarked for funding a new form of program that was unproven and untested. But Doerr believed in Jobs and saw the potential the iPhone could have in the market if the product took off.

“When they have a bit of downtime between their usual gigs, they can turn on the app and make a chunk of extra change on the side.” Meanwhile, Uber takes a 20 to 30 percent cut of every ride for providing the network that connects riders to drivers. “Everybody wins,” Geidt said. “It was honestly pretty much a no-brainer for the livery company operators, since the cars were just sitting there otherwise,” one early employee said. To kickstart demand, UberCab would dole out incentives to both drivers and riders, a method that proved to be one of the company’s most enduring marketing techniques. Riders, for instance, would get a free first trip upon signing up for the app. Drivers were promised hundreds of dollars in bonuses if they completed a minimum number of trips during the week. And to incentivize customers to return, future fares would be discounted anywhere from 20 to 50 percent, and sometimes given away completely—UberCab footed the bill, paying drivers the difference for those rides.


pages: 245 words: 64,288

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy by Pistono, Federico

3D printing, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, future of work, George Santayana, global village, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, illegal immigration, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, longitudinal study, means of production, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, post scarcity, QR code, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Rodney Brooks, selection bias, self-driving car, slashdot, smart cities, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, women in the workforce

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source 219 Can We Open Source Everything? The Future of the Open Philosophy. University of Cambridge. http://www.sms.cam.ac.uk/media/517352;jsessionid=62FE4CCB3807753999235E2EA54E5009 220LATEX– a document preparation system. http://www.latex-project.org/ Open at the source. Apple. http://www.apple.com/opensource/ 221 Kickstarter Expects To Provide More Funding To The Arts Than NEA, Carl Franzen, 2012. http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/kickstarter-expects-to-provide-more-funding-to-the-arts-than-nea.php 222 Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization, Marcin Jakubowski. TED. http://www.ted.com/talks/marcin_jakubowski.html 223 Jimmy Wales interviewed by Miller, Rob ‘Roblimo’. Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Responds, 2004. Slashdot. http://slashdot.org/story/04/07/28/1351230/wikipedia-founder-jimmy-wales-responds 224 Gin, Television, and Social Surplus, Clay Shirky, 2010.

Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, they are all FOSS. But also Wikipedia, Creative Commons, many Flickr photos and videos on YouTube and Vimeo are released under some sort of free/open licenses. More recently, there has been a wave of Open Source projects throughout the whole spectrum, even physical objects such as flashlights, sensors, bicycles, solar panels, and 3D printers. Internet communities such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are great places to start directly supporting Open Source projects that will help you live a better life. The concept is simple. Somebody has a great idea that they would like to develop, they tell that to the community and ask for certain amount of money to complete or to continue the project. People who are interested pitch in, and they get rewards for that. Over 90% of the money goes to the original artist/inventor, but what they create benefits the whole community.

This is a great way to support what you like, how you like. You can choose which projects to support, and the amount of money you want to pledge. It gives you a sense of fulfilment and power. It makes you feel part of a community of like-minded people. And most of all, it is fair. There are no under-the-table-games, no special interests, no bribing of government officials. It is meritocracy at its best. To put things in perspective, Kickstarter is on track to distribute over $150 million dollars to its users’ projects in 2012, or more than entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was $146 million.221 We cannot expect governments to solve all of our problems. Of course, it would be nice if public money were spent wisely and on programmes that helped everyone, operating at maximum efficiency.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, 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, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, 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, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

This diversity, this range of small and neighborhood-focused organizations, is why the Sharing Economy has appealed to the ecologically minded and to those who identify with artisans. It’s why author Rachel Botsman can describe the Sharing Economy this way in a TED talk: At its core, it’s about empowerment. It’s about empowering people to make meaningful connections, connections that are enabling us to rediscover a humanness that we’ve lost somewhere along the way, by engaging in marketplaces like Airbnb, like Kickstarter, like Etsy, that are built on personal relationships versus empty transaction.1 It’s also why stories in the mainstream press tended to start off with the quirky and personal. Here is the Wall Street Journal: The hottest technology trend is apps that let anyone share anything, which is why Grace Lichaa recently found a group of strangers eating her home-cooked macaroni. About a dozen people she met through the Internet arrived, mostly on time, at her Washington, D.C., house in November for three flavors of macaroni and cheese: garlic-crusted, goat cheese tomato, and curried.

And so it goes with WeWork.7 Botsman and Owyang both extend the definition of the sharing economy to include companies largely outside the scope of this book. Coursera and others are challenging university education by providing massively open online courses (MOOCs), online marketplaces for products—such as eBay and Etsy—predate the rise of the Sharing Economy and its focus on “real-world” exchanges, and crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter can be seen as an extension of the peer-to-peer finance platforms. The Sharing Economy landscape is defined not only by what it includes, but by what kind of sharing organizations are missing. Sociologist Juliet Schor sums up the situation: There is great diversity among activities as well as baffling boundaries drawn by participants. TaskRabbit, an “errands” site, is often included, but Mechanical Turk (Amazon’s online labor market) is not.

But the evidence to date, and the basis of many of the investment bets, is that the market favors the big, especially within a city. That’s one reason why Uber CEO Travis Kalanick admitted to undermining the fund-raising efforts of his main competitor, Lyft.38 The ridesharing model is a “two-sided marketplace” in which Uber manages the supply of both riders and drivers. The more riders on the platform, the better it is for drivers; the more drivers available, the better it is for riders. Getting this spiral kick-started is one of the challenges to any new entrant seeking to gain entrance. The technology component of the business is amortized over all the cities in which Uber operates, so its success in New York helps its business in San Diego. If the ridesharing market is indeed winner-take-all, then restructuring the transit system to accommodate Uber (allowing them to operate without the expenses and regulations to which taxi companies are subjected) amounts to handing over the taxi market to the company.


pages: 178 words: 43,631

Spoiled Brats: Short Stories by Simon Rich

dumpster diving, immigration reform, Kickstarter, Occupy movement, pattern recognition

Dan smiled proudly and drifted off to sleep. RIP Rip reached into his minifridge and pulled out a Four Loko. The government had banned the beverage months ago, claiming its high caffeine and alcohol content caused liver damage. But he’d saved one can to drink on a special occasion. And now, for the first time since graduating, he finally had something worth celebrating. At 12:00 a.m. EST, he had officially achieved funding on Kickstarter for his jazz blog. Starting tomorrow, he’d be sticking it to the mainstream jazz media one post at a time. His parents had offered to get him an internship at Jazz Masters Monthly (they were friends with the editor in chief). But Rip wasn’t interested in working for a soulless place like that. How could a corporate-owned magazine possibly be an authority on jazz? He’d done some digging online and found out that the same company that owned Jazz Masters Monthly owned Cat Fancy.

As the curtain creaked open, Tim thought about how far the band had come. When they’d first started out, as seniors at Yale, they barely had enough songs for an EP. Now, the Fuzz had four self-released LPs under their belt. Their latest single—a reggae-inflected surf tune—had amassed more than twenty-five thousand plays on SoundCloud. And when they’d needed to raise five thousand dollars to record their latest album, they’d gotten it on Kickstarter in less than twenty days. No one had ever come to see them perform, though. At least, not anyone important. Tim tried not to stare, but it was difficult. The talent scout was tall and frighteningly thin, in a form-fitting charcoal suit. Club Trash served only beer and wine, but somehow he’d gotten hold of a martini. He sipped from his glass and smirked at the stage, his lanky legs folded at the ankles.

Sanjay shouted, bursting into laughter. “Holy crap!” “You can still stay in the band,” Tim pleaded. “You can go to Columbia and we’ll work around your schedule.” “He’s going to Yale,” Death said. Sanjay began to dance. “You can’t do this,” Tim begged his drummer. “What about our fans?” “You have no fans,” Death informed him. “Oh yeah?” Tim said. “Then how did we raise five thousand dollars on Kickstarter?” “All the money came from Pete’s mom’s bridge club.” Tim winced. He’d always wondered why they had such a large Boca Raton fan base. “Pete’s going into finance,” Death told Tim. “He’s already been through four rounds of interviews.” “I was going to tell you,” Pete said. Tim’s eyes filled with bitter tears. “What am I going to do?” he asked, his voice as small as a child’s. “You’ll work at an SAT-test-prep company,” Death said.


pages: 381 words: 120,361

Sunfall by Jim Al-Khalili

airport security, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Carrington event, cosmological constant, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Attenborough, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, off grid, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Turing test

His enthusiasm reminded Marc of those early years when he would pop into his office at Columbia first thing in the morning with a new idea and start scrawling Feynman diagrams on the board, while Marc tried desperately to keep up. But the subject matter now was far more important than a theoretical curiosity about the structure of dark matter. ‘But,’ continued Qiang, ‘if this liquid core gets disturbed, the magnetic field gets weaker. And right now, turbulent vortices thousands of kilometres below our feet are disrupting its smooth circular flow. ‘So, my question is this: if we really had to, is there a way of kick-starting the core again? How could we deliver a massive boost of energy to the right spots at the right time to push the liquid metal in the right direction?’ Marc was intrigued. ‘I guess it’s a bit like sticking your finger into emptying bathwater above the plughole and stirring it to recover the steady circular vortex after it has been messed up.’ ‘Exactly,’ said Qiang with a small smile. ‘Only it’s not so easy to stick a giant finger into our planet.

But, cross two beams of neutralinos together … Marc liked to quote Spengler, the character from the old movie Ghostbusters: ‘Don’t cross the streams.’ His mind was racing. What if you aimed multiple beams of neutralinos down into the ground from different locations around the planet, all meeting at one point deep in the core? They would each travel through the Earth as though it were completely transparent, but if they met … He tried to do the calculations in his head to determine how big a bang that would make. Big enough to kick-start the Earth’s core again? He couldn’t tell whether the idea was even feasible; he knew too little about geophysics. It was certainly a daring idea. Actually, scratch that, it was a crazy idea. Even if it worked, it would take years to put it into practice. He realized Qiang was still staring at him, waiting for him to say something. He exhaled noisily. ‘I’m assuming you’ve not shared this ridiculous suggestion with anyone else.’

Marc wondered what Sarah thought of the MPD proposal that everyone was talking about. As far as he could see, it would, even if successful, be at best just a temporary fix – deflecting coronal mass ejections was not a permanent solution to the loss of the magnetosphere. The planet’s atmosphere would continue to be gradually eroded by the solar wind. Over time, the entire biosphere would suffocate and die. No, the only hope for humanity was to kick-start the Earth’s core again and bring the magnetosphere back to life. It was then that Qiang let out a quiet whoop of triumph, snapping Marc out of his reverie. He turned back from the screen. ‘OK, I’m happy with the numbers,’ Qiang said, deftly touching and swiping to one side the virtual displays floating around his head, then removed his visor and gloves. He stood up, stretched his arms over his head and turned to Marc.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

., “Soylent: A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside,” 2010, http://courses.cse.tamu.edu/caverlee/csce438/readings/soylent.pdf. 260 people who identify as designers: Topcoder, “Topcoder Is Different,” accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.topcoder.com/member-onboarding/topcoder-is-different. 261 Kaggle: Kaggle, accessed March 10, 2017, https://www.kaggle.com. 261 officiating at a wedding: JamieV2014, “Task of the Week: Perform My Marriage,” TaskRabbit (blog), March 26, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/03/26/task-of-the-week-perform-my-marriage. 261 delivering ice cream cake: LauraTaskRabbit, “Task of the Week: Deliver Ice Cream Cake to My Grandpa,” TaskRabbit (blog), November 18, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/11/18/task-of-the-week-deliver-ice-cream-cake-to-my-grandpa. 261 waiting in line at the Apple Store: JamieV2014, “We’re First in Line at the Apple Store,” TaskRabbit (blog), September 17, 2012, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2012/09/17/were-first-in-line-at-the-apple-store. 261 The TV show Veronica Mars: IMDb, s. v. “Veronica Mars: TV Series (2004–2007),” accessed February 8, 2017, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412253. 262 To find out, they launched a campaign: Rob Thomas, “The Veronica Mars Movie Project,” Kickstarter, accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project. 262 offer of rewards for different levels of support: Ibid. 262 within the first twelve hours: Sarah Rappaport, “Kickstarter Funding Brings ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie to Life,” CNBC, March 12, 2014, http://www.cnbc.com/2014/03/12/kickstarter-funding-brings-veronica-mars-movie-to-life.html. 262 The movie premiered on March 14, 2014: Business Wire, “Warner Bros.’ ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Opens on March 14, 2014,” December 6, 2013, http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131206005856/en/Warner-Bros.’

They continued to talk about it online and at conventions. This continued interest intrigued the movie studio Warner Brothers, Bell, and the show’s creator, Rob Thomas. They wondered whether it meant that there would be sufficient demand for a Veronica Mars movie, even one that came out several years after the show had last aired. To find out, they launched a campaign on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The campaign included a short trailer for the proposed movie, videos from Bell and Thomas, and the offer of rewards for different levels of support.*** The campaign’s stated goal was to raise $2 million. It actually took in that amount within the first twelve hours and went on to generate $5.7 million in total. The movie premiered on March 14, 2014, both in theaters and on video on-demand services.

(TV show), 17 Jeppesen, Lars Bo, 259 Jobs, Steve curation of iPhone platform, 165 Dropbox acquisition offer, 162 and iPhone apps, 151–53, 157, 163 joint-stock company, 320 journalism, See newspapers Joyce, James, 178 judges, parole granted by, 39–40 judgment, human as complement to computer power, 35 in decision-making loop, 53–56 flaws in, 37–42 and justification, 45 “superforecasters” and, 60–61 System 1/System 2 reasoning, 35–46 justification, 45 Kadakia, Payal, 178, 179, 184 Kaggle, 261 Kahneman, Daniel, 35–36, 43, 44, 56, 325 Kalanick, Travis, 200 Kapor, Mitch, 142 Katz, Michael, 141n Kaushik, Avinash, 45 Kay, Alan, 61 Kazaa, 144 Kehoe, Patrick J., 21 Keirstead, Karl, 143 kernel, 240 Keynes, John Maynard, 278–79, 287, 309–10 Khosla, Vinod, 94 Kickstarter, 262 “killer app,” 157 Kim, Pauline, 40–41 Kimberley Process, 289–90 kinases, 116–17 kitchen, automated, 94 Kiva Systems, 103 Klein, Gary, 56 knowledge access to, in second machine age, 18 markets and, 332 prediction markets and, 238 knowledge differentials, See information asymmetries Kodak, 131, 132 Kohavi, Ronny, 45, 51 Kohl’s, 62–63 Koike, Makoto, 79–80 Komatsu, 99 Koum, Jan, 140 Krawisz, Daniel, 304 Kurzweil, Ray, 308 Lakhani, Karim, 252–55, 259 landline telecommunications, 134–35 land title registry, 291 language learning styles, 67–69 Lasker, Edward, 2 Lawee, David, 166 law of one price, 156 Lea, Ed, 170 leadership, geeky, 244–45, 248–49 lead users, 265 LeCun, Yann, 73, 80, 121 ledger, See blockchain Legg, Shane, 71 Lehman, Bastian, 184 Lei Jun, 203 Leimkuhler, John F., 182 “lemons,” 207 Lending Club, 263 level 5 autonomy, 82 leveraging of assets, O2O platforms for, 196–97 Levinovitz, Alan, 3 Levinson, Art, 152 libraries, 229–32 Library of Congress, 231 links, 233 Linq, 290–91 Linux, 240–45, 248, 249, 260 liquidity and network effects, 206 O2O platforms as engines of, 192–96 Livermore, Shaw, 22–23 locking in users, 217 lodging; See also Airbnb differences between Airbnb and hotels, 222–23 Priceline and, 223–24 “Logic Theorist” program, 69 Long, Tim, 204 Los Angeles, California hotel occupancy rates, 221–22 Postmates in, 185 Uber’s effect on taxi service, 201 LTE networks, 96 Luca, Michael, 209n Lyft, 186, 201, 208, 218 Ma, Jack, 7 machine age, See second machine age machine intelligence mind as counterpart to, 15 superiority to System 1 reasoning, 38–41 machine learning, 66–86; See also artificial intelligence AlphaGo and, 73 back-office work and, 82–83 early attempts, 67–74 in Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, 48–51 O2O business data and, 194 statistical pattern recognition and, 72–74 machine(s); See also artificial intelligence; robotics; standard partnership and business process reengineering, 32–33 and creativity, 110–19 defined, 14 human connection in digitized world, 122–24 human judgment and, 34–45 new mind-machine partnership, 46–62 and uniquely human domains, 110–26 Mad Men (TV drama), 48 Madrigal, Alexis, 295–96 magazines ad revenue (late 1990s), 130 ad revenue (2013), 132–33 new content platforms’ effect on revenue, 139 MakerBot, 273 maker movement, 271–72 Makhijani, Vish, 324–25 malls, 131, 134 Malone, Tom, 311, 313 management/managers continued importance of, 320–23 and economics of the firm, 309 as portion of US workforce, 321 in post-standard partnership world, 323–26 manufacturing electricity’s effect on, 19–24 robotics in, 102 transition from molds to 3D printing, 104–7 Manyika, James, 332 Manzi, Jim, 62–63 Marchant, Jo, 66n Marcus, Gary, 5, 71 marginal costs bundling and, 147 of computer storage, 136 of digital copies, 136, 137 of perishing inventory, 180, 181 of platforms, 137 of platforms vs. products, 147, 220 and Uber’s market value, 219 marginal utility, 258–59 “Market for ‘Lemons,’ The” (Akerlof), 207 market research, 13–14, 261–63 market(s) centrally planned economies vs., 235–37 companies and, 309–11 costs inherent in, 310–11 as crowd, 235–39 information asymmetries and, 206–7 prediction markets, 237–39 production costs vs. coordination costs, 313–14 Markowitz, Henry, 268 Marshall, Matt, 62 Martin, Andrew, 40–41 Marx, Karl, 279 Masaka, Makoto, 79–80 “Mastering the Game of Go with Deep Neural Networks and Tree Search” (Nature article), 4 Maugham, Somerset, 110 Mazzella, Frédéric, 190 McCarthy, John, 67 McClatchy Company, 132 McDonald’s, 92 McElheren, Kristina, 42 McKinsey Global Institute, 332 Mechanical Turk, 260 Medallion Fund, 267 medical devices crowd-designed, 272–75 3D printing and, 106 medical diagnosis, 123–24 Meehl, Paul, 41–42, 53–54, 56, 81 MegaBLAST, 253, 254 Menger, Carl, 25 Men’s Fitness, 132 Merton, Robert K., 189 Metallica, 144 Microsoft core capabilities, 15 machine learning, 79 proprietary software, 240 as stack, 295 Windows Phone platform, 167–68 Microsoft Research, 84 Milgrom, Paul, 315n milking systems, 101 Mims, Christopher, 325 mind, human as counterpart to machine intelligence, 15 undetected biases in, 42–45 Minsky, Marvin, 73, 113 Mitchell, Alan, 11, 12 MIT Media Lab, 272 mobile telephones, 129–30, 134–35 Mocan, Naci, 40 molds, 104–5 Moley Robotics, 94 Momentum Machines, 94 Moody’s, 134 Moore, John, 315 Moore’s law, 308 and Cambrian Explosion of robotics, 97–98 defined, 35 neural networks and, 75 System 2 reasoning and, 46 and 3D printing, 107 Morozov, Evgeny, 297 Mt.


pages: 161 words: 44,488

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

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, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, fixed income, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

They all contributed, in different ways, to my understanding of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and their (decentralized) applications, either by teaching me, showing me, debating me, or allowing me into a piece of their world where I learned. Special thanks to Wiley executive editor Bill Falloon, who believed we could do this faster than humanly possible, and to Kevin Barrett Kane at The Frontispiece who designed and produced the book in the nick of time. Finally, much appreciation to the group of friends who helped support this book's Kickstarter campaign in February 2016, which made its production feasible. I could not have done this without you, and without the support of Margot Atwell and John Dimatos from Kickstarter. One of a kind, Most Generous Supporter: Brad Feld (Foundry Group). Really GENEROUS Supporters: Jim Orlando (OMERS Ventures), Ryan Selkis (DCG), Matthew Spoke (Deloitte). Super SPECIAL Supporters: Kevin Magee, Piet Van Overbeke, Christian Gheorghe, Jon Bradford. Super BIG Supporters: David Cohen (Techstars), Matthew Roszak (Bloq), Mark Templeton, Duncan Logan (RocketSpace), Michael Dalesandro.

Most exchanges provide multiple ways to deposit or withdraw money, including wire transfers, drafts, money orders, Western Union, check, debit card, Visa, PayPal, or Virtual Visa, many of them for free. Some of these exchanges even offer foreign currency exchange services in real-time between a variety of cryptocurrencies and popular currencies, such the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, Euro, British pound, and Japanese yen. Already, these are more capabilities than what the average bank user can do without visiting a branch. If you are running a crowdfunding campaign (such as on Kickstarter), you are also required to link your bank account. At the completion of a successful campaign, your earnings are automatically deposited into that account. When you link your ApplePay account to checkout and pay for items in seconds, the money is actually coming directly from one of your bank or credit card accounts. When you take an Uber ride, Uber makes a pull request to charge your credit card, automatically.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. This is an excerpt from Dawkins’s groundbreaking book, The Selfish Gene, published in 1976. Dawkins didn’t originally come up with the idea of a meme, but he was the first one to use the word, and thus to inadvertently kick-start a new branch of anthropology called memetics, a catchall term for the study of human social evolution as opposed to biological evolution (i.e., genetics). I think that a new kind of replicator has recently emerged on this very planet. It is staring us in the face. It is still in its infancy, still drifting clumsily about in its primeval soup, but already it is achieving evolutionary change at a rate that leaves the old gene panting far behind.

First, its users are “white blood cells” of the Internet, because they perform vigilante justice—against people who harm animals, for instance. He points to the increasing role that 4chan users have in geopolitics, as they have successfully brought down the sites of massive multinational corporations. Second, Hwang claims that although 4chan exists as this “other” state outside of the rest of life online, it is an important part of the web’s cultural production. Hwang laughs at the raw visual power of the Xzibit meme, which 4chan kick-started in 2007. You may know Xzibit as a rapper and host of the MTV show Pimp My Ride. But on the Internet, he’s become so closely linked with his meme that the usual words used to caption image macros are no longer necessary; his smiling face says it all. Pimp My Ride featured Xzibit and his gearhead crew retrofitting jalopies with outlandish accoutrements like flat-screen TVs or fish tanks. Xzibit would often say something along the lines of, “Yo/Sup dawg, I heard you like Xbox so we put an Xbox in your car so you can play Xbox on the road.”

You have nowhere to hide because we are everywhere. We cannot die; we are forever. We’re getting bigger every day—and solely by the force of our ideas, malicious and hostile as they often are. If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion, for we are many. Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. Thus began Project Chanology, kick-started by anonymous users of 4chan and other chan-style boards where anti-Scientology discussions were held following the release of the Tom Cruise video. I got in touch with “c0s,” an Anon who claims to be the guy who created and uploaded the “Message to Scientology” video, in AnonOps, an anonymous IRC channel devoted to Anonymous’s operations. I was immediately struck by how polite he was, and how willing he was to chat.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Cheap, effective 3-D printers have made prototyping a breeze; knowledge once accessible only inside large corporations or academic institutions can now be found through online courseware or within communities like DIYbio, a collection of citizen scientists who engage in the kind of genetic experiments that were only recently the stuff of expensive, exclusive laboratories.19 Finally, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have built nearly frictionless platforms for raising money to develop anything from small art projects to major consumer appliances. These are real-time examples of emergence in action. They allow creators to test the validity of that unique information—a water bottle turned Super Soaker!—with a large group of potential customers. This built-in social aspect makes crowdfunding useful even for projects that have venture capital or other sources of funding, and invaluable for those that don’t.

Ozzie also made the suggestion that Geiger counters strapped to cars could collect more data, more quickly, than those carried by hand. Bonner, Franken, and a team at Tokyo HackerSpace set to work designing and building a new type of Geiger counter, the bGeigie, which fits in a container about the size of a bento box and includes a GPS receiver. All of the pieces were now in place. With nearly $37,000 from a Kickstarter campaign and additional funding from Reid Hoffman, Digital Garage, and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Safecast began deploying Geiger counters and gathering data from citizen scientists across Japan. By March 2016 the project had collected more than fifty million data points, all available under a Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication, which places them in the public domain.

Blizzard treats its players and its community of fans as part of its organization—in fact, many players have become employees. Player-generated ideas have been incorporated into the game. The developers often share the inner workings of the game and even allow fans to use copyrighted content to create videos or other derivative goods. It’s very hard to see where the company ends and the customer begins in these systems. You see pull at work not only with parts and labor, but with financial capital as well. Kickstarter allows people to raise what they want in a fashion that’s far more agile and responsive than traditional fund-raising methods. Crowdfunding demonstrates that the same logic behind Amazon Web Services—the “distributed computing” division—works for the aggregation of financial capital as well. People often associate crowdfunding with dubious ideas for new products, but Experiment.com shows that the same system can be used to fund serious scientific research.17 Beyond crowdfunding, crowdsourcing also provides independent creators with affordable options for extending their resources.


pages: 251 words: 76,225

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, commoditize, desegregation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, Kickstarter, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Skype, women in the workforce

I am imperfect, and I am tired, and now that I’m in my midthirties I’ve been able to see the cycles of rage and erasure happen time and time again, and yes, it gets frustrating. As opportunities for women in geek spaces have risen, so too has the backlash. Anita Sarkeesian’s popular Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video education series about problematic depictions of women in video games raised nearly $160,000 on Kickstarter and simultaneously made her one of the largest targets of abuse on the internet—no small feat considering how vast the rage of the online beast can be. A single forum post by a spurned ex-boyfriend triggered an internet deluge of threats against game creator Zoe Quinn, which rapidly organized itself under the Gamergate hashtag, an online mob ostensibly about “ethics in gaming journalism” that primarily targeted women for harassment.

I made $7,000 in fiction income the year before. I’m ordering an overpriced drink that I’ll be writing off as a business expense, because I’ll likely lose 30 percent of that $7,000 to taxes in a few months. While I wait, I overhear a successful self-published author talking to a group of folks about how self-publishing can make everyone big money, and how traditional publishing is fucked. I’ve heard this a thousand times. Kickstarter is the key, he says. You can pre-fund all that work ahead of time, and generate income. He boasts about how he gave this advice to many underadvanced authors, folks paid “these seven-thousand, ten-thousand-dollar advances,” who were obviously small, silly fish. He sounds like a self-help guru. He makes writing books sound like a get-rich-quick scheme. I take my drink. I don’t pour it on his head.

I create work to move and to inspire, and half of my job in doing that is to fail at it and learn from it and fail again even better next time. Unlike novels, marketing communications like emails and web pages and direct mailings can be written rather quickly, so I know that this process of fail again, fail better can work, ultimately. The trouble is that publishing doesn’t give you twelve failures to fuel a success. Publishing gives you one shot, maybe two, and then it’s back to the self-publishing mines or Kickstarter to prove your worth. Which I am okay with doing, but really? Publishing is a broken beast, still churning along with the same payment schedules and margins and advances it had, what, a hundred years ago? I run into the same issue at large companies that insist that marketing has always been done this way, that we’ve always sent out direct marketing pieces and why do we have to change even though the people who buy our products have totally revolutionized the way they purchase goods?


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

Airbnb, bank run, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, 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, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, 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, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

Imagine the U.S. economy without the advances that nontraditional forms of finance provided credit for. Returning to Spike Lee, his early successes made him bankable in Hollywood. But in 2014, he turned to Kickstarter to attain $1.25 million in financing for Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. Kickstarter is a website where the creative go to find investors for their projects. They set a number they’d like to raise, and if successful they find individuals eager to “crowd-source” whatever project it is they seek funds for. The investors acquire a stake in the creative dream of others who need credit to animate their dreams. Capitalism is always and everywhere a two-way street. Explaining his utilization of Kickstarter to The Economist, Lee observed that traditional movie studios “are looking for tent-pole movies, movies that make a billion dollars, open on the same day all around the world.

See federal government Gray, Freddie, 135 Grazer, Brian, 22–23, 24–25, 26 Great Depression, 106, 141–43, 147, 168 The Greatest Trade Ever (Zuckerman), 45, 120 Greenspan, Alan, 119, 120, 164 Greider, William, 121 Griffin, Ken, 41 Guest, Christopher, 22 Guillies, Wendy, 175 Hamm, Harold, 73 Hanks, Tom, 22 Hannah, Daryl, 23 Harbaugh, Jim, 16–18, 20, 21, 79, 103, 127 hard assets, 118 Harford, Tim, 32, 64–65 Hartnett, Josh, 24 Hastert, Dennis, 52 Hawaiian Airlines, 34–35 Hawn, Goldie, 24 Hayward, Steven, 49, 50 Hazlitt, Henry, 22, 64, 74, 113, 163, 176 Heaven Can Wait (film), 23 hedge-fund managers, 48 Heller, Walter, 54 Hemingway, Ernest, 91 Hendrickson, Mark, 80 high-yield “junk bonds,” 37–40, 126 Hilsenrath, Jon, 147, 148 Hoffman, Dustin, 23 Hoke, Brady, 16, 20–21, 78–79, 103, 115, 127, 128, 148 Hollywood Shuffle (film), 109 Hoover, Herbert, 142, 168 Hoover Institution, 102 housing booms and “easy credit,” 113–22 and value of the dollar, 116–22 housing market and mortgage-backed securities, 150–52 Howard, Ron, 22–23 How We Got Here (Frum), 118 Human Action (von Mises), 20 Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, 165 hyperinflation in post-WWII Germany, 90–91 IBM, 53 Imagine Entertainment, 22–23 inflation Friedman’s view of, 136 inability of Fed to control, 159–61, 165 and value of the dollar, 43 inherited wealth, 29–30 initial public offering (IPO), 29, 124 innovation and definitions of success or failure, 29–30 and entrepreneurs, 66 and failure, 57–58 The Innovators (Isaacson), 31 insider trading, 38 Inside the Nixon Administration (Burns), 170 Intel, 143 intellectual property rights, 9–10 interest rates and the cost of credit, 1–3, 13–14, 47–48, 147 and the Fed on inflation as source of economic growth, 156–61, 165–66 housing boom and “easy credit,” 113–16, 120–22 and quantitative easing (QE) program, 149–51 Internet banking, 108, 111 Internet “bubble,” 57–58 Internet job creation, 178–79 investment banking, 123 Iron Man (films), 25 Ishtar (film), 23 Jagger, Mick, 25 James, LeBron, 137–38 Japan after World War II, 128 Bank of Japan and Nikkei index, 152, 159 job creation and robots, 176–80 Jobs, Steve, 30–31 Johnson, Lyndon B., 49, 53 Johnson, Mark, 153 Jones, Jesse, 167 “junk bonds,” 37–40, 126 Kalanick, Travis, 12, 13 Karlgaard, Rich, 160 Kashgar, 138 Kauffman Foundation, 175 Keaton, Diane, 24 Kelly, Jason, 126 Kennedy, John F., 49–50, 169 Kennedy, Robert F., 34 Keynesian economics, 78–82, 88, 93–96, 140–41 Keynes, John Maynard, 78, 147 Kickstarter, 110 Kiffin, Lane, 20 Kinski, Nastassja, 24 Knowledge and Power (Gilder), 57 Kohli, Shweta, 107 Kohn, Donald, 156 Kornbluth, Walter, 22 labor as credit, 15–21 Laffer, Arthur, 55, 137, 157, 158 Laffer curves, 50, 54–55 Lawrence, Jennifer, 37–38 Lee, Spike, 109, 110 Lending Club, 107–8 Leubsdorf, Ben, 156 Levy, Eugene, 22 Lewis, Nathan, 72, 137, 141–42, 144 LewRockwell.com website, 94 Lisa computer, 30 Lombard Street (Bagehot), 46 Luck, Andrew, 16–17 McAdams, Hall, 89–90, 104 McConnell, Mitch, 51 Mack, John J., 123, 130 Madoff, Bernard, 163 Mann, Windsor, 78 Margolis, Eric, 94, 96 market “bubbles,” 56–63 market forces and government spending, 59–60 price of goods versus price of dollars, 1–2 von Mises on, 20, 152 market intervention and the Fed, 159–61 Mazursky, Paul, 24 Medicare, 53, 78, 174 Merrill Lynch, 120 Metro public transit, 10–11 Meyer, Urban, 17–18 Microsoft, 30–31, 125, 143, 155 Milken, Michael, 38–40, 114, 126 Mill, John Stuart, 76 Mindich, Eric, 45–46 Mission Asset Fund, 107 mobile phones, 53–54 monetarism, 135–36, 138 money and Chinese economy, 135–36, 137 and economic activity, 3, 136–37, 140, 143 and gold standard, 68 and the Great Depression, 141–43, 147, 168 market monetarism, 138–39 as measure of wealth, 67–68 monetarism, 135–36, 138 “money multipliers” and “fractional lending,” 87–90 private money supplies, 144–45 and stable currency, 137, 144 Money and Foreign Exchange After 1914 (Cassel), 119 Moore, Gordon, 31 Moore, Stephen, 50–51 Morgan, J.


pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

What did you learn through the process of doing a successful Kickstarter campaign that would be useful to an introvert entrepreneur considering a similar endeavor? I was emotionally unprepared for how vulnerable I would feel with such a public “ask” as a Kickstarter campaign. I resisted reading about “how to conduct a successful campaign” and participated full out, from the heart, with my most authentic voice. After thirty years as a public figure it was a roller coaster ride asking for contributions to fulfill a double dream. Deanna and I both reached out to our shared and individual communities. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and affirmation. Still am every time I think about it. And the process that Kickstarter funded is already helping me make a bigger difference in the way I am able to teach and offer processes.

See also Tribe authenticity with, 49 business expansion with, 221 FUDs and, 35 networking with, 94 Fripp, Patricia, 21 Frisch, Max, 158 FUDs, 34–43 bringing into open, 36–43 choices and, 40 identifying, 35–36 list of, 37 in marketing, 34–35 in networking, 106 in politics, 34–35 prosperity perspective and, 40–43 reality check for, 38–40 Truth and, 58 Full Circle Coaching, 36 Fund-raising, 78 moves management in, 131–32 Funnel of engagement, 132–36 Gates, Bill, 13 The Genius of Opposites (Kahnweiler), 157–58 Godin, Seth, 154, 161 Golden Circle, 99–100 Good to Great (Collins), 14, 159 Google+, 20, 157, 167 Grant, Adam, 148 Gretzky, Wayne, 231 Grow Your Own Business Expo, 27 Guillebeau, Chris, 185–87 Hamlet (Shakespeare), 87 Handwritten note, for follow up, 107 Happiness authenticity of, 67–68 of introverts, 22 The Happiness of Pursuit (Guillebeau), 185 Happy hour, 44 at conference, 109 for networking, 76–94, 111 Havel, Václav, 236 Helgoe, Laurie, 22–23 Herodotus, 103 Herron, Christian Marie, 53 Herron Media, 53 Hessler, Jim, 57–58 High-arousal positive feelings, 22 Hobbies business as, 145–46 for networking, 95 on social media, 167 Home-study courses, content from, 140 Hsieh, Tony, 61 Humor, in public speaking, 184 IBM, 34 Impatience, 10 Improvisation, 232–33 Independence, 190 Info@ email account, 138 Information processing, 8–9 by introverts, 15 Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently (Doerr), 149 Intention, for networking, 98 Internal motivation, 33 Internet radio, content from, 140–41 Interviews for content, 139 for networking, 95 Introvert entrepreneur authenticity of, 49–50, 67–69 authority of, 69–70 capacity zone for, 118, 234–36 challenges of, 17–23 collaboration for, 20–21, 189–214 company culture for, 61–64 core values of, 32, 57, 62 credibility of, 69–70 energy management by, 19–20 expertise of, 114, 155 external action by, 53–54 extrovert in, 66 fear of, 25–55, 87 isolation of, 20–21, 87 kindred spirits of, 51–53 networking for, 18–19, 75–114 original thoughts of, 59 public speaking by, 173–94 purpose of, 57 risk of, 66, 71–73 sales by, 115–51 as self-effacing, 14 as self-possessed, 15 self-promotion of, 19, 122–28 self-reflection of, 15–17 as self-reliant, 14–15 strengths of, 12–17 sustainability for, 21, 236–39 transparency of, 153, 164–65 trial and error by, 74 tribe for, 153–87 values of, 73–74 voice of, 17–18, 57–74 vulnerability of, 66, 70 The Introvert Manifesto: Introverts Illuminated, Extraverts Enlightened (Vogt), 45 Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength (Helgoe), 22 Introverts communication by, 8–12 defined, 3–5 depression of, 22 happiness of, 22 improvisation and, 232–33 independence of, 190 information processing by, 8–9, 15 motivation for, 33 observation by, 23 overactive brain of, 34–35 privacy and, 51, 131 public speaking by, 49 talking to, 10–11 Truth for, 18, 57 Isolation, 20–21, 87 Janeczko, Bryan, 112–14 Jeffers, Susan, 29, 98 Jobs, Steve, 65 Jordan, Michael, 13 Jung, Carl, 3, 50 Kahnweiler, Jennifer, 157–58 Katie, Byron, 40 Kawasaki, Guy, 92 Keirsey, David, 5 Kickstarter, 213 Kindred spirits, 51–53 Kiwanis, 179 Lamott, Anne, 18, 19 Leadership for business expansion, 219–20 Level 5, 14, 15 Lead-in, for networking, 90–91, 102 Lectures, for networking, 94 Lee, Felicia, 192 Letting go, 239–40 Level 5 Leadership, 14, 15 Limiting beliefs, 38–40 Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 67 LinkedIn, 20, 82 events on, 168 for networking, 95 tribe and, 157, 161–62 Listening leadership and, 220 in networking, 89 Live a Life You Love (Biali), 141 Love choices and, 31 fear and, 30–33, 97, 121–22 networking and, 97 sales and, 144–45 Low-arousal positive feelings, 22 Marketing.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

., https://twitter.com/seldo/status/981291962559901696. 327 Kevin Kelly, “1,000 True Fans,” The Technium, March 4, 2008, https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/. 328 Forte, “Why I’m Leaving Medium.” 329 “Hacktoberfest,” Hacktoberfest, accessed April 18, 2020, https://hacktoberfest.digitalocean.com/. 330 T. L. Taylor, Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018), 260. 331 Ralf Gommers, “Re: [Pandas-dev] Tidelift,” The Pandas-dev Archives, June 11, 2019, https://mail.python.org/pipermail/pandas-dev/2019-June/000972.html. 332 “Font Awesome 5,” Kickstarter, March 13, 2018, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/232193852/font-awesome-5. 333 “Kent Overstreet Is Creating Bcachefs - a Next Generation Linux Filesystem,” Patreon, accessed March 13, 2020, https://www.patreon.com/bcachefs. 334 Na Sun, Patrick Pei-Luen Rau, and Liang Ma, “Understanding Lurkers in Online Communities: A Literature Review,” Computers in Human Behavior, no. 38 (September 2014): 110–117, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214003008. 335 “Eran Hammer Is Creating Open Source Software,” Patreon, accessed November 29, 2017, https://www.patreon.com/eranhammer. 336 “Support Django,” Django Software Foundation, accessed March 15, 2020, https://www.djangoproject.com/fundraising/. 337 Tim Graham, “Django Fellowship Program: A Retrospective,” Django Software Foundation, January 21, 2015, https://www.djangoproject.com/weblog/2015/jan/21/django-fellowship-retrospective/. 338 Matt Holt, “The Realities of Being a FOSS Maintainer,” Caddy Forum, September 3, 2017, https://caddy.community/t/the-realities-of-being-a-foss-maintainer/2728. 339 Sindre Sorhus (@sindresorhus), “My Patreon campaign is going well . . .,” Twitter, March 7, 2019, 12:46 p.m., https://twitter.com/sindresorhus/status/1103713423605432325 340 “GitHub Sponsors,” GitHub, accessed March 13, 2020, https://github.com/sponsors.

For example, security bounties tend to work well because they tap into a wider pool of developers with specialized skills, encouraging them to tackle a one-off task that a project’s maintainers might not otherwise accomplish on their own. For security-related issues, it’s actually better when the participating developers aren’t already familiar with the codebase, because they bring a fresh set of eyes. Crowdfunding campaigns can also work well because, like bounties, they fund bigger projects that require more focused time than contributions would normally allow. Font Awesome ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of Font Awesome 5, a major update to their icon set, and raised just over $1 million.332 And Linux kernel developer Kent Overstreet set up a Patreon to fund his work on bcachefs, “a next generation Linux filesystem.”333 There is a lot of motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, that already powers open source work; we shouldn’t disturb the parts that are currently working.

When a thousand people are gathered, they divide into two types of interaction. There’s the broadcasting effect, when someone climbs onstage to control the crowd and everyone turns to watch. And then there’s the small-group effect, when people strike up side conversations with their neighbors, ignoring the main stage. Social platforms must rebuild their infrastructure to accommodate these two use cases. Yancey Strickler, who cofounded Kickstarter, calls this the “dark forest theory” of the internet: “an increasing number of the population has scurried into their dark forests” to avoid the mainstream web, which has become “a relentless competition for power.”347 He points to newsletters, podcasts, and group chats as examples of dark forests, while Facebook and Twitter are examples of the mainstream, which will continue to exist alongside more private channels.


pages: 167 words: 50,652

Alternatives to Capitalism by Robin Hahnel, Erik Olin Wright

affirmative action, basic income, crowdsourcing, inventory management, iterative process, Kickstarter, loose coupling, means of production, Pareto efficiency, profit maximization, race to the bottom, transaction costs

Consider the following example: Suppose a group of people have an idea for some new product but they cannot convince the relevant council or federation to provide them the needed capital equipment and raw materials to produce it. There is just too much skepticism about the viability of the project. An alternative way of funding the project could be through a form of crowdsourcing finance along the lines of Kickstarter. The workers involved would post a description of the project online and explain their specific needs for material inputs. They appeal to people (in their role of consumers) to allocate part of their annual consumption allowances to the project. Consumers might decide, for example, to put in extra hours at work in order to acquire the extra funds needed for their contribution, or they might just decide to consume less of some discretionary part of their consumption bundle.

Such a device could be used for an experimental theater project that the relevant sector federation (which would in effect function like an arts council) thinks is a waste of resources. Or it could be used for some new manufactured product. There are a variety of motivations that might lead people to voluntarily make this allocation. They might believe in the social value of the project and therefore be willing to give the funds as an outright grant. This is currently the motivation behind a range of Kickstarter projects in the arts. Or they might be really keen on the product, and give the funds in exchange for a promise of being the first to get the product itself at an equal value to what they gave. This would, in effect, be simply a long-term pre-order of the product, although operating outside of the mechanism of the IFB. But potential contributors to the project might also only be interested in contributing if they got a positive return on their “investment”.

It is not clear to me why, for these kinds of technical regulatory matters, state institutions with field offices and extension services wouldn’t do this job more effectively. 11It is worth noting that in capitalism there is a very wide range of ways that small businesses can acquire the necessary capital for projects: There are ordinary banks, of course, but in many countries there are a wide variety of specialized banks with different criteria for making loans, including some with social and environmental mandates. Community banks are different from national banks, and state banks are different from multinational banks. There are also government agencies in many countries that give far below market-rate loans for targeted purposes and even outright grants. And there are things like Kickstarter and other unconventional ways of raising capital. I am not at all saying that this generates a fair and open access to capital. It does not in capitalism. The point is that this constitutes a heterogeneous institutional environment. I think a participatory economy is also likely to function best with qualitatively distinct devices for funding projects. 12It is worth noting that the massive reduction of the work week was basically Marx’s conception of how this problem would be dealt with in a communist society: the “realm of necessity”—the amount of work that needed to be done to satisfy needs—would be dramatically reduced and the “realm of freedom” would expand. 13As in the earlier discussion of Robin’s potential willingness, on the grounds of incentives, to accept pay differentials for innovative behavior even though this violates effort-based pay, I assume more generally that he would regard some contribution-based pay differentials as legitimate if this was the result of a robust democratic decision. 14This problem of non-comparability of effort measures across workplaces is especially important because of the way aggregate effort ratings figure in all sorts of planning processes, not just individual remuneration.


pages: 309 words: 84,038

Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling by Carlton Reid

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bike sharing scheme, California gold rush, car-free, cognitive dissonance, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Yom Kippur War

The protesters wanted “Safe Bike Lanes on Market!” They didn’t get them then, and there are still none today. For Robert “Bicycle Bob” Silverman, and all of the other 1970s cycle advocates who tended cycling’s flame when planners and politicians were trying to snuff it out. THANKS TO MY KICKSTARTER PATRONS Rose Ades James Moss Jens Bemme Hannes Neupert, ExtraEnergy Chris Boardman Simon Nurse Denis Caraire Michael Prescott David Cox Eric Robertson See page 218 for all 461 Kickstarter backers. | Contents Foreword by Joe Breeze Preface Introduction 1 How Cyclists Became Invisible 2 From Victory Bikes to Rail Trails 3 Davis: The Bicycle Capital of America 4 Cycling in Britain—From Swarms to Sustrans 5 The Great American Bike Boom 6 The Rise and Fall of Vehicular Cycling 7 Where It’s Easy to Bike and Drive, Brits and Americans Drive 8 How the Dutch Really Got Their Cycleways Epilogue Acknowledgments Appendix A: “Bike Boom” Mentions, 1896–2016 Appendix B: How the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute Was Formed from a 1970s-era Cycle Advocacy Organization Appendix C: Vive la Vélorution!

Much of this book has been about the fading away of bicycling cultures. It does not have to be like this. History is a lesson, it is not a template. Fight. | Acknowledgments THANKS TO ALL at Island Press, including but not only Heather Boyer and Mike Fleming. For their patience, thanks are due to the loves of my life—my wife, Jude, and my children, Josh, Hanna, and Ellie Reid. Thanks also to my Kickstarter backers, listed overleaf. As much of this book is based on original research, it has involved wading through personal papers and dusty archives. Librarians in America and the UK proved to be exceptionally helpful. It was wonderful—albeit distracting—to work in such gob-stoppingly beautiful libraries such as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and the library at the Royal Automobile Club in London.

I also looked at Ministry of Transport papers held in The National Archives in Kew, London (which is the most technologically advanced archive I have ever visited, but the concrete building leaves a lot to be desired). Portions of chapters 1 and 6 were previously published in Roads Were Not Built for Cars (Carlton Reid, Island Press, 2015). However, I have expanded the content, including adding more period sources. | Kickstarter Backers Philip Bowman Trickhand Chris Niewiarowski Stewart Duncan Chelle Destefano David Goodstein Graham George Irene McAleese Simon Woodward Chris Murphy Allen Dickie James Grant Jnik Ken Callan Edouard Guidon Mike Skiffins Mark Philpotts Andy Fox Edgar Fernandez Jaime Lee Pabiloña Jon H Ballentine Jonathan Winston Maree Carroll Michael Charland Tim Doole Ray Lea Tui The Warmans Richard Evans Steffen Lohrey John Cooper Alan Couchman Richard Ashurst Bristolpedalrevolution Shaun Connor Dr John Darling Michael Josephy Kevin Hasley Adam Bower Thomas NIcol Paul Tildesley Sara Rich Dorman Frankie Roberto John Boyd William Chong Donald Pillsbury Kyle Griggs Jim Baltaxe Bruce Lewandowski Ian Clark Martin Packer Melvin Bailey Tedder Robin Holloway James Johnston Chris Dorling Charles Frazer Harvey Chris Whiley John Donnelly Andrew Lamberton Anthony McDougle Nigel Oulton Fredrik Jönsson Alan Cragg Richard Worth Ken Neal Paul Shortland John Grocock Peter Hawkins Don Springhetti Christopher Fox Rick Rubio Darren Steele Catherine Bedford Graham Parker Jacqueline Campbell Dave Robinson Jonathan Streete Hans Dorsch Terry Coaker David Houghton Seamus Kelly Ben Wooliscroft Tina Bach Michael Beverland Graham Connor Mark Carlson Miles Rickelton Pj roon Barista Graham Robinson James Evans Frode P.


pages: 169 words: 52,744

Big Capital: Who Is London For? by Anna Minton

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, land value tax, market design, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, quantitative easing, rent control, Right to Buy, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban renewal, working poor

Beveridge described his famous report as ‘one part only of a comprehensive policy of social progress’; another plank was contained in an accompanying 1942 report with the obscure title ‘Final Report of the Expert Committee on Compensation and Betterment’.6 This went on to form the basis of the postwar planning system and aimed to ensure that the huge profits made from the sale of land with planning permission would be used for community benefit, rather than just enriching landowners and fuelling a speculative market in land. This is not dissimilar to the principle that underpinned the success of the Garden Cities in the early part of the twentieth century, which is that they were able to take land at agricultural values and plough back the resulting profits from development into the community. Likewise, the New Towns built after the war and in the 1960s were kick-started by grants of land at agricultural value. This is broadly how the planning system operates in Germany and Holland. The wartime authors of the report concluded that ‘a means must be found for removing the conflict between private and public interest’ and that this should be done by imposing a development charge, similar to a land tax, on landowners. This tax would siphon off the profits of soaring land values for local benefits.

Often these are in edgy locations such as Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower in East London, and the community of artists who move in briefly also brings a cachet which adds to the appealing nature of an area in the throes of change. In the past artists squatted in abandoned buildings in places such as Hoxton and Shoreditch in East London and Brixton in South London in a process that has long been credited with maintaining diversity in cities while also unwittingly kick-starting a slower process of gentrification in those areas. But in 2013 legislation was passed which made squatting in residential buildings illegal, and property guardianship can be seen as an attempt to co-opt the perceived desirable elements of squatting by artists in a blatant bid to accelerate gentrification. At the same time, it is a highly lucrative, unregulated business, and guardians, who have no property rights, often have to put up with poor conditions and can be evicted at short notice.

Instead ‘the pendulum has swung too far off’ and rather than the social contract it should be, planning has become an ‘obscure, legalistic and specialized activity, “practised” by suits and fought over largely behind closed doors’, leading to the scandal of secret financial viability assessments engineered to provide no affordable housing. The other crucial difference is that municipal governments in Europe have greater power and financial backing, through mechanisms which create large pots of public money to kick-start European-style developments. In contrast, government in England is very highly centralized and local authorities no longer have the resources or the confidence to initiate large-scale projects. Instead, they act as enablers for the private sector, with public money used to lever in private sector development which then assumes the lead and takes ownership of places. Rewriting the social contract with regard to property and planning is the biggest challenge we face in order to address the housing crisis.


pages: 81 words: 24,626

The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong

4chan, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Network effects, Silicon Valley

Sarkeesian wrote: “In addition to the torrent of misogyny and hate left on my YouTube video (see below) the intimidation effort has also included repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me (with porn), organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as ‘terrorism,’ as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen ‘jokes’ to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.” That was in 2012. In August 2014, she was forced to flee her home after receiving a threat. In October of 2014, she canceled a lecture at Utah State University after someone sent a message to the university saying that they would commit “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if Sarkeesian was allowed to speak.


pages: 89 words: 24,277

Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

big-box store, en.wikipedia.org, game design, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Wall-E, web application

They recognized that a craftsman leaves a bit of themselves in their work, a true gift that can be enjoyed for many years. In the present day, we can see a few parallels. In a quest for higher crop yields and lower production costs, farms have become headless corporations pitting profits against human welfare. But local farmers are finding new markets as consumers search for food produced by people for people. While big-box stores proliferate disposable mass-market goods, websites like Etsy and Kickstarter are empowering artists, craftspeople, and DIY inventors who sell goods they’ve designed and created. And their customers love the experience. When you buy from an independent craftsman, you support creative thinking and families (not corporations), and you gain the opportunity to live with an object that has a story. That feels good. We web designers find ourselves in a similar situation. There’s plenty of opportunity to build fast and cheap sites with no reverence for craft or the relationship we build with our audience.

q=%22Guess+I+could+have+waited+for+today+if+all%22&in=81&type=contents&view=posts&search=true&button_search.x=54&button_search.y=-106&button_search=true 13 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingprogressiveenhancement/ 14 http://google.com/websiteoptimizer Resources 15 http://amzn.com/1592535879 16 http://getmentalnotes.com/ 17 http://amzn.com/0465051367 18 http://amzn.com/0393334775 19 http://amzn.com/014303622X 20 http://amzn.com/030746086X 21 http://amzn.com/0979777747 22 http://amzn.com/0321607376 23 http://uxmag.com/design/beyond-frustration-three-levels-of-happy-design 24 http://uxmag.com/design/the-psychologists-view-of-ux-design 25 http://uxmag.com/design/organized-approach-to-emotional-response-testing 26 http://boxesandarrows.com/view/emotional-design Index 37Signals 8-10 A Able Design 88 aesthetic-usability effect 27-28 A List Apart 90 Apple 7, 27 anticipation 54-58, 87 apathy 75 Arts and Crafts movement 2, 94 B baby-face bias 18-20, 28, 32 Basecamp 8-10, 70 Betabrand 13-16, 75 Blue Sky Resumes 88-90, 93 bible 31-33 Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse, A 19 Bowman, Doug 21, 55-56 Brain Rules 12 Breathing Status LED Indicator 27 Bringhurst, Robert 20 Brizzly 19-20 C calligraphy 31 Carbonmade 40, 42-45 Clippy 60 CoffeeCup Software 85-87, 90 Cornelius, J. 86 contrast 22-25, 28, 44 Convertbot 40-41 D Damasio, Antonio 67 Darwin, Charles 17-18 design persona 35-40, 48, 91, 92 Don’t Make Me Think 77 dot-com bubble 3 Dribbble 55-56, 59 Dropbox 72-74 E Etsy 2 Elements of Content Strategy, The 75 Elements of Typographic Style, The 20 Emotional Design 27 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The 17 F Facebook 3, 7, 54, 59, 74, 86-87 face-ism ratio design principle 46 fail whale 7 Fletcher, Louise 90 Flickr 3, 51, 54, 79-82, 93 Freddie Von Chippenheimer IV 37, 60-65 G Getting Real 8 GigaOm 56 Gmail 70 golden ratio 20-21, 27 Google Site Optimizer 93 GoToMeeting 76 Gould, Stephen Jay 19 Gorum, Dave 44 Groupon 62 Gruber, John 42 Gupta, Amit 51-52 Gutenberg, Johannes 31-33 gut instinct 67-68 H Hale, Kevin 11 Happy Cog 46 Hick’s Law 24, 28 hierarchy of needs 5-6, 35 Hipmunk 7 Hodgman, John 33, 36 Housing Works 40, 45-46, 75, 93 HTML 3 Human-Computer Interaction 29 I iPhone 40 iPod 20 industrial revolution 1 iTunes 7 Ping 7 Pink Panther 15-16 Putorti, Jason 69, 71 priming 59-65, 76 progressive enhancement 90-91 Pythagoras 20, 27 J Jobs, Steve 27 Jardine, Mark 41-42 K Kickstarter 2 Kissane, Erin 75 Krug, Steve 77 L Lindland, Chris 13-16 Long, Justin 33, 36 M Mac 33, 36 Mall, Dan 46 MailChimp 20, 36-40, 60-65, 91 Mashable 56 Maslow, Abraham 5-6 Medina, John 12 memory 11-13, 49, 82 messagefirst 33-35 Mestre, Ricardo 25-26 Microsoft Office 60 Mint 69-72, 93 N Norman, Donald 27, 82-83 O open system 54 Oprah Magazine 90 P Parthenon 20 party pooper 91 persona 33-40 Photojojo 49-52, 59, 65 Q Quicken 72 R rosy effect 82 S Scoutmob 62 Shakespeare 10 Silverback 77 Sims 54 Skype 76 Smith, Matthew 88-89 StickyBits 20 Squared Eye 88 Super Mario Brothers 54 surprise 49-54 T Tapbots 40-42 Tumblr 23-24 Trammell, Mark 55 Twitter 3, 7, 20-21, 54, 55-59, 74, 86-87 V variable rewards 62, 87 velvet rope 57, 87 Volkswagen Beetle 32 W WALL•E 41-42 Warfel, Todd Zaki 33 Weightbot 40-41 Wilson, Rainn 4 Wufoo 9-11, 13, 52-54, 93 Y YouTube 37, 60 About A Book Apart Web design is about multi-disciplinary mastery and laser focus, and that’s the thinking behind our brief books for people who make websites.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Mainstream political parties – on either side of the Atlantic – have effectively been hijacked by mavericks (and their supporters). And, in many cases, the mavericks have succeeded by forcibly expressing their opposition to globalization on social media, while being economical with the truth. Money, meanwhile, has become a means of conducting economic warfare, in a twenty-first-century version of coin clipping aimed at the foreign investor. For all the talk of central bankers kick-starting economic growth, monetary stimulus has increasingly ended up creating only winners and losers both within and across borders – a process that has served to create an even bigger gulf between policymakers and the citizens they are supposed to serve. TECHNOCRATIC SOLUTIONS, OBLIGATIONS AND MORALITY Part Four argues that many of the ‘solutions’ to the problems associated with globalization are simply too technocratic.

The numbers involved were staggering: the US provided $13 billion in aid, worth almost 5 per cent of US national income in 1948 and around $130 billion in 2015 dollars. At America’s insistence, the money was to be allocated by the Europeans themselves through the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). Four GATT rounds in just nine years – all aimed at reducing trade tariffs – also helped to kick-start economic activity: Geneva in 1947 (pre-dating Marshall), Annecy in 1949, Torquay in 1950 and Geneva (again) in 1956. There were, however, several strings attached. To keep Soviet communism at bay, European nations were encouraged to embrace free-market principles. That meant getting rid of unnecessary regulations, abolishing price controls, supporting free trade and, bit by bit, rebuilding Europe on principles consistent with Washington’s strategic ambitions.

Given that around 90 per cent of the total value of financial assets in the US is owned by the top 10 per cent of households, this was – particularly for the very well-off – a very pleasant windfall gain. Yet despite this financial uplift for the wealthy, broader economic gains – those that might have benefited society more widely – proved few and far between. Quantitative easing may have been designed to kick-start economic growth, but the pace of recovery in the US – and elsewhere – was unusually weak. In particular, despite strong gains in equity markets, companies mostly remained unwilling to invest. In many cases, they didn’t need to. Subdued labour incomes – thanks to a mixture of weak demand, technological change and competition from cheaper labour elsewhere in the world – meant that gains in sales revenues alone led to higher corporate profits; higher profits, in turn, fed through to further stock market gains, even in the absence of a recovery in investment.


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

No question is too stupid. Stupid questions might even get your team points. You will hear very little from academics here. You will hear a lot from people who are out there pursuing careers in the fields they speak about. Since they are not professional teachers but from the real world, be tolerant of their quirks, etc. We have a green room and a sound room. Feel free to use them to create commercials, Kickstarter or Indiegogo videos, or viral videos. I recommend each of you create a video and a theme song. At times, there will be people videotaping. You will get used to having cameras around. Get comfortable with them. They will try to stay out of your way, but still capture the content they need. We hope you will always think of the reputation of the school while you are here. We also have a number of mentors you will meet.

The good is that now the process for you to start a business is getting standardized and simpler. It is simple to get incorporated on LegalZoom or Clerky, get legal advice on LawTrades, and apply to Draper University or an accelerator like Boost.vc, Y Combinator or TechStars. It is simple to list your company on AngelList or Crowdfunder and attract people to invest angel money with you. It is easy to list products on ProductHunt, Kickstarter or Indiegogo to see if there are customers interested in what you are doing. Legal terms are getting standardized and easy to research, terms like “SAFE” (Standard Agreement of Future Equity--innovated by Y Combinator) notes, “KISS” (innovated by 500 Startups) and our favorite with Draper Associates, “Series Seed” (with our addition of “TATS [Tradeable Automated Term Sheet],” which you can find at www.lawtrades.com).

But I backed him because I saw something heroic, earnest, determined and visionary in him. He was going to build a smart watch company, which he eventually called Pebble. It was an inauspicious beginning. Almost immediately after I invested in Pebble, Eric tried to build up his inventory and he ran out of cash. But then, like a Hail Mary pass in the last seconds of a football game, he tried something outrageous. He put a video together for a Kickstarter campaign (one of the first), and within three weeks, he had $10 million in pre-orders. He got the cash up front. In those three weeks, he went from near bankruptcy to a darling of the industry and he had cash with which he could build the inventory and ship the watches. The company sold over two million watches, reaching over $100 million in sales. But then, the company got so big, it seemed to forget where it came from.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Generally speaking, connectivity encourages and enables altruistic behavior. People have more insight and visibility into the suffering of others, and they have more opportunities to do something about it. Some scoff at the rise of “slacktivism”—slacker activism, or engaging in social activism with little or no effort—but transnational, forward-thinking organizations like Kiva, Kickstarter and Samasource represent a vision of our connected future. Kiva and Kickstarter are both crowd-funding platforms (Kiva focuses on micro-finance, while Kickstarter focuses mostly on creative pursuits), and Samasource outsources “micro-work” from corporations to people in developing countries over simple online platforms. There are other, less quantifiable ways to contribute to a distant cause than donating money, like creating supportive content or increasing public awareness, both increasingly integral parts of the process.

Yet less than a month after the public revelations about these cyber weapons, security experts at Kaspersky Lab, a large Russian computer-security company with international credibility, concluded that the two teams that developed Stuxnet and Flame did, at an early stage, collaborate. They identified a particular module, known as Resource 207, in an early version of the Stuxnet worm that clearly shares code with Flame. “It looks like the Flame platform was a kick-starter of sorts to get the Stuxnet project going,” a senior Kaspersky researcher explained. “The operations went separate ways, maybe because Stuxnet code was mature enough to be deployed in the wild. Now we are 100 percent sure that the Stuxnet and Flame groups worked together.” Though Stuxnet, Flame and other cyber weapons linked to the United States and Israel are the most advanced known examples of state-led cyber attacks, other methods of cyber warfare have already been used by governments around the world.

Hormuud https encryption protocols Huawei human rights, 1.1, 3.1 humiliation Hussein, Saddam, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 Hutus Identity Cards Act identity theft identity-theft protection, 2.1, 2.2 IEDs (improvised explosive devices), 5.1, 6.1 IEEE Spectrum, 107n income inequality, 1.1, 4.1 India, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 individuals, transfer of power to Indonesia infiltration information blackouts of exchange of free movement of see also specific information technologies Information and Communications Technologies Authority Information Awareness Office information-technology (IT) security experts infrastructure, 2.1, 7.1 Innocence of Muslims (video), 4.1, 6.1 innovation Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, n insurance, for online reputation integrated clothing machine intellectual property, 2.1, 3.1 intelligence intelligent pills internally displaced persons (IDP), 7.1, 7.2 International Criminal Court, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2 internationalized domain names (IDN) International Telecommunications Union Internet, 2.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 Balkanization of as becoming cheaper and changing understanding of life impact of as network of networks Internet asylum seekers Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) internet protocol (IP) activity logs internet protocol (IP) address, 3.1, 3.2, 6.1 Internet service provider (ISP), 3.1, 3.2, 6.1, 7.1 Iran, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.1 cyber warfare on “halal Internet” in Iraq, itr.1, 3.1, 4.1, 6.1, 6.2 reconstruction of, 7.1, 7.2 Ireland iRobot Islam Israel, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 iTunes Japan, 3.1, 6.1n, 246 earthquake in Jasmine Revolution JavaOne Conference Jebali, Hamadi Jibril, Mahmoud Jim’ale, Ali Ahmed Nur Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World (Rosenberg), 4.1 Joint Tactical Networking Center Joint Tactical Radio System Julius Caesar justice system Kabul Kagame, Paul, 7.1, 7.2 Kansas State University Karzai, Hamid Kashgari, Hamza Kaspersky Lab Kenya, 3.1, 7.1, 7.2 Khan Academy Khartoum Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Khomeini, Ayatollah Kickstarter kidnapping, 2.1, 5.1 virtual Kinect Kissinger, Henry, 4.1, 4.2 Kiva, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Klein, Naomi, n Kony 2012, 7.1 Koran Koryolink “kosher Internet,” 187 Kosovo Kurds, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 Kurzweil, Ray Kyrgyzstan Laârayedh, Ali Lagos language translation, 1.1, 4.1, 4.2 laptops Latin America, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 law enforcement Law of Accelerating Returns Lebanon, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2 Lee Hsien Loong legal options, coping strategies for privacy and security concerns legal prosecution Lenin, Vladimir Levitt, Steven D.


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Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech by Geoffrey Cain

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double helix, Dynabook, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Internet of things, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, patent troll, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

Choi Gee-sung (G.S. Choi). Formerly the powerful lieutenant to Samsung’s ruling Lee family and head of the Future Strategy Office, Samsung’s highest body that houses many of the elite executives, known as “the Tower.” Now serving a five-year prison sentence for bribery and embezzlement. Shin Jong-kyun (J.K. Shin). CEO of Samsung’s mobile unit from March 2013 to December 2015. He oversaw the kick-starting of the Galaxy smartphone line and helped to initiate the smartphone wars against Apple. Koh Dong-jin (D.J. Koh). Successor to J.K. Shin and CEO of Samsung’s mobile unit from December 2015 to the present. He oversaw the recall and cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7 after the product began catching fire. Sohn Dae-il (“Dale”). CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America from 2006 to August 2013.

Kang got a call from a California entrepreneur named Joseph Sudduth, who told him about the financial troubles at Korea Semiconductor, a new joint venture set up by Sudduth and a Korean businessman. The U.S. State Department was watching Korea Semiconductor’s precarious financial situation closely, worried about the fallout of a default, since projects like this had loans from the U.S. government. They were believed to be in the national interests of both the United States and South Korea, a means to kick-start the sluggish Korean economy. With the OPEC oil embargo under way, it was clear that the United States and Korea needed to build new value-added industries that depended on highly skilled workers and not on natural resources like petroleum. Semiconductors were a good bet. They were an essential technology behind the Apollo space shuttles sent to the moon and in the laser-guided missiles deployed in the Vietnam War.

We made our way downstairs through the lobby, decorated in the fashion of a Bavarian hunting lodge. Our guide opened the doors to the room where what would become known as Samsung’s revolution took place: the main conference room. The hotel was under renovation when I visited, so the site wasn’t completely historically accurate. But I stood in the conference room in awe. This was the site of the speech that kick-started a radical managerial transformation within Samsung. It was a moment that would help redefine the world of tech. On the morning of June 7, 1993, the assembled Samsung executives were seated around the table with notebooks, wearing identical white shirts and blue or black suits. At the front of the room stood a speaker’s table with a bed of pink flowers—a South Korean tradition. Behind it was a lavish oil painting of the canals and townspeople of Venice.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Where’s Waldo: Matching people in images of crowds. Proceedings of the 24th IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 1793–1800. Wikipedia is an example of crowdsourcing Ayers, P., Matthews, C., & Yates, B. (2008). How Wikipedia works: And how you can be a part of it. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press, p. 514. More than 4.5 million people Kickstarter, Inc. (2014). Seven things to know about Kickstarter. Retrieved from http://www.kickstarter.com the group average comes Surowiecki, J. (2005). The wisdom of crowds. New York, NY: Penguin. and, Treynor, J. L. (1987). Market efficiency and the bean jar experiment. Financial Analysts Journal, 43(3), 50–53. the cancer is now in remission Iaconesi, S. (2012). TED (Producer). (2013). Why I open-sourced cures to my cancer: Salvatore Iaconesi at TEDGlobal 2013 [Video file].

A large number of people—the public—can often help to solve big problems outside of traditional institutions such as public agencies. Wikipedia is an example of crowdsourcing: Anyone with information is encouraged to contribute, and through this, it has become the largest reference work in the world. What Wikipedia did for encyclopedias, Kickstarter did for venture capital: More than 4.5 million people have contributed over $750 million to fund roughly 50,000 creative projects by filmmakers, musicians, painters, designers, and other artists. Kiva applied the concept to banking, using crowdsourcing to kick-start economic independence by sponsoring microloans that help start small businesses in developing countries. In its first nine years, Kiva has given out loans totaling $500 million to one million people in seventy different countries, with crowdsourced contributions from nearly one million lenders.

So the observed effect may not be due to Internet dating per se, but to the fact that Internet daters tend to be more educated and employed, as a group, than conventional daters. As you might expect, couples who initially met via e-mail tend to be older than couples who met their spouse through social networks and virtual worlds. (Young people just don’t use e-mail very much anymore.) And like DARPA, Wikipedia, and Kickstarter, online dating sites that use crowdsourcing have cropped up. ChainDate, ReportYourEx, and the Lulu app are just three examples of a kind of Zagat-like rating system for dating partners. Once we are in a relationship, romantic or platonic, how well do we know the people we care about, and how good are we at knowing their thoughts? Surprisingly bad. We are barely better than 50/50 in assessing how our friends and coworkers feel about us, or whether they even like us.


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Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

Nintendo launched the Wii U, which sold 14 million units, relatively few in comparison to the handheld 3DS, which sold 53 million units.82 The Switch, a hybrid of mobile and home consoles, was launched later, selling 18 million in one year alone.83 While these console battles raged, PC gaming entered a new phase. The independently developed (indie) game Minecraft sold an astonishing 144 million copies (across multiple platforms, with a high of 74 million monthly players), and the developer was purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion.84 The crowdfunding platform Kickstarter provided a new way for developers to raise money for games, shifting the business model of many titles. In addition to games, hardware like the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift were also funded this way. A growing number of games—including Gone Home, The Last of Us, and Papers, Please— began dealing with ethics and more mature themes. Today, many games offer regular downloadable content (DLC), extending or expanding the game for additional cost.

These core roles contributed $1.2 billion (£755 million) directly in GVA (gross value added) to the UK economy and supported around 23,900 full-time equivalents of employment.28 In the US there was a comparable rate of growth in 2015, but the industry brought in a far larger sum in value added to GDP—an estimated $11.7 billion (£7.7 million).29 The industry in the UK is composed of three different segments—development, publishing, and retail—each playing a different role. The first segment is development, without which there are no games to be published or sold. Games are made by studios, which can either be independent or owned by a publisher. The link between publisher and studio has become more complex, particularly with the emergence of alternative sources for raising capital like Kickstarter. There was, broadly speaking, around £639.1 million in GVA from development in 2013, which equates to an average of around £68,000 per worker. While this is a rough average, it does give a sense of the scope for extracting surplus value from these workers. If the average salary is lower than the amount workers are contributing, the company is clearly making a lot of money. The second segment, publishing, is analogous to distribution in film and television.

., 19 Douglas, Dante, 94 Draper, Hal, 132 Duke Nukem, 2, 29 Dune II, 28 Dungeon Fighter Online, 38 Dungeon Keeper, 2 Dungeons & Dragons, 2, 23, 25, 125 Dye, Dale, 116 Dyer-Witheford, Nick, 15–16, 19, 21, 29, 37, 46, 86, 106, 160 Dyson, Jon-Paul, 127 E Eagleton, Terry, 109, 111 EA Sports, 39 Edinburgh, 40 EDSAC, 19 Ehrhardt, Michelle, 96 The Elder Scrolls, 125 Electronic Arts, 46–47, 50–51, 82–84, 93 Engels, Friedrich, 67, 108–10, 132 England, 67, 138 Epic Games, 33 Esposito, Nicolas, 13 E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, 26 Eugen Systems, 94 EuroMayDay, 142 Europe, 38–39, 116 EVE Online, 149 EverQuest, 30 Every day the same dream, 142–43 F Facebook, 31, 96 Fallout, 2, 24, 126 Famicom, 27 Farmville, 31 Feenberg, Andrew, 114 Ferris, Rupert, 4–5 FIFA 17, 39 Financial Times, 144–45 First World War, 117–18 Fisher, Sam, 120–21 Fleming, Ian, 115 Football Manager, 42 Forbes, 147 Fordism, 23 Fortnite, 33, 38 Foxconn, 141 France, 57, 68, 94–95, 99 Freeman, Gordon, 121 French Revolution, 4 Frye, Jacob and Evie, 4–6, 63 Full Spectrum Warrior, 54 F-Zero, 28 G Gagné, Jean-François, 80 GAME, 48, 50 Game Boy, 27–28, 29, 152 Game Boy Advance, 30 Game Boy Color, 28 GameCube, 30 Game Developers Conference, 95, 96, 98, 99 Game Dev Story, 61–64, 75 Game of Life, 22 Gamergate, 154–55, 161–62 Games London, 42 Games of Empire, 15 Game Workers Unite, 96–100, 102, 160, 163 GEORGINA, 24 Germany, 39, 98, 110, 142 Global North, 42, 44, 71, 140, 148 Global South, 37 God of War: Ghost of Sparta, 82 GoldenEye 007, 115–16, 120, 149 Gone Home, 32 Good, Owen, 117, 119 Google, 47, 147 Google Play, 147 Graeber, David, 148 Grand Theft Auto, 71 Grand Theft Auto V, 39–40, 43–44 Greenbaum, Joan, 78 Green, Joshua, 155 Guild Wars 2, 155 Gulf War, 118–119 H Habert, Félix, 95 Half-Life, 31, 70, 121, 159 Half-Life 2, 52 Hall, Stuart, 1, 161 Halo, 120 Halo: Combat Evolved, 30 Halt and Catch Fire, 23 Hamurabi, 23 Harvey, David, 67 Hernandez, Patricia, 137 Hewlett Packard, 32 Hexapawn, 23 Higinbotham, William, 20, 22 Hirsch, Marianne, 118 Hitchens, Michael, 115 Hitler, Adolph, 115 Hollis, Martin, 58 Hollywood, 116, 135 Home Pong, 22–23 Huizinga, Johan, 14–16, 148 Huntemann, Nina, 113 Hutspiel, 19 I IBM, 19, 29 IBM 701, 19–20 IBM 704, 20 IBM 1620, 20 Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, 102 Industrial Revolution, 4 International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, 96 International Center for the History of Electronic Games, 127 International Game Developers Association, 74, 84, 87–88, 95–97 Internet Gaming Entertainment, 154–55 IRA, 57 Iran-Contra scandal, 119 Iraq, 118 Italy, 69 iTunes, 140 J Japan, 24–27, 30, 39, 114 John Madden Football, 27 Johnson, Boris, 40–42 Johnson, Mark R., 147 Jørgensen, Kristine, 122 Joseph, Daniel, 26, 52–53, 123–24 Jung, Carl, 135 K Kasparov, Garry, 29 Kassar, Ray, 152 Kemeny, John, 21–22 Kerr, Aphra, 43 Kickstarter, 32, 45 Kirkpatrick, Graeme, 78 Kotaku, 64–65 Kraft, Philip, 78 Kunkel, Bill, 12 L Labour Party, 145 Lamia, Mark, 119 The Landlord’s Game, 138 The Last of Us, 32 League of Legends, 32, 38, 70, 146, 150–51, 154, 156–57 Leblanc, David, 142 Lebowitz, Michael, 68 Lees, Matt, 155 The Legend of Zelda, 27, 28 Le, Minh, 70 Lemmings, 1 Lind, Maria, 144 London, 4–6, 41, 63, 105, 128, 146 Lumino City, 42 Lunar Lander, 24 M MacLean, Jen, 95–97 Magie, Elizabeth, 138 Magnavox, 22 Mandel, Ernest, 106–7 Manhattan Project, 19, 22 Marine Doom, 54 Mario, 2, 25, 27 Marxism, 3, 8, 12, 67, 159–62 crisis of overproduction and, 26 Eagleton on, 111 labor and, 63 Mandel on, 106–7 on mass culture, 107–8 Ollman and, 137 revolution and, 108 socialism from below and, 132–33 Marx, Karl, 17, 36, 64, 108–10, 139 in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, 3–8, 63, 66–67, 163 Capital, 8, 53, 67–69, 74 on commodities, 47 materialism of, 129, 133 on ruling ideas, 132 on surplus, 85 MayDay NetParade, 142 May, Theresa, 145 Maze War, 23 McGonigal, Jane, 148 McLuhan, Marshall, 17–18 Medal of Honor, 116 Medal of Honor: Warfighter, 56 Mega Drive / Genesis, 28 Meier, Sid, 129–31, 147 Metal Gear Solid, 2 Microsoft, 30–32, 39, 46 Middle East, 122 Midvale Steel Company, 76 Miles, Desmond, 3–4 Miller, Monica K., 153 Minecraft, 32, 47 MIT, 20–21 Modular One, 24 Molleindustria, 13, 140, 141, 142 Monopoly, 137–38 Monument Valley, 40 Mortal Kombat, 28 Mouse in the Maze, 20 MS-DOS, 1, 105, 106 Muncy, Julie, 117 N Namco, 25 NASA, 42 National Health Service, 42, 145 NATO, 19 Navy SEALs, 56 Nazis, 115 Nearing, Scott, 138 NetEase, 47 New Left, 21 New York, 18, 137, 139 Nexon/Tencent, 38 Ngai, Pun, 73 Niantic, 147 Nicaragua, 119 Nieborg, David, 48, 51 Night in the Wood, 96 Nim, 18, 23 Nimatron, 18 Nintendo, 25–28, 30, 32, 47, 101, 147, 152 Nintendo 64, 28, 32, 115–16 Nintendo Classic Mini Entertainment System, 27 Nintendo Classic Mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System, 28 Nintendo DS, 30 Nintendo Entertainment System, 27 Nintendo Game Boy, 2 North America, 38–39 North, Oliver, 119 Notes from Below, 69, 86, 92, 97, 160 O Oculus Rift, 32 Odyssey, 22 Ollman, Bertell, 137–40 Oregon Trail, The, 22 Origin (EA), 51 Osborne, George, 42 Overwatch, 39 Owen, Wilfred, 117 P Pac-Man, 25 Pajitnov, Alexey, 28 Pakistan, 140 Palestine, 122 Papers, Please, 32, 143 Parkin, Simon, 56 Patterson, Jimmy, 116 Payne, Matthew, 119–20 Pedercini, Paolo, 140, 142 Perfect World Games, 53 de Peuter, Greig, 15–16, 19, 21, 29, 46, 86, 106, 160 Philippines, 41 Phone Story, 140–41 Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, 38–39 PlayStation, 2, 28, 30, 31, 50, 116, 152 PlayStation 2, 30 PlayStation 3, 30 PlayStation 4, 31, 50 PlayStation Portable, 30 Pokémon GO, 147 Pong, 20, 22 Populous, 31, 127 Prado, Jason, 92 Price, Jessica, 155 Probst, Larry, 83 PS4 Pro, 31 Punch the Trump, 145 Q Quake 2, 70 Quinn, Zoë, 154 R Raytheon, 20–21 Ready at Dawn, 82 Riot Games / Tencent, 38 Roarem Castle, 138 Rockefeller, Nelson, 139 Rockstar, 39, 71 Rockstar North, 40 Rocksteady Studios, 40 Royal Ulster Constabulary, 57 Russell, Steve, 21, 22 Russia, 115, 118–19, 132 Ryse, 86 S SAG-AFTRA, 91, 93, 94, 99 Salen, Katie, 15 Samuel, Arthur, 20 San Francisco, 95 Sarkeesian, Anita, 154 Saving Private Ryan, 116 Scientific American, 22 Screen Actors Guild, 91 Sears Roebuck, 22 Seattle, 91 Second World War, 27, 116–18 Sega, 27, 28, 30 Sega Genesis, 31 Senate, 29 Shannon, Claude, 18–19, 29 Shaw, Carol, 151–52 A Short History of the Gaze, 142 Short, Tanya, 85–86 Silicon Valley, 23, 99 SimCity, 2, 31, 128–29 SimCopter, 2 Sims, The, 31, 127–28 Smilegate/Tencent, 38 Solitaire, 28 Sonic, 2, 27 Sonic the Hedgehog, 28, 97 Sony, 27, 28, 30–32, 39, 46, 82, 152 Sony Online Entertainment, 30 South Armagh Brigade, 57 South Korea, 27 Soviet Union, 19–21, 28 Space Invaders, 24–25 Spacewar!


pages: 335 words: 96,002

WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson, Marc Kielburger, Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, energy transition, family office, future of work, global village, inventory management, James Dyson, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, pre–internet, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, working poor, Y Combinator

You Aren't the First and You Won't Be the Last Know Your Dragon Keep It High Level Know the Details Be Yourself Chapter 19: Change Without Cash Become a Professional at Pro Bono: A Snapshot of WE's In-Kind Offers Want to Give Back? Head to the Mall Don't Show Me the Money Good Housekeeping: Our Deal with a Seal Chapter 20: Your WEconomy Assignment: Build A 100-Year Purpose Plan But Then Again Pretty Much Anything is Possible When Two Visionaries Unite … Tips to Kick-Start Your Weconomy 100-Year Purpose Plan: Conclusion: The Weconomy Needs You Epilogue Appendix Acknowledgments End User License Agreement Praise for WEconomy “As global citizens, it is important that we all decide how we can help build a better future for everyone who inhabits this planet. A planet we must come to realize we all share. In the WEconomy, Holly, Marc and Craig share not only entertaining and insightful stories, but top tips on how, both personally and professionally, we can work together to achieve just that.”

WE Day 101 WE Day is our global youth empowerment event. I like to call it the Super Bowl of Social Change. Like the world's biggest football game, WE Day is a stadium-sized event. It was held in 15 cities in 2017, with smaller, community-run events in even more locations. It brings together world-renowned speakers and performers with thousands of young volunteers to honor their contributions and kick-start another year of change. The “price” of their ticket is paid in food drives, charity dance-a-thons, and bake sales. Every young person at every WE Day in cities around the world earns entry by supporting one local and one global cause. Annually, this adds up to helping more than 2,500 causes and charities. To support kids on their mission beyond the event, the WE Schools service learning program engages 15,000 schools reaching over four million students with free educational resources, service campaigns, and mentorship programs.

The explosion of the sharing economy, which is based on reciprocity and reputation between strangers, shows us just how much our thinking about trust has shifted. Everything your parents taught you about not getting into cars with strangers has become obsolete. You can hail a ride through an app instead of a using a taxi service. You can bypass traditional organizational structures and rely on the kindness of strangers to buy almost anything (Craigslist, Etsy); fund your next venture (Kickstarter); board your pet (Rover); borrow power tools (Zilok); or support charity projects (Change .org, Crowdfunder UK). All of these structures have been broken down by building a community with shared values or a binding purpose. We trust in a group of peers with shared interests as much as—or more than—we trust in big companies. Today, most travelers wouldn't dare book a hotel without checking online reviews.


pages: 328 words: 96,141

Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race by Tim Fernholz

Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, business climate, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, multiplanetary species, mutually assured destruction, new economy, nuclear paranoia, paypal mafia, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pets.com, planetary scale, private space industry, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, trade route, undersea cable, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize, Y2K

A former girlfriend told reporters in the nineties that his business success was driven by his desire to go to the stars himself; according to Stone, Bezos’s high school valedictory address had proposed the idea of “saving humanity by creating permanent human colonies in orbiting space stations while turning the planet into an enormous nature preserve.” You get the idea. The vision that captivated Bezos still drives him now. It is a different strain of space economic utopianism than the one that drives those who propose colonizing Mars, and it holds itself out as the more pragmatic approach. In this narrative, kick-started by Gerard O’Neill’s 1976 book The High Frontier, the fragility of the human species on earth is intimately connected to industrialization—the way the massive use of fossil fuels to drive the economy has altered the ecosystem. Instead of taking humans away from the planet and into space, why shouldn’t the space industry develop the ability to put heavy industry up there in the cosmos? The vast renewable energy of the sun, the raw materials found on asteroids, and the ability to protect the earth from pollution present an attractive argument for a zoning rewrite on a planetary scale.

Nearly all of them involved three key steps: extending the space shuttle for two more flights to complete construction of the space station, canceling or postponing the Ares rocket, and expanding NASA’s commercial partnerships to include flying astronauts as well as cargo to the space station. Though neither SpaceX nor Orbital had launched a rocket yet, the promise of a cost-effective alternative led policy makers to kick-start what would become the Commercial Crew program. “It seemed after Augustine that everyone would accept the cancellation of Orion and Commercial Crew was ready for prime time,” Garver told me. “When I got there and started on transition, it was clear that COTS was going to become the program of record. I have always given Griffin and his group such credit for that.” Obama okayed the decision to cancel the Constellation program in the fall of 2009.

“They have that crappy printed picture where all the crew had signed it properly framed and hanging up in their hallway,” he told me. 11 Capture the Flag Going through test pilot school, there isn’t a student who doesn’t think the dream job would be to be a flight-test engineer on a brand-new spaceship and then get a chance to go fly on it. —Astronaut Robert Behnken Blue Origin’s first real step out into the public eye came in 2010, thanks to the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for commercial space exploration. To kick-start the next stage of its commercial partnerships, this time focused on flying astronauts to the space station, NASA put up a small pot of money for a program called Commercial Crew Development, or CCDEV. (NASA loves acronyms.) The first $50 million was part of the nearly $100 billion stimulus legislation the new president devised to goose the flagging economy, and NASA put a share of that money into the commercial program.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

You were so proud during the debate to raise your hand as one of those who had downloaded “free music and free movies.” But it’s just your selfish decision that those tunes were free. It wasn’t Levon’s decision. In fact, for many years after The Band stopped recording, Levon made a good living off of the record royalties of The Band’s catalog. But no more. So what is your solution—charity. You want to give every great artist a virtual begging bowl with Kickstarter. But Levon never wanted the charity of the Reddit community or the Kickstarter community. He just wanted to earn an honest living off the great work of a lifetime. You are so clueless as to offer to get The Band back together for a charity concert, unaware that three of the five members are dead. Take your charity and shove it. Just let us get paid for our work and stop deciding that you can unilaterally make it free. Ohanian did not respond.

Like I said on stage, I wanted to offer a solution to help make right what the music industry did to members of The Band… I’m hopeful that innovations like the ones I discussed tonight and the others that are being worked on by entrepreneurs right now will continue to do right by artists and cut out those who’d mistreat them… Like I said on stage, it would be an honor to gather members of The Band together to produce one more album with unreleased content or something to honor Levon Helm—really any kind of creative project they’d like to produce—(this time funded on kickstarter) and we’ll gladly launch it on the IAMA section of reddit. I replied in an open letter to him. Dear Alexis, Last week at our debate, I talked about the essential unfairness that my friend and colleague Levon Helm had to continue to tour at the age of 70 with throat cancer in order to pay his medical bills. On Thursday, Levon died and I am filled with unbelievable sadness. I am sad not just for Levon’s wife and daughter, but sad that you could be so condescending to offer “to make right what the music industry did to the members of The Band.”


pages: 227 words: 71,675

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond, Zack Exley

battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, declining real wages, Donald Trump, family office, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, income inequality, Kickstarter, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, plutocrats, Plutocrats, randomized controlled trial, Skype, telemarketer, union organizing

RULE 3 The Revolution Will Not Be Staffed • zack • There will never be enough money to pay all the organizers the revolution needs. The good news is there are more than enough amazing volunteer leaders among the people, and three or four talented and committed volunteers working part time can often do the work of a full-time paid staffer. When you’ve got at least a handful of people committed to a cause signed up on a list, you’ve got what you need to kick-start a vibrant organization. Most hard work gets done by teams. In the world of organizing, the 2008 Obama primary popularized the strategy of forming “neighborhood teams.” A detail often forgotten about the historic 2008 race was that Obama was far behind in the polls in South Carolina, including with African American voters, for most of the race. Obama’s South Carolina staff in the primary, led by Jeremy Bird, organized hundreds of teams over more than a year of preparation to win the election block by block, neighbor by neighbor.

But if you’re a grassroots activist, or a revolutionary leader in a local community, I imagine you could be looking at all of these fundraising lessons from presidential campaigns and organizations with national profiles and thinking, “What does any of this have to do with me?” It’s true that it took a lot of national campaigns over time to prime the small-dollar pump. But now all kinds of local projects are kick-started with small donations. Winning support from your community to lead a campaign or make change has never been easier. But to raise funds this way, you need to have a base that wants to support you. If you don’t have that base, you face two options: seek large donations from rich people and foundations, or build a base so you can seek small-dollar donations. There are consequences that come with each path.

You’d be clicking as fast as you could, but you’d see the scroll bar shrinking down and down,” which meant an unseen mountain of unclicked numbers were piling up below the screen—voters that could be reached if only you had more clickers! No problem. Everyone knew what to do next: form a new volunteer team. This pattern had been established in the DNA of our department. Sam took the lead in kick-starting the dialer monitor team (they decided “clickers” sounded too unglamorous). But Sam was way too busy with a million other things, including supporting the burgeoning state field and communications teams in states all over the country. So Sam gave the job of forming the team to Kyle, who had officially joined our staff as a paid intern just days earlier. “I remember Sam created a PowerPoint presentation for recruiting volunteers for the team on webinars,” Kyle recalled at one point.


pages: 247 words: 68,918

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

During the financial crisis and global recession, an enormous market meltdown that provided globalization with its first true stress test, political officials in both the developed and the developing worlds seized responsibility for decisions that are usually left to market forces—and on a scale not seen in decades. Governments around the world responded to the implosion of major financial institutions and key economic sectors with massive doses of state spending meant to kick-start growth and, in some cases, to bail out companies considered “too big to fail.” States grabbed control of firms once considered industry flagships. They did all this because they believed it was necessary—and because no one else could do it. During the financial crisis and its aftermath, this dynamic generated a massive shift in financial decision-making power from New York to Washington. In fact, a transfer of market power from capitals of finance to capitals of political power took place all over the world—from Shanghai to Beijing, São Paulo to Brasilia, Mumbai to Delhi, Sydney to Canberra, and Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

This was a massive failure of government oversight and regulation in which hunger for short-term profit and a post-Cold War capitalist triumphalism allowed too many people to believe that markets can regulate themselves.c Since 2008, the global recession has pushed dozens of governments back toward the left side of the spectrum. Policy makers and legislators in Europe and America have embarked on the largest state economic intervention since the 1930s. Less than one month after taking office, President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion stimulus plan, a package of government spending and tax cuts meant to kick-start U.S. growth and create millions of jobs. Intervention on this scale is meant to prevent a huge market failure—to move left along the spectrum so that the economy can recover its balance following a thirty-year-long lurch to the right. But America’s massive government intervention in markets was not simply a victory of Democrats over Republicans. Before leaving office, President George W. Bush fought to create a program that allowed the U.S.

In less developed rural areas, small farmers and business owners struggle to access credit from state-owned banks, sharply limiting their ability to produce growth in areas of the country that badly need it. In other words, state capitalism is burdened with its own brand of shortsighted, short-term thinking, especially when powerful players within the system have their own set of incentives for earning short-term rewards. The injection of hundreds of billions of dollars can kick-start any developing economy, but the problems that threaten future growth continue to metastasize. In addition, as we’ve seen, the ties that bind political and business elites in state-capitalist countries shape the environment in which some of their largest companies operate. In China, the leadership reserves the right to select the heads of all major banks and large industrial enterprises. Answering the immediate demands of fickle shareholders creates one set of problems; satisfying the needs of political officials poses another.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

The Startup Way: Making Entrepreneurship a Fundamental Discipline of Every Enterprise by Eric Ries

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, connected car, corporate governance, DevOps, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, index card, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, obamacare, peer-to-peer, place-making, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, universal basic income, web of trust, Y Combinator

Although I have endeavored to tell these stories with each company’s cooperation, I have not given anyone approval over the final text. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In my memory, the writing of The Lean Startup was a solitary affair. And yet, in the acknowledgments to that book, I thanked eighty-nine people (I counted). This book, by contrast, has felt like a true community effort. No doubt that’s in part because it got its start from the community that developed around my Kickstarter MVP book, The Leader’s Guide. I owe a huge debt to the nearly 9,677 people who backed the Kickstarter campaign, making possible the research that eventually led to The Leader’s Guide, as well as everyone who joined and participates in the Leader’s Guide community on Mightybell that has become a dynamic, active place for discussions about the principles in the book. I am deeply indebted to Sarah Rainone, who did much of the research and development for The Leader’s Guide.

What evidence is there that customers really have the problem being solved for them and strongly desire (and are willing to pay for) a solution to it? What is really known about what customers want in that solution? By writing down what they think will happen ahead of time, team members are reminded that they won’t always be right—which is fine. The goal is to learn. KEEP IT SIMPLE Here’s what an entrepreneur named Pedro Miguel, a member of the online community connected to my Kickstarter book, The Leader’s Guide,3 has to say about the process of asking questions as the first step in creating a new product or process: Validating ideas by talking to people is hard but crucial to understand if people really have the problem you are trying to solve. One way that works for me is to build a simple three-question survey that validates key assumptions: Do people really have the problem you think they do?

CHAPTER 4 1. jstor.org/​stable/​40216431?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents; journal.sjdm.org/​14/​14130/​jdm14130.html. 2. There is a whole separate discipline to this called “customer development,” a term originally coined by Steve Blank. See startuplessonslearned.com/​2008/​11/​what-is-customer-development.html. 3. Part of the research that went into this book came from a project called The Leader’s Guide. In 2015, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish a limited-run, 250-page book aimed at helping entrepreneurs, executives, and project leaders put lean principles into practice. The campaign was backed by 9,677 people choosing from 30 different reward levels and raising $588,903. The content of the book was derived from materials I’d used in the years prior; the goal was to provide a concrete road map for leaders who want to transform their management practice in an entrepreneurial direction.


pages: 603 words: 182,826

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor

The incomes of old-established families dependent on fixed rentals were progressively reduced, and at the same time the despised merchant class began to benefit from a rapidly increasing trade as European vessels found new routes to the east. Silver originally mined in Bolivia and shipped to Cadiz was exchanged by Portuguese and later Dutch shippers for Chinese silk and porcelain. In modern Indonesia and along the coasts of the China Sea, the massive purchases of spices by the newcomers kick-started a general trade within the Far East that enriched the merchants of Canton and Shanghai still further. In the last century of the Ming dynasty, up to 1644, almost seventy-five hundred tons of silver flowed into China, not only from Europe but from the rising trade economy of Japan. The surge of precious metal completed the destruction of the old order, with inflation tripling once more in the second half of the sixteenth century.

And the precept was routinely reinforced by physical beatings, a practice that continued when peasants became soldiers in the imperial army. Thus the effects of the Meiji land reforms were to tame the samurai landlords but to leave the pattern of land holding virtually unchanged. In the absence of any movement by Japan’s landed interests to assert claims to political power, the Meiji government deliberately taxed agriculture heavily in order to finance industrial development. Up to 80 percent of the revenues that kick-started Japanese industrial growth in the 1890s came from land taxes and were channeled either into military expenditure for Japan’s successful wars with China and Russia, or into railroad construction and shipbuilding. Yet for all their political impotence, the values of Japan’s landowners, inherited from the samurai, became the standard for Japan’s new industrialists, even though by the 1920s their manufactured products were three times as valuable as those grown on the land.

The failure to achieve this aim was underlined by the increasing harshness of INRA’s policing of the farming community, and by Cuba’s bleak record of human rights abuse leading to about twenty thousand executions up to 2010. The exodus of more than one million people, some 10 percent of the population, served as a popular vote on the policy. The economic goal of INRA was more practical, to generate enough profit from sugar, coffee, and tobacco to invest in the development of the island’s mouthwatering deposits of nickel—as much as one fifth of the world’s reserves. Guevara intended mining profits to kick-start the process of industrialization allowing Cuba to become a modern, but socially owned, economy. The United States economic blockade played a large part in INRA’s failure to achieve this goal too. But falling sugar yields and Castro’s repeated attacks on corruption, inequality, and materialism within the ranks of his own dictatorial administration, notably in the “rectification campaign” he launched at the end of the Cold War, made it clear that Guevara’s system simply did not work.


pages: 519 words: 142,646

Track Changes by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

active measures, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, David Brooks, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, forensic accounting, future of work, Google Earth, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, HyperCard, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Joan Didion, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, mail merge, Marshall McLuhan, Mother of all demos, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, text mining, thinkpad, Turing complete, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, Year of Magical Thinking

The scratch-built writing software admits no customization whatsoever: no preferences, no notifications, no toolbars, and certainly no anthropomorphic paperclips. It supports backspace and deletion, but there is no copy and paste option—“just like … before 1979 (and the debut of WordStar),” the KickStarter page explains.35 While there is no Web access as such, built-in Wi-Fi allows it to continually sync to a cloud-based storage system. The battery is supposed to be good for four weeks of steady use. There is a carrying handle. Within thirty days KickStarter backers had funded the project at roughly 125 percent of what the developers were seeking. The concept is not strictly new. The TRS-80 Model 100, a small notebook-style computer first introduced by Radio Shack in 1983, remained popular, especially with journalists, for years after the end of its natural market cycle because of its light weight and long battery life.

See Joanna Stern, “Handwriting Isn’t Dead—Smart Pens and Styluses Are Saving It,” Wall Street Journal (February 10, 2015), http://www.wsj.com/articles/handwriting-isnt-deadsmart-pens-and-styluses-are-saving-it-1423594704. 33. See John Brownlee, “Microsoft Research Invents a Stylus That Can Read Your Mind,” Design, Fast Company, October 10, 2014, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3036931/microsoft-research-invents-a-stylus-that-can-read-your-mind?partner=rss. 34. See “Hemingwrite—A Distraction Free Smart Typewriter,” Kickstarter.com, accessed August 19, 2015, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamleeb/hemingwrite-a-distraction-free-digital-typewriter. 35. Ibid. 36. For example, Peter Swirski, From Literature to Biterature (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013). 37. For this last, see Shelley Poldony, “If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?,” New York Times, March 7, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/if-an-algorithm-wrote-this-how-would-you-even-know.html.

Just as the stylus is reemerging to augment the tablet experience, the typewriter is also being reengineered. If the Hanx Writer is a celebrity vanity project, the Hemingwrite has greater ambitions. The Hemingwrite is being marketed as a “distraction-free” writing device, essentially a dedicated word processor with a number of carefully chosen limitations and constraints. It debuted in December 2014 in a well-promoted KickStarter campaign, meaning that its developers went public in search of backers to bankroll the manufacturing run. “We engineered the Hemingwrite to do one thing, and do it sublimely well,” the video introducing the fundraising campaign relates.34 At a glance, it looks like a small, portable typewriter. There is a full-size keyboard and a small display screen using the now familiar e-ink technology that is commonplace in dedicated digital reading devices, which has the virtue of offering high contrast and legibility in direct sunlight.


pages: 280 words: 79,029

Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation Is Reshaping Our WorldÑFor the Better by Andrew Palmer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, break the buck, Bretton Woods, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, Innovator's Dilemma, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Network effects, Northern Rock, obamacare, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thales of Miletus, transaction costs, Tunguska event, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Vanguard fund, web application

Results released in August 2014 showed an 8.4 percent reduction in reconvictions since the start of the program compared with the national baseline. If the scheme keeps performing like that and achieves a reduction in reconvictions of 7.5 percent or more compared with the control group, the original investors will receive a payout in 2016. Whatever its eventual results, the real impact of the Peterborough SIB will have been to kick-start a new market. Britain is home to the greatest number of SIBs, helped along by the enthusiasm of David Cameron, the Conservative British prime minister, for an idea he calls the “Big Society.” Almost no one knows what this phrase means, but if it has any substance at all, it is in the area of social investment. Under Cameron’s government, Sir Ronald’s old idea of a social-investment bank has become a reality: in 2012 he became the first chairman of Big Society Capital, an institution with £600 million in capital and a mandate to create a social-­investment market.

“These plans would help all students get the financing they need—including students from disadvantaged backgrounds—but without the anxiety that comes with traditional loans,” said Petri in a statement at the time. *** AT THE SAME TIME that policy makers are becoming more intrigued by the idea of income-share agreements, the technological landscape is shifting. The example of firms like Kickstarter, Crowdcube, Lending Club (discussed in the next chapter), and others is habituating people to the idea of funding strangers over an online platform. And the availability of data online means that firms like Upstart can analyze the likely earnings power of youngsters in more sophisticated ways than ever before. The first thing Paul Gu did when he had the idea for equity-funded education was crunch some numbers.

Flowers, 69, 81 Japan, banking crisis in, 75 Japan, financial innovation in, 27, 29, 39–40 Jha, Saumitra, 27 Jiménez-Martín, Sergi, 73 Job creation, young small firms and, 147–148 Joint-stock firms, 23 JPMorgan, 77, 169 Jump-to-default risk, 238 Käärmann, Kristo, 190 Kabbage, 218 Kahneman, Daniel, 47, 137 Kanjorski, Paul, 145 Kauffman Foundation, 158 Kennedy, John F., 32 Keys, Benjamin, 48 Kharroubi, Enisse, 79 Kickstarter, 172 King, Stephen, 99 Klein, David, 182 Krugman, Paul, xv Lahoud, Sal, 166 Lang, Luke, 153, 161–162 Laplanche, Renaud, 179, 184, 188, 190, 193–194, 196–197 Latency, 53 Law of large numbers, 17 Layering, 57 Left-digit bias, 46 Lehman Brothers, x, 44, 65 Lending direct, 84 marketplace, 184 payday, 200 relationship-based, 11, 151, 206–208 secured, xiv, 76 unsecured, 206 See also Loans; Peer-to-peer lending Lending Club, 172, 179–180, 182–184, 187, 189, 194–195, 197 Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci), 19 Lerner, Josh, 59 Lethal pandemic, risk-modeling for demographic profile, 230 exceedance-probability curve, 231–232, 232 figure 3 historical data, 228–229 infectiousness and virulence, 229–230 location of outbreak, 230–231 Leverage, 51, 70–71, 80, 186, 188 Leverage ratio, 76–77 Lewis, Michael, 57 Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation (Fibonacci), 19 LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), 41 Liebman, Jeffrey, 98 Life expectancy government reaction to, 128–129 projections of, 124–127, 126 figure 2 ratio of young to older people, 127–128 Life-insurance policies, 142 Life-settlements industry, 142–143 Life table, 20 Limited liability, 212 Liquidity, 12–14, 39, 185–186 List, John, 109 The Little Book of Behavioral Investing (Montier), 156 Lo, Andrew, 113–115, 117–123 Loans low-documentation, 48–49 secured, 76 small business, 181, 216 student, 164, 166–167, 169–171, 182 syndicated, 41 Victory Loans, 28 See also Lending; Peer-to-Peer lending Logistic regression, 201 London, early fire insurance in, 16–17 London, Great Fire of, 16 London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), 41 Long-Term Capital Management, 123 Longevity, betting on, 143–144 Loss aversion, 136 Lotteries, 212, 213 Low-documentation loans, 48–49 Lumni, 165, 168, 175 Lustgarten, Anders, 111 Lynn, Jeff, 160–161 Mack, John, 180 Mahwah, New Jersey, 52, 53 Marginal borrowers assessment of, 216–217 behavioral finance and, 208–214 industrialization of credit, 206 microfinance and, 203 savings schemes, 209–214 small businesses, 215–219 unsecured lending to, 206 Wonga, 203, 205, 208 Marginal borrowers (continued) ZestFinance, 199, 202, 205–206 Maritime piracy, solutions to, 151–152 Maritime trade, role of in history of finance, 3, 7–8, 14, 17, 23 Market makers, 15–16, 55 MarketInvoice, 195, 207, 217–218 Marketplace lending, 184 Markowitz, Harry, 118 Massachusetts, use of inflation-protected bonds in, 26 Massachusetts, use of social-impact bonds in, 98 Matching engine, 52 Maturity transformation, 12–13, 187–188, 193 McKinsey & Company, ix, 42 Mercator Advisory Group, 203 Merrill, Charles, 28 Merrill, Douglas, 199, 201 Merrill Lynch, 28 Merton, Robert, 31, 113–114, 123–124, 129–132, 142, 145 Mian, Atif, 204 Michigan, University of, financial survey by, 134–135 Microfinance, 203 Micropayment model, 217 Microwave technology, 53 The Million Adventure, 213–214 Minsky, Hyman, 42 Minsky moment, 42 Mississippi scheme, 36 Mitchell, Justin, 166–167 Momentum Ignition, 57 Monaco, modeling risk of earthquake in, 227 Money, history of, 4–5 Money illusion, 73–74 Money laundering, 192 Money-market funds, 43, 44 Monkeys, Yale University study of loss aversion with, 136 Montier, James, 156–157 Moody, John, 24 Moody’s, 24, 235 Moore’s law, 114 Morgan Stanley, 188 Mortgage-backed securities, 49, 233 Mortgage credit by ZIP code, study of, 204 Mortgage debt, role of in 2007–2008 crisis, 69–70 Mortgage products, unsound, 36–37 Mortgage securitization, 47 Multisystemic therapy, 96 Munnell, Alicia, 129 Naked credit-default swaps, 143 Nature Biotechnology, on drug-development megafunds, 118 “Neglected Risks, Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility” (Gennaioli, Shleifer, and Vishny), 42 Network effects, 181 New York, skyscraper craze in, 74–75 New York City, prisoner-rehabilitation program in, 108 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), 31, 52, 53, 61, 64 New York Times, Merrill Lynch ad in, 28 Noncorrelated assets, 122 Nonprofits, growth of in United States, 105–106 Northern Rock, x NYMEX, 60 NYSE Euronext, 52 NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), 31, 52, 53, 61, 64 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), 128, 147 Oldfield, Sean, 67–68, 80–84 OnDeck, 216–218 One Service, 94–95, 105, 112 Operating expense ratio, 188–189 Options, 15, 124 Order-to-trade ratios, 63 Oregon, interest in income-share agreements, 172, 176 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 128, 147 Overtrading, 24 Packard, Norman, 60 Pandit, Vikram, 184 Park, Sun Young, 233 Partnership mortgage, 81 Pasion, 11 Pave, 166–168, 173, 175, 182 Payday lending Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, survey on, 200 information on applicants, acquisition of, 202 underwriting of, 201 PayPal, 219 Peak child, 127 Peak risk, 228 Peer-to-peer lending advantages of, 187–189 auction system, 195 big investors in, 183 borrowers, assessment of, 197 in Britain, 181 commercial mortgages, 181 CommonBond, 182, 184, 197 consumer credit, 181 diversification, 196 explained, 180 Funding Circle, 181–182, 189, 197 investors in, 195 Lending Club, 179–180, 182–184, 187, 189, 194–195, 197 network effects, 181 ordinary savers and, 184 Prosper, 181, 187, 195 RateSetter, 181, 187, 196 Relendex, 181 risk management, 195–197 securitization, 183–184, 196 Peer-to-peer lending (continued) small business loans, 181 SoFi, 184 student loans, 182 Zopa, 181, 187, 188, 195 Pensions, cost of, 125–126 Perry, Rick, 142–143 Peterborough, England, social-impact bond pilot in, 90–92, 94–95, 104–105, 112 Petri, Tom, 172 Pharmaceuticals, decline of investment in, 114–115 Piracy Reporting Centre, International Maritime Bureau, 151 Polese, Kim, 210 Poor, Henry Varnum, 24 “Portfolio Selection” (Markowitz), 118 Prediction Company, 60–61 Preferred shares, 25 Prepaid cards, 203 Present value of cash flows, 19 Prime borrowers, 197 Prince, Chuck, 50–51, 62 Principal-agent problem, 8 Prisoner rehabilitation programs, 90–91, 94–95, 98, 108, 112 Private-equity firms, 69, 85, 91, 105, 107 Projection bias, 72–73 Property banking crises and, xiv, 69 banking mistakes involving, 75–80 behavioral biases and, 72–75 dangerous characteristics of, 70–72 fresh thinking, need for, xvii, 80 investors’ systematic errors in, 74–75 perception of as safe investment, 76, 80 Prosper, 181, 187, 195 Provisioning funds, 187 Put options, 9, 82 Quants, 19, 63, 113 QuickBooks, 218 Quote stuffing, 57 Raffray, André-François, 144 Railways, affect of on finance, 23–25 Randomized control trials (RCTs), 101 Raphoen, Christoffel, 15–16 Raphoen, Jan, 15–16 RateSetter, 181, 187, 196 RCTs (randomized control trials), 101 Ready for Zero, 210–211 Rectangularization, 125, 126 figure 2 Regulation NMS, 61 Reinhart, Carmen, 35 Reinsurance, 224 Relendex, 181 Rentes viagères, 20 Repurchase “repo” transactions, 15, 185 Research-backed obligations, 119 Reserve Primary Fund, 44 Retirement, funding for anchoring effect, 137–138 annuities, 139 auto-enrollment in pension schemes, 135 auto-escalation, 135–136 conventional funding, 127–128 decumulation, 138–139 government reaction to increased longevity, 128–129 home equity, 139–140 life expectancy, projections of, 124–127, 126 figure 2 life insurance policies, cash-surrender value of, 142 personal retirement savings, 128–129, 132–133 replacement rate, 125 reverse mortgage, 140–142 savings cues, experiment with, 137 SmartNest, 129–131 Reverse mortgages, 140–142 Risk-adjusted returns, 118 Risk appetite, 116 Risk assessment, 24, 45, 77–78, 208 Risk aversion, 116, 215 Risk-based capital, 77 Risk-based pricing model, 176 Risk management, 55, 117–118, 123, 195–197 Risk Management Solutions, 222 Risk sharing, 8, 82 Risk-transfer instrument, 226 Risk weights, 77–78 Rogoff, Kenneth, 35 “The Role of Government in Education” (Friedman), 165 Roman Empire business corporation in, 7 financial crisis in, 36 forerunners of banks in, 11 maritime insurance in, 8 Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs), 209–210 Roulette wheel, use of in experiment on anchoring, 138 Royal Bank of Scotland, 186 Rubio, Marco, 172 Russia, mortgage market in, 67 S-curve, in diffusion of innovations, 45 Salmon, Felix, 155 Samurai bonds, 27 Satsuma Rebellion (1877), 27 Sauter, George, 58 Save to Win, 214 Savings-and-loan crisis in US (1990s), 30 Savings cues, experiment with, 137 Scared Straight social program, 101 Scholes, Myron, 31, 123–124 Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard of OECD, 147 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 54, 56, 57, 58, 64 Securities markets, 14 Securitization, xi, 20, 37–38, 117–122, 183–184, 196, 236 Seedrs, 160–161 Sellaband, 159 Shared equity, 80–84 Shared-equity mortgage, 84 Shepard, Chris, xii–xiii Shiller, Robert, xv–xvi, 242 Shleifer, Andrei, 42, 44 Short termism, 58 SIBs.


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Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda

1960s counterculture, anti-pattern, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bash_history, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, HyperCard, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, premature optimization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, zero-sum game

Apple certainly had its core enthusiasts at that time, and they were passionate about its products, but to everyone else, the Mac was a computer they might have used in college but forgot about when they became adults and got jobs. Four months after I started at Apple, things started to change. The release of the iPod was as much a surprise to me as it was to everyone else, and this portable music player kick-started Apple’s shift from computers to personal technology. The iPod also provided the money and the confidence that would lead to the development of the wildly successful devices that followed. This culminated with the iPhone, the product that transformed Apple from a technology bit player into one of the world’s most profitable enterprises. I was a witness and a contributor to these times and these changes.

In the large projects Brooks was speaking about, where teams of hundreds or thousands are working against schedules and initiatives with mutual dependencies, the size of the effort bounds the speed of the work, and the overhead of communication and coordination swamps the impact of individuals, even the geniuses. However, in the early phase of software development, it’s possible to shake free of these restrictions, especially when teams are small and the hunt for ideas is still on. This was the scenario when Richard joined us at Apple. We were still looking for an organizing concept to kick-start our web browser effort, and Richard showed us how. Not only that, he proved that a 10x productivity gap is a conservative upper limit on the possible in early stage software. Indeed, Richard did more to move our project ahead in two person-days of work than Don and I had done in the preceding twelve person-weeks. That’s more like a 30x gap. What can explain this difference? On the surface, much appears to hinge on Richard’s programming feat, his software shim.

Our knowledge of our craft—code, compilers, software licenses, and debugging—gave us the confidence to forge ahead and to invest and direct the necessary time and effort to make Richard’s demo pay off. Of course, a program that produced nothing but a Black Slab was far from a fully functioning web browser. We were still a long way from delivering a finished app, but our technical dawn had broken, the lights were now on, so at least we could see where we were going. 4 One Simple Rule We’d begun as three programmers trying to kick-start a project. Within a few months, we’d hired a few more people, and we were nine, a small web browser software team starting to hit its stride. By that time, word had come down the management chain. Steve Jobs himself had decided how he would judge our browser as a product. The focus would be on one thing: speed. Steve wanted our browser to be fast, really fast at loading web pages from the internet, much faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer, the default browser on the Mac, the product we aimed to replace.


pages: 243 words: 74,452

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Ruby on Rails, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh

Contents Praise for Jon Acuff Title Page Copyright Dedication 1 The Career Savings Account 2 Do This First INVESTMENT 1 RELATIONSHIPS 3 You Don’t Know Who You Know 4 Give Your Foes What They Need Most 5 Casual Counts 6 Great Careers Take Great Advocates 7 Don’t Burn Many Bridges 8 Community Shines Brightest in the Darkness of a Career Bump INVESTMENT 2 SKILLS 9 You Have More Skills Than You Think 10 Master the Invisible Skills 11 Never Become a Dinosaur 12 Win the Way You Won Before 13 Kick-Start Your New Skills with Something Fun 14 Skills Get Sharp Slowly and Dull Quickly 15 Grab the Right Kind of Hammer for Your Career Ceiling INVESTMENT 3 CHARACTER 16 Plant an Orchard 17 Generosity Is a Game Changer 18 Empathy, No Longer Just for People Who Like to Cry with Friends 19 Be Present 20 Never Jump Without Character INVESTMENT 4 HUSTLE 21 Grit Is a Choice, Not a Feeling 22 Hustle Has Seasons: Use Awareness to Recognize Them 23 Career Yoga 24 Always Use This to Multiply the Moment 25 Three Final Words You’ll Tell Me Someday Soon Acknowledgments Tell Me About Your Do Over!

Casual friendship. Beth Corbett, who I worked with for six months, copyedited my first book. Casual friendship. Shauna Callaghan, who I met once, built my blog after my last Career Do Over. Casual friendship. Andy Traub, who I’d known mainly via the Internet, helped me get back up on my feet after my last Do Over. Casual friendship. Shawn Hanks, who I hadn’t seen in a year, helped me kick-start my speaking career after my last Do Over. Casual friendship. My tender heart tried to remember that moment of lifelong friends rallying around me during my career transition, but the truth is that many of the relationships that did the heaviest lifting were casual at first. Which doesn’t mean superficial. Take Billy Ivey. I saw him once in a nine-year period. We worked together at a company for about twelve months in 1999.

You need a lot of new skills to get where you’re headed but you’re already much better at learning new skills than you want to admit. Remember If you want to win in the future, sometimes you have to look to the past. Interview a former win. Why did it work? What about that situation made it more successful than others? Never reinvent the wheel. What can you do today to help re-create some of the circumstances that helped you win yesterday? 13 Kick-Start Your New Skills with Something Fun So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. —WENDELL BERRY We need new skills because they lead to new jobs, new dreams and new opportunities. We’ve won before and we’re ready to win again. Now, what’s one new skill we want to learn? There are two easy ways to pick one: by necessity or curiosity. Necessity, in addition to being the mother of all invention, is also the origin of a lot of new skills.


pages: 491 words: 77,650

Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

Crowdsourcing is by no means limited to labour markets: consumers, governments, and businesses have turned to the Internet in a wide range of areas—from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asking citizens for help in its quest to identify exoplanets (http://www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/backyard-worlds-planet-9, archived at https://perma.cc/LR8S-7QUF), to start-ups raising capital for new business ideas through platforms such as Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter. com, archived at https://perma.cc/9DNZ-ACZ9). 3. Orly Lobel, ‘The law of the platform’ (2016) 101(1) Minnesota Law Review 87, 91. 4. European Commission, ‘Introduction to Deliveroo’ (European Commission 2016), http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/image/document/ * * * Notes 143 2016-6/deliveroo_13855.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/6J2T-8XK9; Foodora, ‘About us’, http://www.foodora.com/about/, archived at https://perma.

If a large number of consumers are using a particu- lar app to hail taxis, it will become more attractive for drivers to sign up to that app. A large available pool of drivers, in turn, will make it easier and cheaper for consumers to find their next ride, further increasing the incen- tives for new drivers to join—and so on. It is unsurprising that gig-economy platforms will often try to kick-start this process by investing significant amounts of cash in subsidies for drivers as well as passengers. Hubert Horan, however, is sceptical that this is the entire story. Cash burn, he suggests, is not merely about harnessing network effects, but rather a step in platforms’ quest for monopoly power. Focusing once more on Uber as the most pointed example, he explains the links: [M]ost critically, the staggering $13 billion in cash its investors provided is consistent with the magnitude of funding required to subsidize the many years of predatory competition required to drive out more efficient incumbents.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

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

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, 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, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Schwartz, “Hackers Offer Free Porn to Beat Security Checks,” Dark Reading, June 20, 2012. 42 The guard was disabled: Caroline McCarthy, “Bank Robber Hires Decoys on Craigslist, Fools Cop,” CNET, Oct. 3, 2008. 43 Soon half a dozen police cars: David Pescovitz, “Bank Robber Uses Craigslist to Hire Unsuspecting Accomplices,” Boing Boing, Oct. 1, 2008; “Armored Truck Robber Uses Craigslist to Make Getaway,” King5.​com, Sept. 21, 2009. 44 The most popular of these sites: Kickstarter, “Stats,” accessed on May 25, 2014, https:/​/​www.​kickstarter.​com/​help/​stats, indicating Kickstarter had raised $1,131,653 since launching. 45 Criminals are of course happy: Jason Del Rey, “Kickstarter Says It Was Hacked (Updated),” Re/code, Feb. 15, 2014. 46 The answer was: “Apple Fingerprint ID ‘Hacked,’ ” BBC News, Sept. 23, 2013. 47 Using elements of both: John Bowman, “iPhone 5S Fingerprint Hacking Contest Offers $20K Bounty,” Your Community (blog), CBC News, Sept. 20, 2013. 48 Finally, white wood glue: Frank, “Chaos Computer Club Breaks Apple TouchID,” Chaos Computer Club, Sept. 21, 2013. 49 Donations have been made: Andy Greenberg, “Meet the ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder with Bitcoins,” Forbes, Nov. 18, 2013. 50 As a result, the master criminal-hackers: Marc Santora, “In Hours, Thieves Took $45 Million in A.T.M.

Not only is Crime, Inc. rapidly adopting witting and unwitting forms of crime sourcing, but it is also using another white-hot trend in the start-up community: crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a process by which money is collected from a crowd of backers who agree to support either a new start-up company or a nonprofit project, usually described in great depth on a Web site. The most popular of these sites are Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and tens of thousands of projects have successfully been funded, raising in excess of $1 billion from the crowd. Criminals are of course happy to hack anybody raking in that much money and have already successfully compromised the Kickstarter Web site. That said, criminal hackers have much bigger and more nefarious crowdfunding plans in mind, such as hacking the iPhone in your pocket. When Apple released its iPhone 5s mobile phone, it included a feature known as Touch ID, a fingerprint-recognition scanner touted as a “convenient and highly secure way to access your phone.”


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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Everything should be made as simple as possible, George Santayana, index card, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex

But that’s not the next action, because it’s not descriptive of physical behavior. How do you set a meeting? Well, it could be with a phone call or an e-mail, but to whom? Decide. If you don’t decide now, you’ll still have to decide at some other point, and what this process is designed to do is actually get you to finish the thinking exercise about this item. If you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start it, there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely. You’ll tend to resist noticing it. Until you know what the next physical action is, there’s still more thinking required before anything can happen. When you get to a phone or to your computer, you want to have all your thinking completed so you can use the tools you have and the location you’re in to more easily get things done, having already defined what there is to do.

Capture actions about arrangements and preparations for any upcoming events. Empty Your Head Put in writing (in appropriate categories) any new projects, action items, waiting-fors, someday/maybes, and so forth that you haven’t yet captured. Review “Projects” (and Larger Outcome) Lists Evaluate the status of projects, goals, and outcomes one by one, ensuring that at least one current kick-start action for each is in your system. Review “Next Actions” Lists Mark off completed actions. Review for reminders of further action steps to capture. Review “Waiting For” List Record appropriate actions for any needed follow-up. Check off received items. Review Any Relevant Checklists Is there anything you haven’t done that you need to do? Review “Someday/Maybe” List Check for any projects that may have become active and transfer them to “Projects.”

Working from the Bottom Up In order to create productive alignment in your life, you could quite reasonably start with a clarification from the top down. Decide why you’re on the planet. Figure out what kind of life and work and life-style would best allow you to fulfill that contract. What kind of job and personal relationships would support that direction? What key things would you need to put in place and make happen right now, and what could you do physically as soon as possible, to kick-start each of those? You’re never lacking in opportunities to clarify your priorities at any level. Pay attention to which horizon is calling you. In truth, you can approach your priorities from any level, at any time. I always have something that I could do constructively to enhance my awareness and focus on each level. I’m never lacking in more visions to elaborate, goals to reassess, projects to identify or create, or actions to decide on.


pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, butter production in bangladesh, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

In the final days of Burma’s military junta, they happened there, too. What is common is a rising level of innovation in protest strategy. Russia’s Pussy Riot does aggressive culture jamming. In Ukraine, the Femen network of young women bare their breasts in public but then talk about pension reform. The Russian art collective Voina painted a two hundred–foot penis on a Saint Petersburg drawbridge to protest heightened security. Ukrainian activists launched a Kickstarter campaign to buy themselves a “people’s drone” that would let them watch Russian troop movements in their country.14 The internet of things is putting tough regimes into digital dilemmas on a regular basis, because leaders have to choose between two equally distasteful actions. Should they keep the internet on for the sake of the economy? Letting people have mobile phones runs the risk that they will coordinate themselves in some way to talk politics rather than business.

And these days, when individuals feel that their government is not providing the governance goods needed in specific domains, digital media provides the workaround. Average Americans who felt that the U.S. government was not doing enough to support the Green Movement in Iran in 2009 could dedicate their own computational resources to democracy activists. Citizens unhappy with government efforts at overseas development assistance turn to Kickstarter.com to advance their own aid priorities. The next cyberwar might be started by Bulgarian hackers, the Syrian Electronic Army, or Iranian Basiji militias, but it might also be started by Westerners using basic online tools to launch their own Twitter bots.14 Even when state failure is partial, or perhaps especially when state failure is partial, people increasingly organize to provide their own governance goods through the internet.

See also internet of things; political internet internet exchange point, 2, 296 Internet Governance Forum, 33 internet interregnum, xxiv, 42, 66, 110, 220, 229 internet of things, xi, xix, 297; affecting current events, 142; bot usage easier in, 205; civic strategy for, xvii, 234–35, 243; civil society groups and, 202; collective action and, 111–12, 136–39; conflict in, dynamics of, 155; connective action and, 168–73; consequences of, 148–49, 219; control of, 224, 226–27; defined by communication between devices, xiv; design of, 228–29; diffusion of, 34–35; encoding with democratic virtues, 232–33; evolution of, 45–46, 65–66; expression and experimentation in, 243; governance and, 110, 119–23, 148, 157–61; growing the size of big data, 140; human security and, 65; ideological package of, 125–26; market for, 57; numbers of devices in, xi–xii; openness of, 111, 226–27; open sharing of data from, 244–46; opting out of, 246–48; political culture in, 230, 232, 233; political impact of, xiv, xxi, 65, 66, 68, 99, 174–75; as political tool, 224; preparing for, xxiii–xxiv; stability and, 68, 88, 112, 158, 253; structural threats to, 183; surveillance and censorship tasks, 223; taking on dirty networks, 99; tithing for the public good, 243–46; weakening radical ideology, 111, 123–24, 126, 133; weaponizing of, 110, 112–19 internet revolution, 60 Internet Society, 13 interoperable networks, 162 I Paid a Bribe project, 170–71 IRA (Northern Ireland), 83 Iran, 115; bots in, 205–7; developing network infrastructure, 183; doctoring images, 123–24; fighting piracy, 98; Green Movement in, 105, 115, 161, 221–22; hacking by, 40; nuclear program of, cyberattack on, 115–16; protests in, 136–37; social media of, 31, 43, 201, 220 Iraq War, 20 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), 81, 82, 118, 217 Islamists, moderating positions of, 131–32 Israel: cyberwarfare by, 40, 41, 154–55; Pillar of Defense assault, 59 Israeli Defense Forces, 59 Israel Security Agency, 114 ITU. See International Telecommunications Union Japan, fighting piracy, 98 Joint Threat Intelligence Group, 31 Jordan, Arab Spring in, 156 Jubilee 2000, 49–50 Karber, Phillip, 193 Kenya: Map Kibera project in, 88–91; money transfer in, 159–60; slums in, 83 Kiberia mapping project, 120 Kickstarter.com, 86, 105, 161 Kiirti platform, 171 Kissinger, Henry, 12 Kolena Laila, 76–78, 79 Kony, Joseph, 81 Kony 2012, 81 Kosovo Liberation Army, 83 Kovačič, Primož, 88, 89–91, 100 Kraken Botner, 32 Kyrgyzstan, 20 Latin America, drug wars in, 216 Lavabit, 26 Lawful Interception Gateway device, 115 Lee Hoi-chang, 128 LG televisions, 212–13 liberation technologies, 256–57 Li Chengpeng, 192–93 life expectancy, in failing and failed states, 95 Lim, Merlyna, 121 Liu Ya-Zhou, 129 Liza Alert, 170 Logic of Collective Action (Olson), 137 Lonely Planet Guide, 75 Lord’s Resistance Army, 178 Los Zetas, 216 Louis Philippe, 108 machine learning, 141 MacKinnon, Rebecca, 234 Maduro, Nicolas, 93 mafia states, 96–97 Maher, Ahmed, 136, 139, 168, 173 Malaysia: digital dilemma in, 87; elections in, 128–29; Islamists moderating message in, 132 Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, 211–12 Maldives, revolution in, 238 Mali, rebel groups in, 80–81 Maluf, Paulo, 253 malware, 30, 113–14, 115–16 Mandela, Nelson, 52 Mandiant, 38, 39 Manning, Chelsea, xxii, 235, 238 Map Kibera, 88–91 mapping, 70–71, 88–91, 101; of dirty networks, 98; refuting government claims, 176–77; social-media, 157–58 maps: disconnection with, 67; of nations, 67; political power and, 67, 101–2, 120, 160 Marco Civil, 165 marquee slums, 89 Marx, Karl, 241 McLuhan, Marshall, 16 media monopolies, 228 media use, political change and, 167 media-watchdog organizations, 56–57 Meier, Patrick, 70, 100, 239 metadata, 24, 189, 297 Mexico: bots as political tool in, 31; drug wars in, 17–22, 94, 161 Miami Herald, 181 Microsoft, xiv, 8, 248, 249; commitment to, 63–64; partnering with Egypt, 74–75; sovereignty of, 64 military: defining periods of political history, 153; losing control over technology, 118–19; media strategies of, 117 Milošević, Slobodan, 238 Mirim College, 40 mobile money, 55, 56 mobile phones: company ownership, xxiv; production of, 58; providing new political structure, 73; surveillance of, 133 Mobilization Lab, 119 modernity, 125–26 money-transfer systems, 159 Montenegro, 97 Monterrey (MX), 161; public alert system in, 120; social media in, 17–22 MOOC (massive open online course), 252 Morocco, Arab Spring in, 156 Morozov, Evgeny, 44 M-Pesa, 102–3, 105, 159–60 MS-13, 216 Mubarak, Hosni, 45, 74, 121, 221, 252 Mugabe, Robert, 92 Muhammad, Feiz, 217 Mukuru kwa Reuben, 83 Muslim Brotherhood, 131–32 Myanmar, 45; digital dilemma in, 87; organized crime in, 97.


pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

It is only when they want to move that Bitcoin out of their ChangeTip account and turn it into fiat that they have to start learning about wallets, private keys, and various other aspects of the Bitcoin ecosystem. ChangeTip isn’t the only service enabling users to contribute to their favorite content creators. Another service, ProTip, was created by Christopher Ellis and crowdfunded through Kickstarter. It intends to make accepting Bitcoin donations as simple as putting a Bitcoin address anywhere on a website. This goal is worthwhile, because one of ChangeTip’s problems is that it isn’t easy for content creators to integrate. ChangeTip is best used in environments like Reddit or Twitter where everything is set up for the user. But for websites or YouTube channels, things become more difficult.

That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement. —Kevin Systrom, cofounder of Instagram One of the most interesting developments in Bitcoin has been start-up funding. Crowdfunding has taken the world by storm. It is full of success stories and industry-creating giants. Oculus, which was eventually purchased by Facebook for $2 billion and has singlehandedly resurrected the virtual reality industry, got its start on Kickstarter. Likewise, smartwatch company Pebble was so successful that companies ranging from LG to Samsung to Google and Apple got into the industry. There is also equity-based crowdfunding, which is like normal crowdfunding except the funders receive shares of the company rather than a product or one of the rewards typical in crowdfunding campaigns. Although not feasible in the US due to stringent regulations, companies elsewhere have been crowdfunding projects and companies by selling off parts of the company to the crowdfunders.

Although I would advise you to speak to a lawyer before making any commitments to the cryptocommunity you might not legally be able to keep, I doubt the SEC is going to be too concerned with legitimate businesses raising money in a transparent and open way, especially with so many illegitimate businesses doing the same thing. However, it is definitely illegal to sell ownership of your company in any form of share or stock. For business owners in the US, offering voting rights is a viable alternative. Another alternative is to give away rewards similar to Kickstarter. The SEC doesn’t care if you give away free pizza, or whatever product you sell, to “token” holders. One of the many names Bitcoin has been given is “programmable money” and this describes a critical feature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They are more often called “the currency of the Internet.” This means something more profound than when we say a country has its own currency. The Internet is wholly digital; it doesn’t exist anywhere and it also exists everywhere.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

New models based on openness, transparency, and participation are already changing many parts of the industry from venture capital to mutual funds and even lending, so why not apply the same thinking to the obscure mathematical models that value the risk and expected returns of the most complex instruments: expose them to the scrutiny of the thousands of experts who have the knowledge to vet the underlying assumptions? Arguably, this is the perfect time for fresh and even radical thinking. When it comes to evaluating risk, this interconnected digital crowd comprises people who are financially sophisticated and can provide the fresh and innovative insight that will clarify the questionable dealings in the financial services business. A more open and collaborative approach would restore trust in banks, kick-start venture capital, unfreeze the paralysis of lending markets, and lay a foundation for a financial service industry that continues to underpin the growth and prosperity of the world’s economies. WHERE THINGS WENT WRONG If the financial crisis taught us one thing it is that the financial service industry is absolutely at the core of our economic structures. When the system fails the repercussions are felt in virtually every economy and industry across the globe.

The community at VenCorps (made up of thousands of entrepreneurs, scholars, scientists, angel investors, service providers, and government officials) then reviews and ranks each entry using a five-criteria weighted scorecard. During a challenge the top nine start-ups (as determined by the community) go on to the next round, where they can win an investment (typically $50,000). That may not sound like a lot in typical VC terms, but it’s enough to kick-start a small enterprise, as some of VenCorps’ early successes have demonstrated. On a sunny spring day in 2009, for example, Wise and others from VenCorps were meeting with IBM to discuss how the VenCorps platform might be used to solve some really big societal problems. Only a few days later VenCorps and IBM’s Smarter Cities program launched The Congestion Challenge, whose tagline, “Help Make Traffic History,” became a rallying cry for the VenCorps community.

That’s the estimated size of the Linux economy, including Linux-related hardware, consumer electronics, and related services. That’s up by a factor of five since 2006 and it’s more than the GDP of some small countries like Costa Rica, Lebanon, and Bolivia. Finally, for good measure, consider two considerably smaller numbers: 0 and 1. Zero is the cost of using Linux and one is the number of people it took to kick-start this incredible process. On the Right Side of History Although much in the Linux community revolves around the persona and leadership of Linus Torvalds, the truth is that the Linux community is now a highly sophisticated organism. While Linux may not have stock options, corporate campuses, or free haircuts, its community includes a core of five thousand developers and a much broader ecosystem of users-contributors.


pages: 347 words: 44,532

Lonely Planet Pocket Florence (Travel Guide) by Planet, Lonely, Maxwell, Virginia, Williams, Nicola

G4S, haute couture, Kickstarter, urban planning

Top Sights Duomo ( Click here ) Uffizi Gallery ( Click here ) Palazzo Vecchio ( Click here ) Best of Florence Eating Osteria Il Buongustai ( Click here ) Cantinetta dei Verrazzano ( Click here ) Grom ( Click here ) ‘Ino ( Click here ) Drinking Coquinarius ( Click here ) La Terrazza ( Click here ) Gucci Museo Caffè ( Click here ) Obikà ( Click here ) Le Renaissance Café ( Click here ) Caffè Rivoire ( Click here ) Gilli ( Click here ) Getting There From Piazza della Stazione Walk southeast along Via de’ Panzani and Via de’ Cerretani and you will find yourself at the duomo. From here, Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery are a short walk south down Via dei Calzaluoli. The Sights in a Day Kick-start the day on Piazza della Repubblica with a quick breakfast at the Liberty-style bar in Gilli ( Click here ), then walk to the Uffizi, pausing to admire the exquisite sculpted facade of Chiesa e Museo Orsanmichele ( Click here ) en route. Devote the morning to world-class art at the Uffizi Gallery ( Click here ). Walk to Piazza della Signoria for a light lunch on the terrace at Gucci Museo Caffè ( Click here ).

Top Sights Piazza dei Miracoli ( Click here ) Best of Florence Art Museo Nazionale di San Matteo ( Click here ) Museo dell’Opera del Duomo ( Click here ) Battistero ( Click here ) Eating Osteria Bernardo ( Click here ) Il Montino ( Click here ) Il Crudo ( Click here ) Drinking Keith ( Click here ) Sottobosco ( Click here ) Salza ( Click here ) Getting There Train Regular services leave Florence (€7, 1¼ hours) for the conveniently located Pisa Centrale station. Car Take the toll-free SCG FI-PI-LI (SS67) from Florence. Street parking costs €2 per hour, but you must be careful to stay outside the city’s Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL). There’s a free car park outside the zone on Lungarno Guadalongo. The Sights in a Day Kick-start your Pisan peregrination in Borgo Stretto, the city’s medieval heart, with a coffee and sweet treat at the bar of historic Salza ( Click here ). Then wander alongside the Arno to visit the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo ( Click here ) with its rich collection of painting and sculpture from the Tuscan school. For lunch, make your choice from the small but delectable menu at Osteria Bernardo ( Click here ) and then head to the city’s major attraction, Piazza dei Miracoli ( Click here ).


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

While the Department of City Planning has rezoned 20 percent of New York under Bloomberg, most of it to higher densities and within a half-mile walk of transit stations, nothing has been done to limit car use. Moses-era regulations requiring new construction to include off-street parking spaces still prevail—and the more parking there is, the more people tend to drive. Over Sadik-Khan’s shoulder I could see the rusting piers of the Brooklyn waterfront and the multiple lanes of traffic on the Bronx-Queens Expressway, a Moses project that kick-started the decline of the Red Hook neighborhood. “We’ve stopped looking at the streets as these utilitarian, 1950s-style corridors for moving cars as fast as possible. We really look at them as valuable public spaces. In many ways, the Department of Transportation is the largest real estate developer in New York City.” To her credit, Sadik-Khan is capable of enacting change on the streets as rapidly as she talks.

How, in little more than a decade, did Bogotá go from being one of the most chaotic, crime-ridden, and congested cities on the planet to one of the best managed—a place people now say they are proud to be from? It all started with a pair of visionary mayors, the likes of which no North American city has ever seen. But it never would have happened if it weren’t for that most maligned of vehicles, the humble city bus. The Subway on the Street I had a confession to make to Carlos Pardo, who had volunteered to introduce me to the system that kick-started the transformation of Bogotá. “I don’t like buses,” I told him. “Actually, I hate them.” I laid out my objections. While there is something aristocratic about riding the rails, in most of North America a ride on a standard-issue city bus is a second-class experience. After being forced to wait outside, in all kinds of weather—or, at best, in some malodorous Plexiglas shelter—you pay for the privilege of boarding the slowest, bulkiest vehicle on the road, one whose progress is impeded by every double-parked car and FedEx truck with its flashers on.

Just as significant is the fact that, a generation ago, Metro limited sprawl with its growth boundary and never stopped investing in transit: there are plans to build a MAX line across the Columbia River to Washington State and construction has begun on a new line south from downtown to Milwaukee. To really bloom, all that the City of Roses needs is a little more tolerance for density in its core, policies—like higher parking rates—that discourage drivers from bringing cars downtown, and for TriMet to pay a little more attention to the way it irrigates intact traditional neighborhoods with buses, streetcars, and light rail. But if Portlanders really want to kick-start the process, they need only look 300 miles to the north, to a Canadian city that has lately become a transit metropolis on overdrive. “Vancouverism,” for Better and Worse It’s hard not to see Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, as the long-lost twins of Cascadia, separated when they were still young. Both were born as Gold Rush boomtowns, and both grew up as Pacific Northwest regional centers with thriving ports and economies based on logging and resource extraction.


pages: 872 words: 259,208

A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brixton riot, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, congestion charging, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, loadsamoney, market design, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open borders, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Piper Alpha, Red Clydeside, reserve currency, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Most sensationally of all, in April 1945 in Tory Chelmsford, Wing Commander Ernest Millington, a pre-war pacifist and socialist who had then joined the RAF and turned his attention to bombing Germany, defeated the Conservative candidate. Millington, standing for Common Wealth and supported by local vicars, had fought a remarkably aggressive campaign whose tone can be summarized by a banner he put up in the middle of the market town which read, ‘This is a Fight between Christ and Churchill.’ By 1945, there was a whiff of Oliver Cromwell in the air. The Labour conference which kick-started the election campaign one hot afternoon in Blackpool is still remembered for the youth of the delegates. Denis Healey was there, in battledress and beret, fresh from the battlefront in Italy, preaching red-hot socialist revolution. Across Europe the upper classes were ‘selfish, depraved, dissolute and decadent’ he told the cheering hall. Roy Jenkins, who had helped crack the German codes at Bletchley Park, was there too, a slim and dapper soldier.

In effect, the weaker British economy was subsidizing the fast-growing West German one because of the huge expenditure on the British Army of the Rhine. The entirely predictable result of the balance of payments gap was that the pound was under constant pressure. There were periodic devaluations which damaged the reputation of the politicians in charge at the time – though the 1949 Labour devaluation is widely credited with kick-starting the Tory good times which followed. Trying to maintain British power through the sterling area (not just most of the Old Commonwealth, except Canada, but other countries including most of Scandinavia and traditional trading partners such as Portugal) meant that defending the value of the pound was an issue inflamed by pride and political sensitivity. In the Tory years it was another problem postponed.

The harnessing of youth spirit for maximum commercial return proved as tricky and unstable as the early days of harnessing nuclear fission – though it was finally achieved by the eighties, when the death of punk allowed entirely commercial and packaged pop unquestioned dominance. In the early days it was not always quite as obvious that money would always trump vitality. There were still battles to be had. The Who was a west London band which had, like so many others, emerged from skiffle and been kick-started by the success of the Beatles. They were encouraged by their manager, Peter Meadon, to dress stylishly and address themselves to the new audience of Mods. But their violence and guitar-smashing, while delighting their live audience, kept them away from mainstream venues for ages. Throughout a stellar career during which they gave the Beatles a run for their money in the concept-album stakes, the Who were never properly tamed.


pages: 309 words: 96,434

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty First Century City by Anna Minton

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, call centre, crack epidemic, credit crunch, deindustrialization, East Village, energy security, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, race to the bottom, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, University of East Anglia, urban decay, urban renewal, white flight, white picket fence, World Values Survey, young professional

As former warehouses were turned into waterside apartments overlooking the old docks, Docklands became one of the earliest places to build large numbers of gated developments, providing homes for the high-earning professionals who worked in the neighbouring steel and glass towers. Because much of the area remained among the poorest and most deprived in Britain, the gates and high security were marketed to offer reassurance to the finance professionals who were the pioneers of the new economy, living on the frontline. For Mrs Thatcher and Michael Heseltine, who was instrumental in kick-starting Docklands as secretary of state for environment, the deprivation of the area was a central justification for what was being created. The development slotted in perfectly with one of the defining concepts of Thatcherite economics: ‘trickle-down’. This is the idea that the creation of wealth in an area will ‘trickle down’ to the poorer parts which need it the most. ‘Trickle-down’ justified the new private estates, which are underpinned by the idea of being very profitable ventures in themselves, pulling in high rents and billing high service charges.

A few years ago, at a panel debate in 2002 which accompanied the launch of a report I had written on gated communities and ghettoes, Frank Field was asked what he thought should happen to extreme problem families. He replied that they should be put in a concrete bunker underneath the West-way, the flyover through London, and left there. Most people in the audience thought his comment was a joke and didn’t take it seriously. Joking apart, Frank Field has always been something of a soothsayer for New Labour; his thinking in the mid 1990s was instrumental in kick-starting the whole approach towards antisocial behaviour. Field’s comments about concrete bunkers and his suggestions for the police to act as ‘surrogate parents’ reveal the extent to which these policies are underpinned by a philosophy of control and exclusion. The consequence of excluding problem families from social housing is the creation of ghettoes of terrible conditions described in the last chapter.

For residents affected by some of the more controversial new schemes, particularly in the housing market renewal areas, this can seem like a patronizing way of diluting their opposition and unsurprisingly it fails to generate the kind of excitement experienced in Manchester or in London a few years later. There is one man who is able to generate real excitement in places. Eric Reynolds is a property developer with a difference. With his shock of blond hair and well-cut suits, he is known to be a shrewd businessman who is not shy of making money. He also knows a thing or two about creating cutting-edge places and was responsible for kick-starting the transformation of Camden Town in the 1970s by setting up the market at Camden Lock and the rock venue Dingwalls. Later he painted the shopping centre at the Elephant and Castle pink and was at the heart of the campaign to save Spitalfields, the east London market on the border with the City. For ten years Eric worked with temporary creative outfits and nurtured a thriving music and arts scene, which included an opera house, recording studios, indoor pitches for football and cricket and the very successful music venue The Spitz.


pages: 297 words: 95,518

Ten Technologies to Save the Planet: Energy Options for a Low-Carbon Future by Chris Goodall

barriers to entry, carbon footprint, congestion charging, decarbonisation, energy security, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, land tenure, load shedding, New Urbanism, oil shock, profit maximization, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, statistical model, undersea cable

Reliance on fossil fuels has a real cost to the economy if consumers and manufacturers can’t guess what energy prices are likely to be months, years, or decades in advance. One of wind’s primary but often underestimated virtues is that it delivers electricity without such financial volatility. The output of a wind farm may be uncertain, but the cost is not. And, of course, wind power is independent of political intervention—countries that invest in wind are less reliant on the two or three countries that provide much of the world’s natural gas. KICK-STARTING AN INDUSTRY Denmark began to build substantial numbers of wind turbines in the 1990s and became the first nation to generate a significant fraction of its electricity from this source. The early years were characterized by the installation of hundreds of what are now considered very small turbines. The owners were local cooperatives and farmers, and these pioneers allowed Denmark to develop a world-leading wind-turbine industry.

It won’t make sense to design cars to have easily removable batteries and to install heavy machinery at hundreds of locations to take them out and automatically replace them. If we can completely charge a car battery in five minutes, we will simply get used to driving into a “filling” station, plugging the car in, and having a coffee. And if electric cars remain too expensive because of the up-front cost of the battery, then car-leasing companies will come forward to offer better financing terms. The world may not need Shai Agassi’s scheme for kick-starting the electric revolution after all. CARS AND THE GRID The way to battery-based driving will encounter substantial obstacles, but the economic and environmental arguments are too compelling for the electric car not to eventually win the day. Electric cars will save drivers money and, with private cars and light commercial vehicles responsible for 20 percent of European carbon dioxide emissions and more in the U.S., they represent a big step forward on the road to a low-carbon future.

Johannes Lehmann is one of the great optimists of this story, offering a sense of the enormous potential of biochar. He says that by the end of this century, we could capture 9.5 billion tons of carbon each year simply by adopting biochar manufacture on a large scale in tropical agricultural systems. This figure is striking; if we achieved this level of carbon capture today, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide would be falling. KICK-STARTING THE BIOCHAR REVOLUTION What do we need to do to get meaningful amounts of biochar into the world’s soils? In countries where we can install substantial numbers of large-scale plants, such as those that BEST Energies or EPRIDA will produce, all we probably need is for governments to acknowledge that biochar should be included in carbon trading schemes. During 2009, policy-makers certainly became very interested in this option.


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