Mark Zuckerberg

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pages: 226 words: 69,893

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

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Mark Zuckerberg, old-boy network, Peter Thiel, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, social web

How they had been two geeky kids trying to do something special, trying to get noticed—really, trying to get laid. He wondered if Mark realized how much things had changed. Or maybe Mark had never really changed at all; maybe Eduardo had just misread him from the start. Like the Winklevoss twins, Eduardo had projected his own thoughts onto that blankness, drawing in the features he most wanted to see. Maybe he’d never really known Mark Zuckerberg. He wondered if, deep down, Mark Zuckerberg even knew himself. And Sean Parker? Sean Parker probably thought he knew Mark Zuckerberg, too. But Eduardo was pretty sure that was going to be a short-lived pairing as well. In Eduardo’s mind, Sean Parker was like a jittery little comet tearing through the atmosphere; he’d already burned through two startups. The question wasn’t if he’d burn through Facebook as well, it was when. The strange thing was, nobody even heard the sirens.

If Tyler and Cameron had gone upstairs, they could have watched the traffic through a mirror designed specifically so that nobody could see them watching; but Tyler had never been much of a voyeur. He wanted to participate, to be a part of things, to move forward. He hated being stalled, just watching as the rest of the world went by. Tyler shrugged. He didn’t want to get ahead of himself—but maybe they had read the kid wrong. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t the entrepreneur Tyler had thought he was. Maybe Zuckerberg was just another computer geek without any real vision. “If that happens,” Tyler glumly responded, “we have to find ourselves a new programmer. One that understands the big picture.” Maybe Mark Zuckerberg didn’t get it at all. Eduardo had been standing in the empty hallway in Kirkland House a good twenty minutes before Mark finally burst out of the stairwell that led down toward the dining hall; Mark was moving fast, his flip-flops a blur beneath his feet, the hood of his yellow fleece hoody flapping behind his head like a halo in a hurricane.

It would be ConnectU that was changing the social lives of so many people. It was beyond frustrating. Every day, Tyler, Cameron, and Divya had to listen as classmates chatted on and on about thefacebook. And not just at Harvard; the damn thing was everywhere. In the dorm rooms down the hall, on the laptop in every bedroom. On the TV news, almost every week. In the newspapers, sometimes every morning. Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg. Mark fucking Zuckerberg. Okay, maybe Tyler was becoming a little obsessed. He knew from Mark’s point of view, he, Cameron, and Divya were just a blip in the history of thefacebook. In Mark’s mind, he had worked for a few hours for some jocky classmates, gotten bored, and moved on. There were no papers signed, no work agreements or nondisclosures or noncompetes. Mark had bullshit them in e-mails, sure, but in his mind, what did he owe a couple of jocks who couldn’t even write computer code?


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, 3D printing, 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, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, 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, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, 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

CHAPTER EIGHT The Social Media Revolution The social norm (of privacy) has evolved over time. —Mark Zuckerberg 1. Yael Maguire, director of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab, is making a presentation to a Fast Company reporter. “There is only 10 percent of the world that is not able to connect if they pulled out a phone. Our job is to figure out how to connect the last 10 percent.” His solution: the prototype of the Aquila, an ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber drone with a 138-foot wingspan (a Boeing 737 has a 113-foot wingspan) that weighs only 880 pounds. With the right battery technology, the drone should be able to hover for three months over a remote village in India and provide a basic Internet service Facebook calls Free Basics. No one ever said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lacked ambition. But now citizens of that remote village are about to enter the surveillance society that billions of us have been inhabiting since 2000.

But a 2014 survey by online identity manager MyLife shows that 82.9 percent of those polled said that they did not trust Facebook with their personal data. I am a Facebook user, and in many ways I think it is a wonderful tool for communication. I also suspect you will find that Mark Zuckerberg, the brash young man who founded the company at the age of twenty, is growing up and becoming aware of the awesome responsibilities he has in running the world’s largest social network. The bratty kid portrayed in the movie The Social Network may have been changed by marriage and fatherhood. Larry Page, Peter Thiel, and Jeff Bezos are in their forties and fifties. Their libertarian ideals are fairly fixed, but watching the evolution of Mark Zuckerberg over the past ten years is to see a maturation process in both the man and his company. I may be a fool—perhaps he doesn’t really believe that his job is to bring the twenty-first century to the four billion people who remain offline.

Adam Pasick and Tim Fernholz, “The Stealthy Eric Schmidt–Backed Startup That’s Working to Put Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Quartz, October 9, 2015, qz.com/520652/groundwork-eric-schmidt-startup-working-for-hillary-clinton-campaign/. Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Random House, 2010). James Lardner, “The Instant Gratification Project,” Business 2.0, December 2001. Chapter Eight: The Social Media Revolution Harry McCracken, “Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook, Fast Company, November 16, 2015, www.fastcompany.com/3052885/mark-zuckerberg-facebook. Daniel Hunt, “The Influence of Computer-Mediated Communication Apprehension on Motives for Facebook Use,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 56, no. 2 (June 2012). David Kravets, “Facebook’s $9.5 Million Beacon Settlement Approved,” Wired, September 21, 2012, www.wired.com/2012/09/beacon-settlement-approved/.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

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Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

“Okay, but let’s put that aside for a second. Do you like the business?” Efrusy asked. The room was unanimous. They did. There wasn’t any debate. Patterson was enthusiastic. So was Jim Breyer. But while, as usual, Parker had presented Thefacebook’s pitch, Breyer had made a critical discovery while watching the boys demonstrate Thefacebook’s site. “First page of the website,” Breyer wrote in a note to himself, “this is a Mark Zuckerberg company. Mark Zuckerberg is the guy.” Until that moment, it had not been clear to Accel—or to any of the company’s prospective investors aside from Don Graham—that Zuckerberg was the decisionmaker upon whose opinion a deal would rise or fall. Efrusy had barely met Zuckerberg. During the presentation Breyer had asked Zuckerberg to talk a bit about his background and his vision for the company, and Zuckerberg talked for only about two minutes.

But as he approached his driveway, his car’s headlights silhouetted a man standing on the sidewalk, blocking his path. The small man with curly hair didn’t notice them. He was oblivious, immobilized, hands clasped behind his back, head down, lost in thought. There was a gravity in the man’s demeanor. My friend paused. Despite his family’s exhaustion, his instinct told him not to interrupt. He waited. After a minute or so, the pensive Mark Zuckerberg looked up and continued slowly down the sidewalk. Acknowledgments Thanks go first to Mark Zuckerberg. Had he not encouraged me to write this book and cooperated as I did so, it would likely not have happened. As I proceeded, I often said to myself and to others how much I liked writing a book about someone so committed to transparency. He tried hard to answer even questions that had embarrassing answers. It would have been impossible to spend so much time on this project without the support and love of my wife, Elena Sisto, and my daughter, Clara Kirkpatrick, who also often served as a two-person Facebook focus group.

A Note on Reporting for This Book Facebook cooperated extensively in the preparation of The Facebook Effect, as did CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Almost nobody connected to the company refused to talk to me. However, there was no quid pro quo. Facebook neither requested nor received any rights of approval, and as far as I know, its executives did not see the book before it went to press. Company employees, when confronted with a particularly probing question, periodically stopped and turned quizzically to the Facebook public relations person who was often nearby, but they were without exception encouraged to answer my question. And I talked to many people without supervision. Some people submitted to multiple interviews. First among these is Mark Zuckerberg himself. Others who were especially generous with their time included Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, Chris Cox, Kevin Efrusy, Joe Green, Chris Hughes, Chris Kelly, Dave Morin, Dustin Moskovitz, Chamath Palihapitiya, Sean Parker, Dan Rose, Sheryl Sandberg, and Aaron Sittig.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, 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, 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, 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, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, 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, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

But for the unintentional and the unexpected, nothing beats the history of Facebook, the Internet’s dominant social network, which was created by a young man so socially awkward that many consider him autistic. In his aptly named Accidental Billionaires, the bestselling story of Facebook’s early years on the campus of Harvard University, and on which David Fincher’s Academy Award–nominated 2010 movie The Social Network movie is based, Ben Mezrich reveals that the twenty-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was seen as a total misfit by Harvard contemporaries. Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s cofounder of “Thefacebook.com,” which they launched together in February 2004, thought of his partner as the socially “uncomfortable” and “awkward kid in the class,” a “complete mystery” with whom communication “was like talking to a computer,” while other Harvard students saw him as a “weird” and “socially autistic” geek with a “dead fish handshake.”81 Even after Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard later in 2004 and, a decade later, built Facebook into the Internet’s dominant social network, he still hadn’t shaken off his image as a socially disabled loner suffering from what Wired dubs “the Geek Syndrome.”82 Facebook’s onetime head of engineering, Yishan Wong, claimed that Zuckerberg has a “touch of Asperger’s” and “zero empathy.”83 And other seasoned Zuckerberg watchers, like Nicholas Carlson, the chief business correspondent at Business Insider, agree, seeing both his “obvious brilliance” and “his inability to hold conversation” as a “symptom” of his autism.84 But, in spite of—or, perhaps, because of—his inability to fashion a conversation, Zuckerberg has created the greatest generator of conversation in history, a social computer network whose 1.3 billion users were, by the summer of 2014, posting 2,460,000 comments to one another every minute of every day.

This was followed by Friendster in 2002 and then, in 2003, by the Los Angeles–based MySpace, a social network with a music and Hollywood focus that, at its 2008 peak, when it was acquired by News Corporation for $580 million, had 75.9 million members.86 But Facebook, which until September 2006 was exclusively made up of high school and university students, offered a less cluttered and more intuitive interface than MySpace. So, having opened its doors to the world outside of schools and universities, the so-called Mark Zuckerberg Production quickly became the Internet’s largest social network, amassing 100 million members by August 2008. And then the network effect, that positive feedback loop that makes the Internet such a classic winner-take-all market, kicked in. By February 2010, the Facebook community had grown to 400 million members, who spent 8 billion minutes each day on a network already operating in 75 different languages.87 Facebook had become the world’s second most popular Internet site after Google, a position that it’s maintained ever since.

By the summer of 2014 Facebook had grown to rival China’s population—hosting more than 1.3 billion members, around 19% of the people in the world, with 50% of them accessing the social network at least six days a week.88 Like Google, Facebook is becoming ever more powerful. In 2014 it made the successful shift to mobile technology, its app being “far and away the most popular service” on both the iOS and Android platforms, with its users spending an astonishing 17% of all their smartphone time in it. Mark Zuckerberg’s ten-year-old Internet company is thus likely to remain, with archrival Google, the Internet’s dominant company over the second decade of its remarkable history. Like Google, Facebook’s goal is to establish itself as a platform rather than a single website—a strategy that distinguishes it from failed Web 1.0 “portal”-style networks like MySpace. That’s why David Kirkpatrick, the author of the definitive Facebook history, The Facebook Effect,89 argues that the launch of Facebook Connect in 2008 and its Open Stream API in 2009, platforms that enable the creation of websites that resemble Facebook itself, was a “huge transition” and “as radical as any [Facebook] had ever attempted” because it enabled developers to turn the Internet inside out and transform it into an extended version of Facebook.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

execbios. 178 “come to Google because they choose to”: Greg Jarboe, “A ‘Fireside Chat’ with Google’s Sergey Brin,” Search Engine Watch, Oct. 16, 2003, accessed Dec. 16,2010, http://searchenginewatch.com/3081081. 178 “the future will be personalized”: Gord Hotckiss, “Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search,” Searchengineland, Feb. 23, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://searchengineland.com/just-behave-googles-marissa-mayer-on-personalized-search-10592. 179 “It’s technology, not business or government”: David Kirpatrick, “With a Little Help from his Friends,” Vanity Fair (Oct. 2010), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/10/sean-parker-201010. 179 “seventh kingdom of life”: Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 180 “shirt or fleece that I own”: Mark Zuckerberg, remarks to Startup School Conference, XConomy, Oct. 18, 2010, accessed Feb. 8, 2010, www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2010/10/18/mark-zuckerberg-goes-to-startup-school-video//. 181 “ ‘the rest of the world is wrong’ ”: David A. Wise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Random House, 2005), 42. 182 “tradeoffs with success in other domains”: Jeffrey M. O’Brien, “The PayPal Mafia,” Fortune, Nov. 14, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/13/magazines/fortune/paypal_mafia.fortune/index2.htm. 183 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion: Troy Wolverton, “It’s official: eBay Weds PayPal,” CNET News, Oct. 3, 2002, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://news.cnet.com/Its-official-eBay-weds-PayPal/2100-1017_3-960658.html. 183 “impact and force change”: Peter Thie, “Education of a Libertarian,” Cato Unbound, Apr. 13, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/the-education-of-a-libertarian. 183 “end the inevitability of death and taxes”: Chris Baker, “Live Free or Drown: Floating Utopias on the Cheap,” Wired, Jan. 19, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/magazine/17-02/mf_seasteading?

Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content. http://us.penguingroup.com To my grandfather, Ray Pariser, who taught me that scientific knowledge is best used in the pursuit of a better world. And to my community of family and friends, who fill my bubble with intelligence, humor, and love. INTRODUCTION A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa. —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us. —Marshall McLuhan, media theorist Few people noticed the post that appeared on Google’s corporate blog on December 4, 2009. It didn’t beg for attention—no sweeping pronouncements, no Silicon Valley hype, just a few paragraphs of text sandwiched between a weekly roundup of top search terms and an update about Google’s finance software.

It would be one thing if all this customization was just about targeted advertising. But personalization isn’t just shaping what we buy. For a quickly rising percentage of us, personalized news feeds like Facebook are becoming a primary news source—36 percent of Americans under thirty get their news through social networking sites. And Facebook’s popularity is skyrocketing worldwide, with nearly a million more people joining each day. As founder Mark Zuckerberg likes to brag, Facebook may be the biggest source of news in the world (at least for some definitions of “news”). And personalization is shaping how information flows far beyond Facebook, as Web sites from Yahoo News to the New York Times–funded startup News.me cater their headlines to our particular interests and desires. It’s influencing what videos we watch on YouTube and a dozen smaller competitors, and what blog posts we see.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

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

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

“‘Twitter Is Not to Be a Triumph of Technology but of Humanity’—Biz Stone.” AllTwitter, a blog on Mediabistro. Nov. 10, 2010. mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-is-not-to-be-a-triumph-of-technology-but-of-humanity-biz-stone_b169. 6 Apple profile: “Twitter. Triumph of Humanity.” Apple. apple.com/se/business/profiles/twitter. 6 connectivity is a human right: Tamar Weinberg. “SXSW: Mark Zuckerberg Keynote (the Edited Liveblogged Version).” Techipedia. March 11, 2008. techipedia.com/2008/mark-zuckerberg-sxsw-keynote. 6 “bringing your vision to the world”: Katherine Losse. The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012, 201. 6 “we know what you like”: Alexia Tsotsis. “Eric Schmidt: ‘We Know Where You Are, We Know What You Like.’” TechCrunch. Sept. 7, 2010. techcrunch.com/2010/09/07/eric-schmidt-ifa. 7 “the phone tells you”: Jacob Ward.

March 28, 2014. valleywag.gawker.com/airbnb-is-suddenly-begging-newyork-city-to-tax-its-hos-1553889167. 244 “we literally stand on the brink”: Tom Slee. “Why the Sharing Economy Isn’t.” 245 Nandini Balial background and TaskRabbit experience: Author interviews with Nandini Balial. July and August 2014. 249 “a human right”: Queena Kim. “Mark Zuckerberg: Internet Connectivity Is a Human right.” Marketplace. Aug. 21, 2013. marketplace.org/topics/tech/mark-zuckerberg-internet-connectivity-human-right. 249 “Companies are transcending power”: Kevin Roose. “The Government Shutdown Has Revealed Silicon Valley’s Dysfunction Fetish.” New York. Oct 16, 2013. nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/silicon-valleys-dysfunction-fetish.html. 250 “the paper belt”: Nick Statt. “A Radical Dream for Making Techno Utopias a Reality.”

Introduction The Ideology of Social Engineered to Like Pics or It Didn’t Happen The Viral Dream Churnalism and the Problem of Social News To Watch and Be Watched The War Against Identity The Reputation Racket Life and Work in the Sharing Economy Digital Serfdom; or, We All Work for Facebook The Myth of Privacy Big Data and the Informational Appetite Social-Media Rebellion Acknowledgments Notes Index About the Author Copyright About the Publisher Instant messages between Mark Zuckerberg and a friend after Facebook launched: Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard Zuck: Just ask. Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS [Redacted friend’s name]: What? How’d you manage that one? Zuck: People just submitted it. Zuck: I don’t know why. Zuck: They “trust me” Zuck: Dumb fucks. A quarter-century after the advent of the World Wide Web, communication has become synonymous with surveillance.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, 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

Wright Mills (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946). 211 When Facebook “went public”: http://stream.wsj.com/story/ facebook-ipo/SS-2-9640/, accessed September 5, 2012. 211 But in all the conversation: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/ 1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm#toc287954_10, accessed September 5, 2012. 211 In his IPO letter: Ibid. 211 To ensure that sentiment: Michael Hiltzik, “Facebook Shareholders Are Wedded to the Whims of Mark Zuckerberg,” Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012—http://arti cles.latimes.com/ 2012/may/20/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20120517. 211 Of course, the subsequent IPO: Roben Farzad, “Facebook: The Stock That Keeps on Dropping,” BusinessWeek, August 2, 2012, accessed October 15, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-02/ facebook-the-stock-that-keeps-on-dropping; Jessica Guynn, “Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg Won’t Sell Stock for at Least One Year,” Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2012, accessed October 15, 2012, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/04/ business/la-fi-tn-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-wont-sell-stock-for-at-least-one-year-20120904. 212 From the 1920s through much: Rakesh Khurana, interviews with author; Roger Martin, conversations with author; Rakesh Khurana, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 212 Back in 2004, when Sergey: http://investor.google.com/corporate/ 2004/ipo-founders-letter.html, accessed September 5, 2012. 212 “Sergey and I founded Google”: Ibid. 213 Though Steve Jobs is now: Olivia Fox Cabane, “Can You Learn to Be as Charismatic as Steve Jobs?”

Gigaom, April 25, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://gigaom.com/2012/04/25/ can-you-learn-to-be-as-charismatic-as-steve-jobs/. 214 I saw Mark Zuckerberg: author’s notes, World Economic Forum in Davos, 2009. 214 Mark Zuckerberg was once: Nicholas Carlson, “The Facebook Movie Is an Act of Cold-Blooded Revenge—New Unpublished IMs Tell the Real Story,” Business Insider, September 21, 2010, accessed September 5, 2012, http://www.businessinsider.com/ facebook-movie-zuckerberg-ims#. 214 Zuckerberg is a master at finding: Henry Blodget, “The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man,” New York magazine, May 6, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://nymag.com/news/ features/mark-zuckerberg-2012-5/. 218 In her classic book: Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1992). CHAPTER 8 223 In May and September 2012, Hewlett-Packard announced: Shara Tibken, “H-P Says It Plans 2,000 More Layoffs,” Wall Street Journal, September, 10, 2012, accessed September 15, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10000872396390444100404577643352249358504.html; New York Times Business Day Companies, Hewlett-Packard Corporation (HPQ) News Report, August 23, 2012, accessed September 14, 2012, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/ business/companies/hewlett_packard_corporation/index.html; Wendy Kaufman, “Hewlett-Packard Set to Lay Off 30,000 People,” National Public Radio broadcast, May 18, 2012, accessed September 14, 2012, http://www.npr.org/2012/05/18/ 152979181/Hewlett-packard-set-to-layoff-30000-people. 223 The decisions were made: Jordan Robinson, “Atop Meg Whitman’s Worries: H-P’s Size,” Associated Press, September 23, 2011, accessed September 14, 2012, http://phys.org/news/ 2011-09-atop-meg-whitman-h-p-size.html; Laurent Belsie, “Meg Whitman New HP CEO,” Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 2011, accessed September 14, 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/ 2011/0922/Meg-Whitman-new-HP-CEO.

Jobs progressively increased his level of charisma over the years, choosing a signature style of personal dress, the simple black turtleneck; learning to introduce products with Broadway-level drama, whipping off a cloth to reveal a new offering and promoting what Apple employees called his “reality distortion field,” demanding even that which appears to be impossible. I saw Mark Zuckerberg for the first time at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009. He was sitting in front of several hundred people in a large conference room on a panel about the future of mobile along with Chad Hurley and a number of other high-tech luminaries. Panel moderator Mike Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, said it was the first time he ever saw Zuckerberg with a tie on. Zuckerberg responded, jokingly, “No, I wore one all through boarding school.” Over the next forty minutes or so, he smiled, laughed, and talked easily about Facebook, privacy, and his goal of having a more open society. He was, in a word, charismatic. But he didn’t start out that way. Mark Zuckerberg was once seen as a strange young man who took an unusually long time responding to people when asked a question.


pages: 172 words: 46,104

Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age by Michael Wolff

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, commoditize, creative destruction, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, zero-sum game

While everywhere there was the belief, near absolute, that the future of media lay with some ever-transforming technology, twenty years into this revolution, the value of traditional media, even with big losses in print and music, dramatically grew, with an Ernst & Young study in 2014 finding traditional media and entertainment companies increasing “their lead as one of the most profitable industries,” with television margins as high as almost 50 percent. And yet, at the same time, there was the unquestioned certainty that technology had fundamentally altered media behavior and scale—Mark Zuckerberg would say in late 2014 that you can’t really build a business with fewer than a billion users—and hence the nature of media leadership and economics. In fact, Matt Stone’s South Park, continuing its remarkable seventeen-year run on Comedy Central, recently made a $30 million yearly digital deal with Hulu, while Funny or Die languished. Despite all this, the belief continues, cultlike, that digital media will soon and decisively prevail. 1 BLINDED BY THE NEW It’s not hard to make a case for the new—and for overthrowing the old.

Or, it might be because at an ultimate level of media, of strategic business decisions about it, and perhaps particularly among people in the technology business—that is, people decidedly not in the media business—it is hardly understood that there is a fundamental distinction or choice, or, more important, relationship, between fiction and nonfiction, between news and narrative, between storytelling and holding the public’s attention. Who wants to bet that such a balance, such an internal sort of algorithm, has ever crossed Mark Zuckerberg’s mind? Digital media defaulted to the belief that information was the currency: after all, the new medium could provide information faster, cheaper, and with greater individual specificity; the functional dream from the early Web and then in essence put into mass practice by Facebook and Twitter was a newspaper just for you. As digital media was killing newspapers, it was, in its fashion, emulating them too.

She is a media salesperson who can rather seem like a stranger in a strange land at Facebook. Her frequent presentations at sales meetings and industry events about the Facebook experience and the Facebook environment and the Facebook uniqueness, all in the kind of language that media companies use to sell and describe themselves, is peculiarly out of kilter with how Facebook itself, at its highest levels, describes itself and with what it seems to want to be. Mark Zuckerberg is a technology-focused multibillionaire who believes his company offers a central piece of functionality in everybody’s life. He seems at best impatient with if not contemptuous of media. From the beginning of his career and the earliest days of Facebook he has made sour pronouncements about advertising, seeing it, apparently, as a transitional revenue phase for the company. Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s president, the default public presence for Zuckerberg who seemingly would rather not be publicly present, is a government and public affairs bureaucrat, more focused on Facebook’s Wall Street and political brand (and, as the author of the women’s empowerment book Lean In, her own personal brand) than on selling anything.


pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

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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

For perhaps the first time in the history of the industry, people are worth more than the code they produce, a valuation supported by logic. Steve Jobs believed that an elite talent was 25 times more valuable to Apple than an average alternative. For Jobs, this was critical to Apple’s resurgence: That’s probably…certainly the secret to my success. It’s that we’ve gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agrees, saying in a 2010 interview: Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. They are 100 times better. For Bill Gates, the number was 10,000 times better. If any of these assertions are even approximately correct, the cost of an elite chef or a few kegs of beer pales next to the expected return from the technical talent that these perks could potentially attract.

In many deals, like Facebook’s acquisition of Gowalla, the technology was not even a part of the transaction. And when the technology is included in the transaction, it is frequently released as open source post-acquisition. The people, by contrast, are the real asset. Facebook’s 2008 acquisition of FriendFeed, for example, cost the company $50 million dollars. How did Facebook justify the acquisition? “We really wanted to get Bret [Taylor],” said Mark Zuckerberg of the man who is now Facebook’s CTO. Joe Hewitt, meanwhile, who came in the Parakey acquisition, wrote Facebook’s first iPhone application. And Gowalla’s Josh Williams is now the product manager for locations and events at Facebook. In spite of the premiums and the obvious inefficiency of practices like acqhiring, there is no evidence that the labor market will equalize in the near term. Given this perpetual shortage, we can expect employers to go to ever greater lengths to adapt: up to and including acquiring.

Instead, according to the DOJ, vendors colluded to artificially depress the developer marketplace by limiting employee mobility. Besides being illegal, this practice is perhaps the best indication yet of the value attached to technologists, as companies are in effect saying: “developers are so valuable we will act illegally to retain them.” The non-hiring pact seems to suggest that companies like Apple, Google, and Intel agree with the high valuation Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg place on the most skilled developers, but what about the world outside of Silicon Valley? There, too, the valuation of developers is at an all-time high. In New York City, for example, traditional financial services employers are competing with industries like advertising, healthcare, and even defense over developers with strong quantitative analysis skills. Why? Because virtually every business today is a technology business on some level.


pages: 241 words: 78,508

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

affirmative action, business process, Cass Sunstein, constrained optimization, experimental economics, fear of failure, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, old-boy network, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social graph, women in the workforce, young professional

Bowles and Babcock, “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma?” 1–17. 22. Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (New York: Bantam Dell, 2008), 253. 23. For more information and advice about how to be “relentlessly pleasant,” see ibid., 251–66. 24. E. B. Boyd, “Where Is the Female Mark Zuckerberg?,” San Francisco, December 2011, http://​www.​modern​luxury.​com/​san-​francisco/​story/​where-​the-​female-​mark-​zuckerberg. 25. Jessica Valenti, “Sad White Babies with Mean Feminist Mommies,” Jessica Valenti blog, June 19, 2012, http://​jessi​cavalenti.​tumblr.​com/​post/​254655​02300/​sad-​white-​babies-​with-​mean-​feminist-​mommies-​the. 4. IT’S A JUNGLE GYM, NOT A LADDER 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Study (July 2012), http://​www.​bls.​gov/​news.​release/​pdf/​nlsoy.​pdf.

Both male and female colleagues often resist working with a woman who has negotiated for a higher salary because she’s seen as more demanding than a woman who refrained from negotiating.17 Even when a woman negotiates successfully for herself, she can pay a longer-term cost in goodwill and future advancement.18 Regrettably, all women are Heidi. Try as we might, we just can’t be Howard. When I was negotiating with Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for my compensation, he made me an offer that I thought was fair. We had been having dinner several nights a week for more than a month and a half, discussing Facebook’s mission and his vision for the future. I was ready to accept the job. No, I was dying to accept the job. My husband, Dave, kept telling me to negotiate, but I was afraid of doing anything that might botch the deal. I could play hardball, but then maybe Mark would not want to work with me.

This is especially comforting in a tough market where job seekers often have to accept what is available and hope that it points in a desirable direction. We all want a job or role that truly excites and engages us. This search requires both focus and flexibility, so I recommend adopting two concurrent goals: a long-term dream and an eighteen-month plan. I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today. For one thing, Mark Zuckerberg was only seven years old when I graduated from college. Also, back then, technology and I did not exactly have a great relationship. I used Harvard’s computer system only once as an undergraduate, to run regressions for my senior thesis on the economics of spousal abuse. The data was stored on large, heavy magnetic tapes that I had to lug in big boxes across campus, cursing the entire way and arriving in a sweaty mess at the sole computer center, which was populated exclusively with male students.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

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

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

mg= reno64-wsj. 17 ‘Small Retailers Reap the Benefits of Selling on Amazon, but Challenges Remain’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 14 February 2014, www.internetretailer.com/mobile500/. 18 Bill Siwicki, ‘It’s Official: Mobile Devices Surpass PCs in Online Retail’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 1 October 2013, www.internetretailer.com/2013/10/01/its-official-mobile-devices-surpass-pcs-online-retail. 19 ‘Mobile Commerce Comes of Age’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 24 September 2013, www.internetretailer.com/2013/09/24/mobile-commerce-comes-age. 20 ‘Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 6.9 Percent in Fourth Quarter of 2013’, article on Gartner.com, 9 January 2014, www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2647517. 21 Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, May 2013, slide 31, op. cit. 21 In-Soo Nam, ‘A Rising Addiction Among Youths: Smartphones’, article on WSJ.com, 23 July 2013, online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324263404578615162292157222.html. 23 ‘Americans Can’t Put Down Their SmartPhones, Even During Sex’, article on Jumio.com, 11 July 2013, www.jumio.com/2013/07/americans-cant-put-down-their-smartphones-even-during-sex/. 24 Drew Olanoff, ‘Mark Zuckerberg: Our Biggest Mistake was Betting Too Much on HTML5’, article on TechCrunch.com, 11 September 2012, TechCrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-our-biggest-mistake-with-mobile-was-betting-too-much-on-html5/. 25 Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Little, Brown: London, 2012, p. 501. 26 ‘Standish Newsroom – Open Source’, press release, Boston, April 2008, blog.standishgroup.com/pmresearch. 27 Richard Rothwell, ‘Creating Wealth with Free Software’, article on FreeSoftwareMagazine.com, 8 May 2012, www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/creating_wealth_free_software. 28 ‘Samsung Elec Says Gear Smartwatch Sales Hit 800,000 in 2 Months’, article on Reuters.com, 19 November 2013, www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/19/samsung-gear-idUSL4N0J41VR20131119. 29 Jay Yarow, ‘Meet the Team of Experts Apple Assembled To Create The iWatch, Its Next Industry-Defining Product’, article on BusinessInsider.com. 18 July 2013, www.BusinessInsider.com/iwatch-sensors-2013-7. 30 Macelo Ballve, ‘Wearable Gadgets Are Still Not Getting The Attention They Deserve – Here’s Why They Will Create A Massive New Market’, article on BusinessInsider.com, 29 August 2013, www.BusinessInsider.com/wearable-devices-create-a-new-market-2013-8.

The challenges with Web apps are numerous, from ensuring compatibility with mobile Web browsers and all their different versions – which involves a lot of testing – to complexities around mobile Web browsers being able to reliably access sensors (such as the microphone, compass or accelerometer) on your phone, and all the way through to how fast the Web app will run if it hasn’t been designed to run specifically on your phone. Facebook famously tried to pursue Web apps, only to have CEO Mark Zuckerberg do an about-turn in 2012, stating that it was his ‘single biggest mistake’,24 due to those same complexity and performance issues inherent in Web apps. If it hadn’t been for Apple Board member Art Levinson petitioning Jobs, the platform might never have been opened up. ‘I called him half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps’, but Jobs was against them, says Levinson, ‘partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.’25 It was definitely a valid point: Apple does check every single app submitted to the App Store before it’s released to the public, which has a certain cost and overheads associated with it.

I admire Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, for possessing such a clear vision and such an ability to build a singularly brilliant app on a single platform. The final twist to the story – doubling Instagram’s valuation in a mere four days – is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. Instagram marked a turning point in Internet history: it was the first billion-dollar acquisition of an app. It led to speculation that Mark Zuckerberg had lost his mind and that Silicon Valley crazy-think was back in full force. Were people deluded into thinking it was 1999 all over again? On the surface, Instagram was just a group of 16 developers hacking some software in a poky office above a pizza shop in Palo Alto. They hadn’t made a cent in revenues. But they had attracted more than 30 million users in record time. And, unlike those of most of their competitors, those users were actually sticking around.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

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

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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, 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

v=kUHF43xjMJM. 1 “‘Solutionism’ . . . is indeed the name of the game”: quoted in Gilles Paquet, The New Geo-Governance: A Baroque Approach (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2005), 315. 1 “The overriding question”: Paul Dourish and Scott D. Mainwaring, “UbiComp’s Colonial Impulse,” in Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp ‘12 (New York: ACM, 2012), 133–142. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2370216.2370238, 6. 1 While Mark Zuckerberg insists: see, e.g., Zuckerberg’s interview with Charlie Rose: “Exclusive Interview with Facebook Leadership: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO/Co-Founder and Sheryl Sandberg, COO,” Charlie Rose, November 7, 2011, http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11981. 2 BinCam, a new project from researchers in Britain and Germany: my account of BinCam is based on a paper written by its designers. See Anja Thieme et al., “‘We’ve Bin Watching You’: Designing for Reflection and Social Persuasion to Promote Sustainable Lifestyles,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (New York: ACM, 2012), 2337–2346.

Friedman, “Make Way for the Radical Center,” New York Times, July 23, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24friedman.html. 111 “10,000 clicks from 10 states”: Lawrence Lessig, “The Last Best Chance for Campaign Finance Reform: Americans Elect,” The Atlantic, April 25, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/the-last-best-chance-for-campaign-finance-reform-americans-elect/256361 . 111 Cue the Shirky-esque tone of Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks in 2008: see his interview with Sarah Lacy at SXSW 2008. Video is available at http://allfacebook.com/mark-zuckerberg-sarah-lacy-interview-video_b1063. 111 “outdated and antiquated”: Steven Overly, “Web Start-Up Ruck.us Aims to Engage the Politically Independent,” Washington Post, March 12, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/web-start-up-ruckus-aims-to-engage-the-politically-independent/2012/03/09/gIQAKvU55R_story.html . 112 “the word comes from rugby”: Ruck.us, “FAQs,” http://blog.ruck.us/faqs. 112 “Whereas 30 years ago we were blissfully ignorant”: Nathan Daschle, “How to Pick Your Presidential Candidate Online,” CNN.com, April 19, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/19/opinion/daschle-elect/index.html. 113 “the Americans Elect innovation is so exciting”: ibid. 113 “The trends are undeniable”: ibid. 113 “Politics is the last sector”: Alex Fitzpatrick, “Ruck.Us Breaks Up Party Politics on the Social Web,” Mashable, May 11, 2012, http://mashable.com/2012/05/11/ruckus. 114 “Plots to disrupt the two-party system”: Steve Freiss, “Son of Democratic Party Royalty Creates a Ruck.us,” Politico, June 26, 2012, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77847.html. 114 “our two-party system doesn’t form”: ibid. 114 “the creativity of party politics”: Nancy L.

If you listen to its loudest apostles, Silicon Valley is all about solving problems that someone else—perhaps the greedy bankers on Wall Street or the lazy know-nothings in Washington—have created. “Technology is not really about hardware and software any more. It’s really about the mining and use of this enormous data to make the world a better place,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, told an audience of MIT students in 2011. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who argues that his company’s mission is to “make the world more open and connected,” concurs. “We don’t wake up in the morning with the primary goal of making money,” he proclaimed just a few months before his company’s rapidly plummeting stock convinced all but its most die-hard fans that Facebook and making money had parted ways long ago. What, then, gets Mr. Zuckerberg out of bed? As he told the audience of the South by Southwest festival in 2008, it’s the desire to solve global problems.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Owning pipelines, people, products, or even intellectual property is no longer the key to success. Openness is. Google’s founders and executives understand the change brought by the internet. That is why they are so successful and powerful, running what The Times of London dubbed “the fastest growing company in the history of the world.” The same is true of a few disruptive capitalists and quasi-capitalists such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; Craig Newmark, who calls himself founder and customer service representative—no joke—at craigslist; Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; and Kevin Rose, creator of Digg. They see a different world than the rest of us and make different decisions as a result, decisions that make no sense under old rules of old industries that are now blown apart thanks to these new ways and new thinkers.

Every time someone says something good about you online because of your product, service, reputation, honesty, openness, or helpfulness, you should knock another dollar off your advertising budget. Will it ever get to zero? Only if you’re lucky. New Society Elegant organization Elegant organization I sat, dumbfounded, in an audience of executives at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum International Media Council in Davos, Switzerland, as the head of a powerful news organization begged young Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, for his secret. Please, the publisher beseeched him, how can my publication start a community like yours? We should own a community, shouldn’t we? Tell us how. Zuckerberg, 22 at the time, is a geek of few words. Some assume his laconicism is a sign of arrogance—that and his habit of wearing sandals at big business conferences. But it’s not. He’s shy. He’s direct. He’s a geek, and this is how geeks are.

Facebook tends to blunder into new products, making mistakes as it goes. When Facebook introduced the news feed that compiles tidbits from friends’ pages and activities, some users were freaked by what they perceived as a loss of privacy (even though anything going into news feeds was already public). Protest groups were formed inside the service, using Facebook to organize a fight against Facebook. Founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for not warning users and explaining the feature well enough—communication was his real problem—and Facebook added new privacy controls. There was no exodus. Today, I don’t think any user would disagree that the news feed is a brilliant insight; it is the heart of the service. Though he makes mistakes, Zuckerberg makes them well by listening to customers and responding quickly. After a kerfuffle about a new Facebook advertising feature subsided, blogging venture capitalist Rick Segal begged us all to give Zuckerberg some slack.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

SCREAMING FOR QUIET THE DREAMS OF READERS LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF PRIVACY HOOKED MOTHER GOOGLE THE LIBRARY OF UTOPIA THE BOYS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW THE EUNUCH’S CHILDREN PAST-TENSE POP THE LOVE THAT LAYS THE SWALE IN ROWS THE SNAPCHAT CANDIDATE WHY ROBOTS WILL ALWAYS NEED US LOST IN THE CLOUD THE DAEDALUS MISSION Acknowledgments Index UTOPIA IS CREEPY Introduction SILICON VALLEY DAYS IT WAS A SCENE out of an Ambien nightmare: A jackal with the face of Mark Zuckerberg stood over a freshly killed zebra, gnawing at the animal’s innards. But I was not asleep. The vision arrived midday, triggered by the Facebook founder’s announcement—this was in the spring of 2011—that “the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself.” Zuckerberg had begun his new “personal challenge,” he told Fortune magazine, by boiling a lobster alive. Then he dispatched a chicken.

We have allowed our lives to become open books for marketers and snoops, so much so that resistance at this point seems ridiculous. To go “off grid” now, you pretty much have to turn yourself into a counterespionage operative, a secret agent living in a yurt and nibbling the bruised leaves of a discarded cabbage. THE SOCIAL GRAFT November 6, 2007 “ONCE EVERY HUNDRED YEARS media changes,” boy-coder turned big-thinker Mark Zuckerberg declared today at the Facebook Social Advertising Event in New York City. It’s true. Look back over the last millennium or two, and you’ll see that every century, like clockwork, there’s been a big change in media. Cave painting lasted a hundred years, and then there was smoke signaling, which also lasted a hundred years, and of course there was the hundred years of yodeling, and then there was the printing press, which was invented almost precisely a hundred years ago, and so forth up to the present day—the day that Facebook picked up the hundred-year torch and ran with it.

The Gothic High-Tech, who cannot abide death, face a problem here: The organ donation system is largely democratic; it can’t be gamed easily by wealth. A rich person may be able to travel somewhere that has shorter lines—Tennessee, say—but he can’t jump to the head of the line. So the challenge becomes one of increasing the supply, of making rare components plentiful. 7. A week ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a move that he said was inspired by the experience of his friend Steve Jobs, announced that Facebook was introducing a new feature that would make it easy for members to identify themselves as organ donors. Should Zuckerberg’s move increase the supply of organs, it will save many lives and alleviate much suffering. We should all be grateful. Dark dreams of the future are best left to science fiction writers.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

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

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

But now things are loosening up. In May 2011, LinkedIn, a social network, went public and saw its shares more than double in their first day of trading. Later in 2011 Groupon and Zynga floated the biggest IPOs since Google in 2004. In May 2012 Facebook went public, in the biggest IPO in the history of the tech industry, one that placed a value of more than $100 billion on the social network that Mark Zuckerberg had started on a lark in his Harvard dorm room eight years before. Now everyone is trying to spot the next Facebook, and a new tech frenzy is taking shape. Back on the East Coast, where I spend my weekends, there is a vague sense that maybe things are getting a little bit frothy out in the Bay Area. Here in San Francisco there is no doubt. There’s money everywhere. Any college dropout with a hoodie and a half-baked idea can raise venture funding.

Some raise money without even knowing what product or service they will build. Many have never run companies before. Some have never even had jobs before. On top of that, a lot of these new start-up founders are somewhat unsavory people. The old tech industry was run by engineers and MBAs; the new tech industry is populated by young, amoral hustlers, the kind of young guys (and they are almost all guys) who watched The Social Network and its depiction of Mark Zuckerberg as a lying, thieving, backstabbing prick—and left the theater wanting to be just like that guy. Many are fresh out of college, or haven’t even bothered to graduate. Their companies look and feel a lot like frat houses. Twitter, at one point, will literally hold a frat-themed party. In 2012 a new word has entered the Silicon Valley lexicon: brogrammer, which refers to a kind of macho dickhead who chugs from a beer bong and harasses women.

We’re not just making software, we’re reinventing the way companies do business. Maybe that sounds arrogant, but who knows? Maybe the people at HubSpot have figured something out. Maybe the best way to do something really innovative is to hire a bunch of young people who have no experience and therefore no preconceived notions about how to run a company. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were twenty-five years old when they founded Google. Mark Zuckerberg was twenty when he founded Facebook, and once famously said, “Young people are just smarter.” Maybe Zuckerberg was right. Sure, experience is valuable, but I’m willing to accept the idea that experience can also be an impediment. Forbes and Newsweek were filled with old-timers who scoffed at the Internet, didn’t understand it, and didn’t want to understand it. They pined for the good old days.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

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

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

Schmidt banned employees: Elinor Mills (14 Jul 2005), “Google balances privacy, reach,” CNET, http://news.cnet.com/Google-balances-privacy,-reach/2100-1032_3-5787483.html. Randall Stross (28 Aug 2005), “Google anything, so long as it’s not Google,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/technology/28digi.html. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Bobbie Johnson (10 Jan 2010), “Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder,” Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy. bought the four houses: Brian Bailey (11 Oct 2013), “Mark Zuckerberg buys four houses near his Palo Alto home,” San Jose Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24285169/mark-zuckerberg-buys-four-houses-near-his-palo-alto-home. few secrets we don’t tell someone: Peter E. Sand (Spring/Summer 2006), “The privacy value,” I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy 2, http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/is/files/2012/02/5-Sand.pdf.

But in 2005, Schmidt banned employees from talking to reporters at CNET because a reporter disclosed personal details about Schmidt in an article. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg declared in 2010 that privacy is no longer a “social norm,” but bought the four houses abutting his Palo Alto home to help ensure his own privacy. There are few secrets we don’t tell someone, and we continue to believe something is private even after we’ve told that person. We write intimate letters to lovers and friends, talk to our doctors about things we wouldn’t tell anyone else, and say things in business meetings we wouldn’t say in public. We use pseudonyms to separate our professional selves from our personal selves, or to safely try out something new. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed a remarkable naïveté when he stated, “You have one identity. The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.

Indians are worried: Jayshree Bajoria (5 Jun 2014), “India’s snooping and Snowden,” India Real Time, http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/06/05/indias-snooping-and-snowden. Both China and Russia: Shannon Tiezzi (28 Mar 2014), “China decries US ‘hypocrisy’ on cyber-espionage,” Diplomat, http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/china-decries-us-hypocrisy-on-cyber-espionage. Xinhua News Agency (11 Jul 2014), “Putin calls US surveillance practice ‘utter hypocrisy,’” China Daily, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014-07/11/content_17735783.htm. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Mark Zuckerberg (13 Mar 2014), “As the world becomes more complex … ,” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101301165605491. 8: Commercial Fairness and Equality Accretive Health is: Office of the Minnesota Attorney General (19 Jan 2012), “Attorney General Swanson sues Accretive Health for patient privacy violations,” Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/PressRelease/120119AccretiveHealth.asp.


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

This dynamic—higher earnings for those who “get” computers—affects many sectors beyond Silicon Valley. This isn’t merely a story about science, technology, engineering, and math majors (STEM), because a lot of scientists aren’t getting jobs today, especially if they don’t do the “right” kind of science. Does anyone envy the job prospects of a typical newly minted astronomy PhD? On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame was a psychology major, and insights from psychology helped him make Facebook into a more appealing and alluring site. The ability to mix technical knowledge with solving real-world problems is the key, not sheer number-crunching or programming for its own sake. Number-crunching skills will be turned over to the machines sooner or later. Marketing Despite all the talk about STEM fields, I see marketing as the seminal sector for our future economy.

For the top 1 percent of earners in America, a lot of the big gains come in the zip codes of New York City, the Upper West Side zip code of 10023 being number one. The Upper East Side does well, as does Scarsdale (a suburb of New York), Cupertino, and Potomac and Bethesda near Washington, D.C. This reflects how many of the very highest earners come from internet companies and finance, with some government and law thrown into the mix. There has been Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates, but finance is a common source of riches within the very highest tier of earners. To give one extreme but illuminating example, in 2007 the top twenty-five hedge fund earners pulled in more income than all the CEOs of the S&P 500 put together. The modern financial sector has computers, computerized trading, arbitrage, super-rapid communications, and computerized risk assessment at its core.

Mathematicians used to prove theorems at age twenty, but now it happens at age thirty because there is so much more to learn along the way. If you are a talented twenty-two-year-old, just out of Harvard, you probably cannot walk into a furniture factory and quickly design a better machine. Young people have made fundamental contributions in some of the internet and social networking sectors, precisely because of the immaturity of those sectors. Mark Zuckerberg needed a good grasp of Myspace, but he didn’t have to master decades of previous efforts on online social networks. He was close to starting from scratch. In those cases, young people tend to dominate the sector, but of course that won’t cover the furniture factory. Now take a typical young person, not furniture-machine savvy but just out of Harvard with, say, a degree in economics. She and her parents expect her to earn a high income—now—and to affiliate with other smart, highly educated people, maybe even to marry one of them someday.


pages: 270 words: 79,068

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

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

Should your company make Vice President the top title or should you have Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief People Officers, and Chief Snack Officers? There are two schools of thought regarding this, one represented by Marc Andreessen and the other by Mark Zuckerberg. Andreessen argues that people ask for many things from a company: salary, bonus, stock options, span of control, and titles. Of those, title is by far the cheapest, so it makes sense to give the highest titles possible. The hierarchy should have Presidents, Chiefs, and Senior Executive Vice Presidents. If it makes people feel better, let them feel better. Titles cost nothing. Better yet, when competing for new employees with other companies, using Andreessen’s method you can always outbid the competition in at least one dimension. At Facebook, by contrast, Mark Zuckerberg purposely deploys titles that are significantly lower than the industry standard. Senior Vice Presidents at other companies must take title haircuts down to Directors or Managers at Facebook.

The Struggle has no mercy. The Struggle is the land of broken promises and crushed dreams. The Struggle is a cold sweat. The Struggle is where your guts boil so much that you feel like you are going to spit blood. The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak. Most people are not strong enough. Every great entrepreneur from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg went through the Struggle and struggle they did, so you are not alone. But that does not mean that you will make it. You may not make it. That is why it is the Struggle. The Struggle is where greatness comes from. SOME STUFF THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HELP There is no answer to the Struggle, but here are some things that helped me: Don’t put it all on your shoulders. It is easy to think that the things that bother you will upset your people more.

This makes sense, because everybody is just working to build the company. Roles needn’t be clearly defined and, in fact, can’t be, because everyone does a little bit of everything. In an environment like this there are no politics and nobody is jockeying for position or authority. It’s rather nice. So why do all organizations eventually create job titles and what is the proper way to manage them? (Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg for contributing to my thinking on this subject.) WHY DO TITLES MATTER? Two important factors drive all companies to eventually create job titles: 1. Employees want them. While you may plan to work at your company forever, at least some of your employees need to plan for life after your company. When your head of sales interviews for her next job, she won’t want to say that despite the fact that she ran a global sales force with hundreds of employees, her title was “Dude.” 2.


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

An array of information that Facebook previously had treated as private, suddenly and without warning became publicly available information by default. This included a user’s profile picture, name, gender, current city, what professional and regional “networks” one belonged to within Facebook, the “causes” one had signed on to support, and one’s entire list of Facebook friends. The changes were driven by Facebook’s need to monetize the service but were also consistent with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s strong personal conviction that people everywhere should be open about their lives and actions. In Iran, where authorities were known to be using information and contacts obtained from people’s Facebook accounts while interrogating Green Movement activists detained from the summer of 2009 onward, the implications of the new privacy settings were truly frightening. Soon after the changes were made, an anonymous commenter on the technology news site ZDNet confirmed that Iranian users were deleting their accounts in horror:A number of my friends in Iran are active student protesters of the government.

A physical government’s power over the individual is not in any way comparable to the power that any Internet company holds over any person. Still, Tsui made an important point. Hundreds of millions of people “inhabit” Facebook’s digital kingdom. Call it Facebookistan. By mid-2011 Facebook had 700 million users. If it really were a country, it would be the world’s third largest, after India and China. The social network may have started out in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room as a platform for college students to flirt with one another, but it is now a world unto itself: an alternative virtual reality that for many users is now inextricably intertwined with their physical reality—and one that is often celebrated as a platform not only for personal expression but for political liberation. Facebook’s motto is “Making the world open and connected.”

If you want to organize a movement the only place to do it effectively is on Facebook, because you have to go where all the people are. There needs to be a mechanism that enables us to do this kind of work. Either Facebook is going to get it, or we’re going to be playing cat and mouse.” Fortunately for Egypt’s activists, the story ended well, at least in the short term, with the fall of the Mubarak regime. Wael Ghonim was soon lavishing praise on Mark Zuckerberg for having created the world’s greatest organizing tool for freedom and democracy. INSIDE THE LEVIATHAN Members of Facebook’s management team are adamant that the real-name requirement is key to protecting users from abusive and criminal behavior. Tim Sparapani, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union before becoming Facebook’s public policy director, explained it to me this way: “Authenticity allows Facebook to be more permissive in terms of what we can allow people to say and do on the site.”


pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

Ranjay Gulati, “Silo Busting: How to Execute on the Promise of Customer Focus,” Harvard Business Review, May 2007. 4. Ben Horowitz, “Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager,” Andreessen Horowitz website (no exact date given), a16z.com/2012/06/15/good-product-managerbad-product-manager/. 5. Noah Kagan, “What Happens After You Get Shot Down by Mark Zuckerberg?” Fast Company, July 24, 2014, fastcompany.com/3033427/hit-the-ground-running/what-happens-after-you-get-shot-down-by-mark-zuckerberg. 6. Harry McCracken, “Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook,” Fast Company, Long Read/Behind the Brand (blog), November 16, 2015. 7. “Fireside Chat: Defining True Growth—How Do You Find Your North Star Metric,” GrowthHackers, https://growthhackers.com/videos/gh-conference-16-fireside-chat-with-nate-moch-vp-product-teams-at-zillow-and-morgan-brown-coo-at-inman-news. 8.

In late 2007, Facebook set up a formal growth team of five people, called The Growth Circle, bringing together experts in product management (including their most tenured product manager, Naomi Gleit), Internet marketing, data analytics, and engineering. The team was run by a hard-charging executive and former head of product marketing on the Facebook Platform and Ads products named Chamath Palihapitiya, who recommended to Mark Zuckerberg that he refocus his efforts on helping the site grow its number of users. Though Facebook, who had by this time about 70 million users, had already achieved remarkable growth, it looked like the company might be hitting a wall. So Mark Zuckerberg tasked the team to focus exclusively on experimenting with ways to break through that plateau. As the team racked up success after success, Zuckerberg saw that the investment in the new unit was paying off, and continued to add more manpower, enabling the team to experiment more and grow the site even faster.8 One of their biggest breakthroughs, the creation of a translation engine to spur international growth, provides a sharp contrast as to how the growth hacking method is so different from the traditional marketing approach.

At start-ups, if the founder or CEO isn’t personally leading the growth efforts directly, then the team or teams should report directly to him or her. In larger companies, which may have multiple growth teams, the teams should report to a vice president or C-level executive who can champion their work with the rest of the C-suite. Support for these methods at the highest rungs of the organization is critical to the team’s sustained success. Mark Zuckerberg is an outstanding model of the leadership required. He was relentlessly focused on growth in the early days of Facebook, and his enthusiasm hasn’t waned since. In 2005, two years before Facebook formally established the growth team, Noah Kagan, a digital marketer who was employee number 30, brought a revenue generating idea to Zuckerberg. Kagan was concerned that the social network needed to prove to investors that it could make serious money.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator, yield management

When Chesky arrived, he was impressed with the way Le had spruced up the air mattress in his living room, even putting a mint on the pillow. For his part, Le recalls Chesky spending a lot of time out on the balcony, either on the phone or “deep in thought.” Le made him an espresso every morning (which he says Chesky drank “in two seconds”) and drove him to the festival, during which time Chesky described his vision for the company and his fervent hope to meet Mark Zuckerberg, who was speaking at the conference. Despite pulling in zero outside business, the South by Southwest launch actually served a few purposes. By using the website himself, Chesky identified some kinks in the payment process. He’d forgotten to go to the ATM not once but twice, so for two nights he was in the awkward position of staying in the home of a stranger who had no reason to believe he’d actually pay.

“As far as I was concerned, we were the Beatles,” Chesky told Lacy in their fireside chat. But once again, the success would be short-lived. Despite the bookings and the media coverage, as soon as the convention was over, traffic crashed. “We realized if only there were political conventions every week, we’d be huge,” Chesky said. Instead, they were back at square one. Chesky would later put it in medical terms: they were losing their patient. “I Don’t Remember Mark Zuckerberg Assembling Cereal Boxes” Back at home in San Francisco, with Blecharczyk back in Boston, Chesky and Gebbia were launched, out of money, in debt, and without traffic. Desperate and nearly out of options, they resuscitated an idea they’d had before the DNC, which was to ship their “hosts” free breakfast that they could then in turn give to their paying guests. After all, breakfast was half of the name and a big part of the concept.

They scoured San Francisco’s supermarkets to find which sold the cheapest cereal and filled up shopping cart after shopping cart until they had a thousand boxes of one-dollar cereal, loaded them into Gebbia’s red Jeep, and hauled them home. Back in the kitchen, with a thousand flat boxes and a hot-glue gun, they got to work, hand-folding the boxes and sealing them shut with the glue. “It was like doing giant origami on my kitchen table,” Chesky recalled during the Lacy interview. He burned his hands. He thought to himself that he couldn’t remember Mark Zuckerberg hot-gluing anything or burning his hands assembling cereal boxes to launch Facebook. Maybe, he thought, this wasn’t a good sign. But they finished the boxes, and, in their last-ditch attempt at stirring up attention for their failing company, alerted the press. Tech reporters got bombarded with pitches, they reasoned, but they probably didn’t get cereal shipped to their desks all that often.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

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Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

The idea took off, and within ten years there were one hundred Uniqlo stores in Japan. In 2000, a fleece sweatshirt offered in many different colors made Uniqlo a household name and set the stage for further expansion in Japan and around the world. Today, the company continues to grow its Uniqlo brand in international markets, with stores in New York and London. Mark Zuckerberg b. 1984, United States Facebook Mark Zuckerberg matriculated at Harvard University in 2002 and quickly built his reputation as one of the best computer programmers on campus. This caught the attention of a trio of students who were developing a match-making program. Zuckerberg joined the project, but soon left to team up with friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to develop the social network that would become Facebook.

As we began collecting data and conducting interviews it became almost immediately clear that a lot of the truisms that get touted as the keys to successful entrepreneurship didn’t stand up to the data we had. For instance: Age Our tech-dominated era—populated by savvy wunderkinder—has left the impression that most self-made billionaires cross that billion-dollar finish line early in their careers. While it is true that people like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg made their first billion while still quite young—and with the first companies they formed—the majority of people in our sample are like Dietrich Mateschitz, who didn’t hit the billion-dollar mark until well after his fortieth birthday. For more than 70 percent of the sample, the idea or transition that catapulted them to billion-dollar success happened after age thirty (see Figure 1-1). Figure 1-1: Most Billionaires Are Already Mature Professionals When They Launch Their Blockbuster Idea Industry Technology dominance has also led many to believe that the main path for self-made entrepreneurs is the tech sector, which is so often held up as a bastion of new wealth and meritocracy, where anyone with a great idea and the willingness to code for long hours can rise to the top.

Two years after starting Spanx, founder and Producer Sara Blakely handed the operations of the business over to Performer CEO Laurie Ann Goldman, who ran the company for twelve years. Bloomberg’s Producer Michael Bloomberg started the financial data giant with the technology Performer Tom Secunda at his side. In the technology world, these pairings are more public than elsewhere: there is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (Producer) and Sheryl Sandberg (Performer), eBay’s Pierre Omidyar (Producer) and Meg Whitman (Performer), Microsoft’s Bill Gates (Producer) and Paul Allen (Performer), just to name a few. Sometimes these pairs seem destined to work together. The serial Producer Mark Cuban—cofounder of Broadcast.com and the current owner of the Dallas Mavericks—wrote about the Performer Martin Woodall, who was Cuban’s partner in MicroSolutions, his first multimillion-dollar business: “While I covered my mistakes by throwing time and effort at the problem, Martin was so detail-oriented, he had to make sure things were perfect so there would never be any problems.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman

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

LinkedIn competes in the event where it can win the gold medal; it leads the space it has defined. You can carve out a similar professional niche in the job market by making choices that make you different from the smart people around you. Matt Cohler, now a partner at Benchmark Capital, spent six years in his late twenties and early thirties being a lieutenant to CEOs at LinkedIn (me) and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg). Most supertalented people want to be the front man; few play the consigliere role well. In other words, there’s less competition and significant opportunity to be an all-star right-hand man. Matt excelled at this role, building a portfolio of accomplishments and relationships along the way. This professional differentiation in the market set him up to achieve a long-standing goal, which was to become a partner at a top-tier VC firm.

Shifting from the public to the private sector, from the high-powered corridors of Washington, DC, to the organized chaos of Silicon Valley, might strike you as abrupt, or even random. But in fact, each move made sense given the interplay of her assets, aspirations, and the market realities. Her honed management skills would be useful for a fast-growing company; her economics background would help develop a sales model for a new type of online advertising; and Google’s mission was rooted in making the world a better place. After six years at Google, Mark Zuckerberg hired Sheryl to be COO at Facebook, where she remains today. What Flickr and Sheryl have in common is that they each challenge common assumptions about the path to success. Flickr contradicts the idea that winning start-ups come out of nowhere and ride the founders’ brilliant idea to take over the world. In reality, most companies don’t execute a single brilliant master plan. They go through stops and starts, a couple near-death experiences, and a great deal of adaptation.

Not only should the founders be talented, they should be committed to getting other talented people on board. The strength of the cofounders and early employees reflects the individual strength of the CEO; that’s why investors don’t evaluate the CEO in isolation from his or her team. Vinod Khosla, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and a Silicon Valley investor, says, “The team you build is the company you build.” Mark Zuckerberg says he spends half his time recruiting. Just as entrepreneurs are always recruiting and building a team of stunning people, you want to always be investing in your professional network to grow the start-up that is your career. Quite simply, if you want to accelerate your career, you need the help and support of others. Of course, unlike company founders, you aren’t hiring a fleet of employees who report to you, nor do you report to a board of directors.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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

But they are not, and feminist ideals cannot be achieved if they are pursued Sandberg-style. Women who channel their energies toward reaching the top of corporate America undermine the struggles of women trying to realize institutional change by organizing unions and implementing laws that protect women (and men) in the workplace. An anecdote shared by Sandberg illustrates this point: In 2010 Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to improve the performance metrics of the Newark Public Schools. The money would be distributed through a new foundation called Startup: Education. Sandberg recommended Jen Holleran, a woman she knew “with deep knowledge and experience in school reform” to run the foundation. The only problem was that Jen was raising fourteen-month-old twins at the time, working part time, and not getting much help from her husband.

The Gates Foundation is a private institution that is free to use its money as it sees fit. It’s not just Bill and Medinda Gates. Education reformers lobby Congress to pass legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative legislators and business groups that writes sample legislation for political representatives to present to Congress and state legislatures. When Mark Zuckerberg decided to donate $100 million to “fix” the Newark Public School System, the foundation board established to decide how to use the money had only a single community member on it—(former) Mayor Cory Booker.48 Foundations are not only unaccountable and undemocratic—they often also implement programs and structures that are undemocratic. One of the central goals pushed by education reformers is to eliminate elected school boards—as did former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002—the only voice for parents and communities to speak up about school reform.

Altieri, and Peter Rosset, “Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Food First Policy Brief No. 12, San Francisco: Food First, 2006. 39For a good discussion of the Green Revolution and its problems, see McMichael, Development and Social Change. 40Holt-Giménez, Altieri, and Rosset, “Ten Reasons.” 41“Giving with One Hand and Taking with Two: A Critique of AGRA’s African Agricultural Status Report 2013,” Johannesburg: African Centre for Biosafety, 2013, www.acbio.org.za/images/stories/dmdocuments/AGRA-report-Nov2013.pdf. 42See AGRA Watch, www.seattleglobaljustice.org/agra-watch/about-us/. 43African Centre for Biosafety, “Giving with One Hand,” p. 18. 44Robert Rothstein, March 8, 2011, www.epi.org/publication/fact-challenged_policy/. 45Dana Goldstein, “Grading ‘Waiting for Superman,’” Nation, October 11, 2010. 46Ravitch, Reign of Error, p. 33. 47William J. Bushaw, “The Seven Most Surprising Findings of the 2012 PDK/Gallup Poll on Public Schools,” Education Week blog, August 23, 2012. 48Maggie Severns, “Whatever Happened to the $100 Million Mark Zuckerberg Gave to Newark Schools?” Mother Jones, March 28, 2013. 49Robert Reich, “A Failure of Philanthropy,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2005. 5 Looking Forward Capitalism both creates and destroys, and the past three decades have been no exception. Unprecedented generation of wealth, global integration, and technological innovation have been accompanied by a stratospheric rise in inequality, ever-expanding environmental destruction, and a loss of faith in capitalism as the best possible system.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

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affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

At the time, it did not look like a foregone conclusion. It looked like a good business opportunity, but there were plenty of other players, and it seemed plenty likely that they could beat us. And we were also thinking, Google could just jump in at any moment. They easily could have won in 2004. Now, of course, it’s a different story.” Dustin and his college buddies, roommates and fellow cofounders Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes, famously decided to move out to Palo Alto that summer, 2004, with the intention of going back to Harvard in the fall. “But by the time the end of June rolled around, it was more like a hundred and fifty thousand users, and we thought, ‘OK, this is actually pretty difficult to do, even without having sixty or eighty hours a week of classes, homework and paid work. We started asking ourselves, ‘Is it really feasible to go back next semester, and build this company, and do school?’

Seth continues, “Does spending your teenage years (and your twenties) in a room practicing the violin teach you anything about being a violin teacher or a concert promoter or some other job associated with music? If your happiness depends on your draft pick or a single audition, that’s giving way too much power to someone else.” Learn the business side of your craft, and you’ll come away with applicable, marketable skills no matter what. For Dustin, of course, going for his dreams paid off. For several years, Mark Zuckerberg was the world’s youngest-ever self-made billionaire. But Dustin is eight days younger than Zuckerberg. When Facebook’s valuation soared in 2010, Dustin’s chunk surged to over two billion, and he took Zuckerberg’s place as the world’s youngest. Dustin has already started his next venture, Asana (http://asana.com), which aims to revolutionize workplace collaboration as thoroughly as Facebook has revolutionized the way we socialize.

So they contacted Elliott and asked him and the Summit Team to put together the event for the White House, which they did. Bisnow and his team of merry twentysomethings had arrived at the central halls of global power. Now, Elliott rolls with Bill Clinton, Mark Cuban, and fellow non-college-graduates Ted Turner, Sean Parker, Russell Simmons, and Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, all of whom have participated at Summit Series gatherings. Aside from Facebook cofounder (and college dropout) Mark Zuckerberg, Elliott is now quite possibly one of the most well-connected twentysomethings on the planet. As a Forbes profile of Summit asks, “Do you know of a more influential networking event for a new generation of geniuses? If so, let me know.”2 Elliott has left the family newsletter business in good hands and is focusing entirely on Summit. It’s his second multimillion-dollar business, and he has also raised over $2 million for charity from participants at the events.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

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4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Compared with the next call he had to make, talking to his parents had been easy. He turned around to make sure no one was within earshot. Then he opened the address book on his phone, scrolled down past the people’s names that began with the letter J, then past K, then L, and finally arrived at the number he was looking for: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. He peered over his shoulder again as Crystal and Ev and others stood talking by the kitchen, then looked back at his phone as he pressed the phone number next to Mark Zuckerberg’s name. IV. #EV The Third Twitter Leader Jack sat glaring at Ev, not a word coming out of his mouth, his eyes so steady and precise you’d have thought he was in the middle of a staring contest. Except his opponent, Ev, was trying his best—as difficult as it was—to ignore him. “People hear about Twitter a lot but don’t know what it is or why they’d want to use it,” Ev read aloud from his slide deck, periodically glancing as Goldman, Bijan, and Fred, who tried to listen attentively, though they, too, were distracted by Jack’s silence.

Or the time the Russian president showed up to the office, with snipers and the Secret Service, to send his first tweet, right at the moment the site stopped working. Or when Biz and Ev went to Al Gore’s apartment at the St. Regis for dinner and got “shit-faced drunk” as the former vice president of the United States tried to convince them to sell him part of Twitter. Or other bizarre acquisition attempts by Ashton Kutcher at his pool in Los Angeles and by Mark Zuckerberg at awkward meetings at his sparsely furnished house. Or when Kanye West, will.i.am, Lady Gaga, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain, and countless other celebrities and politicians had arrived, sometimes unannounced, at the office, rapping, singing, preaching, tweeting (some others were even high or drunk), trying to understand how this bizarre thing that was changing society could be controlled and how they could own a piece of it.

In the months leading up to Jack’s departure, employees had complained to senior staffers that Jack had acted like a “cowboy” when he was CEO, sometimes ordering people around and rarely trusting those who worked below him. When Ev stepped up to take charge of the company, he took a completely different approach to management, always trusting employees from the get-go, which gave them a sense of pride and, in turn, a loyalty to Ev and Twitter. Jack’s stare was interrupted when the following words came out of Ev’s mouth: “Mark Zuckerberg” and “Facebook.” In the weeks leading up to Jack’s firing, Facebook had been trying to buy Twitter. Mark had made it his personal mission to woo Jack into selling the little blue bird to Facebook. After Jack was let go, it was the two other Twitter cofounders who now needed romancing. Biz and Ev had driven down to Facebook’s campus a few days earlier to meet with Mark. Like most meetings involving the chief of Facebook, it had been almost unbearably uncomfortable.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

The more we comment and share, the more we rate and like, the more economic value is accumulated by those who control the platforms on which our interactions take place.11 Taking this argument one step further, a frustrated minority have complained that we are living in a world of “digital feudalism,” where sites like Facebook and Tumblr offer up land for content providers to work while platform owners expropriate value with impunity and, if you read the fine print, stake unprecedented claim over users’ creations.12 “By turn, we are the heroic commoners feeding revolutions in the Middle East and, at the same time, ‘modern serfs’ working on Mark Zuckerberg’s and other digital plantations,” Marina Gorbis of the Institute for the Future has written. “We, the armies of digital peasants, scramble for subsistence in digital manor economies, lucky to receive scraps of ad dollars here and there, but mostly getting by, sometimes happily, on social rewards—fun, social connections, online reputations. But when the commons are sold or traded on Wall Street, the vast disparities between us, the peasants, and them, the lords, become more obvious and more objectionable.”13 Computer scientist turned techno-skeptic Jaron Lanier has staked out the most extreme position in relation to those he calls the “lords of the computing clouds,” arguing that the only way to counteract this feudal structure is to institute a system of nanopayments, a market mechanism by which individuals are rewarded for every bit of private information gleaned by the network (an interesting thought experiment, Lanier’s proposed solution may well lead to worse outcomes than the situation we have now, due to the twisted incentives it entails).

Almost twenty years later, these sentiments were echoed by Google’s Eric Schmidt and the State Department’s Jared Cohen, who partnered to write The New Digital Age: “The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history,” they insist. It is “the world’s largest ungoverned space,” one “not truly bound by terrestrial laws.” While openness has many virtues, it is also undeniably ambiguous. Is open a means or an end? What is open and to whom? Mark Zuckerberg said he designed Facebook because he wanted to make the world more “open and connected,” but his company does everything it can to keep users within its confines and exclusively retains the data they emit. Yet this vagueness is hardly a surprise given the history of the term, which was originally imported from software production: the designation “open source” was invented to rebrand free software as business friendly, foregrounding efficiency and economic benefits (open as in open markets) over ethical concerns (the freedom of free software).16 In keeping with this transformation, openness is often invoked in a way that evades discussions of ownership and equity, highlighting individual agency over commercial might and ignoring underlying power imbalances.

Facebook executives met with emissaries from various companies to figure out how to better serve them, including letting advertisers see more of what users are doing and saying. Their clients seem pleased: Ford and Coca-Cola have stated that the collaboration has had a positive impact on sales, and Facebook’s stock has risen accordingly.27 We want to make it “easier for marketers to reach their customers,” Mark Zuckerberg assured investors in late 2012, right around the time it was revealed that Facebook was working with a company called Datalogix to track what users bought offline, in brick-and-mortar stores, to provide an even more granular view of user habits.28 As the company works to match promotional messages with people, the trick, according to the Times, “is to avoid violating its users’ perceived sense of privacy or inviting regulatory scrutiny.”29 We are witnessing the beginning of a “revolution in the ways marketers and media intrude in—and shape—our lives,” Joseph Turow, author of The Daily You, has written.30 Yet despite all the democratic rhetoric about the Internet empowering consumers, it is clear that this revolution is not of the bottom-up variety.


pages: 410 words: 101,260

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

“To punish me”: Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008). When companies run suggestion boxes: Birgit Verworn, “Does Age Have an Impact on Having Ideas? An Analysis of the Quantity and Quality of Ideas Submitted to a Suggestion System,” Creativity and Innovation Management 18 (2009): 326–34. average founder is thirty-eight: Claire Cain Miller, “The Next Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Who You Might Think,” New York Times, July 2, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/07/02/upshot/the-next-mark-zuckerberg-is-not-who-you-might-think.html. writer E. M. Forster: Karl E. Weick, The Social Psychology of Organizing, 2nd ed. (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979). conceptual innovators are sprinters: David Galenson, Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011).

In these pages, I learned that great creators don’t necessarily have the deepest expertise but rather seek out the broadest perspectives. I saw how success is not usually attained by being ahead of everyone else but by waiting patiently for the right time to act. And to my utter shock, I learned that procrastinating can be good. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows how much I hate leaving things to the last minute, how I always think that anything that can be done should be done right away. Mark Zuckerberg, along with many others, will be pleased if I can let go of the relentless pressure I feel to finish everything early—and, as Adam points out, it might just help me and my teams achieve better results. INFORMED OPTIMIST Every day, we all encounter things we love and things that need to change. The former give us joy. The latter fuel our desire to make the world different—ideally better than the way we found it.

Growing up, many originals find their first heroes in their most beloved novels, where protagonists exercise their creativity in pursuit of unique accomplishments. When asked to name their favorite books, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel each chose Lord of the Rings,, the epic tale of a hobbit’s adventures to destroy a dangerous ring of power. Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Bezos both pointed to A Wrinkle in Time,, in which a young girl learns to bend the laws of physics and travel through time. Mark Zuckerberg was partial to Ender’s Game, where it’s up to a group of kids to save the planet from an alien attack. Jack Ma named his favorite childhood book as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, about a woodcutter who takes the initiative to change his own fate. It’s likely that they were all highly original children, which accounts for why they were drawn to these tales in the first place. But it’s also possible that these stories helped elevate their aspirations.


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, wealth creators, Yogi Berra

When electronic and people networks overlap, you have social networks. And then things get really interesting. Social networking is a powerful tool, especially for getting someone else to do work for you. Interviewing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg helped me finally make sense of the phenomenon. “What did you see that got this thing off the ground?” I asked. “There’s this weird effect,” he explained. “If you have a lot of people contributing information, a lot of times you can build a source or a set of information that’s just better than any individual can do.” I have T-shirts older than Mark Zuckerberg. At the time I met him Facebook probably had a mere 100 million users. He was twenty-two, confident but somewhat soft-spoken. Not one for shouting from the mountaintop. “I have a funny story that kind of illustrates this,” he continued.

I met Rupert Murdoch in the early nineties when he almost lost News Corporation under a siege of debt, and when he began transforming the entire media space, from newspapers to TV to film. I met Mark Cuban when he and his partner Todd Wagner were peddling AudioNet to anyone in Silicon Valley who would listen, before they sold the audio and video streaming company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion. I met Mark Zuckerberg just as Facebook was crossing a few million users; he talked about lowering the cost of communications between groups of people. Today, a good chunk of the planet logs in to the site regularly to keep in touch with friends and family. I can go on. Meg Whitman when she was at eBay, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, even a few telecom folks who were billionaires for a moment in time. The cool thing about all these folks is that no one did them any favors.

I wonder if in a hundred years, some wiseass is going to tour Google’s Larry Page’s Palo Alto home and point out to anyone who will listen that Page wasn’t really rich—what, no holodeck? You can bet on it. How Many? I WOULDN’T BE SO BOLD AS TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR IDEA OR your job or your investments have to go 12 for 12 (or 13 for 13) with my Rules for Free Radicals. But the more the better. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has embraced ten of the Rules; I leave it to you to figure out the ones he has missed, so far anyway. Some Rules are easy. Jeez, if you can’t find something that scales, you’re clearly not looking hard enough. Finding things that are adaptive to humans—that could be a little harder. The more filters you successfully apply, the more likely that you’ll find a longrun home run, something that generates wealth for decades on end, rather than some one-off one-hit wonder.


pages: 260 words: 76,223

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

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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

How does the brand hold up within those experiences? EVERYBODY IS BETTING ON MOBILE (JUST ASK GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AND TWITTER). We’re all experts until something happens like Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion. Facebook made it hard (very, very hard) to look past the billion dollars, but the deal was a testament to the one-screen world. It’s no secret that Facebook struggles to win on the mobile platforms. Mark Zuckerberg curated a hacker culture on a Web-based platform in building up Facebook to what it has become. On top of that, Facebook’s Achilles’ heel is photos. People post, share, comment, and look at photos nonstop on Facebook (admit it, just today you were probably creeping on someone from high school that you swore you would never speak to again). Photos are, without question, the biggest part of the Facebook experience, so when Instagram came along and managed to grab thirty-million-plus users on Apple’s iOS platform (and then another five million in its first week on the Android platform), it became abundantly clear that what Instagram was doing so right was something that Facebook needed so desperately: the ability to take, manipulate, and share photos in a compelling way, exclusively through the mobile device.

Can you imagine a world without cash registers? Dorsey isn’t just imagining it… he’s tackling the big challenge. Squiggly means that you can’t hide behind small thinking and quarterly employee reviews. This means that we can’t be afraid to have a more squiggly career path, and we also have to be more open to doing the big, big stuff (Steve Jobs would often talk about making a “dent in the universe”). You will hear Mark Zuckerberg talk about Facebook as the place to connect the world. Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google often talk about Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and knowledge (and, with that, they squiggle to create self-driving cars!). It’s one thing to dream big. It’s another thing to think and do big. In this new world, the squiggle is about not being afraid of the big stuff within whatever industry you serve.

THE NEXT #3—RISE OF THE INDIE BRAND. In March 2012, I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote address at the Art of Marketing event in Toronto. With more than fifteen hundred business professionals in attendance, I shared the stage with people like Martin Lindstrom (author of Brandwashed and Buyology), Randi Zuckerberg (former head of marketing at Facebook and sister of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg), Scooter Braun (music industry professional and the person who discovered and manages Justin Bieber), and many others. The daylong, fully sold-out event featured seven top-of-their-game speakers and marketing professionals, but one individual stole the show. Eric Ryan is the co-founder (with his business partner, Adam Lowry) and chief brand architect of Method. Method is on a mission to totally change the consumer packaged goods business.


pages: 253 words: 65,834

Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang

business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pets.com, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds

An entrepreneur who knows too much physics doesn’t believe he can defy gravity. Many VCs prefer young founders who are incredibly brilliant and gifted even though they are inexperienced and naïve. Look at the case studies of the successful start-ups begun by college dropouts, such as Microsoft (Bill Gates), Dell (Michael Dell), and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg). Fred Wilson’s observation on Facebook is that the singular focus of the young entrepreneur is very powerful. “You have this twenty-five-year-old founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who doesn’t have a wife, he doesn’t have kids, he doesn’t have anything in his life that’s distracting him from what he’s trying to do. And there’s nobody saying to him, ‘God damn it, take the money off the table. It’s fifteen billion dollars. You should sell it now.’ Instead, he’s going for a hundred billion!

I was also fortunate enough to be able to convince some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs—including the founders of Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Sirtris, Twitter, Zynga, and others—to talk from their deep knowledge and experience about how to work with VCs to shape a young company and help it grow. The purpose of this book is to share the magic formula of how great entrepreneurs team with VCs to create valuable companies from raw start-up. Whether you are the next Mark Zuckerberg (the Harvard student who started Facebook) or Jim Barksdale (the seasoned Fortune 500 executive who became CEO of Netscape), Mastering the VC Game will provide you with an insider’s guide to the world of VC-backed company formation, growth, and exit. In the book’s first two chapters, I will explore the psyche of the two protagonists in the start-up game: the entrepreneur and the VC. In Chapters 3 and 4, I turn to the process of raising money (“the pitch”) and negotiating the deal.

Thus, imagine the fewer than one thousand senior VCs spending their time shuttling back and forth between Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York City, all tightly interconnected through their college and business school alumni networks, interlocking business and personal relationships, and all connected by no more than one degree of separation using social networking tools like Reid Hoffman’s LinkedIn, Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, or Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. There are exceptions to every rule and this description is obviously a general characterization, but in short, that is the general essence of the astoundingly tightly woven VC club. As a member of this club, I am pleased to take you inside for a tour—with the help of several of its most successful and long-standing members. We’ll look at the different kinds of VC firms, consider the process they follow in identifying and choosing deals, see how they make their money, and plumb their psyches to see what motivates them.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

He told a friend the two-week expedition was the longest they had ever been together. “They make a lot of money and they work incredibly hard and the husbands never see their children,” Holly Peterson said of the financiers of the Upper East Side. Their lives are driven not by culture or seasons or family tradition, but by the requirements of the latest deal or the mood of the markets. When Mark Zuckerberg rebuffed Yuri Milner’s first approach, the Russian investor, who was already a multimillionaire, turned up at the Internet boy wonder’s office in Palo Alto the next day, a round-trip journey of twelve thousand miles. In November 2010, the number two and heir apparent of one of the top private equity firms told me he was about to make a similar journey. I was a having a drink with him near Madison Park on a Wednesday night.

Inspired and advised by the liberal Soros, Pete Peterson—himself a Republican and former Nixon cabinet member—has spent $1 billion of his Blackstone windfall on a foundation dedicated to bringing down America’s deficit and entitlement spending. Bill Gates, likewise, devotes most of his energy and intellect today to his foundation’s work on causes ranging from supporting charter schools to combating disease in Africa. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has yet to reach his thirtieth birthday, but last fall he donated $100 million to improving Newark’s public schools. Insurance and real estate magnate Eli Broad has become an influential funder of stem cell research and school reform; Jim Balsillie, a cofounder of BlackBerry creator RIM, has established his own international affairs think tank; the list goes on and on. It is not without reason that Bill Clinton has devoted his postpresidency to the construction of a global philanthropic “brand.”

David Rubenstein, the billionaire cofounder of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, told me that when he visited America’s top business schools during their spring recruiting season in 2011, he discovered that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. “When I graduated from college, you wanted to work for IBM or GE,” he told me.” Now when I talk to people graduating from business school, they want to start their own company. Everyone wants to be Mark Zuckerberg; no one wants to be a corporate CEO. They want to be entrepreneurs and make their own great wealth.” That quest starts earlier and earlier. Jones and Doriot were both nearly fifty when they started their businesses. Nowadays, would-be plutocrats want to be well on their way to their fortune by their thirtieth birthday. THE BILLIONAIRE’S CIRCLE But the real mass revolution sparked by the rise of entrepreneurial finance is in the way that it reshaped the big institutions it threatened to usurp.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Critics blame them for everything from destroying the basic rules of employment, exacerbating traffic, and ruining peaceful neighborhoods to bringing unrestrained capitalism into liberal cities. Some of that is overheated, but there were consequences to their approaches that even Uber and Airbnb did not anticipate. At the center of this maelstrom are the young, wealthy, charismatic chief executives: Travis Kalanick and Brian Chesky. They represent a new kind of technology CEO, nothing at all like Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg, the awkward, introverted innovators who typified the previous generation of tech leaders. Instead, they are extroverted storytellers, capable of positioning their companies in the context of dramatic progress for humanity and recruiting not only armies of engineers but drivers, hosts, lobbyists, and lawmakers to their cause. Both were relatively unknown before moving their startups into the global business vanguard.

But Tiendung Le, who now lives in Melbourne, remembers Chesky as distracted and jittery that week, often standing on the balcony and staring wistfully toward downtown, as if all the action were there and he was far from it. “He was not very much present in the place, in the sense that he seemed to be thinking about something else,” Tiendung Le told me. On the second morning of his stay, Chesky planned to hear Mark Zuckerberg speak at the conference, and Tiendung Le gave him a ride. On the way they talked about the young and successful Zuckerberg, who was rocketing to fame. Chesky bristled with excitement at the opportunity to hear him speak. (The talk, with blogger Sarah Lacy, was considered something of a famous bust when attendees started Tweeting angrily that the conversation lacked substance.) Along the way, Chesky thanked Tiendung Le for being “open-minded” and agreeing to try the apartment-sharing website.

He ended up making small talk while Gebbia tried desperately to reach Blecharczyk, who already knew about the outage—the engineer had set up a service that sent him a text message with a single word—AirbedDeflate—every time the site went down. But it was too late. Chesky bombed, and Floodgate passed on the deal. All these investors had concerns about the size of the market, about the absence of any real users, and about the founders themselves, who didn’t resemble the wonky innovators who’d created great Silicon Valley companies, people like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Design students seemed risky; Stanford computer science dropouts were considered a much better bet. And, frankly, the idea itself seemed small. “We made the classic mistake that all investors make,” wrote Fred Wilson, a Twitter backer, a few years later. “We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do.”11 The year 2008 was also an anxious time in Silicon Valley.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

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

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

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

If there was a better chance to be successful (on better terms) out there waiting for me, why wasn’t someone investigating my school for cruelly allowing me to graduate into this job market? What Are Jobs and Entrepreneurship? We hear the word “job” and imagine that someone is squirreled away in a cubicle, mindlessly filling out TPS reports for Proctor and Gamble. We hear the word “entrepreneur” and imagine Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Those are all true characterizations, but these two concepts leave a wide berth in between. How do we clearly distinguish between “jobs” and “entrepreneurship?” In his book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin defines a linchpin as: “[A]n individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen.”

The Three Factors of the Long Tail: The Democratization of the Tools of Production The Democratization of Distribution New Markets Are Revealed Everyday Let’s break those down further. 6 The Democratization of the Tools of Production Product Creation Costs Are Decreasing Many people object to starting a business because it’s perceived as being expensive, or requiring a lot of capital up front. Would-be entrepreneurs imagine having to go out and buy a lot of physical equipment, hire staff, and rent office space. For a large and growing number of businesses, that’s no longer the case. The Social Network, the movie chronicling Facebook’s rise to a multi-billion dollar company depicts Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook in his college dorm room. Basecamp, a multi-million dollar project management software company, was started by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, while living in different countries and while also running a web development consultancy. But it’s not just tech companies. Rent to Own: The Sharing Economy Over the last decade, a more publicly available internet has enabled the “Sharing Economy,” which has democratized the tools of production.

Employee Motives and Firm Innovation,” NBER Working Paper No. 14443, October 2008. 58. Dan Ariely, Uri Gneezy, George Lowenstein, and Nina Mazar, “Large Stakes and Big Mistakes,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Paper No. 05-11, July 23, 2005 59. Pink, Daniel H. (2011-04-05). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us 60. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h5cY7d6nPU 61. http://www.inc.com/allison-fass/peter-thiel-mark-zuckerberg-luck-day-facebook-turned-down-billion-dollars.html 62. Pink, Daniel H. (2011-04-05). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Kindle Locations 1836-1848). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition. Conclusion 63. JFK’s speech at Rice University on September 12th, 1962 64. Source: Peter Thiel, Zero to One 65. Author interview with Rob Walling, to download the full interview, go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj Next Steps 66. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/10/high-intensity-strength-training.aspx 67.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, 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

At its height, the site had more than a million users and a hundred employees. Its functionality was patented (now held by LinkedIn). In December 2000, Six Degrees was sold to Youthstream Media Networks for $125 million. A success by all accounts. We asked Weinreich whether it upset him to see Six Degrees fade away, only to be replaced by other, wildly successful social networking sites. Did he resent Mark Zuckerberg and the success of Facebook? “Absolutely not,” Weinreich told us. “When people copy stuff that is contemporaneous, it is more upsetting than when they do it later.” So time and space make copying easier to take. He added: “It’s weird today to come up with an idea that nobody is doing.” Six Degrees was launched eight years before Facebook. At the time, the technology landscape was different.

Today the characteristics associated with hackers are informing expectations around a new culture of work. Hackers pioneered many principles of informality that have since come to infect mainstream work culture. These include: problem-based work, a culture of openness and transparency, reputational and peer-based accountability (instead of rigid hierarchies and managers), and the permission to act on new opportunities. In a letter to potential investors, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook described the company’s culture and unique management approach, which he dubbed “The Hacker Way.”16 “Hacking,” Zuckerberg wrote, “is a means of building something or testing the boundaries of what can be done.” He went on to describe hackers as people obsessed with continuous improvement and incessant iteration, believing that there is always room to do better and “that nothing is ever complete.”

Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates (Conway Maritime Press, 2002). 9. Leeson, The Invisible Hook. 10. Ibid. 11. Rediker, Villains of All Nations. 12. Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. 13. Leeson, The Invisible Hook. 14. Rediker, Villains of All Nations. 15. Ibid. 16. Epicenter Staff, “Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to Investors: ‘The Hacker Way,’ ” Wired, February 1, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/02/zuck-letter/. 17. Ivan Arreguín-Toft, “How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict,” International Security 26, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 93–128. 18. Moises Naim, Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy (London: Arrow, 2007). 19. Ibid. 20. Marc Goodman, “What Business Can Learn from Organized Crime,” Harvard Business Review, November 2011, https://hbr.org/2011/11/what-business-can-learn-from-organized-crime/ar/1. 21.


pages: 216 words: 61,061

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

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

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

More than ever, we as individuals have the opportunity to put our ideas into practice without the implicit or material support of traditional communities, industries, and governments. Now any individual—an undergrad at UVA, a comedian from Austin with cerebral palsy, a farmer in Missouri, or a public school teacher from the Bronx—can transform the way we all live. As value creation shifts from well-connected MBAs to the innovators themselves, so does wealth creation. Whatever you think of the world’s youngest billionaires, Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook crew, they’re just the beginning. The Forbes list of richest people—or its future equivalent—is going to have far fewer businesspeople and far more creators on it. If this seems obvious to you, great: I’ll be your Sacagawea-like guide as we meet scores of pioneers in their fields. If this sounds crazy and maybe even a bit shocking, even better! So here’s how it’s going to go: I’ll spend the first part of this book describing my own experiences as a startup founder.

The people you’re trying to prevail upon to care about your business. Outliers are outliers, remember, so instead of being disappointed when you’re not the next Facebook, be happy to be your own company that solves a real problem with an elegant solution and wins in a market that’s underserved. Investors want to know they’re going to get a return on their money despite the terrible odds, and investors realize that Mark Zuckerbergs aren’t born every day (thankfully, given the identity crisis Mark would have—though there is at least one child named Facebook in Egypt).13 Experience is traditionally undervalued in the tech sector because we’re accustomed to the wunderkind myth. But that being said, there are so many things I’d end up being smarter about if I had reddit to do all over again. Fortunately, Steve and I applied these lessons to hipmunk.

There’s a special kind of off-the-record camaraderie that exists within the walls of Y Combinator that allows guests to be far more candid than usual. This means that a roomful of hungry founders (remember, hungry for knowledge, because they’re full on glop) can probe the minds of leaders in their industry. Back then Y Combinator was so new that the speaker invite list was limited to Paul’s Boston network. But today the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and other famous startup CEOs show up. One of our speakers at that first dinner was a partner at Goodwin Procter, an international law firm, who patiently answered what must have seemed like inane questions from wide-eyed founders who at best had once taken a business law class. Afterward, the speakers lingered, and founders queued to follow up—the law partner not only ended up sticking around and chatting, he would also go on to represent us during our acquisition.


pages: 337 words: 86,320

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor

One University of Michigan junior told the Michigan Daily, “I’m really creeped out by the new Facebook. It makes me feel like a stalker.” David Kirkpatrick tells this story in his authorized account of the website’s history, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. He dubs the introduction of News Feed “the biggest crisis Facebook has ever faced.” But Kirkpatrick reports that when he interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and head of the rapidly growing company, the CEO was unfazed. The reason? Zuckerberg had access to digital truth serum: numbers on people’s clicks and visits to Facebook. As Kirkpatrick writes: Zuckerberg in fact knew that people liked the News Feed, no matter what they were saying in the groups. He had the data to prove it. People were spending more time on Facebook, on average, than before News Feed launched.

If people consistently tell us what they think we want to hear, we will generally be told things that are more comforting than the truth. Digital truth serum, on average, will show us that the world is worse than we have thought. Do we need to know this? Learning about Google searches, porn data, and who clicks on what might not make you think, “This is great. We can understand who we really are.” You might instead think, “This is horrible. We can understand who we really are.” But the truth helps—and not just for Mark Zuckerberg or others looking to attract clicks or customers. There are at least three ways that this knowledge can improve our lives. First, there can be comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your insecurities and embarrassing behavior. It can be nice to know others are insecure about their bodies. It is probably nice for many people—particularly those who aren’t having much sex—to know the whole world isn’t fornicating like rabbits.

If his friends have a difficult background and little opportunity, he may struggle more to escape poverty. The data tells us that some parts of America are better at giving kids a chance to escape poverty. So what places are best at giving people a chance to escape the grim reaper? We like to think of death as the great equalizer. Nobody, after all, can avoid it. Not the pauper nor the king, the homeless man nor Mark Zuckerberg. Everybody dies. But if the wealthy can’t avoid death, data tells us that they can now delay it. American women in the top 1 percent of income live, on average, ten years longer than American women in the bottom 1 percent of income. For men, the gap is fifteen years. How do these patterns vary in different parts of the United States? Does your life expectancy vary based on where you live?


pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder

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

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

When a company reaches a certain size, it becomes an object of assault by government and by countless pressure groups professing to enhance the interests of “the people.” Despite the achievements of such heroic creators as John D. Rockefeller, J. J. Hill, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, A. P. Giannini, Estée Lauder, Charles Merrill, Chester Carlson, Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, Norman Borlaug, Michael Milken, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and so many others, commerce is perceived as a somewhat-grubby, less-than-exalted undertaking. It is portrayed as something of a Faustian bargain: businesspeople succeed by appealing to our baser instincts; they are motivated by greed and too often may bend the rules. But hey, they give us more material things, so we tolerate their less-than-moral activities. If you succeed in business, you should then atone for your sins by giving your riches away.

If it is combined with ignorance or greed it quickly dissolves, like the fortunes of lottery winners or Vegas jackpot millionaires. America’s entrepreneurs live in a world with four billion poor people. Why on a planet riven with famine, poverty, and disease, it is plausibly asked, should this tiny minority be allowed to control riches thousands of times greater than their needs for subsistence and comfort? More specifically, why should Mark Zuckerberg, the proprietor of Facebook, be estimated to command a fortune worth some $17 billion, while Suzie Saintly, the social worker, makes a mere $40,000 a year, almost half a million times less? Or why should Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, be worth over $50 billion while Dan Bricklin, the inventor of the pioneering VisiCalc spreadsheet that launched the personal computer into business applications, be reduced to tilling his tiny consultancy “Software Garden” with a handful of colleagues?

Far from being greedy, however, America’s leading entrepreneurs, in general, cannot revel in their wealth because most of it is not liquid. It has been given to others in the form of investments. It is embodied in a vast web of enterprise that retains its worth only through constant work and sacrifice. Nevertheless, even dismissing the charge that the “one percent of the one percent” engage in a carnival of greed, we do not explain, or justify, their huge wealth. Some apologists will say that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook billions were a reward for his brilliant entrepreneurship and software coding, while penury is the just outcome of alcoholism and improvidence. But Suzy Saintly, Barack Obama, and Dan Bricklin are neither improvident nor necessarily less brilliant than Mark. All these arguments are beside the point. The distributions of capitalism make sense, but not because of the virtue or greed of entrepreneurs, nor as inevitable byproducts of the invisible hand.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

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

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

DAVID AZAR’S OPPORTUNITY to invest in BitInstant was about to disappear when he went with some friends to the Spanish island of Ibiza. While lounging at Blue Marlin, one of the trendy island’s most famous beach clubs, David noticed two tall men with waves of glossy brown hair, who would have drawn his attention even if they weren’t Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The Winklevoss twins had become a cultural phenomenon owing to their involvement with Mark Zuckerberg when they were all undergraduates at Harvard. Zuckerberg had initially teamed up with the brothers to build a social networking site, but when Zuckerberg went off on his own and created Facebook, the twins sued him, claiming he stole their idea. They eventually won a $65 million settlement and the story inspired the Oscar-winning film The Social Network. Aware that the brothers were tech savvy and wealthy, David seized the opportunity.

The next day Erik and Ira sent in their resignations and moved into the offices of Larry Lenihan and FirstMark Capital; Lenihan had always been more interested in investing in Erik than in Charlie. Charlie, Roger, and Erik were in constant conversation, contemplating whether Charlie should join Erik, and if the whole group should sue the Winklevoss twins. They ultimately decided not to sue—mindful of the way the twins had responded when Mark Zuckerberg left them out of Facebook. Charlie decided he couldn’t leave the company he created, but when he went to work the next day, he did not go in peace. He demanded that Maguire Ventures deliver the final installment of the investment it had agreed to make the previous fall: “You guys are screwing up my company, and Ira and Erik left because of it. Give me my money or I will wire it all back to you today.”

He had built a complicated business from nothing and people entrusted him with millions of dollars. But Charlie was clearly, and unsurprisingly, lacking skills as a manager. In many startups this is something that investors might notice, and help fix, by finding an experienced manager to come in and steer the ship. As it turned out, though, Charlie’s investors didn’t have much more experience working with startups than he did. The twins’ early experience with Mark Zuckerberg had been limited and, since setting out to become tech investors the previous year, they had worked with only a few young companies. With Charlie, the twins had initially adopted a hands-off attitude, despite all the bickering. But as problems became more evident, they talked with Charlie’s chief programmer about replacing Charlie as CEO. When Charlie learned about the potential palace coup he was furious and began showing up for work less and less.


pages: 428 words: 136,945

The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas

4chan, fear of failure, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Skype, Snapchat

Many of them seemed to have “eureka”-type moments in the interview room, and lots of students commented after the interview was over that they’d never thought about social media in those ways before, or realized they held those opinions or feelings until they found themselves speaking about them. But at this highly prestigious institution, students are used to engaging critically with everything. They don’t need to be invited—they just do it. And knowledge—in the form of critical analysis—quite literally seems to translate into power. Being able to think clearly about social media, believing that they have the intellectual skills to best Mark Zuckerberg at his own game and understand some of the more manipulative ways that social media infiltrates our lives and relationships, gives them a healthier, more empowered relationship to it. Plus, their academics seem far more enticing and central to their lives than anything that can happen on social media; and this, too, provides them a sort of protective shield that I did not see among the rest of the interviewees—at least not so consistently.

But, yeah, I think through people, because people are the ones that are using Facebook, and God can use people, so if He can use people to do anything, to preach in a pulpit, to sing a song, He can use them to type an encouraging message on Facebook, or spread hope or love through a post that could uplift others, or encourage them to continue, you know, the fight or whatever.” It’s not as if social media is holy, Jennifer wants to reassure me, it’s just that the Lord works in mysterious ways and sometimes it’s through Mark Zuckerberg, even if he doesn’t realize it. “I’m pretty sure [social media] wasn’t created to glorify God, but it doesn’t really matter, I don’t think, because God can use anything.” Jennifer goes on to say that social media can also be a distraction from God if you’re not careful, and anything that distracts from God leads to unhappiness. “I think a lot of things can pull people away from God,” she begins.

Take Javier, a senior philosophy major at a Midwestern Catholic college, who had been completely off social media accounts for eight months when we met. He and his girlfriend decided to quit together. He was thrilled about it. His relationship to social media had a definitive emotional arc: it started with amusement, then led to disenchantment and eventually full-on depression, which is why he stopped. Mark Zuckerberg makes it really hard to quit, he tells me, because Facebook keeps trying to lure you back. Javier has resisted so far and says he will continue to do so. He felt like he had a “chemical addiction” to social media, and quitting was really difficult at first—it created a “hole” in his life that he needed to find ways to fill—but it helped that he and his girlfriend were in it together. To get over the addiction, Javier had to find new ways of getting that “chemical happiness,” most of which involve “real-world interaction,” he says, which social media had really limited.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Not incidentally, the instructor was Paul Bamberg, a cofounder of Dragon Systems, a commercial pioneer in speech recognition software. The programming involved tasks like implementing a fast Fourier transform algorithm, which converts time or space to frequency, and vice versa. The seminar was for students with serious math muscles, and there were only five students in the class. One of them was Mark Zuckerberg, who would found Facebook a year later. But the two did not get to know each other at Harvard. “Zuck was socially awkward then, so we didn’t talk much,” Hammerbacher recalls. Socially awkward is not a phrase anyone uses to describe Hammerbacher. Rude at times, certainly. He misses meals and meetings. E-mail messages will go unanswered for days. But his friends, his colleagues, and his wife attribute his behavior partly to a mind immersed elsewhere.

“Facebook has had a huge influence on the world, and not to see both sides of that is dishonest.” The Facebook years were Hammerbacher’s formative years as a data scientist, the source of his financial freedom, and, to some degree, his professional reputation as “the guy who built the data team at Facebook,” even though he left more than six years ago. When he showed up at Facebook in early 2006, Hammerbacher was twenty-three, older than most. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive, was twenty-one. Zuckerberg, along with two early Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Dave Fetterman, were all acquaintances from Harvard. Another person Hammerbacher talked to before he signed on was Jeff Rothschild, who was fifty at the time. Rothschild had been sent over from the venture capital firm Accel Partners, a major investor in Facebook, to provide the proverbial adult supervision that so many start-ups require, and he stayed.

The rising data tide was a by-product of pleasing growth for the social network, but Hammerbacher saw it as a valuable asset that was going unused. Hammerbacher’s boss was Adam D’Angelo, the chief technology officer at Facebook. A young computer whiz, D’Angelo had excelled in national and international programming contests in high school and college, attending the California Institute of Technology. At Facebook he had the added advantage of knowing Mark Zuckerberg since high school, at Phillips Exeter Academy, an elite prep school. Hammerbacher urged D’Angelo to make the investment to build up a data analysis team and create the computing engine for the job. At the time, Facebook was moving beyond its origins as a service for university students. In September 2006, it opened up to anyone thirteen years old or older with a valid e-mail address. Facebook was no longer a social network created by college students for college students.


pages: 254 words: 79,052

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, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile

Customers could easily be forgiven for not checking updates to their ISP’s terms of service because they probably consider Internet access to be just another utility like electricity or water. They probably visit the ISP’s site rarely, if ever. However, it seems that people are just as lax when it comes to the products they use every day. Facebook launched in 2004 with the concept that only your friends get access to the personal information you post. Over the years, this philosophy has changed, with Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, claiming in a 2010 interview that the new social norm is openness, not privacy. “We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are. … [We asked ourselves] what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.” The path of least resistance through Facebook’s privacy options is to never visit the privacy settings page, and instead just accept these defaults.

Although 71 percent of 18–29-year-old social network users say they’ve changed privacy settings, only 55 percent aged 50–64 have moved from the defaults. Only 44 percent of young adult Internet users say they’ve taken steps to limit how much personal information is available about them online, and that figure reduces to 25 percent of users who are aged 50–64. In Facebook’s defense, getting privacy right is hard. As Mark Zuckerberg says, “The paradox is that people share their phone number in the telephone book but want to keep it private online.” The interesting disingenuity in that statement is that there’s a difference between public information and publicized information. Marketers must know either someone’s name or their address to retrieve their phone number from the book, but on Facebook they get name, address, friends list, phone number, photos, Likes, and many other pieces of information delivered to them all wrapped up with a neat little bow.

“Key Lawmakers Question Local Provider Over Use of NebuAd Software Without Directly Notifying Customers” (markey.house.gov). July 15, 2008. Retrieved December 2012. Embarq’s two responses: Letter from David W. Zesiger, SVP Regulatory Policy & External Affairs, Embarq, July 21, 2008; and letter from Tom Gerke, president and CEO, Embarq, July 23, 2008, to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Facebook privacy: Mark Zuckerberg interview with Michael Arrington at the 2010 “Crunchie” awards, San Francisco. Privacy setting stats: Mary Madden and Aaron Smith. Reputation Management and Social Media. Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2010. Negative options: Don’t not sign up! E-mail opt-in rates: Steven Bellman, Eric J. Johnson, and Gerald L. Lohse. “On site: to opt-in or opt-out?: it depends on the question.”


pages: 677 words: 206,548

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

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23andMe, 3D printing, 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, 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, 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, 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, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, 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, 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

Given the aforementioned privacy violations we’ve seen from the search giant, what else might it be capable of as we enter the age of wearable surveillance? The Social Network and Its Inventory—You Of course Google is not alone in its business model of selling you to its advertisers, and there are thousands of companies around the world that do the exact same thing, including most notably Facebook. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room at Harvard in 2004, Facebook is the iconic Silicon Valley success story. With more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is by far the largest social network in the world. It has succeeded by getting people to talk about themselves in ways never previously imagined. Sexual orientation, relationship status, schools attended, family tree, lists of friends, age, gender, e-mail addresses, place of birth, news interests, work history, catalogs of favorite things, religion, political affiliation, purchases, photographs, and videos—Facebook is a marketer’s dream.

A business Web page and its associated ad revenue were worth approximately $3.1 million to the social network. Viewed another way, Facebook’s billion-plus users, each dutifully typing in status updates, detailing his biography, and uploading photograph after photograph, have become the largest unpaid workforce in history. As a result of their free labor, Facebook has a market cap of $182 billion, and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has a personal net worth of $33 billion. What did you get out of the deal? As the computer scientist Jaron Lanier reminds us, a company such as Instagram—which Facebook bought in 2012—was not valued at $1 billion because its thirteen employees were so “extraordinary. Instead, its value comes from the millions of users who contribute to the network without being paid for it.” Its inventory is personal data—yours and mine—which it sells over and over again to parties unknown around the world.

But I’ve Got Nothing to Hide In December 2009, when CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo asked Google’s own CEO, Eric Schmidt, about privacy concerns resulting from Google’s increasing tracking of consumers, Schmidt famously replied, “If you have something that you don’t want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Schmidt, and others, dismiss privacy concerns by saying that if you haven’t done anything wrong, you should not be afraid of people (corporations, governments, or your neighbors) knowing what you are doing. This sentiment has been echoed by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who has argued that “privacy is no longer the social norm.” While privacy may no longer be the norm—at least for the general public—in his own life, Mr. Zuckerberg seems to treasure privacy quite a bit. In late 2013, it was revealed that the Facebook CEO spent $30 million to buy the four homes surrounding his own property in order to ensure his privacy would remain free from intrusion or disturbance.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

Perry Link, ‘China: The Anaconda in the Chandelier’, New York Review of Books, 11 April 2001, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2002/apr/11/china-the-anaconda-in-the-chandelier/ 123. in a conversation I had about this with Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook headquarters on 15 September 2011, it was clear that she felt a very strong commercial interest in going into China but was well aware of the potential reputational damage if, for example, someone were to be persecuted in China as a result of something they had posted on the Chinese version of Facebook. See also Evelyn Walls, ‘Mark Zuckerberg’s speech: a political statement about the future of Facebook?’, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/discuss/mark-zuckerbergs-speech-a-political-statement-about-the-future-of-facebook/ 124. see Wekesa et al. 2014. I am most grateful to Markos Kounalakis for this reference and early sight of chapters of his forthcoming book. For a somewhat contrary view, see Iginio Gagliardone, ‘Is China Actually Helping Free Media in Africa?’, Free Speech Debate, http://freespeechdebate.com/en/discuss/is-china-actually-helping-free-media-in-africa/ 125. quoted by Creemers, ‘Virtual Lines in the Sand: China’s Demands for Internet Sovereignty’, http://perma.cc/U4WQ-FTGX 126. see Huntington 1998, 316.

New words must be coined to describe the number of bytes—the basic unit of digital memory, usually consisting of an ‘octet’ string of eight 1s and 0s—of information stored online: from the megabytes (MB, or 1,0002 bytes) and gigabytes (GB, or 1,0003 bytes) we have on our personal computers, all the way to the exabyte, zettabyte and yottabyte, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes.23 According to an estimate by Cisco, it would take you about 6 million years to watch all the videos crossing global networks in a single month.24 As of 2015, there are already somewhere around 3 billion internet users, depending exactly how you define internet and user, and that number is growing rapidly.25 The fastest growth will come in the non-Western world, in wireless rather than wired and especially on mobile devices. There are perhaps 2 billion smartphones across the world and that is projected to reach 4 billion by 2020.26 Some 85 percent of the world’s population is within reach of a mobile phone tower which has the capacity to relay data. Tim Berners-Lee and Mark Zuckerberg have been among those campaigning to achieve internet access for all.27 Billions of people are still excluded from this unprecedented network of communication. As Map 1 shows, internet access is very unevenly distributed across the globe. Map 1. Unequal internet use worldwide Country sizes are proportionate to absolute numbers of users. Countries with fewer than 470,000 people online are omitted.

British imperialists used to boast that the map of the world was ‘painted red’. Now it is blue. In countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, surveys have found a larger number of respondents saying they use Facebook than say they use the internet. In Nigeria, Indonesia, India and Brazil, more than half those asked in a poll commissioned by Quartz magazine agreed with the statement ‘Facebook is the internet’. Mark Zuckerberg’s internet.org aims to ‘bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it’, but (at this writing) its showcase app only provides free access to Facebook, Facebook Messenger and a handful of other services. So is internet.org bringing the underprivileged of the world to the internet or just to Facebook?135 Map 6. Leading social network by country Data is for December 2014.


pages: 39 words: 9,543

Lying by Sam Harris

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Mark Zuckerberg, mental accounting, Socratic dialogue

We may skirt the truth at such moments, but we do not deliberately manufacture falsehood. The boundary between lying and deception is often vague. In fact, it is even possible to deceive with the truth. I could, for instance, stand on the sidewalk in front of the White House and call the headquarters of Facebook on my cellphone: “Hello, this is Sam Harris. I’m calling from the White House, and I’d like to speak to Mark Zuckerberg.” My words would, in a narrow sense, be true—but the statement seems calculated to deceive. Would I be lying? Close enough. To lie is to intentionally mislead others when they expect honest communication.[2] This leaves stage magicians, poker players, and other harmless dissemblers off the hook, while illuminating a psychological and social landscape whose general shape is very easy to recognize.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Rosenstein believed that his new employer not only was as relentlessly technical as his former one but was embarked on its own audacious quest, one that threatened to eclipse Google’s. Facebook was at the vanguard of social networking, a movement with the goal of organizing people through the network of personal connections they collected throughout their lives. Barely three years after its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, had begun the company in a Harvard dorm room, Facebook was signing up millions of users and was on a trajectory to sign up most of the literate world. The same month Rosenstein wrote his letter, Facebook launched a new strategy that allowed software developers to write applications inside its website, almost as if the site were its own little Internet. Even if you didn’t believe that Facebook would be the hub of one’s online life—or perhaps one’s entire life—it was a phenomenon that Google could not ignore.

When Google’s crawlers got to Facebook, they were turned away at the door. (Facebook would eventually allow its user profile pages to be exposed on Google.) Facebook was a scary competitor because in some ways it was very much like Google. True, Facebook wasn’t built on a brilliant scientific advance as Google was, and there was no technical innovation at Facebook even close to the breathtaking Google infrastructure. But Mark Zuckerberg was in the Larry Page mold, a wildly ambitious leader with a quasi-religious trust in engineering. Zuckerberg said that Facebook would have hacker values. Ten years younger than Page and Brin—a generation in Internet time—Zuckerberg respected Google’s values but believed that the older company had lost its nimbleness and focus. He made a specialty of hiring Google people who sought the excitement of building something new.

By then, there were a number of location-based start-ups, all of which owed something to Dodgeball. One of the hottest was called Foursquare. Its cofounder was Dennis Crowley. Google had a built-in disadvantage in the social networking sweepstakes. It was happy to gather information about the intricate web of personal and professional connections known as the “social graph” (a term favored by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) and integrate that data as signals in its search engine. But the basic premise of social networking—that a personal recommendation from a friend was more valuable than all of human wisdom, as represented by Google Search—was viewed with horror at Google. Page and Brin had started Google on the premise that the algorithm would provide the only answer. Yet there was evidence to the contrary.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

Because Google was already warring in the courts with publishers and the Authors Guild, this battle with Viacom opened a second front in the war with old media. And soon there would be other skirmishes, including those with new media companies like Facebook, the fastest growing social network. With more than forty million active users in the summer of 2007, Facebook “doubles in size every six months,” said founder Mark Zuckerberg. Then twenty-two, Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout who in the early days of his company’s life slept on a mattress on the floor of a Palo Alto apartment he rented near his office, allowing him to move effortlessly between work and sleep. His baby face is framed with curly hair, and because he is thin, with a relatively long torso, one is surprised that he stands only five feet eight inches tall.

Many who left did so out of frustration. The most prominent of them was Sheryl Sandberg. Frustrated by what friends say was sometimes chaotic management at Google, and wanting broader responsibilities to address these, Sandberg left in March 2008 to accept the title of chief operating officer at Facebook. Venture capitalist Roger McNamee, an investor in Facebook and a close friend of Sandberg‘s, introduced her to founder Mark Zuckerberg. “Sheryl created AdWords,” he said. “The idea had many parents, but the execution was hers.” Her title, vice president, global online sales and operations, did not reflect her importance, he said. And he believed she was junior to some “tired executives.” In the effort to keep her, Google offered her the CFO job, which she declined. “She wanted to be a COO,” said Schmidt. “Sheryl is a terrific executive.

She was the friendly face at Google that some traditional media company executives trusted enough to let their hair down and ask: How can Google help my troubled business? Google executives were stumped as to why Sandberg would take the job at Facebook. She wasn’t given the same broad responsibilities as most COOs: vital parts of Facebook—product management and development, engineering, and finance—would continue to report to founder Mark Zuckerberg. And they didn’t understand why she would leave for a company that, according to one Facebook insider, had generated only $150 million in revenues in 2007 and was bleeding money. Google was already anxious about Facebook, and Sandberg’s defection elevated their discomfort. True, Facebook wasn’t making money, but neither had Google in its first four years. Facebook had 123 million unique visitors in May 2008, according to comScore, a 162 percent increase over the previous May.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

“Uberification of the US Service Economy,” Schlaf’s Notes, April 4, 2014, http://schlaf.me/post/81679927670. 11. A. Srivastava, “2 Billion Smartphone Users by 2015: 83% of Internet Usage from Mobiles,” Daze Info, January 23, 2014, http://www.dazeinfo.com/2014/01/23/smartphone-users-growth-mobile-internet-2014-2017/. 12. M. Zuckerberg, “Mark Zuckerberg on a Future Where the Internet Is Available to All,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/articles/mark-zuckerberg-on-a-future-where-the-internet-is-available-to-all-1404762276. 13. “The Rise of the Cheap Smartphone,” The Economist, April 5, 2014, http://www.economist.com/node/21600134/print. 14. M. Honan, “Don’t Diss Cheap Smartphones. They’re About to Change Everything,” Wired, May 16, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/05/cheap-smartphones. 15.

Honan, “Don’t Diss Cheap Smartphones. They’re About to Change Everything,” Wired, May 16, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/05/cheap-smartphones/. 71. H. Vogt, “Using Free Wi-Fi to Connect Africa’s Unconnected,” Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303287804579447323711745040. 72. M. Zuckerberg, “Mark Zuckerberg on a Future Where the Internet Is Available to All,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/articles/mark-zuckerberg-on-a-future-where-the-internet-is-available-to-all-1404762276. 73. D. Fletcher, “Daniel Fletcher: Why Your iPhone Upgrade Is Good for the Poor,” Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324492604579083762147495666. 74. A. Minter, “Your iPhone’s Afterlife,” Fast Company, November 18, 2013, http://www.fastcompany.com/3021305/junkyard-planet-your-iphones-after-life. 75.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

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

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

Had I executed the optimal strategy, my return on AdGrok would likely have been hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars more than it eventually was. Plus, the additional cash or Twitter stock would have served as a hedge to my all-in position in Facebook. Morality, such as it exists in the tech whorehouse, is an expensive hobby indeed. Part Three Move Fast and Break Things Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected. —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc. IPO documents (2012) Boot Camp Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials. The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helpers whom he met before his entrance into this region. The original departure into the land of trials represented only the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination.

Facebook essentially owns the online advertising future. How it went from advertising zero to hero is the crux of this story. Google Delenda Est By itself, genius can produce original thoughts just as little as a woman by herself can bear children. Outward circumstances must come to fructify genius, and be, as it were, a father to its progeny. —Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Genius,” The Art of Literature JUNE 2011 Mark Zuckerberg is a genius. Not in the Asperger’s, autistic way depicted in the very fictional movie The Social Network, the cognitive genius of exceptional ability. That’s a modern definition that reduces the original meaning. Nor would I claim he was the Steve Jobsian product genius either. Anyone claiming as much will have to explain the crowded graveyard of forgotten Facebook product failures. Remember “Home,” the Facebook-enabled home screen for Android phones, launched with much fanfare in 2013, Zuck appearing alongside the CEO of the soon-to-be-disappointed smartphone maker HTC?

Facebook can’t wait for the developing world to get to First World standards of connectivity, so it must create it for them, using ad revenues in the developed world to subsidize this new air force’s deployment. In time, monetization will follow usage, as it always does. Money follows eyeballs, even if slowly. Eventually Russia, Iran, India, Brazil, and parts of Africa will fall to the Growth team’s patient ministrations. Then, Mark Zuckerberg, like a young Alexander the Great at the Indus River, will weep for having no more world to conquer. This all sounds very airy-fairy, so here’s a real example of the Ads versus Growth dialectic to illustrate: Among the various weird products I happened to manage while at Facebook, one is particularly relevant. Let’s flash-forward for a moment. The Logout Experience (LOX) was one of Facebook’s mid-2012 IPO period “completely fucking desperate let’s make more money now” products.


pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

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23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

A good percentage of my cohort at Y Combinator picked up programming by the time they were fourteen years old. When they reached college, often an elite university, they could already string together thousands of lines of code, create the guts of a stable application, or bolt up an original Web site design in a matter of hours. During the three months I spent there in the summer of 2011, I learned how Mark Zuckerbergs are created: not from spontaneous explosions of intellect and technology, but from years and years of staring at a computer screen, getting to know code as intuitively as a seasoned copy editor knows idioms, punctuation, and style. These stylists of code and writers of algorithms are the preeminent entrepreneurs of this generation. The builders of new empires no longer come from business school—they come from engineering and computer science labs, where long nights of staring at coding assignments result in the hacking skills required to build innovative algorithms and the companies they can propel.

“I believe that was the point of these degrees in the first place,” he adds. There’s little doubt that the collapse of the financial industry changed the course of the economy. But just as with any great story, there are other branches of this tale. Wall Street’s nadir of 2008 and early 2009 may have been the main act onstage, but there were other, more subtle plays taking place. One wasn’t so subtle: Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in early 2004, and he was at the time of this writing worth more than $25 billion. His company’s value, meanwhile, has soared past $100 billion. Zuckerberg’s story is well known; the people who use Facebook aren’t tech nerds or finance guys—they’re exceedingly normal people, many of whom have become addicted to the constant updates, news, and chat that Facebook provides.

The gears of Bear’s quant operations, whose math and programming work had been manipulated into endorsing what, we now can see, was an insane volume of mortgage-backed securities, had turned Hammerbacher off. If he wasn’t going to pursue further learning within the structured setting of academia, he surely didn’t want to waste his time on this. Through a Harvard friend in the spring of 2006, Mark Zuckerberg reached out to Hammerbacher, who was well known for his math prowess. A week later, Hammerbacher was relocating to California. He was an early employee at Facebook—one of the first hundred—and Zuckerberg gave him the fancy title of research scientist. It was Hammerbacher’s job to use math and algorithms to figure out how people were using Facebook, broken down by age, gender, location, and income, and why Facebook thrived in some places and flopped in others.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

The company will “just know this is something that you’re going to want to see.”2 The ultimate goal is to fully automate the act of searching, to take human volition out of the picture. Social networks like Facebook seem impelled by a similar aspiration. Through the statistical “discovery” of potential friends, the provision of “Like” buttons and other clickable tokens of affection, and the automated management of many of the time-consuming aspects of personal relations, they seek to streamline the messy process of affiliation. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, celebrates all of this as “frictionless sharing”—the removal of conscious effort from socializing. But there’s something repugnant about applying the bureaucratic ideals of speed, productivity, and standardization to our relations with others. The most meaningful bonds aren’t forged through transactions in a marketplace or other routinized exchanges of data. People aren’t nodes on a network grid.

We’d “use them unconsciously to accomplish everyday tasks.”26 That seemed a pipe dream in the days when bulky PCs drew attention to themselves by freezing, crashing, or otherwise misbehaving at inopportune moments. It doesn’t seem like such a pipe dream anymore. Many computer companies and software houses now say they’re working to make their products invisible. “I am super excited about technologies that disappear completely,” declares Jack Dorsey, a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur. “We’re doing this with Twitter, and we’re doing this with [the online credit-card processor] Square.”27 When Mark Zuckerberg calls Facebook “a utility,” as he frequently does, he’s signaling that he wants the social network to merge into our lives the way the telephone system and electric grid did.28 Apple has promoted the iPad as a device that “gets out of the way.” Picking up on the theme, Google markets Glass as a means of “getting technology out of the way.” In a 2013 speech, the company’s then head of social networking, Vic Gundotra, even put a flower-power spin on the slogan: “Technology should get out of the way so you can live, learn, and love.”29 The technologists may be guilty of bombast, but they’re not guilty of cynicism.

Facebook, through its Timeline and other documentary features, encourages its members to think of their public image as indistinguishable from their identity. It wants to lock them into a single, uniform “self” that persists throughout their lives, unfolding in a coherent narrative beginning in childhood and ending, one presumes, with death. This fits with its founder’s narrow conception of the self and its possibilities. “You have one identity,” Mark Zuckerberg has said. “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.” He even argues that “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”35 That view, not surprisingly, dovetails with Facebook’s desire to package its members as neat and coherent sets of data for advertisers.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

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

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

The crowd listened closely to words of wisdom from the Nobelist Elie Wiesel and President Shimon Peres of Israel and to a brief talk on the week’s Torah portion by Israel’s onetime Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yisrael Meir Lau. But things really perked up when Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and a senior executive at the company, sang “Jerusalem of Gold” in a bright vibrato. In violation of both good taste and the laws of Shabbat, Zuckerberg, one of the emerging It Girls of the global economic scene, proceeded to post the clip on Facebook. Throughout the week at Davos, insiders swapped tales of glimpsing Mark Zuckerberg the way people on safari note the sighting of a cheetah. The social networking site had definitely arrived, and it was staking its claim as a hot new player. After dinner the crowd scuttled down the icy Promenade, the street that runs the length of town, to the event that is frequently the hottest ticket of the conference: the Google party.

But consider this: in 2002, in the wake of the previous meltdown and crisis in American confidence, none of these companies existed in anything like their current form. Their combined market capitalization was a few billion dollars, consisting mostly of Apple, an also-ran personal computer maker whose stock traded for less than the value of the cash on its balance sheet. Google was a piece of code, not one of the most profitable businesses known to man. Mark Zuckerberg was just entering Harvard. All three exploded from nothing, gained mass and scale during the long expansion of the 2000s, and boomed in the years after the Lehman Brothers crash. For these companies, the period of decline has been an era of triumph. Eight hundred billion dollars in market capitalization can vanish rather quickly. But there’s much more to these companies than the value investors ascribe to them at any given minute.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

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3D printing, 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 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 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, 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, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

On a digital landscape running only corporate code, corporations themselves end up in the same predicament as musicians and everyone else: a couple of winners take it all while everyone else gets nothing. Making matters worse, remember, in a successful corporate environment total economic activity decreases as money is sucked up into share value. It’s as if the business world is morphing into a video game. We can only wonder who the eventual winner of the growth game will be as the Gini number creeps upward toward one. Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos . . . ? They’re playing in a winner-takes-all competition. Google is trying to leverage its platform monopoly to become a shopping platform, Facebook is leveraging its monopoly in social media to become an advertising service, and Amazon is leveraging its store to become a cloud service. In the corporate program, there’s only room for one. RECODING THE CORPORATION CEOs are coming to recognize digital industrialism’s diminishing returns.

Vicarious claims to have succeeded, and its first Turing test demonstrations appear to back up its claim.76 How would such a technology be deployed or monetized? Vicarious doesn’t need to worry about that just yet. As a flexible purpose corporation, Vicarious can work with the long-term, big picture, experimental approach required to innovate in a still-emerging field such as AI. Although investors including Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel have invested $56 million in the company, the flexible purpose structure prevents them from exerting the sort of pressure to get to market that venture capitalists typically put on their investments. The company can’t be forced to sell out or to abandon scientific curiosity for commercial viability. Vicarious has freed itself from the pressures of the market without having retreated to a research university, where funding comes with strings of its own.

If they were actually to catch on, investors reasoned, those who got in early would have cornered the market on an entire currency. That’s why from 2012 to 2013, the price of a single bitcoin skyrocketed, from ten dollars in November 2012 to a thousand dollars a year later.35 There are now bitcoin investment funds—one famously started by the Winklevoss twins, known best for hiring college student Mark Zuckerberg to build their social network platform and subsequently losing it to him. They may be missing the nature of this opportunity as well. Bitcoin money is only a utility—not the thing of value in itself. It’s a label. If bitcoins become too precious and scarce, there are always plenty of alternative blockchain currencies to use instead. Unlike the issuers of national fiat currencies, no one—not even the tax authority—is forcing anyone to use bitcoins.


pages: 62 words: 13,939

Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Mark Zuckerberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. ● ● ● Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. Mark Zuckerberg was misunderstood when he introduced the newsfeed and turned down a billion dollars. Steve Jobs was misunderstood, and Cory Booker, and Richard Branson, and David Simon, and Kanye West. If you’re not being misunderstood, then you’re not shattering the status quo. Michael Karnjanaprakorn ● ● ● I suppose no man can violate his nature. All the sallies of his will are rounded in by the law of his being, as the inequalities of Andes and Himmaleh are insignificant in the curve of the sphere.


pages: 76 words: 20,238

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, income inequality, indoor plumbing, life extension, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, school choice, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban renewal

That happens through a mix of Moore’s Law and some ultimately simple conceptual ideas about how to link human beings together through this new medium. It’s hard to measure the productivity of the internet, but twenty years ago—or less—we did not have Google, browsers, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or Craigslist, among other major innovations, all now used by many millions. It is no accident that our most revolutionary sector is still one where “amateurs”—that’s what Mark Zuckerberg was—can make a major impact. In this regard, the internet is very much like the early years of the British industrial revolution. Unlike electricity, the internet hasn’t changed everyone’s life, but it has changed a lot of lives, and its influence will be even stronger for the next generation. It’s especially beneficial for those who are intellectually curious, those who wish to manage large networks of loose acquaintances, and those who wish to absorb lots of information at phenomenally fast rates; those categories probably cover a lot of readers of this book.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

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

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, 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

Today there is an unprecedented degree of interconnectivity as well as an infrastructure for participation. Our immersion in innovative information, communication, and technology (ICT) platforms, specifically online social networks and handheld mobile devices, is the second phenomenon driving us toward a “we” mind-set. The “We” Generation Chris Hughes cocreated one of the defining businesses of the past decade, Facebook. Unlike his partners and Harvard roommates, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, Hughes was not interested in the software itself. Instead, he wanted to figure out the ways that people would want to connect and share stuff with one another and how an online community could enrich the lives of its users—a passion that led to his nickname “the Empath” among Facebook insiders. Hughes left Facebook in February 2007 just when it was taking off, with more than 10 million active users.

A commune with a focus, such as improving food quality, may get an e-mail from Whole Foods offering special discounts.26 Some skeptics have derided the idea as nice but “too Californian” to take hold in other parts of the United States. Yet within just eight weeks of the launch, Smith estimates that more than three hundred communes have been created, from Toronto to Texas. When we asked Smith what her ambition was within the next two to three years, she answered, “I want to be on Oprah sitting on the sofa with Mark Zuckerberg (one of the founders of Facebook) talking about the sharing revolution.” Her goal is driven not by arrogance but by a down-to-earth vision of wanting people to embrace communal behaviors to become resource efficient and connected. In a recent article in the New York Times, “Saving the Suburbs,” Allison Arieff commented about the growth of Smith’s cul-de-sac projects. “This tendency—let’s call it extreme neighborliness—is so old-fashioned as to seem innovative.


pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

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3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, moral panic, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

That end amounts to free forms of communication and transactions between individuals that cannot be censored or monitored. ‘Currencies are just the beginning,’ Amir tells me. ‘The real genius of blockchain is that it is going to help us create a decentralised net that no one can censor. This is much bigger than just Bitcoin. We’re going to transform the entire internet.’ ‘What do you mean?’ I ask. ‘Well, at the moment your Facebook data isn’t really controlled by you: it’s hosted on Mark Zuckerberg’s servers. Facebook administrators can do anything they like with it, because they own the servers, and so they own your data. It’s not really free, because it’s centralised. A social media platform built using blockchain would be different. Your posts would become part of the public blockchain record, and every user of the platform would have their own copy. Everything could be done anonymously, and censorship would be close to impossible.

‘Half of the UK Has Joined the Selfie Craze Creating Over 35 Million Selfies a Month’, PRNewsWire.com, 13 August 2013, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/half-of-the-uk-has-joined-the-selfie-craze-creating-over-35-million-selfies-a-month-219364031.html (accessed 3 December 2013). p.170 ‘Sharing images of ourselves . . .’ http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/opinion-naked-sexting/. p.170 ‘Viewers respond – sometimes positively . . .’ Like most online communities, there are rules: ‘no random porn dumps’, ‘post pictures of yourself!’ and of course, ‘be respectful to each other’. p.172 ‘In 2011, a Facebook group . . .’ Facebook was originally called Facemash. Mark Zuckerberg and his university friends wanted to rate the pictures of female students they’d managed to grab – without permission, of course – from the Harvard University files. Facemash placed a photo of female students next to each other and asked users to vote on who they thought was the best looking, with an algorithm slowly pushing certain girls up or down the list. ‘One thing is certain,’ wrote Zuckerberg on his personal blog at the time, ‘and that’s that I’m a jerk for making this site.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

But it is the sort of insight that big data makes possible, when one crunches historical flight-delay data from the Bureau of Transportation with current airport information from the Federal Aviation Administration, alongside past weather reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and real-time conditions from the National Weather Service. FlyOnTime.us highlights how an entity that does not collect or control information flows, like a search engine or big retailer, can still obtain and use data to create value. Valuing the priceless Whether open to the public or locked away in corporate vaults, data’s value is hard to measure. Consider the events of Friday, May 18, 2012. On that day, Facebook’s 28-year-old founder Mark Zuckerberg symbolically rang NASDAQ’s opening bell from the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The world’s biggest social network—which boasted around one out of every ten people on the planet as a member—began its new life as a public company. The stock immediately jumped 11 percent, as many new technology stocks do on their first day of trading. However, then something odd happened. Facebook shares began to fall.

Google’s obsession with such data for HR purposes is especially queer considering that the company’s founders are products of Montessori schools, which emphasize learning, not grades. And it repeats the mistakes of past technology powerhouses that vaunted people’s résumés above their actual abilities. Would Larry and Sergey, as PhD dropouts, have stood a chance of becoming managers at the legendary Bell Labs? By Google’s standards, not Bill Gates, nor Mark Zuckerberg, nor Steve Jobs would have been hired, since they lack college degrees. The firm’s reliance on data sometimes seems overblown. Marissa Mayer, when she was one of its top executives, once ordered staff to test 41 gradations of blue to see which ones people used more, to determine the color of a toolbar on the site. Google’s deference to data has been taken to extremes. It even sparked revolt.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

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

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

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, is moving his company from suburban Henderson, Nevada, to downtown Las Vegas precisely because he believes the “serendipitous collisions” that happen when people are freer to walk between the office and local cafés, restaurants, and other public places will make his employees happier, help them forge closer relationships with one another, and lead to the faster cultivation of new ideas. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that walking has become en vogue with the biggest tech minds in Silicon Valley. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs loved to go for walks with friends and business colleagues to discuss ideas, and getting asked to go on a walk in the woods of Palo Alto with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was at one point a rite of passage among Valley stars and potential employees. Twitter cofounder and Square founder Jack Dorsey is also an outspoken believer in the benefits of going for walks. “The best thinking time is just walking,” he has said. He’s not wrong. Studies have shown that the act of walking itself delivers physiological benefits of a higher order, or at least a different kind, than other kinds of physical activity.

Twitter, Zynga, Airbnb, Dropbox: A notable exception to the tech moguls’ fascination with cities is Steve Jobs, who lived and worked his whole life in the suburbs (he lived in a Tudor house in Palo Alto, and Apple’s headquarters were in nearby Cupertino). But when Apple-owned Pixar moved to a new headquarters in Emeryville, California, Jobs pushed the designers to emphasize central locations where employees could mingle with one another with the hope of fostering creativity. Another exception is Mark Zuckerberg, who has built Facebook’s headquarters into a massive campus in Menlo Park, but one that attempts to approximate urbanism, with a walkable commercial strip that includes a dry cleaner, gym, doctor’s office, and various eateries. Zappos, the online shoe giant: Leigh Gallagher, “Tony Hsieh’s New $350 Million Startup,” Fortune.com, January 23, 2012. In keeping with the findings of: Glaeser found that, for example, that innovation happens faster in cities because proximity to others breeds creativity.


pages: 261 words: 71,349

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

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

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

Rather than seeing introversion as a liability (as most of society treats it), this book provides a road map for entrepreneurs who want to cultivate and amplify their natural, internal strengths. What many people, including introverts themselves, may not know is that the strengths and traits of the typical introvert—curiosity, desire for depth over breadth, comfort with going solo, thoroughness and introspection, love of research—lend themselves well to entrepreneurship. Introvert entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh, Guy Kawasaki, and others have transformed our lives not by pretending to be extroverts but by applying their introvert strengths to their entrepreneurial endeavors. • • • An introvert trying to be a fake extrovert is just that: a fake extrovert. If you choose to approach your business with that mindset, you won’t solve your problem. You’ll only feed the energetic tug-of-war between your private and public personas.

And it’s their superpowers that helped them get there. Consider these household names: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Charles Schwab. Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, and Julia Roberts. We don’t think of these people as shy underachievers, do we? Yet, they all identify themselves as introverts. There are also the introvert founders of some of the most successful social networking sites: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and Larry Page (Google). And while I haven’t come across definitive proof, many signs point to President Barack Obama being a member of Team Introvert. What these people have in common is that they have channeled their introvert strengths into superpowers that enable them to succeed in a noisy world. How do they do that? By recognizing those strengths in the first place.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

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8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Put another way: Deep work is not the only skill valuable in our economy, and it’s possible to do well without fostering this ability, but the niches where this is advisable are increasingly rare. Unless you have strong evidence that distraction is important for your specific profession, you’re best served, for the reasons argued earlier in this chapter, by giving serious consideration to depth. Chapter Two Deep Work Is Rare In 2012, Facebook unveiled the plans for a new headquarters designed by Frank Gehry. At the center of this new building is what CEO Mark Zuckerberg called “the largest open floor plan in the world”: More than three thousand employees will work on movable furniture spread over a ten-acre expanse. Facebook, of course, is not the only Silicon Valley heavyweight to embrace the open office concept. When Jack Dorsey, whom we met at the end of the last chapter, bought the old San Francisco Chronicle building to house Square, he configured the space so that his developers work in common spaces on long shared desks.

Jack Dorsey justified the open layout of the Square headquarters by explaining: “We encourage people to stay out in the open because we believe in serendipity—and people walking by each other teaching new things.” For the sake of discussion, let’s call this principle—that when you allow people to bump into each other smart collaborations and new ideas emerge—the theory of serendipitous creativity. When Mark Zuckerberg decided to build the world’s largest office, we can reasonably conjecture, this theory helped drive his decision, just as it has driven many of the moves toward open workspaces elsewhere in Silicon Valley and beyond. (Other less-exalted factors, like saving money and increasing supervision, also play a role, but they’re not as sexy and are therefore less emphasized.) This decision between promoting concentration and promoting serendipity seems to indicate that deep work (an individual endeavor) is incompatible with generating creative insights (a collaborative endeavor).


pages: 270 words: 79,180

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

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

Nozad’s story shows that social distance, much like geographic distance, creates opportunities for Bridges. To see what I mean, think of people as points on a piece of paper and think of the relationships between them as lines that connect those dots. Nozad might balk at this abstract, overly mathematical depiction of the ties between people, but it’s a common way to look at human connections, especially in our Web 2.0 era. When Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Weiner talk about the “social graph,” this is what they mean, except they’re referring to users of Facebook or LinkedIn. The points, or nodes, represent individual people, while the lines or links represent the social ties between the individuals.12 Our social graphs from the online world are often a crude replica of our actual social networks. Just think of the people you may be close to who don’t use social media.

Economists are very familiar with this trade-off between risk sharing and incentives, which occurs in many contexts and not just in sales.19 Successful middlemen, whose livelihood depends on sharing risk and providing proper incentives to buyers and sellers, also understand the problem. But judging by how ordinary people evaluate the decisions middlemen make, it seems that many of us don’t quite get it. Consider the following cases: •A single mother struggling to keep up with mortgage payments on her condo tries to refinance, but the lender rejects her application because she had recently lost her job, which is the very reason she is struggling.20 On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg refinances the loan on his $5.95 million mansion and gets an interest rate of 1.05 percent, less than half the national average.21 •A 50-year-old man gets advanced-stage prostate cancer, begins aggressive treatment, and applies for life insurance to protect his family if the worst case should happen. The insurance company turns him down, telling him he can apply again in 12 months.22 Meanwhile, the same insurance company advertises to young families, eager to sell them policies with low monthly premiums.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, 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, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Any short description will undoubtedly be an oversimplification, and of course there are disagreements and disputes among its adherents, but a coherent Internet culture does exist. It embraces values of rebellion, drawing from a loose set of attitudes sometimes called the hacker ethic. Facebook’s headquarters are at “One Hacker Way” and it has the word HACK laid out in 12-meter letters in the stone. The company’s mantra until last year was “move fast and break things,” and Mark Zuckerberg recently explained to potential investors: “Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it—often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.” Internet culture also believes that the Internet itself is a key to building a better world. The invention of the Internet marks a break with the past, and an opportunity to open many old political and social debates.

This chapter describes how ideals of digital openness have been repeatedly appropriated for private gain. Brian Chesky writes that “At Airbnb, we are creating a door to an open world—where everyone’s at home and can belong, anywhere.” Openness is almost a synonym for sharing, for a kind of exchange that goes beyond straightforward market transactions; it is central both to the broader appeal of the Sharing Economy and to the story that Airbnb tells about itself. ­Chesky’s words echo those of Mark Zuckerberg, who started a letter to potential Facebook investors this way: “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected . . . As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives.”


pages: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, very high income, wealth creators, women in the workforce

In taking this position, we are not denying the enormous contribution made by some of the mega-rich, including innovators such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. These men have truly changed the way people live today – a fact that perhaps puts them in a category quite different to, say, the stars of the handbag industry or the world of cable TV sports. Bill Gates may be the hardest case to contest, given that he is credited with nothing less than making the computer revolution accessible to hundreds of millions of people and donating billions of dollars to worthwhile causes. We will look at his case in more detail later. For now, though, let’s take a quick look at Mark Zuckerberg, who became a multi-billionaire in his twenties by inventing the social media network Facebook, which has an estimated five hundred million users worldwide.


pages: 271 words: 62,538

The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna

Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K

This is the first sentence of a 2013 Facebook researcher’s Facebook post about her team’s news feed findings.11 The stream of thoughts, images, videos, and links your friends and advertisers share with you is at the core of the Facebook experience and can even alter your mood.12 According to her team’s research, the resounding feedback from people using their web service was that important and interesting content was buried in a cluttered feed of stories they were less interested in reading. They redesigned. They used tools to prioritize which things you’d be interested in reading, what people you communicate with most often, and what kinds of imagery you’ll likely enjoy. The redesigned news feed was what Mark Zuckerberg called a “personalized newspaper.”13 A new design filled with more valuable content from friends also calls out sites that are more pertinent to your interests. Then, Facebook reversed course. The new design disappeared. Dustin Curtis, a technology writer and entrepreneur, reported that sources inside Facebook told him that the reversal occurred because people visiting the website on their desktop computers were, well, too efficient.14 They were discovering what they wanted at Facebook, felt satisfied, and left the site faster than ever before.

note_id=10151359587673920 12 Robinson Meyer, “Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment,” The Atlantic, June 28, 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/ 13 “Facebook has announced a redesigned News Feed that separates streams of content into multiple categories and optimizes the user interface with a ‘mobile-inspired’ design. Describing the goal of News Feed as providing a ‘personalized newspaper,’ Mark Zuckerberg says it’s being changed to take advantage of more photo and other visual content sharing, as well as the difference between personal stories and posts from public figures.” Adi Robertson, “Facebook Redesigns News Feed with Multiple Feeds and ‘Mobile-Inspired’ Interface,” The Verge, March 7, 2013. http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/7/4075548/facebook-redesigns-news-feed-with-multiple-feeds 14 “After an investigation into the problem by Facebook’s data team, they discovered that the new News Feed was performing too well.


pages: 98 words: 25,753

Ethics of Big Data: Balancing Risk and Innovation by Kord Davis, Doug Patterson

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4chan, business process, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Occupy movement, performance metric, Robert Bork, side project, smart grid, urban planning

Christopher Poole, creator of 4chan, gave a compelling talk at Web 2.0 in 2011, introducing the idea that identity is “prismatic” (http://www.wired.com/business/2011/10/you-are-not-your-name-and-photo-a-call-to-re-imagine-identity/). He emphasized that who we are—our identity—is multifaceted and is hardly ever summarized or aggregated in whole for consumption by a single person or organization. The implication is that if our identity is multifaceted, then it’s likely that our values and ethical relationship to identity are also multifaceted. Expressing a seemingly opposing view, Mark Zuckerberg recently made the assertion that having more than one identity demonstrates a “lack of integrity” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/technology/14facebook.html). If our historical understanding of what identity means is being transformed by big-data technologies (by providing others an ability to summarize or aggregate various facets of our identity), then understanding our values around the concept itself enhances and expands our ability to determine appropriate and inappropriate action.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

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3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

And if, as so many scientists insist, we will live long lives (and surely must work for a monstrous part of it) then doing what you are actually interested in must make sense. To paraphrase John Wayne’s advice to an inferior gunslinger: “Mister, you’d better find another line of work, this one sure don’t fit your pistol.” Becoming occult “Hobbyists”. This was the dismissive name given to those who pursue their passion for piffling self-indulgences like personal computing. Bill Gates was a “hobbyist”. The hours that Gates and Mark Zuckerberg put into their passions while others were partying earned them the scornful epithet “geek”. Nowadays the chorus no longer laughs in unison at geeks; geeks and nerds are the new rock ’n’ roll stars after all. And it was that investment of time and passion which formed the foundation for their business. Likewise, the most sublime and simple creative work is only possible because of the long hours practising your skill, learning your craft and studying your subject.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

But we need to know more about how such decisions are made, given the power of large Internet firms, and the much harder issues on the horizon. A psychologist has conducted experiments suggesting that a “dominant search engine could alter perceptions of candidates in close elections.”92 Jonathan Zittrain spells out how known technology at a dominant social network could have an even more insidious effect: Consider a hypothetical, hotly contested future election. Suppose that Mark Zuckerberg personally favors whichever candidate you don’t like. He arranges for a voting prompt to appear within the newsfeeds of tens of millions of active Facebook users. . . . Zuckerberg makes use of the fact that Facebook “likes” can predict political views and party affiliation, even beyond the many users who proudly advertise those affiliations directly. With that knowledge, our hypothetical Zuck chooses not to spice the feeds of users unsympathetic to his views.93 When Facebook tried the “vote prompt” in 2010, 0.39 percent more users notified by it voted—well more than enough to swing the outcome in contests like the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

To see how Google analyzes websites for quality assurance, see “More Guidance on Building High Quality Sites,” Google Webmaster Central Blogspot, May 6, 2011, http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com /2011/05/more-guid ance-on-building-high-quality.html. 51. Google Annual Form 10-K Report for 2009 (fi led with United States Securities and Exchange Commission on February 12, 2010). Available at http:// google.client.shareholder.com /secfiling.cfm?filingid=1193125-10 -30774. 52. The same dynamic may be happening in dominant social networks as well. For example, one young developer wrote a heartfelt “Letter to Mark Zuckerberg,” complaining that he felt trapped by a meeting with the site’s acquisition team: he could either sell his app to the company, or risk being cut off from customers after Facebook developed its own version. Pay-for-prominence arrangements are also worrisome because of the overbearing power of the dominant platform. Adrianne Jeffries, “Developer Has No Regrets after Angry Letter to Zuckerberg Goes Viral,” The Verge, August 3, 2012, http://www.theverge .com /2012/8/3/3216313/dalton-caldwell-facebook-developer-letter-mark-zuck erberg-app-net. 53.

Shumeet Baluja, The Silicon Jungle: A Novel of Deception, Power, and Internet Intrigue (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011). 124. Cathy O’Neil, “When Accurate Modeling Is Not Good,” Mathbabe (blog), December 12, 2012, http://mathbabe.org/2012/12/12/when-accurate -modeling-is-not-good/ (analyzing the work of a casino CEO concerned with predictive analytics). 125. Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011); Senator Dick Durbin, Letter to Mark Zuckerberg, February 2011. Available at http://www.durbin.senate.gov/public/index .cfm /files/serve?File _id=ec32a7a8-4671-4ab9-b5f4-9c0b9736deae. (“Facebook does not allow democracy and human rights activists in repressive regimes to use Facebook anonymously.”) 126. On a cost-per-impression or cost-per-click basis. For a full account of digital advertising, see Joseph Turow, The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012). 127.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

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active measures, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

In 2009, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the key protocols that drive the Internet, founded the World Wide Web Foundation to spread the Web as “a global public good and a basic right.” Its tagline: “Connecting People. Empowering Humanity.”4 A couple years later, Smith’s colleagues at Google began working to deliver WiFi through solar-powered balloons. CEO Larry Page says, “Two out of three people in the world don’t have good Internet access now. We actually think [balloon-delivered Internet] can really help people.”5 Not to be outdone, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Internet.org in 2013. “We’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky,” he posted.6 He wants to reach remote places with infrared lasers and high-altitude drones. That tech giants are messianic about their creations is no surprise. But their outlook has possessed powerful people outside of Silicon Valley, too. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that “technology is a game-changer in the field of education – a game-changer we desperately need to both improve achievement for all and increase equity for children and communities who have been historically underserved.”7 Economist Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty and the force behind the United Nations’ Millennium Villages Project, believes that “mobile phones and wireless Internet end isolation, and will therefore prove to be the most transformative technology of economic development of our time.”8 And in 2011, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced a new foreign policy doctrine.

It cited the 85,000 people who had pledged on Facebook that they would march.36 Days after the first protest in Tahrir Square, Roger Cohen wrote in the New York Times, “The Facebook-armed youth of Tunisia and Egypt rise to demonstrate the liberating power of social media.”37 One Egyptian newspaper reported that a man named his firstborn daughter Facebook.38 On February 11, 2011 – the day the regime folded – Ghonim told a CNN interviewer, “I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him. . . . This revolution started on Facebook . . . in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content. We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I’ve always said that if you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet.”39 If you want to liberate a society, just give them the Internet.

Asocial Enterprises Prahalad has had some influence in corporate circles, but it’s a variation of his idea called “social enterprise” that has really taken off. In business schools, engineering departments, and venture capital firms, social enterprises – start-up businesses that try to serve a social good through a viable business – are all the rage. Social entrepreneurs model themselves on the Steve Jobses and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, not realizing that successful businesses are successful because they have carefully chosen their customers, not because they have a foolproof Midas touch. Apple is a profitable company not just because it designs superior products but also because it chooses the world’s wealthiest people as its market. It would hardly survive if it were constrained to selling $400 iPhones to individuals who earn less than that in a year.


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

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

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

But as for our government—no longer. 293 CONCLUSION We’ve been deservedly hard on Facebook, in this book and in much of our work, but that company’s famed CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote something that speaks to the spirit of the SOPA/PIPA fight, which we’ve in turn tried to capture in this book. Just as the world was abuzz with news that he was launching an initial public offering of stock in the company Zuckerberg drafted an explanation of the values that supposedly undergird Facebook’s management culture. His statement included a description of something he calls “The Hacker Way.” A few highlighted sentences: MARK ZUCKERBERG: The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connota- tion from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers. In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.

Those seeking to understand what kind of governance Internet users are willing to accept would do well to start by studying the engineering that establishes the network and how it is governed. The key protocols and standards that make the Internet work—that make the Internet the Internet—are developed and modified by voluntary committees of engineers, who meet virtually to debate the merits of new features, design changes, and other basic enhancements. Mark Zuckerberg (cofounder of Facebook) The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers. In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I’ve met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

As this book was going to press, we learned that the Mountain View city council voted for Linkedin's alternative proposal for the site, perhaps preventing at least delaying, the eventual construction of some version of Ingalls’ and Heatherwick's plan. See Conor Dougherty “Google Loses to Linkedin in Silicon Valley Headquarters Pitch,” New York Times, May 6, 2015, http://nyti.ms/1F68CMI. 59.  Adam Greenfield compares “Zee Town” to company towns of years past in “Is Facebook's ‘Zee Town’ More Than Just a Mark Zuckerberg Vanity Project?” Guardian, March 10, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/mar/10/facebook-zee-town-mark-zuckerberg. 60.  See Kirk Johnson and Nick Wingfield, “As Amazon Stretches, Seattle's Downtown Is Reshaped,” New York Times, August 25, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/26/us/as-amazon-stretches-seattles-downtown-is-reshaped.html. 61.  See for example, Colin Marshall, “Amazon's New Downtown Seattle HQ: Victory for the City over Suburbia?”

See Doug Beaver, “10 Billion Photos,” Facebook, October 14, 2008, https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-engineering/10-billion-photos/30695603919. 50.  Unsurprisingly then, Cloud network platforms have hired many of the best social network analysis away from academia. For example, during my time at Yahoo! I worked with small-worlds network pioneer Duncan Watts, formerly of Columbia's Department of Sociology and now at Microsoft Research. 51.  Company founder Mark Zuckerberg may have found a way around the problem of Facebook's closure from the open Internet, and that is to implement a proprietary aerial Facebook-centric version for the developing world. See Quentin Hardy and Vindu Goel, “Drones Beaming Web Access Art in the Stars for Facebook,” New York Times, March 26, 2015, http://nyti.ms/1GpPOXh. 52.  See http://chatroulette.com/ if you must. 53.  I particularly like the premise considered in Charles Stross's novel Rule 34 (New York: Ace Books, 2011), that “the singularity” is born from the accumulation of global e-mail spam becoming sentient. 54. 

If the campus is a sort of utopian idealization of the Google Cloud Polis itself, this version, unlike some others, at least makes some gestures toward including the outside User in its model. The project is still to be approved, if at all, by Mountain View city council, and so we shall have to wait and see what is actually built to compare the real environmental platform to that proposed.58 By contrast, looking at Frank Gehry's early proposals for a new Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park (nicknamed “Zee Town” after company founder, Mark Zuckerberg) we see a plan for a more traditional corporate campus, designed, it appears, to ensure the managed serendipitous contact between employees in motion. In this encapsulated “company town” winding pathways and strategic lines of sight connecting interior and exterior views are embedded in a multilevel landscape where sub- and superterranean greenery twists and turns onto and under the collection of buildings.59 At their desks, the aggregate social graph of the on-site employee/resident population is framed and displayed to itself as it moves and involves itself within itself in airplane hangar–scale open-plan work space.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

Did it have a huge impact on the company in terms of visibility, or was it just, you felt, a recognition of a job well done? Haas: Yeah, definitely. We had some really great moments in our journey, one being the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2010. I also once hosted Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook into the amiando office for a very nice evening in October 2008. So both things, of course, make the team incredibly proud and really help to form the unique culture of amiando, which is why we're really passionate about what we do. Of course, having Mark Zuckerberg in the office was fantastic also for the IT guys - they were motivated for months. Santos: Yeah, I can imagine. Haas: It's very interesting to see how Facebook is changing and growing. Also, the World Economic Forum award provided amiando with a lot of visibility outside the internet sector in traditional business and in the media.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

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

Leena Rao, “Facebook Will Grow Headcount Quickly In 2013 To Develop Money-Making Products, Total Expenses Will Jump By 50 Percent,” TechCrunch, January 30, 2013, http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/30/zuck-facebook-will-grow-headcount-quickly-in-2013-to-develop-future-money-making-products/ (accessed August 10, 2013). 7. Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance, “Facebook’s ‘Next Billion’: A Q&A With Mark Zuckerberg,” Bloomberg Businessweek, October 4, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-04/facebooks-next-billion-a-q-and-a-with-mark-zuckerberg (accessed September 11, 2013). 8. “Kodak’s Growth and Decline: A Timeline,” Rochester Business Journal, January 19, 2012, http://www.rbj.net/print_article.asp?aID=190078. 9. According to an analysis of 2006 tax returns in the United States by Emmanuel Saez of University of California, Berkeley. 10. In contrast, life expectancy for men and women with more than a high school education increased during this period. 11.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

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air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

A few blocks past there is the garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin first housed Google, before they moved into real offices above a Persian rug store in nearby Palo Alto. On the morning of Google’s public offering, in August 2004, the crowd at the café on our corner was electrified—not, presumably, because they themselves were getting richer by the moment (although maybe), but because it suddenly made everything seem possible again. Indeed, it was that same summer when Mark Zuckerberg moved his fledgling company, then known as The Facebook, from his dorm room at Harvard to a sublet house in Palo Alto. It wasn’t big news at the time—the only person I knew on Facebook then was my sister-in-law, still in college—but it was clear that it made perfect sense. As E. B. White said of New York, this was the place you came if you were willing to be lucky. Just as Wall Street, Broadway, or Sunset Boulevard each contain a dream, so too does this corner of Silicon Valley.

Or Eddie Diaz, who, after spending all night underneath the Manhattan streets, headed home for a quick shower before going back out again for his wife’s birthday. Or Ken Patchett setting down his giant mug of coffee to read the text message that arrived from his son—a sniper in the air force—who at that moment was sitting in a transport plane on the tarmac in Qatar. These guys aren’t Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. They didn’t invent anything, reshape any industries, or make a whole lot of money. They worked inside the global network and made it work. But they lived locally, as most of us do. What I understood when I arrived home was that the Internet wasn’t a physical world or a virtual world, but a human world. The Internet’s physical infrastructure has many centers, but from a certain vantage point there is really only one: You.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

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

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

The other nagging concern on Rebecca’s mind was that her schoolwork was taking her away from doing the work that she really wanted to do. She found the structure and major requirements rigid and inflexible. She petitioned her university multiple times to be able to design her own major that focused on leadership and organizations. The university denied her requests. Rebecca felt frustrated by the lack of support and the pattern that she saw emerging. She thought, “You did this to Bill Gates, then you did this to Mark Zuckerberg. You have done this to every creative entrepreneur here. All we do is drop out with a bitter taste in our mouth. I am a better bet than my peer that’s going to go to Wall Street. There are more and more entrepreneurs, and yes they’re risky, but when they win big, they win bigger than everyone else.” Rebecca decided to sit in on a class at the Kennedy School, a school at Harvard that was exclusively for graduate students.

In a school that for years held a spot on the list of our country’s most troubled high schools, kids walk down halls with confident smiles and a sense of purpose. In the past couple of years, attendance rates have jumped dramatically. Kids now come to school on snow days. And during lunch, groups of kids take their lunch trays to sessions tutoring them on things like writing skills. The Newark school system has long been viewed as Ground Zero for education reformers. Several, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the Waltons, and Eli Broad, set out to transform Newark schools and make them a national model. Zuckerberg announced a $100 million gift to Newark education on the Oprah Winfrey show, timed to coincide with the documentary Waiting for Superman. But, as the New Yorker reported, this heavily funded reform initiative accomplished nothing other than lining the pockets of consultants. In a telling line from Vivian Cox Fraser, the president of the Urban League of Essex County, “Everybody’s getting paid, but Raheem still can’t read.”31 Gemar Mills, the principal of Shabazz, explains, “When I took over as principal in 2011–2012, I was the fourth principal over the course of four years, the state had recommended the district close the school, and the media dubbed the school ‘Baghdad.’


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

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, 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, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, 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, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, 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, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Deep Learning is a new and exciting subset of Machine Learning based on neural net technology. It allows a machine to discover new patterns without being exposed to any historical or training data. Leading startups in this space are DeepMind, bought by Google in early 2014 for $500 million, back when DeepMind had just thirteen employees, and Vicarious, funded with investment from Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Twitter, Baidu, Microsoft and Facebook are also heavily invested in this area. Deep Learning algorithms rely on discovery and self-indexing, and operate in much the same way that a baby learns first sounds, then words, then sentences and even languages. As an example: In June 2012, a team at Google X built a neural network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections. After allowing it to browse ten million randomly selected YouTube video thumbnails for three days, the network began to recognize cats, without actually knowing the concept of “cats.”

In a recent commencement address at Singapore Management University, John Seely Brown made the compelling point that all corporate architectures are set up to withstand risk and change. Furthermore, he said, all corporate planning efforts attempt to scale efficiency and predictability, meaning they work to create static—or at least controlled-growth—environments in the belief that they will reduce risk. But in today’s fast-changing world, Seely Brown continued, just the opposite is true. Mark Zuckerberg agrees, noting, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” Constant experimentation and process iteration are now the only ways to reduce risk. 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.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

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1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Once texting, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook had taken hold around the globe, they became increasingly valuable sources of serious information for news organizations, for businesses, and for governments. In 2010 Facebook surpassed Google as the United States’ most visited website, with 8.9 percent of all American website visits versus Google’s 7.2 percent. Facebook had reached more than 500 million users.13 Not surprisingly, perhaps, Time magazine’s 2010/2011 Person of the Year was Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Now, the new question was “What’s happening?” Despite their respective drawbacks, social media continue to promote utopian expectations of instant and ever growing communities, including Wikipedia’s volunteer communities. Not just consumers but corporate executives themselves seek vastly expanded social interactions for their devices and enterprises. In almost all cases one finds a shallow utopian faith in the processes of connecting and sharing as supposed means to individual and collective fulfillment with minimal regard for the downsides suggested above.

See also Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal (New York: Doubleday, 2009); the popular 2010 film based on that book, The Social Network, as in Adam Geller and Joseph P. Kahn, “Facebook Film Not Making Friends with Some Harvard Grads,” Boston Globe, October 2, 2010, A1, A9; David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that Is Connecting the World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010); Miguel Helft, “Facebook Aims to Expand Its Reach,” Boston Globe, April 19, 2010, B8; Mark Zuckerberg and Donald E. Graham, “Answering Facebook Privacy Concerns,” Bangor Daily News, May 25, 2010, A7; Dan Fletcher, “Facebook: Friends Without Borders,” Time, 175 (May 31, 2010), 32–38; Alex Beam, “Everybody Hates Facebook: For Hundreds of Millions, You Can’t Live Without It or Without Complaining About It,” Boston Globe, August 27, 2010, G39; Kirkpatrick, “It’s Time to Clear Up Five Myths About Facebook,” Bangor Daily News, September 30, 2010, A7; Geller, Associated Press, “Facebook Founder’s Story Irretrievably Public,” Bangor Daily News, October 1, 2010, C9; Kahn, “What Does Friend Mean Now?”


pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

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Apple II, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, zero-sum game

“Now there are a wide variety of distribution points and places where artists can start creating content. Clients are now creating games, turning it into a book and then a movie. The agency now has a new media department. Apps are getting developed. It’s very dynamic.” Here’s an example. Lady Gaga’s next album, ArtPop, won’t be issued initially as a CD or digital download but as a mobile app. Her manager, Troy Carter, has a lot more in common with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg than with the traditional rock-star managers of old. He’s one of the first to use social media as the primary marketing vehicle for his client. In addition, he is fast becoming known as one of the savviest high-tech angel investors around, with early stakes in apps such as music service Spotify, taxi service Uber, and news service Summly (just bought by Yahoo!). “The music industry is healthier than ever right now, and it’s a fantastic time to be in it,” he told London’s Guardian newspaper at the end of 2012.

That isn’t the sort of challenge Hollywood can ignore or make go away with lawsuits as it has done before. * * * In mid-May 2013, at the end of a marathon keynote presentation to open its conference for software developers, Google served up a surprise to its exhausted listeners. At the three-hour mark, Larry Page, the company’s publicity-shy CEO, came out to deliver remarks and take questions from the audience. Page isn’t a rock star CEO as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates once were, or as Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and Larry Ellison at Oracle continue to be. In fact, Page’s appearance was notable for the exact opposite reason: few could remember the last time they had seen him center stage. He has been Google’s CEO for two years and is one of its cofounders. But during that entire fifteen-year period—Google was founded in 1998—he has taken pains to avoid the limelight. He rarely grants interviews, or makes speeches the way Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, does.


pages: 407 words: 109,653

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

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Asperger Syndrome, Berlin Wall, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Edward Glaeser, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, game design, industrial cluster, Jean Tirole, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, school choice, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Jobs, zero-sum game

Sure enough, when the Italian scholars analyzed the photos of the entrepreneurs’ hands, they found that the more successful the entrepreneur, the longer the ring finger compared to the index finger. The most successful entrepreneurs had ring fingers 10% to 20% longer than their index fingers. As you hold up your hand to examine your own two fingers, this finding probably sounds downright absurd to you. For decades, people have speculated about what made Steve Jobs special, what set apart the Richard Bransons and Larry Ellisons and Mark Zuckerbergs from everybody else—what character traits facilitated their success, or what in their childhoods drove them to build their empires—and here comes two Italian economists to argue it’s all about the length of their fingers! Well, it’s not really about the length of their fingers. Finger length is actually just a marker, a sign of what was going on when these entrepreneurs were in their mothers’ wombs.

Tremblay, “Prevalence of Father-Child Rough-and-Tumble Play and Physical Aggression of Preschool Children,” European Journal of Psychology of Education, vol. 18(2), pp. 171–189 (2003) Schore, Allan, & Jennifer McIntosh, “Family Law and the Neuroscience of Attachment,” Family Court Review, vol. 49(3), pp. 501–512 (2011) 5. Sandra Lerner; Women in Silicon Valley: Boyd, E. B., “Where is the Female Mark Zuckerberg?,” San Francisco, pp. 82–93, 106–114 (Dec. 2011) Brush, Candida, Nancy Carter, Elizabeth Gatewood, Patricia Greene, & Myra Hart, “The Diana Project: Women Business Owners and Equity Capital, the Myths Dispelled,” Kansas City, MO: Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, (2001) Coleman, Susan, & Alicia Robb, “A Comparison of New Firm Financing by Gender: Evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey Data,” Small Business Economics, vol. 33(4), pp. 397–411 (2009) Crets, Douglas, “Recruiting Women to the Burgeoning (But Mostly Male) Host of Angel Investors,” Fast Company, http://bit.ly/odqVEn (8/1/2011) Flynn, F.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

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

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

The same is true at MIT Media Lab, where, as the director Joi Ito explains, the researchers and students don’t spend a lot of time wondering about the questions they’re pursuing, or debating how best to proceed. They quickly start doing what you’re supposed to do in a lab—experimenting. As Ito puts it, “These days it’s easier and less expensive to just try out your ideas than to figure out if you should try them out.” What Ito is doing in his lab is also happening at companies such as Google and Facebook, and throughout much of the tech industry worldwide. At Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg has64 elevated the idea of quickly building and testing ideas to a sacred principle that Zuckerberg has described as the Hacker Way. In a letter to potential Facebook investors at the time of the company’s 2012 IPO, Zuckerberg explained that while the word hacking has some negative connotations, at Facebook it means “building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done.” This means constantly trying out new ideas in rough form.

Paul Grayson’s quote appeared in Ashlee Vance, “A Technology Sets Inventors Free to Dream,” New York Times, September 14, 2010. 62 “How might we roll it instead of lugging it?” . . . Joe Sharkey, “Reinventing the Suitcase by Adding the Wheel,” New York Times, October 4, 2010. 63 As the writer Peter Sims noted in . . . Peter Sims, “The Number One Enemy of Creativity: Fear of Failure,” Harvard Business Review, October 5, 2012; see also, Peter Sims, “Daring to Stumble on the Road to Discovery,” New York Times, August 7, 2011. 64 At Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg has . . . Zuckerberg published his manifesto “The Hacker Way” as part of his letter to investors during Facebook’s IPO in early 2012. Wired reprinted the complete letter, http://www.wired.com/business/2012/02/zuck-letter/. 65 “the trick is to go from one failure . . .” This quote is worded differently depending on where you find it. On the site Lifehack, it reads, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm,” http://quotes.lifehack.org/winston-churchill/success-is-the-ability-to-go-from/. 66 How do you make a hard-boiled egg’s shell disappear?


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

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barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

The word innovation tends to set most people thinking about places like Silicon Valley – which has its own fair share of sharks – about huge technological advances and companies with even huger research and development budgets. But my favourite stories are always those about people who have come up with a simple idea and with little or no money made a big success of it. Obviously the likes of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others qualify for inclusion in such a category but there are also a lot of lesser known but every bit as impressive stories out there – like Sara Blakely’s, for instance – a lady whose career track has an amazing number of parallels to mine. SPANX A MILLION I first met Sara when she became a contestant on my 2004–05 one-season wonder of a US TV show The Rebel Billionaire. When she joined us for the ten weeks it took to film the entire series, I was surprised to learn that she was already four years into building her what sounded like a one-woman business.

This gives customers both rational and irrational/emotional reasons to invest in a brand. ‘Technology should be about more than just newest, loudest, prettiest – it should make a real difference.’ Dave Morin who spent time at Facebook as well as Apple before creating the critically acclaimed social-networking app Path, commented that the impetus for great design has got to come from the top. And having worked with both Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, he should certainly know! Dave believes that everyone at a company should care about how a product looks, feels and works — not just the people with the word ‘design’ in their job titles. He added that modern companies need CEOs with a taste for good design every bit as much as they need accountants who are great with numbers. This is a philosophy we have rigorously employed over the years at Virgin – on both design and accountants!


pages: 349 words: 109,304

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

bitcoin, blockchain, crack epidemic, Edward Snowden, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the market place, trade route, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Each tête-à-tête was an instructive lesson for Ross, whether he was learning how to set up a Bitcoin config file on the server, managing warring factions of dealers on the site, or understanding how he was perceived by the proletariat who used the Silk Road. At its core, though, the relationship was personal. VJ’s greatest value was as an executive coach of sorts—someone who could mentor the young founder through problems germane to any start-up, like Bill Campbell, who had helped the creators of Twitter and Google, or Marc Andreessen, who offered advice to Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. “What are my strengths?” Ross asked VJ one afternoon, hoping that his new confidant could hold up a mirror for Ross to see himself, a view that Ross, in his secret solitude, was incapable of discerning on his own. “You play your cards close,” VJ replied. “You really do get that it’s gone from fun and games to a very serious life or death lifestyle you’ve created.” He then listed a handful of attributes of the leader of the Silk Road, including that he was obviously well educated and that many on the site saw him as “the Steve Jobs” of the online drug world.

“That’s fine,” he said as the group from Baltimore got up to leave. “But we’re pretty sure we’re going to have this site shut down in a couple of weeks.” Chapter 26 THE MUTINY Every founder goes through it. When Facebook introduced the “timeline,” its few-million-strong user base grew enraged at the privacy violations that came with involuntarily sharing everything you did with others. But Mark Zuckerberg had no choice; he needed to grow his revenue, and this was the path forward. Uber went through it when the company defiantly refused to eliminate its “surge pricing” model, which would make customers’ car rides double, triple, and in some instances even octuple without much warning. But Travis Kalanick had no choice; he needed to grow his revenue. Every tech company has faced these challenges: Twitter, Google, Apple, Yahoo!

Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge

The “fight club” at the center of Chuck Palahniuk’s book and David Fincher’s film isn’t so much a social movement as it is that hardcore indie band you just don’t want to see sell out. But that’s the inherent problem with anything that impacts society enough to bring about lasting change: Its success carries within it the seeds of its eventual dissolution. If history teaches us anything, it’s that the rebels of today are inevitably the establishmentarians of tomorrow—whether Fidel Castro, Kurt Cobain, or Mark Zuckerberg. And so, can you really blame Tyler Durden for wanting to keep a lid on his new favorite thing for just a little while longer? The novel Fight Club (1996) established Chuck Palahniuk as a major author of disturbing fiction. His short story “Guts,” about unfortunate masturbation accidents, established him as an author who could cause people to faint while listening to him read out loud.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

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Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

Equity leverage works by incorporating anticipated future earnings into present asset prices, thereby enabling stock sellers to get a lump sum now for a potential stream of future profits that may or may not materialize. If a company is expected to grow, this leverage can be huge—and it’s on top of the liquidity premium that accrues simply from enlarging the universe of potential stock buyers. It’s what enables people like Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, to become billionaires before they’re thirty. And that’s not all. Large chunks of many fortunes come from sources less visible than these. Consider the nest egg of another youthful billionaire, Bill Gates. According to Forbes magazine, Gates in 2013 was the richest man in America and second-richest man in the world, with a net worth of $72 billion.2 Virtually all of that comes from stock he received or bought cheaply as Microsoft’s cofounder.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Among the many foreigners who deserve credit for key elements of the Great Inventions are transplanted Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone, Frenchmen Louis Pasteur for the germ theory of disease and Louis Lumière for the motion picture, Englishmen Joseph Lister for antiseptic surgery and David Hughes for early wireless experiments, and Germans Karl Benz for the internal combustion engine and Heinrich Hertz for key inventions that made possible the 1896 wireless patents of the recent Italian immigrant Guglielmo Marconi. The role of foreign inventors in the late nineteenth century was distinctly more important than it was one hundred years later, when the personal computer and Internet revolution was led almost uniformly by Americans, including Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg. Among the pioneering giants of the Internet age, Sergei Brin (co-founder of Google) is one of the few to have been born abroad. Organization. The book proper begins with chapter 2, on living conditions in 1870. Part I includes eight chapters (chapters 2–9) on the revolutionary advances in the standard of living through 1940, a dividing year chosen both because it is halfway between 1870 and 2010 and because 1940 marks the year of the first Census of Housing, with its detailed quantitative measures of housing and its equipment.

If 90 percent of the people with whom you interact speak English and only 10 percent speak French, then it is quite likely that you will work harder to perfect your English than your French. Thus the power of social media is determined by the popularity of the platform. In 2005, only 8 percent of adults said they used social media. A service called Myspace was then the leading social media network, and Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg in his Harvard dorm room, was still only a year old. Eight years later, in 2013, social media use in adults had reached 72 percent. Teenagers and young adults had an adoption rate of close to 90 percent. Many business interactions still remain focused on e-mail, but social networks dominate personal interactions. E-COMMERCE: THE AMAZON REVOLUTION The e-commerce revolution in retailing has created both incalculable benefits for consumers and unmitigated pain and bankruptcy for some types of traditional retailers in categories in which the essence of a purchase is to be able to choose easily among a wide range of possible options.

The chapter begins with a historical overview of the source of inventions since 1870 and emphasizes a U-shaped history in which the role of the individual inventor dominated the late nineteenth century, followed by most of the twentieth century, when major inventions occurred within the research laboratories of giant corporations. After 1975, the individual entrepreneur returned as the modern electronic age was created by individuals such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. Equipped with this historical background, we then examine the quantitative record of progress. The post-1970 years have not witnessed a uniformly slow advance of TFP. Instead the impact on TFP of the inventions of IR #3 were centered on the decade 1994–2004. We describe changes in business practices in the office, in the retail sector, and in the banking and financial sector and find in all cases that current methods of production had been largely achieved by 2004.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

That will be stress. SEVEN Average Is Over We have a bone to pick with the writers of the movie The Social Network. We take exception to the way they depicted Lawrence Summers, who was the president of Harvard at the time in which the movie is set. At one point, two Harvard students, the twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, go to Summers complaining that a fellow student, Mark Zuckerberg, has stolen their idea for something called “the Facebook.” Summers hears the twins’ tale of woe without a shred of sympathy, then tosses them out with this piece of advice: “Yes, everyone at Harvard is inventing something. Harvard undergraduates believe that inventing a job is better than finding one, so I’ll suggest again that the two of you come up with a new, new project.” That line is supposed to make Summers look arrogant, unsympathetic, condescending, and clueless.

“Show me an obstacle and I will show you an opportunity” is still the motto of many, many Americans, be they business entrepreneurs or civic and charitable entrepreneurs. So Rosa Parks just got on that bus and took her seat; so new immigrants just went out and started 25 percent of the new companies in Silicon Valley in the last decade; so college dropouts named Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg just got up and created four of the biggest companies in the world. So, when all seemed lost in the Iraq war, the U.S. military carried out a surge, not a retreat, because, as one of the officers involved told Tom, “We were just too dumb to quit.” It was never in the plan, but none of them got the word. Through his reporting, Tom has had a chance to meet and interview some of these Americans who just didn’t get the word, who are just too dumb to quit, in the very best and most complimentary sense of that phrase.


pages: 411 words: 127,755

Advertisers at Work by Tracy Tuten

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, centre right, crowdsourcing, follow your passion, Mark Zuckerberg, QR code, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, the High Line

How do we get past those shallow engagements into something that’s long lasting, into something that’s repetitive, into something that kind of brings joy to both groups? And we have a little line that everyone here has to learn and learn what it means. It’s simply, “Make friends, not ads.” That’s what we try to get the organization to do: think not about this thing you’re about to create, but think, how do you help a brand and its publics become friends. We’ve been actually doing that long before Mark Zuckerberg took the word “friends” and did something with it—before he could probably shave. Anyway, that’s our philosophy, and we actually have an interesting organizational structure. We have no profit centers between any of our disciplines. We don’t have any sort of wholly owned subsidiaries. We have T-shaped subject matter people3 who can flow all around the organization and work on anything they want as long as what they’re providing is relevant, without worrying about where the budget is going.

The way in which we [create] will be more informed by creative technologists and developers and programmers, not just writers and art directors. I personally am a big believer, even though some people don’t agree with me, that the future creative person is going to come as much from other areas as they do from the traditional writer, art director, and the crafts. In fact, if you look at the biggest cultural influencers of the last three or four years, who are they? They’re the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, right? Programmers and nerds—not necessarily who we consider traditional communicators. Tuten: Right. Boches: They’re Ev Williams, they’re Steve Chen, they’re the guys who are inventing things like YouTube and Facebook and Twitter. They aren’t writers and art directors. They’re programmers. They just happen to be creative. Tuten: But we’re still going to have to have content created, too.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, 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, Jacquard loom, 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, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

It means something to have a PhD from someplace like MIT. We love those places! There are legendary professors and we scramble to recruit their graduating students. But it’s also considered the height of hipness to eschew a traditional degree and unequivocally prove yourself through other means. The list of top company runners who dropped out of college is commanding: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Mark Zuckerberg, for a start. Peter Thiel, of Facebook and PayPal fame, started a fund to pay top students to drop out of school, since the task of building high-tech startups should not be delayed. Mea culpa. I never earned a real degree (though I have received honorary ones). In my case poverty played a role, as it did for many others. But also, the very thought of slogging through someone else’s procedures to gain abstract approval seemed unacceptably retro and irrelevant.

A networked story is just as much a contest of ideas as was the Cold War, which served as a standard of meaning for Kushner and Fukuyama. Story lives, and the future is not random. FIFTH INTERLUDE The Wise Old Man in the Clouds THE LIMITS OF EMERGENCE AS AN EXPLANATION In 2012, the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit institution, themed its recruitment campaign on the idea that Christianity is like Facebook. One of the slogans was “Our CEO mastered social networking 2,000 years before Mark Zuckerberg was born.”1 There’s something to the comparison, and I find that worrisome. Each institution became powerful in an unconventional way. Each network created a center of power that bypassed territorial and political boundaries, and existed on its own plane. Each became what might be called a “social monopoly,” engaging in social engineering on a grand scale. That’s not to say that bad things will necessarily happen in a social monopoly.


pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

It was in 2004 that Tim O’Reilly first coined the phrase “Web 2.0” when attempting to define the intersection of the web and applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centred design, and collaboration.2 Facebook launched in 2003, but MySpace was the dominant social media platform in the US at this time. iTV bought the Friends Reunited network in 2003 as it climbed past the 15-million user mark. It was also in 2003 that YouTube first started its video storing/retrieval service. In 2005 News Corp purchased MySpace for $580 million3 and Viacom offered Mark Zuckerberg $75 million for the rapidly growing Facebook service.4 In 2006 they returned with an offer of $1.5 billion. When that deal fell through, Yahoo tried a counter-offer of $1 billion—unsurprisingly it was declined. By 2007, when Apple released the iPhone, Facebook was already outperforming MySpace in terms of monthly visitors. One year later, Facebook had 200 million users, twice the size of MySpace.

It is held annually in Austin, Texas. Haven’t heard of SXSW? Have you heard of Twitter? Of course . . . Well, Twitter wasn’t launched at SXSW, but its “buzz” and rapid growth are often attributed to its appearance at SXSW in 2007. Foursquare launched at SXSW, along with a bunch of other start-ups and apps. In 2006, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and Craig Newmark from Craigslist were the primary speakers. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook took the stage, and in 2010, Evan Williams, the CEO of Twitter, was the primary personality on the interactive stage. Figure 8.11: PanelPicker at SXSW is a great example of structured crowdsourcing (Credit: SXSW) However, SXSW uses crowdsourcing to select most of the topics for its interactive week. It does this by first asking for submissions from the crowd, and then encouraging voting over a period of some months.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

In the computing industries there are plenty of examples of such individuals: William Norris left Sperry Rand to lead Control Data; Seymour Cray departed from Control Data to found Cray Research; and Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore resigned twice, first from Shockley Semiconductor and then from Fairchild Semiconductor, before co-founding and leading Intel. Despite such examples the cultural allure of “two men and a garage” has remained strong. As the personal-computer industry progressed, the garage gave way to the college dorm room as the symbolic locus for IT entrepreneurial activity. Freshman Bill Gates left Harvard University to co-found Microsoft, freshman Shawn Fanning left Northeastern University to co-found Napster, and freshman Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard University to found Facebook. (Facebook is discussed in Chapter 12.) Another freshman, Michael Dell, stands out from these other teenagers—for his University of Texas dorm room was not merely the location of early-planning and prototype design but also the initial site of product assembly. Beginning in 1983, Dell innovated buying, selling, and delivery processes that by 1999 had made Dell Computer the largest personal-computer company in the world.

These firms, both of which were founded in California and initially focused on the United States, allowed users to create individual public- or semipublic-profile web pages and to connect with others. Friendster and MySpace grew rapidly in their first half-decade and gained millions of users, but in recent years they have been greatly overshadowed by industry-leading Facebook. Harvard University freshman Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook—then called Thefacebook—in his shared Kirkland House dorm suite. Frequently occupied with designing and programming computer applications during his first semester, Zuckerberg created two hit programs. The first, Course Match, enabled students to match up classes with others; the second, Facemash, allowed students to compare and choose (based on attractiveness) between two Harvard freshmen portrait photos.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

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

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

CHANGING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FIRM Throughout the first era of the Internet, management thinkers (Don included) talked up the networked enterprise, the flat corporation, open innovation, and business ecosystems as successors to the hierarchies of industrial power. However, the architecture of the early-twentieth-century corporation remains pretty much intact. Even the big dot-coms adopted a top-down structure with such decision makers as Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer, and Mark Zuckerberg. So why would any established firm—particularly ones that make their money off other people’s data, operate largely behind closed doors, and suffer surprisingly little in data breach after data breach—want to leverage blockchain technologies to distribute power, increase transparency, respect user privacy and anonymity, and include far more people who can afford far less than those already served?

But as a user, you would have full control over what information you’re sharing with that company.”40 There is Twister, a Twitter clone in terms of feel and functionality developed in 2013 by Miguel Freitas, a hacker and research engineer at PUC-Rio University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Twister leverages the free software implementations of bitcoin and BitTorrent protocols and deploys cryptography end to end so that no government can spy on users’ communications.41 GETTING THE WORD OUT: THE CRITICAL ROLE OF EDUCATION Joichi Ito is among an elite group of widely successful entrepreneurs—from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Biz Stone and Mark Zuckerberg—who dropped out of college to invent something new in the digital economy.42 It is a hallmark of our entrepreneurial culture that one’s pursuit of an idea, to go deep and understand its nuances as Ito likes to say, drives a visionary out of the classroom and into business. Henry Ford and Walt Disney pursued their passions without college degrees. And so it is one of those paradoxes that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would choose Ito to direct its legendary Media Lab, at the epicenter of all things digital and relevant to culture.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

It also boosted the number of M&As, because companies needed to become bigger than before to capture the specialization gains from a growing world economy. There was little demand for innovators and entrepreneurs fanning that “perennial gale of creative destruction,” and that demand naturally declined as companies turned into logistics hubs. Executive recruiters were not scouting for entrepreneurial people like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg to take up key positions in multinationals. They wanted executives with specialisms in optimization, management, logistics, capital markets, and other key operative functions of a firm. They wanted trusted partners from the “technostructure” of managerial capitalism, to quote John Kenneth Galbraith.6 And these partners were planners, not entrepreneurs. In this way, globalization helped to move Western economies away from Schumpeter’s vision of capitalism.

A successful company-builder like Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, for example, differentiates between Class A and Class B common stocks.27 When first introduced, Class B shares traded for 1/30th of Class A’s stock price and carried lower voting rights. Both Google and Facebook have dual share structures, something that has arguably helped to maintain a culture of innovation in those firms. A few days after Facebook’s initial public offering, founder Mark Zuckerberg owned 18 percent of Facebook, but controlled 57 percent of the share-votes.28 The reason is obvious: maintaining entrepreneurial grit. Ownership differentiation is a red rag for many in corporate finance. Regulators do not like it either and tend to root for ownership democracy. In Europe, authorities have made efforts to remove ownership discrimination, and less than a decade ago there was a political campaign to rule out dual class stocks entirely.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

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

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, book scanning, British Empire, 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, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, 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, 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, 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 L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Tmall’s “Singles Day” effort started out with just twenty-seven participating merchants, but it quickly became the most important shopping event in the country, with participants buying presents not only for their single selves, but also for people they’re interested in. On November 11, 2016, Alibaba’s marketplaces enabled sales of $17.8 billion, three times the combined total of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.# Of the four companies mentioned by Goodwin, though, Facebook might have the most extraordinary story. From its start in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room eleven years earlier, it had grown from a social networking site at a few elite US universities into a global utility of communication, connection, and content, visited daily by 936 million people. As Goodwin pointed out, Facebook drew all these people in and kept them engaged for an average of fifty minutes per day without generating any of the information that appeared on the site.

And Facebook, already a huge and profitable company when Goodwin wrote about it in March of 2015, continued to grow in size and influence, to greatly affect mainstream content producers, and to make sizable investments in innovation. In August of 2015 the web traffic analysis company Parse.ly released a report showing that across the major news and media sites it tracked, more viewers came via Facebook than from Google and other search engines. In March of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company’s ten-year road map, which included major initiatives in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, and even solar-powered airplanes to bring Internet access to millions of people who live far from any telecommunications infrastructure. How could companies that consisted of only an “indescribably thin layer” be having such an impact, and such success?


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, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, 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, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, 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, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Here’s What He Said,” Recode, April 13, 2016. f 3.Brad Stone and Jack Clark, “Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat,” Bloomberg Technology, March 17, 2016. 4.John Markoff, “Latest to Quit Google’s Self-Driving Car Unit: Top Roboticist,” New York Times, August 5, 2016. 5.Mark Harris, “Secretive Alphabet Division Funded by Google Aims to Fix Public Transit in US,” Guardian, June 27, 2016. 6.Siimon Reynolds, “Why Google Glass Failed: A Marketing Lesson,” Forbes, February 5, 2015. 7.Rajat Agrawal, “Why India Rejected Facebook’s ‘Free’ Version of the Internet,” Mashable, February 9, 2016. 8.Mark Zuckerberg, “The technology behind Aquila,” Facebook, July 21, 2016, facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/the-technology-behind-aquila/10153916136506634/. 9.Mari Saito, “Exclusive: Amazon Expanding Deliveries by Its ‘On-Demand’ Drivers,” Reuters, February 8, 2016. 10.Alan Boyle, “First Amazon Prime Airplane Debuts in Seattle After Secret Night Flight,” GeekWire, August 4, 2016. 11.Farhad Manjoo, “Think Amazon’s Drone Delivery Idea Is a Gimmick? Think Again,” New York Times, August 10, 2016. 12.CBS News, “Amazon Unveils Futuristic Plan: Delivery by Drone,” 60 Minutes, December 1, 2013. 13.Ben Popper, “Amazon’s drone program acquires a team of Europe’s top computer vision experts,” The Verge, May 10, 2016. 14.Danielle Kucera, “Amazon Acquires Kiva Systems in Second-Biggest Takeover,” Bloomberg, March 19, 2012. 15.Mike Rogoway, “Amazon Reports Price of Elemental Acquisition: $296 Million,” Oregonian, October 23, 2015. 16.Caleb Pershan, “Startup Doze Monetizes Nap Time for Tired Techies,” SFist, September 28, 2015; Kate Taylor, “Food-Tech Startup Soylent Snags $20 Million in Funding,” Entrepreneur, January 15, 2015; Michelle Starr, “Brain-to-Brain Verbal Communication in Humans Achieved for the First Time,” CNet, September 3, 2014; Frank Tobe, “When Will Sex Robots Hit the Marketplace?


pages: 179 words: 42,006

Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, Franck Nouyrigat

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

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, business climate, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, web application, Y Combinator

While the average guy on the street may think that an entrepreneur without an idea is like a cyclist without a bike, we at Startup Weekend know the truth, which we've repeated again and again: Ideas are important, but the team is essential. The news is full of stories of the lone entrepreneur who clings tightly to his dream and works tirelessly, for years and against all odds, to prove all the naysayers wrong. We hear the Mark Zuckerbergs praised as tenacious geniuses (and they are); but that's only half of the story. Even visionaries need a team of doers to bring their paradigm-shifting, brand-new idea to life. From mentors to investors to lawyers to employees to fellow cofounders, there's a whole stream of people involved in even the most humble startup. And at Startup Weekend, we believe that the teammates who believe in each other and in a shared vision of the future have the best chance for entrepreneurial success.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

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

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

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

Hooked users become brand evangelists — megaphones for your company, bringing in new users at little or no cost. Products with higher user engagement also have the potential to grow faster than their rivals. Case in point: Facebook leapfrogged its competitors, including MySpace and Friendster, even though it was relatively late to the social networking party. Although its competitors both had healthy growth rates and millions of users by the time Mark Zuckerberg’s fledgling site launched beyond the closed doors of academia, his company came to dominate the industry. Facebook’s success was, in part, a result of what I call the more is more principle — more frequent usage drives more viral growth. As tech-entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, David Skok points out, “The most important factor to increasing growth is ... Viral Cycle Time.” [xxv] Viral Cycle Time is the amount of time it takes a user to invite another user, and it can have a massive impact.

Science...For Her! by Megan Amram

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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

He did not major in “Humping Other English Majors’ Girlfriends,” as that is not currently an existing track of study at Cornell or any other accredited university. We erroneously wrote yesterday that Mr. Penview was the “son of Dr. Ryan Penview, a third-generation ophthalmologist, and Mrs. Claire Penview, a Zuckerberg-ass beaver-bitch.” Mrs. Penview practiced law in New York State until 2004, and is considered by many to be a friendly and beautiful member of her community, bearing no resemblance whatsoever to Mark Zuckerberg or his rear end. “Beaver-bitch” is not a profession. We mischaracterized the bride as having worn “a peace [sic] of shit mayonnaise tent. Also, you know how sometimes people see the Virgin Mary in stuff? It was like that, except you could see Hitler in the wedding dress, but specifically because she had hand-embroidered a picture of Hitler in her dress.” In truth, Ms. Jasper wore Amsale. Mr.


pages: 184 words: 53,625

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

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Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, 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, 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

Yes, it is not raw capitalism if the state pays out the dividends, but it is just as far from bureaucratic socialism as well. The state plays a key role, but that role is limited to establishing rewards and incentives that encourage better—and more collaborative—teaching. — In February 2012, Facebook filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, justifying and describing its plans for an initial public offering. The document included a revealing letter from Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, outlining the company’s core mission and warning potential shareholders that the company would prioritize that long-term mission over short-term opportunities to increase the share price. The Facebook mission can be boiled down to the old E. M. Forster slogan: “Only connect.” The company wants to strengthen the social ties that allow humans around the planet to connect, organize, converse, and share.


pages: 170 words: 45,121

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

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

What they know is you type something in a box and stuff appears.2 But it doesn’t matter to them: They’re muddling through and using the thing successfully. 2 Usually a box with the word “Google” next to it. A lot of people think Google is the Internet. And muddling through is not limited to beginners. Even technically savvy users often have surprising gaps in their understanding of how things work. (I wouldn’t be surprised if even Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin have some bits of technology in their lives that they use by muddling through.) Why does this happen? It’s not important to us. For most of us, it doesn’t matter to us whether we understand how things work, as long as we can use them. It’s not for lack of intelligence, but for lack of caring. It’s just not important to us.3 3 Web developers often have a particularly hard time understanding—or even believing—that people might feel this way, since they themselves are usually keenly interested in how things work.


pages: 177 words: 56,657

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

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Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, fear of failure, job-hopping, Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, white picket fence

Yes, victory comes at a price—so does settling. Sure, you might be totally and completely insane. But you’re not going to stop. Because history shows that only the obsessed make it—people like Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Howard Schultz, Oprah, Vincent van Gogh, Steve Jobs, Christopher Columbus, Charlie Chaplin, Mozart, Michelangelo, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and on and on. There is no shortage of these people, and like them or hate them, admire them or detest them, we all know them! Whether or not you agree with their missions or how they got there, you can’t deny that they were obsessed—and that’s why you know their names. These are people who fought against all odds and were unwilling to settle.


pages: 165 words: 45,397

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby

3D printing, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, computer age, corporate governance, David Attenborough, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, mouse model, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social software, technoutopianism, Wall-E

The design collective Metahaven has developed a sustained critique of neoliberalism through a series of uncorporate identities for imaginary corporategovernment states by subverting branding and corporate identity strategies from a graphic design perspective.18 Their Facestate (2011) installation for Graphic Design: Now in Production at the Walker Art Center explored parallels between social software and the state: "It is about politicians hailing the entrepreneurship of Mark Zuckerberg, about the neoliberal dream of minimal government interference, about the governance of social networks, about face recognition, about debt, about the future of money and currency in social networks, and about the dream of total participation. "19 Metahaven combines extensive research with the setting out of fictional corporate government hybrids through design. Sternberg Press, Berlin, Solution Series Cover Artwork, 2008, ongoing.


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

As is so often the case, our ways of thinking about the world lag behind reality. The most important example of this is how we think about economic growth in the West. We still measure our health in aggregate numbers. But averages are useless. As Robert H. Frank, the Cornell economist, points out, on average we have about 1.9 legs each, because some people have only one leg.14 Likewise, if Mark Zuckerberg joins your neighbourhood football team, every member is on average a billionaire. Under the old model, where most production was clustered behind national barriers, what was good for General Motors was good for America. The annual gross domestic product figure meant as much to GM’s American customers as it did to the company. If the US economy grew by 5 per cent, there was a high chance the auto-maker’s bottom line had expanded by a similar amount.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The extent to which the celebrity culture simply reflect, rather than shapes wider cultural attitudes is also open to debate. In truth, it is probably a bit of both. But blaming the superficiality of the celebrity culture should not become a substitute for tackling a far deeper problem. People will always be attracted to shortcuts that offer a rapid ascent to fortune and fame. In interviews, Lord Sugar often makes the point that young entrepreneurs too often expect the one in a million success of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, rather than the hard grind of most business.54 He is equally quick to lambast what he calls the ‘cushy’ benefits system for generating an ‘expectancy culture’.55 Sugar is an example of a dwindling breed of self-made UK entrepreneurs who started out from modest beginnings, with few qualifications, and built up businesses to be internationally competitive. Sugar was born in 1947, the youngest of four children.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

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

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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, 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

Facebook emphasizes the cultivation of a robust identity. It maintains a closed system with a lot of rules. It made its founder billions of dollars, brought generations of people online and furthermore made them active. Facebook has redefined how humans communicate. Speaking purely in terms of scale, 4chan is a tiny playground for bored geeks in comparison. In David Kirkpatrick’s The Facebook Effect, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously declared: The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly . . . Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity. Facebook has struggled over the last few years to define its stance on privacy as it relates to the site’s sometimes shockingly targeted advertising platform.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

During and after the great Internet bubble of the 1990s, there were instant history machines for the so-called new economy—magazines like Business 2.0 and Fast Company—that reported on the ups and downs of the geek gods and their “wealth creation.” Here are the tales of Microsoft stock bought at twenty dollars and sold at two thousand, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard working in their rented Palo Alto garage, Ross Perot quitting IBM to found Computer Data Systems in Texas, Jeff Bezos opening an online bookstore, naming it after the largest river in the world, and then getting on the cover of Time magazine as the CEO of Amazon.com, and Mark Zuckerberg transforming the Harvard University first-year-student listing service into Facebook, the dominant and most valuable social media site in the world. These are the stories that have sustained the bulk of people’s interests in the history of computing. This is the history of computing as plutography, stories about money. There is another small but growing strain that locates the transformations of our world in the work of computing’s visionaries.


pages: 267 words: 71,123

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

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airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gordon Gekko, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, We are the 99%, working poor, Works Progress Administration

But what’s the marginal product of a corporate executive, or a hedge fund manager, or for that matter of a corporate lawyer? Nobody really knows. And if you look at how incomes for people in this class are actually determined, you find processes that arguably bear very little relationship to their economic contribution. At this point someone is likely to say, “But what about Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? Didn’t they get rich by creating products of value?” And the answer is yes—but very few of the top 1 percent, or even the top 0.01 percent, made their money that way. For the most part, we’re looking at executives at firms that they didn’t themselves create. They may own a lot of stock or stock options in their companies, but they received those assets as part of their pay package, not by founding the business.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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

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, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, 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

For most of history since then, entrepreneurship has meant either setting up a corner grocery shop or some other sort of modest local business or, more rarely, a total pie-in-the-sky crapshoot around an idea that is more likely to bring ruination than riches. Today we are spoiled by the easy pickings of the Web. Any kid with an idea and a laptop can create the seeds of a world-changing company—just look at Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook or any one of thousands of other Web startups hoping to follow his path. Sure, they may fail, but the cost is measured in overdue credit-card payments, not lifelong disgrace and a pauper’s prison. The beauty of the Web is that it democratized the tools both of invention and of production. Anyone with an idea for a service can turn it into a product with some software code (these days it hardly even requires much programming skill, and what you need you can learn online)—no patent required.


pages: 231 words: 73,818

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

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Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, zero-sum game

Many students develop the idea that they’re supposed to follow a prescribed path, in which they’re not allowed to achieve anything until after they get a diploma. And if they don’t develop the habit of doing things of their own volition, they will not change after they graduate. Many of the greatest entrepreneurs already had their businesses going during college—and many never graduated. Today’s clearest example is Mark Zuckerberg and four fellow students, who started Facebook from the dorms at Harvard University. Based on this thought, I decided the class project directive would be: Do something you have really wanted to do and have never done, or solve a problem in your life. The projects served to introduce the achievement habit. Students learned they did not need to wait for some future time to take command of their lives.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, information asymmetry, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Charles Abrams, The City Is the Frontier (New York: Harper and Row, 1965). 11. https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/census/historic/owner.html, last modified October 31, 2011. 12. http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/images/comparison70.jpg, accessed November 29, 2014. 13. “History of Long Term Care,” Elderweb, accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.elderweb.com/book/history-long-term-care. 14. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005140.html, accessed November 27, 2014. 15. As an experienced entrepreneur, I can assure you this argument is completely ridiculous. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, would have worked just as hard for a tiny fraction of the rewards he reaped. The founders of Fairchild Semiconductor widely regarded as the seminal Silicon Valley startup—were thrilled to strike it rich when the parent company bought them out for the princely sum of $250,000 each. In the words of Bob Noyce, “The money doesn’t seem real. It’s just a way of keeping score” (http://www.stanford.edu/class/e140/e140a/content/noyce.html, originally published by Tom Wolfe in Esquire, December 1983). 16.


pages: 266 words: 80,018

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding

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affirmative action, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Firefox, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, job-hopping, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, kremlinology, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, national security letter, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application, WikiLeaks

Any data they handed over wasn’t done voluntarily, but in response to a court-approved stick-up. A few days before their appearance at the review panel, Silicon Valley CEOs had gathered at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco. The mood was mutinous. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer said her company had to obey FISA court orders, even though it didn’t like them: ‘When you lose and don’t comply, it’s treason.’ Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg put it succinctly. The ‘government blew it,’ he said. During meetings with the review panel, however, the tech companies didn’t say anything about restricting NSA surveillance. Instead, some attendees suggest, the companies’ chief aim was to tell the customers a good story about how they were all protecting their data. The news that the NSA had hacked Google and Yahoo’s data centres, however, proved a game changer.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

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barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game

In my story so far at WordPress.com, every employee I met was smart, funny, and helpful. They'd invested heavily in tools and systems but put the onus on employees, even new ones like me, to decide how, when, and where to do their work. These attributes of culture didn't arrive by some technique sprinkled around the company years after it started. How did it happen, then? In 2002, eight years before I was hired and two years before Mark Zuckerberg would start Facebook, eighteen-year-old Matt Mullenweg, a recent graduate of Houston's High School for the Performing Arts, went to Washington, DC. An avid photographer, he wanted to add the pictures from his trip to his popular photo website, photomatt.net. He'd been using a program called Cafelog, but he was increasingly frustrated by it. He had recently learned that the main programmer behind it, Michel Valdrighi, had disappeared.


pages: 280 words: 79,029

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

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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, 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 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, transaction costs, Tunguska event, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Vanguard fund, web application

The information asymmetry that all markets must grapple with is particularly great when it comes to investing in people: no investor can hope to understand the aspirations, integrity, and self-discipline of a young person like the young person himself. With a traditional loan, the asymmetry still exists, but the obligation to repay at least offers greater protection to the interests of the investor. Information asymmetry goes hand in hand with a problem known as “adverse selection.” Imagine that the year is 2003, and an investor decides to put her money into a promising young Harvard undergraduate named Mark Zuckerberg. As the years roll on, it becomes clear that the investor has made a spectacularly good decision: Zuckerberg’s social-networking site, Facebook, is steaming toward a public listing, and a small share of his annual income is still a big amount of money. But what if Zuckerberg decides to pay himself a nominal salary during these early years in order to avoid handing over dollops of cash unnecessarily?


pages: 243 words: 74,452

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

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

Not for lack of effort on my part, but just that there was no Twitter. There was no Facebook. Blogs were in their baby stages and couldn’t easily be updated. Imagine if I had sat at my kitchen table and thought to myself, “I need to figure out my dream.” Is it possible that I would have been able to conceive the invention of Twitter? Might I have daydreamed up Facebook? What then? Would I just wait for Mark Zuckerberg to invent it? Me and my Moleskine notebook, writing: “I hope there’s a talented developer and two gigantic twins who are fighting over an idea right now that will one day be where I hustle.” That’s ridiculous. The same goes with picking a college major. When I was in college, almost nothing I’m doing now was a reality. I didn’t get my first e-mail address until I was a junior. And I thought it wouldn’t take off!


pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood

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AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Weight other people’s opinions and user reviews heavily in your purchasing decisions. Happiness is a lot harder to come by than money. So when you do spend money, keep these eight lessons in mind to maximize whatever happiness it can buy for you. And remember: it’s science! Lived Fast, Died Young, Left a Tired Corpse It’s easy to forget just how crazy things got during the Web 1.0 bubble in 2000. That was over ten years ago. For context, Mark Zuckerberg was all of sixteen when the original web bubble popped. There are two films which captured the hyperbole and excess of the original dot com bubble especially well. The first is the documentary Startup.com. It’s about the prototypical web 1.0 company: one predicated on an idea that made absolutely no sense, which proceeded to flame out in a spectacular and all too typical way for the era.

Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities by Thomas H. Davenport

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Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, commoditize, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tesla Model S, text mining

Their focus was almost exclusively on big data, and it was generally the focus of engineering or product development organizations rather than the IT function. Some of the smaller start-up firms don’t even have in-house IT functions; they outsource business IT. Some of the big data lessons from start-up and online firms are derived from and are similar to other general IT and entrepreneurship lessons from Silicon Valley firms. They include the injunction, popularized by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to “move fast and break things,” and not worry too much about making mistakes. Another is to have bold and audacious goals that involve objectives other than simply making a lot of money. Facebook hopes to “make the world more open and connected.” Google’s well-publicized mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” However, these general lessons have only limited relevance to big data topics, and they are pretty well known in the business literature.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, 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, Wave and Pay

FACEBOOK: A TALE OF MANY MICRO-MARKETS “The reason [Facebook] went in through college was because college kids were generally not Myspace users, college kids were generally not Friendster users… Nobody actually believed… that you could enter the market through this niche market and gradually through this kind of carefully calculated war against all the other networks become the one network to rule them all.” – Sean Parker, on Facebook’s micro-market strategy The odds were stacked against Facebook when it launched. Friendster was already a big social network and Myspace was growing fast. Of all platform businesses, social networks are probably the most unforgiving of late market entrants. Why would someone, who was already on Myspace or Friendster, get onto Facebook? In hindsight, Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to launch Facebook in closed campus clusters, whether borne of calculation or convenience, was a master stroke. It helped achieve early network effects for what would ultimately become the Internet’s largest network. SOLVE A PAIN POINT FOR A NICHE SEGMENT Facebook focused on serving ‘underserved’ university students, to start with. Social networks existed and were already finding large-scale adoption but were flooded with fake profiles.


pages: 268 words: 74,724

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

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Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, 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, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

However, his most famous investment success to this day was the $500,000 he invested in Facebook in 2004.5 His PayPal wealth meant that he had money to lose, and odds were the then largely unknown social network would not succeed. That his stake would eventually be measured in the billions is all the evidence we need to prove that he risked losing his entire investment. If investors had viewed Facebook as a sure thing back in 2004, Thiel’s $500,000 would have bought him a much smaller portion of the company’s shares. In such a scenario, founder Mark Zuckerberg could have declined to accept Thiel’s money in the first place. Importantly, Thiel is willing to lose on investments. As he explained in his 2014 book Zero to One, “Most venture-backed companies don’t IPO or get acquired; most fail, usually soon after they start.”6 Venture capital firms allocate credit to a variety of different entrepreneurial concepts well aware that most will wind up defunct.


pages: 202 words: 72,857

The Wealth Dragon Way: The Why, the When and the How to Become Infinitely Wealthy by John Lee

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8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Donald Trump, financial independence, high net worth, intangible asset, Mark Zuckerberg, negative equity, passive income, payday loans, self-driving car, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

Bill Gates has ploughed billions of his own money into a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people facing poverty and disease; people who, without the efforts of the foundation, would struggle to survive. What motivated Steve Jobs was not money; it was a passion for computers, and his belief that they could change and improve the world we live in. Jobs believed computers and humans could have a more symbiotic relationship, and he worked tirelessly towards that goal. Mark Zuckerberg was driven by the idea of people connecting through cyberspace. His commitment to keep expanding and developing Facebook may have earned him huge sums of money, but people who know him report that Zuckerberg has always lived a quite simple and modest life. In your universe: Rich people are mean and corrupt. In the parallel universe: Most rich people are kind and philanthropic. Not everyone who is rich is a flashy, greedy swine.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

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

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, 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, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, 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

Within thirty-six months, a new giant will arise, as Twitter did, a few short years after Facebook, and Tumblr after Twitter. The technology simply offers no advantages to the established, to the institutional, to the victorious. Technology platforms are also not as monolithic in their approaches as I may have suggested so far. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 4chan.org founder Christopher Poole contrasted his approach with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg: Mark’s vision of the world is that you should be comfortable sharing as your real self on the Internet. … He thinks that anonymity represents a lack of authenticity, almost a cowardice. Though I like Mark a lot as a person, I disagree with that. … 4chan, a site that’s anonymous and ephemeral, with wacky, Wild West–type stuff, has a lot to offer, and in Mark’s perfect world, it probably wouldn’t exist … He is a very firm believer that his is the right way for society to go.16 Despite a marked difference in worldview, both Facebook and 4chan revolve around individuals and the notion that individuals should have total freedom in anonymity, versus the individual having integrity in identity.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Some argue that it can be funded by raising taxes on the small minority who have become extraordinarily wealthy in recent years. After all, even some of those wealthy people themselves (like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) have confessed to feeling under-taxed. But experience shows that this can be a losing game. Very wealthy people do sometimes decide to dedicate much of their wealth to charitable causes. Bill Gates (again) and Mark Zuckerberg are obvious examples, and even some of the robber barons of the late 19th century gave fabulous sums to charitable foundations. One of the most successful of those barons was the Scottish-American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who endowed some 3,000 municipal libraries, and provided funding for several universities and numerous other organisations before he died. His most famous motto was that “the man who dies rich dies disgraced.”


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

He reports that before the age of twenty, he never had proper shoes and was almost always hungry. When he started his first business, he was living out of a cement pipe. He later founded Amer International Group, which supplies cable and copper products, and he has been listed as China’s fourteenth wealthiest man. American rags-to-riches stories are much harder to find these days. You can certainly find riches—look at someone like Mark Zuckerberg. But he hardly grew up in rags. Simply put, these days not many, if any, Americans are starting out their lives in the kind of poverty that Jack Ma experienced as a kid. That sounds good, and indeed it is good, but it also means that wealthy, comfortable societies have less dynamism and churn, and that is going to mean much more complacency. In the 1990s, it was a common view that with all of our new technologies—most of all the internet—income mobility would rise, including in the United States.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

It didn’t succeed for various reasons—people turned out not to want to interact through avatars, they wanted to be themselves—but Hoffman continued to refine the idea, and after the sale of PayPal to eBay in 2002, he took his proceeds and launched a social network for businesspeople called LinkedIn. It was through LinkedIn that Hoffman met Sean Parker, and it was through Hoffman and Parker that Thiel met Mark Zuckerberg. In the spring of 2004, Thiel and Hoffman were trying to talk their hyperkinetic twenty-four-year-old friend Parker out of suing Sequoia Capital, the investors in his online address book company, Plaxo. Owing to his libertine ways, Parker had been driven out of his own company, just as he’d been driven out of Napster, the music sharing site, a few years earlier. Thiel told him that rather than entangling himself in a lawsuit, he should start a new company.

Thiel told him that rather than entangling himself in a lawsuit, he should start a new company. Three months later, Parker came back to Thiel with the news that he’d just become president of Thefacebook, a college social network with four employees, and that the Harvard sophomore who had founded it needed money because the number of students clamoring to get on was increasing and would soon overwhelm the computers. Hoffman, who had been tracking Thefacebook and Mark Zuckerberg all year, recused himself from becoming the lead investor because it might be seen as a conflict of interest with LinkedIn. The natural choice was Thiel. Thiel liked to say that, on principle, a hard-core libertarian shouldn’t put his money in social networking. If there was no such thing as society, only individuals, how could there be any return on the investment? Ayn Rand wouldn’t have invested in Thefacebook.


pages: 342 words: 99,390

The greatest trade ever: the behind-the-scenes story of how John Paulson defied Wall Street and made financial history by Gregory Zuckerman

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1960s counterculture, banking crisis, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, financial innovation, fixed income, index fund, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, technology bubble, zero-sum game

Just as impressive, Paulson managed to transform his trade in 2008 and early 2009 in dramatic form, scoring $5 billion more for his firm and clients, as well as $2 billion for himself. The moves put Paulson and his remarkable trade alongside Warren Buffett, George Soros, Bernard Baruch, and Jesse Livermore in Wall Street’'s pantheon of traders. They also made him one of the richest people in the world, wealthier than Steven Spielberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and David Rockefeller Sr. Even Paulson and the other bearish investors didn’'t foresee the degree of pain that would result from the housing tsunami and its related global ripples. By early 2009, losses by global banks and other firms were nearing $3 trillion while stock-market investors had lost more than $30 trillion. A financial storm that began in risky home mortgages left the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression in its wake.


pages: 278 words: 83,468

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

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3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, continuous integration, corporate governance, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs

It was not the market-leading social network or even the first college social network; other companies had launched sooner and with more features. With 150,000 registered users, it made very little revenue, yet that summer they raised their first $500,000 in venture capital. Less than a year later, they raised an additional $12.7 million. Of course, by now you’ve guessed that these three college sophomores were Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes of Facebook. Their story is now world famous. Many things about it are remarkable, but I’d like to focus on only one: how Facebook was able to raise so much money when its actual usage was so small.1 By all accounts, what impressed investors the most were two facts about Facebook’s early growth. The first fact was the raw amount of time Facebook’s active users spent on the site.


pages: 302 words: 86,614

The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World's Top Hedge Funds by Maneet Ahuja, Myron Scholes, Mohamed El-Erian

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, family office, fixed income, high net worth, interest rate derivative, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, NetJets, oil shock, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Jobs, systematic trading, zero-sum game

Some of the Foundation’s significant investments in the nonprofit world have included the One Acre Fund, which is transforming the lives of tens of thousands of subsistence farmers in East Africa through training and access to better seeds, technology, fertilizer, and farming techniques; the Foundation for Newark’s Future, which, with Ackman’s long-time friend Mayor Cory Booker, and in partnership with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is changing the educational opportunities for Newark’s 45,000 children and their families; and the Innocence Project, which uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongly convicted. Before funding any charity, Ackman does his homework, as he would for the Fund’s investments, and he typically backs those ventures that promise the greatest leverage for his charitable dollars. Often, Ackman jumps in to help an early-stage organization weather the proof-of-concept phase and to grow to the next level of operations and impact.


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