Marc Andreessen

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pages: 532 words: 139,706

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

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, 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, 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

CHAPTER 8: Chasing the Fox (2005-2006) 144 sixteen million monthly visitors; that number would quadruple over the next fourteen months: ComScore, BusinessWeek, November 5, 2007. 144 ”Sumner told Tom he did not want to get into a bidding war“: Julia Angwin, Stealing Myspace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America, Random House, 2009. 144 ”I think we have replaced MTV“: Tom Anderson in Der Spiegel, cited in Bill Wise, Search Insider, January 22, 2007, and Lotta Holmström in Grassroot Media, January 21, 2007. 145 ”I left“: author interview with Albie Hecht, January 15, 2008. 146 2005 study of media usage: ”Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-Olds,“ A Kaiser Family Foundation Study, March 2005. 146 A later study: Forrester Research report chart on YouTube and Internet use, Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2008. 147 Jason Hirschhorn was another Viacom refugee: author interviews with Jason Hirschhorn, February 12 and 21, 2008, and e-mail exchanges, March 2009. 149 Marc Andreessen has spent much of his life... an investor and board member: author interviews with Marc Andreessen, May 9, 2007, and June 9, 2008. 150 They named the site Ning: author interview with Andreessen, March 30, 2009. 150 ”I wouldn’t be sitting here without him“: author interview with Gina Bianchini, September 15, 2008. 150 ”You can talk about the economy“: author interview with Ben Horowitz, February 20, 2009. 152 thirty-four million monthly viewers: Nielsen/NetRatings, August 2006. 152 ”When we started“: author interview with Chad Hurley September 11, 2007. 153 ”If that works“: author interview with Eric Schmidt, June 11, 2008. 153 ”Right now“: Steve Ballmer Q&A with the editors of Business Week, October 11, 2006. 153 thirteen of the twenty most popular videos: Kevin J.

,” New Yorker, December 19, 2005. 305 “the kinds of stories”: author interview with Larry Page, March 25, 2008. 305During the wrenching transition to print: Clay Shirky blog, March 13, 2009. 306 “Sell it!”: author interview with Marc Andreessen, June 9, 2008. 307 more than a few papers “will disappear”: Rupert Murdoch speech at the D Conference attended by author, May 28, 2008. 307 He wrote that newspapers: Michael Hirschorn, “Get Me Rewrite!” Atlantic Monthly, December 2006. 309 “Apple’s iTunes”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 8, 2007. 309 “for newspaper companies”: author interview with Andrew Lippman, February 10, 2009. 309 “Can you put it behind a wall”: author interview with Marc Andreessen, February 20, 2009. 310 Attorney General Eric Holder: Randall Mikkelsen, “U.S. Law Chief Open to Antitrust Aid for Newspapers,” Reuters, March 18, 2009. 310 In 2009, three longtime media executives: Richard Perez-Pena, “Plans for a Paid Online Media Service,” New York Times, April 15, 2009. 310 an online publication: Jack Shafer, “Hello, Steve Brill, Get Me Rewrite,” Slate.com, April 17, 2009. 310 “I don’t know how”: author interview with Larry Page, March 25, 2008. 311 “We’ve been able”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, March 26, 2008. 311 income from digital operations:New York Times Co. financial disclosure for the year ending December 31, 2008. 311 About half of the About Group’s revenues: two author e-mail exchanges with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., April 29, 2009. 311 “The official answer”: author interviews with Eric Schmidt, March 26, 2008 and April 1, 2009. 312 “Our industry faces”: author e-mail exchange with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., April 29, 2009. 313 10 percent of these were downloaded: author interview with Jeff Bezos, July 9, 2008.

When Google adds mobile phones and a full menu of software applications to its cloud computing, and if it figures out a way to monetize YouTube, Eric Schmidt told me, he thinks it is conceivable that Google can become the first media company to generate one hundred billion dollars in revenues. It irritated media executives to hear Schmidt say, “We are in the advertising business,” yet hear Google employees constantly say they were on a quest to bring information to the masses, as if they toiled for a nonprofit that awarded no bonuses. Marc Andreessen, thirty-eight, who transformed the Internet into a mass medium by helping invent what became the Netscape browser when he was a student and who is today a successful Internet entrepreneur seeking to build his third billion-dollar-plus company, is suspicious of Google’s intentions: “Their game plan is to do everything. Google is Andy Kaufman. The whole thing with Andy Kaufman is you could never tell when he was joking.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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

“This is the epitome of luxury, convenience, and style.”116 “Uber is software [that] eats taxis,” an admiring Marc Andreessen stated in describing the San Francisco–based transportation service.117 Yet that’s not all it eats. Tom Perkins promised that Silicon Valley’s one percent entrepreneurs are “job creators.” But tens of thousands of taxi drivers around the world would disagree. Indeed, Uber is so disrupting the livelihoods of these professional taxi drivers that in June 2014 there were strikes and demonstrations in many European cities, including London, Paris, Lyon, Madrid, and Milan, against its introduction.118 And yet Uber remains an iconic company in Silicon Valley, where it is “seen as the messiah” and the next $100 billion Internet sensation by San Francisco’s tech crowd.119 Marc Andreessen certainly admires the customer-friendliness of the mobile service.

New York Times, July 19, 2014. 114 Will Oremus, “Silicon Valley Uber Alles,” Slate, June 6, 2014. 115 See Dan Amira, “Uber Will Ferry Hampton-Goers Via Helicopter This July 3rd,” New York, July 2013, nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/uber-helicopter-uberchopper-hamptons-july-3rd.html. 116 Jessica Guynn, “San Francisco Split by Silicon Valley’s Wealth,” Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2013. 117 Paul Sloan, “Marc Andreessen: Predictions for 2012 (and Beyond),” CNET, December 19, 2011, news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57345138-93/marc-andreessen-predictions-for-2012-and-beyond. 118 Mark Scott, “Traffic Snarls in Europe as Taxi Drivers Protest Against Uber,” New York Times, June 11, 2014. 119 Kevin Roose, “Uber Might Be More Valuable than Facebook Someday. Here’s Why,” New York, December 6, 2013, nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/12/uber-might-be-more-valuable-than-facebook.html. 120 Erin Griffith, “Meet the Uber Rich,” Fortune, June 5, 2014.

See also Jeff John Roberts, “Cabbies Sue to Drive Car Service Uber out of San Francisco,” GigaOm, November 14, 2012, gigaom.com/2012/11/14/cabbies-sue-to-drive-car-service-uber-out-of-san-francisco. 7 Salvador Rodriguez, “Uber Claims Its Cars Attacked by Cab Drivers in France,” Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2014. 8 Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy, “German Court Bans Uber Service Nationwide,” New York Times, September 2, 2014. 9 David Streitfeld, “Rough Patch for Uber’s Challenge to Taxis,” New York Times, January 26, 2014. 10 Paul Sloan, “Marc Andreessen: Predictions for 2012 (and Beyond),” CNET, December 19, 2011, news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57345138-93/marc-andreessen-predictions-for-2012-and-beyond. 11 Jordan Novet, “Confirmed: Uber Driver Killed San Francisco Girl in Accident,” VentureBeat, January 2, 2014. 12 Michael Hiltzik, “Uber Upholds Capitalism, (Possibly) Learns Downside of Price Gouging,” Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2013. 13 “Uber’s Snow Storm Surge Pricing Gouged New Yorkers Big Time,” Gothamist, December 16, 2013. 14 Aly Weisman, “Jerry Seinfeld’s Wife Spent $415 During Uber’s Surge Pricing to Make Sure Her Kid Got to a Sleepover,” Business Insider, December 16, 2013. 15 Airbnb’s investigation by US tax authorities is well documented.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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

As a result, Bitcoin: Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters.” As Andreessen further describes: Brian Fung, “Marc Andreessen: In 20 Years, We’ll Talk about Bitcoin Like We Talk about the Internet Today,” Washington Post, May 21, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/05/21/marc-andreessen-in-20-years-well-talk-about-bitcoin-like-we-talk-about-the-internet-today/. The great innovation of Tim Berners-Lee: “Inventor of the Week Archive: The World Wide Web,” MIT, http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/berners-lee.html. My hunch is that: Joichi Ito, “Why Bitcoin Is and Isn’t like the Internet,” LinkedIn Pulse, January 18, 2015, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-bitcoin-isnt-like-internet-joichi-ito. As Marc Andreessen has described: Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters.” There are now hundreds: “Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations,” https://coinmarketcap.com/.

Once it was clear that Ebola: “Ebola Cases Could Skyrocket by 2015, Says CDC,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 63, Washington Post, http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/ebola-cases-could-skyrocket-by-2015-says-cdc/1337/. The actual number ended: Data Team, “Ebola in Graphics: The Toll of a Tragedy,” Economist, July 8, 2015, http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/02/ebola-graphics. The best approach to big data: Slaby, interview. CHAPTER 6: THE GEOGRAPHY OF FUTURE MARKETS Marc Andreessen writes: Marc Andreessen, “Turn Detroit into Drone Valley,” Politico, June 15, 2014, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/turn-detroit-into-drone-valley-107853.html#ixzz3SwRDqcxw. One of the world’s largest cybersecurity: Carol Matlack, Michael Riley, and Jordan Robertson, “The Company Securing Your Internet Has Close Ties to Russian Spies,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 19, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-19/cybersecurity-kaspersky-has-close-ties-to-russian-spies.

But Bitcoin at its best could make fraud impossible unless one’s private key is stolen and make the thieves easy to find even if a key is stolen. The result could be a major drop in fraud. Furthermore, by codifying trust for high-value transactions, the blockchain could wipe out middlemen and friction in a variety of transactions, creating consumer surplus. On the global stage, it could also help bring frontier countries into the economic mainstream. As venture capitalist Marc Andreessen describes, there is an enormous space for Bitcoin to fill: “Only about twenty countries around the world have what we would consider to be fully modern banking and payment systems; the other roughly 175 have a long way to go. As a result, many people in many countries are excluded from products and services that we in the West take for granted. Even Netflix, a completely virtual service, is only available in about forty countries.


pages: 270 words: 79,068

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

Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, 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

We lined everything up for a major launch on March 5, 1996, in New York. Then, just two weeks before the launch, Marc, without telling Mike or me, revealed the entire strategy to the publication Computer Reseller News. I was livid. I immediately sent him a short email: To: Marc Andreessen Cc: Mike Homer From: Ben Horowitz Subject : Launch I guess we’re not going to wait until the 5th to launch the strategy. — Ben Within fifteen minutes, I received the following reply. To: Ben Horowitz Cc: Mike Homer, Jim Barksdale (CEO), Jim Clark (Chairman) From: Marc Andreessen Subject: Re: Launch Apparently you do not understand how serious the situation is. We are getting killed killed killed out there. Our current product is radically worse than the competition. We’ve had nothing to say for months. As a result, we’ve lost over $3B in market capitalization.

Mosaic was essentially a graphical interface to the Internet—a technology formerly only used by scientists and researchers. It amazed me. It was so obviously the future, and I was so obviously wasting my time working on anything but the Internet. Several months later, I read about a company called Netscape, which had been cofounded by former Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark and Mosaic inventor Marc Andreessen. I instantly decided that I should interview for a job there. I called a friend who worked at Netscape and asked if he could get me an interview with the company. He obliged and I was on my way. During the first interviews, I met everyone on the product management team. I thought the meetings went well, but when I arrived home that evening Felicia was in tears. The Netscape recruiter had called me to give me some tips, and Felicia had answered.

Felicia suggested that maybe I could go back to school. Given that we had three children, she knew this was unrealistic, hence the tears. I explained that recruiters were not hiring managers, and that they might consider me despite my lack of proper business schooling. The next day the hiring manager called back to let me know that they wanted me to interview with cofounder and Chief Technical Officer Marc Andreessen. He was twenty-two years old at the time. In retrospect, it’s easy to think both the Web browser and the Internet were inevitable, but without Marc’s work, it is likely that we would be living in a very different world. At the time most people believed only scientists and researchers would use the Internet. The Internet was thought to be too arcane, insecure, and slow to meet real business needs.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Jim Clark: The last day I was there, a fellow came by my office to say good-bye and I said, “I do not know what I am going to do. Every single high-quality engineer I have ever met, I recruited here. I made a commitment to not try to recruit them wherever I go. And I do not have any ideas about what I am going to do.” He says, “You should call Marc Andreessen.” I said, “Who is that?” He went over, he pulled a web browser down from University of Illinois, opened a search, and typed, “Marc Andreessen.” It came up with this page and he says, “There you go. Just read that,” and walked away. Marc Andreessen: Mosaic was very successful and so I had gotten a whole bunch of job offers coming out of school. I had spent my whole life in the Midwest, so I knew I wanted to be on a coast. So it was either East Coast or West Coast. All the interesting job offers in my field came from the West Coast, which I guess is not surprising.

Everybody knew everybody: researchers, programmers, people working in academia… Stephen Johnson: And then the Mosaic browser becomes Netscape. Suddenly you had a unified front end for the internet. Netscape was founded by two people: Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen. At the time Jim Clark was already a Silicon Valley legend. In grad school in the seventies, Clark had worked out the fundamental math behind what eventually came to be called virtual reality. In the eighties he put all that math into a silicon chip, which became the basis for Silicon Graphics Incorporated (SGI), one of the decade’s highest-flying computer companies. Then in the nineties Clark abruptly quit SGI and teamed up with Marc Andreessen—a young Silicon Valley newbie—to form Netscape. The mission was to rebuild and reimagine the NCSA Mosaic browser—they were going to drag the web out of its ivory tower.

Jim Clark: At the end of ’93 I was just finishing my twelfth year after founding and starting Silicon Graphics with a group of my graduate students from Stanford. SGI was a company that primarily made what would now be called a graphics processing unit. The company grew to be quite large, $4 billion a year and ten thousand employees. Marc Andreessen: Silicon Graphics at that time was what Google is today—the best technology company in the Valley. It was the one that everyone wanted to work at. They were just phenomenal technologists with phenomenal products. Jim Clark: SGI was a hardware business, and it became a workstation business, and we ended up being the biggest high-end workstation company out there. Marc Andreessen: It was just a great company. John Giannandrea: Jim was like this macho kind of hardware guy. He would come into the lab late at night and say, “What the fuck is this!” and “Why is this not going?” That was how he ran things.


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

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

It would revisit the entire issue of corporate lobbying, which has become a key mechanism by which incumbent firms protect themselves.” Monopoly, control of our data, and corporate lobbying are at the heart of this story of the battle between creative artists and the Internet giants, but we need to understand that every one of us will stand in the shoes of the artist before long. Musicians and authors were at the barricades first because their industries were the first to be digitized. But as the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said, “Software is eating the world,” and soon the technologists will be coming for your job, too, just as they will continue to come for more of your personal data. The rise of the digital giants is directly connected to the fall of the creative industries in our country. I would put the date of the real rise of digital monopolies at August of 2004, when Google raised $1.67 billion in its initial public offering.

Not since the turn of the twentieth century, when Theodore Roosevelt took on the monopolies of John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan, has the country faced such a concentration of wealth and power. Peter Orszag and Jason Furman, economic advisers to President Obama, have argued that the fortunes created by the digital revolution may have done more to increase economic inequality than almost any other factor. Despite Marc Andreessen’s and Peter Thiel’s belief that the outsize gains of tech billionaires are the result of a genius entrepreneur culture, inequality at this scale is a choice—the result of the laws and taxes that we as a society choose to establish. Contrary to what techno-determinists want us to believe, inequality is not the inevitable by-product of technology and globalization or even the lopsided distribution of genius.

Various subreddits have been devoted to pornography, neo-Nazi propaganda, white power, Gamergate—all in the name of free speech. Since Reddit’s purchase by Condé Nast in 2006, the site has tried to rein in the most outrageous subreddits. But the task of reining in the ultralibertarian Reddit community became too much, and in the fall of 2011 Condé Nast sold off a large share of Reddit to a group led by Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, and Marc Andreessen. At the debate, Ohanian proudly mentioned his personal consumption of “free music and movies” available on the Internet, going so far as to say that musicians such as The Band need to earn their money from touring. From his point of view, Levon Helm had no right to make money from old recordings. Feeling that he may not have made a good argument at the conference, Ohanian wrote an open letter to me the next day, which Fast Company published.


pages: 146 words: 43,446

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, business climate, creative destruction, data acquisition, family office, high net worth, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, wealth creators, Y2K

To do that he needed young software talent, and to that end he called a twentytwo-year-old not long out of the University of Illinois and new to the Valley named Marc Andreessen. Clark had seen a piece of software that Andreessen had helped write in college, called Mosaic. Mosaic enabled its user to travel around the Internet. Why anyone would wish to do so was at the time unclear. About the first thing Andreessen said was that he didn't want to make a business of Mosaic. Clark didn't care. His ambition was more inchoate than that. He needed to find some more software cowboys to replace the ones he'd left behind. "I was desperate to find some smart engineers because I knew I wanted to start a company," he says. "And Marc knew a bunch of them from school." For the next month or so Alex Slusky ate his dinners with Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen. Clark would spew ideas; Andreessen would jot them up in a business plan.

But the process by which he was excluded began immediately. Six months after he founded Netscape, Clark agitated for the company to go public. The company had few revenues, no profits, and a lot of new employees. No one else inside the company thought it should do anything but keep its head down and try to become a viable enterprise. ''Jim was pressing for us to go public way before anyone else," recalls Marc Andreessen. It turned out there was a reason for this. He'd seen a boat called Juliet. He wanted one just like it, only bigger. To get it he needed more money. By then the decision was not Clark's alone to make. The company had hired a big-name CEO, Jim Barksdale, and had a proper board of directors. Barksdale didn't want to go public. He thought the company had enough problems trying to figure out how to turn a profit without having to explain itself to irate shareholders.

The Page 86 venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road and the new CEO, Jim Barksdale, owned a few million shares each. In the end they made hundreds of millions of dollars from Netscape, and so had no reason to complain. But the young engineers whom Clark had pulled together to create the company also became rich. An engineer who joined Netscape in July 1995 was, by November, worth ten million dollars. Clark made certain that Marc Andreessen, the young inventor, did not suffer the same fate at the hands of the venture capitalists as he himself had twelve years before. After the IPO Andreessen, by then twenty-four, was worth eighty million dollars. Clark also made certain that by far the biggest stake in the companynearly one-quarter of the wholebelonged to Jim Clark personally. Clark became the Valley's newest billionaire. The speed with which Clark had made himself and a lot of other engineers rich created new forces of greed and fear in Silicon Valley.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

“We didn’t expect,” he wrote in the summer of 1996, “that within two years the Internet would captivate the whole industry and the public’s imagination.” By the time Java and Netscape Navigator entered the market in short order in the spring of 1995, Gates and his colleagues had realized that not only would the Internet world grow large, but it might consume Microsoft’s core business altogether. Marc Andreessen was another Bill Gates: he didn’t just want to build a piece of software; he wanted to create an entirely new platform that would make Microsoft’s OS irrelevant. And like 1980-vintage Bill Gates, 1995-vintage Marc Andreessen wasn’t subtle about his sweeping ambitions to pummel Windows so thoroughly that the market behemoth would be little more than “a poorly debugged set of device drivers.”6 Gates decided it was time to write a memo to his senior staff explaining what Microsoft must do. He titled it “The Internet Tidal Wave,” and by the time it landed on their desks in late May 1995, Microsoft already had its own Netscape-challenging browser in the works.

It is a global network, a business sensibility, a cultural shorthand, a political hack. Hundreds of places around the world have rebranded themselves Silicon Deserts, Forests, Roundabouts, Steppes, and Wadis as they seek to capture some of the original’s magic. Its rhythms dictate how every other industry works; alter how humans communicate, learn, and collectively mobilize; upend power structures and reinforce many others. As one made-in-the-Valley billionaire, Marc Andreessen, put it a few years back, “software is eating the world.”4 This book is about how we got to that world eaten by software. It’s the seven-decade-long tale of how one verdant little valley in California cracked the code for business success, repeatedly defying premature obituaries to spawn one generation of tech after another, becoming a place that so many others around the world have tried and failed to replicate.

If Tim Berners-Lee’s Web client was the Apple II of the Internet, Mosaic was its Macintosh: the portal that opened up the online world for millions. Created by a group of graduate students at the University of Illinois supercomputer center who were tired of the text-only HTML environment of the earliest Web, Mosaic turned the Internet into an immersive, colorful, point-and-click experience. Within months of its 1993 release, the new browser had seized the imagination of Silicon Valley insiders. Its chief student inventor, Marc Andreessen, headed west to capitalize on the excitement. Andreessen found a first landing spot in the scrubby cubicles of EIT, where Marty Tenenbaum was busily building his e-commerce platform and knew that a good, graphical browser was essential to bringing customers online. But within months, the twenty-three-year-old Andreessen had been lured away from Tenenbaum’s shoestring operation by a plump paycheck waved by Jim Clark, a former Stanford computer scientist who had founded Silicon Graphics.


pages: 172 words: 46,104

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

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

The implication is that Rome burns while Moonves is paid, and yet, as though in deadpan support of his own larger point about video undergoing a digital revolution, Auletta adds that CBS’s share price was twenty times higher than at its lowest point in 2009 and that almost half of its revenues come “from its overseas sales, which totaled $1.1 billion last year, and from licensing deals with cable and digital platforms such as Verizon FiOS and Netflix; Netflix pays CBS and Fox about two hundred and fifty million dollars each to let it air programs from their archives.” This last is something of a diss at CBS’s falling advertising market, which in fact has remained relatively stable while adding a powerful nonadvertising income stream. Then Marc Andreessen, in his role as prominent digital proselytizer (and with his slate of investments dependent on this view of digital’s leveling of the old world), is up in Auletta’s narrative: The venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who co-invented Mosaic, the first commercial Internet browser—it later became Netscape—told me, “TV in ten years is going to be one hundred per cent streamed. On demand. Internet Protocol. Based on computers and based on software.” He said that the television industry has managed the transition to the digital age better than book publishers and music executives, but “software is going to eat television in the exact same way, ultimately, that software ate music and as it ate books.”

No matter how successful—perhaps as a particular result of their success—each reflected the anxieties of an industry that was ever more frequently being told it was threatened on all fronts and, culturally speaking, totally yesterday. On the digital side, you had a less august but significantly more cocky group: Jordon Hoffner of YouTube; Kurt Abrahamsen and Adam Stewart from Google in Los Angeles (the home office had passed on the invitation); Mark Kvamme of the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which had backed the Web series Funny or Die; and Marc Andreessen, the creator of Netscape, on his way to being among the most significant and influential venture capital figures in Silicon Valley The imbalance was notable and uncomfortable for everyone— or at least for everyone on the old media side. There was, even, a kind of slack-jawed response—perhaps not least of all because Hollywood power is not used to being challenged—to the certainty, impatience, and what rather seemed like the advanced intelligence of the tech side.

It had the numbers, hence, of course, it would get the advertisers. No? The future only goes in one direction. (At the same time that BuzzFeed was making this argument, its editor, Ben Smith, was acknowledging that it probably wouldn’t be around in three years, or would have transformed into something else.) It’s the twenty-year promise: we’ll eat television’s lunch because, tautologically, we are the future. As per Marc Andreessen, it’s zero-sum. Brand advertising is not going to increase to support both television and digital media; therefore, one lives at the other’s expense. Because digital media is overwhelmingly ad supported, whereas half of television’s income comes from other sources, brand advertising is a particularly pressing issue for the digital business. Television’s largely imperturbable dominance ought to play against digital’s argument.


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, Ben Horowitz, 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, Sam Altman, 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, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Y Combinator, yield management

Airbnb had found an audience, and it had started to grow; they had liftoff. In Silicon Valley start-up terms, Chesky, Gebbia, and Blecharczyk had achieved what’s known as “product/market fit,” a holy grail, proof-of-life milestone that a start-up hits when its concept has both found a good market—one with lots of real, potential customers—and demonstrated that it has created a product that can satisfy that market. Popularization of the term is often credited to Marc Andreessen, the celebrated technology entrepreneur–turned–venture capitalist–turned–philosopher-guru to legions of start-up founders in Silicon Valley. Thousands of start-ups fail trying to get to this point. Product/market fit is a key first achievement; without it, there is no company. Another way of saying this is Y Combinator’s mantra that the company has to “make something people want.” Whatever you call it, Chesky, Gebbia, and Blecharczyk had reached that critical juncture back in April 2009 when their “wiggles of hope” had graduated into a full-fledged revenue stream.

Chesky, Gebbia, and Blecharczyk, the executive team, and the company’s entire customer-service department, including a dozen or so who had flown in from remote posts, were there almost 24/7 in the coming weeks—they pulled in air mattresses, but no one laughed at the irony—and the founders had their entire team of advisers weighing in, too. Their newest investors, Andreessen Horowitz, split their duties into two shifts at one point, Jeff Jordan, general partner and new Airbnb board member, handling days and Marc Andreessen taking over for nights. (The megaround of funding had just been announced, and many felt it was the attention around the publicity of the news that caused EJ’s story to get picked up and go viral.) Yet everyone had a different opinion on how to handle the crisis. Some argued that taking any responsibility would just open the door to more complaints; others said the company should admit that it dropped the ball; still others said they should just retreat and stay completely quiet.

(A few months later, Airbnb increased the guarantee to $1 million.) He announced a twenty-four-hour customer hotline—something EJ had said they should have had in place—and said they were doubling customer support. All of this went against the advice Chesky was receiving. “People were, like, ‘We need to discuss this, we need to do testing,’” he said, “and I said, ‘No, we’re doing this.’” The one piece of advice he did take: Marc Andreessen, who gave the letter a close read at midnight, told Chesky to add his personal e-mail address to the letter of apology, and he added a zero, changing the guarantee from $5,000 to $50,000. (The San Francisco Police Department subsequently confirmed that it had made an arrest. Airbnb says there was a settlement in the case but declined to comment more than that.) Chesky’s primary takeaway from this experience: stop making decisions by consensus.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

For Dubai, see SeedStartup, described in Rip Empson, “Founder of Dubai’s First Startup Accelerator Looks to Educate, Inspire Global Entrepreneurs,” TC, April 4, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/04/founder-of-dubais-first-startup-accelerator-looks-to-educate-inspire-global-entrepreneurs/. EPILOGUE 1. Zach Sims, “Investors++: Gearing up for a New Codecademy,” Codecademy.com, June 19, 2012, www.codecademy.com/en/blog/20-investors-gearing-up-for-a-new-codecademy. 2. Marc Andreessen, “Why Andreessen Horowitz Is Investing in Rap Genius,” Rap Genius, accessed April 24, 2013, http://rapgenius.com/Marc-andreessen-why-an dreessen-horowitz-is-investing-in-rap-genius-lyrics. 3. Kim-Mai Cutler and Josh Constine, “Facebook Buys Parse to Offer Mobile Development Tools as Its First Paid B2B Service,” TC, April 25, 2013, http://techcrunch .com/2013/04/25/facebook-parse/. 4. “Seed Accelerators,” Seed-DB, accessed March 27, 2013, www.seed-db.com/accel erators. 5.

There are literally thousands of startups, dispersed along the sixty-mile corridor that extends between San Francisco and San Jose, but they all operate under secrecy until they are ready to launch their first product. That’s why there can never be a Gray Line tour of Silicon Valley’s future. It’s a shame, because this place is creating everyone’s future. Software is eating the world—the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has come up with a rather catchy way of describing the disruption, under way or coming soon, to industries seemingly distant from the tech world. Software-based startups will do much of the disrupting. They take advantage of cloud-based Internet services that make computing power a utility, easily tapped, and whose cost has dropped a hundredfold in the ten years since first introduced. No place in the world has anything approaching the concentration of software startups in Silicon Valley, and this is where, Andreessen says, he expects the majority of future disruptors will appear.2 Were it accessible, the single best place to see software startups in the Valley would be the space in Mountain View used by a fund that invests in more software startups than anyone else—dozens at a time.

The startups had already passed through YC’s own vetting process and had been selected by YC partners as the best among the thousands of applicants. That was all the outside investors needed to know. Initially, YC was the only seed fund whose portfolio companies automatically received a six-figure investment from outside investors. By the end of 2011, some investors in other places had stepped forward to make similar, if smaller, offers to participants in other programs that funded batches of startups. Marc Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz, liked the blanket-investment approach so much it decided to invest in every startup in an entire portfolio—and chose to work with YC. A tour bus disgorging gawking tourists would not be welcomed at YC, but perhaps an author would be permitted to take up residency and observe quietly. More than ten years earlier, I had written eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work, which was somewhat similar to the book I had in mind here.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

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

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, 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, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

That evening, everyone congregated for drinks on the Tortelita Terrace and then proceeded to dinner on an immaculately maintained lawn overlooking the scrubby mountains. This was the most casual dinner of the three-day event, with unassigned seating and a buffet to accommodate the guests arriving at uneven intervals. Wences took notice as the big names showed their faces: Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo; LinkedIn’s founder Reid Hoffman; Rupert Murdoch’s son, James; and perhaps the most recognizable venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, Marc Andreessen, an enormous man with a shiny bald head. Wences found his way to a table with another budding Bitcoin nut, Chris Dixon, one of the up-and-coming stars at Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz. The men quickly began comparing ideas. Dixon explained that he had gotten excited about the importance of the blockchain protocol as a new way of moving value around the world, just as the Internet protocol had provided a decentralized way to move information.

In the month before the Arizona conference, Thiel himself had been poking around in the virtual-currency space once again, looking for projects that might take advantage of the blockchain, without getting too bound up in a currency that could piss off government officials. Chris Dixon, Wences’s conversation partner at that Arizona dinner, had also been agitating to get his firm, Andreessen Horowitz, to look at cryptocurrency startups and had been finding a receptive ear in his boss, Marc Andreessen. They had both found their way to the new company being created by Jed McCaleb, the original founder of Mt. Gox. Jed’s new company, named Ripple, was a cryptographic network that could be used to send any currency, not just Bitcoins. That made it less threatening to governments and banks and more attractive to people like Andreessen and Thiel, who both offered small seed investments. But both of these key Silicon Valley figures were also getting more comfortable with Bitcoin itself.

In the spring of 2013, Balaji was quietly assembling a team of top engineers to build a Bitcoin mining chip that would go beyond anything that had been contemplated before—rolled out in data centers built exclusively for the 21e6 machines. If the chips worked as promised they would mint money for investors. This was a simple enough proposition, and the price of Bitcoin was rising fast enough that it attracted interest from venture capitalists who were still queasy about tying their firms to Bitcoin. Both of the founders of Andreessen Horowitz, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, signed up to put some of their own personal money into Balaji’s project, as did several of the original founders of PayPal, including Peter Thiel and David Sacks. Soon enough, Balaji was closing in on a $5 million fund-raising round. The Bitcoin arms race had begun. THE TYPE OF chip was not the only thing about Bitcoin mining that had changed since late 2010. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, more and more users were joining collectives that pooled their mining power.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

See also Matthew Lasar, “Before Netscape,” Ars Technica, Oct. 11, 2011. 34. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 56. 35. Gillies and Cailliau, How the Web Was Born, 217. 36. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 37. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 38. Robert Reid, Architects of the Web (Wiley, 1997), 7. 39. Gillies and Cailliau, How the Web Was Born, 239; alt.hypertext Newsgroup, Friday, Jan. 29, 1993, 12:22:43 GMT, http://www.jmc.sjsu.edu/faculty/rcraig/mosaic.txt. 40. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 41. Gillies and Cailliau, How the Web Was Born, 240. 42. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 43. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 70; author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 44. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 45. Author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 46. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 70. 47. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 65. 48.

Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 65. 48. Ted Nelson, “Computer Paradigm,” http://xanadu.com.au/ted/TN/WRITINGS/TCOMPARADIGM/tedCompOneLiners.html. 49. Jaron Lanier interview, by Eric Allen Bean, Nieman Journalism Lab, May 22, 2013. 50. John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz, and Paul Sagan, “Riptide,” Harvard Kennedy School, http://www.niemanlab.org/riptide/. 51. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 52. Author’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee. 53. Author’s interview with Marc Andreessen. 54. John Markoff, “A Free and Simple Computer Link,” New York Times, Dec. 8, 1993. 55. This section is primarily based on my interviews with Justin Hall and his own postings at http://www.links.net/. 56. Justin Hall, “Justin’s Links,” http://www.links.net/vita/web/story.html. 57. Author’s interviews with Justin Hall, Joan Hall. 58. Author’s interview with Howard Rheingold; Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community (Perseus, 1993). 59.

Jobs visits Xerox PARC. 1980 IBM commissions Microsoft to develop an operating system for PC. 1981 Hayes modem marketed to home users. 1983 Microsoft announces Windows. Richard Stallman begins developing GNU, a free operating system. 2011 1984 Apple introduces Macintosh. 1985 Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant launch The WELL. CVC launches Q-Link, which becomes AOL. 1991 Linus Torvalds releases first version of Linux kernel. Tim Berners-Lee announces World Wide Web. 1993 Marc Andreessen announces Mosaic browser. Steve Case’s AOL offers direct access to the Internet. 1994 Justin Hall launches Web log and directory. HotWired and Time Inc.’s Pathfinder become first major magazine publishers on Web. 1995 Ward Cunningham’s Wiki Wiki Web goes online. 1997 IBM’s Deep Blue beats Garry Kasparov in chess. 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin launch Google. 1999 Ev Williams launches Blogger. 2001 Jimmy Wales, with Larry Sanger, launches Wikipedia. 2011 IBM’s computer Watson wins Jeopardy!


pages: 515 words: 126,820

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

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, 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, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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 intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

July 19, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/19990427/http://nextmagazine.nl/ecash.htm. 4. http://nakamotoinstitute.org/the-god-protocols/. 5. Brian Fung, “Marc Andreessen: In 20 Years, We’ll Talk About Bitcoin Like We Talk About the Internet Today,” The Washington Post, May 21, 2014; www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/05/21/marc-andreessen-in-20-years-well-talk-about-bitcoin-like-we-talk-about-the-internet-today/, accessed January 21, 2015. 6. Interview with Ben Lawsky, July 2, 2015. 7. www.economist.com/news/leaders/21677198-technology-behind-bitcoin-could-transform-how-economy-works-trust-machine. 8. www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-venture-capital/. 9. Fung, “Marc Andreessen.” 10. www.coindesk.com/bank-of-england-economist-digital-currency/. 11. Leigh Buchanan reports on the Kauffman Foundation research in “American Entrepreneurship Is Actually Vanishing,” www.businessinsider.com/927-people-own-half-of-the-bitcoins-2013-12. 12.

In that sense, she was our coauthor and this book would not have appeared, at least in its current comprehensible form, without her. For that, and for all the stimulation and laugh lines, we are very grateful. Our heartfelt thanks to the people below who generously shared their time and insights with us and without whom this book would not be possible. In alphabetical order: Jeremy Allaire, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Circle Marc Andreessen, Cofounder, Andreessen Horowitz Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation Dino Angaritis, CEO, Smartwallet Andreas Antonopoulos, Author, Mastering Bitcoin Federico Ast, CrowdJury Susan Athey, Economics of Technology Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business Adam Back, Cofounder and President, Blockstream Bill Barhydt, CEO, Abra Christopher Bavitz, Managing Director, Cyberlaw Clinic, Harvard Law School Geoff Beattie, Chairman, Relay Ventures Steve Beauregard, CEO and Founder, GoCoin Mariano Belinky, Managing Partner, Santander InnoVentures Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Harvard Law School Jake Benson, CEO and Founder, LibraTax Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor, World Wide Web Doug Black, Senator, Canadian Senate, Government of Canada Perriane Boring, Founder and President, Chamber of Digital Commerce David Bray, 2015 Eisenhower Fellow and Harvard Visiting Executive in Residence Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Coin Center Paul Brody, Americas Strategy Leader, Technology Group, EY (formerly IoT at IBM) Richard G.

This seemingly subtle act set off a spark that has excited, terrified, or otherwise captured the imagination of the computing world and has spread like wildfire to businesses, governments, privacy advocates, social development activists, media theorists, and journalists, to name a few, everywhere. “They’re like, ‘Oh my god, this is it. This is the big breakthrough. This is the thing we’ve been waiting for,’” said Marc Andreessen, the cocreator of the first commercial Web browser, Netscape, and a big investor in technology ventures. “‘He solved all the problems. Whoever he is should get the Nobel Prize—he’s a genius.’ This is the thing! This is the distributed trust network that the Internet always needed and never had.”5 Today thoughtful people everywhere are trying to understand the implications of a protocol that enables mere mortals to manufacture trust through clever code.


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, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, 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, Mitch Kapor, 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, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

A few other firms expressed interest, but Kalanick’s clear favorite was the newest sugar daddy on Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Road: Andreessen Horowitz, the two-year-old firm that a few months before had led the Series B round in Airbnb, making the home-sharing startup a unicorn. The attraction for Kalanick was the same as it had been for Brian Chesky. The firm was led by entrepreneurs Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz and known for offering favorable terms at muscular valuations. Like Chesky, Kalanick wanted to enlist the services of Andreessen’s newest partner, Jeff Jordan, an expert in the peculiar dynamics of online marketplaces. At first, Andreessen Horowitz was the most aggressive pursuer, offering to value the startup at more than $300 million. But then Marc Andreessen, the Netscape co-founder, changed his mind and, at dinner with Kalanick, told him that Uber’s financials didn’t yet support such a rich valuation and changed it to $220 million, according to a report in Vanity Fair.12 Though disappointed, Kalanick tentatively agreed to the new terms but then felt further blindsided when he saw the fine print.

By spending time at Justin.tv, the Airbnb founders got to see what a real tech startup looked like, one with real offices, real employees, and actual venture capital in the bank. (Justin.tv later spun off a video-game service, Twitch.tv, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million.) Continuing this education, they attended a one-day event called Startup School, organized by the startup incubator Y Combinator and hosted by Stanford University. The speakers that year included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the investor Marc Andreessen, an inventor of the web browser. But the speech the founders remembered best was by Greg McAdoo, a venture capitalist at the top-tier VC firm Sequoia Capital, a man whom they would soon get to know well. McAdoo spoke about why being a great entrepreneur required the precision of a great surfer. If you want to build a truly great company you have got to ride a really big wave. And you’ve got to be able to look at market waves and technology waves in a different way than other folks and see it happening sooner, know how to position yourself out there, prepare yourself, pick the right surfboard—in other words, bring the right management team in, build the right platform underneath you.

“I was like, ‘Okay, I’m ready.’”12 Hoffman could seize the Airbnb opportunity in part because the other VC firms Chesky approached still didn’t get the concept and weren’t able to look beyond the obvious risks—that someone could get hurt in an Airbnb, or an apartment could get ransacked, or a host could stash a secret video camera somewhere. They couldn’t see a company that might end up appealing not just to twenty-somethings from Europe but to real adults, even retired couples, who were seeking more authentic experiences when they traveled. Marc Andreessen, the Netscape founder and investor, had just started his own venture capital firm with partner Ben Horowitz when he passed on Airbnb’s Series A round of funding. Andreessen liked to say that the goal of their firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was to identify the fifteen or so tech startups every year that actually mattered and back as many of them as possible.13 The firm took a long look at Airbnb and whiffed.


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Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, carried interest, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, family office, fixed income, high net worth, index fund, information asymmetry, Lean Startup, low cost airline, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Myron Scholes, Network effects, Paul Graham, pets.com, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, VA Linux, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

A few years into my job, on the eve of finishing an IPO for E.piphany, one of the marketing executives I had worked with to help them prepare for the IPO told me he was leaving to join a new startup called LoudCloud. Cofounded by Marc Andreessen, the already revered cofounder of Netscape, LoudCloud was trying to create a compute utility (much like Amazon Web Services has now created). Among the other cofounders was Ben Horowitz. This was the fall of 1999, and the dot-com excitement was in full swing. I had finally opened my eyes to what was happening around me, and I wanted to be a part of it. When my friend at E.piphany offered me the chance to meet Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz and see what they were doing, it was too much to pass up. My wife, who was about five months pregnant at the time with our first child and who was busy closing on the first house we were buying together, didn’t see it quite the same way.

In addition, YC created true communities of entrepreneurs among which they could share their knowledge and views both on company building and on their experiences working with VC firms. Prior to this time, the entrepreneurial community was more dispersed, and therefore knowledge sharing between members of the community was decidedly limited. But with knowledge comes power, thus the second material driver of the changing balance of power between entrepreneurs and VCs. Something More And that takes us to the founding of Andreessen Horowitz, started in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. What Marc and Ben saw was this fundamental shift in the landscape that would no longer make access to capital alone a sufficient differentiator for VC firms. Rather, in their view, VCs would need to provide something more than simply capital, for that was becoming a commodity, and instead, in this post-2005 era of VC, firms would need to compete for the right to fund entrepreneurs by providing something more.

For half of you reading this, that phrase gets you fired up and excited. For the other half of you, you just broke out in a nervous sweat. Don’t worry—I’ll walk you through it and offer up truth, transparency, and insight that, I hope, will help your next meeting with a VC go smoothly. CHAPTER 7 Raising Money from a VC Before you get too excited thinking this is where I give you Marc Andreessen’s secret email address, this chapter simply asks the fundamental questions: Should you raise venture capital? If so, how much? And at what valuation? Once we’ve covered that, in chapter 8 we will get into the more prescriptive (and, for some, sexier) how-to approach of pitching to a VC. But you’re not ready for your pitch until you know what you want, how much, and why. At first blush, the answer to these questions seems fairly obvious—raise as much money as you possibly can at the highest possible valuation in order to grow your business.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

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

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

In 2011, futurist Paul Saffo suggested to Salim that he write this book, and we have been seriously researching the ExO model for the last three years. To do so, we: Reviewed sixty classic innovation management books by such authors as John Hagel, Clayton Christensen, Eric Ries, Gary Hamel, Jim Collins, W. Chan Kim, Reid Hoffman and Michael Cusumano. Interviewed C-Level executives from several dozen Fortune 200 companies with our survey and frameworks. Interviewed or researched ninety top entrepreneurs and visionaries including Marc Andreessen, Steve Forbes, Chris Anderson, Michael Milken, Paul Saffo, Philip Rosedale, Arianna Huffington, Tim O’Reilly and Steve Jurvetson. Investigated the characteristics of the one hundred fastest growing and most successful startups across the world, including those that comprise the Unicorn Club (Aileen Lee’s name for the billion-dollar market cap startup group), to tease out commonalities the companies used to scale.

Social technologies—whose analog counterpart, of course, is the so-called water cooler effect—create horizontal interactions in vertically organized companies. Social technology is finding fertile ground because the workplace has become increasingly digitized. It started with email, which provided asynchronous connectivity; next came wikis and intranets that provided synchronous information sharing; today we have activity streams that provide real-time updates throughout organizations. As Marc Andreessen said, “Communication is the basis for civilization and will be a catalyst and platform in the future for more innovations in many industries.” The reason we think this is important is the frame that social business expert Theo Priestley puts around it when he says, “Transparency is the new currency. Trust is the bill we’ll just be paying for.” Priestley’s equation for social business is: CONNECTION + ENGAGEMENT + TRUST + TRANSPARENCY.

And that’s just the beginning: as we add trillions of sensors on every device, process and person, the process will accelerate even faster to an almost unimaginable pace (Big Data). Finally, according to Ericsson Research, within the next eight years we will see the next generation of mobile networks (5G) sporting speeds of five gigabits per second. Just imagine what that will make possible. When Marc Andreessen proclaimed in a 2011 Wall Street Journal article that “software is eating the world,” he was addressing this very phenomenon. Andreessen, who helped invent the Internet browser and is now one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capitalists, argued that in every industry, and at every level, software is automating and accelerating the world. Cloud computing and the app store ecosystems are clear testaments to this trend, with the Apple and Android platforms each hosting more than 1.2 million applications programs, most of them crowdsourced from customers.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

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

Inside, in Zuckerberg’s precise and beautiful cursive script, were lengthy, detailed descriptions of features of the service he hoped to inaugurate in coming years—including what would become the News Feed, his plan to open registration to any sort of user, and turning Thefacebook into a platform for applications created by others. In some sections it became almost stream of consciousness, according to those who have read it. Even Zuckerberg occasionally notes in the margin, “This doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.” But for many of those who read it inside the company it seemed as weighty as Michelangelo’s sketchbook. A major new figure joined the life of the company around this time—investor and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, who became a close adviser to Zuckerberg. Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley’s most revered innovators and entrepreneurs, had come to California as a mere boy, much like Zuckerberg, after he helped invent the first Web browser at the University of Illinois. He co-founded Netscape Communications and later two more important and successful companies, while investing in scores more. Matt Cohler and board member Peter Thiel introduced Andreessen to Zuckerberg, thinking he could help the young CEO figure out how to grow Thefacebook.

“It was one of those moments with a unique creative zeitgeist,” he says, “like jazz in New York in the 1940s or punk in the 1970s, or the first Viennese school of the late eighteenth century.” The conviction that this was history in the making led people to work even harder. The history was not being made by Facebook alone. The company was surrounded by other companies also creating a more social Internet. Just around the corner was Ning, funded by Marc Andreessen and building software that enabled anyone to create their own private little social network. Up in San Francisco, forty-five minutes to the north, Digg was inventing a new tool that allowed people to share articles and other media they found on the Web. Other social networks like Bebo and Hi5 were emerging there, too, some targeting the same users as Facebook but in any case building clever products that were resonating with users all over the world.

Those in Zuckerberg’s circle blamed her for bringing in people who didn’t appreciate Facebook’s unique mission and culture. Some of these stalwarts—the ones who survived—took to calling Zuckerberg’s new executive coach “Wormtongue,” after an evil adviser to the king in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Criticism was coming from the outside as well. Tech industry bloggers pointed to Facebook’s revolving-door management and said it suggested internal chaos. But Zuckerberg’s adviser Marc Andreessen gives the CEO credit for being decisive about making changes when people weren’t working. There’s no way, Andreessen says, that a fast-growing company can consistently make the right hiring decisions. Better to quickly remedy the inevitable wrong ones. Zuckerberg preferred working with people his own age. He believed they were superior programmers, for one thing. Sometime later, at a small conference, he showed his stripes in talking to a bunch of other entrepreneurs.


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World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

Apple, for instance, used to insist that its rivals never poach from its ranks of employees. The coziness can be gleaned from the balance sheets: Google pays $1 billion each year so that Apple will use its search engine. While he was Google CEO, Eric Schmidt also served on Apple’s board. Like nineteenth-century European powers, each company does little to impinge on the other’s sphere of influence, competing only on the fringes of empire. Marc Andreessen, one of the Valley’s most venerable characters, is blunt about this tendency toward monopoly: “The big technology markets actually tend to be winner take all. There is this presumption—in normal markets you can have Pepsi and Coke. In technology markets in the long run you tend to only have one, or rather the number one company.” That is the nub of it: In Silicon Valley, everything is one; it’s always been one.

In 1920, Franklin Roosevelt—who would, of course, ultimately vanquish him from politics—organized a movement to draft Hoover for the presidency. The Hoover experiment, in the end, hardly realized the happy fantasies about the Engineer King. A very different version of this dream, however, has come to fruition, in the form of the CEOs of the big tech companies. We’re not ruled by engineers, not yet, but they have become the dominant force in American life, the highest, most influential tier of our elite. Marc Andreessen coined a famous aphorism that holds, “Software is eating the world.” There’s a bit of obfuscation in that formula—it’s really the authors of software who are eating the world. There’s another way to describe this historical progression. Automation has come in waves. During the Industrial Revolution, machinery replaced manual workers. At first machines required human operators. Over time, machines came to function with hardly any human intervention.

“Competition means strife”: Tim Wu, The Master Switch (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 8. “America’s most famous financier”: Ron Chernow, The House of Morgan (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990), 54. “We preach competition”: Peter Thiel, Zero to One (Crown Business, 2014), 35. “transcend the daily brute struggle”: Thiel, 32. “The big technology markets actually tend to be winner take all”: Alexia Tsotsis, “Marc Andreessen On The Future Of Enterprise,” TechCrunch, January 27, 2013. CHAPTER TWO: THE GOOGLE THEORY OF HISTORY at times, he struggled to breathe: Larry Page, University of Michigan commencement address, May 2, 2009. My description of Carl Page relies heavily on my conversations with several of his colleagues from Michigan State, such as Hsu Wen Jing. The Page family requested that his closest friends decline interviews with reporters, so they spoke with me on the condition of anonymity.


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

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

The web was born in 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee developed a set of protocols that allowed pieces of online content like text and pictures to link to each other, putting in practice the visions of hypertext first described by science and engineering polymath Vannevar Bush in 1945 (theoretically using microfilm) and computer visionary Ted Nelson, whose Project Xanadu never quite took off. The web rapidly turned the Internet from a text-only network into one that could handle pictures, sounds, and other media. This multimedia wonder, so much richer and easier to navigate than anything before, entered the mainstream in 1994 when Netscape released the first commercial web browser, named Navigator. (One of Netscape’s cofounders was Marc Andreessen, a then twenty-two-year-old programmer who had worked on earlier web browsers. We’ll hear more from Andreessen in Chapter 11.)‡ It coincided with the commercialization of the Internet, which had previously been primarily the domain of academics. The web enabled companies to extend their business processes beyond the four walls of the company and all the way to the consumer—a trend that became known as e-commerce.

The campaign included a short trailer for the proposed movie, videos from Bell and Thomas, and the offer of rewards for different levels of support.*** The campaign’s stated goal was to raise $2 million. It actually took in that amount within the first twelve hours and went on to generate $5.7 million in total. The movie premiered on March 14, 2014, both in theaters and on video on-demand services. It received generally positive reviews and was judged a financial success. Marc Andreessen, who started his career as the main programmer of the most successful early web browser and has since become a prominent venture capitalist, thinks crowdfunding could become one of the main ways that new offerings are developed. He said to us, “One could argue that the way that products and services—including entertainment media, including shoes and food and everything—the way that everything comes to market for the last 2,000 years has been backwards.

In 2014, well over half of the total loan volume on both Prosper and Lending Club, two of the largest platforms in the United States, came from institutional investors, who often used specialized software to comb through available opportunities. In reality, it turned out, peer-to-peer lending often became something much less novel: personal and small business loans offered by big, established lenders to customers identified in a new way. But it’s not just large hedge funds that are finding new customers thanks to crowd-centric new businesses; it’s also popular voices that emerge from the crowd itself. Marc Andreessen told us about the startup Teespring, founded in 2011 by Walter Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton. As Andreessen explained to us, Teespring is the modern method to convert social capital into financial capital. It’s one of these things where it first will strike you as absurd, and then if you swallow the red pill, you’ll realize what’s happening.†† It’s a way for a Facebook group or a YouTube star or Instagram star to be able to sell T-shirts.


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The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

But then, in 2008, with the Cypherpunk community seemingly having lost its mojo, along came Bitcoin—an idea for cryptomoney that was straight out of their playbook, even though few by then expected it would work. Now, the question of identifying who controlled the data didn’t matter. Its integrity could be assured by a decentralized network that constantly updated itself through a process of unbreakable consensus. Once Bitcoin’s implications were apparent, the revelation came as a bolt of lightning to many who’d been involved in building the Internet’s early architecture. These people included Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist and co-creator of the first commercial Web browser, Netscape, who told authors Don and Alex Tapscott that people like him suddenly recognized it as “the distributed trust network that the Internet always needed and never had.” As Andreessen and others in Silicon Valley’s moneyed classes started to throw money at developers working on Bitcoin and its clones, the sheer breadth of what Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology might achieve became apparent.

Farmworkers became factory workers and factory workers became office workers. But this shift to decentralized trust, along with all other disruption coming from, you name it—self-driving cars, automated medicine, peer-to-peer credit, 3D printing, artificially intelligent writers—will be too big to keep up with. The idea that the office towers of New York and Chicago will be left half empty for decades is not unfeasible. “Software is eating the world,” as Marc Andreessen likes to say. It’s not just the loss of jobs that’s the problem. It’s also the broader problem of letting algorithms decide what our world looks like. The priorities, preferences, and prejudices of software designers are baked into the code they write, whether it’s the program that dictates which passengers Uber drivers pick up or the incentive model in the Bitcoin protocol. Consider how Airbnb has grappled, imperfectly, with complaints that its insistence on users being identified with a photo has enabled homeowner discrimination against renters of color.

This was not the dream conveyed: Timothy C. May, “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto,” https://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/crypto-anarchy.html. Ideas like Ted Nelson’s ill-fated Xanadu project: For a detailed analysis of the Xanadu Project’s sweeping vision but failed implementation, see: “The Curse of Xanadu,” Wired, June 1, 2015, https://www.wired.com/1995/06/xanadu/. These people included Marc Andreessen: Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World (Portfolio, 2016), p. 5. used by Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig: Lawrence Lessig, “Code Is Law: On Liberty in Cyberspace,” Harvard Magazine, January 1, 2000, http://harvardmagazine.com/2000/01/code-is-law-html. from what Carl Jung called: C. G. Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (Collected Works of C.


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

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

Weirdness is what bonds us to our colleagues. Weirdness is what sets us apart, gets us hired. Be your unapologetically weird self. In fact, being weird may even find you the ultimate happiness.” TF: As an example—mullet wigs. CHRIS: “If you could bring one thing to make for an amazing party night, it’s wigs, seriously. Go to Amazon right now and order 50 mullet wigs. Mullet wigs change everything.” * * * Marc Andreessen Marc Andreessen (TW: @pmarca, a16z.com) is a legendary figure in Silicon Valley, and his creations have changed the world. Even in the epicenter of tech, it’s hard to find a more fascinating icon. Marc co-created the highly influential Mosaic browser, the first widely used graphical web browser. He also co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He then co-founded Loudcloud, which sold as Opsware to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion.

All episodes can be found on fourhourworkweek.com/podcast and itunes.com/timferriss “Jamie Foxx on Workout Routines, Success Habits, and Untold Hollywood Stories” (episode 124) “Tony Robbins on Morning Routines, Peak Performance, and Mastering Money” (episode 37) “The Scariest Navy SEAL Imaginable . . . and What He Taught Me” (episode 107) “Tony Robbins—On Achievement Versus Fulfillment” (episode 178) “Lessons from Geniuses, Billionaires, and Tinkerers” (episode 173) “Tim Ferriss Interviews Arnold Schwarzenegger on Psychological Warfare (and Much More)” (episode 60) “The Secrets of Gymnastic Strength Training” (episode 158) “How Seth Godin Manages His Life—Rules, Principles, and Obsessions” (episode 138) “Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer” (episode 117) “Charles Poliquin on Strength Training, Shredding Body Fat, and Increasing Testosterone and Sex Drive” (episode 91) “5 Morning Rituals that Help Me Win the Day” (episode 105) “Shay Carl—From Manual Laborer to 2.3 Billion YouTube Views” (episode 170) “Tony Robbins on Morning Routines, Peak Performance, and Mastering Money (Part 2)” (episode 38) “The Science of Strength and Simplicity with Pavel Tsatsouline” (episode 55) “Dissecting the Success of Malcolm Gladwell” (episode 168) “Kevin Rose” (episode 1) “How to 10x Your Results, One Tiny Tweak at a Time” (episode 144) “The Importance of Being Dirty: Lessons from Mike Rowe” (episode 157) “The Interview Master: Cal Fussman and the Power of Listening” (episode 145) “The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live” (episode 153) “Kevin Kelly—AI, Virtual Reality, and the Inevitable” (episode 164) “Dom D’Agostino—The Power of the Ketogenic Diet” (episode 172) “Tools and Tricks from the #30 Employee at Facebook” (episode 75) “Marc Andreessen—Lessons, Predictions, and Recommendations from an Icon” (episode 163) “Tara Brach on Meditation and Overcoming FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)” (episode 94) My Rapid-Fire Questions If you ended up sitting next to a Nobel Prize winner or billionaire, what would you ask them? If you only had 2 to 5 minutes and they were willing to talk, how could you make the most of it? Below are questions I’ve collected or concocted for just this hypothetical situation. Many of them are the “rapid-fire questions” that I ask nearly every guest on The Tim Ferriss Show. A handful are adapted from questions I picked up from guests themselves (such as Peter Thiel, page 232, and Marc Andreessen, page 170). When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

If you find anything amazing in this book, it’s thanks to the brilliant minds who acted as teachers, resources, critics, contributors, proofreaders, and references. If you find anything ridiculous in this book, it’s because I didn’t heed their advice or made a mistake. Though indebted to hundreds of people, I wish to thank here the many guests who have appeared on my podcast and who grace the pages of this book, listed in alphabetical order: Scott Adams (p. 261) James Altucher (p. 246) Sophia Amoruso (p. 376) Marc Andreessen (p. 170) Sekou Andrews (p. 642) Patrick Arnold (p. 35) Peter Attia (p. 59) Glenn Beck (p. 553) Scott Belsky (p. 359) Richard Betts (p. 563) Mike Birbiglia (p. 566) Alex Blumberg (p. 303) Amelia Boone (p. 2) Justin Boreta (p. 356) Tara Brach (p. 555) Brené Brown (p. 586) Bryan Callen (p. 483) Shay Carl (p. 441) Dan Carlin (p. 285) Ed Catmull (p. 309) Margaret Cho (p. 538) Paulo Coelho (p. 511) Ed Cooke (p. 517) Kevin Costner (p. 451) Whitney Cummings (p. 477) Dominic D’Agostino (p. 21) Alain de Botton (p. 486) Joe De Sena (p. 38) Mike Del Ponte (p. 299) Peter Diamandis (p. 369) Tracy DiNunzio (p. 313) Jack Dorsey (p. 509) Stephen J.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

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

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, 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, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Your Middle Class existence isn’t just being squeezed by overseas workers, it’s being squeezed by technology being developed just down the street. 2 The Acceleration of Technology All That Is Old Is New Again Venture capitalist firms are famous for their investment theses, the basic premise that fuels their investing strategy. These are simple statements which result in the investment of billions of dollars. Andreessen-Horowitz, a Venture capital firm started by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, that manages $4 billion as of March 2014, operates on an investment thesis of five words: Software is Eating the World. What is so profound in those five words that it directs how they invest billions of dollars? The trend Andreessen Horowitz is betting on may seem new and disruptive, but it’s just the next step in a well-understood process that’s been happening for hundreds of years: technological innovation.

Work has always been a disutility because the work that was required to accumulate more wealth and address the economic limit was primarily simple, algorithmic or at best, complicated work. If you’re a farmer and you were trying to get a job in the city one hundred years ago, you were probably going to end up in a factory. That was the opportunity available. The barriers to starting your own business were far higher than they are today. Marc Andreessen recounted in an interview how the first meeting he has with entrepreneurs that approach him about backing their company usually plays out. They always reach a point, fairly early on in the interview, where Marc will start trying to talk the founders out of the idea and suggesting other ways to attack the problem than the one they’ve outlined or proposing a different problem to attack. That moment in the conversation has proved to be the biggest predictor of success with companies that Andreessen Horowitz funds.

You typically either want really nice stuff you’ll keep for years or really cheap stuff you won’t mind throwing away. Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia and Wine Library TV has identified the same phenomenon, calling it the Clouds and the Dirt. He’s either thinking in the day-to-day minutia of exactly how to post on Facebook—how many words should the post be?—or how to buy the New York Jets (where is marketing going over the next decade? How are we positioned for it?). Reading through venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Career Planning, I was pleasantly unsurprised by his number one piece of advice on the topic: Don’t. The first rule of career planning: Do not plan your career. The world is an incredibly complex place and everything is changing all the time. You can’t plan your career because you have no idea what’s going to happen in the future…Trying to plan your career is an exercise in futility that will only serve to frustrate you, and to blind you to the really significant opportunities that life will throw your way


pages: 270 words: 79,180

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Ben Horowitz, 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, Joan Didion, 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, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

., September 17, 2014. 27.Paul Graham, “A Unified Theory of VC Suckage,” PaulGraham.com, March 2005, retrieved from http://www.paulgraham.com/venturecapital.html. 28.Russ Roberts, “Marc Andreessen on Venture Capital and the Digital Future,” EconTalk, May 19, 2014, retrieved from http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/05/marc_andreessen.html. 29.Ben Horowitz mentions Rachleff’s influence in an interview with Stanford engineering professor Tom Byers, “Disrupting the Venture Capital Industry,” Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series, November 19, 2014, retrieved from http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMate rialInfo.html?mid=3438. 30.Andy Rachleff, “Demystifying Venture Capital Economics, Part I,” Wealthfront Blog, June 19, 2014, retrieved from https://blog.wealthfront.com/venture-capital-economics/. 31.“Marc Andreessen on Breakthrough Ideas and Courageous Entrepreneurs,” interview at Stanford Graduate School of Business, March 8, 2014, retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Notice that it is also an external risk, and not an internal one: the entrepreneur has no incentive to undermine the VC’s goals by shirking, for example, because doing so would sabotage the entrepreneur. Maples knows how to embrace external risk while avoiding internal risk. Mike Maples didn’t come up with the idea of investing in ventures that are nonconsensus and right, and he is certainly not the only venture capitalist to think this way. Marc Andreessen, perhaps the best-known VC working today, plots start-ups on a two-by-two matrix in which VCs should aim for the quadrant corresponding to nonconsensus and successful.28 It should go without saying that you cannot know for sure which ones will be successful, and even the best VCs are often wrong, but you do know which are nonconsensus. Andreessen and partner Ben Horowitz picked up much of their investment philosophy, probably including this idea, from investment advisor Andy Rachleff, a former partner at Benchmark Capital and founder of Wealthfront, a firm that uses technology to transform the investment advisory business.29 Rachleff, in turn, credits his “investment idol,” Howard Marks, with this framework.30 When the entrepreneur-turned-VC Peter Thiel asks, “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”


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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, G4S, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, ubercab, urban planning, Zipcar

What VinTank is doing for Napa has the potential to help other destination merchants such as restaurants, amusement parks, hotels and museums—any leisure time destinations—to find potential customers and filter out those who are nearby but not likely to be a good match. The magic is that over time, wherever you go, more people will not only know your name, they will be pretty accurate in knowing how they can help you—and leave you alone if they can’t. This increased personalization and concurrent lack of privacy, of course, is going to be uncomfortable for some people at first, but we believe that will change over time. Marc Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected thinkers and investors, predicts merchants will understand who you are and what you want by the time you arrive. “Today, this may feel a little bizarre,” Andreessen says, “but 20 years from now it will be bizarre if you walk into a store and the store doesn’t know who you are.” At the rate of current change, we think 20 years may be a bit conservative.

At every wave of new technology, some people opt out. They choose not to drive or fly. We recall a court case involving a teacher who banned students from using Google instead of libraries, because searching online was cheating. That was less than ten years ago. The Ice Cream Incentive In the case of retail, merchants have long understood how to use incentives to gain engagement. Marc Andreessen, whose venture firm, Andreessen Horowitz has invested more dollars in contextual technologies than most any other early-phase firm, sees the best retail strategy online and off as something called “free ice cream.” It is the marketing concept that enables you to gain users even as you refine early-phase technology. All you have to do, he explains, is offer something so tasty, cool and sweet that most people just can’t resist.

A broken device will be easier to replace than a damaged windshield. The issues of regulation and adoption bring us to what may be the most significant and controversial changes in car making since horsepower replaced horses. We refer, of course, to the driverless car. Chapter 5 Driving Over the Freaky Line People are so bad at driving cars that computers don’t have to be that good to be much better. Marc Andreessen, investor Picture this: It is not very far into the future and you have just arrived in a big city. You summon an Uber car via a mobile app and a nice-looking upscale sedan soon pulls up to the curb in front of you. You hop in the back seat and tell absolutely no one behind the wheel where you are going. You buckle up, because the nonexistent driver insists you do so or the car will not proceed.


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

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

You read the paper every day, and enough stories have appeared to convince you that bitcoin is real, that some entrepreneurs, including the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame, expect to make a lot of money from it. But the details don’t add up. You get it by doing math problems? No? By having your computer do math problems? How can that possibly work? At this stage, phrases like Ponzi scheme and tulip mania enter your mind. Stage Three: Curiosity. You’ve kept reading. It becomes clear that many people, even some seemingly sensible people such as Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, people with a track record for being right about this stuff, are genuinely excited by it. But why all the fuss? Okay, it’s digital money, it may work, but what difference is that going to make to regular people? And why are people so heated up about it? Stage Four: Crystallization. This is the critical one. Choose whatever metaphor you like—call it the jaw-drop moment, the lightbulb moment, the mind-now-officially-blown moment—it is a point of realization that hits just about everybody who spends any time around digital currencies, even if they remain skeptical about the hurdles to their acceptance.

It’s not far off the money-raising that was swirling around Internet start-ups in the second half of the 1990s, and it suggests that claims of bitcoin’s demise were premature. Above all, it’s the names of the investors that get people’s attention. The list includes a selection of key players from the early e-commerce boom in the 1990s, including a man with as big a claim as any to having popularized the Internet: Marc Andreessen. The founder of Mosaic, the first mass-distributed browser, as well its better-known successor, Netscape, Andreessen is now a high-profile bitcoin bull. His firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has made major investments in the cryptocurrency sector, including in bitcoin processor Coinbase and in payments provider Ripple. He’s not the only techie-turned-investor from that era now diving into crypto start-ups.

Those unimaginable possibilities exist with bitcoin, Dixon says, because “extensible software platforms that allow anyone to build on top of them are incredibly powerful and have all these unexpected uses. The stuff about fixing the existing payment system is interesting, but what’s superexciting is that you have this new platform on which you can move money and property and potentially build new areas of business.” If Dixon’s right about bitcoin’s being the Internet all over again—a vision shaped by the experience of his partner Netscape founder Marc Andreessen—then many of the start-ups that have dived into this field will have their dreams fulfilled and may well become the next PayPal, or at least get bought by PayPal. For the VCs, the hope is that their scattershot approach lands on just a couple of big winners. This inherently optimistic approach is founded on the idea that the opportunities lie in multiple, untapped places—we just don’t always know which ones.


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Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

We created the fund in partnership with Kleiner Perkins—with John Doerr as our venture capitalist—and Morgan Stanley. Our investors were the people who know us best, the founders and executives of the leading tech companies of that era. Integral had a charmed run. Being inside the offices of Kleiner Perkins during the nineties meant we were at ground zero for the internet revolution. I was there the day that Marc Andreessen made his presentation for the company that became Netscape, when Jeff Bezos did the same for Amazon, and when Larry Page and Sergey Brin pitched Google. I did not imagine then how big the internet would become, but it did not take long to grasp its transformational nature. The internet would democratize access to information, with benefits to all. Idealism ruled. In 1997, Martha Stewart came in with her home-decorating business, which, thanks to an investment by Kleiner Perkins, soon went public as an internet stock, which seemed insane to me.

The virtuous cycle of Moore’s Law for computers and Metcalfe’s Law for networks reached a new level in the late eighties, but the open internet did not take off right away. It required enhancements. The English researcher Tim Berners-Lee delivered the goods when he invented the World Wide Web in 1989 and the first web browser in 1991, but even those innovations were not enough to push the internet into the mainstream. That happened when a computer science student by the name of Marc Andreessen created the Mosaic browser in 1993. Within a year, startups like Yahoo and Amazon had come along, followed in 1995 by eBay, and the web that we now know had come to life. By the mid-nineties, the wireless network evolved to a point that enabled widespread adoption of cell phones and alphanumeric pagers. The big applications were phone calls and email, then text messaging. The consumer era had begun.

The success of Facebook’s strategy had a profound impact on the human resources culture of Silicon Valley startups. In the early days of Silicon Valley, software engineers generally came from the computer science and electrical engineering programs at MIT, Caltech, and Carnegie Mellon. By the late seventies, Berkeley and Stanford had joined the top tier. They were followed in the mid-nineties by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the alma mater of Marc Andreessen, and other universities with strong computer science programs. After 2000, programmers were coming from just about every university in America, including Harvard. When faced with a surplus for the first time, engineers had new and exciting options. The wave of startups launched after 2003 could have applied surplus processing, memory, storage, and bandwidth to improve users’ well-being and happiness, for example.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

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

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

“Our job at Facebook is to help people make the greatest positive impact while mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness and isolation,” he wrote. That’s a curiously cautious mission statement: While mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness. It’s certainly a more measured rallying cry than “Move fast and break things.” You could read it, perhaps, as a quiet admission that some things ought to be left unbroken. “Software,” as the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has proclaimed, “is eating the world.” It’s true. You use software nearly every instant you’re awake. There’s the obvious stuff, like your phone, your laptop, email and social networking and video games and Netflix, the way you order taxis and food. But there’s also less-obvious software lurking all around you. Nearly any paper book or pamphlet you touch was designed using software; code inside your car helps manage the braking system; “machine-learning” algorithms at your bank scrutinize your purchasing activity to help spy the moment when a criminal dupes your card and starts fraudulently buying things using your money.

It was more out of not brilliance but out of rareness,” he notes. They paid him $23,000, and, he said, “I thought I was a king.” By the early ’90s, Everingham had built a career in software; he was particularly known for his work on interfaces. Then in 1995, in his early 30s, he was hired to work on the Windows interface for a newfangled product that would transform the world: Netscape, the first popular web browser. The team was led by Marc Andreessen, then a 24-year-old coder; it was a mix of just-out-of-college kids who’d built an experimental browser for their university and more experienced ones like Everingham, who’d been hired to help add structure to the project. The workload was insane. Andreessen knew that several competitors were trying to make a browser and was convinced—correctly—that Netscape needed to be first to market. The team worked nearly around the clock, sleeping on the floor of their offices; they’d shout insults across the room about each other’s code.

He’d grown up in the Ukraine in the Soviet ’80s, where he first discovered the fun of mucking around with programmable computers. When his family fled the region—they were Jewish, a persecuted minority—they arrived in Chicago in 1991. They were broke, but they respected their nerd son’s passions and scrounged enough to get him a computer. When he studied computer science at the University of Illinois, he learned about Marc Andreessen, the graduate who just a few years earlier had done insanely well, cocreating the Netscape browser and becoming an overnight millionaire. Levchin was an intense introvert, but the romance of start-ups entranced him. While a student, he founded not just one but three companies, and when the last one sold for $100,000, he packed his worldly possessions—mostly a pile of electronics—into a truck and drove with some friends to Silicon Valley.


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Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

Previously, the kings of tech were the wizards who invented new products and built companies, like Hewlett and Packard, or Bill Gates at Microsoft, and Jobs and Wozniak at Apple. But now the power brokers include venture capitalists—like Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund, and Reid Hoffman of Greylock Ventures. They don’t actually run tech companies. They’re just investors. Nevertheless, their profession is depicted as glamorous, and they rank among the biggest celebrities in Silicon Valley. Wired once lionized Andreessen on its cover, calling him “The Man Who Makes the Future.” Young guys moving west after college no longer hope to become the next Steve Jobs; they want to be the next Marc Andreessen. The Valley has become a casino, with VCs and angel investors blindly pumping money into every slot machine, hoping to hit a jackpot. (The difference is that the punter who gets lucky on a slot machine doesn’t walk away convinced he’s a genius.)

So why do companies keep searching for the fountain of youth, grasping at miracle cures? Right now most of them are scared to death. Their size used to be an advantage, but now it works against them. They’ve seen other companies that once seemed invincible get destroyed by the Internet—Blockbuster, Tower Records, Borders Books. They fear they will be next. “Software is eating the world,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen once famously said, meaning that tech companies were no longer content to sell computers and software to other industries and instead intended to replace them. The media business has been nuked. Brick-and-mortar retailers are being wiped out so fast that people call it the “retail apocalypse.” Toys “R” Us bit the dust in 2018. Sears is circling the drain. A quarter of the malls in the United States will be out of business by 2022.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

SOFTWARE IS EATING (AND SAVING) THE WORLD Historically, stories of breakneck growth involved either computer software, which offers nearly unlimited scalability in terms of distribution, or software-enabled hardware, such as the Fitbit fitness tracker or Tesla electric car, whose software component allows the company to innovate on software timescales (days or weeks) rather than hardware timescales (years). Moreover, the speed and flexibility of software development allow companies to iterate and recover from the inevitable missteps of haste. What’s especially exciting these days is that software and software-enabled companies are starting to dominate industries outside of traditional high tech. My friend Marc Andreessen has argued that “software is eating the world.” What he means is that even industries that focus on physical products (atoms) are integrating with software (bits). Tesla makes cars (atoms), but a software update (bits) can upgrade the acceleration of those cars and add an autopilot overnight. The spread of software and computing into every industry, along with the dense networks that connect us all, means that the lessons of blitzscaling are becoming more relevant and easier to implement, even in mature or low-tech industries.

It is fiendishly difficult to grow an amazing business, in part because it is fiendishly easy to run smack into obstacles that limit your growth. A key component of business model innovation is designing around these growth limiters. GROWTH LIMITER #1: LACK OF PRODUCT/MARKET FIT Product/market fit enables rapid growth, while the lack of it makes growth expensive and difficult. The concept of product/market fit originates in Marc Andreessen’s seminal blog post “The Only Thing That Matters.” In his essay, Andreessen argues that the most important factor in successful start-ups is the combination of market and product. His definition couldn’t be simpler: “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” Without product/market fit, it’s impossible to grow a start-up into a successful business.

Back in 1990, the futurist George Gilder demonstrated his prescience when he wrote in his book Microcosm, “The central event of the twentieth century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth in the form of physical resources is steadily declining in value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things.” Just over twenty years later, in 2011, the venture capitalist (and Netscape cofounder) Marc Andreessen validated Gilder’s thesis in his Wall Street Journal op-ed “Why Software Is Eating the World.” Andreessen pointed out that the world’s largest bookstore (Amazon), video provider (Netflix), recruiter (LinkedIn), and music companies (Apple/Spotify/Pandora) were software companies, and that even “old economy” stalwarts like Walmart and FedEx used software (rather than “things”) to drive their businesses.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

Michael Froomkin, who presented a paper on that subject at a Harvard symposium in 1996. Froomkin wrote that “the multinational nature of the Internet makes it possible for users to engage in regulatory arbitrage.” What that clever coinage refers to is the practice of using the internet to make money doing something that might be illegal if you did the same thing without using the internet. The VC Marc Andreessen, who made a fortune in the early nineties as a cofounder of the once dominant Web browser Netscape, revealed regulatory arbitrage to be a crucial plank in the strategy of his investment firm, Andreessen-Horowitz, in a 2014 interview with Bloomberg News. Andreessen enthused that tech startups could “reinvent the entire system” of finance and commerce. “To me, it’s all about unbundling the banks,” he said.

The intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict would simply vanish into the cloud, along with those tiresome Pacific Heights squabbles about so-and-so’s new sun deck blocking their neighbors’ views of the Bay. Srinivasan did acknowledge some limits to his precognition. He wasn’t sure where or how the first cloud cities would appear: They could be countries formed by internationally recognized processes similar to the ones that created 26 new countries over the past 25 years, a pattern noted by Marc Andreessen. They could be regions of the world set aside by global agreement for experimentation, as discussed by Larry Page. They could be floating cities in international waters as put forth by Peter Thiel, or one of the more ambitious 80,000 person colonies on Mars desired by Elon Musk. Srinivasan set what was then a new record in techie temerity with a provocative speech at Y Combinator’s “startup school” in 2013.

Index The index that appeared in the print version of this title does not match the pages in your e-book. Please use the search function on your e-reading device to search for terms of interest. For your reference, the terms that appear in the print index are listed below. Adolphe, Eric Ad:Tech Aeiveos Airbnb Alcor Alexander, Steve Aloise, Rome Alphabet Altman, Sam Amazon American Conservative Ancestry.com Anderson, Kyle Andreessen, Marc Andreessen-Horowitz Anduril Angry Birds Anissimov, Michael Apple Apple iTunes Architectural Digest ARPANET Ask.fm Associated Press Auerbach, David Auletta, Ken Bank of America Bannon, Steve Benthall, Blake Bezos, Jeff Bharara, Preet BIL Conference BioCurious Biogen Bitcoin BitTorrent Blogger Bloomberg News Blum, Richard C. “Dick” BMW Boeing Booz Allen Hamilton Borges, Jorge Luis Bradbury, Robert J.


pages: 459 words: 140,010

Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine, Paul Freiberger

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Google Chrome, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Jony Ive, Loma Prieta earthquake, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

NCSA had a large budget, a lot of hot technology, and a large staff with “frankly, not enough to do,” according to one of the young programmers privileged to work there. Even at $6.85 an hour, Marc Andreessen saw it as a privilege to work at NCSA. He was a sharp undergraduate programmer who loved being in an environment where he could talk about Unix code. Andreessen looked at what Berners-Lee had done and saw the potential of the Web, but he also saw that potential being restricted to a few academics, accessed on expensive hardware through archaic, arcane software. The opportunity to open up the Web to everyone looked to him like “a giant hole in the middle of the world.” Riding in friend Eric Bina’s car one night late in 1992, Andreessen put the challenge to Bina: “Let’s go for it,” he said. Let’s fill that hole. * * * Figure 92. Marc Andreessen After cocreating the first visual web browser while a student at the University of Illinois, Andreessen cofounded Netscape.

That circle would soon expand, thanks to two young men at the University of Illinois. But the NeXT machine on which Berners-Lee had created the Web was no more. Nevertheless, the NeXT saga was not over. Cyberspace There was no particular reason why it took two guys at the University of Illinois to do it, any more than it should have taken two guys in Sunnyvale to do the Apple I. It’s just that sometimes the establishment needs a kick in the pants. –Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape In 1994, Microsoft was riding high and Bill Gates was a billionaire. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t still driven by fear. No matter that he was the richest person in America, viewed by most people as the symbol, and possibly the inventor, of the personal-computer revolution. Nor did it matter that he was the founder and leader of the company whose products dominated most of the industry.

Netscape was developing the browser as an alternative to an operating system, in a sense. And Oracle jumped into the fray by pushing stripped-down machines that wouldn’t run Windows. In October 1996, Oracle and Netscape announced that they would be working together on an NC, a network computer. This announcement showed how fear of Microsoft could drive companies together; two months earlier, Marc Andreessen had ridiculed the NC and Larry Ellison had derided Netscape’s technology as “very, very thin.” The anti-Microsoft contingent got a heavy hitter in the late 1990s when IBM made a big commitment to Java. But Microsoft continued to make inroads into the Internet and online spaces. By the end of 1997 Internet Explorer had passed Netscape’s browser in popularity, and by the end of 1998 MSN had passed Netscape’s Netcenter site in the number of visitors and had become a major portal, a place that millions of people used as a sort of home base from which to conduct their explorations of the Web.


pages: 310 words: 91,151

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood

airport security, British Empire, call centre, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, high net worth, income per capita, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Marc Andreessen, microcredit, Own Your Own Home, random walk, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer

Backpacks await their new owners on the day of a Room to Grow scholarship initiation ceremony in rural Cambodia. In addition to backpacks, each new scholar is given a bike. Schools in rural Cambodia can be up to three hours walk from some villages. Room to Read Chicago chapter leader Tina Sciabica visits some of the Nepali Room to Read scholars benefiting from the funds she has raised. On this night, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen made a $250,000 gift in honor of Room to Read’s five year anniversary. Many rural Laotians never have the opportunity for a formal education. With the goal of reversing this trend, Room to Read began operations in Laos in 2005. I talk with the headmaster of Harihar School, Uday Kharki, in Pokhara, Nepal, during a visit to open the school’s new Computer Room in 2003. This new Language Room in Vietnam will teach 300 kids per day a foreign language.

They ride local buses for a dozen hours to visit villages, they work with communities to determine the best method of coinvestment via our Challenge Grant program, and they pilot motorbikes along rutted dirt roads to visit girls whose parents can’t afford school fees. To the Room to Read teams in Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and South Africa, I say thank you. Room to Read’s Board members—Marc Andreessen, Christopher Beer, Alastair Mactaggart, Muneer Satter, and Hilary Valentine—have been generous with their strategic direction and financial support. Jenny Stein was a partner in every key decision I made during our formative years. Christine Boskoff, Wynne Leon, Alison Levine, and my father served admirably and with dedication during the organization’s early years. A special thanks to Don and Rachel Valentine and their family for being our first multiyear grant, which underwrote the launch of the Room to Grow scholarship program.

I want to recognize the Skoll Foundation for being visionary funders who have encouraged the Room to Read management team to focus on scaling, and for backing up this advice with large-capacity building grants. Thanks to the team at Accenture for being our first significant corporate grant, and for the world-class advice you give to us. Thanks to the team at the Draper Richards Foundation for my fellowship, the seed funding, and all the great advice over the years. Finally, thanks to Marc Andreessen for being willing to invest in a venture run by a Microsoft alumnus! Our most significant early funding came from Jim Kastenholz and Jennifer Steans, Hilary Valentine, Stuart Kerr, Dena Blank, Sarah Leary and Patte McDowell, and the team at the Cloud Nine Foundation. Our first significant partnership was with the Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program. TAF is an older foundation, and we did not expect them to bet on a new NGO like ours.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, 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, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, uber lyft, Y Combinator, éminence grise

But the market was ready for a new set of technology innovations, and Netscape was the right company in the right place at the right time with the right team. Over the course of its brief existence Netscape lost a lot of money, but nevertheless a few people got rich. In 1999, at the peak of the dotcom bubble, AOL acquired Netscape in a deal worth $10 billion when it closed. After that Netscape more or less disappeared. Yet one Netscape co-founder, Marc Andreessen, reportedly walked away with shares worth nearly $100 million. Another co-founder, Jim Clark, reportedly made $2 billion. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” is the famous line from a 1993 New Yorker cartoon. The tale of Netscape added a new twist: On the Internet, at least when it comes to investments, nobody cares if you’re a dog. The Netscape IPO set off the dotcom frenzy. In Silicon Valley it was as if someone had flipped a switch.

In April 2013, Google Ventures published a photograph that captures the essence of the second Internet bubble. The photograph appeared on countless websites, but when I asked Google for permission to use it in this book, the company asked what context I would be using it in, and when I told them, they refused. So instead of running the full photograph, I will just show you two of the people in it: The one on the left, with the cone head, is Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz. The one on the right is John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Look how smug they are, how sure of themselves! These two grown men wearing the hideous face computer called Google Glass are two of the most respected investors in Silicon Valley, and they represent two of the most important venture capital firms. The photograph from which these images are taken was released as part of the announcement of the Glass Collective, a special fund created to invest in companies that would develop applications for Google Glass, which Andreessen and Doerr described as a “potentially transformative technology.”

In 2009 Andreessen was just another guy with a new venture fund, albeit a guy with a famous name. Six years later he is probably the best known and arguably the most influential investor in Silicon Valley. “Guys running start-ups love him. They all want to meet him,” one Boston-based venture capitalist says. “Every time I meet with a start-up, the first question they ask me is, ‘Do you know Marc Andreessen? Can you introduce us to him?’ He’s like a rock star.” Says another venture capitalist: “If you take money from Andreessen Horowitz, your valuation doubles or triples just because they’re involved. Why? Because they’re Andreessen Horowitz.” Andreessen is a physically imposing man: six feet, four inches tall and heavyset, with an enormous shaved head. He’s an avid Twitter user, sometimes posting more than one hundred tweets a day, pontificating and picking fights.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

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

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

When combined with peer-to-peer filesharing technologies, cryptographic techniques, and a novel incentive system, Bitcoin showed how a blockchain-based system could be used as the basis for trusted peer-to-peer transactions without a third-party intermediary, instead using the crowd—a decentralized network of “verifiers”—to clear transactions. The promise of blockchain-based systems like Bitcoin was encapsulated well in a January 2014 New York Times article by venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, a long-time Internet entrepreneur and investor who created the first web browser Mosaic in 1993: Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.

See Folasade Osisanwo, Shade Kuyoro, and Oludele Awodele, “Internet Refrigerator—A Typical Internet of Things (IoT),” http://iieng.org/siteadmin/upload/2602E0315051.pdf. Also see Fred Butcher, “What Is a Smart Refrigerator,” https://fredsappliance.com/2014/06/smart-refrigerator/ for an interesting historical overview. 8. For an overview of the drone delivery technology tested by Amazon in 2014, see http://www.amazon.com/b?node=8037720011. 9. Marc Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” New York Times, January 21, 2014, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/. 9. See Chris Anderson, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (New York: Hyperion, 2008). 10. Jason Tanz, “How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other,” Wired, April 23, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy. 11.

And USV is hardly alone in its interest in this technology. Adam Ludwin, a partner at RRE Ventures, currently runs a startup called Chain that is also funded by the famed Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla. RRE, along with the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has also invested in Ripple Labs, which is building a blockchain-based market for interbank settlement. Andreessen Horowitz partners Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon frequently express significant levels of excitement about the commercial promise of the blockchain. These are just a few examples of a new marketplace technology paradigm that may power the next generation of crowd-based capitalism, To better appreciate the economic and social impacts of these marketplaces, we first need to understand how some of them work. The right place to start is by understanding Bitcoin.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

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

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

Licklider wrote a memo to his colleagues proposing an “Intergalactic Computer Network”—a network that replaced traditional circuit-switching technology with the then new development of packet switching, allowing any researcher with a terminal and a phone line to connect to one of the computing centers they so desperately needed.4 This was the birth of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the foundational network that has since become today’s Internet. ARPANET became operational in 1975. It was mostly text-based, fairly complicated to navigate, and used primarily by scientists. All of this changed in 1993, when Marc Andreessen, a twenty-two-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, coauthored Mosaic—both the very first web browser and the Internet’s first user-friendly user interface.5 Mosaic unlocked the Internet. By adding in graphics and replacing Unix with Windows—the operating system that was then running nearly 80 percent of the computers in the world—Andreessen mainstreamed a technology developed for scientists, engineers, and the military.

If you wanted to be a great artist, you had to have years of experience applying paint to a blank canvas. Now, with our coloring-book approach, if you want to be supercreative, all you have to know how to do is color between the lines.” What makes this development so much more important is that 3D Systems isn’t the only company designing new interfaces. Experimentation has begun, drawing in a multitude of other players. As a result, the field sits right about where the web sat when Marc Andreessen introduced Mosaic—completely primed for exponential explosion. The Impact of Disruption Even now, at the beginning of this explosion, the impact that 3-D printing is having on our world is considerable. Already the printing of standard consumer products—bowls, plates, smartphone cases, bottle openers, jewelry, and purses (made from mesh)—has gone from a hobby to a nascent industry. Dozens of websites now sell goods rendered with 3-D printers, and retailers are starting to get in on the action.

Locke, The Prime Movers (New York: AMACOM, 2000). 2 AI conducted 2013. 3 Steven Kotler, “The Whole Earth Effect,” Plenty, no. 24 (October/November 2008): 84–91. 4 J. C. R Licklider, “Memorandum For Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network,” Advanced Research Projects Agency, April 23, 1963. See http://www.kurzweilai.net/memorandum-for-members-and-affiliates-of-the-intergalactic-computer-network. 5 Chris Anderson, “The Man Who Makes the Future: Wired Icon Marc Andreessen,” Wired, April 24, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/ff_andreessen/all/. 6 Ian Peter, “History of the World Wide Web,” Net History, http://www.nethistory.info/History%20of%20the%20Internet/web.html. 7 McKinsey Global Institute, “Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation,” McKinsey & Company, November 2012, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/manufacturing/the_future_of_manufacturing. 8 Institute of Human Origins, “Earliest Stone Tool Evidence Revealed,” Becoming Human, August 11, 2010, http://www.becominghuman.org/node/news/earliest-stone-tool-evidence-revealed. 9 Pagan Kennedy, “Who Made That 3-D Printer,” New York Times Magazine, November 22, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/magazine/who-made-that-3-d-printer.html. 10 In full disclosure, Peter Diamandis is a member of the 3D Systems Board of Directors. 11 All Avi Reichenthal quotes come from a series of AIs conducted between 2012 and 2014. 12 Based on approximate average share price for 2014. 13 AI, June 2014. 14 AI with Jay Rogers, 2014. 15 David Szondy, “SpaceX completes qualification test of 3D-printed SuperDraco thruster,” Gizmag, May 28, 2014, http://www.gizmag.com/superdraco-test/32292/. 16 James Hagerty and Kate Linebaugh, “Next 3-D Frontier: Printed Plane Parts,” Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303933404577505080296858896. 17 Tim Catts, “GE Turns to 3D Printers for Plane Parts,” Bloomberg Businessweek, November 27, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/general-electric-turns-to-3d-printers-for-plane-parts. 18 All quotes about Made In Space come from an AI with Michael Chen conducted 2013. 19 Brian Dodson, “Launch your own satellite for US $8000,” Gizmag, April 22, 2012, http://www.gizmag.com/tubesat-personal-satellite/22211/. 20 Statista, “Statistics and facts on the Toy Industry,” Statista.com, 2012, http://www.statista.com/topics/1108/toy-industry/. 21 Unless otherwise noted, all Alice Taylor quotes and facts come from an AI conducted in 2013. 22 Cory Doctorow, Makers (New York: Tor Books, 2009).


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One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Another came in 1991, when the Internet was opened up to commercial use for the first time. It took several more years before these changes caught on and spread to popular awareness. In 1993, a government-funded group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a new generation of Web browser called Mosaic, a wonderful, graphics-based browser. The following year, a very astute Silicon Valley venture capitalist named John Doerr decided to recruit a bright young man, Marc Andreessen, from the Mosaic team in Illinois to move to Silicon Valley and start a Web browser company. That same year the company, called Netscape, launched its browser, Navigator. Shaw decided the Internet had a future, and gave Bezos the task of finding the opportunities there. In the spring of 1994, he began researching the Internet, and was impressed with what he found. Primarily, he says, he came across an important statistic: The Internet was growing at 2,300 percent a year!

He created a hyperlink program (which allows Internet surfers to jump from one Internet site to another by clicking on the link) but abandoned it when he discovered the Mosaic Web browser. Mosaic was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, becoming the first (and, many people still feel, the best) browser to take advantage of the newly created World Wide Web. Davis hoped to integrate his hyperlink program into that browser, and contacted Marc Andreessen, a smart computer science student at the University of Illinois who codeveloped Mosaic. If that collaboration had worked, Davis might have joined Netscape Communications, which Andreessen later founded, and made his fortune there. But Mosaic and Davis’s hyperlink system were too incompatible, and Davis had to look elsewhere to join the new wave of bright engineers and entrepreneurs hoping to build new products and companies on the Internet.


pages: 223 words: 52,808

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

I’m just trying to create the rational system the web should have been in the first place and would have been if we hadn’t screwed up politically. Tim Berners-Lee fashioned a way of pointing at conventional files and conventional directories via path names, visible to the user, over the Net. To me the notion of files and hierarchical directories is an unfortunate tradition that messes up the very nature of content. Marc Andreessen added Technicolor, all the special effects garbage he could cram in, glorifying, fetishizing these hierarchical directories which are now called websites and are located at URLs. So you have one-way, ever-breaking links, a shop window model, whereas you don’t want to have to put it in a single place. That’s like saying that such and such a book is the book you’ll find on the fourth shelf, third from the right.

He got the fact that scruffy works, in other words he allowed for human frailty by allowing for the links to fail. He also gave it away so there was no economic barrier to people using it. I think that’s what really made the difference to the uptake. The problem we now have of course is that nobody owns the system that has subsequently been created, but that’s another whole story. We must also give credit of course to Marc Andreessen and his team at NCSA for their development of the Mosaic browser for the Web in 1993, which made it much easier for people to access the Web. At ACM Hypertext’93, half the demos were Web-based, and the first Web conference was in May 1994. We were still developing Microcosm as a research system, and we produced a commercial version in 1994, which did very well for a while. The company we set up raised over £13 million pounds of investment funding and is still in existence today, but by the end of the 1990s my research group was almost entirely focused on Web-based developments and much of the interesting hypermedia work encapsulated within the Microcosm project had to be shelved until the Semantic Web was mature enough to become an alternative development platforms.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

Almost every one of those late-round investments had been ridiculed as an overreach. Yet each had proved wise. But it was always a question of when, not if, there would be an IPO, and there was only so much Zuckerberg could do to forestall the inevitable. In 2010, Facebook quietly began making moves to smooth its shift to a public company. It beefed up its board of directors to include—besides existing members Don Graham, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, and Peter Thiel—Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Erskine Bowles, who had been Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Bowles made a deal with Zuckerberg: he’d chair the board’s audit committee if Zuckerberg would read a stack of finance books. Look, you’ll be a CEO of a public company—you have to understand this, he said when he dumped the books on Zuckerberg. In the fall of 2011, Facebook’s CFO, David Ebersman, who had previously held the post at Genentech, began interviewing some of the banks.

Still, Systrom wound up getting $500,000 in seed money, half of it from the Valley’s hottest VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz. The money men were banking as much on the founder as the idea; Systrom ticked the boxes that VCs look for—Stanford degree, ex-Googler, a quiet intensity that impressed the partners at the pitch meeting. Systrom quit the social-travel site. Not long afterward, Facebook bought it. Once again, Systrom had just missed working for Mark Zuckerberg. Marc Andreessen suggested that Systrom find a software-guru partner. That turned out to be Mike Krieger, a Brazil-born engineer who’d majored in Stanford’s Symbolic Systems program. At first, Krieger wasn’t blown away by Systrom’s description of Burbn, but after he agreed to join the beta test, he became intrigued, if not hooked. It wasn’t just checking in to a place that drew him in, but the ability to add rich media—photos, video—to what his friends saw.

A former Microsoft engineer named Michael Abrash, who had been working for the game technology company Valve, had combined Oculus technology with a screen-display technique called “low persistence” that minimized motion sickness. For the first time, Iribe could use VR without getting nauseated. Abrash would eventually join Oculus and head its research lab. The company figured that a great board member might provide guidance, and the logical choice was Marc Andreessen, whose VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, had been a lead investor in the “B” round. Since Andreessen was also on Facebook’s board, he suggested that Iribe get a reference from Mark Zuckerberg. On November 13, Andreessen wrote an email to Facebook’s CEO with the subject line “Have you seen Oculus?” Andreessen told Zuckerberg that Oculus “blew my brains out.” On the phone call, Zuckerberg affirmed that Andreessen would be a great board member (duh).


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

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, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, 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

Invaluable for any person who wants to be a successful entrepreneur—not in a particular company, but in the most important enterprise of all: one’s own life.” —CORY BOOKER, mayor of Newark, New Jersey “Silicon Valley revolutionizes entire industries through the way we work. It is now time to export our playbook to the rest of the world. The Start-up of You is that key playbook: it will help you revolutionize yourself and achieve your own career breakout.” —MARC ANDREESSEN, venture capitalist and director at HP, Facebook, and eBay “In times of change and uncertainty … adaptability creates stability. Insights like this make The Start-up of You such a compelling new way to approach your life. Hoffman and Casnocha have distilled the essence of entrepreneurship into a potion for personal success, regardless of your career plans.” —JOHN ETCHEMENDY, provost, Stanford University “If work and career were a game, The Start-up of You would be your playbook.

During that time he flew his own airline at least once a week, worked the cabin, and blogged about his experience: “Each week I fly on JetBlue flights and talk to customers so I can find out how we can improve our airline,” he wrote.6 Schultz and Neeleman had tremendous vision when they founded their start-ups. Yet from day one they focused on the needs of their customers and stakeholders. For all their smarts and vision, they knew well what VC and friend Marc Andreessen likes to say: Markets that don’t exist don’t care how smart you are. Similarly, it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve worked or how passionate you are about an aspiration: If someone won’t pay you for your services in the career marketplace, it’s going to be a very hard slog. You aren’t entitled to anything. Studying the market realities doesn’t have to be a limiting, negative exercise. There are always industries, places, people, and companies with momentum.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

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

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

It is also not the kind of decision that can be made lightly, which is why it becomes critical, after the first stages, to demonstrate how the new methods function and to lay the groundwork for full mobilization across the entire organization. HYPERGROWTH: Success can be its own form of crisis. When a startup achieves product/market fit, it can be forced to grow extremely rapidly. As legendary Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen, also founder of Netscape and general partner of the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, put it (in one of the startup movement’s most famous pieces of writing): In a great market—a market with lots of real potential customers—the market pulls product out of the startup….And you can always feel product/market fit when it’s happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it—or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers.

Thanks to Morgan Housel, Mark Graban, Janice Fraser, Steve Liguori, Beth Comstock, Viv Goldstein, Melissa Moore, Dan Debow, Vinuth Rai, James Joaquin, Tiho Bajic, Al Sochard, Kanyi Maqubela, Dan Martell, Roy Bahat, Tom Serres, Dave Binetti, Aneesh Chopra, Marina Martin, Andrey Ostrovsky, Laura Klein, Clark Scheffy, Bennett Blank, Art Parkos, Cindy Alvarez, Adam Penenberg, Kent Beck, Charles Becker, Zach Nies, Holly Grant, Carolyn Dee, Jennifer Maerz, Ann Mei Chang, Nicole Glaros, Anna Mason, Ed Essey, Daniel Doktori, Janice Semper, Todd Park, and Tom Eisenmann. Special thanks to: Arash Ferdowsi, Ari Gesher, Brian Frezza, Dan Smith, Greg Beach, Justin Rosenstein, Matt Mullenweg, Matthew Ogle, Pedro Miguel, Raghu Krishnamoorthy, Reid Hoffman, Samuel Hammond, Scott Cook, Marc Andreessen, Margit Wennmachers, Sean Ellis, Shigeki Tomoyama, JB Brown, Simeon Sessley, Giff Constable, Philip Vaughn, Andy Sack, Brian Singerman, Craig Shapiro, and James Joaquin. Thanks to the entire LTSE team, whose daily commitment to change the world for the better in the face of impossibly long odds inspires me more than you know. Thanks to: Marcus Gosling, Tiho Bajic, Michelle Greene, Lydia Doll, Carolyn Dee, Hyon Lee, Bethany Andres-Beck, Pavitra Bhalla, Zoran Perkov, Amy Butte, John Bautista, and especially my chief of staff, Holly Grant, who is the mastermind of our operations and handles the incredibly difficult task of coordinating a high-degree-of-difficulty startup in three cities.

accountability, itr.1, itr.2, itr.3, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 9.1, p03.1, 10.1, nts.1n8, nts.2n9 orders of magnitude, 2.1, 9.1 Startup Way, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 Affordable Care Act, 2.1, p02.1, 11.1, 11.2. See also HealthCare.gov Agarwal, Aditya, 1.1, 6.1, 9.1 Airbnb, itr.1, p01.1, 8.1, 11.1 Airbnb Story, The (Gallagher), 8.1 “all-hands-on-deck problem,” Altman, Sam Amazon, itr.1, 1.1, 3.1, 6.1, 11.1 Fire phone, 1.1, 3.1, 5.1 American Heart Association (AHA), 8.1, 11.1 American Innovation and Competitiveness Act Andreessen, Marc Andreessen Horowitz, 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, 11.1 Asana Beach, Greg, 8.1 Beihl, Jennifer, 8.1, 8.2 Bezos, Jeff, 1.1, 1.2, 4.1, 11.1 Bionic, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 Bland, David Blank, Bennett, 6.1, 7.1, 10.1 Blank, Steve, 3.1, 9.1, 11.1, nts.1n2 Bresenham, Terri Buffett, Warren build-measure-learn, itr.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 6.1, 6.2 business model, 1.1, 6.1, 7.1, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 10.1 Campbell, Tony, nts.1n1 Canegallo, Giulio, 4.1, 4.2 Case, Steve, 3.1, nts.1n2 Chang, Ann Mei change management, 10.1, epl.1 Chesky, Brian, p01.1, p01.2, 8.1 Chopra, Aneesh Christensen, Clayton, 2.1, 9.1 Cisco, My Innovation Citi Discover 10X, 9.1 coaching, 2.1, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, nts.1n4 Code for America Cohen, Andrew Colella, Vanessa, 9.1, 9.2 Comstock, Beth, itr.1, 2.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 7.1, 7.2, nts.1n3 Concur Technologies Cook, Scott, itr.1, 4.1, 4.2, nts.1n4, nts.2n5 Cribbins, Matt, n3 cross-functional teams.


pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

The Internet blew up the software business entirely. The first real piece of Internet software was the Web browser Netscape Navigator, introduced in 1994. The prospect of the first truly mass-market software propelled Netscape to a stratospheric initial public offering. Its stock price shot up in its first day of trading, closing the day at four times its initial offering price. Netscape’s cofounder Marc Andreessen, only twenty-four years old, suddenly found himself worth $171 million. The following year, Andreessen was pictured on the cover of Time magazine, barefoot and wearing a crown, next to the caption “The Golden Geeks.” But the profits never came. Microsoft began including a free Web browser, Internet Explorer, along with its Windows 95 operating system. As a result, Netscape was never able to charge for its software.

Now I was tuning myself to a different service, DuckDuckGo, which had different ways of answering questions. It was like a new relationship; I was discovering my new partner’s quirks and foibles. And it was empowering; I was tuning myself to a partner that didn’t have a hidden agenda of tracking me. I had broken free from Google, and the world was still on its axis. I had mastered another service and could still find the information I needed. The whole experience reminded me of a quote from Marc Andreessen, the man who created Netscape, the first Web-browsing software, back in 1994. “The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories,” Andreessen said in a 2012 interview. “People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.” Mastering my switch to DuckDuckGo made me feel I had a better chance of being in the category of people who tell computers what to do

In 2008, the attorney general issued: The Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations, September 28, 2008, http://www.justice.gov/ag/readingroom/guidelines.pdf. And in 2012, the Justice Department authorized: Julia Angwin, “U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324478304578171623040640006.html. Its stock price shot up: Steve Hamm, “The Education of Marc Andreessen,” BusinessWeek, April 2, 1998, http://www.businessweek.com/1998/15/topstory.htm; L. A. Lorek, “Investors Not Just Browsing: Netscape Navigator Stock Goes Public in One of Wall Street’s Most Impressive Debuts,” Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, August 10, 1995; and Kathy M. Kristof, “Why Individual Investors Lose on IPOs,” Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1995, http://articles.latimes.com/1995-08-10/business/fi-33617_1_individual-investors.


pages: 419 words: 109,241

A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator

Yes, those companies are likely to remain prominent for some time. But new technologies that reshape our lives will also come from people and institutions well beyond the Big Five. Indeed, point to any part of modern life, and you can be fairly certain that someone, somewhere, is working away in a metaphorical garage, trying to develop a new system or machine to change it. In 2011, the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote that “software is eating the world.”5 In the years since, its appetite has indeed proven voracious. There are very few industries, if any, that new technologies do not find at least partially digestible. All corners of our lives are becoming increasingly digitized; and on top of our world of physical things we are building a parallel world of ones and zeros. In the future, it is hard to see how our economy will escape being run almost entirely by technology companies of various sorts.

In John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy (London: Longmans, Green, 1848), he states both that demand for commodities “does not constitute demand for labour” and, separately, that it “is not demand for labour.” These are quoted in Susskind, “Technology and Employment.” 26.  Victor Mather, “Magnus Carlsen Wins World Chess Championship, Beating Fabiano Curuana,” New York Times, 28 November 2018. 27.  This is explored in Susskind and Susskind, Future of the Professions, pp. 244–45. 28.  For economists using it, see “Automation and Anxiety,” Economist; for technologists using it, see Marc Andreessen, “Robots Will Not Eat the Jobs But Will Unleash Our Creativity,” Financial Times, 23 June 2014; for commentators, see Annie Lowrey, “Hey, Robot: What Cat Is Cuter?,” New York Times Magazine, 1 April 2014; for politicians, see Georgia Graham, “Robots Will Take Over Middle-Class Professions, Says Minister,” Telegraph, 8 July 2014. 29.  David Schloss, Methods of Industrial Remuneration (London: Williams and Norgate, 1898).

For the “77 percent” and “74 percent,” see Taplin, “Is It Time to Break Up Google?” For the “43 percent,” see “Amazon Accounts for 43% of US Online Retail Sales,” Business Insider Intelligence, 3 February 2017.   3.  Greg Ip, “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon,” Wall Street Journal, 16 January 2018.   4.  PwC, “Global Top 100 Companies by Market Capitalisation” (2018).   5.  Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2011.   6.  Connie Chan, “When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China,” Andreessen Horowitz, https://a16z.com/2015/08/06/wechat-china-mobile-first/, quoted in J. Susskind, Future Politics, p. 331.   7.  Dan Frommer, “Microsoft Is Smart to Prepare for Its New Role as Underdog,” Quartz, 17 July 2014.   8.  


pages: 561 words: 163,916

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

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

This was great, exactly what Iribe had hoped would happen, but even better than that—even better than what would happen when these stories went live—was what happened as soon as Iribe stepped off the stage and turned on his phone: he received a message from Brian Cho, one of the partners at Andreessen Horowitz. Cho was at the Summit and had been intrigued by Iribe’s talk. If motion sickness really had been solved, then perhaps Andreessen Horowitz could play a role in Oculus’s series B. This was music to Iribe’s ears; he had wanted to be in business with Marc Andreessen since the start of Oculus. Before that even. Since the ’90s, really, when Andreessen—fresh off IPO-ing Netscape—appeared on the cover of Time magazine for a piece about the so-called Golden Geeks. Shortly after receiving Cho’s email, Iribe wrote back to say, “We have a new prototype in the office which you guys really need to see. It ties everything together for a comfortable experience that proves VR is very close to mass market ready.”

“The McRib,” Luckey answered, referring to McDonald’s famously elusive barbecue-flavored pork sandwich. “No fucking way,” Patel wrote back, skeptical of this big delicious news. But instantly, when Luckey replied that he was “eating one right now,” Patel knew that the news must be true. Because some things were just too sacred to joke about. For Luckey and Patel, the McRib was one of those things. As magical as the McRib tastes, something even bigger happened three days later: Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Brian Cho, and a fourth partner (Gil Shafir) visited Irvine and left telling Iribe, “We are fully converted believers.” So much so that on November 5, Andreessen even emailed an old friend—Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—to ask, “Have you seen Oculus?” Assuming not, Andreessen then proceeded to tell Zuckerberg about what he’d just experienced. “Blew my brain wide open,” he said. “The key seems that they have added John Carmack, co-founder of id, co-creator of Doom and Quake and essentially the inventor of 3D computer games and one of the all-time great hackers as their CTO.

I wanted to just give all my money to him on the spot.” It’s rare that a firm would pass on Series A opportunity, and then later participate in future rounds of funding. But Dixon, who managed the relationship, told Iribe he wanted to “correct that mistake.” He and his partners wanted to do so in a big way: leading a $75 million Series B. In fact, it was so important to them that this work out that Marc Andreessen put Iribe in touch with Mark Zuckerberg to put in a good word. “What do you see as the ‘killer app’?” Zuckerberg asked Iribe during a short reference call on November 19. “Gaming,” Iribe replied. “But it’s gonna be huge for Communication too.” They proceeded to talk about the past—about Andreessen, about whom Zuckerberg couldn’t have had nicer things to say. Not that Iribe needed much (or any) convincing.


pages: 218 words: 68,648

Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

We might have to sell the house when we are seventy and use that money to live as a final safety net, but probably not, if we keep working to sixty-five.” “I don’t want to move, Dan. That’s not something we should count on.” “I’m not saying that. It’s our doomsday plan.” She didn’t look convinced. We had both been sitting on the couch. I stood up and pulled up a chair in front of her. I tried to pivot the discussion to the upside. “Marc Andreessen says that cutting-edge technology always feels cultish and dangerous at first. That’s where crypto is right now. That’s when you have to invest to make the big bucks, before others are willing to do so.” She didn’t look inspired, but at least I had her attention. “It’s perfectly possible that our money could grow by a factor of ten, a 1,000 percent return or more. That’s what happened with Bitcoin in 2013.

Would I have to throw a holiday party and invite their partners for an evening together when I’d rather be at home eating some cornbread and chili? I’d be the boss, so I’d better dust off the Santa outfit. There were reminders in the real world that I might not be cut out to be a big shot PR consultant. I’d had the opportunity months earlier to meet with the marketing team at a16z, a leading venture capital firm headed by Marc Andreessen. I’d gotten the meeting by reaching out to Cindy, a colleague at a past job. At the time, I was one of the few PR people pitching myself as dedicated to crypto/blockchain. The meeting went well, and now with crypto popping and the media paying attention, a16z recommended me to someone in their network. His name was Olaf Carson Wee, the first Coinbase employee. Olaf had left Coinbase to start Polychain Capital, one of the first and most-prominent crypto hedge funds.


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

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Y Combinator

It may seem unbelievable, but at the end of this chapter, if everything goes to plan, you will have an operational app that will be delighting users and gaining real traction out there in the real world; you’ll be making real revenue (ideally) and your team will be growing, probably to around 7–10 people (though this depends on how much revenue you’re earning or how much money you’ve raised). If you hit the product–market fit faster, then you could be a lot bigger than that. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a big transformation. Chapter 14 Make Something People Love ‘The life of any startup can be divided into two parts – before product–market fit and after product–market fit’ #BILLIONDOLLARAPP Marc Andreessen was the co-creator of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser; he was cofounder of Netscape; he is the cofounder and general partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He sits on the board of directors of Facebook, eBay and HP, among others. He’s a pretty smart guy who knows a thing or two about tech. Andreessen explains on his blog,1 ‘… the life of any startup can be divided into two parts – before product–market fit (BPMF) and after product–market fit (APMF).’

So there will always be a great – albeit risky – opportunity to create an app that captures and holds people’s attention. If you can build something truly sticky, there will always be someone waiting in shadows with the ability to monetise it. Non-Tech Corporations are Eating Startups Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo! are seeing the competition heat up in the race to acquire the best software startups. Marc Andreessen is the cofounder and general partner of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga and Foursquare, among others. He is not alone in saying, ‘We believe that many of the prominent new Internet companies are building real, high-growth, high-margin, highly defensible businesses.’20 As Internet startups build more robust businesses, faster, they are becoming highly prized acquisition targets.21 Non-tech companies are now making billion-dollar acquisitions that no one would have dreamed possible.

, article on Forbes.com, 8 July 2013, www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/06/08/facebooks-reality-check-death-by-a-thousand-snapchats/. 17 Kara Swisher, ‘Yahoo Tumblrs for Cool: Board Approves $1.1 Billion Deal as Expected’, article on AllThingsD.com, 19 May 2013, allthingsd.com/20130519/yahoo-tumblrs-for-cool-board-approves-1-1-billion-deal/. 18 Todd Wasserman, ‘Tumblr’s Mobile Traffic May Overtake Desktop Traffic This Year’, article on Mashable.com, 21 February 2013, mashable.com/2013/02/21/tumblr-mobile-traffic/. 19 Ibid. 20 Marc Andreessen, ‘Why Software Is Eating the World’, article on WSJ.com, 20 August 2011, online.wsj.com/news/articles/ SB10001424053111903480 904576512250915629460. 21 Leena Rao, ‘As Software Eats the World, Non-Tech Corporations Are Eating Startups’, article on TechCrunch.com, 14 December 2013, TechCrunch.com/2013/12/14/as-software-eats-the-world-non-tech-corporations-are-eating-startups/. 22 Alexia Tsotsis, ‘Monsanto Buys Weather Big Data Company Climate Corporation for Around $1.1B’, article on TechCrunch.com, 2 October 2013, TechCrunch.com/2013/10/02/monsanto-acquires-weather-big-data-company-climate-corporation-for-930m/. 23 Leena Rao, 14 December 2013, op. cit. 24 Ibid. 25 Pitchbook, US, ‘VC Valuations and Trends’, 2014 annual report. 26 ‘Yesterday’s Big Payday for the IRS: 1600 Twitter Employees Now Millionaires’, research on PrivCo.com, 8 November 2013, www.privco.com/the-twitter-mafia-and-yesterdays-big-irs-payday. 27 Sven Grundberg, ‘“Candy Crush Saga” Maker Files for an IPO’, article on WSJ.com, 18 February 2014, online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304675504579390580161044024. 28 ‘UK Mobile Games Maker King Delays IPO Due to Candy Crush Surge’, article on VCPost.com, 9 December 2013, www.vcpost.com/articles/19437/20131209/uk-mobile-games-maker-king-delays-ipo-due-candy-crush.htm. 29 Phillipa Leighton-Jones, ‘Why Candy Crush Is a Success That’s Hard to Copy’, blog post on WSJ.com, 18 February 2014, blogs.wsj.com/money-beat/2014/02/18/why-candy-crush-is-a-success-that-cannot-be-copied/. 30 Mark Berniker and Josh Lipton, ‘Uber CEO Kalanick: No Plans To Go Public Right Now’, article on CNBC.com, 6 November 2013, www.cnbc.com/id/101175342.


pages: 52 words: 14,333

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

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

They look to see what hot topics other influential bloggers are riding and find ways of addressing them in their book. The latter achieves PMF; the former never does. One is growth hacking; the other, simply guessing. One is easy for me to market. The other is often a lost cause. One needs only a small shove to get going. The other has a strong headwind every step of the way. Perhaps you get there in one aha! moment like Instagram, or it may be incremental 1 percent improvements. As Marc Andreessen, the entrepreneur behind Netscape, Opsware, and Ning, who in addition to running a major venture capital fund happens to be on the board of directors for Facebook, eBay, and HP, explains it, companies need to “do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital—whatever is required.”8 In other words: everything is now on the table.


pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

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

For years, technology vendors relied on business partners to increase their reach; today, businesses turn to developers. Not just technology businesses: all businesses. Everyone from ESPN to Nike to Sears now offers APIs. Why? Because they recognize that they can’t do it alone, and perhaps because they’re looking at the world around them and seeing that it’s increasingly run by software. As Marc Andreessen noted in his Wall Street Journal op-ed “Why Software is Eating the World,” the world’s largest bookseller (Amazon), largest video service by number of subscribers (Netflix), most-dominant music companies (Apple, Spotify, and Pandora), fastest-growing entertainment companies (Rovio, Zynga), fastest-growing telecom company (Skype), largest direct marketing company (Google), and best new movie production company (Pixar) are all fundamentally software companies.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

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, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, 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, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

The IoT is becoming possible because the component parts (sensors, chips, transmitters, batteries) are becoming cheaper and smaller at – yes – an exponential rate. The technology research company Gartner forecast in December 2013 that 26 billion digitally accessible devices would be installed by 2020, a 30-fold increase within a decade.[cxxxvi] Many of these devices have multiple sensors – smartphones can have as many as 30 each.[cxxxvii] Looking further ahead, the internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen predicts that by 2035, every physical item will have a chip implanted in it. "The end state is fairly obvious – every light, every doorknob will be connected to the internet.”[cxxxviii] Making the environment intelligible offers tremendous opportunities. A bridge, building, plane, car or refrigerator with embedded sensors can let you know when a key component is about to fail, enabling it to be replaced safely without the loss of convenience, money, or life which unforeseen failure might have caused.

4986 [cxxxiv] http://www.vdi-nachrichten.com/Technik-Gesellschaft/Industrie-40-Mit-Internet-Dinge-Weg-4-industriellen-Revolution [cxxxv] Coined by another British entrepreneur, Simon Birrell: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonbirrell [cxxxvi] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2636073 [cxxxvii] http://singularityhub.com/2016/02/09/when-the-world-is-wired-the-magic-of-the-internet-of-everything/ [cxxxviii] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/12050185/Marc-Andreessen-In-20-years-every-physical-item-will-have-a-chip-implanted-in-it.html [cxxxix] http://www.information-age.com/it-management/strategy-and-innovation/123460379/trains-brains-how-artificial-intelligence-transforming-railway-industry [cxl] http://home.cern/topics/birth-web [cxli] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/31/viv-artificial-intelligence-wants-to-run-your-life-siri-personal-assistants [cxlii] Not an everyday object outside the USA, of course [cxliii] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-11/google-chairman-thinks-ai-can-help-solve-world-s-hard-problems- [cxliv] This is actually a great idea, which is being trialled in Argentina at the time of writing: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/motoringvideo/11680348/Transparent-trucks-with-rear-mounted-Samsung-safety-screens-set-to-save-overtaking-drivers.html Of course it may be less valuable when cars drive themselves and their human occupants don’t look at the road.


pages: 293 words: 78,439

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

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

Simpson is accused of violently murdering his ex-wife and one of her friends, and the combination of violence and celebrity makes it catnip for viewers. This is the first time that television news producers, most notably Turner Broadcasting’s Cable News Network, break from actual news to cover second-by-second minutia of something so voyeuristic. It was a seminal moment in the media industry, and its effects are still being felt. An even more important event took place later that same year when Marc Andreessen and his team introduced a beta version of the Netscape browser. Since the late 1960s, academics and defense officials had been experimenting with using a distributed network of computer connections to communicate and collaborate. The Netscape browser—coupled with Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) universal resource locators (URLs), along with a range of complementary innovations—allowed even the layperson to ride the so-called information superhighway.

Automotive companies will need to deal with the reality that their core business is likely to contract, and they need to make sure they reconstruct their business model appropriately. And they need to think about the new opportunities that will emerge as cars and computers increasingly converge, in terms of products as well as new business models. Professional Services After founding Netscape and Opsware, in 2009 Marc Andreessen cofounded a venture capital firm with entrepreneur Ben Horowitz (who was also part of the founding team at Opsware) called Andreessen Horowitz. In a few years the firm became one of the most influential in Silicon Valley, investing in companies like Twitter, Airbnb, Jawbone, Oculus VR, and many more. In a piece in the Wall Street Journal in 2011, Andreessen summarized one of his key investment theses with a phrase that rings true to entrepreneurs and executives of companies under disruptive assault: “Software is eating the world.”


pages: 268 words: 76,702

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

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

It is a rare company that emerges as an online giant without going through the venture capital process, and so a rare company that doesn’t become hit by its many side effects – effects we all live with daily as we use social networks designed to maximise and monetise our attention spans. There is a twist worth noting at this stage, though, which is that VCs aren’t quite as much of a bubble as they can seem. It’s easy to think of VC as its own world with its own (arguably toxic) culture, and in many ways it is: most of the top VCs are the internet entrepreneurs of the last generation. Marc Andreessen was a co-founder of Netscape, then became a top VC funding Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and more. Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, then became Facebook’s first outside investor, and now funds much more. There are many others we could name. But they are not only investing their own money – they might well be investing yours, as Brian O’Kelley, an advertising tech executive and investor (who speaks at length next chapter), notes.

Given the well-advertised working conditions for their employees – lots of autonomy, huge salaries, great perks – even internal dissent is rare. The senior staff and the boards that the top CEOs surround themselves with, Bell concludes, are a lot like them. And it shows, she says, citing Mark Zuckerberg again as an example. ‘He has a governance panel on his board which is Peter Thiel [PayPal co-founder and VC], Marc Andreessen [Opera co-founder and VC] and Reid Hoffman [LinkedIn co-founder and VC],’ she says. ‘You have three extremely rich white men, who’ve all made their money from similar areas and all of them have an incredibly narrow view of the world, who are Facebook’s governance.’ TOM WHEELER, WHO’S now a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute, the Washington DC think tank, has been trying to place the internet revolution in its proper place in the long view.


pages: 317 words: 84,400

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

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, G4S, 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, Robert Mercer, 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 fellow Mississippian came immediately to mind. James Barksdale had burnished his résumé as the COO of FedEx during the 1980s and as CEO of AT&T Wireless, which he propelled to the top of the telecom heap before he was tapped to be CEO by one of the most legendary companies Silicon Valley ever produced. Netscape came out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the 1990s when students led by Marc Andreessen developed the first popular Web browser, then called Mosaic, which ushered in the age of the Internet. Modern browsers still carry much of the code Andreessen and his team produced while in school. And though Andreessen wrote the code and started the revolution, ending up on the cover of Time magazine at the age of twenty-four, it was Barksdale who helped Netscape become one of the hottest companies of the tech boom before AOL bought it in 1998 for $4.2 billion.

But that period ended abruptly with the tech crash of 1988, which was partially brought on by the 1987 stock market disaster. Following that, computer science remained an unpopular college major for almost ten years. But then came AOL, Netscape, eBay, and Yahoo! A new class of millionaire was born and computer science schools’ enrollments jumped again. When I was an engineering student at the University of Illinois in the late 1990s, the school was riding a wave of alumni successes, including those of Marc Andreessen (Netscape), Max Levchin (PayPal), and later the founders of YouTube and Yelp! The computer science building at U of I was the busiest place on the engineering quad. Students regularly departed for Silicon Valley before they graduated, and stories of dot-com gold kept the quad buzzing. Even mediocre students seemed to be snaring signing bonuses, stock options, and some fuzzy guarantee of Web glory upon graduation.


pages: 275 words: 84,418

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

Apple II, Ben Horowitz, 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

What really got Atavist attention from investors and then mainstream media, however, was the sophistication of its software. Rabb had designed it to work with all the e-book and e-mag formats in existence. So as Amazon and Apple tried to lock authors into their proprietary formats—Amazon with its Kindle e-books, Apple with iBooks—Atavist became an attractive intermediary. Eric Schmidt of Google and the venture capitalists Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, and Sean Parker were part of an outside-investor group in mid-2012. By the end of 2012 the media moguls Barry Diller and Scott Rudin had teamed up to create their own e-books start-up called Brightline. Atavist, with its software, was to be their exclusive online publisher. The iPad’s impacts weren’t just limited to media. It seemed to change … everything. Pilots stopped carrying bulky bags of navigation charts, runway data, and weather reports.

But at current growth rates, there will be more smartphones and tablets than TVs within three to five years. Smartphone sales are growing at better than 25 percent a year, and tablet sales are more than doubling every year. Meanwhile, the sales of TVs worldwide is actually declining. Some of that is because of the global recession. But some of that is because more and more new college graduates aren’t bothering to buy one. Investor Marc Andreessen says that smartphones and tablets have not just exponentially expanded the number of people in the world who can consume media, they have also exponentially increased the number of times and places throughout each day that those people can watch. “You’ve got your phone and you can watch TV or movies anytime you want. The same with tablets. With a TV you have to be at home—to be sitting still—to watch it.”


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

I’ve seen self-management positively flourish in places where workers historically have been treated as disposable—in factories, in fast food, in retail—and these cases give me hope that the future of work can include everyone. An old Henry Ford quote best sums up my feelings on this question: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Will there be enough work for everyone? If organizations get smaller and technology grows ever more capable, what will we all do all day? Artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation are reshaping the workforce as we speak. When Marc Andreessen said that “software is eating the world,” he wasn’t kidding. Everywhere you look, the complicated work is becoming the domain of technology. The bots in my company already do the work of a couple people—handling everything from collecting feedback to scheduling meetings. Self-driving trucks such as the one Tesla is developing threaten the livelihoods of many more. Some 3.5 million people make their living driving trucks in the United States alone.

The average number of companies: Adrian Wooldridge, “America can’t control the global flow of ideas,” The Economist, September 13, 2018, www.economist.com/business/2017/04/22/why-the-decline-in-the-number-of-listed-american-firms-matters. value of just $438 million: Alex Wilhelm, “A Look Back in IPO: Amazon’s 1997 Move,” TechCrunch, June 28, 2017, https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/28/a-look-back-at-amazons-1997-ipo. “software is eating the world”: Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2011, www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460. gone in the next ten years: Michael Grothaus, “Bet You Didn’t See This Coming: 10 Jobs That Will Be Replaced by Robots,” Fast Company, January 19, 2017, www.fastcompany.com/3067279/you-didnt-see-this-coming-10-jobs-that-will-be-replaced-by-robots.


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The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, 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, 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

Robots may have been at the factory gate in the 1950s, but it’s only recently that they’ve marched, on our orders, into offices, shops, and homes. Today, as software of what Wiener termed “the judgment-replacing type” moves from our desks to our pockets, we’re at last beginning to experience automation’s true potential for changing what we do and how we do it. Everything is being automated. Or, as Netscape founder and Silicon Valley grandee Marc Andreessen puts it, “software is eating the world.” 48 That may be the most important lesson to be gleaned from Wiener’s work—and, for that matter, from the long, tumultuous history of labor-saving machinery. Technology changes, and it changes more quickly than human beings change. Where computers sprint forward at the pace of Moore’s law, our own innate abilities creep ahead with the tortoise-like tread of Darwin’s law.

See also David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), 67–71. 44.Noble, Forces of Production, 234. 45.Ibid., 21–40. 46.Wiener, Human Use of Human Beings, 148–162. 47.Quoted in Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener, the Father of Cybernetics (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 251. 48.Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2011. Chapter Three: ON AUTOPILOT 1.The account of the Continental Connection crash draws primarily from the National Transportation Safety Board’s Accident Report AAR-10/01: Loss of Control on Approach, Colgan Air, Inc., Operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407, Bombardier DHC 8-400, N200WQ, Clarence, New York, February 12, 2009 (Washington, D.C.: NTSB, 2010), www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2010/aar1001.pdf.


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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Google understood this, and within eighteen months developed Android, a free knockoff of the iPhone’s operating system software that powered phones made by the likes of Samsung, LG, HTC, and later an upstart Chinese handset maker named Xiaomi. A new race was on, and Apple had the lead. Android handsets would eventually outsell iPhones, but this has not been a redux of the Macintosh experience. At least not yet. Marc Andreessen, the cofounder of Netscape who has become a highly successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, calls the introduction of the iPhone a seminal event that “flipped the polarity” of what makes Silicon Valley go. Once upon a time, wealthy entities like the military and big corporations drove technological change. They were the only ones who could afford machines with leading-edge components. No more.

Had I gone to the reception after the memorial service in the Rodin Sculpture Garden of the Cantor Arts Center, a short stroll from the Stanford Chapel, I would have received a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s book The Autobiography of a Yogi, which was handed to each guest, in brown paper wrapping. I also would have walked into a who’s who of Silicon Valley, a gathering of the men, and a smattering of women, who had started the PC and Internet revolutions. John Doerr, Eric Schmidt, and Michael Dell were there, and the younger generation was represented by Sergey Brin and Jerry Yang and Marc Andreessen. But the core members from Apple’s birth were there, too; Woz, Regis McKenna, Bud Tribble, Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, and others. Lee Clow and James Vincent were there, as were NeXT veterans such as Susan Barnes and Mike Slade. The latter came with Bill Gates in tow. “When Bill had gone to visit Steve at his house in May,” says Slade, “he got to know Steve’s youngest daughter, Evie, because both she and Bill’s daughter, Jennifer, do horse showing.

Aside from snippets from my own encounters with Jobs, most of the direct quotations in this chapter were drawn from interviews with Eddy Cue on April 29, 2014; Fred Anderson on August 8, 2012; Avie Tevanian on October 11, 2012; Tim Cook on April 30, 2014; Jon Rubinstein on July 25, 2012; Jony Ive on May 6, 2014, and June 10, 2014; John Doerr on May 7, 2014; Jean-Louis Gassée on October 17, 2012; and Marc Andreessen on May 7, 2014. Online resources we consulted include Fastcodesign.com, the Fast Company magazine website that focuses on design, May 22, 2014, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3030923/4-myths-about-apple-design-from-an-ex-apple-designer; and the blog by former Apple engineer Don Melton, donmelton.com/2014/04/10/memories-of-steve/. Also, Apple SEC filings provided unit sales data each quarter from Fiscal Year 2000 through Fiscal Year 2013.


pages: 103 words: 24,033

The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent by Vivek Wadhwa

card file, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, immigration reform, Marc Andreessen, open economy, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, the new new thing, Y2K

The only advocates for skilled immigrants of any real influence, the large US multinationals that hire H-1Bs and the US Chamber of Commerce, have not made immigration reform a defining issue or a top priority. The only people who care enough to shout from the rooftops are venture capitalists and those interested in maintaining the United States as the leading incubator for startups—people like venture capitalist Brad Feld, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt. The loudest government voice has been New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has called US immigration policies “economic suicide.” Ironically, the highly accomplished foreigners in our midst who admire America also see the danger we face most clearly. In response to an article I had written about the American brain drain for BusinessWeek magazine in April 2009, predicting an American brain drain, Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld wrote an email of thanks.


pages: 87 words: 25,823

The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism by David Golumbia

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, currency peg, distributed ledger, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, jimmy wales, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart contracts, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

Much of the literature promoting it—including books issued by reputable presses and self-published by enthusiasts, and articles from blog posts to pieces in leading publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes—appears to be about nothing more or less than Bitcoin, the technology that underlies it and its practical uses in the world. Yet again and again, themes, ideas, keywords, and arguments from right-wing extremist thought appear, often stated as uncontroversial fact. Thus, leading venture capitalist and Netscape Navigator creator Marc Andreessen, in a New York Times piece that is on the whole balanced and sober, writes that Bitcoin data is relayed “through a distributed network of trust that does not require or rely upon a central intermediary like a bank or broker” (Andreessen 2014), taking for granted that this “requirement” or “reliance” is somehow something one would obviously want to avoid—but this is an idea, at least until recently, we find only in right-wing circles.


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

Venture capitalists looking for the next Apple began setting up shop on a winding stretch of asphalt a few miles from Stanford University called Sand Hill Road. Meanwhile, ARPANET continued to expand. By 1995 it had been replaced by the Internet, which was no longer restricted to academic and military uses. That was the year that a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign named Marc Andreessen founded the Web browser company Netscape, based on the Mosaic software program he had helped develop. Netscape’s IPO created a $2.9 billion company and launched the dot-com boom that would consume financial imaginations for the next six years. The Internet big bang lit fuses on bombs sitting beneath the economic foundations of scores of long-established information-centered industries. The only uncertainty was how long they would take to explode.

It was “open-source” software, which means that the underlying code was available for anyone to download, copy, and improve. The open-source ethos is both moral and practical. In a world that is increasingly run by highly sophisticated computer programs, no single person working alone can build sufficiently great software from scratch. Computer programmers work in virtual communities where chunks of code are shared, modified, and re-shared for anyone to use. That’s why Marc Andreessen’s venture capital firm has invested $100 million in a company called GitHub, whose website allows computer programmers to store, share, and collaborate on open-source code. Programmers can see what other people are working on, create new and improved versions, and share their work with the larger community. By 2014, GitHub had four million registered users worldwide collaborating on ten million repositories of code.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Among other accomplishments, Pistono had written a book called Robots Will Steal Your Job, but That’s OK. At the Singularity meeting, he was the chief proponent of universal basic income, an idea that at the time still seemed novel. He cited recent basic-income experiments in India that showed promise for combating poverty among people the tech economy has left behind. Diamandis later reported having been “amazed” by the potential.12 That year, also, celebrity investor Marc Andreessen told New York magazine that he considered basic income “a very interesting idea,” and Sam Altman of the elite startup accelerator Y Combinator called its implementation an “obvious conclusion.”13 Those were just the early salvos. What people generally mean by universal basic income is the idea of giving everyone enough money to provide for the necessities of life. Imagine, say, a $20,000 check every year for every US citizen.

I have been a guest speaker at Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program. 12. Peter Diamandis, “I Am Peter Diamandis, from XPRIZE, Singularity University, Planetary Resources, Human Longevity Inc., and More. Ask Me Anything,” Reddit AMA discussion (July 11, 2014), reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/2afiw5/i_am_peter_diamandis_from_xprize_singularity/ciulffv. 13. Kevin Roose, “In Conversation: Marc Andreessen,” New York (October 19, 2014); Sam Altman, “Technology and Wealth Inequality” (January 28, 2014), blog.samaltman.com/technology-and-wealth-inequality. 14. Recent overviews of universal basic income include Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght, Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy (Harvard University Press, 2017), and Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World (Little, Brown, 2017). 15.


pages: 290 words: 94,968

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - the First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage

Bill Duvall, British Empire, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, New Journalism, packet switching, place-making, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, social intelligence, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, yellow journalism

In early 1991 Berners-Lee made his WorldWideWeb browser and server software freely available over the Internet, at first to other researchers in the field of high-energy physics, and th a survey carried out in wieen, in the summer of 1991, to anyone else who was interested. Because he had written his software for the NeXTStep computer, which was not widely used, Berners-Lee and his colleague Robert Cailliau encouraged other people to write new versions that could run on different kinds of computers. One of those inspired by the possibilities of this emerging web of documents was Marc Andreessen, a student at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. He and his colleague Eric Bina wrote a new web browser called Mosaic. Although it was originally written for the UNIX-based machines used in academia, Mosaic was then rewritten to run on PCs and Macintosh computers used in homes and offices. Easy to install and use, and able to display graphics embedded in web pages, rather than in a separate on-screen window, Mosaic made the web accessible to the general public for the first time.

Berners-Lee eventually prevailed and on April 30, 1993, his bosses at CERN issued a formal declaration that the web’s underlying standards would always be royalty-free. “Without that, it never would have happened,” he says. Instead, the commercial exploitation of the web was left to others, and at the foref purgatory right awayo IQront of the emerging Internet boom was Netscape Communications, the company cofounded by Marc Andreessen. Unable to get permission from the University of Illinois to use the Mosaic name, his company launched a new version of the browser under the name Netscape Navigator. It quickly became the world’s most widely used web browser as the online population mushroomed, growing from fewer than 5 million mostly academic users in 1991 to 40 million people in 1995, 70 million in 1998, and around 250 million by 2000.


pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler

Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business intelligence, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, family office, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, interest rate swap, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, Marc Andreessen, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pets.com, railway mania, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System, zero-sum game

“I like software too, the margins are great, but it’s impossible to protect. Microsoft has a business because they tie Windows to real hardware. Tough to pull that off again. But you can leverage yours with that direct marketing model, and you’ll own the Internet.” “And drop that Doerr guy,” Harris slurred. Kleiner Perkins did the Mosaic deal by themselves, shutting my ass out. Why am I telling you this sad story? Because Mosaic broke the 80-20 barrier. Marc Andreessen was working at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois and was sick of typing in command line prompts to get what he wanted from the Internet. So he and a few other folks devised a browser— with pages of links to other pages. Actually, it was what Doug Engelbart had envisioned and even crudely demo’ed in 1968. Andreessen made it hum by allowing his browser to pull multiple packets at a time from the Internet rather than one at a time.

Not only did routers hook LANs to wide area networks, or WANs, that comprised the Internet, but Cisco routers actually became the backbone of the Internet. New companies like UUNET and America Online would use Cisco routers in the middle of their networks to move packets around, as well as at the edge of their networks to connect to banks of dial-up modems so users could call in and connect. Marc Andreessen took advantage of these routers. For Cisco, the effect was magic. Browsers blew away the 80-20 rule. They probably flipped it to the 20-80 rule, meaning only 20% of networking was local and the rest had to go through a router to request information and packets from the Internet. Demand for routers exploded. A simple invention, a tiny packet reassembly program named a browser, caused demand to shift rapidly.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

Economist Thomas Piketty’s aforementioned masterpiece, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, set out a bold theory of inequality and predicted trouble ahead, as did Chris Hayes, whose book Twilight of the Elites21 was an incisive examination of the loss of faith in elite institutions and technocrats, who have struggled to manage recent economic change. Yet at the moment there is little agreement on how seriously to take automation concerns, how a transition to something like a jobless future might unfold and what ought to be done about it. Techno-optimists, such as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen,22 lampoon the worriers as luddites and point to rising employment around the world as proof that their fears are overblown, while many left-leaning thinkers continue to blame globalization and the erosion of worker bargaining power, rather than robots, for stagnant pay and rising inequality in rich countries. Some writers, like Brynjolfsson and McAfee, and also Tyler Cowen, whose 2013 book, Average is Over,23 speculates about America’s economic future, anticipate a future in which broad economic and social change occurs incrementally, and in which sensible policy reforms (to education, for example) can make a technologically induced decline in the need for labour easier for households to manage.

Brynjolfsson, Erik, and McAfee, Andrew, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Digital Frontier Press, 2011). 20. Ford, Martin, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (London: Oneworld Publications, 2015). 21. Hayes, Christopher, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group, 2012). 22. Marc Andreessen (1971–) helped write the code for Mosaic, an early and important web browser, and co-founded Netscape. He later co-founded Andreessen Horowitz, an important Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Many know him best, however, as one of Twitter’s top digital economy gurus. 23. Cowen, Tyler, Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York, NY: E. P. Dutton & Co Inc., 2013). 24. 


pages: 374 words: 97,288

The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy by Aaron Perzanowski, Jason Schultz

3D printing, Airbnb, anti-communist, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cloud computing, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Firefox, George Akerlof, Hush-A-Phone, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, peer-to-peer, price discrimination, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, software as a service, software patent, software studies, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, subscription business, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy

It’s the result of an ingeniously complex, cooperative effort. That means the block chain costs very little to maintain, but is highly resistant to manipulation. Trust is essential; if users can’t rely on the information it provides, a ledger like the block chain has no value. While bitcoin remains a large-scale experiment in digital currency, the underlying technology is application-neutral. As Marc Andreessen, whose venture capital firm has invested $50 million in bitcoin-related companies, wrote in the New York Times: “Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.

For a thorough discussion of the insights bitcoin offers for property in general and digital assets in particular, see Joshua A. T. Fairfield, “Bitproperty,” Southern California Law Review 88 (May 2015): 805–874. 51. James Grimmelmann and Arvind Narayanan, “The Blockchain Gang,” Slate, February 16, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/02/bitcoin_s_blockchain_technology_won_t_change_everything.html, accessed April 10, 2015. 52. Marc Andreessen, “Why Bitcoin Matters,” Dealbook (blog), New York Times, January 21, 2014, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/, accessed September 4, 2015. 53. Although the public ledger does not include sender and recipient names, it does include account numbers. There are steps users can take to maintain privacy, but they are admittedly imperfect. But efforts are underway for new privacy-enhancing tools.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

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

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

Both of those speculations sound plausible, but they raise the question of why students weren’t able to follow their own daily plans. The answer is that daily plans can’t adjust to unexpected events. Things come up: you catch a cold; you need to stay home for a plumber; a friend calls to say he’s visiting town unexpectedly. With a broad plan, or no plan, it’s easy to accommodate these obstacles and opportunities. Some people manage to take this to extremes. Marc Andreessen is one of the first Internet wunderkinds: he cofounded Netscape in 1994, sold it for over $4 billion, and founded a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that invested in companies such as Skype, Twitter, and Airbnb. Besieged by invitations and meetings, Andreessen decided that he would simply stop writing anything in his calendar. If something was important, then it could be done immediately.

Malett, “Specificity of Planning in Adult Self-Control: An Applied Investigation,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 40, no. 5 (1981), pp. 941–950. For the one-year follow-up, see Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, Laura L. Humphrey, Sheldon D. Malett, and Andrew Tomarken, “Specificity of Planning and the Maintenance of Self-Control: 1 Year Follow-Up of a Study Improvement Program,” Behavior Therapy 13 (1982), pp. 232–240. 14. Marc Andreessen, “Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity,” June 4, 2007, http://pmarchive.com/guide_to_personal_productivity.html. 15. Charlie LeDuff and John Broder, “Schwarzenegger, Confident and Ready for Prime Time,” The New York Times, June 24, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/24/us/schwarzenegger-confident-and-ready-for-prime-time.html?pagewanted=all; also see Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman, A Perfect Mess (London: Orion, 2007), pp. 75–77, for discussion. 16.


Possiplex by Ted Nelson

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, HyperCard, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Murray Gell-Mann, nonsequential writing, pattern recognition, post-work, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vannevar Bush, Zimmermann PGP

Ken’ichi did the first (and so far only) implementation, and it worked perfectly, bringing up a map of branching parallel versions and allowing the user to select any point in this history, then regenerating the document at that point. Ken’ichi’s excellent client-server system used a Perl server and an Emacs client. He did a very elegant job. It is still around, though documentation may have been a bit sparse. What would Marc Andreesen have said? ca. 1996 I spoke at Netscape before it collapsed, in what had previously been SGI’s headquarters (where I had spoken) and is now Google's headquarters. Marc Andreessen, principal creator of the web browser and co-founder of Netscape, was there to introduce my talk. I asked if he pronounced his name the Scandinavian way, an-DRAY-yes-en, or Anglicized as An-DREEsen. He said it was the latter, and added, "I'm from the midwest; we do things simply there." That was for me a huge insight: it was a key to him and it was a key to the World Wide Web. He saw the issue not as depth but simplicity.

Jobs’ genius was to sell the Xerox PARC package (under the name Macintosh) to people who considered themselves creatively defiant. Gates’ genius was to sell a very similar package (under the name Windows) to the shallow, conventional, pompous and smug. • Another packager, Tim Berners-Lee, took the Brown University dumbdown of hypertext (to one-way links) and put it on the Internet; two university students (Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen) put that system into the PUI (a PARC application window). Their interface was first called Mosaic, then Netscape and Internet Explorer, and the result is the World Wide Web as we know it. These events imposed on the world a specific kind of prison, entirely of human making and unrelated to the computer underneath-• hierarchical structure for your information, based on computer tradition. (The PARC dumbdown made the directories look like folders, but that did not affect the structure in the slightest) • what is not hierarchical is rectangular—spreadsheet, relational database, documents • the computer is dumbed down into a paper simulator!


pages: 102 words: 29,596

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

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

For example, when employees return from a conference, they’re asked to host a brown-bag lunch (“Lunch in Learn”) to share with their colleagues what they learned. If an in-person get-together isn’t an option or isn’t scalable enough, employees can log in to LearnIn, the internal learning portal at the company, and publish their insights on the intranet for all other employees to see. Reid still participates in the process by bringing key industry leaders like Marc Andreessen and Arianna Huffington onto the corporate campus to share their insights with the company. HAVING THE CONVERSATION Advice for Managers Network intelligence needs to be an integral part of the alliance and the tour of duty conversation. When you define an employee’s tour of duty, you should set explicit expectations about how both parties will invest in and benefit from network intelligence.


pages: 161 words: 39,526

Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook for Business Leaders by Mariya Yao, Adelyn Zhou, Marlene Jia

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, computer vision, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Marc Andreessen, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, performance metric, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software is eating the world, source of truth, speech recognition, statistical model, strong AI, technological singularity

These tech companies often know more than you do about what your customers search for, what they buy, what they say, who they interact with, where they are, and how they might behave in the future. Their expertise has helped them to grow rapidly with high profit margins, overwhelming less tech-savvy competitors in the process. Technology companies may not compete directly with you today, but heed prominent venture capitalist Marc Andreessen's warning that “software is eating the world."(61) As consumers opt for the convenience of Amazon Prime and investors question other companies’ abilities to compete against the “Amazon Effect," retailers across a wide range of industries have seen their profits and stock values decline.(62) Amazon has even launched private labels for popular product categories that directly compete for market share with third-party sellers on their own platform.(63) Web traffic and advertising revenues have plummeted at many online media publishers.(64) Even though digital advertising spending is growing, Google and Facebook present a duopoly that captured 85 percent of the new growth in the first quarter of 2016.(65) Technological superiority alone cannot account for success.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

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

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

If this vision for the next phase of Uber’s growth comes true, the landscape of America may well be rendered unrecognizable.4 And if all that is not enough, consider this observation by Kalanick: “If we can get you a car in five minutes, we can get you anything in five minutes.”5 Anything at all? One wonders what limits can be set on Uber’s disruptive potential. Kalanick seems not to acknowledge any. A CAPSULE HISTORY OF DIGITAL DISRUPTION “Software is eating the world.” The slogan was originally used by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen in the title of a 2011 op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal to encapsulate how technology—particularly the Internet—has transformed the world of business.6 The story of Internet-enabled disruption as we’ve witnessed it so far has occurred in two main stages. In stage one, efficient pipelines ate inefficient pipelines. Most Internet applications during the 1990s involved the creation of highly efficient pipelines—online systems for distributing goods and services that outcompeted incumbent industries.

Kara Swisher, “Man and Uber Man,” Vanity Fair, December 2014; Jessica Kwong, “Head of SF Taxis to Retire,” San Francisco Examiner, May 30, 2014; Alison Griswold, “The Million-Dollar New York City Taxi Medallion May Be a Thing of the Past,” Slate, December 1, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/12/01/new_york_taxi_medallions_did_tlc_transaction_data_inflate_the_price_of_driving.html. 3. Swisher, “Man and Uber Man.” 4. Zack Kanter, “How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025,” CBS SF Bay Area, sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/27/how-ubers-autonomous-cars-will-destroy-10-million-jobs-and-reshape-the-economy-by-2025-lyft-google-zack-kanter/. 5. Swisher, “Man and Uber Man.” 6. Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2011, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460. 7. Phil Simon, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business (Henderson, NV: Motion Publishing, 2011). 8. Feng Zhu and Marco Iansiti, “Entry into Platform-Based Markets,” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 1 (2012): 88–106. 9.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

For example, I gave trusted advisers early drafts of this book and asked them to point out not what’s right, not what they loved, but what’s wrong, what should be changed, what should be taken out. This approach provides psychological safety to those who might otherwise withhold dissent for fear of offending you. If you can’t find opposing voices, manufacture them. Build a mental model of your favorite adversary, and have imaginary conversations with them. This is what Marc Andreessen does. “I have a little mental model of Peter Thiel,” explains Andreessen, referring to fellow venture capitalist and PayPal cofounder, “a simulation that lives on my shoulder, and I argue with him all day long.”59 He added, “People might look at you funny while it’s happening,” but it’s well worth the ridicule. The voice of dissent could be anyone. You can ask yourself, “What would a rocket scientist do?”

David Foster Wallace, “This Is Water,” commencement address at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, May 21, 2005. 58. Errol Morris, “The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is,” Opinionator, New York Times, June 24, 2010, https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/the-anosognosics-dilemma-somethings-wrong-but-youll-never-know-what-it-is-part-5. 59. Stanford Graduate School of Business, “Marc Andreessen on Change, Constraints, and Curiosity,” video, YouTube, uploaded November 14, 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-T2VAcHRoE&feature=youtu.be. 60. Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (New York: Crown Business, 2013). 61. Shane Parrish, “The Work Required to Have an Opinion,” Farnam Street (blog), April 2013, https://fs.blog/2013/04/the-work-required-to-have-an-opinion. 62.


pages: 185 words: 43,609

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Andy Kessler, Berlin Wall, cleantech, cloud computing, crony capitalism, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, life extension, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Ted Kaczynski, Tesla Model S, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor

Dale Earnhardt Jr. needn’t feel threatened by them, but the Guardian worries (on behalf of the millions of chauffeurs and cabbies in the world) that self-driving cars “could drive the next wave of unemployment.” Everyone expects computers to do more in the future—so much more that some wonder: 30 years from now, will there be anything left for people to do? “Software is eating the world,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has announced with a tone of inevitability. VC Andy Kessler sounds almost gleeful when he explains that the best way to create productivity is “to get rid of people.” Forbes captured a more anxious attitude when it asked readers: Will a machine replace you? Futurists can seem like they hope the answer is yes. Luddites are so worried about being replaced that they would rather we stop building new technology altogether.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

While Silicon Graphics was worth billions of dollars, Clark ruefully estimated his share in the company to be worth about $20 million. With his forced exit looming, Clark decided he needed to better control his fate next time around, which in Silicon Valley meant he needed to get really rich. One sympathetic colleague suggested to Clark that he take a look at Mosaic. After clicking around, he found the e-mail address of Mosaic’s most energetic programmer: twenty-three-year-old Marc Andreessen. Clark wrote Andreessen an e-mail and introduced himself. Andreessen wrote back almost immediately. As it turned out, Andreessen had left Illinois and recently joined a company in Palo Alto. They met the next day at Caffe Verona in Palo Alto. Ironically, at the dawn of hyperlinks and global connectivity, geographic proximity and a face-to-face meeting were the catalysts. Over breakfast, Clark discussed his desire to start another company, and the men agreed to search for an idea to execute together.

Thirty-three-year-old Rob Glaser was a rising star at Microsoft with multiple degrees from Yale. Rather than continue as one of two dozen or so highly compensated executives, Glaser incorporated Progressive Networks to develop software to stream audio and video files over the Internet. His 1994 migration west consisted of only the twelve miles from suburban Redmond to his new outpost in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Down in Silicon Valley, Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen signed a lease on eleven thousand square feet of office space. Andreessen’s fellow engineers at the University of Illinois started their flights out west to join Mosaic Communications. Each received a compensation package of $65,000 and options on 100,000 shares of stock in the new venture—Andreessen had a much larger stake as a cofounder, with a total of one million shares. By the summer of 1994, Clark had started getting moderately nervous.

In its offering documents, Netscape detailed that “companies are expected to use the Internet to publish corporate product and support information as ‘electronic brochures.’” A few of these “electronic brochures” did exist, but most companies did not have Web sites or domain names. The vast majority of American households didn’t even have a computer yet. But it seemed that a new commercial order was on the brink of emerging. In the summer of 1995, Netscape pushed forward its IPO. After a road show where Netscape’s new CEO, Jim Barksdale, and Marc Andreessen met with the largest mutual funds and institutions, the investment bank Morgan Stanley saw a stunning reception for the fifteen-month-old company. Netscape’s second quarter alone had revealed $22 million in revenues, a growth rate that gave the bankers latitude to privately proclaim Netscape “the fastest-growing software company in history.” On the day of the initial public offering, predictably, the vast majority of investors who wanted in were denied the ability to buy at the $28 offering price.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

As activist and technologist John Gilmore has put it, in a line that captures the puzzle of this book: “[W]e have invented the technology to eliminate scarcity, but we are deliberately throwing it away to benefit those who profit from scarcity. . . . I think,” Gilmore continues, “we should embrace the era of plenty, and work out how to mutually live in it.”5 LATE IN THE afternoon of one of California's inevitably beautiful days, Marc Andreessen was driving along one of California's inevitably overcrowded highways. More fitting the traffic than the weather, Andreessen's mood was dark. He was a twenty-nine-year-old computer science graduate who had become one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. Coauthor of an early browser for the World Wide Web (Mosaic), founder of the first company to make the World Wide Web go (Netscape), Andreessen was nonetheless down on the future.

., 2001). 3 Testimony of Professor Peter Jaszi, The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995: Hearings on S.483 Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 104th Cong. (1995), available at 1995 WL 10524355, *6. 4 Oral arguments, United States v. Microsoft, February 26, 2001, available at http:// www.microsoft.com/presspass/trial/transcripts/feb01/02-26.asp. 5 E-mail from John Gilmore, January 19, 2001, to EFF list, on file with author, 6. 6 Telephone interview with Marc Andreessen, December 15, 2000. 7 As Timothy Wu commented to me, “[T]he real successes on the Internet have not been killer apps, but killer platforms. “ E-mail from Tim Wu, June 28, 2001. Not, in other words, amazing but proprietary applications that do extraordinary things, but amazing and open platforms upon which others have been free to build. E-mail and the Web are examples, Wu suggests, of killer platforms.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

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

“Environments like this tend to sort out the true entrepreneurs from the pretenders,” Gurley wrote during the height of the crisis. “When money is easy in Silicon Valley, it tends to attract short-term opportunists looking to make a fast-buck rather than build a lasting company. Only the best entrepreneurs set sail in rough seas like this.” Chapter 7 notes ** That call also earned Gurley the ire of a young entrepreneur who would one day become another influential venture capitalist—Marc Andreessen. Andreessen was a co-founder of Netscape and is credited with helping to invent the consumer internet. Though Netscape eventually floundered and sold itself to AOL, Andreessen never forgot Gurley’s report. Years later, after both men had achieved personal success and enormous wealth, the two still carry a grudge. In an interview with the New Yorker years later, Andreessen remarked of Gurley: “I can’t stand him.

Out of those two strands, technologists began building a different kind of counterculture, one that would uproot entrenched power structures and create innovative new ways for society to function. Founders saw inefficiencies in city infrastructure, payment systems, and living quarters. Using the tools of modern capitalism, they created software companies to improve our lives, while simultaneously wresting power away from lazy elites. The founders became the philosopher kings, the rugged individuals who would save society from bureaucratic, unfair, and outmoded systems. Marc Andreessen famously said, “Software is eating the world.” Back then, technologists thought this was a good thing. Until recently, most of the rest of the world agreed. Venture deals increased by 73 percent from the early 2000s into the 2010s. The amount of global venture capital invested soared from tens of billions in 2005 into the hundreds of billions invested post-2010. San Francisco emerged as the world’s epicenter of such deals.


pages: 183 words: 49,460

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling

8-hour work day, en.wikipedia.org, inventory management, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Network effects, Paul Graham, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Superbowl ad, web application

Serial vs. Parallel Micropreneurship The terms serial and parallel can be a bit confusing so let’s examine them briefly. Serial implies “one after another” Parallel implies “at the same time” You may have heard the term serial entrepreneur floating around the business press. This is typically used to describe someone who starts a startup, grows it, sells it, and moves on to the next one. Marc Andreessen was a co-founder of Netscape, followed by Opsware, Ning, and now a venture capital fund. He is a good example of this, as are Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, founders of Palm, Handspring and now Numenta. But the challenge as a startup entrepreneur is that you can’t start two companies at once. Starting a company requires enormous amounts of effort and time, and can’t be done in parallel. There’s no other way but to start one, sell it or close it down, then move on to the next.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The Internet of Money * * * Praise for "The Internet of Money" I’ve always wondered what would have happened if we had built one-click payments into the browser from the very beginning. With bitcoin, we finally get this Internet of Money. But this book isn’t just an ode to bitcoin — it’s an ode to open protocols, what happens when you connect people online, and the power of innovation on the internet. — Marc Andreessen, co-founder Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz With Mastering Bitcoin, Andreas M. Antonopoulos wrote one of the best technical books on digital currency. With The Internet of Money, he’s matched that feat by compiling his talks into one of the best books on Bitcoin for a broad audience. Highly recommended! — Balaji Srinavasan, CEO 21.co Over the past three years, awareness of the sweeping, transformative potential of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology has grown exponentially.


pages: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

From Intel to Facebook, similar venture-based companies in the past have accounted for some 21 percent of our GDP and 60 percent of stock market capitalization. Venture companies are the prime source of American growth. But this time seems to be different. The chief concern is whether these “unicorns” portend a “new bubble.” Would these virtual worlds and software virtuosos pop and piffle like 1999’s dot-com web-vanities and Petco litter boxes? “Software,” as the preeminent venturer Marc Andreessen says, “eats up the world.” Uber may transform urban transport, Pinterest may reinvent online advertising, Palantir may offer a radical advance in big data for security and even boast a billion in revenue and a role in finding Osama bin Laden. But folks may finally “swipe left” by Tinder and the scores of other multibillion bit-monkey mock-ups. The world may prove treacherous even for instant virtual hooker drone delivery systems.


pages: 201 words: 21,180

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter

barriers to entry, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Howard Rheingold, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Milgram experiment, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, recommendation engine, social software, social web, Steve Jobs, web application, zero-sum game

If you rely on a third-party system, you might get into guessing games about what the numbers mean, because you don’t know the particulars of how they work and what they track. Invariably, if you don’t control your own collection process, you won’t know all there is to know about what you are measuring. 173 174 DESIGNING FOR THE SOCIAL WEB The worst way to measure your traffic is by third-party companies who aggregate traffic for the whole web. Their numbers just aren’t accurate. Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape and is now working on social network site Ning, is very much against using these companies: You can’t believe any of the Internet measurement companies for any kind of accurate external analysis of Ning usage and traffic—or, for that matter, usage and traffic of any web site other than perhaps the very largest. I’m talking about Compete, Quantcast, Alexa, and even Comscore— none of their data maps in any way to numbers or patterns we see in our own server logs and activity metrics.


pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

At the time, most computer and software companies were focused on closed-terminal systems, in which only a specified network of computers could communicate with one another. Clark’s vision of the future would probably have been dismissed as just another far-fetched idea had he not already had his Silicon Graphics success. Clark’s quest led him to a software program called Mosaic, written by a twenty-two-year-old student at the University of Illinois, Marc Andreessen. In the early 1990s Clark and Andreessen developed the Web-browsing software that became Netscape and begat the Internet craze. Once again, Clark had come up with another blockbuster. “Bill Gates sent a memo45 to his employees saying that the Internet now posed the greatest threat to Microsoft’s control of the computer industry,” writes Michael Lewis in The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story, an entertaining account of the life and times of Jim Clark.

*2 The next year, Washington bought the Burlington Northern Railroad’s southern Montana rail system for $160 million—quite a risk if he hadn’t locked in a guarantee from Burlington that they would run a large amount of traffic over his newly named Montana Rail Link lines. As Texas legend H. L. Hunt once aptly said, “I’ve never taken a risk so big that if it went against me I couldn’t keep right on going.” Return to text. *3 Bronfman, together with Bruce Roberts, wrote “Whisper in the Dark,” which was recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1986. Return to text. *4 Clark funded computer genius Marc Andreessen, who had invented a way of accessing words and images on a computer network—the first Web browser. Initially a great success, with 80 percent of market share, Netscape soon ran afoul of Microsoft, which launched its own free Web browser, Internet Explorer, as part of its Windows 95 Plus! Pack. Over the next few years, the two fought for market dominance with a succession of new browser releases.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

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

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, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, 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

The first web browsers mostly came from universities; they were hastily written by students, and it showed. The programs were difficult to install, buggy, and had an unfinished feel. The Mosaic browser from the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the exception. Developed by a twenty-two-year-old computer science undergraduate, Marc Andreessen, Mosaic was almost like shrink-wrapped software you could buy in a store. There was a version for the PC, another for the Macintosh, and another for the Unix workstations beloved by computer science departments. Mosaic was made available in November 1993, and immediately thousands—soon hundreds of thousands—of copies were downloaded. Mosaic made it easy for owners of personal computers to get started surfing the web.

Thereafter, MSN was not much more than an up-market Internet service provider—it was no threat to AOL. Whereas in the 1980s the operating system had been the most keenly fought-for territory in personal computing, in the 1990s it was the web browser. In 1995 Netscape had seemed unstoppable. In the summer—when the firm was just eighteen months old—its initial public offering netted $2.2 billion, making Marc Andreessen extraordinarily wealthy. By year’s end its browser had been downloaded 15 million times, and it enjoyed over 70 percent of the market. But Microsoft did not intend to concede the browser market to Netscape. During the next two years Microsoft and Netscape battled for browser supremacy, each producing browser upgrades every few months. By January 1998, with a reported investment of $100 million a year, version 4.0 of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer achieved technical parity with Netscape.


pages: 199 words: 56,243

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, cloud computing, El Camino Real, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple

Bill had been a transcendent figure in the technology business since moving west in 1983, playing a critical role in the success of Apple, Google, Intuit, and numerous other companies. To say he was tremendously respected would be a gross understatement—loved is more like it. Among the audience that day were dozens of technology leaders—Larry Page. Sergey Brin. Mark Zuckerberg. Sheryl Sandberg. Tim Cook. Jeff Bezos. Mary Meeker. John Doerr. Ruth Porat. Scott Cook. Brad Smith. Ben Horowitz. Marc Andreessen. Such a concentration of industry pioneers and power is rarely seen, at least not in Silicon Valley. We—Jonathan Rosenberg and Eric Schmidt—sat among the audience, making subdued small talk, soft sunshine contrasting with the somber mood. We had both worked closely with Bill in the previous fifteen years, since we had joined Google as the CEO (Eric, in 2001) and the head of products (Jonathan, in 2002).


pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, 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, reshoring, 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, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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

In the short term it is not artificial intelligence the West should worry about. It is what Baldwin calls remote intelligence. In some respects it has already arrived. Over the last twenty years, India and the Philippines reaped the rewards of the telecoms revolution to create lower-skilled service sector jobs at call centres, and on technology helpdesks. Those jobs are now under threat. As the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen says, ‘Software is eating the world’. How many times have you talked to a computer recently, rather than someone with an Indian accent? A lot more than a few years ago, I would guess. Automated voice software is supplanting humans. India is thus being forced to upgrade. Its next generation of offshore jobs will be devoted to far more complex tasks, such as providing medical diagnoses, writing legal briefs, remotely supervising factories and plants, and doing consumer data analysis.


pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

“The company had nine thousand customers and $1.8 million in net revenue,” says Shervin Pishevar, who had recently joined the firm Menlo Ventures and badly wanted to invest in Uber. “So it was tiny. But the metrics were just astounding. My estimate was that it would get to $100 million gross revenue within a year. It did that within six months.” Pishevar was one of several investors who wanted a piece of Uber. Among the most prominent was Andreessen Horowitz, then a two-year-old firm helmed by Marc Andreessen, a cofounder of Netscape. Andreessen Horowitz was media savvy and aggressively self-promotional. It also found early success with an unusual deal. It had been part of an investment group that bought the Internet calling service Skype from eBay—a private-equity transaction rather than a VC play—and quickly flipped the company to Microsoft for a gain of $5 billion for the group. Andreessen’s marquee name appealed to Kalanick.


pages: 232 words: 63,846

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares

Airbnb, Firefox, if you build it, they will come, jimmy wales, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, side project, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, the payments system, Uber for X, web application, working poor, Y Combinator

How do you know if it’s working? How much traction do you need to get investors? This chapter answers these and other general traction questions, empowering you with the traction thinking that will set you up for success. THE 50 PERCENT RULE If you’re starting a company, chances are you can build a product. Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers. Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, sums up this common problem: The number one reason that we pass on entrepreneurs we’d otherwise like to back is they’re focusing on product to the exclusion of everything else. Many entrepreneurs who build great products simply don’t have a good distribution strategy. Even worse is when they insist that they don’t need one, or call [their] no distribution strategy a “viral marketing strategy.”


pages: 216 words: 61,061

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

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

It’s the eponymous mascot for my social enterprise, Breadpig, which we’ll get to in chapter 7 (no peeking!). You’ll notice he’s black and white, which makes this book a guide for navigating the Internet age successfully as well as a coloring book! What a deal! The Real Introduction to My Book The World Isn’t Flat; the World Wide Web Is In an August 20, 2011, op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, world-renowned venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur Marc Andreessen declared that “software is eating the world.”1 I couldn’t have said it better myself. Andreessen sets the stage: “With lower startup costs and a vastly expanded market for online services, the result is a global economy that for the first time will be fully digitally wired—the dream of every cyber-visionary of the early 1990s, finally delivered, a full generation later.” Software developers worldwide are transforming every single industry on the planet thanks to the open Internet, which makes unprecedented “permissionless innovation”2 possible even for a couple of twenty-one-year-olds like me and my reddit.com co-founder, Steve Huffman.


pages: 243 words: 61,237

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

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

Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, 1.8 million people have funded twenty thousand projects with more than $200 million. In just three years, Kickstarter surpassed the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts as the largest backer of arts projects in the United States.9 While the Web has enabled more micro-entrepreneurs to flourish, its overall impact might soon seem quaint compared with the smartphone. As Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist who in the early 1990s created the first Web browser, has said, “The smartphone revolution is underhyped.”10 These handheld minicomputers certainly can destroy certain aspects of sales. Consumers can use them to conduct research, comparison-shop, and bypass salespeople altogether. But once again, the net effect is more creative than destructive. The same technology that renders certain types of salespeople obsolete has turned even more people into potential sellers.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

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

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

More companies receiving investment means more companies to supervise and more demands on the investor’s attention. After all, VCs usually add more than just money—they make introductions, assist with strategic sales, and help recruit top talent. One solution is to make lots of small investments but spend little time with each one, in the Silicon Valley equivalent of speed dating. This is the strategy of the eponymous fund recently launched by Marc Andreessen (from Netscape, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and Ning) and Ben Horowitz (from Netscape, OpsWare, and AOL). They plan to invest more than $300 million over ten years, starting with seed investments beginning at $50,000 a pop.18 This speed-dating-for-capital approach results in some matchmaking, but the problem of postinvestment execution still remains: a VC only has so much time on his or her hands.

It should be noted, however, that other researchers are less optimistic on the link between innovation and venture capital. See: Masako Ueda and Masayuki Hirukawa, “Venture Capital and Innovation: Which Is First?”, Social Science Research Network (September 14, 2008). 16. “Breaking Through the Broken,” North Venture Partners (2009). 17. Claire Cain Miller, “Do Web Entrepreneurs Still Need Venture Capitalists?”, New York Times (May 14, 2009). 18. Rafe Needleman, “Marc Andreessen launched new venture fund,” cnet (July 5, 2009). 19. Paul Kedrosky, “Right-sizing the U.S. Venture Capital Industry,” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (June 10, 2009). 20. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGC1mCS4OVo&feature=player_embedded#!. 21. Julianne Pepitone, “YouTube credit card rant gets results,” CNN Money (September 20, 2009). 22. “Predicts 2010: Executive Decisions in Banking and Investment Services Demand a Longer View,” Gartner (November 12, 2009). 23.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

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

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

The free software community that had coalesced around Linux didn’t mix much with the Internet crowd. Because of my position as a technology publisher, I traveled in both circles. So I resolved to bring them together. They needed to see themselves as part of the same story. In April 1998, I organized an event that I originally called “the Freeware Summit” to bring together the creators of many of the most important free software programs. The timing was perfect. In January, Marc Andreessen’s high-profile web company, Netscape, built to commercialize the web browser, had decided to provide the source code to its browser as a free software project using the name Mozilla. Under competitive pressure from Microsoft, which had built a browser of its own and had given it away for free (but without source code) in order to “cut off Netscape’s air supply,” Netscape had no choice but to go back to the web’s free software roots.

By the time Dale Dougherty and I had lunch with Tim in Boston a year later, there were perhaps a hundred websites. Yet by the time Google launched in September 1998, there were millions. Because the World Wide Web had been put into the public domain, Tim Berners-Lee didn’t have to do all the work himself. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois, built an improved web server and browser. Marc Andreessen, who wrote the browser while a student there, left to found Mosaic Communications Corporation (later renamed Netscape Communications). A group of users, abandoned by the original developers, took over the server project, pooling all their patches (shared improvements to the source code) to create the Apache server, which eventually became the world’s most widely used web server. (A pun: It was “a patchy server.”)


pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood

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

With the release of the Netscape source code on March 31st, 1998, the unlikely birth of the commercial open source movement. Eventually producing the first credible threat to Internet Explorer in the form of Mozilla Firefox 1.0 in 2004. Do you want money? Fame? Job security? Or do you want to change the world … eventually? Consider how many legendary hackers went on to brilliant careers from Netscape: Jamie Zawinski, Brendan Eich, Stuart Parmenter, Marc Andreessen. The lessons of Netscape live on, even though the company doesn’t. Code Rush is ultimately a meditation on the meaning of work as a programmer. As Startup.com and Code Rush illustrate, the hard part is figuring out why you are working all those long hours. Consider carefully, lest the arc of your career mirror that of so many failed tech bubble companies: lived fast, died young, left a tired corpse.


pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, animal electricity, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Leveraging the hypertext Doug Engelbart demonstrated 23 years earlier, he wrote some code creating links across computer networks, and called it the World Wide Web. He didn’t patent it, didn’t start a company, and didn’t get royalties. But he did get knighted and so received the title the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire at the end of 2003. They notified him by telephone, not email. A few years after he set up this hypertext network, Marc Andreessen at the University of Illinois (Go ILLINI!) took advantage of the World Wide Web and the mainly cisco routers in the network and tried to optimize their ability to deliver a stream of packets to his computer. He created the Mosaic browser, which reassembled these packets into presentable text and graphics. He would later start Netscape with Jim Clark to turn browsers into a business, but meanwhile it transformed cisco.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

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

The invention of the Internet marks a break with the past, and an opportunity to open many old political and social debates. Companies see themselves as enlightened participants in these debates, with a social mandate as well as a business mandate; Google’s “Don’t be evil” mantra encapsulates their belief that the company has a moral mission as well as a technological one. Internet culture is also supremely ambitious and self-confident. It’s a confidence captured in venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s saying that “software is eating the world.” In its outer reaches it is an ambition manifested in ideas of Seasteading (a movement to build self-governing floating cities, started by PayPal founder Peter Thiel) and the Singularity (a belief in “the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity,” originating with the ideas of inventor and now Google employee Ray Kurzweil).


pages: 213 words: 70,742

Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O'Connell

Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Carrington event, clean water, Colonization of Mars, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, Elon Musk, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-work, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the built environment, yield curve

If I wanted to understand the extreme ideology that underpinned this attraction, he told me, I needed to understand an obscure libertarian manifesto called The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State. It was published in 1997, and in recent years something of a minor cult had grown up around it in the tech world, largely as a result of Thiel’s citing it as the book he was most influenced by. Other prominent boosters included Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Balaji Srinivasan, the entrepreneur best known for advocating Silicon Valley’s complete secession from the United States to form its own corporate city-state. The Sovereign Individual’s coauthors were James Dale Davidson, a private investor who specializes in advising the rich on how to profit from economic catastrophe, and the late William Rees-Mogg, long-serving editor of the Times and father of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP beloved of Britain’s reactionary pro-Brexit right.


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 cycle, business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, 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

The final important question in working through the deal with the VC is how much money the entrepreneur should raise. Once they’ve secured VC interest, there can be a fair amount of flexibility on this point. But there are important trade-offs to consider. More money provides more runway and room for mistakes, but at the cost of some additional dilution. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey recalled a conversation he had with Netscape founder and angel investor Marc Andreessen. “Marc advised us very early on to take as much money as we could, because a recession was coming and everything was going to hit the fan. And this was in early 2008, maybe the end of 2007. And he’s like, ‘I know you’re worried about dilution, but just try to get as much money as you can, build a war chest so you can weather the storm, because the storm is coming.’ ” On the other hand, raising less money in a more capital-efficient fashion reduces your dilution while increasing your exit options.


pages: 1,007 words: 181,911

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, microbiome, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Pepto Bismol, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Skype, spaced repetition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the High Line, Y Combinator

If you find anything amazing in this book, it’s thanks to the brilliant minds who acted as resources, critics, contributors, proofreaders, and references. If you find anything ridiculous in this book, it’s because I didn’t heed their advice. Though indebted to hundreds of people, I wish to thank a few of them up front, here listed in alphabetical order (see more in the Acknowledgments): Chef Grant Achatz Steve Alcairo David Amick Chef Tim Anderson Marc Andreessen Corey Arnold Chef Blake Avery Chef Ryan Baker Marcie Barnes Dr. John Berardi Patrick Bertoletti Mark Bittman Chef Heston Blumenthal Chad Bourdon Daniel Burka Chef Marco Canora Phil Caravaggio Chef Mehdi Chellaoui Jules Clancy Ed Cooke Chef Chris Cosentino Chef Erik Cosselmon Erik “The Red” Denmark Chef Matthew Dolan Chef Andrew Dornenburg Michael Ellsberg Kevin “Feral Kevin” Feinstein Chef Mark Garcia Brad Gerlach Paul Grieco Alan Grogono Jude H.

In 2007, Drew Curtis, founder of fark.com, invited me to Kentucky and force-fed me dozens of variations of bourbon. It produced a series of twisted faces, headaches, and “no, thank-you”s until we chanced upon Bulleit Bourbon. I fell in love. Its high rye content (28% of the mash bill) made it unique, as did the fact that I enjoyed it. Nothing tickled my fancy for five more years. Then, one night in 2011, Marc Andreessen introduced me to a series of winners over dinner. At the time, his kitchen featured a walk-in whiskey library stocked with a fit for every palate, each scored from 1–4 (4 being best). If you’ve ever used the Internet, you probably have Marc to thank. Coauthor of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser, Marc has a résumé that’s something else: cofounder of Netscape Communications (acquired by AOL for $4.2 billion), chairman of Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6 billion), board member at Facebook, eBay, and much more.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Together, these new companies and innovations have reshaped how people and machines communicate, create, collaborate, and think. In 2007, storage capacity for computing exploded thanks to the emergence that year of a company called Hadoop, making “big data” possible for all. In 2007, development began on an open-source platform for writing and collaborating on software, called GitHub, that would vastly expand the ability of software to start, as Netscape founder Marc Andreessen once put it, “eating the world.” On September 26, 2006, Facebook, a social networking site that had been confined to users on college campuses and at high schools, was opened to everyone at least thirteen years old with a valid e-mail address, and started to scale globally. In 2007, a micro-blogging company called Twitter, which had been part of a broader start-up, was spun off as its own separate platform and also started to scale globally.

Irwin: The Cell Phone Guy It was wonderful for consumers for all these networking breakthroughs to occur, but someone had to pack them into a phone you could carry in your pocket to get the full frontal revolution—and no individual was more responsible for this mobile phone revolution than Irwin Jacobs. In the pantheon of the great innovators who launched the Internet age—Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore, Bob Noyce, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Andy Grove, Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg—save a few lines for Irwin Jacobs, and add Qualcomm to the list of important companies you’ve barely heard of. Qualcomm is to mobile phones what Intel and Microsoft together were to desktops and laptops—the primary inventor, designer, and manufacturer of the microchips and software that run handheld smartphones and tablets.


pages: 260 words: 76,223

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

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

So in a very naive move, in order to fill the void left by the now-defunct teen magazine, I started hatching a plan to publish my own music magazines. Within a few years, a business partner and I had two such magazines and supported a friend in launching a third. Around this time, the Internet was just coming online. I had already been active with bulletin board services and modem connectivity, but when I saw my first Web browser (Marc Andreessen’s Mosaic) my whole world changed. I realized that the days of me walking over to the corner newsstand and hoping the new issue of Circus magazine was on sale were over. Suddenly this thing called “the Internet” could send me information—almost instantly. I immediately started publishing our magazines online. At the time, this was nothing more than the text from the articles and a little logo in the top left corner of the screen.


Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams

Asperger Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Debian, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, Larry Wall, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Murray Gell-Mann, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, urban renewal, VA Linux, Y2K

Determined not to squander the opportunity, Raymond traveled west to deliver interviews, advise Netscape executives, and take part in the eventual party celebrating the publication of Netscape Navigator's source code. The code name for Navigator's source code was "Mozilla": a reference both to the program's gargantuan size-30 million lines of codeand to its heritage. Developed as a proprietary offshoot of Mosaic, the web browser created by Marc Andreessen at the University of Illinois, Mozilla was proof, yet again, that when it came to building new programs, most programmers preferred to borrow on older, modifiable programs. While in California, Raymond also managed to squeeze in a visit to VA Research, a Santa Clara-based company selling workstations with the GNU/Linux operating system preinstalled. Convened by Raymond, the meeting was small.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

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

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

All are adaptations of policies that already exist in many advanced economies around the world. They are not without merit but do come with drawbacks. There is a far more radical alternative measure being put forward, in the form of universal basic income. UBI, as it is affectionately called by its proponents, has garnered surprising support, particularly among leading figures in the high-tech sector. “Superangel” investor Marc Andreessen, the coauthor of Mosaic, one of the first widely used Web browsers, is in favor of it. And so are New York–based Albert Wenger, another highly successful venture capitalist; start-up incubator impresario Sam Altman; and Elon Musk, the brash but congenial cofounder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla. Silicon Valley isn’t alone in its enthusiasm for UBI, but it is Silicon Valley’s digital and data-driven innovations that have given rise to the idea.


pages: 252 words: 74,167

Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl

Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

, it’s the human personalities the audience really wants to see. This drama is ultimately what matters the most. CHAPTER 6 Can AI Be Creative? IN THE LAST chapter, we saw how creativity is likely to remain one of the areas where humans will have the edge over machines when it comes to employment. As Artificial Intelligence continues to ‘eat the world’ (as venture capitalist and software engineer Marc Andreessen believes), it is those jobs involving human creativity that are likely to withstand the march of automation. That’s not to say AI doesn’t have the capacity to be creative, however. In June 2015, Google unveiled its Deep Dream project. A fascinating research project from a company that typically cares far more about engineering than aesthetics, Deep Dream is an AI-driven image generation program which works by tapping into the well of pictures Google has indexed over the past decade and a half.


pages: 284 words: 79,265

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

Populations grow according to certain rules, medical knowledge accumulates in a regular fashion, and new technologies allow us to do things at faster and faster rates—but all in a way that is well understood and regular. However, there are other facts that don’t seem to adhere to this sort of logic. Knowing DNA’s structure, or whether Pluto was a planet, or that airplanes were possible—all of these happened in extremely rapid shifts. The iPhone appeared so rapidly in the world of technology that executives from a rival company thought many of its claimed specifications were lies, and Marc Andreessen has argued that it’s as if it appeared from the future, incredibly ahead of its time. One day there was a certain understanding of how we thought the world works, and the next day humanity’s factual environment had undergone a fundamental change. But can these actually be explained? Astonishingly enough, there is in fact an order to these rapid shifts in our knowledge. We can find regularities in them, and sometimes even predict them before they happen.


pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Every suggestion from my editor, Emily Angell, improved the book. Fortune editors supported me in writing about this book’s themes in the printed and online magazine. Thank you Alan Murray, Andy Serwer, Stephanie Mehta, Cliff Leaf, Brian O’Keefe, and other colleagues who contributed ideas and data. Countless people helped me with ideas, information, access to sources, personal stories, and reactions to the text. I particularly want to thank Marc Andreessen, Tom Baptiste, Dominic Barton, Adrienne Boissy, Jim Bush, Ashton Carter, John Chambers, Ram Charan, Ralph Chatham, Tony D’Amelio, Sally Donnelly, Christopher Dowling, Bran Ferren, George Flynn, Michael Gazzaniga, Anne Greenhalgh, Peter Hancock, Rob High, Chester Kennedy, John Kelly, Rik Kirkland, Tom Kolditz, the Library of Congress staff, Joe Liemandt, Thomas Malone, Bill McDermott, James Merlino, David Metcalf, Steve Nakagawa, Nicholas Negroponte, Nitin Noria, Charles Phillips, Garth Saloner, Marc Scibelli, Danny Stern, and Noel Tichy.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

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

Lyft And Interaction Failure 3.9 Interaction Ownership And The TaskRabbit Problem 4.0 SOLVING CHICKEN-AND-EGG PROBLEMS Introduction 4.1 A Design Pattern For Sparking Interactions 4.2 Activating The Standalone Mode 4.3 How Paypal And Reddit Faked Their Way To Traction 4.4 Every Producer Organizes Their Own Party 4.5 Bringing In The Ladies 4.6 The Curious Case Of New Payment Mechanisms 4.7 Drink Your Own Kool Aid 4.8 Beg, Borrow, Steal And The World Of Supply Proxies 4.9 Disrupting Craigslist 4.10 Starting With Micromarkets 4.11 From Twitter To Tinder 5.0 VIRALITY: SCALE IN A NETWORKED WORLD Introduction 5.1 Transitioning To Platform Scale 5.2 Instagram’s Moonshot Moment 5.3 Going Viral 5.4 Architecting Diseases 5.5 A Design-First Approach To Viral Growth 5.6 Building Viral Engines 5.7 The Viral Canvas 6.0 REVERSE NETWORK EFFECTS Introduction 6.1 A Scaling Framework For Platforms 6.2 Reverse Network Effects 6.3 Manifestations Of Reverse Network Effects 6.4 Designing The Anti-Viral, Anti-Social Network Epilogue Platform Scale (n): Business scale powered by the ability to leverage and orchestrate a global connected ecosystem of producers and consumers toward efficient value creation and exchange. PREFACE Eating The World In the late summer of 2011, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, opined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that “software is eating the world.” Andreessen was referring to firms like Amazon and Google that displace traditional industry leaders with new business models. Ever since, the phrase has become a rallying cry for every new startup hoping to build the next big thing. Software has been around for several decades now, but its ability to “eat” the world – to disrupt and reorganize traditional industries – has become most apparent over the last decade and a half.


pages: 269 words: 77,876

Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

Being an entrepreneur is about thriving in chaos, and you wil find chaos—and great opportunity—in the emerging world right now. Yet for al the talk about the emerging world, only this Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky brings you a true-to-life account of the on-the-ground struggle to create something huge. In this engaging read, Lacy wil change the way you see the world. Anyone with a pulse should read this book.” —Marc Andreessen, partner, Andreessen Horowitz Ventures; co-founder, Netscape, Opsware, Ning “Part insightful analysis of what ails Silicon Val ey and part madcap journey to far flung hubs of aspiration and innovation, Sarah Lacy takes us around the world to find the fascinating people who are creating the new wealth in a new world of start-ups and ventures that America ought to be paying a lot more attention to.”


pages: 278 words: 83,468

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

3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, continuous integration, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, 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

Therefore, I strongly recommend that startups focus on one engine at a time. Most entrepreneurs already have a strong leap-of-faith hypothesis about which engine is most likely to work. If they do not, time spent out of the building with customers will quickly suggest one that seems profitable. Only after pursuing one engine thoroughly should a startup consider a pivot to one of the others. ENGINES OF GROWTH DETERMINE PRODUCT/MARKET FIT Marc Andreessen, the legendary entrepreneur and investor and one of the fathers of the World Wide Web, coined the term product/market fit to describe the moment when a startup finally finds a widespread set of customers that resonate with its product: In a great market—a market with lots of real potential customers—the market pulls product out of the startup. This is the story of search keyword advertising, Internet auctions, and TCP/IP routers.


pages: 371 words: 78,103

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

Amazon Web Services, corporate governance, fault tolerance, Firefox, Marc Andreessen, new economy, pre–internet, SpamAssassin, The Hackers Conference, Turing test, web application

Finally, a tip of the hat goes to Mark, Randy, Megan, Karen, Terri, Susan, Dennis, Dan, and Matt, who were thoughtful enough to ask about my book's progress before inquiring about the status of their projects. Introduction My introduction to the World Wide Web was also the beginning of my relationship with the browser. The first browser I used was Mosaic, pioneered by Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen. Andreessen later co-founded Netscape. Shortly after I discovered the World Wide Web, I began to associate the wonders of the Internet with the simplicity of the browser. By just clicking a hyperlink, I could enjoy the art treasures of the Louvre; if I followed another link, I could peruse a fan site for The Brady Bunch.[1] The browser was more than a software application that facilitated use of the World Wide Web: It was the World Wide Web.


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

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

To all of the data providers that generously compiled charts and graphs for this book, especially Hedge Fund Intelligence, LCH Investments NV, Ipreo: Bigdough, and Hedge Fund Research. To all of my friends, sources in the industry, and individuals who have aided me through various stages of the book, including: David & Cheryl Einhorn, Whitney Tilson, James Grant, Alan Greenspan, Katie Broom, Sam Zell, Terry Holt, Barry Sternlicht, Beth Shanholtz, Ace Greenberg, Israel Englander, John Novogratz, Nelson Peltz, Anne Tarbell, Marc Andreessen, Michael Vachon, Elissa Doyle, Margit Wennmachers, Randall Kroszner, Jenny Farrelly, Tom Hill, Jonathan Gray, Peter Rose, Anne Popkin, Anthony Scaramucci, Victor Oviedo, David Waller, Sallie Krawcheck, Armel Leslie, Stefan Prelog, Chris Gillick, Alexis Israel, Lex Suvato, Kenny Dichter, Steve Starker, Saadi Ouaaz, Jonathan Wald, Jayesh Punater, James Wong, Joseph Weisenthal, Julie Vadnal, Darcy Bradbury, Trey Beck, Kyle Bass, and Jacob Wolinsky.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

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

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, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Netscape released its web browser in October, as Microsoft ramped up the advertising campaign for its own “Internet Explorer.” The Internet was about to go mainstream, once and for all. The roof was about to blow off. But which roof, really? The boom would strain the Internet’s existing infrastructure to the breaking point. So who would save it? How did it expand? To where? I’d heard the business stories of the dot-com boom, about how Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen founded Netscape, and Bill Gates battled to keep Internet Explorer an integral part of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. But what about the networks themselves, and their places of connections? In a business that’s always been obsessed with the next new thing, who was still around to tell that story? I went back to California—only to hear about Virginia. On a characteristically damp and gray San Francisco day, I met a network engineer named Steve Feldman at a café a few blocks from his office, in the heart of the cluster of Internet companies located south of Market Street.


pages: 362 words: 83,464

The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bob Noyce, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Graeber, deindustrialization, don't be evil, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, energy security, falling living standards, future of work, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, McJob, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, payday loans, Peter Calthorpe, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

A critical difference with traditional industries has been the almost total absence of organized labor. Not so much anti-union as post-union, the new Oligarchs have lived in an atmosphere untroubled by the labor activism that has cast firms such as Walmart and McDonald’s in a negative light. “Remaining non-union is an essential for survival for most of our companies,” Intel founder Bob Noyce said over two decades ago. More recently, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen declared that “there doesn’t seem to be a role” for unions in the modern economy because people are “marketing themselves and their skills.” Amazon, which has the kind of warehouse facilities that could be organized, has battled unions not only in the United States but also in more union-friendly Europe as well.125 The good news for the tech sector is that they need less people than ever before.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

You hear about startups that just raised $3.1 million in venture capital; startups that are partnering with some more established operation from California; startups that have made their starter-uppers into billionaires. Inno is about egalitarianism as well. Indeed, as the preeminent expression of the endless American uprising against the entrenched and the powerful, how could it be otherwise? Inequality is, by definition, just one more problem our lovable entrepreneurs have set out to solve, and in the eyes of some, they have succeeded. Marc Andreessen, the famous venture capitalist, has described the vacation rental platform Airbnb as a solution for income inequality. Chris Lehane, a former assistant to Bill Clinton and Al Gore who now does public affairs for Airbnb, has said the same. Objecting to proposed regulation of the company, Lehane has said that cities “understand that in a time of economic inequality, this is a question of whose side are you on: do you want to be on the side of the middle class, or do you want to be opposed to the middle class?”


pages: 296 words: 86,610

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

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

Accessed June 22, 2015. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/linden-dollar.asp. Chapter 11: Working for Bitcoin The Bitcoin ledger is a new kind of payment system. Anyone in the world can pay anyone else in the world any amount of value of Bitcoin by simply transferring ownership of the corresponding slot in the ledger. Put value in, transfer it, the recipient gets value out, no authorization required, and in many cases, no fees. —Marc Andreessen Getting paid in Bitcoin has been a breeze, except during the tax season, which can be complicated. I’ve done it for years now. I have also paid my rent and other bills using Bitcoin or dollars that I obtained by selling bitcoins. It is a viable option for anyone with a marketable skill. Virtually anything that can be done online can be paid for in Bitcoin and the job market is quickly growing for in-person jobs as well.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

It is a cardboard gold crown, but it helps in certain cases; for example, Twitter support will prioritize intervention requests when trolls attack a blue check. Twitter takes the media professionals on it for granted. They don’t leave, even when it grows toxic, because promoting work through the platform is almost compulsory as a modern journalism job requirement. Meanwhile, journalists can get played by people with even more power, like Marc Andreessen, a venture capitalist and the cofounder of Mosaic and Netscape, who told The New Yorker that he loves the platform because “reporters are obsessed with it. It’s like a tube and I have loudspeakers installed in every reporting cubicle around the world.” Now world events drive Twitter conversations, like writing prompts. Riffs on users’ own lives and personal concerns seem inferior, too trivial to remark on, not worth adding to the ongoing stew of reactions to disasters, scandals, tragedies, and world chaos.


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, business cycle, 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, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

American government and civil society, acting in conjunction, actually brought about a lower crime rate, more safety for most of our kids, no more draft riots, and more job and residential stability, among the many other changes that took place. Of course, this portrait of a slowdown in dynamism is not usually what you hear from our business, political, and thought leaders. Bill Gates, for instance, has said that “the idea that innovation is slowing down is … stupid.” He claims that new ideas are coming at a “scarily fast pace.”1 Or on Twitter, until recently, Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), Netscape founder and successful venture capitalist, would tweet up a storm at least once a week about the benefits of modernity, the progress of the American economy, and most of all the wonders of tech and Silicon Valley. If the point is simply that today life is pretty good for many (but not all) of us, Gates and Andreessen are right. But still, by most metrics, as we’ll see, economic opportunity is down and living standards, although they have advanced, are growing more slowly than in the past.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

One of these centers was the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, one of the oldest NSF supercomputer centers. Because of the decline of uses for these machines, NCSA’s researchers, as in most other supercomputer centers, were looking for new tasks. So were some staff members, including Marc Andreessen, a college student doing part-time work at the center for $6.85 an hour. “In late 1992, Marc, technically capable, and ‘bored off his ass,’ decided it was fun to take a crack at giving the Web the graphical, media rich face that it lacked.”53 The result was a web browser called Mosaic, designed to run on personal computers. Marc Andreessen and his collaborator Eric Bina posted Mosaic free on the NCSA web in November 1993, and in the spring of 1994 several million copies were in use. Andreessen and his team were then approached by a legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Jim Clark, who was getting bored with the company that he had created with great success, Silicon Graphics.


pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer

barriers to entry, call centre, commoditize, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, James Watt: steam engine, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, yield management

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee and a group of other big brains at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (usually referred to as CERN) proposed the protocol that we now know as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and in 1991 the first World Wide Web pages or Web sites were put online using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) which is still an extremely popular language for the creation of Web pages. In 1993, Marc Andreessen and his soon-to-be-extraordinarily-rich teammates at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) launched a browser called Mosaic (ultimately Netscape), which became the most popular Web browser until Bill Gates woke up and realized that Microsoft totally missed the evolution of the Internet and the World Wide Web. It didn’t take Microsoft very long to corner the browser market with Internet Explorer, which is still the most popular browser in the world today.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

"Robert Solow", 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 cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, G4S, 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, post-work, 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

Watt, James wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) Waze Weitzman, Martin West, Darrell West, Martin wheelchairs, AI technology in When Work Disappears (Wilson) Why Nations Fail (Acemoglu and Robinson) Why the West Rules—For Now (Morris) Wikipedia Wilson, William Julius “winner-take-all” markets Winner-Take-All Society, The (Frank and Cook) Winship, Scott Woessmann, Ludger Wolff, Ed Wordsworth, William World Bank World Wide Web see also global digital network; Internet Wright, Gavin writing: by computers development of Wu, Lynn Xbox Y2K bug Yang, Shinkyu Yelp YouTube Zara More Praise for The Second Machine Age “Brynjolfsson and McAfee are right: we are on the cusp of a dramatically different world brought on by technology. The Second Machine Age is the book for anyone who wants to thrive in it. I’ll encourage all of our entrepreneurs to read it, and hope their competitors don’t.” —Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz “What globalization was to the economic debates of the late 20th century, technological change is to the early 21st century. Long after the financial crisis and great recession have receded, the issues raised in this important book will be central to our lives and our politics.” —Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University “Technology is overturning the world’s economies, and The Second Machine Age is the best explanation of this revolution yet written.”


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

Each new battle would test the depths of the CEO’s force of will. Edison couldn’t do it, but maybe Musk could. * * * As a business leader, Musk shares at least one thing in common with Steve Jobs: He is a wartime CEO. Such leaders preside over their companies when they face an imminent existential threat, says Ben Horowitz, a Silicon Valley investor and partner with Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen in the celebrated venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The wartime CEO’s companies depend on strict adherence to a mission, Horowitz wrote in his book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things. While a peacetime CEO follows protocol, a wartime CEO violates it in order to win. While a peacetime CEO defines company culture, the wartime CEO lets the war define the culture. A peacetime CEO knows what to do with a big advantage, while a wartime CEO is paranoid.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Alongside this, a host of intangible-intensive businesses have appeared in the sector, ranging from online competitors like FreshDirect and Ocado, which use software to replace stores, to businesses that process information to help supermarkets, such as loyalty data experts DunnHumby and LMUK. Fast-growing tech companies are some of the most intangible-intensive of firms. This is in part because software and data are intangibles, and the growing power of computers and telecommunications is increasing the scope of things that software can achieve. But the process of “software eating the world,” in venture capitalist Marc Andreessen’s words, is not just about software: it involves other intangibles in abundance. Consider Apple’s designs and its unrivaled supply chain, which has helped it to bring elegant products to market quickly and in sufficient numbers to meet customer demand, or the networks of drivers and hosts that sharing-economy giants like Uber and AirBnB have developed, or Tesla’s manufacturing know-how. Computers and the Internet are important drivers of this change in investment, but the change is long running and predates not only the World Wide Web but even the Internet and the PC.


pages: 315 words: 89,861

The Simulation Hypothesis by Rizwan Virk

3D printing, Albert Einstein, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, butterfly effect, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, game design, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Minecraft, natural language processing, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Zeno's paradox

As I delved more deeply into it using my own training in computer science, I saw that it was consistent with where our technology is going and brought together many different threads of the search for knowledge or ultimate truth, which is restricted not just to science but includes philosophy and religion. Moreover, it seems that, with each passing year, information science is expanding beyond our simple understanding of computing. Software is not just merging with, but, to paraphrase Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, it is eating up other fields of science and human endeavor. We see this everywhere in today’s world. Communications technology, for example, which started off transmitting physical signals over wires—in devices such as the telegraph and telephone—today is a digital field consisting of bits of information that are bundled and transmitted in layers of algorithms. The entertainment world, which started off with physical frames of film, is now just information that can be transmitted in packets or over the air, moving away from the traditional TV broadcast to an entirely digital world.


pages: 304 words: 91,566

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, game design, Isaac Newton, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, offshore financial centre, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, zero-sum game

After getting over their initial dismay at being subpoenaed by the government for the first time in their lives—and finding out about it from the press—Tyler and his brother had quickly discovered that the move had not been meant as an accusation of wrongdoing or criminal activities; in fact, the request for documentation and later for them to testify in front of the superintendent was a real opportunity; the twins had been chosen as representatives of the new virtual economy to help the Department of Financial Services understand Bitcoin and virtual currency, and help shape what sort of regulations were necessary, now that Bitcoin was becoming an unavoidable part of New York City’s financial landscape. In a way, the subpoena was actually an honor that had been bestowed on the twins. As Forbes magazine had headlined, EVERY IMPORTANT PERSON IN BITCOIN JUST GOT SUBPOENAED BY NEW YORK’S FINANCIAL REGULATOR. Among the people and companies subpoenaed were venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, along with the founders of Coinbase, Bitpay, CoinLab, Coinsetter, Dwolla, Payward, ZipZap, Boost VC, and even Peter Theil’s Founders Fund—pretty much a who’s who of everyone who had made a major investment in or ran a major company in the Bitcoin space. At the same time, there was reason to believe that the event would be confrontational. Ben Lawsky, the head of the NYSDFS, the man who had signed the subpoenas, had been quoted as calling Bitcoin “a virtual Wild West for narco-traffickers and other criminals.”


pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

MIT’s David Autor has this to say about those who believe we aren’t going to come up with enough new jobs, thereby rendering people obsolete: These self-proclaimed oracles are in effect saying, “If I can’t think of what people will do for work in the future, then you, me and our kids aren’t going to think of it either.” I don’t have the guts to take that bet against human ingenuity. The legendary entrepreneur and technologist Marc Andreessen agrees: I do not believe robots will eat all the jobs. Here is why. For a start, robots and artificial intelligence are not nearly as powerful and sophisticated as some people fear. . . . And even when robots and artificial intelligence are far more powerful, decades from now, there will still be many things people can do that they cannot. . . . Just as most of us have jobs that were not even invented 100 years ago, the same will be true 100 years from now.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

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

They are not part of the real economy or even the real world but part of the process through which working assets are converted into new stockpiles of dead ones. That’s all they have really accomplished with whatever digital fad they’ve foisted onto the market or sold to yesterday’s tech winners. They thought they were engineering a new technology, when they were actually engineering a reallocation of capital. That’s why digital entrepreneurs who do win often end up becoming the next generation of venture capitalists. Everyone from Marc Andreessen (Netscape) to Sean Parker (Napster) to Peter Thiel (PayPal) to Jack Dorsey (Twitter) now runs venture funds of his own. Facebook and Google, once startups themselves, now acquire more businesses than they incubate internally. With each new generation, firms and investors leverage the startup economy more deliberately, or even cynically. After all, a win is a win. Take OMGPop, a gaming Web site startup that won a spot in the Y Combinator incubator to build social games.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and director of the National Economic Council “In More from Less Andrew McAfee conclusively demonstrates how environmentalism requires more technology and capitalism, not less. Our modern technologies actually dematerialize our consumption, giving us higher human welfare with lower material inputs. This is an urgently needed and clear-eyed view of how to have our technological cake and eat it too.” —Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz “In More from Less Andrew McAfee lays out a compelling blueprint showing how we can support human life using fewer natural resources, improve the state of the world, and replenish the planet for centuries to come.” —Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce “A must-read—timely and refreshing! Amid the din of voices insisting that the ravages of climate change are unstoppable, McAffee offers a desperately needed nuanced perspective on what governments and society have got right, and he compellingly argues that commendable progress has already been made.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

Looking back, he told me with a note of nostalgia in his voice, “Everything was disposable.” Publishing serious news ran completely counter to BuzzFeed’s founding model. But Peretti was becoming a more sober person. His wife had given birth to twins. He was the head of a company with employees who depended on him. He was about to meet with executives and potential investors from Silicon Valley, like Marc Andreessen, to begin a new round of fundraising. He’d become a businessman who now cared about money. Peretti and BuzzFeed were beginning to grow up. As more people discovered BuzzFeed’s mysterious mechanical acuity and infectiously wacky sense of humor, word of its success started generating interest in venture-capital circles, and before long, potential big-ticket investors started visiting the cramped and roach-ridden digs.

Each time a new post: BuzzFeed International Editorial Meeting, observed by Jill Abramson and John Stillman, New York, October 28, 2015. When the buzz du jour: Tanner Greenring, Scott Lamb, Jack Shepherd, Matt Stopera, and Peggy Wang, interviewed by Jill Abramson and John Stillman, New York, June 26, 2015. His wife had given birth: Jonah Peretti, interviewed by Jill Abramson at BuzzFeed New York, June 17, 2015. “BuzzFeed was set up: Marc Andreessen, telephone interview by Jill Abramson, May 4, 2016. Peretti’s PowerPoint pitch: Jason Del Rey, “BuzzFeed’s 2008 Investor Pitch: See Jonah Peretti’s Predictions, Right and Wrong,” AdAge, April 12, 2013, http://adage.com/article/media/buzzfeed-s-2008-investor-pitch-jonah-peretti-s-predictions/240861/. CHAPTER TWO: VICE I One of his best friends: Gavin McInnes, The Death of Cool: From Teenage Rebellion to the Hangover of Adulthood (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), 47.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

If every girl in Afghanistan had a smartphone…If every classroom were linked to the Web…If every police officer wore a body camera…Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have vowed to connect the unconnected as part of their philanthropic work, because the Internet “provides education if you don’t live near a good school. It provides health information on how to avoid diseases or raise healthy children if you don’t live near a doctor. It provides financial services if you don’t live near a bank. It provides access to jobs and opportunities if you don’t live in a good economy.” Some in the Valley have become downright glib about the leveling bias of technology. “Thanks to Airbnb,” the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen says, “now anyone with a house or apartment can offer a room for rent. Hence, income inequality reduced.” Investors like Andreessen, according to this view, are just like the Occupy movement, but with bigger houses and clearer results. Networks are the basis for much of this new power—networks that simultaneously push power out to the edges and suck it into the core. This idea comes from an authority on networks, Joshua Cooper Ramo, a journalist turned protégé of Henry Kissinger, who some years ago became interested in how new varieties of power were upending the old laws of strategy and geopolitics.


pages: 328 words: 96,141

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

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

Elon Musk and his brother, Kimbal, fresh out of college, were renting Silicon Valley office space for their first start-up, Zip2, an early attempt to put local information online. Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, was in the process of leaving his work at the Wall Street firm D. E. Shaw to realize an idea for a far-out business that he and his colleagues were calling “the everything store.” Indeed, as the US government was dreaming up the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, or EELV, as it would be widely known, Marc Andreessen was delivering the first-ever graphic web browser, Netscape, to the world. Compare the speed of action in these respective institutions: in the four years it took the government to finally settle on a strategy to build the new rockets and put pen to paper, Netscape debuted its browser, went public, was purchased by AOL in a $4.2 billion deal, and in the process laid the groundwork for an antitrust lawsuit that would end Microsoft’s desktop computer monopoly.


pages: 360 words: 101,038

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

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

Amazon began an e-commerce revolution that seemed to upend the world of retail in every sector, from eBay and auctions, to Craigslist and classified ads, to Fresh Direct and groceries. An online retailer could deliver seemingly anything right to your door, faster and cheaper than a physical store, with free shipping included. “Retail guys are going to go out of business and e-commerce will become the place everyone buys. You are not going to have a choice,