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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
I’m very glad to be in Beijing: Vindu Goel, Austin Ramzy, and Paul Mozur, “Mark Zuckerberg, Speaking Mandarin, Tries to Win Over China for Facebook,” New York Times, October 23, 2014. he even asked China’s president Xi: Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, “China’s President Xi Jinping ‘Turns Down Mark Zuckerberg’s Request to Name His Unborn Child’ at White House Dinner,” Independent, October 4, 2015. chose their own Chinese name for Maxima: Mark Zuckerberg announced it in the “Happy New Year!” video on Facebook in 2016. “Every year this trip”: Mark Zuckerberg posted his trip at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, on Facebook on October 28, 2017. “For those I hurt this year”: Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook on September 30, 2017. his 2018 resolution: Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook on January 4, 2018. CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Clown Show news of this broke: Though there had been previous reporting, the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story broke through on March 17, 2018, with simultaneous publication in The Guardian/Observer (Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Harrison, “Revealed: 50 Million Facebook Profiles Harvested for Cambridge Analytica in Major Data Breach”) and the New York Times (Matthew Rosenberg, Nicholas Confessore, and Carole Cadwalladr, “How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions”).
“I think the feedback”: Nicholas Thompson, “Mark Zuckerberg Talks to WIRED About Facebook’s Privacy Problem,” Wired, March 21, 2018. scrutinizing his non-hoodie apparel: Vanessa Friedman, “Mark Zuckerberg’s I’m Sorry Suit,” New York Times, April 10, 2018. “Facebook is an idealistic”: The statement, and the complete transcript of Zuckerberg’s hearing, is available at “Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate Hearing,” Washington Post, April 10, 2018. In front of him: Taylor Hatmaker, “Here Are Mark Zuckerberg’s Notes from Today’s Hearing,” TechCrunch, April 10, 2018. AP photographer Andrew Harnick had enterprisingly captured the notes when Zuckerberg left his seat and failed to cover his talking points. he did that forty-six times: Brian Barrett, “A Comprehensive List of Everything Mark Zuckerberg Will Follow Up On,” Wired, April 11, 2018. 69,000 apps: Tony Romm and Drew Harwell, “Facebook Suspends Tens of Thousands of Apps Following Data Investigation,” Washington Post, September 20, 2019.
reform Newark’s schools: The story of Zuckerberg’s Newark donation is comprehensively chronicled by Dale Russakoff, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). foundation shut down: Leanna Garfield, “Mark Zuckerberg Once Made a $100 Million Investment in a Major US City to Help Fix Its Schools—Now the Mayor Says the Effort ‘Parachuted’ in and Failed,” Business Insider, May 12, 2018. $7 trillion: Jeremy Youde, “Here’s What Is Promising, and Troubling, About Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s Plan to ‘Cure All Diseases,’” Washington Post, October 4, 2016. name be stripped: Lauren Feiner, “San Francisco Official Proposes Stripping Mark Zuckerberg’s Name from a Hospital,” CNBC, November 29, 2018. I’m very glad to be in Beijing: Vindu Goel, Austin Ramzy, and Paul Mozur, “Mark Zuckerberg, Speaking Mandarin, Tries to Win Over China for Facebook,” New York Times, October 23, 2014. he even asked China’s president Xi: Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, “China’s President Xi Jinping ‘Turns Down Mark Zuckerberg’s Request to Name His Unborn Child’ at White House Dinner,” Independent, October 4, 2015.
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
How they had been two geeky kids trying to do something special, trying to get noticed—really, trying to get laid. He wondered if Mark realized how much things had changed. Or maybe Mark had never really changed at all; maybe Eduardo had just misread him from the start. Like the Winklevoss twins, Eduardo had projected his own thoughts onto that blankness, drawing in the features he most wanted to see. Maybe he’d never really known Mark Zuckerberg. He wondered if, deep down, Mark Zuckerberg even knew himself. And Sean Parker? Sean Parker probably thought he knew Mark Zuckerberg, too. But Eduardo was pretty sure that was going to be a short-lived pairing as well. In Eduardo’s mind, Sean Parker was like a jittery little comet tearing through the atmosphere; he’d already burned through two startups. The question wasn’t if he’d burn through Facebook as well, it was when. The strange thing was, nobody even heard the sirens.
If Tyler and Cameron had gone upstairs, they could have watched the traffic through a mirror designed specifically so that nobody could see them watching; but Tyler had never been much of a voyeur. He wanted to participate, to be a part of things, to move forward. He hated being stalled, just watching as the rest of the world went by. Tyler shrugged. He didn’t want to get ahead of himself—but maybe they had read the kid wrong. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t the entrepreneur Tyler had thought he was. Maybe Zuckerberg was just another computer geek without any real vision. “If that happens,” Tyler glumly responded, “we have to find ourselves a new programmer. One that understands the big picture.” Maybe Mark Zuckerberg didn’t get it at all. Eduardo had been standing in the empty hallway in Kirkland House a good twenty minutes before Mark finally burst out of the stairwell that led down toward the dining hall; Mark was moving fast, his flip-flops a blur beneath his feet, the hood of his yellow fleece hoody flapping behind his head like a halo in a hurricane.
It would be ConnectU that was changing the social lives of so many people. It was beyond frustrating. Every day, Tyler, Cameron, and Divya had to listen as classmates chatted on and on about thefacebook. And not just at Harvard; the damn thing was everywhere. In the dorm rooms down the hall, on the laptop in every bedroom. On the TV news, almost every week. In the newspapers, sometimes every morning. Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg. Mark fucking Zuckerberg. Okay, maybe Tyler was becoming a little obsessed. He knew from Mark’s point of view, he, Cameron, and Divya were just a blip in the history of thefacebook. In Mark’s mind, he had worked for a few hours for some jocky classmates, gotten bored, and moved on. There were no papers signed, no work agreements or nondisclosures or noncompetes. Mark had bullshit them in e-mails, sure, but in his mind, what did he owe a couple of jocks who couldn’t even write computer code?
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
CHAPTER EIGHT The Social Media Revolution The social norm (of privacy) has evolved over time. —Mark Zuckerberg 1. Yael Maguire, director of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab, is making a presentation to a Fast Company reporter. “There is only 10 percent of the world that is not able to connect if they pulled out a phone. Our job is to figure out how to connect the last 10 percent.” His solution: the prototype of the Aquila, an ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber drone with a 138-foot wingspan (a Boeing 737 has a 113-foot wingspan) that weighs only 880 pounds. With the right battery technology, the drone should be able to hover for three months over a remote village in India and provide a basic Internet service Facebook calls Free Basics. No one ever said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lacked ambition. But now citizens of that remote village are about to enter the surveillance society that billions of us have been inhabiting since 2000.
But a 2014 survey by online identity manager MyLife shows that 82.9 percent of those polled said that they did not trust Facebook with their personal data. I am a Facebook user, and in many ways I think it is a wonderful tool for communication. I also suspect you will find that Mark Zuckerberg, the brash young man who founded the company at the age of twenty, is growing up and becoming aware of the awesome responsibilities he has in running the world’s largest social network. The bratty kid portrayed in the movie The Social Network may have been changed by marriage and fatherhood. Larry Page, Peter Thiel, and Jeff Bezos are in their forties and fifties. Their libertarian ideals are fairly fixed, but watching the evolution of Mark Zuckerberg over the past ten years is to see a maturation process in both the man and his company. I may be a fool—perhaps he doesn’t really believe that his job is to bring the twenty-first century to the four billion people who remain offline.
Adam Pasick and Tim Fernholz, “The Stealthy Eric Schmidt–Backed Startup That’s Working to Put Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Quartz, October 9, 2015, qz.com/520652/groundwork-eric-schmidt-startup-working-for-hillary-clinton-campaign/. Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Random House, 2010). James Lardner, “The Instant Gratification Project,” Business 2.0, December 2001. Chapter Eight: The Social Media Revolution Harry McCracken, “Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook, Fast Company, November 16, 2015, www.fastcompany.com/3052885/mark-zuckerberg-facebook. Daniel Hunt, “The Influence of Computer-Mediated Communication Apprehension on Motives for Facebook Use,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 56, no. 2 (June 2012). David Kravets, “Facebook’s $9.5 Million Beacon Settlement Approved,” Wired, September 21, 2012, www.wired.com/2012/09/beacon-settlement-approved/.
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
“Okay, but let’s put that aside for a second. Do you like the business?” Efrusy asked. The room was unanimous. They did. There wasn’t any debate. Patterson was enthusiastic. So was Jim Breyer. But while, as usual, Parker had presented Thefacebook’s pitch, Breyer had made a critical discovery while watching the boys demonstrate Thefacebook’s site. “First page of the website,” Breyer wrote in a note to himself, “this is a Mark Zuckerberg company. Mark Zuckerberg is the guy.” Until that moment, it had not been clear to Accel—or to any of the company’s prospective investors aside from Don Graham—that Zuckerberg was the decisionmaker upon whose opinion a deal would rise or fall. Efrusy had barely met Zuckerberg. During the presentation Breyer had asked Zuckerberg to talk a bit about his background and his vision for the company, and Zuckerberg talked for only about two minutes.
But as he approached his driveway, his car’s headlights silhouetted a man standing on the sidewalk, blocking his path. The small man with curly hair didn’t notice them. He was oblivious, immobilized, hands clasped behind his back, head down, lost in thought. There was a gravity in the man’s demeanor. My friend paused. Despite his family’s exhaustion, his instinct told him not to interrupt. He waited. After a minute or so, the pensive Mark Zuckerberg looked up and continued slowly down the sidewalk. Acknowledgments Thanks go first to Mark Zuckerberg. Had he not encouraged me to write this book and cooperated as I did so, it would likely not have happened. As I proceeded, I often said to myself and to others how much I liked writing a book about someone so committed to transparency. He tried hard to answer even questions that had embarrassing answers. It would have been impossible to spend so much time on this project without the support and love of my wife, Elena Sisto, and my daughter, Clara Kirkpatrick, who also often served as a two-person Facebook focus group.
A Note on Reporting for This Book Facebook cooperated extensively in the preparation of The Facebook Effect, as did CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Almost nobody connected to the company refused to talk to me. However, there was no quid pro quo. Facebook neither requested nor received any rights of approval, and as far as I know, its executives did not see the book before it went to press. Company employees, when confronted with a particularly probing question, periodically stopped and turned quizzically to the Facebook public relations person who was often nearby, but they were without exception encouraged to answer my question. And I talked to many people without supervision. Some people submitted to multiple interviews. First among these is Mark Zuckerberg himself. Others who were especially generous with their time included Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, Chris Cox, Kevin Efrusy, Joe Green, Chris Hughes, Chris Kelly, Dave Morin, Dustin Moskovitz, Chamath Palihapitiya, Sean Parker, Dan Rose, Sheryl Sandberg, and Aaron Sittig.
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
Then later that day, Zuckerberg texted Amin Zoufonoun. MARK ZUCKERBERG: I just went to this VR lab at Stanford and it was totally awesome. MARK ZUCKERBERG: It also confirmed for me that Oculus is miles ahead of everyone else . . . AMIN ZOUFONOUN: any other interesting learnings about vr? i guess we can talk about it next time. MARK ZUCKERBERG: . . . It’s going to be hard to get Oculus done at lower than the amounts we’ve discussed. The markets are just willing to pay more for it right now independently. In particular, Zuck was talking about a recent announcement by Jawbone that they’d be raising money at a $3.3 billion valuation. AMIN ZOUFONOUN: you are probably right—especially with the peak of attention and buzz they are currently experiencing. MARK ZUCKERBERG: . . . Also, just talked to Reed Hastings about Oculus and he’s positive about doing it . . .
THE BICYCLE ANALOGY LAWYER: If this jury finds that Oculus stole virtual reality technology from ZeniMax, improving upon that technology doesn’t make it yours, does it? MARK ZUCKERBERG: I don’t know . . . I disagree with the premise of your question so it’s kind of hard to get on top of that. LAWYER: Alright, let’s make it real simple: if you steal my bike and you paint it and put a bell on it, does that make it your bike? MARK ZUCKERBERG: No . . . [but] I think the analogy to a bike is extremely over-simplistic here. LAWYER: Probably. MARK ZUCKERBERG: This would be like someone— LAWYER: I agree with you. MARK ZUCKERBERG:—who created a piece of, like, a bar that might go on a bike and then someone built a spaceship out of it. THE BOX LAWYER: In 2012, you sent a headset to Mr. Carmack, correct?
“Can they come up here and do a demo?” Zuckerberg asked. “Yeah. But it’ll be comparatively shitty. I mean, it’ll probably still blow you away, but it’s just not as good as the Room.” Zuckerberg was intrigued . . . but still not enough to rearrange his schedule. “I’M GONNA FLY UP TO MENLO PARK AND GIVE A DEMO TO MARK ZUCKERBERG,” Iribe said. “Nice!” Luckey replied. “Any particular objective in mind? Or just because, you know, it’s Mark Zuckerberg? It was mostly because it was Mark Zuckerberg, but Iribe and Malamed had also started throwing around a crazy idea: What if a company like Facebook led our Series C? It wasn’t the type of thing Facebook had done before, but, hey, there’s a first time for everything, right? “TURN TO YOUR RIGHT,” IRIBE SUGGESTED, WALKING ZUCKERBERG THROUGH A demo in Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s conference room.
No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, blockchain, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Zipcar
“Instagram users… photos are your photos”: Instagram, “Thank You, and We’re Listening,” December 18, 2012, Tumblr post, https://instagram.tumblr.com/post/38252135408/thank-you-and-were-listening. 6 | DOMINATION “I have a special machine for it… graph.”: Dan Rookwood, “The Many Stories of Instagram’s Billionaire Founder,” MR PORTER, accessed May 2019, https://www.mrporter.com/en-us/journal/the-interview/the-many-stories-of-instagrams-billionaire-founder/2695. He once lost to a friend’s teenage daughter: Osnos, “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook?” “Carthago delenda est!”: Antonio García Martínez, “How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War to Crush Google Plus,” Vanity Fair, June 3, 2016, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/06/how-mark-zuckerberg-led-facebooks-war-to-crush-google-plus. It was “an artistic choice,”: Colleen Taylor, “Instagram Launches 15-Second Video Sharing Feature, with 13 Filters and Editing,” TechCrunch, June 20, 2013, https://techcrunch.com/2013/06/20/facebook-instagram-video/. “It’s the fastest way… photos that disappear”: Rob Price and Alyson Shontell, “This Fratty Email Reveals How CEO Evan Spiegel First Pitched Snapchat as an App for ‘Certified Bros’,” Insider, February 3, 2017, https://www.insider.com/snap-ceo-evan-spiegel-pitched-snapchat-fratty-email-2011-certified-bro-2017-2.
Ante, and Emily Glazer, “In Facebook Deal, Board Was All but Out of Picture,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2012, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304818404577350191931921290. started out by asking for $2 billion: Raice, Ante, and Glazer, “In Facebook Deal, Board Was All but Out of Picture.” The discussions continued at Zuckerberg’s: Mike Swift and Pete Carey, “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Buys House in Palo Alto,” Mercury News, May 4, 2011, https://www.mercurynews.com/2011/05/04/facebooks-mark-zuckerberg-buys-house-in-palo-alto/. But if it’s a bubble: Aileen Lee, “Welcome to the Unicorn Club, 2015: Learning from Billion-Dollar Companies,” TechCrunch, July 18, 2015, https://techcrunch.com/2015/07/18/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club-2015-learning-from-billion-dollar-companies/. “The 13 employees of… multi-millionaires”: Julian Gavaghan and Lydia Warren, “Instagram’s 13 Employees Share $100M as CEO Set to Make $400M Reveals He Once Turned Down a Job at Facebook,” Daily Mail, April 9, 2012, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2127343/Facebook-buys-Instagram-13-employees-share-100m-CEO-Kevin-Systrom-set-make-400m.html.
selling to a South Korean company, Daum Kakao: Edwin Chan and Sarah Frier, “Morin Sells Chat App Path to South Korea’s Daum Kakao,” Bloomberg.com, May 29, 2015, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-29/path-s-david-morin-sells-chat-app-to-south-korea-s-daum-kakao. It was Facebook’s job to not let anyone: Evan Osnos, “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?,” New Yorker, September 10, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/17/can-mark-zuckerberg-fix-facebook-before-it-breaks-democracy. Analysts would later say that approving: Kurt Wagner, “Facebook’s Acquisition of Instagram Was the Greatest Regulatory Failure of the Past Decade, Says Stratechery’s Ben Thompson,” Vox, June 2, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/2/17413786/ben-thompson-facebook-google-aggregator-platform-code-conference-2018.
The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra
Cambridge Analytica controversy: Carole Cadwalladr, “ ‘I Made Steve Bannon’s Psychological Warfare Tool’: Meet the Data War Whistleblower,” Guardian, March 18, 2018. Mark Zuckerberg to testify: Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, testimony at hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, April 10, 2018, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Zuckerberg_Senate_Transcript_2018; Mark Zuckerberg, testimony at hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, April 11, 2018, https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF00/20180411/108090/HHRG-115-IF00-Transcript-20180411.pdf; Mark Zuckerberg, testimony at meeting of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, Brussels, May 22, 2018, https://www.c-span.org/video/?446000-1/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-testifies-eu-lawmakers. a public tirade: Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, “Better Advertising Enabled by Media Transparency,” speech at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting, January 29, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?
New users flocked to social platforms in droves, building armies of fresh profiles, wiring into what I call the “Hype Machine”—the real-time communications ecosystem created by social media. Describing their attempts to cope with the demand, Alex Schultz and Jay Parikh, Facebook’s heads of analytics and engineering, respectively, wrote, “Usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage every day.” Mark Zuckerberg was blunter: “We’re just trying to keep the lights on over here,” he said. As the entire planet was denied physical contact for months on end, the coronavirus shocked our use and perception of social technologies in dramatic ways. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram became indispensable sources of human connection, timely medical information, social support, outreach, pandemic fundraising, free impromptu concerts, collaborative art projects, and real-time updates about the spread of the virus.
The people who make the social media industry tick are dedicated technologists. They care about the future of our planet. They’re wicked smart, and they’re committed to making the world a better place. But social media’s impact on the world is not determined by intention alone. As we all know, there have been many missteps in building the Hype Machine. Following the death of George Floyd, Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to allow unaltered and unlabeled, divisive and inflammatory Facebook messages by President Trump that seemed to threaten violence in response to the protests and including the words “when the looting starts the shooting starts,” a phrase used by police chiefs and segregationist politicians during crackdowns against the civil rights movement. Twitter limited the public’s exposure to the president’s messages, saying it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”
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
Product/Market Fit Facebook achieved product/market fit for its core consumer experience almost immediately, hence its rapid growth. However, part of what makes Facebook a great company and Mark Zuckerberg a great CEO is that Facebook has been able to achieve product/market fit in additional and less obvious areas at other points in the company’s history. Many people forget how Facebook struggled with the transition from desktop to mobile. Facebook’s initial mobile product provided a slow, suboptimal experience, and adoption of that product was accordingly slow. Fortunately for Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg saw that the market was going mobile and put a moratorium on new feature development in order to focus the entire team on building a new, far superior mobile product. In parallel, he also moved quickly and decisively to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp; when they were announced, both acquisitions were considered pricey, but in hindsight they were clearly bargains.
But he and his team had spent eighteen seemingly fruitless months working on Airbnb before entering Y Combinator, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt. After all the blood, sweat, and tears, were they really willing to give up a quarter of their company? Ultimately, Brian decided not to buy Wimdu, swayed in part by the arguments of his key advisers. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg counseled him to fight. “Don’t buy them,” he said. “The best product will win.” YC’s Paul Graham gave similar feedback. “They’re mercenaries. You’re missionaries,” he told Brian. “They’re like people raising a baby they don’t actually want.” When Brian reached out to me for my advice on the situation, I too advised him not to buy Wimdu. The key issue wasn’t the price and dilution, but the way a merger could pose impediments to speed and success.
For example, Facebook began as a classic blitzscaling story. The year-over-year revenue growth during its first few years of existence were 2,150 percent, 433 percent, and 219 percent, going from zero to $153 million in revenue in 2007. Then the company went through a key transition, and growth dropped into the double-digit range as Facebook struggled with both monetization and the shift from desktop to mobile. Fortunately, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made two important moves: he personally led a shift from desktop-first to mobile-first, and he hired Sheryl Sandberg as the company’s COO, who in turn built Facebook into an advertising sales juggernaut. Growth rose back into the triple-digit range, and, by 2010, these moves had pushed Facebook’s revenues to over $2 billion. We’ll examine both of these key moves in greater detail later in the book, with Facebook’s shift to mobile featured in our analysis of Facebook’s business model, and Facebook’s hiring of Sheryl Sandberg in the section on the key transition from contributors to managers to executives.
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
But for the unintentional and the unexpected, nothing beats the history of Facebook, the Internet’s dominant social network, which was created by a young man so socially awkward that many consider him autistic. In his aptly named Accidental Billionaires, the bestselling story of Facebook’s early years on the campus of Harvard University, and on which David Fincher’s Academy Award–nominated 2010 movie The Social Network movie is based, Ben Mezrich reveals that the twenty-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was seen as a total misfit by Harvard contemporaries. Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s cofounder of “Thefacebook.com,” which they launched together in February 2004, thought of his partner as the socially “uncomfortable” and “awkward kid in the class,” a “complete mystery” with whom communication “was like talking to a computer,” while other Harvard students saw him as a “weird” and “socially autistic” geek with a “dead fish handshake.”81 Even after Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard later in 2004 and, a decade later, built Facebook into the Internet’s dominant social network, he still hadn’t shaken off his image as a socially disabled loner suffering from what Wired dubs “the Geek Syndrome.”82 Facebook’s onetime head of engineering, Yishan Wong, claimed that Zuckerberg has a “touch of Asperger’s” and “zero empathy.”83 And other seasoned Zuckerberg watchers, like Nicholas Carlson, the chief business correspondent at Business Insider, agree, seeing both his “obvious brilliance” and “his inability to hold conversation” as a “symptom” of his autism.84 But, in spite of—or, perhaps, because of—his inability to fashion a conversation, Zuckerberg has created the greatest generator of conversation in history, a social computer network whose 1.3 billion users were, by the summer of 2014, posting 2,460,000 comments to one another every minute of every day.
This was followed by Friendster in 2002 and then, in 2003, by the Los Angeles–based MySpace, a social network with a music and Hollywood focus that, at its 2008 peak, when it was acquired by News Corporation for $580 million, had 75.9 million members.86 But Facebook, which until September 2006 was exclusively made up of high school and university students, offered a less cluttered and more intuitive interface than MySpace. So, having opened its doors to the world outside of schools and universities, the so-called Mark Zuckerberg Production quickly became the Internet’s largest social network, amassing 100 million members by August 2008. And then the network effect, that positive feedback loop that makes the Internet such a classic winner-take-all market, kicked in. By February 2010, the Facebook community had grown to 400 million members, who spent 8 billion minutes each day on a network already operating in 75 different languages.87 Facebook had become the world’s second most popular Internet site after Google, a position that it’s maintained ever since.
By the summer of 2014 Facebook had grown to rival China’s population—hosting more than 1.3 billion members, around 19% of the people in the world, with 50% of them accessing the social network at least six days a week.88 Like Google, Facebook is becoming ever more powerful. In 2014 it made the successful shift to mobile technology, its app being “far and away the most popular service” on both the iOS and Android platforms, with its users spending an astonishing 17% of all their smartphone time in it. Mark Zuckerberg’s ten-year-old Internet company is thus likely to remain, with archrival Google, the Internet’s dominant company over the second decade of its remarkable history. Like Google, Facebook’s goal is to establish itself as a platform rather than a single website—a strategy that distinguishes it from failed Web 1.0 “portal”-style networks like MySpace. That’s why David Kirkpatrick, the author of the definitive Facebook history, The Facebook Effect,89 argues that the launch of Facebook Connect in 2008 and its Open Stream API in 2009, platforms that enable the creation of websites that resemble Facebook itself, was a “huge transition” and “as radical as any [Facebook] had ever attempted” because it enabled developers to turn the Internet inside out and transform it into an extended version of Facebook.
How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Oculus Rift, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, QR code, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, social graph, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Y Combinator, young professional
As all of this was happening, Evan appeared on the cover of Forbes’s January “30 Under 30” issue. An accompanying article promising “The Inside Story of Snapchat” ran on January 6, just three days after Primack said that Evan should be fired for the hack and refusing to apologize. The article began with an anecdote about Mark Zuckerberg emailing Evan to meet and Evan brashly responding “I’m happy to meet you … if you come to me.” Business Insider reporter Alyson Shontell tweeted her summary of the story with a caption, “If you didn’t think Spiegel was arrogant before, his email to Mark Zuckerberg will convince you.” Evan took to Twitter and replied with screenshots of his emails with Zuckerberg, showing that while he hadn’t agreed to rush right up to Facebook, he hadn’t played it quite as brashly as the Forbes story portrayed: Hey Evan, I’m a big fan of what you’re doing with Snapchat.
Forbes, January 6, 2014. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2014/01/06/the-inside-story-of-snapchat-the-worlds-hottest-app-or-a-3-billion-disappearing-act/#3961325c67d2 Constine, Josh. “Facebook Launches Snapchat Competitor ‘Poke,’ an iOS App for Sending Expiring Text, Photos, and Videos.” TechCrunch, December 21, 2012. https://techcrunch.com/2012/12/21/facebook-poke-app/ ________. “Mark Zuckerberg Is the Voice Behind the ‘Poke’ Notification Sound and Wrote Code for the App.” TechCrunch, December 21, 2012. https://techcrunch.com/2012/12/21/mark-zuckerberg-voice-of-poke/ Gallagher, Billy. “Snapchat Co-Founder Evan Spiegel Responds to Poke: ‘Welcome, Facebook. Seriously.’” TechCrunch, December 21, 2102. http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/21/snapchat-co-founder-evan-spiegel-responds-to-poke-welcome-facebook-seriously/ ________. “Facebook and Snapchat Go Toe to Toe: Why It’s Good for Both Companies.”
Paris Lemon, December 21, 2012. http://parislemon.com/post/38489227402/facebook-poke-for-mobile Taylor, Colleen. “Data Shows Online Buzz about Snapchat Is Skyrocketing after the Launch of Facebook Poke.” TechCrunch, December 28, 2012. https://techcrunch.com/2012/12/28/data-shows-online-buzz-about-snapchat-is-skyrocketing-after-the-launch-of-facebook-poke/ Wingfield, Nick, and Mike Isaac. “Mark Zuckerberg, in Suit, Testifies in Oculus Intellectual Property Trial.” New York Times, January 17, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/technology/mark-zuckerberg-oculus-trial-virtual-reality-facebook.html?_r=0 Chapter Twelve: Reggie’s Return Gallagher, Billy. “Snapchat Founders Face New Twist in Legal Battle as Alleged Co-Founder Files to Disqualify Their Lawyers.” TechCrunch, July 1, 2013. http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/01/ephemeral-representation/ ________. “Snapchat’s Spiegel Admits Brown ‘Came up with the Idea for Disappearing Picture Messages’ in New Court Documents.”
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
I just met with this kid Mark Zuckerberg, who is very smart, and he’s the guy building Facebook, and they say they have a ‘secret feature’ that’s going to launch that’s going to change everything! But he won’t tell me what it is. It’s driving me crazy. I can’t figure out what it is. Do you know anything about this? Can you figure it out? What do you think it could be?” And so we spent a little time talking about it, and we couldn’t really figure out what their “secret feature” that was going to change everything was. We got kind of obsessed about it. Two months after meeting Sean Parker, Mark Zuckerberg moved to Silicon Valley with the idea of turning his dorm-room project into a real business. Accompanying him were his cofounder and consigliere, Dustin Moskovitz, and a couple of interns. Mark Zuckerberg: Palo Alto was kind of like this mythical place where all the tech used to come from.
She’s like, “Oh yes, well, nobody in college uses MySpace.” There was something a little rough about MySpace. Mark Zuckerberg: So MySpace had almost a third of their staff monitoring the pictures that got uploaded for pornography. We hardly ever have any pornography uploaded. The reason is that people use their real names on Facebook. Adam D’Angelo: Real names are really important. Aaron Sittig: We got this clear early on because of something that was established as a community principle at The Well: You own your own words. And we took it farther than The Well. We always had everything be traceable back to a specific real person. Stewart Brand: The Well could have gone that route, but we did not. That was one of the mistakes we made. Mark Zuckerberg: And I think that that’s a really simple social solution to a possibly complex technical issue.
It felt like a project that’s gotten out of control and has this amazing business potential. Imagine your freshman dorm running a business, that’s really what it felt like. Mark Zuckerberg: Most businesses aren’t like a bunch of kids living in a house, doing whatever they want, not waking up at a normal time, not going into an office, hiring people by, like, bringing them into your house and letting them chill with you for a while and party with you and smoke with you. Ezra Callahan: The living room was the office with all these monitors and workstations set up everywhere and just whiteboards as far as the eye can see. At the time Mark Zuckerberg was obsessed with file sharing, and the grand plan for his Silicon Valley summer was to resurrect Napster. It would rise again, but this time as a feature inside of Facebook.
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
In other examples, critics zeroed in on the personal deficiencies of various founders and let that stand for critique of the power of their companies and abuse of that power. David Fincher’s 2010 film, The Social Network, followed this line of attack, as it characterized Mark Zuckerberg as a spiteful backstabber and Facebook as a product in his image (auteur theory, but for Silicon Valley). This correlation without basis—bad man equals bad company—offered an easy gambit to neutralize the diatribe. Indeed, several months after the film was released, its message was subject to reappraisal. Aaron Sorkin apologized to Mark Zuckerberg at the Golden Globes, where he received an award for best screenplay. He was “wrong,” he said onstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Clutching the gold trophy, Sorkin wondered aloud if the Facebook founder was watching, and said, “You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a visionary, and an incredible altruist.”
While backing up files is an individual solution, Google’s deletion of information is a break in shared knowledge: blog readers looking to reread an old post that has been lost are left with only their faulty memories of it. Steven Levy’s 2011 book In the Plex details a baffling exchange with Sergey Brin, who couldn’t understand why he was writing a book about the company in the first place. “Why don’t you just write some articles?” Brin asked Levy. “Or release this a chapter at a time?” (Mark Zuckerberg had similar antipathy. On his own social network, in its early years, he responded to the profile topic “Favorite Books” with “I don’t read.”) Brin made similar comments to Ken Auletta, who relayed these quotes in his book Googled, published in 2009. “People don’t buy books,” Brin said to Auletta. “You might make more money if you put it online.” Brin must have felt strongly about the uselessness of books, or why would he say this to the two journalists who received extensive access to his company—to write books?
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
how Google will someday employ more than one million people: Levy, Wired, January 17, 2013. CHAPTER THREE: MARK ZUCKERBERG’S WAR ON FREE WILL But they were really small-minded paper-pushers: Steven Levy, Hackers (O’Reilly Media, 2010), 29, 96. a box that enabled free long-distance calls: Markoff, Dormouse, 272. In high school—using the nom de hack Zuck Fader: Patrick Gillespie, “Was Mark Zuckerberg an AOL Add-on Developer?,” patorjk.com, April 9, 2013. “One thing is certain,” he wrote on a blog: Ben Mezrich, The Accidental Billionaires (Anchor Books, 2009), 49. “We’ve got this whole ethos that we want to build a hacker culture”: Levy, Hackers, 475. “just this group of computer scientists who were trying to quickly prototype”: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stumbles: ‘There’s always a next move,’” Today, February 4, 2014.
Classification: LCC T14.5 (ebook) | LCC T14.5 .F63 2017 (print) | DDC 303.48/3—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017008656 Version_1 TO BERT FOER Ardent Trustbuster, Gentle Father “The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.” Thomas Jefferson, 1773 CONTENTS Also by Franklin Foer Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph PROLOGUE SECTION I THE MONOPOLISTS OF MIND 1. THE VALLEY IS WHOLE, THE WORLD IS ONE 2. THE GOOGLE THEORY OF HISTORY 3. MARK ZUCKERBERG’S WAR ON FREE WILL 4. JEFF BEZOS DISRUPTS KNOWLEDGE 5. KEEPERS OF THE BIG GATE IN THE SKY 6. BIG TECH’S SMOKE-FILLED ROOM SECTION II WORLD WITHOUT MIND 7. THE VIRALITY VIRUS 8. DEATH OF THE AUTHOR SECTION III TAKE BACK THE MIND 9. IN SEARCH OF THE ANGEL OF DATA 10. THE ORGANIC MIND 11. THE PAPER REBELLION Acknowledgments Notes Index PROLOGUE UNTIL RECENTLY, it was easy to define our most widely known corporations.
I experienced an industrial-strength version of this narrative. Most of my career was spent at the New Republic—a little magazine based in Washington, always with fewer than one hundred thousand subscribers, devoted to politics and literature. We sputtered our way through the convulsions of the Internet era, until Chris Hughes bought the magazine in 2012. Chris wasn’t just a savior; he was a face of the zeitgeist. At Harvard, Chris had roomed with Mark Zuckerberg, who had anointed him one of the first employees of Facebook. Chris gave our fusty old magazine a millennial imprimatur, a bigger budget, and an insider’s knowledge of social media. We felt as if we carried the hopes of journalism, which was yearning for a dignified solution to all that ailed it. Chris hired me to edit the New Republic—a position I had held once before—and we began to remake the magazine, setting out to fulfill our own impossibly high expectations.
The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Simon Bowers, ‘Google expected to reveal growth of offshore cash funds to $43bn’, Guardian, 26 January 2016; Alanna Petroff, ‘Top 50 U.S. companies hold $1.4 trillion in cash offshore’, CNN, 14 April 2016. 10. The project proposes . . . Hannah Kuchler, ‘Facebook launches journalism project’, Financial Times, 11 January 2017. 11. When Mark Zuckerberg writes . . . Jeff John Roberts, ‘Why Facebook Won’t Admit It’s a Media Company’, Fortune, 14 November 2016; Karissa Bell, ‘Facebook: We’re not a media company. Also Facebook: Watch our news shows’, Mashable, 8 June 2018. 12. Mark Zuckerberg’s extreme agnosticism . . . Kara Swisher, ‘Full transcript: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Recode Decode’, Recode (www.recode.net), 18 July 2018; Alex Hern, ‘Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks on Holocaust denial “irresponsible”’, Guardian, 19 July 2018. 13. Facebook’s old media competitors miss the mark . . . Sam Thielman, ‘Facebook news selection is in hands of editors not algorithms, documents show’, Guardian, 12 May 2016. 14.
David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011, p. 118. 5. One of the site’s earliest users . . . Julia Carrie Wong, ‘I was one of Facebook’s first users. I shouldn’t have trusted Mark Zuckerberg’, Guardian, 17 April 2018. 6. He told a friend . . . Josh Halliday, ‘Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg college messages reveal steely ambition’, Guardian, 18 May 2012. 7. But one of Twitter’s early founders . . . Nick Bilton, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, Penguin: New York, 2013, p. 152. 8. As he told the university newspaper . . . Alan J. Tabak, ‘Hundreds Register for New Facebook Website’, The Harvard Crimson, 9 February 2004; see also Tom Huddleston Jr., ‘Here’s how 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg described “The Facebook” in his first TV interview’, CNBC, 17 April 2018. 9. By 2005 . . . David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011, p. 319. 10.
Google has funded a UK start-up, Factmata, to develop tools for automatically checking facts – such as, say, economic growth figures, or the numbers of immigrants arriving in the USA last year. Twitter uses tools created by IBM Watson to target cyberbullying, while a Google project, Conversation AI, promises to detect aggressive users with sophisticated AI technology. And as depression and suicide become more common, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new tools to combat depression, with Zuckerberg even claiming that AI could spot suicidal tendencies in a user before a friend would. But the social industry giants are increasingly caught out by a growing number of defectors, who have expressed regret over the tools they helped create. Chamath Palihapitiya, a Canadian venture capitalist with philanthropic leanings, is a former Facebook executive with a guilty conscience.
Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever by Alex Kantrowitz
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, hive mind, income inequality, Infrastructure as a Service, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, new economy, Peter Thiel, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, wealth creators, zero-sum game
“Growth at Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection in 2016 Memo—and Warned That Facebook Could Get People Killed.” BuzzFeed News. BuzzFeed News, March 29, 2018. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/growth-at-any-cost-top-facebook-executive-defended-data. his opening statement: Stewart, Emily. “What Mark Zuckerberg Will Tell Congress About the Facebook Scandals.” Vox. Vox, April 10, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/9/17215640/mark-zuckerberg-congress-testimony-facebook. Cameroon: McAllister, Edward. “Facebook’s Cameroon Problem: Stop Online Hate Stoking Conflict.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, November 4, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cameroon-insight/facebooks-cameroon-problem-stop-online-hate-stoking-conflict-idUSKCN1NA0GW. and Sri Lanka: Rajagopalan, Megha.
Medium, September 4, 2018. https://medium.com/square-corner-blog/a-silent-meeting-is-worth-a-thousand-words-2c7213b12fb6. a New York Times op-ed: Grant, Adam. “What Straight-A Students Get Wrong.” New York Times. New York Times, December 8, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/opinion/college-gpa-career-success.html?module=inline. Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million: Hensley-Clancy, Molly. “What Happened to the $100 Million Mark Zuckerberg Gave to Newark Schools?” BuzzFeed News. BuzzFeed News, October 8, 2015. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mollyhensleyclancy/what-happened-to-zuckerbergs-100-million. a 2017 AP investigation found: Flaccus, Gillian, and Geoff Mulvihill. “Amid Booming Economy, Homelessness Soars on US West Coast.” Associated Press. AP News, November 9, 2017. https://apnews.com/d480434bbacd4b028ff13cd1e7cea155.
CNBC, November 13, 2018. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/13/amazon-tax-incentives-in-new-york-city-virginia-and-nashville.html. Amazon fought back: Semuels, Alana. “How Amazon Helped Kill a Seattle Tax on Business.” Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, June 13, 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/how-amazon-helped-kill-a-seattle-tax-on-business/562736. tens of billions: Honan, Mat, and Alex Kantrowitz. “Mark Zuckerberg Has Baby and Says He Will Give Away 99% of His Facebook Shares.” BuzzFeed News. BuzzFeed News, December 1, 2015. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mathonan/mark-zuckerberg-has-baby-and-says-he-will-give-away-99-of-hi. Amazon AI tool gone bad: Dastin, Jeffrey. “Amazon Scraps Secret AI Recruiting Tool That Showed Bias Against Women.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, October 9, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-jobs-automation-insight/amazon-scraps-secret-ai-recruiting-tool-that-showed-bias-against-women-idUSKCN1MK08G.
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
I could never have guessed that one day I would revisit two of the characters from that story—Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the identical twins who challenged Mark Zuckerberg over the origins of what would soon be one of the most powerful companies on Earth. In the world The Accidental Billionaires was published into, Facebook was the revolution, and Mark Zuckerberg the revolutionary. He was attempting to change the social order—how society interacted and how people met, communicated, fell in love, and lived. The Winklevoss twins were his perfect foils: buttoned-down “Men of Harvard,” privileged jocks who, in many ways easy to see, appeared to represent the “Establishment.” Today things seem different. Mark Zuckerberg is a household name. Facebook is ubiquitous, dominating much of the internet (even as it seems to be constantly embroiled in scandals ranging from hacked user data to fake news items and providing a platform for political-based disruptions).
Cameron didn’t think he recognized the guy, but he seemed to be about Cameron and Tyler’s age, maybe a little younger, but then again, in playa garb, covered in dirt, Cameron might not have recognized Tyler if he wasn’t standing right next to him. “We sure are,” Cameron said. “Um, wow. Cool. I’m Dustin Moskovitz.” If Cameron didn’t know the face, he certainly knew the name. Moskovitz had cofounded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, and had been his number two until he’d left the company in 2008 to start his own business, Asana, a software-service company that helped teams work more efficiently. Forbes had named Moskovitz the youngest self-made billionaire in history, because he was eight days younger than Mark Zuckerberg and owned more than 2 percent of Facebook. They had attended Harvard together but had traveled in very different circles. Cameron had never met Moskovitz and wouldn’t have been able to pick him out of a lineup. That said, Moskovitz had been personally named as a defendant in their lawsuit and had no doubt followed its progress, like much of the world, as it wound its way through the legal system for years.
“Like a tiger in a cage,” Cameron said as they followed Piazza and their lawyer out into the hallway. “Keep the tranquilizer gun ready. If you see me going for his throat, do me a favor and aim for the blazer. It’s my brother’s.” Neither the lawyer nor the mediator cracked even the slightest of smiles. * * * Walking into the fishbowl forty minutes later was one of the most surreal moments in Cameron Winklevoss’s life. Mark Zuckerberg was already seated at the long, rectangular table in the center of the room. It seemed to Cameron that his five-foot-seven-inch frame was propped up on a thick extra cushion placed on his chair—a billionaire’s booster seat. Cameron felt vaguely self-conscious as he closed the glass door behind him; he could see Tyler and his lawyer taking seats directly behind him on the other side of the glass.
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff
Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck
Larry Page, “2013 Google I/O Keynote,” Google I/O, May 15, 2013, http://www.pcworld.com/article/2038841/hello-larry-googles-page-on-negativity-laws-and-competitors.html. 10. “Facebook’s (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Q4 2014 Results—Earnings Call Transcript,” Seeking Alpha, January 29, 2015, https://seekingalpha.com/article/2860966-facebooks-fb-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-on-q4-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript. 11. See Ashlee Vance, “Facebook: The Making of 1 Billion Users,” Bloomberg.com, October 4, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-10-04/face book-the-making-of-1-billion-users. 12. “Facebook’s (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Q4 2014 Results.” 13. “Facebook (FB) Mark Elliot Zuckerberg on Q1 2016 Results—Earnings Call Transcript,” Seeking Alpha, April 28, 2016, https://seekingalpha.com/article/3968783-facebook-fb-mark-elliot-zuckerberg-q1-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript. 14. Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634. 15.
Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634. 15. Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Keynote at F8 2017 Conference (Full Transcript),” April 19, 2017, https://singjupost.com/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerbergs-keynote-at-f8-2017-conference-full-transcript. 16. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” German Stories at Virginia Commonwealth University, 1797, http://germanstories.vcu.edu/goethe/zauber_e4.html. 17. Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie P. Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1979), 20. 18. Manuel and Manuel, Utopian Thought, 23 (italics mine). 19. Todd Bishop and Nat Levy, “With $256 Billion, Apple Has More Cash Than Amazon, Microsoft and Google Combined,” GeekWire, May 2, 2017, https://www.geekwire.com/2017/256-billion-apple-cash-amazon-microsoft-google-combined. 20.
William M. Van der Weyde (New Rochelle, NY: Thomas Paine Historical Society, 1925), 6:97. 55. Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99. 56. Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634. 57. Karissa Bell, “Zuckerberg Removed a Line About Monitoring Private Messages from His Facebook Manifesto,” Mashable, February 16, 2017, http://mashable.com/2017/02/16/mark-zuckerberg-manifesto-ai. 58. Heather Kelly, “Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why He Just Changed Facebook’s Mission,” CNNMoney, June 22, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/22/technology/facebook-zuckerberg-interview/index.html. 59. Pippa Norris, “Is Western Democracy Backsliding?
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce
“When I was a kid”: Will Drabold, “Read Peter Thiel’s Speech at the Republican National Convention,” Time, July 21, 2016, http://time.com/4417679/republican-convention-peter-thiel-transcript. “We care deeply about diversity”: Jeff John Roberts, “Mark Zuckerberg Says Trump Supporter Peter Thiel Still Has a Place on Facebook’s Board,” Fortune, Oct. 19, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/10/19/zuckerberg-thiel. “I think you need”: Melanie Ehrenkranz, “Mark Zuckerberg’s Defense of Peter Thiel Reveals a Flawed Understanding of Diversity,” Mic, March 14, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerbergs-defense-of-peter-thiel-reveals-a-flawed-understanding-of-diversity-2017-3. “whole, you know, age of computer”: Jeremy Diamond, “Trump, the Computer and Email Skeptic-in-Chief,” CNN, Dec. 30, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/29/politics/donald-trump-computers-internet-email/index.html.
This was just as Facebook was starting to take off with its soon-to-be-iconic founder. “Mark Zuckerberg . . . had quit Harvard and would go to parties at Stanford,” Lake recalls. “That was what I thought of as an entrepreneur. Someone who coded in their basement.” At school, she gravitated toward economics and abandoned medical school for management consulting. After graduation, she joined the Parthenon Group, where she focused on retail and restaurants and realized that many retail businesses either don’t have or don’t effectively use customer data. She then became an associate at a small venture capital firm, in hopes of finding a retail start-up she might like to work for. After meeting hundreds of entrepreneurs, she didn’t find a single company appealing as an employer, but she also realized that not all founders actually look like Mark Zuckerberg. “That was inspiration,” Lake says.
“When you write a line of code, you can affect a lot of people,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, told me as we sat in her so-called Only Good News conference room at the social network’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. “It matters that there aren’t enough women in computer science. It matters that there aren’t enough women in engineering. It matters that there aren’t enough women CEOs. It matters that there aren’t enough women VCs. It matters that there isn’t enough of a track record of entrepreneurs to fund,” she told me. “Everyone is looking for the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg. There’s pattern matching that goes on there, and they don’t look like you and they don’t look like me.” The absence of women in tech has real effects. “The best technology and the best products are built by people who have really diverse perspectives,” Marissa Mayer, the former Yahoo CEO, told me. “And I do think women and men have diverse perspectives.” The unfortunate truth is that right now men’s voices dominate and we see the results.
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
did a keg stand: Clare O’Connor, “Video: Mark Zuckerberg in 2005, Talking Facebook (While Dustin Moskovitz Does a Keg Stand),” Forbes, August 15, 2011, accessed October 7, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2011/08/15/video-mark-zuckerberg-in-2005-talking-facebook-while-dustin-moskovitz-does-a-keg-stand/#629cb86571a5. “anything you can find on the web”: Ruchi Sanghvi, “Facebook Gets a Facelift,” Facebook, September 5, 2006, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/facebook-gets-a-facelift/2207967130/. “just too creepy, too stalker-esque”: Brenton Thornicroft, “Something to Consider before You Complain about Facebook’s News Feed Updates,” Forbes, April 2, 2013, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/04/02/something-to-consider-before-you-complain-about-facebooks-news-feed-updates/#7154da847938. “you control of them”: Mark Zuckerberg, “An Open Letter from Mark Zuckerberg,” Facebook, September 8, 2006, accessed September 18, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/an-open-letter-from-mark-zuckerberg/2208562130/.
“Move fast and break things”: This section draws from my interview with Sanghvi, as well as several books, articles, and videos about the early days of Facebook, including: Daniela Hernandez, “Facebook’s First Female Engineer Speaks Out on Tech’s Gender Gap,” Wired, December 12, 2014, https://www.wired.com/2014/12/ruchi-qa/; Mark Zuckerberg, “Live with the Original News Feed Team,” Facebook video, 25:36, September 6, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/zuck/videos/10103087013971051; David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011); INKtalksDirector, Ruchi Sanghvi: From Facebook to Facing the Unknown, YouTube, 11:50, March 20, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64AaXC00bkQ; TechCrunch, TechFellow Awards: Ruchi Sanghvi, TechCrunch video, 4:40, March 4, 2012, https://techcrunch.com/video/techfellow-awards-ruchi-sanghvi/517287387/; FWDus2, Ruchi’s Story, YouTube, 1:24, May 10, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i86ibVt1OMM.; all videos accessed August 16, 2018. did a keg stand: Clare O’Connor, “Video: Mark Zuckerberg in 2005, Talking Facebook (While Dustin Moskovitz Does a Keg Stand),” Forbes, August 15, 2011, accessed October 7, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2011/08/15/video-mark-zuckerberg-in-2005-talking-facebook-while-dustin-moskovitz-does-a-keg-stand/#629cb86571a5.
a year in advertising: Janko Roettgers, “Facebook Says It’s Cutting Down on Viral Videos as 2017 Revenue Tops $40 Billion,” Variety, January 31, 2018, accessed August 18, 2018, https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/facebook-q4-2017-earnings-1202683184/. what you already “liked”: Clive Thompson, “Social Networks Must Face Up to Their Political Impact,” Wired, February 5, 2017, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.wired.com/2017/01/social-networks-must-face-political-impact. “divisiveness and isolation”: Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634/. “eating the world”: Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2011, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460. trained machine learning: John Morris, “How Facebook Scales AI,” ZDNet, June 6, 2018, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-facebook-scales-ai/.
The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin
Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator
Wagner, “Number of General Motors employees between FY 2010 and FY 2018,” Statista, February 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/239843/employees-of-general-motors/; Lockheed Martin, “About Lockheed Martin,” https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are.html; Jan Conway, “Number of Employees Kroger 2014–2018,” Statista, April 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/717646/kroger-number-employees/; Home Depot, “About Home Depot,” https://corporate.homedepot.com/about. 9 Nikhil Swaminathan, “Inside the Growing Guest Worker Program Trapping Indian Students in Virtual Servitude,” Mother Jones, September/October 2017, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/09/inside-the-growing-guest-worker-program-trapping-indian-students-in-virtual-servitude. 10 Annalee Newitz, “Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto is a political trainwreck,” Ars Technica, February 18, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/staff/2017/02/op-ed-mark-zuckerbergs-manifesto-is-a-political-trainwreck/; Ezra Klein, “Mark Zuckerberg’s theory of human history,” Vox, February 18, 2017, http://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/2/18/14653542/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-manifesto-sapiens. 11 Gregory Ferenstein, “The Disrupters,” City Journal, Winter 2017, https://www.city-journal.org/html/disrupters-14950.html. 12 Gregory Ferenstein, “A Lot of Billionaires Are Giving to Democrats. Here’s a Look at Their Agenda,” Forbes, February 26, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregoryferenstein/2016/02/26/a-lot-of-billionaires-are-giving-to-democrats-heres-a-data-driven-look-at-their-agenda/#2002ef134869; Greg Ferenstein, “Why are Billionaires Ditching the Republican Party?”
Here’s a Look at Their Agenda,” Forbes, February 26, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregoryferenstein/2016/02/26/a-lot-of-billionaires-are-giving-to-democrats-heres-a-data-driven-look-at-their-agenda/#2002ef134869; Greg Ferenstein, “Why are Billionaires Ditching the Republican Party?” Medium, February 26, 2016, https://medium.com/@ferenstein/a-lot-of-billionaires-are-giving-to-democrats-here-s-a-look-at-their-agenda-b5038c2ecb34. 13 Todd Haselton, “Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money,” Yahoo, May 25, 2017, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-joins-silicon-valley-202800717.html; Patrick Gillespie, “Mark Zuckerberg supports universal basic income. What is it?” CNN, May 6, 2017, https://money.cnn.com/2017/05/26/news/economy/mark-zuckerberg-universal-basic-income/index.html; Chris Weller, “Elon Musk doubles down on universal basic income: ‘It’s going to be necessary,’” Business Insider, February 13, 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-universal-basic-income-2017-2; Patrick Caughill, “Another Silicon Valley Exec Joins the Ranks of Universal Basic Income Supporters,” Futurism, September 8, 2017, https://futurism.com/another-silicon-valley-exec-joins-the-ranks-of-universal-basic-income-supporters; Sam Altman, “Moving Forward on Basic Income,” Y Combinator, May 31, 2016, https://blog.ycombinator.com/moving-forward-on-basic-income/; Diane Francis, “The Beginning of the End of Work,” American Interest, March 19, 2018, https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/03/19/beginning-end-work/. 14 “The YIMBY Guide to Bullying and Its Results: SB 827 Goes Down in Committee,” City Watch LA, April 19, 2018, https://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles/15298-the-yimby-guide-to-bullying-and-its-results-sb-827-goes-down-in-committee; John Mirisch, “Tech Oligarchs and the California Housing Crisis,” California Political Review, April 15, 2018, http://www.capoliticalreview.com/top-stories/tech-Oligarchs-and-the-california-housing-crisis/; Joel Kotkin, “Giving Common Sense a Chance in California,” City Journal, April 26, 2018, https://www.city-journal.org/html/giving-common-sense-chance-california-15868.html. 15 Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, trans.
While the oligarchs might speak of a commitment to building what Mark Zuckerberg calls “meaningful community,” they rarely mention upward mobility.10 Having interviewed 147 digital company founders, Gregory Ferenstein notes that they generally don’t expect their workers or consumers to achieve more independence by starting their own companies or even owning houses. Most, Ferenstein adds, believe that an “increasingly greater share of economic wealth will be generated by a smaller slice of very talented or original people. Everyone else will come to subsist on some combination of part-time entrepreneurial ‘gig work’ and government aid.”11 Ferenstein says that many tech titans, in contrast to business leaders of the past, favor a radically expanded welfare state.12 Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick (former head of Uber), and Sam Altman (founder of Y Combinator) all favor a guaranteed annual income, in part to allay fears of insurrection by a vulnerable and struggling workforce.
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator
execbios. 178 “come to Google because they choose to”: Greg Jarboe, “A ‘Fireside Chat’ with Google’s Sergey Brin,” Search Engine Watch, Oct. 16, 2003, accessed Dec. 16,2010, http://searchenginewatch.com/3081081. 178 “the future will be personalized”: Gord Hotckiss, “Just Behave: Google’s Marissa Mayer on Personalized Search,” Searchengineland, Feb. 23, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://searchengineland.com/just-behave-googles-marissa-mayer-on-personalized-search-10592. 179 “It’s technology, not business or government”: David Kirpatrick, “With a Little Help from his Friends,” Vanity Fair (Oct. 2010), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/10/sean-parker-201010. 179 “seventh kingdom of life”: Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants (New York: Viking, 2010). 180 “shirt or fleece that I own”: Mark Zuckerberg, remarks to Startup School Conference, XConomy, Oct. 18, 2010, accessed Feb. 8, 2010, www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2010/10/18/mark-zuckerberg-goes-to-startup-school-video//. 181 “ ‘the rest of the world is wrong’ ”: David A. Wise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Random House, 2005), 42. 182 “tradeoffs with success in other domains”: Jeffrey M. O’Brien, “The PayPal Mafia,” Fortune, Nov. 14, 2007, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/13/magazines/fortune/paypal_mafia.fortune/index2.htm. 183 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion: Troy Wolverton, “It’s official: eBay Weds PayPal,” CNET News, Oct. 3, 2002, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://news.cnet.com/Its-official-eBay-weds-PayPal/2100-1017_3-960658.html. 183 “impact and force change”: Peter Thie, “Education of a Libertarian,” Cato Unbound, Apr. 13, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/the-education-of-a-libertarian. 183 “end the inevitability of death and taxes”: Chris Baker, “Live Free or Drown: Floating Utopias on the Cheap,” Wired, Jan. 19, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/magazine/17-02/mf_seasteading?
Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content. http://us.penguingroup.com To my grandfather, Ray Pariser, who taught me that scientific knowledge is best used in the pursuit of a better world. And to my community of family and friends, who fill my bubble with intelligence, humor, and love. INTRODUCTION A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa. —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us. —Marshall McLuhan, media theorist Few people noticed the post that appeared on Google’s corporate blog on December 4, 2009. It didn’t beg for attention—no sweeping pronouncements, no Silicon Valley hype, just a few paragraphs of text sandwiched between a weekly roundup of top search terms and an update about Google’s finance software.
It would be one thing if all this customization was just about targeted advertising. But personalization isn’t just shaping what we buy. For a quickly rising percentage of us, personalized news feeds like Facebook are becoming a primary news source—36 percent of Americans under thirty get their news through social networking sites. And Facebook’s popularity is skyrocketing worldwide, with nearly a million more people joining each day. As founder Mark Zuckerberg likes to brag, Facebook may be the biggest source of news in the world (at least for some definitions of “news”). And personalization is shaping how information flows far beyond Facebook, as Web sites from Yahoo News to the New York Times–funded startup News.me cater their headlines to our particular interests and desires. It’s influencing what videos we watch on YouTube and a dozen smaller competitors, and what blog posts we see.
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
What Kalanick was describing, without realizing it, was a proto-version of Napster, the iconic file-sharing network co-founded by Sean Parker, an internet entrepreneur and, later, an early advisor to Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. Eventually, Kalanick joined six of his friends to build Scour.net, a Google-like search engine that gave users the ability to “scour” millions of files and then download them, like Napster. Kalanick later claimed to be a co-founder, though his friends disputed this status. Eventually, Kalanick was tasked with Scour’s sales and marketing efforts. By his senior year, Kalanick decided to drop out of UCLA to work on Scour full time, following the example of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and, later, Mark Zuckerberg. It upset his parents, though they wouldn’t tell him as much until years later. He technically lived at home, but spent all his time down the road in a two-bedroom apartment with his six other co-workers, where he “worked, ate and slept.”
Fast-rising rents pushed wage earners out of San Francisco, while landlords flipped those former apartments to new, wealthier tenants. The “gig economy” unleashed by companies like Uber, Instacart, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash spurred an entirely new class of workers—the blue-collar techno-laborer. With the rise of Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Snapchat, venture capitalists looked everywhere to fund the next Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, or Evan Spiegel—the newest brilliant mind who sought, in the words of Steve Jobs, to “make a dent in the universe.” And as more money flowed into the Valley from outside investors—from hedge funds and private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and Hollywood celebrities—the balance of power shifted from those who held the purse strings to the founders who brought the bright ideas and willingness to execute them.
But during the panic, leaders focused mostly on Wall Street, and not Big Tech. Slashing interest rates to save the banks would have profound effects on technologists and entrepreneurs—particularly on a fifty-mile stretch of Route 101 in Northern California. In a way, the carnage of the dot-com bust had done the Valley more good than ill. The bust separated the dot-com poseurs from the actual valuable companies. Led by Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg, a new generation of entrepreneurs seemed to understand intuitively how to harness the true power of the internet, and turn it into a profitable business. There were three important ingredients that fueled the new generation of entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg and Page. First, By 2008, more than 75 percent of American households owned computers, and unlike the 1990s and early 2000s, this mass population had access to broadband; more than half of American adults in 2008 purchased a high-speed internet connection for the home.
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman
23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar
“‘Twitter Is Not to Be a Triumph of Technology but of Humanity’—Biz Stone.” AllTwitter, a blog on Mediabistro. Nov. 10, 2010. mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-is-not-to-be-a-triumph-of-technology-but-of-humanity-biz-stone_b169. 6 Apple profile: “Twitter. Triumph of Humanity.” Apple. apple.com/se/business/profiles/twitter. 6 connectivity is a human right: Tamar Weinberg. “SXSW: Mark Zuckerberg Keynote (the Edited Liveblogged Version).” Techipedia. March 11, 2008. techipedia.com/2008/mark-zuckerberg-sxsw-keynote. 6 “bringing your vision to the world”: Katherine Losse. The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012, 201. 6 “we know what you like”: Alexia Tsotsis. “Eric Schmidt: ‘We Know Where You Are, We Know What You Like.’” TechCrunch. Sept. 7, 2010. techcrunch.com/2010/09/07/eric-schmidt-ifa. 7 “the phone tells you”: Jacob Ward.
March 28, 2014. valleywag.gawker.com/airbnb-is-suddenly-begging-newyork-city-to-tax-its-hos-1553889167. 244 “we literally stand on the brink”: Tom Slee. “Why the Sharing Economy Isn’t.” 245 Nandini Balial background and TaskRabbit experience: Author interviews with Nandini Balial. July and August 2014. 249 “a human right”: Queena Kim. “Mark Zuckerberg: Internet Connectivity Is a Human right.” Marketplace. Aug. 21, 2013. marketplace.org/topics/tech/mark-zuckerberg-internet-connectivity-human-right. 249 “Companies are transcending power”: Kevin Roose. “The Government Shutdown Has Revealed Silicon Valley’s Dysfunction Fetish.” New York. Oct 16, 2013. nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/silicon-valleys-dysfunction-fetish.html. 250 “the paper belt”: Nick Statt. “A Radical Dream for Making Techno Utopias a Reality.”
Introduction The Ideology of Social Engineered to Like Pics or It Didn’t Happen The Viral Dream Churnalism and the Problem of Social News To Watch and Be Watched The War Against Identity The Reputation Racket Life and Work in the Sharing Economy Digital Serfdom; or, We All Work for Facebook The Myth of Privacy Big Data and the Informational Appetite Social-Media Rebellion Acknowledgments Notes Index About the Author Copyright About the Publisher Instant messages between Mark Zuckerberg and a friend after Facebook launched: Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard Zuck: Just ask. Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS [Redacted friend’s name]: What? How’d you manage that one? Zuck: People just submitted it. Zuck: I don’t know why. Zuck: They “trust me” Zuck: Dumb fucks. A quarter-century after the advent of the World Wide Web, communication has become synonymous with surveillance.
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
Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, owns just under 23 percent of his company and is worth over $50 billion; in 2013 Forbes ranked him the country’s third richest man.20 Bill Gates, the country’s richest man, is worth $78 billion and still controls 7 percent of his firm.21 Mark Zuckerberg’s 29.3 percent stake in Facebook is worth upwards of $25 billion.22 As a result, like their far less admired counterparts on Wall Street, America’s elite tech firms—and their owners—have become fantastically cash rich. Besides GE, a classic conglomerate, the largest cash hordes now belong to Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and Google, all of whom sometimes have more dollars on hand than the U.S. government. Seven of the eight biggest individual winners from stock gains in 2013 were tech entrepreneurs, led by Jeff Bezos, who added $12 billion to his paper wealth; Mark Zuckerberg, who raked in an additional $11.9 billion; and Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who saw their wallets expand by roughly $9 billion.23 Of course, these numbers can rise and fall with market shifts, but the long-term impact of this accumulation of wealth will be profound.
Kroll and Dolan, “The Forbes 400,” profile no. 1, “Bill Gates,” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/gallery/bill-gates. 22. Romain Dillet, “Zuckerberg Now Owns 29.3 Percent of Facebook’s Class a Shares and This Stake Is worth $13.6 Billion,” TechCrunch, February 15, 2013, http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/15/zuckerberg-now-owns-29-3-percent-of-facebook-representing-18-billion; Kroll and Dolan, “The Forbes 400,” profile no. 20, “Mark Zuckerberg, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/profile/mark-zuckerberg. 23. David Yanofsky, “All of These Companies Have More Cash Right Now than the U.S. Government,” Quartz, October 10, 2013, http://qz.com/134093/all-of-these-companies-have-more-cash-right-now-than-the-us-government. 24. Brian Solomon, “The World’s Youngest Billionaires: 29 Under 40,” Forbes, March 4, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2013/03/04/the-worlds-youngest-billionaires-23-under-40. 25.
Blue Origin (website), http://www.blueorigin.com; Sheraz Sadiq, “Silicon Valley Goes to Space,” KQED Science (blog), November 18, 2013, http://blogs.kqed.org/science/video/silicon-valley-goes-to-space; Max Luke and Jenna Mukuno, “Boldly Going Where No Greens Have Gone Before,” Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2014. 80. Reid J. Epstein, “Mark Zuckerberg Immigration Group’s Status: Looking for Footing,” Politico, April 4, 2013, http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/mark-zuckerberg-immigration-groups-status-stumbling-89652.html. 81. Drew FitzGerald and Spencer E. Ante, “Tech Firms Push to Control Web’s Pipes,” All Things Digital, December 17, 2013, http://allthingsd.com/20131217/tech-firms-push-to-control-webs-pipes; Drew FitzGerald and Daisuke Wakabayashi, “Apple Quietly Builds New Networks,” Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2014. 82.
The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett
Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator
They are products of completely different eras and run according to different rules and principles. The machinery of democracy was built during a time of nation-states, hierarchies, deference and industrialised economies. The fundamental features of digital tech are at odds with this model: non-geographical, decentralised, data-driven, subject to network effects and exponential growth. Put simply: democracy wasn’t designed for this. That’s not really anyone’s fault, not even Mark Zuckerberg’s. I’m hardly alone in thinking this, by the way. Many early digital pioneers saw how what they called ‘cyberspace’ was mismatched with the physical world, too. John Perry Barlow’s oft-quoted 1996 Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace sums up this tension rather well: ‘Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours.
Similarly, the introduction of a ‘like’ button in 2009 came from a much older subfield of – yes, this really exists – Liking Studies, which has long shown that likability is an advert’s most potent characteristic.8 (Apparently Facebook originally planned an ‘awesome’ button.)9 Sean Parker, Facebook’s first President, recently called the ‘like’ button ‘a social-validation feedback loop . . . exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology’. He said that he, Mark Zuckerberg and others understood this, ‘And we did it anyway’.10 Data The Holy Grail for the social media giants, just as it always has been for all ad men, is to understand you better than you understand yourself. To predict what you will do, say and even think. Facebook doesn’t collect data about you for fun; it does it to get inside your head. What the company knows about you, based solely on the untold hours you’ve spent there, is enough to fill several binders – interests, age, friends, job, activity and more.
McLuhan remains a distant inspiration for Silicon Valley, one of the original thought leaders and intellectual rock stars of the tech revolution. His ‘global village’ still bounces around Palo Alto, Mountain View and Cupertino. Every time you hear talk of ‘global communities’ and ‘total connectivity’, it’s the ghost of McLuhan. ‘By enabling people from diverse backgrounds to easily connect and share their ideas,’ wrote Mark Zuckerberg back in the early days of his site, ‘we can decrease world conflict in the short-term and the long-term.’ McLuhan, the great prophet, was far too smart not to hedge his bets. He also said that conflict and disharmony was possible in a world where everyone was connected to everyone else, because information-at-all-times would be so discombobulating that it would spark a mass identity crisis.
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
Bharat’s article has many additional practical suggestions for how to algorithmically detect fake news in addition to some of those that I outline in this chapter. 215 “the overall logic is the same”: Bharat, “How to Detect Fake News in Real-Time.” 217 “to make it tolerate them”: Michael Marder, “Failure of U.S. Public Secondary Schools in Mathematics,” University of Texas UTeach, retrieved April 1, 2017, https://uteach.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/BrokenEducation2011. pdf, 3. 218 work together for the common good: Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634/. 219 “They have become rich because they were civic”: Robert Putnam, “The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life,” American Prospect, Spring 1993, retrieved April 1, 2017, http://prospect.org/article/prosperous-com munity-social-capital-and-public-life. 219 “for inclusion of all”: Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community.” 220 his experience with the Egyptian revolution: Wael Ghonim, Revolution 2.0 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2012). 221 “engage in rational discussion”: Colin Megill, “pol.is in Taiwan,” pol.is blog, May 25, 2016, https://blog.pol.is/pol-is-in-taiwan-da7570d372b5. 221 “love comedies and horror but hate documentaries”: Ibid. 222 you move accordingly: “Human Spectrogram,” Knowledge Sharing Tools and Method Toolkit, wiki retrieved April 1, 2017, http://www.kstoolkit.org/Human +Spectrogram. 222 “mandatory for riders on uberX private vehicles”: Audrey Tang, “Uber Responds to vTaiwan’s Coherent Blended Volition,” pol.is blog, May 23, 2016, https://blog. pol.is/uber-responds-to-vtaiwans-coherent-blended-volition-3e9b75102b9b. 223 points of agreement and disagreement: Ray Dalio, TED, April 24, 2017, https://ted2017.ted.com/program. 224 “‘figure out how to get around it’”: Josh Constine, “Facebook’s New Anti-Clickbait Algorithm Buries Bogus Headlines,” TechCrunch, August 4, 2016, https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/04/facebook-clickbait/. 226 half of digital ad spending: Greg Sterling, “Search Ads Generated 50 Percent of Digital Revenue in First Half of 2016,” Search Engine Land, November 1, 2016, http://searchengineland.com/search-ads-1h-generated-16-3-billion-50-percent-total-digital-revenue-262217. 226 “We need a new model”: Evan Williams, “Renewing Medium’s Focus,” Medium, January 4, 2017, https://blog. medium.com/renewing-mediums-focus-98f374a960be. 227 “To continue on this trajectory”: Ibid. 227 “In an experiment”: Adam D.
Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation,” Oxford Martin Institute, September 17, 2013, http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of _Employment.pdf. 299 the age of growth is over: Robert Gordon, “The Death of Innovation, the End of Growth,” TED 2013, https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_gordon _the_death_of_innovation_the_end_of _growth. 301 something that had never been done before: Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures (New York: William Morrow, 2016). 302 well-paid human jobs: Already, in the US, 43% of the electric power generation workforce is employed in solar technologies, versus 22% of electric power generation via fossil fuels. US Energy and Employment Report, Department of Energy, 2016, 28, https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20US%20Energy%20and%20Jobs%20Report_0.pdf. 302 cure all disease within their children’s lifetimes: Mark Zuckerberg, “Can we cure all diseases in our children’s lifetime?,” Facebook post, September 21, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/can-we-cure-all-diseases-in-our-childrens-lifetime/10154087783966634/. 303 “the leading edge of who is going to create that”: Jeff Immelt, in conversation with Tim O’Reilly, Next:Economy Summit, San Francisco, November 12, 2015, https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/ges-digital-transformation. 304 it has roughly hovered since: Max Roser, “Working Hours,” OurWorldInData.org, 2016, retrieved April 4, 2017, https://ourworldindata.org/working-hours/. 304 generosity is the robust strategy: Ryan Avent, The Wealth of Humans (New York: St.
It was all about the joy of sharing our work, the rush of clicking on a link and connecting with another computer half the world away, and constructing similar destinations for our peers. We were all enthusiasts. Some of us were also entrepreneurs. To be sure, it is those entrepreneurs—people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell in the personal computer era; Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg in the web era—who saw that this world driven by a passion for discovery and sharing could become the cradle of a new economy. They found financial backers, shaped the toy into a tool, and built the businesses that turned a movement into an industry. The lesson is clear: Treat curiosity and wonder as a guide to the future. That sense of wonder may just mean that those crazy enthusiasts are seeing something that you don’t . . . yet.
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
While everywhere there was the belief, near absolute, that the future of media lay with some ever-transforming technology, twenty years into this revolution, the value of traditional media, even with big losses in print and music, dramatically grew, with an Ernst & Young study in 2014 finding traditional media and entertainment companies increasing “their lead as one of the most profitable industries,” with television margins as high as almost 50 percent. And yet, at the same time, there was the unquestioned certainty that technology had fundamentally altered media behavior and scale—Mark Zuckerberg would say in late 2014 that you can’t really build a business with fewer than a billion users—and hence the nature of media leadership and economics. In fact, Matt Stone’s South Park, continuing its remarkable seventeen-year run on Comedy Central, recently made a $30 million yearly digital deal with Hulu, while Funny or Die languished. Despite all this, the belief continues, cultlike, that digital media will soon and decisively prevail. 1 BLINDED BY THE NEW It’s not hard to make a case for the new—and for overthrowing the old.
Or, it might be because at an ultimate level of media, of strategic business decisions about it, and perhaps particularly among people in the technology business—that is, people decidedly not in the media business—it is hardly understood that there is a fundamental distinction or choice, or, more important, relationship, between fiction and nonfiction, between news and narrative, between storytelling and holding the public’s attention. Who wants to bet that such a balance, such an internal sort of algorithm, has ever crossed Mark Zuckerberg’s mind? Digital media defaulted to the belief that information was the currency: after all, the new medium could provide information faster, cheaper, and with greater individual specificity; the functional dream from the early Web and then in essence put into mass practice by Facebook and Twitter was a newspaper just for you. As digital media was killing newspapers, it was, in its fashion, emulating them too.
She is a media salesperson who can rather seem like a stranger in a strange land at Facebook. Her frequent presentations at sales meetings and industry events about the Facebook experience and the Facebook environment and the Facebook uniqueness, all in the kind of language that media companies use to sell and describe themselves, is peculiarly out of kilter with how Facebook itself, at its highest levels, describes itself and with what it seems to want to be. Mark Zuckerberg is a technology-focused multibillionaire who believes his company offers a central piece of functionality in everybody’s life. He seems at best impatient with if not contemptuous of media. From the beginning of his career and the earliest days of Facebook he has made sour pronouncements about advertising, seeing it, apparently, as a transitional revenue phase for the company. Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s president, the default public presence for Zuckerberg who seemingly would rather not be publicly present, is a government and public affairs bureaucrat, more focused on Facebook’s Wall Street and political brand (and, as the author of the women’s empowerment book Lean In, her own personal brand) than on selling anything.
Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar
Wright Mills (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946). 211 When Facebook “went public”: http://stream.wsj.com/story/ facebook-ipo/SS-2-9640/, accessed September 5, 2012. 211 But in all the conversation: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/ 1326801/000119312512034517/d287954ds1.htm#toc287954_10, accessed September 5, 2012. 211 In his IPO letter: Ibid. 211 To ensure that sentiment: Michael Hiltzik, “Facebook Shareholders Are Wedded to the Whims of Mark Zuckerberg,” Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012—http://arti cles.latimes.com/ 2012/may/20/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20120517. 211 Of course, the subsequent IPO: Roben Farzad, “Facebook: The Stock That Keeps on Dropping,” BusinessWeek, August 2, 2012, accessed October 15, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-02/ facebook-the-stock-that-keeps-on-dropping; Jessica Guynn, “Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg Won’t Sell Stock for at Least One Year,” Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2012, accessed October 15, 2012, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/04/ business/la-fi-tn-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-wont-sell-stock-for-at-least-one-year-20120904. 212 From the 1920s through much: Rakesh Khurana, interviews with author; Roger Martin, conversations with author; Rakesh Khurana, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 212 Back in 2004, when Sergey: http://investor.google.com/corporate/ 2004/ipo-founders-letter.html, accessed September 5, 2012. 212 “Sergey and I founded Google”: Ibid. 213 Though Steve Jobs is now: Olivia Fox Cabane, “Can You Learn to Be as Charismatic as Steve Jobs?”
Gigaom, April 25, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://gigaom.com/2012/04/25/ can-you-learn-to-be-as-charismatic-as-steve-jobs/. 214 I saw Mark Zuckerberg: author’s notes, World Economic Forum in Davos, 2009. 214 Mark Zuckerberg was once: Nicholas Carlson, “The Facebook Movie Is an Act of Cold-Blooded Revenge—New Unpublished IMs Tell the Real Story,” Business Insider, September 21, 2010, accessed September 5, 2012, http://www.businessinsider.com/ facebook-movie-zuckerberg-ims#. 214 Zuckerberg is a master at finding: Henry Blodget, “The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man,” New York magazine, May 6, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, http://nymag.com/news/ features/mark-zuckerberg-2012-5/. 218 In her classic book: Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1992). CHAPTER 8 223 In May and September 2012, Hewlett-Packard announced: Shara Tibken, “H-P Says It Plans 2,000 More Layoffs,” Wall Street Journal, September, 10, 2012, accessed September 15, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10000872396390444100404577643352249358504.html; New York Times Business Day Companies, Hewlett-Packard Corporation (HPQ) News Report, August 23, 2012, accessed September 14, 2012, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/ business/companies/hewlett_packard_corporation/index.html; Wendy Kaufman, “Hewlett-Packard Set to Lay Off 30,000 People,” National Public Radio broadcast, May 18, 2012, accessed September 14, 2012, http://www.npr.org/2012/05/18/ 152979181/Hewlett-packard-set-to-layoff-30000-people. 223 The decisions were made: Jordan Robinson, “Atop Meg Whitman’s Worries: H-P’s Size,” Associated Press, September 23, 2011, accessed September 14, 2012, http://phys.org/news/ 2011-09-atop-meg-whitman-h-p-size.html; Laurent Belsie, “Meg Whitman New HP CEO,” Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 2011, accessed September 14, 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/ 2011/0922/Meg-Whitman-new-HP-CEO.
Jobs progressively increased his level of charisma over the years, choosing a signature style of personal dress, the simple black turtleneck; learning to introduce products with Broadway-level drama, whipping off a cloth to reveal a new offering and promoting what Apple employees called his “reality distortion field,” demanding even that which appears to be impossible. I saw Mark Zuckerberg for the first time at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009. He was sitting in front of several hundred people in a large conference room on a panel about the future of mobile along with Chad Hurley and a number of other high-tech luminaries. Panel moderator Mike Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, said it was the first time he ever saw Zuckerberg with a tie on. Zuckerberg responded, jokingly, “No, I wore one all through boarding school.” Over the next forty minutes or so, he smiled, laughed, and talked easily about Facebook, privacy, and his goal of having a more open society. He was, in a word, charismatic. But he didn’t start out that way. Mark Zuckerberg was once seen as a strange young man who took an unusually long time responding to people when asked a question.
Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar
"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
Collins added, “We believe that in its evidence to the Committee Facebook has often deliberately sought to frustrate our work, by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at times misleading answers to our questions….Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world. Evidence uncovered by my Committee shows he still has questions to answer yet he’s continued to duck them, refusing to respond to our invitations directly or sending representatives who don’t have the right information. Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.” * * * — THE SAME CAN certainly be said for Facebook’s response to the 2016 U.S. election results.
“For the first time,” says McNamee, “I realized that Facebook’s algorithms might favour incendiary messages over neutral ones.”11 What’s more, it was becoming clear that those algorithms might be leading to a more dangerous and polarized world, not to mention a less democratic one. He decided to do something about it. In October 2016, several days before the presidential election, McNamee reached out to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. These were people that he counted as friends, and he had every reason to believe they would listen to his concerns. He was, after all, the one who had advised Mark Zuckerberg to turn down Yahoo’s $1 billion offer to buy the company early on (a smart move given its current value); he’d also been the one to suggest that Zuck hire Google ad whiz Sheryl Sandberg to be COO of the company. It turned out that McNamee had been overly optimistic about his relationship with Zuck and Sandberg.
Status Memo from Teddy Goff to Clinton Campaign Officials can be accessed here: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/fileid/12403/3324. 3. Kreiss and McGregor, “Technology Firms Shape Political Communication.” 4. Ibid., 415. 5. Evan Osnos, “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” The New Yorker, September 17, 2018. 6. Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg, “Inside the Trump Bunker, With 12 Days to Go,” Bloomberg, October 27, 2016. 7. Mueller, Robert S., III, “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,” Homeland Security Digital Library, March 2019, https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=824221. 8. Osnos, “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” 9. McNamee, Zucked, 7–8. 10. “Disinformation and ‘Fake News’: Final Report,” United Kingdom Parliament, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, February 18, 2019. 11.
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
In those early months the site’s server space was paid for by a wealthy roommate and, at one particularly cash-strapped point, by Zuckerberg’s parents. It seemed unlikely to become the next world-changing tech company.19 That was, of course, before Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates moved to Palo Alto, secured money and mentorship, and became the runaway start-up success story of the decade, fodder for countless magazine cover stories, books, and one big-studio Hollywood film. Tech investors (and tech journalists) were perpetually seeking the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg fit the bill—extraordinarily driven, far-seeing, his technologist’s eyes on the prize even before he reached the legal drinking age. Facebook soon expanded from college campuses to high schools, then opened its gates to the world.
Chamath Palihapitiya, interview with the author; Palihapitiya interviewed by Kara Swisher, Recode Decode podcast, March 20, 2016, https://www.recode.net/2016/3/21/11587128/silicon-valleys-homogeneous-rich-douchebags-wont-win-forever-says, archived at https://perma.cc/PK2L-DDCR; Evelyn M. Rusli, “In Flip-Flops and Jeans, An Unconventional Venture Capitalist,” DealBook blog, The New York Times, October 6, 2011, https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/in-flip-flops-and-jeans-the-unconventional-venture-capitalist/, archived at https://perma.cc/C7X7-KWJ2; Eugene Kim, “Early Facebook Executive on Mark Zuckerberg,” Business Insider, November 23, 2014, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/chamath-palihapitiya-on-mark-zuckerberg-2014-11, archived at https://perma.cc/9CLK-S8RS [inactive]. 25. Caroline McCarthy, “Facebook f8: One Graph to Rule them All,” CNET, April 21, 2010, https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-f8-one-graph-to-rule-them-all/, archived at https://perma.cc/W4T5-49CM. Scholars began raising red flags about the ethics of such information-sharing practices as soon as they started.
As Facebook’s user base skyrocketed and “like” buttons metastasized around the Web, the company attracted the attention of the FTC, which required Facebook to adopt stricter and more transparent privacy standards (Federal Trade Commission, Decision and Order in the Matter of Facebook, Inc., Docket No. C-4365, August 10, 2012). 26. Nick Bilton, “A Walk in the Woods with Mark Zuckerberg,” The New York Times, July 7, 2011, https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/a-walk-in-the-woods-with-mark-zuckerberg/, archived at https://perma.cc/86DU-LAWF. 27. Heather Brown, Emily Guskin, and Amy Mitchell, “The Role of Social Media in the Arab Uprisings,” Pew Research Center, November 28, 2012; Benjamin Gleason, “#Occupy Wall Street: Exploring Informal Learning About a Social Movement on Twitter,” American Behavioral Scientist 57, no. 7 (2013): 966–82; André Brock, “From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation,” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 56, no. 4 (2012): 529–49; Russell Rickford, “Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle,” New Labor Forum 25, no. 1 (2016): 34–42. 28.
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
Senator John Thune: Tony Romm, “Senate Committee Presses Facebook on Handling of Conservative News,” Politico, May 10, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/john-thune-facebook-conservative-news-trending-223008. “We’ve built Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, May 18, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10102840575485751. After Trump introduced: Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Facebook Thought It Was More Powerful Than a Nation-State. Then That Became a Liability,” Washington Post, January 22, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/inside-facebooks-year-of-reckoning/2018/01/22/cfd7307c-f4c3-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html?utm_term=.f7d8e787ed34. The leaked question painted: Michael Nunez, “Facebook Employees Asked Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Stop a Donald Trump Presidency,” Gizmodo, April 15, 2016, https://gizmodo.com/facebook-employees-asked-mark-zuckerberg-if-they-should-1771012990. The next day, he learned that Facebook: Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein, “Inside the Two Years That Shook Facebook—and the World,” Wired, February 12, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/inside-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-2-years-of-hell/.
Ma was hunting: Steven Mufson, “As Jeff Bezos Prepares to Take Over, a Look at Forces That Shaped the Washington Post Sale,” Washington Post, September 27, 2013, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/as-jeff-bezos-prepares-to-take-over-a-look-at-forces-that-shaped-the-washington-post-sale/2013/09/27/11c7d01a-2622-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_story.html. Graham later told me: Donald Graham, interviewed by Jill Abramson, Washington, D.C., May 4, 2017. Zuckerberg, according to a history: David Kirkpatrick, “Mark Zuckerberg: The Temptation of Facebook’s CEO,” CNN Money, May 6, 2010, https://money.cnn.com/2010/05/06/technology/facebook_excerpt_full.fortune/index.htm. Eventually Graham offered $6 million: Ibid. According to an account: Ibid. They and Zuckerberg went to: Sarah Ellison, “Ghosts in the Newsroom,” Vanity Fair, March 7, 2012, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2012/04/washington-post-watergate. The man persuaded: David Kirkpatrick, “Mark Zuckerberg: The Temptation of Facebook’s CEO,” CNN Money, May 6, 2010, https://money.cnn.com/2010/05/06/technology/facebook_excerpt_full.fortune/index.htm. Graham joined the small Facebook board: Christopher S.
He wrote to his staff: Jonah Peretti, “BuzzFeed’s Strategy,” Cdixon (blog), July 24, 2012, http://cdixon.org/2012/07/24/buzzfeeds-strategy/. He would explain this watershed moment: Jonah Peretti, presentation to the University of Florida, March 2014, https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/may/12/buzzfeed-founder-quality-religions-dont-just-go-vi/. This was a welcome departure: Fred Vogelstein, “The Wired Interview: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg,” Wired, June 29, 2009, https://www.wired.com/2009/06/mark-zuckerberg-speaks/. “If I had to guess: John Cassidy, “Me Media,” New Yorker, May 15, 2006, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/05/15/me-media. Five years after its public launch: Smriti Bhagat et al., “Three and a Half Degrees of Separation,” Facebook Research, February 4, 2016, https://research.fb.com/three-and-a-half-degrees-of-separation/. Some reports cited this number: Marie Page, “Cracking Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm: A New Definition of Edgerank,” Digiterati, October 26, 2016, https://thedigiterati.com/cracking-facebooks-news-feed-algorithm-new-definition-edgerank/.
The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger
active measures, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, computer age, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, ransomware, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day
“Let’s say that somebody uploads an ISIS formal propaganda video”: Monika Bickert, interview by Steve Inskeep, “How Facebook Uses Technology to Block Terrorist-Related Content,” NPR Morning Edition, June 22, 2017, www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/06/22/533855547/how-facebook-uses-technology-to-block-terrorist-related-content. Google, meanwhile, tried a different approach: The YouTube Team, “Bringing New Redirect Method Features to YouTube,” Official YouTube Blog, July 20, 2017, youtube.googleblog.com/2017/07/bringing-new-redirect-method-features.html. “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook”: Mark Zuckerberg, interview by David Kirkpatrick, “In Conversation with Mark Zuckerberg,” Techonomy, November 17, 2016, techonomy.com/conf/te16/videos-conversations-with-2/in-conversation-with-mark-zuckerberg/. The president took him into a private room: Adam Entous, Elizabeth Dwoskin, and Craig Timberg, “Obama Tried to Give Zuckerberg a Wake-Up Call over Fake News on Facebook,” Washington Post, September 24, 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-tried-to-give-zuckerberg-a-wake-up-call-over-fake-news-on-facebook/2017/09/24/15d19b12-ddac-4ad5-ac6e-ef909e1c1284_story.html?
the existence of the NSA program: Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, “U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data from Nine U.S. Internet Companies in Broad Secret Program,” Washington Post, June 7, 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html. Mark Zuckerberg posted a heated defense: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook post, June 7, 2013, www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100828955847631. a long history of cooperation: Julia Angwin, Charlie Savage, Jeff Larson, Henrik Moltke, Laura Poitras, James Risen, “AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale,” New York Times, August 16, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/us/politics/att-helped-nsa-spy-on-an-array-of-internet-traffic.html.
the initial mistakes: Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger, and Scott Shane, “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.,” New York Times, December 13, 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/russia-hack-election-dnc.html. CHAPTER XI: THREE CRISES IN THE VALLEY “If you had asked me”: Kevin Roose and Sheera Frenkel, “Mark Zuckerberg’s Reckoning: ‘This Is a Major Trust Issue,’ ” New York Times, March 22, 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/technology/mark-zuckerberg-q-and-a.html. Twenty minutes after: “Paris Attacks: What Happened on the Night,” BBC News, December 9, 2015, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34818994. “be unforgiving with the barbarians from Daesh”: Adam Nossiter, Aurelien Breeden, and Katrin Bennhold, “Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS,” New York Times, November 15, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/world/europe/paris-terrorist-attacks.html.
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 perhaps the first time in the history of the industry, people are worth more than the code they produce, a valuation supported by logic. Steve Jobs believed that an elite talent was 25 times more valuable to Apple than an average alternative. For Jobs, this was critical to Apple’s resurgence: That’s probably…certainly the secret to my success. It’s that we’ve gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agrees, saying in a 2010 interview: Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. They are 100 times better. For Bill Gates, the number was 10,000 times better. If any of these assertions are even approximately correct, the cost of an elite chef or a few kegs of beer pales next to the expected return from the technical talent that these perks could potentially attract.
In many deals, like Facebook’s acquisition of Gowalla, the technology was not even a part of the transaction. And when the technology is included in the transaction, it is frequently released as open source post-acquisition. The people, by contrast, are the real asset. Facebook’s 2008 acquisition of FriendFeed, for example, cost the company $50 million dollars. How did Facebook justify the acquisition? “We really wanted to get Bret [Taylor],” said Mark Zuckerberg of the man who is now Facebook’s CTO. Joe Hewitt, meanwhile, who came in the Parakey acquisition, wrote Facebook’s first iPhone application. And Gowalla’s Josh Williams is now the product manager for locations and events at Facebook. In spite of the premiums and the obvious inefficiency of practices like acqhiring, there is no evidence that the labor market will equalize in the near term. Given this perpetual shortage, we can expect employers to go to ever greater lengths to adapt: up to and including acquiring.
Instead, according to the DOJ, vendors colluded to artificially depress the developer marketplace by limiting employee mobility. Besides being illegal, this practice is perhaps the best indication yet of the value attached to technologists, as companies are in effect saying: “developers are so valuable we will act illegally to retain them.” The non-hiring pact seems to suggest that companies like Apple, Google, and Intel agree with the high valuation Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg place on the most skilled developers, but what about the world outside of Silicon Valley? There, too, the valuation of developers is at an all-time high. In New York City, for example, traditional financial services employers are competing with industries like advertising, healthcare, and even defense over developers with strong quantitative analysis skills. Why? Because virtually every business today is a technology business on some level.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
affirmative action, business process, Cass Sunstein, constrained optimization, experimental economics, fear of failure, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, old-boy network, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social graph, women in the workforce, young professional
Bowles and Babcock, “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma?” 1–17. 22. Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (New York: Bantam Dell, 2008), 253. 23. For more information and advice about how to be “relentlessly pleasant,” see ibid., 251–66. 24. E. B. Boyd, “Where Is the Female Mark Zuckerberg?,” San Francisco, December 2011, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/where-the-female-mark-zuckerberg. 25. Jessica Valenti, “Sad White Babies with Mean Feminist Mommies,” Jessica Valenti blog, June 19, 2012, http://jessicavalenti.tumblr.com/post/25465502300/sad-white-babies-with-mean-feminist-mommies-the. 4. IT’S A JUNGLE GYM, NOT A LADDER 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Study (July 2012), http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf.
Both male and female colleagues often resist working with a woman who has negotiated for a higher salary because she’s seen as more demanding than a woman who refrained from negotiating.17 Even when a woman negotiates successfully for herself, she can pay a longer-term cost in goodwill and future advancement.18 Regrettably, all women are Heidi. Try as we might, we just can’t be Howard. When I was negotiating with Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for my compensation, he made me an offer that I thought was fair. We had been having dinner several nights a week for more than a month and a half, discussing Facebook’s mission and his vision for the future. I was ready to accept the job. No, I was dying to accept the job. My husband, Dave, kept telling me to negotiate, but I was afraid of doing anything that might botch the deal. I could play hardball, but then maybe Mark would not want to work with me.
This is especially comforting in a tough market where job seekers often have to accept what is available and hope that it points in a desirable direction. We all want a job or role that truly excites and engages us. This search requires both focus and flexibility, so I recommend adopting two concurrent goals: a long-term dream and an eighteen-month plan. I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today. For one thing, Mark Zuckerberg was only seven years old when I graduated from college. Also, back then, technology and I did not exactly have a great relationship. I used Harvard’s computer system only once as an undergraduate, to run regressions for my senior thesis on the economics of spousal abuse. The data was stored on large, heavy magnetic tapes that I had to lug in big boxes across campus, cursing the entire way and arriving in a sweaty mess at the sole computer center, which was populated exclusively with male students.
I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek
Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog
Karacehennem, whose last name was Turkish for Black Hell, had read an essay called “Generation Why?” by Zadie Smith, a British writer with a lot of eumelanin in the basale stratum of her epidermis. Zadie Smith’s essay pointed out that the questions Facebook asked of its users appeared to have been written by a twelve year old. But these questions weren’t written by a twelve year old. They were written by Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg was a billionaire. Mark Zuckerberg was such a billionaire that he was the boss of other billionaires. He was Sheryl Sandberg’s boss. J. Karacehennem thought that he knew something about Facebook that Zadie Smith, in her decency, hadn’t imagined. “The thing is,” said J. Karacehennem, whose last name was Turkish for Black Hell, “that we’ve spent like, what, two or three hundred years wrestling with existentialism, which really is just a way of asking, Why are we on this planet?
It was almost always intolerable bullshit. Sandberg became a billionaire by working for a company named Facebook. Facebook made its money through an Internet web and mobile platform which advertised cellphones, feminine hygiene products and breakfast cereals. This web and mobile platform was also a place where hundreds of millions of people offered up too much information about their personal lives. Facebook was invented by Mark Zuckerberg, who didn’t have much eumelanin in the basale stratum of his epidermis. What is your gender? asked Facebook. What is your relationship status? asked Facebook. What is your current city? asked Facebook. What is your name? asked Facebook. What are your favorite movies? asked Facebook. What is your favorite music? asked Facebook. What are your favorite books? asked Facebook. Adeline’s friend, the writer J.
All the best philosophical and novelistic minds have tried to answer these questions and all the best philosophical and novelistic minds have failed to produce a working answer. Facebook is amazing because finally we understand why we have hometowns and why we get into relationships and why we eat our stupid dinners and why we have names and why we own idiotic cars and why we try to impress our friends. Why are we here, why do we do all of these things? At last we can offer a solution. We are on Earth to make Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg richer. There is an actual, measurable point to our striving. I guess what I’m saying, really, is that there’s always hope.” chapter four Having worked in the belly of the beast, Jeremy Winterbloss understood the comic industry’s traditions of racism and sexism. Any product not delivered by White men would receive less orders than products offered by White men. Which meant less sales, which meant a smaller audience, which meant less money.
Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki
"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor
A six-year-old given the “Most Likely to Be the Next Zuckerberg” award at the Seattle Startup Weekend for his ideas about a water-dissolving sticker business is a potential hero. (“He was definitely the youngest and most articulate entrepreneur in training that I know of at a Startup Weekend,” Marc Nager, the executive director of Startup Weekend, tells a tech commentator.)45 A promo e-mail I receive goes: “Want to be a marketing leader? Use the entrepreneurial techniques that made Mark Zuckerberg a success, says Ekaterina Walter, best-selling author of Think Like Zuck.” Even the unlovable likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is a hero. Here’s a glowing assessment of Zuckerberg in the New York Times on the eve of Facebook’s multibillion dollar IPO: “Mr. Zuckerberg’s success is an object lesson in what works in crowded, competitive Silicon Valley: Remain in charge, stave off potential predators and expand the company so quickly that no one can challenge the boss.”46 (Note: speedy constant expansion—keeping everyone in a constant state of change—that’s the way you stay on top.)
Michelle Riggen-Ransom, “Meet the 6-Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Just Wowed Startup Weekend,” GeekWire, May 21, 2012, http://www.geekwire.com/2012/meet-6yearold-entrepreneur-wowed-startup-weekend/. Oh and you can follow the little tike on Twitter @gaptoothkid. 46. Somini Sengupta, “Mark Zuckerberg Remains the Undisputed Boss at Facebook,” The New York Times, February 2, 2012, sec. Technology, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/technology/from-earliest-days-zuckerberg-focused-on-con-trolling-facebook.html. 47. Laura M. Holson, “Sean Parker Brings Facebook-Style Skills to New York Social Scene,” The New York Times, December 17, 2011, sec. Fashion & Style, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/fashion/sean-parker-brings-facebook-style-skills-to-new-york-social-scene.html. 48. Sengupta, “Mark Zuckerberg Remains the Undisputed Boss at Facebook.” 49. William Alden, “Jack Ma to Join Tech Moguls in Backing Medical Research Prize,” DealBook, September 27, 2013, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/jack-ma-to-join-tech-moguls-in-backing-medical-research-prize/. 50.
They are offering us something much deeper, something that now shapes us on the granular, on the cellular level. They offer permanent connection to the ever-flowing tide of pop culture, to the possibilities of shape-shifting ourselves right into the future. In 2006, inspired by the empowering possibilities of connectivity, the Time magazine Person of the Year was “You.” The 2010 Time Person of the Year was Mark Zuckerberg.35 “You” aren’t good enough anymore. The rhetoric of special, of human hubris, continues to push into new terrain. Today it’s not just the present that we are repeatedly urged to shape and control; today, the future, too, is something that individuals are being told to contest, buy, sell and bring into being. We used to talk about living in the moment—carpe diem; just do it. A consume-now, think-later mentality boiled down to any number of 1980s-era slogans.
Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta
Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise
And when it was revealed that Facebook’s algorithms inadvertently enabled advertisers to target consumers with cringe-worthy keywords like “Jew hater,” and a Russian troll farm secretly purchased $100 million of ads to spread “fake news” to further polarize Americans during the 2016 presidential contest, founder Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the limitations of his managers to control the algorithms. “I wish I could tell you we’re going to be able to catch all bad content in our system,” he announced in September 2017. “I wish I could tell you we’re going to be able to stop all interference, but that wouldn’t be realistic.” This prompted Kevin Roose of the New York Times to label this Facebook’s “Frankenstein moment,” likening this to Mary Shelley’s book, when the scientist—Dr. Frankenstein—realizes his robot creature “has gone rogue.” In October 2017, Mark Zuckerberg sheepishly admitted he should not have been so quick to defend the ability of Facebook’s machines to block “fake” news pushed by Russian hackers to subvert the Clinton presidential campaign.
Only four months later a headhunter called and asked if she would meet with Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. At first she said no. “Carolyn was really torn,” Kassan recalls. “She’s a very ethical and loyal person. But this was an opportunity of a lifetime.” Eventually she weakened, and on the way to Australia for Microsoft she stopped in the Valley on a Sunday to meet with Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg. She spent a full day at Facebook. “I knew in my heart that’s where I wanted to be,” she says. “It was so much more entrepreneurial. Advertising was the entire business of Facebook, whereas at Microsoft it was a tiny piece.” Everson was the same age as Sheryl Sandberg, forty, and like her was a former Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School and extremely well connected. She consulted what she refers to as “my board of directors” for advice.
The other barrier impeding direct Facebook competion, Andrew Robertson cautions: “Why would they trade their forty percent profit margins for ours?” At their peril, agencies forget that Silicon Valley companies like Facebook take pride in being disrupters, in reducing costs and better serving customers by offering less “friction” and shoving aside what they see as superfluous middlemen. Mark Zuckerberg’s famous corporate mantra at Facebook used to be “Move fast and break things.” (In 2014, Facebook changed it to “Move fast with stable infra,” which doesn’t have quite the same edge to it, no doubt deliberately.) Unlike most agencies, Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of global communications, marketing, and public policy says, Facebook takes “the Wayne Gretzky approach to business. Most businesses go where the puck is—where the business is today.
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
mg= reno64-wsj. 17 ‘Small Retailers Reap the Benefits of Selling on Amazon, but Challenges Remain’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 14 February 2014, www.internetretailer.com/mobile500/. 18 Bill Siwicki, ‘It’s Official: Mobile Devices Surpass PCs in Online Retail’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 1 October 2013, www.internetretailer.com/2013/10/01/its-official-mobile-devices-surpass-pcs-online-retail. 19 ‘Mobile Commerce Comes of Age’, article on InternetRetailer.com, 24 September 2013, www.internetretailer.com/2013/09/24/mobile-commerce-comes-age. 20 ‘Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 6.9 Percent in Fourth Quarter of 2013’, article on Gartner.com, 9 January 2014, www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2647517. 21 Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, May 2013, slide 31, op. cit. 21 In-Soo Nam, ‘A Rising Addiction Among Youths: Smartphones’, article on WSJ.com, 23 July 2013, online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324263404578615162292157222.html. 23 ‘Americans Can’t Put Down Their SmartPhones, Even During Sex’, article on Jumio.com, 11 July 2013, www.jumio.com/2013/07/americans-cant-put-down-their-smartphones-even-during-sex/. 24 Drew Olanoff, ‘Mark Zuckerberg: Our Biggest Mistake was Betting Too Much on HTML5’, article on TechCrunch.com, 11 September 2012, TechCrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-our-biggest-mistake-with-mobile-was-betting-too-much-on-html5/. 25 Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, Little, Brown: London, 2012, p. 501. 26 ‘Standish Newsroom – Open Source’, press release, Boston, April 2008, blog.standishgroup.com/pmresearch. 27 Richard Rothwell, ‘Creating Wealth with Free Software’, article on FreeSoftwareMagazine.com, 8 May 2012, www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/creating_wealth_free_software. 28 ‘Samsung Elec Says Gear Smartwatch Sales Hit 800,000 in 2 Months’, article on Reuters.com, 19 November 2013, www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/19/samsung-gear-idUSL4N0J41VR20131119. 29 Jay Yarow, ‘Meet the Team of Experts Apple Assembled To Create The iWatch, Its Next Industry-Defining Product’, article on BusinessInsider.com. 18 July 2013, www.BusinessInsider.com/iwatch-sensors-2013-7. 30 Macelo Ballve, ‘Wearable Gadgets Are Still Not Getting The Attention They Deserve – Here’s Why They Will Create A Massive New Market’, article on BusinessInsider.com, 29 August 2013, www.BusinessInsider.com/wearable-devices-create-a-new-market-2013-8.
The challenges with Web apps are numerous, from ensuring compatibility with mobile Web browsers and all their different versions – which involves a lot of testing – to complexities around mobile Web browsers being able to reliably access sensors (such as the microphone, compass or accelerometer) on your phone, and all the way through to how fast the Web app will run if it hasn’t been designed to run specifically on your phone. Facebook famously tried to pursue Web apps, only to have CEO Mark Zuckerberg do an about-turn in 2012, stating that it was his ‘single biggest mistake’,24 due to those same complexity and performance issues inherent in Web apps. If it hadn’t been for Apple Board member Art Levinson petitioning Jobs, the platform might never have been opened up. ‘I called him half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps’, but Jobs was against them, says Levinson, ‘partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.’25 It was definitely a valid point: Apple does check every single app submitted to the App Store before it’s released to the public, which has a certain cost and overheads associated with it.
I admire Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, for possessing such a clear vision and such an ability to build a singularly brilliant app on a single platform. The final twist to the story – doubling Instagram’s valuation in a mere four days – is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. Instagram marked a turning point in Internet history: it was the first billion-dollar acquisition of an app. It led to speculation that Mark Zuckerberg had lost his mind and that Silicon Valley crazy-think was back in full force. Were people deluded into thinking it was 1999 all over again? On the surface, Instagram was just a group of 16 developers hacking some software in a poky office above a pizza shop in Palo Alto. They hadn’t made a cent in revenues. But they had attracted more than 30 million users in record time. And, unlike those of most of their competitors, those users were actually sticking around.
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
He had an enviable VC connection—another Brit who emigrated to work for Sequoia Capital, one of the biggest players in the industry. He also had a functioning product. He made me feel like a slacker. At the rate he was going, Toby would be the world’s first online summer camp billionaire before I figured out where to catch the bus. At least the drones were humble. The most unbearable tech scenesters were those who seemed most certain that they were destined to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. These fell into the final category—the bullies. The bullies were binge-drinking gym rats who, regardless of age, seemed perpetually twenty-five years old. Most were white, but Raj, a Desi, was Hacker Condo’s resident bully. By emulating the performative, coked-up machismo of their overlords in the finance sector, the bullies were determined to avoid the old stigma of the computer nerd as a simpering eunuch.
The house has multiples of nearly every room, with seven bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, four half-baths, two kitchens, two family rooms, two offices, and three rooftop terraces. There is, however, only one basketball court. An architect who designed custom luxury homes featured in magazines like Architectural Digest told me that nobody lived in those houses anyway. “The people who own them,” he said, “all have five others.” Some tech billionaires even owned five houses in the same place. Down in Palo Alto, Mark Zuckerberg purchased four properties adjacent to his $7 million five-bedroom home for a combined $39 million—more than ten times their assessed value. The purpose of the land grab was to maintain the seclusion of Zuckerberg’s backyard and master bedroom. At around that time, the city of Palo Alto passed an ordinance restricting public records access in order to protect the privacy of certain “very high-profile tech-related residents.”
Entrepreneurs, the nominal bosses of these companies, ground themselves into the dirt as well for the benefit of their own bosses, the venture capitalists. Startups promised independence and financial freedom to people desperate for a taste of both. But most startup “chief executives” possessed little of either, for investors typically managed the process from founding to exit. I asked one cheerfully cynical VC over beers, “Are startup founders capital, or are they labor?” It depends, he replied. “Mark Zuckerberg is capital. But for every Zuckerberg there’s one hundred guys who basically got fired from their startups. They aren’t capital. They’re labor,” he said. They were ideal laborers, too, being allergic to the concept of solidarity. These founders worked like dogs, and until they struck it rich—which most never did—they often lived in barrackslike quarters not much more comfortable than my own.
Crushing It! EPB by Gary Vaynerchuk
"side hustle", augmented reality, fear of failure, follow your passion, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat
There are 1.15 billion daily active users: “The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics—Updated November 2017,” Zephoria Digital Marketing, https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics. 3. Mark Zuckerberg called video: Michelle Castillo, “Mark Zuckerberg Sees Video as a ‘Mega Trend’ and Is Gunning for YouTube,” CNBC.com, Feb. 1, 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/02/01/mark-zuckerberg-video-mega-trend-like-mobile.html. 4. In 2016, he told BuzzFeed: Mat Honan, “Why Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg Went All In on Live Video,” BuzzFeed News, Apr. 6, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/mathonan/why-facebook-and-mark-zuckerberg-went-all-in-on-live-video?utm_term=.fdwpA8ZBM#.tlGzWbZG7. 5. the platform is in the process: Jon Fingas, “Facebook Will Court ‘Millennials’ with Its Original Videos,” Engadget, May 24, 2017, https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/24/facebook-original-video-shows. 6.
Do not try to tell me that you don’t have to do it because you’re targeting the twenty-two-and-unders, who are not on Facebook in the same numbers as older groups. As you’ll see, the strides Facebook is making in video make it likely that it’s about to become more appealing to those young viewers. You want to be waiting for them when they start opening Facebook accounts. Facebook will get to the young demo; you can count on it. Don’t ever underestimate Mark Zuckerberg, and don’t ever bet against Facebook. How I’m Crushing It Costa Kapothanasis, Costa Oil—10 Minute Oil Change IG: @costakapo Constantine “Costa” Kapothanasis sounds like a practical man. The first-generation Greek American from Portland, Maine, won a Division 1 baseball scholarship to a college in Maryland. Forced to give up the sport professionally after a shoulder injury, he moved on to earn a master of science in finance.
The cost per thousand impressions (CPM, the M standing for mille, Latin for “thousand”) fluctuates with the market, but right now it is still one of the cheapest yet most effective ad products in existence, comparable to Google Adwords back in the early aughts. That won’t always be the case. Eighteen months after this book is published, Facebook ad prices will have doubled or more. Take advantage of this wide-open runway while you still can and jump-start your brand awareness. Finally, as big as YouTube is, by the time this book is published, Facebook will be emerging as a fierce competitor in video. Mark Zuckerberg called video a “mega trend” of the same nature as mobile3 and has made it clear that video is Facebook’s future. In 2016, he told BuzzFeed, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”4 When Facebook wants something to work, it puts all its support behind it. The effect on the social-media landscape is generally something like a tectonic plate shift (the platform is in the process of working out deals to produce original content in partnerships with millennial-friendly outlets like Group Nine Media, producer of The Dodo, and Vox Media).5 Knowing that, wouldn’t it be foolish to bypass the opportunity to get in early?
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes
"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game
As soon as the house of cards collapsed, people zeroed in on the power of chance in my story and discounted everything else. I went overnight from a wunderkind to the hapless, lucky roommate of Mark Zuckerberg. The truth is somewhere in between. For the early part of my life, my story played like a movie reel for the American Dream. I grew up in a middle-class family in a small town in North Carolina. I studied hard, got financial aid to go to a fancy prep school, and then went to Harvard. My roommates and I started Facebook our sophomore year, and my early success there and at the Obama campaign garnered me acclaim and notoriety. Eventually, Facebook’s IPO made me a lot of money. I worked my way up, and I took every chance offered to me. I also got very lucky. That luck wasn’t just because I was Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate—much larger forces were at work. A collection of economic and political decisions over the past four decades has given rise to unprecedented wealth for a small number of fortunate people, collectively called the one percent.
I still lacked the sense that I belonged, but at least now I knew how to “play the role,” as my father had always encouraged me to do. I was only 18 years old that fall, but I knew that friends from Hickory and peers at Harvard saw in me the kind of “up by the bootstraps” success our country supposedly makes possible. Then, with the success of Facebook, that story was put on steroids. My sophomore year of college, I chose to room with an acquaintance I had met freshman year, Mark Zuckerberg, in order to be placed in the same dorm as many of my female friends. Dustin Moskovitz and Billy Olson were paired with Mark and me by chance, and the four of us lived in a single suite in Kirkland House. We got along well, but we weren’t a tight-knit group. Mark launched multiple projects that fall—a study guide for a class and a now infamous “hot or not” website that compared Harvard students’ faces to one another.
Mega-successes are almost always the result of a blend of fortune and effort. J. K. Rowling, the first billionaire author in history, had her Harry Potter novel rejected by twelve publishers, before a thirteenth gave it a shot. Her success was earned—her persistence paid off—and was the result of a small decision by the thirteenth publisher that changed her life. In my case, the chance that Mark Zuckerberg and I ended up roommates changed my life. I had worked hard to get to Harvard, and I played a meaningful role in the early days of Facebook. But the combination of those small events led to outsized and historically unprecedented returns thanks to the magnifying power of today’s economic forces. Michael Lewis, now one of the best-selling nonfiction authors in the world, similarly benefited from a blend of fortune and hard work.
What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Zipcar
Owning pipelines, people, products, or even intellectual property is no longer the key to success. Openness is. Google’s founders and executives understand the change brought by the internet. That is why they are so successful and powerful, running what The Times of London dubbed “the fastest growing company in the history of the world.” The same is true of a few disruptive capitalists and quasi-capitalists such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; Craig Newmark, who calls himself founder and customer service representative—no joke—at craigslist; Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; and Kevin Rose, creator of Digg. They see a different world than the rest of us and make different decisions as a result, decisions that make no sense under old rules of old industries that are now blown apart thanks to these new ways and new thinkers.
Every time someone says something good about you online because of your product, service, reputation, honesty, openness, or helpfulness, you should knock another dollar off your advertising budget. Will it ever get to zero? Only if you’re lucky. New Society Elegant organization Elegant organization I sat, dumbfounded, in an audience of executives at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum International Media Council in Davos, Switzerland, as the head of a powerful news organization begged young Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, for his secret. Please, the publisher beseeched him, how can my publication start a community like yours? We should own a community, shouldn’t we? Tell us how. Zuckerberg, 22 at the time, is a geek of few words. Some assume his laconicism is a sign of arrogance—that and his habit of wearing sandals at big business conferences. But it’s not. He’s shy. He’s direct. He’s a geek, and this is how geeks are.
Facebook tends to blunder into new products, making mistakes as it goes. When Facebook introduced the news feed that compiles tidbits from friends’ pages and activities, some users were freaked by what they perceived as a loss of privacy (even though anything going into news feeds was already public). Protest groups were formed inside the service, using Facebook to organize a fight against Facebook. Founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for not warning users and explaining the feature well enough—communication was his real problem—and Facebook added new privacy controls. There was no exodus. Today, I don’t think any user would disagree that the news feed is a brilliant insight; it is the heart of the service. Though he makes mistakes, Zuckerberg makes them well by listening to customers and responding quickly. After a kerfuffle about a new Facebook advertising feature subsided, blogging venture capitalist Rick Segal begged us all to give Zuckerberg some slack.
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 now things are loosening up. In May 2011, LinkedIn, a social network, went public and saw its shares more than double in their first day of trading. Later in 2011 Groupon and Zynga floated the biggest IPOs since Google in 2004. In May 2012 Facebook went public, in the biggest IPO in the history of the tech industry, one that placed a value of more than $100 billion on the social network that Mark Zuckerberg had started on a lark in his Harvard dorm room eight years before. Now everyone is trying to spot the next Facebook, and a new tech frenzy is taking shape. Back on the East Coast, where I spend my weekends, there is a vague sense that maybe things are getting a little bit frothy out in the Bay Area. Here in San Francisco there is no doubt. There’s money everywhere. Any college dropout with a hoodie and a half-baked idea can raise venture funding.
Some raise money without even knowing what product or service they will build. Many have never run companies before. Some have never even had jobs before. On top of that, a lot of these new start-up founders are somewhat unsavory people. The old tech industry was run by engineers and MBAs; the new tech industry is populated by young, amoral hustlers, the kind of young guys (and they are almost all guys) who watched The Social Network and its depiction of Mark Zuckerberg as a lying, thieving, backstabbing prick—and left the theater wanting to be just like that guy. Many are fresh out of college, or haven’t even bothered to graduate. Their companies look and feel a lot like frat houses. Twitter, at one point, will literally hold a frat-themed party. In 2012 a new word has entered the Silicon Valley lexicon: brogrammer, which refers to a kind of macho dickhead who chugs from a beer bong and harasses women.
We’re not just making software, we’re reinventing the way companies do business. Maybe that sounds arrogant, but who knows? Maybe the people at HubSpot have figured something out. Maybe the best way to do something really innovative is to hire a bunch of young people who have no experience and therefore no preconceived notions about how to run a company. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were twenty-five years old when they founded Google. Mark Zuckerberg was twenty when he founded Facebook, and once famously said, “Young people are just smarter.” Maybe Zuckerberg was right. Sure, experience is valuable, but I’m willing to accept the idea that experience can also be an impediment. Forbes and Newsweek were filled with old-timers who scoffed at the Internet, didn’t understand it, and didn’t want to understand it. They pined for the good old days.
Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, Grace Hopper, job automation, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Victor Luckerson, “Here’s Why Facebook Won’t Put Your News Feed in Chronological Order,” Time, July 9, 2015, http://time.com/3951337/facebook-chronological-order. 50. Josh Constine, “Facebook’s S-1 Letter from Zuckerberg Urges Understanding before Investment,” TechCrunch, February 1, 2012, https://techcrunch.com/2012/02/01/facebook-ipo-letter. 51. Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook post, February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634. 52. “When FOMO Meets JOMO,” Note to Self, WNYC, January 20, 2016, http://www.wnyc.org/story/fomo-jomo. Chapter 9: Meritocracy Now, Meritocracy Forever 1. From Brian S. Hall’s now-deleted article in Forbes, “There Is No Diversity Crisis in Tech,” which he reposted at Medium.com on October 7, 2015: https://medium.com/@brianshall/the-article-on-diversity-in-tech-that-forbes-took-down-15cfd28d5639#.sp3ogqmuw. 2.
Back in 2010, technologist Tim Jones, then of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote that he had asked his Twitter followers to help him come up with a name for this method of using “deliberately confusing jargon and user-interfaces” to “trick your users into sharing more info about themselves than they really want to.” 8 One of the most popular suggestions was Zuckering. The term, of course, refers to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder—who, a few months before, had dramatically altered Facebook’s default privacy settings. Facebook insisted that the changes were empowering—that its new features would give the 350 million users it had at the time the tools to “personalize their privacy,” 9 by offering more granular controls over who can see what. The way Facebook implemented this change isn’t quite as inspirational, though.
Hell, it could have made the news curators part of the product team, and involved them in the process of improving the algorithm. But instead, Facebook once again decided to just let the machines sort it out, and pick up the pieces later. Only this time, there was a lot more at stake than users missing a few photos from their favorite friends, or seeing too many updates from a friend’s cousin who they hung out with once at a wedding. These core values aren’t new. In fact, if you ask Mark Zuckerberg, they’re the core of the company, and always have been. Back when Facebook filed for IPO, in 2012, he lauded those values in a letter to investors: “As most companies grow, they slow down too much because they’re more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly,” he wrote. “We have a saying: ‘Move fast and break things.’ The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.” 50 Zuckerberg famously calls this approach “the Hacker Way”: build something quickly, release it to the world, see what happens, and then make adjustments.
Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser
Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, the High Line, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, young professional
At the time, the mood in the office was cheerful, the camaraderie strong, and the members of the group uncompetitive with one another, as there were so few of them and their jobs didn’t overlap too often. The SCL and Cambridge Analytica staff were energized by Alexander’s vision. The opportunity open to them was the equivalent of that at Facebook in the early days, and it hadn’t taken Facebook too many years to go public to the tune of an $18 billion valuation. Alexander wanted a similar outcome, and as Millennials, the staff looked to Mark Zuckerberg’s baby as a model of remarkable innovation in spaces no one had even thought to occupy until the company came along. Cambridge Analytica was based on the same idealistic notion of “connectivity” and “engagement” that had fueled Facebook. The company’s raison d’être was to boost engagement in uncharted territory, and those who worked there clearly believed, as those at Facebook had, that they were building something real that the world simply didn’t yet know it couldn’t do without.
For Alexander, it was an object lesson in having faith in a vision that might seem outlandish to others. The young Cambridge Analytica staff were energized by Alexander’s vision; I was, too. We worked for a company that was building something important, something real that could boost engagement across the connected world. My own experience with Facebook was not dissimilar to that of every other Millennial. It seemed always to have been there as part of my life. I didn’t know Mark Zuckerberg directly, but when he started the company in 2004, he did so with a high school colleague of mine named Chris Hughes. Chris and I had worked together on Andover’s school newspaper, the Phillipian, and later I found it exciting to see one of our own involved in such an innovative project as “The Facebook” while still in college. As a high-schooler, I remember links for “The Facebook” on Mark and Chris’s AOL Instant Messenger profiles, and on the profiles of the rest of my friends who had graduated from Andover and headed to Harvard.
Between 2010 and 2012, the platform’s openness to third-party apps allowed companies to harvest ever more data. With some forty thousand third-party developers, and more and more users from those third parties spending exponentially more time on Facebook, the social media company now had the ability to provide anyone with hundreds of data points on its users. With the Federal Trade Commission admonishment of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010 regarding use of the Friends API and “deceptive practices,” the company was “now expected to plug the gaps,” but it struggled to find a way to make that work in tandem with its growth strategy.5 Would it be possible to care about both data protection and exponential profits? The two aims were at odds with each other, and Facebook began to get more daring with its murky data collection and usage.
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age by Brad Smith, Carol Ann Browne
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boeing 737 MAX, business process, call centre, Celtic Tiger, chief data officer, cloud computing, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, immigration reform, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, national security letter, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, pattern recognition, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce
Back to note reference 11. Deepa Seetharaman, “Zuckerberg Defends Facebook Against Charges It Harmed Political Discourse,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/zuckerberg-defends-facebook-against-charges-it-harmed-political-discourse-1478833876. Back to note reference 12. Chloe Watson, “The Key Moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony to Congress,” Guardian, April 11, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/11/mark-zuckerbergs-testimony-to-congress-the-key-moments. Back to note reference 13. Mark R. Warner, “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms” (draft white paper, Senate Intelligence Committee, 2018), https://www.scribd.com/document/385137394/MRW-Social-Media-Regulation-Proposals-Developed. Back to note reference 14.
John Frank, “Microsoft’s Commitments, Including DPA Cooperation, Under the EU-US Privacy Shield,” EU Policy Blog, Microsoft, April 11, 2016, https://blogs.microsoft.com/eupolicy/2016/04/11/microsofts-commitments-including-dpa-cooperation-under-the-eu-u-s-privacy-shield/. Back to note reference 12. Grace Halden, Three Mile Island: The Meltdown Crisis and Nuclear Power in American Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 2017), 65. Back to note reference 13. Julia Carrie Wong, “Mark Zuckerberg Apologises for Facebook’s ‘Mistakes’ over Cambridge Analytica,” Guardian, March 22, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/21/mark-zuckerberg-response-facebook-cambridge-analytica. Back to note reference 14. See Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (New York: PublicAffairs, 2019). Back to note reference 15. Julie Brill, “Millions Use Microsoft’s GDPR Privacy Tools to Control Their Data — Including 2 Million Americans,” Microsoft on the Issues (blog), Microsoft, September 17, 2018, https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/09/17/millions-use-microsofts-gdpr-privacy-tools-to-control-their-data-including-2-million-americans/.
The people of Estonia learned firsthand after the Iron Curtain came crashing down that freedom brings its own challenges, and they can be dizzying. “In some sense that’s actually a very frightening situation because everybody has trouble figuring out what they really want,” the exhibit states. “So what should you want if everything’s allowed? And then people run themselves ragged in all directions.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created his online platform to make the world more “open and connected.” At one level, it’s the ultimate endorsement of freedom. But in a country where KGB intelligence agents had registered, tracked, and pulled printed samples from every typewriter in the country to discourage unsanctioned communications, Estonians know all too well how overwhelming it can be when the tap of information and ideas suddenly flows freely.
Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr
Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator
SCREAMING FOR QUIET THE DREAMS OF READERS LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF PRIVACY HOOKED MOTHER GOOGLE THE LIBRARY OF UTOPIA THE BOYS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW THE EUNUCH’S CHILDREN PAST-TENSE POP THE LOVE THAT LAYS THE SWALE IN ROWS THE SNAPCHAT CANDIDATE WHY ROBOTS WILL ALWAYS NEED US LOST IN THE CLOUD THE DAEDALUS MISSION Acknowledgments Index UTOPIA IS CREEPY Introduction SILICON VALLEY DAYS IT WAS A SCENE out of an Ambien nightmare: A jackal with the face of Mark Zuckerberg stood over a freshly killed zebra, gnawing at the animal’s innards. But I was not asleep. The vision arrived midday, triggered by the Facebook founder’s announcement—this was in the spring of 2011—that “the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself.” Zuckerberg had begun his new “personal challenge,” he told Fortune magazine, by boiling a lobster alive. Then he dispatched a chicken.
We have allowed our lives to become open books for marketers and snoops, so much so that resistance at this point seems ridiculous. To go “off grid” now, you pretty much have to turn yourself into a counterespionage operative, a secret agent living in a yurt and nibbling the bruised leaves of a discarded cabbage. THE SOCIAL GRAFT November 6, 2007 “ONCE EVERY HUNDRED YEARS media changes,” boy-coder turned big-thinker Mark Zuckerberg declared today at the Facebook Social Advertising Event in New York City. It’s true. Look back over the last millennium or two, and you’ll see that every century, like clockwork, there’s been a big change in media. Cave painting lasted a hundred years, and then there was smoke signaling, which also lasted a hundred years, and of course there was the hundred years of yodeling, and then there was the printing press, which was invented almost precisely a hundred years ago, and so forth up to the present day—the day that Facebook picked up the hundred-year torch and ran with it.
The Gothic High-Tech, who cannot abide death, face a problem here: The organ donation system is largely democratic; it can’t be gamed easily by wealth. A rich person may be able to travel somewhere that has shorter lines—Tennessee, say—but he can’t jump to the head of the line. So the challenge becomes one of increasing the supply, of making rare components plentiful. 7. A week ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a move that he said was inspired by the experience of his friend Steve Jobs, announced that Facebook was introducing a new feature that would make it easy for members to identify themselves as organ donors. Should Zuckerberg’s move increase the supply of organs, it will save many lives and alleviate much suffering. We should all be grateful. Dark dreams of the future are best left to science fiction writers.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
v=kUHF43xjMJM. 1 “‘Solutionism’ . . . is indeed the name of the game”: quoted in Gilles Paquet, The New Geo-Governance: A Baroque Approach (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2005), 315. 1 “The overriding question”: Paul Dourish and Scott D. Mainwaring, “UbiComp’s Colonial Impulse,” in Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp ‘12 (New York: ACM, 2012), 133–142. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2370216.2370238, 6. 1 While Mark Zuckerberg insists: see, e.g., Zuckerberg’s interview with Charlie Rose: “Exclusive Interview with Facebook Leadership: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO/Co-Founder and Sheryl Sandberg, COO,” Charlie Rose, November 7, 2011, http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11981. 2 BinCam, a new project from researchers in Britain and Germany: my account of BinCam is based on a paper written by its designers. See Anja Thieme et al., “‘We’ve Bin Watching You’: Designing for Reflection and Social Persuasion to Promote Sustainable Lifestyles,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (New York: ACM, 2012), 2337–2346.
Friedman, “Make Way for the Radical Center,” New York Times, July 23, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24friedman.html. 111 “10,000 clicks from 10 states”: Lawrence Lessig, “The Last Best Chance for Campaign Finance Reform: Americans Elect,” The Atlantic, April 25, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/the-last-best-chance-for-campaign-finance-reform-americans-elect/256361 . 111 Cue the Shirky-esque tone of Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks in 2008: see his interview with Sarah Lacy at SXSW 2008. Video is available at http://allfacebook.com/mark-zuckerberg-sarah-lacy-interview-video_b1063. 111 “outdated and antiquated”: Steven Overly, “Web Start-Up Ruck.us Aims to Engage the Politically Independent,” Washington Post, March 12, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/web-start-up-ruckus-aims-to-engage-the-politically-independent/2012/03/09/gIQAKvU55R_story.html . 112 “the word comes from rugby”: Ruck.us, “FAQs,” http://blog.ruck.us/faqs. 112 “Whereas 30 years ago we were blissfully ignorant”: Nathan Daschle, “How to Pick Your Presidential Candidate Online,” CNN.com, April 19, 2012, http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/19/opinion/daschle-elect/index.html. 113 “the Americans Elect innovation is so exciting”: ibid. 113 “The trends are undeniable”: ibid. 113 “Politics is the last sector”: Alex Fitzpatrick, “Ruck.Us Breaks Up Party Politics on the Social Web,” Mashable, May 11, 2012, http://mashable.com/2012/05/11/ruckus. 114 “Plots to disrupt the two-party system”: Steve Freiss, “Son of Democratic Party Royalty Creates a Ruck.us,” Politico, June 26, 2012, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77847.html. 114 “our two-party system doesn’t form”: ibid. 114 “the creativity of party politics”: Nancy L.
If you listen to its loudest apostles, Silicon Valley is all about solving problems that someone else—perhaps the greedy bankers on Wall Street or the lazy know-nothings in Washington—have created. “Technology is not really about hardware and software any more. It’s really about the mining and use of this enormous data to make the world a better place,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, told an audience of MIT students in 2011. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who argues that his company’s mission is to “make the world more open and connected,” concurs. “We don’t wake up in the morning with the primary goal of making money,” he proclaimed just a few months before his company’s rapidly plummeting stock convinced all but its most die-hard fans that Facebook and making money had parted ways long ago. What, then, gets Mr. Zuckerberg out of bed? As he told the audience of the South by Southwest festival in 2008, it’s the desire to solve global problems.
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee
AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator
The result was, in Wang’s words, “ugly,” and the site failed to take off. Two years later, Facebook was storming college campuses with its clean design and niche targeting of students. Wang adopted both when he created Xiaonei (“On Campus”). The network was exclusive to Chinese college students, and the user interface was an exact copy of Mark Zuckerberg’s site. Wang meticulously recreated the home page, profiles, tool bars, and color schemes of the Palo Alto startup. Chinese media reported that the earliest version of Xiaonei even went so far as to put Facebook’s own tagline, “A Mark Zuckerberg Production,” at the bottom of each page. Xiaonei was a hit, but one that Wang sold off too early. As the site grew rapidly, he couldn’t raise enough money to pay for server costs and was forced to accept a buyout. Under new ownership, a rebranded version of Xiaonei—now called Renren, “Everybody”—eventually raised $740 million during its 2011 debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes: The Economic Security Project, https://economicsecurityproject.org/. gives a thousand families a stipend: Pender, “Oakland Group.” “VC for the People”: Steve Randy Waldman, “VC for the People,” Interfluidity (blog), April 16, 2014, http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/5066.html. “everyone has a cushion”: Chris Weller, “Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Exploring Basic Income in Harvard Commencement Speech,” Business Insider, May 25, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-basic-income-harvard-speech-2017-5. two fastest growing professions: Ben Casselman, “A Peek at Future Jobs Reveals Growing Economic Divides,” New York Times, October 24, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/business/economy/future-jobs.html. just over $20,000: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, “Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides,” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm, and “Personal Care Aides,” https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes399021.htm.
The prevailing American attitude was that people like Wang Xing could copy the look and feel of Facebook, but that the Chinese would never access the mysterious magic of innovation that drove a place like Silicon Valley. BUILDING BLOCKS AND STUMBLING BLOCKS Silicon Valley investors take as an article of faith that a pure innovation mentality is the foundation on which companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are built. It was an irrepressible impulse to “think different” that drove people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos to create these companies that would change the world. In that school of thought, China’s knockoff clockmakers were headed down a dead-end road. A copycat mentality is a core stumbling block on the path to true innovation. By blindly imitating others—or so the theory goes—you stunt your own imagination and kill the chances of creating an original and innovative product. But I saw early copycats like Wang Xing’s Twitter knockoff not as stumbling blocks but as building blocks.
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
When Chesky arrived, he was impressed with the way Le had spruced up the air mattress in his living room, even putting a mint on the pillow. For his part, Le recalls Chesky spending a lot of time out on the balcony, either on the phone or “deep in thought.” Le made him an espresso every morning (which he says Chesky drank “in two seconds”) and drove him to the festival, during which time Chesky described his vision for the company and his fervent hope to meet Mark Zuckerberg, who was speaking at the conference. Despite pulling in zero outside business, the South by Southwest launch actually served a few purposes. By using the website himself, Chesky identified some kinks in the payment process. He’d forgotten to go to the ATM not once but twice, so for two nights he was in the awkward position of staying in the home of a stranger who had no reason to believe he’d actually pay.
“As far as I was concerned, we were the Beatles,” Chesky told Lacy in their fireside chat. But once again, the success would be short-lived. Despite the bookings and the media coverage, as soon as the convention was over, traffic crashed. “We realized if only there were political conventions every week, we’d be huge,” Chesky said. Instead, they were back at square one. Chesky would later put it in medical terms: they were losing their patient. “I Don’t Remember Mark Zuckerberg Assembling Cereal Boxes” Back at home in San Francisco, with Blecharczyk back in Boston, Chesky and Gebbia were launched, out of money, in debt, and without traffic. Desperate and nearly out of options, they resuscitated an idea they’d had before the DNC, which was to ship their “hosts” free breakfast that they could then in turn give to their paying guests. After all, breakfast was half of the name and a big part of the concept.
They scoured San Francisco’s supermarkets to find which sold the cheapest cereal and filled up shopping cart after shopping cart until they had a thousand boxes of one-dollar cereal, loaded them into Gebbia’s red Jeep, and hauled them home. Back in the kitchen, with a thousand flat boxes and a hot-glue gun, they got to work, hand-folding the boxes and sealing them shut with the glue. “It was like doing giant origami on my kitchen table,” Chesky recalled during the Lacy interview. He burned his hands. He thought to himself that he couldn’t remember Mark Zuckerberg hot-gluing anything or burning his hands assembling cereal boxes to launch Facebook. Maybe, he thought, this wasn’t a good sign. But they finished the boxes, and, in their last-ditch attempt at stirring up attention for their failing company, alerted the press. Tech reporters got bombarded with pitches, they reasoned, but they probably didn’t get cereal shipped to their desks all that often.
Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier
23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day
Schmidt banned employees: Elinor Mills (14 Jul 2005), “Google balances privacy, reach,” CNET, http://news.cnet.com/Google-balances-privacy,-reach/2100-1032_3-5787483.html. Randall Stross (28 Aug 2005), “Google anything, so long as it’s not Google,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/technology/28digi.html. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Bobbie Johnson (10 Jan 2010), “Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder,” Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy. bought the four houses: Brian Bailey (11 Oct 2013), “Mark Zuckerberg buys four houses near his Palo Alto home,” San Jose Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24285169/mark-zuckerberg-buys-four-houses-near-his-palo-alto-home. few secrets we don’t tell someone: Peter E. Sand (Spring/Summer 2006), “The privacy value,” I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy 2, http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/is/files/2012/02/5-Sand.pdf.
But in 2005, Schmidt banned employees from talking to reporters at CNET because a reporter disclosed personal details about Schmidt in an article. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg declared in 2010 that privacy is no longer a “social norm,” but bought the four houses abutting his Palo Alto home to help ensure his own privacy. There are few secrets we don’t tell someone, and we continue to believe something is private even after we’ve told that person. We write intimate letters to lovers and friends, talk to our doctors about things we wouldn’t tell anyone else, and say things in business meetings we wouldn’t say in public. We use pseudonyms to separate our professional selves from our personal selves, or to safely try out something new. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed a remarkable naïveté when he stated, “You have one identity. The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.
Indians are worried: Jayshree Bajoria (5 Jun 2014), “India’s snooping and Snowden,” India Real Time, http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/06/05/indias-snooping-and-snowden. Both China and Russia: Shannon Tiezzi (28 Mar 2014), “China decries US ‘hypocrisy’ on cyber-espionage,” Diplomat, http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/china-decries-us-hypocrisy-on-cyber-espionage. Xinhua News Agency (11 Jul 2014), “Putin calls US surveillance practice ‘utter hypocrisy,’” China Daily, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014-07/11/content_17735783.htm. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Mark Zuckerberg (13 Mar 2014), “As the world becomes more complex … ,” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10101301165605491. 8: Commercial Fairness and Equality Accretive Health is: Office of the Minnesota Attorney General (19 Jan 2012), “Attorney General Swanson sues Accretive Health for patient privacy violations,” Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, http://www.ag.state.mn.us/Consumer/PressRelease/120119AccretiveHealth.asp.
Give People Money by Annie Lowrey
"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator
people in Sudan: Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, “Global Extreme Poverty,” Our World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty/#the-evolution-of-extreme-poverty-country-by-country. North Koreans are now measurably shorter: Richard Knight, “Are North Koreans Really Three Inches Shorter Than South Koreans?,” BBC News, Apr. 23, 2012. intellectual flotsam: Annie Lowrey, “Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive,” New York Times Magazine, Nov. 12, 2013. Mark Zuckerberg: Mark Zuckerberg, Commencement Address, Cambridge, MA, May 25, 2017, Harvard Gazette. Hillary Clinton: Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017), 239. the Black Lives Matter movement: “Reparations,” The Movement for Black Lives, July 26, 2016, https://policy.m4bl.org/reparations/. Bill Gates: Bill Gates, “I’m Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The idea is a very old one, with its roots in Tudor England and the writings of Thomas Paine, a curious piece of intellectual flotsam that has washed ashore again and again over the last half millennium, often coming in with the tides of economic revolution. In the past few years—with the middle class being squeezed, trust in government eroding, technological change hastening, the economy getting Uberized, and a growing body of research on the power of cash as an antipoverty measure being produced—it has vaulted to a surprising prominence, even pitching from airy hypothetical to near-reality in some places. Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, the Black Lives Matter movement, Bill Gates, Elon Musk—these are just a few of the policy proposal’s flirts, converts, and supporters. UBI pilots are starting or ongoing in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Canada, and Kenya, with India contemplating one as well. Some politicians are trying to get it adopted in California, and it has already been the subject of a Swiss referendum, where its reception exceeded activists’ expectations despite its defeat.
That might slow the economy down, and cause rich families and big corporations to flee offshore. Even if the government replaced Social Security and many of its other antipoverty programs with a UBI, its spending would still have to increase by a number in the hundreds of billions, each and every year. Stepping back even further: Is a UBI really the best use of scarce resources? Does it make any sense to bump up taxes in order to give people like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates $1,000 a month, along with all those working-class families, retirees, children, unemployed individuals, and so on? Would it not be more efficient to tax rich people and direct money to poor people through means-testing, as programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, already do? Even in the socialist Nordic countries, state support is generally contingent on circumstance.
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
Should your company make Vice President the top title or should you have Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief People Officers, and Chief Snack Officers? There are two schools of thought regarding this, one represented by Marc Andreessen and the other by Mark Zuckerberg. Andreessen argues that people ask for many things from a company: salary, bonus, stock options, span of control, and titles. Of those, title is by far the cheapest, so it makes sense to give the highest titles possible. The hierarchy should have Presidents, Chiefs, and Senior Executive Vice Presidents. If it makes people feel better, let them feel better. Titles cost nothing. Better yet, when competing for new employees with other companies, using Andreessen’s method you can always outbid the competition in at least one dimension. At Facebook, by contrast, Mark Zuckerberg purposely deploys titles that are significantly lower than the industry standard. Senior Vice Presidents at other companies must take title haircuts down to Directors or Managers at Facebook.
The Struggle has no mercy. The Struggle is the land of broken promises and crushed dreams. The Struggle is a cold sweat. The Struggle is where your guts boil so much that you feel like you are going to spit blood. The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak. Most people are not strong enough. Every great entrepreneur from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg went through the Struggle and struggle they did, so you are not alone. But that does not mean that you will make it. You may not make it. That is why it is the Struggle. The Struggle is where greatness comes from. SOME STUFF THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HELP There is no answer to the Struggle, but here are some things that helped me: Don’t put it all on your shoulders. It is easy to think that the things that bother you will upset your people more.
This makes sense, because everybody is just working to build the company. Roles needn’t be clearly defined and, in fact, can’t be, because everyone does a little bit of everything. In an environment like this there are no politics and nobody is jockeying for position or authority. It’s rather nice. So why do all organizations eventually create job titles and what is the proper way to manage them? (Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg for contributing to my thinking on this subject.) WHY DO TITLES MATTER? Two important factors drive all companies to eventually create job titles: 1. Employees want them. While you may plan to work at your company forever, at least some of your employees need to plan for life after your company. When your head of sales interviews for her next job, she won’t want to say that despite the fact that she ran a global sales force with hundreds of employees, her title was “Dude.” 2.
The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game
The NSA used a technique: Chandra Steele, “The 10 Most Disturbing Snowden Revelations,” PC Magazine, February 11, 2014. Online at pcmag.com. It spied on: James Bamford, “The Most Wanted Man in the World,” Wired, August 2014. “bricked”: Ibid. Verizon, for example, was ordered: FISA court order, Docket BR 13-80, April 25, 2013. Cited in Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, “The 10 Biggest Revelations from Edward Snowden’s Leaks,” Mashable, June 5, 2014. Online at mashable.com. Mark Zuckerberg taped over: Katie Rogers, “Mark Zuckerberg Covers His Laptop Camera. You Should Consider It, Too,” New York Times, June 22, 2016. high-tech companies were lobbying: Robin Blackburn, “The Corbyn Project,” New Left Review 111 (May–June 2018): 5–32. A 1992 Supreme Court decision: Christopher Caldwell, “Amazon’s Tax-Free Landscape Needs Bulldozing,” Financial Times, July 16–17, 2011. The Supreme Court decision discussed there, Quill Corp. v.
A dedicated political agitator: Marguerite Griffin and Tim Bresnahan, “Income Tax Charitable Deduction Summary,” Insights on Wealth Planning, Northern Trust, November 2013. “a capitalist venture”: Olivier Zunz, Philanthropy in America: A History (Prince-ton: Princeton University Press, 2011), 3. Eliot Spitzer’s father used part: Fred Siegel and Michael Goodwin, “Troopergate, New York–Style,” Weekly Standard, August 20–27, 2007. Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift: Alex Kotlowitz, “Getting Schooled,” New York Times Book Review, August 23, 2015. Until a court intervened: Valerie Strauss, “The Secret E-mails About Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 Million Donation to Newark Schools,” Washington Post, January 6, 2013. “We all pay”: Rob Reich, “What Are Foundations For?,” Boston Review, March 1, 2013. Online at bostonreview.net. Quoted in Gara LaMarche, “Democracy and the Donor Class,” Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, 34 (Fall 2014). “entitled to peculiar favor”: Edmund Jackson v.
President Kennedy had recruited Robert McNamara, the president of the Ford Motor Company, to be his secretary of defense. McNamara had won the esteem of the country’s leaders, and the authority to manage its now-nuclearized armed forces, on the strength of his corporate career. McNamara was not a sadistic military strategist, like William Tecumseh Sherman; he was a true believer in “systems management,” like, in a later era, Mark Zuckerberg. He took certain techniques useful for managing corporations and grievously misapplied them. In 1967, at the height of the war, McNamara told a convocation at recently integrated Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, that rational management, as he practiced it, was the only proper means of effecting humane change. “Management is, in the end, the most creative of all the arts,” he said, “for its medium is human talent itself.
Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks
An array of information that Facebook previously had treated as private, suddenly and without warning became publicly available information by default. This included a user’s profile picture, name, gender, current city, what professional and regional “networks” one belonged to within Facebook, the “causes” one had signed on to support, and one’s entire list of Facebook friends. The changes were driven by Facebook’s need to monetize the service but were also consistent with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s strong personal conviction that people everywhere should be open about their lives and actions. In Iran, where authorities were known to be using information and contacts obtained from people’s Facebook accounts while interrogating Green Movement activists detained from the summer of 2009 onward, the implications of the new privacy settings were truly frightening. Soon after the changes were made, an anonymous commenter on the technology news site ZDNet confirmed that Iranian users were deleting their accounts in horror:A number of my friends in Iran are active student protesters of the government.
A physical government’s power over the individual is not in any way comparable to the power that any Internet company holds over any person. Still, Tsui made an important point. Hundreds of millions of people “inhabit” Facebook’s digital kingdom. Call it Facebookistan. By mid-2011 Facebook had 700 million users. If it really were a country, it would be the world’s third largest, after India and China. The social network may have started out in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room as a platform for college students to flirt with one another, but it is now a world unto itself: an alternative virtual reality that for many users is now inextricably intertwined with their physical reality—and one that is often celebrated as a platform not only for personal expression but for political liberation. Facebook’s motto is “Making the world open and connected.”
If you want to organize a movement the only place to do it effectively is on Facebook, because you have to go where all the people are. There needs to be a mechanism that enables us to do this kind of work. Either Facebook is going to get it, or we’re going to be playing cat and mouse.” Fortunately for Egypt’s activists, the story ended well, at least in the short term, with the fall of the Mubarak regime. Wael Ghonim was soon lavishing praise on Mark Zuckerberg for having created the world’s greatest organizing tool for freedom and democracy. INSIDE THE LEVIATHAN Members of Facebook’s management team are adamant that the real-name requirement is key to protecting users from abusive and criminal behavior. Tim Sparapani, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union before becoming Facebook’s public policy director, explained it to me this way: “Authenticity allows Facebook to be more permissive in terms of what we can allow people to say and do on the site.”
Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown
Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional
Ranjay Gulati, “Silo Busting: How to Execute on the Promise of Customer Focus,” Harvard Business Review, May 2007. 4. Ben Horowitz, “Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager,” Andreessen Horowitz website (no exact date given), a16z.com/2012/06/15/good-product-managerbad-product-manager/. 5. Noah Kagan, “What Happens After You Get Shot Down by Mark Zuckerberg?” Fast Company, July 24, 2014, fastcompany.com/3033427/hit-the-ground-running/what-happens-after-you-get-shot-down-by-mark-zuckerberg. 6. Harry McCracken, “Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook,” Fast Company, Long Read/Behind the Brand (blog), November 16, 2015. 7. “Fireside Chat: Defining True Growth—How Do You Find Your North Star Metric,” GrowthHackers, https://growthhackers.com/videos/gh-conference-16-fireside-chat-with-nate-moch-vp-product-teams-at-zillow-and-morgan-brown-coo-at-inman-news. 8.
In late 2007, Facebook set up a formal growth team of five people, called The Growth Circle, bringing together experts in product management (including their most tenured product manager, Naomi Gleit), Internet marketing, data analytics, and engineering. The team was run by a hard-charging executive and former head of product marketing on the Facebook Platform and Ads products named Chamath Palihapitiya, who recommended to Mark Zuckerberg that he refocus his efforts on helping the site grow its number of users. Though Facebook, who had by this time about 70 million users, had already achieved remarkable growth, it looked like the company might be hitting a wall. So Mark Zuckerberg tasked the team to focus exclusively on experimenting with ways to break through that plateau. As the team racked up success after success, Zuckerberg saw that the investment in the new unit was paying off, and continued to add more manpower, enabling the team to experiment more and grow the site even faster.8 One of their biggest breakthroughs, the creation of a translation engine to spur international growth, provides a sharp contrast as to how the growth hacking method is so different from the traditional marketing approach.
At start-ups, if the founder or CEO isn’t personally leading the growth efforts directly, then the team or teams should report directly to him or her. In larger companies, which may have multiple growth teams, the teams should report to a vice president or C-level executive who can champion their work with the rest of the C-suite. Support for these methods at the highest rungs of the organization is critical to the team’s sustained success. Mark Zuckerberg is an outstanding model of the leadership required. He was relentlessly focused on growth in the early days of Facebook, and his enthusiasm hasn’t waned since. In 2005, two years before Facebook formally established the growth team, Noah Kagan, a digital marketer who was employee number 30, brought a revenue generating idea to Zuckerberg. Kagan was concerned that the social network needed to prove to investors that it could make serious money.
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
v3.1 Contents Preface: Zero to One 1 The Challenge of the Future 2 Party Like It’s 1999 3 All Happy Companies Are Different 4 The Ideology of Competition 5 Last Mover Advantage 6 You Are Not a Lottery Ticket 7 Follow the Money 8 Secrets 9 Foundations 10 The Mechanics of Mafia 11 If You Build It, Will They Come? 12 Man and Machine 13 Seeing Green 14 The Founder’s Paradox Conclusion: Stagnation or Singularity? Acknowledgments Illustration Credits Index About the Authors Preface ZERO TO ONE EVERY MOMENT IN BUSINESS happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them. Of course, it’s easier to copy a model than to make something new. Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.
After more than three decades of futile effort, Xanadu folded just as the web was becoming commonplace. Their technology probably would have worked at scale, but it could have worked only at scale: it required every computer to join the network at the same time, and that was never going to happen. Paradoxically, then, network effects businesses must start with especially small markets. Facebook started with just Harvard students—Mark Zuckerberg’s first product was designed to get all his classmates signed up, not to attract all people of Earth. This is why successful network businesses rarely get started by MBA types: the initial markets are so small that they often don’t even appear to be business opportunities at all. 3. Economies of Scale A monopoly business gets stronger as it gets bigger: the fixed costs of creating a product (engineering, management, office space) can be spread out over ever greater quantities of sales.
When a big company makes an offer to acquire a successful startup, it almost always offers too much or too little: founders only sell when they have no more concrete visions for the company, in which case the acquirer probably overpaid; definite founders with robust plans don’t sell, which means the offer wasn’t high enough. When Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook for $1 billion in July 2006, I thought we should at least consider it. But Mark Zuckerberg walked into the board meeting and announced: “Okay, guys, this is just a formality, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We’re obviously not going to sell here.” Mark saw where he could take the company, and Yahoo! didn’t. A business with a good definite plan will always be underrated in a world where people see the future as random. YOU ARE NOT A LOTTERY TICKET We have to find our way back to a definite future, and the Western world needs nothing short of a cultural revolution to do it.
Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra
This dynamic—higher earnings for those who “get” computers—affects many sectors beyond Silicon Valley. This isn’t merely a story about science, technology, engineering, and math majors (STEM), because a lot of scientists aren’t getting jobs today, especially if they don’t do the “right” kind of science. Does anyone envy the job prospects of a typical newly minted astronomy PhD? On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame was a psychology major, and insights from psychology helped him make Facebook into a more appealing and alluring site. The ability to mix technical knowledge with solving real-world problems is the key, not sheer number-crunching or programming for its own sake. Number-crunching skills will be turned over to the machines sooner or later. Marketing Despite all the talk about STEM fields, I see marketing as the seminal sector for our future economy.
For the top 1 percent of earners in America, a lot of the big gains come in the zip codes of New York City, the Upper West Side zip code of 10023 being number one. The Upper East Side does well, as does Scarsdale (a suburb of New York), Cupertino, and Potomac and Bethesda near Washington, D.C. This reflects how many of the very highest earners come from internet companies and finance, with some government and law thrown into the mix. There has been Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates, but finance is a common source of riches within the very highest tier of earners. To give one extreme but illuminating example, in 2007 the top twenty-five hedge fund earners pulled in more income than all the CEOs of the S&P 500 put together. The modern financial sector has computers, computerized trading, arbitrage, super-rapid communications, and computerized risk assessment at its core.
Mathematicians used to prove theorems at age twenty, but now it happens at age thirty because there is so much more to learn along the way. If you are a talented twenty-two-year-old, just out of Harvard, you probably cannot walk into a furniture factory and quickly design a better machine. Young people have made fundamental contributions in some of the internet and social networking sectors, precisely because of the immaturity of those sectors. Mark Zuckerberg needed a good grasp of Myspace, but he didn’t have to master decades of previous efforts on online social networks. He was close to starting from scratch. In those cases, young people tend to dominate the sector, but of course that won’t cover the furniture factory. Now take a typical young person, not furniture-machine savvy but just out of Harvard with, say, a degree in economics. She and her parents expect her to earn a high income—now—and to affiliate with other smart, highly educated people, maybe even to marry one of them someday.
Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional
its bike-share program: See Shannon Sims, “Building a Social Scene Around a Bike Path,” CityLab, August 1, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/08/lafitte-greenway-new-orleans/534735/, and Richard Florida, “Mapping America’s Bike Commuters,” CityLab, May 19, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/05/mapping-americas-bike-commuters/526923/. CONCLUSION: BEFORE WE LIFT THE NEXT SHOVEL “Are we building the world we all want?”: Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634/. “That’s who we are”: See Tony Romm, “Trump Campaign Fires Back at Zuckerberg,” Politico, April 13, 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/mark-zuckerberg-trump-feud-221897, and Seth Fiegerman, “Mark Zuckerberg Criticizes Trump on Immigration,” CNN, January 27, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/27/technology/zuckerberg-trump-immigration/index.html. “engagement will go down”: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook post, January 11, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571/. reach their targeted audiences: Benjamin Elgin and Vernon Silver, “Facebook and Google Helped Anti-Refugee Campaign in Swing States,” Bloomberg.com, October 18, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-18/facebook-and-google-helped-anti-refugee-campaign-in-swing-states.
It blends climate adaptation with mitigation while also improving the quality of urban life, regardless of the weather, and giving the people fortunate enough to be near it a way to connect. The water is coming. With the right kind of social infrastructure, we may well get through it without building an ark. CONCLUSION Before We Lift the Next Shovel In February 2017, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a six-thousand-word open letter on the site he created. It’s addressed “To our community,” and within a few sentences Zuckerberg asks his company’s two billion or so users a straightforward question: “Are we building the world we all want?” The answer was self-evident. If there’s a core principle in Zuckerberg’s worldview, it’s that human beings make progress when we break down social and geographic divisions and form larger, more expansive moral communities.
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
New Yorker, November 28, 2011. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/11/28/no-death-no-taxes. Peterson, Hayley. “‘Seeing Someone Cry at Work Is Becoming Normal’: Employees Say Whole Foods Is Using ‘Scorecards’ to Punish Them.” Business Insider, February 1, 2018. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-whole-foods-uses-scorecards-to-punish-employees-2018-1. “Pirate Bay Founder: Mark Zuckerberg Is ‘Basically the Biggest Dictator in the World.’” Business Insider Nordic online. Last modified November 27, 2017. http://nordic.businessinsider.com/pirate-bay-founder-mark-zuckerberg-is-basically-the-biggest-dictator-in-the-world-2017-10. “SF Tent on Sidewalk Prohibition Has Been Enforced 152 Times.” Fox KTVU online. Last modified September 12, 2017. http://www.ktvu.com/news/sf-tent-on-sidewalk-prohibition-has-been-enforced-152-times. Sinton, Peter. “The Villa That Oracle Built/Ellison Proceeds with Dream Digs Despite Market Setbacks.”
Some see Bezos as a hero, but his fortune has been built on the backs of warehouse workers who toil away in abominable conditions under huge amounts of stress, sometimes earning so little that they qualify for food stamps. In 2018, when Bezos went to Berlin to receive an award, hundreds of his own German workers showed up to protest. “We have an Amazon boss who wants to Americanize work relationships and take us back to the nineteenth century,” a union boss told Reuters. Second on the list was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose company employs “secret police” also known as the “rat-catching team,” to spy on workers, operating what the Guardian calls “a ruthless code of secrecy,” using legal threats to keep workers from talking about “working conditions, misconduct or culture challenges within the company.” The thirty-four-year-old wunderkind runs a social network with more than two billion members, and has become the most powerful person on the planet, Scott Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told CNN in 2018.
He tries to spend as much time at home as he can, which means, among other things, no crack-of-dawn power breakfasts, no work dinners, no pulling all-nighters. Being able to ease into the day at nine thirty on a nice day in June is part of the reason he started his own company. “The basic premise of being an entrepreneur,” Fried says, “is freedom. That’s why people start a business, for freedom.” These guys don’t want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. They think people who do are, well, kind of nuts. They spend a lot of time encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue a healthier approach to operating a company. It starts with treating your employees well and looking after them. It also means looking after yourself. Work fewer hours. Avoid stress. Find happiness. They have written several books about their laid-back philosophy, including Rework, which sold more than half a million copies worldwide.
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
So began my side of a conversation the day after the presidential election. I was speaking with Dan Rose, the head of media partnerships at Facebook. If Rose was taken aback by how furious I was, he hid it well. Let me back up. I am a longtime tech investor and evangelist. Tech had been my career and my passion, but by 2016, I was backing away from full-time professional investing and contemplating retirement. I had been an early advisor to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—Zuck, to many colleagues and friends—and an early investor in Facebook. I had been a true believer for a decade. Even at this writing, I still own shares in Facebook. In terms of my own narrow self-interest, I had no reason to bite Facebook’s hand. It would never have occurred to me to be an anti-Facebook activist. I was more like Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. He is minding his own business, checking out the view from his living room, when he sees what looks like a crime in progress, and then he has to ask himself what he should do.
It is possible that the worst damage from Facebook and the other internet platforms is behind us, but that is not where the smart money will place its bet. The most likely case is that the technology and business model of Facebook and others will continue to undermine democracy, public health, privacy, and innovation until a countervailing power, in the form of government intervention or user protest, forces change. * * * — TEN DAYS BEFORE the November 2016 election, I had reached out formally to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, two people I considered friends, to share my fear that bad actors were exploiting Facebook’s architecture and business model to inflict harm on innocent people, and that the company was not living up to its potential as a force for good in society. In a two-page memo, I had cited a number of instances of harm, none actually committed by Facebook employees but all enabled by the company’s algorithms, advertising model, automation, culture, and value system.
I needed some help, and I needed a plan, not necessarily in that order. 1 The Strangest Meeting Ever New technology is not good or evil in and of itself. It’s all about how people choose to use it. —DAVID WONG I should probably tell the story of how I intersected with Facebook in the first place. In the middle of 2006, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, sent me an email stating that his boss was facing an existential crisis and required advice from an unbiased person. Would I be willing to meet with Mark Zuckerberg? Facebook was two years old, Zuck was twenty-two, and I was fifty. The platform was limited to college students, graduates with an alumni email address, and high school students. News Feed, the heart of Facebook’s user experience, was not yet available. The company had only nine million dollars in revenue in the prior year. But Facebook had huge potential—that was already obvious—and I leapt at the opportunity to meet its founder.
The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen
business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional
The idea took off, and within ten years there were one hundred Uniqlo stores in Japan. In 2000, a fleece sweatshirt offered in many different colors made Uniqlo a household name and set the stage for further expansion in Japan and around the world. Today, the company continues to grow its Uniqlo brand in international markets, with stores in New York and London. Mark Zuckerberg b. 1984, United States Facebook Mark Zuckerberg matriculated at Harvard University in 2002 and quickly built his reputation as one of the best computer programmers on campus. This caught the attention of a trio of students who were developing a match-making program. Zuckerberg joined the project, but soon left to team up with friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to develop the social network that would become Facebook.
As we began collecting data and conducting interviews it became almost immediately clear that a lot of the truisms that get touted as the keys to successful entrepreneurship didn’t stand up to the data we had. For instance: Age Our tech-dominated era—populated by savvy wunderkinder—has left the impression that most self-made billionaires cross that billion-dollar finish line early in their careers. While it is true that people like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg made their first billion while still quite young—and with the first companies they formed—the majority of people in our sample are like Dietrich Mateschitz, who didn’t hit the billion-dollar mark until well after his fortieth birthday. For more than 70 percent of the sample, the idea or transition that catapulted them to billion-dollar success happened after age thirty (see Figure 1-1). Figure 1-1: Most Billionaires Are Already Mature Professionals When They Launch Their Blockbuster Idea Industry Technology dominance has also led many to believe that the main path for self-made entrepreneurs is the tech sector, which is so often held up as a bastion of new wealth and meritocracy, where anyone with a great idea and the willingness to code for long hours can rise to the top.
Two years after starting Spanx, founder and Producer Sara Blakely handed the operations of the business over to Performer CEO Laurie Ann Goldman, who ran the company for twelve years. Bloomberg’s Producer Michael Bloomberg started the financial data giant with the technology Performer Tom Secunda at his side. In the technology world, these pairings are more public than elsewhere: there is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (Producer) and Sheryl Sandberg (Performer), eBay’s Pierre Omidyar (Producer) and Meg Whitman (Performer), Microsoft’s Bill Gates (Producer) and Paul Allen (Performer), just to name a few. Sometimes these pairs seem destined to work together. The serial Producer Mark Cuban—cofounder of Broadcast.com and the current owner of the Dallas Mavericks—wrote about the Performer Martin Woodall, who was Cuban’s partner in MicroSolutions, his first multimillion-dollar business: “While I covered my mistakes by throwing time and effort at the problem, Martin was so detail-oriented, he had to make sure things were perfect so there would never be any problems.
The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter
"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration
New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t have much in common with Pete Buttigieg politically, but on this they agree: “The America we grew up in is nothing like the America our parents or our grandparents grew up in,” she told me in her office on Capitol Hill. “A lot of what we have to deal with are issues and decisions that were made by people in generations before us.” Over the last three years, the quiet rumblings of generational change have become a deafening roar. You can hear it in the din of the crowds at campaign rallies, in the youthful voices singing at global climate marches, in the staticky silence after Mark Zuckerberg has to explain to retirement-age senators how Facebook makes money. You can sense it in the urgency around tackling police violence, the demands to address the student debt crisis, and the drumbeat of youth-led activism around reforming America’s gun laws. You can see it in the young mayors implementing progressive policies on the local level, in the first-time women candidates who seized congressional seats in the 2018 midterms, and in the surprise momentum behind the presidential aspirations of a thirty-eight-year-old Indiana mayor.
These were the kinds of things Pete thought about often, but on this day, his usual sense of momentousness seemed to match the moment. Pete was a dorky kid, with a chubby face and a smile that actually turned up at the edges, like something drawn by Dr. Seuss. He was one of the only freshman kids at Harvard from South Bend, Indiana, and when he first arrived he felt as if he were entering an X-Men universe where everyone else had superpowers. Some kids at Harvard were tech wizards (like Mark Zuckerberg, who lived a few dorms over in Kirkland House), others were artistic prodigies (like his roommate Uzo, better known as Uzodinma Iweala, who wrote the bestselling novel Beasts of No Nation while still in college), and others were so rich and connected they might as well have been born wearing tuxedos. Pete wasn’t any of those things. Back then he was a fashion disaster: he mostly wore too-big polo shirts with baggy khakis and Clarks.
Still, even if millennials are better at metabolizing online information than their parents, the spread and weaponization of misleading information will likely be a permanent feature of millennial political life. The demise of the old gatekeepers led to the rise of a new kind of archetype: the disrupter. The infinite new opportunities in the digital space and the thrilling freedom of a vast, unregulated digital ecosystem gave young upstarts the courage to, as Mark Zuckerberg put it, “move fast and break things.” Why should they respect the old ways when this was a whole new world? The future, they thought, belonged to the innovator, the coder, the breaker of rules, not the cog in some outdated machine. So it’s probably not a coincidence that individualistic millennials raised in this bold new world had little reverence for the institutions of the old one: they became more skeptical than older Americans of organized religion, political parties, corporations, and labor unions.
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu
1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game
How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook,” Race After the Internet, eds. Lisa Nakamura and Peter A. Chow-White (New York: Routledge, 2011). 13. Amy Lee, “Myspace Collapse: How the Social Network Fell Apart,” Huffington Post, June 30, 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/how-myspace-fell-apart_n_887853.html. 14. Fred Vogelstein, “The Wired Interview: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg,” Wired, June 29, 2009, http://www.wired.com/2009/06/mark-zuckerberg-speaks/. 15. Zeynep Tufekci, “Grooming, Gossip, Facebook and Myspace,” Information, Communication & Society, 11 (2008), 546, doi: 10.1080/13691180801999050. 16. Larry Dignan, “Facebook’s IPO: Massive Valuation Brings Business Model Scrutiny,” May 16, 2012, http://www.cnet.com/news/facebooks-ipo-massive-valuation-brings-business-model-scrutiny/. 17. Brad Smallwood, “Making Digital Brand Campaigns Better,” October 1, 2012, https://www.facebook-studio.com/news/item/making-digital-brand-campaigns-better. 18.
How else were total strangers thrown together in dormitories to find friends and maybe romantic or sexual partners? “We’ve been in touch with the Undergraduate Council, and this is a very high priority for the College,” said Harvard’s residential computing director in mid-2004. “We have every intention of completing the facebook by the end of the spring semester.”1 So Harvard computer services had an idea and they were running with it. But a nineteen-year-old undergraduate named Mark Zuckerberg—a gifted programmer in full possession of all the arrogance of youth, who loved nothing more than to hack out code overnight—felt compelled to show he could do the job better and faster. Zuckerberg had already accomplished a number of complicated computer projects with his friends. “We were just building stuff,” he said later, “ ’cause we thought it was cool.” Unfortunately, his last little effort, hacking the student picture database while under the influence, had landed him on academic probation.
The earliest pitches to advertisers in 2004 touted the platform’s “addicted” users and the potential of nanotargeting consumers at a level of specificity only dreamed of by PRIZM’s designers, using age, gender, stated interests, and—when the “like” button was first activated in 2009—all manner of preferences. Amazingly, it was information that users were all handing over for free, because, well, everyone else was, too. The power of networks. The madness of crowds. Zuckerberg, like Google’s founders, understood advertising’s potential to degrade his product; he had the technologist’s wariness of advertising and its tendency to ruin websites. As with Larry Page, so with Mark Zuckerberg, the Holy Grail was advertising that people actually wanted to see; Facebook figured that nanotargeting could make that happen. Until then, Zuckerberg would remain manifestly averse to anything that might interrupt the experience of his users. When, early on, Sprite offered $1 million to turn the site green for a day, he didn’t even consider it. As he once put it: “I don’t hate all advertising.
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
How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life (Basic Books, 2008), argued for a tripartite distinction among the “mobile,” the “stuck,” and the “rooted”; for a more recent policy analysis, see David Schleicher, “Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stability,” Yale Law Journal 127 (2017). 9. Jeff Abbott, “Indigenous Weavers Organize for Collective Intellectual Property Rights,” Waging Nonviolence (July 17, 2017). 10. Richard Feloni, “Why Mark Zuckerberg Wants Everyone to Read the Fourteenth-Century Islamic Book The Muqaddimah,” Business Insider (June 2, 2015); Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community” (February 16, 2017), facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634. 11. 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.
An industry of magazines and websites appeared to simultaneously report on and promote the new currency. A Bitcoin-based charity in Florida bought a nine-acre forest as a sanctuary for the homeless; Wired deemed Bitcoin “the great equalizer” for its potential to put financial services in the hands of the poor. It also attracted the interest of such innovation-hungry investors as the Winklevoss twins, Mark Zuckerberg’s old nemeses. Bill Gates called it “better than currency.” But soon the Bitcoin revolution began to look more and more like the system it was intended to replace—except perhaps more centralized, less egalitarian, and similarly clogged with unseemly interests.5 As the value of bitcoins swelled against the dollar over the course of 2013, a mining arms race began. People realized that their computers’ graphics chips were better suited to Bitcoin’s mining algorithms than standard CPUs, so they built specialized machines overloaded with graphics processors, which increased their chances of reaping a reward.
Clean air, free time, private data—these could each end up as luxuries for a few or as common goods. Together, we are writing the next social contracts as we go, deciding what goes in and what we ignore. Yet the questions that the cooperative movement persisted in raising for generations have too often been neglected: Who owns the engines of the economy, and how are they governed? In early 2017, Facebook CEO (and Ibn Khaldun enthusiast) Mark Zuckerberg posted a nearly 6,000-word letter called “Building Global Community.” The name Trump doesn’t appear in it, but it’s hard not to read as a postmortem on the election several months before, in whose aftermath Facebook came under scrutiny for enabling foreign interventions to spread. “Democracy is receding in many countries,” Zuckerberg observed, “and there is a large opportunity across the world to encourage civic participation.”
Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie
Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce
Women, outnumbered and overmatched, were mostly reduced to entertainers, companions, wives, or housekeepers. Things were not that different in the more recent gold rush. The Valley was always a region dominated by men, from William Hewlett, Dave Packard, Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, Andy Grove, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak to, decades later, in the twenty-first century, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Travis Kalanick, and Marc Benioff. Mary Jane, fueled by peanut butter sandwiches packed in wax paper for the two-day journey, was under no illusion that it would be easy to navigate the old boys’ club of Sand Hill Road and Silicon Valley. Even today, decades after Mary Jane first arrived, 94 percent of investing partners at venture capital firms—the financial decision makers shaping the future—are men, and more than 80 percent of venture firms have never had a woman investing partner.
On Friday, April 1, Kevin and Arthur Patterson, the silver-haired co-founder of Accel, walked from their offices on University Avenue in Palo Alto to Facebook’s Emerson Street headquarters. They hoped to meet with former LinkedIn employee Matt Cohler, now Facebook’s vice president of product management. Arriving at the office, Kevin and Arthur found Cohler and Dustin Moskovitz struggling to assemble Ikea furniture. The office was a mess. The men were directed to the conference room, where they were surprised a few minutes later by the appearance of Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and its president Sean Parker, holding burritos. Parker was an entrepreneur with a colorful track record. He had co-founded Napster, the music file-sharing site that had had a spectacular rise before an ignominious fall at the hands of the Recording Industry Association of America on copyright infringement charges. Parker had also founded a company, Plaxo, where his own board forced him out.
Benioff had come a long way from their exploratory lunch on the country club terrace in San Mateo, when he had asked her, “Should I do this?” and “Can I do this on my own?” Magdalena, without hesitating, had answered in the affirmative. Long before just about anyone else, she had seen the clouds gathering, pointing to the future. THERESIA In the Monday partners’ meeting at Accel, Theresia filed away Mark Zuckerberg’s “I’m CEO, Bitch” business card without comment and got out her sequentially dated and coded notebook and mechanical pencil in preparation for the all-important sit-down with the Facebook team. In addition to Theresia, seated around the table on the Accel side were Kevin Efrusy, Jim Breyer, Peter Wagner, Peter Fenton, and Ping Li, who had been hired as a principal six months earlier. Sean Parker took the lead in the presentation.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon-based life, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deglobalization, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, obamacare, pattern recognition, post-work, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game
Knopf, 2016). 3 Cara McGoogan, ‘How to See All the Terrifying Things Google Knows about You’, Telegraph, 18 August 2017; Caitlin Dewey, ‘Everything Google Knows about You (and How It Knows It)’, Washington Post, 19 November 2014. 4 Dan Bates, ‘YouTube Is Losing Money Even Though It Has More Than 1 Billion Viewers’, Daily Mail, 26 February 2015; Olivia Solon, ‘Google’s Bad Week: YouTube Loses Millions As Advertising Row Reaches US’, Guardian, 25 March 2017; Seth Fiegerman, ‘Twitter Is Now Losing Users in the US’, CNN, 27 July 2017. 5. Community 1 Mark Zuckerberg, ‘Building Global Community’, Facebook, 16 February 2017. 2 John Shinal, ‘Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook can play a role that churches and Little League once filled’, CNBC, 26 June 2017. 3 Shinal, ‘Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook can play a role’, op. cit; John Shinal, ‘Zuckerberg says Facebook has a new missioin as it deals with fake news and hate speech,’ CNBC, 22 June 2017. 4 Robin Dunbar, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998). 5 See, for example, Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A History of the Present (London: Penguin, 2017). 6 For a general survey and critique see: Derek Y.
I don’t think we should give these musicians a more sophisticated instrument to play on. Once politicians can press our emotional buttons directly, generating anxiety, hatred, joy and boredom at will, politics will become a mere emotional circus. As much as we should fear the power of big corporations, history suggests that we are not necessarily better off in the hands of over-mighty governments. As of March 2018, I would prefer to give my data to Mark Zuckerberg than to Vladimir Putin (though the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that perhaps there isn’t much of a choice here, as any data entrusted to Zuckerberg may well find its way to Putin). Private ownership of one’s own data may sound more attractive than either of these options, but it is unclear what it actually means. We have had thousands of years of experience in regulating the ownership of land.
Perhaps the very same scientists and entrepreneurs who disrupted the world in the first place could engineer some technological solution? For example, might networked algorithms form the scaffolding for a global human community that could collectively own all the data and oversee the future development of life? As global inequality rises and social tensions increase around the world, perhaps Mark Zuckerberg could call upon his 2 billion friends to join forces and do something together? PART II The Political Challenge The merger of infotech and biotech threatens the core modern values of liberty and equality. Any solution to the technological challenge has to involve global cooperation. But nationalism, religion and culture divide humankind into hostile camps and make it very difficult to cooperate on a global level. 5 COMMUNITY Humans have bodies California is used to earthquakes, but the political tremor of the 2016 US elections still came as a rude shock to Silicon Valley.
They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair
This Study Backs Him Up,” Week, May 24, 2018, available at link #138. On the continued interventions in 2018, see Jonathan Albright, “Facebook and the 2018 Midterms: A Look at the Data,” Medium, November 4, 2018, available at link #139. In March 2019, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would shift its focus to emphasize user privacy more. What was not clear from the announcement was how the shift would affect the business model of advertising—or whether it would at all. See Mark Zuckerberg, “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking,” Facebook, March 6, 2019, available at link #140. See also Mike Issac, “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Says He’ll Shift Focus to Users’ Privacy,” New York Times, March 6, 2019, available at link #141. 117.Zuboff, Surveillance Capitalism, 509. (“The larger point of the exercise is to find the point of equilibrium between the ability to pull users and their surplus into the site and the risk of repelling them.
As a story in early 2019 reported, TV sets are increasingly cheap because the manufacturers are now selling the data about what we watch.90 TV is still a relatively anonymous zone, but if the Internet is any lesson, it won’t be for very long. It took a long time for Americans to understand this basic fact about the Internet economy. Even in 2018, Senator Orrin Hatch had no clue about it, asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “So, how do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?”91 For much of the early 2000s, many Americans believed that they were just getting great stuff for free, because the tech companies wanted to gain a huge market share. What they would do with that market share no one quite knew. But when they tried to do something, we could then, we believed with confidence, decide what we would do in response.
The nudge economy is just being born, and the ethics of nudge are complex.109 But put aside the question of how the data is collected—important and difficult but beyond the scope of this book. Focus instead on how the data that is collected gets used. What is the use that we can rightly complain about? From Facebook’s perspective, this issue is solely about its customers. Is it giving its customers what its customers want? If it is, then no harm, no foul. That’s how Mark Zuckerberg defended his company in the Wall Street Journal. Our job is to serve, Zuckerberg all but said. What could possibly be wrong with that?110 That is a critically important perspective. Critically, though, it is not the only perspective. Besides the Facebook customers, there is the democracy that Facebook operates within—and affects profoundly. The question is therefore not just whether Facebook is giving its users what its users want, but whether in giving its users what they want it is also harming democracy.
The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Yang
3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, call centre, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, falling living standards, financial deregulation, full employment, future of work, global reserve currency, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Narrative Science, new economy, passive income, performance metric, post-work, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unemployed young men, universal basic income, urban renewal, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator
Barack Obama, October 2016: Scott Dadich, “Barack Obama, Neural Nets, Self-Driving Cars, and the Future of the World,” Wired, November 2016. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, January 2017: Charlie Rose, interview with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Columbia University, January 2017. Elon Musk, February, 2017: Chris Weller, “Elon Musk Doubles Down on Universal Basic Income: ‘It’s Going to Be Necessary,’” Business Insider, February 13, 2017. Mark Zuckerberg, May 2017: Mark Zuckerberg, commencement speech, Harvard University, May 2017. … adopting it would permanently grow the economy by 12.56 to 13.10 percent…: Michalis Nikiforos, Marshall Steinbaum, and Gennaro Zezza, “Modeling the Macroeconomic Effects of a Universal Basic Income,” Roosevelt Institute, August 29, 2017. … technology companies are excellent at avoiding taxes: “Fortune 500 Companies Hold a Record $2.6 Trillion Offshore,” Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, March 2017.
Bill Gates, January 2017: “A problem of excess [automation] forces us to look at the individuals affected and take those extra resources and make sure they’re directed to them in terms of re-education and income policies…” (Gates later suggested taxing robots.) Elon Musk, February, 2017: “I think we’ll end up doing universal basic income… It’s going to be necessary… There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better. I want to be clear. These are not things I wish will happen; these are things I think probably will happen.” Mark Zuckerberg, May 2017: “We should explore… universal basic income so that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.” My mom, September 2017: “If you think it’s a good idea, Andy, I’m sure it’s a good idea.” You may be thinking, This will never happen. And if it did, wouldn’t it cause runaway inflation? Enable generations of wastrels? Twelve thousand dollars a year is not enough to do more than scrape by.
Max Ventilla, the founder and CEO of AltSchool, has said that “the worst use of software in [education] is in replacement of humans… that’s craziness… It’s about the relationship that kids have with their peers, with adults. That’s what creates the motivation that creates the learning.” AltSchool is a company founded in 2014 to personalize education for all children across the country. AltSchool has raised over $175 million from Mark Zuckerberg, Emerson Collective, and others. It has opened six schools that collectively serve hundreds of elementary school students in San Francisco and New York. It employs more than 50 engineers who are developing tools each day that teachers request. The school uses video cameras to monitor tiny student interactions for playback. “We believe that the vast majority of the learning should happen non-digitally,” Max explains.
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
In the wake of various privacy scandals at Facebook – among a relentless wave of bad PR over extremism, its corporate culture, censorship, and more – there’s no shortage of people who would like to see its CEO Mark Zuckerberg similarly humbled. That’s not intrinsically wrong: the people at the top of the pyramid rarely face anything like the same kinds of consequences for their actions that the rest of us do. But tarring and feathering the odd executive won’t change the system. We need to think bigger than that. We need to become systems thinkers. We can’t think about tackling Mark Zuckerberg, or even tackling Facebook, or social networking. The physical architecture of the internet is a network of networks. The power base it enables is similarly interconnected – a new model for financing businesses, a new model for how they generate profit, and a new model of connectedness and transparency.
Most of these issues aren’t in our daily thoughts, and often seem too technical to be worth understanding. But it’s these things that shape the real internet – the big four tech giants are products of all of these factors. Looking into the architecture of the internet – who built it, who governs it, how it works, and who funds it – becomes, then, a way of looking at the real power structure of a huge swathe of the modern world. While we might think of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos or the other charismatic dotcom CEOs as the new rulers of the world, they’re just the tip of an iceberg. It’s time to see what lies beneath. I am at my very core a creature of the internet. My earliest childhood had computers hooked up via creaking modems to the bulletin boards that were the precursor of the popular web. As an adult, my childhood obsession had metamorphosed into using the internet, and working to chronicle it – as a tech journalist, as a WikiLeaks staffer, as someone later working on the NSA (National Security Agency) leaks from Edward Snowden, who documented how the intelligence agencies dominated the networks that had felt like my home.
It’s actually going to probably be a little harder for those companies because they were so trusted for so long. Whereas, for the most part … we never really trusted the cable company.’ The same is true – for Eliason at least – about the people who make the decisions which shape their respective companies. We talk about the CEO/founders of the tech giants as if they have unprecedented power over their businesses. And it’s true that Mark Zuckerberg has created a structure that gives him control of Facebook’s voting shares15 – but Comcast, founded by its current CEO’s father, has it written into its articles of incorporation that Brian Roberts shall be chair and CEO for so long as he lives and wants the job.16 There is, it seems, nothing new under the son. As Eliason sees it, a CEO is a CEO – he will think of himself as a pretty good guy, but his motivations aren’t the same as yours.
New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms
"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks
But the true catalytic event occurred two weeks later, when Boston-based baseball player and ALS sufferer Pete Frates posted his own version, complete with Vanilla Ice soundtrack: “Ice Ice Baby.” You’ll remember the rest, and you might even remember being mildly irritated by having your social media feed utterly dominated by it that summer. From its launch in Frates’s Boston, the challenge circumnavigated the world, bringing in celebrities, politicians, sports stars, and everyday people, from Oprah and Mark Zuckerberg to a 102-year-old British great-grandfather, Jack Reynolds, the oldest person to take the challenge. “It was very chilly—in fact it was bloody cold, especially just in Union Jack boxer shorts,” Reynolds remarked. “But some lovely women with a warm towel and a shot of Grouse whisky soon warmed me up!” (It seems that to the Brits, everything is a drinking game.) Between June 1 and September 1, more than 17 million videos related to the Ice Bucket Challenge were shared on Facebook alone, viewed more than 10 billion times by more than 440 million users.
Any new power community has three key actors—its participants, its super-participants, and the owner or stewards of the platform. Think of these as three corners of a triangle. The platform owner or platform steward: The company Reddit Inc. is the platform owner for Reddit. It sets the overarching rules. It owns the brand’s IP and pockets the ad revenue. Victoria Taylor worked for Reddit Inc. To take some other examples, Airbnb’s platform owner is Airbnb Inc. Facebook’s is Facebook Inc. (and, in effect, Mark Zuckerberg himself, who retains effective control of the company). Likewise, Wikipedia, which might feel “ownerless” to its users, is in fact governed and controlled by a board with the power to fundamentally alter its superstructure and rules, something its volunteer editors and users can’t do. Platform owners have the ability to control—or at least substantially influence—who is allowed to participate in the platform, its governance and decision-making; how value is distributed; and even whether the platform lives or dies.
It was narrated by the magnetic leader of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, who was featured heavily in the film, even turning the camera on his very cute young son, who joined him in promising to “stop Kony.” The production values were gorgeous; the cinematic storytelling was worthy of Russell’s film school training. The call to action accompanying the video was smart and, at the time, a real innovation. The founders set up a website making it easy to tweet at “20 culture makers and 12 policymakers to use their power for good.” They asked the public to call on people like Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber, Bill O’Reilly, and Oprah to help “make Kony famous.” The video was seeded and propelled by the existing Invisible Children community, and especially its fervent teenage and mainly female fan base. Its hard work over eight years had seemed to pay off; when it mattered, the fans had shown up to promote the cause. As Gilad Lotan of SocialFlow noted, “This movement did not emerge from the big cities, but rather small-medium sized cities across the United States.”
Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumaine
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, call centre, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, natural language processing, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, web application, Whole Earth Catalog
In all likelihood, Bezos thinks of himself as a good guy, creating jobs and donating billions to charity. That’s little solace, however, to those who have been crushed by Amazon’s wheel as well as to the politicians who represent them. A rising tide of political antipathy toward Amazon could someday dramatically alter its trajectory. Bezos is not alone in displaying big tech hubris. Other Internet titans, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Uber’s cofounder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, and Google’s cofounder and CEO Larry Page at times have displayed the same Silicon Valley social blindness. All are brilliant technologists who feel more comfortable with things they can quantify rather than with things they can’t, such as human emotions. While at Uber’s helm, Kalanick had a “Don’t ask for permission but beg for forgiveness” attitude, sometimes flouting local regulations to expand his car-hailing service and leaving a trail of upset community members behind him.
In a statement Sanders released around the same time he introduced his Stop BEZOS bill, he said: “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the three wealthiest people in America own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent and when 52 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent, the American people are tired of subsidizing multi-billionaires who own some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America.” Sanders had a point. Consider that as of early 2019, Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg together were worth $357 billion. They could write a $1,000 check to every man, woman, and child in America and still be multibillionaires. The kind of income inequality Sanders was talking about was starkly profiled in a 2018 article by the New York Times. Karleen Smith, who once worked as a clerk at Macy’s in the Landmark Mall outside Washington, D.C., has now taken up residence in her former store, which has been turned into a homeless shelter.
In essence, with a UBI the federal government steps in and pays every American a basic wage to make up for the disruption that technology is about to wreak on the job market. Bezos, who has libertarian leanings, hasn’t made up his mind yet on a UBI. In general, he is a social progressive who is not politically outspoken and has limited his public advocacy. That puts him at odds with his fellow tech titans, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his cofounder Chris Hughes, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, all of whom support some form of a universal basic income. The UBI is simply a logical response to a socially and politically complex problem. It’s designed to make sure that those holding jobs that will be disrupted by technology will have enough money to retrain for a new job or, if untrainable, survive on minimum-wage jobs.
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
Justin Vincent and Jason Roberts, “TechZing 66—Jessica Mah and the Y Combinator Experience,” TechZing Tech Podcast, September 9, 2010, www.techzinglive.com/page/409/techzing-66—jessica-mah-the-y-combinator-experience. 9. Jessica Mah, “Culture and Purpose from the Start,” Jessica Mah Meets World blog, June 11, 2010, http://jessicamah.com/blog-23-1. The quotation comes from the final paragraph of the long post. A slightly different version of the same paragraph is included earlier in the post. 10. E. B. Boyd, “Where Is the Female Mark Zuckerberg?” San Francisco, December 2011 [posted online November 22, 2011], www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/where-the-female-mark-zuckerberg. Earlier in the year, Aileen Lee, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, had published on TC a widely read essay, “Why Women Rule the Internet,” in which she argued that a new batch of e-commerce companies were springing up that addressed female consumers and that a majority of users of Facebook, Zynga, Groupon, and Twitter were female.
The two inDinero cofounders recruited two software engineers as first hires even before the YC session began. Three weeks into the summer, Mah described the culture that she and Su were creating: “InDinero is actually like a family. We cook and clean for each other, treat each other like playful siblings, work as hard as you’d expect from a group of Asian immigrants.”9 Shortly after YC concluded, inDinero raised $1.2 million. • “Where is the female Mark Zuckerberg?” asked San Francisco magazine in a cover story that ran in late 2011. “For the first time in startup history,” the article asserted, “girl wonders actually have an edge over the boys.” Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, was featured, and shorter profiles were provided of more than two dozen others, including Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting, and Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus of One Kings Lane.
But she wonders why it is that someone like twenty-six-year-old Aaron Levie, founder and still chief executive of Box, an online storage service like Dropbox, can brush aside any suggestion that he step aside. “I’ve always wanted to build companies,” Boyd quotes Levie. “The best way to keep me super excited is to keep me in the driver’s seat.” Why do the boys get to stay in the driver’s seat and the girls do not? • It is a few weeks since the “Where Is the Female Mark Zuckerberg?” article appeared. When Paul Graham sits down in the New York studio of Bloomberg TV for an interview, he finds himself fielding a barrage of questions from reporter Emily Chang about what should be done to increase the numbers of women and minorities in tech startups.11 He begins by saying that the makeup of a YC batch reflects that of the applicant pool. To get a picture of what the pool looks like, he suggests that Chang do a Google search for a tech conference, such as one for Rails programmers, and take a look at photos of the audience.
Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason by William Davies
active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Colonization of Mars, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, credit crunch, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, Filter Bubble, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gig economy, housing crisis, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, post-industrial society, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Turing machine, Uber for X, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game
Once knowledge is valued for the competitive advantages it provides, the scientific ideal of public consensus on facts evaporates. Instead, truth and intelligence are things to be hoarded and exploited to the maximum. Business starts to take on the air of a military campaign, in which subterfuge and deception are key weapons, and the aim is to destroy rivals in the field. In Thiel’s eyes world-changing founders, such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, are willing to exploit their secret to its ultimate conclusion, to the point of destroying all competition. If monopoly seems unfair or threatening, as economists and regulators have traditionally argued, Thiel’s answer is brutal: “competition is for losers.” The triumphant entrepreneur becomes a Napoleonic figure, who changes the world through sheer force of will. Like a great general, a founder combines instinct, intelligence, and mental fortitude to steer a path that most people cannot, “disrupting” the status quo in the process, and creating a new one.
As he wrote in the early 1930s: As military action must be taken in a given strategic position even if all the data potentially procurable are not available, so also in economic life action must be taken without working out all the details of what is to be done. Here the success of everything depends upon intuition.9 Anticipating contemporary fascination with the personalities of Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, Schumpeter was intrigued by the exceptional psychological attributes of these characters. It wasn’t just money that motivated them, but “the will to conquer: the impulse to fight, to prove oneself superior to others,” he suggested.10 Austrian economics, as it became known, sought to channel the aristocratic, military ethos into the realm of entrepreneurial combat, and the state needed to stand well back.
The fact that companies are now acquiring all the forms of surveillance and control that libertarians originally feared in government does not seem to undermine this vision. The main center of these Napoleonic disruptors is Silicon Valley, where the goal is to establish a global nervous system with even greater sensitivity to our feelings than the free market. 7 WAR OF WORDS From “facts” to “data” During a question-and-answer session hosted on Facebook in June 2015, Mark Zuckerberg outlined a startling vision of where his company was heading. “One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology,” he said. “You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like. This would be the ultimate communication technology.” This prediction of telepathic communication was not just science fiction, but soon seemed to be informing Facebook’s hiring strategy.
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
LinkedIn competes in the event where it can win the gold medal; it leads the space it has defined. You can carve out a similar professional niche in the job market by making choices that make you different from the smart people around you. Matt Cohler, now a partner at Benchmark Capital, spent six years in his late twenties and early thirties being a lieutenant to CEOs at LinkedIn (me) and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg). Most supertalented people want to be the front man; few play the consigliere role well. In other words, there’s less competition and significant opportunity to be an all-star right-hand man. Matt excelled at this role, building a portfolio of accomplishments and relationships along the way. This professional differentiation in the market set him up to achieve a long-standing goal, which was to become a partner at a top-tier VC firm.
Shifting from the public to the private sector, from the high-powered corridors of Washington, DC, to the organized chaos of Silicon Valley, might strike you as abrupt, or even random. But in fact, each move made sense given the interplay of her assets, aspirations, and the market realities. Her honed management skills would be useful for a fast-growing company; her economics background would help develop a sales model for a new type of online advertising; and Google’s mission was rooted in making the world a better place. After six years at Google, Mark Zuckerberg hired Sheryl to be COO at Facebook, where she remains today. What Flickr and Sheryl have in common is that they each challenge common assumptions about the path to success. Flickr contradicts the idea that winning start-ups come out of nowhere and ride the founders’ brilliant idea to take over the world. In reality, most companies don’t execute a single brilliant master plan. They go through stops and starts, a couple near-death experiences, and a great deal of adaptation.
Not only should the founders be talented, they should be committed to getting other talented people on board. The strength of the cofounders and early employees reflects the individual strength of the CEO; that’s why investors don’t evaluate the CEO in isolation from his or her team. Vinod Khosla, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and a Silicon Valley investor, says, “The team you build is the company you build.” Mark Zuckerberg says he spends half his time recruiting. Just as entrepreneurs are always recruiting and building a team of stunning people, you want to always be investing in your professional network to grow the start-up that is your career. Quite simply, if you want to accelerate your career, you need the help and support of others. Of course, unlike company founders, you aren’t hiring a fleet of employees who report to you, nor do you report to a board of directors.
The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional
The more we comment and share, the more we rate and like, the more economic value is accumulated by those who control the platforms on which our interactions take place.11 Taking this argument one step further, a frustrated minority have complained that we are living in a world of “digital feudalism,” where sites like Facebook and Tumblr offer up land for content providers to work while platform owners expropriate value with impunity and, if you read the fine print, stake unprecedented claim over users’ creations.12 “By turn, we are the heroic commoners feeding revolutions in the Middle East and, at the same time, ‘modern serfs’ working on Mark Zuckerberg’s and other digital plantations,” Marina Gorbis of the Institute for the Future has written. “We, the armies of digital peasants, scramble for subsistence in digital manor economies, lucky to receive scraps of ad dollars here and there, but mostly getting by, sometimes happily, on social rewards—fun, social connections, online reputations. But when the commons are sold or traded on Wall Street, the vast disparities between us, the peasants, and them, the lords, become more obvious and more objectionable.”13 Computer scientist turned techno-skeptic Jaron Lanier has staked out the most extreme position in relation to those he calls the “lords of the computing clouds,” arguing that the only way to counteract this feudal structure is to institute a system of nanopayments, a market mechanism by which individuals are rewarded for every bit of private information gleaned by the network (an interesting thought experiment, Lanier’s proposed solution may well lead to worse outcomes than the situation we have now, due to the twisted incentives it entails).
Almost twenty years later, these sentiments were echoed by Google’s Eric Schmidt and the State Department’s Jared Cohen, who partnered to write The New Digital Age: “The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history,” they insist. It is “the world’s largest ungoverned space,” one “not truly bound by terrestrial laws.” While openness has many virtues, it is also undeniably ambiguous. Is open a means or an end? What is open and to whom? Mark Zuckerberg said he designed Facebook because he wanted to make the world more “open and connected,” but his company does everything it can to keep users within its confines and exclusively retains the data they emit. Yet this vagueness is hardly a surprise given the history of the term, which was originally imported from software production: the designation “open source” was invented to rebrand free software as business friendly, foregrounding efficiency and economic benefits (open as in open markets) over ethical concerns (the freedom of free software).16 In keeping with this transformation, openness is often invoked in a way that evades discussions of ownership and equity, highlighting individual agency over commercial might and ignoring underlying power imbalances.
Facebook executives met with emissaries from various companies to figure out how to better serve them, including letting advertisers see more of what users are doing and saying. Their clients seem pleased: Ford and Coca-Cola have stated that the collaboration has had a positive impact on sales, and Facebook’s stock has risen accordingly.27 We want to make it “easier for marketers to reach their customers,” Mark Zuckerberg assured investors in late 2012, right around the time it was revealed that Facebook was working with a company called Datalogix to track what users bought offline, in brick-and-mortar stores, to provide an even more granular view of user habits.28 As the company works to match promotional messages with people, the trick, according to the Times, “is to avoid violating its users’ perceived sense of privacy or inviting regulatory scrutiny.”29 We are witnessing the beginning of a “revolution in the ways marketers and media intrude in—and shape—our lives,” Joseph Turow, author of The Daily You, has written.30 Yet despite all the democratic rhetoric about the Internet empowering consumers, it is clear that this revolution is not of the bottom-up variety.
The Four: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Divided and Conquered the World by Scott Galloway
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, California gold rush, cloud computing, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, follow your passion, future of journalism, future of work, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Khan Academy, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, passive income, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, working poor, young professional
In 2017, the company is gaining fast on Twitter, and had 161 million daily users when it filed for an IPO.22 It IPO’d with a value of $33 billion.23 We’ll see. Facebook already is positioning itself to crush the young company. Imran Khan, the company’s chief strategy officer, claimed: “Snapchat is a camera company. It is not a social company.” I don’t know if it’s the scorn the Zuck feels after Evan rejected his overtures about acquisition, or a warranted response to a threat. But I believe the first thing Mark Zuckerberg thinks when he opens his eyes in the morning, and the last as he closes them at night, is: “We’re going to wipe Snap Inc. off the face of the planet.” And he will. Zuckerberg understands images are Facebook’s killer app, much of it residing in the Instagram wing of his social empire. We absorb imagery sixty thousand times faster than words.24 So, images make a beeline for the heart. And if Snapchat is threatening to hive off a meaningful chunk of that market, or even climb into the lead, that threat must be quashed.
Following Zuckerberg’s lead, venture firms poured hundreds of millions into VR start-ups. Soon, other tech companies, including the Four, were plowing research into the technology. Nobody wanted to sleep through the Next Big Thing. Virtual reality is the mother of all head fakes. The most powerful force in the universe is regression to the mean. Everyone dies, and gets it wrong along the way. Mark Zuckerberg has been (very) right about a lot of things and was due to make an enormously bad call. And he has. Technology firms do not (yet) have the skills to shape people’s decisions on what to wear in public. People care (a lot) about their looks. Most don’t want to look like they’ve never kissed a girl. Remember Google Glass? It got people beaten up. The bottom line is everyone wearing a VR headset looks ridiculous.
In March 2017 Amazon decided to pay sales tax in every state.11 Here’s a company now worth more than Walmart that until 2014 was only paying state sales tax in five states. The benefit of the subsidy has eclipsed $1 billion. Did Amazon need a $1 billion government subsidy? By purposefully managing their business at breakeven, Amazon has built a firm approaching half a trillion dollars in value, that has paid little corporate income tax. Facebook: Nobody wants to be seen as a company not on board with Facebook. Old CEOs want to put Mark Zuckerberg on stage with his hoodie. It doesn’t matter that he is neither charming nor a good speaker—he’s the equivalent of skinny jeans and makes every company that tries on Facebook look younger. Sheryl Sandberg also has been key—she’s hugely likable, and is seen as the archetype of the modern, successful woman: “Hey everybody! Lean in!” Facebook has not come under the same scrutiny as Microsoft because it’s more likable.
Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn
4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day
The universal, rock-solid, eternal part is the sharing, the communicating. Anyways—I want you guys to stick around.” But the herd needed new blood. If Jake was as good as he seemed, he could bring not only new energy but potentially more recruits. Jake soon gave some evidence of being a good bet. His press clippings were astonishing, including a 2010 Rolling Stone profile that called him “a bizarro version of Mark Zuckerberg” and the leading spreader of “the gospel of anonymity.” Inside cDc, Jake handled himself differently than the others, arguing more fiercely and sometimes with disdain for his elders. That accelerated after he hooked up with something even bigger than Tor: WikiLeaks. Activist hackers started the site in 2006 and first won wide attention in 2010, when they posted a video called “Collateral Murder” that captured the gunfire from a US helicopter that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists, in Iraq.
Beto’s technological savvy, while not in the same league as Mudge’s or Christien Rioux’s, put him way ahead of the average member of Congress on the subject and helped him appeal to younger voters as well as those increasingly concerned about tech threatening privacy and traditional jobs while spreading falsehoods. Certainly, he was a sharp contrast to those members of Congress who questioned Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and stumbled over such basic concepts as its advertising-dependent business model and how Facebook differed from Twitter. Beto’s familiarity with tech also helped him reach funders in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. cDc members quietly whispered about his history to a few of the most trustworthy and wealthy tech people they knew. A friend hosted an early fundraiser in Los Angeles, and Sam Anthony held his in Boston.
Stamos was trying to do the right thing, but it came at a great cost. Executives above him repeatedly minimized the Russian activity in his public reports. When he briefed Facebook’s board about what he had found in September 2017, the directors asked him if he had successfully rooted out all of the stealth accounts. He answered, truthfully, that he had not. The board members then grilled CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg about why they hadn’t told them how bad it was. Sandberg paid the tongue-lashing forward, yelling at Stamos: “You threw us under the bus!” Stamos never controlled all of the security apparatus at the company, and the board flare-up cemented his reputation for being overly aggressive. In December, when Stamos suggested reporting to someone besides the general counsel, other executives in charge of Facebook’s main service and engineering stepped up and said they could handle security interpreted more broadly, now that it was a subject of global concern.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bioinformatics, corporate governance, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Google Chrome, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Travis Kalanick, ubercab
Lorraine drove over from McLean on several occasions and accompanied Noel, clad in her jogging suit, on walks through the neighborhood. One day, Noel came over to the Fuisz home for lunch. Richard joined them out on the house’s big stone patio and the conversation drifted to Elizabeth. She had just been profiled in Inc. magazine alongside several other young entrepreneurs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The press her daughter was beginning to garner was a source of great pride to Noel. As they nibbled on a meal Lorraine had picked up from a McLean gourmet shop, Fuisz suggested to Noel in a syrupy singsong voice he employed when he turned on the charm that he could be of assistance to Elizabeth. It was easy for a small company like Theranos to be taken advantage of by bigger ones, he noted.
Bentleys, Maseratis, and McLarens lined its stone parking lot. While the rest of the country licked its wounds from the devastating financial crisis, a new technology boom was getting under way, fueled by several factors. One of them was the wild success of Facebook. In June 2010, the social network’s private valuation rose to $23 billion. Six months later, it jumped to $50 billion. Every startup founder in the Valley wanted to be the next Mark Zuckerberg and every VC wanted a seat on the next rocket ship to riches. The emergence of Twitter, which was valued at more than $1 billion in late 2009, added to the excitement. Meanwhile, the iPhone and competing smartphones featuring Google’s Android operating system were beginning to usher in a shift to mobile computing, as cellular networks became faster and capable of handling larger amounts of data.
I’d also been struck by a brief description Holmes had given of the way her secret blood-testing devices worked: “A chemistry is performed so that a chemical reaction occurs and generates a signal from the chemical interaction with the sample, which is translated into a result, which is then reviewed by certified laboratory personnel.” Those sounded like the words of a high school chemistry student, not a sophisticated laboratory scientist. The New Yorker writer had called the description “comically vague.” When I stopped to think about it, I found it hard to believe that a college dropout with just two semesters of chemical engineering courses under her belt had pioneered cutting-edge new science. Sure, Mark Zuckerberg had learned to code on his father’s computer when he was ten, but medicine was different: it wasn’t something you could teach yourself in the basement of your house. You needed years of formal training and decades of research to add value. There was a reason many Nobel laureates in medicine were in their sixties when their achievements were recognized. Adam said that he’d had a similar reaction to the New Yorker piece and that a group of people had contacted him after he’d posted a skeptical item on his blog about it.
Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci
4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of writing, loose coupling, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks
Craig Silverman, “This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News on Facebook,” BuzzFeed, November 16, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/viral-fake-election-news-outperformed-real-news-on-facebook; Craig Silverman and Alexander Lawrence, “How Teens in the Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters with Fake News,” BuzzFeed, November 3, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo; and Zeynep Tufekci, “Mark Zuckerberg Is in Denial,” New York Times, November 15, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/opinion/mark-zuckerberg-is-in-denial.html. 11. Silverman, “This Analysis.” 12. Sue Shellenbarger, “Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds,” Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/most-students-dont-know-when-news-is-fake-stanford-study-finds-1479752576; Craig Silverman and Jeremy Singer-Vine, “Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says,” BuzzFeed, December 6, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/fake-news-survey. 13.
Facebook acts as a de facto public sphere reaching large sections of the population in countries that heavily censor mass media news, leaving platforms like Facebook and Twitter as the only alternatives outside the direct control of the state. Facebook’s policy on real names is not an accident. Trying to force or nudge people to use their “real names” is part of the articulated ideology of Facebook and is central to its business model. The rule is also part of the expressed ideology of its founder (who still controls the platform), Mark Zuckerberg. In reference to pseudonym use, Zuckerberg once said, “Having two identities for yourself is an example of lack of integrity”—a statement ignoring the obvious function of social roles: people live in multiple contexts and they do not behave the same way in each of them.20 A student is not the same way at home, in class, or at a party. For a commercial platform making money from advertising, the advantages of requiring real names are obvious because traceable names allow advertisers to target real people, and to match their information across different settings and databases—following them from voter files to shopping records to their travel and locations.
In March 2011, he was thrown off Facebook, the place where he stayed in touch with thousands of people. The reason? Even though Michael Anti is what his Chinese friends call him and is his byline in the New York Times, the name is a pen name. Anti never uses his legal name, Zhao Jing, which is completely unknown to his circle of friends and colleagues, let alone his readers. Anti angrily decried the contrast between his treatment and that of Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg’s puppy, named Beast, which is allowed its own page. Because of Facebook’s real-name policy, to this day, Anti does not have a Facebook page. Even in developed nations where people are not necessarily hiding from the authorities, Facebook’s policies cause problems for social movements. LGBTQ people have been some of the sharpest and most vocal critics of Facebook’s real-name policies. LGBTQ people may go by names that are different from their legal ones as a preference or as a protection against family members who are angry about their sexual orientation or gender identity and who may act abusively toward them.
The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff
3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, post-work, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game
But they are not, and feminist ideals cannot be achieved if they are pursued Sandberg-style. Women who channel their energies toward reaching the top of corporate America undermine the struggles of women trying to realize institutional change by organizing unions and implementing laws that protect women (and men) in the workplace. An anecdote shared by Sandberg illustrates this point: In 2010 Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to improve the performance metrics of the Newark Public Schools. The money would be distributed through a new foundation called Startup: Education. Sandberg recommended Jen Holleran, a woman she knew “with deep knowledge and experience in school reform” to run the foundation. The only problem was that Jen was raising fourteen-month-old twins at the time, working part time, and not getting much help from her husband.
The Gates Foundation is a private institution that is free to use its money as it sees fit. It’s not just Bill and Medinda Gates. Education reformers lobby Congress to pass legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative legislators and business groups that writes sample legislation for political representatives to present to Congress and state legislatures. When Mark Zuckerberg decided to donate $100 million to “fix” the Newark Public School System, the foundation board established to decide how to use the money had only a single community member on it—(former) Mayor Cory Booker.48 Foundations are not only unaccountable and undemocratic—they often also implement programs and structures that are undemocratic. One of the central goals pushed by education reformers is to eliminate elected school boards—as did former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002—the only voice for parents and communities to speak up about school reform.
Altieri, and Peter Rosset, “Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Food First Policy Brief No. 12, San Francisco: Food First, 2006. 39For a good discussion of the Green Revolution and its problems, see McMichael, Development and Social Change. 40Holt-Giménez, Altieri, and Rosset, “Ten Reasons.” 41“Giving with One Hand and Taking with Two: A Critique of AGRA’s African Agricultural Status Report 2013,” Johannesburg: African Centre for Biosafety, 2013, www.acbio.org.za/images/stories/dmdocuments/AGRA-report-Nov2013.pdf. 42See AGRA Watch, www.seattleglobaljustice.org/agra-watch/about-us/. 43African Centre for Biosafety, “Giving with One Hand,” p. 18. 44Robert Rothstein, March 8, 2011, www.epi.org/publication/fact-challenged_policy/. 45Dana Goldstein, “Grading ‘Waiting for Superman,’” Nation, October 11, 2010. 46Ravitch, Reign of Error, p. 33. 47William J. Bushaw, “The Seven Most Surprising Findings of the 2012 PDK/Gallup Poll on Public Schools,” Education Week blog, August 23, 2012. 48Maggie Severns, “Whatever Happened to the $100 Million Mark Zuckerberg Gave to Newark Schools?” Mother Jones, March 28, 2013. 49Robert Reich, “A Failure of Philanthropy,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2005. 5 Looking Forward Capitalism both creates and destroys, and the past three decades have been no exception. Unprecedented generation of wealth, global integration, and technological innovation have been accompanied by a stratospheric rise in inequality, ever-expanding environmental destruction, and a loss of faith in capitalism as the best possible system.
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
Critics blame them for everything from destroying the basic rules of employment, exacerbating traffic, and ruining peaceful neighborhoods to bringing unrestrained capitalism into liberal cities. Some of that is overheated, but there were consequences to their approaches that even Uber and Airbnb did not anticipate. At the center of this maelstrom are the young, wealthy, charismatic chief executives: Travis Kalanick and Brian Chesky. They represent a new kind of technology CEO, nothing at all like Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg, the awkward, introverted innovators who typified the previous generation of tech leaders. Instead, they are extroverted storytellers, capable of positioning their companies in the context of dramatic progress for humanity and recruiting not only armies of engineers but drivers, hosts, lobbyists, and lawmakers to their cause. Both were relatively unknown before moving their startups into the global business vanguard.
But Tiendung Le, who now lives in Melbourne, remembers Chesky as distracted and jittery that week, often standing on the balcony and staring wistfully toward downtown, as if all the action were there and he was far from it. “He was not very much present in the place, in the sense that he seemed to be thinking about something else,” Tiendung Le told me. On the second morning of his stay, Chesky planned to hear Mark Zuckerberg speak at the conference, and Tiendung Le gave him a ride. On the way they talked about the young and successful Zuckerberg, who was rocketing to fame. Chesky bristled with excitement at the opportunity to hear him speak. (The talk, with blogger Sarah Lacy, was considered something of a famous bust when attendees started Tweeting angrily that the conversation lacked substance.) Along the way, Chesky thanked Tiendung Le for being “open-minded” and agreeing to try the apartment-sharing website.
He ended up making small talk while Gebbia tried desperately to reach Blecharczyk, who already knew about the outage—the engineer had set up a service that sent him a text message with a single word—AirbedDeflate—every time the site went down. But it was too late. Chesky bombed, and Floodgate passed on the deal. All these investors had concerns about the size of the market, about the absence of any real users, and about the founders themselves, who didn’t resemble the wonky innovators who’d created great Silicon Valley companies, people like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Design students seemed risky; Stanford computer science dropouts were considered a much better bet. And, frankly, the idea itself seemed small. “We made the classic mistake that all investors make,” wrote Fred Wilson, a Twitter backer, a few years later. “We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do.”11 The year 2008 was also an anxious time in Silicon Valley.
Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton
4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks
Compared with the next call he had to make, talking to his parents had been easy. He turned around to make sure no one was within earshot. Then he opened the address book on his phone, scrolled down past the people’s names that began with the letter J, then past K, then L, and finally arrived at the number he was looking for: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. He peered over his shoulder again as Crystal and Ev and others stood talking by the kitchen, then looked back at his phone as he pressed the phone number next to Mark Zuckerberg’s name. IV. #EV The Third Twitter Leader Jack sat glaring at Ev, not a word coming out of his mouth, his eyes so steady and precise you’d have thought he was in the middle of a staring contest. Except his opponent, Ev, was trying his best—as difficult as it was—to ignore him. “People hear about Twitter a lot but don’t know what it is or why they’d want to use it,” Ev read aloud from his slide deck, periodically glancing as Goldman, Bijan, and Fred, who tried to listen attentively, though they, too, were distracted by Jack’s silence.
Or the time the Russian president showed up to the office, with snipers and the Secret Service, to send his first tweet, right at the moment the site stopped working. Or when Biz and Ev went to Al Gore’s apartment at the St. Regis for dinner and got “shit-faced drunk” as the former vice president of the United States tried to convince them to sell him part of Twitter. Or other bizarre acquisition attempts by Ashton Kutcher at his pool in Los Angeles and by Mark Zuckerberg at awkward meetings at his sparsely furnished house. Or when Kanye West, will.i.am, Lady Gaga, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain, and countless other celebrities and politicians had arrived, sometimes unannounced, at the office, rapping, singing, preaching, tweeting (some others were even high or drunk), trying to understand how this bizarre thing that was changing society could be controlled and how they could own a piece of it.
In the months leading up to Jack’s departure, employees had complained to senior staffers that Jack had acted like a “cowboy” when he was CEO, sometimes ordering people around and rarely trusting those who worked below him. When Ev stepped up to take charge of the company, he took a completely different approach to management, always trusting employees from the get-go, which gave them a sense of pride and, in turn, a loyalty to Ev and Twitter. Jack’s stare was interrupted when the following words came out of Ev’s mouth: “Mark Zuckerberg” and “Facebook.” In the weeks leading up to Jack’s firing, Facebook had been trying to buy Twitter. Mark had made it his personal mission to woo Jack into selling the little blue bird to Facebook. After Jack was let go, it was the two other Twitter cofounders who now needed romancing. Biz and Ev had driven down to Facebook’s campus a few days earlier to meet with Mark. Like most meetings involving the chief of Facebook, it had been almost unbearably uncomfortable.
Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor
In technology, whiz kid Palmer Luckey, the twenty-year-old founder of Oculus VR (acquired by Facebook for $2 billion), became a face of virtual reality, while fourteen-year-old Robert Nay cleared over $2 million in just two weeks with his mobile game Bubble Ball. At twenty-six, Evan Spiegel was worth $5.4 billion when Snapchat issued public stock in 2017. But Spiegel has miles to go to catch up with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, now an elder statesman at thirty-four, who with $60 billion is one of the five richest people in the world. Even in the stodgy world of chess, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was a three-time world champion by twenty-five. This after earning the title of grandmaster at thirteen; at twenty-one, he’d become the youngest person ever to be ranked number one, and at twenty-three, he was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine.
(I’m grateful that society’s early bloomer sorting machine wasn’t as brutally efficient as it is today.) Record-setting American astronaut Scott Kelly, a late bloomer himself, was even less of a standout. “I spent most days looking out the classroom window,” he told me. “You could have held a gun to my head, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.” Kelly’s brain wasn’t ready to bloom. Many of us see more of ourselves in Scott Kelly than in Mark Zuckerberg. We too have stories of fumbling starts, confusion, career or educational gaps, bad habits, bad luck, or lack of confidence. For the fortunate majority of us, however, some kind of intellectual or spiritual awakening happened, and we stepped onto a new, improved road. We found our way. But others become so steeped in shame or see themselves as so far removed from opportunity that they never develop their ability to bloom.
In an annual poll, college freshmen list “being well off financially” as more important than “developing a meaningful philosophy of life.” The opposite was true fifty years ago. * * * In pursuit of early blooming—to get the highest possible test scores and GPAs, be admitted to the best college, and enter the right career track—we give young adults precious little time to be kids. And the perception that young people are “just smarter,” as once declared by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (when he was twenty-two), implies they should be successful more quickly. But often they’re not. For every Zuckerberg, who made his first billion by twenty-three, or Lena Dunham, the twenty-five-year-old creator of the HBO show Girls, there are tens of thousands of twenty-somethings sitting in their parents’ basements wondering why they performed poorly in school and haven’t yet made a movie, disrupted an industry, or started a fashion line.
Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler
23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, wealth creators, Yogi Berra
When electronic and people networks overlap, you have social networks. And then things get really interesting. Social networking is a powerful tool, especially for getting someone else to do work for you. Interviewing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg helped me finally make sense of the phenomenon. “What did you see that got this thing off the ground?” I asked. “There’s this weird effect,” he explained. “If you have a lot of people contributing information, a lot of times you can build a source or a set of information that’s just better than any individual can do.” I have T-shirts older than Mark Zuckerberg. At the time I met him Facebook probably had a mere 100 million users. He was twenty-two, confident but somewhat soft-spoken. Not one for shouting from the mountaintop. “I have a funny story that kind of illustrates this,” he continued.
I met Rupert Murdoch in the early nineties when he almost lost News Corporation under a siege of debt, and when he began transforming the entire media space, from newspapers to TV to film. I met Mark Cuban when he and his partner Todd Wagner were peddling AudioNet to anyone in Silicon Valley who would listen, before they sold the audio and video streaming company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion. I met Mark Zuckerberg just as Facebook was crossing a few million users; he talked about lowering the cost of communications between groups of people. Today, a good chunk of the planet logs in to the site regularly to keep in touch with friends and family. I can go on. Meg Whitman when she was at eBay, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, even a few telecom folks who were billionaires for a moment in time. The cool thing about all these folks is that no one did them any favors.
I wonder if in a hundred years, some wiseass is going to tour Google’s Larry Page’s Palo Alto home and point out to anyone who will listen that Page wasn’t really rich—what, no holodeck? You can bet on it. How Many? I WOULDN’T BE SO BOLD AS TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR IDEA OR your job or your investments have to go 12 for 12 (or 13 for 13) with my Rules for Free Radicals. But the more the better. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has embraced ten of the Rules; I leave it to you to figure out the ones he has missed, so far anyway. Some Rules are easy. Jeez, if you can’t find something that scales, you’re clearly not looking hard enough. Finding things that are adaptive to humans—that could be a little harder. The more filters you successfully apply, the more likely that you’ll find a longrun home run, something that generates wealth for decades on end, rather than some one-off one-hit wonder.
A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream by Yuval Levin
affirmative action, Airbnb, assortative mating, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demand response, Donald Trump, hiring and firing, Jane Jacobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method
I owe this distinction between substitute and supplement to Joshua Mitchell, who laid it out to me in conversation but has since articulated it most fully in his excellent essay “When Supplements Become Substitutes,” in the Autumn 2018 issue of City Journal. 2. Mark Zuckerberg, “Building Global Community,” Facebook, February 16, 2017, www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10103508221158471/. (Throughout this chapter, and throughout the book, I treat “social media” as a singular rather than a plural term. This is in line with how the term is increasingly used and with recent dictionary usages, though I recognize there are arguments for attaching it to plural terms, since media is the plural of medium.) 3. Max Read, “Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?,” New York Magazine, October 2, 2017. 4. In his (very) short story “A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life,” David Foster Wallace perfectly captures this social dynamic of online life: “When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked.
A lot of our time on these platforms is spent communicating in more traditional ways—exchanging information, keeping up with family and friends, learning something, being entertained. But what has been truly distinct about social media, and truly disruptive, has more to do with the tendency to substitute display and response for communication. That substitution points us to the peculiar idea of sociality that has shaped these platforms and been shaped by them. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has been unusually articulate about this idea. He is careful always to describe Facebook users as a “community” and believes, as he put it in a 2017 manifesto for the company, that “Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community.” The role of the platform, in Zuckerberg’s vision, is fundamentally infrastructural. As he wrote, In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.
The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, labor-force participation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, patent troll, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, very high income, We are the 99%
The first problem, and the essential reason why billionaires pay low rates, is that most of their income is not subject to the personal income tax. As we have seen, only 63% of national income is included in the base of the income tax—many forms of income are legally exempt. A significant portion of taxpayers benefit from these exemptions, but the truly wealthy benefit even more. For many of them, virtually all of their income is exempt. Think about it: what’s the true economic income of Mark Zuckerberg? He owns about 20% of Facebook, a company that made $20 billion in profits in 2018. So his income that year was 20% of 20 billion, $4 billion. However, Facebook did not pay any dividend, so none of these $4 billion were subject to individual income taxation. Like many other billionaires, Zuckerberg’s effective individual income tax rate is close to 0% today, and it will remain close to 0% for as long as he does not sell his stocks.
In that case, the wealthy cannot dodge taxes other than by reducing their true economic resources—that is, by choosing to become poorer. People rarely volunteer to become much poorer, even for such a noble cause as eschewing taxes. The changes in real behavior provoked by the tax code are generally quite limited. It’s unlikely that Steve Jobs would have invented another iMarvel if only his tax rate had been zero. Or that Mark Zuckerberg would have opted for a career in fine arts if the Internal Revenue Code had been penned differently. Yes, Apple does shift profits to Jersey, Facebook does create shell companies in the Cayman Islands, and a sprawling industry helps the wealthy slash their tax bills. But that’s tax avoidance, which flourishes in a light regulatory environment. For example, the 1986 Tax Reform Act—which reduced the top marginal income tax rate to 28%—led to a rise in the amount of income reported by the rich.
Raising the top marginal income tax rate wouldn’t affect the tax bill of Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffett notably, since neither of them has much taxable income in the first place. Raising other taxes, such as the estate tax, would not do either. We might take comfort in the idea that the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, will one day pay estate taxes on his immense wealth. But since the founder of Amazon turned fifty-five in 2019, that won’t (hopefully) happen before 2050. And let’s not mention Mark Zuckerberg, born in 1984—is it wise to wait until 2075 for him to contribute to the public coffers? The way to address this issue is by taxing wealth itself, today and not at some distant future date.17 A wealth tax will never replace the income tax; its goal is more limited: to ensure that the ultra-wealthy do not pay less than the rest of the population. Top executives, athletes, or movie stars—who earn a lot of income—can be appropriately taxed by a comprehensive income tax.
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
An entrepreneur who knows too much physics doesn’t believe he can defy gravity. Many VCs prefer young founders who are incredibly brilliant and gifted even though they are inexperienced and naïve. Look at the case studies of the successful start-ups begun by college dropouts, such as Microsoft (Bill Gates), Dell (Michael Dell), and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg). Fred Wilson’s observation on Facebook is that the singular focus of the young entrepreneur is very powerful. “You have this twenty-five-year-old founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who doesn’t have a wife, he doesn’t have kids, he doesn’t have anything in his life that’s distracting him from what he’s trying to do. And there’s nobody saying to him, ‘God damn it, take the money off the table. It’s fifteen billion dollars. You should sell it now.’ Instead, he’s going for a hundred billion!
I was also fortunate enough to be able to convince some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs—including the founders of Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Sirtris, Twitter, Zynga, and others—to talk from their deep knowledge and experience about how to work with VCs to shape a young company and help it grow. The purpose of this book is to share the magic formula of how great entrepreneurs team with VCs to create valuable companies from raw start-up. Whether you are the next Mark Zuckerberg (the Harvard student who started Facebook) or Jim Barksdale (the seasoned Fortune 500 executive who became CEO of Netscape), Mastering the VC Game will provide you with an insider’s guide to the world of VC-backed company formation, growth, and exit. In the book’s first two chapters, I will explore the psyche of the two protagonists in the start-up game: the entrepreneur and the VC. In Chapters 3 and 4, I turn to the process of raising money (“the pitch”) and negotiating the deal.
Thus, imagine the fewer than one thousand senior VCs spending their time shuttling back and forth between Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York City, all tightly interconnected through their college and business school alumni networks, interlocking business and personal relationships, and all connected by no more than one degree of separation using social networking tools like Reid Hoffman’s LinkedIn, Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, or Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. There are exceptions to every rule and this description is obviously a general characterization, but in short, that is the general essence of the astoundingly tightly woven VC club. As a member of this club, I am pleased to take you inside for a tour—with the help of several of its most successful and long-standing members. We’ll look at the different kinds of VC firms, consider the process they follow in identifying and choosing deals, see how they make their money, and plumb their psyches to see what motivates them.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs
., (Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010), 11. “contemporary Western culture”: Storr, Solitude, 70. “we are in great haste”: Thoreau, Walden, 34. Alter decided to measure his own smartphone use: Alter, Irresistible, 13–14. “There are millions of smartphone users”: Alter, Irresistible, 14. “Facebook . . . was built”: “Facebook’s Letter from Mark Zuckerberg—Full Text,” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/feb/01/facebook-letter-mark-zuckerberg-text The term constant is not hyperbole: “Tweens, Teens, and Screens: What Our New Research Uncovers,” Common Sense Media, November 2, 2015, https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/tweens-teens-and-screens-what-our-new-research-uncovers. “The gentle slopes of the line graphs”: Jean M. Twenge, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
Today, as I’ve just argued, it’s become widespread. The key question, of course, is whether the spread of solitude deprivation should concern us. Tackled abstractly, the answer is not immediately obvious. The idea of being “alone” can seem unappealing, and we’ve been sold, over the past two decades, the idea that more connectivity is better than less. Surrounding the announcement of his company’s 2012 IPO, for example, Mark Zuckerberg triumphantly wrote: “Facebook . . . was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected.” This obsession with connection is clearly overly optimistic, and it’s easy to make light of its grandiose ambition, but when solitude deprivation is put into the context of the ideas discussed earlier in this chapter, this prioritization of communication over reflection becomes a source of serious concern.
You want something valuable from their networks, and they want to undermine your autonomy—to come out on the winning side of this battle requires both preparation and a ruthless commitment to avoiding exploitation. Vive la résistance! PRACTICE: DELETE SOCIAL MEDIA FROM YOUR PHONE Something big happened to Facebook starting around 2012. In March of that year, they began, for the first time, to show ads on the mobile version of their service. By October, 14 percent of the company’s ad revenue came from mobile ads, making it into a small but nicely profitable piece of Mark Zuckerberg’s growing empire. Then it took off. By the spring of 2014, Facebook reported that 62 percent of its revenue came from mobile, leading the technology website The Verge to declare: “Facebook is a mobile company now.” This statement has continued to prove accurate: by 2017, mobile ad revenue rose to 88 percent of their earnings, and is still climbing. These Facebook statistics underscore a trend true of social media more generally: mobile pays the bills.
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game
He told a friend the two-week expedition was the longest they had ever been together. “They make a lot of money and they work incredibly hard and the husbands never see their children,” Holly Peterson said of the financiers of the Upper East Side. Their lives are driven not by culture or seasons or family tradition, but by the requirements of the latest deal or the mood of the markets. When Mark Zuckerberg rebuffed Yuri Milner’s first approach, the Russian investor, who was already a multimillionaire, turned up at the Internet boy wonder’s office in Palo Alto the next day, a round-trip journey of twelve thousand miles. In November 2010, the number two and heir apparent of one of the top private equity firms told me he was about to make a similar journey. I was a having a drink with him near Madison Park on a Wednesday night.
Inspired and advised by the liberal Soros, Pete Peterson—himself a Republican and former Nixon cabinet member—has spent $1 billion of his Blackstone windfall on a foundation dedicated to bringing down America’s deficit and entitlement spending. Bill Gates, likewise, devotes most of his energy and intellect today to his foundation’s work on causes ranging from supporting charter schools to combating disease in Africa. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has yet to reach his thirtieth birthday, but last fall he donated $100 million to improving Newark’s public schools. Insurance and real estate magnate Eli Broad has become an influential funder of stem cell research and school reform; Jim Balsillie, a cofounder of BlackBerry creator RIM, has established his own international affairs think tank; the list goes on and on. It is not without reason that Bill Clinton has devoted his postpresidency to the construction of a global philanthropic “brand.”
David Rubenstein, the billionaire cofounder of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, told me that when he visited America’s top business schools during their spring recruiting season in 2011, he discovered that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. “When I graduated from college, you wanted to work for IBM or GE,” he told me.” Now when I talk to people graduating from business school, they want to start their own company. Everyone wants to be Mark Zuckerberg; no one wants to be a corporate CEO. They want to be entrepreneurs and make their own great wealth.” That quest starts earlier and earlier. Jones and Doriot were both nearly fifty when they started their businesses. Nowadays, would-be plutocrats want to be well on their way to their fortune by their thirtieth birthday. THE BILLIONAIRE’S CIRCLE But the real mass revolution sparked by the rise of entrepreneurial finance is in the way that it reshaped the big institutions it threatened to usurp.
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
It stands out because the board is always different, the rules are clear, and the game is played in under an hour. Yet the capacity for deploying strategy, by building alliances or using emotions to foster deception, is limitless. Settlers of Catan was the first big European crossover tabletop hit in America. It initially gained a foothold in colleges and the technology industry (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly a huge fan), but as its cult following turned mainstream, it woke the nation up to this new concept of play. “The rise of Eurogames parallels the rise of digital games, but Eurogames are insistently analog,” Adrienne Raphel wrote in the New Yorker, in a profile of Teuber. “They can be as complex as video games, but, because there’s no fixed narrative, groups of people play together over and over.”
While old industry giants such as General Motors and General Electric were pandering for bailouts, companies such as Twitter, which counted their staff in the dozens, were being valued at many billions of dollars. Why invest in a blue-chip company struggling to adapt, when a small investment in a tech startup could make you rich overnight? Today, it is the titans of technology—Tesla’s Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Uber’s Travis Kalanick—who are the new gods of capitalism. Their stories of rapid success are the subjects of best-selling biographies and Hollywood movies. Silicon Valley has supplanted Wall Street as the destination for the best and brightest. The Economist reported that in 2014, one fifth of American business school graduates went to work in technology. None of this has been lost on politicians.
Today, total spending on education technology remains low, around 5 percent of total education budgets in the United States, and less than 2 percent globally, but worldwide spending on K–12 classroom hardware technology alone is expected to reach $19 billion by 2019, and 2014 saw more than a 50 percent increase in venture capital funding for education technology companies. That’s a lucrative market to tap into. Second, the high-tech world is fueled by education. Its businesses are created by highly educated individuals, often at universities, and many of the products and services it sells appeal to an educated population. Education has become the pet cause of digital’s business leaders. Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and the venture capitalist Jim Breyer are among the top supporters of education philanthropy, funding everything from university scholarships and research grants to experiments in school reform stretching from inner-city Newark to remote African villages. Underlying this is the belief that digital technology can transform education in the same way it transformed business, media, and communications.
The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg
affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh
At the time, it did not look like a foregone conclusion. It looked like a good business opportunity, but there were plenty of other players, and it seemed plenty likely that they could beat us. And we were also thinking, Google could just jump in at any moment. They easily could have won in 2004. Now, of course, it’s a different story.” Dustin and his college buddies, roommates and fellow cofounders Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes, famously decided to move out to Palo Alto that summer, 2004, with the intention of going back to Harvard in the fall. “But by the time the end of June rolled around, it was more like a hundred and fifty thousand users, and we thought, ‘OK, this is actually pretty difficult to do, even without having sixty or eighty hours a week of classes, homework and paid work. We started asking ourselves, ‘Is it really feasible to go back next semester, and build this company, and do school?’
Seth continues, “Does spending your teenage years (and your twenties) in a room practicing the violin teach you anything about being a violin teacher or a concert promoter or some other job associated with music? If your happiness depends on your draft pick or a single audition, that’s giving way too much power to someone else.” Learn the business side of your craft, and you’ll come away with applicable, marketable skills no matter what. For Dustin, of course, going for his dreams paid off. For several years, Mark Zuckerberg was the world’s youngest-ever self-made billionaire. But Dustin is eight days younger than Zuckerberg. When Facebook’s valuation soared in 2010, Dustin’s chunk surged to over two billion, and he took Zuckerberg’s place as the world’s youngest. Dustin has already started his next venture, Asana (http://asana.com), which aims to revolutionize workplace collaboration as thoroughly as Facebook has revolutionized the way we socialize.
So they contacted Elliott and asked him and the Summit Team to put together the event for the White House, which they did. Bisnow and his team of merry twentysomethings had arrived at the central halls of global power. Now, Elliott rolls with Bill Clinton, Mark Cuban, and fellow non-college-graduates Ted Turner, Sean Parker, Russell Simmons, and Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, all of whom have participated at Summit Series gatherings. Aside from Facebook cofounder (and college dropout) Mark Zuckerberg, Elliott is now quite possibly one of the most well-connected twentysomethings on the planet. As a Forbes profile of Summit asks, “Do you know of a more influential networking event for a new generation of geniuses? If so, let me know.”2 Elliott has left the family newsletter business in good hands and is focusing entirely on Summit. It’s his second multimillion-dollar business, and he has also raised over $2 million for charity from participants at the events.
The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game
In most cases they are not even given grounds for their punishment or a means of appealing it.14 Facebook's Community Standards project puts the company in the position of deciding arbitrarily what speech is acceptable and what is not.15 We may fool ourselves into thinking that Facebook and Google use fair, impersonal algorithms to monitor speech. But algorithms are programmed by people, and people are imperfect and have biases. The left may be happy that conservatives are censored today, but who will control these platforms in 5 to 10 years? And who will prevent these giants from cooperating with countries that censor their own citizens? Outright censorship is not so outlandish. According to the New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg has been learning Chinese. More important, the social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people's news feeds in specific geographic areas. “The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked.”16 Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort. In 2014 Facebook has complied with a Russian government demand to block access to a page supporting Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.17 These companies are effectively a government unto themselves.
At first, they encouraged readers to post links that led back to their own news websites.37 Facebook was getting so much traffic that they convinced publishers to post Instant Articles directly on Facebook so load times would be faster and the content would be tailored to Facebook's audience. Gradually, Facebook started exerting more and more control over what was being seen, to the point that they became the main publishers of everyone's content. Mark Zuckerberg says his site is a “community,” but the site is not a co-op. Facebook decides what gets views and what doesn't and captures all the profit. As Facebook's News Feed became an incessant barrage of children's baseball games, cat memes, pratfall videos, and news articles, Facebook started restricting what content would actually make it onto people's feed. Only the most popular memes would ever see the light of day.
But starting in 2014, over half of all traffic started coming from Facebook and Google. Today, over 70% of traffic is dominated by the two sources.46 For websites like the comedy hub Funny or Die, Facebook ended up capturing all the economics of their content. In the end, Funny or Die eliminated its entire editorial team following a trend of comedy websites scaling back. When Funny or Die fired most of its staff, employee Matt Klinman posted on Twitter, “Mark Zuckerberg just walked into Funny or Die and laid off all my friends.” He explained: “There is simply no money in making comedy online anymore. Facebook has completely destroyed independent digital comedy and we need to fucking talk about it.”47 Today, there's no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that same video is right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue, but Facebook does not share its ad revenue with publishers.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce
“To punish me”: Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008). When companies run suggestion boxes: Birgit Verworn, “Does Age Have an Impact on Having Ideas? An Analysis of the Quantity and Quality of Ideas Submitted to a Suggestion System,” Creativity and Innovation Management 18 (2009): 326–34. average founder is thirty-eight: Claire Cain Miller, “The Next Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Who You Might Think,” New York Times, July 2, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/07/02/upshot/the-next-mark-zuckerberg-is-not-who-you-might-think.html. writer E. M. Forster: Karl E. Weick, The Social Psychology of Organizing, 2nd ed. (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979). conceptual innovators are sprinters: David Galenson, Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011).
In these pages, I learned that great creators don’t necessarily have the deepest expertise but rather seek out the broadest perspectives. I saw how success is not usually attained by being ahead of everyone else but by waiting patiently for the right time to act. And to my utter shock, I learned that procrastinating can be good. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows how much I hate leaving things to the last minute, how I always think that anything that can be done should be done right away. Mark Zuckerberg, along with many others, will be pleased if I can let go of the relentless pressure I feel to finish everything early—and, as Adam points out, it might just help me and my teams achieve better results. INFORMED OPTIMIST Every day, we all encounter things we love and things that need to change. The former give us joy. The latter fuel our desire to make the world different—ideally better than the way we found it.
Growing up, many originals find their first heroes in their most beloved novels, where protagonists exercise their creativity in pursuit of unique accomplishments. When asked to name their favorite books, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel each chose Lord of the Rings,, the epic tale of a hobbit’s adventures to destroy a dangerous ring of power. Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Bezos both pointed to A Wrinkle in Time,, in which a young girl learns to bend the laws of physics and travel through time. Mark Zuckerberg was partial to Ender’s Game, where it’s up to a group of kids to save the planet from an alien attack. Jack Ma named his favorite childhood book as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, about a woodcutter who takes the initiative to change his own fate. It’s likely that they were all highly original children, which accounts for why they were drawn to these tales in the first place. But it’s also possible that these stories helped elevate their aspirations.
The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job by John Tamny
Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, commoditize, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Downton Abbey, future of work, George Gilder, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra
Gates—the world’s second richest man—told Fortune that 50 percent of one’s wealth is a “low bar” for giving, while Buffett—not far behind—has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth.6 Buffett has been a major donor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pursued such lofty goals as eradicating global poverty and disease and empowering women to transform their lives. You can do that when wealth is abundant. The Gates Foundation employs 1,376 persons in its efforts to make the world a better place with an endowment of some $39 billion.7 And in time, the Gates Foundation will be dwarfed by other, bigger foundations. Indeed, in December 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock to charity. Chan Zuckerberg Science, an offshoot of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, LLC, already has $3 billion behind it and employs, the Wall Street Journal reports, “dozens of top scientists who think it is possible to cure, prevent or manage diseases by the end of the century.”8 It’s not crazy to speculate that Zuckerberg’s grandchildren might be born into a world no longer ravaged by cancer thanks to the generosity of their grandparents.
In 2014, only thirty-four names from the original list were still among the four hundred richest Americans. While a net worth of $75 million got you into the Forbes 400 in 1982, the price of entry was $1.5 billion by 2014.10 With the exception of a few mild recessions and the big one in 2008, the U.S. economy has grown fairly rapidly since 1982, and the ranks of the richest have changed constantly. Mark Zuckerberg was a high school student in 2000, but by 2015 he was pledging to give away tens of billions. If the U.S. and world economies continue to grow, the richest people in the world in 2046 will be a very different crowd from those of today. And the wealth in the hands of the superrich thirty years from now promises to be mind-boggling. It’s safe to say that many more billions—and probably trillions—of dollars, will be in the hands of foundations eager to fix what’s wrong with the world, making the employment possibilities for those who want to join that idealistic work promising indeed.
Brooks, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism (New York: Basic Books, 2006), xii. 2.Nikhil Deogun, “The Legacy: Roberto Goizueta Led Coca-Cola Stock Surge, and Its Home Prospers,” Wall Street Journal, October 20, 1997. 3.Ibid. 4.Ibid. 5.Ibid. 6.John Tamny, “If Charity Is Their Goal, Gates and Buffett Should Hoard Their Wealth,” Forbes.com, June 17, 2010. 7.Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Fact Sheet, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Who-We-Are/General-Information/Foundation-Factsheet. 8.Deepa Seetharaman, “Zuckerberg Fund to Invest $3 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2016. 9.Sarah Frier, “Mark Zuckerberg Philanthropy Pledge Sets New Giving Standard,” Bloomberg, December 1, 2015. 10.Robert Arnott, William Bernstein, and Lillian Wu, “The Myth of Dynastic Wealth: The Rich Get Poorer,” Cato Journal, Vol. 35 (Fall 2015): 461–463. 11.Arthur C. Brooks, Who Really Cares, 3. 12.Ibid., 13.Ibid., 7. 14.Ibid., 77. 15.Ibid., 78. 16.Ibid., 124. 17.Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005),149. 18.Ibid., 50. 19.Ibid., 50. 20.Ibid., 53–54. 21.Ibid., 154. 22.Ibid., 208. 23.Ibid., 22. 24.Ibid., 86. 25.Ibid., 97. 26.Ibid., 209. 27.Ibid., 304. 28.Monte Burke, “College Coaches Deserve Their Pay,” Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2015. 29.Ibid. 30.Ibid. 31.Ibid. 32.Brooks, Who Really Cares, 119. 33.Brooks, Who Really Cares, 139. 34.Rebecca R.
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
How does the brand hold up within those experiences? EVERYBODY IS BETTING ON MOBILE (JUST ASK GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AND TWITTER). We’re all experts until something happens like Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion. Facebook made it hard (very, very hard) to look past the billion dollars, but the deal was a testament to the one-screen world. It’s no secret that Facebook struggles to win on the mobile platforms. Mark Zuckerberg curated a hacker culture on a Web-based platform in building up Facebook to what it has become. On top of that, Facebook’s Achilles’ heel is photos. People post, share, comment, and look at photos nonstop on Facebook (admit it, just today you were probably creeping on someone from high school that you swore you would never speak to again). Photos are, without question, the biggest part of the Facebook experience, so when Instagram came along and managed to grab thirty-million-plus users on Apple’s iOS platform (and then another five million in its first week on the Android platform), it became abundantly clear that what Instagram was doing so right was something that Facebook needed so desperately: the ability to take, manipulate, and share photos in a compelling way, exclusively through the mobile device.
Can you imagine a world without cash registers? Dorsey isn’t just imagining it… he’s tackling the big challenge. Squiggly means that you can’t hide behind small thinking and quarterly employee reviews. This means that we can’t be afraid to have a more squiggly career path, and we also have to be more open to doing the big, big stuff (Steve Jobs would often talk about making a “dent in the universe”). You will hear Mark Zuckerberg talk about Facebook as the place to connect the world. Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google often talk about Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and knowledge (and, with that, they squiggle to create self-driving cars!). It’s one thing to dream big. It’s another thing to think and do big. In this new world, the squiggle is about not being afraid of the big stuff within whatever industry you serve.
THE NEXT #3—RISE OF THE INDIE BRAND. In March 2012, I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote address at the Art of Marketing event in Toronto. With more than fifteen hundred business professionals in attendance, I shared the stage with people like Martin Lindstrom (author of Brandwashed and Buyology), Randi Zuckerberg (former head of marketing at Facebook and sister of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg), Scooter Braun (music industry professional and the person who discovered and manages Justin Bieber), and many others. The daylong, fully sold-out event featured seven top-of-their-game speakers and marketing professionals, but one individual stole the show. Eric Ryan is the co-founder (with his business partner, Adam Lowry) and chief brand architect of Method. Method is on a mission to totally change the consumer packaged goods business.
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!
The Age of Industry was on its way out, to be superseded by the personal computer-driven Age of Information. For those children born in 1964 and after, digits would replace rivets in their engineering dreams. Apple’s Steve Jobs was only nine years old at the time of the New York World’s Fair. Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, would not be born for close to another decade; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for another ten years after that. As it turned out, the most forward-looking section of Flushing Meadows Corona Park turned out to be the exhibit belonging to International Business Machines Corporation, better known as IBM. IBM’s mission for the 1964 World’s Fair was to cement computers (and more specifically Artificial Intelligence) in the public consciousness, alongside better-known wonders like space rockets and nuclear reactors.
‘Tay is now offline and we’ll look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipate malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and values,’ wrote Microsoft’s head of research in a formal apology to everyone hurt by the AI’s ‘offensive and hurtful tweets’. But despite these deeply embarrassing mishaps, it doesn’t mean that chatbots can’t be useful. The Rise of Virtual Assistants A few months earlier, in January 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his latest New Year’s resolution. As the co-founder of the world’s biggest social network and with a personal net worth estimated at $46 billion, Zuckerberg had already achieved more than most of us could hope to in multiple lifetimes. However that hadn’t stopped the youthful innovator from setting himself one New Year’s resolution each year in order to, as he puts it, ‘learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook’.
Just as people sitting around at the dawn of mankind, speculating on where the creation of a language would lead us would be unlikely to think about the finer points of Twitter hashtags, so it is impossible to imagine how a superior intellect will view – and no doubt fundamentally alter – the world. The Difference between Narrow and Wide A lifetime of sci-fi movies and books have ingrained in us the expectation that there will be some Singularity-style ‘tipping point’ at which Artificial General Intelligence will take place. Devices will get gradually smarter and smarter until, somewhere in a secret research lab deep in Silicon Valley, a message pops up on Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin’s computer monitor, saying that AGI has been achieved. Like Ernest Hemingway once wrote about bankruptcy, Artificial General Intelligence will take place ‘gradually, then suddenly’. This is the narrative played out in films like James Cameron’s seminal Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In that movie we, the audience, are informed that the supercomputer Skynet becomes ‘self-aware’ at exactly 2.14 a.m.
Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe
3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks
They worked for Two Sigma, but were there to participate in the “Hour of Code Challenge,” a new initiative held in conjunction with “Computer Science Education Week.” The project was the brainchild of Code.org, a nonprofit group that shares some of the same goals as the Scratch Foundation. By week’s end some twenty million people had written six hundred million lines of code, the organizers announced. Code.org boasts deep pockets and a glamorous cast of funders, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. Not everyone has been impressed. Shortly after the group launched in February 2013, Dave Winer, a longtime computer industry gadfly and the author of the blog Scripting News, wrote that “you should [code] because you love it, because it’s fun—because it’s wonderful to create machines with your mind. Software is math-in-motion. It’s a miracle of the mind.
“To my amazement, the very first neuron I patched fired precise action potentials in response to blue light. That night I collected data that demonstrated all the core principles we would publish a year later in Nature Neuroscience, announcing that ChR2 could be used to depolarize neurons.”9 This was a significant breakthrough—and in 2015 it would be recognized as exactly that when Deisseroth and Boyden received $3 million each as part of the Breakthrough Prize awards organized by Mark Zuckerberg and other tech-industry philanthropists.10 Previously neuroscientists were simply spectators at brain events, watching vast swaths of neurons react to this or that stimulus, and attempting to infer causality. But with “optogenetics,” as Deisseroth and another colleague called the new technique, researchers could stimulate individual neural circuits and observe how they behaved. Boyden is quick to share credit for optogenetics—with his collaborators, but also with other scientists who were hot on the trail in 2005 when he and Deisseroth first went public with their method.
“No offence to the AlphaGo team, but I would put my money on the human,” Schaeffer told Nature News. “Think of AlphaGo as a child prodigy. All of a sudden it has learned to play really good Go, very quickly. But it doesn’t have a lot of experience. What we saw in chess and checkers is that experience counts for a lot.”7 Not everyone has cheered on the machine’s inexorable invasion of all aspects of our lives. On the day the Nature article was published, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post announcing that Facebook had its own AI capable of beating humans at Go. “Why don’t you leave that ancient game alone and let it be without any artificial players? Do we really need an AI in everything?”8 By June the comment had received more than eighty-five thousand reactions and four thousand comments. Fan Hui, the European champion, had played his five matches against AlphaGo in front of an audience of two: a referee and an editor from Nature.
How Democracy Ends by David Runciman
barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Internet of things, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, Yogi Berra
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 35. 49David Edgerton, Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (London: Profile, 2006). 50Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Richard Tuck, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 9. 51Mark Zuckerberg, ‘Building global community’, Facebook, 16 February 2017, http://bit.ly/2m39az5 52Dave Eggers, The Circle (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013). 53Mark Zuckerberg, ‘Mark Zuckerberg’, Facebook, 3 January 2017, http://bit.ly/2hXwZIi 54Josh Glancy, ‘Mark Zuckerberg’s “Listening Tour”’, Sunday Times, 23 July 2017, http://bit.ly/2hvF4gm 55Eggers, The Circle, p. 386. 56The fullest account of this story is in Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (New York: Riverhead Books, 2015). 57Ezra Klein & Alvin Chang, ‘“Political identity is fair game for hatred”: how Republicans and Democrats discriminate’, Vox, 7 December 2015, http://bit.ly/2ja3CQb 58‘Mark Lilla vs identity politics’, The American Conservative, 16 August 2017, http://bit.ly/2uTZYhy 59‘5th Republican debate transcript’, Washington Post, 15 December 2015, http://wapo.st/2mTDrBY 60Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1942). 61Joe McGinnis, The Selling of the President 1968 (New York: Trident Press, 1969). 62Robert A.
These companies are young and fresh-faced. They believe that what they are doing is good. They are not used to being loathed. The state is not sure how to deal with monsters like these. Still, they are just corporations. If American democracy found the strength to face down corporate titans like Standard Oil at the start of the twentieth century, why shouldn’t it take on Google and Facebook today? Mark Zuckerberg is mind-bogglingly wealthy. But John D. Rockefeller was on some measures the richest man who has ever lived. That wasn’t enough to save his corporate creation. All corporations have an off switch. The state knows where to find it. Or at least it used to. No corporation, however rich or powerful, can exist without the support of the state. Corporations are created in law and they operate through the web of rules and regulations that the state provides to manage them.
These cult leaders of the new solutionism, along with their many devotees, have nothing against democracy because they are sure that anything which enhances our problem-solving ability is a democratic plus. At the same time, they remain confident that their technology is able to supply democratic recognition across the board: it is giving voice to the voiceless. What they cannot tell us is how these two things go together. Because they don’t. This makes Mark Zuckerberg a bigger threat to American democracy than Donald Trump. Zuckerberg has no evil designs on democratic institutions; indeed, he seems to have very little gripe with democracy at all. His intentions are good. That is the threat he poses. The central challenge democracy faces is to find a way to reconnect what has come apart, which means first of all seeing that simply pushing harder at the two sides of democratic life without connecting them will do no good.
Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi
affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy
Google “ended the dialogue by simply stating that Tiny Lab apps are not directed to children,” even though it knew otherwise. NM AG Complaint ¶ 118. But Google did add, “We really appreciate the research that your organization has been looking into, to make the internet a more safe space for everyone.” 41.Roger McNamee, “I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I Loved Facebook. But I Can’t Stay Silent about What’s Happening,” Time, January 17, 2019, https://time.com/5505441. 42.McNamee, “I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg.” 43.McNamee, “I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg” (“Every action a user took gave Facebook a better understanding of that user—and of that user’s friends—enabling the company to make tiny ‘improvements’ in the user experience every day, which is to say it got better at manipulating the attention of users”); Roger McNamee, Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (New York: Penguin Press, 2019), 9, 62–63, 98–101. 44.McNamee, Zucked, 103. 45.Chang Liu and Jianling Ma, “Social Support Through Online Social Networking Sites and Addiction among College Students: The Mediating Roles of Fear of Missing Out and Problematic Smartphone Use,” Current Psychology (2018), https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-0075-5. 46.Zephoria Digital Marketing, “The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics—Updated April 2019,” accessed April 30, 2019, https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/. 47.Todd Clarke, “22+ Instagram Stats That Marketers Can’t Ignore This Year,” Hootsuite Blog, March 5, 2019, https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/. 48.Rani Molla and Kurt Wagner, “People Spend Almost as Much Time on Instagram as They Do on Facebook,” Recode, June 25, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/25/17501224/instagram-facebook-snapchat-time-spent-growth-data (data for Android users). 49.Facebook Inc., Third Quarter 2018 Results Conference Call (October 30, 2018), https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/2018/Q3/Q318-earnings-call-transcript.pdf. 50.Rayna Sariyska et al., “The Motivation for Facebook Use—Is It a Matter of Bonding or Control over Others?
Children are specifically targeted as part of this goal.”39 Moreover, by representing that Tiny Lab’s apps were “suitable and safe for children, complying with all applicable privacy laws,”40 Google is alleged to have engaged in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in violation of New Mexico’s laws and to the detriment of consumers. Google’s efforts to addict us and our children are surely matched in their effectiveness—if not their precise methods—by Facebook’s. As explained by Roger McNamee, author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, who was an early investor in Facebook and a longtime mentor to Mark Zuckerberg but has since become one of Facebook’s fiercest (and most knowledgeable) critics: The company’s business model “depends on advertising, which in turn depends on manipulating the attention of users so they see more ads. One of the best ways to manipulate attention is to appeal to outrage and fear, emotions that increase engagement.”41 Evoking outrage and fear is only part of the strategy. Between late 2012 and 2017, Facebook “experimented constantly with algorithms, new data types and small changes in design, measuring everything.”42 The goal was to use the company’s best minds to figure out ever better ways to exploit our psychological weaknesses.43 “Instead of technology being a tool in service to humanity,” McNamee noted, “it is humans who are in service to technology.”44 Take, for example, our “fear of missing out.”
Google even allows you to choose “the privacy settings that are right for you with your Privacy Checkup.”110 Facebook states, “You’re In Charge” and “in control of your Facebook experience.”111 Nor are advertisers forced to advertise with Google’s and Facebook’s networks. Other options remain. And publishers can always wean themselves off the Gamemakers’ advertising networks and charge for their products. But how real are any of these options? First, are we, the users, really in control? By one count, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, said, “You are in control of your data” forty-five times during the two congressional hearings, where he was called to testify after the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal.112 The scandal, contrary to this illusion—or delusion—of control, exposed how Cambridge Analytica accessed the Facebook data of up to eighty-seven million people, entirely unbeknownst to them, in order to develop techniques designed to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.113 We typically view the Gamemaker as the servant that keeps providing us with services at no cost, rather than as the master that it really is.
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
More than at any other time in history, these components can be combined without requiring explicit permission or a business-development relationship. As reddit and Hipmunk co-founder Alexis Ohanian wrote in Without Their Permission, “The Internet is an open system: It works because you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to be creative and because every address is equally accessible.”5 Imagine how Facebook would look if Mark Zuckerberg had needed to sign twenty partnership agreements before he was able to start experimenting with his idea on the Harvard campus. There’s an important paradox built into Silicon Valley’s veneration of the power of small teams. Startups are distinct from small businesses; most startups resolutely do not want to stay small. Startup teams are like hunting parties, desperately searching for product/market fit.
The answer is that, instead of pedigree, we infer the quality of founders from the results they are able to deliver with limited resources, gambling on the chance that early success will be the hallmark of future greatness. Many investors believe that how a team runs the fund-raising process predicts how they’ll run a company, and use it as a leading indicator. There’s a now-famous interview with Mark Zuckerberg, back when he was building what he called “TheFacebook.com,” in which he’s very passionate about his idea, but also not very clear about it. In a traditional business setting, people wouldn’t have invested in his idea after listening to his description. He said, “I really just want to create a really cool college directory product that is very relevant for students. I don’t know what that is.”17 But startup culture made it possible for investors to take him seriously, and it gave him a chance to experiment with his idea.
One of my favorite venture firms maintains an “anti-portfolio” comprising the companies that they declined to invest in when given the chance but continue to track and to publish their stellar performance.19 The point of these stories—and the reason they’ve become a cliché—is that you simply can’t tell for sure ahead of time which experiments are going to pan out. Even the very best investors, the ones we laud for their “golden gut,” get it wrong more often than they get it right. The only way to win in this world is to take more shots on goal. Try more radical things. Pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. And double down on the winners. A STARTUP IS MISSION—AND VISION—DRIVEN Outside of Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg’s declaration that “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services”20 was met with eye rolls. But in Silicon Valley, we really believe it. Silicon Valley is obsessed with vision and the visionary founder who can uniquely execute it. This focus has been a source of some controversy as Lean Startup has become more popular. Because of our emphasis on science, metrics, and experimentation, it’s a common (but misguided) criticism that Lean Startup seeks to replace vision or, in some ways, de-emphasize it.
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
If there was a better chance to be successful (on better terms) out there waiting for me, why wasn’t someone investigating my school for cruelly allowing me to graduate into this job market? What Are Jobs and Entrepreneurship? We hear the word “job” and imagine that someone is squirreled away in a cubicle, mindlessly filling out TPS reports for Proctor and Gamble. We hear the word “entrepreneur” and imagine Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Those are all true characterizations, but these two concepts leave a wide berth in between. How do we clearly distinguish between “jobs” and “entrepreneurship?” In his book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin defines a linchpin as: “[A]n individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen.”
The Three Factors of the Long Tail: The Democratization of the Tools of Production The Democratization of Distribution New Markets Are Revealed Everyday Let’s break those down further. 6 The Democratization of the Tools of Production Product Creation Costs Are Decreasing Many people object to starting a business because it’s perceived as being expensive, or requiring a lot of capital up front. Would-be entrepreneurs imagine having to go out and buy a lot of physical equipment, hire staff, and rent office space. For a large and growing number of businesses, that’s no longer the case. The Social Network, the movie chronicling Facebook’s rise to a multi-billion dollar company depicts Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook in his college dorm room. Basecamp, a multi-million dollar project management software company, was started by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, while living in different countries and while also running a web development consultancy. But it’s not just tech companies. Rent to Own: The Sharing Economy Over the last decade, a more publicly available internet has enabled the “Sharing Economy,” which has democratized the tools of production.
Employee Motives and Firm Innovation,” NBER Working Paper No. 14443, October 2008. 58. Dan Ariely, Uri Gneezy, George Lowenstein, and Nina Mazar, “Large Stakes and Big Mistakes,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Paper No. 05-11, July 23, 2005 59. Pink, Daniel H. (2011-04-05). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us 60. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h5cY7d6nPU 61. http://www.inc.com/allison-fass/peter-thiel-mark-zuckerberg-luck-day-facebook-turned-down-billion-dollars.html 62. Pink, Daniel H. (2011-04-05). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Kindle Locations 1836-1848). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition. Conclusion 63. JFK’s speech at Rice University on September 12th, 1962 64. Source: Peter Thiel, Zero to One 65. Author interview with Rob Walling, to download the full interview, go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj Next Steps 66. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/10/high-intensity-strength-training.aspx 67.
Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-Bubbles – the Algorithms That Control Our Lives by David Sumpter
affirmative action, Bernie Sanders, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, p-value, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, traveling salesman, Turing test
Much of their work is collaborative; they share libraries of code and share the latest knowledge at conferences, like NIPS. There is a real buzz about the progress being made and a friendly rivalry between the groups. Some of these engineers and mathematicians believe we are only a decade or so from true AI. Others see it as centuries away. I wondered what their bosses made of all the excitement. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN The Bacterial Brain In 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set himself a challenge: to build an automated butler that would help him around the house. The name of his butler, Jarvis, was inspired by an AI robot built by the character Iron Man from the comic and film series The Avengers. The fictional Jarvis has a human-like intelligence, reading Iron Man’s thoughts and connecting emotionally with him. Jarvis combines a massive database of information with the power to reason and grasp concepts.
When I had looked at algorithms that tried to influence us, I found out that they were exploiting some very simple aspects of our behaviour to decide what search information to show us and what to try to sell us. Neural networks have cracked a few games, but we can’t yet see a way up the next mountain. When Alex and I built our own language bot, it could fool us for a few sentences before revealing itself as a total fake. At the end of his year-long challenge to build Jarvis, the butler, Mark Zuckerberg put a video up on Facebook demonstrating the results. I have to warn you before you watch his upload that it is pure cringe. We are welcomed into Mark’s bedroom as he wakes up in his trademark grey T-shirt. Jarvis informs Mark about his daily meetings and reports that he has been entertaining his one-year-old daughter with a ‘Mandarin lesson’ since she woke up. When Mark goes down to the kitchen, the toaster is already on, having anticipated that it is time for his daily slice.
His final product is a masterclass in practical application of the techniques we have seen in this book: face and voice recognition through convolutional neural networks, a form of regression model used to predict when he wants some toast or his daughter wants to learn Mandarin and ‘also like’ algorithms for choosing music that the whole family want to listen to. Facebook has developed a library of programming routines that helps its employees, and in this case Mark Zuckerberg, turn these algorithms into applications. When I get over the corniness of his video, and delve more deeply into his blog post, I realise that Zuckerberg is pretty smart (I know I might be a bit late on this one). He makes the grade as a data alchemist. While his fellow Silicon Valley colleagues are trying to prove their intellectual credentials by sitting on panel groups hosted by theoretical physicists, Mark is getting stuck into programming interfaces and working out how to make the most of the tools his company has created.
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor
One University of Michigan junior told the Michigan Daily, “I’m really creeped out by the new Facebook. It makes me feel like a stalker.” David Kirkpatrick tells this story in his authorized account of the website’s history, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. He dubs the introduction of News Feed “the biggest crisis Facebook has ever faced.” But Kirkpatrick reports that when he interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and head of the rapidly growing company, the CEO was unfazed. The reason? Zuckerberg had access to digital truth serum: numbers on people’s clicks and visits to Facebook. As Kirkpatrick writes: Zuckerberg in fact knew that people liked the News Feed, no matter what they were saying in the groups. He had the data to prove it. People were spending more time on Facebook, on average, than before News Feed launched.
If people consistently tell us what they think we want to hear, we will generally be told things that are more comforting than the truth. Digital truth serum, on average, will show us that the world is worse than we have thought. Do we need to know this? Learning about Google searches, porn data, and who clicks on what might not make you think, “This is great. We can understand who we really are.” You might instead think, “This is horrible. We can understand who we really are.” But the truth helps—and not just for Mark Zuckerberg or others looking to attract clicks or customers. There are at least three ways that this knowledge can improve our lives. First, there can be comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your insecurities and embarrassing behavior. It can be nice to know others are insecure about their bodies. It is probably nice for many people—particularly those who aren’t having much sex—to know the whole world isn’t fornicating like rabbits.
If his friends have a difficult background and little opportunity, he may struggle more to escape poverty. The data tells us that some parts of America are better at giving kids a chance to escape poverty. So what places are best at giving people a chance to escape the grim reaper? We like to think of death as the great equalizer. Nobody, after all, can avoid it. Not the pauper nor the king, the homeless man nor Mark Zuckerberg. Everybody dies. But if the wealthy can’t avoid death, data tells us that they can now delay it. American women in the top 1 percent of income live, on average, ten years longer than American women in the bottom 1 percent of income. For men, the gap is fifteen years. How do these patterns vary in different parts of the United States? Does your life expectancy vary based on where you live?
The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo
Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks
In Autonomist Marxist debates, starting from the times of Potere Operaio in the 1970s, it was viewed as a means to remunerate that productive activity which happens outside the workplace, at a time at which value production is dependent on social, cultural and linguistic processes. More recently, UBI has been proposed as a solution to the automation revolution and its negative effects on employment. Personalities from the Silicon Valley, including Mark Zuckerberg, have thrown their hats in favour of basic income, signalling a growing interest also from some capitalist sectors towards this measure. Podemos has proposed the introduction of this measure on a universal basis. The Five Star Movement has instead adopted it as a synonym for a jobseekers’ allowance, along the lines of the one available in the United Kingdom, or the Hartz IV welfare reform in Germany, with the transfer being conditional on the acceptance of employment opportunities.
Whereas in the industrial era, the party styled itself after the Fordist factory, in these times of social media and apps it has come to adopt the quality of Facebook and other digital companies known under the collective acronym of FAANGs. Looking at the doings of formations such as the Pirate Parties, the Five Star Movement and Podemos, it soon becomes apparent that what these organisations propose is a political translation of the operational model that brought to success figures such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, applying the logic of the digital company to the political arena to reap economies of scale in the way they reach out to their supporters and involve them in online discussions and decisions. This tendency has been seen in their enthusiastic adoption of social media of all sorts, with many of these formations rapidly gathering a large following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In this light, leaders such as Grillo, Iglesias, Mélenchon and others have adopted a casual dress style that makes them look like ordinary people. Iglesias revealed that he bought his clothes at the cheap shop Alcampo. Similarly, Mélenchon has carefully avoided the bourgeoise suit and tie and made himself recognisable by wearing the ‘Mao suit’, similar to the one worn by Mao Tse-Tung. Curiously, this unassuming style of dress resembles the one of Silicon Valley executives such as Mark Zuckerberg, who famously often wears sneakers and a hoodie even in highly formal circumstances. Mélenchon has also used YouTube to convey a more personable and authentic image than the one sported on official occasions. As described by Antonie Leaument, coordinator of social media for France Insoumise, ‘When I watch Mé-lenchon on YouTube, I see him the way he actually is. Elsewhere in the media, it is another Mélenchon, more concentrated, more controlled.
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
DAVID AZAR’S OPPORTUNITY to invest in BitInstant was about to disappear when he went with some friends to the Spanish island of Ibiza. While lounging at Blue Marlin, one of the trendy island’s most famous beach clubs, David noticed two tall men with waves of glossy brown hair, who would have drawn his attention even if they weren’t Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The Winklevoss twins had become a cultural phenomenon owing to their involvement with Mark Zuckerberg when they were all undergraduates at Harvard. Zuckerberg had initially teamed up with the brothers to build a social networking site, but when Zuckerberg went off on his own and created Facebook, the twins sued him, claiming he stole their idea. They eventually won a $65 million settlement and the story inspired the Oscar-winning film The Social Network. Aware that the brothers were tech savvy and wealthy, David seized the opportunity.
The next day Erik and Ira sent in their resignations and moved into the offices of Larry Lenihan and FirstMark Capital; Lenihan had always been more interested in investing in Erik than in Charlie. Charlie, Roger, and Erik were in constant conversation, contemplating whether Charlie should join Erik, and if the whole group should sue the Winklevoss twins. They ultimately decided not to sue—mindful of the way the twins had responded when Mark Zuckerberg left them out of Facebook. Charlie decided he couldn’t leave the company he created, but when he went to work the next day, he did not go in peace. He demanded that Maguire Ventures deliver the final installment of the investment it had agreed to make the previous fall: “You guys are screwing up my company, and Ira and Erik left because of it. Give me my money or I will wire it all back to you today.”
He had built a complicated business from nothing and people entrusted him with millions of dollars. But Charlie was clearly, and unsurprisingly, lacking skills as a manager. In many startups this is something that investors might notice, and help fix, by finding an experienced manager to come in and steer the ship. As it turned out, though, Charlie’s investors didn’t have much more experience working with startups than he did. The twins’ early experience with Mark Zuckerberg had been limited and, since setting out to become tech investors the previous year, they had worked with only a few young companies. With Charlie, the twins had initially adopted a hands-off attitude, despite all the bickering. But as problems became more evident, they talked with Charlie’s chief programmer about replacing Charlie as CEO. When Charlie learned about the potential palace coup he was furious and began showing up for work less and less.
Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Filter Bubble, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, future of journalism, G4S, high net worth, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pre–internet, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ruby on Rails, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks
They were now beginning to connect in ever-growing numbers to the most mind-blowing network anyone in history could ever have imagined. Should a newspaper become part of that network, or would its chances of survival be greatest by remaining separate, and distinct, from it? The talkboards were certainly ahead of their time. Someone later described them as ‘Web 2.0 social networking before Zuckerberg was a Harvard freshman’. It was when Mark Zuckerberg was a sophomore at Harvard in September 2003 that he started playing around with ways of linking up communities of students – four years after the first stumbling efforts on the Guardian and elsewhere. Reddit – with an equally unsophisticated interface – started five years after the Guardian talkboards as ‘the front page of the internet’ and, with 250 million unique monthly users, was by 2017 the ninth-biggest website in the world.
What were the implications for medical, financial, journalistic, legal and sexual records and general individual privacy? Who represented these arguments in any oversight mechanisms? • Everyone agreed that intelligence involved intrusion – and that it was vital that the work of the agencies was effectively and independently overseen. But were the oversight mechanisms up to the job? (We were later to see a public display of many legislators’ unfamiliarity with technology in April 2018 when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg grappled with the incoherent questioning of several Senators who appeared to have rudimentary knowledge of what social media was, or how it was funded.) • Proportionality. Was there convincing evidence that bulk data collection and storage was necessary and proportionate? Security chiefs insisted yes. At least three US Intelligence oversight Senators said they hadn’t seen such evidence. Ditto a federal judge.
No sooner did you feel at home with search than you were told it was all about social. The minute you’d learned the basics of audio podcasting the commercial team (not to mention Facebook) were mouthing the latest mantra: pivot to video. You’d get up to speed on platforms, only to be told it was all about personalisation. You might think you understood data, only to learn it was now all about structured data. You’d crack your platform strategy only for Mark Zuckerberg to change his mind. Joanna Geary,10 whom we’d hired in 2011 to look after social media, posted on Facebook in late 2017: About 10 years ago I thought I might need to learn Ruby on Rails [to build web apps] to understand what’s going on in journalism. Then, about 5 years after that, I thought I might need an MBA. Now, the qualifications I need are probably in: Computer Science Data Science Natural Language Processing Graph Analysis Advanced Critical Thinking Anthropology Behavioural Sciences Product Management Business Administration Social Psychology Coaching & People Development Change Management I think I need to lie down . . .
The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips
Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar
At its height, the site had more than a million users and a hundred employees. Its functionality was patented (now held by LinkedIn). In December 2000, Six Degrees was sold to Youthstream Media Networks for $125 million. A success by all accounts. We asked Weinreich whether it upset him to see Six Degrees fade away, only to be replaced by other, wildly successful social networking sites. Did he resent Mark Zuckerberg and the success of Facebook? “Absolutely not,” Weinreich told us. “When people copy stuff that is contemporaneous, it is more upsetting than when they do it later.” So time and space make copying easier to take. He added: “It’s weird today to come up with an idea that nobody is doing.” Six Degrees was launched eight years before Facebook. At the time, the technology landscape was different.
Today the characteristics associated with hackers are informing expectations around a new culture of work. Hackers pioneered many principles of informality that have since come to infect mainstream work culture. These include: problem-based work, a culture of openness and transparency, reputational and peer-based accountability (instead of rigid hierarchies and managers), and the permission to act on new opportunities. In a letter to potential investors, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook described the company’s culture and unique management approach, which he dubbed “The Hacker Way.”16 “Hacking,” Zuckerberg wrote, “is a means of building something or testing the boundaries of what can be done.” He went on to describe hackers as people obsessed with continuous improvement and incessant iteration, believing that there is always room to do better and “that nothing is ever complete.”
Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates (Conway Maritime Press, 2002). 9. Leeson, The Invisible Hook. 10. Ibid. 11. Rediker, Villains of All Nations. 12. Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. 13. Leeson, The Invisible Hook. 14. Rediker, Villains of All Nations. 15. Ibid. 16. Epicenter Staff, “Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to Investors: ‘The Hacker Way,’ ” Wired, February 1, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/02/zuck-letter/. 17. Ivan Arreguín-Toft, “How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict,” International Security 26, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 93–128. 18. Moises Naim, Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy (London: Arrow, 2007). 19. Ibid. 20. Marc Goodman, “What Business Can Learn from Organized Crime,” Harvard Business Review, November 2011, https://hbr.org/2011/11/what-business-can-learn-from-organized-crime/ar/1. 21.
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat
"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (New York: New Press, 2017), ch. 9; The Movement for Black Lives, “Platform,” n.d., https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/. 15. Chris Hughes, Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018). 16. Todd Haselton, “Mark Zuckerberg Joins Silicon Valley Bigwigs in Calling for Government to Give Everybody Free Money,” CNBC, May 25, 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html. 17. Eric A. Posner and Glen E. Weyl, “Property Is Only Another Name for Monopoly,” Journal of Legal Analysis (January 31, 2017), https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818494. 18. Jack, “Imagining the Sharing Economy.” 19. Robin Chase, “Bye, Bye Capitalism: We’re Entering the Age of Abundance,” Backchannel, July 16, 2015, https://medium.com/backchannel/see-ya-later-capitalism-the-collaborative-economy-is-taking-over-34a5fc3a37cd.
While Occupy Wall Street activists formed a tent city in Zuccotti Park on Wall Street, members of Black Lives Matter were staging protests across the country to advocate a political agenda that could address the root causes of inequality.14 Soon, more voices joined the chorus, this time from the top. Facebook cofounder and philanthropist Chris Hughes dedicated his intellectual thought leadership to promoting a universal basic income,15 and Mark Zuckerberg, his former roommate, mentioned it in the commencement speech he gave at Harvard.16 This quasi-moral solution to income inequality—and to expanding the definition of equality for this generation—finds its strongest American proponents in Silicon Valley. Home to the billion-dollar titans of industry, who form a slightly reluctant political elite in the New Economy, Silicon Valley and the culture of technology radiate influence across the business, political, and media culture of major American cities.
Drivers aren’t “happiness engineers” or “code ninjas.”8 THE LEGEND OF SILICON VALLEY It shouldn’t be surprising that Uber has adopted the myth of tech entrepreneurship: after all, the company was started by such entrepreneurs. Travis Kalanick, the most visible cofounder of Uber, is hailed as one of Silicon Valley’s “Great Men.” The Great Man theory of success celebrates America’s technology founder-heroes for their business acumen and their passion, like Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg. The Silicon Valley “Great Men” typically celebrated are white men. Equally accomplished founders who are not white men tend to get less play—like Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, according to longtime Silicon Valley journalist, Sarah Lacy.9 The meritocratic theory of success has crossed class lines and entered the culture of work embraced by most people in the United States. Like Frank, they are “doers” and deserve the fruits of their labor.
The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, basic income, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
On Germany, see Heidi Tworek, “How Germany Is Tackling Hate Speech,” Foreign Affairs, May 16, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/germany/2017-05-16/how-germany-tackling-hate-speech; and Bundesrat, “Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verbesserung der Rechtsdurchsetzung in sozialen Netzwerken (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz-NetzDG)” (Köln: Bundesanzeiger Verlag, 2017), http://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2017/0301-0400/315-17.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2. On the United States, see Zeynep Tufekci, “Zuckerberg’s Preposterous Defense of Facebook,” New York Times, September 29, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/opinion/mark-zuckerberg-facebook.html?mcubz=3; Zeynep Tufekci, “Facebook’s Ad Scandal Isn’t a ‘Fail,’ It’s a Feature,” New York Times, September 23, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/opinion/sunday/facebook-ad-scandal.html; and Zeynep Tufekci, “Mark Zuckerberg Is in Denial,” New York Times, November 15, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/opinion/mark-zuckerberg-is-in-denial.html. 2. Jefferson Chase, “Facebook Slams Proposed German ‘Anti-hate Speech’ Social Media Law,” Deutsche Welle, May 29, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/facebook-slams-proposed-german-anti-hate-speech-social-media-law/a-39021094. 3.
Hate Speech on the Internet,” Insights on Law and Society 13, no. 2 (2013), https://www.americanbar.org/publications/insights_on_law_andsociety/13/winter_2013/who_decides_civilityvhatespeechontheinternet.html. 4. Though much remains to be done, the major social networks have started to take their responsibilities more seriously in this regard. See Todd Spangler, “Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Will Hire 3,000 Staffers to Review Violent Content, Hate Speech,” Variety, May 3, 2017, http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-violent-hate-speech-hiring-1202407969/. See also this interesting proposal for a mix between regulation and self-government: Robinson Meyer, “A Bold New Scheme to Regulate Facebook,” Atlantic, May 12, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/05/how-could-the-us-regulate-facebook/482382/. For the model of media self-regulation in the United States, see Angela J.
Are Chief Executives Overpaid? by Deborah Hargreaves
banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, business climate, corporate governance, Donald Trump, G4S, Jeff Bezos, loadsamoney, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, performance metric, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Snapchat, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, wealth creators
Time has featured five businessmen on its cover as person of the year since it began the practice in 1927 and all of them are representative of the era in which they were chosen. Walter Chrysler, who founded the eponymous car company, was profiled in 1928, and Harlow Curtice, president of General Motors, in 1955 – the year after GM became the first US company to post profits of more than $1 billion. After that was Ted Turner, who founded the TV channel CNN in 1991, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, featured in 1999, and Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook, in 2010. Mr Chrysler was paid $1 million in 1920 and 1921 – a huge amount at the time – when weekly wages at the firm were $31. Mr Chrysler’s annual income was 620 times that of his employees. By the 1950s, remuneration for top bosses had levelled off somewhat, with Mr Curtice earning $800,000 at his peak; with average pay at $3,301, he was taking home 242 times the norm.
Ted Turner, who founded CNN, the first 24-hour cable channel in 1990, took home a salary of just over $1 million in 1995 with a bonus of $680,000. That year average wages were $24,705, so Mr Turner was taking home 68 times the norm. In 2013, Fortune magazine estimated his net worth at $2.2 billion. These riches are dwarfed by the personal fortunes of today’s technology entrepreneurs, however. In 2018, Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world with net wealth of $115 billion, since he remains the largest shareholder in Amazon. Mark Zuckerberg takes a salary of only $1 from Facebook, but his shareholding in the social-networking company means he has a net worth of $73 billion. This is in the context of the stagnation in wages for the average American at just over $37,500 a year. Business at the heart of government One of the reasons for the huge growth in top pay in the West in the past 20 years is the establishment of the business culture at the heart of government.
Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman
23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition,