hockey-stick growth

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pages: 226 words: 65,516

Kings of Crypto: One Startup's Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street by Jeff John Roberts

"side hustle", 4chan, Airbnb, altcoin, Apple II, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, Donald Trump, double helix, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, Flash crash, forensic accounting, hacker house, hockey-stick growth, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, offshore financial centre, open borders, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart contracts, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, transaction costs, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Years later, Fred would recall how he and Brian took their bromance to a new level during a trip to Oahu, where together they went over a set of thirty-six questions presented in a New York Times article as a way to accelerate intimacy. Meanwhile, the startup’s monthly numbers, ever up and to the right, began to resemble another sacred Silicon Valley invocation—the hockey stick. The phrase “hockey stick growth” implies a sudden lurch upward, and this is what Coinbase had toward the end of 2013, as the company rapidly approached a customer count of one million wallets. Fueling it all was a staggering jump in the price of bitcoin, which burst past $200 in October, then $500 in November, and over $1,000 in December.

See Zhao, Changpeng DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), 90–93, 145–146, 169–170 dApps, 188 Davenport, Ben, 57 decentralized finance (DeFi), 217–218 Dentacoin, 138 Dewitt, Dorothy, 224 Digital Asset, 104, 105 Digital Gold (Popper), 23 Dimon, Jamie, 103, 138, 211–213 diversity, 225 Dixon, Chris, 69, 93, 124, 157, 216 Dogecoin, 54, 181–182 Dorman, Jeff, 105–106 Draper, Tim, 167 Dread Pirate Roberts, 31, 59, 122 Earn.com, 186–187 Ehrsam, Fred, 10–14 on Ethereum and smart contracts, 93–95 on the future, 220, 225–226 the hedger and, 174 Olaf hired by, 28–29 Electronic Frontier Foundation, 100 electronic market makers, 192 Elliott Wave Theory, 151 enterprise blockchain, 73 ether, 92–93 Ethereum, 84, 87–97 Binance and, 182 blockchain issues in, 202 flash crash of, 139–141 hard fork at, 91–93 market caps of, 203 popularity of, 134–139 value of, 152 Ethereum Classic, 196 Facebook, 63, 64 Project Libra, 205–207 Winklevoss twins and, 114–115 Farmer, David, 159, 175 Federal Bureau of Investigation, 59–60, 126–127 Federal Reserve, 12, 53, 212 Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 102 Fidelity, 209–210 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, 126 Financial Times, 136–137 Finney, Hal, 23 flash crashes, 139–141 Forbes magazine, 148 Force, Carl Mark, IV, 59–60 Fortune magazine, 206 Founder’s Fund, 166–167 Freeman, Kristian, 153 Galaxy Digital, 172 Garlinghouse, Brad, 224 GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange), 96–97, 101–103 flash crash in, 139–141 professional traders and, 113–117 Gemini, 97, 105, 116–117 Gemini Dollar, 205 geo-fencing, 40 Gilmore, John, 100 Give Crypto, 175 Goldman Sachs, 11–12, 37, 104, 171, 212 on bitcoin, 225 Elliott Wave Theory at, 151 Google, 40, 64, 157, 195–196 Google Ventures, 204 Graham, Paul, 36 Grayscale, 54 Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, 208 Hacker News, 78 Hacking Team, 197 Hammell, Craig, 38, 64 on adding currencies, 181–182 on Hirji, 191 on infrastructure, 155–156 Hanyecz, Laszlo, 22 hard forks, 92, 147 Haun, Katie, 17–18, 20, 155, 225 as Coinbase ally, 49 cryptocurrency expertise of, 59–60 on prosecuting bitcoin, 24, 31 at Stanford, 107, 218 Hearn, Mike, 76 hedge funds, 96, 172 Heroku, 156 hijackers, 142–143 Hilton, Paris, 144–145 Hirji, Asiff, 157–158, 173–175, 209 on Binance, 183 departure of, 198–199 on Earn.com, 187 on the future of crypto, 216–217 Srinivasan and, 193–200 style and personality of, 190–193 Hirschman, Albert, 48, 185 “hockey stick growth,” 51–52 hodlers, 83–84 HoweyCoin, 168–169 IBM, 90, 216 ICOs (initial coin offerings), 135–138 Binance and, 179 HoweyCoin and, 168–170 SEC on, 145–146, 168–170 swindles around, 141–145 impulse wave pattern, 151 infrastructure, 75–84, 155–159, 209–210 insider trading, 160 Internal Revenue Service, 121–126, 173 Jobs, Steve, 7, 99, 109, 111 JPM Coin, 212 JPMorgan Chase, 103, 104, 138, 211 Karpelès, Mark, 55–58 Knight, Phil, 39 KodakCoin, 167 Kraken, 96–97, 114 Lamborghinis, 146–147, 167 Langschaedel, Julian, 39 Lawsky, Benjamin, 127 Lee, Bobby, 82 Lee, Charlie, 39–40, 54, 80–81, 88 in Beijing, 81–83 departure of from Coinbase, 117–118 on infrastructure, 156 Litecoin and, 223 on Mt.


pages: 280 words: 71,268

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs by John Doerr

Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Haight Ashbury, hockey-stick growth, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, web application, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

* * * — While Larry and Sergey had few preconceptions about running a business, they knew that writing goals down would make them real. * They loved the notion of laying out what mattered most to them—on one or two succinct pages—and making it public to everyone at Google. They intuitively grasped how OKRs could keep an organization on course through the gales of competition or the tumult of a hockey-stick growth curve. Along with Eric Schmidt, who two years later became Google’s CEO, Larry and Sergey would be tenacious, insistent, even confrontational in their use of OKRs. As Eric told author Steven Levy, “Google’s objective is to be the systematic innovator of scale. Innovator means new stuff. And scale means big, systematic ways of looking at things done in a way that’s reproducible.”

Scaling on a Shoestring By Day 70, our software was in place. Teachers could sign up on the web, form a virtual “class,” and provide a dedicated number to students and parents for text messaging. We scaled quickly, a good sign—130,000 messages within three weeks of launch. We had what every new company wanted, a hockey-stick growth chart. On Demo Day, I entered a big, buzzing room with eleven other start-ups and a hundred investors. I had two minutes to make my pitch, followed by two hours of frantic mingling. I handed out my card to at least forty people. Growth costs money. By early 2012, my brother and I were $10,000 in debt.


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, hockey-stick growth, 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

Despite the millions in federal investment coursing through its veins, the region’s tech cluster was allowed to grow organically, over time, largely off the political radar screen. This freedom had unanticipated consequences. From the mainframe era forward, national politicians used a remarkably light hand in regulating the data-gathering behaviors of an industry whose technologies they only vaguely understood, but whose hockey-stick growth boosted the domestic economy. When the government-built Internet finally opened up to commercial activity at the start of the 1990s, both Democratic and Republican politicians agreed that regulation should be minimal, with companies largely policing themselves when it came to things like user privacy.

The destructive swath that Microsoft cut through the software industry, Lotus’ Mitch Kapor concluded darkly, had turned early-1990s Silicon Valley into “the Kingdom of the Dead.”30 THE NETWORK IS THE COMPUTER As Bill Gates trained his big guns on Silicon Valley, Scott McNealy was spoiling for a fight. McNealy was one of four graduate students who had come together in 1982 to found Sun Microsystems, a company whose hockey-stick growth showed Silicon Valley how much market potential lay beyond the PC. Here was another enormous success story made possible by the Valley’s distinctive ecosystem: Scott McNealy and Vinod Khosla, Stanford MBAs; Andy Bechtolsheim, Stanford computer scientist; Bill Joy, Berkeley engineer. Added into the mix was another Berkeleyite, John Gage, who had spent the 1960s organizing antiwar marches and became Sun’s adult supervision—first as its sales head, and then as its chief scientist.

Like his fellow Pittsburgh native and dear friend Regis McKenna, Campbell was very close to Steve Jobs. But his feelings for the Google guys were particularly heartfelt. “This is family for me,” he told author Ken Auletta, with visible emotion. “There’s innovation daily. They think about changing the world.”11 THE AD ENGINE Despite the hockey-stick growth and feverish media coverage, Google entered its fourth year in business without having turned a measurable profit. Engineering had been prioritized over all else. The company was burning cash on those ping-pong tables and toilet seats, and new VC money wasn’t forthcoming while the dot-com crash smoldered.


pages: 179 words: 42,006

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

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

Instead of forming an elaborate strategy of what the entire product will look like, who the consumers will be, and how much money it's projected to make three years down the line, we recommend starting small and working with the information you can get immediately. For example: Who will want this product tomorrow? We always warn people in their Sunday presentations against predicting some ludicrous amount of revenue five years down the line. No hockey-stick growth curves allowed! There are generally no real justifications for their assumptions, and investors are not particularly interested in these projections anyway. They simply want to see the problem, the solution, and how you will ultimately find and satisfy your customers with your product. A good place to start is with your immediate circle of friends.


pages: 324 words: 89,875

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, hockey-stick growth, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

As we mentioned in chapter 3, this point is called critical mass. This dynamic is why most successful platforms have a hockey stick–shape growth curve (see Figure 8.1). It’s easy to understand this shift from pre- to post-critical mass if you think of a network like a magnet. When a network is small, its magnetic force repels new users. But once the network reaches sufficient size, that magnet flips and reverses polarity. Suddenly it starts to pull in new users, and the platform’s growth takes off. Figure 8.1. Airbnb’s hockey-stick growth curve. Source: Venturebeat Platforms’ struggles with early growth are the result of what economists call a coordination problem.


pages: 223 words: 60,909

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, Grace Hopper, hockey-stick growth, independent contractor, job automation, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microaggression, 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, Tactical Technology Collective, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Conversely, the more we remind tech companies that real people use their products—the more we demand to be taken seriously, and push to be represented fairly within their systems—the more chance we have that they’ll see their role for what it really is: one that profoundly affects lives, livelihoods, and communities. One that comes with responsibility, not just endless “hockey-stick growth” (the term startups love to use whenever numbers suddenly shoot up exponentially) and a big payout. Today’s tech culture still expects the world to fetishize it: to treat it like an exotic, enthralling beast. Why wouldn’t it? That’s what most press has done for the past two decades. “Founders and their publicists would have you believe that this is a world of pioneers and utopians, cowboy coders and hero programmers,” proclaimed tech-industry worker by day and freelance journalist by night Anna Wiener in the Atlantic.


pages: 216 words: 61,061

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

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

Paul Graham, “Startup = Growth” Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, identifies the core defining characteristic of a startup as growth, which makes it fundamentally different from other types of businesses.1 No matter how successful a brand-new brick-and-mortar bakery is, it’s still not a startup because it’s limited by space and muffins and employees, which all require time and capital to grow. I love muffins, but what makes a startup special is that unlike a bakery, it can grow logarithmically (i.e., it can experience hockey-stick growth, up-and-to-the-right growth, and “Holy shit!” growth—okay, I made that last one up). That’s because of software. Write the code that solves a real problem and brings in revenue in the process, and investors want to invest in your company—even when it’s just two founders in a living room—because they know that in a year it could employ fifty people and earn millions in revenue.


pages: 244 words: 66,977

Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo, Gabe Weisert

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, connected car, death of newspapers, digital twin, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Lean Startup, Lyft, manufacturing employment, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pets.com, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart meter, social graph, software as a service, spice trade, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, transport as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WeWork, Y2K, Zipcar

In 2016 it revised those estimates to $1.8 billion in FY2021, revenue growing at a sustainable 10 percent–plus growth rate, 85 percent steady-state subscription mix resulting in 95 percent of their software revenue being recurring, non-GAAP operating margins in the low 30s, and free cash flow of $525 million. Wow! PTC has clearly swallowed the fish, the same way Adobe did. It’s reached the fabled inflection point where recurring revenues outgrow recurring costs, after which the unit economics favor hockey-stick growth figures. PTC’s subscription ACV (annual contract value) guidance at the beginning of fiscal year 2016 was $43 million. It delivered $114 million, almost three times that original target. PTC saw the shift toward subscriptions coming and reacted with a smart, emphatic transformation. Its management team knew full well that the subscription model creates deferred revenue, so quarterly GAAP metrics can take a short-term hit.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, connected car, corporate governance, DevOps, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, hockey-stick growth, 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

But again, not because of the traction itself but because of what the traction reveals about that team’s ability to execute. In The Lean Startup, I told a story about raising money for IMVU, a company I started in 2004, and a presentation we made in which our revenue was quite small, even though we had the classic hockey-stick growth pattern. We were embarrassed, but we shouldn’t have been. The investor saw our presentation as a window into the way we thought—and the way we acted. We demonstrated fast cycle time, rigorous scientific decision making, product/design savvy, and good use of limited resources. He made a bet that if there was an opportunity in this space, we were the team to find it, and he turned out to be correct.

They had a breakthrough technology that could, if it worked, lead to dramatic efficiency gains in power generation and transmission. But the technology was not yet proven in the real world. The team was gearing up for a big launch at a trade show, where they planned to debut this new product and start generating the hockey-stick-shaped revenue growth curve outlined in their business plan. You can probably guess where this story is headed. Although their plan was extremely sensitive to a number of assumptions about customers and what they wanted, this team hadn’t actually spent much time with them. From my point of view, the team was flying blind and likely to experience a high-profile flop.


pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

It's the fundamental challenge of a startup—what customers to choose, what problem to solve, what flow to present to the user. Several methodologies have recently emerged, such as Eric Ries's lean startups to help guide you through the critical market and product decisions that drive you toward the promised land of hockey stick growth. But these methodologies fail to directly address an absolutely crucial component of doing a startup: how to keep everyone excited about your company. In my firsthand experience with EventVue and my experience watching other TechStars companies, I've come to understand that the magic to keeping and growing momentum in your startup is knowing what to celebrate.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, disinformation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Garrett Hardin, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hockey-stick growth, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

The vectors of this research include the following: Information in places: media linked to location Smart rooms: environments that sense inhabitants and respond to them Digital cities: adding information capabilities to urban places Sentient objects: adding information and communication to physical objects Tangible bits: manipulating the virtual world by manipulating physical objects Wearable computers: sensing, computing, and communicating gear worn as clothing Information and communication technologies are starting to invade the physical world, a trend that hasn’t yet begun to climb the hockey stick growth curve. Shards of sentient silicon will be inside boxtops and dashboards, pens, street corners, bus stops, money, most things that are manufactured or built, within the next ten years. These technologies are “sentient” not because embedded chips can reason but because they can sense, receive, store, and transmit information.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

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

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, hockey-stick growth, 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

Rather, it is the lack of traditional management experience of the company’s founding team—especially its CEO—and the speed with which they have had to learn how to become leaders of a very large company. Airbnb is now in its ninth year of so-called hypergrowth, that vertical phase in the middle of the stick part of the hockey-stick growth chart when revenues essentially double, or come close to it, every year. Such a burst typically lasts a year, two, maybe three. Airbnb basically entered this phase in 2009 and hasn’t gotten out yet. But that vertical ascendance can be dizzying for all involved, especially for its top leaders—and especially when they’ve never done it before.


pages: 326 words: 88,968

The Science and Technology of Growing Young: An Insider's Guide to the Breakthroughs That Will Dramatically Extend Our Lifespan . . . And What You Can Do Right Now by Sergey Young

23andMe, 3D printing, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, basic income, bioinformatics, Biosphere 2, brain emulation, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, European colonialism, game design, global pandemic, hockey-stick growth, impulse control, Internet of things, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, universal basic income, X Prize

Developments in the understanding and manipulation of our genes and cells, in the advancement of small-scale health diagnostics, and in the leveraging of data for everything from drug discovery to precision treatment of disease are radically changing how we think about health care and aging. When I speak of the Longevity Revolution, what I really mean is the cumulative effect of multiple breakthroughs currently underway across several fields of science and technology. Together, these parallel developments are forming the beginning of a hockey-stick growth curve that will deliver world-changing outcomes. Let’s take a look at a few of them. THE GENETIC ENGINEERING BREAKTHROUGH Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project successfully sequenced the entire human genome—all three billion nucleotide base pairs representing some twenty-five thousand individual genes.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

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

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, 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, selling pickaxes during a gold rush, 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

“In general, the first fifteen seconds of your presentation are the worst time for a gimmick. Because the first fifteen seconds of your presentation are when investors decide to pay attention or not. If I were you, the first things I want to say in the first fifteen seconds of my presentation are: we built a great lyrics site and we have incredible hockey stick growth.” Mahbod Moghadam says, “The hard part is, when we say that, what we’ve noticed before is, as soon as they hear ‘lyrics site,’ they’re done. So we don’t even want to call it a lyrics site. What I think it really is, is a musical Facebook. What MySpace was supposed to be and then it got ruined.”


pages: 372 words: 100,947

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

affirmative action, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, clean water, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global pandemic, hockey-stick growth, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, QAnon, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social web, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, surveillance capitalism, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

Most of them had had little to do with the controversies over election disinformation and Cambridge Analytica, and several of them were struggling with their private frustrations with Zuckerberg and Sandberg. Held two or three times a year, M-Team gatherings were times of bonding. Zuckerberg would kick things off with a boozy dinner catered by one of his favorite Palo Alto restaurants. At the daytime sessions, executives gave exuberant presentations, with charts showing hockey stick growth in revenue and users. They showcased audacious plans for products in artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and blockchain currency. The group hashed out the biggest problems facing Facebook and discussed ways to beat back competition. The forty or so executives had gotten to know one another well over the years, working through Facebook’s painful transition to mobile, its rocky IPO, and its race for the first billion and then the second billion users.


pages: 329 words: 100,162

Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, and Con Artists Are Taking Over the Internet―and Why We're Following by Gabrielle Bluestone

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, cashless society, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, financial thriller, forensic accounting, gig economy, global pandemic, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, Hyperloop, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, WeWork

That fall, after she returned to school vowing never to speak to McFarland again, Spling was accepted into the venture capital accelerator Dreamit in Philadelphia, which gave him an additional $25,000 to build his company.38 After months of work by dozens of unpaid interns, there still wasn’t much to Spling beyond a few thousand dubious registered accounts. But between Spling’s hockey-stick growth charts, the connections provided by Billy’s wealthy friends serving on the executive board, and the legitimacy bestowed on the start-up by the accelerator, McFarland was somehow able to secure a whopping $400,000 in Series A funding from Deep Fork Capital39 and a number of angel investors including John Ason, Gianni Martire, as well as a second investment from Blumenfeld.40 Though McFarland referred to these investors as the “adult supervision” of the company in his presentation, it was clear no one really cared much what he was doing.


From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Grace Hopper, hockey-stick growth, independent contractor, information asymmetry, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, linear programming, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

INPUT has a rigorous, proprietary methodology— which I have seen but cannot disclose—based on questionnaires and interviews with end users and subsequent reconciliation with vendors.18 Table 1.1 covers only the US market, because INPUT did not begin to capture worldwide data until much later. However, the value of table 1.1 is the trend. The time series gives a real insight into the growth of the industry. This is demonstrated visually in figure 1.2, which shows the classic “hockey stick” growth of the industry—growth that has not yet begun to flatten. Figure 1.3 reveals some interesting subplots. It shows that software products became the dominant mode of US of software consumption around 1980, and that the growth of programming services then began to slow, relatively. Figure 1.3 also shows that software products did not really take off until the early 1980s, long after IBM liberated the industry by unbundling.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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

You just go to a web page and it’s there. That’s kind of what we’re working up. Santos: And what was the growth rate? Was it still very rapid as before or was it showing signs of slowing down? Dodsworth: No, it wasn’t slowing down, that was the interesting thing. It was really as you categorize hockey-stick growth very early on, and then it went to a very steady upward tick. But it never deviated from that either. It sat at that growth rate for the couple of years it was out there doing its thing. So it’s very solid. I think that, anecdotally, what I used to see happening quite a lot was how as people got on board Twitter they started to play with it and some of them over time would require a bit more of a power tool, and they would start to look around [and say], “[What] else can I do with Twitter?”


pages: 373 words: 112,822

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, hockey-stick growth, 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, San Francisco homelessness, 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

Jim Wilson, “Good Times in Silicon Valley, for Now,” New York Times, August 13, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/08/13/technology/20110821-VALLEY-5.html; Geoffrey Fowler, “The Perk Bubble Is Growing as Tech Booms Again,” Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2011, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303763404576419803997423690. 23. Robin Wauters, “Airbnb Buys German Clone Accoleo, Opens First European Office in Hamburg,” TechCrunch, June 1, 2011, http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/01/airbnb-buys-german-clone-accoleo-opens-first-european-office-in-hamburg/. 24. Colleen Taylor, “Airbnb Hits Hockey Stick Growth: 10 Million Nights Booked, 200K Active Properties,” TechCrunch, June 19, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/19/airbnb-10-million-bookings-global/. Chapter 7: The Playbook 1. Erick Schonfeld, “I Just Rode in an Uber Car in New York City, and You Can Too,” TechCrunch, April 6, 2011, http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/06/i-just-rode-in-an-uber-car-in-new-york-city-and-you-can-too/. 2.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

During the course of my career, I’ve watched well-informed people pooh-pooh mobile phones, the internet, social networks, online shopping and electric vehicles as niche playthings destined for eternal obscurity. Over two decades I’ve observed executives in established industries regularly, perhaps even deliberately, look at the spread of a new product or service and dismiss it. Often it was because the absolute numbers were small, in spite of signs of hockey stick growth. Like spectators at Wembley Stadium during a period of exponential rain, they didn’t leave their seats until it was too late. For example, in the early 1980s, companies started to operate the first cellular phone services. At the time, handsets were clunky, calls were filled with static, data services were non-existent and coverage was patchy.


pages: 461 words: 106,027

Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business by Arvid Kahl

"side hustle", business process, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, continuous integration, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, domain-specific language, financial independence, functional programming, Google Chrome, hockey-stick growth, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, information retrieval, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kubernetes, minimum viable product, Network effects, performance metric, post-work, premature optimization, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, software as a service, source of truth, statistical model, subscription business, sunk-cost fallacy, supply-chain management, trickle-down economics, web application

Crowd-investing and crowd-financing count toward this definition as well. The difference compared to traditional funding is the level of expectation regarding your growth and business goals. Indie funding sources understand that you may want to create a cash-flow-positive lifestyle business, and they are perfectly fine if you don’t exhibit hockey stick-like growth. Finally, a semi-bootstrapped business is a business that exhibits all the typical behaviors and properties of a bootstrapped company, but uses outside funding of any kind to accelerate parts of the business without subjecting itself to paradigm-shifting expectations of its growth trajectory.

After all, bootstrapping is the mindset of using heavily constrained resources to their maximum potential. That doesn't change if you get funding. Adding outside capital makes your business a semi-bootstrapped business, provided you retain control and ownership in the majority of the business, and your goals don't change from slow, sustainable growth to hockey-stick hypergrowth. Bootstrapping is about measured growth and realistic expectations. The venture-capital-centric assumption that, if you burn through enough cash, you will capture the whole market may work for aspiring unicorn businesses who can spend hundreds of millions of dollars and not generate a single cent in revenue.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, hustle culture, impact investing, 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, Shenzhen special economic zone , 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 Bannon, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, WeWork, Y Combinator

Company-wide dinner service—a perk that most large Silicon Valley companies offered for those who worked after hours—wasn’t served until 8:15 p.m. That meant you couldn’t work an extra hour after five o’clock and strategically grab a free meal at, say, six on your way out the door. You’d have to work an extra 3.25 hours to get your meal. And there was always work to be done. Each time Uber entered a new city, the company’s “hockey-stick growth” attracted attention and competition. That meant employees would have to put in overtime to beat back their opponents, who were most often city regulators and taxi owners and operators, or if not them, then the local city councilman who served them. This dynamic—with Uber entering cities and taxi workers bitterly fighting back—would affect Kalanick.


pages: 173 words: 53,564

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, hockey-stick growth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, 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 late as that year, Facebook had only a handful of engineers focused on its mobile products, but it immediately pivoted to capture the emerging market, yielding enormous returns. Facebook went from zero mobile advertising revenue at the time of its initial public offering in 2012 to $22 billion a year by 2016. This kind of hockey stick revenue growth is indicative of what happens when a company has already cornered a market so clearly that nearly all it has to do is flip a switch and the money comes pouring in. Facebook had already locked virtually every Internet user into its walled garden, giving them a massive edge to take advantage of the mobile market when it emerged.


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

This new money gets invested in banks that lend it to corporations, starting the cycle all over again. Digital businesses are just software that converts real assets into abstract forms of shareholder value. Venture capitalists remain hopeful that they will invest in the next unicorn with a “hockey stick”–shaped growth trajectory, and then get out before the thing crashes. These businesses can’t sustain themselves, because eventually the growth curve must flatten out. The myth on which the techno-enthusiasts hang their hopes is that new innovations will continue to create new markets and more growth.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

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

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

He persuaded CERN to place web technology in the public domain, so that all could use it free of charge for all time. In the summer of 1994 he moved from CERN to the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT, where he would head the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a nonprofit organization to encourage the creation of web standards through consensus. II. The Web and Its Consequences What started the hockey-stick growth of the World Wide Web was the Mosaic browser. The first web browsers mostly came from universities; they were hastily written by students, and it showed. The programs were difficult to install, buggy, and had an unfinished feel. The Mosaic browser from the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the exception.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

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

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, 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, disinformation, 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, hockey-stick growth, HyperCard, Ian Bogost, 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!, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

“It feels like we were just trying to do good! But this stuff seems to be backfiring.” And tech needs to start routing around the trap of scale. Glitch’s Anil Dash thinks coders with start-up ideas should consider avoiding venture capital—or take as little of it as they can. That’s because investors will insist on hockey-stick growth, and that pushes the firm down the slippery slope to terrible design. It deforms nearly every young techie Dash meets. “We have to grow!” they’ll tell him, panicked. Why do you have to grow? “Well, because we have to meet these goals.” Why do you have to meet these goals? “Well, the limited partners that put the money into our venture expect a return on a six-year cycle, and we’re five years in, and there’s no way we’re going to make it unless we grow like crazy.”


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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

, but try to reinvest as much of the profits as possible into building new factory lines. Because we’re online, we’re global from the start and tend to grow more quickly than traditional manufacturing companies because of the network effects of online word of mouth. But because we’re making hardware, which costs money and takes time to make, we don’t show the hockey-stick exponential growth curve of the hottest Web companies. So, as a business, we’re a hybrid: the simple business model and cash-flow advantages of traditional manufacturing, with the marketing and reach advantages of a Web company. We’re still a small business, but the difference between our kind of small business and the dry cleaners and corner shops that make up the majority of micro-enterprise in the country is that we’re Web-centric and global.


pages: 278 words: 83,468

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

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

WHY FIRST PRODUCTS AREN’T MEANT TO BE PERFECT At IMVU, when we were raising money from venture investors, we were embarrassed. First of all, our product was still buggy and low-quality. Second, although we were proud of our business results, they weren’t exactly earth-shattering. The good news was that we were on a hockey-stick-shaped growth curve. The bad news was that the hockey stick went up to only about $8,000 per month of revenue. These numbers were so low that we’d often have investors ask us, “What are the units on these charts? Are those numbers in thousands?” We’d have to reply, “No, sir, those are in ones.” However, those early results were extremely significant in predicting IMVU’s future path.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

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

As we note in Section 2, successful platform businesses require robust architecture, and the platform stack is our first step on the road to designing platforms. 1.5 THE INNER WORKINGS OF PLATFORM SCALE The Five Ingredients Of Platform Scale The platforms of the last decade and more have repeatedly sported growth trajectories that are colloquially referred to as “hockey-stick curves.” These growth trajectories sport a short gentle start and an inflection point, followed by a steep, non-linear slope. Their resemblance to the shape of an ice hockey stick gave them the name. Venture investors see these graphs often as startups pitch for the funding needed to get past the inflection point.


pages: 567 words: 122,311

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, constrained optimization, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, frictionless market, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, hockey-stick growth, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, platform as a service, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, sentiment analysis, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social software, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, telemarketer, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, web application, Y Combinator

This validated the founders’ first hypothesis. And it turned out that hosts were wildly enthusiastic about receiving an offer from Airbnb to take those photographs for them. In mid-to-late 2011, Airbnb had 20 photographers in the field taking pictures for hosts—roughly the same time period where we see the proverbial “hockey stick” of growth in terms of nights booked, shown in Figure 1-1. Figure 1-1. It’s amazing what you can do with 20 photographers and people’s apartments Airbnb experimented further. It watermarked photos to add authenticity. It got customer service to offer professional photography as a service when renters or potential renters called in.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

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

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

On December 15, Slurp140, a Twitter analytics service, reported that there were eighty-four thousand seven hundred seventy-one SOPA-related tweets—a record for the fight up to that point—and with the exception of the online blowup against GoDaddy a week later, the most activity we would see until the days prior to the blackout. At Don’t Censor the Net, our numbers were following a hockey stick-like growth trajectory. The day before the markup, we had launched a petition with Senator Rand Paul to rally conservatives and libertarians against SOPA and PIPA. Throughout the campaign, we were seeing several signups per minute, and we nearly doubled our existing base of support in a week. The conversion rate on our petition far exceeded what was normal for candidates and causes, and we saw a doubling of signatures thanks to those who shared the petition to Facebook or Twitter.


pages: 460 words: 130,820

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown, Maureen Farrell

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, future of work, gender pay gap, global pandemic, global supply chain, Google Earth, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hockey-stick growth, housing crisis, index fund, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Network effects, new economy, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-oil, railway mania, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, San Francisco homelessness, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, Steve Jobs, super pumped, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, WeWork, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

He signed at the bottom, “Masa,” and sent it to Neumann. The duo fed off each other’s excitement, dreaming bigger and bigger. Son seemed eager, fully sold on Neumann and his chance to turn WeWork into a massive home run. In a room in WeWork’s headquarters, working alongside Neumann, Son pulled up on his iPad WeWork’s chart that showed a hockey-stick-like growth curve for WeWork’s main business. Turning on the draw function, in purple, he extended the growth curve for another five years—the hockey stick of revenue growing even higher upward—and then scribbled down some math. By 2028, he wrote, WeWork’s main business would have 100 million members and hit $500 billion in revenue.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hockey-stick growth, 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

Blitzscaling would have involved inefficiencies like paying construction crews to work twenty-four hours a day in order to get Disneyland open a few months earlier, or reducing ticket prices 90 percent to get to one million visitors faster—knowing that those one million visitors were networked to ten million more. Here is one of the ruthless practices that has helped make Silicon Valley so successful: Investors will look at a company that is on an upward trajectory but doesn’t display the proverbial hockey stick of exponential growth and conclude that they need to either sell the business or take on additional risk that might increase the chances of achieving exponential growth. Achieving 20 percent annual growth, which would delight Wall Street analysts covering any other industry, simply isn’t enough to transform a start-up into a multibillion-dollar company fast enough.


pages: 309 words: 96,168

Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths From the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs by Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, call centre, chief data officer, clean water, collaborative consumption, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Elon Musk, financial independence, gender pay gap, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, knowledge economy, late fees, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, polynesian navigation, race to the bottom, remote working, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, two and twenty, Y Combinator, zero day, Zipcar

And if you get x up, the exponent rises even more quickly.” Got that? No worries if not. Suffice it to say, PayPal’s “x” was such that its user base was growing up to 7 percent per day, leading to the kind of growth you get when your users and/or revenue are consistently doubling—the kind that creates a hockey stick on your growth charts. PayPal started with twenty-four users and very quickly reached one thousand; a month after that, thirteen thousand; then a month or so later, one hundred thousand; within three months of launch it had a million users. “There’s an Einstein quote that may be apocryphal,” Peter says, “but it’s to the effect that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.”


pages: 504 words: 126,835

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

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

When technologies reach markets for the first time they are seldom that good because markets are never that simple. Consequently, business planning for how new products should develop gets complicated – at best. Stanford business professor George Foster, arguing against the simplistic view of market success, contends that the “hockey-stick world,” where growth takes off with a smooth turn upwards like the shape of a hockey stick, “is a fantasy.” In the real world, start-ups go through “a lot of jarring ups and downs, more like a high-speed game of snakes and ladders.” He should know because he has analyzed 158,000 early companies, and almost two-thirds of them experienced one or more consecutive years of decline in the third to fifth year of existence.19 Behind those numbers hides an army of entrepreneurs battling with market complexity every single day.


pages: 524 words: 130,909

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, anti-communist, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, borderless world, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, David Graeber, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Extropian, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hockey-stick growth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, QAnon, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technology bubble, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K, yellow journalism