move fast and break things

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pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

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

Understanding how Facebook was a hacker company helped shape the four values that they ultimately presented to Zuckerberg. It was like showing him a mirror. Focus on Impact. Be Bold. Move Fast and Break Things. Be Open. Zuckerberg liked those but insisted on a fifth: Build Social Value. While the first four were internal guidelines, this fifth value emphasized Facebook’s impact on the outside world, which Zuckerberg believed was overwhelmingly positive. (He still does.) Of those values, one stood out as uniquely Facebook, uniquely Zuckerberg. “Move Fast and Break Things” was, in a sense, already synonymous with the company. No one is sure where those exact words first appeared, but it may well have been in an all-hands meeting at the Hamilton Street office in Palo Alto, at a time when Facebook had hired its first wave of managers, after becoming too big for all the individual contributors to report to D’Angelo or another executive.

The idea of having people farther down the food chain with the ability to say no was a concern of Zuckerberg’s. So he told everyone that Facebook could not afford to be afraid of moving fast and breaking things. * * * • • • BEN BARRY WAS able to draw from this well of values, and also to extract other slogans from things he heard. In the Facebook spirit, he did not clear any of this—the style, the language, or even the plan itself—with his superiors. One day his posters just appeared, as if a mad hacker propagandist escaped from a rogue AI lab had been set loose in Facebook HQ. DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT IS THIS A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY? PROCEED AND BE BOLD EVERY DAY FEELS LIKE A WEEK And finally, the one that would become Facebook’s unofficial motto: MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS Since this run of posters were simply text, they did not visually depict Facebook’s supreme leader.

Indeed, the slogans, particularly “Move Fast and Break Things,” were prone to misinterpretation. “It meant to iterate and try things and not be afraid of failure—but not to be sloppy,” says Graham. “It didn’t mean to duct tape the server and run away.” But just as Google’s motto—“Don’t Be Evil”—would be used against it, the “break things” part of Facebook’s motto would be used by critics as a cudgel, when people were accusing Facebook of actually breaking things—breaking social order, breaking democracy, breaking civilization itself—like some digital version of a bull in a Restoration Hardware store. A few years later, Zuckerberg would amend the slogan at the 2014 F8, to “Move Fast with Stable Infrastructure.” It didn’t have the same crackle. But the spirit of “Move Fast and Break Things” remained pervasive at Facebook.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

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

Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Random House, 2011), 125. 17. Foroohar, “Big Tech vs. Big Pharma.” 18. Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things outlines this issue in depth. 19. Levy, In the Plex, chapter 7, section 3, covers the book-scanning project. 20. Ibid., 273. 21. Ibid., 350. 22. Ibid., 359. 23. Ibid., 362–63. 24. Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things, 260. 25. Per interview with Google executive on background in 2017. 26. Author interview with Taplin in 2017. 27. Author interview with Taplin in 2017; see also Move Fast and Break Things. 28. Levy, In the Plex, 251. 29. Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things, 127–28. 30. Wikipedia, s.v. “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market,” last modified May 19, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Directive_on_Copyright_in_the_Digital_Single_Market. 31.

They have replaced the industrialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the information-based economy that has come to define the twenty-first. The implications are myriad, and I will track many of them, often via the Google narrative, which has been the marker for larger industry-wide shifts. Google has, after all, been the pioneer of big data, targeted advertising, and the type of surveillance capitalism that this book will cover. It was following the “move fast and break things” ethos long before Facebook.2 I’ve been following the company for over twenty years, and I first encountered the celebrated Google founders, Page and Brin, not in the Valley, but in Davos, the Swiss gathering spot of the global power elite, where they’d taken over a small chalet to meet with a select group of media.3 The year was 2007. The company had just purchased YouTube a few months back, and it seemed eager to convince skeptical journalists that this acquisition wasn’t yet another death blow to copyright, paid content creation, and the viability of the news publications for which we worked.

“Larry and Sergey believe that if you try to get everyone on board it will prevent things from happening,” said Terry Winograd, a professor of computer science at Stanford and Page’s former thesis adviser, in an article in 2008. “If you just do it, others will come around to realize they were attached to old ways that were not as good….No one has proven them wrong—yet.”16 This became the Google way. As Jonathan Taplin wrote in his book, Move Fast and Break Things, when Google released the first version of Gmail, Page refused to allow engineers to include a delete button “because Google’s ability to profile you by preserving your correspondence was more important than your ability to eliminate embarrassing parts of your past.” Likewise, customers were never asked if Google Street View cameras could take pictures of their front yards and match them to addresses in order to sell more ads.


pages: 382 words: 105,819

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

Negative user feedback forced Facebook to withdraw Beacon, but the company’s relentless efforts overwhelmed resistance far more often than not. Users either did not know or did not care about the loss of privacy, enabling Facebook to join the list of most valuable companies on earth. Facebook’s motto, “Move fast and break things,” reflects the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Facebook constantly experiments, tinkers, and pushes envelopes in the pursuit of growth. Many experiments fail or work imperfectly, necessitating an apology and another experiment aimed at doing better. In my experience, there have been few, if any, companies that have executed a growth plan—moving fast, if you will—as effectively as Facebook. When moving fast leads to breaking things, and to mistakes, Facebook has been brilliant in its ability to recover from them. Seldom has Facebook allowed a mistake or problem to slow it down. Most of the time, promises to do better have been enough to get past a problem.

—Melvin Kranzberg’s First Law of Technology We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. —Albert Einstein Ultimately, what the tech industry really cares about is ushering in the future, but it conflates technological progress with societal progress. —Jenna Wortham CONTENTS Also by Roger McNamee Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph Prologue 1 The Strangest Meeting Ever 2 Silicon Valley Before Facebook 3 Move Fast and Break Things 4 The Children of Fogg 5 Mr. Harris and Mr. McNamee Go to Washington 6 Congress Gets Serious 7 The Facebook Way 8 Facebook Digs in Its Heels 9 The Pollster 10 Cambridge Analytica Changes Everything 11 Days of Reckoning 12 Success? 13 The Future of Society 14 The Future of You Epilogue Acknowledgments Appendix 1: Memo to Zuck and Sheryl: Draft Op-Ed for Recode Appendix 2: George Soros’s Davos Remarks: “The Current Moment in History” Bibliographic Essay Index About the Author Prologue Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.

If the product did not take off, the cost of failure was negligible, particularly in comparison to the years before 2000. If the product found a market, the founders had alternatives. They could raise venture capital on favorable terms, hire a bigger team, improve the product, and spend to acquire more users. Or they could do what the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp would eventually do: sell out for billions with only a handful of employees. Facebook’s motto—“Move fast and break things”—embodies the lean startup philosophy. Forget strategy. Pull together a few friends, make a product you like, and try it in the market. Make mistakes, fix them, repeat. For venture investors, the lean startup model was a godsend. It allowed venture capitalists to identify losers and kill them before they burned through much cash. Winners were so valuable that a fund needed only one to provide a great return.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

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

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

Operational Scalability How did Facebook successfully overcome the growth limiter of operational scalability? On the technology side, one of the philosophies that helped Facebook become successful was its famous motto “Move fast and break things.” This emphasis on speed, which came directly from Mark Zuckerberg, allowed Facebook to achieve rapid product development and continuous product improvement. Even today, every new software engineer who joins Facebook is asked to make a revision to the Facebook codebase (potentially affecting millions or even billions of users) on his or her first day of work. However, as Facebook’s user base and engineering team grew to a massive size, Mark had to change the philosophy to “Move fast and break things with stable infrastructure.” While this new motto might seem self-contradictory, Mark explains that it focuses on a higher-level goal.

The CEO who led Priceline during its growth phase, Jeffery Boyd, saw advantages to this geographic isolation, noting that the company’s location meant that it faced fewer bidding wars for the key software engineers and designers needed to support the rapid growth of the business. It’s extremely difficult for later entrants to compete directly with a blitzscaling company that has first-scaler advantage. Unless these players find a different game in which they can capture this advantage, they’ll simply become irrelevant. 3. DESPITE ITS INCREDIBLE ADVANTAGES AND POTENTIAL PAYOFFS, BLITZSCALING ALSO COMES WITH MASSIVE RISKS. Until recently, “Move fast and break things” was Facebook’s famous motto. Yet rapid growth can cause nearly as many problems as it solves. As Mark Zuckerberg told me in an interview for my Masters of Scale podcast, “We got to a point where it was taking us more time to go back and fix the bugs and issues that we’re creating than the speed that we were gaining by going faster.” In one famous incident, a summer intern introduced a bug that brought down the entire Facebook site for thirty minutes.

Eventually Captain Jack Sparrow has to grow up and start acting more like the sober and responsible Captain Picard. This transition can be challenging. Founders and early employees often resist changing their approach; after all, didn’t it bring about their initial success? Plus, entrepreneurs tend to have a rebellious streak; natural-born rule followers don’t always fare so well in a chaotic, “move fast and break things” start-up environment. But failing to make the transition from pirate to navy can lead to disaster. A Note on Ethical Piracy Before we go further, we need to spend at least a little time on dispelling some of the connotations of the word “pirate.” In print and on-screen, pirates are portrayed in one of two ways: (1) lovable rogues and (2) sociopathic criminals. The key differentiating characteristic of the lovable rogue, besides appearing more prominently on the movie poster, is that while she or he may question and break the laws of polite society, a lovable rogue adheres to a personal code of ethics and tries not to harm others.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

They could get things done in three days that would take a month. If somebody appeared who had the talent, the magic touch, they would fit in.” The TMRC and Minsky’s lab were later immortalized in Stewart Brand’s The Media Lab and Steven Levy’s Hackers: The Heroes of the Computer Revolution, in addition to many other publications.6 The hacker ethic is also what inspired Mark Zuckerberg’s first Facebook motto: “Move fast and break things.” Minsky was part of Zuckerberg’s curriculum at Harvard. Minsky and a collaborator, John McCarthy, organized the very first conference on artificial intelligence, at the Dartmouth Math Department in 1956. The two went on to found the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, which evolved into the MIT Media Lab, which remains a global epicenter for creative uses of technology and has generated ideas for everyone from George Lucas to Steve Jobs to Alan Alda to Penn and Teller.

Like Barlow, Thiel conceives of cyberspace as a stateless country: “Because there are no truly free places left in our world, I suspect that the mode for escape must involve some sort of new and hitherto untried process that leads us to some undiscovered country; and for this reason I have focused my efforts on new technologies that may create a new space for freedom.”22 Thiel was a supporter of and advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and funded a lawsuit that took down Gawker. In the book Move Fast and Break Things, Annenberg Innovation Lab director emeritus Jonathan Taplin explores the way that Thiel’s influence has spread throughout Silicon Valley via his “Paypal Mafia,” other venture capitalists and executives who have adopted his anarcho-capitalist philosophy.23 The question of why wealthy people like Thiel are taken seriously about seasteading or aliens has been addressed by cognitive scientists.

Wolfram, “Farewell, Marvin Minsky (1927–2016).” 15. Alcor Life Extension Foundation, “Official Alcor Statement Concerning Marvin Minsky.” 16. Brand, “We Are As Gods.” 17. Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture. 18. Brand, “We Are As Gods.” 19. Hafner, The Well. 20. Borsook, Cyberselfish, 15. 21. Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” 22. Thiel, “The Education of a Libertarian.” 23. Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things. 24. Slovic, The Perception of Risk; Slovic and Slovic, Numbers and Nerves; Kahan et al., “Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition.” 25. Leslie et al., “Expectations of Brilliance Underlie Gender Distributions across Academic Disciplines,” 262. 26. Bench et al., “Gender Gaps in Overestimation of Math Performance,” 158. Also see Feltman, “Men (on the Internet) Don’t Believe Sexism Is a Problem in Science, Even When They See Evidence”; Williams, “The 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM”; Turban, Freeman, and Waber, “A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work”; Moss-Racusin, Molenda, and Cramer, “Can Evidence Impact Attitudes?”


pages: 484 words: 114,613

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

But only after Facebook did something to piss them off. The press was the only leverage Twitter had now. The deal, which had sailed through approvals in six months without much conflict or delay, would weaken Twitter’s promise while affording Instagram all the competitive advantages of the biggest network in the world. And it would eventually ensure that the main alternative to Facebook was a product also owned by Facebook. MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS “I hate when people discount us. I hate when people tell us we’re not going to be something, that because we’ve sold, it’s all over. Looking from the outside, I get their perspective. I just wanted to prove them wrong.” —KEVIN SYSTROM, ON THE TIM FERRISS SHOW IN 2019 The Monday after the deal was finalized, Instagram employees hopped on their Wi-Fi-equipped Facebook buses in a forced embrace of their new one-hour commute.

Its data collection would spark further panic over privacy. But for now, with the stock down in an era before the public reckoning, Facebook was singularly focused on demonstrating that it could create a viable long-term business, even on mobile phones, proving all the haters wrong. “This Journey Is Only 1% Finished,” the posters around campus declared. “The Riskiest Thing Is to Take No Risks.” “Done Is Better than Perfect.” “Move Fast and Break Things.” Employees rarely challenged these assumptions. They provided a comforting clarity about what success looked like, all outlined in that helpful little book from employee orientation. “It would be easy to get complacent and think we’ve won every time we bring ourselves to a new level, but all that does is just decrease the chance we’ll get to the next level after that,” Zuckerberg wrote in an email in 2009, which is memorialized in the handbook.

The biggest was “community first,” meaning all their decisions should be centered around preserving a good feeling when using Instagram, not necessarily a more fast-growing business. Too many notifications would violate that principle. Then there was “simplicity matters,” meaning that before any new products could roll out, engineers had to think about whether they were solving a specific user problem, and whether making a change was even necessary, or might overcomplicate the app. It was the opposite of Facebook’s “move fast and break things,” where building for growth was valued over usefulness or trust. There was also “inspire creativity,” which meant Instagram was going to try to frame the app as an artistic outlet, training its own users and highlighting the best of them through an editorial strategy, focusing on content that was genuine and meaningful. This was a rejection of the self-promotional fakery that was already starting to define some of Instagram’s popular accounts.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

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

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

So they’d push the code out at midnight and then hold their breath to see whether it crashed Facebook or not. If everything worked, they’d leave; if it caused a catastrophe, they’d frantically try to fix it, often toiling until the early morning, or sometimes just “reverting” back to the old code when they simply couldn’t get the new feature working. As Zuckerberg’s oft-quoted motto went, “Move fast and break things.” Sanghvi loved it. “It was different, it was vibrant, it was alive,” she says. “People there were like humming along, everyone was really busy, everyone was really into what they were doing . . . the energy was just so tangible.” And as it turns out, Facebook was desperately seeking more coders. It’s hard to imagine now, with the company being such a globe-spanning behemoth, but back in 2005 they had trouble attracting anyone to work there.

He wrote a 5,700-word note that felt like an oblique and defensive apology for Facebook’s role in today’s political schisms. “Our job at Facebook is to help people make the greatest positive impact while mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness and isolation,” he wrote. That’s a curiously cautious mission statement: While mitigating areas where technology and social media can contribute to divisiveness. It’s certainly a more measured rallying cry than “Move fast and break things.” You could read it, perhaps, as a quiet admission that some things ought to be left unbroken. “Software,” as the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has proclaimed, “is eating the world.” It’s true. You use software nearly every instant you’re awake. There’s the obvious stuff, like your phone, your laptop, email and social networking and video games and Netflix, the way you order taxis and food.

It worked, but at a brutal cost to the mostly black neighborhoods that the expressway sliced through. The expressway quickly attracted so much loud, pollution-belching trucking traffic that it destroyed the property value of any houses nearby, making hundreds of mostly African American families abruptly less wealthy, and living in a much less pleasant neighborhood. (Moses, it seems, also liked to move fast and break things.) If we want to understand how today’s world works, we ought to understand something about coders. Who exactly are the people who are building today’s world? What makes them tick? What type of personality is drawn to writing software? How does their work affect us? And perhaps most interestingly, what does it do to them? Nearly every programmer has a similar story about the moment they became mesmerized by coding.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

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

Unless you are a white-collar worker in an office, driving for Uber is a good option compared to his alternatives, he explains. As I noted in chapter 2, drivers assess this job in comparison to their available alternatives. Evaluating Uber’s impact on society, however, is always complicated by the mixed benefits it delivers to drivers, passengers, and other stakeholders, and by the divisions it sows in the process. GRATITUDE LOGIC: MOVE FAST, BREAK THINGS, CITE TECHNOLOGY CONTRIBUTIONS LATER In its initial rise, from 2009 to 2014 or so, Uber came to represent the sharing economy and was widely celebrated in forums on the future of work, in the media, and across academic and policy circles. Sharing-economy companies argued that they should not be put in the same categories as their industry competitors. In many ways, they successfully evaded preexisting bodies of law regulating taxi services, accommodations, and employment, although some perished by this logic too (e.g., HomeJoy, a housecleaning company, went out of business after employment misclassification suits hampered its fund-raising efforts).6 Uber banked on the political legacy of Silicon Valley to steamroll local governments that tried to regulate it, too: the technology industry has operated with low regulatory oversight because it successfully persuaded regulators, and society, that low regulation is essential to innovation.

When law enforcement goes easy on tech entrepreneurs breaking the law but cracks down on racial minorities peacefully living quiet lives, the cultural-privilege dynamics that Uber benefits from become plainly obvious. What happens to Uber tells us a lot about who may break the law under the guise of innovative disruption with less severe consequences. For some critics, the disruption ethos of technology—often summarized as “move fast, break things” and “don’t ask permission; ask forgiveness later”—eerily echoes rape culture, where entitlement and privilege supersede consent.20 Many advocates for labor and civil society have begun to push back against Uber and companies like it. Beneath the heady haze of debates over whether governments should be innovative and run society like tech start-ups, worker advocates and class-action lawyers have mounted cases accusing Uber—as well as other sharing economy companies, like Handy,21 HomeJoy,22 Lyft,23 and others—of violating labor law meant to protect their workers.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

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

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

Contents Author’s Note Dedication Prologue: The Garden of Forking Paths PART ONE: Disturbing the Peace The Undertakers of Capitalism The Human Attention Exchange Knowing How to Swim Abandoning the Shipwreck PART TWO: Pseudorandomness Let Me See Your War Face Like Marriage, but without the Fucking Speed Is a Feature D-Day A Conclave of Angels The Hill of Sand Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre ¡No Pasarán! The Dog Shit Sandwich Victory Launching! Dates @Twitter Acquisition Chicken Getting Liked Getting Poked The Various Futures of the Forking Paths Retweets Are Not Endorsements The Dotted Line Endgame PART THREE: Move Fast and Break Things Boot Camp Product Masseur Google Delenda Est Leaping Headlong One Shot, One Kill Twice Bitten, Thrice Shy Ads Five-Oh The Narcissism of Privacy Are We Savages or What? O Death The Barbaric Yawn Going Public When the Flying Saucers Fail to Appear Monetizing the Tumor The Great Awakening Barbarians at the Gates IPA > IPO Initial Public Offering: A Reevaluation Flash Boys Full Frontal Facebook Microsoft Shrugged Ad Majorem Facebook Gloriam Adiós, Facebook Pandemonium Lost Epilogue: Man Plans and God Laughs Acknowledgments Index About the Author Credits Copyright About the Publisher Prologue: The Garden of Forking Paths Had I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.

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

It was as tattered and flaking as some historical artifact. When Facebook arrived, instead of replacing the original sign, management had simply flipped it around, and intentionally neglected to paint or cover the back. It read SUN MICROSYSTEMS, along with the quadrangular logo made of S figures that used to appear at the top of every Web page you loaded. This too shall pass. What befell Sun could befall us too, so MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS! Zuck was saying by implication. Perhaps even the mighty Facebook Like button would one day be looked upon like the inscription on the fragment of Ozymandias’s statue in Shelley’s rumination on the transience of human ambition: an arrogant spasm of striving, forgotten and abandoned. Every morning I bicycled the six miles from my sailboat docked in Redwood City to the new campus, which sat on an artificial spit of land poking into the tidal marshes that formed the San Francisco Bay’s boggy southern tip.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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

The guy, who might have been outfitted to hang out at the Battery, was wielding a sledgehammer with which he was energetically smashing some plastic objects into smithereens. REALLY CREATIVE DESTRUCTION, the magazine’s headline screamed in letters as black as the dude’s goatee and glasses.8 One doesn’t need to be a semiotician to grasp the significance of seeing this picture—with its “move fast and break things” message—in Rochester, of all places. Much of Rochester’s industrial economy had itself been smashed into smithereens over the last twenty-five years by a Schumpeterian hurricane of creative destruction. The significance of that magazine cover was, therefore, hard to miss: the sledgehammer mirrored the destructive might of the digital revolution; while the plastic objects being destroyed represented the broken city itself.

Noblesse oblige, after all, can’t be legislated. As critics like Tim Wu have argued, the answer lies in our new digital elite becoming accountable for the most traumatic socioeconomic disruption since the industrial revolution. Rather than thinking differently, the ethic of this new elite should be to think traditionally. Rather than seceding to Burning Man or Mars, this plutocracy must be beamed back down to earth. “Move fast and break things” was the old hacker ethic; “you break it, you own it” should be the new one. Rather than an Internet Bill of Rights, what we really need is an informal Bill of Responsibilities that establishes a new social contract for every member of networked society. Silicon Valley has fetishized the ideals of collaboration and conversation. But where we need real collaboration is in our conversation about the impact of the Internet on society.

., August 16, 2012, inc.com/eric-markowitz/brilliant-failures/why-silicon-valley-loves-failures.html/1. 8 MIT Technology Review, September/October 2013, technologyreview.com/magazine/2013/09. The young entrepreneur featured on the cover was Ben Milne, the founder and CEO of a digital payments startup called Dwolla, who, the magazine claimed, was seeking to “demolish” the finance industry. Milne seems to think of himself as a big-time demolisher. On his own Instagram page, for example, he posted an image saying: “MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS.” instagram.com/p/epyqnEHQwg. 9 David Wills, Hollywood in Kodachrome (New York: HarperCollins, 2013), p. xiii. 10 Ibid. Kodachrome film was also used to make eighty Oscar winners of the Best Picture award. See Rupert Neate, “Kodak Falls in the Creative Destruction of the Digital Age,” Guardian, January 19, 2013, theguardian.com/business/2012/jan/19/kodak-bankruptcy-protection. 11 Ellen Gamerman, “I Snap Therefore I Am,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2013. 12 Ibid. 13 John Naughton, “Could Kodak’s Demise Have Been Averted?


pages: 170 words: 49,193

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

A survey repeatedly found that millennials have fewer institutional attachments than their parents, are more politically independent, but do ‘connect’ to personalised networks. 7 Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). S. Messing and S.J. Westwood (2014), ‘Selective exposure in the age of social media: Endorsements trump partisan source affiliation when selecting news online’. Communication Research, 41(8), 1042–1063. E. Bakshy, S. Messing and L.A. Adamic (2015), ‘Exposure to ideologically diverse news and opinion on Facebook’, Science, 348 (6239), 1130–1132. 8 Jonathan Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things (Macmillan, 2017). 9 Lee Drutman, ‘We need political parties. But their rabid partisanship could destroy American democracy’, www.vox.com, 5 September 2017. 10 Joel Busher, ‘Understanding the English Defence League: living on the front line of a “clash of civilisations”’, 2 December 2017, www.blogs.lse.ac.uk. See also Responding to Populist Rhetoric: A Guide (Counterpoint, 2015). 11 Joel Busher, The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League (Routledge, 2015). 12 Dratman, ‘We need political parties’. 13 Kate Forrester, ‘New Poll Reveals Generations Prepared To Sell Each Other Out Over Brexit, www.huffingtonpost.com,12 April 2017. 14 Jonathan Freedland, ‘Post-truth politicians such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are no joke’, Guardian, 13 May 2016.

Shane Goldmacher, ‘Hillary Clinton’s “Invisible Guiding Hand”’, www.politico.com, 7 September 2016. 9 James Swift, ‘Interview / Alexander Nix’, www.contagious.com, 28 September 2016. 10 ‘With up to 5,000 data points on over 230 million American voters, we build your custom target audience, then use this crucial information to engage, persuade, and motivate them to act.’ https://ca-political.com/ca-advantage. 11 Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg, ibid. 12 Sue Halpern, ‘How He Used Facebook to Win’, New York Review of Books, 8 June 2017. 13 ‘How Facebook ads helped elect Trump’, www.cbsnews.com, 6 October 2017. 14 Robert Peston, ‘Politics is now a digital arms race, and Labour is winning’, Spectator, 18 November 2017. 15 Carole Cadwalladr, ‘British courts may unlock secrets of how Trump campaign profiled US voters’, www.theguardian.com, 1 October 2017. Data Protection Act 1998, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents 16 Jim Waterson, ‘Here’s How Labour Ran An Under-The-Radar Dark Ads Campaign During The General Election’, www.buzzfeed.com, 6 June 2017. 17 Ibid. 18 Heather Stewart, ‘Labour takes to the streets and social media to reach voters’, www.theguardian.com, 21 April 2017. 19 Cited in Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things. 20 E. Goodman, S. Labo, M. Moore and D. Tambini, (2017), ‘The new political campaigning’, LSE Media Policy Project Series. This is something Facebook itself boasts about of course. It claims to have reached over 80% of Facebook users in marginal seats in the UK election: ‘Using Facebook’s targeting tools, the [Conservative] party was able to reach 80.65% of Facebook users in the key marginal seats.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

America is now living in the aftermath of the first scaled deployment of a psychological weapon of mass destruction. As one of the creators of Cambridge Analytica, I share responsibility for what happened, and I know that I have a profound obligation to right the wrongs of my past. Like so many people in technology, I stupidly fell for the hubristic allure of Facebook’s call to “move fast and break things.” I’ve never regretted something so much. I moved fast, I built things of immense power, and I never fully appreciated what I was breaking until it was too late. * * * — AS I MADE MY WAY to the secure facility deep under the Capitol that day in the early summer of 2018, I felt numbed to what was happening around me. Republicans were already conducting opposition research on me.

They throw up their hands and claim they can’t control how their users abuse their products, even when mass murder results. If ethnic cleansing is not enough for them to act, what is? When Facebook goes on yet another apology tour, loudly professing that “we will try harder,” its empty rhetoric is nothing more than the thoughts and prayers of a technology company content to profit from a status quo of inaction. For Facebook, the lives of victims have become an externality of their continued quest to move fast and break things. When I came out as a whistleblower, the alt-right’s digital rage machine turned its sights to me. In London, enraged Brexiteers pushed me into oncoming traffic. I was followed around by alt-right stalkers and had photos of me at clubs with my friends published on alt-right websites with information about where to find me. When it came time to testify at the European Parliament, conspiracies about Facebook’s critics were beginning to percolate through forums of the alt-right.

“Regulation” may be one of the least sexy words, evoking an image of faceless jobsworths with their treasured checklists, and we will always argue about the details of their imperfect rules, but nonetheless safety regulation generally works. When you buy food in the grocery store or visit your doctor or step onto an airplane and hurtle thousands of feet in the air, do you feel safe? Most would say yes. Do you ever feel like you need to think about the chemistry or engineering of any of it? Probably not. Tech companies should not be allowed to move fast and break things. Roads have speed limits for a reason: to slow things down for the safety of people. A pharmaceutical lab or an aerospace company cannot bring new innovations to market without first passing safety and efficacy standards, so why should digital systems be released without any scrutiny? Why should we allow Big Tech to conduct scaled human experiments, only to realize that they become too big a problem to manage?


pages: 281 words: 71,242

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

Hackers, he told one interviewer, were “just this group of computer scientists who were trying to quickly prototype and see what was possible. That’s what I try to encourage our engineers to do here.” To hack is to be a good worker, a responsible Facebook citizen—a microcosm of the way in which the company has taken the language of radical individualism and deployed it in the service of conformism. Zuckerberg claimed to have distilled that hacker spirit into a motivational motto: “Move Fast and Break Things.” Indeed, Facebook has excelled at that. The truth is, Facebook moved faster than Zuckerberg could ever have imagined. He hadn’t really intended his creation. His company was, as we all know, a dorm room lark, a thing he ginned up in a Red Bull–induced fit of sleeplessness. As his creation grew, it needed to justify its new scale to its investors, to its users, to the world. It needed to grow up fast.

“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. “Move Fast and Break Things”: “Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to Investors: ‘The Hacker Way,’” Wired, February 1, 2012. “It was always very important for our brand”: David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect (Simon & Schuster, 2010), 144. “radical transparency” or “ultimate transparency”: Kirkpatrick, 209. “The days of you having a different image for your work friends”: Kirkpatrick, 199. “To get people to this point where there’s more openness”: Kirkpatrick, 200.


pages: 448 words: 117,325

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Firefox, Flash crash, George Akerlof, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of radio, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, loose coupling, market design, medical malpractice, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ransomware, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, security theater, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

abstract_id=2437678. 33Fast-forward another half decade: Kim Zetter (31 Jul 2010), “Hacker spoofs cell phone tower to intercept calls,” Wired, https://www.wired.com/2010/07/intercepting-cellphone-calls. 33The result is passwords: My essay about how to choose a secure password: Bruce Schneier (25 Feb 2014), “Choosing a secure password,” Boing Boing, https://boingboing.net/2014/02/25/choosing-a-secure-password.html. 33In the 1970s, IBM mathematicians: Don Coppersmith (May 1994), “The Data Encryption Standard (DES) and its strength against attacks,” IBM Journal of Research and Development 38, no. 3, http://simson.net/ref/1994/coppersmith94.pdf. 33The NSA classified IBM’s discovery: Eli Biham and Adi Shamir (1990), “Differential cryptanalysis of DES-like cryptosystems,” Journal of Cryptology 4, no. 1, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00630563. 2. PATCHING IS FAILING AS A SECURITY PARADIGM 34“Move fast and break things”: In 2014, Facebook changed its motto. Samantha Murphy (30 Apr 2014), “Facebook changes its ‘Move fast and break things’ motto,” Mashable, http://mashable.com/2014/04/30/facebooks-new-mantra-move-fast-with-stability/#ebhnHppqdPq9. 36“responsible disclosure”: Stephen A. Shepherd (22 Apr 2003), “How do we define responsible disclosure?” SANS Institute, https://www.sans.org/reading-room/white papers/threats/define-responsible-disclosure-932. 36Google has an entire team: Andy Greenberg (16 Jul 2014), “Meet ‘Project Zero,’ Google’s secret team of bug-hunting hackers,” Wired, https://www.wired.com/2014/07/google-project-zero.

We don’t want buildings collapsing on us, planes falling out of the sky, or thousands of people dying from a pharmaceutical’s side effects or drug interaction. And while we can’t eliminate all those risks completely, we can mitigate them by doing a lot of up-front work. The alternative security paradigm comes from the fast-moving, freewheeling, highly complex, and heretofore largely benign world of software. Its motto is “Make sure your security is agile” or, in Facebook lingo, “Move fast and break things.” In this model, we try to make sure we can update our systems quickly when security vulnerabilities are discovered. We try to build systems that are survivable, that can recover from attack, that actually mitigate attacks, and that adapt to changing threats. But mostly we build systems that we can quickly and efficiently patch. We can argue how well we achieve these goals, but we accept the problems because the cost of getting it wrong isn’t that great.


pages: 270 words: 79,068

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

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

No problem, just bring one hundred dollars to the meeting and pay your fine. When new employees come on board, they find this shocking, which gives us a great opportunity to explain in detail why we respect entrepreneurs. If you don’t think entrepreneurs are more important than venture capitalists, we can’t use you at Andreessen Horowitz. Move fast and break things Mark Zuckerberg believes in innovation and he believes there can be no great innovation without great risk. So, in the early days of Facebook, he deployed a shocking motto: Move fast and break things. Did the CEO really want us to break things? I mean, he’s telling us to break things! A motto that shocking forces everyone to stop and think. When they think, they realize that if you move fast and innovate, you will break things. If you ask yourself, “Should I attempt this breakthrough?


pages: 268 words: 76,702

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

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

ICANN and its stakeholders have clearly managed to think up a new and more secure system that would fix at least some of the system’s problems, and they still host regular ceremonies to keep its certificates up to date; but nearly a decade after the system began, it’s still barely used in practice, even if the big players have signed up in theory. ‘Slow and bureaucratic’ are supposedly dead concepts, things of the past when it comes to the ‘move fast and break things’ mantras of the Silicon Valley start-ups – but when it comes to online infrastructure, the analogy seems to be more ‘move fast, grow fast, fix achingly slowly’. The struggles of working out these tensions are more obvious in what – at first at least – seems like one of ICANN’s more trivial functions: deciding what gets to be a web domain, and who gets to administer it if so. There are different rules over who is eligible or not to buy different web addresses: .com was initially intended to be for commercial use only, but was then opened up to general use and so anyone in any country can buy a domain if they can afford it and it’s available.

And for a long time, it’s felt safe to only focus on those because the internet was the home of the upstarts and the disruptors; it’s only now, as we start to accept the internet businesses are the incumbents, that the need for more reflection on the business and funding model, and perhaps the need to slow down, becomes clear. It’s a tension Borthwick – whose very studio, betaworks, is built off and named after a culture of experimentation, trying things out (of ‘betas’), and moving fast – does now acknowledge. Times have changed. ‘I think that culture of move fast and break things or fuck it, ship it, and just get it out, has been a large contributor to some of the unintended consequences that we’ve seen today.’ VCs aren’t trusted with so much money and power over the online ecosystem for nothing: they often have an insight into what the internet is doing to the world long ahead of the rest of us – even if their main motivation for looking into it is using that insight to make money.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

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

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

A “disruptive” company had the potential to take over an entire industry, as medieval scriptoria were disrupted by movable type, the infantry charge by the machine gun, knowledge by Google, and so on. The spurious notion that there was some discernible Law of Business Administration to be found within such miscellaneous instances of human behavioral change dated to 1997, when a Harvard Business School professor published his theory of “disruptive innovation.” Another Harvardite, Mark Zuckerberg, enshrined disruption as the operating principle of Facebook, commanding employees to “move fast and break things.” Later techie manifestos boiled the scholarly pretense down to its vulgar essence: “Break shit.” I needed to look like someone who was ready to break shit. I procured a bright yellow T-shirt that proclaimed, in big block letters, IT’S TIME FOR PLAN ฿—Bitcoin, of course. I wanted disruptive business cards, but I was on a budget. To save money, I bought some reflective silver stock on Amazon and made them myself.

“not having an idea” “New: Apply to Y Combinator without an Idea,” March 13, 2012, ycombinator.com. “permanent revolution” Nevil Gibson, “In the Trenches of Silicon Valley,” April 29, 2014, Stuff.co.nz. “A revolution is not a dinner party” Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. The spurious notion Jill Lepore, “The Disruption Machine,” New Yorker, June 23, 2014; Samantha Murphy, “Facebook Changes Its ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ Motto,” April 30, 2014, mashable.com; Katy Waldman, “Let’s Break Shit: A Short History of Silicon Valley’s Favorite Phrase,” December 5, 2014, slate.com. No More Woof Marc Lallanilla, “Speak, Fido: Device Promises Dog Translations,” January 3, 2014, livescience.com. Here again Uber pointed the way Erica Fink, “Uber’s Dirty Tricks Quantified: Rival Counts 5,560 Canceled Rides,” August 12, 2014, cnn.com.


Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, illegal immigration, Internet of things, mandatory minimum, millennium bug, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, payday loans, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Snapchat, subscription business, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

If the answer to any of these questions is no, we should think very carefully before proceeding. To state the obvious, there’s a vast difference between an “experiment” where some colleagues try out open-office seating in the Melbourne library and an “experiment” where scientists tinker with a species using gene-editing tools. Please do not mistake this chapter’s emphasis on experimentation for the ethos of “move fast and break things.” Upstream work hinges on humility. Because complexity can mount quickly even in simple interventions. Let’s take a final example that should be an easy one: trying to cut back on single-use plastic bags. Environmentalists consider these bags a leverage point, because even though they make up only a tiny fraction of the overall waste stream, they do disproportionate harm. They’re lightweight and aerodynamic, so they end up blowing into waterways or storm drains.

., 227 Hawken, Paul, 40, 48, 51 Hazleton Middle School, 149, 150 health, health care, 10–14, 89, 113, 127–33, 189–92, 201–4 Accountable Care Organization, 201–2, 204 ambulances, 137–40, 142, 162 Building Healthy Communities, 110–13 cancer and, see cancer capitation payment model in, 203 C-sections, 33–38 doctor training and, 130 diabetes and, 192, 201–4, 240–41 domestic violence and, 83–86, 88 Emergency Medical Services, 137–40 emergency rooms, 126–37, 161–62 fee-for-service model in, 129, 192 hospital deaths, 124 infectious diseases, 191–92 intensive care, 145–46 life expectancy, 98–102, 113–14, 190–91 mastectomies, 180–81 Medicaid, 180, 196, 240 Medicare, 113, 180, 201, 240 MRI scans, 192, 203 Nurse-Family Partnership, 194–99, 237–38 nursing homes, see nursing homes prevention in, 189–92 and saving money, 127 social determinants of health, 128 social side of medicine, 132 vaccines, see vaccines Health Initiative, The, 11 heart attacks, 138–40, 142 Hendrix, Daniel, 48, 50 hepatitis, 187 Here & Now, 124–25 Herndon, Sally, 234–35 heroism, 62–63, 182, 243–44 Hockley, Dylan, 151 Hockley, Jake, 150–51 Hockley, Nicole, 146–47, 150–51 Hodel, Donald, 69–70 Holmes, Nick, 176–77 HomeAdvisor, 200–201 homelessness, 10, 16, 90–96, 108, 128, 208, 234, 236, 239 coordinated entry and, 92–93 evictions and, 96, 108, 234 functional zero and, 95 housing first and, 92 home service industry, 200–201 homicide, 83–85, 87, 88, 116–17, 121, 126, 162, 236 Homonoff, Tatiana, 187 Hood, Christopher, 161 horses, 32–33 hospitals, 201 deaths at, 124 Emergency Medical Services, 137–40 emergency rooms, 126–37, 161–62 intensive care units, 145–46 see also health, health care “hot tub” conversations, 233 household repairs, 199–200 HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), 91–93 Hug-a-Hero Dolls, 229–31, 233 Human Dimension, 130 humility, 185 hurricanes, 9–10, 223 Hurricane Ivan, 218–19 Hurricane Katrina, 213–20 Hurricane Pam simulation, 214–20 Hynd, Noel, 100 IBM, 140–42 Iceland, 75–81, 125, 231, 239 ICUs (intensive care units), 145–46 “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, 142 Imber, Amantha, 177–79 immigrants, 112 impulsivity, and violence, 117, 120–21, 123 inattentional blindness, 30 India, 177 injuries: athletic, 21–23, 29 from falling branches, 175–76 from lifting and transferring patients in nursing homes, 193–94 playground, 175 Innovative Emergency Management (IEM), 213–14, 220 Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 37, 234 insulin, 192 Intel, 168 Interface, 39–40, 48–53 internet, see computers and internet Internet of Things, 142 invasive species, 171–74, 176–77, 180 Inventium, 177–78 Inventology (Kennedy), 232 Island Conservation, 176, 184 Iton, Anthony, 97–102, 110 Jaeger, Jennifer, 91–96 Japan, 211 earthquakes in, 140 Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, 83, 84n, 85 Jordan, Michael, 183 Kahneman, Daniel, 158–59 Kaiser Permanente (KP), 203 Kay, Allen, 142 Kennedy, Pagan, 232 Kenwood Academy High School, 24 Khosrowshahi, Dara, 3 Kirby, Elizabeth, 23–24 Kleffman, Sandy, 98 Koskinen, John, 208–11 laptop power cord, 58, 231–32 Las Vegas, 127n lawsuit data patterns, 175, 184 lazy bureaucrats, 166, 169 Lederberg, Joshua, 227, 231 legitimacy, 43 Less Medicine, More Health (Welch), 143 leverage, 115–33 life expectancy, 98–102, 113–14, 190–91 life preservers, 6–7 light switch, 57–58 Lilly, Jonathan, 202 LinkedIn, 135–37 Loblaw, David Robert, 212 Los Angeles Dodgers, 100–101 Los Angeles Times, 64 Lowlevel Windshear Alert Systems (LLWAS), 211 Luca, Michael, 159–60 Ludwig, Jens, 116, 154, 250 Maalin, Ali Maow, 15 Macleod, John, 141–42 Macquarie Island, 171–74, 176, 177n macro and micro, 236–37 macro trends, 154, 161, 162, 167 Marisa, Rich, 57–58 mastectomies, 180–81 Mayor’s Challenge, 90 McCannon, Joe, 89, 163, 238 McCutchen, Aamirah, 130–31 Meadows, Donella, 174–76, 179, 187, 188 Medicaid, 180, 196, 240 Medicare, 113, 180, 201, 240 medicine, see health, health care meetings, 183–84 Mehrotra, Vikas, 177 Meltzer, Michael, 227 Mexico City, 15 mice and rats, on Macquarie Island, 171–74, 176 Milkman, Harvey, 79 Miller, Dale, 42–43 misalignment, 161, 68–69 Molina, Mario, 65–67 Montreal Protocol, 66, 69 Moodey, Tucker, 2–3 Moon landing, 226–28 Morrissey, Larry, 90–91, 94 Mostashari, Farzad, 202 mothers: Nurse-Family Partnership and, 194–99, 237–38 parental leave for, 13 “move fast and break things” ethos, 185 “move your chair” moments, 41, 49, 53 MRI scans, 192, 203 Mullainathan, Sendhil, 59–60 NASA, 226–28 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 70 National Office Management Association, 31 natural disasters, see disasters and disaster preparedness Nature, 8, 66, 68 Nautilus, 227 navigation analogy, 179–80 negative unintended consequences, 169, 171–88, 204 neighborhoods, 97–102, 106, 110–13 Network for College Success, 25 New England Patriots, 21–22 New Orleans, La.: Hurricane Ivan and, 218–19 Hurricane Katrina and, 213–20 New York, N.Y.: crime in, 162–66 falling branches in, 175–76 lawsuit data patterns in, 175, 184 New York City Police Department (NYPD), 162–66, 168 New Yorker, 83, 84n New York Times, 32, 48, 142 New York University (NYU), 133 Nike, 204 Nimoy, Leonard, 207–8, 225–26 9/11 attacks, 142, 213 911 calls, 83, 137–40 normalization, 30–31, 32 Northwell Health, 137–40 Norway, 13–14 nuclear weapons, 225, 227 Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), 194–99, 237–38 nurses, 60–62, 63 nursing homes, 138, 139 lifting and transferring patients in, 193–94 Okerstrom, Mark, 4–5, 63 Olds, David, 194–95 O’Neill, Ryan, 1–3 Onie, Rebecca, 11 On the Media, 31 open-office plans, 177–80, 185 ownership, 38, 39–55, 70 Ozone Hole: How We Saved the Planet, 66 ozone layer, 65–70 P3, 22 paired metrics, 168, 203 parental leave, 13 Parker, Janet, 16n parking place, 232, 233 parks, 110–11, 112 tree pruning in, 175–76 Parto do Princípio, 35–36 patience and impatience, 234–35 Pavlin, Julie, 191–92 pediatricians, and automobile safety, 44–47 Pediatrics, 44, 46, 47, 48 peripheral vision, 30 Perla, Rocco, 11 Permanente Medical Group, 124 pest control, household, 199 phishing emails, 220–22 phobias, 30–31, 32 Pickering, Roscoe, 46–47 Pill Model, 237–39 Pina, Frank, 156 plastic bags, 185–88 police, 5–6, 8, 122n, 154 car accidents and, 6, 16 data and, 122n, 162–63 domestic violence and, 83, 86–88 New York City Police Department, 162–66, 168 Nurse-Family Partnership and, 196 polio vaccine, 45 Pollack Harold, 116, 117, 121, 123 Ponder, Paige, 25, 27–28, 88 Poppy + Rose, 193 poverty, 59, 97, 106 see also food assistance; homelessness Pratt, Lisa, 228 pre-gaming, 168–69 prevention, see upstream actions Princeton University, 43–44 proactive efforts, see upstream actions problem(s): addressing the wrong ones, 32–33 bandwidth and, 58–60 big and little, 58–59 blindness to, 21–38, 42, 70, 76, 128, 147, 232 designating something as, 32 early warning of, 135–51 longevity of, 233 ownership of, 38, 39–55, 70 slack and, 63, 67 Project ASSIST, 234 Project Parto Adequado, 37 prophet’s dilemma, 226 proximity, 133, 236 psychological standing, 43–44 quantity—and quality-based measures, 168 rabbits, on Macquarie Island, 171–74 Rad, Bex, 104 radiologists, 29–30 Ramirez-Di Vittorio, Anthony (Tony D), 117–20, 122, 249 RAND Corporation, 12, 180 randomized control trial (RCT), 121, 237 rape, 164–66 date rape on campus, 42–43 Ratner, Rebecca, 43 rats and mice, on Macquarie Island, 171–74, 176 reaction, see downstream actions Reagan, Ronald, 70 Reply All, 163–64 restoration, 10, 153 Reyes, Sarah, 112 Reykjavík, Iceland, 75–81, 125, 231, 239 Ridenour, Brandon, 200–201 Ringelestein, Don, 221–23 ripple effects, 169, 174, 197 a rising tide lifts all boats, 154, 161, 162, 168 Rocchetti, Carmela, 128–33 Rockford, Ill., 90–96, 108, 236, 239 ROI (return on investment), 127 Romania, 81 ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation), 139 Rowland, F.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

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

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

Typically, ten teams will be selected to relocate to wherever the program is based (London, NYC, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Boulder) and there they consume rivers of coffee (bad and good) and a lifetime’s advice (also bad and good) in twelve lightning fast weeks. The team of founders – typically two or three people at the outset – sell a small percentage of their business to the program in return for a small amount of cash plus the intense mentoring, coaching, resources, access to investors and relevant industry experts and potential customers. “Fail harder” urges a poster tacked to one wall. Others ask of you: “Move Fast and Break Things” and “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?”. In start-up-land, failure has become a component of the methodology for success. The Lean Startup, a book that codifies the start-up business approach, has become the management textbook for building success on failure. “You need to create a discipline to enable you to fail and learn fast,” said its author, Eric Ries. “A management discipline for failure.”


pages: 368 words: 96,825

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

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

And the average person—you and me—must be willing to fail, look foolish, and fall flat on our faces should we wish to enter this state.” These facts also tell us that those exponential entrepreneurs with “fail forward” as their de facto motto have an incredible advantage. If people don’t have the space to fail, then they don’t have the ability to take risks. At Facebook, there is a sign hanging in the main stairwell that reads: “Move fast, break things.” This kind of attitude is critical. If you’re not incentivizing risk, you’re denying access to flow—which is the only way to keep pace in a breakneck world. Rich environment, the next environmental trigger, is a combination platter of novelty, unpredictability, and complexity—three elements that catch and hold our attention much like risk. Novelty means both danger and opportunity, and when either are present, it pays to pay attention.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Whose values, ideals, and worldviews are being taught? The short answer is not yours—and also not mine. Artificial intelligence has the mind of its tribe, prioritizing its creators’ values, ideals, and worldviews. But it is also starting to develop a mind of its own. The Tribe Leaders AI’s tribe has a familiar, catchy rallying cry: fail fast and fail often. In fact, a version of it—“move fast and break things”—was Facebook’s official company motto until recently. The idea of making mistakes and accepting failures is in stark contrast to America’s enormous corporations, which avoid risk and move at a snail’s pace, and it’s a laudable aim. Complicated technology like AI demands experimentation and the opportunity to fail over and over in pursuit of getting things right. But there’s a catch. The mantra is part of a troubling ideology that’s pervasive among the Big Nine: build it first, and ask for forgiveness later.

See also Turing, Alan ET City Brain, 69 Ethics: AI company culture and, 255; Baidu focus on, 129; IBM articles regarding, 129; integrating into non-ethics university courses, 256; screening for in G-MAFIA future hiring practices, 255; university courses, 61, 63 Euclid, first algorithm and, 18 Evolutionary algorithms, 144, 164–165; Darwinian natural selection and, 144, 145 Facebook, 3, 70, 85, 96, 154; adult users, 87; advertising revenue, 71; in catastrophic scenario of future, 209, 216, 223; Chinese ban, 76; core values, 100; data policies, 94; exclusion of conservative news on, 57; Intel partnership, 92; “move fast and break things” original motto, 53; number of users, 71; in optimistic scenario of future, 159, 171; Portal, 54; post-Cambridge Analytica debacle apology, 54, 94; post-Cambridge Analytica scandal ethics team, 129; in pragmatic scenario of future, 186, 187, 188, 193, 201–202; psychological experimentation on users, 138; RNC bias accusations against, 56–57; senior leadership, 56; 2016 Presidential election and, 138; Website logins and, 88 Fake news, proliferation of in pragmatic scenario of future, 198 Fan Hui, 43–44, 45; versus DeepMind, 43–44 Fifth Generation, 38 Filmmaking, optimistic scenario of future and, 165–166 Future and AI, catastrophic scenario of, 151–152, 207–229; AGI system lockouts, 224; AI totalitarianism, 223; Amazon-hosted Food Stamp Program, 218; Amazon households, 216, 217–218, 219, 224, 225; Amazon Housing/Homes, 217–218, 219; Americans geographically locked in by China, 227; Apple households, 216, 218, 219, 224, 225; Apple PDRs, 216; blue-collar job glut, 221; blurring of work and personal data, 208; Chief AI Officers, 226; Chinese hackers, 215; climate change consequences, 228–229; corporate ownership of PDRs, 209; crime, 222; digital caste system, 209, 218; economic chimera of humans, 225; education and Salesforce core values, 221–222; extermination of U.S. and allied populations by Chinese ASI, 229; G-MAFIA and preservation of democratic ideals, 211; G-MAFIA diversity mantra, 208; G-MAFIA nonexistent inclusion efforts, 208; G-MAFIA shrinkage to GAA, 223; G-MAFIA sole owners of PDRs, 208, 216; G-MAFIA transactional relationship with U.S. government, 212; GAA-U.S.


pages: 379 words: 109,223

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

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. Facebook is building a business for where the puck will be.”

Starr, Paul. The Creation of the Media: The Political Origins of Modern Communications. New York: Basic Books, 2004. Stengel, Jim. Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. New York: Crown, 2011. Steyer, James P. Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age. New York: Scribner, 2012. Taplin, Jonathan. Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2017. Tungate, Mark. Adland: A Global History of Advertising. London: Kogan Page Limited, 2007. Wakeman, Frederic. The Hucksters. New York: Rinehart & Company, 1946. Wind, Yoram (Jerry), and Catharine Findiesen Hays. Beyond Advertising: Creating Value Through All Customer Touchpoints.


pages: 128 words: 38,847

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age by Tim Wu

AltaVista, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, Donald Trump, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, open economy, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Chicago School

Search engines and social media sites seemed to come and go: Altavista, Bigfoot, and Friendster were household names one moment and gone the next. The chaos made it easy to think that bigness—the economics of scale—no longer really mattered in the new economy. If anything, it seemed that being big, like being old, was just a disadvantage. Being big meant being hierarchical, industrial, dinosaurlike in an age of fleet-footed mammals. Better maybe to stay small and stay young, to move fast and break things. All this suggested that in cyberspace, there could be no such thing as a lasting monopoly. The internet would never stand for it. Business was now moving at internet speed: A three-year-old firm was middle-aged; a five-year-old firm almost certainly near death. “Barriers to entry” was a twentieth century concept. Now, competition was always just “one click away.” Even if a firm did manage to gain temporary dominance, there was nothing to be afraid of.


pages: 425 words: 112,220

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, young professional

Indeed, speed brings you to inevitable realizations more quickly. If you’re able to just try things rather than spend time thinking about them, you rapidly learn if they work or not and can course-correct. But for all the benefits of rapidly testing ideas, iterating quickly, and optimizing for efficiency, sometimes you need to force yourself to slow down. The creative aspects of some projects are best cooked slowly. Facebook’s infamous “move fast and break things” mantra, which graces everything from posters to coasters around Facebook’s campus, establishes a mind-set in technology and start-ups that the best path forward is always the fastest one, even when it’s reckless. This line of thought has inspired countless practices for how to manage projects, conduct meetings, and develop new products. The “lean start-up” methodology, which became a playbook on how to build a product efficiently, was popularized by Eric Ries’s book by the same name and has since spread beyond the start-up world and into the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies.

Moving a mile a minute is great, so long as you slow down when you’re crafting something that will ultimately become your competitive advantage. Value the merits of slow cooking. Chefs will tell you that the secret behind many of the greatest dishes is patience. When you cook something slowly at a lower heat for a longer time, the flavors and textures that marinate yield culinary masterpieces. Your own creations aren’t much different. At the opposite end of the spectrum from “moving fast and breaking things,” your creative endeavors need moments of your deep attention and patience. While we intuitively know that great accomplishments take time, we’re always anxious when the end is out of sight and the path of progress feels out of our control. Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, argues that human brains are adapted to respond more to some threats than to others.


pages: 409 words: 112,055

The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats by Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, DevOps, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Exxon Valdez, global village, immigration reform, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, open borders, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, Richard Thaler, Sand Hill Road, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

Venture Tourism and Thin Peanut Butter If anyone can be blamed for this state of affairs it is Silicon Valley. And if we reserve a special place in cybersecurity hell for the enablers of vice, then Sand Hill Road should burn. The tech start-up battle cry of “Move fast and break things,” originally coined by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has been pushed by the venture capitalists of the Valley in an effort to build large, monolithic monopolies at the expense of consumers, regulations, ethics, and cybersecurity. And move fast and break things they did, from the now antiquated concept of stable employment to a free press to U.S. elections. All the while, the push to get products out the door and fix security later has led us to our current predicament. The idea of building in security, i.e., making products secure from the start rather than bolting security on after products are built, has long been championed by the security community.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are finally trying to fix some of the massive problems they created, albeit in a piecemeal way. Is it because they are being pressured or because they feel that it’s the right thing to do? Probably a little of both. The companies are changing policies, hiring humans to monitor what’s going on, and hiring data scientists to come up with algorithms to avoid the worst failings. Facebook’s old mantra was “Move fast and break things,”3 and now they’re coming up with better mantras and picking up a few pieces from a shattered world and gluing them together. This book will argue that the companies on their own can’t do enough to glue the world back together. Because people in Silicon Valley are expressing regrets, you might think that now you just need to wait for us to fix the problem. That’s not how things work.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

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

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

That simple declaration created an IT, as well as cultural, architecture that catalysed the growth of Amazon Web Services. Within a few short years of its launch in 2006, the service was already a billion-dollar business.2 In short, small teams can run fast and innovate because of their size and the fact that they’re not reliant on the technology from other teams. Move Fast and Break Things Facebook created a culture of agility, promoting a philosophy to ‘move fast and break things’.3 Mark Zuckerberg explained the company’s ‘hacker way’ in a letter to investors:4 Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once … We have the words ‘Done is better than perfect’ painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Anything that comes their way is as important or even more important than what they are doing now. So they flit from thing to thing, often with little opportunity to focus, or to do one job correctly.” In the IT industry, for example, “Ship product now” is more than a slogan, it’s key to the sector’s culture, trumpeted prominently in the media and in in-house newsletters urging employees to “move fast and break things.” This “Code wins arguments” ethic may seem to put power into the hands of the doers, at least temporarily, but it does little to help employees make meaning of their work. Some employees enjoy the intensity of such environments, and some are even captivated by it, but when asked, not many can quite put a finger on what, exactly, all this Sturm und Drang really adds up to, or even means.

The video follows one employee as he leaves the gym, exits company headquarters, mounts a bike, and pedals off to his actual home for an early dinner with his actual family. Quite a contrast from companies that use gyms and other perks to tie workers to the workplace. And I learned that Snellman goes beyond “skills training” to offer on-site college-level courses in languages and law. Far from urging employees to “move fast and break things,” the company encourages them to move cautiously and invest in themselves. The message seems to be not “Give us your all and our company will make meaning for you,” but rather “Our company will provide the income, support, and stability to allow you to make meaning for yourself.” “This company understands people,” Pohjakallio told me. “And it understands that the work/life balance is an expired concept.


pages: 504 words: 129,087

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

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.

So he snagged a $20 million grant to create the Stockton Scholars program, which aimed to triple the number of Stockton kids who go to college. Michael recognized that the slow pace of government could be difficult for millennials who grew up accustomed to the instant gratification that comes with a computer in their pocket. “Government is not designed to move fast,” he said. “For young people who want to be disruptive, government will be very frustrating.” Tech entrepreneurs could “move fast and break things” because the stakes were lower. “If you prototype something and it fails, it’s just an internal conversation in your office,” he said. “If I prototype water delivery or trash, it touches everyone, especially the most vulnerable. So there has to be some caution.” * * * Eric Lesser was familiar with just how slow government could go. He had left the White House in 2011, gone to law school, gotten married, and then gone home to Western Massachusetts, to run for office.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

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

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

“If I had to guess why sites like Facebook are so popular, I would say it doesn’t have anything to do with networking at all,” his friend Duncan Watts told the New Yorker in 2006. “It’s voyeurism and exhibitionism.” This skepticism was coming from the sociologist and scientist widely regarded as the preeminent expert on social networks. But it soon became apparent that Facebook’s motto—“Move fast and break things”—was more than just bluster with a ring to it. Facebook wasn’t just breaking the rule of six degrees but shattering it. Five years after its public launch, researchers at Cornell University and in Milan analyzed connections among Facebook’s 700 million active users and calculated that each person was separated from every other by an average of merely 3.74 degrees. When Facebook replicated the study five years later, once its virtual population had swelled to 1.59 billion, the number had dropped to 3.57.

Which is what the company did: Will Oremus, “Who Controls Your Facebook Feed,” Slate, January 3, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/cover_story/2016/01/how_facebook_s_news_feed_algorithm_works.html. By the time Facebook unveiled: Cheng Zhang, “Using Qualitative Feedback to Show Relevant Stories,” Facebook Newsroom, February 1, 2016, https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/02/news-feed-fyi-using-qualitative-feedback-to-show-relevant-stories/. The cascade of advances: Jonathan Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and What It Means for All of Us (Boston: Little, Brown, 2017), 143. In 2010 opponents of a Florida: “Case Study: Reaching Voters with Facebook Ads (Vote No on 8),” Facebook, August 16, 2011, https://www.facebook.com/notes/us-politics-on-facebook/case-study-reaching-voters-with-facebook-ads-vote-no-on-8/10150257619200882. Around 2012 the company set out: John Lanchester, “You Are the Product,” London Review of Books 39, no. 16 (August 17, 2017), https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product.

Star, Alexander, Bill Keller, and the New York Times Staff. Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy. New York: The New York Times Company, 2011. Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013. Talese, Gay. The Kingdom and the Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World. New York: Random House, 2007. Taplin, Jonathan. Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2017. Tifft, Susan E., and Alex S. Jones. The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1999. Zittrain, Jonathan. The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. INDEX A note about the index: The pages referenced in this index refer to the page numbers in the print edition.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

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

These headlines might promise a revelation or an exclusive but reveal little at all or are written in the form of provocative questions (to which the answer is almost always “no”). The story may not even be true, but if it can gin up a scandal—if the credibility of the story itself becomes the story, or the poorly sourced story is deemed to have raised questions—then that’s enough. Attention is the most sought-after commodity, and the motto of its purveyors might as well be, “Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission” (which is not unlike Facebook’s “Move Fast and Break Things”). Here’s how the churnalistic cycle usually goes. On July 29, 2013, the Daily Beast tweeted what it claimed was a “scoop”: Cory Booker, Newark’s mayor at the time, would be visiting Iowa in the next month, presumably to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential campaign. Their source was a calendar on the University of Iowa’s Web site, though the university “did not return a call asking for comment,” a euphemism which, in such cases, often means that the call was placed shortly before the story was set to run.

But in the meantime, he has created something strangely profound, a sly and ephemeral outsider art. All this might sound a little Soviet—only art sanctioned by the state, in the appropriate styles, may be displayed—but that’s essentially the case. Social media is the staid, whitewalled showroom. You may only hang your paintings in the designated areas, and please don’t touch the exhibits. Facebook’s mantras of “Move Fast and Break Things” and “The Hacker Way” apply only to its engineers, not to Facebook’s users. In the summer of 2013, a Palestinian hacker named Khalil Shreateh tried to report a security hole on Facebook that would allow someone with the proper knowledge to post on anyone’s wall. Because Facebook, like many tech companies, offers cash bounties to white-hat hackers who alert them to security issues, Shreateh submitted a report.


pages: 211 words: 58,677

Philosophy of Software Design by John Ousterhout

conceptual framework, fault tolerance, iterative process, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, MVC pattern, revision control, Silicon Valley

However, the best engineers care deeply about good design. If your code base is a wreck, word will get out, and this will make it harder for you to recruit. As a result, you are likely to end up with mediocre engineers. This will increase your future costs and probably cause the system structure to degrade even more. Facebook is an example of a startup that encouraged tactical programming. For many years the company’s motto was “Move fast and break things.” New engineers fresh out of college were encouraged to dive immediately into the company’s code base; it was normal for engineers to push commits into production in their first week on the job. On the positive side, Facebook developed a reputation as a company that empowered its employees. Engineers had tremendous latitude, and there were few rules and restrictions to get in their way.


pages: 223 words: 60,909

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

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. The idea is so ingrained in Facebook’s culture—so core to the way it sees the world—that One Hacker Way is even the official address of the company’s fancy Menlo Park headquarters.


pages: 561 words: 163,916

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

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

Part 3 The Good Old Days Chapter 22 Move Slow and Build Things (Aka Facebook 2.0) April 4, 2013 SINCE THE DAWN OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY—SINCE THE INTERNET WENT viral, tech turned sexy, and Silicon Valley became Mecca for a new breed of American dreamers—nobody had been more successful than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. In less than eight years, powered by the mantra “move fast and break things,” he had managed to turn a dorm-room project into a global social network that, as of last count, boasted about 1.2 billion users. That said, even a digital tycoon like Zuckerberg had regrets. And stepping onstage to address a mix of reporters and employees, he hoped to address one of his biggest regrets with an exciting announcement. “Today,” Zuckerberg said, “we’re finally going to talk about that Facebook phone.”

His competitors were ready; or, at least, they all had vastly more experience when it came to building consumer electronics. Apple had been doing it since the late ’70s. Google was already dominating the mobile market. Even Amazon, whom nobody thought of as a “hardware company,” now had years of experience after successfully producing Kindle e-readers since 2007. In order to compete, Facebook would need to move beyond their “move fast and break things” model. This was the beginning of a new Facebook, a new post-IPO Facebook; and to best position themselves for the challenges ahead, they would need to move slow and build things. “So we need you,” Zuckerberg told Kalinowski. “We need you to come here and help teach us.” After highlighting the features of Facebook Home to the excitable attendees, he announced that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC would soon begin producing a line of phones called the HTC First that would come preloaded with Facebook Home.


pages: 533

Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech by Jamie Susskind

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, Andrew Keen, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, British Empire, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, continuation of politics by other means, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google bus, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, mittelstand, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Oculus Rift, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, payday loans, price discrimination, price mechanism, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selection bias, self-driving car, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technological singularity, the built environment, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

James Ball,‘Let’s Challenge Google While We Still Can’, The Guardian, 16 April 2015 <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/ 2015/apr/16/challenge-google-while-we-can-eu-anti-trust> (accessed 8 December 2017). 21. BI Intelligence,‘Amazon Accounts for 43% of US Online Retail Sales’, Business Insider E-Commerce Briefing, 3 February 2017 <http://uk. businessinsider.com/amazon-accounts-for-43-of-us-online-retailsales-2017-2?r=US&IR=T> (accessed 9 December 2017). 22. Young, ‘How to Break Up Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook’. 23. Dwyer, ‘Should America’s Tech Giants be Broken Up?’ 24. Jonathan Taplin, Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2017), 8. 25. Connie Chan, cited in Frank Pasquale, ‘Will Amazon Take Over the World?’ Boston Review, 20 July 2017 <https://bostonreview.net/ class-inequality/frank-pasquale-will-amazon-take-over-world> (accessed 8 December 2017). 26. Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2016), 10. 27.

‘DeepFace: Closing the Gap to Human-Level Performance in Face Verification’. 2014 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2014 <https://www.cs.toronto.edu/~ranzato/ publications/taigman_cvpr14.pdf> (accessed 11 Dec. 2017). Takahashi, Dean. ‘Magic Leap Sheds Light on its Retina-based Augmented Reality 3D Displays’. VentureBeat, 20 Feb. 2015 <http://venturebeat.com/ 2015/02/20/magic-leap-sheds-light-on-its-retina-based-augmentedreality-3d-displays/> (accessed 30 Nov. 2017). Taplin, Jonathan. Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2017. OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 28/05/18, SPi РЕЛИЗ ПОДГОТОВИЛА ГРУППА "What's News" VK.COM/WSNWS 484 Bibliography Tapscott, Don and Alex Tapscott. Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World. London: Portfolio Penguin, 2016.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

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

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


pages: 222 words: 70,132

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

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

ISBN 978-0-316-27574-3 E3-20170222-JV-PC Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph Introduction Chapter One: The Great Disruption Chapter Two: Levon’s Story Chapter Three: Tech’s Counterculture Roots Chapter Four: The Libertarian Counterinsurgency Chapter Five: Digital Destruction Chapter Six: Monopoly in the Digital Age Chapter Seven: Google’s Regulatory Capture Chapter Eight: The Social Media Revolution Chapter Nine: Pirates of the Internet Chapter Ten: Libertarians and the 1 Percent Chapter Eleven: What It Means to Be Human Chapter Twelve: The Digital Renaissance Afterword Acknowledgments About the Author Also by Jonathan Taplin Notes Newsletters For Maggie Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you aren’t moving fast enough. —Mark Zuckerberg Introduction I thought I was going to write the story of a culture war. On one side were a few libertarian Internet billionaires—the people who brought you Google, Amazon, and Facebook—and on the other side were the musicians, journalists, photographers, authors, and filmmakers who were trying to figure out how to continue to make a living in the digital age.


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

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

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


pages: 252 words: 78,780

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

That’s the gospel of shareholder capitalism, the doctrine created by Milton Friedman. In the second dotcom boom that doctrine has been pushed to new extremes by companies that have adopted a grow-at-all-costs, investors-take-all business model. It has been great for VCs and oligarchs, but everyone else gets shortchanged: CUSTOMERS get “minimum viable products” (translation: shoddy stuff) from companies whose mantra is “move fast and break things.” Internet companies spy on customers, invade their privacy, and sell their data. For companies like Facebook, the users are the product. We exist only to be packaged up and sold to advertisers. COMMUNITIES should benefit when they are home to the headquarters of wealthy corporations, but instead communities get shortchanged as tech giants dodge taxes, finding ways to stash their enormous profits overseas in offshore accounts.


pages: 287 words: 80,050

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less by Emrys Westacott

Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Diane Coyle, discovery of DNA, Downton Abbey, dumpster diving, financial independence, full employment, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, McMansion, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, negative equity, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the market place, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, Zipcar

One feature of modern life that perhaps especially fuels a yearning for simplicity is the rapid rate of technological, social, and cultural change. Some people relish this, of course. Like surfers, they enjoy riding the wave. They are unsympathetic to the simplifiers’ tendency to look backward, and they find the ideal of a slower, more stable—they might say “static”—world rather boring. This is the mind-set behind Facebook’s cheerful mantra, “Move fast and break things.” But for many the rate of change creates all sorts of problems and anxieties. Traditional ways have to be abandoned; cherished communities disintegrate; once-valued skills become useless; secure jobs are outsourced or lost to machines. Often those who suffer most are at the bottom of the socioeconomic order, the people who lack the sort of education and information-related skills that are particularly prized in today’s economy.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

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

The platform was ideal for users because of its surface-level technical achievement and reliability (it had none of the lag problems that Friendster had with its servers, and none of Myspace’s general cruddiness), but its proficiency didn’t inspire equanimity. Rather, its frictionless interface was part of people’s sense of unease about it. The better it worked, the more users wondered what was happening to their data to make it work so well. Facebook pushed ahead no matter what, with its company watchword “move fast and break things” epitomizing its personal-boundary-breaking ethos. This is why Leach believes her Shiny Shiny posts about Facebook resonated with readers back in 2010. Whenever Facebook redesigned its interface, and provided no explanation to its users, the changes felt akin to noticing that someone had rummaged through their personal belongings. Users understood these surreptitious redesigns, as Leach put it, as cases of “Hey what have you done with my stuff?”


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

It sells itself to investors with the promise that it can buy its way to market dominance in this sclerotic field and use its cutting-edge tech to slash through red tape and find unglimpsed efficiencies. On the basis of that promise, it raises billions upon billions of dollars across its ten-year rise, during which time it becomes as big as promised in Western markets, a byword for Internet-era success, cited by boosters and competitors alike as the model for how to disrupt an industry, how to “move fast and break things” as the Silicon Valley mantra has it. By the time it goes public in 2019, it has $11 billion in annual revenue—real money, exchanged for real services, nothing fraudulent about it. Yet this amazing success story isn’t actually making any sort of profit, even at such scale; instead, it’s losing billions upon billions of dollars, including $5 billion in one particuarly costly quarter. After ten years of growth, it has smashed the old business model of its industry, weakened legacy competitors, created a great deal of value for consumers—but it has done all this without any discipline from market forces, using the awesome power of free money to build a company that would collapse into bankruptcy if that money were withdrawn.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

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

And yet, as the philosopher Gilbert Simondon pointed out, we learn most from a technology when it breaks down.31 It is breakdown that stimulates scientific research and new knowledge. And the platforms have induced a crisis in an older machinery of governance and control. The Washington establishment, in its globalizing zeal and technological modernization drive, didn’t quite anticipate what it was embracing. Whether it is Facebook’s notorious motto ‘Move Fast and Break Things’, or Google’s practice of never asking for permission, this was a force that could and would disturb the old, embedded alliances of state and media. That meant it could and would disrupt Washington’s power. VI. Did Twitter make the ‘Twitter revolutions’, or did they make Twitter? From the Iranian Green Movement in 2009 to the Gezi Park protests in Turkey in 2013, the social industry was reported on as if it was a primary driver of unrest.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

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

Purpose motivates us. It strengthens our ability to persist through the conviction that our pursuit matters. This is not to say that we all need to be saints, but rather that it helps us to see our late-bloomer goals as connected to the broader world. Finally, there’s patience. One of my favorite Silicon Valley late bloomers, and an exemplar of patience in a business culture that exhorts us to “move fast and break things,” is Diane Greene. She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, with a love for the ocean. As a girl, she learned to catch crabs and sell them for five dollars apiece. In college, she majored in engineering but also took up windsurfing—at nineteen she started a world windsurfing competition—as well as competitive sailing. After college she worked for an offshore oil company, but quit when she wasn’t allowed to visit the male domain of the ocean-drilling platform.


pages: 406 words: 105,602

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

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

Over time, these habits and ways of working congeal into CULTURE: the shared, often unstated, beliefs that determine what employees believe to be possible, because “that’s just the way things are around here.” Culture is the institutional muscle memory, based not on how the organization aspires to operate but on how it really has in the past. You cannot change culture by simply putting up posters that exhort employees to “Be more innovative!” or “Think outside the box!” Not even Facebook’s famous “Move fast and break things!” spray-painted on your walls will have any effect. Culture is formed over time, the residue leftover from the process and accountability choices of the company’s past. Every culture attracts certain kinds of PEOPLE: the ultimate corporate resource. A toxic or old-fashioned culture repels innovative talent. Ultimately, the success of any organization depends on the caliber of the people it is able to attract and retain.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

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

Why are people with dark skin slaves and people with light skin their masters?”13 We discourage curiosity also because it requires an admission of ignorance. Asking a question or posing a thought experiment means that we don’t know the answer, and that’s an admission that few of us are willing to make. For fear of sounding stupid, we assume most questions are too basic to ask, so we don’t ask them. What’s more, in this era of “move fast and break things,” curiosity can seem like an unnecessary luxury. With an inbox-zero ethos and an unyielding focus on hustle and execution, answers appear efficient. They illuminate the path forward and give us that life hack so we can move on to the next thing on our to-do list. Questions, on the other hand, are exceedingly inefficient. If they don’t yield immediate answers, they’re unlikely to get a slot on our overloaded calendars.


pages: 960 words: 125,049

Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and DApps by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Gavin Wood Ph. D.

Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, continuous integration, cryptocurrency, Debian, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, Google Chrome, intangible asset, Internet of things, litecoin, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, node package manager, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, Ruby on Rails, Satoshi Nakamoto, sealed-bid auction, sharing economy, side project, smart contracts, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Vickrey auction, web application, WebSocket

In Bitcoin, development is guided by conservative principles: all changes are carefully studied to ensure that none of the existing systems are disrupted. For the most part, changes are only implemented if they are backward compatible. Existing clients are allowed to opt-in, but will continue to operate if they decide not to upgrade. In Ethereum, by comparison, the community’s development culture is focused on the future rather than the past. The (not entirely serious) mantra is “move fast and break things.” If a change is needed, it is implemented, even if that means invalidating prior assumptions, breaking compatibility, or forcing clients to update. Ethereum’s development culture is characterized by rapid innovation, rapid evolution, and a willingness to deploy forward-looking improvements, even if this is at the expense of some backward compatibility. What this means to you as a developer is that you must remain flexible and be prepared to rebuild your infrastructure as some of the underlying assumptions change.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

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

The most vaunted title in Silicon Valley is, has been, and ever will be “founder.” It’s less of a title than a statement. “I made this,” the founder proclaims. “I invented it out of nothing. I conjured it into being.” Travis Kalanick frequently compared building a startup to parenting a young child. A good founder lives and breathes the startup. As Mark Zuckerberg said, a founder moves fast and breaks things. The founder embraces the spirit of “the hacker way”; he is captain of the pirate ship. A good founder will work harder tomorrow than he did today. A good founder will sleep when he is dead (or after returning from a week at Burning Man). Like Kalanick at Red Swoosh, a good founder shepherds his company through difficult funding environments, but chooses his benefactors wisely. A good founder takes credit for his company’s successes, and faces the blame for its shortcomings.


pages: 475 words: 134,707

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

Today they are worth $500 million. Facebook takes the relationship between art and innovation seriously. It’s even got an artist-in-residence program that brings in its artists to cover the walls and hallways of its Menlo Park campus with creative and meaningful murals. The art, in some sense, reflects Facebook’s culture, for better or worse. There’s a famous stencil poster that reads “Move Fast and Break Things.” When Mark Zuckerberg first coined the phrase, it was heralded as the creative mentality driving Facebook’s innovation. Today it represents the careless mindset that missed the fake news crisis and Russia’s intervention in American democracy. In some ways, the art in Facebook’s offices reflects the culture and societal implications of the platform. It also imbues a particular mentality in the minds of the engineers and data scientists coding the world’s largest social network.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

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

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

(Note that while this may sound similar to the Amazon “working backwards” approach, it is actually very different. Amazon asks those tasked with doing the work to imagine the intended user experience, not to specify all of the implementation details in advance. As they build the actual product or service, they continue to learn and refine their ideas.) Now, to be fair, many (though far from all) of the things that government regulates have far higher stakes than a consumer app. “Move fast and break things,” Mark Zuckerberg’s famous admonition to his developers at Facebook, hardly applies to the design of bridges, air traffic control, the safety of the food supply, or many of the other things that government regulates. Government also must be inclusive, serving all residents of the country, not just a highly targeted set of users. Nonetheless, there is a great deal for government to learn from the iterative development processes of modern digital organizations.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

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

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

There would be engineers working stealthily on something that they were passionate about. And then they’d ship it in the middle of the night. No testing—they would just ship it. Ezra Callahan: Most websites have these very robust testing platforms so that they can test changes. That’s not how we did it. Ruchi Sanghvi: With the push of a button you could push out code to the live site, because we truly believed in this philosophy of “move fast and break things.” So you shouldn’t have to wait to do it once a week, and you shouldn’t have to wait to do it once a day. If your code was ready you should be able to push it out live to users. And that was obviously a nightmare. Katie Geminder: Can our servers stand up to something? Or security: How about testing a feature for security holes? It really was just shove it out there and see what happens.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The more original your ideas, the less your bosses and peers will understand them, and people fear or at best ignore what they do not understand. But for me, making progress on the ideas was very rewarding in itself at the time, even though they would have made the worst party conversation topics ever. Eventually, decades after, they generated more social accolades than I now know what to do with. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise? The Silicon Valley mantra “move fast and break things” is very bad advice when one is dealing with sizable sums of money! If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say? “Trusted third parties are security holes.” What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? Nothing terribly profound (or alternatively nothing that I don’t take for granted) for $100.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

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

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

The key question is how to harness these tools to achieve the maximum possible good while minimizing their downsides. Here’s how we might survive progress. Killer Apps: Bad Software and Its Consequences Every time you get a security update … whatever is getting updated has been broken, lying there vulnerable, for who-knows-how-long. Sometimes days, sometimes years. QUINN NORTON Facebook’s software developers have long lived by the mantra “Move fast and break things.” The saying, which was emblazoned on the walls across the company’s headquarters, reflected Facebook’s hacker ethos, which dictated that even if new software tools or features were not perfect, speed of code creation was key, even if it caused problems or security issues along the way. According to Zuckerberg, “If you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.” Facebook is not alone in its softwarecoding practices.


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

The platform’s growth had left all its competitors and predecessors in the dust. An expansionist, earnest, set-the-defaults-to-public spirit reverberated through the campus. By connecting the world through software, and doing so at massive scale, the company was accomplishing something the Valley had been trying to do for generations. Posters emblazoned with the company’s de facto motto adorned the walls surrounding Facebook’s expansive open-plan bullpen: “Move fast and break things.” Mark Zuckerberg remained in charge, owning over 24 percent of the company and controlling three of its five board seats. The Valley’s Internet-era inner circle had become funders and close advisors. Peter Thiel had given Facebook its first big investment back in 2004 and was a board member. Marc Andreessen was a mentor as well, meeting Zuckerberg regularly for hash-and-egg breakfasts at a local diner.