Why Unicorns Exist

Posted in Startups

I just listened to an excellent, thought-provoking conversation hosted by the a16z podcast on Venture Capital and unicorn private companies: Good Bubbles, Bad Bubbles – and Where Unicorns Come from It’s worth listening to the …

Go to College

Posted in Startups, Work

There is a curious rebellion against higher education. I get the sense that it’s an overreaction, a correction to the unquestioned emphasis placed onto college over the past few decades. The millennial generation is no …

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Everything is Bullshit

Posted in Reading, Startups

Pricenomics is a startup that has somehow stumbled upon a pair of business models: data crawling, and blogging about data from a consumer-centric perspective. The latter has a pop-culture economics bent; it’s a technique taken …

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The Big, Slow Company Stereotype

Posted in Startups, Thoughts

The playbook for “startup disruption” has remained the same for a while: the small startup moves faster than its much larger competitor, hustling out new features, products and markets at a much higher clip. Raw …

The Risk of Failure

Posted in Startups

Silicon Valley is often derided as a place that non-ironically accepts and celebrates failure. For people who have not bought into this culture, it’s natural to make fun of the notion that people are failing …

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Hatching Twitter

Posted in Reading, Startups

One of my guilty reading pleasures are tech company biographies. That I’m a part of the industry and can relate to the motivations of founders and early employees is a given; I’ve also followed companies’ …

The Distorted Numbers of Company Founders

Posted in Rant, Startups

This article came across my Twitter feed today. It talks about how as a founder, one of the nice side benefits of success is being able to reward those loyal and faithful employees with equity …

Assuming Everybody Else Sucked

Posted in Learning, Startups

The year was 2010. We were searching for the next big Facebook app, high off our previous successes. This was when Facebook just released the News Feed, and everything from cute icons to animated fake …

The Long Tail of Technological Solutionism

Posted in Startups, Technology

They are driven by a pervasive and dangerous ideology that I call “solutionism”: an intellectual pathology that recognizes problems as problems based on just one criterion: whether they are “solvable” with a nice and clean …

Are Startup Engineers Untalented?

Posted in Engineering, Startups

It’s cool to do a technology startup. Conventional wisdom has been that employees from big companies get tired of the lack of impact, the bureaucracy and the middle management, and the ones who have smarts …

Social Gaming is About Business

Posted in Games, Rant, Startups

It’s now cliché to claim that gamification permeate all aspects of life; the talk of 2010 and 2011 was that everything seemed to be heading towards cheap, immediate-reward schemes with the subtlety of slot machines. If it …