All posts filed under: Essays

Is Chinese Censorship Really About Censorship?

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Essays

Take a look at Capital And Main for the podcast version of this, and the original appearance of these ideas, among far more interesting ones. And to it… For most Westerners, information technology in China is headlined by the fact that it is censored. If you travel to China, you will find that you can’t load a Google map, check your Instagram likes, send your tweets, or even read articles from the New York Times. […]

Self-Driving Game Theory

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Essays

Take a look at Capital And Main for the podcast version of this, and the original appearance of these ideas, among far more interesting ones. And to it… Whether it takes 15 years or 50, it is almost certain that self-driving cars will be on the road within my lifetime. Waymo, the Alphabet company, is at 3 million test miles driven. Uber, BMW, Cruise (in partnership with General Motors), Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan, Ford, and others […]

The Rise Of Startups… Or not

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Essays

They call it a Cambrian moment. These days, every city worth its salt comes with a startup ecosystem: co-working spaces and accelerators mark emerging hubs across the United States and around the world. Since The Social Network, high school students have grown up with the legend of the college dorm room startup as a central narrative. From healthcare to insurance to apparel to food, it seems as though there is a startup for every piece of […]

About Proprietary Networks

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Essays

They are the among the only lasting advantages in business – particularly in the fast-moving technology environment. And the question about how to grow one is one of the most common pain points for someone early in their career, particularly if they did not get lucky and choose the right company to work for, where the network was built-in for them. So here’s a word: most people wrongly focus on the “network” side of the equation […]

“Insurance Is Sold, Not Bought.”

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Essays

In an influential 1979 behavioral economics paper, Daniel Kahneman and his colleague Amos Tversky developed “Prospect Theory” as a way to make sense of decision-making. The summary of the paper was, if I may, that humans do not make optimal decisions, which normative (”should”) frameworks suggest, but instead have irrational aversion to certain losses, and minimize the probability of other losses. Here’s an example:  Here, Kahneman (via Thinking, Fast and Slow) outlines the cases where a […]

MAYA: Most Advanced Yet Acceptable

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Essays

Two anecdotes stuck out to me in Derek Thompson’s Atlantic post about “The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything.” First, the concept that people prefer the image of themselves in the mirror to that in photos. I certainly do, and often feel like I look lopsided in photos. But that makes sense, since I’m seeing the mirror image of what I’m used to seeing. I imagine the same applies to the phenomenon of hearing […]

Timing and Infrastructure

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Essays

Over the holiday I was catching up on the unread articles in my browser (time to switch to Pocket/Instapaper… there were almost 100) and I bumped into this one by Bloomberg collecting venture predictions for the most important trend of 2016. I really liked Rebecca’s comment: “2016 was the year the internet quietly sped up″ and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. In the venture community, we often credit Amazon Web Services – […]