A first-principle formalism of a high-level technology strategy that enabled Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber to dominate markets. Co-authored by Niraj Pant.

An installation of the “Notes” series. Formalisms in technology, business, and philosophy. Lots of attempted formalisms. A difficult search for generality and rigor, as the two are at odds.

Bumpers.fm discussion, Niraj and I geek out over ecosystems

Let’s begin with a formalism of the notion of synergy. While the word synergy has been largely associated with strategy consultants or investment bankers, it is a rich concept that when correctly applied can yield great insight. Often, synergy is used to describe the value being created when two complimentary aspects of businesses will interface following a merger or acquisition. One company’s…


An installation of the “Notes” series. Formalisms in technology, business, and philosophy

Recently, I watched a movie about Steve Jobs and got to thinking about visionaries and what makes one. The Fassbender rendition gives him a portrayal that outlines him as a socially indecorous outlier — borderline psychopath. Personally, I find this account the most plausible, which explains why I enjoyed it so much. His masochistic attention to detail, emotional detachment, and generally radical behaviors are not at all surprising. To be honest, I would be more shocked if he wasn’t this way.

While I don’t necessarily believe this sentiment to be generally applicable, it seems to be a common…


Life is a Non-Conservative Path Integral, or something like that.

I’m sitting in class listening to our professor lecture. He emphasizes that we should keenly pay attention to the lecture, not taking notes, but clinging to every word and anticipating the next. “It is imperative you focus on the concepts (that is a direct quote). Think about what is being taught and try to guess what is going to happen next.” His favorite word is imPERative. He says it just like too.

Today’s lecture is on finding energy and coenergy from electromechanical systems; basically the energy output of moving an iron object near some copper coils with current flowing through…


“No one person’s Hollywood success story has anything in common with anybody else’s Hollywood success story.”

- Old Hollywood saying

One day my friend Luke and I were working on a school project in an empty classroom. We got side-tracked — as usual — and I took the opportunity to ask him the burning question — how had he gotten so good at programming in Python?

“You know, it’s funny you ask that,” Luke said. “I remember how I got started. But the rest is a blur.”

His answer hung in the air, asking to be explored. I knew I…


The first CE logo v1.0.0. please help me make it not suck !

Over the past few months a few close friends and I have been working on a publication called College Entrepreneur. We’re building a network of passionate contributors to help generate and source content. We thought that a great way to introduce the publication would be to share our mission statement publicly.

There is a tremendous amount of talent and cool stuff going on in Champaign-Urbana that no one knows about. Technology and entrepreneurship are a cornerstone of the campus community, but we rarely get insight into the stories of the successful alumni and current students. We want to change that…


Photo Credit: @RKNarayanan

SocialFuse is a pitching and networking event that occurs every few months here on the UIUC campus. It seeks to unite entrepreneurial community members with a night of attendees pitching their startup ideas, finding teammates, improving presentation skills, and getting feedback. The meat of SocialFuse is startup teams pitching their ideas to the attendees.

Myself, Jay Bensal, and Ali Afridi live-tweeted the pitching portion.


Over the past week, 25 UIUC students and I went on a trip put on by the University of Illinois Technology and Entrepreneurship Center. The TEC works to build the entrepreneurial community around campus. This trip, titled the TEC Silicon Valley Workshop happens annually over Winter Break and consists of a whirlwind of a week of seminars, workshops, and networking events with UIUC alumni in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Every event had amazing takeaways: insights into technology trends, entrepreneurial philosophies, and targeted advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. How could I possibly wrap 20 sessions into one big statement of enlightenment…


Every year for the past decade, I’ve made the same New Year’s resolution: don’t accidentally write the wrong year when you write the date. I love to challenging my awareness against my own negligence.

2015 proved just too easy to remember, so as an additional exercise to bring in the New Year I’ll outline a few hypotheses 2016 will put the test.

Predictions w/ Extended Analysis

1 — Tesla is going to unveil the Model 3 and investors will finally shut up.

Okay okay, now that I’ve already made a few enemies, please let me explain. Tesla’s Model X, albeit technologically impressive, is still an electric luxury vehicle serving the trendy and environmentally conscious. The Model…


Written by Luke Frye, edited by Wiley Jones

For my first few years here, whenever a new or prospective student asked me advice about college, I said the same thing everyone had told me: learn time management. Structure your time so that you can do every single one of the incredible things on campus. Attend class with brilliant professors, use the high quality recreational facilities, and make memories with your friends. …


Many of us, including myself don’t write as much as we’d like to. For me, it boils down to three reasons:

  1. I feel obliged to make it long-form, 140 characters or less is reserved for Twitter!
  2. I feel obliged to write at the highest quality I am capable of.
  3. I feel like I don’t have anything extremely meaningful to say.

So I am going to practice breaking each of these and write something meaningless, short, and un-revised (I actually failed at this last part).

The Backstory

This week I was looking through my Medium drafts and saw 6 projects I’ve been working…

Wiley Jones

UIUC ’17 — http://wileyjones.com — aspiring ____________?

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