What’s Next — Writing, Blockchain, Learning
by Jordan Gonen
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Articles to Read.
- In the early 1980s AT&T asked McKinsey to estimate how many cell phones would be in use in the world at the turn of the century. They concluded that the total market would be about 900,000 units. This persuaded AT&T to pull out of the market. By 2000, there were 738 million people with cellphone subscriptions
- In Silicon Valley, startups that result in a successful exit have an average founding age of 47 years.
- China opens around 50 high bridges each year. The entire rest of the world opens ten.
Just across I-95 from New York City, in a light-industrial patch of Moonachie, New Jersey, a one-story building houses the headquarters of the Swintec Corporation, the nation’s sole supplier of clear typewriters.
More than two million people are incarcerated in the United States; they represent an immense and literally captive market. In total, states spend more than fifty billion dollars a year on their correctional systems, much of which goes to private companies in the form of contracts for construction, food, medical services, phone lines, and products sold to inmates. Swintec typewriters sell modestly, on the order of three thousand to five thousand machines per year, Michael said. Each costs roughly the same as a cheap laptop.
1. Moore’s Law plus the internet makes smart people smarter, and stupid people less smart.
2. Manipulable people can be reached with a greater flood of information, so over time as data on them accumulate, they become more manipulable.
3. It is often easier to manipulate smart people than stupid people, because the latter may be oblivious to a greater set of cues and clues.
The blockchain is a digital, decentralised, distributed ledger.
Most explanations for the importance of the blockchain start with Bitcoin and the history of money. But money is just the first use case of the blockchain. And it is unlikely to be the most important.
It might seem strange that a ledger — a dull and practical document associated mainly with accounting — would be described as a revolutionary technology. But the blockchain matters because ledgers matter.
At Instacart, our goal is to make grocery delivery accessible to everyone. In the last 9 months, we grew tremendously from a handful of established markets to over 100+ markets in the US. Such rapid expansion brings a lot of growth potential but also adds more unpredictability to our demand. Offering every customer same day delivery, while keeping our shoppers busy becomes a very hard problem.
This post is about how we use Monte Carlo simulations to balance supply and demand in a rapidly growing, high-variance marketplace.
A moat simply buys a company time to figure out the next great business. Just like the invention of field artillery in the 16th century rendered moats obsolete, technology today is grinding down barriers to competition.
Technology makes the moat of traditional business a mere jumping off point. For tech companies, it’s always about what’s next — not simply protecting what’s here today.
One force people underestimate are network effects. Network effects allowed Twitter survive its fail-whale period when the site was constantly down. Facebook destroyed international competition, and Airbnb and Microsoft all succeeded due to network effects. Open source examples like Ethernet survive to this day due to network effects.
In the crypto world, Bitcoin is perceived as slow to change, clunky technologically, and as having bad governance. While all these things may be true, Bitcoin has strong network effects that will maintain its status as the primary value store in the short to medium term. It is always possible Ethereum or another newer protocol will take over the value store use case in 5 to 10 years, but network effects decrease its likelihood in the short term.
Behind every interface, there’s a designer. More like a team of them. And those designers have a lot to consider: What should Siri sound like? What kinds of things will people ask Alexa to do? How will users expect the Kuri robot to respond when they crack a joke?
THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet — powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers — that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.
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- Going to be redesigning the newsletter soon! Let me know if you have any recommendations to make it better.
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- I thought Descript was cool.
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