Showing posts from November, 2015

Wary Of The “Next Warby” via @RedGiraffe

"If a product can be sold on Amazon, you can be sure the margin will asymptote toward zero."

-- @micahjay1

After Walmart started uprooting small towns of small stores, Sam Walton suggested that it might be true that it is hard for small stores to compete with Walmart on price, but they could beat Walmart on value add. What can be the value add for products that can be found on Amazon?

Can your product be custom made for individuals? Amazon could not do that. Can your product be made integral to some service only you can provide? Body oil might be cheap on Amazon, but Amazon does not do massages. Or therapy, for that matter. Amazon sells yoga mats, but it does not give yoga lessons.

When manufacturing itself is customized to each individual, Amazon is totally out of the picture. One size does not fit all. Not always. Maybe never, given the chance.

Well said: "if a product can be sold on Amazon, you can be sure the margin will asymptote toward zero" @micahjay1http…

25K Becomes $110 Million In 5 Years

Secretive, Sprawling Network of ‘Scouts’ Spreads Money Through Silicon Valley
Sequoia Capital has funneled millions of dollars to scores of well-connected entrepreneurs and academics, who invest and look for ideas
Startup investor Jason Calacanis took a $25,000 gamble five years ago on a company almost no one had heard of called UberCab. That investment in what is now Uber Technologies Inc. has ballooned to roughly $110 million...... Most of Sequoia’s scouts are entrepreneurs whose startups were funded by the firm. That means they know a lot about what Sequoia is looking for and will recommend the firm to other entrepreneurs. ....... Forging tight relationships that generate new deals for venture-capital firms is more important than ever as the cost of creating startups falls. The resulting acceleration in company launches has made it harder for venture-capital firms to identify the best opportunities as startups emerge. And competition is growing as new investors who are flush with …

Emmy Noether

The Mighty Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of
Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time, and others of her contemporaries were inclined to drop the modification by sex. She invented a theorem that united with magisterial concision two conceptual pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. Some consider Noether’s theorem, as it is now called, as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity; it undergirds much of today’s vanguard research in physics, including the hunt for the almighty Higgs boson. ....... a brilliant theorist whose unshakable number love and irrationally robust sense of humor helped her overcome severe handicaps — first, being female in Germany at a time when most German universities didn’t accept female students or hire female professors, and then being a Jewish pacifist in the midst of the Nazis’ rise to power. ...... Through it all, Noether was a highly prolific mathematici…

Larry Page: Alphabet

David Rose's Unicorn

I've found my first Hawaii!— David S. Rose (@davidsrose) November 5, 2015

@davidsrose@davidhornik I emailed you one on 10/23, you did not respond.— Paramendra Bhagat (@paramendra) November 6, 2015

@Jason I'd like to become a @sequoia Scout, can you please clue me in? Thx.— Paramendra Bhagat (@paramendra) November 14, 2015

The Evolving Cyberthreat

The Evolving Cyberthreat
Even baseball teams are hacking their rivals now. And the latest series in the CSI television franchise? CSI: Cyber, starring Patricia Arquette and Ted Danson. .... (the best antivirus software catches only 5% of online threats; 80% of hackers work for organized crime rings) ..... Chinese irons and teakettles that were illicitly outfitted with Wi-Fi cards, allowing the appliances to secretly join their owners’ home networks and spread viruses and spam. ..... killer robots to plagues that are genetically engineered to attack a specific person (say, a sitting head of state) ........ researchers were able to identify specific people in anonymized data sets by using “a receipt, an Instagram post, and a Tweet about a new purchase or a Facebook post that included the location of a favorite bar or a restaurant.” ....... the United States, unlike many other countries, doesn’t classify privacy as a human right; instead, its laws tend to address privacy only after i…

Individuals Getting Paid

Wanted -- No, Needed: Digital Philosophers
"We have stronger opinions about our hand-held devices than about the moral framework we should use to guide our decisions.” As a result, we are in serious danger of having these philosophies influence our future in ways we neither intend nor desire. ......... “Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted.” ...... “The reason advertising is artificially cheap is that no one has to ask our permission to advertise at us. We are involved in the transaction only as the commodity that is being bought and sold… Our right to preserve our own attention and to make our own decisions about how we spend it and with whom our personal information is shared must become part of the political agenda.” ....... One commercial at a time leaves me in control: I can change channel, look the other way, mute, close my eyes for 30 second…