Jeff Bezos

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pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

Shaw ‘as essentially a research lab that happened to invest, and not as a financial firm that happened to have a few people playing with equations.’ ” 6 Leibovich, The New Imperialists, 85. 7 Peter de Jonge, “Riding the Perilous Waters of Amazon.com,” New York Times Magazine, March 14, 1999. 8 John Quarterman, Matrix News. 9 Jeff Bezos interview, Academy of Achievement, May 4, 2001. 10 Jeff Bezos, speech at Lake Forest College, February 26, 1998. 11 Jeff Bezos, speech to Commonwealth Club of California, July 27, 1998. 12 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. Chapter 2: The Book of Bezos 1 Robert Spector, Amazon.com: Get Big Fast (New York: HarperCollins, 2000). Spector’s book offers a comprehensive account of Amazon’s early years. 2 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. 3 David Sheff, “The Playboy Interview: Jeff Bezos,” Playboy, February 1, 2000. 4 Ibid. 5 Adi Ignatius, “Jeff Bezos on Leading for the Long-Term at Amazon,” HBR IdeaCast (blog), Harvard Business Review, January 3, 2013, http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2013/01/jeff-bezos-on-leading-for-the.html. 6 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. 7 Jeff Bezos, speech at Lake Forest College, February 26, 1998. 8 Ibid. 9 Amazon.com Inc.

Spector’s book offers a comprehensive account of Amazon’s early years. 2 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. 3 David Sheff, “The Playboy Interview: Jeff Bezos,” Playboy, February 1, 2000. 4 Ibid. 5 Adi Ignatius, “Jeff Bezos on Leading for the Long-Term at Amazon,” HBR IdeaCast (blog), Harvard Business Review, January 3, 2013, http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2013/01/jeff-bezos-on-leading-for-the.html. 6 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. 7 Jeff Bezos, speech at Lake Forest College, February 26, 1998. 8 Ibid. 9 Amazon.com Inc. S-1, filed March 24, 1997. 10 Mukul Pandya and Robbie Shell, eds., “Lasting Leadership: Lessons from the 25 Most Influential Business People of Our Times,” Knowledge@Wharton, October 20, 2004, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1054. 11 Ibid. 12 James Marcus, Amazonia (New York: New Press, 2004). 13 Jeff Bezos, speech to Commonwealth Club of California, July 27, 1998. 14 Cynthia Mayer, “Investing It; Does Amazon = 2 Barnes & Nobles?,” New York Times, July 19, 1998. 15 Jeff Bezos, interview by Charlie Rose, Charlie Rose, PBS, July 28, 2010. 16 Justin Hibbard, “Wal-Mart v.

Part II Chapter 5: Rocket Boy 1 Chip Bayers, “The Inner Bezos,” Wired, March 1999. 2 Mark Leibovich, The New Imperialists (New York: Prentice Hall, 2002), 79. 3 “Local Team Wins Unicycle Polo Match,” Albuquerque Tribune, November 23, 1961. 4 Albuquerque Tribune, April 24, 1965. 5 Leibovich, The New Imperialists, 73–74. 6 Ibid., 71. 7 Ibid., 74. 8 Jeff Bezos interview, Academy of Achievement, May 4, 2001. 9 “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, July 9, 2001. 10 Bayers, “The Inner Bezos.” 11 Brad Stone, “Bezos in Space,” Newsweek, May 5, 2003. 12 Mylene Mangalindan, “Buzz in West Texas Is about Bezos and His Launch Site,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2006. 13 Jeff Bezos, “Successful Short Hop, Setback, and Next Vehicle,” Blue Origin website, September 2, 2011. 14 Adam Lashinsky, “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: The Ultimate Disrupter,” Fortune, November 16, 2012. Chapter 6: Chaos Theory 1 Saul Hansell, “Listen Up! It’s Time for a Profit; a Front-Row Seat as Amazon Gets Serious,” New York Times, May 20, 2011. 2 Jeff Bezos, speech to the American Association of Publishers, March 18, 1999. 3 In 2012, my research assistant Nick Sanchez filed a comprehensive FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request with the U.S.


pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Chapter 2: Portrait of the Entrepreneur as a Young Man 19. Jeff’s family’s Texas roots: Joshua Quittner, “Jeff Bezos: An Eye on the Future,” Time, December 27, 1999. 20. “what I considered: “Interview with Jeff Bezos,” Time, May 4, 2001. 20. “One of the things: Rob Walker, “America’s 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs,” Inc., April 1, 2004. 20. “You become really self-sufficient: Helen Jung, “Amazon’s Bezos: Internet’s Ultimate Cult Figure,” Seattle Times, September 19, 1999. 21. “I’ve never been curious: Quittner, “Jeff Bezos: An Eye on the Future.” 23. “I think single-handedly: Robert Spector, Amazon.com: Get Big Fast, HarperCollins, 2000. 23. A kid who valued: “Jeff Bezos,” CEOBios.com, Kirby Directory, June 12, 2010, http://ceobios.com/2010/06/jeff-bezos-amazon-com/. 23. “I would like to: Jeffrey P. Bezos interview, Academy of Achievement [no author], May 4, 2001, www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bezoint-1. 23.

The thing about inventing: Alan Deutschman, “Inside the mind of Jeff Bezos,” Fast Company, August 1, 2004. 159. “Amazon’s position is indefensible: Ian Stobie and Wendy Barratt, “Web Forecaster: Forrester Interview,” VNUNet, July 16, 1997, www.v3.co.uk/vnunet/analysis/2130440/Web-forecaster-forrester-interview. 160. At their wedding reception: Deutschman, “Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos.” 161. In June 1999, in order to: Spector, Amazon.com: Get Big Fast. 163. noted that he: Howard, “How I ‘Escaped’ from Amazon.cult.” 164. “It’s like Communist China: Mark Leibovich, “Not All Smiles Inside Amazon,” Washington Post, November 25, 1999. 164. “Bezos never serves up: de Jonge, “Riding the Wild, Perilous Waters of Amazon.com.” 164. Even in the December 1999: Quittner, “Jeff Bezos: An Eye on the Future.” Chapter 15: But What Kind of Manager Is He?

One former executive recalled: Deutschman, “Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos.” 168. “My grandfather looked: Krystal Knapp, “Amazon CEO Urges Princeton Grads to Take a ‘Less Safe Path,’ New Jersey Times, May 31, 2010. 169. One customer service manager: Spector, Amazon.com: Get Big Fast. 169. Rather than a raise: Greg Linden, “Early Amazon: Similarities,” Geeking with Greg (blog), http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/03/early-amazon-similarities.html. 172. “We have a strong focus: Spector, Amazon.com: Get Big Fast. 173. “Sometimes, that meant spending: Ibid. 174. “One of the biggest problems: Tim O’Reilly, “Jeff Bezos at Wired Disruptive by Design Conference,” O’Reilly Radar (blog), June 15, 2009, http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/06/jeff-bezos-at-wired-disruptive.html. Chapter 16: Head in the Clouds 178.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Bezos, “1997 Letter to Shareholders,” Amazon.com, Ben’s Blog, 1997, http://benhorowitz.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/amzn_shareholder-letter-20072.pdf 27 “2012 re: Invent Day 2: Fireside Chat with Jeff Bezos and Werner Vogels.” 28 Julie Bort, “Amazon Is Crushing IBM, Microsoft, And Google in Cloud Computing, Says Report,” Business Insider, November 26, 2013, http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-cloud-beats-ibm-microsoft-google-2013-11#ixzz37zMH8gUr. 29 James Stewart, “Amazon Says Long Term and Means It,” New York Times, December 16, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/business/at-amazon-jeff-bezos-talks-long-term-and-means-it.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 30 “Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame—Jeff Bezos Keynote,” Utah Technology Council, published online April 30, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-0KJF3uLP8. 31 “About Blue Origin,” Blue Origin, July 2014, http://www.blueorigin.com/about/. 32 Alistair Barr, “Amazon testing delivery by drone, CEO Bezos Says,” USA Today, December 2, 2013, referencing a 60 Minutes interview with Jeff Bezos, http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/12/01/amazon-bezos-drone-delivery/3799021/. 33 Jay Yarow, “Jeff Bezos’ Shareholder Letter Is Out,” Business Insider, April 10, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-shareholder-letter-2014-4. 34 “Larry Page Biography,” Academy of Achievement, January 21, 2011, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/pag0bio-1. 35 Marcus Wohlsen, “Google Without Larry Page Would Not Be Like Apple Without Steve Jobs,” Wired, October 18, 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/10/google-without-page/. 36 Google Inc., 2012, Form 10-K 2012, retrieved from SEC Edgar website: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1288776/000119312513028362/d452134d10k.htm. 37 Larry Page, “Beyond Today—Larry Page—Zeitgeist 2012,” Google Zeitgeist, Zeitgeist Minds, May 22, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Which is to say, Branson’s appetite for bold is so big and his track record at scale so stellar that, for a great many, it’s difficult to not believe Branson is going to Mars. Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos is a busy man. About five years ago, when I emailed him to set up a breakfast meeting, his response came back: “Peter, I’m so busy I’m trying to optimize my toothbrushing time.” And there’s a reason he’s so harried—the same reason Eric Schmidt listed Amazon (alongside Google, Apple, and Facebook) as one of the four horsemen of technology. Bezos isn’t interested in small shifts or polite progress. He wants to effect change on a massive scale, with customer-centric thinking and long-term thinking being the primary drivers behind this revolution. Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.22 Like Musk, he too showed an early interest in how things work.

,” Virgin, 2012, http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ba-cant-get-it-up-best-stunt-ever. 18 Richard Branson, Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life (Virgin Books, March 2006). 19 “Galactic Announces Partnership,” Virgin Galactic, July 2009, http://www.virgingalactic.com/news/item/galactic-anounces-partnership/. 20 Nour Malas, “Abu Dhabi’s Aabar boosts Virgin Galactic stake,” Market Watch, October 19, 2011, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/abu-dhabis-aabar-boosts-virgin-galactic-stake-2011-10-19. 21 Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, “Google and Virgin Team Up to Spell ‘Virgle,’ ” Wired, April 1, 2008, http://www.wired.com/2008/04/google-and-virg/. 22 “Jeffrey Preston Bezos,” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014, http://www.biography.com/people/jeff-bezos-9542209. 23 Brad Stone, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (New York: Little, Brown, 2014). 24 “Jeffrey P. Bezos Biography,” Academy of Achievement, November 2013, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bez0bio-1. 25 Suzanne Galante and Dawn Kawamoto, “Amazon IPO skyrockets,” CNET, May 15, 1997, http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-279781.html. 26 Jeffery P. Bezos, “1997 Letter to Shareholders,” Amazon.com, Ben’s Blog, 1997, http://benhorowitz.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/amzn_shareholder-letter-20072.pdf 27 “2012 re: Invent Day 2: Fireside Chat with Jeff Bezos and Werner Vogels.” 28 Julie Bort, “Amazon Is Crushing IBM, Microsoft, And Google in Cloud Computing, Says Report,” Business Insider, November 26, 2013, http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-cloud-beats-ibm-microsoft-google-2013-11#ixzz37zMH8gUr. 29 James Stewart, “Amazon Says Long Term and Means It,” New York Times, December 16, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/business/at-amazon-jeff-bezos-talks-long-term-and-means-it.html?


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

How has a network designed to have neither a heart, a hierarchy, nor a central dot created such a top-down, winner-take-all economy run by a plutocracy of new lords and masters? Monetization In The Everything Store, his definitive 2013 biography of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Brad Stone recounts a conversation he had with Bezos about the writing of his book. “How do you plan to handle the narrative fallacy?” the Internet entrepreneur asked, leaning forward on his elbows and staring in his bug-eyed way at Stone.9 There was a nervous silence as Stone looked at Bezos blankly. The “narrative fallacy,” Bezos explained to Stone, is the tendency, particularly of authors, “to turn complex realities” into “easily understandable narratives.” As a fan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan, a book that introduced the concept, Jeff Bezos believes that the world—like that map on the wall of Ericsson’s Stockholm office—is so random and chaotic that it can’t be easily summarized (except, of course, as being randomly chaotic).

Discussing Tim Berners-Lee’s decision to give away his technology for free, Jim Clark—who disliked venture capitalists, believing them to be vultures that “make hyenas look good”22—suggests that “any entrepreneur might wonder about his (Berners-Lee’s) sanity while admiring his soul.”23 What the Internet lost in the early nineties, with the passing of its mantle from researchers like Tim Berners-Lee to businessmen like Jim Clark, can be simply summarized. As Wall Street moved west, the Internet lost a sense of common purpose, a general decency, perhaps even its soul. Money replaced all these things. It gushed from the spigots of venture capitalist firms like KPCB, which—with successful Internet companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google—came to replace the government as the main source for investment in innovation. Jeff Bezos, if he happened to be reading this, would probably accuse me of inventing a narrative fallacy, of reducing the Internet’s complex reality to an easy-to-understand morality tale. But Bezos and his Everything Store are exhibits A and B in my argument. He was a Wall Street analyst who moved out west and amassed a $30 billion personal fortune through his Internet ventures. And his own 1994 startup, Amazon, the winner-take-all store that had revenue of $74.45 billion in 2013—in spite of its convenience, great prices, and reliability—reflects much of what has gone wrong with the Internet in its monetized second act.

On November 5, 1999, the day of its IPO, Webvan was valued at almost $8 billion.33 A little over a year and a half later, on July 10, 2001, Webvan filed for bankruptcy protection and shut down. In spite of the Webvan disaster, the winner-take-all model had a particular resonance in the e-commerce sector, where the so-called Queen of the Net, the influential Morgan Stanley research analyst Mary Meeker (who is now a partner at KPCB), saw first-mover advantage as critical in dominating online marketplaces. And it was this winner-take-all thinking that led Jeff Bezos, in 1996, to accept an $8 million investment from John Doerr in exchange for 13% of Amazon, a deal that valued the year-old e-commerce startup at $60 million.34 “The cash from Kleiner Perkins hit the place like a dose of entrepreneurial steroids, making Jeff more determined than ever,” noted one early Amazon employee about the impact of the 1996 KPCB investment.35 “Get Big Fast” immediately became Bezos’s mantra.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

But the environment that surrounds the pods is equally critical to the success or failure of a podular system. Modular components are a critical element of a connected company. But to take advantage of pods, you also need a business that is designed to support them. Notes for Chapter Fourteen A/B TESTING “Institutional Yes: The HBR Interview with Jeff Bezos, by Jeff Bezos, Julia Kirby, and Thomas A. Stewart,” Harvard Business Review, October 2007. “WE HAVE THIS WEIRDNESS IN OUR BUSINESS” Alan Deutschman, “Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos,” Fast Company, August 1, 2004. THE STATISTICALLY-IMPROBABLE PHRASES SERVICE Jim Gray, “A Conversation with Werner Vogels: Learning from the Amazon Technology Platform,” Association for Computing Machinery, May 1, 2006. POD EFFECTIVENESS Self-Directed Work Teams, the New American Challenge, by Jack D.

, 2011). DOMINO’S Stephanie Clifford, “Video Prank at Domino’s Taints Brands,” The New York Times , April 15, 2009. BANK OF AMERICA Bank withdrawal numbers from the Credit Union National Association newsletter, November 4, 2011. CUSTOMER RECOMMENDATIONS 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. AMAZON “Jeff Bezos recalls a publisher calling him and saying ‘I don’t think you understand your business. You make money when you sell books.’” From “A Conversation with Jeff Bezos” by François Bourboulon, Les Echos (blog), June 23, 2011. Chapter 2. The service economy In today’s world, where ideas are increasingly displacing the physical in the production of economic value, competition for reputation becomes a significant driving force, propelling our economy forward. Manufactured goods often can be evaluated before the completion of a transaction.

More Experiments Means More At-Bats Larger companies have an advantage because they have the resources to fund more experiments. The more things you try, the better your chances of discovering something valuable. Not surprisingly, GE’s Jack Welch, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos have all made very similar statements regarding ongoing experimentation. Jack Welch, GE: “Size either liberates or paralyzes. We tried every day to remember that the benefit of size was that it allowed us to take more swings.” Eric Schmidt, Google: “Our goal is to have more at-bats per unit of time and effort than anyone else in the world.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon: “You need to set up and organize so that you can do as many experiments per unit of time as possible.” Be Connectable to Everything We live in a networked world. The more quickly and easily you can link in to other companies, networks, and platforms, the more options you will have.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

“Amazon Japan ‘Co-Operating’ with Tokyo Police After Raid,” BBC News, January 27, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31000904; “Islamic State Magazine Dabiq Withdrawn from Sale by Amazon,” BBC News, June 6, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33035453. 38. Tim Maly, “Algorithmic Rape Jokes in the Library of Babel,” Quiet Babylon (blog), http://quietbabylon.com/2013/algorithmic-rape-jokes-in-the-library-of-babel/. 39. Henry Blodget, “I Asked Jeff Bezos the Tough Questions,” Business Insider, December 13, 2014, http://uk.businessinsider.com/amazons-jeff-bezos-on-profits-failure-succession-big-bets-2014-12. 40. Marcus Wohlsen, “Amazon Could Finally Grow Its Profits—By Selling Other People’s Stuff,” Wired, January 5, 2015, http://www.wired.com/2015/01/secret-amazon-finally-making-profit-selling-peoples-stuff/. 41. “The Best Performing CEOs in the World,” Harvard Business Review, November 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world. 42.

Gavin Mortimer, The SAS in World War II (Oxford: Osprey, 2011), p. 10. 43. Virginia Cowles, The Phantom Major: The Story of David Stirling and the SAS Regiment (1958; Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword Books, 2010), pp. 12–15; Gavin Mortimer, Stirling’s Men: The Inside History of the SAS in World War II (London: Cassell, 2005), pp. 10–11. 44. Alan Deutschman, “Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos,” Fast Company, August 1, 2004, http://www.fastcompany.com/50541/inside-mind-jeff-bezos. 45. Coram, Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, p. 371. 46. Mortimer, Stirling’s Men, p. 28; Mortimer, The SAS in World War II, pp. 25–31. 47. Cowles, The Phantom Major, pp. 60–66. 48. Ibid., pp. 71–72. 49. Quoted ibid., p. 97. 50. Cowles, The Phantom Major, pp. 98–103. 51. Mortimer, Stirling’s Men, pp. 56–57; Cowles, The Phantom Major, pp. 178–180. 52.

Microsoft, the most powerful software company in history, didn’t have a website, let alone provide a Web browser. But Web traffic was over two thousand times busier than it had been a year earlier. That explosive growth meant a brief window of opportunity, the kind of opportunity that Erwin Rommel would have lunged for had he been a businessman rather than a general. Instead, it fell to a young computer scientist working on Wall Street to seize the moment. His name was Jeff Bezos. “When a company comes up with an idea, it’s a messy process,” Bezos told Brad Stone, the author of the definitive biography both of Bezos and of the company he created: Amazon.7 From the outside, that is a puzzling claim. To the consumer, Amazon is a byword for tidy efficiency: you want a product, you search Amazon, you find the product, you buy the product, the product arrives. To competitors, fighting Amazon is like fighting a machine: every move is calculated, every strategy quantified.


pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, David Heinemeier Hansson, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The company was offering the same Huggies Little Snugglers and Pampers Swaddlers that moms could buy from Amazon. The business grew quickly and caught the attention of Amazon, which sent Jeff Blackburn to visit with Lore and Bharara. According to Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone, the author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Blackburn was a senior vice president of business development for Amazon, which means he was in charge of buying companies for Jeff Bezos. According to Stone, Blackburn told Lore and Bharara that Amazon was getting ready to invest in the diapers category and they should think hard about selling to Amazon.4 Soon after meeting with Blackburn, Lore and Bharara saw Amazon drop its prices on diapers by 30%. They assumed Amazon was intentionally trying to undercut them, so they manipulated the price of diapers, moving the price up and down and watched as Amazon prices changed in lockstep.

Tuttle, Brad, “Amazon Prime: Bigger, More Powerful, More Profitable than Anyone Imagined,” Time, March 8, 2013. business.time.com/2013/03/18/amazon-prime-bigger-more-powerful-more-profitable-than-anyone-imagined. 3. Stone, “What’s in Amazon’s Box? Instant Gratification.” 4. Bensinger, Greg, “Amazon Expands Grocery Business,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2013. online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324798904578526820771744676. 5. Bishop, Jeff. “Bezos: Amazon Closer to Solving Economics of Grocery Delivery,” GeekWire, May 24, 2013. geekwire.com/2013/jeff-bezos-amazon-fresh-closer-solving-economics-grocery-delivery. 6. Perez, Sarah, “Target Launches Its First Subscription-Based E-Commerce Service, Focus for Now Is Baby-Care Items,” Techcrunch, September 25, 2013. techcrunch.com/2013/09/25/targets-launches-its-first-subscription-based-e-commerce-service-focus-for-now-is-baby-care-items. 7. Weber, Johannes, “Strassburg, 1605: The Origins of the Newspaper in Europe,” German History, July 2006, 387–412. gh.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/3/387.abstract. 8.

Amazon Fresh didn’t start out as a subscription business; instead, it was open to anyone willing to pay the delivery fee of $8 to $10 to have milk, veggies, and meat brought to their door in a one- to three-hour delivery window. AmazonFresh stayed stuck in beta in one city for six years as the company tried to work out a profitable business model. The business proved challenging, which Amazon founder Jeff Bezos seemed to acknowledge in response to a question about AmazonFresh at Amazon’s 2013 annual shareholders meeting: “They have made progress on the economics over the last year,” said Bezos.4 “They’ve been doing a lot of experiments and trying to get the right mixture of customer experience and economics. I’m optimistic that the team is making good progress.”5 In spring 2013, AmazonFresh added Los Angeles as the second city for the program.


pages: 231 words: 71,248

Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

corporate raider, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, performance metric, recommendation engine, Skype, slashdot, sorting algorithm, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, web application

Abashed, I went to Dartmouth, and studied at the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business, earning a master’s of engineering management degree. I left Dartmouth and joined Amazon, where I was a technical product program manager and an engineering manager (a.k.a. two-pizza team leader). On projects like customer reviews, identity, and fraud-fighting infrastructure, I saw how Jeff Bezos and his lieutenants worked and learned to mimic how some of the best in the business did the job. I eventually went to Google, and as a senior product manager I spent over five years focusing on scalability, business strategy, and the interpersonal dynamics inherent in software teams. I grew Google Pack, shipped the Google Update service used in dozens of products, and helped build the Google Apps program through mobile sync services, connectors for Microsoft Outlook, and data import tools.

How to Find the Right Need to Meet The “wow, this is really cool; let’s make it!” road to product definition does not even come close to the wealth, fame, and success road signs. Your business likely caters to a segment of customers who have many different problems; how do you identify the critical problem you are going to solve first? Let’s try driving the road backward, starting with those who are actually successful, famous, and yes, ridiculously wealthy. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has made a small fortune for his company and shareholders by constantly emphasizing that teams “focus on customers, not competition.” The great clarity that this distinction provides is that your team remains problem focused, rather than reactive. Similarly, Larry Page, CEO of Google, frequently says, “Start with the customer and work outward.” His notion is similar, albeit less focused on strategy.

If you complete the steps one at a time and celebrate each milestone you pass, you can actually have a pretty good time. Most of these steps, except for steps 6 and 7, are fast and fun (if you’re a geek like me). So let’s start at step 1 and build a product. Step 1. Write a Press Release An unorthodox but otherwise great way to start defining your product is by writing a press release. Jeff Bezos and company pioneered the “write the press release first” approach at Amazon. The concept is that you have one page in which to make the marketing announcement. A great press release or blog post communicates critical information that succinctly describes the product. The benefit of starting with a press release instead of the FAQ or one-pager is that it is inherently brief, readable, and focused on what the real product will mean to real users.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, information asymmetry, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

For example, see “Family Health, May 2011: Local Assistance Estimate for Fiscal Years 2010–11 and 2011–12; Management Summary,” Fiscal Forecasting and Data Management Branch State Department of Health Care Services, last modified May 10, 2011, http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/dataandstats/reports/Documents/Fam_Health_Est/M11_Mgmt_Summ_Tab.pdf. 5. Kristina Strain, “Is Jeff Bezos Turning a Corner with His Giving?” Inside Philanthropy, April 9, 2014, http://www.insidephilanthropy.com/tech-philanthropy/2014/4/9/is-jeff-bezos-turning-a-corner-with-his-giving.html. 6. William J. Broad, “Billionaires with Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science,” New York Times, March 15, 2014, science section, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/science/billionaires-with-big-ideas-are-privatizing-american-science.html. 7. Walt Crowley, “Experience Music Project (EMP) Opens at Seattle Center on June 23, 2000,” Historylink.org, March 15, 2003, http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?

As you might expect, this scenario has already started. Superhuman omniscient systems observe our individual and group behavior, then guide us to what we purchase, listen to, watch, and read—while the profits quietly pile up elsewhere. You don’t have to look very far to find an example of how this affects you—there’s no waiting on checkout 1 in the Amazon cloud! 6. America, Land of the Free Shipping I first met Jeff Bezos at a 1996 retreat for CEOs of the venture capital firm of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. This may sound like a Davos- or Bohemian Club–style conclave of movers and shakers, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Most of the thirty or so attendees were relative newcomers to the Silicon Valley scene. Jeff was one of the first to realize that the opening of the Internet to commercial use might create significant business opportunities.

Want to take over the market for electric toothbrushes? No problem, charge your competitors more to stock and ship their inventory than it costs you to handle the same products. The common thread behind these business tactics is to acquire an enduring information advantage over customers and competitors, deftly wrapped in a narrative of low prices, outstanding service, and fair play. I think Amazon is an amazing company and Jeff Bezos is a great guy, but there’s another reason the financial markets value the company at more than six hundred times earnings (2013), when the average is around twenty times earnings: they look forward to the inevitable time when the company extracts monopoly prices after locking in its customers and scorching the earth of competitors. And this is as it should be. Shoppers aren’t stupid; they will go where they get the best all-around deal, including convenience, service, and other factors.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

The foundations of an Internet economy that operates with little regulation have been the basis of their fortunes. 5. But perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the no-taxes, no-regulation regime of the Internet has been Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon. Bezos was schooled in the libertarian ethos by his family. His stepfather, Miguel Bezos, had emigrated from Cuba after the rise of Castro and was an engineer for Exxon in Houston, Texas. Mike Bezos (as he is now known) contributed to Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party presidential campaign in 2012. Jeff Bezos outlined his core libertarian philosophy in an interview for the Academy of Achievement: I think people should carefully reread the first part of the Declaration of Independence. Because I think sometimes we as a society start to get confused and think that we have a right to happiness, but if you read the Declaration of Independence, it talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As Ben Tarnoff, writing in the Guardian noted, one of the reasons Peter Thiel was drawn to Donald Trump’s authoritarian candidacy was that “he would discipline what Thiel calls ‘the unthinking demos’: the democratic public that constrains capitalism.” But for now there are few constraints on Tech capitalism. The monopoly profits of this new era have been very, very good to a few men. The Forbes 400 list, which ranks American wealth, places Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg in the top ten. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist Paul Graham (CEO of Y Combinator), in a 2016 blog post, was quite open about celebrating income inequality. He wrote, “I’ve become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I’ve spent the past decade working hard to do it. Not just by helping the 2500 founders YC has funded. I’ve also written essays encouraging people to increase economic inequality and giving them detailed instructions showing how.”

More people than ever are listening to music, reading books, and watching movies, but the revenue flowing to the creators of that content is decreasing while the revenue flowing to the big four platforms is increasing. Each of these platforms presents a different challenge for creators. Google and YouTube are ad-supported “free riders” driven by a permissionless philosophy. Facebook, with its libertarian financier’s roots, takes much of the same stance toward content and advertising, but there are signs that its CEO has real ethical questions about where the company is going. Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, embraces the libertarian creed but has not taken the “don’t ask permission” route, has instead opened a new front: a relentless push to lower prices and commoditize content (especially books), which presents a different danger. And then there is Apple, the dissenter from the libertarian creed. Both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have been real allies to the content community, and their stance against the surveillance-marketing model that is at the core of Google’s and Facebook’s businesses—i.e., their support of ad blockers—puts them in direct opposition to the dominant search and social platforms.


pages: 102 words: 29,596

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, new economy, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, Steve Jobs

dept=product-management&req=a0IA000000CwBjlMAF. 3 Rachel Emma Silverman and Lauren Weber, “An Inside Job: More Firms Opt to Recruit from Within,” Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303395604577434563715828218. 4 Reid Hoffman, “If, Why, and How Founders Should Hire a ‘Professional,’” CEO, January 21, 2013, http://reidhoffman.org/if-why-and-how-founders-should-hire-a-professional-ceo/. 5 “Rich Corporate Culture at McDonald’s Is Built on Collaboration,” Financial Post, February 4, 2013, http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/04/rich-corporate-culture-at-mcdonalds-is-built-on-collaboration/. 6 Kim Bhasin, “Jeff Bezos Talks About His Old Job at McDonald’s, Where He Had to Clean Gallons of Ketchup off the Floor,” Business Insider, July 23, 2012, http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-reflects-on-his-old-job-at-mcdonalds-2012-7. 7 Anne Fulton, “Career Agility: The New Employer-Employee Bargain,” blog post, March 21, 2013, http://www.careerengagementgroup.com/blog/2013/03/21/career-agility-the-new-employer-employee-bargain/. 8 Jeffrey Pfeffer, “Business and the Spirit: Management Practices That Sustain Values,” Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper Series, no. 1713, October 2001, https://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/1713.pdf.

Amazon has become a leader in the field of cloud computing, thanks to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which allows companies to rent online storage and computing power, rather than buying and operating their own servers. Companies ranging from Fortune 500 giants to one-person start-ups run their businesses on AWS. What most people don’t realize is that the idea for AWS didn’t come from Amazon’s famed entrepreneurial founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, or even from a member of his executive team, but rather from an “ordinary” employee. In 2003, website engineering manager Benjamin Black wrote a short paper describing a vision for Amazon’s infrastructure and suggested selling virtual servers as a service.10 He realized that the same operational expertise that made Amazon an efficient retailer could be repurposed to serve the general market for computing power.

We will invest in you and your growth. You can take many of the competencies we will help you develop in whatever it is you choose to do—whether it’s with McDonald’s or whether it’s outside of McDonald’s.”5 Some people, like Jillard himself, stay at the company a very long time. Most leave the company after a tour or two—but they can draw useful lessons from their experience. Before he was a famous CEO, a young Jeff Bezos flipped burgers for McDonald’s. Years later, he said that his manager at McDonald’s was “excellent” and taught him the importance of responsibility!6 An organization doesn’t have to be a for-profit business to use tours of duty to build adaptive teams. Endeavor is a global nonprofit that serves entrepreneurs; this makes adaptability essential. According to cofounder Linda Rottenberg, this need for agility informed her adoption of the tour of duty model as a talent strategy.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, digital map, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit, turn-by-turn navigation

Amazon Amazon.com, founded in 1994, is the largest online retailer in the world. Originally, the site sold only books, but as its offerings have diversified, virtually anything can now be purchased through its online stores. Additionally, the company produces a popular line of Kindle ebook readers that is largely credited with helping the digital book format to explode in popularity in recent years. Before the site was ever launched, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, attracted by the then projected web commerce growth of 2300%, analyzed the potential for various items to be sold online. He settled on books due to historic demand, low inventory price points, and the large number of titles in print. Within two months, Amazon’s sales reached $20,000 a week, a degree of success no doubt aided by Bezos’ friendship with John Ingram of the Ingram Content Group, the largest distributor of books in the world.

Through the company’s companion Createspace and KDP sites, authors can self-publish their works in both paper and electronic formats. For ebooks published for the Kindle priced from $2.99-$9.99, authors earn 70% royalties. Is the lack of profitability in the face of such variety evidence that Amazon is trying to do too much? That it cannot be all things to all people? Or is it simply an obstacle to be overcome on the way to building what has now become in Jeff Bezos’ mind an online content ecosphere? Critics are sharply divided in their answers, but one thing is clear. If you do your market research as Bezos did, and if you offer a quality users experience with a high value proposition and low friction, you can grow your site. In the days leading up to Christmas 2013, Amazon sold 426 items per second! The Amazon Prime program has a membership of approximately 20 million and the site attracts more than 65 million customers in the United States alone each month.

What language do my customers / users speak? It’s a wise course of action to do NOTHING until you know your market. Just look at Goodreads and Amazon. Goodreads was founded by a voracious reader who also happened to be a coder. Amazon was founded by an entrepreneur who looked at what could be sold online and settled on books due to historic demand and the passionate attachment of readers to literature. It’s worth noting that Jeff Bezos ruled out video, audio, and computers as the basis for the Amazon store, but then came back when he had the capital and incorporated those items and many more into the now giant retail site. His reason for the gradual expansion was incredibly sound. People who buy books also tend to buy music and videos. He then merged those interests into a neat consumer electronics package with the Kindle Fire tablet, an all-in-one device for consuming Amazon content — ebooks, music, and video with built-in on-the-device ordering.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

The idea was to raise money from them for a stake in the company so that we could then buy out Sequoia and some of our other shareholders and board members. As we were going through the process of talking with these different potential investors, Amazon contacted us. We had been in touch with them for the past several years. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, first contacted me back in 2005 and paid us a visit in Las Vegas. Even before he flew down, we let him know that we weren’t looking to sell the company. Date: August 16, 2005 From: Tony Hsieh To: Jeff Bezos Subject: Thursday’s Amazon/Zappos meeting Hi Jeff— I’m looking forward to meeting you in person on Thursday. I just wanted to set proper expectations before the meeting and reiterate that we are looking to grow Zappos as an independent company at this point in time, but are always open to exploring partnership opportunities.

The whole point of this combination is to accelerate our growth, so if anything, we are actually anticipating more growth opportunities for everyone. Q: Will we continue to do the special things we do for our customers? Are our customer service policies going to change? Just like before, that’s completely up to us to decide. Q: Can you tell me a bit more about Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO)? What is he like? We’d like to show an 8-minute video of Jeff Bezos that will give you some insight into his personality and way of thinking. He shares some of what he’s learned as an entrepreneur, as well as some of the mistakes he’s made. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hxX_Q5CnaA Q: I’m a business/financial reporter. Can you talk like a banker and use fancy-sounding language that we can print in a business publication?

It just goes to show that you never know when something you perceive as a negative will ultimately turn out to be a good thing. The hardest part about the whole process was having to keep everything secret from our employees for the several months leading up to the signing of the paperwork. We didn’t want to do it, but were legally required to by the SEC because Amazon was a public company. Jeff Bezos flew to Vegas and came to my house to meet Alfred, Fred, and myself right before the actual signing of the legal paperwork. I barbecued burgers for him in my backyard and we all talked for a few hours. Later that night, Fred and I randomly ended up spending two hours in a recording studio talking and hanging out with Snoop Dogg. At the end of the night, Fred and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh.


pages: 197 words: 59,946

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, new economy, pre–internet, Skype, social software, Tony Hsieh

—Lee De Forest, radio pioneer, 1926 “Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney.” —Cliff Stoll, author, astronomer, professor, 1995 “If I had a nickel for every time an investor told me this wouldn’t work…” —Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon Contents Epigraph Preface Part I. Welcome to the Thank You Economy 1 How Everything Has Changed, Except Human Nature 2 Erasing Lines in the Sand 3 Why Smart People Dismiss Social Media, and Why They Shouldn’t Part II. How to Win 4 From the Top: Instill the Right Culture 5 The Perfect Date: Traditional Media Meets Social 6 I’m on a Horse: How Old Spice Played Ping-Pong, Then Dropped the Ball 7 Intent: Quality versus Quantity 8 Shock and Awe Part III.

It wasn’t practical, and it would never take off because, as the data on his PowerPoint slides revealed, nobody in Middle America was buying, nor would they ever buy, on the Internet. Mr. PowerPoint asked the audience, “How many of you have heard of Amazon?” A solid number of people raised their hands. He went on to ask if they really thought people would abandon the relationships they’d built over the years with their local bookstores, or even bypass super-stocked Barnes & Noble. They didn’t. It would be another two years before CEO Jeff Bezos would be named Time’s Person of the Year, his name underscored on the cover by the subhead “E-commerce is changing the way the world shops.” It would be another four years before Amazon reached its first quarterly net profit. Mr. PowerPoint compared the company’s rising market share to its nonexistent profits and said that one day we would all look back and say, “Remember Amazon?” My short-term dream at the time was to become the Amazon for wine, and the audience I was about to explain that dream to was staring at this PowerPointing clown’s charts and graphs as if they were carved stone tablets brought down by Moses.

It’s unfortunate that so many companies had to fall by the wayside while the Thank You Economy took shape, but now that it’s here, the playing field is becoming shockingly equal. PART II How to Win CHAPTER FOUR From the Top: Instill the Right Culture I can point to the date when the Thank You Economy’s existence became a matter of public record. It was July 22, 2009, a Wednesday. That’s the day it was announced that Amazon had bought Zappos for $1.2 billion. Jeff Bezos is a hell of a smart guy, yet I heard more than one venture capitalist insider mutter that Zappos pulled a coup. There’s just no way the online retail company was worth that much money, they said. But Zappos wasn’t overpriced, and Bezos knew exactly what he was doing. It seems to me that anyone who knows Bezos’s track record and still criticizes this acquisition is someone for whom numbers tell the entire story.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Belgium “Link War” Ends after Years of Conflict,” Ars Technica, July 19, 2011, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/07/google-versus-belgium-who-is-winning-nobody. 139 German: Harro Ten Wolde and Eric Auchard, “Germany’s Top Publisher Bows to Google in News Licensing Row,” Reuters, November 5, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-google-axel-sprngr-idUSKBN0IP1YT20141105. 139 Spanish newspaper publishers: Eric Auchard, “Google to Shut Down News Site in Spain over Copyright Fees,” Reuters, December 11, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-google-spain-news-idUSKBN0JP0QM20141211. 140 by 2016 it had over a billion active users: WhatsApp, “One Billion,” WhatsApp (blog), February 1, 2016, https://blog.whatsapp.com/616/One-billion. 140 more than 40 billion messages per day: “WhatsApp Reaches a Billion Monthly Users,” BBC News, February 1, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35459812. 141 600 million monthly active users: Alexei Oreskovic, “Facebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition Now Has Price Tag of $22 Billion,” Reuters, October 6, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-whatsapp-idUSKCN0HV1Q820141006. 141 just 70 employees: Ibid. 141 50% more messages: Benedict Evans, “WhatsApp Sails Past SMS, but Where Does Messaging Go Next?” Benedict Evans (blog), January 11, 2015, http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2015/1/11/whatsapp-sails-past-sms-but-where-does-messaging-go-next. 142 CEO Jeff Bezos assigned Rick Dalzell the task: Staci D. Kramer, “The Biggest Thing Amazon Got Right: The Platform,” Gigaom, October 12, 2011, https://gigaom.com/2011/10/12/419-the-biggest-thing-amazon-got-right-the-platform. 142 Dalzell was described as a bulldog: Matt Rosoff, “Jeff Bezos ‘Makes Ordinary Control Freaks Look like Stoned Hippies,’ Says Former Engineer,” Business Insider, October 12, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-makes-ordinary-control-freaks-look-like-stoned-hippies-says-former-engineer-2011-10. 143 launched Amazon Web Services in 2006: Amazon Web Services, “About AWS,” accessed February 4, 2017, https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws. 143 Amazon S3: Amazon Web Services, “Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)—Continuing Successes,” July 11, 2006, https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2006/07/11/amazon-simple-storage-service-amazon-s3---continuing-successes. 143 Amazon EC2: Amazon Web Services, “Announcing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)—Beta,” August 24, 2006, https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2006/08/24/announcing-amazon-elastic-compute-cloud-amazon-ec2---beta. 143 more than 290,000 developers using the platform: Amazon, “Ooyala Wins Amazon Web Services Start-up Challenge, Receives $100,000 in Cash and Services Credits Plus Investment Offer from Amazon.com,” December 7, 2007, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?

Perry, “Creative Destruction: Newspaper Ad Revenue Continued Its Precipitous Free Fall in 2013, and It’s Probably Not Over Yet,” AEIdeas, April 25, 2014, https://www.aei.org/publication/creative-destruction-newspaper-ad-revenue-continued-its-precipitous-free-fall-in-2013-and-its-probably-not-over-yet. 132 $3.4 billion: Pew Research Center, “State of the News Media 2015,” April 29, 2015, http://www.journalism.org/files/2015/04/FINAL-STATE-OF-THE-NEWS-MEDIA1.pdf. 132 “print dollars were being replaced by digital dimes”: Waldman, “Information Needs of Communities.” 132 13,400 newspaper newsroom jobs: Ibid. 132 Tucson Citizen: Tucson Citizen, accessed January 31, 2017, http://tucsoncitizen.com. 132 Rocky Mountain News: Lynn DeBruin, “Rocky Mountain News to Close, Publish Final Edition Friday,” Rocky Mountain News, February 26, 2009, http://web.archive.org/web/20090228023426/http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/feb/26/rocky-mountain-news-closes-friday-final-edition. 132 lost more than 90% of their value: Yahoo! Finance, “The McClatchy Company (MNI),” accessed January 31, 2017, http://finance.yahoo.com/quote/MNI. 132 On August 5, 2013, the Washington Post: Paul Farhi, “Washington Post to Be Sold to Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon,” Washington Post, August 5, 2013, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/washington-post-to-be-sold-to-jeff-bezos/2013/08/05/ca537c9e-fe0c-11e2-9711-3708310f6f4d_story.html. 132 Penthouse (General Media): Bloomberg News, “Company News; General Media’s Plan to Leave Bankruptcy Is Approved,” New York Times, August 13, 2004, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/13/business/company-news-general-media-s-plan-to-leave-bankruptcy-is-approved.html. 132 National Enquirer and Men’s Fitness (American Media): Eric Morath, “American Media Files for Bankruptcy,” Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2010, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704648604575621053554011206. 133 Newsweek: Rob Verger, “Newsweek’s First Issue Debuted Today in 1933,” Newsweek, February 17, 2014, http://www.newsweek.com/newsweeks-first-issue-debuted-today-1933-229355. 133 a circulation of 3.3 million: Ryan Nakashima, “Newsweek Had Unique Troubles as Industry Recovers,” U.S.

Help-wanted classified ad revenue dropped by more than 90% in the decade after 2000, from $8.7 billion to $723 million. Newspaper companies including the Tucson Citizen (Arizona’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper) and the Rocky Mountain News went bankrupt. Others, like the McClatchy Company, lost more than 90% of their value. On August 5, 2013, the Washington Post made a surprise announcement that it had been acquired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million. Similar patterns held in magazine publishing, with total circulation and advertising revenue in precipitous decline. The parent companies of magazines as diverse as Penthouse (General Media) and the National Enquirer and Men’s Fitness (American Media) declared bankruptcy. Newsweek, which had been in print since 1933 and at one point had a circulation of 3.3 million, saw its total circulation dropped by more than 50% between 2007 and 2011 and ceased publishing a print edition altogether in 2012.


pages: 410 words: 101,260

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

Scott Adams At the turn of the century, an invention took Silicon Valley by storm. Steve Jobs called it the most amazing piece of technology since the personal computer. Enamored with the prototype, Jobs offered the inventor $63 million for 10 percent of the company. When the inventor turned it down, Jobs did something out of character: he offered to advise the inventor for the next six months—for free. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took one look at the product and immediately got involved, telling the inventor, “You have a product so revolutionary, you’ll have no problem selling it.” John Doerr, the legendary investor who bet successfully on Google and many other blue-chip startups, pumped $80 million into the business, predicting that it would be the fastest company ever to reach $1 billion and “would become more important than the internet.”

The device went through three or four iterations before a customer ever saw it.* Conviction in our ideas is dangerous not only because it leaves us vulnerable to false positives, but also because it stops us from generating the requisite variety to reach our creative potential. But Kamen and his team weren’t the only ones who were too bullish on the Segway. Where did virtuosos like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and John Doerr misstep in their judgments about the device? To find out, let’s first take a look at why many executives and test audiences failed to see the potential in Seinfeld. Prisoners of Prototypes and Parochial Preferences When the first Seinfeld script was submitted, executives didn’t know what to do with it. It was “totally unconventional,” NBC executive Warren Littlefield said.

Three major forces left him overconfident about the Segway’s potential: domain inexperience, hubris, and enthusiasm. Let’s start with experience. Whereas many NBC executives were too experienced in traditional sitcoms to appreciate the unorthodox genius of Seinfeld, the Segway’s early investors had the opposite problem: they didn’t know enough about transportation. Jobs specialized in the digital world, Jeff Bezos was the king of internet retail, and John Doerr had made his fortune investing in software and internet companies like Sun Microsystems, Netscape, Amazon, and Google. They had all been originals in their respective arenas, but being a creator in one particular area doesn’t make you a great forecaster in others. To accurately predict the success of a novel idea, it’s best to be a creator in the domain you’re judging.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Pamela Walker Laird, Pull: Networking and Success Since Benjamin Franklin (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2007), 88. 8. AnnaLee Saxenian, Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 34. 9. Michael Eisner and Aaron D. Cohen, Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed (New York: Harper Business, 2010), 202. 10. Nicholas Carlson, “Jeff Bezos: Here’s Why He Won,” Business Insider, May 16, 2011, http://​www.​businessinsider.​com/​jeff-​bezos-​visionary-​2011​–​4#ixzz1​NsYA4QfS 11. Claire Cain Miller, “How Pandora Slipped Past the Junkyard,” New York Times, March 7, 2010, http://​dealbook.​nytimes.​com/​2010/​03/​08/​how-​pandora-​slipped-​past-​the-​junkyard Chapter 6 1. Reannon Muth, “Are Risk-Takers a Dying Breed?” Matador, June 13, 2010, http://​matadornetwork.​com/​bnt/​are-​risk-​takers-​a-​dying-​breed/ 2.

We call this mind-set “permanent beta.” The Start-up of You Mind-set: Permanent Beta Technology companies sometimes keep the beta test phase label on software for a time after the official launch to stress that the product is not finished so much as ready for the next batch of improvements. Gmail, for example, launched in 2004 but only left official beta in 2009, after millions of people were already using it. Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon, concludes every annual letter to shareholders by reminding readers, as he did in his first annual letter in 1997, that “it’s still Day 1” of the Internet and of Amazon.com: “Though we are optimistic, we must remain vigilant and maintain a sense of urgency.”19 In other words, Amazon is never finished: it’s always Day 1. For entrepreneurs, finished is an F-word. They know that great companies are always evolving.

Extra cash in the bank bought them enough time to figure out how to increase and sustain enough customers to turn a consistent profit. And their resourcefulness impressed enough investors that they were able to raise outside financing, including a Series A investment that I led with Greylock. Hundreds of thousands of travelers have since happily stayed on the bed or air mattress of a host. It’s hard to capture the essence of resourcefulness, but most of us know it when we see it. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was looking for a wife, he told friends who were setting him up on dates that he wanted a woman who was resourceful. But they didn’t get it. So he told them, “I want a woman who could help me get out of a Third World prison!” That did the trick.10 The Airbnb guys, if they had to, could probably break out of a Third World prison. Be Resilient: When the Naysayers Are Loud, Turn Up the Music Tim Westergren might be the most resilient man in Silicon Valley.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

., April 29, 2009. 311 “The official answer”: author interviews with Eric Schmidt, March 26, 2008 and April 1, 2009. 312 “Our industry faces”: author e-mail exchange with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., April 29, 2009. 313 10 percent of these were downloaded: author interview with Jeff Bezos, July 9, 2008. When I sought to update this number, Bezos’s deputy Craig Berman, reported in a May 2009 e-mail that it had grown to 35 percent. 313 What gives publishers pause: Motoko Rich, “Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon,” New York Times, June 1, 2009. 313 “Physical books”: Jeff Bezos interviewed at the D Conference attended by author, May 28, 2008, and interview with author, July 9, 2008. 314 nightly audience has plunged: nightly news audience decline from Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times, May 11, 2009. 314 Jack Myers projects: Myers Advertising and Marketing Investment Insights, March 10, 2009. 315 Neilson reported in early 2009: Nielsen report on fourth quarter 2008 television and Internet video cited in the Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2009. 315 If four million: Bobbie Kotick interviewed at D Conference attended by author, May 28, 2008. 315 “To survive”: author interviews with Quincy Smith, January 23, 2008, and April 9, 2008, May 19 and 25, 2009, and with Les Moonves, July 8, 2009. 316 The biggest box office : Brian Stelter and Brad Stone, “Digital Pirates Winning Battle with Major Hollywood Studios,” New York Times, February 5, 2009. 316 Sergey Brin described going on a boat in Europe: author interview with Sergey Brin, March 26, 2008. 317 So they initiated efforts: Sam Schechner and Vishesh Kumar, “Cable Firms Look to Offer TV Programs Online,” Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2009, and interviews with senior television executives. 317 Eric Schmidt saw a demonstration: author interview with Eric Schmidt, April 1, 2009, and Sezmi.com. 318 “We can go directly”: author interview with Ivan Seidenberg, October 30, 2008. 319 Irwin Gotlieb also dismisses: author interview with Irwin Gotlieb, February 9, 2009. 321 “Do you feel bad”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, March 26, 2008.

And second, Google was not relying on a promise of advertising revenues to reach an agreement; rather, it agreed to an up-front compensation formula of a sort it had refused to make with other traditional media companies, with the exception of the Associated Press and some wire services. “It’s a new model for us,” admitted Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond. This new model was lavishly praised by authors and publishers, but it raised new questions. Was Google going to enter the online book-selling business, competing against an early investor, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos? With Microsoft dropping its book search project and no other deep-pocketed competitor jumping in, did the agreement concentrate too much informational power in the hands of a single company? Did Google have the right, as it claimed, to sell digital copies of books whose copyright had expired? If it is true—as the Internet Archive, a competitive book digitizer, claims—that the settlement grants Google immunity from copyright infringement, will the courts permit this?

In turn, writers have to adjust to new pay formulas that involve less money upfront and more profit participation if their books sell. More books will be self-published. And an entirely new class of books-user-generated serial novels written online—now appear on cell phones in Japan, and will elsewhere. For readers, a digital book, like a digital newspaper or magazine, offers a multimedia dimension: video, music, games, interactivity between author and audience. Early in 2009, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that of the books that were available both in print and electronically at Amazon, 10 percent of these were downloaded and sold on its portable Kindle device. By May, Amazon said the number of electronic books it sold had soared to 35 percent. This figure had nearly quadrupled in a year. Although electronic books comprised but 1 percent to 2 percent of all books sold, it is clear that paper will continue to be replaced by bits.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

By spending time at Justin.tv, the Airbnb founders got to see what a real tech startup looked like, one with real offices, real employees, and actual venture capital in the bank. (Justin.tv later spun off a video-game service, Twitch.tv, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million.) Continuing this education, they attended a one-day event called Startup School, organized by the startup incubator Y Combinator and hosted by Stanford University. The speakers that year included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the investor Marc Andreessen, an inventor of the web browser. But the speech the founders remembered best was by Greg McAdoo, a venture capitalist at the top-tier VC firm Sequoia Capital, a man whom they would soon get to know well. McAdoo spoke about why being a great entrepreneur required the precision of a great surfer. If you want to build a truly great company you have got to ride a really big wave.

He had started looking for new capital that spring and found a receptive audience. With Airbnb bookings growing 40 to 50 percent every month, TechCrunch had called it “the sleeper hit of the startup world.”6 Andreessen Horowitz, which passed on the Series A, beat out a crop of other top-tier venture firms in a hotly competitive fund-raising round. It led the Series B and a group that included Yuri Milner’s DST, the personal investment funds of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and the actor Ashton Kutcher for a total $112 million investment that valued the company at $1.3 billion. The financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Jeff Jordan, a former eBay president. Jordan had gone from thinking “this is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard” to practically jumping out of his seat at the Allen and Company conference when he recognized the similarities between Airbnb and his old company.

Observers would connect the tactic with Kalanick’s Twitter avatar—at that point, the cover of one of Ayn Rand’s manifestos, The Fountainhead. “It’s less of a political statement,” Kalanick told the Washington Post reporter who asked about it in 2012. “It’s just personally one of my favorite books. I’m a fan of architecture.” But Kalanick’s stubborn defense of surge pricing impressed at least one observer. “Travis is a real entrepreneur,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told board member Bill Gurley after a surge fracas, according to Gurley. “Most CEOs would have caved.” In the fall of 2011, Travis Kalanick once again set out to raise capital. The rancor surrounding surge pricing would be nothing compared to the animosity that was about to be unleashed behind the scenes. Though still small, Uber was showing flashes of promise. In September, it generated $9 million in fares and kept $1.8 million in commissions, according to data shared with investors at the time.


pages: 376 words: 110,796

Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight by Chris Dubbs, Emeline Paat-dahlstrom, Charles D. Walker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, call centre, desegregation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mikhail Gorbachev, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, V2 rocket, X Prize, young professional

XCOR Aerospace is not the only company benefiting from a long line of SSTO RLV developments pioneered by people who had worked for Dc-x and Roton. A number of the DC-X personnel have also been hired by another, more secretive vehicle developer, called Blue Origin, based in Seattle, Washington. Blue Origin was founded by space buff and multibillionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. Incorporated in 2002, Blue Origin did not go public until 2003, and the company remains tightlipped about its current development progress and schedule. Jeff Bezos took an early infatuation with space and a tech background on a circuitous career path to end up in the private space business. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1964. A tinkerer from an early age, he dismantled his crib with a screwdriver while still a toddler. In high school he became hooked on computers and turned his parents' garage into a science lab.

This event was demonstrating that space had definitely developed a cache among the wealthy, offering them everything from a $30 million visit to the International Space Station to five-figure deposits to place their names on the waiting list for a suborbital flight. And then there were the hightech "thrillionaires." Rick Tumlinson had already remarked that the promotion of public access to space had become something of a geeky status symbol. "It's not good enough to have a Gulfstream V, now you've got to have a rocket." "Space geeks" who had made their fortune in such technology-related ventures as PayPal (Elon Musk), Amazon.com (Jeff Bezos), Google (Larry Page), and computer games (John Carmack) were now directing their wealth into creating vehicles to carry people to space. Peter Diamandis, in acknowledging the rise of space money men as a unique moment in history, declared that "there is sufficient wealth controlled by individuals to start serious space efforts." On this day, Microsoft multibillionaire Paul Allen's $25 million investment in Burt Rutan's X PRIZE quest was about to face its first full test.

They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus: An Incurable Dreamer Builds the First Civilian Spaceship. New York: Bantam Books, 2002. Wilbur, Ted. Space and the United States Navy. Washington Dc: Chief of Naval Operations, 1970. Periodicals and Online Articles Aaron, Kenneth. "Space Tourists: XCOR's Suborbital Rocket Could be the Ultimate Thrill in Adventure Travel." Cornell Engineering Magazine, May 2003. Academy of Achievement. "Biography: Jeff Bezos." http://www.achievement .org/autodoc/printmember/bezobio-i. Adams, Eric. "The New Right Stuff." Popular Science, November 2004. Artemis Project. "Where the Nss Local Chapters Came From." http://www .asi.org/adb/o6/o1/nss-chapters-origins.html. Asimov, Isaac. "The Cruise and I." The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1973. The Next Frontier?" National Geographic, July 1976. Belfiore, Michael.


pages: 335 words: 104,850

Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

When all stakeholders are aligned around a common higher purpose, they are less likely to care only about their immediate, narrowly defined self-interest. Having a higher purpose is the starting point of what it means to be a conscious business: being self-aware, recognizing what makes the company truly unique, and discovering how the company can best serve. Having a compelling purpose can also galvanize a company to strive for greatness. As Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, says, “Choose a mission that is bigger than the company. The founder of Sony sets the mission for the company that they were going to make Japan known for quality.”1 Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, speaks eloquently of our company’s purpose: “We are not so much retailers with a mission as missionaries who retail. The stores are our canvas upon which we can paint our deeper purpose of bringing whole foods and greater health to the world.”

When your customers are happier and they enjoy shopping, it also makes your employees’ lives happier, so it’s a virtuous cycle.”2 At Whole Foods Market, we think of customers as our most important stakeholders because we know that without enough satisfied and happy customers, we have no business at all. After all, customers trade with the business voluntarily. In a competitive market, unhappy customers always have the option of trading someplace else. Customers are clearly critical to every business, but surprisingly they are often forgotten. It is easy to get caught up in the internal processes of a company and lose sight of the primary reason for the company to exist. Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com points out, “In a typical company, if you have a meeting, no matter how important it is there is always one party who is not represented: the customer. So it’s very easy inside the company to forget about the customer.”3 He started putting an empty chair in every meeting to remind participants of this. As with all stakeholders, the well-being of customers must be treated as an end and not just as a means to profits for the business.

But if you communicate consistently who you are, what your values are, and what your business philosophy, purpose, and strategy are, you will attract and build a following of shareholders and other investors who most align with your philosophy and vision of the business. You want investors who align with your purpose and understand your philosophy about stakeholders, so that when times become tough, they don’t pressure you to abandon your philosophy. In other words, you want investors who treat you the way T. Rowe Price treated Whole Foods Market during the Great Recession, as we describe below. Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com describes his perspective on investors: “With respect to investors, there is a great Warren Buffett–ism. You can hold a rock concert and that can be successful, and you can hold a ballet and that can be successful, but don’t hold a rock concert and advertise it as a ballet. If you’re very clear to the outside world that you’re taking a long-term approach, then people can self-select in.”3 As Buffet has said, you get the investors you deserve.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator, yield management

Cracks Down on Airbnb,” Crain’s New York Business, October 2, 2014, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20141002/BLOGS04/141009955/landlord-related-cos-cracks-down-on-airbnb. 120 “he’s trying to punk me”: Mike Vilensky, “Airbnb Wins Big-Name Allies in Albany Battle,” Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/airbnb-wins-big-name-allies-in-albany-battle-1470788320. 120 “ignore state law”: Rich Bockmann, “Airbnb Is Not Taking It Lying Down,” The Real Deal, March 1, 2016, http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/as-opponents-line-up-airbnb-fights-to-win-legitimacy-in-nyc/. 120 (snarky voice-over): “New Ad Highlights Airbnb’s Problem with the Law, from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to Chicago and Everywhere in Between,” Share Better, accessed October 9, 2016, http://www.sharebetter.org/story/share-better-releases-new-ad-airbnb-problems-everywhere/. 120 the authors wrote: Rosa Goldensohn, “Council Members Threaten Ashton Kutcher, Jeff Bezos with Airbnb Crackdown,” Crain’s New York Business, March 11, 2016, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20160311/BLOGS04/160319990/new-york-city-council-threaten-ashton-kutcher-jeff-bezos-with-airbnb-crackdown. 120 as “theatrics”: Ibid 120 (“#RunFromAirbnb”): Lisa Fickenscher, “Activists Call on Brooklyn Half Organizers to Dump Airbnb as Sponsor,” New York Post, May 20, 2016, http://nypost.com/2016/05/20/activists-call-on-brooklyn-half-organizers-to-dump-airbnb-as-sponsor/. 122 “to see an organization lose”: Erin Durkin, “Airbnb Foes Celebrate Win after Gov.

Halfway through our conversation about this, Chesky stopped, looked at me, and told me I could be a source. “By the way, I’m learning from this,” he said, pointing to my notes. “If I wanted to learn how to interview a candidate, the obvious place to go would be another executive. But the better place to go would be a reporter.” Of course, Chesky is operating at a level of highly privileged access; not everyone can call up Jony Ive or Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos. But Chesky insists there are always good mentors, regardless of someone’s level. “When I was unemployed and a designer, I also met with people, and I was [just as] shameless,” he says. In fact, if he had been meeting with some of these heavy hitters when he was an unemployed designer, he points out, it wouldn’t have been useful. “There wouldn’t have been anything to give back in the conversation.

He met with Disney CEO Bob Iger but also brought in Jay Rasulo, the former Disney CFO who later ran all its theme parks; and the company’s former chairman for theme parks and resorts, Paul Pressler (who later served as CEO of Gap Inc.). “This product was designed around the principles of Disneyland,” Chesky says. He also met with his sources at other companies that had branched out: Jony Ive at Apple, and in probably the best, if aspirational, model for what Chesky is trying to do, Jeff Bezos, who had turned Amazon from an online bookseller into a mega-retailer. Chesky also says he took some advice from Elon Musk of Tesla. Musk cautioned him against becoming a company that gets so big that it enters what he calls the “administration era”: a phase of 10 or 20 percent growth that a company settles into after the “creation era” and then the “building era” and signals a mature business.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

In a Wired magazine interview in April 2010, Bill Gates, America’s richest man, told reporter Steven Levy that if he were a teenager today, “he’d be hacking biology.”57 Gates elaborated, saying, “Creating artificial life with DNA synthesis, that’s sort of the equivalent of machine-language programming.” Whether or not his comments were meant as an endorsement of the field, the smart whiz kids who read Wired probably see it that way. And Gates isn’t the only technology mogul to express great interest in biology becoming a technology project. In a graduation speech at Princeton University, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos told students that “we humans, plodding as we are, will astonish ourselves.... Atom by atom we’ll assemble small machines that can enter cell walls and make repairs. This month comes the extraordinary, but inevitable news that we’ve synthesized life, and in the coming years we’ll not only synthesize it, but engineer it to specifications. I believe you will even see us understand the human brain.

Back in the 1970s, it was the Homebrew Club that brought together clever thinkers—such as future Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—to trade parts, circuits, and information for DIY computing devices. The point is that biology has become the latest and greatest engineering project, one that hobbyists celebrate. More importantly, eventually this passion will change the world. Those who have already made it big in the technology industry have not failed to notice. Aside from Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, other tech titans who are driving interest in the longevity meme include Oracle’s Larry Ellison, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. TECH TITANS TAKING ON BIOLOGY “Death has never made any sense to me,” Larry Ellison told investigative reporter Mike Wilson, who wrote an authorized biography of the so-called bad boy of Silicon Valley.

Scientists, backed by salespeople, mavens, and connectors, have made great headway in the march toward a brighter future, but it will be realized only when others join them in this cause. Policy makers, activists, journalists, educators, investors, philanthropists, analysts, entrepreneurs, and a whole host of others need to come together to fight for their lives. We now know that aging is plastic and that humanity’s time horizons are not set in stone. Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Paul Allen have all recognized the wealth of opportunity in the bioinformatics revolution, but this is not enough. Other heroes must come forward—perhaps there is even one reading this sentence right now. The goal is more healthy time, which, as we have seen throughout this book, will lead to greater wealth and prospects for happiness. A longer health span means more time to enjoy the wonders of life, including relationships with family and friends, career building, knowledge seeking, adventure, and exploration.


pages: 270 words: 79,068

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, business intelligence, cloud computing, financial independence, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

At the time, Bill was in his sixties, with gray hair and a gruff voice, yet he had the energy of a twenty-year-old. He began his career as a college football coach and did not enter the business world until he was forty. Despite the late start, Bill eventually became the chairman and CEO of Intuit. Following that, he became a legend in high tech, mentoring great CEOs such as Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Eric Schmidt of Google. Bill is extremely smart, super-charismatic, and elite operationally, but the key to his success goes beyond those attributes. In any situation—whether it’s the board of Apple, where he’s served for over a decade; the Columbia University Board of Trustees, where he is chairman; or the girls’ football team that he coaches—Bill is inevitably everybody’s favorite person.

If you put something into your culture that is so disturbing that it always creates a conversation, it will change behavior. As we learned in The Godfather, ask a Hollywood mogul to give someone a job and he might not respond. Put a horse’s head in his bed and unemployment will drop by one. Shock is a great mechanism for behavioral change. Here are three examples: Desks made out of doors Very early on, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, envisioned a company that made money by delivering value to rather than extracting value from its customers. In order to do that, he wanted to be both the price leader and customer service leader for the long run. You can’t do that if you waste a lot of money. Jeff could have spent years auditing every expense and raining hell on anybody who overspent, but he decided to build frugality into his culture.

If you are super-competent, they will trust you and listen to you. If you can paint a brilliant vision, people will be patient with you as you learn the CEO skills and give you more leeway with respect to their interests. PEACETIME CEO/WARTIME CEO Bill Campbell always used to say to me, “Ben, you’re the best CEO that I work with.” This always seemed crazy to me, because he was working with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Eric Schmidt at the time while my company was going straight into the wall. One day I called him on it and said, “Bill, why would you say that? Do results not count?” He said, “There are lots of good peacetime CEOs and lots of good wartime CEOs, but almost no CEOs that can function in both peacetime and in wartime. You’re a peacetime/wartime CEO.” By my calculation, I was a peacetime CEO for three days and wartime CEO for eight years.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

While the story of Amazon is familiar to many people, fewer remember that its content was originally crafted by human hand. The editors and critics evaluated and chose the titles featured on Amazon’s web pages. They were responsible for what was called “the Amazon voice”—considered one of the company’s crown jewels and a source of its competitive advantage. An article in the Wall Street Journal around that time feted them as the nation’s most influential book critics, since they drove so many sales. Then Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, began to experiment with a potent idea: What if the company could recommend specific books to customers based on their individual shopping preferences? From its start, Amazon had captured reams of data on all its customers: what they purchased, what books they only looked at but didn’t buy, and how long they looked at them. What books they bought in unison. The quantity of data was so huge that at first Amazon processed it the conventional way, by taking a sample and analyzing it to find similarities among customers.

Thus they never used or permitted others to use the data inherent in a book’s text. They never saw the need, or appreciated the potential. Many companies are now vying to crack the e-book market. Amazon, with its Kindle e-book readers, seems to have a big early lead. But this is an area where Amazon’s and Google’s strategies differ greatly. Amazon, too, has datafied books—but unlike Google, it has failed to exploit possible new uses of the text as data. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and chief executive, convinced hundreds of publishers to release their books on the Kindle format. Kindle books are not made up of page images. If they were, one wouldn’t be able to change the font size or display a page on color as well as black-and-white screens. The text is datafied, not just digital. Indeed, Amazon has done for millions of new books what Google is painstakingly trying to achieve for many older ones.

It took Cross, a louche outsider with disheveled hair and a slacker’s drawl, to presume that by using data he could tell the world what it ought pay attention to better than the editors of the New York Times. The notion of the big-data mindset, and the role of a creative outsider with a brilliant idea, are not unlike what happened at the dawn of e-commerce in the mid-1990s, when the pioneers were unencumbered by the entrenched thinking or institutional restraints of older industries. Thus a hedge-fund quant, not Barnes & Noble, founded an online bookstore (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos). A software developer, not Sotheby’s, built an auction site (eBay’s Pierre Omidyar). Today the entrepreneurs with the big-data mindset often don’t have the data when they start. But because of this, they also don’t have the vested interests or financial disincentives that might prevent them from unleashing their ideas. As we’ve seen, there are cases where one firm combines many of these big-data characteristics.


pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

Whatever the perks of being in Congress, or for that matter being an ex-politician, great investors can earn billions. So it’s no major insight to say that if Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or Marco Rubio had a clue about what companies and business concepts were going to prosper in the future, they would not be members of the political class. Simply put, wealth in the hands of politicians is not the same as wealth in the hands of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Peter Thiel, or Jeff Bezos. Government can’t spend or invest us to prosperity for reasons of talent alone. My sermonizing, while true, ultimately amounts to shooting fish in the most crowded of barrels. While the talent differential between politicians and successful investors is blindingly obvious, to point it out is arguably to miss the greater point. Undoubtedly, those who properly decry government in its role as venture capitalist can point to the massive government loan to now bankrupt Solyndra as one of many modern examples of how politicians don’t know how to invest.

It registered a $92 million profit on $23.18 billion in sales.1 What is notable about the announcement is that since opening its doors in 1994, Amazon has regularly reported losses. Indeed, in its early days, in the midst of the first technology boom of the late 1990s, sarcastic commentators took to calling the company Amazon.org. But, despite frequent quarterly losses, Amazon can claim a market capitalization of $296 billion.2 And even though it regularly loses money, its patient investors have in no way pulled their funding. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is engaged in constant experimentation. He employs thousands in what is called Lab126 who are charged with devising ways to improve the Amazon customer experience.3 Many experiments fail, such as the Amazon Fire mobile phone that proved undesirable to its massive customer base. Yet, investors have not lost faith in the Seattle-based company, as evidenced by its rich valuation. In Zero to One, billionaire investor Peter Thiel noted, “The value of a business today is the sum of all the money it will make in the future.”4 Amazon carries a high valuation today because investors see all the experimentation in the present, not to mention Amazon’s willingness to lose money in the present, as positioning the retail innovator for a grand future of abundant earnings.

All of which brings us to what the Fed spent the trillions it borrowed from banks on: U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. To believe the popular notion that QE stimulated the economy one would have first to believe that the Fed’s subsidization of federal spending and borrowing somehow gave the economy a boost. If so, one would have to conclude that Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi are more skillful at allocating the economy’s resources than are Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, and other captains of industry. Furthermore, a believer in the allegedly stimulative nature of QE would have to think that the economy is enhanced when the federal government creates programs that last forever and continuously cost the taxpayer more money no matter their efficacy or economic benefit. In short, you’d have to believe that increased funding on an annual basis for Friendster-equivalent government programs is better for the economy than leaving the credit in the private economy so that investors can put it to work.


pages: 265 words: 70,788

The Wide Lens by Ron Adner

barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, minimum viable product, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, RFID, smart grid, smart meter, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Well, Maybe You Can,” New York Times, November 24, 2006. 94 difference between the cost: Peter Wayner, “An Entire Bookshelf, in Your Hands,” New York Times, August 9, 2007. 96 “downright industrially ugly”: Tom Regan, “Costly ‘Kindle’ Reader Gets a Lot of It Right,” Christian Science Monitor, November28, 2007, http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1127/p25s01-stct.xhtml. 96 weighed more, and had an inferior screen: Product specs (4-shade gray scale vs. 8), Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Amazons-Original-Wireless-generation/dp/B000FI73MA/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top. 96 “This isn’t a device, it’s a service”: Levy, “The Future of Reading.” 96 330,000 within two years: Motoko Rich, “Barnes & Noble Jumps into E-Book Sales with Both Feet,” International Herald Tribune, July 22, 2009. 97 $9.99 or less: David Pogue, “Books Pop Up, Wirelessly,” New York Times, November 22, 2007. 97 “works as a stand-alone device”: “A Conversation with Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos,” Charlie Rose, November 19, 2007. 97 “King of the Retail Jungle”: Farhad Manjoo, “Amazon, King of the Retail Jungle,” Washington Post, February 8, 2009. 97 30 percent of books sold in the United States: “40: Jeff Bezos—CEO, Amazon.com [The Global Elite],” Newsweek, December 19, 2008, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/12/19/40-jeff-bezos.xhtml. 97 Kindle was both closed and proprietary: Rob Pegoraro, “Kindled, but Not Enlightened,” Washington Post, December 6, 2007. 98 Amazon sacrificed some e-book profits up-front: David Gelles and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, “A Page Is Turned,” Financial Times, February 9, 2010. 98 able to make up much of the difference: Mark Muro, “The New Republic: The Kindle, America’s Decline,” NPR.org, February 26, 2010, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?

How could Amazon engineer a triumph with a weaker product? The company did it by engineering a solution. Take a look at Amazon’s value blueprint above. What is the primary difference between the approaches taken by Sony and Amazon? For readers, the Kindle provided a one-stop shop, a simple, inexpensive way to purchase and enjoy anything from Jane Eyre to the latest New York Times best seller. Presenting the Kindle, CEO Jeff Bezos announced, “This isn’t a device, it’s a service.” Unlike Sony’s Reader, the Kindle offered a complete experience for the customer: an expansive library of books, initially including more than 90,000 titles and growing to approximately 330,000 within two years; the right price (while a new hardcover usually costs around $25, most Kindle books, including new titles and best sellers, were $9.99 or less); and the ability to download the book instantly using Amazon’s wireless network.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Along with the many ExO attributes Amazon has implemented, the company has also addressed the ease with which anyone in a big company can say no. One of the more intriguing organizational innovations to come out of the company is what CEO Jeff Bezos and CTO Werner Vogels call “The Institutional Yes.” Here’s how it works: If you’re a manager at Amazon and a subordinate comes to you with a great idea, your default answer must be YES. If you want to say no, you are required to write a two-page thesis explaining why it’s a bad idea. In other words, Amazon has increased the friction entailed in saying no, resulting in more ideas being tested (and hence implemented) throughout the company. Jeff Bezos is perhaps the most underrated CEO of the last couple decades. Not only has he made that rare transition from founder to large-company CEO, but he has also consistently avoided the short-term thinking that so often comes with running a public company—what Joi Ito calls “nowism.”

The contest ended early, in September 2009, when one of the 44,014 valid submissions achieved the goal and was awarded the prize. Deep Learning is a new and exciting subset of Machine Learning based on neural net technology. It allows a machine to discover new patterns without being exposed to any historical or training data. Leading startups in this space are DeepMind, bought by Google in early 2014 for $500 million, back when DeepMind had just thirteen employees, and Vicarious, funded with investment from Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Twitter, Baidu, Microsoft and Facebook are also heavily invested in this area. Deep Learning algorithms rely on discovery and self-indexing, and operate in much the same way that a baby learns first sounds, then words, then sentences and even languages. As an example: In June 2012, a team at Google X built a neural network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections.

Starting with the iPod, which disrupted music players, then iTunes, which fragmented music delivery, then the iPhone, and most recently, the iPad, Apple has demonstrated what an ExO can do at the edge of an existing organization. It has also demonstrated just how big the payoff can be. In 2012, for example, an astounding 80 percent of Apple’s revenues came from products that were fewer than five years old. Those new revenues helped to make Apple the most valuable company in the world. Amazon represents another archetype of this philosophy. Jeff Bezos has repeatedly shown the courage to proactively cannibalize his own businesses (e.g., the Kindle at the expense of physical books), launch edge ExOs (Amazon Web Services), buy companies that disrupt his own (Zappos) and pursue transformative technologies (delivery drones). Such bold leadership is critical in the age of the ExO. While large organizations may struggle to adapt structurally to this new age, they still have one key advantage: intellectual capital.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

In this instance, “everything” is to be explained by a fixed set of concerns—in Wu’s case, concerns over openness and innovation—that have come to dominate our thinking about “the Internet.” First of all, Wu conveniently leaves aside those information industries—like book publishing—in which no dominant information emperor has emerged. The Cycle doesn’t go there; it’s too crowded. Curiously, one such emperor might emerge very soon—his name is Jeff Bezos, and he runs a small start-up called Amazon—but Wu himself seems to be enamored of Amazon and the price efficiencies it brings. Second, by limiting his history only to America—and why would “the Cycle,” if it were real, unfold in America only?—he misses many foreign cases in which information emperors have done much good. Wasn’t André Malraux, France’s powerful minister of cultural affairs under Charles de Gaulle and the godfather of New Wave cinema, one such emperor, albeit perhaps of a public-service variety?

Just as the church was seen as an unnecessary and corrosive gatekeeper that interfered with direct communication with God, so are publishing institutions seen as essentially precluding unmediated access to the world of memes and ideas. “The Internet,” say the hopeful, will liberate the memes from the oppression of the creative elites—the very elites who dare claim that not all memes are created equal and some are so bad that they should perhaps not be created at all. No one is more enamored of this highly democratizing development than Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. He likes to boast that he’s dedicated himself to eliminating the gatekeepers, for they “slow innovation” and stand in the way of “self-service platforms”—where everyone can publish a book in minutes—that Amazon itself has been so keen to promote. Bezos’s populist rage against institutions—in the best traditions of Martin Luther’s fulminations against the church—is on full display when he boasts that the Kindle best-seller list “is chock-full of books from small presses and self-published authors, while the New York Times list is dominated by successful and established authors.”

Such pro-innovation bias is responsible for the establishment of a clear boundary between the study of innovation and its various boosting factors—this field of inquiry is mostly pursued in business schools—and the study of the consequences of innovation, which is usually done in disciplines such as public policy and science and technology studies but very rarely under the umbrella of “innovation studies” as such. Thus, innovations that fail or lead to disastrous results are naturally not considered part of the innovation vocabulary; technologies are innovative only if they are successful and risk-free. Moreover, the consequences of innovation that are considered tend to be rather linear and direct. When Jeff Bezos writes of “innovation” associated with the Kindle, he knows that his intended audience is not likely to consider any consequences that may not be direct, anticipated, or desirable; most of us suffer from some form of “pro-innovation bias” as well. It wasn’t always like this. According to Benoit Godin, the Canadian scholar who has traced the intellectual history of “innovation” as a concept, for over 2,500 years, the word had negative connotations.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

Ballmer became the marketing and sales guru, and was key to realizing Gates’s vision. As second in command, he accumulated significant equity in the company that made him a billionaire. Ballmer became Microsoft’s CEO in 2000, when Gates stepped down, and held that position until retiring in 2014. Today, Ballmer is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Jeff Bezos b. 1964, United States Amazon.com After graduating from Princeton, Jeff Bezos worked on Wall Street. While at D. E. Shaw & Co., he became the youngest vice president in the investment firm’s history. At age twenty-nine, he left to found Internet retailer Amazon.com. The company started off selling books because the international standard book number (ISBN) system made them suitable for Web search and order fulfillment. A wide range of products soon followed.

This not only gives organizations an option in a new market, it also serves as another way for you to discover Producers in your organization—those with a long-standing interest in or commitment to an idea or a vector will gravitate to the new venture as a way to learn more and be involved in a way that is real. Mergers and Acquisitions Acquirers are clearly motivated by the desire to acquire resources, positioning in a new market, or the potential for scale. Sometimes, mergers are overtly about the people running the operation and their ability to pursue ideas. The acquisition of Zappos by Amazon is an example of the Producer Jeff Bezos recognizing another Producer in CEO Tony Hsieh, and buying not only the business asset but the skills and vision of its leader. Warren Buffett, in contrast, could be said to be a Producer who has made his billions by acquiring cash flow in established, unchanging Performer industries. And the acquisition of Climate Corporation by the agricultural science firm Monsanto reads to us as an effort by a diversified agrigiant to grow Producer capability in an area with enormous potential.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

At the 2013 Emmy Awards, the company notched up a total of 14 nominations for its efforts.28 “It took HBO 25 years to get its first Emmy nomination,” noted American TV critic and columnist David Bianculli in an article for the New York Times. “It took Netflix six months.”29 Netflix’s success has seen it followed by online retailer Amazon, which also has access to a vast bank of customer information, revealing the kind of detailed “likes” and “dislikes” data that traditional studio bosses could only dream of. “It’s a completely new way of making movies,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told Wired magazine. “Some would say our approach is unworkable—we disagree.”30 In Soviet Russia, Films Watch You In a previous life, Alexis Kirke worked as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street, one of the so-called rocket scientists whose job concerns a heady blend of mathematics, high finance and computer skills. Having completed a PhD in computer science, Kirke should have been on top of the world.

USA Today, February 1, 2013. usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/01/31/bianco-review-house-of-cards/1880835/. 28 Blakely, Rhys. “Emmy Awards Brings the Computer Algorithm to Hollywood.” Times, September 20, 2013. thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/tv-radio/article3874137.ece. 29 nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/media/tv-foresees-its-future-netflix-is-there.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 30 Levy, Steven. “In Conversation with Jeff Bezos: CEO of the Internet.” Wired, December 12, 2011. wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/01/features/ceo-of-the-internet/page/2. 31 Dormehl, Luke. “Can Alternate Endings Save the Hollywood Blockbuster?” Fast Company, July 30, 2013. fastcolabs.com/3015037/open-company/can-alternate-endings-save-the-hollywood-blockbuster. 32 This idea is backed up by Wired editor Chris Anderson’s concept of the “98 Percent Rule,” described in his 2006 book The Long Tail.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (New York: Little, Brown, 2005). 5 MacCormick, John. Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012). 6 Levy, Frank, and Richard Murnane. The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market (New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004). 7 Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (New York: Little, Brown, 2013). 8 Bellos, David. Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything (New York: Faber and Faber, 2011). 9 Lanier, Jaron. Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). 10 jay.law.ou.edu/faculty/Jmaute/Lawyering_21st_Century/Spring%202012%20files/TheFutureofLaw_DarkClouds.pdf. 11 Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee.


pages: 271 words: 62,538

The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna

Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K

Ante, “H-P CEO Meg Whitman: We Are Doubling Down on Hardware” Wall Street Journal - Digits, February 21, 2014. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/02/21/h-p-ceo-meg-whitman-we-are-doubling-down-on-hardware/ 2 “‘We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards,’ he says. ‘That becomes the touchstone for how we invent.’” Adam Lashinsky, “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: The Ultimate Disrupter,” Fortune, November 16, 2012. http://fortune.com/2012/11/16/amazons-jeff-bezos-the-ultimate-disrupter/ 3 “Cook: It’s never been stronger. Innovation is so deeply embedded in Apple’s culture. The boldness, ambition, belief there aren’t limits, a desire to make the very best products in the world. It’s the strongest ever. It’s in the DNA of the company.” “Live Recap: Apple CEO Tim Cook Speaks at Goldman Conference,” Wall Street Journal - Digits, February 12, 2013. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/02/12/live-apple-ceo-tim-cook-speaks-at-goldman-conference/ 4 Jesse Solomon, “Google Worth More Than Exxon.

But blurring the two disciplines upon hiring designers has played an important role in our approach to creating technological experiences. It likely lies near the root of the commonly pervasive and disturbingly screen-obsessed approach to design. The result is that much of our lives today is dominated by digital interfaces asking us to tap, touch, swipe, click, and hover because that’s what people were hired to create. HP CEO Meg Whitman says, “We’ve got to continue the innovation engine.”1 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards.”2 Apple CEO Tim Cook says, “Innovation is so deeply embedded in Apple’s culture.”3 But when you specifically hire someone to generate UI, you won’t get new, innovative solutions. You’ll get more UI, not better UX. This is UI: Navigation, subnavigation, menus, drop-downs, buttons, links, windows, rounded corners, shadowing, error messages, alerts, updates, checkboxes, password fields, search fields, text inputs, radio selections, text areas, hover states, selection states, pressed states, tooltips, banner ads, embedded videos, swipe animations, scrolling, clicking, iconography, colors, lists, slideshows, alt text, badges, notifications, gradients, pop-ups, carousels, OK/Cancel, etc. etc. etc.


pages: 253 words: 65,834

Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get From Start-Up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang

business process, carried interest, digital map, discounted cash flows, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pets.com, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds

I think the difficulty that start-up executives have in fitting in comfortably into a big company is more about what drives an entrepreneur and what satisfies him or her—both in the long run and in the day-to-day work. It comes down to an essential character trait that I observed in myself: the entrepreneurial itch. When you have it, you just have to scratch it. You really can’t help yourself. Being an entrepreneur may be something deep in the genes. John Doerr, the venture capitalist, described some of the greatest entrepreneurs he had invested in—including Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), and Steve Jobs (Apple)—as “geeks who couldn’t get dates.” Although I don’t know if that is actually true about those four guys, the spirit of the comment resonates. The world of the entrepreneur, even when they are teenagers, is typically not defined by being cool and fitting in but rather by their passion for technology, innovation, change, and a particular idea. Genetic or not, there are certain classic characteristics of the entrepreneur.

As I said, they’re looking for a needle in the haystack of deals. I made my first major VC pitch during my second week on the job at Upromise. My partner, Michael Bronner, and I flew out to California to meet with John Doerr and his partners at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, generally known as Kleiner Perkins. John Doerr is one of the most famous VCs in history and considered the “center of gravity in the Internet,” according to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com. After graduating from Harvard Business School, John went to work for Intel in 1974, just as the company was bringing out the 8080 Microprocessor (essentially the first microchip). He went on to become an amazingly successful VC, investing at an early stage in Amazon, Google, Sun, and Intuit, among others. I was excited to meet this Silicon Valley legend. It was not my first time visiting the nondescript low-rise office buildings on famous Sand Hill Road in the heart of Silicon Valley, but it was my first time doing it with hat in hand, trying to raise money and delivering the pitch.

Ben Franklin—inventor, philosopher, statesman, and writer—was also a great entrepreneur who combined practical application with commercial instincts. Thomas Edison continued in this great tradition throughout the nineteenth century and, to this day, is the holder of more patents than any individual in U.S. history (although, now in the number two spot with over 750 and counting, MIT professor Bob Langer might someday surpass him). Modern iconic entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos, and others, continue to inspire young entrepreneurs around the globe to pursue the art of the possible. In the last few decades, the venture capital industry has worked to accelerate entrepreneurship and, as much as possible, improve the odds for success. By working with entrepreneurs in a range of industries across a number of business cycles, VCs try to figure out the formula for entrepreneurial success and impart those lessons to the next generation of would-be Franklins and Edisons.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

The subject would stand Page in good stead in the future with respect to product development, even though it was not in the HCI domain to figure out a new model of information retrieval. On his desk and permeating his conversations was Apple interface guru Donald Norman’s classic tome The Psychology of Everyday Things, the bible of a religion whose first, and arguably only, commandment is “The user is always right.” (Other Norman disciples, such as Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com, were adopting this creed on the web.) Another influential book was a biography of Nikola Tesla, the brilliant Serb scientist; though Tesla’s contributions arguably matched Thomas Edison’s—and his ambitions were grand enough to impress even Page—he died in obscurity. “I felt like he was a great inventor and it was a sad story,” says Page. “I feel like he could’ve accomplished much more had he had more resources.

Soon afterward, Bechtolsheim was joined by other angel investors, including Dave Cheriton. One was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Ram Shriram, whose own company had recently been purchased by Amazon.com. Shriram had met Brin and Page in February 1998; although he had been skeptical about a business model for search engines, he was so impressed with Google that he had been advising them. After the Bechtolsheim meeting, Shriram invited them to his house to meet his boss Jeff Bezos, who was enthralled with their passion and “healthy stubbornness,” as they explained why they would never put display ads on their home page. Bezos joined Bechtolsheim, Cheriton, and Shriram as investors, making for a total of a million dollars of angel money. On September 4, 1998, Page and Brin filed for incorporation and finally moved off campus. Sergey’s girlfriend at the time was friendly with a manager at Intel named Susan Wojcicki, who had just purchased a house on Santa Margarita Street in Menlo Park with her husband for $615,000.

He spent so much time in the small library there that he knew nearly every volume in the collection. Manber loved telling visitors to the library which books they might enjoy and which ones might answer their questions. He studied information retrieval and eventually wound up at Yahoo where he brokered the Google deal, until he quit in disgust in 2002. His next job was as the leader of A9, a search start-up funded by Jeff Bezos. In February 2006, he accepted an offer from Google to become the czar of search engineering. It was like someone who worked on space science all his life finally arriving at NASA. “Suddenly I’m in charge of everybody asking questions in the whole world,” he says. “I thought I had a reasonable idea of the main problems facing search—what was minor and major. When I got here, I saw they solved many of the minor problems and made more headway on the major problems than I thought possible.


pages: 193 words: 98,671

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper

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Albert Einstein, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, natural language processing, new economy, pets.com, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, urban planning

Writing a book is a business, and for making it a successful one I also owe sincere thanks to my team of technology-savvy businesspersons, headed by my agent Jim Levine, and including Glenn Halstead, Lynne Bowman, Kelly Bowman, and Sue Cooper. At Pearson, Brad Jones supported this project throughout, but the most credit goes to Chris Webb, whose tenacity, focus, and hard work really made The Inmates happen. I really appreciate the many people who provided moral support, anecdotes, advice, and time. Thanks very much to Daniel Appleman, Todd Basche, Chris Bauer, Jeff Bezos, Alice Blair, Michel Bourque, Po Bronson, Steve Calde, David Carlick, Jeff Carlick, Carol Christie, Clay Collier, Kendall Cosby, Dan Crane, Robert X. Cringely, Troy Daniels, Lisa Powers, Philip Englehardt, Karen Evensen, Ridgely Evers, Royal Farros, Pat Fleck, David Fore, Ed Forman, Ed Fredkin, Jean-Louis Gassee, Jim Gay, Russ Goldin, Vlad Gorelik, Marcia Gregory, Garrett Gruener, Chuck Hartledge, Ted Harwood, Will Hearst, Tamra Heathershaw-Hart, J.D.

Programmers become so familiar with code reuse that they often copy existing techniques even when they aren't actually copying code. This comes naturally, coupled with programmers' tendency towards conservatism. For example, most programs have lots of confirmation screens, virtually all of which are unnecessary. Many of them exist because they existed in reused code, but many of them exist because programmers are simply habituated to putting them in. For example, I ran into Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, at a conference and told him how much I like the "1-Click" interface on his Web site. This interface allows you to purchase a product with—big surprise—one click. The interface is really well designed, because it pushes all of the annoying details out of the interface and lets the user merely click one button without reentering shipping and billing information. Jeff was pleased to hear that I liked 1-Click, and he told me that when he and his designers had cooked up the idea, they presented it to the programmers, who duly nodded and agreed that they could do such a thing.

He is not getting interaction design, free or otherwise, from his programmers. Rather, the interface he gets is one designed to please only the authors: people with atypical training, personality, and aptitude. This highlights another key point regarding the culture of software development. Although it is founded on the particular nature of programmers, it is propagated by their managers, many of whom—it must be said—are former programmers. Jeff Bezos says that the most vociferous defense of the two-click interface came from the product manager! The reverence for technical skill has another effect. Most people assume that programming is more technical than design. I won't dispute that, but I strongly disagree with the conclusion typically drawn from it that programming should therefore come before design in the development process. This has the effect of making the user conform to the technology.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

In the early years of the twentieth century, the Italian physician and researcher Maria Montessori developed the primary educational system that still bears her name. Montessori classrooms emphasize self-directed learning, hands-on engagement with a wide variety of materials (including plants and animals), and a largely unstructured school day. And in recent years they’ve produced alumni including the founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), Amazon (Jeff Bezos), and Wikipedia (Jimmy Wales). These examples appear to be part of a broader trend. Management researchers Jeffrey Dyer and Hal Gregersen interviewed five hundred prominent innovators and found that a disproportionate number of them also went to Montessori schools, where “they learned to follow their curiosity.” As a Wall Street Journal blog post by Peter Sims put it, “the Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia.”

This reflects the career advice that Google chief economist Hal Varian frequently gives: seek to be an indispensable complement to something that’s getting cheap and plentiful. Examples include data scientists, writers of mobile phone apps, and genetic counselors, who have come into demand as more people have their genes sequenced. Bill Gates has said that he chose to go into software when he saw how cheap and ubiquitous computers, especially microcomputers, were becoming. Jeff Bezos systematically analyzed the bottlenecks and opportunities created by low-cost online commerce, particularly the ability to index large numbers of products, before he set up Amazon. Today, the cognitive skills of college graduates—including not only science, technology, engineering, and math, the so-called STEM disciplines, but also humanities, arts, and social sciences—are often complements to low-cost data and cheap computer power.

The software was originally intended only for internal use, but in November of 2005 Amazon released it to the public under the name Mechanical Turk, in honor of a famous eighteenth-century chess-playing ‘robot’ that turned out to have a human inside it.25 The Mechanical Turk software was similar to this automaton in that it too appeared to accomplish tasks automatically, but in reality made use of human labor. It was an example of what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called “artificial artificial intelligence,” and another way for people to race with machines, although not one with particularly high wages.26 Mechanical Turk, which quickly became popular, was an early instance of what came to be called crowdsourcing, defined by communications scholar Daren Brabham as “an online, distributed problem-solving and production model.”27 This model is interesting because instead of using technology to automate a process, crowdsourcing makes it deliberately labor intensive.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism

In 2003 the company crossed $5 billion. In 2006 sales totaled more than $10 billion.9 Once again, this store had advantages very similar to the advantages of Netflix. Rather than browsing a Barnes & Noble superstore, the customer used his computer to see what books there were to buy. And rather than the customer using his car to collect the books he wanted, Amazon used the U.S. Postal Service. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s bet was that the convenience of browsing would outweigh the delay in receipt. More important, Amazon could far surpass any bricks-and-mortar store in the size of its inventory. Amazon’s success, however, didn’t come naturally. The company has been relentless in building innovation to drive sales. In 2003 the company launched the Amazon Associates program, which enabled independent sites to become sellers for Amazon.

Three Keys to These Three Successes These familiar stories of Internet success reveal three keys to success in this digital economy. L ong Ta ils The first of these three is also perhaps the most famous. Each of these three Internet successes takes advantage of a principle that 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 128 8/12/08 1:55:16 AM T W O EC O NO MIE S: C O MMERC I A L A ND SH A RING 129 Amazon’s Jeff Bezos recognized in 1995, and that Wired’s editor in chief, Chris Anderson, formalized in 2005 in his book The Long Tail.14 The Long Tail principle (LTP) says that as the cost of inventory falls, the efficient range of inventory rises. And as transaction costs generally fall to zero, the efficient inventory rises to infinity. Put differently, the less it costs to hold a particular book or DVD in inventory, the more books or DVDs a particular company can profitably hold.

Professor Jeff Rosen once described the terror and outrage he felt at knowing Amazon was “watching” what books he bought in order to recommend new books to him. When I heard his description, I realized that one of us was from a different planet. No doubt Amazon might abuse the data it collects. But also, no doubt, it has a huge incentive not to. (Unlike the U.S. government, if Amazon screws up, I can take my business elsewhere.) Anyway, it’s not as if Jeff Bezos is reading my (almost daily) orders. Some computer somewhere is simply responding to input collected from me. And while I might care lots about what my neighbors, or students, or friends think about me, I don’t care a whit about what some computer thinks about my tastes. This is not to say we shouldn’t be concerned with how these data might be used. When the United States government demanded that Google provide it with search queries relating to pornography in the context of the government’s defense of the Child Online Pro- 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 136 8/12/08 1:55:19 AM T W O EC O NO MIE S: C O MMERC I A L A ND SH A RING 137 tection Act, Google fought the demand fiercely in court, no doubt in part because it didn’t want its users to think that their every search might be made available to the government.25 Likewise, the company has recently taken steps to partially anonymize the data it holds, to avoid demands like this in the future and to respond to harsh criticism by privacy groups that claim Google’s database is in effect a privacy time bomb.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

The afternoon I met Janis, he was pleased because he had just sold an ad for the site, a rare occurrence. A handful of subscriptions were sold to people who believed in the enterprise, but that has brought in only a trickle measurable in hundreds of dollars. While wealthy individuals from the technology sector have recently been investing in high profile journalism outlets (Facebook’s Chris Hughes with the New Republic, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with the Washington Post, and ebay’s Pierre Omidyar with his online start-up) capital has not been flowing to small- and medium-sized efforts, which are sinking. Many now argue that foundation funding is the only option if we want investigative reporting to survive. Nationwide there are a few shining examples of Web-based nonprofits that are held up as the saviors of the industry and hailed by new-media thinkers as emblematic of journalism’s bright digital-first future—Voice of San Diego, MinnPost, and ProPublica, to name a few.

The most straightforward method may be to force leading technology firms to pay their taxes, which they have been diligently dodging through cunning accounting schemes, loopholes, and shelters. These machinations have allowed Google to effectively pay an overseas tax rate of as little as 2.4 percent, Apple to shield approximately $74 billion from the Internal Revenue Service between 2009 and 2012, and Amazon to spend years refusing to collect sales tax, starving states of revenue (Jeff Bezos is said to have considered establishing Amazon on an Indian reservation to avoid paying taxes).25 A portion of these funds could be earmarked to underwrite and promote art, culture, and journalism. The fruits of such investment could be made widely available, free of copyright restrictions, much the way a dedicated community of academics working under the banner of “open access” is making publicly funded research readily available to anyone who wants to learn regardless of income or institutional affiliation.

This perspective should not be entirely discounted, but my belief is that these efforts ultimately won’t scale and risk leaving large portions of the population out. 23. The $1 trillion figure is from the Consumer Electronics Association. 24. Jesse Drucker, “Google 2.4% rate shows how $60 billion lost to tax loopholes,” Bloomberg News, October 21, 2010; Nelson D. Schwartz and Charles Duhigg, “Apple’s Web of Tax Shelters Saved It Billions, Panel Finds,” New York Times, May 21, 2013, A1; and Brian Faler, “Jeff Bezos Plays Active Role in Tax Fights,” Politico.com, August 6, 2013. 25. The extension of copyright also incentivizes the production of films with licensing potential, such as sequels and prequels and toys and video games. Please find the complete index at www.randomhouse.ca/thepeoplesplatform ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to friends and family, movement comrades, and writing and film colleagues for insightful conversations and endless patience and encouragement as I worked on this book.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

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8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

At the same time, I wanted to be able to pay the rent, but I didn’t want to chew into life savings. At the end of the day, my Morgan coworkers were pretty supportive, “You should go do this. Try it out and let us know how it goes.” 226 Founders at Work Livingston: Union Square Ventures was your VC, right? Schachter: They were Union Square and Amazon. Livingston: Did they come to you? Schachter: I had met Jeff Bezos at Foo Camp, and he was very interested. Livingston: How much did they put in? Schachter: We never announced the amount, but it was not a huge amount of capital. Livingston: And that’s because you didn’t want to take a huge amount of capital? Schachter: Well, there was a lot of risk. It was sort of hard to justify a large valuation and so on, so we sold a small chunk for enough money to work for a while and see if it turned into something.

At that point, when some folks from Amazon were looking around for data mining technology, they came and said, “Should we buy you for data mining technology?” And we said, “One, you shouldn’t buy us, and the other is that we’re doing something quite different from data mining. We have this toolbar we can get out there in front of people and things like that.” Brewster Kahle 277 In talks with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, I said, “I tried being acquired, and it didn’t work. By AOL, a great company, but my company got dispersed, and I don’t know how to run a division; I know how to run a company.” He said, “If we’re going to buy you, why don’t you run it as a company? What does that mean to you?” I said, “Well, it has a board, and I meet with the board once a month and they give general direction and I run the place.”

So I worked on strategy for the company for 12 months—to get the company going in the Internet direction. And that’s really what they wanted. It just wasn’t something that I knew how to do. I really liked running something that I knew how to run. When I did the startup that was bought by Amazon, I said, “Leave us on our own. We’re smart and independent enough to be able to do good work that will inject things from the side into your other organization.” The thing that Jeff Bezos did that I thought was very smart was that he ran us through his organization and others through ours. He used us, at least for the first few years, as a think tank in some sense—a live and breathing example of how else they could do things. Alexa’s major value in the first year of its being acquired by Amazon was to take some of the lessons that we had learned of how to do things much cheaper than they had.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The motto of the Shin Bet is “Magen veLo Yera’e,” literally “the unseen shield,” or “defender who shall not be seen.” Jeff Bezos on Questioning Assumptions “Basically, every time I talk to Bezos [Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com], it changes my life. . . . [For example,] I’ve spent my entire life thinking that I want to go to Mars . . . it was on The Brady Bunch. I thought this was the best thing ever. “At some point, if I structure my life correctly, maybe I’ll get to go. I think it’s just so important for humanity to be able to do that . . . and I talked to Elon [Musk] a couple of times and was vastly inspired by everything that he and SpaceX are doing. . . . “I ran into Jeff Bezos a bit later and was saying I just got to talk with Elon, and I’m superexcited about Mars. I really hope that one day I can go.

Spirit animal: Sponge * * * Cal Fussman Cal Fussman (TW: @calfussman, calfussman.com) is a New York Times best-selling author and a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine, where he is best known for being a primary writer of the What I’ve Learned feature. The Austin Chronicle has described Cal’s interviewing skills as “peerless.” He has transformed oral history into an art form, conducting probing interviews with icons who have shaped the last 50 years of world history: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, Woody Allen, Barbara Walters, Pelé, Yao Ming, Serena Williams, John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, and countless others. Born in Brooklyn, Cal spent 10 straight years traveling the world, swimming over 18-foot tiger sharks, rolling around with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and searching for gold in the Amazon.

Lewis), Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer (Thomas Seyfried), Ketogenic Diabetes Diet: Type 2 Diabetes (Ellen Davis, MS, and Keith Runyan, MD), Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet (Ellen Davis, MS) de Botton, Alain: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera), The Complete Essays (Michel de Montaigne), In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust) De Sena, Joe: A Message to Garcia (Elbert Hubbard), Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), Shōgun (James Clavell), The One Minute Manager (Kenneth H. Blanchard) Diamandis, Peter: The Spirit of St. Louis (Charles Lindbergh), The Man Who Sold the Moon (Robert A. Heinlein), The Singularity Is Near (Ray Kurzweil), Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), Stone Soup story DiNunzio, Tracy: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t (Jim Collins), The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Brad Stone) Dubner, Stephen: For adults: Levels of the Game (John McPhee); for kids: The Empty Pot (Demi) Eisen, Jonathan: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer) Engle, Dan: Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (Esther Perel), The Cosmic Serpent (Jeremy Narby), Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda) Fadiman, James: Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story; Tihkal: The Continuation (Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin) Favreau, Jon: The Writer’s Journey (Christopher Vogler and Michele Montez), It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here (Charles Grodin), The 4-Hour Body (Tim Ferriss), The Hobbit (J.R.R.


pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

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Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

Cloudera, for example, makes its Hadoop distribution available on the cloud and provides packages for virtually every other platform of interest, as well as virtual machine images and raw source code. Whatever a developer’s preference, Cloudera’s product is easily obtained and installed. With so many options, it’s unlikely that Cloudera will ever lose a developer because of issues around getting the software. If you’re making software, make sure that you can say the same thing. Get into the Game with APIs When history looks back on Jeff Bezos’s career, his greatest business innovation might not be the creation of the world’s largest online retailer, the creation of the world’s largest cloud business, or the transformation of the publishing industry. It might instead be a decision he laid out in a memo he sent out just after the turn of the century. According to Steve Yegge, a developer who joined Google from Amazon, Bezos informed his technical staff that henceforth every point of communication within Amazon would be through an interface (API) that could be exposed externally, that there would be no exceptions, and that anyone who didn’t follow this rule would be fired.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

As Lanier predicted, the agents don’t work only for us: They also work for software giants like Google, dispatching ads as well as content. Though they may lack Bob’s cartoon face, they steer an increasing proportion of our online activity. In 1995 the race to provide personal relevance was just beginning. More than perhaps any other factor, it’s this quest that has shaped the Internet we know today. The John Irving Problem Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, was one of the first people to realize that you could harness the power of relevance to make a few billion dollars. Starting in 1994, his vision was to transport online bookselling “back to the days of the small bookseller who got to know you very well and would say things like, ‘I know you like John Irving, and guess what, here’s this new author, I think he’s a lot like John Irving,’” he told a biographer.

But as Lanier predicted, buying off algorithms is easy: Pay enough to Amazon, and your book can be promoted as if by an “objective” recommendation by Amazon’s software. For most customers, it’s impossible to tell which is which. Amazon proved that relevance could lead to industry dominance. But it would take two Stanford graduate students to apply the principles of machine learning to the whole world of online information. Click Signals As Jeff Bezos’s new company was getting off the ground, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, were busy doing their doctoral research at Stanford. They were aware of Amazon’s success—in 1997, the dot-com bubble was in full swing, and Amazon, on paper at least, was worth billions. Page and Brin were math whizzes; Page, especially, was obsessed with AI. But they were interested in a different problem.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

As I write this, more than 5,200 MakerBots have been sold (more than $5 million worth), and with every one, the community comes up with new uses and new tools to make them even better. For example, the latest head delivers a resolution of 0.2 mm. Another head can hold a rotating cutter, turning the printer into a CNC router. Others have been scaled up to make objects twice as large as originally designed. To date, MakerBot has raised $10 million from investors, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to fund its expansion. It will need all that and more—it is competing with a host of other low-cost 3-D printer makers, including Chinese ones. What is now designed to be a kit (although you can buy it preassembled) will soon be mass-manufactured and available even more cheaply, by MakerBot and others. All the steps in using it will become easier. The market will grow from the first 5,000 to the next 50,000, from the technically sophisticated early adopters to people who just want to print something cool.

After the dot-com crash, business started to grow nicely, and by the mid-2000s there were thousands of requests and offers placed every day. A few of them were from a small, somewhat secret group in Kent, Washington, called Blue Origin, which wanted high-tolerance parts for what appeared to be a rocket. It was, in fact, a rocket, and Blue Origin turned out to be the stealth space company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The Blue Origin engineers were so impressed by MFG.com that they brought it to Bezos’s attention, who started using the site under an assumed name to check it out. While Bezos was secretly browsing the site, Free was negotiating to sell it to Dasault Systems, a French manufacturing technology company. Just two weeks before the deal was to close, Bezos pounced and put in a counteroffer to invest in the site and keep it in Free’s hands.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The highest-profile campaigns, such as the 2014 ridesharing initiative in Seattle, operated side-by-side with well-funded efforts driven by Lyft and Uber themselves. Whatever the intent of the more community-focused Peers activists, the group functioned in part as a front for Silicon Valley lobbying. The funding behind the larger Sharing Economy companies highlights the contradictory currents that drive it. Billionaire and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has invested in both Airbnb and Uber; leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has invested in Airbnb, Lyft, and delivery service Instacart; Founders Fund, a firm set up and led by billionaire and ­PayPal founder Peter Thiel, has invested in Airbnb, Lyft, and TaskRabbit. ­Goldman Sachs is another investor in Uber as well as WeWork, which has also been funded by JP Morgan. Lending Club sends emails emphasizing that “Instead of paying interest to a credit card company or on a traditional bank loan, you get your loan through ordinary people like YOU who want to invest in YOUR success,” 14 but its board includes John Mack (ex–Morgan Stanley) and Larry Summers (former Treasury secretary).

Uber’s expansion has been driven by an unprecedented succession of venture capital funding rounds: as of August 2015, the company has raised $7 billion, which is more than all other Sharing Economy companies in North America put together. The funding comes from a who’s who of Silicon Valley venture capital firms, as well as Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs, the Qatar Investment Authority, Chinese Internet company Baidu, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Uber is still privately owned at the time of writing, but the investments correspond to a market capitalization of $50 billion: more valuable than the three leading car rental companies (Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise) combined, and about two-thirds the value of Ford Motor Company. Uber is ambitious: it has explored many variants on its driving services from carpooling to high-end luxury services, as well as delivery and ­logistics, but for now UberX makes up the bulk of its business.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

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3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

In a world that is nice and prizes conformity, routine work and standardisation of opinion, the contrast to normal behaviour by those who are unreasonable, is very apparent. In some examples this signals enormous amounts of grit, and there seems to be a correlation between the disagreeableness of some legendary entrepreneurs and their success. Steve Jobs was famous for his prickliness, Bill Gates threw tantrums, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer threw chairs, Andy Grove of Intel was so fierce that a subordinate fainted during a performance review, and Jeff Bezos is known for going into rages that his Amazon colleagues call “nutters”. According to a biography, Bezos’ notable put-downs include: “I’m sorry, did I forget to take my stupid pills today?”; “If I hear that idea again I’m gonna have to kill myself”; and the straightforward “Why are you wasting my life?” Bezos is said to abhor “social cohesion”, the natural impulse to seek consensus. For an organisation that demands creativity he may be right.


pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Every room in the hotel is a minimum seven hundred square feet in size. Facilities include faxes, minibars, and food cooked by top chefs. The Vegas Old Guard said it would never work. But it did. * * * How long it takes to make a billion… It took casino mogul Sheldon Adelson eleven years (counting from when he moved to Las Vegas and started taking bets) to make his first billion, almost four times as long as it took Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. …and what can happen next In the two years after Sheldon Adelson took his Las Vegas Sands public, he got rich faster than anyone else in history, according to Forbes—making just under $1 million an hour. Here’s a rough look at the moneymaking performance of some billionaires during the first two years their companies were publicly owned. * * * The Venetian, which opened in 1999, is one of the most successful casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

At the end of the millennium, conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza argued that the middle-class yearnings of the new rich were more than just a social pose—that they reflected a genuine conflict in their psyche. “Theirs is not old wealth85 that has marinated over the generations and has come to seem natural and inevitable to its possessors,” he wrote in Forbes. “Many like Gates, [Jeff] Bezos [founder of online retailer Amazon] and [Eric] Schmidt [CEO of Google], grew up in the middle class. Applying bourgeois values like ambition and hard work, they became wealthy. They want to enjoy their wealth, but they don’t want to lose their middle-class self-image. The new rich know they’re doing well, but they also want to feel like they’re doing good…and they desperately want to raise their children with the values that helped them get where they are.”

It’s hardly surprising that the number of American fortunes of staggering magnitude that have been diluted in the past twenty-five years far exceeds those whose heirs are still on the Forbes 400 list. * * * 2000 from the pages of Forbes Ted Turner, founder of CNN, advocates prairie dog rights and tours his extensive land holdings out West in a Chevy Suburban emblazoned with a SAVE THE HUMANS bumper sticker. (2000 net worth: $9.1 billion) Amazon’s Jeff Bezos reads the Declaration of Independence to himself every Fourth of July. (2000 net worth: $4.7 billion) William Cook, who made his fortune from medical devices such as catheters and stents, is a former Chicago cabbie and onetime tour-bus driver for John Mellencamp. (2000 net worth: $1.1 billion) Ernest Gallo of Gallo wine kayaked on a trip to Turkey with his family—at age ninety. (2000 net worth: $800 million) * * * Perhaps the most immediate question facing second and third generations of inherited wealth is this: How does an heir who will inherit such a vast sum of money keep his or her feet on the ground?


pages: 433 words: 125,031

Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, big-box store, BRICs, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, family office, high net worth, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, offshore financial centre, profit motive, rent-seeking, risk/return, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche

And as the population of billionaires expands, so the price of superluxury apartments climbs, regardless of what’s happening in the economy of the masses. I heard them called “crisis proof.” Between a ten-digit billionaire and an eleven-digit billionaire is an order of magnitude. At those reaches, it’s impossible to spend all your money on beachfront villas and superyachts and such toys. That’s when you get into vanity projects, like when Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, put down a quarter-billion dollars for The Washington Post. That was still just one percent of his wealth. You can burn through far more with philanthropy. Bill Gates has the Gates Foundation, Warren Buffett has the Giving Pledge. Mike Bloomberg has given more than a billion dollars to Johns Hopkins University. In the ladder of luxuries, art occupies a rung up near philanthropy.

“I have my failures to prove that I’m not infallible,” he wrote. There was the jeep factory he started in the nineties. He sank thirty million dollars into that one. He sank another ten million into the cosmetics firm he started for Luma. Then there was a voice pagers venture. When the e-commerce craze hit, he bought up package delivery companies to compete against Brazil’s postal service. But he couldn’t make the logistics work. “Jeff Bezos did something like this,” he said later—implying that, if he hadn’t been thwarted by some unnamed local condition, he would have founded another Amazon.com. As a serial entrepreneur, Eike was unrepentant, displaying the zeal of the newly in love each time. In the late nineties, when he dipped into industrial water supply, he proclaimed, “Gold is a jurassic industry. Water is the industry of the twenty-first century.”

Numbers in this paragraph are from TVX company filings on the website of Sedar, Canada’s securities and exchange commission. 153“you shareholders can shoot me.” From “Mayhem Man,” cited in Gaspar, Tudo ou Nada, 24. 154He sank thirty million dollars … another ten million. Both numbers from Consuelo Dieguez, “Mais do que o marido da Luma,” Exame, October 15, 2002. 154voice pagers. “Eike Batista investirá em voice pagers na AL,” Estado, April 25, 1997. 154“Jeff Bezos did something like this.” The venture was called ebX Express. This quote is from his video interview with Exame, March 18, 2010. 154“Gold is a jurassic industry.” “Brazil’s AMX’s Batista on $55 Mln Sale to Azurix,” Bloomberg, September 14, 1999. 154“You’re all fucked.” Oliveira, “O enigma Eike.” 155the Marinho brothers talked him out of it. Gaspar, Tudo ou Nada, 273. 155“I’m glad to have had failures.”


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

That is why they are so successful and powerful, running what The Times of London dubbed “the fastest growing company in the history of the world.” The same is true of a few disruptive capitalists and quasi-capitalists such as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook; Craig Newmark, who calls himself founder and customer service representative—no joke—at craigslist; Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia; Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; and Kevin Rose, creator of Digg. They see a different world than the rest of us and make different decisions as a result, decisions that make no sense under old rules of old industries that are now blown apart thanks to these new ways and new thinkers. That is why the smart response to all this change is to ask what these disrupters—what Mark, Craig, Jimmy, Jeff, Kevin, and, of course, Google—would do.

It restricts your timing and ability to keep readers up-to-the-minute. Print is already stale when it’s fresh. It is one-size-fits-all and can’t be adapted to the needs of each customer. It comes with no ability to click for more. It can’t be searched or forwarded. It has no archive. It kills trees. It uses energy. And you really should recycle it, though that’s a pain. Print sucks. Stuff sucks. So who wants stuff? Not Amazon. Yes, Jeff Bezos built a great company around selling things: books, gadgets, hardware, almost anything that can be delivered to our door. Just as Craig Newmark of craigslist is blamed (unfairly) for driving a stake through the heart of papers, Bezos is blamed for crippling bookstores, with independent outlets dying and even chains suffering. But who can blame shoppers for going to Amazon with its discounts, convenience, and selection?


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

I think there are between five and ten people who could credibly say that they were co-founders of what became LOVEFiLM. I think there are some interesting lessons. People very often focus on the single or the dual founder story. The Steve Jobs/Steve Wozniak story, that then just becomes the Steve Jobs story. Or the Bill Gates/Paul Allen story that then becomes the Bill Gates story. Or the Larry Page and Sergey Brin story, which is still the Larry Page and Sergey Brin story. Or the Jeff Bezos story, which is just the Jeff Bezos story. Or the Reed Hastings story. But the reality is, before we got into the questions of how Video Island started, it's really important to understand that fundamentally no great company is ever just created by a founder. Whether it's people like your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your parents, or your sister who you bounce your initial ideas off of, or even your friends in the park, the journey between having an idea and starting a company and then building a company and selling a company is a journey that many people take together.


pages: 370 words: 105,085

Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

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barriers to entry, c2.com, commoditize, George Gilder, index card, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Metcalfe's law, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, Paul Graham, profit motive, Robert X Cringely, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, slashdot, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, thinkpad, VA Linux, web application

thirty WHAT IS THE WORK OF DOGS IN THIS COUNTRY? SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2001 How naive were we? We had assumed that Bezos was just reinvesting the profits, that's why they weren't showing up on the bottom line. Last year, about this time, the first big dotcom failures started to hit the news. Boo.com. Toysmart.com. The Get Big Fast mentality was not working. Five hundred 31-year-olds in Dockers discovered that just copying Jeff Bezos wasn't a business plan. The past few weeks have felt oddly quiet at Fog Creek. We're finishing up CityDesk. I'd like to tell you all about CityDesk, but that will have to wait. I need to tell you about dog food. Dog food? Last month Sara Corbett told us about the Lost Boys,1 Sudanese refugees between 8 and 18 years old separated from their families and forced on a thousand-mile march from Sudan, to Ethiopia, to Sudan, to Kenya.

The organic model is to start small, with limited goals, and slowly build a business over a long period of time. I'm going to call this the Ben & Jerry's model, because Ben & Jerry's fits this model pretty well. The other model, popularly called Get Big Fast (a.k.a. Land Grab), requires you to raise a lot of capital, and work as quickly as possible to get big fast without concern for profitability. I'm going to call this the Amazon model, because Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has practically become the celebrity spokesmodel for Get Big Fast. Let's look at some of the differences between these models. The first thing to ask is: Are you going into a business that has competition, or not? Ben & Jerry's Amazon Lots of established competitors New technology, no competition at first If you don't have any real competition, as with Amazon, there is a chance that you can succeed at a Land Grab—that is, get as many customers as quickly as possible so that later competitors will have a serious barrier to entry.


pages: 317 words: 100,414

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, availability heuristic, Black Swan, butterfly effect, cloud computing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, drone strike, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, forward guidance, Freestyle chess, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, hindsight bias, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, obamacare, pattern recognition, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, prediction markets, quantitative easing, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

“You have to preserve and promote the out-of-the-box thinkers, the iconoclasts.”24 Auftragstaktik in Business Armies are unusual organizations, but bosses everywhere feel the tension between control and innovation, which is why Moltke’s spirit can be found in organizations that have nothing to do with bullets and bombs. “We let our people know what we want them to accomplish. But—and it is a very big ‘but’—we do not tell them how to achieve those goals.”25 That is a near-perfect summary of “mission command.” The speaker is William Coyne, who was senior vice president of research and development at 3M, the famously innovative manufacturing conglomerate. “Have backbone; disagree and commit” is one of Jeff Bezos’s fourteen leadership principles drilled into every new employee at Amazon. It continues: “Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.”26 The language is a little blunt for Moltke, but it wouldn’t look out of place in the Wehrmacht command manual or in my conversation with David Petraeus.

In another line of my research, I have called this tendency “functionalist blurring.” P. E. Tetlock, “Social Functionalist Frameworks for Judgment and Choice: Intuitive Politicians, Theologians, and Prosecutors,” Psychological Review 109, no. 3 (2002): 451–471. 25. 3M Company, A Century of Innovation: The 3M Story (St. Paul, MN: 3M Company, 2002), p. 156. 26. Drake Baer, “5 Brilliant Strategies Jeff Bezos Used to Build the Amazon Empire,” Business Insider, March 17, 2014. 27. Andrew Hill, “Business Lessons from the Front Line,” Financial Times, October 8, 2012. 28. Maxine Boersma, “Interview: ‘Company Leaders Need Battlefield Values’,” Financial Times, April 10, 2013. 29. Stephen Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier and President (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), p. 267. 30. Annie Duke, in discussion with the author, April 30, 2013. 31.


pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

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AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

American Marconi relied on investment banks to raise its capital from large private investors; NESCO was funded by two rich men from Pittsburgh; and De Forest Wireless Telegraphy was owned by small stockholders looking for a speculative gain. The variety of possible funding sources encouraged a variety of technological approaches. Of course, even with diverse sources of funding, most endeavors will end up as failures. This was nicely expressed by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, when he compared the Internet boom to the Cambrian explosion, which was the period in evolutionary history that saw the birth and the extinction of more species than any other period. The point is that you cannot, or so at least it seems, have one without the other. It’s a familiar truism that governments can’t, and therefore shouldn’t try to, “pick winners.” But the truth is that no system seems all that good at picking winners in advance.

An excellent account of the waggle dance, and much else besides, can be found in Thomas Seeley, The Wisdom of the Hive (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1996). A book worth reading. Rajiv Kumar Sah and Joseph E. Stiglitz, “Human Fallibility and Economic Organization,” American Economic Review 75 (1985): 292–97. Sah and Stiglitz, “The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies,” American Economic Review 76 (1986): 716–27. Jeff Bezos drew the analogy between the Cambrian explosion and the Internet in a number of places, including an interview in Business Week (September 16, 1999), http://www.businessweek.com/ebiz/9909/916bezos.htm. Scott Page describes this experiment in “Return to the Toolbox,” unpublished paper (2002). Also see Scott Page and Lu Hong, “Problem Solving by Heterogeneous Agents,” Journal of Economic Theory 97 (2001): 123–63.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Students trying to figure out what to study at university must discover that firms are interested in people with particular computer-complementary skillsets and change their education plans accordingly. Meanwhile, alongside the old businesses attempting to use new technology to make their existing practices more efficient, brand new businesses pop up and try to use newly available technology to try radical new approaches to old problems. While some legacy retailers adopt bar codes and software that can track inventory and keep tabs on consumer purchases, Jeff Bezos founds Amazon. As both sorts of firms experiment with new approaches, complementary businesses form or evolve in anticipation of retailers’ needs: logistics businesses focused on warehousing and freight, or product sellers keen to take advantage of online marketplaces. These repeated cycles of experimentation with new technologies, and of adaptation among firms, workers and consumers, generate the lag between the appearance of an innovation and observed gains in productivity or striking changes in lifestyles.

That founders or owners might receive the better part of the return on social capital in a start-up somehow seems just. For one thing, early employees in a start-up are often paid in equity, which means that they have a direct ownership stake in the creation of social capital. For another, founders are building culture out of nothing, or nearly nothing, and often giving everything they have to do it. At the same time, cultures cannot be built by diktat, no matter how dedicated the founder. Jeff Bezos may be a single-minded, irresistible force, but Amazon culture cannot be sustained without the buy-in of the workers, and once the number of employees grows beyond a close inner circle, culture becomes open-source code, constantly rewritten and edited by the people who live within it. What is more, those who own equity in a firm are able to capture a share of the returns from social capital even after they leave the company, so long as they maintain their ownership stake.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

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3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In the business world, for instance, as I interviewed corporate executives for my writing in Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, I found a great deal of interest in questioning. Many businesspeople seemed to be aware, on some level, of a link between questioning and innovation. They understood that great products, companies, even industries, often begin with a question. It’s well-known that Google, as described by its chairman, is a company that “runs on questions,”2 and that business stars such as the late Steve Jobs of Apple and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos made their mark by questioning everything. Yet, as I began to explore this subject within the business sector, I found few companies that actually encouraged questioning in any substantive way. There were no departments or training programs focused on questioning; no policies, guidelines, best practices. On the contrary, many companies—whether consciously or not—have established cultures that tend to discourage inquiry in the form of someone’s asking, for example, Why are we doing this particular thing in this particular way?

But we do know that some of their core principles—the emphasis on letting students explore, direct their own learning, and work on projects instead of taking tests—can also be found at Montessori schools, which have been around long enough to have a track record of adult success stories. And what a track record Montessori has. Today, so many former students of this private-school system (which only teaches as high as eighth grade) are now running major companies in the tech sector that these alumni have become known as the Montessori Mafia.24 Their ranks include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and the cofounders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. (The former Google executive Marissa Mayer—now the head of Yahoo!25—has said that Brin’s and Page’s Montessori schooling, though long ago, remained a defining influence. “You can’t understand Google unless you know that Larry and Sergey were both Montessori kids,” according to Mayer. “They’re always asking, Why should it be like that?


pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Unearned money cannot make up for lacking a fulfilling productive purpose. If you have a fulfilling productive purpose, however, and if you give careful thought to how best to use the money you earn to achieve your well-being, then the more money the better. This remains true even in cases in which people earn more than they could ever spend on their own personal consumption. Noting that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s estimated fortune amounted to $22 billion, columnist R. J. Eskow wrote, “That’s a lot of net worth for one individual. Granted, Bezos is much smarter than most of his peers. He’s got skills and he’s worked hard. Why shouldn’t he be rich? It’s the American way, after all. But does he need to be that rich?”19 But what drives innovators is not buying up more of the goods that currently exist—it’s pioneering the next great thing.

They assume that there are such things as economic classes, which are made up of essentially similar people with a coherent set of interests—interests that clash with those of other economic classes. But what did a visionary CEO like Steve Jobs have in common with a con man like Bernie Madoff besides the fact that both had a lot of money? What do the right-leaning Koch brothers have in common with the left-leaning George Soros? What does an innovator like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos have in common with the political favor-seeking CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt? How do the interests of a young, ambitious, and poor Sam Walton clash with the interests of an older, ambitious, and successful Sam Walton? The highest-earning Americans are a diverse group of men and women with different beliefs, motives, virtues, faults, and achievements. When it comes to political convictions, for instance, a 2011 Gallup poll found that among the top 1 percent of income earners, only 33 percent self-identify as Republicans, while Independents make up 41 percent and Democrats 26 percent.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Finally, Amazon flips into personhood by reversing the traditional relationship between people and machines. Amazon’s patented recommendation engines attempt to drive our human selection process. Amazon Mechanical Turks gave computers the ability to mete out repetitive tasks to legions of human drones. The computers did the thinking and choosing; the people pointed and clicked as they were instructed or induced to do. Neither Amazon nor its founder, Jeff Bezos, is slipping to new lows here. The company is simply operating true to the core program of corporatism, expressed through new digital means. Amazingly, as of this writing, anyway, Amazon itself operates at a loss. Its share price is the only thing that’s going up, currently sustaining a market cap of over $150 billion.30 But in a deeper sense, this means the corporate program is working perfectly: all the value is being accumulated in the investors’ shares, which are still going up.

On a digital landscape running only corporate code, corporations themselves end up in the same predicament as musicians and everyone else: a couple of winners take it all while everyone else gets nothing. Making matters worse, remember, in a successful corporate environment total economic activity decreases as money is sucked up into share value. It’s as if the business world is morphing into a video game. We can only wonder who the eventual winner of the growth game will be as the Gini number creeps upward toward one. Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos . . . ? They’re playing in a winner-takes-all competition. Google is trying to leverage its platform monopoly to become a shopping platform, Facebook is leveraging its monopoly in social media to become an advertising service, and Amazon is leveraging its store to become a cloud service. In the corporate program, there’s only room for one. RECODING THE CORPORATION CEOs are coming to recognize digital industrialism’s diminishing returns.


pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

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Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

His aim was to work on blasting and then refining a space in an isolated mountainside for the construction of a towering clock that he had designed, one intended to run for ten thousand years. That ten-millennium span was not accidentally chosen. Civilization, when Hillis began his work on the clock, had been around about that long already. We were, as he pictured it, at a midpoint on that twenty-thousand-year stretch of time. Hillis and the group of tinkerers, thinkers, and engineers who had backed the clock—people such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, spreadsheet inventor Mitch Kapor, and investor Esther Dyson—were planning on a project that would endure as close to eternity as they felt reasonable. The Clock of the Long Now, they called it. I remember pulling into Danny’s driveway in Encino one afternoon as he prepared to depart for the backcountry and being struck by the contrast between the lovely, inoffensive suburban blandness of Southern California and the tools he was taking with him to make an assault not merely on a mountain but on a whole conception of time.

Hillis, after all, had been waving more than that slim book of email addresses when he talked about the early days of the Internet. He was waving the credentials of a man who had been living in the virtual cyber-neighborhood of Web connections from its very first days. He is as close to a native of the connected, fiber-optic, light-speed world as you can find. All the names supporting the clock smelled similarly of burning electrons: Jeff Bezos had built Amazon into a high-speed marketplace whose backbone is the Web itself. Another backer, Mitch Kapor, had cracked apart several centuries of slow accounting habits when, in 1983, he created Lotus 1-2-3, the first successful computer spreadsheet program. It helped executives to see and change their whole business one keystroke at a time—which they promptly did. Kapor’s software had been instrumental in moving finance to a really instant-by-instant sort of business—more or less the opposite of the “long time frame” the clock team was aiming to preserve.


pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

Pages from Wikipedia dominate Google search results, making the operation, which dubs itself “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” a primary source of information for millions of people. (Do a Google search for “monkeys,” “Azerbaijan,” “mass spectrometry,” or “Jesus,” and the first hit will be from Wikipedia.) Although he insists he isn’t a “rich guy” and doesn’t have “rich guy hobbies,” when pressed Wales admits to hobnobbing with other geek elites, such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and hanging out on Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s private island. (The only available estimate of Wales’s net worth comes from a now-removed section of his own Wikipedia entry, pinning his fortune at less than $1 million.) Scruffy in a gray mock turtleneck and a closely cropped beard, the forty-year-old Wales plays it low-key. But he is well aware that he is a strangely powerful man. He has utterly changed the way people extract information from the chaos of the World Wide Web, and he is the master of a huge, robust online community of writers, editors, and users.

Amazon’s money added to the $4 million kicked in by angel investors earlier in the year. Amazon and Wikia have not integrated their services, but Wales has not ruled out the possibility of cooperation at a later date, spurring not entirely tongue-in-cheek rumors of a joint Wikipedia-Amazon takeover of the Web. The site plans to make money by showing a few well-targeted, well-placed ads to massive numbers of community members and users. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (a supporter of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this magazine) has spoken enviously of Wikipedia’s collaborative model, expressed his regret that Amazon’s user reviews aren’t more like wikis, and credited Wikipedia with having “cracked the code for user-generated content.” Bezos “really drove this deal personally,” Wales says, adding that he was in the enviable position of vetting potential investors.


pages: 375 words: 106,536

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Columbine, computer age, credit crunch, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, East Village, Etonian, false memory syndrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Louis Pasteur, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, telemarketer

He invested all the money he had in it—$45,000 cash. The guy was Jeff Bezos and the business was Amazon.com. Nick asks me about the woman beneath him on my income list. “Is Ellen a highly paid salary person?” he wonders. “Yes,” I say. “She has to go to work every day?” “Right.” “If she stops going to work, she’s out of business?” “She has a bit of money saved, but basically yes,” I say. Nick smiles. “While we sit here, during this charming conversation, I will make twenty-five thousand dollars,” he says. I look at Nick. “That’s terrible,” I say. Nick roars with laughter. “That’s the difference between me and her! Hahahaha!” Nick has just been holidaying in Cabo. His life is ceaselessly luxurious, and always will be, because of one insanely clever realization—that Jeff Bezos was onto something—and the smart, subsequent ways he invested his Amazon profits.


pages: 102 words: 27,769

Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

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call centre, Clayton Christensen, Dean Kamen, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator

In addition to writing original content, he helped merge the distinctly different writing styles of the coauthors into a focused, cohesive book. He made it look easy, but it wasn’t easy work. Thank you, Matt. We also want to thank our families, our customers, and everyone at 37signals. And here’s a list of some of the people we know, and don’t know, who have inspired us in one way or another: Frank Lloyd Wright Seth Godin Warren Buffett Jamie Larson Clayton Christensen Ralph Nader Jim Coudal Benjamin Franklin Ernest Kim Jeff Bezos Scott Heiferman Antoni Gaudi Carlos Segura Larry David Steve Jobs Dean Kamen Bill Maher Thomas Jefferson Mies van der Rohe Ricardo Semler Christopher Alexander James Dyson Kent Beck Thomas Paine Gerald Weinberg Kathy Sierra Julia Child Marc Hedlund Nicholas Karavites Michael Jordan Richard Bird Jeffrey Zeldman Dieter Rams Judith Sheindlin Ron Paul Timothy Ferriss Copyright © 2010 by 37signals, LLC.


pages: 121 words: 31,813

The Art of Execution by Lee Freeman-Shor

Black Swan, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, family office, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, tulip mania, zero-sum game

In other words, every Connoisseur was also an Assassin or a Hunter when it came to losses. Clues from the Forbes rich list Having discovered that one half of the secret to making money, even if we are wrong most of the time, is to ride your winners in size, I now look at the Forbes rich list in a new light. Previously, I would look at it and think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “He must be a genius.” For example, at the time of writing, Jeff Bezos at a relatively youthful age of 49 is ranked as the 18th richest person on the planet, with a net worth of $25bn. That makes him richer than the entire economies of Paraguay and Jamaica. How did Jeff become so fabulously wealthy? The popular story told by mainstream media is that he became rich because he founded Amazon, which has grown from being a humble online book store to the world’s largest online retailer.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Irwin: The Cell Phone Guy It was wonderful for consumers for all these networking breakthroughs to occur, but someone had to pack them into a phone you could carry in your pocket to get the full frontal revolution—and no individual was more responsible for this mobile phone revolution than Irwin Jacobs. In the pantheon of the great innovators who launched the Internet age—Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore, Bob Noyce, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Andy Grove, Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg—save a few lines for Irwin Jacobs, and add Qualcomm to the list of important companies you’ve barely heard of. Qualcomm is to mobile phones what Intel and Microsoft together were to desktops and laptops—the primary inventor, designer, and manufacturer of the microchips and software that run handheld smartphones and tablets.

Amazon, a retailer, came out of nowhere to steal a march on both IBM and HP in cloud computing. Ten years ago neither company would have listed Amazon as a competitor. But Amazon needed more cloud computing power to run its own business and then decided that cloud computing was a business! And now Amazon is also a Hollywood studio. On January 12, 2016, CNNMoney.com ran a story about the Golden Globes award ceremony that began: “I want to thank Amazon, Jeff Bezos…” Those words were spoken at a Hollywood awards show [by the director Jill Soloway] for the first time on Sunday as Amazon’s comedic television series Transparent picked up two Golden Globe awards, beating shows from HBO, Netflix, and the CW. The awards were an affirmation of the widening television landscape, as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are beginning to play host to award-worthy programs just like television networks … A little while later, the star of Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor, won the award for best actor in a television comedy.

Alan Cohen never tires of tutoring me on the cutting edges of technology, and Moshe Halbertal does the same when it comes to the Middle East. In addition, I had many rich conversations over the past two years, from which I benefited enormously, with Larry Diamond, Eric Beinhocker, Leon Wieseltier, Lin Wells, Robert Walker, K. R. Sridhar, Sadik Yildiz, P. V. Kannan, Kayvon Beykpour, Joel Hyatt, Jeff Bezos, Wael Ghonim, Nandan Nilekani, Gautam Mukunda, Rabbi Tzvi Marx, Rabbi Jonathan Maltzman, Russ Mittermeier, Glenn Prickett, Dennis Ross, Tom Lovejoy, Richard K. Miller, Jeffrey Garten, Moises Naim, Carla Dirlikov Canales, David Rothkopf, Jonathan Taplin, David Kennedy, Zach Sims, Jeff Weiner, Laura Blumenfeld, Kofi Annan, Peter Schwartz, Mark Madden, Phil Bucksbaum, Bill Galstos, Craig Charney, Adam Sweidan, and James H.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, QR code, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Y Combinator

But there clearly comes a point where the process can’t be sustained – it becomes a bottleneck. At the same time the opposite – a founder or CEO who is not at all involved in the team-building process – certainly doesn’t work, either. While I personally think the hands-on approach is correct for the beginning phases – by the $100 million stage and moving into the next stage it becomes impossible to sustain. A great solution is one that Amazon has put in place. Early on at Amazon, Jeff Bezos, the CEO, handpicked a team of people he thought particularly understood the culture of the company, and whom he trusted to make independent hiring decisions. For all future hires, no matter for what team, the final say would be made by a senior executive with this ‘power of hire’. This ensured that there was an incredibly high – and consistent – bar for hiring. And it also insured against managers making rush hires for their individual teams (rather than holding out for the best candidate).

Two-Pizza Teams and Internal APIs Amazon’s business model is predicated on the thinnest of margins, and as a result the company has been able to innovate in amazing ways that don’t require massive capital investment. The principles therefore apply to startups looking to stay lean. Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most entrepreneurial companies in history. Two reasons Amazon is able to keep its momentum even with 97,000 employees are pizza teams and APIs.1 TWO-PIZZA TEAMS. Jeff Bezos structured Amazon as a decentralised company where small groups can innovate independently and are free from the inherent problems of groupthink. He introduced the principle of the two-pizza team. If two pizzas can’t feed a team, then the team is too large. That limits a task force to five to seven people, depending on their appetites. INTERNAL APIS. We talked about application programming interfaces (APIs) in Chapter 2.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

This seemed like a relatively limited contribution to the workplace, but Brooks argues that the system will develop a library of capabilities over time and will increase its speed as new versions of its software become available. Rodney Brooks rejected early artificial intelligence in favor of a new approach he described as “fast, cheap, and out of control.” Later he designed Baxter, an inexpensive manufacturing robot intended to work with, rather than replace, human workers. (Photo courtesy of Evan McGlinn/New York Times/Redux) It is perhaps telling that one of Rethink’s early venture investors was Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon. Amazon has increasingly had problems with its nonunionized warehouse workers, who frequently complain about poor working conditions and low wages. When Amazon acquired Kiva Systems, Bezos signaled that he was intent on displacing as much human labor from his warehouses as possible. In modern consumer goods logistics there are two levels of distribution: storing and moving whole cases of goods, and retrieving individual products from those cases.

DARPA also hosted a robot fair with several dozen exhibitors during the two days of robot competition, which generated a modest crowd as well as a fairly hefty media contingent. Google underscored the growing impact of robotics on all aspects of society when it publicly announced Rubin’s robotics division just weeks before the Robotics Challenge. At the beginning of that month, 60 Minutes had aired a segment about Jeff Bezos and Amazon that included a scene in which Bezos led Charlie Rose into a laboratory and showed off an octocopter drone designed to deliver Amazon products autonomously “in 30 minutes.”12 The report sparked another flurry of discussions about the growing role of robots in society. The storage and distribution of commercial goods is already a vast business in the United States, and Amazon has quickly become a dominant low-cost competitor.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

The term should be long enough to give enough incentive, without being so long as to raise prices unnecessarily. But a patent isn't the only device that might protect the innovator against inefficient copying. Being first to market in a network economy creates a first-mover advantage without imposing the costs of a patent. And other incentives are often sufficient to induce innovation without a patent. Jeff Bezos, for example, said of the 1-Click patent that Amazon.com would have developed the 1-Click technology whether or not there was a patent system.97 The reason is obvious: The system helps sell more books, and the profit from those additional sales of books is enough of an incentive for the invention of new technology. Either one of these reasons, plus a host of others suggested by legal and economic scholars, would lead a rational policy maker to ask whether monopoly is needed here.98 But this question has not been asked about patents affecting cyberspace.

The ordinary response is a “negligence standard”: the applicant must file what he or she knows or should have known. This creates a strong incentive for the applicant to discover relevant prior art. And it would help the U.S. Patent Office make a judgment about whether a patent should be granted. If Congress determines that business method patents are justified, it should also consider the proposals of Jeff Bezos and Tim O'Reilly to grant patent protection for business methods for only a very short period. Bezos proposes five years, but an even shorter period may make sense.29 Network technologies move so quickly that a longer period of protection is never really needed; and whatever distortions this system might produce, they could be minimized by shorting the period of protection. Congress should also, and most obviously, radically improve funding for the U.S.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

From Buenos Aires, Wences flew to Brazil for his first vacation in what seemed like years. Belle and the three children met him and they stayed at a house near the beach in Rio and caught all the World Cup games they could. But even before the World Cup was over, Wences and the family were up in Utah for the latest exclusive conference held by Allen & Co., this one an even higher-profile event than the one in the spring, drawing Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Rupert Murdoch. There had been lots of good news for Bitcoin in the weeks since he had been in Argentina. The United States Marshals Service had auctioned off the 29,655 Bitcoins it had seized from Ross Ulbricht, and the winner was a major venture capitalist, Tim Draper, who was working with the startup that employed Nick Szabo. Once U.S. government officials had sold Bitcoins it would be hard for them to treat Bitcoin as an outlaw currency.

The Winklevoss twins, meanwhile, had made their latest regulatory filing for their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which was now set to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol COIN. The day before the Allen & Co. conference began, Wences officially announced the $20 million he had raised from Reid Hoffman, Max Levchin, and several other investors, making him the best-funded Bitcoin company in the world, according to publicly released data. At the Allen & Co. conference, Wences was given one of the speaking slots before Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett took the stage. Wences gave what was becoming a standard talk, beginning with the history of money, and going on to discuss the potential for Bitcoin to provide financial services to poor people who had long been shut out. He touched on Xapo only briefly, at the end. After Wences came down and took a seat with Belle, Bezos said from the stage that it was the kind of talk that kept him coming to these events.


pages: 409 words: 138,088

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

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British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, full employment, game design, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket

It struck me that Bowie included a tune called “Gemini Spacecraft” on his Heathen album of 2002 and that the sleeve to Led Zeppelin’s greatest hits CD depicts the group in Apollo space suits, reminding us that their portentous first four albums fell in those weird years from 1969 through 1972. It also struck me that in the year prior to this trip, characters as diverse as the Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, the actor Vincent Gallo and musician Moby all told me, with no prompting, that the first thing they could recall wanting to be was an astronaut. They all remembered where they were when the first landing happened, but Wayne Coyne, singer with the Flaming Lips – born in 1961, the same year as Apollo – had the best story. “You know, it was a big moment,” he mused, “because most of your life passes into a kind of blur – there’s like first grade, high school, NOW … but that was a big summer, when they landed on the Moon.

The Real Frank Zappa Book . London: Picador, 1990. A Note on the Author Andrew Smith is English, although he was born in New York and lived in California until he was in his early teens. He watched the Moon landings on TV in his San Francisco home. He has worked for the Melody Maker, The Face, the Sunday Times, and the Observer, where he has written on the KLF, death row, Damien Hirst, Jeff Bezos, Bianca Jagger and much, much more. He currently lives in Norfolk, in the east of England. Further praise for Moondust: ‘Wonderful … This is a fascinating book, often poignant but funny too’ Daily Mail ‘Smith navigates the contours of our love affair with space … Moondust is an inspired idea, immaculately executed: witty, affectionate, completely captivating’ Word ‘This book is something different … As an update on the nine surviving astronauts it is fascinating.

Stock Market Wizards: Interviews With America's Top Stock Traders by Jack D. Schwager

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Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, Black-Scholes formula, commodity trading advisor, computer vision, East Village, Edward Thorp, financial independence, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, money market fund, Myron Scholes, paper trading, passive investing, pattern recognition, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, the scientific method, transaction costs, Y2K

Do you hire people just for their raw intellectual capability, even if there is no specific job slot to fill? Compared with most organizations, we tend to hire more on the basis of raw ability and less on the basis of experience. If we run across someone truly gifted, we try to make them an offer, even if we don't have an immediate position in mind for that person. The most famous example is probably Jeff Bezos. One of my partners approached me and said, "I've just interviewed this terrific candidate named Jeff Bezos. We don't really have a slot for him, but I think he's going to make someone a lot of money someday, and I think you should at least spend some time with him." I met with Jeff and was really impressed by his intellect, creativity, and entrepreneurial instincts. I told my partner that he was right and that even though we didn't have a position for him, we should hire him anyway and figure something out.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

CHANGING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FIRM Throughout the first era of the Internet, management thinkers (Don included) talked up the networked enterprise, the flat corporation, open innovation, and business ecosystems as successors to the hierarchies of industrial power. However, the architecture of the early-twentieth-century corporation remains pretty much intact. Even the big dot-coms adopted a top-down structure with such decision makers as Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer, and Mark Zuckerberg. So why would any established firm—particularly ones that make their money off other people’s data, operate largely behind closed doors, and suffer surprisingly little in data breach after data breach—want to leverage blockchain technologies to distribute power, increase transparency, respect user privacy and anonymity, and include far more people who can afford far less than those already served?

We should consider how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could be better served with blockchain.”75 How can we achieve this better future? Most of the people leading the revolution are still unknowns, except for veterans like Netscape’s progenitor Marc Andreessen. You’ve likely never heard of most of the people quoted in this book. Then again, who’d heard of Iranian immigrant Pierre Omidyar or Wall Street programmer Jeff Bezos in 1994? Much depends on how the leaders of the industry get on board. Is a blockchain alternative to Facebook or Twitter really achievable or will the incumbents respond by addressing user concerns about data ownership and privacy? Doesn’t matter. Consumers win either way. Will Visa wither or will it change its business model to embrace the power of blockchain? How will Apple respond to an artist-centered music industry?


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

When we choose what to eat, who to spend time with, or what city to live in, regret looms large—presented with a set of good options, it is easy to torture ourselves with the consequences of making the wrong choice. These regrets are often about the things we failed to do, the options we never tried. In the memorable words of management theorist Chester Barnard, “To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.” Regret can also be highly motivating. Before he decided to start Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos had a secure and well-paid position at the investment company D. E. Shaw & Co. in New York. Starting an online bookstore in Seattle was going to be a big leap—something that his boss (that’s D. E. Shaw) advised him to think about carefully. Says Bezos: The framework I found, which made the decision incredibly easy, was what I called—which only a nerd would call—a “regret minimization framework.”

“Regrets, I’ve had a few”: Frank Sinatra, “My Way,” from My Way (1969), lyrics by Paul Anka. “For myself I am an optimist”: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speech, Lord Mayor’s Banquet, London, November 9, 1954. Printed in Churchill, Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches. “To try and fail is at least to learn”: Barnard, The Functions of the Executive. “wanted to project myself forward to age 80”: Jeff Bezos, interview with the Academy of Achievement, May 4, 2001, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bez0int-3. several key points about regret: Lai and Robbins, “Asymptotically Efficient Adaptive Allocation Rules.” the guarantee of minimal regret: Ibid. offered the first such algorithms, which were refined by Katehakis and Robbins, “Sequential Choice from Several Populations”; Agrawal, “Sample Mean Based Index Policies”; and Auer, Cesa-Bianchi, and Fischer, “Finite-Time Analysis of the Multiarmed Bandit Problem,” among others.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

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air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, liberation theology, McMansion, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

To broaden inventory even further, it partners with other vendors (even large ones like Target) and provides them with warehousing and distribution. Technology is Amazon’s strongest suit and greatest investment (dwarfing H&M’s logistics system by umpteen degrees). Not only for the customer interface—the programs that create a personalized shopping experience and recommend products to users (as founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says, with so many items to choose from, they had to create ways to not only “enable customers to find products, but also enable products to find customers”55)—but also for the logistics of “fulfillment,” or processing an order and getting it to a customer. Imagine tracking a couple of million different products, as opposed to a couple of thousand. Amazon had to create its own “inventory optimization” software that Bezos compares to airline routing: complex algorithms create an optimal “pick path” through multi-million-square-foot warehouses so machines can find and fetch the specific items on order.56 It’s this enormous selection and the technological whiz-bang behind the personalized experience that the Amazon brand is all about.

Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009. 52. Larenaudie, “Inside the H&M Fashion Machine.” 53. Keisha Lamothe, “Online retail spending surges in 2006,” CNNMoney.com, January 4, 2007 (money.cnn.com/2007/01/04/news/economy/ online_sales/?postversion=2007010410). 54. Stacy Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007), p. 12. 55. Speech by Jeff Bezos at MIT, November 25, 2002 (mitworld.mit.edu/video/1/). 56. Ibid. 57. Renee Wilmeth of Google Books and Literary Architects, quoted by Dave Taylor, Ask Dave Taylor (askdavetaylor.com/what_percentage_of_books _printed_end_up _destroyed.html). 58. H. Scott Matthews and Chris T. Hendricks, “Economic and Environmental Implications of Online Retailing in the United States,” dissertation, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, August 2001. 59.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Likewise, there are many successful investors and entrepreneurs whose thinking about innovation and business creation have inspired us. Innovation happens through entrepreneurship and it is impossible to grasp innovation without understanding the business motivations behind it. In reality, books like ours cannot substitute for studies of successful entrepreneurs like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Sam Walton, and the business environment they and others created in their respective firms. More people than we can mention have generously taken the time to talk through particular issues with us or showed us the power of new technology and innovative business ideas. We are particularly grateful to a group of friends who have read, commented, and in other ways helped us with various versions of the manuscript.

“Therefore,” Pliny the Elder recalled in his Naturalis Historia, “instead of giving the goldsmith the regard expected, he ordered him to be beheaded.”15 Politics moves in mysterious ways and, through history, politicians and regulators have slowed rather than accelerated innovation and radical changes of markets. “Fear of creative destruction is often at the root of the opposition to inclusive economic and political institutions,” observe Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.16 Innovators may no longer be decapitated when they bring new technology to market, but rulers still have that spirit of resistance in them. When Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, for example, unveiled the company’s new “flying vehicle,” the new drone prototype for delivering packages, it took less than a week for US authorities to ground it because there was no commercial legislation covering drones. The Federal Aviation Administration had already begun working on rules for commercial drone aircraft, but they were behind schedule. Amazon was granted a special exemption a year later, but by then it had already moved on to another advanced drone device.17 Innovation around mobile technology provides yet another example.


pages: 419 words: 130,627

Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase by Duff McDonald

bank run, Bonfire of the Vanities, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, housing crisis, interest rate swap, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, negative equity, Northern Rock, profit motive, Renaissance Technologies, risk/return, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

He was intrigued, but it wasn’t quite the right thing for him, either. “I always thought that was funny, though,” Dimon recalls. “Because he did run, and he won.” The interest did not stop there. Starwood Hotels & Resorts was interested. Jeff Bezos tried to lure Dimon to Amazon.com, a tempting opportunity in early 1999, with the Internet frenzy still ongoing. “For a minute there, I had this fantasy of moving the family to Seattle. I was dreaming of being Tom Hanks on a big houseboat and I would never wear a suit again,” he recalls. “But it just wasn’t me. I like Jeff Bezos, but I’m a finance guy. It’s like taking someone who has played tennis their whole life and telling them from then on they had to play golf. You have to relearn all these new skills. Plus, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that to my family, to move out to Seattle on a bit of a gamble.”


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

“Driverless” cars like those being developed by Google and Uber may dominate the mainstream media coverage, but the spare, highway-bound performance regime of long-haul trucking is far more amenable to automation than the stop-and-start, high-complexity environment of city and suburban driving, as Tesla’s July 2016 announcement of plans for an autonomous semi recognizes.19 Meanwhile, logistics has already shed most of the human labor force it once supported, with Jeff Bezos’s Amazon pioneering the development of robotic warehousing and fulfillment.20 Research has already moved on to attack the challenges of delivery by swarming drone as well as autonomous ground vehicle. So when a worthy body like the Pew Research Center convenes a panel of experts21 and just over half of them argue that automation will create more jobs than it displaces between now and 2025, I’m forced to wonder if anyone involved has spent much time contemplating the pastel contrasts of Quoctrung Bui’s map.22 What is now the most commonly held job in twenty-nine of the fifty states will surely number among the very first to be automated.

Through its flagship social network, Facebook leverages the social lives of its 1.71 billion monthly active users—just short of one out of every four people on Earth—and through Instagram, no small share of their memories as well; through controversial projects like Free Basics7 and its prototype fleet of solar-powered, autonomous Aquila drones, it is attempting to bring internet connectivity to “the last billion.”8 And that leaves Amazon, the Seattle-based titan founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Having utterly dominated online commerce just about everywhere outside mainland China, it has pushed deep into cloud-computing infrastructure and automated logistics, and now sets its sights on the networked home. Though Amazon’s innovation comes at punishing psychic and physical cost to its workers, it has obsessively pursued technical efficiencies in the unglamorous backstage areas of warehousing, distribution and fulfillment.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Not only does Amazon have a set of superb recommendation tools that help me sell books, but it also has an affiliate program that lets me get up to 8.5 in commissions for sales of my books through the site - nearly doubling my royalty rate. As a consumer advocate and activist, I'm delighted by almost every public policy initiative from Amazon. When the Author's Guild tried to get Amazon to curtail its used-book market, the company refused to back down. Founder Jeff Bezos (who is a friend of mine) even wrote, "when someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this." More recently, Amazon stood up to the US government, who'd gone on an illegal fishing expedition for terrorists (TERRORISTS! TERRORISTS! TERRORISTS!) and asked Amazon to turn over the purchasing history of 24,000 Amazon customers.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, creative destruction, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell, the new new thing

(Microsoft did its job so thoroughly that the U.S. Justice Department attempted to break up what it saw as a global monopoly. By the end of 2000, Microsoft’s share price fell from $120 to the mid-$40s, which meant the company was worth a mere $246 billion.) In a tech-driven economy … The speed with which fortunes appear and disappear … And waterfalls of data behind these new fortunes … Is staggering. On his thirty-fifth birthday, Jeff Bezos was worth close to $10,000,000,000. Five years earlier, he lived in a 500-square-foot apartment. He is primarily a bookseller … But he understood the power of a new medium and a new technology, the Internet, to change commerce. Which is why Amazon.com was touted as one of the world’s most successful companies … For a while. But technology moves so quickly that either his company gets a lot bigger … And a lot smarter …13 Over the next two years … Or it is likely that Bezos will no longer make the list of the 100 richest Americans … Much less be named, as he was in 1999, Time’s “Man of the Year.”


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technology bubble, traffic fines

I have since learned that this awkwardness afflicts adults, too. Despite mangled voicemail messages, I still established relationships with public works directors who grew accustomed to my contacts. Local papers continued to write articles about my free service. BayArea.com named us “Site of the Week,” driving a ton 10 MY START-UP LIFE of traffic and providing me a free T-shirt. The now-defunct Industry Standard featured me and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for the “quotes of the week.” (“America is complaining more than ever, so we feel like it’s a prime time to launch.”) Seeing titles like “boy wonder” and “whiz kid” surprised me. All I did was build a website. >> To accompany this growth, I had to add a little bit of infrastructure to my fledgling business, if only to stave off embarrassment. Tom Ammiano, a well-known member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, once returned a call from ComplainandResolve.com himself.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the new new thing, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

how-it-works [xxxvi] Trifts, Valerie, and Gerald Häubl. “Information Availability and Consumer Preference: Can Online Retailers Benefit from . . .” In Journal of Consumer Psychology, 149–159, 2003. [xxxvii] “More Retailers at Risk of Amazon ‘Showrooming’.” Bits Blog. Accessed December 16, 2013. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/more-retailers-at-risk-of-amazon-showrooming/. [xxxviii] Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Little, Brown and Company, 2013. [xxxix] Lally, Phillippa, Cornelia H. M. van Jaarsveld, Henry W. W. Potts, and Jane Wardle. “How Are Habits Formed: Modelling Habit Formation in the Real World.” European Journal of Social Psychology 40, no. 6 (2010): 998–1009. doi:10.1002/ejsp.674. [xl] Offit, Paul A. “Don’t Take Your Vitamins.” The New York Times, June 8, 2013, sec.


pages: 234 words: 53,078

The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer by Dean Baker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Bretton Woods, corporate governance, declining real wages, full employment, index fund, Jeff Bezos, medical malpractice, medical residency, money market fund, offshore financial centre, price discrimination, risk tolerance, spread of share-ownership

As long as Internet retailers succeed in avoiding state sales taxes, they will be accomplishing the important social goals of subsidizing the consumption of relatively affluent families and also making shareholders in Internet retailers wealthy. In effect, most of the profits of an Internet retailer like Amazon.com can be seen as cashing in on their special tax status. If Amazon.com were suddenly forced to pay the same sales tax as the traditional stores with whom they compete, it would have to largely absorb this tax in the form of lower profits.9 Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO of Amazon.com, is yet another success story of the conservative nanny state. If Amazon.com were subject to the same tax rules as a corner grocery store, Mr. Bezos might be just another failed small business entrepreneur. What’s Wrong With Taxing Wall Street Wagers? If a bus driver in New Jersey spends a weekend gambling at Atlantic City, she will pay a tax of 7 percent on her gambling.


pages: 385 words: 48,143

The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur by Randy Komisar

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, belly landing, discounted cash flows, estate planning, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, new economy, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs

"You would have to convince me"he tapped on his chest every time he said "me""convince me that these numbers are a stretch. A stretch? I don't think so. Listen, somebody's going to do this. No doubt about it. And I say, why not us? Why not us?" Lenny obviously didn't ask questions to get answers, and so I waited through his dramatic pause. "And I'm not alone in this." He flipped to a page of quotes from analysts and forecasters. He started to read the first aloud, from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, something about "the migration of the $4 trillion global economy onto the Internet." I held up my hand so I could read in silence. In a world inhabited by people who think the Internet and the universe are converging, no shortage of proselytizers are willing to endorse any kind of cockamamie scheme as the next big thing. But Bezos deserved to be read. I noticed that he made no mention of funerals or caskets.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

If anything, your ability to listen, to hear feedback, to improve and grow matter more now than ever before. Facts are better than stories and image. The twentieth-century financier Bernard Baruch had a great line: “Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. This can’t be done—except by liars.” That is, people’s claims about what they’re doing in the market are rarely to be trusted. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has talked about this temptation. He reminds himself that there was “no aha moment” for his billion-dollar behemoth, no matter what he might read in his own press clippings. The founding of a company, making money in the market, or the formation of an idea is messy. Reducing it to a narrative retroactively creates a clarity that never was and never will be there. When we are aspiring we must resist the impulse to reverse engineer success from other people’s stories.


pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

While there continues to be a culture of machismo when it comes to going without sleep, luckily the stigma is fading, thanks in part to a few super–high performers—particularly in industries that typically celebrate burning the candle at both ends—who have publicly boasted about getting a full eight hours. These people—many of them true Essentialists—know their healthy sleep habits give them a huge competitive advantage, and they are right. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, is one of them. He says: “I’m more alert and I think more clearly. I just feel so much better all day long if I’ve had eight hours.” Mark Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape, and a reformed sleep restrictor who used to work till the early hours but still be up at 7:00 A.M., is another. He said, “I would spend the whole day wishing I could go home and go back to bed.” Now he says of his level of sleep: “Seven [hours] and I start to degrade.


pages: 204 words: 58,565

Keeping Up With the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport, Jinho Kim

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Black-Scholes formula, business intelligence, business process, call centre, computer age, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, forensic accounting, global supply chain, Hans Rosling, hypertext link, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, margin call, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Myron Scholes, Netflix Prize, p-value, performance metric, publish or perish, quantitative hedge fund, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, six sigma, Skype, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, the scientific method

Manufacturing, in which most machines already have one or more microprocessors, is increasingly a big-data environment. Consumer marketing, with myriad customer touchpoints and clickstreams, is already a big data problem. Google has even described its self-driving car as a big-data project. CEOs like Gary Loveman at Caesars Entertainment (he’s known for saying, “Do we think, or do we know?”), Jeff Bezos at Amazon (“We never throw away data”), and Reid Hoffman at LinkedIn (“Web 3.0 is about data”) are publicly on record that analytical thinking and decision making is a route to organizational success and personal fortune. All organizations in all industries will need to make sense of the onslaught of data. They’ll need people who can do the detailed analysis of it—these people go by different names, but are quants, and this book is not meant for them.


pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

But once you’ve acquired some experience, you can proceed by instinct. Again, the objective here isn’t to be false. It’s to be strategic—by being human. “Subtle mimicry comes across as a form of flattery, the physical dance of charm itself,” The New York Times has noted. “And if that kind of flattery doesn’t close a deal, it may just be that the customer isn’t buying.” Pull up a chair. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, has accomplished a great deal in his forty-eight years. He’s reshaped the retail business. He’s become one of the thirty wealthiest people on the planet. And with far less fanfare, he’s devised one of the best attunement practices I’ve encountered. Amazon, like most organizations, has lots of meetings. But at the important ones, alongside the chairs in which his executives, marketing mavens, and software jockeys take their places, Bezos includes one more chair that remains empty.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

During and after the great Internet bubble of the 1990s, there were instant history machines for the so-called new economy—magazines like Business 2.0 and Fast Company—that reported on the ups and downs of the geek gods and their “wealth creation.” Here are the tales of Microsoft stock bought at twenty dollars and sold at two thousand, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard working in their rented Palo Alto garage, Ross Perot quitting IBM to found Computer Data Systems in Texas, Jeff Bezos opening an online bookstore, naming it after the largest river in the world, and then getting on the cover of Time magazine as the CEO of Amazon.com, and Mark Zuckerberg transforming the Harvard University first-year-student listing service into Facebook, the dominant and most valuable social media site in the world. These are the stories that have sustained the bulk of people’s interests in the history of computing.


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, wealth creators, Yogi Berra

I met Mark Cuban when he and his partner Todd Wagner were peddling AudioNet to anyone in Silicon Valley who would listen, before they sold the audio and video streaming company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion. I met Mark Zuckerberg just as Facebook was crossing a few million users; he talked about lowering the cost of communications between groups of people. Today, a good chunk of the planet logs in to the site regularly to keep in touch with friends and family. I can go on. Meg Whitman when she was at eBay, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, even a few telecom folks who were billionaires for a moment in time. The cool thing about all these folks is that no one did them any favors. There was no government contract that guaranteed them success. No secret handshakes or sweetheart deals or smoky room concessions. For the most part, society didn’t do them any favors—each of them started small, but saw something big on the horizon and created a process to constantly improve, constantly innovate, and constantly sell exactly what was needed and then identify the next big thing on the new horizon.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

And given there are only so many channels any one person can pay attention to, we’re quickly moving to the point where big and general are both fast tracking towards extinction. Not one of the ‘top-10’ blogs was originally created by a traditional media owner. This doesn’t mean that blogs can’t have as much in-market value as traditional newspapers either. The Washington Post was recently sold to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for US$250 million, while Gawker Media has a reported market value of more than US$300 million. Über-niche blogs — such as Treehugger and Celebrity Baby Blog, which were each sold for US$10 million in the 2000s — are also going for significant sums. Add to this that the ‘rivers of gold’ that flowed from classified ads are also being taken over online by single-minded competitors, and we’ve witnessed a classic ‘David’ victory.


pages: 270 words: 75,803

Wall Street Meat by Andy Kessler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, banking crisis, Bob Noyce, George Gilder, index fund, Jeff Bezos, market bubble, Menlo Park, pets.com, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, Y2K

Not a problem, for there were plenty of companies that 173 Wall Street Meat could quickly adopt the Internet, put dotcom at the end of their name, and get fed to the ducks. Wall Street was happy to oblige, for a modest 7% fee. · · · One of the first high profile deals Frank won was Amazon.com, an online bookseller in Seattle. Morgan Stanley and Mary Meeker put on the big push to get the deal, which, like Netscape, was backed by Kleiner Perkins and venture capitalist John Doerr, who was as hot as a pistol. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, had an infectious spirit of doing something yourself the right way. He left New York for points west to pursue his dream. Perhaps he saw the same thing in Frankie. Plus, Frank was early in putting Bezos in front of investors, prominently promoting Amazon at his Technology Group’s conference in December of 1996. Frank Quattrone and Deutsche Bank won the business. Before congratulating Frankie too much, however, it turned out that Morgan Stanley had this tiny little problem.


pages: 256 words: 15,765

The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy by Dr. Jim Taylor

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

British Empire, call centre, dark matter, Donald Trump, estate planning, full employment, glass ceiling, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, passive income, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ronald Reagan, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

He has the freedom to do that primarily because he’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars—and so, no matter what he sheds, he can buy again anything he wants or needs. When Jason was his early twenties, he had no thoughts of wealth. He was more focused on indulging his passion for alternative music. In 1993, a friend asked him if knew anything about creating 140 The New Elite an obscure and little-known thing called a Web site. (A year later, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com, and as he told colleagues about his idea to sell books on the Internet, the most common question he heard was, ‘‘What’s the Internet?’’) Jason was intrigued, and as always, followed his curiosity. He and his friend founded one of the first dot-coms, and with plenty of hard work and great timing, they built it into a thriving enterprise. As the new millennium arrived, so did their initial public offering, and lump-sum wealth arrived as a reward for years of dedication.


pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

Lee Bailey: legendary defense attorney who represented Patricia Hearst and Sam Sheppard Evan Bailyn: expert on search-engine optimization, author of Outsmarting Google Letitia Baldrige: etiquette expert, Jacqueline Kennedy’s social secretary Bob Ballard: oceanographer, explorer, underwater archeologist who discovered the Titanic David Baltimore: biologist, Nobel laureate Richard Bangs: explorer, author, TV personality Tyra Banks: model, TV host Barry Barish: experimental physicist, expert on gravitational waves Colette Baron-Reid: expert on intuition John C. Beck: business expert in mobile communications, author Yves Béhar: industrial designer, entrepreneur, sustainability advocate Harold Benjamin: director of the Wellness Community centers for cancer patients Steve Berra: professional skateboarder, cofounder of popular skateboarding website The Berrics Jeff Bewkes: CEO and chairman of Time Warner Jeff Bezos: founder and CEO of Amazon.com, owner of the Washington Post Jason Binn: founder of DuJour magazine, chief advisor to Gilt Groupe, editor of Getty WireImage Ian Birch: director of editorial development and special projects at Hearst Magazines, former editor of US magazine Peter Biskind: cultural critic, film historian, author, former executive editor of Premiere magazine Edwin Black: historian and journalist focusing on human rights and corporate abuse Keith Black: chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, specializing in the treatment of brain tumors David Blaine: magician, illusionist, endurance artist Keith Blanchard: founding editor of Maxim Alex Ben Block: journalist, former senior editor of the Hollywood Reporter Sherman Block: sheriff of Los Angeles County, 1982–1998 Michael Bloomberg: mayor of New York City, 2002–2013, founder of Bloomberg financial information service Tim Blum: cofounder of contemporary commercial art gallery Blum & Poe Adam Bly: creator of Seed magazine, which focused on the intersection of science and society Alex Bogusky: designer, advertising executive, marketer, author David Boies: attorney who represented U.S.


pages: 239 words: 73,178

The Narcissist You Know by Joseph Burgo

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Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Paul Graham, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

He may have had money in the bank, a girlfriend, and two children living in his home, but it all felt fake—the illusion of “normal.” When Ian talked about his plan to launch an Internet start-up, his grandiosity became clear. In the future he envisioned, he saw himself as an innovator on the same level as Steve Jobs. He intended to build a new company and eventually launch an IPO that would earn him billions of dollars, placing him alongside Sergey Brin and Jeff Bezos in the pantheon of Internet entrepreneurs. Nothing less would do. In our work together, we focused on the link between the grandiose imaginary self detached from reality, and the feeling of core shame that had always plagued him. Over time, Ian made some headway in developing a more realistic business plan. He settled on a platform that would match prospective interns with companies offering placements, linking the student data-base from his alma mater to businesses in the area with internships to fill.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M. D., Keith Ferrazzi

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

hiring and firing, index card, Jeff Bezos, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, zero-sum game

BRANDEIS, 20TH-CENTURY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE Birds fly, but people can’t. You can’t record music. You can’t market a Pet Rock. And you certainly can’t become a multimillionaire by selling books on-line. Why? Because everybody says so . . . or at least everybody used to. Of course, that was before somebody did each of these things. If you’re that somebody—the Thomas Edison, Wilbur Wright, Gary Dahl, or Jeff Bezos who’s trying to transform a vision into reality—your biggest problem isn’t realizing that your goal is possible. It’s talking other people into seeing that it’s possible. It’s getting your coworkers, your clients, your employees, your boss, your investors, or your family to go from “we can’t do it” to “maybe we can do it” to “let’s do it.” Years ago, Dave Hibbard, the co-founder of Dialexis, taught me one of the most powerful tricks for turning a situation around if you’re being held hostage by people who can’t get past “can’t.”


pages: 326 words: 74,433

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

augmented reality, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software as a service, Steve Jobs

With the help of Greg Gottesman, I then approached the entrepreneur and venture capital community in Seattle and asked them to collaborate with us in supporting the launch of TechStars Seattle in August 2010. What happened was amazing! We received huge support from an incredible list of experienced entrepreneurs willing to act as mentors. In addition, nearly all the venture capitalists in the city elected to materially support TechStars in Seattle! The list of investors includes: Jeff Bezos Investment Group Divergent Venture Partners Draper Associates Founders Co-op Foundry Group Ignition Partners Linden Rhoads (University of Washington Center for Technology Commercialization) Madrona Venture Fund Maveron Venture Capital Montlake Capital OVP Rolling Bay Ventures (Geoff Entress) Second Ave Partners Trilogy Equity Partners Voyager Capital Vulcan Capital (Paul Allen's group) WRF Capital The Seattle startup scene has totally embraced TechStars and I think that the Seattle entrepreneur community is the big winner.


pages: 273 words: 21,102

Branding Your Business: Promoting Your Business, Attracting Customers and Standing Out in the Market Place by James Hammond

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, call centre, Donald Trump, intangible asset, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, market design, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, the market place

If Creating your Brand Storybook™ 225 they are qualities you have sought after and applied in your business, then you have a story to tell.  Your achievements. What have you done in your life that’s worth telling others about? Many small business operators fail to acknowledge that even by starting their own companies they have achieved what for many is just a dream. Bill Gates, considered the world’s richest man, began his business in his garage, as did Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. It took Sir James Dyson, another wealthy entrepreneur, 10 years and countless rejections from major manufacturers before he was able to launch his world-renowned cyclonic vacuum cleaners. The achievements of many business icons of this calibre have created great stories for the media, and most have gone on to feature in autobiographies, giving their brands even more ‘personal power’ (as well as extra revenue from book sales and royalties).


pages: 244 words: 79,044

Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager by Lars Kroijer

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, corporate raider, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, fixed income, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, Just-in-time delivery, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, new economy, Ponzi scheme, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical arbitrage, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

With the internet really starting to take off, many ‘bricks and mortar’ companies thought hiring business-school students would help them to meet the challenges of the new economy. Many students juggled four or five job offers. Others were planning to start their own internet-related businesses and it seemed everyone was scouring the campus for people willing to be number two in what would surely be the next Microsoft (this was pre-Google, of course). I remember sitting in a class where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos came to speak to 70 students to discuss company strategy. The next year, his speech filled the largest auditorium on campus, with overflow screens in the adjacent building! With the number of students trying to become entrepreneurs right out of university it was as if the start-up risk was lower than usual. If your venture failed (as many did) there was a long line of well-funded ex-classmates, eager to hire someone who had already been on the front line of the internet revolution.


pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, creative destruction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, helicopter parent, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy

A reviewer in the LA Times called their arguments “well-intentioned, well-reasoned, and intentionally provocative” though involving at least “a little puffery.” A more skeptical academic reviewer called their proposals “seriously flawed.”3 Even as Future Shop went to press, there were already efforts to exploit the web’s global network of users and pages more directly as a selling platform. In 1992, the Cleveland-based bookseller Charles Stack became the first online retailer, beating Jeff Bezos to the internet book business by at least a couple of years. The aptly named Mr. Stack and his company, Book Stacks Unlimited, offered what amounted to a mash-up of a very rudimentary online library catalog—you could only enter a single keyword, for instance, in a book title search—and mail-order business that stocked hundreds of thousands of new book titles. Why not used ones? Because in 1992, who in their right mind would dream of making an online order for a used book, sight unseen?


pages: 261 words: 71,349

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth Buelow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

fear of failure, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Skype, Tony Hsieh

Rather than seeing introversion as a liability (as most of society treats it), this book provides a road map for entrepreneurs who want to cultivate and amplify their natural, internal strengths. What many people, including introverts themselves, may not know is that the strengths and traits of the typical introvert—curiosity, desire for depth over breadth, comfort with going solo, thoroughness and introspection, love of research—lend themselves well to entrepreneurship. Introvert entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh, Guy Kawasaki, and others have transformed our lives not by pretending to be extroverts but by applying their introvert strengths to their entrepreneurial endeavors. • • • An introvert trying to be a fake extrovert is just that: a fake extrovert. If you choose to approach your business with that mindset, you won’t solve your problem. You’ll only feed the energetic tug-of-war between your private and public personas.

Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities by Thomas H. Davenport

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, commoditize, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tesla Model S, text mining

It won’t always be necessary for data scientists to go directly to the company’s chairman, but it’s not a bad idea for senior executives to open a direct channel to them in the early days of the big data era. Part of taking an interest in experimentation is eliminating barriers to the implementation of innovative ideas and offerings. Leaders of big data–intensive organizations also need some degree of patience. A good deal of “mucking around in data” may be necessary before there is any sense of a payoff. It may even be necessary to keep data around for multiple years before its value is known. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is known for saying, “We never throw away data,” simply because it is difficult to know when it may become important for a product or service offering down the road. Leadership of big data firms may also require some new senior management roles. There are no examples—to my knowledge, ­anyway—of “Senior Vice Presidents of Big Data,” but there are some roles that include that function.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve, zero-sum game

Some seek to empower new content providers within traditional platforms (an example being The New York Times with Dealbook and the Financial Times with Alphaville). Others involve spin-offs from such platforms, motivated by the belief that they could not flourish otherwise (for example, VOX from The Washington Post). There is also the entrance into traditional platforms of those with strong and established technological prowess and virtually no classic media background (such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’s purchase of The Washington Post). — Then there is the case of the financial service industry, where the phenomenon of disruption is at a much earlier stage. Again, it is being driven by the combination of individual empowerment on the one hand, and big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning on the other. Over the last year, I have come across several cases where the forces of financial democratization are redefining the outer edges of the financial service industry.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

No announcement, no warning—just gone.41 The titles returned a few days later, as Amazon and Macmillan got closer to a contract agreement, but the staggering power of the Even Bigger platform to control our cultural fare had been made known. On the positive side, Amazon is making it easier than ever for authors to bypass publishers and self-publish both physical books and e-books on its site. Thomas Friedman recently described a visit to see Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon: Sixteen of the top 100 best sellers on Kindle today were self-published,” said Bezos. That means no agent, no publishers, no paper—just an author, who gets most of the royalties, and Amazon and the reader.42 The Even Bigger platform creates enormous wealth for the particular platform in question and creates a little wealth for a lot of people. Even Bigger platforms also enable millions—even billions—of people to participate and connect online in a way that was and in some sense still is beyond our imagination.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

A landmark was reached in 2012 with the introduction of Baxter, a 3-foot tall robot (6 feet with his pedestal) from Rethink Robotics. The brainchild of Rodney Brooks, an Australian roboticist who used to be the director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Baxter is much less dangerous to be around. By early 2015, Rethink had received over $100m in funding from venture capitalists, including the investment vehicle of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Baxter was intended to disrupt the industrial robots market by being cheaper, safer, and easier to programme. He is certainly cheaper, with a starting price of $22,000. He is safer because his arm and body movements are mediated by springs, and he carries an array of sensors to detect the presence nearby of squishy, fragile things like humans. He is easier to programme because an operator can teach him new movements simply by physically moving his arms in the intended fashion.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Among the many foreigners who deserve credit for key elements of the Great Inventions are transplanted Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone, Frenchmen Louis Pasteur for the germ theory of disease and Louis Lumière for the motion picture, Englishmen Joseph Lister for antiseptic surgery and David Hughes for early wireless experiments, and Germans Karl Benz for the internal combustion engine and Heinrich Hertz for key inventions that made possible the 1896 wireless patents of the recent Italian immigrant Guglielmo Marconi. The role of foreign inventors in the late nineteenth century was distinctly more important than it was one hundred years later, when the personal computer and Internet revolution was led almost uniformly by Americans, including Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg. Among the pioneering giants of the Internet age, Sergei Brin (co-founder of Google) is one of the few to have been born abroad. Organization. The book proper begins with chapter 2, on living conditions in 1870. Part I includes eight chapters (chapters 2–9) on the revolutionary advances in the standard of living through 1940, a dividing year chosen both because it is halfway between 1870 and 2010 and because 1940 marks the year of the first Census of Housing, with its detailed quantitative measures of housing and its equipment.

If a customer had previously shown a preference for a particular type of mystery novel, then on the Amazon search stream would appear eight or ten illustrated book covers of that type of mystery novel under the heading “You Might Also Like …” Soon the availability of any type of book became so appealing that many, and eventually most, book customers stopped going to bookstores. By 2003, my neighborhood highbrow specialized shop, Great Expectations, closed for good. And in 2011, the large nationwide chain Borders declared bankruptcy and closed all its stores, as had Waldenbooks several years earlier. If all it sold was books, Amazon would have changed retailing forever, but the imagination of its founder Jeff Bezos went far beyond that. He soon realized that he could sell anything. Today, Amazon sells 232 million products to a user base just in the United States of 244 million customers, defined as those who have purchased anything within the past twelve months. The basic concept of customer loyalty was not lost on Amazon, and it figured out how to build customer loyalty by providing a unique benefit. Founded in 2005, Amazon Prime costs $99 per year, and it provides an irresistible lure by eliminating the only disadvantage of mail-order services—the cost of shipping.

A pivotal point in this transition was the decision of IBM, the developer in 1981 of the first widely purchased personal computer, to farm out not just the conception of the operating system software, but also the ownership of that software, to two young entrepreneurs, Paul Allen and the Harvard dropout Bill Gates, who had founded Microsoft in 1975. The Third Industrial Revolution, which consists of the computer, digitalization, and communication inventions of the past fifty years, has been dominated by small companies founded by individual entrepreneurs, each of whom created organizations that soon became very large corporations. Allen and Gates were followed by Steve Jobs at Apple, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, Sergei Brin and Larry Page at Google, Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, and many others. The left side of the entrepreneurial U is well documented. The percentage of all U.S. patents granted to individuals (as contrasted with business firms) fell from 95 percent in 1880 to 73 percent in 1920, to 42 percent in 1940, and then gradually to 21 percent in 1970 and 15 percent in 2000. Of the remainder, until 1950, almost all were granted to U.S. firms, but after 1950, the share going to foreign firms soared until in 2000 the 85 percent not granted to individuals were divided almost evenly, with 44 percent going to U.S. firms and 41 percent to foreign firms.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Munster estimated that simply converting a quarter of its customers to Prime members would add $9 billion in revenue—growth of nearly 50 percent. The key to Amazon’s continued success may not be adding more customers but convincing its current ones to buy more items, and more expensive ones at that. (The average Zappos order is six times greater than Amazon’s.) And the best lever for doing so would appear to be free shipping. What’s driving the growth of Amazon Prime, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has told analysts, is the company’s third-party fulfillment service, which offers the same shipping options to its online partners and their customers. Or as one of his investors put it, “Amazon’s logistics is its secret sauce.” Prime’s higher sales velocity represents a significant shift in how Amazon does business. What drew Bezos to books was the long tail. Selection was his original selling proposition, not selection and speed, as with Zappos.

A recent study by four economists at the University of Chicago found that Amazon and e-commerce have crushed small and midsize booksellers (along with travel agents and auto dealerships) as prices fell and bigger, more efficient retailers got even bigger. Two billion boxes land on our doorsteps each year, three-fourths of which have been sent either overnight or second-day air. E-commerce (and why call it that? Isn’t it just “commerce” by now?) at present accounts for 7 percent of all retail spending. Half of all Americans are online shoppers, spending an average of $1,006 per year. Jeff Bezos’s original prediction that it would eventually account for 15 percent of a multitrillion-dollar industry is well within reach. What the Internet added to the retail equation wasn’t long tails and thoughtful comparison shopping, but the acceleration of impulse. Our increasing comfort with our digital selves—composed of Google searches, Facebook friends, YouTube clips, and tweets—awoke a belief in us that physical atoms should always move at the same light speed as our digital bits.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Officials predicted that robotic conveyances could be used as VBIEDs preprogrammed to autonomously drive across town to detonate at their intended targets. Those fears we’ve always had about killer robots, depicted in films such as Westworld, Blade Runner, RoboCop, The Terminator, and I, Robot, may unfortunately be at the early stages of already materializing. Attack of the Drones Drones are scary. You can’t reason with a drone. MATT GROENING When Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, announced in late 2013 that the world’s “everything store” would soon be using octocopter drones to deliver packages to its customers, the world sat up and noticed. Sure, others had beaten Bezos to the punch, such as the entrepreneurs who launched the TacoCopter and the Burrito Bomber, not to mention the Vegas hotel that delivers chilled champagne poolside to its guests via drone, but Bezos’s announcement was different.

., “The Gray Goo Problem,” Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence, March 20, 2001; “Address Nanotechnology Concerns, Experts Urge,” Reuters, Nov. 15, 2006. 86 Eventually, Drexler himself clarified: Paul Rincon, “Nanotech Guru Turns Back on Goo,” BBC, June 9, 2004. 87 Although there is much work: Jacob Aron, “Google’s Quantum Computer Flunks Landmark Speed Test,” New Scientist, Jan. 15, 2014. 344 in one test carried out by Google and NASA: Nick Statt, “Confirmed, Finally, D-Wave Quantum Computer Is Sometimes Sluggish,” CNET, June 19, 2014. 88 This could help answer: Tom Simonite, “The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet on Quantum Computing,” MIT Technology Review, Oct. 4, 2012. 89 Quantum computers: Ibid. 90 Even with a supercomputer: Mohit Arora, “How Secure Is AES Against Brute Force Attacks?,” EETimes, May 7, 2012. 91 Not surprisingly, the NSA: Steven Rich and Barton Gellman, “NSA Seeks to Build Quantum Computer That Could Crack Most Types of Encryption,” Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2014; “Quantum Computing, the NSA, and the Future of Cryptography,” On Point with Tom Ashbrook, WBUR. 92 In the year 2000: Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired, April 2000.


pages: 304 words: 96,930

Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark

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Berlin Wall, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, deskilling, Edmond Halley, fear of failure, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, McJob, McMansion, Naomi Klein, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route

(Which isn’t necessarily a lot of money for Schultz. He also owns a $14 million vacation home in the Hamptons, and according to Forbes magazine, his net worth exceeds $1.1 billion.) The Sonics investment has been something of a disaster for Schultz’s public image in Seattle. Before dabbling in sports franchise ownership, Schultz fit in nicely with the city’s pantheon of young male business titans, like Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Local newspapers referred to him affectionately as “Mr. Coffee,” and many Seattleites found it hard to understand why anyone wouldn’t adore Starbucks (which happened to have made a lot of them rich). Sure, there was one dustup in 1994, when Schultz rerouted the driveway at his new multimillion-dollar Lake Washington mansion through a small, disused area of adjacent Viretta Park, later nicknamed “Vendetta Park.”


pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

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Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

But not even Wal-Mart has Apples 85 percent market share, a number that didn't budge as the music industry granted licenses to more and more competitors. Online buyers could now buy downloads from Microsoft, Yahoo!, Napster (not the original file-sharing crew but some company that bought the name at a bankruptcy fire sale), and, uh, Wal-Mart. (Oddly absent was Amazon.com; as late as 2004, CEO Jeff Bezos assured me that his company would join in, but only when it figured out some innovative twists.) Didn't matter how many or who .. . iTunes ruled. That dominance began to make record executives more than a little nervous. They voiced two complaints in particular. One was that Apple was scooping up too much money. Not from running the store—two thirds of the revenues went straight to the record labels, a much better cut than they got from bricks-and-mortar record stores, and with no outlays in materials, no returns, and no having to chip in for Apple's massive promotional efforts on billboards and TV ads.


pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

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active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Mechanical Turk is named for a ninteenth-century chess-playing automaton that was famous for having beaten Napoleon. The original Turk, of course, was a hoax—in reality there was a human inside making all the moves—and that’s exactly the point. The tasks that one typically finds on Mechanical Turk are there because they are relatively easy for humans to solve, but difficult for computers—a phenomenon that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos calls “artificial, artificial intelligence. See Howe (2006) for an early report on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and Pontin (2007) for Bezos’s coinage of “artificial, artificial intelligence.” See http://behind-the-enemy-lines.blogspot.com for additional information on Mechanical Turk. 22. See Mason and Watts (2009) for details on the financial incentives experiment. 23. Overall, women in fact earn only about 75 percent as much as men, but much of this “pay gap” can be accounted for in terms of different choices that women make—for example, to work in lower-paying professions, or to take time off from work to raise a family, and so on.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

Meanwhile in this through-the-looking-glass world of capitalism, the people in the marketing department talk about how much they detest marketing. The CEO says he is ambivalent about expansion. The zillionaires say they are in it for the self-expression, not the money. “The money hasn’t changed a thing,” Rob Glaser of RealNetworks told the Wall Street Journal in one interview. “The money has not changed a thing in my life,” Steve Case of America Online told the Journal in another. “The money has not changed a thing in my life,” said Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com in a third. Workers in this spiritualized world of Bobo capitalism are not the heroes of toil. They are creators. They noodle around and experiment and dream. They seek to explore and then surpass the full limits of their capacities. And if a company begins to bore or stifle them, they’re gone. It is the ultimate sign of privilege—to be able to hit the road in search of new meaning whenever that little moth of tedium flies in the door.


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Sarkozy was more successful at promoting his agenda eight months later, at a gathering called the “e-G8”: an exclusive conference of Internet CEOs, government representatives, and assorted Internet celebrities, organized by the French public relations firm Publicis and held as a prelude to the annual G8 meeting scheduled that year for Deauville, France. Addressing the Internet executives and CEOs in attendance, including Google’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sarkozy declared, “The world you represent is not a parallel universe where legal and moral rules and, more generally, all the basic principles that govern society in democratic countries do not apply.” In a speech not long before the conference, he had said something similar: “The Internet is the new frontier, a territory to conquer. But it cannot be a Wild West.


pages: 313 words: 101,403

My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance by Emanuel Derman

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Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Claude Shannon: information theory, Donald Knuth, Emanuel Derman, fixed income, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, hiring and firing, implied volatility, interest rate derivative, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, law of one price, linked data, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Richard Feynman, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, stochastic volatility, technology bubble, the new new thing, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

To their credit, the Center organized a sequence of master's-equivalent courses on computer science, taught mostly by professors from Columbia University in New York City. I learned software design and algorithms from John Kender, a mildmannered, low-key expert on vision software; we learned database theory from David Shaw, who later founded the investment boutique D. E. Shaw & Co., as well as the first free email service, Juno. At D. E. Shaw, David employed Jeff Bezos, who later left to found Amazon.com. David was already a free-wheeling entrepreneur. He had run a software company while studying computer science at Stanford; when I met him he still radiated a sloppy academic demeanor that didn't completely jibe with his business-oriented self-assurance. He was an early incarnation of the now ubiquitous capitalist academic. In his back trousers pocket he carried his appointments in a small leather DayTimer that had conformed to the shape of his body.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

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banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

These were industries about to be born. Gradually their founders have worked their way into and up the list. The premier division of American billionaires (the top 50) is still dominated by new technology tycoons—from Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft to Larry Ellison of Oracle and Larry Page and Sergey Brin who invented Google. The top 50 also includes retailers like the Walton family who own Wal-Mart and Jeff Bezos of Amazon along with manufacturers like the confectioners, Forest and John Mars. The next group of 150, in contrast, is riddled with Wall Street financiers and hedge fund and private equity operators who have made their fortunes through the financial re-engineering of existing companies. They include Henry Kravis, one of the cofounders of KKR in 1976—worth $3.4 billion, one of his fellow co-founders, George Roberts—worth $3.2 billion, and David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle group.354 These have acquired fortunes well beyond even the most generous remuneration packages offered by banks and public companies.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

When Barbara Walters asked Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin what they considered the most important factor behind their success, to her surprise, they didn’t say it was their college professor parents or their Stanford University engineering degrees. “We both went to Montessori School,” Page said, “and I think it was part of that training of . . . questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a bit differently.” Montessori schools use games to teach children how to discover knowledge. It’s perhaps no accident then that Montessori alums include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Sims video game creator Will Wright, and rap mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Other entrepreneurs with educational backgrounds in art, design, and music where play is intrinsic to learning have founded a whole slew of new companies, including Kickstarter, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo, Android, and, of course, Apple. And the list goes on and on: Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, one of the top incubators for new start-ups in Silicon Valley, studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, in addition to getting his PhD in computer science from Harvard.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

Since the days of Maria Montessori, educators have had a growing understanding of what excellent elementary schools should look like. More recent work that’s been done in Reggio Emilia and Waldorf schools has added to the richness and variety of the education models that exist at the elementary level. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on several of our country’s most successful innovators: Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Julia Child, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. The article suggested the Montessori School experience was the most important aspect of these influencers’ education, setting them on a life path of creativity, passion, self-direction, and comfort with failure and ambiguity. The Google founders were featured on a Barbara Walters/ABC special.


pages: 310 words: 91,151

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood

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airport security, British Empire, call centre, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fear of failure, glass ceiling, high net worth, income per capita, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Marc Andreessen, microcredit, Own Your Own Home, random walk, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer

The second statement will also attract the attention of potential donors. One of the biggest frustrations that funders have is that “we are spending all this money, yet so little seems to change as a result.” Therefore, when they meet someone who declares a bold set of goals, they are likely to take notice and you’ll be in a position to “get the meeting.” My favorite “poster child” for this advice is actually from the private sector—Amazon. When Jeff Bezos launched the company in 1995, the home page boldly declared Amazon to be “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” even though they had yet to sell a single title. He was referring, of course, to the breadth of selection they would be able to offer via a virtual store, so the claim was at least plausible. Many naysayers were of course on hand to point out that Amazon’s first-year revenues were less than what a single Barnes & Noble outlet in Manhattan might do during a slow week.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

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1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

The bottom line in all cases is the wider audience for books and, to varying degrees, journals, magazines, and newspapers. For that matter, the Kindle has won praise, as might the Sony Readers, as a hightech means of curling up with a book rather than being forced to read it on a conventional computer screen.72 At the same time, online booksellers, Amazon again above all, have sold millions of printed books, new and used alike, in the same way as other merchants have sold other products. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has repeatedly stated that he, like many others in bookselling today, sees books as just another product. He is primarily concerned with increasing market 220 The Resurgence of Utopianism share.73 So popular have online book sales become that Barnes and Noble, America’s largest and most powerful bookstore chain, has reported declining sales and in-store traffic—exactly what Barnes and Noble has done to hundreds of small independent bookstores in recent years!


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

As we talk, it starts to rain, the downpour drumming loudly on the corrugated metal roof. ‘Not everyone has picked up on the David and Goliath aspect of XCOR,’ says Jeff. ‘Richard Branson is pouring more money into Virgin Galactic in a month than we’ve spent in our history. You’ve got NASA doing billions and billions of dollars of its thing. Elon Musk pouring all of his money into SpaceX. Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos is funding Blue Origin …’ And yet, despite their underdog status, XCOR keeps being mentioned in the same breath as its far better-funded rivals. Talking to Jeff you don’t get any sense of ego. He’s trying to run a business – it just happens to be one that wants to make spaceplanes. That XCOR exists gives me more of a sense of a real spaceflight industry putting down roots. There’s something very ‘regular Joe’ about Jeff.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

The Segway Personal Transporter, for instance, an electric scooter with two parallel wheels, that is ridden standing up, is touted by its manufacturers as the ideal replacement for an automobile for short-distance driving. The blurb for its i2 Commuter model emphasizes the pleasure and convenience it offers to motorists who are sick of being stuck in jams: ‘sail past gas stations and lines of stopped traffic… getting to work has never been more fun!’ However, Segways have been around for nearly a decade, and have yet to make any sort of dent in automobile sales. When Jeff Bezos of Amazon was shown a prototype, he made the prescient observation to its inventor that ‘you have a product so revolutionary, you’ll have no problem selling it. The question is, are people going to be allowed to use it?’ The answer in many places has been no. Pedestrians don’t want Segways on the pavements, cyclists don’t want them in their lanes, and there are safety concerns about their use on the roads.


pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

None of them will share customer information with each other and, as a result, no-one knows what customers buy from Amazon as a group, when or with what sort of payment type. There’s no view on Amazon’s share of wallet or who is cross-selling what to each customer. They have tried to improve this over the years, but the line of business heads for books, music, electronics, retail, wholesale, cloud and kindle are all at each other’s throats, motivated by their own line of business results. I heard that Jeff Bezos thought about a mass clear-out of all management and replacing them with a new organisational structure that would allow seamless integration of all divisions with a single platform for the company to see a single version of all the customer information in a single view … but no sooner was this mentioned than the Board’s management and Chairman slapped him around the face and he had to back down.


pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

“When you’re talking about this next generation of athletes”: Leslie Sherlin, AI, February 2013. 178 far greater amounts of flow than more traditional methodologies: Kevin Rathunde, “Montessori Education and Optimal Experience: A Framework for New Research,” The NAMTA Journal Winter 2001, 26(1), pp. 11–43. University of Virginia psychologist Angeline Lillard: Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest, “The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education,” Science, September 29, 2006, 313(5795), pp. 1893–94. When professor Jeffrey Dyer…and Hal Gregersen: The innovators Dyer and Gregersen are referring to include everyone from high-tech pioneers like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, SimCity creator Will Wright, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to culture-shaping creatives like rapper/entrepreneur Sean Combs, chef/entrepreneur Julia Child, and Nobel laureate author Gabriel García Márquez. In 2004, when Barbara Walters interviewed Page and Brin, she asked if the fact that their parents were both college professors was the major reason for their success.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

For the smaller 110-cubic-meter version, his business model calls for $50 million to buy a return flight and a two-month stay. A year of naming rights for advertisers costs $25 million. Bigelow’s products are all vaporware, so it surprised many people and was an important milestone when the company signed an $18 million contract with NASA in late 2012 to build an inflatable module for the Space Station. The dark horse in the new space race is Blue Origin. Established by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin is following an incremental approach to go from suborbital to orbital flights. The company motto is Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for “Step by step, ferociously.” Because Amazon so deftly progressed from online bookseller to merchandising behemoth, most experts expect Blue Origin to be a major player in space. But company documents originally projected suborbital tourist flights once a week by 2010—like their competition, they’ve been overly optimistic.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

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4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Nothing else, just the word “fuck,” eighteen times. He didn’t need to add anything to the message. No explanation was needed. Fred knew exactly what had just happened. Bijan buried his head in his hands, closed his eyes, and repeated the word one last time to himself. “Fuck!” In Twitter’s eighteen-million-dollar round of financing in June 2008, Bijan’s company, Spark Capital, had invested fourteen million, with Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Fred Wilson investing the majority of the other four million—along with several angel investors. The large sum put in by Bijan’s company had secured him a seat on the board of Twitter, along with Fred Wilson. Over the next couple of months Bijan had started to become entrenched in the company, attending a few meetings, raising his hands for a few critical infrastructure votes. And now here he was, fucking it all up already.


pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

The technology boom of the 1990s gave the United States a whole new set of world-beating companies to admire and inspire: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Netscape, eBay, Amazon, Intel, Yahoo!, Google. It made businessmen and entrepreneurs heroes once again. In 1991, Time magazine had not selected a businessman as “man of the year” for more than three decades. But in the 1990s it chose three businessmen from the technology and media industries: Ted Turner of CNN in 1991, Andy Grove of Intel in 1997, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon in 1999. Bill Gates had to wait until 2005 until he got that particular honor, when he shared it for his charitable work, with his wife, Melinda, and with Bono, the rock musician. But the founder of Microsoft was—amid a great deal of competition—the dominant businessman of his era. Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 and launched the first version of his Windows operating system in 1985.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

He went on: Maybe we should set aside some small part of the world, you know, like going to Burning Man, [that would serve as] an environment where people try out different things, but not everybody has to go. And I think that’s a great thing, too. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out some new things and figure out: What is the effect on society? What’s the effect on people? Without having to deploy it into the normal world. And people who like those kinds of things can go there and experience that. It’s not only Page. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of establishing Learyesque space colonies, celestial Burning Mans. Peter Thiel is slightly more down to earth. His Seasteading Institute hopes to set up floating technology incubation camps on the ocean, outside national boundaries. “If you can start a new business, why can you not start a new country?” he asks. In a speech last fall at the Y Combinator Startup School, venture capitalist Balaji Srinivasan channeled Leary when he called for “Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Exit”—the establishment of a new country beyond the reach of the U.S. government and other allegedly failed states.

Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, mass immigration, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

This means real people with real stories to tell. This will be good news for brands with history and heritage, but it will also benefit retailers that can tell a story through a hands-on experience. Similarly, the issue of trust isn’t going away any time soon. Chapter 8 Retail and Shopping: what we’ll buy when we’ve got it already The internet in general, and Amazon.com in particular, is still chapter one. —Jeff Bezos J ump in a Volkswagen and take a quick trip to the town of Rheinberg, Germany. It’s home to a 4,000-square-meter supermarket created by Metro, the world’s fifth-largest retailer. If you believe all the hype, you’ll see the future of supermarket shopping right here. In this store — and there are a few others like it scattered across the globe — you’ll find the latest retail innovations, including “Veggie Vision” intelligent scales that can identify and price fruit and vegetables by sight, regardless of whether they’re loose or wrapped in plastic.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

In 2002 Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn. In three of its thirteen years LinkedIn has reported an annual profit. In the other ten, it has posted losses. Recently the losses have been prodigious—LinkedIn lost $150 million in the first nine months of 2015. Yet Hoffman’s net worth stands at nearly $5 billion. Amazon, the online retailer, is twenty-one years old and has never made huge profits, yet its founder, Jeff Bezos, is worth $60 billion. Salesforce.com, a software company, reported net losses totaling three-quarters of a billion dollars from 2011 through 2014, yet its founder, Marc Benioff, is worth $4 billion. Someone has to get left holding the bag. In summer 2015 I speak with Pat, a well-known Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur who is both the CEO of a privately held company and an angel investor. We’re talking about the soaring valuations being placed on privately held companies.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Once the package has arrived, I will rate the courier for service performance, as will the recipient. I would not be surprised to see Uber take over pizza and flower delivery services and be contracted out to pharmacies to deliver drugs to homebound patients. At its last financing, the seven-year-old company was worth $50 billion, making it worth more than double the value of Hertz and Avis combined. High-profile investors include Google Ventures and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. * * * Coded markets like eBay and Airbnb simultaneously concentrate and disperse the market. With coded markets available to even the smallest vendors, a trend has arisen that pushes economic transactions away from physical stores or hotels and toward individual people, as they connect either locally or online. This is how the market is dispersed. The route through which it is dispersed, however, redirects each of those transactions through a small number of technology platforms usually based in California or China.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

It also makes it much harder for outsiders—including platform users and developers—to work effectively with the platform management team. To avoid this kind of dysfunction, platform managers should strive to give all their business divisions a clear view across the entire platform. Such transparency promotes consistency, helps others develop and use key resources, and facilitates growth to scale. The so-called Yegge Rant, executive Steve Yegge’s attempt to summarize a mandate issued by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, captures the spirit of this principle very effectively. Bezos insisted that all members of the Amazon team must learn to communicate with one another using “service interfaces”—data communication tools specifically designed to be clear, understandable, and useful to everyone in the organization as well as to outside users and partners. The idea is to treat everyone you do business with—including your colleagues in other departments and divisions of the organization—as customers with legitimate and important information needs that you are responsible to meet.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

As cars become more digital, they will tend to be swapped and shared and used in the same social way we swap digital media. The more we embed intelligence and smarts into the objects in our households and offices, the more we’ll treat these articles as social property. We’ll share aspects of them (perhaps what they are made of, where they are, what they see), which means that we’ll think of ourselves as sharing them. When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos first introduced the Kindle ebook reader in 2007, he claimed it was not a product. He said it was a service selling access to reading material. That shift became more visible seven years later when Amazon introduced an all-you-can-read subscription library of almost a million ebooks. Book fans no longer had to purchase individual books, but could buy access to most books currently published with the purchase of one Kindle.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

It seems that only the strongest CEOs are able to place big bets and rely on cross-subsidization from existing revenue streams to finance new ideas. And it appears that these CEOs are most often founding CEOs. Steve Jobs’s early years after he reclaimed the helm of Apple were greeted miserably by the stock market, which couldn’t imagine or quite believe in his promises about the iMac, then the iPod, and then the iPhone. Ditto Jeff Bezos at Amazon, who ran the company in the red for its first four years, reinvesting all the while in service of his grand vision. Short-termism is indeed a problem for public companies. Other than changing SEC reporting requirements, I can only add that one of Peers Inc’s greatest attributes, is its ability to deliver lots of low-cost experimentation at the fastest possible rate (remember the three miracles from Chapter 5).


pages: 146 words: 43,446

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis

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Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, business climate, Chance favours the prepared mind, creative destruction, data acquisition, family office, high net worth, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, wealth creators, Y2K

The business magazines even had a phrase for the pangs of incipient doom that afflicted them: "Internet anxiety." Internet anxiety was simply the sense, now widely shared, that you were about to be put out of business by someone who operated in the spirit of Jim Clark. The Internet created many opportunities for people like Clarkoutsiders, troublemakersto think thoughts that would turn entire industries on their heads. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, had upended the book business; the founders of eBay had upended the auction business; the founders of E*Trade and Ameritrade had upended the Wall Street stock brokerage firms. In 1998 the manager of Merrill Lynch's fifteen thousand stock brokers, John Steffans, had called the Internet trading firms "a serious threat to America's financial lives," and assured his employees that Page 252 Merrill Lynch would never do such a thing.


pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

Kline, “Amazon Improves Its Customer Retention Rate,” The Motley Fool, June 1, 2016, http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/01/amazon-prime-improves-its-customer-retention-rate.aspx. 11. Christoph Janz, “From ‘A as in Amiga’ to ‘Z as in Zendesk,’ ” The Angel VC (blog), July 16, 2016, christophjanz.blogspot.com/2016/07/from-as-in-amiga-to-z-as-in-zendesk.xhtmll. 12. Nir Eyal, Hooked: How to Build Habi