In a well argued article in The New Yorker Nathan Heller questions the very core of VC claims. With reference to the book“VC: An American History” by Harvard Business School professor Tom Nicolas (I wrote about this and Fred Wilson’s article on this – post #196 – Whales. Not Unicorns) where the narrative starts with Whaling and its funding in the early 19th century.
CBInsights has this new report on 36 startups in 12 categories that could potentially help the world in ways that would have far reaching impact. These companies are working on technologies ranging from Quantum Cryptography, to Speed-of-light chips, AI Transparency to mind altering medicines.
This is a big business fueled by authoritarian regimes world over. Hacking Team, the infamous Italian company which was exposed after wide scaled human rights abuse using its technology and tools like RCS has now reemerged as Memento Labs.
Every time a founder or founding team pitches a VC inevitably the question of entry barrier comes up. David Cummings wrote this short but very meaningful piece on this very question and how it came up time and again while trying to raise money for Pardot. “What’s stopping Google from assigning 100 engineers to this market and crushing you?”
Privacy is going to be a complex battle ground between citizens one side and businesses, unscrupulous actors and the government. To start with businesses and data analyzers have access to intimate and deep historical data about us – things that we have ourselves long forgotten. We are still not fully aware of the impact and what they know. Even if you do not bother about details of your eating habits that you leave on your digital trail being known, you need to understand what these organisations are analyzing about you based on your data. Could your eating habit bread crumbs left on the digital universe quadruple your medical insurance? Or even worse – Can it be denied?
Rarely you come across articles penned by Presidents of a country talking about technology and what it can do for the citizens. Kersti Kaljulaid, the 5th President of Estonia writes this passionate piece on the systems and investments that Estonia made to ensure the citizens could live most of their lives digitally, safe guarded by Block chain technology.
Predicting the future is a tricky business. With technology near term is still viable. Long term – science, fiction and magic all mesh up to create a haze. Still experts like Ray Kurzweil do exceedingly well ( see my post #16) getting upwards of prediction right over the span of multiple decades. So I look out for these and enjoy doing mental checks based on what I know (which is not much). Which is also why reading about 10 predictions by MIT Technology Review for 2017 in Inc by Jessica Stillman makes for an interesting reading.
Barclays as a part of their Equity Guilt Study 2018 mapped how technology helped 30X World productivity between 1890 and 2013 keeping 1760 as base.