Last night was a revelation for me. I’m not joking. I wasn’t really expecting to be blown away by the experience of watching football on Twitter. I was.
I installed the new Twitter app on our AppleTV and watched the entire Jets Bills game on Twitter last night. It looks like this on the TV in our family room:
I was talking to folks on Twitter throughout the game and many said that they don’t understand the difference between having the tweets flowing up on the screen vs on your phone.
For me, it’s a huge difference. You can watch the game and follow the conversation about it without having your head in your phone.
But there is so much more Twitter can do to make this experience even better.
For starters, I would like to be able to log into the Twitter AppleTV app and then have options to
My two favorite basketball players, Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson, are both products of John Thompson Jr’s Georgetown program of the 80s and 90s. Both went on to have hall of fame careers in the NBA and both were franchise players on teams that got close but never won an NBA championship. The thing Patrick and Allen have, more than anything else, is heart.
And Allen’s heart is on display in this rambling 30min acceptance speech he gave at the Basketball Hall Of Fame yesterday.
It’s about 25mins of him thanking people (his family, the people who shaped him as a child, his friends, his coaches, his teammates, his competitors, etc) and about 5mins of speech making. But in all of that are a few gems.
the feeling of stepping on the court against Michael Jordan for the first time
The blockchain sector continues to entertain, amuse, impress, and inspire me.
Last week one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfinex, was hacked and was reported to have lost around $65mm of bitcoin it was storing for its customers.
So what did they do in response? They told every customer that they had lost a portion of their assets (36% to be exact) and that they were issuing crypto-tokens to them in proportion to the amounts they had lost.
I have not done business with Bitfinex so I was not directly involved in this affair. However our portfolio company Coinbase competes with Bitfinex so I am most certainly an interested observer and maybe even an interested party.
What is interesting is that it is not entirely clear what these crypto-tokens will be exchangeable for. Will Bitfinex treat them as liabilities that they will eventually pay off (debt)? Or will
The crypto-currency Ethereum completed a hard fork on Wednesday. The Ethereum core developers, after getting a vote of support from the Ethereum community, hard forked Ethereum to “get back” the roughly $40mm of Ethereum that was taken in the hack of The DAO.
Hard forks are a bit of a lightning rod issue in the blockchain sector. The Bitcoin community has been debating the idea of doing a hard fork to increase the block size for well over a year. It seems that most of the Bitcoin core developers are against a hard fork and see it as risky. Bitcoin did have an accidental hard fork back in 2013, but that was dealt with quickly and confidence in the Bitcoin blockchain was restored.
I believe that hard forks are an inevitable occurrence in the blockchain sector. There have been, and will continue to be, issues that crop up that are
I saw dozens of pitches for what was essentially YouTube between 1998 and 2005. But when YouTube launched, it was pretty clear pretty quickly that they had nailed it and nobody else before them had.
I saw way more pitches for what was essentially Pokemon Go between the arrival of the iPhone and now. But when my daughter told me to download Pokemon Go and play it, I immediately realized that they had nailed something that nobody had before them
AVC regular LIAD tweeted this today:
Saving myself the anguish of digging up the 2008 game spec & mock-ups we made for a AR treasure hunt/landmine avoidance game. #PokemonGO
Larry Summers has a post in the Washington Post about the incredibly low interest rate environment we are witnessing right now.When you consider the effects (slim as they are) of inflation, there are cases where the rates borrowers are paying are zero and even negative.
That means the lender is happy to get back less than they lent because they think that’s a better deal than they can get elsewhere. Think about what that says about the mindset of lenders (or holders of capital assets writ large) right now.
My partner Albert has written a book called World After Capital in which he argues that what has been scarce until now (capital) will no longer be scarce and that we will move on to other forms of scarcity.
When capital is abundant and when you are getting paid to access it temporarily that leads to a very different set of
Almost every financing I’ve been involved with over the years (seed, VC, growth, raising a VC fund) goes mostly like this:
Struggle like hell to find a lead
Come to terms with the lead
Turn your attention to filling out the round
The deal gets oversubscribed as all the investors that could not summon up the courage or did not have the checkbook to lead the deal scramble to get into what is now a “hot deal”
You end up saying no to a lot of people you wish you could say yes to
So how do you decide who to let into the round and who to say no to?
Well the truth is that it sometimes matters a lot and sometimes doesn’t matter at all.
There are two primary factors that I like to focus on when choosing who to let in and who to say no to:
Yesterday I gave the keynote on Creating the Future of Work at The End of Nine to Five.
For the last years in addressing the future of work I have often focused on the human capabilities that will drive value as machines become more capable and the work landscape is transformed.
To help define and clarify these capabilities I created a landscape on the role of Humans in the Future of Work, which I first shared publicly in my keynote yesterday.
Click on the image to see full size
You can see full details of the framework on my keynote speaker website.
This framework overlaps and builds on my Future of Work Framework, specifically building out the distinctive human capabilities that will be relevant and valued as the work landscape is transformed.
I have spoken and written before about the three fundamental human capabilities for the future of
Our shared passion for the future of professional services has led George Beaton and I to collaborate on projects over many years.
George has long expressed his view that the traditional “BigLaw” model for legal services firms is under severe threat. He has just launched his latest book Remaking Law Firms to provide clear guidance on how law firms can adjust and reshape themselves for success in a rapidly changing world.
Drawing on the concept of my Newspaper Extinction Timeline, George and I collaborated to create a timeline for the changing structure of the legal services industry over the next decade and beyond across different geographies.
The full description to the legal services timeline describes in detail the mega-forces shaping the industry, the research methodology, and the outcomes.
Here are the legal services industry timelines we created for five regions, with below the charts descriptions of the types of
As usual, the slides are designed to support my keynote, not to stand alone, but there is more than usual structured content that may be useful to people who are not attending my presentation.
I believe that the concept of platforms is enormously relevant in understanding how the economy is shifting today. In many ways it brings together the key themes of my books, including knowledge-based relationships, value co-creation, living networks, internal and external social media, and crowdsourcing.
I will later share more detailed thoughts on platform thinking. For now there are two key frames I would like to distill from today’s keynote.
I like to look at Google Trends from time to time to see what it can tell me about things. I realize that search keyword activity is only one data point in a complex system and that with the move to mobile, it is less important than it was in the web only era. And people search for things when they want them. Once they have them, the search volume goes down. But I still think Google Trends can reveal some interesting things.
Here are some queries I ran today:
Facebook and Google are battling it out for video supremacy, but this query really doesn’t tell us very much about where that battle is going and how it will end. It is interesting to note that YouTube has been a mature but stable business for a long time now.
Twitter and the smartphone seem to have risen with a similar
I got my 23andme DNA report back this week. I shared it with my family (parents, siblings, wife, children) and participated in the “DNA Relatives” program that shows me likely relatives who have done 23andme. I found the information that came back to me from this sharing to be really interesting and potentially quite valuable.
I had lunch yesterday with a friend who I am not going to name to respect his privacy who spent many years trying to find his mother and finally tracked her down using public DNA records. It was an incredibly moving story and I am still thinking about it today. Stories like his make me feel that we ought to be more public with our DNA so that matches like his can be made. The DNA match he made was not to his mother. It was to his aunt, who then got him to his
I’m pretty skeptical about the early implementations of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. I think the early versions are expensive, require powerful computers, are tethered, require headsets, and can cause headaches and worse. But I am in the minority in our business and in the tech community. VR and AR are among the most hyped and invested new areas of tech right now.
So let’s talk about this today on fun friday.
Are you bullish on AR and VR over the next several years? If so, why?
Or are you with me that the early implementations will underwhelm?, If so, why?
We are heading back to NYC tomorrow and, among other things, that means I can end my 6 months on iOS. I force myself to spend six months of the year on iPhone to make sure I’ve got my head wrapped around that platform and how it is changing and evolving. But I feel like it costs me a pretty significant productivity hit and I am eager to get back on Android.
So I need to decide which phone I am going to get. I am thinking of buying a Nexus 6P directly from the Google Play Store. But I am open to other ideas and would welcome them.
Here are my needs/desires:
Phablet form factor/size
Stock Android (no bloatware from carrier issued phones)
Unlocked device that can run on any carrier
Lots of memory (at least 64GB)
So with those needs/desires, what phone should I get?
Today is a big day for our portfolio company SoundCloud. They are launching SoundCloud Go in the US today. They plan to launch SoundCloud Go in other parts of the world as soon as they can get the rights together to do so.
SoundCloud Go is the ultimate music service, giving listeners access to 125 million tracks from all over the world, offline or online, and ad-free. For comparison, traditional music subscription services, like Spotify and Apple Music, offer access to roughly 35 million tracks and internet radio services, like Pandora, offer access to roughly 2 million tracks.
I’ve had beta access to SoundCloud Go for the past month and it is an entirely different experience than the other premium music services. Here are some of the things you can only do on SoundCloud Go:
build a playlist that includes the top hits, emerging unsigned artists, and remixes and listen
Just this once, a digression into our unusual 2016 presidential campaign. On the Republican side, voters are distancing themselves from an Establishment they have grown to distrust – with potentially dire consequences for the party.
Soon after I joined HP France in 1968, I determined that I would move to the US and live in the heart of the tech world, a dream that was fulfilled when I landed in Cupertino 17 years later. In 2001, I become a citizen in my adopted country. This makes me bi-cultural, my kind of fun: I’m equally happy and frustrated in my two countries. My Left Bank drinking companions at the Café de Flore call me a dirty capitalist because I belong to a venture firm, while here I’ve been called a Socialist for my belief, among other heresies, that no one should be without healthcare.
Three years ago, I co-founded the nonprofit organizationCSNYC to address the extreme scarcity of computer science education in the NYC public schools. I am proud to say that we are now reaching nearly 10% of the city’s schools and more than 12,000 students. But our mission is to reach every school and every student.In September 2015, Mayor de Blasio and I announced Computer Science For All (CS4All), a 10-year, $81 million plan to bring computer science education to every student in New York City public schools. The costs of CS4All will be shared equally between the city and private philanthropy, and CSNYC and Robin Hood have each committed $5 million to get the initiative off the ground.As leaders in the local technology community, we collectively have the potential to support what will be the largest scaling of access to computer science education in the country. Early, meaningful
I caught an early flight out of LAX yesterday morning. I sat next to a woman who slept all the way to SF. I am always jealous of people who can do that. I don’t sleep much on planes.
When we landed in SF and were taxiing to our gate, she woke and checked her phone. She landed on my daily email, read the bit about flying to SF, and turned to me, showed me the AVC email, and said “is this you?” I replied “yes.”
It turns out she works for a startup and knows people who have worked for various USV portfolio companies. And she uses Foursquare.
We had a nice chat, I bought one of her company’s products, I am mulling over the idea of buying another one, and I pitched a BD partnership between her company and one of Gotham Gal’s portfolio
The nominees for the 8th Annual Shorty Awards, recognizing the best content and influencers on social media, are in. In addition to including the usual social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr — this year Periscope is being included for the first time.With the growing influence of social on TV and vice versa, the Shorty Awards are also recognizing notable Social TV crossovers including Empire, How to Get Away With Murder, Game of Thrones, and The Late Late Show With James Corden.While there are plenty of nods to big brand and Hollywood influence in social, perhaps most notable is the recognition of social media’s most influential native talent. This year instead of a brand campaign, an influential creative will be awarded Snapchatter of the year. The nominees include DJ Khaled, Snapchat filmmaker Harris Markowitz, photographer Branden Harvey,