Moats, gross margins and strategy sounding fluff

Moats Before (Gross) Margins

so you got to have gross margins, fat gross margins. But you end up doing only software

but you know Apple has not SW margins but it is a good company.

Gotta have moats moats moats, baby

so what are htese moats? Founders feeling the crisp air of the morning while standing on top of the tower and look beyond their moats. The fascination of military metaphors that is strategy 🙂

BTW of course a fixation on gross margin is ok if you have to win the startup race on the internet, everyone will have a go at the next tool, platform, aggregaotor and we know the rules of competition there. But then strategy does not stop there

Moats are just a beautiful, inspiring image

The season of our technologies

Crypto Winter A16z The Crypto Price-Innovation Cycle by Chris Dixon and Eddy Lazzarin Note how the technology winter is the environment where we  find the bear markets

Last week Ben Evans The VR Winter

In the origins it was the AI Winter, set off by Minsky’s comments in 1969 on perceptrons unable to reproduce the XOR operator

Now is the winter of our discontent

The suggestion of the original AI Winter in the 70’s came from the Nuclear Winter “The term was coined by analogy to the idea of a nuclear winter.[2] The field has experienced several hype cycles, followed by disappointment and criticism, followed by funding cuts, followed by renewed interest years or decades later.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_winter

Nuggetized writing (Tooze)

“So sharing has become a key element in my reading, and the trying to figure out what the interesting thing is that I want to share is a very good way of focusing your mind on what the core — I read a piece, so what are the three sentences here I want to cut and paste? Which is the graph that is really telling? And how do I nuggetize that into whatever it is — 280 characters? I found that, at this stage of my life, I know this isn’t necessarily the best way to read complicated philosophy of history, which I also spent a lot of time doing at various points in my career.”

for me it’s 1300 charcter short essay format of Linkedin, pretty much same psychological lever

from the conversation with Tyler Cowen https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/adam-tooze-tyler-cowen-covid-19-economics-46a9b28a2f59

Money Machines and useless money in Covid times

2 money machines like no other are no more in times of Coronavirus

Renaissance down

Blitzscaling done for good?

In coronavirus times it’s loud the lack of blockchain solution to pandemia problems, like contact apps. The silence is loud we are used to being pitched all sorts of blockchain solution to real world problems we did not know we had, or we did not think we could not solve with othee means

And this is refreshing, why you have to make a money useful to be money ? Value and purchasing power aren’t enough. Really, sometimes I have used 10 Lire to open the batteries lid of RC caes but that’s it, it’s not what gives value to my coin

Blitzscaling Hero or Lockean Titan, whatever

“Being a successful Lockean Titan is like being the successful staph bacterium that manages to find its way into a break in its host’s skin and spawn an infection: yes, you had all the characteristics necessary to go viral (ahem), but you also got lucky by being in the right place at the right time, and if you hadn’t been there, someone else would have been.”

Thanks Doctorow, great writers are there to give voice to your thoughts, I had been looking for an image like this to describe innovation in the age of the unicorns, and why geography matters, and what is the real role of the hero in a world well set by technology and finance

Cory Doctorow: Terra Nullius

words and acronyms

spread, like spread the virus, spred Bund-BTP, spread the goodness of the web GNUtella. Just because I want to talk about Fold@home that reminds me of SETI@home that was alive at the time DIvX Napster and Indymedia were born (GNUtella followed suit, once Napster was killed)

PEEP and PEPP, easy to confuse, both actual now:

PEEP some parameter in ventilators, the reason you can’t hack together a mechanichal ventilator, PEEP must be managed by some electronics and specific mechanics

PEPP is some Pandemic Emergency something  created by the ECB, which will buy bods for 750 billions, it already started buying Italy’s Btp and that should allow Italy to stay comfortably in 5% deficit for 2020, BOTs have already a buyr, Over that level,  check twice

Normal accident

“If interactive complexity and tight coupling—system characteristics—inevitably will produce an accident, I believe we are justified in calling it a normal accident, or a system accident.”

this should go in laws, all sort of laws.  Charles Perrow

 

Killzones

what FFers have gone tru is a kill zone set up by big tech, just discovered, someone had the same experience at Picasa

“Back in the early days of digital photography, I used a website called Picasa to organize and share my photos. It was like a whole new world opened up to me — suddenly I could get feedback from much more experienced and skilled photographers halfway around the world, discover their work and find visual inspiration. But by the time I started using it, Google had already acquired the company. During the next few years, the app seemed to stagnate — there were rumors that Google was starving it of resources, and users drifted away. In 2016 Picasa was killed off for good, and anyone who still had photos there had them moved to Google Photos — a site I have never heard of anyone using.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-07/big-tech-sets-up-a-kill-zone-for-industry-upstarts

Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 10.27.45

tech people fixation with tunnels

“for example, when New York decided to build the subway in 1900: 4.7 years later, they opened 23 subway stations, and in 2019 dollars, they spent just over a billion dollars doing so. So 23 stations, just over a billion dollars”

Relative abundances and scarcities define the economic times, I would for example expect that NY 1900 would be abundant of  cheap workforce employable at very flexible terms, which I am sure it is not true today where most people works in services and with much higher protections on the job

The quote was from Patrick Collison, founder of Stripe in a chat with Tyler Cowen and Mark Zuckerberg https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/mark-zuckerberg-interviews-patrick-collison-and-tyler-cowen-on-the-nature-and-causes-of-progress-30de2e2c48f2

My opinion is just general but I think in the right direction. one has to understand what drives development and growth, and today it’s not what it was 120 years ago. In 50 times someone will muse the good old days when Mark could amass 2 billion users in 15 years while now no matter how much money you spend you might expect just 2 o 3 hunderd millions. Oh cruel times, we are so bad compared to the intenret pionners, glossing over the fact that the users will have much more protection from spam and aggressive marketing (yeah, pipedream)

gullible, unprotected users is the relative abundance of our times

link full of tunnels prices https://nypost.com/2018/08/25/why-nyc-is-priciest-city-in-the-world-for-infrastructure-projects/

I said tech people fixation with tunnels, let’s not forget that one day Musk, frustrated with the time it takes to build tunnels today, bought a boring machine and started digging a hole under his company’s parking.

Yes! Tyler Cowen on Subway Cost Desease

Screenshot 2019-12-06 at 11.37.31.png