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ExMachina - The Next Evolution- AI-Powered Marketplaces

The Next Evolution: AI-Powered Marketplaces

By Güimar Vaca Sittic and Fabrice Grinda Online marketplaces are fascinating. Matching demand and supply seems mundane, but it takes a lot of work to actually make it happen. As we pointed out before in The Evolution of Marketplaces, marketplaces have evolved dramatically from horizontal listing based models like Craigslist to vertical transactional end-to-end marketplaces like Uber today. Every few years there are technological breakthroughs that allow entrepreneurs to adjust the dynamics of online marketplaces to make them more efficient. Native mobile apps, seamless payments and GPS tracking are just a few of the examples that have improved… Read More

fabricesofa

My Rematerialized Life

In October 2014, at the end of my Update on the Very Big Downgrade, I explained that the super high occupancy rates of high end hotels and Airbnbs in New York were forcing me to move location every few days. These high transaction costs defeated the very purpose of the downgrade and pushed me to partially rematerialize. After an extensive search, I ended up buying an amazing apartment in the Lower East Side in the summer of 2015. It clearly appears antinomic for an avowed minimalist to own such an ostentatious piece of real estate. As such I… Read More

oldmanwarfeatured

The Old Man’s War Series by John Scalzi is a fantastic space opera

As you know, I am a huge fan of B.V. Larson’s Star Force and Undying Mercenaries series. While I really enjoy Ryk Brown’s The Frontiers Saga and to a slightly lesser extent Jay Allan’s Crimson Worlds series, they take themselves too seriously and don’t rival the joy created by Larson’s fun light hearted tone. I realize I am late comer to Old Man’s War, but I loved the series at every level. Scalzi blows your mind with varying imaginative concepts time and time again. The book pushes us to consider whether we would we be willing to sign… Read More

TRUMP3

Donald Trump: The Startup Disrupting the GOP Establishment

by Fabrice Grinda and Mike Lloyd Many people have been amazed at the support that Donald Trump has been able to amass since he threw his red “Make America Great Again” hat into the ring to be the next President of the United States of America. It’s been both an entertaining and cringe-worthy spectacle. As distasteful as we may find Donald Trump to be, as entrepreneurs and students of entrepreneurship, it’s insightful to think of the parallels between the ascent of The Donald and that of startups trying to disrupt entrenched incumbents. If you think of… Read More

Sapeins

Sapiens is the most important book you will read all year!

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is incredibly ambitious. It covers the history of humanity starting with modern cognition. It covers everything from why Sapiens ended up on top relative to other hominids, to gender roles, the agricultural revolution, the history of currency, empire and capitalism. It analyses recent developments and speculates as to where we might be heading. It’s thought provoking, challenging, compelling and at times downright disturbing. It exposes the myths we created and accept without second thought and truly challenges our preconceptions about who we are. The book is a masterpiece. If you only read one book this… Read More

modern romance

Modern Romance is insightful and fun

I am a fan of Aziz Ansari’s standup comedy routine and his TV show Master of None. Having experienced the travails of dating in the digital age, I looked forward to Modern Romance. The book surprised me. I expected a collection of funny anecdotes with commentary in Aziz’s voice. It certainly contained those, but the book offers much more than that. It presents the results of a statistically significant in depth sociological survey covering the dating patterns and behavior of thousands of individuals around the world. I found it truly insightful. The opportunities and challenges presented by dating in the… Read More

2015: Adulthood?

I bought an apartment in the Lower East Side in the summer of 2015. The super high occupancy rates of high end hotels and Airbnbs in New York were forcing me to move location every few days, creating high transaction costs and defeating the purpose of my asset light living. It remains minimally decorated and sparse, but has become my New York home and allowed me to restart hosting intellectual salons and dinners again! In 2015, I still traveled too much. It nonetheless was much improved from the previous years and I managed not to go to Kiev… Read More

BDM4065UC_75-IMS-en_AU copie

The Philips BMD4065UC is the computer monitor to get

When it comes to computer monitors I have always been of the thought that bigger is better. Given that it’s not uncommon for high end 32” 4K monitors to cost upwards of $1,500, the Philips BDM4065UC is an absolute bargain at $699 on Amazon for a 4K 40” monitor. Until this monitor the only way to get a computer monitor this size was to use a 4K TV as a monitor. While cheap, this is not an effective option because they don’t have the contrast ratio and response time appropriate for computer monitors. Worse they don’t support 3840×2160… Read More

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Macro perspective: The startup party is far from over!

Hang around venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and a clear sense of fear pervades the air. The main topic of conversation these days seems to be of humbled or fallen unicorns. Many are writing down the value of their holdings. This correction is driven by the impact of global macro changes on the late stage funding environment. We are currently observing a debt crisis in emerging markets. We had a first debt crisis in the US when a glut of global savings, much of it from Asia, washed into subprime housing, with disastrous results. In the euro area, thrifty Germans… Read More