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  • GRIT, PERSEVERANCE, AND HAPPENSTANCE
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UBER

Ride-sharing is not killing car ownership

By Ale Resnik, Chief Executive Officer of Beepi Imagine it’s the year 2035. Gasoline engines are a thing of the past—replaced by electric propulsion. Cars no longer feature steering wheels, thanks to tens of millions of lines of code doing the driving for you. And we’re led to believe that we’ll no longer own a vehicle; instead, we all ride in Ubers. If you believe what you read, then, car ownership will soon be dead. But that won’t be the case. In the future, owning a car will be more affordable than ever before—even profitable. The… Read More

featured Letters to a young Contrarian

Letters to a Young Contrarian is a must read!

In a simple and elegant series of letters written to a hypothetical student, Christopher Hitchens makes an incredibly compelling argument for thinking independently. While showing how important it is, he also clearly highlights the perils of defying conventional wisdom and popular opinion. In making his case, Hitchens shows off his erudition in sharing a lifetime’s worth of insights and scholarship. Both the prose and content resonated with me like few books have. The book is both timely and timeless in a world overcome by political correctness and simple minded populism. Read it!Read More

Technology and the Future of Work

Technological progress continues unabated. The astonishing rate of growth has fueled heated debates about implications on the future of labor and the nature of work. A decade ago, few would have predicted that job categories like iOS development, product management, and search engine marketing would exist today. A world of 3D printed food, virtually free electricity, and unlimited computing power is on the horizon. But what is the cost of technological revolution? Will it remove humans from the equation? What impact will it toll on incomes, quality of life, and the education of our children? Many worry that the current… Read More

Grit, Perseverance, and Happenstance: The Genesis of our Apprenticeship Program

Most of you are not aware that FJ Labs has an apprenticeship program. The program has been fantastic. The apprentices have created extraordinary companies, including AdoreMe and Beepi. They have helped us invest in over 250 startups. It has been extraordinarily beneficial all around. To give you a sense of the genesis of the program, let me take you back to 2010. At that time, I was co-CEO of OLX by day and an angel investor by night. I had already met Jose and we had started our cooperation, but it was… Read More

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