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How Technology Could Help Fight Income Inequality

I have had the pleasure of meeting professor Tyler Cowen a few times and always left my meetings impressed by his intellect. He writes the popular economics blog: Marginal Revolution. He just wrote a great article for the New York Times on how technology could help fight income inequality. He specifically focuses on the potential decrease in health care and education costs that automated diagnostic systems and online education could bring. He also speculates that general worker productivity could increase as computers become simpler allowing more people to work with them. China and India might also start generating… Read More

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2014 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again, so I am sharing my recommendations for all gadget lovers of the world to be happy this holiday season! TV: Vizio E700i-B3 4K TVs may seem like they are all the rage right now, but the reality is that they are not currently worth it. There is very little 4K content available. The Xbox One & PS4 are not powerful enough to play games in that resolution. In fact many of the 4K TVs have lower image quality than their 1080p equivalent. The 70” Vizio P702ui-B3 which sells for $2,649 has lower image… Read More

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Silicon Cabarete MVP

It is common knowledge that it’s unwise to fight Russia in the winter. As such, I have been trying to convince my programmers in Ukraine (and Romania) to move to Cabarete. The setting and quality of life are extraordinary in Cabarete. Besides, I would much rather fly to Cabarete for in person meetings and have everyone on New York’s time zone, rather than have to deal with a 7 hour time difference and flying 11 hours on Ukrainian Airlines several times a year…. Read More

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Yahoo to acquire Brightroll for $640 million in cash!

Sometimes you just bet on people. I mostly invest in consumer facing startups, especially marketplaces. However, in July 2006, my good friend Auren Hoffman introduced me to Tod Sacerdoti who was CEO of POSTroller, a video ad company (which became Brighroll in November 2006). I have to admit I did not know much about the video advertising market and had limited expertise in ad tech. It was obvious that video advertising was eventually going to be big, but I was not sure what the best way to tackle the market was. Fundamentally, I really loved Tod. He was… Read More

What if is an absolute must read!

I absolutely LOVED this book. Randall Munroe’s scientifically accurate answers to ludicrous questions are absurdly funny, well written and extraordinarily well researched. I laughed out loud throughout most of the answers. It’s funny how he destroys the world and/or humanity in half of the answers. I kept wondering who are those people who send these insane questions? I particularly loved the answer to the question of what happened if you put a hair dryer in a 1 square meter indestructible box, but frankly I laughed out loud so many times I lost count (and I can’t remember when is the… Read More

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Update on The Very Big Downgrade

When people successfully sell their company, they typically acquire stuff.  Instead I gave up my house, apartment and car and gave most of my material possessions (furniture, clothes, books, etc.) to charity in December 2012. It was my Very Big Downgrade.  Two years in, it’s time to take stock of what happened, especially since it has not gone entirely as expected. When I decided on my Very Big Downgrade, I felt my possessions were anchoring me, keeping me away from the important relationships in my life. I was spending so much money and time maintaining my place in… Read More

Infrastructure for Marketplaces: The Shovels and Picks of the End-to-End Marketplace Gold Rush!

by Guimar Vaca Sittic Building marketplaces is really hard. The hardest nut to crack is building liquidity: having a critical mass of buyers and sellers. One of the main reasons marketplaces fail is that they don’t live up to the expectations of their buyers, and consequently, of their sellers. Buyers typically not only expect the type of quality of service to be comparable to that of an Amazon or Zappos, but also, they are unaware that the service in a marketplace is provided by a third party rather than by the company itself. Given these high… Read More

beepi

One Step Closer To Streamlining the Car Buying and Selling Process

As an entrepreneur and investor, I am fortunate enough to collaborate with startups on a regular basis, learning about their ambitions and plans to shake up their respective industries. In my previous blog post, The used car buying and selling process is broken and we are going to fix it!, I discussed how one of the startups I work with, Beepi, is streamlining the process of buying and selling cars by removing the labor and hassle for the consumer – with the click of a mouse. Less than five months since launching, Beepi has surpassed all… Read More