“Can you get rich with Bitcoin? Well, maybe. Tim O’Reilly once said: “Money is like gas in the car – you need to pay attention or you’ll end up on the side of the road – but a well-lived life is not a tour of gas stations!” Much of the interest in Bitcoin comes from people whose life mission seems to be to find a really big gas station. I must admit I find this perplexing. What is, I believe, much more interesting and enjoyable is to think of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a way of enabling new forms of collective behaviour. That’s intellectually fascinating, offers marvellous creative possibilities, is socially valuable, and may just also put some money in the bank.”—How the Bitcoin protocol actually works | DDI
“A group of almost 40 mathematicians wrote a 600 page textbook on Homotopy Type Theory in less than six months. They taught themselves git, and they used GitHub for hosting, pull requests, and discussions. The book simply wouldn’t exist without GitHub. That. Is. Amazing.”—
“a transparent, secular, liberal democracy. Think about those words, for they each has profound meaning. Transparent because government must be openly accountable to the people and never abuse their trust. Secular because in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society such as ours, secularism offers the only common ground by which we might all be united. Liberal because we recognize that all human beings are created different, and we need to accept others for what they are and not what we would like them to be. And democratic… well, if you need me to explain why that is important”—Letter from the Grave : The New Yorker
“It is simple: The New York Times, and media in general, are in the midst of unprecedented change. Our core purpose remains to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. We want to push ourselves and push others to find the best ways to do so, and we believe that timeSpace can be a part of that process.”—TimeSpace - The New York Times
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”—
Imagine having your entire Lightroom Catalog available for browsing and search wherever you are. You’re at brunch with your Mother-in-law and she asks you about that great photo of her and her grandson you made recently. You show her your phone and say “This one?” When she identifies it, you add it to a new Collection called “To Print For Mom” right then and there.
Users want to see ads that are better targeted. I am interested in seeing relevant ads. And advertisers want to reach interested users. The right economic model (a la AdWords) and some clever computer algorithms should get you there. It can’t be that difficult if you have Facebook’s resources. So I wonder why it’s taking them so long to get this right.
So I think luck, usually in the form of timing, is the main differentiator for growing huge. However, there are several points to make here. Luck is certainly not enough, and most of those companies who reached massive scale had:
1. A strong product that solved a huge market problem.
2. The ability to listen to the market and maneuver accordingly.
3. Great ability to execute - build stuff fast enough and at a sufficient level of quality.
4. A technological solution that is far from trivial, especially at scale.
The list above is what I thought before Eric’s question. But Mr Schmidt added another, fifth point: 5. An inherent property of the service that pushes it to scale.
“As expected, it took students much longer to assess the veracity of true scientific statements that cut against our instincts. In every scientific category, from evolution to astronomy to thermodynamics, students paused before agreeing that the earth revolves around the sun, or that pressure produces heat, or that air is composed of matter. Although we know these things are true, we have to push back against our instincts, which leads to a measurable delay.”—Studying the Brain Can Help Us Understand Our Unscientific Beliefs : The New Yorker
1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.