Startup Yoda: The man behind Y Combinator

October 10, 2016 Leave a comment

Another good article from the New Yorker, this time about Sam Altman, the head of Y Combinator. It’s full of great quotes and numbers, including:

  • 13k software companies applied to YC this year; ~240 get in (2x harder than Stanford)
  • Collectively, YC companies are worth $80B (5x growth in last 5 years).
  • A quote from a slide titled: “VCs: Soulless Agents of Satan or Just Clumsy Rapists”

Well worth the read.


Categories: trends, vc Tags: ,

The anti-Uber

October 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Nice little article in the New Yorker this week about a company, Juno, that’s trying to take on Uber, by essentially treating its drivers better: 10% commission instead of ~25% and a opportunity for the drivers to take a stake in the company.


Right now it just operates in NYC. Worth a quick read.

Categories: travel, trends Tags: ,

Uber domination

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

The Economist had a nice article on Uber this week and how it’s poised for world domination.



Apparently, it now operates in 72 countries, 425 cities, with an estimated revenue of ~$4B/year. However, most of Uber’s bookings are just made in 20 of those 425 cities. Worth a quick scan.

Categories: future, travel, trends Tags: ,

Good book on BitCoin, Blockchain

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

For those that are tired of having just a surface level understanding of BitCoin and BlockChain, one could do worse than read a new book by academics at Princeton.


It doesn’t dumb anything down, but at the same time the authors try to explain things in a relatively clear way. And as you can see from the table of contents, it’s pretty comprehensive. (If you don’t want to buy the book, apparently there’s a freely available PDF here. If you don’t want to read, the video lectures are here )

Categories: blockchain, books Tags:

Refresher on AI – history and future

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

The Economist has a nice special report on AI – both a little history and its implications here. A couple of titbits caught my eye:

  • “Instead of people writing software, we have data writing software”
  • It was not till 2012 that deep learning came to fore
  • Only 0.5% of American workers are employed in industries that emerged since 2000
  • A Japanese firm is selling weird looking goggles to help thwart facial recognition systems

Well worth the read.

Categories: interesting, technology, trends Tags:

Another heartwarming story about private equity

Private Equity never ceases to surprise me. The NYTimes today has another story about aggressive moves private equity has made into ambulance and fire services and the severely negative impact that has has on people. Some tidbits:

  • Private companies now represent 25% of all ambulance providers, and 4% of fire service
  • Private equity firms now manage more money (~$4.3T) than the GDP of Germany
  • One of the firms sent a collections notice to an infant girl born in its ambulance
  • Another firm was too late to get to a fire (and the house burned down), but it still sued the owner

Read and weep.

Categories: trends Tags:

Confused about IoT platforms? Then don’t read this

With over 300 (and counting) IoT platforms out there (and new ones sprouting up like rabbits – e.g. ones from HP, Samsung, Hitachi..), one would think there would a clear paper that describes the landscape to the poor souls that actually have to make a decision.

Alas, the poor souls will have to wait a while longer: The latest addition to the corpus of IoT papers, this time from PTC / Oreilly – Evaluating and Choosing an IoT Platform –  is unfortunately not one that will help clarify much.

(The best one that I’ve seen is the one from IoT analytics )

Categories: iot Tags: