- Quequ'un M'a Dit: We Outta Here Baby
- My Sick Uncle
- (500) Days Of Weezy
“Binge viewing is transforming the way people watch television and changing the economics of the industry. The passive couch potato of the broadcast era turned into the channel surfer, flipping through hundreds of cable channels. Now, technologies such as on-demand video and digital video recorders are giving rise to the binge viewer, who devours shows in quick succession—episode after episode, season after season, perhaps for $7.99 a month, the cost of a basic Netflix membership. In the past, such sessions required buying stacks of costly DVDs ($66.99 for seasons one through four of “Mad Men”) or special broadcast marathons.”
“Walmart says the majority of in-store purchases are made with cash or debit cards, and that about 15 percent are made with credit cards.”
“I had been in Iraq for about two months when I heard about an officer conducting an impromptu habit modification program in Kufa, a small city ninety miles south of the capital. He was an army major who had analyzed videotapes of recent riots and had identified a pattern: Violence was usually preceded by a crowd of Iraqis gathering in a plaza or other open space and, over the course of several hours, growing in size. Food vendors would show up, as well as spectators. Then, someone would throw a rock or a bottle and all hell would break loose. When the major met with Kufa’s mayor, he made an odd request: Could they keep food vendors out of the plazas? Sure, the mayor said. A few weeks later, a small crowd gathered near the Masjid al-Kufa, or Great Mosque of Kufa. Throughout the afternoon, it grew in size. Some people started chanting angry slogans. Iraqi police, sensing trouble, radioed the base and asked U.S. troops to stand by. At dusk, the crowd started getting restless and hungry. People looked for the kebab sellers normally filling the plaza, but there were none to be found. The spectators left. The chanters became dispirited. By 8 P.M., everyone was gone.”
“Economic growth occurs whenever people take resources and rearrange them in ways that are more valuable. A useful metaphor for production in an economy comes from the kitchen. To create valuable final products, we mix inexpensive ingredients together according to a recipe. The cooking one can do is limited by the supply of ingredients, and most cooking in the economy produces undesirable side effects. If economic growth could be achieved only by doing more and more of the same kind of cooking, we would eventually run out of raw materials and suffer from unacceptable levels of pollution and nuisance. History teaches us, however, that economic growth springs from better recipes, not just from more cooking. New recipes generally produce fewer unpleasant side effects and generate more economic value per unit of raw material.
Every generation has perceived the limits to growth that finite resources and undesirable side effects would pose if no new recipes or ideas were discovered. And every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas. We consistently fail to grasp how many ideas remain to be discovered. Possibilities do not add up. They multiply.”
“We tend to massively underestimate the compounding returns of intelligence. As humans, we need to solve big problems. If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate. When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are.”
Stephen Cohen, co-founder of Palantir, on recruiting for startups (from Peter Thiel’s CS183 class)
“But Zynga and Facebook? They seem more able to be toppled. It seems possible to knock them off of their throne. Two companies, OMGPOP and Instagram, came out of nowhere and became viable competitors. That’s kind of amazing. It’s amazing to me that Instagram got 30 million users in no time at all. It’s crazy that Draw Something can get 50 million downloads in 50 days. It’s mind blowing that Pinterest went from nothing to 10 million users in the blink of an eye. It’s amazing how fragile it all is. Facebook may be the first viable threat to Google, but its own market dominance is by no means assured.”
A whole new world. My latest column for Betabeat.
Times of India: Now a ‘Pad’ Revolution for Gujarat’s Rural Women (excerpts below)
- It’s a kind of ‘pad’ revolution that promises to change lives of lakhs of women in Gujarat. The Tribhuvandas Foundation (TF), started in the memory of Amul Dairy’s founder chairman Tribhuvandas Patel, is taking up an ambitious project of providing sanitary pads to rural women folks to ensure improvement in their personal hygiene.
- One of the deadliest end results of the reproductive tract infection which is common among rural women who do not use sanitary pads, is cancer,” says chief executive officer of TF Dr Viren Doshi.