97 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. Over a million people are killed in car accidents every year around the world, mostly due to human error, and in a fully autonomous world all of those (and many more injuries) will also go away. 

      not fully. distracted walking will still put people in the path of moving vehicles

  2. Mar 2017
    1. All investors, angels, and venture capitalists alike have a deep fear of missing out on the next big thing when it is right in front of them.

      true

  3. Feb 2017
    1. The best early stage founders focus on staying lean, talking to their customers, iterating on their product, and discovering product-market fit.
    1. As a general rule, don’t let your company start doing the next thing until you’ve dominated the first thing. No great company I know of started doing multiple things at once—they start with a lot of conviction about one thing, and see it all the way through.
    1. But Pujari said he has evidence his creation generates significantly more energy than competitors – and at lower cost – by using different technology. He declines to describe the specifics; saying it is a trade secret.
  4. Jan 2017
    1. In January 2009 the three founders of a little-known website called Airbedandbreakfast.com decided at the last minute to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama.
    1. If your executive team spends four days a year rafting down rivers together, you’ll eventually get good at rafting down rivers. Spend four days a year having well-designed strategy conversations together, and within a few years you’ll get equally good at revealing, discussing, and resolving strategic issues, not just at your off-sites but every time team members meet.

      but dont forget to mix in SOME fun

    2. RACI charts were drawn up to identify who, for each deliverable, was responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Rich Products uses action registers, which list every item requiring action, and fills them out at the end of the meeting, specifying who is accountable for what. In addition to agreeing on responsibilities before leaving the room, participants should also produce a clear and easily communicated written summary of what was discussed, what decisions were reached, and what next steps are required. The details of implementation will be forthcoming, but executives shouldn’t leave the off-site before they’ve captured the meeting’s outcomes in one page of prose.
    3. Closure doesn’t always mean reaching a decision; it can simply mean completing an important discussion, agreeing to undertake further study before making a decision, or even agreeing to disagree.
    4. The meeting designer is also responsible for embedding decision points into the structure of the meeting—being careful that not all of the decisions reached end up merely reflecting the CEO’s preordained conclusions.
    5. When distributing the data and background information, make it clear to participants that they are expected to absorb it before the off-site. The meeting is not the place to plod through data; in fact, Allstate has a rule against walking participants through material at the meetings that should have been circulated beforehand.
    1. Urban Population Densities Are Likely to Continue to Decline Through 2050. For the past three decades, urban population densities have been declining across all countries, income levels, and geographies
    2. Urban areas account for 67–76% of global final energy consumption and 71–76% of fossil fuel-related CO2 emissions
    1. How To Build The Perfect City

      a collection of articles to read and reference

    1. THE FUTURE OF CITIES

      great short film on urban entreprenuership

    1. Another important topic addressed here—and a key part of “digital commoning”—is that of countering the corporate, surveillance-driven model of the smart city being promoted by big tech companies. Thus models of public ownership of civic data are needed in order to foster new forms of social innovation.

      see open data movement

    2. Platform cooperativism is simply communal ownership (with roughly 170 years of cooperative movement history) brought together with today’s notions of democratic governance. The term platform, as the editors explain, “refers to places where we hang out, work, tinker and generate value after we switch on our phones or computers.”

      see public stock ownership and now title 3 crowdfunding.

    3. A key aspect of the “smart cities” movement is the promise of personal technology to create new economic opportunities. But the fact is that no sharing actually goes on in most of what’s called the sharing economy—companies such as Uber, AirBnB, Lyft and TaskRabbit extract value from contract employees, not in the service of some dewy-eyed mutualistic scheme, but rather for the benefit of perfectly conventional Silicon Valley venture capitalists. The latter process is sometimes called “Uberization.” It turns out that the sharing economy is mostly about exploitation of workers and earning yourself an enforced membership in the precariat, that mass of short-term (“flexible”) contract employees who now make up about 40 percent of the worldwide labor force. These are people who live precariously with no guarantee of a job beyond the short-term, generally less than 40 hours of paid work per week, as well as no unions or industry regulation to speak of, given the dramatic disparity in bargaining power here. Where is this all going, we may well wonder.

      people are benefiting from additional wage earning options. Some have turned this into FT wage and profitable businesses.

    1. You desperately need a good pitch when you have a bad company. When you have a great company, you don’t need a great pitch.
    1. Dollar vans can be particularly attractive to non-English speaking immigrants as they're often operated and ridden by members of particular ethnic communities.

      launguage is is a big thing

    2. Since 1994, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has been issuing permits to dollar vans. There are 481 licensed dollar vans in the city, although there are many, many more estimated to be operating.

      market size. published in 2014

    1. “In places where the MTA can't provide good service, you're always going to see entrepreneurs coming out, and they will provide service,” Paaswell said. “The question is, are there other ways you can serve the same need and not have people at risk?”

      good question

    2. Goldwyn estimates the average annual salary of a dollar van driver to be $40,000. Of course, this is without the benefits that MTA transit workers get through their unions. There’s no health care, no formal sick days, no pensions. If a driver doesn’t show up, he doesn’t get paid

      business model

    1. In the aftermath of a winter storm in 2005, with few buses running, the cops normally charged with ticketing dollar vans encouraged them to help New Yorkers get around.

      collaboration

    2. In terms of innovation, ridesharing apps represent future technology while dollar vans are a throwback. Uber and Lyft offer a new way to hail a ride, and Uber’s $3.5 billion valuation partially represents its potential to, say, partner with Google’s self-driving car technology to produce self-driving taxis. Dollar van drivers hope to make a decent living by making a few hundred bucks from a particularly productive shift. 

      relative size of oppt. competition?

    3. Another source of opposition is New York’s Transit Workers Union. In 2010, John Samuelsen, who represents the city’s thousands of bus and subway drivers, asked New Yorkers in an op-ed to oppose the “Wal-Martization of transit” and described support for dollar vans as “a union-busting agenda in the sheep’s clothing of economic empowerment.” Notably, when New York experimented with sanctioning a line of vans to provide service to bus routes discontinued by the city, it gave the permits to the laid off MTA workers, who remained part of the union.

      growth may find powerful oppoition in unions

    1. City buses are slowed down further by the lack of all-door boarding and well-enforced bus lanes. “There’s a serious degree of policy inattention to operating the bus system in an effective way,” says Jon Orcutt of TransitCentre, a research group. Investment is much lower than in the subway, which carries 5.7m riders daily and commands $14.2 billion from the MTA’s five-year capital plan. Buses, which carry 2.1m riders daily, get just $2 billion. As long as the city neglects its buses, dollar vans will be there to mind the gap.

      is there a policy shift that might impact this market?

    2. Dollar vans—even the 480 licensed ones—have been operating more or less illegally for decades. An estimated 500 more operate unlicensed.

      number of vans

    3. Without street hails there would be no business.

      regulation v business model

    4. the street-hail prohibition goes ignored

      regulation

    5. Technically dollar vans can accept only pre-arranged calls and must maintain a passenger list.

      regulation

    6. With an estimated 125,000 daily riders, they constitute a network larger than the bus systems in some big cities, including Dallas and Phoenix.

      market

    1. You might want to know why, exactly, jitneys or dollar vans are illegal in most states. The answer lies in the history of public transit. Until the early 1950s, most transit systems in the U.S. were privately owned companies that operated as regulated monopolies (like electric utilities today) and expected to provide transit service to an entire city. In exchange, they got the right to be the city's only transit service. Transit ridership peaked during World War II, but the transit companies slid into bankruptcy afterwards, as they were expected to serve greater suburban areas, service declined, and more and more federal money went into highways -- all of which tempted people to buy cars and abandon the trolleys and buses. Most of the country's 200 private transit franchises died in the 1950s. (Roger Rabbit had nothing to do with it. I swear.) In the late 1950s, cities took over the bankrupt transit lines and tried to make a go of them, retaining for themselves the monopoly on the right to provide service. In the early 60s the feds became involved in propping those systems up, but without much enthusiasm. Meanwhile, private transit were prevented from driving the streets even when they offered serviced different from the public transit agencies.

      history

    2. the pink cellphone ad on the van is both an attempt to make a little money as he cruises up and down Flatbush, and a trial balloon to see whether there's a specific law prohibiting advertising on the vans.

      business model

    3. This is the paradox of Winston's work: While he is fully licensed, insured, and inspected, his vans are prohibited from doing the one thing they really do -- picking up passengers off the street.

      interesting challenge

    4. he accrued fines that ate into profits

      risks

    5. If this sounds improbable, it's really not: Think of the incredible popularity of food trucks, which were known as "roach coaches" only 10 years ago. A hip fleet of dollar vans, providing proximity and cheap transit to 20-somethings, could easily catch on. If the vans ran on cleaner engines -- hybrids or natural gas -- they could be part of a greener city.

      another way to think of market and benefits. though not practical

    6. And for regular riders, there are other perks. "I've heard they offer more services -- for example, they'll wait while a parent walks a child up to the door of daycare or a school." That is service that you can't get from a bus.

      also can be more curtious

    7. e's found that on some corners there are four city buses an hour and 45 to 60 vans, meaning that passengers literally don't have to wait more than a minute for a ride. Also, the vans can be a lot faster than public transit.

      sounds like they are already pretty efficient. so what pain is left to solve for commuter?

    8. t $2 a ride, he needs to get 14 people in the van on the 5.6 mile trip from downtown Brooklyn to King's Highway to turn a profit. The cost of licensing, insuring, staffing, and fueling the eight vans in his fleet is considerable.

      business model

    9. America's 20th largest bus service -- hauling 120,000 riders a day -- is profitable and also illegal. It's not really a bus service at all, but a willy-nilly aggregation of 350 licensed and 500 unlicensed privately-owned "dollar vans" that roam the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, picking up passengers from street corners where city buses are either missing or inconvenient. The dollar van fleet is a tantalizing demonstration of how we might supplement mass transit to include privately-owned mini-transit entrepreneurs, giving people alternative ways to get around, and creating jobs.

      market

    1. “Let’s say things happens, like an accident, some of them will run off,” said Winston Williams, who owns a licensed commuter van. “And it hits the media, it’s a dollar van.”

      licensed vans vs unlicensed dollar vans

    1. This included increased monitoring and enforcement, and heightened participation by the public in identifying poor drivers,[26] as jitneys had been exempt from regulations imposed on buses and other forms of transportation.

      would ratings help here?

    2. On July 30, 2013 an accident occurred at 56th Street and Boulevard East in West New York, New Jersey, in which Angelie Paredes, an 8-month-old North Bergen resident, was killed in her stroller when a full-sized[23] jitney bus belonging to the New York-based Sphinx company toppled a light pole.

      first accident im reading of

    3. Claims have also been made that jitneys cause congestion and undermine licensed bus service.[21] Drivers of these vans have also developed a reputation for ignoring traffic laws in the course of competing for fares, picking up and dropping off passengers at random locations, and driving recklessly

      could tracking prove otherwise?

    4. Hudson County commuters who prefer NJ Transit buses, for example, cite senior citizen discounts and air conditioning among their reasons, which has led some jitney operators to display bumper stickers advertising air conditioning aboard their vehicles in order to lure passengers.

      ah. better features and promos in the public vehicle

    5. Travelers cite safety, comfort, reliability and cost as factors in choosing larger bus service over jitneys.

      so whats the advantage that is promoted elsewhere?

    6. The New York City-area dollar van system is highly used, and in 2011, it was rated the 20th most used "bus system" in the United States.[6] The dollar van and jitney system has been praised as "quietly disruptive" as compared to other ride-share services, such as Uber. This has allowed the vans to operate without being restricted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)

      would apps enable increase usage and therefore disrupt this?

    1. Peert and Gomes told me that drivers typically bring in a hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars per day from fares.

      market

    2. Because the New Jersey shuttles travel interstate, they technically fall under federal jurisdiction.

      Trump risk?

    3. “The M.T.A. buses withdrew their service because they said the downed trees weren’t safe for the buses. You know, we were smaller, so we were able to travel to and from.”

      partnership w the city?

    4. The Chinese language can be a source of comfort for van passengers. But when Chinatown drivers of larger buses run afoul of the New York State Department of Transportation, language barriers—a Chinese-speaking driver, an English-speaking cop—can add to the drivers’ troubles. One state citation reads, “Driver cannot read or speak the English language sufficiently to respond to official inquiries.”

      language as double edged swored

    5. The vans can cut the transit time between these areas in half—the direct trip from Chinatown to Flushing takes about thirty-five minutes, compared to roughly an hour and ten minutes by subway—making regular commutes and social visits possible and allowing these insulated enclaves to stay connected.

      more time efficient than subway

    6. four hundred and eighty-one licensed ones.

      size of market in NY

    7. they lack service maps, posted timetables, and official stations or stop

      why hasnt anyone built this yet?

    8. n 1980, when a transit strike halted buses and subway trains throughout New York’s five boroughs, residents in some of the most marooned parts of the city started using their own cars and vans to pick people up, charging a dollar to shuttle them to their destinations. Eleven days later, the strike ended, but the cars and vans drove on, finding huge demand in neighborhoods that weren’t well served by public transit even when buses and trains were running. The drivers eventually expanded their businesses, using thirteen-seat vans to create routes in places like Flatbush, Jamaica, Far Rockaway, and downtown Brooklyn.

      30 year old industry

    1. AI will be the new mobile. Investors will ask management what their “AI strategy” is before investing and will be wary of companies that don’t have one.

      (I've been having this conversation with more and more with founders in our portfolio and those who we are considering for investment. The question is, what is a good AI strategy? Just having any? or is there an optimal AI strategy depending on the type of company? Anywhere this is debated our where best practices are being shared? )

    1. My Most Fundamental Principles

      from here till the end of Part 2 is where the most material substantive stuff is

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    1. How to set up an informational interview An informational interview is an opportunity to meet someone who works in a position or industry you’d like to work in, where you can ask them questions about their job and get the inside scoop. Never, ever directly ask for a job in an informational interview. That’s a big no-no. You can turn an informational interview into a potential job opportunity, but only if you approach it wisely. Here’s the first step of that process: The email introduction for an informational interview. By the way, the best place to get informational interviews is via your alumni association. People who went to the same college have a bond with each other, even decades later. To: Jane From: Samantha Subject: Michigan State grad — would love to chat about your work at Deloitte Hi Jane, My name is Samantha Kerritt. I’m a ’04 grad from Michigan State (I know you were a few years before me) and I came across your name on our alumni site. [TELL THEM HOW YOU CAME ACROSS THEIR NAME SO YOU DON’T SEEM LIKE A CREEP] I’d love to get your career advice for 15-20 minutes. I’m currently working at Acme Tech Company, but many of my friends work in consulting and each time they tell me how much they love their job, I get more interested. [THE FIRST SENTENCE SAYS WHAT SHE WANTS. MOST PEOPLE ARE FLATTERED THAT PEOPLE WANT/VALUE THEIR ADVICE. Most of them have told me that if I’m interested in consulting, I have to talk to someone at Deloitte. Do you think I could pick your brain on your job and what motivated you to choose Deloitte? I’d especially love to know how you made your choices after graduating from Michigan State. [THE PHRASE “PICK YOUR BRAIN” IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO ASK FOR ADVICE AND FLATTER, AND “MICHIGAN STATE” REINFORCES SHARED BOND] I can meet you for coffee or at your office…or wherever it’s convenient. I can work around you! [THE BUSY PERSON IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU. TREAT THEM ACCORDINGLY.] Would it be possible for us to meet? [A BUSY PERSON CAN SIMPLY REPLY TO THIS WITH A “YES” — PERFECT. NOTE THAT I DIDN’T ASK FOR THE TIME/LOCATION AS THAT’S TOO MUCH INFORMATION IN THE FIRST EMAIL.] Thanks, -Samantha How to ask for recommendations for people to talk to Hello John, Hope all is well. If you recall, we spoke a few months ago when I was exploring new career opportunities in information security (I was your student at the time). Thanks again for agreeing to be my reference! [REMIND THE BUSY PERSON HOW YOU KNOW EACH OTHER I was browsing the the Acme Career site the other day and the Research Scientist role caught my eye. I think it’d be perfect for me considering my work on insider threat-related projects at Current Company. [NOTE THAT THE FOCUS OF THIS EMAIL IS ASKING FOR RECOMMENDATIONS, NOT DIRECTLY ASKING FOR A JOB. JOHN UNDERSTANDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR WORK AND DOESN’T WANT TO BE PUT ON THE SPOT. IF HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE POSITION, HE WILL.] From what I remember, it sounds pretty similar to the work you do at Acme. By any chance, do you know of anyone there that you think I should chat with? I’d love to learn more about the role so I can see if it’s the right fit for me. If not, no problem — just wanted to keep you in the loop. Thanks again for all your help! Take care, Roger
    1. Led by Professor Daniela Rus of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), researchers developed an algorithm that found that 3,000 four-passenger cars could serve 98 percent of taxi demand in New York City, with an average wait-time of only 2.7 minutes.

      (how could this be used to generate more profit or lower the cost of operating so that the ride sharing business is more viable?)

    2. Transportation studies put the annual cost of congestion at $160 billion, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned.
    1. China has slapped millions of dollars worth of fines on alleged offenders for violating anti-pollution rules, according to state media.

      Worth noting that another motivation for innovation is the growing repricusions of the externalities of legacy industries and companies. This is encouraging investment in sustainable solutions and opening the door for new way business who's costs are lower becuase their impact on the environment is lower.

    1. One trend that is helping drive prices beyond the realm of affordability in places like New York and Los Angeles is an influx of foreign buyers of U.S. real estate.
    2. But this trend has put a strain on those cities' real estate markets , because new construction is often unable to keep pace with demand due to geographic constraints, or restrictions imposed by local government regulations.

      how many cities are burdended by geographic constraints but have under utiliteved land?

    3. In December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time since 2006, and a majority of the members of the Fed's rate-setting board predict there will be three more increases coming in 2017. These decisions will cause mortgage rates to rise, potentially making it more difficult for prospective homebuyers to be able to afford the home of their dreams.

      what other impact will rising rates have on affordable housing?

  5. Dec 2016
    1. You need to know whether you (and others) are following the plan, so you should establish clear benchmarks. Ideally you should have someone other than yourself objectively measure if you (and others) are doing what you planned.

      need to think through how a small team might do this

    2. However, it is critical to know each day what you need to do and have the discipline to do it . People with good work habits have to-do lists that are reasonably prioritized, and they make themselves do what needs to be done. By contrast, people with poor work habits almost randomly react to the stuff that comes at them, or they can’t bring themselves to do the things they need to do but don’t like to do (or are unable to do). There are lots of tools that can help

      some tools:

      • making todo list the night before
      • prioritizing in the morning
      • doing first things first
      • using pomodoro clock
      • eliminate distractions

      what else?

    3. It affects the changes of everything from all species to the entire solar system

      lost me here

    4. For example, communism was a system created by people with good intentions who failed to recognize that their idealistic system was inconsistent with human nature. As a result, they caused more harm than good.

      this is bias. While true in some examples, not a universal truth.

    5. Success is achieved by people who deeply understand reality and know how to use it to get what they want.

      what about the "crazy ones"?

    6. For example, the ability to fly or to send cellular phone signals imperceptibly and instantaneously around the world or any other new and beneficial developments resulted from understanding and using previously existing laws of the universe. These inventions did not come from people who were not well-grounded in reality.

      disagee here. the science and first inventions proving these things were thought of as crazy and unrealistic at first.

    7. how things really work on a material level

      physics? psychology? what else?

    8. What I wanted was to have an interesting, diverse life filled with lots of learning—and especially meaningful work and meaningful relationships.

      Another statement of Ray's goals.

    9. Your values are what you consider important, literally what you “value.” Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values.

      This doesnt specify what the "what" is in "Your values are what you consider important". Could values include things, concepts, people..?

    10. I also believe that to understand each other we have to understand each other’s principles.

      a good argument for reading "tools of titans"

    11. …ask yourself: “Is it true?”

      I've heard this in Rotary Club and elsewhere.

    12. the systematic pursuit of truth and excellence and for the rewards that accompany this pursuit.

      is this a statement of Ray's life mission or Bridgewaters? Do the principles outlined here strictly apply only to those persuing a similar goal?

    13. Every game has principles that successful players master to achieve winning results. So does life.

      wonder how much this text touches on game theory.

    14. I learned that failure is by and large due to not accepting and successfully dealing with the realities of life, and that achieving success is simply a matter of accepting and successfully dealing with all my realities.

      This includes learning from past failures on what went wrong. Also, catching things that are going bad before it's too late.

    15. Time is like a river that will take you forward into encounters with reality that will require you to make decisions. You can’t stop the movement down this river, and you can’t avoid the encounters. You can only approach these encounters in the best way possible.

      Sounds like a stoic approach to life.

    1. The researchers estimate that level of trip replacement over a month would produce approximately 1,346 fewer car trips, 82.5 fewer gas gallons, 76,470 calories burnt, and 0.73 fewer metric tons of CO2 emissions from trips to Shadyside.

      wonder how this converts to roi for the city vs the cost of installing bikeshare.

    2. Bike-share trips replaced at most about 69 car trips per day, out of 2,250 daily parking events in the neighborhood of Shadyside. This is a 2 percent decrease in parking demand (adjusted for the lost curb parking space for the installation of the bike docks) after the program’s launch in 2015.
    1. One of the crucial missing pieces in the portfolio of renewable energy sources is a clean liquid fuel that can replace gasoline and other transportation fuels.

      Is this becuase of the massive infrastructure around fuel based energy, such as gas pumps and heating fuel tanks? Does this require that the combustion (in the case of gas) be similar to what auto-engines are used to?

    2. As the adjacent crystals heat up to high temperatures, around 1,000 °C, they reëmit the energy as light, but only in the band that photovoltaic cells can capture and convert.

      would this level of heat make the system dangerous?

    1. Bullshit is much harder to detect when we want to agree with it. The first and most important step is to recognise the limits of our own cognition. We must be humble about our ability to justify our own beliefs. These are the keys to adopting a critical mindset – which is our only hope in a world so full of bullshit.

      How can people practically identify and expand the limits of thier cognition? Beliefs have the persistent habit of reinforcing themselves. It would be nice if the author had pointed to actual recourses for 'adopting a critical mindset.

    1. The most recent homeless count, conducted in January 2015, found 6,686 homeless people in the city. Seventy-one percent of people reported living in San Francisco when they became homeless, up from 61 percent in 2013. Just 10 percent said they were living outside California when they became homeless, and the remaining 19 percent were living in the state but not in the city.

      I wonder where the majority of 10% that come from out of San Francisco are from.

    1. Seneca’s answer to the question of how to live had nothing to do with becoming more productive: it was to give up the pursuit of wealth or high office, and spend your days philosophising instead.

      What world would it be if everyone spent the time philosophising? Maybe we will find out as AI replaces all of our jobs in the next century.

    2. A question for Stoics. If your not spending your days being busy or being lazy ("baking their bodies in the sun") what are you doing?