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» Entrepreneurship 101 from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Ross Mayfield's post on Venture Capital blogs reminds me of a few of my favorite entrepreneurship blog posts... The Torturous World of Powerpoint by Bradley Feld -- what to include in a startup pitch You Are Only A First Time [Read More]

» links for 2005-02-22 from A Whole Lotta Nothing
glarkware :: paris made me change my number heh. I love t-shirts as meme-of-the-moment products (categories: tshirts wishlist memes) Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled: Superhacker and Phoneboy Adam is blogging up a storm, pulling half a dozen ... [Read More]

» http://WWW.positionrelative.com/quicklinks/archives/2005_02.php#000392 from quicklinks
Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled: Superhacker and Phoneboy... [Read More]

» Superhacker And Phoneboy from The 13th Colony
Is the advice over on Relax, You can read the 1st hand experiences of some one who has been there and done it. There is a huge interview as well with lots of different people from the industry well, with gerate advice for new startups. [Read More]

» good stuff from Mesh Sandbox
This is a good look at what entrepreneurs face today, especially technology startups. It's so interesting to see the same memes floating around in little groups. Who needs social networking software - all I need to do is read my feeds daily and I usual... [Read More]

» links for 2005-03-02 from track27
Thompson’s suicide not an impulse, friend says HST wants his ashes fired out of a cannon. Classic. (categories: huntersthompson suicide funeral) Condoleezza Rice's Commanding Clothes These boots are made for diplomacy, bitch. (categories: condoleeza... [Read More]

» Stop Flying Sole: Get A Partner from Business Opportunities Weblog
I've been thinking about finding the perfect business partner recently. When you're looking for a partner, you don't want a clone of yourself, rather you want someone that compliments your strengths, makes up for your weaknesses and can offer a... [Read More]

» Superhacker and Phoneboy from Bibi's box
Adam Rifkin has a new great post with threats and tips about management. As usual has some fun parts and it's one of those cool things to read, even when you are not an entrepreneur. Go read the Superhacker and Phoneboy. My favourite part there are tho... [Read More]

» Quit Flying Solo from rethink(IP)
This post [thanks Doug] is for those of you I met last week at BlawgerConnect, TechShow and LexThink.  If I had to post a list of the most inspiring things I read last year, this would be on that list: ... [Read More]

» 2005 is a Blur from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Joyce Park let out several bellows of laughter as she hopped on a plane to Chicago, thinking about the questions Jeremy Zawodny and Tim Mayer are going to pelt me with. You see, I agreed to do their PowerSource WebmasterRadio.fm [Read More]

» Wanted: DHTML, PHP, Python, and even (um) Java talent from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Wow, Silicon Valley has been so quiet the last 48 hours. John Battelle, Om Malik, Silicon Beat, and Jeremy Zawodny have taken much-needed breaks after an exemplary year, and even the tireless Michael Arrington has slowed his posting down to [Read More]

» Wanted: DHTML, PHP, Python, and even (um) Java talent from Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled
Wow, Silicon Valley has been so quiet the last 48 hours. John Battelle, Om Malik, Silicon Beat, and Jeremy Zawodny have taken much-needed breaks after an exemplary year, and even the tireless Michael Arrington has slowed his posting down to [Read More]

Comments

Bill Mitchell

This is a great distinction that prevails in all kinds of startups, from web services to medical practices.

The only exception I can think of is fund management. The few hedge funds that perform well are typically dominated by solo superhackers -- intuitive bookish types. Three features of the business allow this to work: first, there are enormous economies of scale, i.e. you can manage a billion dollars without having to run a large organization; second, funds "sell themselves" based on audited historical returns; and third, there's a disconnect between customer desire and reality. Everyone wants high, consistent, short-term, index-relative returns. Such products basically don't exist, so the phoneboy's appreciation of customer taste pushes the team toward snake oil, usually in the form of closet indexing (http://www.fundscope.com/closet.htm). As a result, the great funds usually take on new assets slowly over long periods, without phoneboys, employing long-term-oriented, unusual strategies, and relying on nothing but past performance to sell new investors.

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Music

Reading

  • John Battelle: The Search

    John Battelle: The Search
    My favorite book of 2005. Period.


    (*****)

  • Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    "Just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. A correlation simply means that a relationship exists between two factors -- let's call them X and Y -- but it tells you nothing about the direction of that relationship. It's possible that X causes Y; it's also possible that Y causes X; and it may be that X and Y are both being caused by some other factor, Z.

    Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. The conventional wisdom is often wrong. Dramatic effects often have distant, even subtle, causes. Experts use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so." (*****)

  • Malcolm Gladwell: Blink

    Malcolm Gladwell: Blink
    A book of anecdotes about the power of thinking without thinking; this book is a more interesting read than Gladwell's previous, The Tipping Point.

    New York Times: "Gottman believes that each relationship has a DNA, or an essential nature. It's possible to take a very thin slice of that relationship, grasp its fundamental pattern and make a decent prediction of its destiny. Gladwell says we are thin-slicing all the time -- when we go on a date, meet a prospective employee, judge any situation. We take a small portion of a person or problem and extrapolate amazingly well about the whole."

    David Brooks, who wrote that review, adds: "Isn't it as possible that the backstage part of the brain might be more like a personality, some unique and nontechnological essence that cannot be adequately generalized about by scientists in white coats with clipboards?" (*****)

  • Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters

    Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters
    I don't agree with some parts of this book, but I truly loved reading it, and it really made me think. I referenced it in my weblications and superhacker and phoneboy posts. Favorite chapter is How to Make Wealth. (Thanks, Ev.) (*****)

  • Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software

    Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software
    Joel is really good at wielding "diverse and occasionally related matters of interest to software developers, designers, and managers, and those who, whether by good fotune or ill luck, work with them in some capacity."

    Joel on Software embodies the principle of "Welcome to management! Guess what? Managing software projects has nothing at all to do with programming." This book, a compendium of the website's wisdom, is useful for everyone from team leads estimating schedules to software CEOs developing competitive strategy. (*****)

  • Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years

    Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years
    Bruce wrote this book to come to terms with seven novel aspects of the twenty-first century, situations that are novel to that epoch and no other. It's about future possibilities.

    "This is the future as it is felt and understood: via human experience... The years to come are not merely imaginary. They are history that hasn't happened yet. People will be born into these coming years, grow to maturity in them, struggle with their issues, personify those years, and bear them in their flesh. The future will be lived." Here here, well-spoken, Bruce. (*****)

  • The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca

    The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca
    "Science has extended life, conquered disease, and offered new sexual and commercial freedoms through its rituals of discovery, but many unsolved problems remain...

    If support for science falters and if the American public loses interest in it, such apathy may foster an age in which scientific elites ignore the public will and global imperatives." (*****)

  • Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

    Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
    I had the pleasure recently of meeting Amory Lovins and hearing him talk about Twenty Hydrogen Myths and the design of hypercar. (He also talked about Bonobos... wow.) I'm a convert to the way of thinking espoused in Natural Capitalism. I used to be cynical about the future, but Amory's work has made me a believer that many great things are about to come. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. (*****)

  • Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters

    Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters
    In hilarious prose, this book catalogs lots of stoopid high-tech marketing decisions. It offers clear, detailed analysis of many a marketing mishap, with what happened, why, and how to avoid such stupidity. Might just be the best. book. ever... (*****)

  • Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

    Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
    A book exposing the pitfalls of crony capitalism, from corrupt corporations straight up to the executive branch of our government. Krugman is nonpartisan -- what he exposes is foolish short-term thinking on the part of recent United States policies. The patriotic thing to do, he advises, is to fix these economic problems now before they become much harder to solve.

  • Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design

    Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design
    "Design can be easy and difficult at the same time, but in the end, it is mostly difficult." (*****)

  • Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound

    Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound
    One of my favorite books of the past few years. Xander is a master storyteller. (*****)

  • Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations

    Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations
    How to make every conversation count. One of my favorite books of the last decade. (*****)

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