The Simple Problem With WeWork

During the rise of WeWork, I’ve had many friends dismiss the company as an unprofitable house of cards. I’ve defended the company, arguing that WeWork has a simple but brilliant model that gives it a huge advantage over conventional office space, which I summarize as follows: Convince people to accept 50% as much square footage … Continue reading The Simple Problem With WeWork

The Tragic Death of Blogging

I come not to praise blogging, but to bury it. Blogging is dying a tragic death, killed off by the inexorable and irresistible force of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. When blogging first emerged, it promised a better way to consume content.  For avid readers like me, it was a dream come true.  Finally, people could … Continue reading The Tragic Death of Blogging

Bachelor Parties and The Business Model of Objectification

I spent the weekend in South Beach at a bachelor party for one of my HBS classmates.  It’s hard for me to count the number of people who, when notified of these plans, either A) noted that I wasn’t the bachelor party type, or B) commented, “Wow, that sounds just like ‘The Hangover.’” My responses … Continue reading Bachelor Parties and The Business Model of Objectification

Fungible Work Will Always Become Low-Paid Work

Many advocates of the sharing economy love to extoll its ability to enable a new kind of work.  The dream is that rather than slaving away at 9-to-5 jobs, people can earn a living by driving for Uber fares, completing TaskRabbit gigs, making Diner Dash deliveries, and who knows what else. There’s no doubt that … Continue reading Fungible Work Will Always Become Low-Paid Work

The Yeh Family East Coast Vacation

Each year, we take the family on the road to explore America.  Some of our past trips have included driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, and visiting all the museums at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. This year, Alisha had the opportunity to take a two-month sabbatical, which allowed us to take a longer (and … Continue reading The Yeh Family East Coast Vacation

What Entrepreneurs Should Learn From WhatsApp

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion has dominated all news in Silicon Valley for the past 48 hours.  Yesterday, I was at a urinal, and a group of people asked me what I thought.  Most of the discussion seems to be around whether Mark Zuckerberg was crazy to pay so much for a relatively … Continue reading What Entrepreneurs Should Learn From WhatsApp

Do You Have A Relationship With Your Users?

I was fascinated by a recent report that Upworthy, Elite Daily, and Distractify–buzz-based content repurposers whose “viral” headlines have plagued my Facebook feed–had seen their traffic drop by 50% after Facebook changed its news feed algorithm: http://read.bi/1gmjx5u The rapid decline of these previous “hot” startups illustrates a basic principle of business.  You have to ask … Continue reading Do You Have A Relationship With Your Users?

Have We Reached Peak Headline?

Headlines have become more and more important because of social media. Once upon a time, headlines were critical because they helped persuade news stand passers-by to buy newspapers. Now of course, most people are likely to ask, “What’s a news stand?  What’s a newspaper?” Nonetheless, the importance of headlines remains.  The headline is what convinces … Continue reading Have We Reached Peak Headline?

The Silicon Valley Luxury Trap

I’m torn about what to write about IfOnly, a new service I ran across last night: http://www.ifonly.com/ IfOnly is an incredibly cool service.  It allows you to purchase unique experiences like a group swim clinic for up to 10 of your friends with Olympic champion and TV broadcaster Summer Sanders–a mere $8,000. I immediately looked … Continue reading The Silicon Valley Luxury Trap

Do Venture Capital “Platforms” Make Sense?

One of the biggest VC trends in the past half-decade has been the move towards what people are now calling “platforms.”  While the details vary by firm, the common thread is moving from the classic VC model (a small number of General Partners who make investment decisions, market the firm, and help build companies) to … Continue reading Do Venture Capital “Platforms” Make Sense?