Over the past few years, crypto games like Cryptokitties and Axie Infinity have launched, climbed a steep hype cycle, then collapsed. It’s not that the founders and executives behind these companies are dumb (though that’s certainly possible); rather, they set themselves to an impossible task. First, cryptocurrency needs to be the way a game monetizes; … Continue reading Why Crypto Videogames Won’t Work
Famous journalist Matt “Vampire Squid” Taibbi recently wrote an editorial excoriating what he perceives as a trend towards journalists and their institutions adopting extreme progressive ideologies rather than focusing on reporting the truth, and attacking journalists for any deviation, however small, from the opinions they consider acceptable. While the editorial itself is interesting and worth … Continue reading Does Editorial Independence Exist?
Thought provoking question: Is Zoom 2020 like Craigslist 1997? In 1997, Craigslist was the general-purpose marketplace for everything. Fast-forward to today, and multiple massive businesses have been built around the vertical categories within Craiglist (e.g. Tinder, Zillow, Airbnb–many thanks to my friend Josh Breinlinger who pointed this out). Today, Zoom is how we handle all … Continue reading Is Zoom 2020 like Craigslist 1997?
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
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
I spent the weekend in South Beach at a bachelor party forone 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 were, … Continue reading Bachelor Parties and The Business Model of Objectification
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
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
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
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?