Video Of The Week: Nick's Shift Conference Talk

About a month ago my colleague Nick Grossman traveled to Split Croatia to attend and speak at The Shift Conference. He gave a talk about The Cycles Of Domination and Disruption. It’s a ~25min talk and it’s really good. So here it is:

#mobile#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Watching the regulatory model vs the cloud based network model will be interesting. So much disruption can happen faster if regs change. I was talking to Joel Salatin of food/farming freedom fame. Told him the best way to make change was get bigger than Uber. Then, the government can’t stop you.Think the government has more control over our lives than the corporations, and the government is no angel!

    1. William Mougayar

      well, UBER is now saying they are a “leads generation app”. I wonder what their legal bills are like. They must be fighting legal battles in more than 50 cities around the world.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Ha. Uber gets things from here to there. Core business, and a big one. That is a great example of government not being angels. Here is a great example of it:…Corporations and corporate control aren’t the problem today. Government mandated/regulated monopolies and their cronies are the problem.

        1. awaldstein

          SureReality is that Uber is breaking the law and moving what is traditionally and legally a W2 to a 1099.Reality is that this is something that needs to be broken in order for society to move forward.The law is going to have to change and it has tax dollars as its reason not to.Ain’t gonna be easy but it’s going to change cause it has to.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Uber is breaking a law set up by a government entity to benefit government entities and cronies of the government. Networks and markets are natural to humans and have been with us since the beginning of time. This is the classic case of centralized mandated bureaucracy vs network. Government needs to let the network win. Better in the short and long run for all of us.

          2. William Mougayar

            Exactly, but I would say that they are butting with the law more than breaking it. Fact is the old establishment isn’t keeping-up with technology. Old laws need to be revamped to make room for progress, innovation, freedom, choice. Technology enables progress.

          3. pointsnfigures

            My point is, why did we need a government mandated cartel to administer the people and companies that drove us around? It’s about using people’s fear to take away freedom of choice; and turning it into an income stream for government and their pals.Nick really scratches the surface at the end of his talk when he illustrates the differences between the walled gardens and the open stack of bitcoin. Bitcoin will be more disruptive to government than corporations.

          4. William Mougayar

            yes. i so want UBER and any other independent ride sharing App/Service to win. is there a city that has no regulation at all, and where UBER, Lyft, Sidecar, etc.. all of them thrive? that could be a model city, then we can point to it as a role model.

          5. awaldstein

            Fact is the law is out of date and hurtful.Fact is you are incorrect and indeed they are not correct to that law.You’vee never built a company from the ground up in the 90s in Cal and never been on the other side of a law suit about this.Or not building one now in the New York area.When a 1099 contractor who is treated like an employee forgets who they are, walks into an office and files for unemployment cause you don’t need them anymore, you had better lawyer up–and you will lose.That’s reality my friend. Not the right one but reality nonetheless.

          6. William Mougayar

            I don’t need to have done these things to have an opinion. Fact is – UBER is a very unique and mighty company. What they are doing is not related to history. They are writing the future.

          7. awaldstein

            Of course not.And I agree wholeheartedly that Uber is making the future.And I respect your opinion on most things.My point–obviously not taken–is that once you have been sued, when you are making real time decisions on how to build your team, it is advisable to be aware of the financial challenges that come from ignoring the tax revenue stream of the locality in which you work.That’s the point.

          8. William Mougayar

            OK, if this is where it’s going, I think they have a…I don’t see California closing down a favorite SV company. It would crash the markets.

          9. awaldstein

            I want them to win.Then it opens the gate to a redefined world.Better for everyone.My point is that when you look at the startups you invest in P & L, you dislike the mass tax base that salaries bring, you will really be stung when these re bolstered by legal fees and just punishing fines.

          10. William Mougayar

            “Then it opens the gate to a redefined world.”agreed. let’s hope so.

          11. awaldstein

            It’s one of these things that just seems right and is necessary.A story:Back when when people were living in walk ups downtown in industrial factory buildings the entire world below Houston Street was mostly illegal apts. Artists and homesteaders moved into industrial buildings, built apartments and cut leases with the owners. All under the table.First all illegal and just happened. Then bylaws were made to codify the illegal residences. Then laws changed.I hope and trust that it will be the same for the 1099 revolution. And it is just that–a revolution.

          12. LE

            Yup I lived through that as a kid and it happened in Old City Philly as well where my dad was a landlord to many artists.An artists lived above where my first business was located until business got so good that I needed the space and rented it.In college I brought in the two developers [1] who pretty much renovated the first industrial buildings into “lofts” in Philly.As a kid I remember artists on the roof of buildings that I could see from my Dad’s building doing various things. This was the rooftop in the industrial wholesale district. Nobody ever went up there for leisure activity but the artists did. At the time it seemed strange to all of the old timers (where old timer is my Dad who was probably younger than I am right now..)[1] Actually wow here it is: http://www.silverandharting… Note that it talks about the Sugar Refinery (the building I am talking about) they claim it was the first building in the nation (probably hyperbole I am guessing) but I wasn’t aware of the tax act of 1976A 76-unit rehabilitation of a historic sugar refinery next to Christ Church was the first property in America to be developed residentially under the 1976 Tax Reform Act, which served to help revitalize thousands of inner-city buildings throughout the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. It was the first major, mixed-use rehabilitation project in Old City and has been recognized as the catalyst for the rehabilitation and recycling of obsolete buildings into thousands of apartments in Philadelphia and other inner cities

          13. JLM

            .I am forced to dock Arnold a few points for style but he is absolutely correct. In 33 years in business, I have never seen a contested 1099 matter ever break in favor of the employer.I had a guy cutting hay in a 1,000 acre pasture by the hour who ended up getting both payroll taxes but also unemployment and overtime.The amount of money was substantial to him but nowhere what I would have had to pay in legal fees.The guy had been my handyman for decades and I gave him the job because he was unemployed and broke.I have always admired his sheer, pure chutzpah and it gave me a damn good laugh though not at the time.JLMwww.themuingsofthebigredcar…

          14. awaldstein

            I accept that i need this morning especially to sign up for finishing school.My hot button is that it is one thing to conceptualize how to change the world.It is another–after viewing the readership of this blog as mostly young entrepreneurs–to postulate around things that can drive harmful decisions.I agree–the law needs to change. I disagree that the startup at an early stage wants to test those waters by playing less than smart at a payroll level.

          15. JLM

            .There is nothing like a little experience — or a few decades — to temper the unrealistic expectations of the uninitiated.Don’t worry about charm school.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. awaldstein

            Thanks–to be clear, you need to push the boundaries to change the world.Experience and building something in NY has told me that you need to tread carefully and with full awareness when you touch the tax revenue that fuels the infrastructure.

          17. JLM

            .”If you can make it here . . . . . “JLMwww.themusingofthebigredcar…

          18. pointsnfigures

            The immigrant population of NYC is a great human example of a network, network effects, and illustrates Adam Smith. Compare and contrast NYC to Chicago-which is a walled garden.

          19. PhilipSugar

            No, I think that the comments from the “old farts” around here (I am firmly putting myself in that camp, you can or can’t) are just as valuable as the comments from the young.Its a yin and yang. Those that change things because they don’t know what might happen, and those that know what will happen and steer those that don’t around those obstacles so they don’t blow up.

          20. LE

            Those that change things because they don’t know what might happenStupidity sometimes is the mother of invention, agree.If I was better educated I could probably come up with the proper name to describe what I will offer in reply.The concept is simply “if you throw enough shit at the fan, something will stick”.It appears that young people (and their disruptive ideas) are eating the world perhaps simply because there are enough young people trying things that some of those ideas are most certainly going to work. In other words we have no data on the thousands of “Ubers” that never made it to square one despite founders with equally impressive pedigrees, intelligence or effort.After all look at the way that Fred started his career. It was by getting an MBA (sure bet when from a major school like Wharton) at the suggestion of his mother in law who (the way he tells it) pointed him in that direction. Ditto for Peter Thiel and his conventional path and Stanford.The other saying that is appropriate is “pioneers get shot in the back”. (Tempered with “may be ok to gamble if you can afford to lose” which is weighted in favor of “other people’s money” and the young with no obligations).One of the things that happens when you get older is that you see many years of cases where things worked and didn’t work. Not just stories in the papers of big wins (tempered with the occasional failures).

          21. awaldstein

            Agree and I misspoke (seems like a trend lately). I am honestly a bit thrilled every time I sign to work with an entrepreneur who reached out to me and is younger than my son.

          22. William Mougayar

            If one company is going to break that mold, it’s UBER.Read this & see if you think they have a…

          23. JLM

            .The certification of a class is a preliminary battle before the real legal issue is joined.While it is charming to suggest it is a “lead generation” app that is totally inconsistent as to how it has promoted itself as a service provider.The notion that it is somehow like eBay is silly. EBay is an ecommerce marketplace in which eBay has no interest in what goods are bought and sold while Uber is a service provider of a single service.The commonality is very obvious — every Uber driver is holding a steering wheel while providing a service to the general public on a price and collection platform over which they have no control — hell, even including tipping.Plus, let’s focus on one very important thing — this lawsuit is in the People’s Republic of California.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          24. LE

            While it is charming to suggest it is a “lead generation” appAnd in fact a company that is strictly a “lead generation app” typically would not care what happens to the leads as long as they continue to get paid for the leads. (Think of a company selling mailing lists as an extreme example since there is no tie to the person getting the direct mail and the person selling the list or “lead”).The leads just need to be “good enough” to continue to earn money for the lead collector. You could argue that if the lead quality were no good or the people buying the leads didn’t do a good job using them that is no good for the lead collector. (Further down the scale away from mailing list..) But it’s easy to see that Uber is no lead generation machine doesn’t pass Scotus “porn” test. Nice leg to try to stand on I will give them that.Uber probably needs to invent a new word or business category or concept to pass the idea off. For example “franchise” was new at some point and details something that allows certain business behaviors that couldn’t be described by an existing concept by use of “just a small business merchant” and specifically because of the need to control the “small business merchant”.One wonders (where “one” is me) why they don’t simply take some of their money and buy up some large medallion holders or cut them into the action to get them on board and to get them to stop being troublemakers.

          25. JLM

            .Uber will likely do just fine in the future.It is the present which will kick its ass.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          26. LE

            Good story about unemployment comp and an attorney (on a small scale) In the 80’s had an employee file for unemployment comp that I felt wasn’t entitled to it (don’t remember why). So a hearing is set. The day before the hearing I get a call from the employee’s attorney asking if he can get an extension and postpone the hearing. I say “yeah I guess that’s ok let me know for sure though” (or something like that) meaning after he heard from the uc office getting approval to call me back. Never heard from him so I showed up the next day for the hearing with my manager. The attorney didn’t show up and I told the “mini judge” that I had never heard back as far as whether it would be postponed. And the judge hadn’t approved it anyway it seemed because it was on his roster or whatever. The mini judge tells me he is pissed off because attorney’s always do this and they think his hearings aren’t important. So he rules against the employee and in our favor.The next day the attorney calls me in a rage asking why this happened and that he had gotten my approval and I need to contact the UC office and set things straight. I told him “maybe this is some sort of thing that happens between attorneys as a courtesy but I’m not an attorney so, to bad”. He tells me he will get me up on the stand and depose me and so on and tries to threaten me to get me to contact the mini judge and make things right. Of course that never happened. Essentially he fucked up. And he wasn’t willing to put more effort in for the employee so he probably just bullshitted his way out of that situation.

          27. awaldstein

            of coursewe are on the same side of this argument.the law is wrong. it will get changed. but the fact is that right now in the courts, they don’t stand a chance by the very letter of it.

          28. JLM

            .One would hope that if the total revenue to the public purse was equal — in after collection cost terms — that governments would be willing to discuss the subject.Not meaning they should necessarily change, but at least be willing to discuss the subject.Particularly, if the subject is couched as a “legal organization” subject like the advent of LLCs which were essentially created as a means of harnessing the power of a “C” corporate charter to the pass through conduit tax implications of a partnership while maintaining the liability protections of a corporation.You have to do a bit of tortured math but this is not quite a zero sum game when you throw in the issue of dual taxation of corporate dividends.The big win was really the limitation of liability as professional partnerships were already not subject to the dual taxation of dividends.If companies can prove that their revenue stream generates the same net taxes, after collection costs, then it becomes a legal organization issue.I rarely find myself defending the government’s position — will take a quick shower here shortly — but unless these companies take a more thoughtful approach, they are going to be destroyed.The IRS is not going to do their work for them.The IRS head, John Koskinen, is a Rhodes Scholar and a very smart guy with OMB experience. He would get this argument in a second.The spice analogy works here — a pinch of regulatory flexibility will work but the notion that the IRS is going to pull its skirt above its head — absent Congressional action — is not going to happen.Yet another example of where the revision of the Tax Code could deliver some economic stimulus.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          29. sigmaalgebra

            Seen, read, liked, copied, saved, indexed, thanks.

          30. Matt Zagaja

            In theory the lost payroll taxes for 1099 people should be recaptured in the self-employment tax but many people do not or under report. It’s much more onerous to the IRS to police 10000 individuals then 1 corporation on this matter. I do think I agree there should be some kind of third classification, however, as unemployment insurance for an uber driver might not make sense in the way it makes sense for a full time employee since the uber driver generally decides if they work or not (unless they are “fired” but in that case most people don’t qualify for unemployment).

          31. awaldstein

            Logical thinking.I just don’t think those who aren’t close to the ground realize how huge a change this is going to be for how cities support themselves.You are correct, it is broken though for certain.

          32. Rob Larson

            I disagree that Uber is breaking this law, despite the recent court ruling. I just took a ride home from the airport from a driver who uses both uber and lyft, using 2 different phones. Swaps back and forth to take whatever rides are most advantageous to him. When you add in the fact that he has 100Γ· control over his schedule and how many hours he works a week, how can you conclude he is an hourly employee of either company? Seems to me the very definition of a 1099. Maybe other drivers don’t swap back and forth currently, but they have the option to do so. And in the future I think more increasingly will.

        2. LE

          Government mandated/regulated monopolies and their cronies are the problem.Blanket statement that may be true in some cases but not in all cases. Government regulated monopolies also prevent a race to the bottom in pricing which creates a situation where nobody can earn a living.We even had that for some time in the airline industry which typically never made any money because of (gasp) to many market participants. [1][1] Which is funny because when the evening news talks about the airlines they talk about people being dinged for baggage charges “oh there they go again!!” and things that travelers never had to pay for before. And recently, how airlines, even though they are profitable now, still have (imagine) those extra charges and are actually making money!!!! [2] My point? Who the fuck needs to feel sorry for people who apparently are well off enough [3] to take a trip and pay for a hotel (and get paid vacation perhaps) but might have to pay a few bucks in charges to an airline for bags, meal or preferred seating! Who gives a shit! [4][2] Anchors at TV stations make millions by the way. Networks charge top dollar for what they do and support many families.[3] As opposed to people who can’t in this country or people who live in those 3rd world countries with real problems.[4] Fedex driver gasped when I told him what I paid for an oil change in my car. Told me he and his buddies change their own oil and that it’s pretty easy. That I should try that some time. While it is “expensive” I’m glad that I work hard in a way that I can afford to pay that and don’t feel taken advantage of at all. Not only that but the dealership employees and mechanics get to share in my good fortune and hard work as well. So you see not only Charlie is helping out in the world.

          1. pointsnfigures

            We disagree. The “race to the bottom” is a fallacy. There is a market for labor. People are almost always better off when private companies run things. Nose around in here. http://research.chicagoboot

          2. Matt Zagaja

            Reminds me of how a lot of friends will often illegally park or spend a lot of time trying to find a cheap meter or free street space. When I go into the city I always just park in a garage. Huge waste of time and effort to try and parallel park (which I’m poor at) and find or fight for a spot that could be far from my destination. Plus most garages are staffed so I worry less about smash and grab type activity.I have no problem with fees at all, but I also think it is false advertising when there is no way to avoid a fee. For example a baggage fee is avoidable if you don’t check your bag, but a 9-11 security fee can’t be removed and is clearly just a ploy to remove part of the price from the advertised ticket to make it seem lower than it really is. I am perfectly ok with people buying things at premium prices (drinks, airport lounge access, WiFi) to subsidize my cheapness.

          3. LE

            to try and parallel parkNot to mention the cost of bumper damage potentially…

      2. David Feldt

        That’s what the $4+ billion of VC is for πŸ™‚

      3. Matt A. Myers

        They’ve clearly shown a desire to lead towards driverless cars. They’re going to get shit on by drivers once they start to get closer to this, especially without proper social structures in place to provide for survival and quality of life – and then I can see government regulation coming into place to highly tax or limit what profits they can make. I hope they’re enjoying their pie while they get to eat it.

      4. LE

        Even at discounted rates I am sure that the billing is outrageous and literally a total rape.I am working on a few deals right now where they have progressed to the “involve the lawyers for the contract phase”. On one deal I tallied up about 26 emails in one single day (that’s not even a record by the way) in conversations between myself, the seller, the buyer, the attorney going back and forth. [1] I don’t charge for emails but the attorney most certainly does.I recently did some work for an attorney who didn’t even ask me in advance what I would charge for the advice. He just said “client is paying so whatever it is is fine”. Now that can be good or bad by the way. [2][1] The attorney wasn’t involved in the conversations with the seller which is good. That way the client saves considerable money (at my expense of time which I don’t charge for..)[2] Most likely nobody will be able to figure out the theory of why it is actually bad to not state a price in advance for work vs. “whatever it is”. But that is what I have discovered is typically the case..

        1. PhilipSugar

          Wait till you try and collect that bill from the attorney. Get back to me on that.It is what I call asymmetric billing. The attorney or consultant wants to spend as much time as they can. You just want a fixed rate. Gets very ugly quickly.

          1. LE

            Get back to me on that.I will guarantee you 100% that I will collect that money from the attorney.As it happens back in college and high school I did legal photography for attorneys and ran into that problem way back then. PI attorneys with cash flow problems. I will simply not have a problem with this attorney however your point is still valid but not in this particular case.

          2. LE

            The attorney or consultant wants to spend as much time as they can.I am not sure that is always the case although it may seem so. I don’t bill by the hour [1] and I spend a tremendous amount of time just because I want to do a good job. [3] Therefore I can’t believe that there aren’t attorneys who are the same (that’s obvious, right?). Pride of work and all of that (plus to me it’s fun which is actually why I do mostly..) Agree in firms there is a billing motivation I am not naive “quota” and all of that. Agree. But not everyone.[1] The reason that I don’t bill by the hour (or email etc.) is not because I couldn’t do so. It’s because I don’t want the customer/client to feel exactly what you are thinking (and I don’t fault anyone for that I am a skeptic obviously of the highest order of the cloth). The truth is replying to emails and writing replies does take time and interrupts you from the flow of what else you are doing. Especially if you take the time to do it intelligently. [2][2] Plus what I find is that people who are writing from mobile devices or who can’t type well tend to write short ambiguous questions which make you have to cover more bases in trying to figure out what they really want to know. And that takes more time and effort to reply.[3] I have this great handyman that I recently found that charges way to little but really takes pride in what he does. He works that way because (as the Steve Job story goes about the fence) because he knows what good is and feels uncomfortable not doing a good job. Not because he makes more money doing so. And not even because the person hiring him even knows the difference. When I find a guy like that I always let him know that I appreciate and know what he is doing and spend the time to talk to him so he feels as if his effort is not spent in vain. (And that way I also get priority treatment from him). I am sure you do the same obviously.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Agreed. I had my first project go totally sideways. It is ending up at the DA’s office.I had a guy whose crew did a great job painting my house.We were doing landscaping work, he was a GC and said he could do the job. Showed up with a huge excavator. I told him it was too wet, and that was too big.I left for a business trip and he literally buried it in my backyard. Nearly killed somebody. The town freaked out, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) freaked out.Crew of Mennonites coming to cleanup the mess.

          4. LE

            Price quality, speed, intelligence, pick any two, eh?On my bathroom project right now the electrical sub (suggested by the GC) [2] was tied up and he sent another guy (new employee) who worked for him who I immediately didn’t like (seemed like he was on drugs and he wore those weird circle earrings (call me biased) I guess).He literally fell through the ceiling 2 times ( enough to need a big patch same spot two times!) and then broke a wall fishing a wire. So I told the GC to get me someone else. Figuring his loss of balance was due to either legal or illegal drugs. Then the GC’s own guy falls through another spot in the hallway. Which means we have to paint that entirely over again. He will pay for it but it means workman in the house for a longer time that is the issue, not the money so much.All along I am still cool with the GC (despite other issues) and even will give him more work. He keeps apologizing as if I am going to rip him a third one (which I am not). I am cool with him because if he feels that “Daddy doesn’t love him anymore” he won’t have the motivation to complete the job on a timely basis and do good work feeling perhaps “I have already lost this client”. [1][1] I learned that when I was in the printing business. Some customers would get really upset and you knew you would never get more work from them so you might as well cut your losses and prioritize happy customers.[2] Analogy is toner for copiers. If you don’t get the toner that the copier company suggests the repair guy blames the toner and won’t fix the machine up to spec (this is an 80’s lesson not relevant today).

      5. BillMcNeely

        Why that are losing a half a billion a year?

        1. William Mougayar

          lawyer fees, and expansion costs?

        2. kidmercury

          do you know where it has been reported they are losing half a billion a year?i’m very skeptical of their business model, it seems like they are hoping network effects unlocks something great. i doubt the cab ride business model alone can get them to meaningful profits, and i’d really like to see what types of products they can come up with that will have the kind of revenue and profit potential that is needed.

          1. JamesHRH

            Uber investment is based on simple thesis, I bet:Uber is the app that brings things to you.

    2. LE

      Told him the best way to make change was get bigger than Uber.A bit like telling a school kid that the best way to get a hot looking girl is to “become high school quarterback”.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        You can’t change physical characteristics. Networks can grow and change

        1. LE

          My point was isn’t it kind of obvious on the face of it that becoming large gives you power and access that you don’t have when you are small? Just like being Steven Spielberg helps with getting your phone calls returns or having meetings set up?

          1. pointsnfigures

            the point is networks can create lots of large. when it’s centralized or walled gardens, there is less opportunity. using your example, in the old movie studio model there were a few steven spielbergs. in a kickstarter model, there are a lot more.

    3. JLM

      .I agree more with you than you do with yourself but let’s inject a bit of reality here — this administration loves issuing regs as a means of legislating outcomes that they cannot ever expect to get through the Congress.They love regulation. They adore regulation. They do not even follow the rules themselves when issuing the regulations. The supposed big win on immigration down in Brownsville, is, in reality, based almost solely upon the administration’s failure to follow the rules pertaining to promulgating regulations.It is not on the substance. It is on the style.They are not going to eliminate regulation in any form. Ever.They do not posses that

  2. William Mougayar

    Great talk and slightly varied from the one at the OuiShare Fest.Whoever can pinpoint the macro elements of the future, and tie it back to the micro realities will be a winner. The tough part is in the transitioning, i.e. how do we get there, and what is the resistance level for change.

    1. Nick Grossman

      Yes exactly. The ouisharefest talk was more about that last point. It’s one thing to see the opportunity and another to figure out how to get to the solution

  3. JimHirshfield

    Nice talk by Nick.

    1. Nick Grossman

      Thanks jim

    1. Rob Larson


  4. sigmaalgebra

    To respond to Nick’s talk and to mix up some metaphors, it’s a long way down from (A) an overview at 50,000 feet up and (B) the ground where the rubber meets the road.From 50,000 feet up, it’s really tough to get a useful view of something specific and important on the ground. With just something specific on the ground, it can be really tough to get a useful overview from 50,000 feet up.In particular, it’s tough to navigate effectively on the ground from just an overview from 50,000.For someone planning to build something new on the ground, a picture from 50,000 feet up can be useful but can’t serve as a blueprint of the new thing on the ground.There are (1) a lot of fads and short term trends and (2) a few solid, lasting ideas, businesses, etc., and separating (1) and (2) beforehand is challenging but important.For finding future cases of (2), that is, predicting, history shows only a few but at least one solid approach: Stand on something new and powerful in science. For business success, also have the new work be valuable and difficult to duplicate or equal.E.g., decades or centuries of chasing fads about snake oil, etc. did nothing good, and then we got penicillin.Each day we encounter (i) a huge river of data, ideas, and efforts. But for trying to understand the future, what we care about are (ii) the data, ideas, and efforts that will be exceptional and necessarily very rare. It’s nearly hopeless to predict (ii) just from a superficial view or extrapolation of (i). Instead, we need better ways.Clearly we can’t hope to improve our chances of winning a (well designed) lottery by trying to learn from lottery winners.Instead, luck does exist. Then there is a trap: E.g., on a golf course, we can pick a par 3 hole and look at the golfers who made a hole in one. We want to study them to learn how to play better golf, right? Maybe not! There are so many more golfers with just routine skills than high skills that nearly everyone who makes a hole in one has just routine skills but got lucky. Only a tiny fraction of the players who made a hole in one did so because of really high skills. So, the ones someone would want to learn from are only a tiny fraction of all those who made a hole in one, and having made a hole in one by itself is not very good evidence.For business objectives lower and closer to the present, one approach is just to be opportunistic, that is, be an entrepreneurial version of a hunter-gather.

  5. Richard

    Follow the money. Gov had a nice run in old economy by withholding taxes. Seems only a matter of time before they tap into Uber et al. to change the withholdings practices of the 1099 worker.

    1. JLM

      .Of course, you are right.I agree more with you than you do with yourself.The essential difference between the 1099 and direct employee is the payment of payroll taxes (including the employer portion of payroll taxes) and the collection of income taxes.They are both identical income streams to the gov’t.The gov’t doesn’t want to hunt down 160K drivers in California, they want a monthly check from Uber.Who would not?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. pointsnfigures

        If Cali embraced a networked model to collect taxes via bitcoin, might be cheaper and easier and sustaining compared to the way they do it now! But they don’t think like that-99.999% of politicians don’t think like that.

        1. Richard

          Sales tax as well.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          US Taxes have to be collected in USD, which is part of what gives US currency its intrinsic value in the first place.

  6. Richard

    Dear incumbants:You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.

  7. Vasudev Ram

    >It’s a ~25min talk and it’s really goodInteresting talk. I don’t understand all the points he talked about, but did get some, and got the general flow. Got to say he has very good command and control (*) over his words and delivery.(*) Pun intended.

  8. William Mougayar

    i know that common friend πŸ™‚

  9. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    The necessity of sounding smart is a burden you don’t need to carry, because it is easier to re-design a life than re-architect anything !

  10. JLM

    .He is, indeed, common.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  11. William Mougayar

    Common, but very unique πŸ˜‰

  12. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    You may as well go whole hog and say – It was an excellent piece of re-buildering since an architect is already he noun of the verb to master-build (from arche top or chief tecton – builder)I prefer a brilliant piece of re-construction or re-design and rather disdain clumsy and unwarranted regramatification – ooops ?