Just own the damn robots.

We could be in the midst of the first fear-based investment bubble in American history, with the masses buying in not out of avarice, but from a mentality of abject terror. Robots, software and automation, owned by Capital, are notching new victories over Labor at an ever accelerating rate. It’s gone parabolic in recent years – every industry, every region of the country, and all over the world. It’s thrilling to be a part of if you’re an owner of the robots, the software and the automation. If you’re a part of the capital side of that equation.

Source:

http://thereformedbroker.com/2017/10/16/just-own-the-damn-robots/

If I’d Known What We Were Starting – Ray Dillinger

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/id-known-what-we-were-starting-ray-dillinger/

And the Trustless nature of Bitcoin was the main thing that convinced me Satoshi wasn’t scamming. He built a highway with no toll bridge. People could use Bitcoin without creating any obligation to pay him anything ever. He wasn’t selling coins, he was giving them away for solving hashes. He reserved nothing for himself.

He wasn’t trying to line his own pockets at the expense of others. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone so completely uninterested in personal wealth. You know the old saw about being able to get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit? Satoshi doesn’t want the credit. Two years later he walked away and left the pseudonym behind. And hard as this may be to believe, it looks like he doesn’t even want to be paid for it. As far as we can tell he mined approximately a million Bitcoins and has never sold a single one of them.

ZepplinOS Draft White Paper Released

Interesting new project from a thoughtful group in the crypto space

https://blog.zeppelin.solutions/introducing-zeppelinos-whitepapers-first-draft-a66b67319cef

https://zeppelinos.org/data/zeppelinOS_Whitepaper_Draft.pdf

The blockchain ecosystem has seen an explosion in new protocols recently. These protocols promise to provide everything from traditional transfer of value to decentralized file storage. This is an exciting time as the blockchain industry can redesign and rebuild much of the traditional internet infrastructure. We have an opportunity to make it faster, easier and safer to deploy complex applications online, in a decentralized environment.

However, the industry has been plagued by security breaches and it is becoming clear that while the promise of blockchain technology is phenomenal, we need to approach this technology with caution. At the same time we want to make this technology as accessible as possible, fueling innovation and accelerating the move to a decentralized, open economy.

As an answer to these problems and opportunities, we propose zeppelinOS, an operating system for decentralized applications. zeppelinOS allows developers to easily build secure applications that use and combine existing protocols. zeppelinOS is made up of five distinct components: the kernel, the protocol marketplace, state channels, the scheduler and off-chain tools. We also propose a new token ZEP to fuel the zeppelinOS ecosystem. The token allows end users to seamlessly interact with zeppelinOS applications, is used as the primary governance mechanism for kernel upgrades and creates liquidity across protocols in the marketplace.

Bitcoin’s Academic Pedigree

http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=3136559

This article challenges that view by showing that nearly all of the technical components of bitcoin originated in the academic literature of the 1980s and ’90s (see figure 1). This is not to diminish Nakamoto’s achievement but to point out that he stood on the shoulders of giants. Indeed, by tracing the origins of the ideas in bitcoin, we can zero in on Nakamoto’s true leap of insight—the specific, complex way in which the underlying components are put together. This helps explain why bitcoin took so long to be invented. Readers already familiar with how bitcoin works may gain a deeper understanding from this historical presentation.

Roku Files S-1

Interesting read for hardware startups.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1428439/000119312517275689/d403225ds1.htm

Some highlights:

15.1m active users (increasing each quarter)
3.5 billion hours of content streamed (increasing each quarter)
$11.22 average revenue per user (increasing each quarter)

293m in device revenue in 2016 (15% gross margin)
104m of platform revenue in 2016 (73% gross margin)

269m of device revenue in 2015 (17 gross margin)
49.8m of platform revenue in 2015 (82% gross margin)

$43m negative loss from operations in 2016
$37m negative loss from operations in 2015

Platform revenue is from:

Advertising sales, subscription and transaction revenue share, sales of branded channel buttons on remote controls and licensing arrangements with TV brands and service operators

Time to Change Your Investment Model

Interesting analysis of how valuing of public companies is changing with an increased focus on intangible assets and decreased focus on earnings

http://www.cfapubs.org/doi/pdf/10.2469/faj.v73.n4.4

We demonstrate empirically that the gains from predicting corporate earnings, or consensus hits and misses—an activity at the core of most investment methodologies—have been shrinking fast over the past 30 years. We identify the main reasons for this loss of earnings relevance and propose an improved alternative to current investment methodologies, one that focuses on the “strategic assets” of the enterprise and their contribution to maintaining the company’s competitive edge.

The Fifth Protocol (2014)

Cryptocurrencies are an emergent property of the Internet – almost a fifth protocol in the Internet suite. If Satoshi Nakomoto did not exist, it would still be necessary to invent them. Someday, they will be used by the machines in our network, on our desk, in our garage, and in our pocket to exchange value and achieve consensus at blinding speeds, anonymously, and at minimal cost.

Source: https://startupboy.com/2014/04/01/the-fifth-protocol/

Bill Janeway on Productive Bubbles (2015)

In a bubble you stop worrying about whether there’s gonna be more money behind you. The coordination failure through time is eliminated. That’s the functional role that bubbles can play at the frontier of the innovation economy. And this is simply a-a follow on to suggest theoretically that you should expect to see in bubble conditions riskier start-ups, further out crazier ideas, ones that might require so much money to get going. “Geez we’re gonna start a new automobile company. From scratch?” That only under something resembling bubble conditions would anybody take it seriously. And then Nanda and Rhodes-Kropf went out and actually looked at the data and what they found was that going back now 15 years start-ups that were founded during the dotcom, telecom, internet bubble at the end of the 90’s had a, a bimodal distribution. It wasn’t a normal distribution. More of them failed completely. But those that succeeded, succeeded bigger. There was an actual empirical demonstration of the phenomenon of financing risk that they talked about and the coordination failure that a bubble solves.

Source: Bill Janeway on Productive Bubbles 

Data Sources for Tokens + Blockchains

One is Token Filings from William Mougayar (who run the Token Summit)

http://startupmanagement.org/2017/07/20/introducing-token-filings-a-transparency-directory-for-icos-and-token-sales/

Second is Coindexter from Jonathan Libov (who was previously at USV)

http://whoo.ps/2017/07/19/hello-coindexter

Token Filings is more offering facts + recent news (think SEC Edgar) while Coindexter is more focused on primary research + commentary.

SEC Issues Investigative Report Concluding DAO Tokens Were Securities

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-131

The SEC’s Report stems from an inquiry that the agency’s Enforcement Division launched into whether The DAO and associated entities and individuals violated federal securities laws with unregistered offers and sales of DAO Tokens in exchange for “Ether,” a virtual currency. The DAO has been described as a “crowdfunding contract” but it would not have met the requirements of the Regulation Crowdfunding exemption because, among other things, it was not a broker-dealer or a funding portal registered with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

This opinion blog post does a good job discussing the implications of this particular enforcement language:

https://www.inc.com/brian-d-evans/sec-report-about-the-dao-ico-being-a-security-is-g.html

As the report goes on, they continue to explain that ICOs that are offering investments must register with the SEC. However, they also point out that certain exemptions may apply. In some cases, if a token is not a security, but instead has an actual utility, then the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) may not have to register with the SEC since that would not necessarily be considered an “investment” or security. They have not released detailed explanations of exactly what would or wouldn’t be considered a security, but only commented on The Dao.