The Web is Fundamentally Transformative

Oct 30 2010

Arguing from First Principles, a post Brad wrote for USV’s site in January 2009, is one of the few posts that I reread regularly.

While the post lays out USV’s investment strategy, it also provides a general framework for how to think of the change being ushered in by the web.

  • the economy is defined by scarcity in resources, production, and distribution
  • the web is fundamentally transformative, with a raw material (data) that costs little to produce, replicate, and distribute
  • the first markets to fall are those with fewer gatekeepers who have a vested interest in the current market’s structure

“The best internet based businesses radically restructure markets. … It makes perfect sense that information markets will be the first to be disrupted by the web, but media is not the only market where services can be delivered as bits over the web. Banking, education, healthcare, and government will also be fundamentally changed.”

If you are a player within one of the markets Brad lists above, I would be thinking deeply about how to embrace the transformative power of the web. Because, as Google’s Eric Schmidt famously wrote, “Don’t bet against the internet.”

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The Evolving Nature of Technology Adoption

Sep 15 2008

I’m speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo that is being held in NYC this week. My session is in the strategy stream and is titled “The Real, Long-lasting (and Negative) Impact of Web 2.0 on Technology Adoption.”

There are three pieces to the session: web 2.0 trends that have impacted technology adoption; the impact of those trends; and finally, ways to adapt and succeed in this new world.

Here’s some exploratory thoughts on the impact of web 2.0 trends on technology adoption. I’ll post ways to adapt and succeed in this new world following the conference.

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Sept 11

Sep 11 2008

7 years ago I was sitting in my apartment in a small town at the tip of Lake Ontario with housemates and friends.

Like everyone that day we were glued to the television, watching the news in disbelief. It was the second day of second year and I’ll never forget the confusion that was emanating from everyone.

7 years later I stepped out of my apartment on the evening of Sept 10th and snapped this photo:


I’ve always been aware of how quickly the world changes. But in the past two years I’ve learned to deeply appreciate that life unfolds. It’s important that we welcome and accept the evolving nature of our lives.

Change is one common element that we all share.

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Summer in NYC

Jul 28 2008

Summer in NYC is wonderful. The streets are buzzing at all times of the day with an infectious energy that’s missing in the winter. The parks are filled with active people, the subways are hot, and cafes and restaurants are lively.

And in the evening there’s nothing better than relaxing on a patio while sipping a beer as the sun dips over the horizon.

I’ve tried to enjoy all that the city offers in the summer but I’ve also had a busy travel schedule (work and pleasure). There have been multiple trips to SF, a trip to Chicago, Ottawa, and Australia. It’s been a remarkable few months.

The past few months have also been remarkable with respect to building the business. There are a bunch of things to share, not all of them here, not all of them now.

I’m immensely proud of what we’re building. If you want to participate in the alpha, just drop me a note.

There are also a few posts (and excellent discussions) on our site that may be of interest to you:

PS, I now have my life savings invested into kiva 😉

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TechCocktail Conference in Chicago

May 11 2008


On Thursday, May 29th in Chicago some of the biggest brains in technology are congregating at the first TechCocktail Conference to teach, learn, and converse.

Eric Olson and Frank Gruber have organized what’s going to be an incredible event. Take a look at the speakers list: successful entrepreneurs, well-known VCs, and more. Brilliant minds all of them.

There’s a diverse number of topics covered. If you’re interested in the web, tech, and entrepreneurship it’s bound to be an incredible day. And it’s inexpensive. It would be hard to find a better value for the insight that you’ll gain. That’s a testament to Eric and Frank’s vision for the conference and the respect they have in the industry.

I’m honoured to share that I’ll be speaking at the conference.

The topic is Understanding the Semantic Web and I’ll be providing insight and knowledge on the topic and covering what you need to know about the emerging market.

Register now and enter the following promo code to save 10%: techcocktailer.

If you’re heading to the conference drop me a note, I’ll buy you a beer.

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