msg
Yesterday at Brooklyn Beta, Elle Luna gave a talk based on the manifesto she wrote called The Crossroads of Should & Must.
It resonated with lots of people in the room and it made others uncomfortable. Uncomfortable about their privilege. Their privilege to decide what they want for their life.
Having the ability to choose what you want can be difficult. What if you dont know what you want? What if you choose something and then you realize don’t want it anymore.
Elle has a great technique for recording what she wants. She will write her wants, whether they be small wants or big wants.
I’ve adopted this practice in my own home, since in the past I’ve struggled with knowing what I wanted.I’ve put up lots of wants that may seem unattainable but I’m happy to share that I’ve received some of them already(I guess you’ll have to come over to my place to read my index cards:)
Awhile back my buddy Ronen V encouraged me to take part in the same exercise and I can’t recall if I ever created a want list. One helpful trick he shared with me was that you can have contradictory wants.
For example I have 2 index cards on my wall. One that reads: I want to have lots of kids. The other reads: I want to have zero kids.
When you start meditating on what you want you start a dialogue with yourself and with others to understand why you want what you want as well as you begin starting making moves consciously or unconsciously in the direction of obtaining what you want.
As someone who used to not think they had permission to want things, this is a great exercise of the mind, I highly recommend it.
msg

New Middle Men

msg:

When new services spring up to support specific marketplaces its usually a leading indicator that the marketplace is going to get bigger.

Most recently this has been the case with Airbnb.

There are cleaning services (all of them are still unreliable to link to), key pickup/dropoff services and even full on management companies that specialize for the short term rental economy

I’ve even recently heard of a number of uber/lyft drivers who are driving other people’s cars and then sharing their earnings with the car owner. This is a win win that I hope the ride sharing companies encourage and build systems in place to make this more common place. [I loathe seeing parked cars on the street for days.]

What are some other recent examples of this?

I came across https://www.lendvious.com/ today. They help you optimize you’re retail lending on Lending Club and Prosper. 

Also we used Air Envy this summer. We wouldn’t have done AirBnB if they or someone didn’t offer that extra level of service we needed.


fight4future

Fight for the Future and Namecheap have parked a truck with a giant video billboard directly across the street from the FCC!

fight4future:

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This just in! We’ve teamed up with our friends at domain registrar Namecheap to bring the overwhelming public outcry for real net neutrality protections directly to the agency’s doorstep.

As the hours count down to the FCC’s net neutrality comment deadline, we have obtained a permit to park a truck with a giant video billboard on top directly across the street from the FCC facing the agency’s headquarters! It’s amazing! We’re attracting tons of attention already.

Got something to say to the FCC? Send us a link to your video and we’ll play it on the billboard!

Are you in Washington, DC? Join us, Free Press, and Popular Resistance on Tuesday, September 16th as we gather near the billboard to call for the FCC to get out of DC and listen to the public! More info here. 

We’ll be here until the end of the day Tuesday playing a steady stream of videos about net neutrality. The FCC needs to hear from everyone — but not everyone can make it to DC to speak out. The billboard gives us all a platform from which to speak, just like the free and open Internet!

Internet, send us your videos! Take a short 1-2 minute video of yourself explaining why net neutrality matters to you, and we’ll play it on the billboard for Tom Wheeler and everyone at the FCC. Use the form below to submit your video or email it directly to ted@namecheap.com with the subject line “Billboard submission.”

Need some inspiration for what your net neutrality video should be like? Check out this awesome video that Namecheap made! They’ll be playing it once an hour to make sure the FCC gets the message.

Namecheap gets that Internet Freedom isn’t just a good idea, it’s a critical fight for the future of the entire web. Not only are they making the billboard action possible, but they’re helping raise funds for Fight for the Future to support our ongoing work for net neutrality. Head over to NetNeutrality.com and share the video there and they’ll donate to us each time!

Need more encouragement to submit your own video? Get ready for Harry Potter to break it down for you. Thanks to the Harry Potter Alliance.

See below for some more great photos. More coming soon! Press inquiries contact press@fightforthefuture.org or call 978-852-6457.

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T9:30am the billboard is up and playing a video of Lawrence Lessig explaining the importance of Title II reclassification.

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Folks from Namecheap are there with flyers to talk to FCC employees and pedestrians about why the Internet cares so much about net neutrality.

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The billboard directly faces the FCC’s headquarters, and FCC employees can be seen looking down from the windows. Impossible to ignore.

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The billboard will play a steady stream of videos in support of Title II net neutrality. Internet users are encouraged to submit videos to play on the billboard through this form.

Photo credits: Namecheap team. These photos are available for use by press.

bijan

Four things

bijan:

I get asked with regular frequently what I look for as an early stage investor.

For me it’s four things.

  1. Are the founders extraordinary
  2. Do I love the product
  3. Is the vision compelling
  4. If I wasn’t a VC, would I want to work for the founders at the startup

That’s basically it.

These four things have served me well. The times I’ve made mistakes in this business is when I’ve wandered from it.

lilly

lilly:

I’m super intrigued by stellar.org, on a number of different levels.

Interesting to create a new way to transfer money, interesting that they’re starting as a non-profit foundation.

But also very, very interesting how they’re compensating employees:

"As of July 31, 2014, approximately 2.5% of the stellars have been granted to employees and consultants of the Foundation under a 4-year vesting schedule, meaning 0.625% of the initial 100 billion stellar endowment of the nonprofit will be earned by employees and consultants working at the Foundation each year until the total 2.5% is earned in 2018."

So they’re establishing a new store of value & currency (stellars), and in the initial establishing grant, setting aside some for early compensation of people involved in creating it and making it more valuable — in other words, they’re creating a self-funding mechanism that is wholly aligned with the value of the currency.

Super, super interesting idea, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it before. (One question I do have is whether you really want the stewards of the foundation incented to make the currency as strong as possible, rather than to take a more balanced approach, but at this early stage, it’s probably not that relevant a question.)

Also very interesting how they funded it: 

The Foundation received a loan of $3,000,000 from Stripe which was subsequently repaid with 2% of the stellars. The Foundation is allowed to use up to 5% of the initial stellars to fund operations (including the loan repayment).

It takes a lot of enlightened self-interest & foresight for the folks at Stripe to do this — again, not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like it from a new company (or even an established one).

So…it’s fascinating. 

Being involved in Mozilla, then pculture.org, and now Code For America, I’m super, super interested in how to make non-profits (more properly tax-exempt, but in this case the high order bit is the mission orientation rather than the tax status) durable & self-sustaining. This is going to be a very interesting organization to watch. 

Also, huge praise for the straightforward & open way they launched & are talking about what they’re doing. Kudos.

Those were both great @laughingsquid anniversary parties. 2002 at The Odeon and 2005 at Varnish. (the latter was a SF party if the decade). And I met @scottbeale for the first time at the 2002 party. I had been a laughingsquid.net hosting customer and always wanted to meet him. Been pretty good friends almost ever since #tbt

Those were both great @laughingsquid anniversary parties. 2002 at The Odeon and 2005 at Varnish. (the latter was a SF party if the decade). And I met @scottbeale for the first time at the 2002 party. I had been a laughingsquid.net hosting customer and always wanted to meet him. Been pretty good friends almost ever since #tbt

msg

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”
-Alan Watts


“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”

-Alan Watts