Full stack startups

Many of today’s most exciting startups were tried before in a different form. Suppose you develop a new technology that is valuable to some industry. The old approach was to sell or license your technology to the existing companies in that industry. The new approach is to build a […]

Stored Hashcash

One of the greatest inventions in the history of computer security is Hashcash. Internet blights like spam and denial-of-service attacks are what economists call “tragedy of the commons” problems. They exploit the fact that it’s free to send email and make web requests. At zero cost, you can have a […]

Four categories of Bitcoin-related projects

New Bitcoin-related software projects are launching every day. From what I can tell these projects fall into four main categories: Bitcoin apps and services: These try to make Bitcoin more accessible, stable, secure, and useful. Examples: wallets, merchant services, fiat-to-crypto exchanges, crypto-to-crypto exchanges, Bitcoin derivatives exchanges, tipping services, […]

If you asked people in 1989…

“If you asked people in 1989 what they needed to make their life better, it was unlikely that they would have said that a decentralized network of information nodes that are linked using hypertext.” – Farmer & Farmer

Why I’m interested in Bitcoin

Some people assume that all Bitcoin advocates are motivated by a libertarian political agenda. That is certainly not my agenda. I’m a lifelong Democrat who supported Obama in the last two elections. I think the Federal Reserve plays an important function, and I don’t agree with people who […]

Coinbase

One of the interesting things about Bitcoin is the contrast between how it is portrayed in the press and how it is understood by technologists. The press tends to portray Bitcoin as either a speculative bubble or a scheme for supporting criminal activity. In Silicon Valley, by contrast, […]

Some thoughts on startup crowdfunding

Like a lot of people, I’m excited about crowdfunding, and specifically the crowdfunding of startups now that’s it’s legal in the US. Based on my own experience investing in startups, here are some thoughts and issues that come to mind regarding startup crowdfunding. 1. Startup financings tend toward […]

The Internet is for snacking

Web products have followed a steady evolutionary path from the compound to the atomic. Today’s popular social sites are spin outs of behaviors that emerged from blogs and forums, the primordial soup of the early social web. Before there was Twitter, people were doing something similar to tweeting […]