How to think about Products

You know your customers’ problems inside out and have strong views (weakly held) about where the market is headed. Leadership expects you to think big and not succumb to incrementalism. Meanwhile, your designers/engineers need stories for next week’s sprint. Also, Sales is asking for a product roadmap by Friday so they can close that tier-1Continue reading “How to think about Products”

The real scandal in the Google purchase history non-scandal

To give credit where due, nothing nefarious seems to be going on here. Google’s response is basically that this a user-only view on top of emails and they don’t use it any manner. Thatis the real scandal. Many outlets recently shared stories around how Gmail has a view of your entire purchase history. I checked mine, and there is well…someContinue reading “The real scandal in the Google purchase history non-scandal”

Age of Privacy – through Blockchain

By now, you may have heard of the pronouncements of a few Silicon Valley titans (e.g.) on how they do not want government regulation…uh, kind of important? One small problem – their incentives are completely misaligned with those of users. Users want to open their kimono in the least – while advertisers (the realContinue reading “Age of Privacy – through Blockchain”

5 Things You Likely Got Wrong About Blockchain

(This post originally appeared as part of the SF Blockchain Week conference) Anyone who remembers the 90’s internet boom knows what a massive technology hype cycle looks like. Then, as now, there will be good and bad ideas in tech. Blockchain technologies are bound to improve our lives in the 21st century, but we shouldContinue reading “5 Things You Likely Got Wrong About Blockchain”

A new business model for the internet

Moving beyond advertising and e-commerce, peer to peer exchange of personal data can create a powerful new business model for the internet If you were active on the internet in the early 90’s as I was, you knew it was revolutionary to you – but meh to the general populace. Email and browsing was veryContinue reading “A new business model for the internet”

Blockchain: More economics, less tech

Blockchain is about creating better economics; the technology is incidental. A decentralized append-only ledger that maintains integrity via cryptographic..blah blah blah…. What is an economy? It is a bit like team sports. You define who the players are. Who keeps score. What are the rules to pass the ball around. Who wins, who loses. ThroughoutContinue reading “Blockchain: More economics, less tech”

The real reason decentralization matters

Centralization has tremendous advantages. Faster decision making. Stability. Security. Performance. There are good reasons to centralize. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple have amassed trillions of dollars of value – with centralization. Which is why, when we hear fevered pitches around “Decentralization now!”, we should dig deeper into to the fundamentals and ask ourselves why (and inContinue reading “The real reason decentralization matters”

The Holy Wars of Blockchain

There are messianic figures. Gloom and doom scenarios are drawn out. There is a mysterious prophet whose identity is concealed. There are two sects who vehemently disagree on the rightful successor of the prophet, and swear oath towards the “original”, “real” creed…. This could be a story about a medieval-era holy war, but is justContinue reading “The Holy Wars of Blockchain”