All Unicorns in Silicon Valley’s Signed “Faustian bargain”

that “is known as a liquidation preference… And that may be one big reason valuations in Silicon Valley are so disconnected from the public markets… Higher valuations create higher expectations, and failure to meet them can set off adownward spiral… In that event, the venture capitalists are paid first, leaving ‘unicorpses’ in their wake and the founders with nothing… it can simply mean that the newly foaled unicorn has made a Faustian bargain”.
The Hidden Risk of a Billion-Dollar Valuation in Silicon Valley By Steven Davidoff Solomon. NY Times September 23, 2015.

“The proliferation of unicorns, venture-backed companies valued at over $1 billion, is raising concerns… Software company Palantir, with a $20 billion valuation, is up against established, deep-pocketed tech titans. If this bubble bursts… the damage could spread to the public markets”.
International Business Times, by Mike Brown. August 20 2015

‘Unicorn’ is the term du jour in Silicon Valley, used to describe a startup with a valuation of more than a billion dollars… But there’s another kind of unicorn… the World Wide Web was a Unicorn, even though it didn’t make Tim Berners-Lee a billionaire… So, what makes a real unicorn?… Michael Schrage wrote… “Successful innovators don’t ask customers and clients to do something different; they ask them to become someone different. Facebook asked its users to become more open and sharing with their personal information, even if they might be less extroverted in real life…” “We’ve Got This Whole Unicorn Thing All Wrong! By Tim O’Reilly, September 25,2015

Sundar Pichai, the Indian-born Google CEO

welcomes India’s Prime Minister Modi to Silicon Valley, where he will meet with Indian-born CEOs, including Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corp.:
“The bond between India and Silicon Valley is strong. India has long been an exporter of talent to tech companies… The products built by Indian graduates… have helped to revolutionize the world…” Mr. Pichai says.

The tour also represents an effort by Prime Minister Modi to leverage the rapidly growing influence of the Indian diaspora community in the region… nearly 20% of all technology start-ups there are run by Indian-origin executives. That so many of the country’s most prominent companies like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. are now run by Indian-American chief executives demonstrates just how influential the Indian-American community has become… Prime Minister Modi has expertly courted the Indian-American community…
– “Why Prime Minister Modi Is Visiting Silicon Valley?” By Ronak D. Desai. Forbes, Sep 25, 2015

Silicon Valley Encroaching on the Skincare & Beauty Industry

    … venture capitalists wrote a $100 million check to a startup called Ipsy to build the next-generation, global beauty brand… Startups like Ipsy believe the future is super intelligent software that knows your tastes so well, it will send products you’re guaranteed to like… There’s a large prize if they succeed. Worldwide revenue for beauty care products is expected to jump to $461 billion by 2018, up 21 percent from 2013. So far, San Francisco-based Ipsy has grabbed about $150 million of that total each year from its 1.5 million subscribers. Read more:

Who made it possible:

    ipsy Founders:
    Jennifer (Jaconetti) Goldfarb,
    President and Co Founder

    Marcelo Camberos,
    CEO and Co-Founder

    Michelle Phan,

    ipsy Mailing Address:
    Personalized Beauty Discovery, Inc.
    11 N. Ellsworth Ave. San Mateo, CA 94401
    Source: CrunchBase

Startups Are Growing Faster Today than Ever Before

US VC backed startups in 1998 grew revenue 63% per year on average. In 2014, the median startup grew at 85% CAGR before going public.


More impressively, newer startups must be 5x larger than 15 years ago before going public. In 1998, the median IPO-bound startup reported $11.8M in revenue in their S-1 (inflation adjusted dollars). In 2014, a startup needed $54M. Withthe two venture backed IPOs though August 1, 2015, the trend shows no signs of abatement. Read more:

Facebook is Winning the Traffic War with Google

From the beginning of June 2015 Facebook is bringing more referral traffic to publishers than Google:




        Mobile is drastically decreasing the number of … searches … You don’t search when you’re on mobile, you open apps… When you’re in front of a computer, practically every action in your browser begins with a search. On mobile? Not so much. It’s slow and inefficient to write stuff, that’s why apps exist. One tap and you’re done. The combination of these two behaviors (mobile discovery vs. desktop search) generates probably the biggest threat to Google ever, given that the bulk of its revenues come from search… Facebook’s secret plan to kill Google… By Armando Biondi, AdEspresso

See also: Facebook Just Declared War on Google By Sam Biddle.

Google’s Crossroad: Why “Alphabet” ?

There are at least two main – mostly revenue based – reasons:

1. Google’s core business, search, continues to lose steam with a key metric, cost-per-click, falling as mobile app usage skyrocketed.

2. … reasons why Google has renamed itself Alphabet…: It positions the tech company to expand into health care, which could be very healthy for its long-term fortunes… Google’s revenues are extremely dependent on its relationship with Apple — and there are questions over what the Search business model will look like as mobile devices evolve. Meanwhile, health care is a multi-trillion-dollar business. Health care will stay a multi-trillion-dollar business for years to come… In the past year alone, the company has teased a pill that would detect cancer, debuted a plan to map all the biomarkers in the human body, and … half-dozen other wild inventions that could change health care forever… shifting from Google to Alphabet could catalyze a new wave of [health care] product development.
Read more:

See also: Larry Page: ” we are creating a new company, called Alphabet”

Any Chances to Create European “Silicon Valley”?

“Compass” recently released its annual Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking for 2015.


Four European cities made the cut: Amsterdam is enjoying its first appearance in the top 20 at number 19, Paris achieved an impressive 11th place, Berlin came in at an admirable 9th, and London remains the uncontested European heavy-hitter, at number 6.

Europe, it’s time we built our own Silicon Valley. By Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. VentureBeat, August 15, 2015

Larry Page: ” we are creating a new company, called Alphabet”

“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity)… Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity)”

Source: Google Announces Plans for New Operating Structure by Larry Page CEO, Alphabet

Apple iPhone Would Encrypt Data by Default

Top Internet companies say there is no technical way for them to protect their users’ legitimate privacy with encryption while also enabling intelligence agents and law enforcement to gain access to what terrorists plot online… Even when the devices are lawfully seized through court orders, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are unable to retrieve data from them… Last year, Apple announced that its iPhone operating system would encrypt data by default… “it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants.” Google now has similar encryption for Android devices, as does Facebook for its WhatsApp app…
Source: Why Terrorists Love Silicon Valley. By L. Gordon Crovitz. Wall Street Journal.

See also an “Opinion” column in WaPost: Why the fear over ubiquitous data encryption is overblown. By Mike McConnell, Michael Chertoff and William Lynn

First, such an encryption system would protect individual privacy and business information from exploitation at a much higher level than exists today. As a recent MIT paper explains, requiring duplicate keys introduces vulnerabilities in encryption that raise the risk of compromise and theft by bad actors. If third-party key holders have less than perfect security, they may be hacked and the duplicate key exposed. This is no theoretical possibility, as evidenced by major cyberintrusions into supposedly secure government databases…

Second, a requirement that U.S. technology providers create a duplicate key will not prevent malicious actors from finding other technology providers who will furnish ubiquitous encryption. The smart bad guys will find ways and technologies to avoid access, and we can be sure that the “dark Web” marketplace will offer myriad such capabilities. This could lead to a perverse outcome in which law-abiding organizations and individuals lack protected communications but malicious actors have them.

SilValVNews : In other words “a requirement that U.S. technology providers create a duplicate key” will finally lead to an attempt to create a cyberspace version of so called “Gun Free zone“:


Silicon Valley by Numbers

CALIFORNIA’s Silicon Valley, the 50-mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose, is perhaps the most productive and innovative land mass in the world.


The Economist has identified 99 listed technology companies with market values of over $1 billion that call the Valley home.

Together, these 99 companies are worth some $2.8 trillion (an increase of 75% over the past 30 months), and account for around 6% of all corporate America’s corporate profits.
Source: Silicon Valley’s fortunes: What a PErformance, Economist


  • 51 new tech companies launched every month in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • The were  15,931  self-identified Silicon Valley “angel investors” in 2014

  • $118,949 Average salary for a Google software engineer, according to
  • $37,800 Average salary that San Francisco bay area–based startup founders pay themselve

  • +62% change in the price of San Francisco office space since 2009

  • $1,050 / Month – Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco in 2004
    $3,150 / Month Median – in 2014,
    Source: One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush, by Gideon Lewis-Kraus. Wired.

  • Baidu & Google are Going Through “Apps Crisis”

    … population was coming online …  with apps — stepping around the nation’s dominant search engine… Baidu CEO Robin Li came up with a fix. He shifted the company’s focus from online to offline services (or O2O), positioning Baidu to be the connective tissue between China’s Internet and its sprawling real-world commerce. Baidu indexed some apps for search, and cut deal with others for retail services as disparate as movie theater seats and massage parlors. Read more:

    Liberal Dominated Silicon Valley Under Attacks of … Liberal Media

    Manna or Mammon in Silicon Valley? NY Times
    Is Is technological innovation creating a better world, or just making lots of money for a few people? …Many tech luminaries think they are ”doing God’s work.” But are the innovations coming out of the Bay area really creating a new and better world, or just making lots of money for a few people?

    Silicon Valley Is a Big Fat Lie  Condé Nast

    America’s most vaunted industry has also become its most self-satisfied, Silicon Valley is veering toward fall-of-Rome territory. Which is why it needs to blow up these seven myths about itself before it’s too late … Myth #1: Silicon Valley Is the Universe’s Only True Meritocracy … Myth #2: Silicon Valley Is Bringing Us Closer Together… Myth #3: Younger Is Smarter, Safer, and Inarguably Better… Myth #4: School Is for Suckers, Just Drop Out… Myth #6: San Francisco Is the (Moral, Cultural, Financial) Center of the Universe… Myth #7: Silicon Valley Is Saving the World

    Silicon Valley is About Business, Not Change. NYTimes
    … we have the tools and ability to build collectively owned messaging and social platforms — but instead, we have Twitter and Facebook, which mediate what users can see from other users and collect personal data to better tailor advertising sales… to reach their true potential, they would need to be uncoupled from the financial system that keeps Silicon Valley churning. Building a new platform is still incredibly resource-intensive, but the venture capital required to fund those projects is distributed with the goal of making more money, not spurring equitable innovation… Technology tools have a tremendous amount to contribute to society, but if all its power remains locked up in a tiny, concentrated (and often rather unimaginative) industry, those social and economic changes, even when positive, will always be primarily in service to private profits for a very few. And that’s hardly innovative.


    Technology’s Promise of Social Justice Remains Unfulfilled NY Times
    The lack of diversity of voices and the very limited perspective of those who are currently creating tech products have held the tech industry back from true change… The current tech marketplace is a bubble where the same products are created again and again, in service to the same demographic of consumers, while a broader community of both consumers and creators are systematically ignored and left behind. When will tech finally decide there is value in a broader pool of voices?

    Silicon Valley’s Most Embarrassing Case Close to End


    Plaintiffs accused Apple, Google, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc in the 2011 lawsuit of limiting job mobility and, as a result, keeping a lid on salaries. Companies are offering to pay $415 million that is a pocket change to the companies. If they let the case go to trial, it might corrode their image as forward-thinking, worker-friendly benevolent empires.

    Lawyer have a hard choice too. Their share of the settlement is as much as 25 percent. If the case went to trial, the plaintiffs might lose, in which case the lawyers would get nothing for years of work. On the other hand, a jury could award the plaintiffs billions. At one point, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the damages were $3 billion, which would be tripled after a guilty verdict.

    See also:

  • 64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google,…
  • Systemic Arrogance has Become Part of Silicon Valley’s Newer Public Narrative
  • Silicon Valley hiring practices gets class action status
  • Silicon Valley’s Dirty Laundry May Get Aired
  • Silicon Valley Ranked Highest in Entrepreneurs “Opportunity Share”

    San Jose, capital of Silicon Valley, has a high 91.2% opportunity share, while Atlanta is the lowest in the top 15 with 69. According to the Kaufman Index of Startup Activity 2015 opportunity share measures the percentage of new entrepreneurs not coming out of unemployment during given period of time.

    From the another component of Kaufman Index of Startup Activity 2015, Austin, Texas, came out on top in the rate of new entrepreneurs, calculated as the percentage of adults becoming entrepreneurs in a given month.

    The Rate of New Entrepreneurs measures the percentage of the adult, non-business-owner population, that starts a business each month. It captures all new business owners … In 2014, an average of 0.31 percent of the adult population, or 310 out of 100,000 adults, created a new business each month. This business-creation rate translates into more than 500,000 adults becoming entrepreneurs in each month during the year. As it can be seen below, during period of time of 1996-2014 about 300 (+/- 30) out of 100,000 adults, created a new business each month.


    Silicon Valley VC Culture: ‘We assume a very high failure rate – about 80%’

    Dave McClure, of 500 Startups, one of Silicon Valley’s Top Seed Investors, continues: ‘We expect a few exits in 3-7 years, but we place lots of little bets. We filter out the failures and small wins and double-down on stuff that looks like it’s working… I want to invest in a functional product that people are using. We look for functional prototypes and customer development and most importantly, scalability. Can you scale customer acquisition cheaply and measurably? … Don’t write business plans; instead build prototypes & test them with customers… Don’t create five-year revenue projections; create 12-month expense projections…Don’t run out of cash. Check your monthly burn rate, cash in the bank; figure out your remaining runway and try not to get below six months of cash’.

    Don’t Write Business Plans‘: Advice For Startups … by Amy Guttman. Forbes 7/21/2015

    See also:

  • Why VCs Are Screaming Over Startups Burning Cash
  • Top 10 Myths of Silicon Valley
  • Startup Founder VS. Company Creator
  • Two Key Factors that Makes Silicon Valley Such Fertile Ground for Startups/a>
  • For Silicon Valley’s Leading VC “it doesn’t matter what your probability of failure is
  • Startup’s Geography Chances of Success
  • Silicon Valley lingo: Check Your Knowledge by 55 Terms & Definitions

      Robert Metcalfe – Ethernet inventor and 3Com founder, wrote in 1998, when he went back to San Francisco from his Asian tour, that “Silicon Valley is the only place on Earth not trying to figure out how to become Silicon Valley“.

      Kilim Choi — Engineer, Entrepreneur and Writer, remembered that about a year ago … “while watching the Silicon Valley TV show, my friend Matt thought that it would be hilarious and educational to create a website like urban dictionary for all the lingos from the show. So we [Kilim Choi, Mathew Hui, and Zeeshan Javed] created one“.

    1. Palo Alto. Spanish for “tall tree.” English for “overly priced land.”

    2. Apportunity, e.g., when a mobile app has the capability to improve or perform a commonly desired action.

    3. My Code is Compiling is an excuse engineers use to do whatever the hell they want in the workplace.

    4. Solving Own Problem is a bullshit story founders present to lie on how they arrived at their product. E.g., we built datemycate app because we wanted to solve our own problem to help our cat find a date. He was very horny all the time and was always flirty with my girlfriend.

    5. Algorithm Exit. Ending an argument or justifying an explanation by claiming one’s algorithm is superior without any sort of justification of said algorithm.

    6. Technical Founder is 4.0 student from MIT [and usually] is a lone wolf who thinks business people are completely useless. You’re a social media manager? Get the fuck out of here. His code is perfectly architected, clean and commented in all the right places. His startups fail because he doesn’t think writing CSS is worth his time and his sites look like shit as a result.

    7. DINK, Duel Income, No Kids – A co-worker who is married to another tech who makes as much as you do. They don’t have any kids and spend their time buying things on Amazon Prime, paying for movies on Apple TV, drinking wine from an online wine delivery club, and drive their BMWs to spin class, yoga, and to drop their dogs off at doggie-daycare. E.g., must be nice to have a partner that makes as much as you do. You DINKs have it all.”

    8. Hockey Stick Growth. We are wildly overoptimistic about our future growth prospects. E.g., our growth rate may look linear (some would say flat), that’s how most of a hockey stick looks.

    9. Brogrammer, when you mix your typical engineer with your typical frat boy. The official heuristic to identify a brogrammer in your organization is when you can’t tell whether the suspect is part of your engineering team or your sales team.

    10. Democratization. Our product allows the general public to do something more easily than they could before, regardless of whether that involves democracy in any sense of the word.

    11. Vanity Metrics is useless data that looks good but does not necessarily correlate real success.

    12. Nomophobia is  irrational and all-consuming fear of being out of cell phone contact. Coined by British researchers. An abbreviation of no-mobile-phone-phobia. E.g., I left my phone at home this morning and I feel like I’ve lost a limb. I’m suffering from severe nomophobia.

    13. Dave Ratio, [in context of popular discussions concerning the] gender parity at a startup … metric, is to compare the number of men named dave, to the number of women.

    14. Bus Factor is the number of people that need to be hit by a bus before their project is dead. E.g., “Our engineers work in teams of 10 for the higher bus factor”.

    15. Server Down Saturday, is a Saturday night where a video game’s server crashes and one has to go out and socialize with people in person. E.g., we had a server down saturday this past weekend, so I went to Julia’s party. It was the first time I had talked to a girl in real life in months.

    16. Reverse Communism When money is taken from venture capitalists and other wealthy types, and given to coders. Profitability is a vague thing that will happen sometime in the distant future (maybe).  E.g.,  In 1991 communism was defeated, only four years later, the spectre of Reverse Communism haunted the SF bay area from 1995 until the spring of 2001.

    21. Soylent Diet, refers to the diet of busy [so called serial] entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Instead of eating like normal human beings, these entrepreneurs drink Soylent, a powered meal replacement, because it is more efficient than chewing and using knife and fork.

    22. Does anyone make money around here? Users of venture backed startups and residents of Silicon Valley ask this question frequently. They do not understand how a lot of social apps such as Snapchat and Facebook (before they started to run ads) are able to raise so much money at sky high valuations without generating revenue.

    23. Making the world a better place. Solving a very specific problem that loosely translates into a social benefit. E.g., we are making the world a better place through P2P iBeacon messaging platforms.

    24. Pivot. We failed. Now, we’re starting over, possibly with something completely different. E.g., we started out by building a SoLoMo network for hermits. We’ve now pivoted to becoming the Uber of door-to-door encyclopedia sales.

    25. Level-up.  To incrementally improve something, like an application feature or personal abilities. E.g., we need to level-up the user registration process before we go live. You need to level-up your people skills.

    26. Vaporware is a piece of nothing. Generally used to describe something that is inexistent. “The snake oil of tech“.

    27. Tech Stars.  An incubator people apply to when getting rejected from YC. They aren’t definitively worst it just always happens to be your second choice every time.

    28. Boorstrap, funding your startup from your own pocket money. (Because nobody will invest in it). E.g., I don’t need VC money, I have decided to bootstrap it myself. Yeah!

    29. Bing It is an expression created by a marketing team within Microsoft that hypothesized that people would say this over the more commonly used expression “Google it.” E.g., Microsoft Marketing Rep: I want you to figure out Google’s market share. Bing Product Engineer: Sure one sec let me Google it.
    Microsoft Marketing Rep: NO! Bing it!  Bing Product Engineer: Oh right, I forgot.

    30. Gamification, adding game elements to normally not game related software or processes in order to increase engagement

    31. E Troll is a person who purposely uses Internet Explorer in front of others and claims that it is the superior browser on the market, to either mock another person or make it seem like they are completely incompetent.

    32. MD Daydreamer is a doctor who has passive regrets on his life choices and wonders on the inside whether he or she had what it took to start his or her own business. They makes it a priority to take the opportunity to pitch patients who work in software (regardless of what company they work for) in between his or her diagnosis and sometimes at dinner parties. E.g.,  I stopped going to Dr. Jacobson who is an MD Daydreamer. He always pitches me his idea for canine heart monitors that sends out tweets once a day.

    33. Ballmer Peak discovered by Microsoft in the late 80’s, somehow a blood alcohol content between 0.129% and 0.138% confers superhuman programming ability. E.g., Alice: “The Ballmer Peak is a delicate effect requiring careful calibration. You can’t just give a team of coders a year’s supply of whiskey and tell them to get cracking. Bob: Has that ever happened? Alice: Remember Windows ME?

    34. Adding Wheels To A Moving Car. Expecting the design or development team to scope a feature without definition or complete explanation while the product is being built.

    35. Silicone Valley is a nickname for Los Angeles, plastic surgery capital of the world. Commonly mistaken for Silicon Valley.

    36. Rental Property, the only real way to make money in Silicon Valley.

    37. Culture Reset is the CEO’s or CTO’s reason for firing half of the engineering department. E.g., “Steve, with our new culture reset, we’re going to have to let you go. You just didn’t fit the culture.”

    38. Equity Whore is a startup founder that micro manages company equity to maximize his own ownership but loses sight of more important things.E.g/, David: Did you hear? I managed to negotiate that lead engineer down to 0.3%. Now I will have an extra 1%.  Sarah: Stop being such an equity whore, having a smaller piece of something is better than having a large piece of nothing.

    39. Brain Rape, is an acquisition talk thinly disguised as an intellectual property robbery. Usually committed by a big company on a startup. E.g., Erlich: They’re brainraping us right? Gerald: They definitely are. 

    40. Acquihire, when a startup is bought with the sole purpose of hiring the startup’s employees versus obtaining the product/users. Generally, startups that get acquhired are struggling and the move is done as a last resort. E.g., Alex: I heard your startup got acquired by Facebook. Give me some of that startup money. John: It was an acquihire. I don’t want to talk about it.

    41. _prener, the suffix you add/integrate with any noun to make it sound instantly cooler! E.g.,  intrapreneur, wantrepreneur, recesspreneur, solopreneur, mompreneur, dadpreneur, infopreneur

    42. Pre-Revenue, The bullshit an entrepreneur spews to investors to convince them of a high valuation since the seed money will allow the startup to grow immeasurably. Usually followed by more bullshit, greater valuations and eventually and a low revenue to evaluation ratio and companies which never attain revenues to justify their evaluation.

    43. Decacorn, is a startup valued at $10 billion or more …

    44. Three Commas Club, 3  commas implies a billion dollars as $1,000,000,000 has 3 commas.

    45. Doors of a billionaire.  Refers to a car belonging to a member of the three comma club with the doors that go up and down instead of side to side.

    46. Zero Billion means any amount under 1 billion, rendering you off of Forbes billionaire’s list, if you round down. E.g., I’m not a billionaire anymore. I’m a nine-hundred-and-eighty-sixionaire, which isn’t even a fucking thing. If you round down, I have zero billion.

    47. Two Comma Club. A club for millionaires. Russ Hannemann from the show joins the club after losing lots of money, resulting in him selling a car that opens vertically and horizontally.

    48. Backseat Investor, who will never tell you no, but will wait for a lead investor to commit so he can take a backseat and ride the return train. They always tell you to keep them informed with your project without ever providing active help.

    49. Buying the logo, investors putting a tiny percentage of a fund into a company so they can claim credit. E.g., due to the success of Airbnb, some investors are buying the logo so they can put an Airbnb badge on their website.

    50. Herd Mentality, when people follow the leader or others like a herd instead of thinking independently. Often seen when investors are deciding which startups to fund. E.g, VC: You guys have a really strong team, exactly the type that we like to fund, but we just don’t believe in the idea. 
 Kim: Did I mention that a16z decided to invest in us yesterday. 
VC: Wait. Don’t leave. I think we started things off on the wrong foot.

    51. Venture Dunce, a “VC” outside of the Bay Area that has little to no experience in software/hardware, enterprise, and consumer plays. Often seen funding the n-th food delivery market place or Uber idea meets 3-wheel bicycles. The dumb money that keeps many startups fed.

    52.Negging. To undermine the confidence of somebody to gain advantage in a situation. On Silicon Valley, VC firms neg Richard to bring down the valuation of Pied Piper but Erlich counters by “negging the neg” to create funding demand for their startup.

    53. Cache of Innovation is  a hyper localized and typically rural subset of engineers who choose to live places other than silicon valley and are exploited by politicians as examples of economic development. E.g., Andy: Montana has a cache of innovation ready to explode. Dave: Don’t they still work work for bay area companies and just work remotely? Andy: That’s not the point. Programmers are the key to renewed economic development.

    54. Uber of… Commonly used by startup founders to compare their mediocre startup or idea to the startup unicorn Uber.

    55. Title Promotion. A title promotion is a like a normal promotion, except without any increase in compensation, whether salary or otherwise. This is typically used to make engineers feel more important and get them to do more work without actually paying them for it. E.g., Calvin: I just got promoted to Senior Software Engineer! I get to manage a team and maintain existing code!  Jerry: Are you getting paid more?  Calvin: No, but think of how exciting this opportunity is!
    Jerry: …

    Source:  “Silicon Valley Dictionary

    News Week: “… Silicon Valley Is Killing Entrepreneurship in the U.S.”

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen two apparent crosscurrents in the startup waters. One is the tech explosion in Silicon Valley … The other trend is an overall decline in entrepreneurship across the U.S.—revealed by statistics and felt in places like Atlanta, Kansas City, Missouri, and smaller towns… Look at the money going into companies. Venture capital firms in 2014 pumped more than $32 billion into startups based in the stretch from San Francisco to San Jose, according to the National Venture Capital Association. That’s twice as much as all of the venture capital put into companies in all of the rest of the U.S. … New York and Boston are neck and neck at No. 2, at about $4 billion each. After that, the drop-off is steep. Read more:

    Tectonic Shift in the Funding of Silicon Valley: Disappearance of IPO …


    As tech groups shy away from IPOs, the wealth created goes only to those with the right access … Silicon Valley is in the midst of another investment boom, and it is unlike any that has gone before. The tech bubble at the end of the 1990s spilled out on to Wall Street as new companies with no record queued up to do initial public offerings. This time, with valuations once again soaring, the party is raging behind closed doors… The surge of private investment has also raised questions about how well equity markets function on such a large scale without the high levels of disclosure and other checks and balances seen in the public markets… — and whether the investment game is only for privileged insiders with the right connections or the strongest investment clout. Read more: “Silicon Valley: Inside the winners’ circle” By Richard Waters and Stephen Foley.

    Silicon Valley: “Bubble” or “No-bubble” – that is …

    The barometer of Google Trend clearly shows the fast inflated scale of the Silicon Valley’s euphoria …


    Some of the Silicon Valley prophets began to clarify it in some more details:


    Sequoia’s Moritz joins warning chorus over Silicon Valley valuations. Early investor in Apple and Google doesn’t like what he’s seeing. One of the most successful investors in Silicon Valley has added his voice to a swelling chorus concerned about a bubble in tech stocks, prophesying death for “a considerable number” of those ‘unicorn’ private companies that are currently grabbing headlines with sky-high valuations. Read more:

    There will undoubtedly be some sort of setback in Silicon Valley, one of the technology industry’s shrewdest investors has warned. A considerable number of “unicorns” — young, private technology companies worth $1 billion or more — are doomed to fail in the coming months, Sir Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital, told The Times. Read more:

    Bill Gurley is one of the best and most prominent venture capitalists in the U.S. right now… So when he blogs about the “b word” (bubble) and follows it up with a media tour, no wonder serious people pay attention… Mr. Gurley claimed that large fund managers are recklessly plowing billions of dollars into next-generation growth companies like Uber and Airbnb in the wild-west private market, rather than the regulated public market. He describes a mania of investors “desperately afraid of missing out” as they ante-up in the “high-stakes, late-stage game.” Read more:

    Marc Andreessen, the cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, is one of the most powerful Silicon Valley venture capitalists… And despite warnings from investors like Benchmark partner Bill Gurley … about the tech bubble and excessive Silicon Valley optimism, Marc Andreessen says he isn’t concerned about another tech bubble mirroring that of the late 1990s… Andreessen says the burst tech bubble of 2000 was an isolated incident… “The argument in favor of concern is cyclical. The counterargument is that stuff works now,” he says. “In 2000, you had fifty million people on the Internet, and the number of smartphones was zero. Today, you have three billion Internet users and two billion smartphones.
    Read more:



    Can big companies success or failure be considered as an indicator of anything in tech trends?



    And what about all other?




    As it can be seen from the above chart, the eCommerce growths – as an integrated measurement of the main impact of Internet startups (so called “dotcoms”) on the US economy – stayed positive since the 1999 without any signs of any bubbles at all.

    The fact that a significant part of “dotcoms” were the first victims of one of the next US cyclical economy recessions – that was called the 2000 “tech crisis”- doesn’t mean that the recession of 2000 was caused by “dotcoms”.

    In other words, there weren’t any reasons to think that crisis of 2000 was cause by Internet startups. After all it means that any attempts to forecast probability of one of the US next cyclical recessions by comparison the “dotcoms” status of 2000 and 2015 is totally baseless.

    Meanwhile the basic concept of “dotcom bubble” as original source of “tech crisis” of 2000 is still predominantly basic foundation for almost all analytical approaches of 2015. See for instance the section “Tech Bubble (2000)” of Forbes article The Coming Financial Bubble: Why It May Be The Worst Of All:

      The tech bubble, a.k.a. the dot-com bubble, was a period of time when the price of technology stocks soared, despite the fact that many companies were operating in the red. Driven largely by money from venture capitalists, many new technology companies emerged, offering their services for free. The expectation was that these start-up companies would be able to charge a fee in the future, which ironically, was fine with investors.

    Mike Patton, author of the above quote article, is right: “many companies were operating in the red“, e.g. the Google, that continued to stay “in red” even a couple of years after the 2000. Its investors – unlike a lot of others – was not scared by the cyclical recession of 2000 and continued to support the startup of their choice. Unfortunately a great part of other “googles” weren’t so lucky in their relationships with VSs and were perished at the first stage of so called “tech crisis” of 2000.

    Can the recent wave of “dotcoms” appear among the first victims of the nearest recession? They can and … that’s it. Nothing else – except of this trivial conclusion – can be “predicted” at this time. As Mark Andresseen twitted about it, “When the market turns, and it will turn, …many high burn rate co’s will VAPORIZE“.

    What can be a real reason of the expected “market turn” can be discussed. For instance, “Icahn warns markets ‘extremely overheated,’ especially in junk bonds“…, though the recent scale of dotcom funding definitely can’t be one of them:

    Chart via: @skupor , @timmullaney: “Good news! There’s no tech bubble. Now for the bad news…

    “How do we create our own Silicon Valley?”


    How is it that Israel—a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?[5]

      The “Economist” notes that Israel now has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world. The success of Israel’s high-tech sector over the past two decades has attracted recent attention from business journalists and The Economist describes Start-up Nation as the most notable of a “growing pile” of books on the subject.[6]

      In their attempt to explain Israel’s success in this area, Senor and Singer discard “the argument from ethnic or religious exceptionalism, dismissing ‘unitary Jewishness’ or even individual talent as major reasons for Israel’s high-tech success” and analyze two major factors that, in the authors’ opinion, contribute most to Israel’s economic growth. Those factors are mandatory military service and immigration.[5]

      The authors argue that a major factor for Israel’s economic growth can be found in the culture of the Israel Defense Forces, in which service is mandatory for most young Israelis. The authors believe that IDF service provides potential entrepreneurs with the opportunities to develop a wide array of skills and contacts. They also believe that IDF service provides experience exerting responsibility in a relatively un-hierarchical environment where creativity and intelligence are highly valued.[7] IDF soldiers “have minimal guidance from the top, and are expected to improvise, even if this means breaking some rules. If you’re a junior officer, you call your higher-ups by their first names, and if you see them doing something wrong, you say so.”[2] Neither ranks nor ages matter much “when taxi drivers can command millionaires and 23-year-olds can train their uncles,” and “Israeli forces regularly vote to oust their unit leaders.”[8]

      The book also dwells at length on immigration and its role in Israel’s economic growth: “Immigrants are not averse to start from scratch. They are by definition risk-takers. A nation of immigrants is a nation of entrepreneurs. From survivors of the Holocaust to Soviet refuseniks through the Ethiopian Jews, the State of Israel never ceased to be a land of immigration: 9 out of 10 Jewish Israelis today are immigrants or descendants of immigrants the first or second generation. This specific demographic, causing fragmentation of community that still continues in the country, is nevertheless a great incentive to try their luck, to take risks because immigrants have nothing to lose [9]


    Read more: “Start-up Nation“. Retrieved June14,2015

    See also:
    Israel Has Emerged as an R&D Alternative to Silicon Valley Entrepreneur. October 02, 2014
    From Startup Nation To Scale-Up Nation, Israel Reached New Heights In 2014

    “There’s a duopoly: Israel and Silicon Valley…”

    Can Europe Create Its Own Silicon Valley?

    The short answer is ‘no way‘ …

    Petra Moser, assistant professor of economics at Stanford and its Europe Center, who was born in Germany… “They’re trying to recreate Silicon Valley … so far with little success … The institutional and cultural differences are still too great.”

    It looks like Larry Downes, who published an article in Harvard Business Review “How Europe Can Create Its Own Silicon Valley” supposed that Silicon Valley can be duplicated and it’ll be as easy as 1-2-3. As he wrote about it, “Having lived and worked in Northern California since the beginning of the Internet revolution, I’ve been asked that same question regularly, both at home and abroad. My answer may surprise you: pass the right laws“. Read more:

    Happened we too “having lived and worked in Northern California since the beginning of the Internet revolution, I’ve been asked that same question regularly, both at home and abroad. My answer may surprise you:” (1) create a country with US like economical & political climate; (2) create the social and legal conditions that were set up in 19th century California since the beginning of Gold Rush, and then (3) create something like Stanford University with someone like Professor Frederick Terman who organized special kind of innovative spirit based Department of Electrical Engineering. (4) When / if all of the above will attract to the Valley people like Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the transistor William Shockley to invest their energy in the further developing of the University industrial park, it’ll be a good time – not earlier – to read the above quoted Harvard Business Review’s article. Read more: From the Gold Mines of El Dorado to the “Golden” Startups of Silicon Valley

    See also:

  • “How do we create our own Silicon Valley?”
  • Tolerance for “Bad Behavior” is a Key Social Ingredient of the Silicon Valley.
  • Socialism & Computer Science in UC Berkeley

    as it could be seen by Steven Wozniak about 30 years ago:

      My computer science courses were interesting, but I have to
      criticize them a little because they taught only specific problems
      with specific solutions. You spent your time memorizing standard
      problems and solutions and then tried to recognize variations of
      them in the tests. You weren’t supposed to explore new avenues or
      try things that nobody else was doing. You were only supposed to
      learn the proper answer. They thought that you could be trained to
      know all the problems and the standard solutions. Once you learned
      them all, you could solve them.

      My economics course was interesting also. We had a socialist TA
      [teaching assistant] who taught us that companies made money by
      cheating the consumer. All the kids in the class thought that
      companies would make a lot of profit if they could figure out a way
      to cut the costs of a product down, to make it cheap and screw the

      It was wrong because they weren’t really teaching you to solve problems – they taught you to identify to cut the costs of a product down, to make it cheap and screw the consumer.

      I contrast that with the way we did things at Apple. Every product
      design decision was based on what consumers wanted, what would
      compete the best, what they would buy. We tried to do what
      customers wanted, in our best judgment, and give them high-quality

      So I would stand up in class and argue about what the TA was
      saying. After a while he started telling me to shut up. or that he
      would kick me out if I interrupted him again. Apple was the
      greatest business success in history, but I couldn’t tell him who I


    Steve Wozniak: Tolerance for “Bad Behavior” is a Key Social Ingredient

    states/cities should care about before investing in efforts to become the next Silicon Valley

      …Apple co-founder [ Steve Wozniak ] dissed Singapore for its lack of creative people because the city-state doesn’t tolerate bad behavior. “When you’re very structured almost like a religion… Look at structured societies like Singapore where bad behavior is not tolerated [and] you are extremely punished. Where are the creative people? Where are the great artists? Where are the great musicians? Where are the great singers? Where are the great writers? Where are the great athletes?” Wozniak said. “All the creative elements seem to disappear.”

      Asia cannot be the next Silicon Valley. By Eileen Yu on ZDNet

    Europe Policy Makers vs. Silicon Valley Companies: Next Rounds of Legal Battle

      European policy makers are going after the big U.S. tech firms.

    1.Google. Europe’s competition regulator…could kick off the EU’s highest-profile antitrust suit since its campaign against Microsoft…are also planning a “Google tax” on copyright and overseas tax issues… 2.Uber…filed complaints with regulators in Brussels against EU governments that it claims have violated the bloc’s laws by seeking to ban some of its services…3.Facebook…privacy practices, doubling the number of European countries involved. The investigations could lead to formal orders to change business practices, and possibly also fines… 4.Amazon’s tax arrangements in Luxembourg may give…an illegal advantage over competitors, EU regulators said…5.Apple. The EU…authorities are probing Apple’s agreements with record labels as Apple prepares to launch a subscription music-streaming service. –Silicon Valley Companies Europe Is Gunning For

    Europe’s highest court will today examine a complaint that United States technology companies and their Dublin-based subsidiaries participate in a global data dragnet in breach of European Union law. In a case with far-reaching consequences for EU-US relations, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will hear arguments arising from a complaint filed in Ireland last year with the High Court, demanding the State’s data-protection commissioner investigate whether Facebook was in breach of EU law for allegedly passing European user data to US intelligence services.
    Facebook data privacy case opens in European court


    U.S. companies’ ability to process personal information from European Union citizens will be challenged in the European Union’s highest court on Tuesday. At stake is the Safe Harbor Framework allowing U.S. companies to self-certify that they meet tough EU rules on the processing of personal information. A decision to revoke the deal could have serious consequences for U.S. companies that process EU citizens’ data in the U.S. Earlier this month, Twitter warned that a revocation of the deal could seriously hurt its business.
    Case that could overturn EU-US data exchange deal

    US tech companies now liable in UK courts. Now there is a precedent and all of the internet giants face the same fact: they are liable before the courts of the UK, for their actions in the UK, irrespective of their corporate base or origin. UK users of Apple’s Safari browser have been given the green light to sue Google in the UK for bypassing privacy settings in the browser… In essence, the claimants against Google say that, using a setting on the Safari programme, Google tracked and collected information on their internet use in 2011 and 2012 without their knowledge.
    Google appeal ruling should send shivers through US tech companies


    Silicon Valley & Wall Street: Contradictive Alliance

        East is East, and West is West,
        and never the twain shall meet …

        -Rudyard Kipling

    Silicon Valley has always had an uneasy relationship with Wall Street… The banking industry has tried to befriend — or, at times, wished it could colonize — Silicon Valley… Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have done their best to avoid letting Wall Street too far inside their club… It now appears that a new sort of symbiotic relationship has finally begun to develop as the latest Digital Gold Rush presses on…

    The money at stake for all sides is huge. Last year, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs collected more than $1 billion in fees from managing initial public offerings worldwide… Today, the hierarchy of power in Silicon Valley is still up for grabs as financial institutions do just about anything to gain entree to sought-after tech clients… Read more:


    Will Apple Cap Exceed $1tn ?

    It would also mean Apple would be worth 2.6 times as much as Google, the second most valuable company in the US, with a market valuation of $383bn. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White said he thought Apple was worth that much because of its continued strong performance in China, where sales are increasing by 70% year-on-year, and the introduction of the Apple Watch, its first new type of product in five years. Read more:

    Google controls what we buy, the news we read and … our government policies


      On Election Night …. [Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman] was in our boiler room in Chicago,” Obama lieutenant David Plouffe told Bloomberg News, in a story that revealed that for the campaign, Schmidt “helped recruit talent, choose technology and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization.” Schmidt was especially fond of a madcap corner of the Obama campaign office known as “the Cave,” where, at 4:30 every day, staffers would dance madly under a disco ball to the tune of a mashup of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and an automated campaign phone call made to prospective voters.

      Favors beget favors … the FTC, in 2012, ignored the recommendations of its own staffers, which accused Google of abusive trade practices for burying competitors in their search results and recommended a lawsuit. Instead, the FTC dropped its inquiry. Google enjoys 67 percent market share, 83 percent in mobile. No biggie, declared the FTC. Google lobbyists have been pushing for implementation of “net neutrality” regulations, particularly a “Title II” provision that would benefit Google. President Obama helpfully came out in support of the plan, including Title II, which was slightly embarrassing because Obama’s FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, had favored a different approach. Wheeler promptly reversed course and backed the Obama-Google plan. Right before the FCC report was due, but before it was made public, the FCC pulled another odd reversal, removing 15 pages of policy Google apparently found out about but didn’t like. Google has the power to bump an article it doesn’t like off the table and under the rug. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said that the changes came about after “a last-minute submission from a major California-based company”…

      newly launched ObamaCare website … was plagued by evil spirits, guess which company was sent to fix it? Google’s proton packs helped kill off the ObamaCare site’s goblins… Read more:

    See also: Why Google Antitrust Case was Dismissed

    Two Versions of Program that Automatically Generated Scientific Papers:

    First was described by Jonathan Swift about 300 years ago:


        by his contrivance, the most ignorant person at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, may write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, law, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study. GULLIVER’S TRAVELS. CHAPTER V: The Author permitted to see the Grand Academy of Lagado. By Jonathan Swift, 1726.

    The most recent version was created by the group of MIT scientists 10 years ago:

        Hoax-detecting software spots fake papers

        Three computer science Ph.D. students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn, and Dan Aguayo — created a program to generate nonsensical computer science research papers … [The program] SCIgen uses a “context-free grammar” to create word salad that looks like reasonable text from a distance but is easily spotted as nonsense by a human reader … The goal…was “to expose the lack of peer review at low-quality conferences that essentially scam researchers with publication and conference fees” … [SCIgen] found users across the globe, and … automatically generated creations were being accepted by scientific conferences and published in purportedly peer-reviewed journals…

        [As a result of this successful scientific experiment] Academic publisher Springer this week is releasing SciDetect, an open-source program to automatically detect automatically generated papers [but still wasn’t able to find the proper tool to detect “nonsensical computer science research papers that were manually generated and continue to publish them].
        Hoax-detecting software spots fake papers By John Bohannon

    See also: “Data & analysis don’t matter — we KNOW the truth”

    ‘There’s a duopoly: Israel and Silicon Valley…

    and everyone else is eating our dust,’ – Jonathan Medved, founder & CEO of OurCrowd, an Israel-based venture capital firm.

    TheStreet’s Scott Gamm sat down with Medved at the Israeli Capital Markets Conference in New York and asked him a couple of questions:

      -What about the startups of Israel? Should Silicon Valley be worried?

    No, Silicon Valley shouldn’t be worried of nobody, but the rest of the world should, because we are the #2.

      – How do you compete? Why should I go to Israel to start my company?

    Next wave …[that challenge the world] … is the hard technology problems. Internet of things will be driven by Israel ans big data will be driven by Israel. Amazon just bought Israel chip company for $400 millions, so they would integrate that technology to resolve the issues related to their data services. Israel is good for hard technology problems… Average exit price for Israel startups is going up to $200 mlms from $30 millions only 6 years ago. Read more:


    How does Israel, a small country with roughly 8 million people, produce more tech startups and receive more venture capital per capita than any nation in the world? Why does a country with few natural resources have more companies listed on the NASDAQ than Europe, Japan, Korea, India and China combined? Read more:

    See also:

  • Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle
  • From Startup Nation To Scale-Up Nation …
  • Tel Aviv Is A Mediterranean Silicon Valley
  • Stock Index Focusing on Israeli Tech Announced
  • Pentagon Officials Made a Quiet Visit to Silicon Valley

    to solicit national security ideas from start-up firms with little or no history of working with the military…


    There is a precedent for the initiative. Startled by the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA… Now, the Pentagon has decided that the nation needs more … to find new technologies to maintain American military superiority… Stephen Welby, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for systems engineering, visited a dozen Silicon Valley start-ups that are pursuing new technologies … Read more:

    See also: Roads and Crossroads of the Internet History

      1957: Sputnik has launched ARPA
      President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) after the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik.

      1957 – October 4th – the USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite:
      1958 – February 7th – In response to the launch of Sputnik, the US Department of Defense issues directive 5105.15 establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

      The organization united some of America’s most brilliant people, who developed the United States’ first successful satellite in 18 months. Several years later ARPA began to focus on computer networking and communications technology.

      In 1962, Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to head ARPA’s research in improving the military’s use of computer technology. Licklider was a visionary who sought to make the government’s use of computers more interactive. To quickly expand technology, Licklider saw the need to move ARPA’s contracts from the private sector to universities and laid the foundations for what would become the ARPANET.

      The Atlantic cable of 1858 and Sputnik of 1957 were two basic milestone of the Internet prehistory. Read more:

    Wall Street vs. Silicon Valley: Who is Winning the War for Talent?


    Less than a decade ago, Wall Street firms were the premier destination for young college graduates and talented executives… [and] Wall Street is certainly not hurting for talent [yet]… Last summer, Morgan Stanley had 90,000 applicants for roughly 1,000 entry-level summer jobs… [but the general trend was sufficiently changed] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a top source of young recruits, only 10 percent of undergraduates went into finance in 2014, compared with the 31 percent who took jobs on Wall Street in 2006 … Software companies, meanwhile, hired 28 percent of M.I.T. graduates in 2014, compared with 10 percent in 2006… At Harvard Business School, for example, the percentage of graduates going into finance dropped to 33 percent last year from 42 percent in 2006, while the numbers going into technology jumped to 17 percent from 7 percent.
    Wall St. Stars Join Silicon Valley Gold Rush By Nathaniel Popper and Conor Dougherty, New York Times. March 24, 2015

    See also: Can Silicon Valley Survive “Wall Street’s infiltration”

    Can Silicon Valley Survive “Wall Street’s infiltration”


    It’d easy to understand why Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of the venerable investment bank Morgan Stanley and one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, would want to head west to become C.F.O. of Google… there is some solid evidence that Ms. Porat isn’t the only person deciding that technology offers a more compelling opportunity than banking… In 2008, 45 percent of M.B.A. recipients there went into financial services, versus 7 percent into technology…in 2014, it was 33 percent finance versus 17 percent technology…the economists Stephen G. Cecchetti of Brandeis University and Enisse Kharroubi of the Bank for International Settlements have found clear evidence that an unusually large financial sector actually reduces the growth rate of an economy, rather than enhances it… Read more:

    Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat is off to manage Google’s finances, and her new job has become a useful data point in the debate over the changes in Silicon Valley—but is it good news or bad?… if a too-large financial sector is bad news for the economy, the financialization of its most dynamic and innovative industry isn’t a necessarily a step forward either… Americans are studying technical fields or starting new firms would be positive signs when it comes to the tech sector. News that bankers are moving in for the profit-taking doesn’t seem like a leading indicator of innovation. Read more:

    Why Google Antitrust Case was Dismissed

    even before it was launched. WSJ investigates:

        Since Mr. Obama took office, employees of [Google] have visited the White House for meetings with senior officials about 230 times, or an average of roughly once a week… On Nov. 6, 2012, the night of Mr. Obama’s re-election, Mr. Schmidt was personally overseeing a voter-turnout software system for Mr. Obama. A few weeks later, Ms. Shelton and a senior antitrust lawyer at Google went to the White House to meet with one of Mr. Obama’s technology advisers. By the end of the month, the FTC had decided not to file an antitrust lawsuit against the company, according to the agency’s internal emails… FTC officials and Google worked to bring the investigation to a close, emails show. Messrs. Drummond and Leibowitz exchanged emails and phone calls over the year-end holidays while on family vacations and on New Year’s Eve. “At your service to close this out,” Mr. Drummond wrote to the FTC chairman on Dec. 17, 2012.


    See also: Google Manipulated Search Results to Favor its Own Services Over Rivals.

    Silicon Valley on Border of New Age of Healthcare

    Within 24 hours of Apple launching its platform for health research this month, tens of thousands of iPhone users had signed up to take part in five inaugural studies involving some of the US’s most respected medical institutions… Apple’s ResearchKit is the latest example of the technology industry’s deepening interest in healthcare as mobile devices open new ways of measuring wellbeing. Apps ranging from step-counters and heart-rate meters to alcohol breathalyser kits and ovulation monitors already provide individuals with a wealth of personal health information. ResearchKit demonstrates the potential for this data to be aggregated in ways that could shed light on trends across wider population groups… Apple is not alone. Google has invested in two companies that aim to do their own research on the back of the proliferation of medical data … Read more:


    Apple Watch measures all the ways you move, such as walking the dog, taking the stairs, or playing with your kids. It even keeps track of when you stand up, and encourages you to keep moving. Because it all counts. And it all adds up… Read more:

    Tests designed with ResearchKit use the iPhone’s sensors to record data. The touch screen can feel people tapping in rhythm to detect inconsistencies that may signal a disease. The accelerometer can compare the gait and balance of someone’s walk against a healthy person’s speed and posture. And the microphone can notice minute fluctuations in someone’s voice that may indicate Parkinson’s or another health problem:

    Read more:

    Dr. Michael McConnell, a professor in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Medicine who also directs Stanford’s cardiovascular health innovation program, said Apple’s new health efforts that include ResearchKit will be a game changer in cardiovascular technology. “We can use the power of something that they carry with them every day to help with measurements and surveys,” he said. “I think it is offering us a new way to do medical research. … I think we’ve amassed already what may be one of the world’s largest pieces of data on fitness… the impact on health could be profound.”
    ABC video: Inside Apple’s Top Secret Health and Fitness Lab for Apple Watch Development.

    Services focused on tracking health will be able to use the Watch interface to display relevant, up-to-the-minute statistics in a way that’s more convenient than on a smartphone, or on a monitoring device’s screen. It will do this using the processing power of your iPhone, rather than a mobile chip onboard the watch itself, and updates will be sent to the watch wirelessly. DexCom Monitor will work this way. It will use the Apple Watch to show blood glucose levels for Type 1 diabetics by presenting an easy-to-read graph on the smartwatch’s display… Cohero Health is working on an Apple Watch app so asthmatics can better track their medical adherence and lung function… Malay Gandhi, managing director at Rock Health, says that giving people continuous feedback, prompting and reminding them at the right times, is key to inducing those sorts of lifestyle changes… The watch could even potentially help you make better decisions when you’re having a night on the town… Read more:

    Obstacles on Border.

    When Apple Inc. started developing its smartwatch, executives envisioned a state-of-the-art health-monitoring device that could measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels, among other things, according to people familiar with the matter. But none of those technologies made it into the much-anticipated Apple Watch, due in April [2015]. Some didn’t work reliably. Others proved too complex. And still others could have prompted unwanted [FDA] regulatory oversight… Read more:

    Apple initially experimented with sensors that measured skin conductivity to gauge stress levels, but struggled to get a consistent performance when they were tested on people with dry skin or hairy arms, according to the WSJ. The ability to passively monitor glucose levels without breaking skin — an achievement that could give unprecedented insight into someone’s diet — has also long been cited as a particularly difficult feat by medical and health tracking device makers. Another issue for Apple was the uncertainty over how such a souped-up health monitoring device would actually be regulated. In the Dec. 2013 meeting, the FDA said it wouldn’t need to regulate a glucose meter that monitored blood sugar to help a wearer better understand their nutrition. But it would have to step in if the meter was marketed to diabetics… Read more:

    See also:
    How the Apple Watch Could Revolutionize Healthcare
    iWatch – Apple’s Next Revolution: Era of Humanized Computing



    Google Manipulated Search Results to Favor its Own Services Over Rivals.

    WSJ — Officials at the Federal Trade Commission concluded in 2012 that Google Inc. used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and rivals, a far harsher analysis of Google’s business than was previously known… An FTC staff report reveals new details about how Google manipulated search results to favor its own services over rivals’.


    The staff report from the agency’s bureau of competition recommended the commission bring a lawsuit challenging three Google practices. The move would have triggered one of the highest-profile antitrust cases since the Justice Department sued Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s.
    Inside the U.S. Antitrust Probe of Google. By Brody Mullins, Rolfe Winkler and Brent Kendall. WSJ, March 19, 2015


    Google 3G: Why Bing More Useful to Google Than to Microsoft.
    By Gregory Gromov.

    Yahoo switched to Bing-powered search results in August 2010. Shortly thereafter, search specialists at Google began noticing that many of the results for Yahoo! searches were the same as those Google searches of the same terms.

      Google engineers set up random results on their site for a series of unlikely search terms, such as ‘hiybbprqag.’ (Google arranged for the nonsense word to point to a Los Angeles theater seating plan on its search engine.) ‘Within a couple weeks of starting this experiment, our inserted results started appearing in Bing,’ Google said in a statement on its official blog …
      Google: Sting proves Bing copied search results‘ By the CNN Wire Staff

    When Google published the search experts’ findings, their colleagues at Microsoft only shrugged, essentially saying that such things happen, that it was no big deal. However, they immediately stopped copying Google’s results. Yahoo! somehow skirted the debate altogether.

    However, it was not until later that the most interesting part of the story emerged. At the outset, Google’s experts were very vocal in complaining about the abovementioned results. They then did an abrupt about-face, apparently accepting Microsoft’s explanation. As if on a signal, all the once-spirited grumbling ceased. Both sides suddenly stopped discussing the story.

    The reason for this is that with the search engine market so out of balance, Google really needs at least a nominal competitor in the business. In other words, if Bing spontaneously combusted tomorrow – if, for example, Microsoft decided that there was no further need to pursue the already long-lost race for search engine dominance – this would in fact be a great blow to Google.

    Google would then be completely vulnerable to accusations of having a monopoly on the US search engine market, and would quickly become the next subject of the Department of Justice’s anti-trust investigations. Conjoined twins Yahoo and Bing hold second and third places in the search engine market, protecting Google from allegations of monopoly, and making Bing more useful to Google than to Microsoft.
    Read more:

    See also:

  • Larry about Larry: Google CEO did “evil” things …
  • Silicon Valley hiring practices gets class action status

  • Global Cash Reserves: U.S. Tech Companies vs. U.S. and Other Countries


    … the combined cash of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Verizon Communications and Pfizer climbed to $US404 billion at the end of … [2013] year … That figure is up over 16.4% from the prior year and is in excess of some of Asia’s most cash-laden nations including South Korea, with foreign exchange reserves of $US336 billion, Hong Kong ($311 billion), Singapore ($270 billion) and India ($268 billion). America’s top five holders of cash not only have more in the bank than most Asian states, but their savings are also in excess of the entire Eurozone’s ($221 billion).
    Apple Has More Cash On Hand Than All These Different Countries

    Silicon Valley Investors Warns of Bubble again, and again …

      Mr. Gurley, a … partner at Benchmark, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, has been warning of an impending Silicon Valley bubble burst for quite some time. He cites the multiplicity of so-called unicorns, or private companies valued at more than $1 billion by investors. By some accounts, there are more than 50 of these billion-plus companies in the Valley at the moment, with more added seemingly every other week…
      Read more:



  • Here’s The Evidence That The Tech Bubble Is About To Burst,
    by Jim Edwards “Business Insider” Nov. 5, 2014.

  • Tech Bubble Won’t Burst In 2015. 2016?
    By Katie Benner. Bloombergview


  • Why the Tech Bubble Will Burst in 2015, Startup Driving.
  • The Coming Financial Bubble: Why It May Be The Worst Of All by Mike Patton, Forbes. Advisor Network 2/24/2015.

    Meanwhile, actually there wasn’t any real signs of Bubble kind of trends at all:


  • Musk Next Project: “Movement Against Artificial Intelligence”

    About two dozen protesters, led by a computer engineer, echoed that sentiment in their movement against artificial intelligence… Tesla founder Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute because of his fears. USA Today


    See also, some quotes from Business Insider’s article “… Tesla’s Only Profitable Because Of Your Tax Dollars“:

    Elon Musk has a plan to get rich. It involves you. The taxpayer. You pay taxes. The government gives huge dollops of that money to Elon. Elon gets rich. Who could possibly object? Who could deny Elon’s genius?… Musk has three ventures: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. All are heavily dependent on government largesse.

    Mr. Musk is Occupy’s favorite crony capitalist. And Occupy is one of Mr. Musk’s favorite movements.Yes, once upon a time Musk started a real business, Paypal*, that proved very successful without any government help. That was then, this is now.

    Musk has three ventures: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. All are heavily dependent on government largesse… It’s a lucky thing for Tesla Motors shareholders that the U.S. Department of Energy loves the company’s loan applications… Without the hundreds of millions of dollars Tesla (US:TSLA) has received from the federal government … the electric-car maker’s financials would be gasping for air as 2012 winds down… sadly, Elon Musk is a Man For Our Age, in more ways than one.

    – By Dr. Craig Pirrong, Professor of Finance, and Energy Markets Director for the “Global Energy Management Institute” at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston
    */ PayPal was initially established in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for handheld devices founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Ken Howery. PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999. In March 2000, Confinity merged with, an online banking company founded by Elon Musk. Read more:

    Microsoft & Silicon Valley Have Had a Divorce

    Microsoft Research Silicon Valley was founded in August 2001 and quietly closed in September 2014… Lab’s primary focus was on distributed computing and included privacy, security, protocols, fault-tolerance, large-scale systems, concurrency, computer architecture, Internet search and services, and related theory. Research in these areas continues in other Microsoft Research labs around the world. Read more:

    In other words, … everywhere around the globe but not in Silicon Valley. Why? There appears to be a crises of corporate cultural incompatibility, that can be traced to early 80th and then continued in 90th:

    • “If the company does well, I do pretty well,” says [Mark] Andreessen. “If the company doesn’t do well” – his voice takes on a note of mock despair – “I work at Microsoft.”
    • Bill Gates:”…an Internet browser is a trivial piece of software. There are at least 30 companies that have written very credible Internet browsers, so that’s nothing… ”
    • Steve Jobs: “The most important thing for the Web is stay ahead of Microsoft.”

    Roads and Crossroads of the Internet History by Gregory Gromov

    What Is the Target Audience of Gold “Apple Watch”?

    Gold_Apple_Watch_1 expressed its expectation in strong words: … we don’t need solid gold on something that is disposable after a couple years. So, I’m lost. Who is this watch for? Without a technological advantage, and no upgrade or trade-in path, I would imagine the value to the consumer is that of broadcasting wealth. There are certain markets where this watch will sell well, regions of China (just put a goat on it) and Dubai come to mind. “The Gold Apple Watch Is Perfect For Douchebags” by Kevin Rose, @kevinrose


    See also: What is a Real Value of “The Economist” Tech Market Predictions?

    Steve Jobs Life and Death “think different” Choices

    He was offered surgery for pancreatic cancer as soon as it was discovered. Odds are good he’d be alive if he had the surgery right then and there. Instead he sought out alternative medicine. The treatment he sought was acupuncture, juices, and dietary supplements. The delay allowed the cancer to spread. There are a number of celebrities who have met an untimely end seeking out alternative medicine. Steve Jobs is just another one… why a smart person wouldn’t make a smart choice. Many think it is because of his “think different” approach, which can make sense in some situations but isn’t a good philosophy when your life is on the line.

    By “InfoSphere”. From comments to the CNN article “Tim Cook tried to give Steve Jobs his liver

    How the Apple Watch Could Revolutionize Healthcare

    It seems like there are some reasons to expect a good news today: