The First Derivative of Software is Eating the World

Marc Andreesen, venture capitalist at a16z, famously stated in 2011:

Software is eating the world

Wall Street Journal, 2011-08-11

Andreesen’s article describes the immediate impact of software, both as its own product category and as a component of increasing importance in existing (non-software) products.

I want to discuss what I consider the first derivative of Andreesen’s insight, the increase in innovation speed provided by software, and its impact on existing products.

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If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 5/5: Inner Data

In five posts, I want to speculate about the next twenty years of open data based on the past twenty years of open source. The idea is to transfer what we learned from open source in one way or another to open data.

This is part 5 on inner data, that is, the collaborative creation and sharing of data within one company.

If this sounds easy, please meet the “modern” corporation with internal competition, phlegmatism and personal antipathy, all of which ensure the corporate silo structure.

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If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 1/5: Definition

In five posts, I want to speculate about the next twenty years of open data based on the past twenty years of open source. The idea is to transfer what we learned from open source in one way or another to open data.

This is part 1 on the definition of open data.

Please note that beyond this intellectual exercise, some of this is already here and some of it is simply different.

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Too Many Points of Failure (at Theranos)

I just finished reading John Carreyrou’s book Bad Blood, which presents the story of the rise and fall of one-time Silicon Valley unicorn Theranos through his eyes as the journalist who broke the story. In case you missed it: Theranos was a healthcare company promising to sell a machine that could perform quickly and reliably a large number of blood tests needed by medical doctors to aid their patient care. The hitch: The technology never worked and Theranos managed to hide this from investors and the public for a long time.

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Cargo Cult Startup Incubators

The continued creation of me-too startup incubators reminds me of the (South Seas’) cargo cult. Richard Feynman tells the story this way: The cargo cult people were natives of the South Seas who, during the world war, benefited from Western civilizations bringing cargo to their land. After the war ended, and the cargo stopped coming, the natives built wooden artifacts that looked like planes in an attempt to bring back the good old days of free supplies. Obviously, it didn’t work.

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