NEW MAP! The locations of 102 San Jose marijuana dispensaries and their happy tech neighbors.
By: Allison McCann/Jennifer Daniel
[Images: Megan Garber]
“Some people seem to think that getting acquired should be the highest aspiration for an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley,” ur-investor Vinod Khosla recently wrote. With “some people,” though, he was being generous: Most people, it seems, seem to think that the end point of starting up is acquisition — ideally, by Facebook, by Apple, by Google. The acquisition assumption means that there’s a Valley full of incredibly smart, driven people who are founding things simply to sell them to giants. And though that may not be the most inspiring reason to start a company, it may well be the most practical. This little Wikipedia page — “List of acquisitions by Google” — is a testament to the ongoing enticement that the dream of acquisition represents.
Now, though, there’s another page that speaks to the same idea: the “We’ve Been Acquired!” Tumblr. The site, launched this afternoon, ingeniously aggregates the many acquisition announcements — posted to Twitter, to Tumblr, to websites — that drive tech culture from its roots.
San Diego is the top-ranked metro on the updated Tolerance Index, followed by Napa, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ithaca, New York; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks, California; Cape Coral, Florida; Boulder, and Ann Arbor round out the top 10. Miami, Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, and Boston all rank in the top 20. Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Orlando, and greater Washington, D.C. all make the top 30.
Read more. [Image: Martin Prosperity Institute]
Is Facebook’s IPO the next chapter in the greatest company of our time, or are Friday’s buyers total suckers?
The only intelligent, honest, and true thing to say about this inevitable question is that nobody has any clue. In 1992, a company called America Online had a $70 million valuation after its IPO. A decade later, it was worth $150 billion. A decade after that peak, it is now worth only $1 billion. Online fortunes are built on hyper-active tectonic plates. Mountains of wealth accumulate from flat nothingness, rumble, push up toward the sky, and with alarming frequency, blow themselves up. The Internet is a super-seismic place. […]
It is freakin’ crazy. If Facebook were merely the widest social network by number of users,dayenu. If it were the deepest social network by the quality of engagement and the quantity of personal detail, dayenu. But it’s the widest and the deepest! That sort of thing has to be worth $100 billion, right?
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
Many people say you can’t. They’re ignorant. But it was true that we didn’t know how to teach entrepreneurship for decades, because we didn’t understand how start-ups were different from large companies.
Large companies execute. Start-ups in their early stage don’t execute. They search. And for a long time, we had no tools for search. But in the last few years, we’ve started to build the equivalent of an execution plan for start-ups. We’ve cracked the code for early stage ventures. We can say that we know how to make start-ups fail less."
Though it would one day become the mecca of dour philosophers and the Ph.D. students who love them, Germany was actually a bit late to the game when it came to establishing universities. Before the 14th century, Germany youths had to travel abroad for an education, often to modern-day France. hat changed with the Papal Schism of 1386, when rival popes from Rome and France both lay claim to the leadership of the Catholic Church. German students loyal to the Roman faction were expelled from their French universities.
Suddenly, Germany had to build itself some colleges. […]
Just like today’s Silicon Valley, yesterday’s Rhine Valley built an economic engine on academic excellence. How? Authors David Cantoni and Noam Yuchtman have a theory: Lawyers.
Yes, lawyers. The 14th-century universities trained law students, the business innovators of the time (how things change). Legal scholars learned Roman law, which, with its emphasis on contracts and property, offered the building blocks of commerce:
Whereas customary law was very local, Roman law was universally known across Europe; whereas customary law was highly traditional, based on kinship and superstition, Roman law was an authoritative yet flexible system, that had been enriched by centuries of scholarship; whereas traditional law was informal and feuds were often preferred to trial, Roman law was written…and based on a process of rational pursuit of truth. In the particular context of Germany, with its highly fractionalized territories, these advantages of Roman law were particularly salient.
In the 14 century, law was a sort of technology. It provided massive efficiency gains in a fractious, clannish region like Germany. Lawyers were able to reprogram the economy, and help set in motion the true beginnings of capitalism. And while Cantoni and Yuchtman’s data analysis is contained to Germany, they argue that a similar process may have unfolded across Europe.
And it had universities to thank.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
If you care about cities, about walkable communities, about healing the crappy environment thrust upon us for the last four decades in the form of suburban sprawl, then get a refund on that new iPad 3. Take your iPhone back, too. Because its manufacturer is betting that the company is cool enough to get away with violating even the most basic tenets of smart growth and walkability in the sprawling, car-dependent design of its new headquarters.
Don’t let them collect on that bet.
While communities all up and down the Silicon Valley are trying to repair sprawl by replacing it with smart growth, Apple is actually taking a site that is now parking lots and low-rise boxes and making it worse for the community. Yes, it will be iconic, assuming you think a building shaped like a whitewall motorcycle tire is iconic, but it will reduce current street connectivity, seal off potential walking routes and essentially turn its back on its community. With a parking garage designed to hold over ten thousand cars, by the way.
Mark Zuckerberg’s desk on the day his company filed for it’s $100 billion IPO. This is like big tech’s version of the UK-propaganda poster “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Is it wrong to hope he paints this motto on the wall, Friday Night Lights-style?