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🎟 Hot Tip: This Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big
The recent dip in the price of BTC and other crypto-token-asset-kitties may have taken some of the sheen off the most recent bout of euphoria, but we at Slow have the highly contrarian opinion that this thing is for real - it might even be as big a deal as the internet itself.
Sam has also been writing a lot about his views on the space over the last ~year in The Information. If you want to read what he is up to (and aren't a TI subscriber yet) these links will give you free one-time access to his writing on things like….
Blockchains and The Right to Be Forgotten; Blockchain technology challenges existing regulations governing content on the internet, rendering impractical the 'right to be forgotten' in Europe. #Welcome_GDPR!
Stable Coins, Oracles, Trust, and Identity; Connecting the physical world to the digital world in a trusted way is a critical problem to solve in order to take advantage of many of the most exciting parts of new technologies like blockchains. But it is extremely hard to do even in the simplest of cases like price stabilized currencies.
The Future of Hybrid Centralized-Decentralized Apps; Blockchain-based services are designed to be more trustworthy than centralized models, but they are also less efficient and more expensive to run. That means companies have to figure out where it makes sense to use distributed services to build trust and where it doesn't.
The Softbank Vision Fund is way more logical than the majority of the people give it credit for. A lot of the innovation and risk in "software eats the world" (for better or worse) isn't technical, but in the branding / customer acquisition v LTV / operational excellence. There is very little disagreement from the market / investors that these software enabled products & services will exist. You can see that in how things have played out. A number of companies are funded going after the same opportunity and end up killing each other (and burning lots of cash) in the marketing channel. For the most part, the company with the best access to liquidity wins (if anyone at all is able to convince investors that they will emerge unscathed). Online lending is a great example of this. So is ridesharing / transportation. The list goes on. I would bet if you looked, the collective group of companies in these sectors raises just about what a typical Vision Fund check is. They are effectively funding the marketing / awareness costs for an entire sector (which everyone agrees should exist) but dramatically increasing the odds of being invested in the winner - by essentially anointing the winner. There is a strong argument to be made that what they are doing is actually a much more efficient allocation of capital. And usually there are strong returns to be had in harvesting inefficiencies… -- WQ
🤔 Short Thoughts & Novelties:
For those of you raising daughters, you can promote change and create the foundation for a better future from home.
You should really read Who Owns The Future by Jaron Lanier - especially this week. There are things to debate him on, but his view of tech and economics is worth mulling over.
For something lighter, but also important for understanding the 20th century and how weird the 21st is getting…read Warren Miller's Freedom Found.