Thursday, January 11, 2018


"It seems [Fred] Wilson was correct that software alone is a commodity. In the language of legendary investor Warren Buffett, pure software companies don't have an effective "moat" to defend their business; it's easy for competitors to storm the barricades and overwhelm them. Since most software industries have relatively low barriers to entry—especially today, when startup costs are lower than ever—it's practically guaranteed that a competitor will come along and offer customers similar software that's either better or cheaper. That's where network effects come in.... Networks are much harder to duplicate than features are.... Successful platforms have strong moats in the form of their networks and operate at a scale that positions them to dominate their industries." (via Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy)

Bruce Wayne vs. Leonardo da Vinci - by Christopher Pavese (LINK)
Related book: Leonardo da Vinci
The Most Powerful Research Tool is a Great Network - By Lewis Johnson (LINK)
Disruptive Regulations are coming: This Could Give Shipping Investors Multiple Ways to Win 
The two changes he noted are global environmental standards sponsored by the International Maritime Organization.  The first is the “Ballast Water Management Convention” that went into force late last year.  It requires that newly built ships have waste-water treatment equipment that purifies ballast water to certain minimum levels.  After September 2019, ships that were built before these standards came into force will need a costly upgrade to their equipment to meet this standard for the vessels to pass their periodic inspections.  
The second standard will be implemented in 2020.  I was amazed to learn that the world’s biggest 25 ships emit more sulfur than the entire world’s fleet of cars!  Accordingly, the regulation’s goal is to limit this pollution.  Ship-owners must achieve this goal and have several ways to do so, such as retooling to switch to a less polluting fuel like gas or methanol or by installing scrubbers to lower concentrations of pollutants.
Lessons from the 1980s for disruption. (LINK)

Hype Meets Reality as Electric Car Dreams Run Into Metal Crunch [H/T Matt] (LINK)

When Biology Becomes Engineering (video) (LINK)

Sebastian Junger: "Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS" | Talks at Google (LINK)

On the doorstep of victory - By Bill Gates (LINK)
The world is closer than ever before to wiping out polio. 
Last year, the world saw the fewest number of polio cases—just 21, according to the latest figures. 
That’s incredible, especially when you consider that just 30 years ago, there were 350,000 cases of polio per year worldwide.