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My understanding is this... In New york, you hail a cab, and you call a car/limo service. Uber operates legally as a car service. The cab companies are upset because uber is faster, whereas car service typically require a long wait time.

right?

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I did the same thing as my first query and I assumed you needed login for everything and gave up. I suspect you will bounce traffic if it's not obvious what's premium.

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If you're interested in more details about the government's early involvement check out steve blank's secret history of silicon valley. it's fascinating.

http://steveblank.com/secret-history/

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ABS 4 days ago | link

I also quite enjoyed Prof. Mazzucato's The Entrepreneurial State:

"This book debunks the myth of a dynamic private sector vs. a sluggish public sector by providing a detailed account of the role of the public sector in taking on high-risk entrepreneurial investments, from the Internet to the ‘green revolution’."

The book is more thorough but you can get a lot also out of the free pamphlet available here http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/theentrepreneurialstate

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WalterBright 4 days ago | link

Nobody remembers FidoNet.

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mitchtbaum 4 days ago | link

A great documentary on FidoNet's rise with superb music and universal themes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cm6EFYktRQ

A modern tale of care for a bright and reliable future, search: project byzantium fidonet

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angersock 4 days ago | link

Aloha!

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wslh 4 days ago | link

I do ;-)

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WalterBright 3 days ago | link

I meant that people assume the internet would not have existed if the government didn't create the Arpanet. FidoNet demonstrates otherwise.

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The CEO is a former Space X employee, so I'm sure he's aware. Maybe there was some opportunity, but Space X wasn't interested in pursuing it.

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el_zorro 4 days ago | link

Right now, SpaceX can (and does) have access to that limited market by selling off payload on current launches. It's cheaper to just bootstrap on to an existing flight than dedicating an entire rocket to a small mission. If and when the Falcon rockets become reusable, it's very difficult to imagine this series ever being competitive. SpaceX aims for launch costs of $5-7 million when they achieve reusability, putting the per-kilo cost somewhere between $540-700. At that price, these rockets will have to have a total cost of only $350k to match what SpaceX offers.

These people must either believe that SpaceX won't achieve reusability, or their rockets will. Maybe a combination of both?

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gus_massa 4 days ago | link

What bout proving that your crazy ideas about methane were right and be aquihired by SpaceX to put 72 methane engines in a Falcon9Prime?

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MPSimmons 4 days ago | link

That would be fun to watch, anyway.

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When people think about the future and artificial intelligence, they have all these crazy ideas about robots becoming conscious like skynet in terminator or Hal on 2001 a space odyssey. But I suspect the opposite will be true. Things like the human brain project in the EU and the brain initiative in the US, and other research are likely to explain human consciousness. I suspect it will answer long standing questions about spirituality. And by time we implement sophisticated AI, consciousness won't be a mystery.

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eli_gottlieb 6 days ago | link

Consciousness and AI have almost nothing to do with each-other. Human beings only reason when awake and self-aware, but this is most likely a quirk of ours (ie: the daemon `cognit` only runs at init-level 3), not a fundamental feature of cognition.

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Here are a bunch of tweets with some highlights. Scroll down to july 3rd

https://twitter.com/khoslaventures

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I also fundamentally disagree with this post. My goal as an entrepreneur is to eliminate a million jobs. I am reading a book about the Shipping container, and it massively reduced the number of jobs for longshoremen and merchant marines.

I can also say that working at a big company that is people's mentality. They want to manage a lot of people. That's their goal. Not to create value. And imho the results are often poor.

I think it would be great for society if there were less jobs and people were able to pursue more creative endeavors than menial jobs. imho the goal should be to find a way for people to meet their basic needs without needing a job. NOT to create tons of jobs.

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eugenejen 9 days ago | link

I think you are confused with his proposal. YC is looking for any company that can create demand that requires 1 millions workers to fulfill it.

It is not to create a huge company. It has nothing to do with eliminating jobs. It has nothing to do with provide basic living standard.

For example, if a new technology that allow us to regrow part of organs easily, but it requires living persons to carry the organs within their bodies until organs mature to be transplanted. Those people may have a job as 'organ incubator'.

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andrewtbham 9 days ago | link

My goal would is (as an investor in Organovo) to regrow organs and it's agnostic to whether it creates, eliminates or displaces workers.

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eugenejen 9 days ago | link

Of course you should not. But in the end, you need other people who are willing to trade something for your investment.

Your investment would be valued 0 if no one wants or needs it. And valuation is how much they are willing to pay for it.

So in the end. I think creating jobs is just a mask for 'creating demand for new things for people have no new creating wealth'. Since total aggregation of time of lives of oligarchs and their families are much limited than total populations. So it is better to create demand for consumer market.

But of course, if one day, oligarchs have technology to enable them to live forever, they will have unlimited time to live and my argument won't sustain under that condition.

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001sky 9 days ago | link

This is a bizarre tangent. An oligarch could just enslave people through brute force or more subtle means of mental and psyhcological manipulation into working feverishly in a self-defeating system of exploitation.

Is that "creating demand" for labour? Or for the products?

Is demand for slave labour a good kind of demand?

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eugenejen 9 days ago | link

It is a valid argument. If an oligarch desires to enslave the rest of human being for its own amusement. And the rest of human beings are willing to trade their precious time of lives with the oligarch by being enslaved.

But I feel if the oligarch overplays the enslavement, everyone can choose to commit suicide and having no pain anymore in their lives. Then the oligarch will have no one to play the game with.

So to keep the system working, the oligarch has to fulfill desires of people.

My main point is the most precious wealth for everyone is the time of their lives. And we all trade our time in lives with other people in either products or services. Progress in technologies has enabled us to enjoy growing purchase power of our time and enable us with more fulfillment of desires. But for the moment the whole economy system somewhat gets stuck and we are having problems to figure out what demand can we create to allow people to trade with. Even an oligarch has to trade wealth for desires.

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001sky 9 days ago | link

"An oligarch desires to enslave the rest of human being for its own amusement. And the rest of human beings are willing..."

That's not how slavery works.

"I feel if the oligarch overplays the enslavement, everyone can choose to commit suicide"

Again, this is not historically aware.

=====

I will agree with you on a broader point, which I think you've left unsaid: that everything you want in life is almost always in the hands of someone else already.

For example, if you want a thing someone else has already owned it (or its component parts). If you want a friend, someone else has already been in a relationship with them (either earlier friends, or their family etc). If you want to build anything you need tools, and raw materials, and other resources that somebody else has already found, claimed, owned or handled.

And in that logical sense, "success" is nothing more than taking what (some) other people have already got.

But you've over-abstracted the point to much:

*Even an oligarch has to trade wealth for desires."

True, but this is still consistent will chattle slavery.

I may "trade my wealth" for weapons, and food, and the means to keep you chained to the cotton field. But that says nothing of the way in which the threat of violence co-erces you into doing my bidding--that type of coercive consent is an interesting but ultimately tangentially related academic rabbit hole.

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gregpilling 9 days ago | link

The shipping container certainly created one million jobs globally. I have read "The Box" also, and the job creation was in the factories around the world. The job loss was mostly the longshoremen and the break-bulk process that was wasteful in comparison.

Creating 1 million jobs might mean disrupting 100,000 others. Or maybe it will just mean removing waste in large scale processes that we currently do as a society. My friend Mo is doing this http://www.gizmag.com/infinite-pipeline/23762/ which could help bring water to places that it wasn't economical to do previously. This would change the life of those people who need to fetch water every day. Spending half your day getting water is a huge waste of human potential.

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andrewtbham 9 days ago | link

The point about the shipping container creating jobs in factories is an interesting one. The effect on jobs is complicated. Even Uber eliminates the jobs for dispatcher at cab companies.

I prefer clear goals. I want to create value and I am agnostic to the effect it has on jobs.

+1 for Mo

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anigbrowl 9 days ago | link

My goal as an entrepreneur is to eliminate a million jobs.

Surely your goal as an antrepreneur shoul dbe to provide a million people with a desirable new product/service/ The word 'entrepreneur' means 'between-taker', ie someone that carries things back and forth between suppliers and consumers, like historical traders.

Identifying economic inefficiency and finding something to remedy it is one way of identifying your target consumer, but far from the only one. In your example of the shipping container, you neglect to consider that they're only useful insofar as there is sufficient trading activity taking place to fill the containers up. Labor shortages aren't often a big limiting factor on trade.

I think it would be great for society if there were less jobs and people were able to pursue more creative endeavors than menial jobs.

So do I, but creativity and productivity are wholly different things, especially when it comes to paying the bills.

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ttcbj 9 days ago | link

Yes, I think another way to think of the 'between-taker' idea is that an entrepreneur find ways to use existing resources in a new way that creates more value than those resources could previously create. Sometimes those resources are physical (machines, buildings, etc), but they can also be human beings.

I think it is reasonable for YC to have an investment theory that is something like 'productivity enhancements are making many talented human resources available more cheaply, a business that finds a way to use them could do well.'

But, I think the Uber example is a little unclear. It seems likely to me that driving is going to be automated away in 10-20 years. And, since so many adults drive (even those with other jobs), there is a massive incentive to find a way to automate that activity and make it safer.

I think there is a bit of a paradox - as the number of people employed in a task increases, the incentive to automate that task increases as well. I am not too optimistic that creating large numbers of long-term sustainable jobs is easy, but I think the attempt to find uses for undervalued resources makes as much sense for humans as it does for any other resource.

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superuser2 9 days ago | link

>I think it would be great for society if there were less jobs and people were able to pursue more creative endeavors than menial jobs.

The world is going to have a hard time pursuing "creative endeavors" while homeless and starving - which, if you hadn't checked, is what happens when you don't have a job and people around you support conservative economic policy.

It is not possible to hold this position without being legitimately fairytale-villain evil or a socialist.

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prawn 9 days ago | link

They said "the goal should be to find a way for people to meet their basic needs without needing a job."

e.g., if someone has off-grid battery tech and solar (or whatever else), they can knock off their electricity and gas bills. If they can automate the recycling of sewage into clean water, fertiliser and leftovers, and they had water storage, they could ditch their water bill.

If they had underground (think shipping containers) and automated food production, they could cover some of their food bills and still have ground level land free for entertainment.

Of my general costs, I'm not immediately sure how we would ultimately replace council costs (roads, etc) and internet connectivity.

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cousin_it 8 days ago | link

How would they get to own all these wonderful things, and the land to put them on, if they don't have jobs?

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yannis 9 days ago | link

The RFS never said one million low end jobs and specifically stated they are not looking for companies that would employ one million people. Maybe creating 1,000,000 enterpreneurs?

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andrewtbham 9 days ago | link

It sounds like they are interested in 2 sided markets, like Uber, or airbnb. I get that part, but the "jobs" part is lost on me. Wouldn't uber be cooler if it used self driving cars!!!

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paletoy 9 days ago | link

YC isn't in a position to invest in deep automation, and are good at building markets. And once you build a 2 sided freelancer market , you are very likely to control it when it's automated.

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prawn 9 days ago | link

Uber will obviously switch to self-driving cars once that's viable, shaving the on-going cost of drivers.

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rndmize 9 days ago | link

Just because your goal is to eliminate jobs doesn't mean another entrepreneur can't aim to do the opposite. I think a lot of the types of companies that would be useful in this direction don't so much "create jobs" as they allow people to get paid to do something they enjoy/want to do. Patreon and Beacon are the two that come to mind for me.

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andrewtbham 9 days ago | link

Is creating jobs any entrepreneur's goal?

Increase customers, yes. Create a two sided market, yes. In the case of a 2 sided market the "workers" are your customers.

Uber eliminates the jobs for manual dispatcher at cab companies.

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gone35 9 days ago | link

Is creating jobs any entrepreneur's goal?

Absolutely: their own job, for starters!

More broadly though: some of the most oft-cited reasons by people starting small businesses (tech included) is quite explicitly to be able to do stuff they like and be paid for it; or be able to surround themselves with like-minded people working on goals of common interest to them. Other times, family members, friends or colleagues/guild members come together to provide themselves with a steady source of income --that's how most law firms and medical practices get started, after all.

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dllthomas 9 days ago | link

This is interesting because it might motivate some out-of-the-box thinking. If you can't think of a good way to make a ton of money while creating a million jobs, then sure, eliminate some more like everyone else is trying to do. Y Combinator might well even fund you, under their RFS for robotics or the one for levers or infrastructure or AI.

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webXL 9 days ago | link

While I tend to agree, there's some truth to the saying "Idle hands are the devil's playground". How do non-creative people lead fulfilling lives without being rewarded for their labor? I suppose there's lots of volunteer work to do, but if we could eliminate jobs, we might as well eliminate volunteer work.

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andrewtbham 9 days ago | link

There is plenty of stuff to do. hobbies, sports, traveling, socializing. people often do "work" as a hobby. cooking, working in the yard, hunting, fishing.

It's thought that hunter/gatherer societies only worked 15-20 hours per week.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_society

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webXL 9 days ago | link

We may have different definitions of "fulfilling". I view it as adding value to society. All the things you described are either creative endeavors or just improving one's own life. If non-creatives just played sports, traveled and socialized, then we have no problem. What I worry about are people who have nothing to motivate them to do those things and then resent the rest of society, or use their creativity to harm society. When you have bills to pay, that tends to preoccupy the mind.

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andrewtbham 21 days ago | link | parent | on: Valuations

the most sound way, imho, is discounted cash flow.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discounted_cash_flow

if you are a saas company, check this out

http://a16z.com/2014/05/13/understanding-saas-valuation-prim...

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Is the title a reference to "all your base are belong to us?"

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andrewtbham 29 days ago | link

To answer my own question, yes and the Elon Musk reference is already added in wikipedia. That was quick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us

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izzydata 28 days ago | link

I found it pretty weird that someone like Elon would make such a reference. The site just looks too professional for the out of place internet meme.

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Here is a video explaining the idea.

http://vimeo.com/44382964

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