I got a Pixel Slate last December and wrote several blog posts about it at the time.
I use it when I travel and just spent two and a half weeks with it as my only computing device other than my phone.
It is fantastic on an airplane as it is equally great for watching video and doing work (on or offline).
At the tail end of that two and a half week stretch I read that Google has decided to stop making Pixel Slates. It will continue to support the current devices but will not come out with a new model.
This means the Slate is a dead platform and that I will need to find another answer for my travel tablet needs. I’m not eager to get an iPad Pro and will probably continue to use the Slate until I find a better answer.
A new blockchain & cryptocurrency project, Libra, was announced today. Libra has been incubated by Facebook. USV will be one of the founding members of the governing body, the Libra Association. Libra is a stable, fiat-backed cryptocurrency that will launch inside some of the world’s largest consumer-facing applications. We believe Libra has the potential to be the catalyst that brings the entire cryptocurrency and cryptoasset market into the mainstream.
When USV invested in Coinbase in early 2013, our rationale was that digital currencies and digital assets (like Bitcoin and beyond) were a breakthrough technology, similar to TCP/IP, HTTP and SMTP. But we also knew that it would take significant investment in the surrounding infrastructure to make them useful for businesses and consumers, just like it did with the Web back in the 80s and 90s. At the time of that investment, we wrote:
The Gotham Gal and I walked into the Musee de l’Orangerie yesterday and found a line of about 20 people waiting to purchase tickets to enter. The Gotham Gal whipped out her phone, went to the Orangerie website, and bought two tickets that were sent to her phone. It took her less than a minute to do it and we walked in. As we were leaving we noticed the ticket line had almost doubled. We shook our heads and made our way to our next stop.
The mobile phone we all have in our pocket or purse can do so many things but one of its superpowers is a point of sale terminal. Increasingly there is no reason to wait in line for tickets to anything. You can just get them on your phone.
I really like just in time ticketing with the phone. I have the NYC East River
Our portfolio company Cloudflare provides a suite of mission critical security services, and increasingly other services too, in the cloud to their customers. Among the most well known of these security services is DDOS protection (aka denial of service attack protection). A DDOS attack is a massive traffic burst aimed at a website to take of offline.
Among the most vulnerable and attacked websites are those belonging to non-profits and other organizations doing work that upsets those in power.
So Project Galileo is Cloudflare’s effort to provide security services to these sorts of organizations for free so they can stay online and continue to do their work.
And Galileo turns five years old this week.
Matthew Prince, Cloudflare’s CEO and co-founder, wrote this blog post yesterday celebrating five years of Galileo and he explains why this is so important to Cloudflare, the Internet, and the world.
One of the areas of blockchain innovation I am most excited about is building open, permissionless, and decentralized technology infrastructure.
The three areas that seem most obvious to me for decentralized infrastructure are compute (code execution), storage (storing files, etc), and bandwidth (network infrastructure).
And today, we are excited to announce that USV has made an investment in a decentralized network infrastructure project called Helium.
My partner Nick, who led this investment for USV, wrote about Helium on the USV blogand explains why we made the investment (as is our practice with all new investments). I would encourage you to read that blog post as it explains a lot about how Helium works, how the token economics builds the supply side of the network infrastructure, and why it fits so neatly into our investment thesis.
I would just like to point out how cool Helium is.
Owning an EV in a dense urban city is challenging. Most people don’t have their own garages and so they park on the street or in large parking garages. We do the latter.
About five or six years ago, I walked into our parking garage and saw that the garage operator had installed a ChargePoint charging station in the garage.I literally walked back across the street to our apartment and bought our first EV. We now own three.
But charging with ChargePoint is not ideal. There are a limited number of these charging stations in our parking garage and more and more EVs. They are often filled up. And the rates that ChargePoint supplies electricity at are borderline gouging. They have a monopoly on our garage and price accordingly. I believe the rate we pay in our parking garage in NYC is literally double the rate we buy electricity
I have worked in three venture capital firms over the last thirty-three years and am intimately familiar with the performance of the fifteen (ish) venture funds raised and invested by these three firms. Much of what I have written about fund management and investment performance here at AVC over the last sixteen years comes from my observations of these funds and firms.
Starting in the mid-00s, The Gotham Gal and I started investing in other venture capital funds, always limiting these investments to firms where we knew the partners well and had sat on boards with them.
And The Gotham Gal started angel investing around the same time, often writing the first check into startups. She has made something like 140 angel investments over the last dozen years, mostly into companies founded by women.
We keep good records on these personal investments and I now have another data set to
There are a dozen electric scooter companies operating in Paris right now. There are so many that the Mayor just announced that she will reduce that number to three with new rules for electric scooters in Paris.
But before we get into the new rules, I want to stare at that first sentence for a bit.
In less than a year, twelve companies have started operating electric scooter services in Paris.
Paris is the largest electric scooter market in the western world right now.
To enter this business, you need capital to purchase the scooters from China, you need a mobile app on iOS and Android to allow users to locate, unlock, and pay for the use of one, and you need a small team to handle the local logistics.
Apparently those are not significant barriers because a dozen different companies have been able to do it in less than
This part of Kik’s response explains that the SEC is stretching the interpretation of the Howey ruling (from almost a century ago) in its efforts to claim jurisdiction of crypto token regulation:
For the reasons set forth in our Wells Submission, the SEC’s complaint against Kik is based on a flawed legal theory. Among other things, the complaint assumes, incorrectly, that any discussion of a potential increase in value of an asset is the same as offering or promising profits solely from the efforts of another; that having aligned incentives is the same as creating a ‘common enterprise’; and that any contributions by a seller or promoter are necessarily the “essential” managerial or entrepreneurial efforts required to create an investment contract. These legal assumptions stretch the Howey test well beyond
We arrived in Paris this morning and, after dropping off our bags, we walked to our favorite cafe for breakfast and on the way we passed a Bird scooter waiting patiently for a rider.
We don’t yet have Bird scooters in NYC, at least to my knowledge, but apparently they are available in Paris.
It is impressive how quickly Bird has built out it’s international footprint. In the winter of 2018, I started seeing them in our neighborhood in Venice Beach Los Angeles.
And now less than 18 months later they are in Paris (and likely many other cities in Europe).
I have no idea how good of a business electric scooters is. There is no shortage of competition and, as I’ve written about here before, the dockless system can be a nuisance leading to inevitable regulation.
But Bird is not waiting to figure all of that out before building