Rise of the operators (Part 1: the builders)

The palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould was a well-known proponent of a slightly modified theory of evolution called punctuated equilibrium. Briefly, his view was that ‘normal’ incremental evolution was occasionally interrupted by radical change (meteor, volcano or another cataclysm) which in turn re-set the environment for the next period of incrementality. The end of bull markets always remind me of a version of this. Less dramatic but no less impactful in terms of re-setting the environment.

Continue reading “Rise of the operators (Part 1: the builders)”

Deluxe Paint 2 and new creator creation

Deluxe Paint 2 probably won’t mean anything to the majority of people reading this. It was a graphics and (very) basic animation program published by EA (yes the same EA!) which was bundled with my Amiga 500. Wowing* friends with my 10-frame animations, it was my gateway to almost everything I did professionally after. But, unlike John Carmack’s experience, my early Deluxe Paint animation career hit a wall of capability, creativity and 512k of RAM.

Continue reading “Deluxe Paint 2 and new creator creation”

The Fermi Paradox of Venture Capital

Once again another capital cycle rotates. As with the passing of every civilisation, certain durable (or lucky) relics and memories survive into the new age. This is why we have giant myths, pyramids, 20% management carry structures and limits on bank CEO salaries. And I guess this is why crypto will hang around as an asset class. Amidst this turmoil and post Great Bull Market (GBM) contemplation I’ve been wondering why VC hasn’t been truly disrupted yet. It seems ironic (or maybe just weird, I so often get these concepts confused) that the capital delivery ecosystem designed for those pioneering disruption is itself remarkably stuck in time.

Continue reading “The Fermi Paradox of Venture Capital”

The power of ambition compounding in Irish startups

There has been a flurry of media attention about Wayflyer, whose recent investment valuation (led by DST) made them Ireland’s sixth startup unicorn. Congrats guys! But also, congrats Ireland! It’s pretty remarkable what a decade of compounded startup experience can do.

Continue reading “The power of ambition compounding in Irish startups”

High-confidence predictions

On the weekends, I cook and listen to podcasts. Today was Razib Khan’s interview with demographer Eric Kaufmann and, combined with the usual flurry of January prediction posts, it made me wonder what highly confident statements we can make about 2050 based on what’s true today.

Continue reading “High-confidence predictions”