Personal Equity

There are at least two startups that I know of (Pave and Upstart) that facilitate VC-style equity investment in individuals.  Upstart describes this as “the startup is you”. In both cases, the idea is as follows: raise money from backers in exchange for a percentage of your future earnings.  The idea here is that individuals,… Continue reading

Chromecast, Net Neutrality and the Rise of New Gatekeepers

For the past few weeks, I’ve been enjoying starting to use my new Chromecast.  For those who don’t know, Chromecast is Google’s new internet-video-to-tv device — plug it in, then stream web content from any device to your TV. The Chromecast experience has been eye opening, and it perfectly illustrates the opportunity and challenges we’re… Continue reading

History’s Best Innovation Death-Knell Quotes

I am working on my presentation for this week’s Personal Democracy Forum, which is looking to be a great event. My talk is entitled: “Powered by Us: Architecting Policy for a Connected World”, and I’m going to be talking about the policy implications of peer networks on the web.  We can think of “the peer… Continue reading

Open Data

Open data is a huge driver of innovation.  Traveling around NYC is better because the MTA opens up route, schedule and real-time data for people to build apps with.  Responding to natural disasters is easier when data is open and interoperable.  As we continue to collect more data about ourselves and our environments, from how… Continue reading


At Albert’s suggestion, I’ve started reading Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile.   It really is a powerful idea to think of things that get better with stress, not worse.  And it’s really interesting to think about how to build antifragility into your life in various ways. Here’s one (tiny) example: email.  I hate email and I am… Continue reading

Riding on Services

I’ve been working on an internal web app for the past few weeks. I’m not a “real” programmer, so as usual I just figure things out as I go along and make lots of mistakes, but I always learn new stuff.  This is how I learned programming in the first place, got my first gigs… Continue reading

Schumer Taking a Whack at Patent Trolls

Today I’ve got a post up on the USV blog about Senator Chuck Schumer’s Patent Quality Improvement Act, and the problem of software patents and patent trolls in general. The PQIA would make it easier and cheaper to defend against frivolous patent infringement suits.  This isn’t everything we need to fix the problem, but it’s… Continue reading

Powered by Us

The week before last, I attended the Mesh Conference in SF, which brought together a big group of folks working at the intersection of the web and the “new economy”: i.e., the “sharing economy”, “peer economy”, “connection economy”, “collaborative consumption”, “the mesh”, etc.  As you might imagine, a large part of the discussion focused on… Continue reading

The peer economy

I am writing this post from the balcony of my Airbnb apartment in nob hill in sf. Its by far the nicest place I’ve ever stayed in sf. Beautiful duplex penthouse, with an amazing view of downtown, for less than the price of a hotel room. To get here, I hopped a ride via Lyft,… Continue reading


Matthew Yglesias has a good piece up this morning on the immigration debate in the wake of the Boston bombings.  He points out that historically, as we’ve tightened our border lockdown, we’ve not decreased illegal immigration, we’ve just made the coyote industry more lucrative.   In my favorite line, he suggests that rather than tighten our… Continue reading

Google Fiber and Competition

It’s been pretty awesome to watch the roll out of Google Fiber. For those who haven’t been following, Google is piloting a program to deliver gigabit internet service (symmetrical — equal speeds for uploads and download), starting with Kansas City and coming soon to Austin, TX. This is important and interesting for several reasons: 1)… Continue reading

The Indie Web, Continued

I wrote last week about the Indie Web: the way that the web has the ability to help us grow and connect as individuals in awesome new ways. Here’s my latest entry in that story: For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved doing everything by bike.  As a kid, the bike was my favorite… Continue reading

Making NYC Awesome

I am so inspired by Kid President.  If you haven’t seen the video, go watch it now, and get your pep talk on. So… with kid on our shoulder, let’s think about how to make NYC more awesome.  From a tech policy perspective :) A few weeks ago the (already awesome) NY Tech Meetup launched… Continue reading

House of Cards, and newsjacking the Blackout Bowl

This was a pretty fun weekend for alternative media experiences. Of course, House of Cards launched on Netflix, testing a new model of distribution, and the Super Bowl was interrupted by a 30-minute blackout, leading to a rush to “newsjack” the moment on social media. What I like about both the Netflix move and the… Continue reading

New Years cleaning

I love milestones.  Times of year that mark change and give you a chance to pause and reset. I think that’s part of why I had such a hard time living in California during college, and why I appreciated the seasons so much when I moved back east.  They provide a very natural rhythm. The… Continue reading

Copyright Reform, Peer Progressives, and the New GOP

It’s been a fascinating few days in the politics of information. Late in the day last Friday, the House Republican Study Committee released a report that took a fresh look (for American major political parties) at copyright reform, which has since set off a firestorm. The report addresses three common misconceptions about copyright: The purpose… Continue reading

The Right to Resell

Just one of the many stories to get overshadowed by #frankenstorm today is the opening arguments of Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley in the Supreme Court.  This case will test whether we (as in, citizens of the US) have the right to re-sell items which may contain copyrighted components that were originally sold overseas.  So, for instance,… Continue reading

Analog + Digital

I buy a lot of books.  I find it impossible to browse the web and not stumble upon a book that looks worth reading. For instance, this one. Until recently,  I didn’t think use an e-reader so I always just bought paper books without thinking about it. I love having books on my bookshelf –… Continue reading

Le Burger Dog

This post has been a long time coming. This weekend, we hosted a BBQ at our house as part of the Summer of Internet Freedom.  Internet Freedom is nice and all, but really, it was just an excuse to fire up a batch of burger dogs. What’s a burger dog? I’m glad you asked. A… Continue reading


In some small way, I feel like I arrived as a member of the internet today.  Joi took some photos of me, which are now in his stream (along with photos of countless other internet heroes of mine). Thanks to Jess for making me smile and laugh as we got going. I am terrible in photographs. I always… Continue reading