Recode held its Code Conference this week, which had several great interviews. There’s a link to all the full interviews below. Some took a slight political bent – no surprise considering the climate – but still retained its tech focus.
As a side note: I get why people worry about tech being too disruptive, but this has been going on since the industrial revolution. Nobody knows beforehand all the hazards a new innovation might bring until after the fact, as we found out with the social media “hacking” and “fake news” in the recent election.
The general takeaway is that innovation often gets messy but the thing about tech is that it continues to innovate and disrupt itself during those messy times (the real issue is our tendency to project the big problems as everlasting as if we’ve lost our ability to find solutions).
A similar thing happened with cars. There were the early hazards from the initial disruption (shift from horse and buggy to cars) and then more risks were introduced as the technology improved. Who knew hurtling a 3,000-pound hunk of metal at high speeds could be deadly.
So road, fuel, and car safety were improved. In time, we got seat belts, unleaded gasoline, better tires, airbags, anti-lock brakes, and soon self-driving cars (turns out humans are a big risk in the system). Anytime new problems arise from a new technology, some new innovation pops up to solve them. Anyways, that’s my two cents.
If you’re into future tech, the Marc Andreessen and Reid Hoffman interview was good. Topics covered the disruption and change in the economy, where it’s happening fastest and slowest, and why we need more disruption, not less, because productivity growth is slowing. Of course, they get into AI, autonomous vehicles, and more.
Steve Ballmer first talked about his new project on government data – USA Facts. He announced it in April and started it because he couldn’t find answers to the basic question of what does the government do with the money it brings in and what are the outcomes?
The site takes a transparent data-driven look at government spending and its impact on society. It’s still early days crunching all the numbers but could have a big impact on decision making once all the data is accessible. He runs through some interesting examples with the data.
Ballmer also discusses the intersection of tech and sports. He showed a short clip of what that might look like and it’s beyond cool.
Reed Hastings covers the future of Netflix, the shift to on-demand shows and movies, the personalisation of content, why they won’t offer sports, and the renewed talk of net neutrality.
- My Smart Beta ETF Premised on Cats Rang Up an 849,751% Return – Bloomberg
- Mind the Gap: Global Investor Returns Show the Costs of Bad Timing – Morningstar
- The Incredibly Shrinking Junk-Bond Market – Bloomberg
- Waiting for the Market to Crash is a Terrible Strategy – SVRN
- Don’t Compare Yourself To Others – MicroCapClub
- Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge – M. Housel
- Not Quite Rational Man – City Journal
- Proximate vs Root Causes: Why You Should Keep Digging to Find the Answer – Farnam Street
- Howard Marks Investor Series with Bruce Karsh – Youtube
- Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report – Recode
- Not Even Wrong – Ways to Dismiss Technology – Benedict Evans
- Thoughts on Tokens – Medium
- How AI Can Keep Accelerating After Moore’s Law – MIT Tech Review