Ben’s List about VC and Big Tech – Selected

Article

I love investors and investors love me – I believe. But if you spend time on VC Twitter, it’s hard to avoid some well deserved criticism. This week, I’m sharing a bunch of articles that question the morals of venture capitalists. We’re also looking into how VCs raise funds with LPs.

As usual, I’m also sharing some articles about Big Tech and how to keep it under public scrutiny.

The case of Timnit Gebru, ethics researcher at Google, is appalling.

At the same time, DeepMind (part of the Google empire) is unveiling a breakthrough in protein modeling that will impact the lives of millions.

Don’t worry, we also provide your weekly dose of business insights in community building, newsletter, podcast and marketing.


Book

Future Of Text 2020

A single sentence on a piece of paper does not hold the same power as a single sentence in a tweet and the ease of publishing vastly overpowers what was possible to print and read on paper.

Digital text holds real, untapped potential because of its inherent interactivity and we have a choice: We can learn to control the vast sea of digital text–or be controlled by it.

Venture Capital

Some of our readers complain about VC bashing. Guess what, we know who’s behind @VCbrags!

blog post
I’m writing this article to discuss some of the issues surrounding this account. I’m going to try to keep it as brief and to the point as possible. As I’ve mentioned in my original tweet, if you want…

How Venture Capitalists Are Deforming Capitalism

Even the worst-run startup can beat competitors if investors prop it up. The venture capital firm Benchmark helped enable WeWork to make one wild mistake after another—hoping that its gamble would pay off before disaster struck.

How Venture Capitalists Are Deforming Capitalism
Even the worst-run startup can beat competitors if investors prop it up. The V.C. firm Benchmark helped enable WeWork to make one wild mistake after another—hoping that its gamble would pay off before disaster struck, Charles Duhigg writes.

The VC “Strips off” – Silicon Roundabout Ventures VC Fund Deck Reviewed Live by Draper Esprit LP

Alternative Assets

Window shopping for expired Domain Names

Want to Build a Side Business? Just Buy a Great Domain Name

Window shopping for expired Domain Names

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Politics

Democratic Source Code for a New U.S.-EU Tech Alliance

I found this one particularly relevant to our Selected Salon with Dr. Jen Schradie.

Democratic Source Code for a New U.S.-EU Tech Alliance
The incoming Biden administration should seek to build a U.S.-EU alliance that will hardwire democratic governance into everything digital.

We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says

The company’s star ethics researcher highlighted the risks of large language models, which are key to Google’s business.

We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says
The company’s star ethics researcher highlighted the risks of large language models, which are key to Google’s business.

Marketing

Social media predictions for 2021

  • There will be more censorship (ie: Twitter) and less censorship (ie: Parler)
  • Community and commerce will converge
  • The rise of implicit social networking
  • There will be two breakout audio social networks
  • Paying for social will become the norm
  • We will see one breakout crypto community
  • There will be 1-2 new novel ways of hanging out virtually
  • TLDR; social is becoming “stretchy”

Social media predictions for 2021
Social apps are changing rapidly. Really rapidly. Here are a few of my predictions as to how social apps will continue to evolve in 2021. There will be more censorship (ie: Twitter) and less censorship (ie: Parler) Parler is like Twitter but with zero censorship. It’s the Mecca for the deplatformed,…

The Online Community Engagement Ladder

The community engagement ladder is a framework that acknowledges that members interact with your community in different ways, and creates opportunities for them to interact, regardless of how engaged they’re able to be at any given time.

The Online Community Engagement Ladder
Creating engagement opportunities for every community member For communities that are just getting started, building a base of engaged members is a primary focus. As a community builder, you’ll figure out what engagement tactics are most effective with your community through trial and error. And, yo…

Strategy

The Unusual Signs of a Billion Dollar Company, with Elad Gil

Newsletter

Peak Newsletter? That Was 80 Years Ago

Radical poets like Allen Ginsburg used mimeographs to sell chapbooks, while genre aficionados relied on them to print science-fiction fanzines. Mimeographs also fueled the growth of marginalized communities: Some of the earliest gay publications, like the 1950s lesbian newsletter The Ladder, ran on the machine.

Peak Newsletter? That Was 80 Years Ago
In the 1940s, journalists fled traditional news outlets to write directly for subscribers. What happened next may be a warning.

Science

Contemplating the End of Physics

One could argue, the seeds that led to these discoveries were all planted in the good old days. Black holes and gravitational waves are direct consequences of the equations Albert Einstein discovered in 1915. Maybe physics has run out of original ideas?

Contemplating the End of Physics
Has physics reached the limits of what we can discover — or are the possibilities only just beginning?

DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures

“This is a big deal,” says John Moult, a computational biologist at the University of Maryland in College Park, who co-founded CASP in 1994 to improve computational methods for accurately predicting protein structures. “In some sense the problem is solved.”

‘It will change everything’: DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures
Google’s deep-learning program for determining the 3D shapes of proteins stands to transform biology, say scientists.

Podcast

Meet the young podcast generation

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure everyone feels like they’re a part of a worldwide community and gets an opportunity to share their stories first-hand.” – Ekram Esmael

WADUP

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Seasonal

8 Hours of 4K footage and ASMR audio of a cozy fireplace

Because when you can’t have an actual fireplace, this is the next best thing.

Summary

Become a member of Sesamers

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