DHH has a sneering piece about why you can be content by just “making a dent in the universe” instead of joining the circus to become the next shiny startup unicorn.

In fact, it’s hard to carry on a conversation with most startup people these days without getting inundated with odes to network effects and the valiance of deferring “monetization” until you find something everyone in the whole damn world wants to fixate their eyeballs on.

In this atmosphere, the term startup has been narrowed to describe the pursuit of total business domination. It’s turned into an obsession with unicorns and the properties of their “success”. A whole generation of people working with and for the internet enthralled by the prospect of being transformed into a mythical creature.

He describes how the VC-backed startup circus is built on wrong premises and gives wrong incentives:

  • “Get Big or GTFO” … build monopolies by any means necessary.
  • Disrupt everything!
  • Buy an audience if necessary, instead of growing it!
  • Have “plans for world domination, complete capture of market and customers!”
  • “Raise more, burn faster, and grow at supersonic speeds yesterday!”
  • “Moving fast” is a license to “treating contractors like a repugnant automatron class of secondary citizens.”
  • Instead of “aligning your financial motivations with the service of your users” you’re incentivized to “capture eyeballs and sell their attention, privacy, and dignity in bulk to the highest bidder.”
  • You need VC, because “going into the cold, unknown world of business without their money in your mattress is a fool’s errand.”

Not only the premises are flawed, but also the process is:

  • San Francisco!!! “Because while that area north of Silicon Valley is busy disrupting everything, it still hasn’t caught up with the basic disruption of geography.”
  • Angels will fund anything, because they don’t know who the next unicorn will be.
  • They don’t care if you’re the unicorn or someone else is, because they’ve funded a bunch of other startups as well.
  • Every step along this scripted, “multi-level investment scheme” you’ll accumulate more bosses “dictating YOUR INCREDIBLE JOURNEY.”

Which probably also sums up my biggest reservations about the prevailing startup culture (although I’ve been working for startups for years now 🤐).

Ramen Code

The plaintiffs in Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration lawsuit had someone with knowledge in building embedded software had a look at Toyota’s source code:

possible bit flips, task deaths that would disable the failsafes, memory corruption, single-point failures, inadequate protections against stack overflow and buffer overflow, single-fault containment regions, thousands of global variables. The list of deficiencies in process and product was lengthy.

Hello, Is That You?

It looks like Google has been recording your voice searches (German). There have been rumors all along and it was assumed this was going on. They have the actual voice recordings and their transcripts and also generate a “finger print” of your voice to be able to verify it.

If you extrapolate from that they can by now


Inner City “Dueling” Over “Micro Aggressions”

From the comments section of a summary of a paper called “Microaggression and Moral Cultures“:

Screen Shot of the comments section 2015-10-04 at 14.35.41
Now we just need to bring back a culture of dueling and the problem will sort itself out.
Re: In the inner city men are dueling over the smallest of, er, micro aggressions.



Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung

Angeblich sollen Springer-Anwälte dem Gericht in einem Verfahren gegen die Macher von Adblock Plus folgendes erklärt haben:

Das Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung. Journalistische Inhalte sind das Vehikel, um die Aufmerksamkeit des Publikums für die werblichen Inhalte zu erreichen.

Nicht, dass das jetzt überraschend kommt … dennoch beunruhigend.