Some startup/investing-related reads for your next coffee break:
- How Zynga, Facebook and Groupon’s Go-To Auditor Rewrites Accounting Rules - As market observers, our greatest fault is a willingness to take offered data at face value. Francine McKenna digs into the untested accounting principles underlying some celebrated companies.
- Notes Essays—Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup—Stanford, Spring 2012 - Blake Masters’ essay versions of Peter Thiel’s class. More nuanced than I expected.
- An Alternative Approach (to Financing Innovation) - Sean Park lays out the hows and whys behind the Anthemis Group. It’s always wonderful to see well-formed thought carried over into action.
- Government as Venture Capitalist: The Amazing True History - Like any investor, the US government has had its share of winners and losers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s actually done pretty well—especially when it comes to general purpose technologies.
- Political Generations, Micro-Cohorts, and the Transformation of Social Movements - Academic paper examing the impact of cohort replacement on social movements, in this case the women’s movement in Columbus, Ohio. Read it in conjunction with this paper on the evolution of the early thrift industry.
Why these two papers? Because together they portray a model of disruption I’ve come to believe in, wherein the adoption of new technologies and ideas is driven more by cohort replacement than by changed behavior. In other words, it’s not that it takes a long time to convince managers to use new technologies so much as it takes a long time to replace managers who use old technologies.