“We’ve been asking ourselves at USV if we should be purchasing coins in some of these “genesis block sales” instead of our normal appetite for Series Seed and Series A shares. I think the answer is ultimately yes, but we are most certainly entering into unknown territory in the process.”—
At some point we will all have a reason not to fund the next ‘big thing’ because the next big thing starts out as an idea that competes with something you or the vc, or syndicate you are looking at or already funded 6 months or 6 years ago.
“I am firmly convinced that invention in something that happens over long periods of time, by lots of very smart people, playing each others’ ideas against each other. I think there are very few eureka moments, very few genuinely new ideas.”—Marc Andreessen (via meganq)
They were the first company that I knew of that had testing built in the DNA of their company. They were going after the holy grail of social search (which IMHO twitter is the current winner) and then sold to Google which shut down the service.
This post isn’t really about them but I was reminded about them 2 weeks ago when my buddy Peter tweeted on the day Jelly launched publicly:
My buddy Micah has shared his thoughts and early reactions to Jelly that I think is common amongst the early adopter crowd.
Jelly UX is dumb
What I find fascinating most in the early days of Jelly is watching how the questions evolve.
People are still playing with it, testing the limits and seeing what kind of questions works and which don’t.
Once people get out all the dumb questions out of their system, they will start using it for more important question.
This form of play in the UX is important for creating a strong bond with the product. Think about all the dumb questions you don’t think twice about asking Google.
Jelly UX is smart
Intention and action are really important to cultivate in a fleeting mobile environment.
The disappearing nature of the questions forces intention.
If you’ve ever experienced the painful Tinder accidental swipe left of a hottie, then you know that this is a big deal.; it forces the user to pay attention instead of the habit of just casually glossing over facebook/instagram feeds and not taking action.
In order to pay attention to something, you need to take a deliberate action and follow a specific question. This is a strong data point for engagement [notify you to come back to the app] and interest [know which questions to show you in the future].
Forcing photos with every question is another strong design decision.
People process images better than text.
Forcing every question to have an image primes the user with context + excitement
Jelly has potential
There’s still alot more that needs to be done but the potential is HUGE.
Twitter’s potential wasn’t realized until Summize focused their energies on Twitter search. I think at scale, Jelly search can be a juggernaut. But time will tell if they even go in that direction.
What will be interesting to see is if Jelly opens up an API or they can go about building a massive network alone. They already are doing simple associative processing the facebook and twitter graphs but can they do it on the context side.
Either way I’m smitten by their potential and wish them well.
Just realized what I love about @askjelly It exemplifies the ethos of “you are not alone in this world” which is world changing
“Snapchat is a product built from the heart – that is the reason why we are in Los Angeles. I often talk with people about the conflicts between technology companies and content companies – I’ve found that one of the biggest issues is that frequently technology companies view movies, music, and television as INFORMATION. Directors, producers, musicians, and actors view them as feelings, as expression. Not to be searched, sorted, and viewed – but EXPERIENCED.”—Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat
“I believe that software, and in fact entire companies, should be run in a way that assumes that the sum of the talent of people outside your walls is greater than the sum of the few you have inside.”—
“In life, you will become known for doing what you do. That sounds obvious, but it’s profound. If you want to be known as someone who does a particular thing, then you must start doing that thing immediately. Don’t wait. There is no other way. It probably won’t make you money at first, but do it anyway. Work nights. Work weekends. Sleep less. Whatever you have to do. If you’re lucky enough to know what brings you bliss, then do that thing at once. If you do it well, and for long enough, the world will find ways to repay you.”—Jonathan Harris via SwissMiss
“I went around and showed people what I’d done and said, “Hey, I made Watch the Throne, I made this amount of music for the past 10 years, I have this level of visuals, this level of communication, I can sell this many albums, and I also have these new inventions. Will anybody help me out?” I met with 30 billionaires, 30 companies, and basically everyone said, “Fuck you.” I said, “How could this happen? How could not one person want to invest in these different ideas?” I mean, if I grouped up with three guys in a basement and started a new tech company that was very similar to another tech company down the street, but it just so happened that I had a few more followers than the other guy, then I could get all the investment in the world and value my company at a certain amount. But then I have another idea and the entire world will say fuck you? Now, that is about money and power …”—Kanye West
“As my grandfather would say, “Life is a performance.” I’m giving all that I have in this life. I’m opening up my notebook and I’m saying everything in there out loud. A lot of people are very sacred with their ideas, and there is something to protecting yourself in that way, but there’s also something to idea sharing, or being the person who makes the mistake in public so people can study that.”—Kanye West
“I agree that is important to critically asses the impact of networks, but it is way too easy, in a period of dramatic change to incite fear of the future. But, lets hold ourselves accountable for doing the hard work to more fully understand the transformation we are living through. We need to find ways to minimize the inevitable social disruption while at the same time accelerating the creative destruction of the current economy. We can and should push through this period of adolescence to get to new economy that is free, fair and productive.”—Brad Burnham
“We are a 100% fiat-less company; maybe the first in the world. We have ZERO endpoints into the ‘real-world’ economy, and the few remaining services we pay for personally we’re converting one at a time.”—Founder of Blockchain.info [currently the World’s Most Popular Bitcoin Website and Wallet] via @coindesk
“One way to avoid killing your heart is to decide that you will spend your whole life growing up. I am not saying you should aspire to the maturity level of the characters in Hot Tub Time Machine; I am suggesting we resist a life that looks, in line-graph form, like it goes up and up and up and then it stops, and then it levels out, and then it stays on that flat plane until death. I hope to live a life that goes up and up and up until the end, with the inevitable dip here and there. I hope to continue to learn and change.”—Tavi Gevinson, “Forever,” a remarkable essay
“Bitcoin economy is not a revolution in a sense of violent redistribution of wealth in a “fairer” manner. It is a leap forward by forgetting about how much was destroyed or stolen and focusing on how much can be preserved and protected. It’s a truly peace-making tool for the whole humanity. People who think about Bitcoin as only a money-moving tool, or a get-rich-quick scheme grossly underestimate it. It enables much more than what the web gives. The web gives us freedom to exchange information. Bitcoin gives us freedom to exchange everything.”—Oleg Andreev: Bitcoin and Gold
“I Just Want Who Ever Reading This To Know That Anything Is Possible, No Matter How Crazy It May Seem, Anything IS Possible You Just Have To Figure It Out. Get Your Self Esteem Up And Like Yourself, Then Like Your Ideas. We Live In A World Where People Dont Even Like Their Own Ideas, That Why You Have People Copying One Thing Thats Working So Much, Then Everything Gets Over Saturated With The Same Shit, And That Goes With Fashion, Music And All That. If People Actually Loved Themselves And Believed In Themselves More You Know How Many More Crazy Things Would Be Created? There Is No Fucking Limit To Anything! ( Except Elevators).”—Tyler The Creator
As the employees sat, hushed, Dick [Costolo] paced in front of them with the microphone in his hand and told a story about their recent move.
He said that when he had directed the movers to transport the artwork from the old office, he had instructed them to leave one piece of art behind. It had hung in the Folsom Street office since late December 2009. The piece of art was in a black frame with a white border. In a bit of irony, it had been hung upside down. And in bold white letters on a dark background, it made a statement in thirty-six characters: “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.”
The new office, Dick explained, meant that it was time for Twitter to grow up as a company. To the end of rolling site outages and a long list of other problems that had plagued Twitter’s infancy.
"We’re leaving the motto of making better mistakes tomorrow in the old building," Dick said. "That’s not the type of company we are anymore."
“I couldn’t help to start thinking about the underlying mechanisms and how a lot of these ingredients (experienced founders, technical backgrounds, etc.) are all probably highly correlated with critical thinking and an established processes to enumerate and question assumptions.”—Gabriel Weinberg: Are you questioning your operating assumptions enough?
“My dear friend, the actor Ken Page, who lived in both places for years told me that New York is a river and LA a lake. New York has a current that pulls you in some direction. Where LA has none. So you have to row your boat in LA. You gotta get motivated. LA will test your passions, friendships, beliefs. You live in LA long enough, you change. You have to.”—Alec Baldwin
“There’s a lack of creativity in every field. People are afraid because the powers control people. Only place people can be fully creative is Silicon Valley. There’s a lack of creativity in Hollywood, clothing, education system, on the globe period.”—kanye (via wordbk)
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself…
…Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.