Entry barriers

Dark fibers, arduino, micro-lending – they have one thing in common in that they lower the barriers to entry.

Post dotcom-crash, the abundance of dark fibers connecting homes stimulates the booming of internet startups. With just one server and a programmer, anyone can start a web company that reaches worldwide audience. That is a very powerful thing.

Fast forward to 2010, Raspberry Pi, Arduino and 3D printer significantly lower the barriers for hardware prototyping, thus allowing wearables and iOT industries to flourish. Prior, you can’t run hardware companies like software ones – from injection molding to PCB prototyping, every single one of these steps eats into your capital, making iterative experiment a prohibitively expensive process.

And it’s not just the technological front – barriers are being broken down on investment side as well. Micro loans, crowdfunding, JOBS Act, syndicate investment, convertible notes and peer to peer lending – they exist, in one way or another, out of the desire to make funding process more faster, transparent and less painful to everyone involved and this is just the beginning. To quote Marc Andreessen:

“Our investors are these big institutions, university endowments, high net worth family money, private foundations. They’re fine. They can invest in us. They can invest in venture capital. Joe retiree, who works hard for 40 years and has his money in the public stock market, he can’t do that.”

Lowering entry barriers is a prerequisite for creative destruction. Inclusive economy allows more people to enter the field. Such floodgates will breed innovations whether we like it or not because that’s the only way to survive in a gold rush – you either improve on existing ideas or come out with something different than what’s already out there.


RE.MU Hong Kong outing

As a founder, I am one of the first people to work on RE.MU, and chronologically that might be interesting but so much of the great work we do now is a result of having a great team that I feel lucky to be a part of.

be a part of. 


Left unsaid

Slava Akhmechet’s Speak Up

People outside the industry (and even most of the insiders) don’t really understand how much is left unsaid because of the enormous systemic pressure to stay quiet. Take me, for example.

It seems like every few days I run into a newspaper article covering something in my field that’s grossly misinformed, intellectually dishonest, or both. Most of the time I judge that debunking it isn’t worth the time and energy, but every once in a while someone publishes something so outrageous that I open the editor and start writing. But then I realize the pressure’s on, and I stop. What if my company needs coverage from that particular newspaper? My users, employees, and investors depend on me. Is it worth picking this particular battle? Is now the time? Almost inevitably, I decide to wait. First we’ll get the leverage then I’ll be able to speak up.



低薪陷阱就是當你花越多時間工作,你就會越依靠它來生存,因為你根本沒多餘的時間尋求其他的機會脫離這種狀態 如此循環下去。常看到的現象就是大家辛苦加班,然後再把錢浪費在補償損失的睡眠/吃飯時間。這也是為什麼窮人在醫療方面的支出比富人更多。唯一逃脫的辦法就是不吃不喝地拼命工作,希望自己有天能累積到足夠的餘裕去找尋其他機會。但這個方法要是遇到突發事件恐怕就會失敗。

廉價的薪水意味著昂貴的生活。窮人花更多,不管是金錢或是時間。在美國和許多發達國家 便宜的房子總是在比較危險或遙遠的地方,窮人都必須花更多錢在通勤上,被搶劫、遭小偷的機率也大大提升。又好比公車。公車很便宜,窮人都會搭公車,有時候他可能需要換兩班公車。早上六點半就要起來,等著每10~15分鐘就應該要來的公車。但有時候,公車30分鐘才來。在那多浪費掉的20分鐘,除了淋雨,你還能夠做什麼嗎?只有等待。這就是另一個貧窮的成本:等待。你等著公車來、在公車上等著司機一站一站的開往終點;你等著付帳單、等著找工作、等發薪水, 等降價、等著獎學金貸款福利的申請結果;你等著下一期的樂透頭獎開在你家。

至於等待的成本呢?對時薪1千美金的有錢人來說,每個月花10小時在通勤上完全是可以負擔的,大不了少買一雙prada給女朋友。但對時薪7.95的窮人花10小時在交通?少了80塊就是要省吃 藥也不買了 這個月的水電費帳單剛好還有$80繳不出來…




WAP Love

developing for WAP browsers (looking at you, Nokia feature phone users…) is worse than fixing IE 6 bugs but today someone posted this pic that makes all the pain worthwhile :)

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