This blog post by Mark Pesce presents the case that social networking is revolutionizing human social creation. Here is a breathless snippet:
We have a drive to connect and socialize: this drive has now been accelerated and amplified as comprehensively as the steam engine amplified human strength two hundred and fifty years ago. Just as the steam engine initiated the transformation of the natural landscape into man-made artifice, the ‘hyperconnectivity’ engendered by these new toys is transforming the human landscape of social relations. This time around, fifty thousand years of cultural development will collapse into about twenty.
At first, I thought it was over the top. But I actually think Mark Pesce is about right. Here’s the example that I like to use. Most people who graduated from college before Facebook think that Facebook may be a way to meet people or to organize parties. That happens a little bit, for sure, but Facebook has a much more profound impact on students. They don’t use Facebook to throw parties; they throw parties to generate compelling content for their facebook profiles. If it’s not on Facebook, it doesn’t matter. Didn’t really happen.
A nice video demonstrating the physics of a rugby pass. Note that unlike football where a forward pass is determined by the field, rugby’s definition of a forward pass is based on the relative motion of the passer.
Here’s a pretty insightful post-mortem from a failed startup. Key lessons learned (stated in the positive): start small and get feedback; have a good partner; pick a good market. To me, the most interesting thing about this story is how it highlights how failure isn’t the worst outcome. He concludes:
“It’s not really the end of my startup journey – I suspect there will be other startups in my future, both as an employee and hopefully as a founder. But it’s the end of this startup. I’m a little sad about that, but I have no regrets about having started it.”
He is spot on. At a minimum, a true failure like this gives the founder an important experience to draw on in the future, especially when you can be as honest and thoughtful about the failure as this entrepreneur is.
So what’s the worst outcome? Mediocrity. If you languish around making tiny steps forward, and a few backward, you can more easily delude yourself to chase the mirage that’s just around the next corner. This entrepreneur, although his current venture has failed, can live to fight another day on a better battleground.
Congrats to Jonathan Tang for avoiding mediocrity and may his next venture be the best outcome, success!