Top articles of the week | January 30

January 30, 2021

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Shopify and the Hard Thing About Easy Things Not Boring (reading time: 21 minutes)

I love counterintuitive strategy articles. Packy McCormick dives into Shopify’s strategy of arming the rebels. However, by enabling millions of small ecommerce players to launch, it erodes barriers of entry and essentially the possibility of profits.

Who Will Control the Software That Powers the Internet? Chris Dixon, a16z (reading time: 5 minutes)

Blockchains are networks of physical computers that work together in concert to form a single virtual computer. The benefit is that, unlike a traditional computer, a blockchain computer can offer strong trust guarantees, rooted in the mathematical and game-theoretic properties of the system.

Centralization has enabled access of internet services to billions of people. But it also caused huge challenges that we’ve seen with censorship and platform access. Chris Dixon argues that the open-source movement, specifically with blockchain, will usher in a new decentralized era.

Dee Hock, the Father of Fintech Net Interest (reading time: 19 minutes)

Going back to our exploration of fintech, this article covers the story of Dee Hock, founder of Visa. It’s a fascinating deep dive into the history of the company and Hock’s genius (and prescience).

Big Ideas 2021 Ark Invest (reading time: 25 minutes)

I have to rank Catherine Wood and her firm Ark Invest at the top of the list most interesting investment management companies. Reading this annual report on disruptive innovations is like reading into the future; except with a chance to invest in these companies and partake in the upside.