Top articles of the week | November 9

November 9, 2019

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

The Coase Line Mutable Matter (reading time: 5 minutes)

I loved this niche article about API first businesses. The post explains the concept of the Coase line where, any task that needs to be done with a transaction cost higher than the Coase Line should be in-sourced, and anything that costs less than the Coase Line should be out-sourced where possible. This framework is interesting for many different business functions; should hire an internal digital marketing team or outsource. In an API first world, there are many businesses that are thriving as a result of the Coase Line.

It’s Price Before Product. Period. First Round Capital (reading time: 22 minutes)

New products fail for many reasons but the root of all innovation evil is the failure to put the customer’s willingness to pay for a new product at the very core of product design. It’s hard to understate how important price is in the overall equation of customer value. This great post covers expert advice on how to tackle the price challenge particularly for an early stage company.

Complexity Investing Bluegrass Capital (reading time: 5 minutes)

This thread on twitter summarizes the best parts of a paper on complexity investing. The paper focuses on “companies that are adaptable, long-term focused, innovative, possess long-duration growth, and maximize non-zero-sum outcomes.

The Style-Quantifying Astrophysicists of Silicon Valley Wired (reading time: 8 minutes)

Astrophysicists have long been using statistical models and machine learning with their data sets. They are now taking their expertise to Silicon Valley to help consumer startups. It may seem like a radical change in profession but the work is actually quite similar.

Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon Joel on Software (reading time: 14 minutes)

This is an amazing article on company building. The author argues that there are essentially two types of companies; going slow and methodical (Ben & Jerry’s) or going big and fast (like Amazon). Each path will require radically different choices in terms of culture, capital and mindset.