Top articles of the week | December 9th

December 9, 2017

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

The Original American Tech Giants Social Capital

I love Mark Twain’s quote, history doesn’t repeat itself but it sure as hell rhymes.

There is an assumption that today’s tech companies are very powerful. Social Capital examines the technology companies of old; the railroad companies had enormous amounts of control over the US economy. The article examines the legal battles between the government and these ‘tech’ companies and the parallels that can be drawn today.

Lessons from history for the future of work Nature

This is another interesting historical perspective on the future of work. The article debunks the myth that the industrial revolution was beneficial to the entire world from an employment perspective. The author subsequently considers what will happen with automation and job displacement in the West.

We cannot forecast the future without an understanding of the relationships between science, technology and the economy, because technical change is such an important determinant of the future

SAAS: The Slow Motion Crash Crunchbase

If you are interested in SAAS companies & investing, this article provides some great insight into current market trends. Big public SAAS companies (Salesforce, Shopify) are in a great position to compete while funding into early stage SAAS companies has recently taken a plunge. SaaS startups aren’t just competing against publicly traded companies flirting with all-time highs. SaaS startups are now required to contend with increasingly well-capitalized late-stage private companies as well.

Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future Grist

You *might* have heard about the craziness surrounding cryptocurrencies particularly Bitcoin this past week. However, the process of mining bitcoin requires a tremendous amount of energy putting more & more strain on the grid. Hat tip: Emmanuel Fayet

Power Laws in Venture Portfolio Construction Reaction Wheel, Jerry Neumann

Jerry Newmann is a very well known venture capitalist and has a great blog. His latest post is about power laws in venture capital. It’s a challenging read if you don’t understand all of the math (like me), yet very insightful into what kind of portfolio generates outsized returns.