Categories
Uncategorized

Laszlo Bock on Building Google’s Culture

Much has been written about what makes Google work so well: their ridiculously profitable advertising business model, the technology behind their search engine and data centers, and the amazing pay and perks they offer. My experiences investing in and working with startups, however, has taught me that building a great company is usually less about a specific technical or business model innovation than about building […]

Categories
Uncategorized

It’s not just the GOP who misunderstands Section 230

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been rightfully called “the twenty-six words that created the Internet.” It is a valuable legal shield which allows internet hosts and platforms the ability to distribute user-generated content and practice moderation without unreasonable fear of being sued, something which forms the basis of all social media, user […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Mea Culpa

Mea culpa. I’ve been a big fan of moving my personal page over to AWS Lightsail. But, if I had one complaint, it’s the dangerous combination of (1) their pre-packaged WordPress image being hard to upgrade software on and (2) the training-wheel-lacking full root access that Lightsail gives to its customers. That combination led me […]

Using AI to Predict if a Paper will be in a Top-Tier Journal

I have been doing some work in recent months with Dr. Sophia Wang at Stanford applying deep learning/AI techniques to make predictions using notes written by doctors in electronic medical records (EMR). While the mathematics behind the methods can be very sophisticated, tools like Tensorflow and Keras make it possible for people without formal training to apply them more broadly. I wanted to […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Calculating the Financial Returns to College

Despite the recent spotlight on the staggering $1.5 trillion in student debt that 44 million Americans owe in 2019, there has been surprisingly little discussion on how to measure the value of a college education relative to its rapidly growing price tag (which is the reason so many take on debt to pay for it). While it’s impossible […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Lyft vs Uber: A Tale of Two S-1’s

You can learn a great deal from reading and comparing the financial filings of two close competitors. Tech-finance nerd that I am, you can imagine how excited I was to see Lyft’s and Uber’s respective S-1’s become public within mere weeks of each other. While the general financial press has covered a lot of the top-level figures on profitability (or lack thereof) and […]

Categories
Uncategorized

How to Regulate Big Tech

There’s been a fair amount of talk lately about proactively regulating — and maybe even breaking up — the “Big Tech” companies. Full disclosure: this post discusses regulating large tech companies. I own shares in several of these both directly (in the case of Facebook and Microsoft) and indirectly (through ETFs that own stakes in […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Migrating WordPress to AWS Lightsail and Going with Let’s Encrypt!

(Update Jan 2021: Bitnami has made available a new tool bncert which makes it even easier to enable HTTPS with a Let’s Encrypt certificate; the instructions below using Let’s Encrypt’s certbot still work but I would recommend people looking to enable HTTPS to use Bitnami’s new bncert process) I recently made two big changes to […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Snap Inc by the Numbers

A look at what Snap’s S-1 reveals about their growth story and unit economics If you follow the tech industry at all, you will have heard that consumer app darling Snap Inc. (makers of the app Snapchat) has filed to go public. The ensuing Form S-1 that has recently been made available has left tech-finance nerds like yours truly […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Dr. Machine Learning

How to realize the promise of applying machine learning to healthcare Despite the hype, it’ll likely be quite some time before human physicians will be replaced with machines (sorry, Star Trek: Voyager fans). While “smart” technology like IBM’s Watson and Alphabet’s AlphaGo can solve incredibly complex problems, they are probably not quite ready to handle the messiness of qualitative unstructured information from […]