Have you chuckled at the apparent inconsistency of a neighbor who drives a 7,000 lb. pavement-melting SUV to Whole Foods and then buys organic produce? It turns out that there is no inconsistency. She is destroying the planet with her SUV and with her purchases of hard-to-grow organic food.
Ridley notes that with genetically engineered crops, synthetic fertilizers, and Roundup to control weeds, the trend of feeding ever more people with less land could be continued. The biggest obstacle to returning land to its wild state is organic farming. Currently we are using 38 percent of the Earth’s land for growing food or grazing animals; at 1961 levels of productivity we would need to be using 82 percent of the land.
Organic farmers won’t use genetically engineered crops, so they spend a lot more time and energy fighting pests. Organic farmers won’t use Roundup and other herbicides, so they plow the weeds under, which kills a lot of small animals and loosens the soil enough that it erodes (or sometimes they resort to flame-throwers). Organic farmers won’t use standard fertilizer, but only manure from cows, which means we’ll need a lot more cows running around.
Organic cotton is an especially hard-on-the-Earth product, according to Ridley. Standard industrial cotton has Bacillus thuringiensis ("bt") genes mixed in and these kill pests, cutting the need for sprayed pesticides in half.
Who knew that "sustainable" would mean a polyester shirt and a bag of Fritos?
Recently, a bunch of people (some of them high-profile and well-respected) have been going around trumpeting that "college is a waste of time." I agree with them, but I think that they are missing a lot of the point. I think that saying "college is a waste of time" makes about as much sense as saying that "everyone should go to college." I honestly think that college fills a vital role for some people, but on the flip side, a lot of education is clearly wasted (either unneeded or useless). In order to resolve things, we need to become more educated consumers of higher education, and we need to figure out how to fix the higher education system. (Source)
The Great Recession has obviously left a huge imprint in the mindset of the people who lived through it. At the heart of the boom preceding the recession was a virtuous cycle. Lenders, realizing that home prices have never dropped year-over-year at once across the United States, wanted to extend credit to home buyers in a chase for yield in the low rate environment of the early 2000s. Home buyers were happy to oblige as the cost of home ownership vs. renting decreased and they too realized the benefits of rising home prices. As prices rose, these buyers looked to cash out either by drawing the equity out of their property via a refinance or by selling the property to yet another lender-backer home buyer. All of this proved to be a boon for all parties until it wasn’t and home prices finally fell.
The fall was devastating. The global economy was plunged into a recession. Homeowners defaulted on their loans, banks collapsed, politicians pointed fingers, and central banks had to step in to provide necessary market functions to keep the system alive. The recession cost the United States 5+mm jobs and left participants shell shocked.
However, markets have taken different trajectories since the recession. The housing market obviously took a beating from which it has yet to recover. 400k-500k new 1-family houses used to pop up every quarter from 2005-2006 while right now just 90k are built every quarter. The Case-Shiller Price Index, which measures home prices in 20 metro areas, fell from a peak of 206 in 2006 to 138 in March 2011 and is still posting new lows. On the other hand, equity markets worldwide have rebounded since the recession driven by growth in corporate earnings as well as the ability for corporations to once again tap credit markets. The S&P 500 which peaked at 1550 in late-07 fell to 680 at the height of pessimism in early-09. Now, it sits cozily at 1300, just a -16% discount from its peak.
However painful it may be, you must acknowledge that if you want to enjoy a great cake, you should toss yours in the garbage, forget about it, and grab one from off the shelf.
Software is the same way. Oftentimes you will find that a solution baked in-house by a colleague you know and respect is not as mature as one that is open source.
Countless people have begun businesses blogs, only to drop it all 6 months later because they aren’t sure why they aren’t making money.
I’m going to tell you right now that for 95% of the people out there that are trying to start a lifestyle business, you’re doing it all wrong.
One of the early graphical web browser that got really popular was Mosaic, developed at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Some folks from the team, along with SGI founder Jim Clark, decided that it’s worth a venture and formed a company, originally called Mosaic Communication and then later renamed to Netscape Communication.
Netscape’s flagship desktop product was a much more advanced web browser than Mosaic. Jamie Zawinski coined the name "Mozilla", as it was supposed to be Mosaic Killer (Mozilla = Mosaic + Godzilla). At the later stage, the final browser was widely known as Netscape Navigator. For browsing the web, obviously you need a navigator.
As I left that conversation and continued to think about his distaste for this medium, I could not understand how someone so talented and accomplished in our space could be missing the boat on what seems to be such an obvious and valuable tool for young entrepreneurs, and then it hit me. "Keith Rabois doesn’t see the value of the blog as a platform because Keith Rabois is Ketih Rabois." I played back the conversation and listened to him rattle off the top 10 entrepreneurs in the valley, none of whom blog, and it occurred to me that the blog is not a tool for the Keith Rabois’ or Steve Jobs’ of the world, who have decades of history to stand on. It is a tool for those who are making their mark in the present (I would put the Fred’s and Dixon’s of the world into that category). I now see why Keith pointed out the lack of blogging by market leaders on the West Coast…it is because on the West Coast, the market leaders are leaders who have earned that title for work they have done over the past 25 years. They are entrenched, their personal platforms built before blogging existed, and now they rest on those platforms, not needing to amplify their voice of prove that they are equal to or better than those that call themselves leaders. On the east coast, however, I look around at who is leading our market (many of whom blog), who is top of the pack, and they are all entrepreneurs and investors who are "famous" or respected for what they are doing RIGHT NOW. In New York we don’t have a 30 year startup history that defines who is who and who is best. It’s much more of a wild wild west. If you are making moves, changing markets, and better than the noise, the blog is an essential outlet for you to compensate where 30 years of word of mouth don’t proceed your every sneeze. (Source)