Good and bad M&A

It appears that Oracle has won the bid to purchase TikTok’s US operations. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyone who knows anything about Oracle has to seriously wonder what this is going to do. Sure, Oracle desperately needs to enter new markets, but … TikTok? At the other end of the spectrum, NVIDIA is acquiring ARM. Now, that deal makes a lot […]

Belarus playing out as predicted

As I discussed back in mid-August, the legitimacy and continuation of Lukashenko’s strong-man hold on Belarus could include a closer relationship with, and consequent help from, Russia — but only if Lukashenko made his request much more clear and public. Last week, Russia’s Prime Minister visited Belarus, and said that Moscow was willing to send “police” to […]

If Australia doesn’t get their act together, they may lose all news

The news business has always been tough. It’s been extra tough since the Internet came along. It’s shrinking in every possible way — relevance, number of reporters, income, readership; you name it, it’s hard to be in the news business. But as we look at the “news” on the Internet, it’s easy to see why, […]

The Rise of No Code

Innovation, perhaps tautologically, comes from the cutting edge. In the world of cars, we owe disc brakes, dual overhead cams, and MacPerson struts (to name just a few) to car racing. This is the world I was discussing at the beginning of the month, when I said we need a lot more and better computer scientists […]

SEC Rule Changes

Two significant rule changes came out of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week. First, there was a change in the definition of “accredited investor”. If you don’t know what that term means, then you’ve never tried to invest in a start-up — or invest in a VC fund, or buy pre-IPO stock, or […]

California vs. Uber/Lyft

In other legal battles, California passed a law known as AB5, which seeks to force so-called gig-economy workers to be classified as “employees”. California then succeeded in a case, with a judge ordering Uber and Lyft to do exactly that — convert all of their drivers to employees. Uber and Lyft retaliated, vowing to shut […]

Rolling funds are all the rage

Back at the beginning of the year, AngelList launched “rolling funds”. While several funds have launched in the intervening 7 months, last week Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia launched one, which got them all over the VC-twitter universe. Rolling funds are an interesting alternative for small LPs and new GPs looking to start something. The way […]

Intel is getting leap-frogged

In 1965 Gordon Moore famously predicted that the number of components on an integrated circuit (a computer “chip”) would double every year — Moore’s Law. This largely turned out to be true, but for a long time, we’ve been predicting that we’re reaching the end of it, largely because of laws of physics. To fit […]

EU Tech Stocks and markets — or, will there be a Euroean Silicon Valley?

The WSJ wrote an article this week, pointing out that Amsterdam is the leading EU-exchange for tech stocks. This may seem surprising, but actually makes sense. London’s AIM and Germany’s Deutsche Börse are notoriously low-liquidity for tech stocks. There are very few scenarios one can imagine where listing on either of those larger exchanges is […]

EU restricts personal data transfers to the US

If you don’t live in the EU, and don’t run a globally-targeted website, you may be forgiven for not being familiar with GDPR — the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU. If you do live in the EU, then you’ll be intimately familiar with the endless “agreeing” you have to do to various cookie […]

Which is the larger long-term danger, COVID-19 or GPT-3?

That’s the question a computer-science friend of mine recently asked — which of course leads one to query, what the heck is GPT-3? GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, and is one of the outputs of the OpenAI initiative. GPT-3 is … the 3rd version of GPT. What it does is, given a word, try to […]

TikTok and China

Here we are, yet again, back at Newsletter #14, wherein I brought up some of the problems with TikTok being controlled by the Chinese, and statements by the new CEO (who is an American), who asserts that they don’t send US user data to Chinese authorities, and moreover that they’d refuse if it were demanded. Things […]