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Emergence Podcast, Episode 3: The Uber Episode

Hey everybody! We’re back with another episode of Emergence Podcast, from myself and Matt Brightman. We recorded this episode a while ago – right after a California Court ruled that an Uber driver should be considered an employee, not a contractor. In this episode we go through where this matters (and where it doesn’t) for Uber, for the on-demand economy in general, and what it means for the future of work. Hope you enjoy! Also available on iTunes, as usual.

The startup logic puzzle

Fun post today: Who can figure out the following puzzle? If you do, send me an email at, and I will give you special kudos. (All of the clues needed to solve the puzzle are contained within the hints. There is no missing information.) ——– 5 Startups all work on the same street. Their names are: Vaultforge, Mylend, Whamazon, and Each one makes a different product, uses different communication tools, and works in a different coloured office. Your task is to figure out: which company is worth 1… Read more The startup logic puzzle

Emergence Podcast, Episode 2: Secrets

Hey everyone! As an extended follow-up to my post the other day about secrets, Matt and I recorded the second episode of Emergence Podcast where we go further into detail on the topic. After listening back to the episode, a key takeaway emerged that I’d like to call “Brightman’s Law” after it’s discoverer, Matt: Behavioural innovation is ultimately constrained by technology; technological innovation is ultimately constrained by behaviour. Good stuff, Matt! Soundcloud is being a bit funny at the moment, so here is the link on iTunes instead: please listen,… Read more Emergence Podcast, Episode 2: Secrets


The importance of secrets in creating and capturing value has had no more vocal champion recently than Peter Thiel. In last year’s brilliantly distilled and somewhat controversial book Zero to One, Thiel builds a well-argued case for the importance of monopoly profit and power-law thinking for innovation and business that is well worth reading, even if you disagree with his conclusions. One central theme of the book is the value of secrets: not secrets that you hide and tell no one, but rather things that you know to be true… Read more Secrets

Hey there, buyable Pins

Time to revisit an old post today, in which I made a prediction (that, in time, became increasingly clear it would come true) about Pinterest: that, sooner or later, we would see a Buy Button appear. And here we are! Although I think a lot of people expected Pinterest to get into purchases eventually (gotta monetize all of that purchasing intent, and promoted pins are pretty weak next to the massive potential that a Buy Button represents), I’m pretty happy that I nailed another, more subtle aspect of this development: the… Read more Hey there, buyable Pins