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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

Emergence Podcast, Episode 1: Zero Rating

In the inaugural episode of Emergence Podcast, Matt Brightman and I talk about Zero Rating, the future of the internet, and who pays. We also give some intro to how we met (and how we nearly met previously, five years prior), what we’re up to, and where we hope to go with this podcast. Hope you all enjoy!

2 Big Updates

Hi everyone! Sorry for the radio silence over the past month: I’ve been very busy with two new projects that I’m excited to share: 1. As of last month, I’ve officially started working with Sharethebus, an awesome transportation startup based here in Montreal that’s solving the collective action problem surrounding transportation to and from events. I’ll put up a longer and more detailed post sometime soon, outlining what makes this company great and why I decided to join. For now we’re in full-on work mode heading into the summer festival season,… Read more 2 Big Updates

Type 1 versus Type 2 Proof

Happy St Patrick’s Day, everyone. Today, we’re going to talk about proof, and two different kinds of proof that startups tend to face yet not fully appreciate. I’ll be discussing two types of startup models – which I’ll call Type 1 Behaviour and Type 2 Behaviour models – and why they bear distinct burdens of proof that are quite different from one another. A Type 1 behaviour model centers on consumer behaviour that already exists. Companies following this model build a product that makes this behaviour easier, better, cheaper, faster,… Read more Type 1 versus Type 2 Proof