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This audio clip is ~7 years old now but still as relevant as ever

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Source: Venture Hacks

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An excerpt from Peter Thiel’s Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future:

1. The Engineering Question — Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?

2. The Timing Question — Is now the right time to start your particular business?

3. The Monopoly Question — Are you starting with a big share of a small market?

4. The People Question — Do you have the right team?

5. The Distribution Question — Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?

6. The Durability Question — Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?

7. The Secret Question — Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

Whatever your industry, any great business plan must address every one of them. If you don’t have good answers to these questions, you’ll run into lots of “bad luck” and your business will fail. If you nail all seven, you’ll master fortune and succeed. Even getting five or six correct might work.

Thiel, Peter; Masters, Blake (2014-09-16). Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (pp. 153-154). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Just to prove that no technology is immune from disruption one of the oldest technologies in the book is being disrupted: the act of reading. (Pun intended).  Reading is so old and so fundamental it’s awkward to think of reading as a form of technology.  Perhaps there’s a better term for it?  I digress.

Not many people will tell you that reading is a waste of time but the folks at Spritz might.  According to the company, “when reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word”.  Spritz has found a way to avoid all that wasted time.

Spritz’s technology streams words at a customizable rate ranging from 250 to 1,000 words per minute.  Instead of reading, you’re “spritzing”.  Take a look at the example below – it’s streaming 500 words per minute.

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I’m pretty sure this is the last stop before they can just mainline knowledge right to your brain (a la Matrix).

More information available at spritzinc.com

Found via FastCompany

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An interesting article on TechCrunch, written by the folks at Cowboy Ventures – they put together a in-depth profile of startups that are now valued at $1B or more, referring to these mythical creatures as “Unicorns”.

Below are some highlights I found interesting.  Be sure to check out the rest of the article here.

Fun Unicorn Facts:

  • There are currently 39 Unicorns
  • Only 0.7% of venture backed companies (from ’03-’10) have grown up to be Unicorns
  • On average four Unicorns were born per year from 2003 -2010
  • It has taken seven plus years on average for these Unicorns to reach a liquidity event and a third of Unicorns are still private
  • There are more consumer oriented Unicorns than enterprise oriented Unicorns
  • BUT enterprise Unicorns have delivered more value per private dollar invested (26x total capital raised vs. 11x for consumer)
  • Average age of a Unicorn founder is 34 and there were on average three co-founders at each Unicorn
  • 90% of founding teams either worked together previously or went to school together
  • 80% of Unicorns had at least one co-founder who had previously founded a company
  • Few companies are the result of a successful pivot; ~90% of companies are still working on their original product vision

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