Today is the day!
Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups is live and available from your favorite bookseller in hardcopy, ebook, or audiobook. Thank you to everyone that contributed to this journey. I hope I caught everyone in the Acknowledgements of the book!
I believe the premise of Regulatory Hacking has only become more important since JD and I started writing it almost eighteen months ago. There are five important trends that collectively imply that the major returns of the next twenty years–both financially and in terms of impact–will come from technology disrupting complex markets that are deeply intertwined with government.
1) Tech is diversifying beyond Silicon Valley, in our country and around the globe, much faster than most people appreciate. The next wave of great startups will solve problems that are relevant to where they live.
2) The easy problems have already been solved, but we still have a lot of work to do to transform healthcare, education, infrastructure, security, and so much more using digital tools. And the relationship with government is central to innovation in each of these industries.
3) There is a backlash building around the world toward Big Tech. As a result, even startups that did not previously think of themselves as operating in regulated sectors will need to get smart about dealing with government.
4) Many giant problems–often incapsulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals–need technology-driven solutions. A previous generation might have looked to government or philanthropists to solve these, but this generation increasingly see these as startup problems, but ones in which the connection to government remains.
And finally 5) Science fiction is becoming reality around us everyday. Almost all the amazing new technologies that are coming to market–from AI, automation, blockchain, self-driving cars, genomics, brain-computer interface, and many more–will find their largest markets smack in the middle of incredibly regulated markets.
We are entering a Regulated Age and I hope that founders, funders, executives, and policymakers around the world find Regulatory Hacking to be a useful guide as they navigate and prosper in this new era.
Christopher M. Schroeder has a great review of Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups.
Chris makes some great points about my thesis in the book, but he also noticed one key item. Throughout the book, I refer to the beneficiaries of new technologies as citizens rather than consumers. Citizens are more than mere consumers: they have rights and responsibilities and exist within a broader social fabric. If you want to understand why building for citizens rather than consumers is so critical to successfully regulatory hacking, then you can still pre-order the book today!
File under the heading of “things I read about in sci-fi as a kid.” Paradromics Inc raises $7m in seed for their brain-computer interface technology: https://www.massdevice.com/brain-interface-tech-startup-pa…/.
You can read all about Paradromics and how Matt Angle and Robert Edgington have used #reghacking to validate next generation technology in partnership with government in Regulatory Hacking: A Playbook for Startups, available on Amazon.
Eye am compelled to share an energy that’s encapsulated my physical and metaphysical body over the last moon cycle. It’s been the most epic ride of my life. Magic and love and abundance like never before. I’ve been finding myself drifting in and out of this material world. In and out of time and space. I’m receiving uploads that the same level of experience found in the universe as a whole can be found within our human Soul as well. The same levels of “Being-ness”, the same divine Hierarchies found in the “immaterial” etheric, astral and higher planes of the universe as a whole are found within US. This realization of being a “MIRROR” of the Macrocosm is central to unfold the mystical process. This whole process circles around the magnetic axial pole of pure Being. The principle of macrocosm and microcosm, which represents this mirroring of levels is the foundation of all the spiritual and metaphysical traditions. From the formation of our cosmology, to awakening of dark programming, to our humble meditation practices, to world affairs… Everything in the universe affects and resonates with everything else. In the same manner, our own spiritual practice and level of consciousness affect and resonate in all the Planes of existence in the universe… This is also a reminder that, however strange the universe may seem to us, we and it share one nature and one life. No human vocal linguistics can display the gratitude Eye have for everyone that has been with me throughout this journey. From light being magical souls who are present with me this moment, in this body, in this material world, to the masters before me who have laid their genius into my foundation through my conscious. So much love. Love is the only Truth, everything else in an Illusion. ?
#tbt Spring 2017. Got to produce the shoot for Nicki Minaj for the opening video of the 2017 Billboard awards with my A Team, Dago Gonzalez and Jamie King. This was just one of several amazing outfits that she wore compliments of style goddess B Akerlund @bcompleted. As usual not allowed to post anything from that shoot so all that amazingness is sealed in the VENENO INC vaults forevaandeva. This shot is a repost from her lovely makeup artist Sheika Daley @officialsheiks @nickiminaj @dagogonzalez100 #nickiminaj #billboards2017 #producer #producerlife #goddess #ladyinred #jamieking #queen #diva #veneno #ladyboss #videocontent #musicvideo
What’s the biggest trends of 2018? Each year, legendary tech investor Mary Meeker publishes the biggest Internet Trends. Her slides are out today, and here’s the Top 8 Highlights:
1. This year, for the first time, over half of the world’s population (3.6 billion people) are now online.
2. Voice technology is exploding, with x3 growth from 10 million to 30 million users using Amazon Echo in the last 12 months.
3. Google search is falling, with half of all product searches now happening direct on Amazon instead of on Google or Facebook.
4. Cryptocurrencies continue to grow rapidly with Coinbase’s users quadrupling in the last 12 months.
5. Subscription services are the fastest growing business model, with Netflix up 25% and Spotify up 48% in 2017.
6. Freelancing is the fastest growing job sector, with the on-demand workforce growing 23% in 2017.
7. China is accelerating, with Alibaba having 2.5x more sales volume than Amazon and 2.5x more free cash flow.
8. In a global world, immigration is a key factor, with 56% of top U.S. companies founded by a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant.
The world is changing fast! You can have a look at all 294 slides here -
Imagine choosing to NOT get a job, and being rewarded over $2 billion for the decision.
That’s what just happened to Jacob de Geer this week when PayPal bought his startup, iZettle, for a record $2.2 billion.
In 2010, 40-year-old Jacob was unemployed. He recalls:
“We’d just had our second child. I was at a place in life where I really felt like I could use some stability.”
“You know, a nice fixed salary that would actually hit my account on a monthly basis, possibly a company car, and a pension would have been nice as well.”
His wife was trying to make money by importing reading glasses. She came back from an overseas trade fair to their home in Sweden, complaining that she had lost 70% of the business because there was no easy way for her to accept the credit cards of the buyers she had found.
Jacob remembers: “My wife said ‘someone must have solved this for small businesses, so that it makes sense for us.”
Jacob had a look at what the problem was.
He says at the time, to get a card reader took a crazy amount of time and money: “The business model at the time was you paid €1,000 as a startup fee. Then you paid another €50 a month for 24 months as some sort of technical support fee, whatever that is.”
“And then you paid transaction fees on top of all that. And you could only use that terminal in one location.”
So Jacob decided that instead of getting a job, he’d try and solve the problem.
With time on his hands, he came up with the idea of a debit and credit card reader that could plug into a mobile phone and swipe cards directly. Four months later, he launched “iZettle”, and within a year, he had a working prototype:
Jacob says with iZettle, “You just sign up online, it takes five minutes. You get the chip and pin reader (for just €20) the day after, you download the app for free then you’re up and running.”
Such a simple solution to a big problem (Jacob worked out there were 20 million companies that shared the same issue), led to hyper-growth. By 2017, Jacob was attracting 1,000 new customers a day in 12 different countries.
Two weeks ago, with revenues reaching €200 million, Jacob announced that iZettle would have an IPO. Then, yesterday, PayPal made its biggest acquisition in its history by buying iZettle for $2.2 billion.
Jacob says “Late in the IPO process, PayPal got in touch and showed a serious interest in iZettle. By joining the PayPal family we’ll become iZettle with superpowers and jump on a fast track to realise our vision.”
With PayPal’s reach, iZettle’s card reader will go from being available in 12 countries to 200 countries in the near future.
Jacob’s decision to say NO to a job was worth over $2 billion.
Success is often not as a a result of what you say yes to, but what you say no to.
What door should you be closing, to clear the way to a far greater reward?
“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can focus on the things that are really important.” ~ Steve Jobs
In Israel. I speak Hebrew fluently but my vocabulary is limited. Imagine knowing English as well as you do, but every sixth word is gibberish.
“Can I get a Hamburger?”
Sure thing, lettuce, tomatoes, zirb, and onion?
“Ketchup. No plunk.”
“What is Fjorb?”
Eight minutes later you’re eating a fish.