Wednesday, January 28, 2015

notes on companies to watch

An interesting thing is that none can currently be invested in by the public. This is because technology is making capital investment less relevant. Square is an example: it can't go public because it will make too much money with too few workers, and private investors like banks know it better than the public and are outbidding the public...outbidding to make profit via monopoly status, not to efficiently build infrastructure.  Monopoly status seems to be the only way to make profit when productivity gains make worker's obsolete, as was recognized in the 1930s. It costs very little to move bits around, and getting people to pay for the electronic things they need can thereby be very profitable. The things that give us life (food, water, shelter, transportation) seem to have very little opportunity for investors, requiring lots of investment for little profit above current infrastructure. How are these new companies going to reduce the cost of these things?  Are they diverting society's energy away from making life cheaper for the most via traditional investment for things we need, improving life via entertainment for those who can afford it to push others out by making food, transportation, and housing more expensive? Is it a trick people are playing on each other (creating artificial needs) to weed out the weak? Granted, probably half of them actually help decrease costs for things like transportation and monetary transactions.  Where's the startup that allows me to buy a system for producing greenhouse hydroponic food from my back yard for 4 people in a 80x40 foot plot (0.5% energy of sun, 4 kWh/m^2 sun per day, 2000 kcals each/day) for 10 years for a cost of $10,000, with no fertilizer except my bodily waste, and scheduled to mostly grow as it is needed to be eaten?

Startups:

Uber ("taxi")
Product Hunt (popular apps)
SnapChat (money transactions, etc)
Coinbase
Square (money transactions)
Stripe
AppNexus (app advertising)

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