As it isn’t a good tone to have a blog sit stale for a year, I figured this place deserves at least a brief set of links as an update on what’s been happening.
The EIR period at Andreessen Horowitz was not only amazing on personal level, but also fruitful professionally. Even though I wrapped up there only in May, since beginning of this year I’ve been working on my next startup venture: Teleport. We officially founded it with Silver and Balaji in April, closed some seed funding soon after and now have been head down building team and product.
On November 14th, we released the first modest piece of our location search tech in public preview, aimed at helping startup people find the best place to live in the San Francisco Bay Area – give it a try and tell me what you think!
If you’re interested more about what we’re up to, read the coming-out-of-the-closet blog post from April, or a more recent one explaining our focus on startup people. Or just lean back and let me explain it to you in 10 minutes in a speech held at Slush 2014:
It is quite amusing now to see how all of this builds on my Slush 2013 speech and blogpost series on Looking at Europe from Silicon Valley… Some things are just meant to come together, I guess.
As you can guess, life on the early stage startup road is quite busy, the good kind of busy. Hence you can find me quicker at these places than on this personal blog for now:
The fabulous Slush crew has posted a 13 minute video of my speech on how does European tech scene look from Silicon Valley these days:
If you rather prefer long form reading (and to contribute to discussion), this short version later expanded into a series of 3 blog posts :
- On Bridges, Part 1: Realizing how Europe and Silicon Valley are drifting apart
- On Bridges, Part 2: Why Should Europe Care for Silicon Valley
- On Bridges, Part 3: What Can Europe Give to Silicon Valley?
I recently shared some thoughts on how surprisingly hard it has been to adjust to how mundane and bureaucratic everyday activities still can be in otherwise tech-advanced Silicon Valley, compared to back home in Estonia. The video from Stanford GSB YouTube channel:
This is probably the longest-prepared short speech I’ve ever delivered, as a finale of a whole-winter-quarter-long LOWKeynotes program at Stanford GSB in 2013. A text version is below the fold, and if you got anything out of watching this, I’m sure you would enjoy all of the videos from my peers in the program. All of the outcomes were worthy of the effort put in, but if you need help from where to start, try the videos from Lukasz Strozek (on digital hoarding) and Evan Moore (on not believing in God) first.
I was honored to speak last night at the Estonian Independence Day reception thrown by the local Estonian society, aka Eesti By The Bay.
The below are my speaking notes, not a full transcript. Happy 95th Birthday, Estonia!
Stanford GSB Sloan Study Notes, Week 8-10 (18-20), Autumn quarter
Not to worry, despite of the three week scope in title this is not a monster-length post. Between a lovely wedding, an unexpected funeral and Thanksgiving break in between my focus has temporarily shifted a bit away from school as this quarter concludes. Do enjoy the little there is to share below – and as special gift to reader A.M., yes there are more videos.
A notable off campus educational highlight last week ago was an event at A16Z where William Janeway (being interviewed by Marc Andreessen on the photo above) discussed his book Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State. Combining his 40 years in venture capital with a PhD in Economics, Bill has great insights into when, how and where governments should play any role financing tech innovation and where progress should be left for markets. And as a curious subtopic – the need for an occasional bubbles in the latter case.
Covered further in this issue:
- How to avoid small groups polarizing towards extremes in debate
- Kõrvalmärkusena Eesti lugejaile: jah, teadus teemal Reformierakond VS Väike Grupp!
- Centralization VS distribution of control in global organizations
- More history of Presidential candidates screwing up in public
- Financial ratios and common size reports in accounting
- Effective networking tips’n’tricks exchange with Sloan classmates
- How computing changes human bodies and the definitions of creativity
- How big internet players have changed hardware IP value chain
Last week’s [Baltic Dynamics 2008](http://www.teaduspark.ee/?q=/eng/BD) conference was opened by an address by the [President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves](http://president.ee/en/), speaking on Innovation. As the full text did not make it to the president.ee website’s [speeches section](http://president.ee/en/duties/speeches.php) yet, I pinged his office and they kindly provided me a full copy in a few hours. Transparent government in action, love it.
As I think this is one of the best condensed summaries of the major issues — such as investments, education, attracting labour — Estonia and Europe are facing developing as technology hotbeds, I am re-publishing the whole text for your reading pleasure. Really worth your time.
**Welcome address of the President of Estonia
at the opening of (innovation) conference ‘Baltic Dynamics’
Dorpat SPA Hotel, Tartu, 4 September 2008**
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
I am glad to speak here at the opening of the 13th ‘Baltic Dynamics’ conference, an increasingly international meeting, as it should be the case in the field of innovation.
This time the conference takes place at amidst a global economic slowdown, a situation that is frankly unfamiliar for many in Estonia. According to some (admittedly somewhat dire) predictions, this may become the most severe global downturn over the last decade. In terms of our domestic economies, all three Baltic countries stand on the threshold of a paradigm shift; the motor of rapid growth — a competitive advantage based on cheap labor seems to be over. As indeed we have all hoped it would be, for a rise in wages and quality of life is, after all what convergence is all about. But this also creates a new challenge: further development of our economies can come only from higher value added products and services. In this sense innovation is naturally the key to shifting from slowdown to growth.
We must ourselves – how did we reach the state of affairs where we are now? Our economic development has been very rapid, but not always enough forward-looking. The recent slowdown in our economy is – at least to a certain extent – caused by overinvestment in sectors that have provided high yields in the short term (such as real estate) and which are prone to move in correlation with fluctuations of domestic demand. That said, it does not mean that some investments are less necessary than the others, but in the longer term a very small economy cannot rely solely on the domestic market. Indeed, even the second and third largest economies in the world, Japan and Germany cannot rely solely on domestic demand either.