Tinta Fresca

In search of old age, good stories to tell, and folks to tell them to...in Austin, Texas

Brazil has always been the social model of the future. Everything refers to something else that you wouldn’t know anything about if your aunt hadn’t told your mother something a couple of years ago about something her lover heard. Brazil is an enormous inside joke, and the internet is a mass conversation. Brazil was the internet before the internet existed.

Mr. Feld describes startup communities as self-governing bodies of craftsmen akin to medieval guilds. The first point of his “Boulder Thesis” (named after the city in Colorado where he lives) is that entrepreneurs must lead. A second is that a startup community must be open to anyone who wants to join. But the main message is that you must “give before you get.”

For an individual, giving before getting is good business. In a fast-moving and uncertain industry he may need someone’s help some day. “It’s about building social capital,” says Hussein Kanji of Hoxton Ventures, a London venture-capital fund. More important, though, business in ecosystems is not a zero-sum game. Tom Eisenmann of Harvard Business School explains that startup colonies are platforms with strong network effects, a bit like Windows and Facebook: the more members they have and the more activity they generate, the more attractive they become.

"All Together Now"; The Economist (Jan 18-24, 2014)

Many people say nonprofits don’t have a bottom line the way business does. This analogy is faulty, however. Nonprofits do quite literally have a bottom line: they too have financial results and tax returns. In addition, no sophisticated person will choose to invest in a company based only on its bottom line, which is a backwards-looking figure that offers limited indication of whether a company will provide a good future return. Venture capital investors, in fact, are frequently putting money into new firms with little record of past success. Like good philanthropists, they make judgements based in part on prior performance, but also on a well-researched viewpoint about what innovations may succeed, and whether or not the leadership of the enterprise is well equipped to forge a successful path.

Assessing Impact; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Philanthropy Roadmap

I’m utterly committed to the idea that capitalism has to be the way we generate mass wealth in the coming century. That argument’s over. But the idea that it’s not going to be married to a social compact, that how you distribute the benefits of capitalism isn’t going to include everyone in the society to a reasonable extent, that’s astonishing to me

It [Bossa Nova] was possibly the first popular music where the themes were existential," says Veloso. "It’s part of what makes it high art. Third-world countries usually produce raw materials that are then transformed into capital by first world nations. This happens in industry, but it also happens in the arts. What was revolutionary about bossa nova is that a third-world country was creating high art on its own terms, and selling that art around the world. It remains a dream of what an ideal civilization can create.