The Jetsons Fallacy – Part II

by - Astro, Founder

2014-11-24 - The Jetsons Fallacy - Part II

Photo Credit: Rachael Dunk

Here is Part II of “The Jestons Fallacy” by Shaun Springer, founder of our smart home portfolio company Astro. In this piece, Shaun examines the past year in smart home innovation, disruption, acquisitions (Nest) and the effects of crowdfunding on widespread consumer adoption (or lack thereof). For those interested, Part I can be found here.
-Cameron

I remember sitting at my desk in early January 2014, when the news of Nest acquisition broke. My former associates from Crestron were asking me if the $3.2bn price tag was justified, and even began to speculate about Google’s future plans for the brand.

In a short amount of time, Nest was able to disrupt an archaic thermostat industry. It provided obvious and easy-to-understand value propositions like wireless control, energy-savings, and scheduling. More importantly, it was easier to use than your classic Honeywell thermostat, and didn’t introduce as much complexity as competing devices. Read More

November 25 2014 Comments

Money Is Broken, But Its Future Is Not

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-11-10 - Money Is Broken, But Its Future Isnt - Money2020

Tyler (left) and Cameron (right) presenting at the 2014 Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Last Monday, Cameron and I gave a keynote presentation at the 2014 Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. If it’s any indication of where money and payments are going, the two hottest topics at the conference this year were Bitcoin and Apple Pay. Two years ago, as far as the conference and attendees were concerned, Bitcoin didn’t even exist and Apple Pay certainly didn’t.

The premise of our presentation is simple; money is a technology that was designed to solve a trade problem, but today, it’s actually creating one.

We break our presentation into three parts, the first one taking you through a quick understanding of why we have money, what money is, what it has been and what it can be. I’ve found in my conversations over the past few years that money is the most widely used yet misunderstood technology in the world, so it’s helpful to begin any discussion about it with the right framework. Read More

November 12 2014 Comments

The Jetsons Fallacy – Part I

by - Astro, Founder

2014-11-07 - The Jetsons Fallacy - Astro - Rachael Dunk

Who didn’t watch The Jetsons with fascination and hope that one day our homes would someday be smart and automated? It captured the imagination of many, including one of our portfolio company entrepreneurs Shaun Springer. Shaun is the founder of Astro, a company that aims to create “Simpler Solutions for a Smarter Home” starting with a simple (and smart) lightbulb.

When I first met Shaun, it was in a serendipitous social setting. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know he had a startup at the time, nor was I looking to invest in a pre-prototype smart home company. As our conversation continued he began to talk about the smart home space and I was drawn in by his vision and incredibly thoughtful approach towards it. I later learned that Shaun had a startup and a few months later we were sitting in my office talking about it. Ten minutes into our conversation, I knew I wanted to invest.

Below we share the first of his three part blog series on how he started in the smart home space, what he is building now and where he sees it all going.

-Cameron

As a kid, I remember, visiting my uncle Robert’s house out in Roslyn, NY and being so enamored with his fancy theater, jam packed with gadgets like a state-of-the-art laser disc player and a 120” projector. With the push of a button, the lights would dim, a projector screen would drop from the ceiling, and video would play in glorious 5.1 surround sound. As far as I was concerned, it was like the Jetsons had come to life. Read More

November 7 2014 Comments

The Rise of Anonymous Networks

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

The connections of our inner-thoughts, truths and emotions.

2014-09-16-Anoynmous - The-Rise-of-Personal-Networks

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde

On or about 2004, the World Wide Web underwent a paradigm shift from static, passively consumed web pages to content that is interactive, user-generated and collaborative on a global scale. This inflection point, referred to as Web 2.0, was not so much a technical line in the sand as a semantic one, acknowledging the behavioral and use-case changes that would ultimately lead to the internet fulfilling much of its inventor’s, Sir Tim Berners Lee, original plan: a “collaborative medium, a place where we can all meet and read and write.”

From there, the online world started to look a lot like the offline one. Our digital identities were no longer anonymous avatars, but instead our actual identities, and our online linkages such as “friends” were not much different than our real-life ones; social networks had officially arrived. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have since helped digitize our connections and foster sharing in a viral manner. Read More

October 8 2014 Comments

Coachability

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

An image showing Hitch’s first pairing of 3 single riders (3 pickups/3 drop-offs)  in one vehicle on June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST in San Francisco.

An image showing Hitch’s first pairing of 3 single riders (3 pickups/3 drop-offs) in one vehicle on June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST in San Francisco.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”
-William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Last week, it is was announced that one of our portfolio companies, Hitch, had been acquired by Lyft. I am excited that their innovative ride-sharing algorithm and platform will now be available to even more riders. This summer, two weeks after launch, Hitch completed their first pairing of three riders (3 distinct pickups w/ 3 distinct dropoffs) in a single vehicle, representing a huge step towards maximizing the use of vehicles, reducing pollution/congestion and ultimately the need to own a car outright.

But I actually wanted to use the Hitch story to highlight the importance of coachability. As an Olympic athlete, if my coach had told me that I would have a better chance of winning a medal by standing on my head, well, I would have done exactly that. If you weren’t coachable, you would usually find your way off the team pretty quickly. But companies are a little bit different, since founders are both the athlete (competing) and the coach (managing a team, building a vision, etc.). There is often nothing forcing them to take advice, and yet the best seem to build trusted networks (investors, board members, advisors, etc.) that they leverage to great effect. This avoids building product in a vacuum, getting high on your own supply and more often than not leads to a better outcome for all (Fred Wilson wrote a great blog post about building a company board with independent directors).

Read More

October 3 2014 Comments

Bitcoin: The Internet of Money

2014-09-24-Bitcoin The Internet of Money

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

Today I am posting a presentation I gave with my brother Tyler at the Value Investor’s Congress (VIC) on September 17, 2013; just over a year ago (53 weeks to the day to be exact). For those of you who are not familiar with this conference, it attracts some of the most skilled and experienced public market investors in the world. They are a skeptical bunch by training and we were fully expecting a tough crowd with hard-hitting questions. Our goal was to educate these investors on the origins of Bitcoin, the powerful  implications of the protocol (decentralized, open-source, peer-to-peer) and its investment use-case as a long-term store of value. Read More

September 24 2014 Comments

The WinkDex API Is Now Live

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-07-22 - The WinkDex API Is Now Live

We have been encouraged by the hundreds of developers who have expressed interest in an API for the WinkDex since we launched in February. We have been hard at work and are now pleased to announce that our API is now open and fully supported. You can read more about it from Daniel Roberts’ coverage of the WinkDex API launch at Fortune.com

July 22 2014 Comments

WinkDex Is Now On Bloomberg

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-06-16 - WinkDex Is Now On Bloomberg-1


We are excited to announce that the Winklevoss Index (WinkDex) is now available on Bloomberg via WINKBTCO.  We are honored to be working with Bloomberg to bring a blended bitcoin price index to their wide-reaching investor community.  Additionally, we have many new features that we plan to roll out over the coming weeks, including an API.  For those who are not familiar with our product, more detail on our formula and criteria can be found here.

June 16 2014 Comments

June 2 2014 Comments

Introducing Winklevoss Radio on Sirius XM

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-05-21 - INTRODUCING WINKLEVOSS RADIO ON SIRIUS XM - 2

Starting this Thursday, May 22nd at 6:00 pm EDT / 3pm PDT, Tyler and I will be hosting an hour-long, limited-run radio show titled Winklevoss Radio on Sirius XMIndie Channel 104. We hope to give listeners a window into the world of early-stage startups, entrepreneurship and venture investing.

Our journey in technology began over a decade ago as entrepreneurs in a college dorm room and continues today as angel investors and Bitcoin believers.  Along the way, we have had the opportunity to meet some amazing individuals who are building amazing things.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing their stories, insights and thoughts about what’s to come; how they dared to fail greatly, and in doing so, achieved greatly.

We will be hosting guests that include Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin GroupMike Judge, creator of the HBO series Silicon ValleyJustin Mateen, Co-Founder and CMO of TinderNaval Ravikant, Founder of AngelListJoe Lonsdale, Managing Partner of Formation 8; and Tim Harris, veteran Silicon Valley startup lawyer and partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

I first became a Sirius XM listener in 2010 for the same reason you did: Howard Stern.  Once I subscribed, however, I was exposed to a world of long-form interviews and in-depth conversations that simply did not exist elsewhere.  The stories behind some of the great thought-leaders, companies and innovators of our time are not to be rushed.  I hope you agree and join us as both listeners and callers on this new adventure. 

 

When: Thursday, 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT

Where: Sirius XMIndie Channel 104

Dial in: 866-99-INDIE (46343)

May 21 2014 Comments