Education prepares children for life in the cultures into which they are born, giving them the tools and knowledge that they need to survive in their physical and social realities. Throughout most of human history, cultural knowledge correlated strongly with the knowledge that was needed to survive and thrive in the immediate environment. Information was passed, for example, for how to identify edible plants and dangerous animals or how to make fire, tools, clothing, and shelter. For humans to thrive, we will need to systematically rethink education, helping students learn the knowledge that is most useful for their survival on a planet that is undergoing rapid ecological changes.
What happens to fast growing startups tends to surprise even the founders. Small variations in growth rate produce qualitatively different outcomes. That's why there's a separate word for startups, and why startups do things that ordinary companies don't, like raising money and getting acquired. And, strangely enough, it's also why they fail so frequently.
Considering how valuable a successful startup can become, anyone familiar with the concept of expected value would be surprised if the failure rate weren't high. For the right people — e.
So it's not surprising that so many want to take a shot at it. In an efficient market, the number of failed startups should be proportionate to the size of the successes.
And since the latter is huge the former should be too. It's the same with other high-beta vocations, like being an actor or a novelist.
I've long since gotten used to it. But it seems to bother a lot of people, particularly those who've started ordinary businesses. Many are annoyed that these so-called startups get all the attention, when hardly any of them will amount to anything. If they stepped back and looked at the whole picture they might be less indignant.
The mistake they're making is that by basing their opinions on anecdotal evidence they're implicitly judging by the median rather than the average.
If you judge by the median startup, the whole concept of a startup seems like a fraud. You have to invent a bubble to explain why founders want to start them or investors want to fund them.
But it's a mistake to use the median in a domain with so much variation. If you look at the average outcome rather than the median, you can understand why investors like them, and why, if they aren't median people, it's a rational choice for founders to start them.
Deals Why do investors like startups so much?
Why are they so hot to invest in photo-sharing apps, rather than solid money-making businesses? Not only for the obvious reason. The test of any investment is the ratio of return to risk. Startups pass that test because although they're appallingly risky, the returns when they do succeed are so high.
But that's not the only reason investors like startups. An ordinary slower-growing business might have just as good a ratio of return to risk, if both were lower. So why are VCs interested only in high-growth companies?
The reason is that they get paid by getting their capital back, ideally after the startup IPOs, or failing that when it's acquired.
The other way to get returns from an investment is in the form of dividends. Why isn't there a parallel VC industry that invests in ordinary companies in return for a percentage of their profits? Because it's too easy for people who control a private company to funnel its revenues to themselves e.
Anyone who invested in private companies in return for dividends would have to pay close attention to their books. The reason VCs like to invest in startups is not simply the returns, but also because such investments are so easy to oversee.
The founders can't enrich themselves without also enriching the investors. The constraint between good ideas and growth operates in both directions.A company that grows at 1% a week will grow x a year, whereas a company that grows at 5% a week will grow x. A company making $ a month (a typical number early in YC) and growing at 1% a week will 4 years later be making $ a month, which is .
THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much.
Sometimes, the line between fetish and symptom is almost indiscernible. An object can function as the symptom (of a repressed desire) and almost simultaneously as a fetish (embodying the belief which we officially renounce).
CHAPTER SUMMARIES. Chapter 1. EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. Erik Assadourian.
Erik Assadourian is a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and director of State of the World and Worldwatch’s EarthEd Project. [Content warning: Politics, religion, social justice, spoilers for “The Secret of Father Brown”.
This isn’t especially original to me and I don’t claim anything more than to be explaining and rewording things I have heard from a bunch of other people. Band 9 Sample answers are useful as study guides – especially for IELTS essay band 9.
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