What if he went straight to the raw chemical components? He took a break from experimenting with software and studied textbooks on nutritional biochemistry and the Web sites of the F.D.A., the U.S.D.A., and the Institute of Medicine. Eventually, Rhinehart compiled a list of thirty-five nutrients required for survival. Then, instead of heading to the grocery store, he ordered them off the Internet—mostly in powder or pill form—and poured everything into a blender, with some water. The result, a slurry of chemicals, looked like gooey lemonade. Then, he told me, “I started living on it.”
Soylent does not only provoke the question, if we could live only from a drink containing the basic chemical combinations a human body needs, but also about the value of food for us in general. Personally, I could never give up eating vegetables and fruits, because the experience of eating and getting together with others gives me so much satisfaction. However, quite often I - and probably many others – don’t take the time to make something good, instead eat hasty, unconsciously and alone. In this case, a healthy drink could be the better choice.
There’s a small population of early Internet users that grew up using services, like Forums, where interacting with relative strangers was the thing to do. Those folks probably snickered when they read this sentence:
…the people we’ve been hanging out with on the Internet all along: our friends.
For good reason, too! Forums, BBS, IRC: The new connections and communities that these tools engender are what makes the World Wide Web (of People) so special. However, interacting with “strangers” online is (resoundingly) not something that “normal” people do often, if ever. Essentially, anyone who went through puberty with Facebook has only known an Internet that is filled with familiar faces. My hunch is that The Next Facebook will change that. In fact, I think that will be its core (though probably implicit) value proposition: interacting with cool people that you don’t know, or don’t know that well.
The author of the text founded potluck – a service that tried to connect people over recommended articles and initiated discussions around them. It was able get attract early adopters, but never became a mainstream thing. Facebook bought them eventually.
Making friends over the internet seemed to be actually happening before Facebook came along. Right now a lot of startups try to solve dating – a more specific form in the same category – that became more difficult as people don’t meet new people after graduating college. Perhaps the next social platform that gets huge will solve both.
In einigen Branchen ist der Wettbewerb unter (amerikanischen) Startups so groß, dass die Nutzer der Dienste von Preisen profitieren, die unter den Betriebskosten liegen. Wie kann das möglich sein? Oft kristallisieren sich in diesen Branchen langfristig dominierende Unternehmen heraus. Zur Zeit investieren VCs sehr gerne in diese Unternehmen, in der Hoffnung, an eben diese zu geraten. Ein paar Beispiele wären:
- Online Storage (dropbox, box)
- Messaging (whatsapp)
- Music Streaming (spotify, deezer, rdio)
- Transportation (Uber, Lyft)
- Versand (postmates)
Für die Nutzer hat der harte Wettbewerb einige Vorteile: Fallende Preise, ständig neue Funktionen. Auf der anderen Seite gewöhnt man sich an etwas nicht nachhaltiges, das deshalb plötzlich verschwinden könnte. Sobald nur noch ein Unternehmen übrig bleibt, ist davon auszugehen, dass es mit den Geschenken vorbei ist.
The Invention of the AeroPres
“Among coffee aficionados, the AeroPress is a revelation. A small, $30 plastic device that resembles a plunger makes what many consider to be the best cup of coffee in the world. Proponents of the device claim that drinks made with the AeroPress are more delicious than those made with thousand-dollar machines. Perhaps best of all, the AeroPress seems to magically clean itself during the extraction process.“