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Nov 15, 2011
Overview: what's going to be different in next 3-5 years?
On two systems: citizen empowerment versus states
SP mentions his companies: Votizen and Causes
Funds in politics are a proxy for votes -- if you can aggregate voting power another way you can remove money from the system.
Not a huge believer in direct democracy, e.g. California referendum.
JB: emerging countries, governments will also take advantage of "citizen connectedness."
Rio de Janeiro's "command and control" center helps monitor and respond to issues in favelas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favela
Backed many higher-ed learning companies in China, India, Brazil, etc. Citizen empowerment will come from training and learning.
One of the worst ways for a university to spend money: build an overseas campus.
Can governments use these same new tools to oppress citizens?
SP: "Less intrusive than tapping someone's phone."
But ultimately users choose to make their information available.
What's scary: "isolated wackos" will no longer be isolated.
Some justification for "unlimited amounts of surveillance."
What will the media/entertainment universe look like in the next 3-5 years?
JB: Media industry economics are rapidly deteriorating.
Social networks allow new consumer experiences, opportunities for media companies to understand what to serve to their customers.
SP: Record labels systematically failed to embrace new models -- have lived in a storefront business.
You need a free tier of experience, coupled with social factors.
Goal to get back to where music was ten years ago.
JB: Art world will be equally disrupted.
On employment: will work evolve into more of an individualized marketplace?
JB: Government mandates and large companies won't solve the problem.
An explosion of small group/individual employment worldwide.
Etsy sellers are not in Palo Alto or Cambridge... are all over the world.
Is a job in Brazil the same as a job in the U.S.?
SP: What happens next is bureaucracy: a handful of very large, very successful companies.
"These little startups are ridiculously overfunded."
Easy access to capital diffuses the best tech talent.
Institutional investment in seed stage is overwhelming, and it will end badly.
Will see serial entrepreneurs who have cracked the code: relationships with large entities (Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft)
Marketplaces will create entrepreneurs; but it's a paradoxical growth into large entities. (Expansive allusion to World War I.)
Not helpful for a young entrepreneur in such a mature industry to get a check from an angel.
Audience: what other industries (beyond media) might be disrupted?
JB: opportunity in structured/unstructured data. Finance, credit reports.
SP goes on a diversion: Most wealth is built through equity, securities, etc. But bankers often get big bonuses -- so raise taxes on them.
SP: hasn't been much innovation in retail banking.
SP: Politics. Campaigns and special-interest groups (which are all about money).
Most people don't even know who their elected officials are.
Gargantuan disruption coming where the guys who raise the most money don't win.
Audience: will jobs be created around the world or in the US?
SP digression: likely to see money-printing in Europe, and a global currency war. A very bad thing.
Investment in the consumer internet won't overcome this.
David Kirkpatrick to Sean: "How do you become so amazingly conversant in so many things?"
SP: anything you want to know from any perspective is available online. Need to teach kids how to learn differently to take advantage of this.
Operates under the assumption that everything written is somewhat misrepresented, clouded. Requires second-guessing of everything.
Audience (Andrew Keen) to SP: Can companies like Airtime actually eliminate loneliness?
"Eliminate inefficiencies in pairing of people and the fostering of relationships."
Sean wanted a girl in high school who was into punk rock and Spinoza and Nietzsche... but couldn't find her.
Conference ending comments.
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