Archive for August, 2011
This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.
In short, software is eating the world.
More than 10 years after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble, a dozen or so new Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter are sparking controversy in Silicon Valley, due to their rapidly growing private market valuations, and even the occasional successful IPO. With scars from the heyday of Webvan and Pets.com still fresh in the investor psyche, people are asking, “Isn’t this just a dangerous new bubble?”
I, along with others, have been arguing the other side of the case. (I am co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare, among others. I am also personally an investor in LinkedIn.) We believe that many of the prominent new Internet companies are building real, high-growth, high-margin, highly defensible businesses.
Aug 14, 2011 10:00 AM EDT
New research shows how some common tests and procedures aren’t just expensive, but can do more harm than good.
Dr. Stephen Smith, Professor emeritus of family medicine at Brown University School of Medicine, tells his physician not to order a PSA blood test for prostate cancer or an annual electrocardiogram to screen for heart irregularities, since neither test has been shown to save lives. Rather, both tests frequently find innocuous quirks that can lead to a dangerous odyssey of tests and procedures. Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, has no intention of having a screening mammogram even though her 50th birthday has come and gone. That’s the age at which women are advised to get one. But, says Redberg, they detect too many false positives (suspicious spots that turn out, upon biopsy, to be nothing) and tumors that might regress on their own, and there is little if any evidence that they save lives.
Matthew E. May , Founder, Shibumi Creative Works
July 7, 2011
The mysteries of the mind and brain are many and complex. Neuroscience, through the magic of technology is just beginning to unravel some of them. Given that my livelihood revolves around creativity, I have become fascinated with neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the mind’s ability to change the brain. Yes, you read that right. Neuroplasticity radically reverses ages of scientific dogma which held that mental experiences result only from physical goings-on in the brain, and we can’t do much about it. But extensive studies by neuroscientists confirm that our mental machinations do alter the physical structure of our brain matter. So, when you change your mind, you change your brain. This is great news for most of us.