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A Charitable Project to Support The Open Internet

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About the Book

The recent debates around SOPA/PIPA legislation emphasized the importance of free expression. As citizens of the Internet we have a collective responsibility to determine the future of the technology underpinning so much of our modern lives. The authors included here stepped up to contribute their support to the pursuit of digital rights. All profits from this ebook will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org/). The payment processing fees are 30 cents and 2.9% of every sale; the rest goes to the EFF. Our goal is to earn exactly $0 on this.

This volume contains blog posts - some old, some new - from many names familiar to you and hopefully some new voices. We will continue to provide free updates to your purchase with new content as we are able to collect it from authors of interest. If you want to suggest an author please send their contact information to hunterwalk+eff@gmail.com.

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Adam Nash
    1. Be a Great Product Leader
  3. Adam Rifkin
    1. Be Lucky
  4. Alexia Tsotsis
    1. Keeping Up With The Normals
  5. Andrew Dubber
    1. How long should music copyright be?
    2. Should I be worried about piracy?
  6. Andy Weissman
    1. Information Does Not Want To Be Free
  7. Auren Hoffman
    1. Fail to Succeed
  8. Barry Ritholtz
    1. Why Foreclosure Fraud Is So Dangerous to Property Rights
  9. Brad Feld
    1. This Is The Smell Of Inevitability
  10. Bryce Roberts
    1. Ten Years of Innovation Highlighted in One Night
  11. Caterina Fake
    1. FOMO and Social Media
  12. Chris Dixon
    1. Some lessons learned
  13. Chris Sacca
    1. Shhhh . . . Listen . . .
  14. Cory Doctorow
    1. Secret documents reveal the flimsy case for Ofcom to give into BBC's public TV DRM demands
  15. Cory Ondrejka
    1. Big Brother versus Little Brother
  16. danah boyd
    1. Social Steganography: Learning to Hide in Plain Sight
  17. Danny Sullivan
    1. If Google Was New York City & Online Piracy Was Knock-Off Handbags\ldots {
  18. Dave McClure
    1. Subscriptions are the New BLACK. (+ why Facebook, Google, & Apple will own your wallet by 2015)
  19. David Hornik
    1. Isn't "Hypomanic Entrepreneur" Redundant
    2. VCitis
  20. David Pakman
    1. Wither the Giants? The Arrogance of Aging Incumbents
  21. David Shen
    1. Steve Jobs on Design: Explicit vs. Implicit Authority, Authority is Earned
  22. Derek Slater
    1. Piracy Invades Privacy, Encourages Cyberbullying, and Creates a Thriving Artistic Culture; Or, Compassion for The Winnebago Man and Robert Levine
    2. Powellâ^^80^^99s Four Freedoms and Obamaâ^^80^^99s Line of Commercial/Noncommercial Demarcation
  23. Elad Gil
    1. You Don't Need A Good Idea To Start A Great Company
  24. Eric Ries
    1. The Visionary's Lament
  25. Erick Schonfeld
    1. The Cambrian Explosion In Startups
  26. Ethan Kaplan
    1. The Problem with "Like" and the Loss of Love
  28. Fred Wilson
    1. Investing In The Cultural Revolution
  29. Hiten Shah
    1. You're Mentoring the Wrong Way
  30. Howard Lindzon
    1. Too 'SMALL' To Fail!!!
  31. Hunter Walk
    1. Sorry Mike, Facebook could reboot and we'd mess it up again
  32. ian c rogers
    1. How About This Instead Of Sopa? My Proposal For Legislation To Proactively Combat Piracy While Encouraging An Open And Innovative Internet
  33. Jason Cohen
    1. Why I feel like a fraud
    2. When free markets make it worse: new TLDs
  34. Jenna Bilotta
    1. How designers and engineers can play nice (and still run with scissors)
  35. Joel Spolsky
    1. Two things about SOPA/PIPA & then I'll shut up :)
  36. John Lilly
    1. Kit
  37. Josh Kopelman
    1. Founders and Heat Seeking Missiles
  38. Joshua Brown
    1. The Man Behind the Curtain
  39. Ken Norton
    1. How to hire a product manager
  40. Marc Andreessen
    1. How to hire the best people you've ever worked with
  41. Margaret Stewart
    1. Hard-earned career advice
  42. Mark Suster
    1. What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI
    2. Whose Life are You Going to Change?
  43. Mathew Ingram
    1. MegaUpload case proves we don't need SOPA or PIPA
  44. MG Siegler
    1. Pushing The Envelope, Not The Share Button
  45. Michael Geist
    1. The Day the Internet Fought Back
  46. Mike Loukides
    1. On pirates and piracy: The media industry's wholesale takeover of creativity is the real piracy
  47. Mike Masnick
    1. The Future Of Music Business Models (And Those Who Are Already There)
  48. Nat Torkington
    1. "The President's challenge: What more does government want --- or deserve --- from the tech world?"
  49. Nilofer Merchant
    1. Silence Hurts
  50. Peter Armstrong
    1. Lean Publishing
  51. Rachel Sklar
    1. Fair Use: Okay, Let's Talk About It
  52. Reginald Braithwaite
    1. I have a bad feeling about this
  53. rohit sharma
    1. On Startup Values
  54. Ryan Spoon
    1. 11 Ways to Usher the NFL, NBA, MLB into the New Web
  55. Sarah Lacy
    1. The Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment
  56. Semil Shah
    1. The Illusion of Social Networks
  57. Tim Ferriss
    1. Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes
  58. Tim O'Reilly
    1. SOPA and PIPA are bad industrial policy
    2. Before Solving a Problem, Make Sure You've Got the Right Problem
    3. Further thoughts on SOPA, and why Congress shouldn't listen to lobbyists
  59. Trevor Timm
    1. How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation
  60. Whitney Johnson
    1. Disrupt Yourself

About the Editors

About the Contributors

  • Adam_2011_square

    Adam Nash

    Executive in Residence at Greylock and Mentor at MuckerLab

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  • Ifindkarma._be_kind__and_so_can_you

    Adam Rifkin

    Adam Rifkin is an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who oversees a monthly gathering of startup engineers called 106 miles.

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  • Screen_shot_2012-01-18_at_11.18

    Alexia Tsotsis

    Writer at TechCrunch

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  • Square_-_retro

    Andrew Dubber

    Reader in Music Industries Innovation at Birmingham City University, advisor to Bandcamp and Planzai, and founder of New Music Strategies – a pan-European music think tank and strategy group.

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  • Andy_weissman

    Andy Weissman

    Andy Weissman is a partner at Union Square Ventures. Andy began his career in the Internet at AOL in the mid-90s, then managed a series of venture funds with Dawntreader Ventures. In 2007 he co-founded betaworks, which both created and invested in social, real-time applications and services.

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  • Auren

    Auren Hoffman

    Auren Hoffman is the CEO of Rapleaf. Rapleaf helps companies learn more about their customers to give their consumers a more personalized experience. Auren is also a non-employee cofounder of BrightRoll.

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  • Br_falllfest

    Barry Ritholtz

    Author of Bailout Nation and CEO and at Fusion IQ, an online quantitative research firm.

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  • Image1327462410

    Brad Feld

    Managing director at Foundry Group.

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  • Me

    Bryce Roberts

    VC and co-founder of O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

    Read more
  • Caterina_square

    Caterina Fake

    Cofounder of Flickr and Hunch.

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  • Chrisdixon

    Chris Dixon

    Cofounder of Hunch, Founder Collective, and SiteAdvisor.

    Read more
  • Sacca_profile

    Chris Sacca

    Venture investor, company advisor, and adventure junkie based in San Francisco and Truckee, CA.

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  • Doctorow

    Cory Doctorow

    Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of the bestselling novel Little Brother.

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  • Cory-headshot-cropped

    Cory Ondrejka

    Director, Mobile Engineering, Facebook

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  • Image1326208556

    danah boyd

    Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School, and Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center.

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  • Image1326957210_reasonably_small

    Danny Sullivan

    Editor of SearchEngineLand.com, covering Google, SEO, PPC and all aspects of search engines and search marketing.

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  • 6a00d834517b5669e201053641e9dc970b-150wi

    Dave McClure

    VC & founding partner at 500 Startups, an internet startup seed fund and incubator program in Mountain View, CA.

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  • Image1326171443

    David Hornik

    David Hornik is an investor at August Capital, the author of VentureBlog, & the executive producer of The Lobby Conference.

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  • Image1326462953

    David Pakman

    Co-founded Apple Music Group, worked at N2K (one of the first online music companies), co-founded MyPlay (pioneer of the digital music locker), and was COO/CEO of eMusic for five years. David is now a Partner at Venrock in NYC focused on early stage digital media companies.

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  • Dshen

    David Shen

    West Coast Director for Launch Capital. I hail from Yahoo!, frogdesign, and Apple.

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  • Derekslater

    Derek Slater

  • Elad

    Elad Gil

    Technology entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Mixer Labs, Director at Twitter.

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  • Ericries

    Eric Ries

    Author of the lean startup methodology and a frequent public speaker. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU.

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  • Erick_at_crunchup_reasonably_small

    Erick Schonfeld

    Erick Schonfeld is the Editor in Chief of TechCrunch. He oversees the editorial content of the site, helps to program the Disrupt conferences and CrunchUps, produces TCTV shows, and writes daily for the blog. He is also the father of three adorable children.

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  • Image1326162493_reasonably_small

    Ethan Kaplan

    music+technology - geek and fan in equal measure VP Product, Live Nation

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  • Image1326243363_reasonably_small



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  • Image1327281602

    Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures

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  • Hitenshah

    Hiten Shah

    CEO / Co-Founder of @KISSmetrics. Previously started @crazyegg and @acs. I love creating something out of nothing and helping other entrepreneurs do the same. http://hitenism.com

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  • 41638_521435563_437_n

    Howard Lindzon

    CEO/Co-Founder of Stocktwits, GP of Social Leverage (Angel Investing), Wallstrip creator

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  • Hunterwalk

    Hunter Walk

    product guy: me make stuff. sometimes me make good stuff (youtube, google, second life). Sometimes me make mess! http://www.hunterwalk.com @hunterwalk

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  • Image1326211184

    ian c rogers

    CEO of Topspin, host of This Week In Music.

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  • Jason-leaning-face-only

    Jason Cohen

    Founder of four companies including Smart Bear and currently WPEngine.

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  • Jennabilotta

    Jenna Bilotta

    Jenna Bilotta is a product experience designer and freelance consultant. She has designed experiences for YouTube and Google Reader.

    Read more
  • Image1327118364

    Joel Spolsky

    Co-founder of Fog Creek Software and Stack Overflow.

    Read more
  • Johnolilly

    John Lilly

    Partner at Greylock, former CEO at Mozilla.

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  • Josh_head_reasonably_small

    Josh Kopelman

    VC. Father. Geek http://www.firstround.com

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  • Joshbrown

    Joshua Brown

    New York City-based financial advisor at Fusion Analytics.

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  • Kennorton

    Ken Norton

    Group Product Manager at Google http://www.kennethnorton.com/

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  • Marcandreessen

    Marc Andreessen

    Marc Andreessen is a co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. He is also co-founder and chairman of Ning and an investor in several startups including Digg, Plazes, and Twitter. He is an active member of the blogging community. Previously, Andreessen…

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  • Margaretstewart

    Margaret Gould Stewart

    Margaret Gould Stewart is the Director of User Experience at YouTube. She lives with her husband, three kids, and spoiled Golden Retriever in a restored Eichler home in Palo Alto, CA.

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  • Msuster

    Mark Suster

    VC focusing on early-stage technology companies; host of This Week in Venture Capital.

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  • 100-0067-65by83

    Mathew Ingram

    Senior writer at GigaOm, a former journalist with the Globe and Mail and co-founder of the mesh conference in Toronto.

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  • Hi_res_mg

    MG Siegler

    Partner at CrunchFund, Columnist at TechCrunch.

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  • Mgeist

    Michael Geist

    Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.

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  • Mikeloukides

    Mike Loukides

    VP Content Strategy, O'Reilly Media, pianist, ham radio op

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  • Mike_masnick

    Mike Masnick

    CEO and founder of Techdirt, a weblog that focuses on technology news and tech-related issues.

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  • Right_looking_evil_grin_for_twitter_reasonably_small

    Nat Torkington

    I help startups, corporates, and individuals with their technology and business problems. I have a potty mouth. http://nathan.torkington.com/

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  • Nilofer

    Nilofer Merchant

    Nilofer Merchant is a corporate director (NASDAQ: EPAX), TEDx / Keynote speaker, and an inspiring Harvard Business Review columnist. Read her work and you'll see she's also a bit of a rebel-rouser, wanting to ignite fearless cultures, everywhere.

    Read more
  • Peterarmstrong_150x150

    Peter Armstrong

    Co-Founder of Leanpub. Author of Lean Publishing, Hello! Flex 4 and Flexible Rails.

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  • Racehl-sklar-229x300

    Rachel Sklar

    Rachel Sklar is a writer and social entrepreneur based in New York. She is the founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and was a founding editor at Mediaite and the Huffington Post. A former lawyer who writes about media, politics,…

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  • Reg

    Reginald Braithwaite

    When he's not shipping Ruby, Javascript and Java applications scaling out to millions of users, Reg "Raganwald" Braithwaite has authored libraries for Javascript and Ruby programming such as Katy, JQuery Combinators, YouAreDaChef, andand, and others.

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  • Headshot-halfbw

    rohit sharma

    Entrepreneur and angel investor in palo alto, ca and chief experience officer at Syfto.

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  • Ryan_dogpatch_reasonably_small

    Ryan Spoon

    I’m Ryan Spoon. I work for Polaris Venture Partners and am based in San Francisco’s Dog Patch Lab off Pier 38. Previously, I founded beRecruited.com (acquired in 2007), spent 2003-2007 at eBay (internet marketing, social media & leading Kijiji.com) and launched InGameNow as part of sfEntrepreneurs,…

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  • Lacy

    Sarah Lacy

    Writes for PandoDaily, a news site which she founded, and is the author of “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0” (Gotham Books, May 2008) and “Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit from Global Chaos" (Wiley, February…

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  • Semilshah

    Semil Shah

    Working on operations at Votizen. I’m interested in digital media, consumer, and social networks, and advise the following companies: Dygest (launching Dec 2011), Gumroad (launching Dec 2011), Ayasdi, Bump, Mosonex, and Rexly (where I previously worked). I am a contributor to TechCrunch.

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  • Half-face-ice

    Tim Ferriss

    Angel investor (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Evernote, et al) and author of the #1 NYT bestsellers The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body.

    Read more
  • Tim-oreilly-apr2010-200_straightened

    Tim O'Reilly

    Founder of O'Reilly Media and a supporter of the free software and open source movements.

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  • Trevortimm

    Trevor Timm

    Activist at @EFF. WikiLeaks legal analyst. Press freedom advocate. Digital civil liberties enthusiast.

    Read more
  • Johnsonwhitney

    Whitney Johnson

    Whitney Johnson is a founding partner of Rose Park Advisors, Clayton M. Christensen's investment firm, and is the author of the forthcoming Dare-Dream-Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream (Bibliomotion, May 2012).

    Read more

Causes Supported


Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology.

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

100.0% of Hunter Walk's royalties are going directly to Electronic Frontier Foundation.

100.0% of Eric Ries's royalties are going directly to Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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