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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

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About the Editors

About the Contributors


Adam Nash

Executive in Residence at Greylock and Mentor at MuckerLab

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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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Alexia Tsotsis

Writer at TechCrunch

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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 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 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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Barry Ritholtz

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

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Brad Feld

Managing director at Foundry Group.

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Bryce Roberts

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

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Caterina Fake

Cofounder of Flickr and Hunch.

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Chris Dixon

Cofounder of Hunch, Founder Collective, and SiteAdvisor.

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Chris Sacca

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

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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 Ondrejka

Director, Mobile Engineering, Facebook

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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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Danny Sullivan

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

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Dave McClure

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

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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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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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David Shen

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

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Derek Slater


Elad Gil

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

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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 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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Ethan Kaplan

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

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Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures

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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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Howard Lindzon

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

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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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ian c rogers

CEO of Topspin, host of This Week In Music.

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Jason Cohen

Founder of four companies including Smart Bear and currently WPEngine.

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Jenna Bilotta

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

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Joel Spolsky

Co-founder of Fog Creek Software and Stack Overflow.

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John Lilly

Partner at Greylock, former CEO at Mozilla.

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Josh Kopelman

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

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Joshua Brown

New York City-based financial advisor at Fusion Analytics.

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Ken Norton

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

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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 developed Mosaic and co-founded Netscape.

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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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Mark Suster

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

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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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MG Siegler

Partner at CrunchFund, Columnist at TechCrunch.

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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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Mike Loukides

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

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Mike Masnick

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

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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 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.

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Peter Armstrong

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

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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, culture & technology, she speaks widely at conferences, on panels and on TV. And tweets. Rachel is a TechStars mentor, an advisor to several startups and an encyclopedia of showtunes.

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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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rohit sharma

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

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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, LLC. Most recently, I lead marketing at Widgetbox.com.

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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 2011).

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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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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.

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Tim O'Reilly

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

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Trevor Timm

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

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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).

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Causes Supported

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your civil liberties in a digital world.

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.

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