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Flo Crivello

Reasons to worry about AGI

We can't even reason about the problem, because humans are bad at reasoning about exponentials; even if we could, we wouldn't worry about it (and the folks closest to the problem are least likely to worry); and even if we did worry, we probably wouldn't be unable to do anything about it.

Co-Founding Considered Harmful

“Hell is other people.” Sartre I’ve come to view the idea that you absolutely need a co-founder as one of the most harmful memes in Silicon Valley. It’s probably killed more companies than any other misconceptions out there. Instead, I think one should go solo if they can,

The Dictatorship of the Articulate

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” — Shakespeare A few years ago, Silicon Valley was buzzing with the reverberations of Marc Andreessen’s epic essay, It’s Time To Build. In case you haven’t read it, It’s a formidable pep talk, a call to

UX > EX: the painful truth about customer obsession

Publishing this memo I shared with Teamfellows. Everyone agrees with good-sounding principles until they experience their downsides. “Working out is healthy!” Haha, yes! Yes! “So hit the gym!” Well this sucks. “Hire slow!” Yes! Yes! “There’s this seat you’re dying to fill. And it’s going to remain

General Magic and Silicon Valley Common Wisdom

I strongly recommend General Magic, a documentary about the eponymous company, founded in 1990 with a clear vision of what smartphones could be, and how huge they could be. It built one of the most impressive teams in Silicon Valley’s history to make this vision a reality: its alumni

How Apple Sells Software At Hardware Prices

I ran this poll the other day on Twitter: Which would you prefer, assuming both cost $700 (and no dual boot) — Flo Crivello (@Altimor) September 12, 2019 The answers highlight a point I often make: that when people buy an iPhone for $1,100, they’re really paying $600 for

The Efficiency-Destroying Magic of Tidying Up

In his seminal book Seeing Like a State, James Scott describes what he calls “high modernists:” lovers of orders who mistake complexity for chaos, and rush to rearrange it from the ground up in a more centralized, orderly fashion. Scott argues that high modernists end up optimizing for a system’

Software, the Tough Tomato Principle, and the Great Weirdening of the World

Marshall McLuhan’s theory that “the medium is the message” famously describes how media are not neutral. Rather, a medium’s nature has a deep impact on the very content of its messages. One misunderstood aspect of the theory is that it applies to all technology, not just media: any

Five Promises of Micromobility

Disclaimer: I’m a product manager at Uber. This piece represents my views only, and not those of people working on behalf of Uber. A wave of electric scooters and bikes has been taking over American cities in the past year. People have been dismissing them as toys (which alone

The best companies to start a career in tech

Every time someone, and especially a new grad, asks me for recommendations of companies they should apply to, I point them to the excellent yearly “Career Launching Companies List” from Wealthfront. It’s become somewhat of a truism in the Bay Area that the best companies aren’t the super