Y Combinator, the startup accelerator and investment firm that helped produce Airbnb, Dropbox, and Instacart, is embarking on a creation project arguably more ambitious than any company.
"We want to build cities," wrote Y Combinator partner Adora Cheung and President Sam Altman...the project aims to develop ways to reduce housing expenses by 90 percent and to develop a city code of laws simple enough to fit on 100 pages of text. Eventually the plan is to actually produce a prototype city. — Bloomberg
Give employees all the tools they need to innovate, make space for a little fun, then watch the sparks fly. The truth about creativity, however, is considerably less convenient. Discomfort, and even a degree of hardship, are what drive creativity, not bean bag chairs and ping pong tables. [...]
if companies want to nurture creative employees, not only content ones, they must include challenges and even a dash of hardship in their bag of perks. — latimes.com
It’s this inevitable dichotomy between data and real life that will likely define [Google's] Sidewalk Labs...There’s a naivety to their worldview that might help to get things done inside a company but could prove a hurdle to progress in the public realm. Yes, the region does need more housing, but the politics of how, where, and when that housing is built are far more nuanced than Google can apparently handle. — psmag.com
Late in 2011, [Zappos CEO] Hsieh became even more legendary by announcing almost larkishly that he’d be leading a $350 million effort to rejuvenate a blighted stretch of Las Vegas’ downtown […]
His plan was to spend much of his own personal fortune to transform this lifeless area about a mile north of the neon blitz of the Strip into an entrepreneurial tech nirvana. [...]
Doubters have no place in the ecosystem. Pragmatists stand little chance. A love of hyperbole prevails. — Wired
While the projects had wildly different end products, they both had a similar starting point: focusing on how to ease people’s lives. And that is a central lesson at the school, which is pushing students to rethink the boundaries for many industries.
At the heart of the school’s courses is developing what David Kelley, one of the school’s founders, calls an empathy muscle. — New York Times
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