Los creadores de WhatsApp explican qué significan los checks de su aplicación:

El País: ¿Qué significa una tick (la v verde) y dos tick junto al mensaje?
Brian Acton: (Risas) Uno, que se ha recibido en el servidor. Dos, que se ha enviado el mensaje al destinatario con éxito. Pero, ojo, eso no significa que lo haya leído, solo que ya está en su móvil.

Muy divertida la entrevista completa a los creadores de WhatsApp en El País. No soy muy fan de su producto pero me despierta mucha curiosidad la forma en la que llevan su negocio Acton y Koum. Parecen fuertemente comprometidos con su labor de simples mensajeros y no desean convertirse en nada más, sin rollos sobre cambiar el mundo ni modelos de negocio complicados con ingresos por publicidad y por suscripción.

Millonarios menores de 25 años

When they say “it’s all about the journey, rather than the destination” that’s absolutely true. The part that I’ve most enjoyed is hanging out, meeting and become friends with amazing, successful, smart and ambitious entrepreneurs. It’s inspiring, invigorating, and just plain fun. 

I still don’t have a private plane or NetJets card, I fly economy-class around North America most of the time, I don’t even have a maid to do my cleaning. I prefer to buy clothes when they go on sale, and I cringe at people who waste thousands on Gucci-this or Prada-that. I upgrade my MacBook every few years, not every model. I still use an original iPad. I’ve never bought a new car (except for my parents). The biggest TV in my apartment is 42". 

Experiences, even when they cost thousands of dollars a day, so far have been my best investments. I’ve stopped postponing as much as I used to. The best time is “now”, but to be honest, I could have done many of these things much earlier, and on a lower-budget, and probably still had a great time.

Try this as a test–

Make a list of all physical things you would buy if you had $10 million. Let your mind roam free. Don’t limit yourself to the reasonable. 

It’s not that long, is it?

And if you worked a decade or more to earn that money, you’d cross 90% of the items off that list anyway. There’s amazingly few physical things that are worth spending money on once you’ve covered the basics. If I gave you $100K in cash and told you to spend it in a day, you’d be hard pressed unless you bought jewelry, or a car. 

Gadgets? Clothes? A bigger TV? Unless money fell from the sky into your lap, you’re probably going to be quite pragmatic about what you invest in. There’s a reason why most lottery winners end up bankrupt within a few years. 

The utility of money once you get past a certain threshold is very limited. And I honestly think that most people who want to be “rich” don’t really mean it. What they are really saying is that they’d like someone to hand them a check. 

But when push comes to shove, and there’s hard work, sacrifices, and tears involved, they’d rather spend 4-hours a day watching TV along with the rest of America.

Quora: What does it feel like to be a self-made millionaire under the age of 25?

El fin del sueño del Couchsurfing

I used to say that Couchsurfing was globalization done right, where ideas and exchange mattered more than money or status. When you met someone who said they were a Couchsurfer, that it meant they had a different viewpoint on life, that they knew how to share, and were culturally open minded.

Back in the day, we would test travelers to see if they were worthy of Couchsurfing – if they had the values or mindset to join. Once, I met a friendly Malaysian in Bulgaria, with whom I shared a train ride with. Couchsurfing was so small back then that Noel had never heard of it. But I felt he was an open, warm, giving person, so I told him about Couchsurfing and recommended he join. He did and quickly became an active user, and later, an Ambassador.

That was natural, organic growth, a site which spread through word of mouth, introduced by people who shared the same ideals. If you were meant to be a Couchsurfer, you would find it. If not, it would remain apart, a subculture in a world of diversity. With time, we felt, the larger society would be ready.

The End of a Dream: Couchsurfing’s Fall

La noche en que Héctor Lavoe huyó de Pablo Escobar

Este mito de que todos son “nosotros” encuentra un desenlace en 1991. La orquesta del puertorriqueño Héctor Lavoe es invitada a tocar en una fiesta del narcotraficante colombiano Pablo Escobar. El capo, que sólo en ese año mandó asesinar a 7.000 personas, está, durante tres horas, resolviendo sus negocios de cocaína y no escucha la “salsa” de Lavoe. Lavoe está en el jardín y le han pedido tres veces que cante El cantante, su máximo hit. Lo ha tocado sin chistar. Para cuando Pablo Escobar baja a la fiesta, se ha perdido la actuación de Lavoe, que ya está cenando. Y entonces, Escobar pide El cantante por cuarta vez. Lavoe se niega a interpretarlo de nuevo y, acto seguido, su orquesta es encerrada en el sótano de la casa. Los narcotraficantes les quitan los zapatos a los músicos. Creen que van a morir y Lavoe logra escapar por una ventana. Corre a la carretera más cercana y detiene un taxi. Cuando el taxista mira que no tiene zapatos, duda de que el pasajero tenga dinero para pagarle. “Soy Héctor Lavoe”, asegura, asustado, el músico. El taxista duda y le propone: “A ver: cánteme El cantante”.

El País: La Casa de Nadie

Crea más valor del que capturas

Wired: Your new credo these days is “Create more value than you capture.” What does that mean?

Tim O’Reilly: Everybody wants to foster entrepreneurship, but we have to think about the preconditions for entrepreneurship. You grow great crops in great soil. And the soil is the commons. Increasingly, we have monopolistic companies that try to take as much as they can for themselves. And we have a patent and copyright regime that makes sure that nothing goes back into the commons unless by an extraordinary act of generosity. This is not fertile soil for innovation.

So many technologies start out with a burst of idealism, democratization, and opportunity, and over time they close down and become less friendly to entrepreneurship, to innovation, to new ideas. Over time the companies that become dominant take more out of the ecosystem than they put back in. We saw this happen with Microsoft. It started out with a big vision: How do we get a PC on every desk and in every home? It was profoundly democratizing. But when Microsoft got on top, it slowly started choking off the pathways to success for everybody else. It stopped creating more value than it captured.

Wired: Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing

Una de las cosas que se robó el mayordomo de Benedicto XVI era una pepita de oro que un empresario minero peruano le había regalado al Vaticano.

One is a list of three items—other than the trove of documents—found in his apartment. The first was a check, payable to the pope, for 100,000 euros from a Catholic university. The second was “a nugget presumed to be gold” that had been a gift to the pontiff from a Peruvian mining magnate. And the third was a 1581 translation of The Aeneid, also a gift to the pope. 

GQ: The Pope and The Spy Who Loved Him