Natural gas flares, converted to electricity, powering onsite crypto mining efforts. Credit: Cully Cavness, Casper Star Tribute

Let me explain.

The world operates on incentives. Specifically financial incentives. And currently, sadly, scarily, there are no real direct financial incentives for people to contribute to climate change. It’s a tragedy of the commons. While no one can deny our energy crisis, the only solution is motivated teams who innovate in how we generate/capture and efficiently use energy.

And let’s all be honest. Crypto mining today uses a massive amount of energy and many of those efforts haven’t been great for the environment. If anyone denies that, they are lying. But the crypto mining industry is still in Kindergarten…


Observations on Libra I’ve yet to hear much about

In March 2018, before Facebook formally started the Libra project, I wrote that global digital currency is inevitable, the actual war to be won is China vs the rest of the world, and that Facebook was best positioned to defend the open internet. That sounds insane, but give me a minute.

The Libra initiative is now public and even though so much have been written about it, I still believe some observations have yet to be made.

Facebook has no choice but to make (Ca)Libra succeed

Of any company in FAANG or BAT, Facebook’s revenue is the most concentrated in…


The Matrix — Morpheus asks Neo which path he wants to take

Why I’ve decided to start another company.

I’m sincerely grateful to have joined Lightspeed in 2015 and after leading many investments, most still unannounced, it’s time for me to listen to that voice in my head which thinks about building products every day.

That is why I’ve personally decided to transition into a Venture Partner role at Lightspeed and focus on my real passion: building teams and products that millions of people love. I’m incredibly energized to go back to building — it’s in my blood and I miss it.

Most recently I’ve worked, along with Adam Goldberg, to drive Lightspeed’s recent crypto/blockchain efforts and look forward…


How Facebook, Telegram and startups… may defend us and support the open web instead

Blockchain technology will change many aspects of our world for the better. But so far, we’re living in a bikeshedding software utopia, with mostly investor speculation and folks circumventing national currency controls.

If a tokenized tree falls in a decentralized forest, and no one is around to use it, does it matter?

In order to truly change the world, we need to get billions of people using reimagined products & services daily.

We need digital identity, a mobile wallet and an application platform so developers can…


In a prior life as a CTO, when you asked one of the best engineers on my team if he could build something, his typical answer was “it’s just typing.” He knew what to do; it just took time. But is that what he should be doing?

Now as a VC, I help early-stage startups create their version of the future. The best startup teams consistently focus on the known unknowns, which is a mountain you know you have to climb, but you haven’t yet found the path. …


Last October, I wrote a post about hardware network effects. In it, I outlined an example of a fictitious home security camera that became more valuable as everyone in my neighborhood purchased one. If the cameras did accurate facial recognition, we could grant permission to each other to make sure our kids walked home safely from school.

Another example was just launched today. Amazon Echo Show is an Alexa enabled device with a screen.

No. Stop and watch it. I’ll wait for you right here.

An Alexa device with a screen could just show you a recent news clip…


When I was a kid, my computer had a SoundBlaster card. If you were a geek like me, you remember editing your autoexec.bat file to include:

@echo off
SET SOUND=C:\PROGRA~1\CREATIVE\CTSND
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6

What you might not remember is it came with “Dr Sbaitso”, a DOS program (we didn’t call them apps back then) which you could type into and it would respond “intelligently” with voice. It was a remarkably crappy experience, but it was the first time I felt I had a conversation with a machine. It was eye-opening.


stock photo. My boys had even better costumes.

We got together with friends and trick-or-treated around the neighborhood last night. This morning I awoke to see awesome photos of our two boys… via SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook posts, and email. My wife got a different set of photos from last night as well. That feels totally broken.

I shouldn’t hope to see photos of my kids, or remind/beg my friends to share… I want every photo of my kids taken by anyone I know. The problem is the current generation of photo sharing apps works on a per-photo permission system. What if we changed that?

Facial recognition algorithms…


What I learned is that your job as a founder isn’t to build a product. It’s to build an amazing group of people and a culture which empowers everyone to build products that millions of people love. We should be proud of doing just that.

It started in 2007 as four friends around a coffee table in my apartment building’s lobby. When I left in 2012, we had close to five thousand employees around the world and had sold billions of dollars of experiences to people across dozens of countries. We should be proud of that.

Thank you to the…


One of the challenges with live streaming content to date has been the waiting room phenomena. A publisher like LifeHacker, or Cheddar*, starts a live stream… and then puts up a countdown timer to wait for people to join the stream. This is a solution to solve their problem as a producer, not my problem as a consumer. I got the notification. I’m here! Importantly, due to the less than delightful user experience, and my own ADD, I often click off and don’t have the patience to wait for the content.

Looks like Facebook has now changed that.

Aaron Batalion

NewCo. Past: Partner, @LightspeedVP. Founder/CTO, LivingSocial. Tweeting at @abatalion

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