Sunsetting BerlinVC & A new world (dis-)order

IMG_20170317_095557_118

I stopped writing at BerlinVC around a year ago. It would be easy to say that the reason is simply that getting BlueYard off the ground and working on building up our portfolio just left too little time. That would be the easy explanation, but the wrong one. The truth is that I increasingly felt my writing on BerlinVC had become trivial and I was less passionate about a lot of the topics I was covering. But make no mistake: the blog had it’s time and I enjoyed it very much. Additionally, there is now an ever louder cacophony of VC content marketing and blogs – and when we started BlueYard we were tired of it and I wanted to make sure I am not adding to the noise and instead focusing on signals.

So as I moved on in how I invest and work, its also time for my blogging to move on. I am sunsetting BerlinVC – there may be 1,2 more posts, or none – but its goodbye for sure. There are so many great, arguably better, VC blogs (AVC, Continuations, FeldThoughts,  BothSides, etc.) that it’s fair to say BerlinVC is not going to leave a big gap – nonetheless I will keep it up for now as some of the posts still get a fair amount of traffic.

But what’s next? As I began losing passion for writing about the ecosystem, experiences from investing etc and we stepped back and looked at the world around us as we started BlueYard – it was obvious that we are potentially at the cusp of a new world (dis-) order:

  • Democracy is at a crossroads (again, one my add) and there is a phenomenal lack of trust in institutions. How the world and our lives will be governed is increasingly uncertain. Technology will play a role, but what kind? How can trust be either increased, or made unnecessary?
  • Economies are going through their next industrial revolution – this will have massive impact on labour markets and the structure of economies in their entirety. Technology is already playing a key role here – how can we make sure humanity survives this transition, as it has not always gone well historically. Can technology empower a new kind of labour market and economy?
  • Our lives and the lives of our children will increasingly be influenced by who has power over our data and how it can be used. Shouldn’t it be controlled by us, the users? Can technology give individuals more power over their data?
  • Which brings us to the fact that we live in the day and age of large internet monopolies that have more power than most elected democracies – do we need re-wire the internet to avoid inevitable and catastrophic abuse in the future?
  • World war 3 is already happening, on the internet. States against states, companies against companies, states against companies, everyone against users, etc – how do we make sure the internet is a safe place and will be used to enhance humanity?
  • Despite all our efforts – so much knowledge is still locked-up, unused, controlled by gatekeepers – can we shift to a new playing field for knowledge sharing?
  • The cost and time effort required to end the world is decreasingly rapidly – how can we ensure powerful new technologies (e.g. in say, synthetic biology, CRISPERs, AI enabled DAOs, etc.) aren’t used against humanity; how do we deal with these technologies in the hands of deeply irresponsible leaders and organisations around the world?

I could go on. But the point is that this is what I care about deeply, it’s what I read, what I listen to –  what keeps be up at night. And not only that, it’s also where we are investing: from the 9 investments we have made over the last 12 months – 3 are working on frontier internet technologies to make the internet better, more resilient, decentralised and hard-wired for openness; 3 are helping users and organisations create entirely new markets and economies for the future; 3 are liberating data from silos and creating knowledge that had not exited previously.

So it just makes sense for me to move by blogging on to things I am passionate about. Of course to those of you that have read The Second Machine Age, Sapiens / Homo Deux, follow Continuations, have listened to some of Dan Carlin, etc. – none of this is new. And I look forward to engaging more with a new community and hopefully convincing others how important these topics are.

So I am going to continue to blog. But not at BerlinVC. I needed time to say goodbye and I may take some more time before I start something new that is closer to what I am passionate about. I hope I can take some of you with me on to that new journey.