Trajectory 2019 Year in Review

Trajectory #1: B2B Rental Models A couple months ago I wrote The Rental Economy, an article about a growing wave of consumer startups I have seen that allow consumers to rent an asset or good as opposed to buy it. The article was picked up by Axios in their coverage of the issue as part of a surge Expand


Jumia: Amazon of Africa?

The Rise of African Ecommerce Overview 2020 was an explosive year for ecommerce globally, with ecommerce businesses seeing their revenues soar, profits increase and valuations climb. One of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend was Jumia, which saw its valuation soar from lows of ~$2.50 in March of 2020 to highs of $65 recently. Jumia Expand


The Green Revolution

2020 was a tipping point for clean energy globally. Amid the chaotic news cycle of the pandemic, this fact was mostly lost. Decades of research, investment and advancement culminated in 2020 to decisively change the economics of clean energy and start what will be a decades-long effort to redesign and rebuild our energy infrastructure globally. Expand


Machine Learning and Archaeology

Archeology is a relatively obscure but deeply impactful discipline. Archaeology is critical to our understanding of human history. Moreover, the discoveries unearthed through archaeological work impact and help shape other intellectual disciplines such as politics, geography, demographics and more. In many ways archaeology is a foundational discipline that creates the base of data and historical Expand


Optimizing Complex Systems

Efficiency has been a critical concept ever since the industrial revolution. Increasing productivity and efficiency have been core assumptions and goals of the field of economics since day one. Increasing efficiency is a complex challenge and there are numerous ways to do so. Typically, efficiency can be approached at a unit-level or at a system-level. Expand


A Fourth Industrial Revolution

The rumors of the demise of American manufacturing have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, American manufacturing is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 2018, the United States added 261,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, mirroring an increase of 207,000 in 2017. This job growth has primarily been powered by small, high-technology firms working with cutting-edge Expand


A World Data Organization

The Rise of the “Sovereign Internet” The original dream that guided the early days of the internet, a dream of a free space for communication and commerce, is slowly coming apart globally. The internet has shifted from a free space owned by users to one monopolized by giant technology corporations across communication, commerce and search. Expand


The Autoimmunity Crisis

Across the world a health crisis is quietly brewing. Diseases of autoimmunity are soaring across the globe and particularly so in the developed world. An autoimmune disease is when otherwise healthy cells provoke an immune response and are attacked and destroyed by the immune system. Autoimmune diseases are particularly pernicious because they attack the body Expand


Short-Termism in Capitalism

“Modern capitalism is plagued by short-termism and myopia.” “Shareholders are king and everyone else gets left behind.” “The public markets hurt companies more than help them.” This is the popular narrative today and to some extent it is true. It is true that modern capitalism does present numerous challenges for public companies. Quarterly reporting cycles Expand


American Isolationism

Today the American intelligentsia is increasingly up in arms at President Trump’s steady and consistent reining in of US foreign policy, military and economic engagement with the world. Hundreds of news articles in publications like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and others have lambasted these decisions and the long-lasting damage that they are Expand


Surveillance in Public Spaces

The space for privacy has been rapidly shrinking in the last decade worldwide. In 2013 American whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked information on a massive global surveillance campaign being conducted by the US government in partnership with the Australian, British and Canadian governments. Facebook and Google are capturing and storing ever more detailed information about users Expand