241: TZ Discussion – The Asymmetric Investment

Justin and Jason discuss Uber’s latest fundraising round, the selling of Pluggio, Rob Walling’s startup Drip, Justin’s hack for creating a tablet unlock code and how’s he looking for a front-end developer, how Tesla achieved a perfect safety rating and captured more than 12% of the luxury car market, whether it would be a good idea to invest in Solar City or Yahoo, the prospects for BitCoin and why Jason likes asymmetric investments, Uber’s future and how Jason is building a dashboard for Uber’s realtime system, why Jason thinks getting a post to the top of Hacker News requires the same recipe as launching a successful startup – a good idea, good execution and help from a group of supporters, the latest revelations on the NSA’s vast illegal surveillance apparatus and why Jason believes it’s an existential threat to democracy, how higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior and why Jason wants to formulate the laws of human nature, Julian Corlette’s TL;DR landing page experiment, David Yang’s HNSummariesKale Davis’s TLDR.io, and Jason Calacanis’s Launch Ticker, the NYC-based Fullstack Academy, Jason’s skepticism on the Lean Startup movement, and Justin’s latest SaaS idea that he’s positive will work but isn’t talking about.

  1. Danilo Celic says:

    FYI: Launch Ticker link is doubled yeilding an error page when you visit it. Feel free to delete this comment

  2. Jason says:

    @Danilo Celic – Thanks, I just fixed it.

  3. Tom says:

    Hey Justin

    Here’s a trick to handle your zero-digit MD5 problem. Add a 4 digit number suffix to the end of every generated MD5 hash, so even if there are zero digits in the MD5, you will still have a 4 digit number that is used as the unlock code.


    hash = “” + “1234”
    digits = regex_digit_extraction(hash)

    In the worst case, your keycode will be ‘1234’. This is unlikely, but at least the code won’t crash on you!

  4. Justin says:

    @Tom – Thanks so much for this, it’s a great idea. Can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

  5. Danilo Celic says:

    @Jason, in an attempt to make you feel better about not taking the Uber CTO role…

    Each new investment they took on would have diluted your stock, so I’d probably have 10% or less of what you originally had, maybe not not even FU money after taxes and such. Plus, once it does go public, you won’t be able to sell that stock for a while, and you may be required to keep a certain amount of stock in Uber to “show your commitment”.

    Just count yourself lucky you don’t have those problems. 😉

  6. Jason says:

    @Danilo Celic – Thanks, I feel so much better now!! 😉

    Mo Money Mo Problems – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUhRKVIjJtw

  7. Guyon says:

    Hey Justin – about your Pluggio brokering idea. Beware people gaming the system. Imagine an unscrupulous CTO who hears about your plan. He could get a friend to broker the sale and then put it on hold for as long as he likes. If he does it for long enough, he could barter himself an almost 50% discount!

  8. Guyon says:

    PS. An alternative solution to the MD5 problem – take 8 hex digits from the MD5 output and convert hex to decimal. Take the lowest 4 significant digits… Presto!