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「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

2019-03-04

马克吐温曾经说过:“历史不会重演,但它确实会押韵”。1994年,《连线》杂志的主编凯文·凯利著就了《失控:机器、社会与经济的新生物学》一书,这是关于社会进化、特别是互联网发展的“先知预言”,后来成为《黑客帝国》主演们的必读物。25年后,八维资本试图捕捉互联网和区块链革命之间的相似之处,以帮助人们更好地了解技术生命周期和区块链行业的未来。我们将在接下来的几周内发布一系列文章,

前言

马克吐温曾经说过:“历史不会重演,但它确实会押韵”。1994年,《连线》杂志的主编凯文·凯利著就了《失控:机器、社会与经济的新生物学》一书,这是关于社会进化、特别是互联网发展的“先知预言”,后来成为《黑客帝国》主演们的必读物。25年后,八维资本试图捕捉互联网和区块链革命之间的相似之处,以帮助人们更好地了解技术生命周期和区块链行业的未来。我们将在接下来的几周内发布一系列文章,欢迎订阅我们的微信公众号。

文章系列,敬请期待:

互联网与区块链革命之:

part1:早期的成功产品

part2:颠覆性公司的起源

part3:早期的挑战

part4:新概念,估值和时机

part5:我们是在1994年吗? 下一步该怎么办?

作者:Remi Gai @ 八维资本

编译:八维研究院

八维研究院原创,转载请注明出处

本文是整个系列的第二部分:

回顾互联网革命,许多颠覆性公司的创始人的初心不一定是建立一个商业化企业,创始人可以来自各种背景,比如业余爱好者,大学研究员,极客或从大型公司辞职创业的前雇员。 我们将通过一些具体的案例来说明这一点:

业余爱好者

雅虎 就起源于创始人的一个业余爱好。1994年,在互联网发展初期,斯坦福大学的Jerry Yang和David Filo博士就开始收集和交易不断涌现的网站链接。在发明第一个网络浏览器Mosaic之后 ,两人便开始被万维网的魅力所折服。当时,人们仍然可以在几个小时内就访问完现有的所有网站,而且,每天都会有一些新网站诞生。Jerry和David的目标是找到最好的网站,按类别对它们进行排序并将它们编译成一个列表。 经过口耳相传,雅虎的公共网站指引(后期的搜索引擎)很快在第一批网民中流行起来。在某种程度上, 雅虎的第一个版本更像是一个“整理后的名单”,而不是一个科技公司,但是,由于通过整理和聚合网络上零乱和分散的网站,雅虎提供了巨大的价值,这构成了他们的先发优势。

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Vitalik Buterin,2012年共同创办了比特币杂志

同样,以太坊的联合创始人和首席科学家 Vitalik Buterin,最开始也是把在比特币论坛上发帖子单纯作为一种业余爱好,当时每发一篇文章的稿费是5个BTC(市价约4美元)。Vitalik很快就开始痴迷于加密货币,但他发帖子的网站不久之后就因为比特币缺乏主流的关注而倒闭了。后来。Vitalik联合创办了Bitcoin Magazine(比特币杂志), 并作为杂志的主笔。 在这个过程中,他对超越比特币功能所限的更高维的金融应用的想法逐渐萌生,并在2013年发布了一篇名为以太坊的白皮书。他就这样创造了历史。

大学的研究人员

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

拉里佩奇和谢尔盖布林,谷歌的创始人

我们发现,大学的研究项目常常可以转化成相比现有技术更具开创性的解决方案。 1995年,谷歌的创始人拉里佩奇和谢尔盖布林在斯坦福大学相遇,他们当时正在寻找一篇论文课题。 他们注意到,网络搭建在一个链接上,而一个页面可以链接到另一个页面。受学术界的启发,一篇研究论文通常会引用其他著名的学术论文来建立他们的论点,而人们可以根据引用和被引的次数对论文的重要性进行排名。 如果一篇研究论文被更多的研究论文引用,它将更加具备权威性。 拉里和谢尔盖受此启发,创建了当时最强大的搜索系统谷歌(Google),根据人们对这些网页的重要程度的判定对网页进行排名,因此,谷歌一举超越雅虎,Excite,Lycos 和 AltaVista 等搜索引擎,成为行业第一。

在区块链领域,也有来自学术界的项目,比如Algorand ( MIT图灵奖得主 - Silvo Micali ), Oasis Labs ( 加州大学伯克利分校 - Dawn Song), Thunder Token ( Cornell - Elaine Shi和Rafael Pass ),Conflux(清华大学-姚期智)等等。他们有望成为学术成果转化产业界创业项目的典范。

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Silvio Micali,Algorand创始人

麻省理工大学教授,图灵奖获得者

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

姚期智,Conflux首席科学家

清华大学教授,图灵奖获得者

极客社区

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

2002年的w00w00团队

事实证明,许多突破性的想法来自于乐于在技术社区中分享奇思妙想的极客们。1997年到1998年间,Napster的创始人Shawn Fanning,创建了第一个端对端(Peer to Peer)的共享音乐文件的互联网平台(后来启发了区块链项目BitTorrent)。Shawn被邀请加入一个名为w00w00的私人IRC频道 ,这是一个极客汇聚的社交平台。 w00w00的成员大都是些极客青少年,后来,这批极客青少年创办了数家巨头技术公司,包括WhatsApp和Arbor Networks。

区块链也是以类似的方式开始的。2008年,一个名为中本聪(Satoshi Nakamoto)的人将一篇学术论文发送到密码学的邮件列表,提出了一种称为比特币的数字现金。 另一个例子是在2016年,一个名叫Tom Elvis Jedusor (这个名字来自哈利波特的伏地魔)的匿名创建者在比特币研究IRC频道#bitcoin-wizards上发布了一个专注于可互换性、隐私性以及可扩展性的区块链协议,名为Mimblewimble。它提出了结合交易的新方法,用于改善公链的隐私功能,基于Mimblewimble的理念,后来又诞生了两个独立实施的MimbleWimble协议项目-Grin和Beam。

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Mimblewimble,出自哈利波特里的无声无息咒,意喻保护隐私

大型成功公司的前雇员

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

著名的Paypal Mafia(Paypal黑帮)和Coinbase Mafia(Coinbase黑帮)

在互联网革命的进程中,Paypal的初创团队连续创建了一批成功的初创企业和投资公司。其中就包括:伊隆·马斯克的特斯拉 , 杰里米·斯托普尔曼的Yelp , 马克斯·列夫琴的Slide。而Paypal校友会的成员们,更是通过投资、参股等形式哺育了很多独角兽公司,比如LinkedIn,YouTube,Yammer,Palantir和Square。因此,技术人员通常会提到今天已然占领硅谷的“PayPal Mafia”。

在加密货币和区块链行业中,Coinbase的离职创业的前雇员们也连续创建了一些行业内领军的初创企业和投资基金,如Litecoin,dYdX,Dharma,Polychain Capital,Scalar Capital等等。另一个例子是以太坊的创始团队,除了以太坊,他们还创建了一系列深受欢迎的项目,如ConsenSys ( Joseph Lubin ), Cardano ( Charles Hoskinson ), Parity&Polkadot ( Gavin Wood )。 而在中国,从Okcoin离职的赵长鹏和何一,成立了币安(Binance),Okcoin前联合创始人雷臻创办了Bibox,从火币离职的张健和杜均,分别创办了Fcoin和金色财经/节点资本。

可见,已经成功的大型公司的早期员工,具备创业公司的实战经验,又拥有强大的行业人脉,因此,常常能够在行业中发掘出新的潜在商业模式并将其变为现实。

后记

马克吐温曾经说过“历史不会重演,但它确实会押韵”。 我们试图在互联网和区块链革命之间勾勒出一些相似之处,以帮助公众更好地了解技术的生命周期。请留下您的想法和评论,希望本系列文章将为行业提供一些有价值的观点。

Sources:

“How the Internet Happened”, written by Brian McCullough

https://unblock.net/who-is-vitalik-buterin/

https://www.coindesk.com/information/who-created-ethereum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalik_Buterin

英文版:Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series

Introduction

Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. At 8 Decimal Capital, we are attempting to find similarities between the Internet and Blockchain revolutions, to help the community better understand technological life cycles and the future of the Blockchain industry. The Internet Revolution facts are based on the book “How the Internet Happened”, written by Brian McCullough. We will be releasing a series of articles over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to subscribe to our medium channel to stay up to date with our new posts, in which we will regularly share our findings and insights.

Article Series:

Internet vs Blockchain Revolution: 

Early Successful Products (Part 1)

Origins of Disruptive Companies (Part 2)

Challenges in the Early Days (Part 3)

New Concepts, Valuations, and Timing (Part 4)

Are We in 1994? What to expect Next? (Part 5)

Origins of Disruptive Companies(Part 2)

Author:Remi Gai @ 8 Decimal Capital

Edition:8 Decimal Research

This article is the second part of the Internet vs Blockchain Revolution Series.

Looking back at the Internet revolution, the founders of a lot of disruptive companies didn’t necessarily had business in mind first but came from various backgrounds, such as hobbyists, researchers from universities, hacker channels, and ex-employees of successful companies. This list is not exhaustive, but we will go through some examples.

              

Hobbyist

The origin of Yahoo began as a hobby, in which Jerry Yang and David Filo, Ph.D. students at Stanford at the time (1994), were collecting and trading new website links during the early time of the web. After discovering Mosaic, the first web browser, the two became obsessed with the World Wide Web. At the time, it was still possible to visit every single website in existence within a couple of hours, and a few websites appeared every day. Jerry and David’s goal was to find the best websites, sort them by category and compile them into a list. From word-to-mouth, their public website directory quickly became popular among the first users surfing the web. In a way, the first version of Yahoo was more of a “glorified list” rather than a technological company but provided tremendous value by aggregating otherwise scattered websites on the web, making them a first mover advantage in the space.

     「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Vitalik Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2012

Similarly, Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Ethereum, initially started writing forum posts as a hobby for a Bitcoin blog, which offered 5 BTC per piece (around 4 dollars at the time). Cryptocurrency quickly became an obsession for him, and he wrote for the site until it shut down soon due to Bitcoin's lack of mainstream attention. Vitalik later co-founded Bitcoin Magazine and contributed as a leading writer. Along the way, he came up with the idea of going beyond the financial use cases allowed by Bitcoin and released a whitepaper of a system called Ethereum in 2013. The rest is history.

Researches from Universities

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Founders of Google

Often, research projects in universities can turn out to become groundbreaking solutions compared to existing technologies. In 1995, the founders of Google, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, met at Stanford University and were looking for a dissertation topic. They had a realization that the web was built on links that linked one page to another. Inspired by the academic world, in which research papers often constructed their arguments by citing other reputable academic papers, you could rank the importance of a paper based on the number of citations. Inversely, a research paper would have more authority if more research papers are citing it. Larry and Sergey created the most powerful searching system that ranked web pages based on how important the world thought of them, surpassing any existing search engines such as Yahoo, Excite, Lycos, and AltaVista, etc. They were trying to solve interesting problems and came across some compelling ideas. In the blockchain space, some example of projects that came from academia includes Algorand (MIT - Silvo Micali), Oasis Labs (University of California - Dawn Song), Thunder Token (Cornell - Elaine Shi and Rafael Pass), Conflux(Tsinghua University-Qizhi Yao)and many more.

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Silvio Micali,Algorand

MIT,Turing Award

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

姚期智,Chief Scientist of Conflux

THU,Turing Award

Hacker Channels

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

Picture of the w00w00 team in 2002

It turns out that a lot of breakthrough ideas came from the tech communities, who were trading hacks and sharing new ideas. Sometime between 1997 or 1998, Shawn Fanning, the creator of Napster, the first peer-to-peer music file sharing Internet Service (which later inspired BitTorrent), was invited to join the private IRC channel called w00w00, an online meeting place for a hacking collective. Members of w00w00 were composed of kids who were anonymously trading hacks that later on formed dozens of technology companies ranging from WhatsApp to Arbor Networks. Blockchain also started similarly, in which in 2008, someone under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto sent an academic paper to a cryptography mailing list proposing a form of digital cash called Bitcoin. Another example was in 2016, an anonymous creator under the name of Tom Elvis Jedusor (name of Voldemort from Harry Potter) signed into a Bitcoin research IRC channel, and dropped a document titled Mimblewimble, providing a radically different approach to blockchain, which later on led to the creation of the projects Grin and Beam.

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

PS: Mimblewimble(A blockchain project focused on Privacy) is named after a jinx from Harry Potter, which is used to render one's opponent inarticulate, preventing counterattack.

Ex-employees of Successful Companies

「互联网vs区块链革命」系列之二:颠覆性公司的起源

The famous “Paypal Mafia” and “Coinbase Mafia”

During the Internet revolution, the original crew of Paypal went on to create some of the successful companies and investment firms. Some examples include: Elon Musk with Tesla, Jeremy Stoppelman with Yelp, Max Levchin with Slide and other PayPal alumni had a hand in founding, funding or contributing to the development of many popular companies such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer, Palantir, and Square etc. so that people in technology often refer to a “PayPal Mafia” that runs Silicon Valley today. In the same way in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, ex-employees of Coinbase went on to create some of the important projects and investment firms, such as Litecoin, dYdX, Dharma, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital, etc. Other examples are the co-founders of Ethereum, who also went on to create some of the popular projects in blockchain such as ConsenSys (Joseph Lubin), Cardano (Charles Hoskinson), Parity & Polkadot (Gavin Wood). Early employees of successful tech companies can have significant advantages in gaining hands-on experiences scaling a startup, having a strong existing industry network, as well as seeing new potential business models in an emergent industry.

-----

Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. We are attempting to draw some similarities between the Internet and Blockchain Revolutions, to help entrepreneurs and investors better understand technological life cycles. Please leave your thoughts and comments below, and hope this article series will have provided some valuable perspectives about the Blockchain industry.

Sources:

“How the Internet Happened”, written by Brian McCullough

https://unblock.net/who-is-vitalik-buterin/

https://www.coindesk.com/information/who-created-ethereum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalik_Buterin

八维研究院出品的其他研究

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原创文章,作者:八维资本。转载/内容合作/寻求报道请联系 report@odaily.com ;违规转载法律必究。

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