SNS Subscriber Edition • Volume 22, Issue 14 • Week of April 17, 2017


Enablers and Vectors:

Accelerating Innovation

Part II: Unicorns and
Profitless Disruptions



SNS: Enablers and Vectors:
Accelerating Innovation Deployment,
Part II: Unicorns and Profitless Disruptions


[Please open the attached .pdf for best viewing.]


This Week's Favorite Book

Written by well-known SNS members Doug Jamison (co-founder, with SNS, of the UnDx Consortium) and Steve Waite (longtime FiReSpotter and serial author), this book was, as usual, ahead of the curve, underlining the needs and benefits of venture investing in science, versus things like Twitter (see today's discussion).

In This Issue
Week of 4/17/2017    Vol. 22 Issue 14


Today, the venture investment curve in social media is collapsing, making the timing of this book's release perfect. - mra.

Join us for the 3rd annual

SNS Predictions : West

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 5-8pm
Pullman Hotel, Redwood City, CA

Register now!

Twelve years after producing its first annual SNS Predictions Dinner in New York, SNS is pleased to invite you to our 3rd annual SNS Predictions : West evening, Tuesday, May 9, 5pm-8pm, at the Pullman Hotel in Redwood City, CA. 

Following an opening reception, the evening will begin with a Centerpiece Conversation with special guest Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle, and SNS CEO Mark Anderson This keynote will be followed by Anderson's review of global technology markets in 2017 and his Top Ten Technology and Market Predictions for 2017.

From ABC4 News Utah:

Learn about technology that predicts results of climate change

    Speaker series spotlights leading global tech innovators

SNS members and FiRe 2016 attendees will want to watch CTO Design Challenge member Nathanael Miller, currently of NASA and a member of the SNS initiative Earth Energy Monitoring System (E2MS), in this short video interview with SNS / FiRe Programs Director Sharon Anderson Morris. The segment preceded their live interview that evening at the new SNS FiRe Speaker Series at Salt Lake City's Impact Hub, sponsored by FiRe 2016 Special Exhibitor USTAR.


#1 Quote of the Week: "You have achieved basically what Leonardo aspired to."  -Curtis Wong, Principal Researcher,  Microsoft Research, at the recent Dent Sun Valley conference, after seeing Mark Anderson's interview with Denyse Davis  on the new SNS discovery of Flow and Interactions as the prime actions underlying everything.(Curtis's fireside chat at Dent was titled "Learning from Leonardo: Inside Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester.")

Enablers and Vectors: Accelerating Innovation Deployment Part II:
      Unicorns and Profitless Disruptions

Members may remember that I opened our last SNS Global Report with this observation:

The two most important (and overused) words in Silicon Valley are "innovation" and "disruption." In the next two issues of the SNS Global Report, we're going to explore the forces behind them. In this week's discussion, we'll go deeper on the return on investment for invention, based not on total ROI, but on how quickly those revenues are realized. And in our next GR, we'll pull out the frauds and tricks behind the innovation economy and the darker side of profitless disruptions.

In this week's discussion, I will take a look at the part of Valley startup culture that gets almost all of the outside attention, and a gigantic fraction of investor money, and which is, unfortunately, as financially unstable as it is exciting: cash-burning, profitless unicorns, many of which wreak havoc on their profit-making competitors.

Specifically, I will not be addressing the 90% of tech startups which, according to a recent Stanford University report, fail in their first three to five years (unlike our annually selected FiReStarter companies, 90% of which succeed and raise additional funds).

Rather, I will describe a phenomenon that began with the Facebook Generation of companies, many of which consumed breathtaking amounts of investor capital as they scaled into global headcount numbers while rarely, if ever, making a cent.


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