The VC world is really small. While there are thousands of startups around at any point in time, there are only a few hundred active VC firms, which typically only have a handful of General Partners. People come in and out of the industry all the time, VC firms rise and fall, but for the most part, the core remains the same and many people are around for years (or decades). And it’s a pretty tight knit world: there’s all sort of ways for VCs to meet (panels, industry conferences), socialize (informal small group dinners) and work together (sitting on boards together, switching firms, occasionally personally investing in each other’s funds, etc.). As a result, the industry is characterized by a deep connective tissue, full of history, institutional memory, cliques and alliances. There’s this interesting “coopetition” dynamic where people sometimes compete, sometimes collaborate, but overall everyone tends to know each other well. As a result, information often travels easily and quickly, although not necessarily reliably. Facts can be checked, and reputations matter immensely. For entrepreneurs and VCs alike, there are some real benefits in handling difficult situations elegantly, fairly and transparently, as it’s all a long term game in a small echo chamber.

Scientists have treated a man they believe to be the first patient with internet addiction disorder brought on by overuse of Google Glass.

The man had been using the technology for around 18 hours a day – removing it only to sleep and wash – and complained of feeling irritable and argumentative without the device. In the two months since he bought the device, he had also begun experiencing his dreams as if viewed through the device’s small grey window. […]

The patient – a 31-year-old US navy serviceman – had checked into the Sarp in September 2013 for alcoholism treatment. The facility requires patients to steer clear of addictive behaviours for 35 days – no alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes – but it also takes away all electronic devices.

Doctors noticed the patient repeatedly tapped his right temple with his index finger. He said the movement was an involuntary mimic of the motion regularly used to switch on the heads-up display on his Google Glass.

I recently talked with an old friend and former colleague who felt stalked by a startup-CEO boss who was using Slack to check up on employees and make sure they were available 24/7 to meet the company’s needs. Given the promise in Slack’s name of providing your worklife with a tension-reducing buffer, this was ironic. Of course, it’s also an issue with startup culture that transcends the use of particular tools. A boss who is determined to rub out the boundary between work and personal time is going to grab anything handy to make that happen. But tools like Slack can certainly streamline the process.

Chat, Slack, and the panoptic telecommute — Medium (via Lane Becker)

As someone who has been a remote worker in several startup situations (both as an employee and consultant), I’m all too familiar with this dynamic. Particularly when it’s combined with a three time zone time difference, the awareness of others constantly monitoring your availability can be incredibly stressful. Like so many things about startup life, what initially seems like a progressive, freeing benefit can easily turn into an oppressive intrusion in the hands of management that doesn’t respect personal boundaries.

Americans should be under no illusions as to the value or effect of price-cutting. It has been the most potent weapon of monopoly—a means of killing the small rival to which the great trusts have resorted most frequently. It is so simple, so effective. Far-seeing organized capital secures by this means the co-operation of the short-sighted unorganized consumer to his own undoing. Thoughtless or weak, he yields to the temptation of trifling immediate gain, and, selling his birthright for a mess of pottage, becomes himself an instrument of monopoly.
"But [angel investor Ron Conway] took a turn for the serious, warning the enthusiastic crowd that “you have to be willing to work 24/7.” He then went a step further, solemnly claiming, “Dating someone or married: warn them that they’re not first in line, that you have this vocation, that your duty is to your company. It has to be that fanatical.”

Ron Conway’s Advice for Young Founders at YC’s Startup School