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Why Does Sweden Have So Many Start-Ups?

This is a high-tax, high-spend country, where employees receive generous social benefits and ample amounts of vacation time. Economic orthodoxy would suggest the dynamics of a welfare state like Sweden would be detrimental to entrepreneurship: Studies have found that the more a country’s government spends per capita, the smaller the number of start-ups it tends to have per worker—the idea being that high income taxes reduce entrepreneurs’ expected gains and thus their incentive to launch new companies. And yet Sweden excels in promoting the formation of ambitious new businesses, on a level that’s unexpected for a country whose population of roughly 10 million puts it at 89th in the world in population size. Global companies like Spotify, the music-streaming service; Klarna, the online-payment firm; and King, the gaming company, were all founded here. Stockholm produces the second-highest number of billion-dollar tech companies per capita, after Silicon Valley, and in Sweden overall, there are 20 start-ups—here defined as companies of any size that have been around for at most three years—per 1,000 employees, compared to just five in the United States, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “What you see is that start-ups have a high survival rate in Sweden, and they have relatively fast growth,” Flavio Calvino, an OECD economist, told me. Sweden also ranks highest in the developed world when it comes to perceptions of opportunity: Around 65 percent of Swedes aged 18 to 64 think there are good opportunities to start a firm where they live, compared to just 47 percent of Americans in that age group.
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11 Highest Paying Startup Engineering Roles in San Francisco

The demand for talented engineers has never been greater, especially in markets like New York and San Francisco. Startup are offering top cash compensation for senior, as well as less experienced technical positions to compete for talent with other early-stage teams (as well as what Google and Facebook are offering).
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Tim O'Reilly's "WTF: What’s the Future & Why It’s Up to Us”: tech history & survival roadmap
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Venture capital is headed for a ‘huge, rude awakening’

Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya says if they want to survive, investors need to seek out a deep, operational understanding of their businesses.
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Google is going all in on universal app campaigns

Two years ago, Google launched universal app campaigns (UAC) to make it easier for developers to easily promote their iOS and Android apps across its various platforms. Instead of having to set up separate campaigns for Search and Google Play, for example, developers can simply use UAC with a few lines of text, images and their bid and the service then handles the rest, based on what the developers want to optimize their campaigns for (installs or in-app conversions, for example). This has turned out to be such an effective service — thanks in large part to the company’s advances in machine learning — that Google is moving all app install campaigns to UAC over the rest of this year. Starting October 16th, all new app install campaigns created in AdWords will run on UAC, and starting November 15th, all existing Search, Display and YouTube app promo campaigns will stop running.
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A walk around Station F with Emmanuel Macron

Macron mentions the recently launched French Tech Visa, a special visa for entrepreneurs, engineers and investors. “We call each space like this a village,” Varza tells Macron. “There are around 60 desks per village. And they’ve been specifically designed to foster collaboration.” Another entrepreneur then greeted Macron in English then started talking in perfect French. Macron asked him if he was French or a foreigner. “I arrived in France to study at [Niel’s coding school] 42. I was studying biology and I moved here after watching your video,” he said. Niel then joked with Macron, saying that he’s heard there are a few former students from 42 who are now working with Macron at the Elysée. Varza explained the newly launched Fighters Program. Under-represented founders will be able to get a free desk at Station F. “They will sit next to people in the Founders Program, we wanted to mix them together,” Varza said. While Station F is already a $230 million investment (€200 million), Niel is also spending another $57 million (€50 million) on a residential building in Ivry-sur-Seine. 600 people will be able to live there. “It’s the same model as 42. We know that parents are not there to help them, we know that housing is an issue for them,” Niel said.
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France’s new startup campus is focused on fostering entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds

France is launching the world’s largest startup campus in a converted railway depot in Paris, and it’s keeping the door open for those from underprivileged backgrounds. The space, now dubbed Station F but previously known as the 1920s-era freight hall Halle Freyssinet, opened its doors this week to eligible startups from around the world. The building is 366,000 square feet and contains 3,000 desks, an on-site restaurant and bar, and eight event spaces. The space will host companies from 26 international programs, and the French government is working with the city of Paris to build nearby housing starting in 2018. This is all part of a larger push from France to foster homegrown entrepreneurship and try and build a incubating tech culture like that of California’s Silicon Valley. Station F is being primarily backed by French telecom mogul and billion investor Xavier Niel, to the tune of around €250 million. Most of the startup programs Station F supports are run by established tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft, but the organization is also offering acceptance to Station F through two original programs. There’s the Founders Program, which you can join by paying €195 ($223.13) a month per desk, and the Fighters Program, which is free so long as you apply and are accepted. Station F says it’s already accepted more than 200 startups through its Founders Program.
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Y COMBINATOR HAS GONE SUPERNOVA

"How to Build a Company" playbook—the kind of pro tip regularly dealt to the lucky founders accepted into the accelerator. But this Office Hours is different than the ones held in YC’s headquarters in Mountain View. Not only is the session happening before an audience—the auditorium is dotted with Stanford undergrads taking course CS183F—but it’s also being live-streamed to the 50,000 people who've signed up to watch Startup School, a massive open online course (MOOC) run by YC. Getting into the Core YC program is as tough as gaining admission to Stanford: For the current session, Summer 2017 (S17 in YC-talk), less than two percent of the roughly 7,300 applicants made it through the grueling process that culminates in a terrifying 10-minute interrogation by YC’s partners. Getting into the MOOC requires only a web browser, and there’s no vetting.
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Why getting traction is so hard these days

The end of the cycle: One of the best essays written last year was Elad Gil’s End of Cycle? – referencing our most recent 2007-2017 run on mobile and web software, and the implications for investing, startups, and entrepreneurs. Although he doesn’t directly talk about it, the end of a tech cycle has major implications for launching new products, growing existing product categories, because of a simple thing: It gets much, much harder to grow new products or pivot existing ones into new markets. The reason for the above is that there are multiple trends – happening right now – that impede growth for new products. These trends are being driven by the biggest players – Google/Facebook, et al – but also by the significant leveling up around of practitioners in design/PM/data/growth.

We’ll look at a couple trends in this essay, including the following

Mobile platform consolidation
Competition on paid channels
Banner blindness = shitty clickthroughs
Superior tooling
Smarter, faster competitors
Competing with boredom is easier than competing with Google/Facebook
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Transport’s coming upheaval

If you were given a penny for every minute people spent commuting in an average year, you’d have a stack that was 1,433,400 miles high. That’s enough to stretch to the moon and back three times. In terms of air-travel, US-based businesses spend more on it than any other employee expense. This works out at over $21 billion a year for Fortune 500 companies alone. As for the average American household, they spend $9,004 on transportation per year. In some locales, this is enough cash for a down payment on a three-bedroom house that will rent for twice your mortgage payment. To all the New Yorkers and San Franciscans reading, this is where you can take a moment to stop hyperventilating.
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