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THINK / Musings

occasional thoughts by john borthwick

Last Build Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:11:15 +0000


The betaworks 2015 book

Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:07:42 +0000

I wrote several essays for the betaworks 2015 book and posted three of them online.  Here’s a quick summary and links to the three. A critique of artificial intelligence is the longest one — I went on a deep dive into AI and wrote about why I believe the integration of computing into ourselves is…

You gotta read this! / Thoughts about reading and internet media use

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:24:07 +0000

Back in May Mike Hudack posted a rant about the state of the news media. The gist of it is: here we are in 2014, the Internet is at scale — the mobile internet is in the pockets 30%+ of adults worldwide and social networks are at a proportionate scale and yet the news media seems to be becoming…

What can homescreens tell us about the way people use their phones. 

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:11:24 +0000

 At betaworks we aim to build apps that people love: the essential apps that people use every day and that they obsessively want to have on the homescreen of their devices, one touch away. Yet, measuring progress against this goal is a challenge. We have internal analytics, tools, and KPIs that give us an indication…

RSS Community Meetup

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 22:31:59 +0000

Dave Winer posted the idea of a RSS community meet-up this weekend.  A good idea, in the middle of a steamy New York summer the world of RSS is rumbling once again. Google’s exit from the reader market has created a vacuum and nature abhors vacuums.  At betaworks we have been developing RSS related products for…

Pando fireside chat

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:18:33 +0000

This is a long interview. It covers a broad range of topics from early days of betaworks, to why and how the studio model works, to how New York has become a tech center. A fireside chat with Betaworks CEO John Borthwick from PandoDaily

power lunch?

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:07:47 +0000

I was down at the stock exchange to talk about Dots and betaworks on CNBC’s power lunch. Here is a picture of the setup where they do the interviews — its amazing how few people work today on the actual floor of the exchange.  More screens per sq inch of real estate than I’ve seen…

how we beta-work

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 20:27:49 +0000

The Bloomberg team came over to the office to talk about how we work, at betaworks. Clip here: Who Are the Brains Behind Betaworks?: Video

2013 Shareholder Letter

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 20:21:19 +0000

Its time for the annual betaworks shareholder letter. This is something that I hammer out at the end of each year — its long this year, sorry we didnt have the time to edit it further.

tapestry: a new way to write

Sun, 25 Nov 2012 20:07:00 +0000

  I did a post over on svbtle about tapestry, a new way to write, it includes a collection of new tap stories.  More after the jump …  

Sandy and how the technology we build could serve us more effectively

Mon, 05 Nov 2012 20:03:24 +0000

Last week was a rough one here in New York City. People lost their homes, some a lot worse. We were lucky. I live downtown and all that my family and I had to deal with was no electricity for most of the week, no cell access and a lot of water in our kitchen,…

Bloomberg interview re: Digg

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 18:30:33 +0000

via Bloomberg

How Bloomberg does interviews …

Sun, 13 May 2012 16:43:20 +0000

I did a live interview last Friday on Bloomberg TV.  It was interesting.  A conversation about the early stage technology environment, increases in the cycles of change, new things at betaworks and the Facebook IPO. Borthwick on Facebook IPO, Betaworks' StrategyMay 12 (Bloomberg) — John Borthwick, chief executive officer of Betaworks, talks about the company's…

betaworks 2012 shareholder letter

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 22:21:30 +0000

via Scribd by PandoDaily Related links: That Was Fast: Betaworks Returns All Capital… And Then Some Betaworks rewards its investors and looks to the future of real time networks Letter from Betaworks CEO: ‘Data is the New Plastic’ Link to PDF 


Tue, 25 Oct 2011 18:57:12 +0000

                Today at betaworks we are launching findings, a platform for sharing and discovering what people are reading.  You can see my bookshelf of what I’m reading here – this includes books as well as web pages from which I have clipped highlights that interest me.  You can see the quotes I have…

tumblr’s blow out round

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 18:48:34 +0000

     tumblr is on a tear.  The growth numbers are insane and they have just announced a big, big funding round.  Back in May of this year TechCrunch ran a post outlining that tumblr was doing the same number of pageviews a day as they did in a month back in 2009: 250m pageviews a day.  If…


Thu, 22 Sep 2011 11:45:16 +0000

Discussion with @KevinRose on Foundation: johnborthwick

News for

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:27:33 +0000

  Over the past year, has been incubated within bitly. Today, we’re pleased to announce that has officially spun out of bitly into an independent company under betaworks. As I wrote earlier this year, with we are seeking to rethink and reinvent the way that people discover news; I’m very excited that…

Interview with WSJ’s Allan Murray about the future of Social Media

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 19:01:48 +0000

  An interview with the Wall Street Journal @alansmurray discussing the impact of social media.

7 on 7

Fri, 13 May 2011 16:30:03 +0000

This weekend (May 14th) 7on7 runs for the second time in NYC – the event brings together artists and technologists – where they conceive and often build a project over the course of a single day.   Some people have referred to it as a YCombinator for the art world, sort of, but last year it was a little…

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 14:31:04 +0000 launched this morning as an iPad app and as an email service. Here is some background on why and how we built Why For a while now at bitly and betaworks, we have been thinking about and working on applications that blend socially curated streams with great immersive reading interfaces. Specifically we have been…

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