Adding more value than what you can capture


This is a post inspired by a Tim O’Reilly talk at Stanford. Life is all about “adding more value than what you can capture”.

I won't focus on the business side of his talk, you can check that out by actually watching it.

The most fascinating part of it is the ability to create products that empower other people and companies to build things or do stuff that would not be possible otherwise. From cloud SaaS software all the way through education marketplaces. 

At SendGrid our cloud email infrastructure allows companies like Pardot, Hubspot, Uber, and Pinterest to scale, without having to focus on managing email servers for their apps. People build a business on top of the platform and because of that their organizations are empowered to achieve greater things faster, with a fraction of the cost and much more agility.

From moving over 1 billion emails for a single app in a month to selling their company for millions of dollars in less than 3 years (it happened already with multiple customers!) 

Tim points out that it's all about “Workflow innovation and connectivity with computers” - But I see this also applied to the law of cause and effect and some of the Zen Buddhism principles.

Great software companies are able to change the world and generate positive karma while working on their mission.

This is why I've been fascinated with the Online Education market lately, it seems that democratizing education, empowering anybody to be a teacher, and learning anything within a few clicks might be the best way to add more value than what you can capture. 

It's that moment when a product becomes a platform. That's the beauty of APIs. 

What loops can you close while empowering others to get smarter, better, and faster at something? 

Here is the full presentation:

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