YKC: Hackers + Painters

Wreath of Laurel, Palm was Mona Lisa 1.0

YKC. Happy Memorial Day + start of summer. Summer months ahead so I’d like to shorten YKC. Invoking the idea of Via Negativa (addition by subtraction), William Faulker’s famous quote “kill your darlings” and reader feedback I’ll be experimenting with cutting sections. Part of me was initially resistant (and uncomfortable with making changes) but realized that was the exact reason I had to make a change.

Save the Date Thursday, June 28th for my birthday. Will be epic like last year’s rooftop party :)

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“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success.”

-Mark Cuban

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham: I really disliked Paul Graham for a long time after following his Twitter war with fellow VC Marc Suster during the war in Gaza between the IDF and Hamas in 2014. And while he does not refrain from making a comment in this book on the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict many ideas in the book are excellent. Hackers is an underrated collection of essays (on where art and tech intersect) by one of Silicon Valley’s most vocal contrarian thinkers.

I believe most people don’t read books anymore, but not so in the tech community. I don’t know if it’s a thirst for knowledge or part of the culture, but there are the tried and true books which are recommended to every aspiring entrepreneur (Hard Things, Lean Startup, Zero to One, etc.). This book should join that list, if anything to understand Paul Graham and what he founded with unicorn factory accelerator Y Combinator (Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe are alumni). Some of the essays more technical and non-technical people (myself included) could get lost in the weeds, but he taps into underlying concept that drives tech; creation.

Creating something valuable out of thin air, the equivalent of modern day magicians is what drives both artists and tech entrepreneurs. In parallel while sometimes they behave in a fashion which ultimately gets in their own way people in the arts are able to tap into a level thinking most of us have, but don’t access. But ideas are not always things of beauty, and Graham believes that challenging society’s truths (which he believes are ever shifting anyway) are where the opportunities lie. Similar to Peter Thiel’s idea that if people think something can’t be done, is a laughably bad idea, they won’t pursue it. That is where the opportunity is; the bad sounding good idea.

Key Takeaways:

⚪️ Artists can be collaborators as well: Leonard Di Vinci was famously known as a collaborator, and aside from working together they built on top of each others work.

⚪️ Creative thinking is the highest form of intellect: Why the arts are so important; logical thinking is actually relatively new in how we evolved from evolutionary perspective. While logical thinking helped get us to where we are, creative thinking will take us to where need to go.

Silicon Valley is the closest we have to Renaissance-era Florence (capital/talent/spirit): Hollywood is a close second, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another time in history where of massive amounts of capital, the most talented people, and the permission to embrace society ideas converge in one place. Sadly, people there spend all their time thinking about the future when there is so much to learn from the past.

Free TechHub Memberships To Support Diversity In The Tech Industry: To work towards a more diverse tech industry, TechHub is offering 10 entrepreneurs free TechHub NYC memberships for one year. With a Flex membership, you’ll be able to drop in to any TechHub in the world. Read more to see how to submit by June 1st.

Calling applications for the 2018–19 Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship: The Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship develops and invests in future leaders in Israel-Asia relations by providing Israeli and Asian young professionals and students living in Israel with the high-level access, contacts, skills-set and support network necessary to build long-term, strategic partnerships between Israel and Asia in their professional fields.

The 8-month program is part-time and is designed to supplement young professionals’ areas of expertise and students’ university study programs in Israel. For more info click here.

Israel & Co. is hiring: They are currently hiring for the following positions and could use your help in finding the right talent for the organization. If you know anyone who may be interested, please have them apply to jobs@israelandco.org with the position in the subject line. Full job descriptions can be found on their website.

Whizor: The workforce today is a changing landscape — people are looking at their work as a way to find purpose and it’s up to organizations to provide meaning. It’s about PERSONAL career development, ENRICHMENT of professional content, BRANDING employee talent and so much more. Today personal career coaching is mostly offline and expensive so organizations often find themselves only allowing their top executives to access it.

ENTER: WHIZOR. An innovative mobile app promoting individual’s personal career development by creating virtual coaching sessions, enabling the user to connect with career coaches who will focus and guide them through their individual problems. Very cool what Keren and her team are doing in the personal/professional development space — definitely an app I would use. For more info contact their founder Keren directly at keren@whizor.com

Friends of Yad Sarah: Thanks to the broad scope of Yad Sarah’s activities and services, and the compassion and caring of its large volunteer corps, the organization has become an indelible part of the fabric of every-day Israeli society. Yad Sarah is also recognized widely as a model for a humane and cost-effective approach to caring for the ill and injured at home.

With 420,000 people helped every year by 6,000 volunteers in 100+ branches, it’s no wonder that a Dahaf Institute survey concluded that “…every second family in Israel has been helped by one of Yad Sarah’s service”. They’re looking to build their board of directors here in NY, if you’re interested in getting involved in this important cause respond to me directly.

Breakfast with an Investor: Mikhail Gurevich, Founder, Dominion Capital. Thursday, May 31, 8.30 am. Continental Breakfast included. KettleSpace Nomad @The Cannibal, 111 East 29th St. Hosted by Bonnie Halper, Editor, StartupOneStop Newsletter. Tickets here.

Is America Ready For Universal Basic Income? Join young professionals across Manhattan for a conversation about automation, tech policy, & Universal Basic Income with Andrew Yang, Democratic candidate for president. Not sure if the US is ready for UBI, but it looks to be an interesting conversation. Thursday, May 31 at 06:30 PM. Yang2020 HQ, 214 W 39th St, Ste 204. Register here.

FED: Like TED, but you get fed — is a platform for ideas built into an inclusive Jewish community led by Deborah Fishman. Thursday, May 31 — Food Sustainability World Tour — Destination: Brazil and the Spanish Caribbean! With music, food, and a talk themed around the region. RSVP HERE.

Friday, June 8 — “NANA” Film Screening, Polish Dinner, and talk by filmmaker Serena Dykman, who made the film about her grandmother, an Auschwitz survivor who spent her life-fighting intolerance. RSVP HERE.

ICONYC Special Event — The Role of Press in Building Your Startup: While thought-leadership and content marketing are becoming more and more important for startups’ overall brand, getting press is becoming more and more challenging for founders. It’s extremely difficult to get the attention of reporters and rise above the noise. Join them on June 5th, 6:30 at the Alley for a special evening bringing together the absolute BEST of NY tech — reporters, PR experts, successful founders, and top investors. This event is by invitation only for tech founders, investors and corporate executives. Space is limited so make sure you sign up early.

#TechHubTuesday Demo Night: TechHubTuesday Demo Night isn’t about pitching for funds, it’s an opportunity to show the community what you’re working on, get some feedback, & see what others are toiling away on. Come along & check out the best tech startups around at our legendary Demo Night — you’ll not want to miss the next big thing! Demo by Axoni & The Clevolution. Tuesday, June 05, 2018 at 06:30 PM. TechHub NYC, 158 W 27th St, 6th Fl. Register here.

WeWork hosts Tmura: (Israel) They’re happy to invite you to a Tmura/WeWork networking event! Don’t miss the opportunity to hear some great speakers from Tmura and the Creator Awards, including Karen Tal, CEO and Co-Founder of Tovanot B’Hinuch, 2017 Creator Awards winner and Tmura grantee. To date, both Tmura and Creator Awards have each distributed over $16M in funding. Please join them on Tuesday, June 5th, 6:30 pm WeWork Menachem Begin, (50th Floor Lounge 144) Menachem Begin, Tel Aviv — Yafo. For details and to RSVP.

Cornell Tech@Bloomberg: The Future of Food with Bowery Farming CEO Irving Fain: Over the past few years, New York has become a center for technological advances in agriculture. Driven by its large population and food industry, New York’s agricultural entrepreneurs have developed novel approaches to producing more efficient, less resource intensive, and, perhaps, even tastier produce. Tuesday, June 12, 5:30 PM, Bloomberg L.P. 731 Lexington Ave. Register here.

Brooklyn for Shabbat 500: Join Tech Tribe for this EPIC Shabbat meal and un-networking experience at the scenic Brower Rooftop for an exclusive event produced by Tech Tribe and CYP Brooklyn. Escape the maelstrom of information overload and join them. Don’t forget this EXCLUSIVE discount when you purchase with the code: TECH 7:00 PM, June 29th, Brooklyn Children’s Museum Rooftop, 145 Brooklyn Ave. Brooklyn. Tickets here.

Jonathan ‘Yoni’ Frenkel



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