May 9th Meetup – The Role of Government Regulation in the Sharing Economy

Our speaker this month will be Chris Herndon. Chris is a serial entrepreneur with a geeky obsession for real estate. He most recently co-founded The Guild, a early-stage, Austin-based startup that’s combining the charm and authenticity of short-term rentals with the consistent quality and service of hotels. Prior to the Guild, Chris co-founded Apartment List (AL), an SF-based rental marketplace that operates nationwide and has raised over $30 million of venture capital. Prior to AL, Chris co-founded Philanthropedia (an online directory of impactful nonprofits, acquired by Guidestar in 2011) and The 40 Acres Group (an Austin-based apartment owner operator that merged with State Street Properties in 2012). Early in his career, Chris spent 5 years in finance (Goldman & GTCR Golder Rauner) between undergrad at Texas and business school at Stanford.

Chris will be speaking to us about the role of government regulation in the sharing economy. In February of 2016, the Austin city council passed two ordinances that will significantly restrict the usage of sharing economy marketplaces like Uber, Lyft, AirBNB and Homeaway. These announcements prompted venture capitalist Mike Maples, Jr. to tweet that his firm, Floodgate Ventures, would no longer invest in Austin-based on-demand companies due to the hostile regulatory environment. During this discussion, we’ll explore the role of government regulation in the sharing economy. Were the Austin city council’s measures justified to preserve the public’s safety and quiet enjoyment of its neighborhoods, or have they gone too far, stifling innovation?

The meetup will be at Capital Factory at 7:00pm on Monday, May 9th.

CIA Social Media Surveillance

The CIA is investing in several tech companies working on mining social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., with the purpose of determining “networks of association, centers of influence and potential signs of radicalization.”

Meet Brave, A Browser That Enforces Do Not Track Settings

Brendan Eich, inventor of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla, is working on a new, open-source, experimental browser named Brave that enforces a model where third party ads must comply with a browser’s Do Not Track settings. If they do not, the browser replaces them with ads that do comply.

Link to a good write-up on Boing Boing about the issue.