Learning Lists

Five Great Startup Resources

At code(love), we’re big fans of driving the future. Here are some great startup resources for teams looking to conquer the world.

Download / By Ariana Prestes

Startup Resources with code(love)


We can’t stress enough that those who want to build the future have to understand it. With most startups operating in the technology field, having that basic knowledge of how coding logic works will not only make you a better entrepreneur—it will make you a better thinker. Codeacademy is an easy and fun way to learn that logic.

For more brilliant resources on learning code, check out our previous learning list.

2-AngelList  &   F6S

Both of them are aggregators of great startups, talent, and offers on hand for startups. You’ll also see a list of startups operating in the space around you, and be able to get your name out there for potential employees and investors. Using the offers on hand from giants such as RackSpace and Microsoft will save your startup thousands in operating costs, and allow your team to access opportunities they never would have had before.


Don’t have a network of potential co-founders around you? Looking for that awesome team member that will take you over the hump? Not a problem. With a one-time $50 investment, you can tap into a network of self-selected idea creators and builders who are looking to flesh out great ideas with you. The functionality adds layers beyond what LinkedIn does, including having the ability to find out whether your target is actively searching for a new idea, or merely browsing.


Do you really need very specific advice, and you can’t seem to find anybody on LinkedIn or FounderDating that can address a pain point that will cost you thousands? Schedule a call with the entrepreneurs and investors who have been through it all, so you can get the advice you need to build out the idea you envision.

5-Startup events and people

FounderDating and Clarity.FM are great online networks, but you really want to take it offline. Check out your local Meetup and Facebook groups for startup communities, and start introducing yourself. Startup people are by nature open to being approached: don’t be shy to talk about what you’re doing, and ask people out for coffees: just make sure you’re not just taking but also giving. Remember the startup motto: always pay it forward.

We hope you enjoyed these startup resources: share the love if you think others in your network could benefit, and follow us for more!


Technology and Society

The NSA opened Pandora’s Box

For a long time, it has been a well-known fact that the rule of law in America applies separately for different groups. The old line goes something like this: steal one dollar, and you’re a thief. Steal a million, and you’re the king.

Steal one dollar, and you’re a thief. Steal a million, and you’re the king.

We saw this in 2008 where the only Goldman employee criminally prosecuted during that period was guilty for the sin of taking open-source code from Goldman he had worked on for documentation purposes—as opposed to trickery that cost America billions and perhaps even trillions in lost opportunity and jobs.

This has never been so blatantly obvious until now. In his latest revelations, Edward Snowden has claimed that the NSA spied on human rights groups in America, and used algorithms to tease out metadata from groups of individuals never suspected of plotting or doing actual terror attacks—individuals who were “guilty by association”.

This breaks so much of the spirit that governs the Constitution, but more importantly, it breaks so many laws that this assertion is breath-taking in of itself.

If these assertions are true, we are back to the days of the old, illegal, and covert COINTELPRO program, a FBI program that unscrupulously, and covertly monitored such radicals as Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Einstein for advocating on civil rights.

Imagine a world where I could come under surveillance and special targeting for writing this piece, and you could as well by reading it.

This may be the world we live in now.

The NSA has opened Pandora’s box.

It is now the duty of those working for a free, fair, and open Internet to close it back up—no matter how hard that may be.

Telling the Truth to the NSA with code(love)

Telling the Truth to the NSA with code(love)

Longform Reflections

Sarah Explains Ladies Learning Code

This is a post from Sarah Cundiff. Visit her blog at http://www.sarahcundiff.com/!

At code(love), we’re all about sharing great content like this that encourages people to learn about the future, and work towards building it. Email us at [email protected] if you think you have content that fits that bill.


Unless you’ve been living under a stone, I’m sure you’ve heard all the buzz recently about how important it is to learn how to code.  Just check out the US Bureau of Statistics info on the job outlook for software developers to see why.  There’s even a campaign in the US for all school children to learn coding called “The Hour of Code.”  I regret not pursuing computer science as a major when I was in college!  But, as I proved starting my MBA at the age of 32, it’s never too late to learn something, and, it turns out you don’t even need a “degree” to learn how to code.

Itching to learn something new, I recently signed up to take some coding workshops through a non-profit called “Ladies Learning Code.”  It’s based out of Toronto, with chapters all over Canada, and is run completely by women.  The Montreal chapter is led by Nancy Naluz.


I felt so “empowered” after the Intro to HTML & CSS workshop, where we created a simple website from scratch.

So far, I’ve taken three workshops:

  • Intro to HTML & CSS
  • Intro to JavaScript
  • Intro to Mobile Web

The courses cost about $60 each and run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a Saturday.  The Montreal chapter doesn’t have a dedicated space for it’s workshops (unlike Toronto), but many different tech companies in Montreal have offered to host the workshops.  I actually found the uniqueness of each location to add to the wonderful atmosphere of each workshop. The HTML workshop was held at RPM Startup Centre in the Griffintown area of Montreal, the JavaScript workshop was held at the Microsoftoffices in downtown Montreal, and the Mobile Web workshop was held at the Busbud offices in the Mile End area of Montreal.  (Busbud is a start-up that provides an easy way to book bus travel all over the world, and won my vote for “coolest office” with it’s ping-pong table and amazing panoramic views of downtown Montreal!)

I felt so “empowered” after the Intro to HTML & CSS workshop, where we created a simple website from scratch.

What makes the Ladies Learning Code workshops so special is that they cater primarily to women (men are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a female friend as the whole point is to introduce women to coding).  Local software developers and coding experts volunteer their time to “mentor” at the workshops.  The ratio of student to mentor I found was about 3 or 4 students per mentor.


At the Intro to JavaScript workshop, I learned how setup a website’s shopping cart.

In advance of each workshop, attendees are emailed a simple list of to-do’s to prepare, which basically consists of making sure you have the necessary free software downloaded in advance.  If for some reason you have trouble with the download, I would recommend showing up a little early and just asking one of the mentors for assistance.  Keep in mind that you need to bring your own laptop (and don’t forget your power cord!).  The workshop leader provides a very detailed package of slides that you can use to follow along with throughout the day, and keep for future reference.  One of the best parts is that you don’t have to come with any particular content – the workshop organizer provides all text and imagery for the coding exercises.  But, if you do have your own content, you’re also welcome to use it instead.


I learned how to add code to a website to make it mobile friendly at the Intro to Mobile Web workshop.

Each workshop usually starts with an intro to the software being used and an explanation of the reasoning behind the coding being taught, and then you’re led through a bunch of exercises.  At any point, you can raise your hand and a mentor will come over to help you trouble shoot.  The workshops are tailored to women who have never coded before and have just basic computer skills. But, if you’re a fast learner (like me), I found that the mentors are always willing to teach you some extra shortcuts and coding tricks here and there, while for the slower learners they’re willing to sit with you until you get it and are ready to move onto the next exercise. Basically, there’s no need to ever feel intimidated at a Ladies Learning Code workshop!

The workshops are also very social.  I met some lovely ladies at each of them, and even recognized some repeat attendees like myself, so by the third workshop I felt like I was entering a room of friends instead of strangers.  A healthy lunch is provided during the day, and plenty of time to socialize during the lunch hour.  I enjoyed getting to know some of the mentors and learning about their career paths and why they were inspired to volunteer their time.  The best was hearing some of the male mentors say that they just wish there more women were in their industry because they value women’s input and feel that the computer software and gaming industries would only be enhanced if more women learned to code!


Showing off my ping-pong skills during the lunch break of the workshop held at Busbud.

When I left the first workshop, the word that popped into my mind to explain how I felt was “empowered!”

When I left the first workshop, the word that popped into my mind to explain how I felt was “empowered!” Not only did I learn code, a skill that I can continue to build on, but I also gained confidence.   The workshops are void of competitiveness, and are really about women coming together to support each other in a comfortable and collaborative environment, learning a topic that hardly any of us were comfortable with upon walking in the room.  Having recently finished my MBA, where only 30% of my classmates were women, the Ladies Learning Code workshops were such a breath of fresh air!If you live in Canada, check out the Ladies Learning Code website for a list of upcoming events and workshops in major cities across the country.A lot of organizations offering coding workshops I find cater to kids, but Ladies Learning Code is for adults.  I met attendees and mentors alike who ranged in age probably from 18 to 80!  I’ve heard of similar organizations in the US focusing on girls in high school.  If you know of coding workshops for adult women in the US, or other countries, please share info in the comments!  Or, if you already know how to code, why not organize an event in your area to pass it forward?  I’d be happy to help with event planning and/or with writing content to promote any women-focused coding/tech events.


A friend was so inspired by my learning to code that she joined me at my 3rd workshop. Friends learning how to code together, looking particularly “geeky” in our glasses.

Most of my career in marketing has been focused on the user-facing content side, but learning the back-side of the technology that powers digital marketing tools has given me a better understanding of the capabilities that I can then advocate for on a user interface.  It has also inspired me to focus my career on a technologically innovative industry, and perhaps even dabble in freelance website development.  If you run a small business and have an outdated website or no website at all, please feel free to contact me, and I’d be happy to offer my digital marketing consulting services and/or build you a new website.

And be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to follow along on my adventures in coding!

Meaningful Multimedia

Remembering Aaron Swartz

To those of us who aspire to the ideals of the Open Web, Aaron Swartz is a hero. His legacy and his part in the fight against SOPA/PIPA still mark how modern technologists should not only build new technologies, but ensure, to the best of their abilities, that they are not used for nefarious purposes.

Aaron Swartz with code(love)

Aaron Swartz with code(love)

He had a hand in reddit, the Creative Commons, and so much more. Despite the fact that he had enough programming skill to make himself a fortune, he decided a better pursuit was to use  his skills, and the power of the web, to help make the world a better and fairer place.

Aaron Swartz worked hard for what he thought was right, and he constantly sought to learn, and grow—and to help others learn and grow.

His Open Access Manifesto is still widely spread around the web as a call-to-action to those who believe that information should be freer, and that the future of technology, progress, and innovation should tilt more towards cooperation rather than pure competition.

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.

That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.” –Aaron Swartz, Open Access Manifesto

This video is a good look at his life and legacy, and the promise of what could have been—and what still can be.

More details on the documentary on Aaron Swartz can be found here. There are not too many details, but hopefully the whole film gets released soon.

Technology and Society

The Economics of Tesla Direct Sales


This is a guest contribution from Sharon of americasstartup.com.
America's Startup

America’s Startup

Check out her Tumblr at americasstartup.tumblr.com.


When I first heard that states were not allowing Tesla into the market because of their direct sales business model, my first reaction was – “whaaaaat?!” Now after some research and a re-visit of the
economics theories I learned in my UCLA days, my (now educated) reaction is –“whaaaaat?!”

To those who may not understand the situation, a quick introduction– In recent news, New Jersey banned Tesla from selling its cars directly to the consumer. One may think, that’s one state, no big deal. But it’s not just one state, it’s another state, and there’s the fear of a ripple effect with New York and Ohio possibly going in the same direction as New Jersey.

The history behind the legislation of no direct sales to the consumer within the automotive industry dates back to the mass production of cars aka back to Ford. At that time the economic model
concerning dealerships made sense from both the manufacturers’ and the consumer perspective.

It’s no secret that the automotive industry has some of the highest fixed costs in regards to manufacturing.

Tesla Direct Sales Economics with code(love) from University of Regina

Tesla Direct Sales Economics with code(love) from University of Regina

Historically – a manufacturer’s perspective

It’s no secret that the automotive industry has some of the highest fixed costs in regards to manufacturing. Due to this fact, manufacturing is usually isolated to distant areas in order to drive volume (maximize factory utilization) and maximize economies of scale. One problem is solved: the per-unit cost of each manufactured
car reaches its minimum – but new problems arise.

Firstly, there is a cash flow issue. The necessary investment needed to produce the cars (cash out) and the lead-time to which the cars are sold (cash in) easily results in illiquidity without a middleman digesting the inventory in the short term.

Secondly, if the element of time is included in the normal demand and supply curves it is understandable that the delay in sales to consumers (demand) does not match the rate to which the
cars are manufactured, resulting in large stocks of inventory, which requires storage, an additional cost to the manufacturer.

Today – The Internet’s effect on industry and Tesla direct sales

Of course certain elements to the automotive industry remain the same, i.e. capital-intensive investment. However, that being said, Tesla has a different business model that threatens to challenge and disrupt this, a Dell for the automotive industry.

At the time of what is now being called the “Great Recession”, I was working on Wall Street in a bulge bracket investment bank and I understood quite clearly the factors that led to this massive balance sheet correction and re-adjustment in asset pricing.  I am not arguing that the automotive industry caused the recession; however, I bring it up as a relevant point because of the massive amount of inventory that could not be sold on the dealership level when the economy crashed.

This was an operational disaster when demand shriveled to zero and the lead-time to halt the supply to the market resulted
in the need for government bail out. Fundamentally, the dealership business model is an economic inefficiency and was used at the time as a Band-Aid to facilitate mass production. But we are no longer living in the 1800s. With the easy access to information, the Internet has changed the landscape of B2C interactions.

We are no longer living in the 1800s. With the easy access to information, the Internet has changed the landscape of B2C interactions.

A “consumer’s” perspective according to the Middleman

The economic rationale for the middleman has always been the consumer’s protection from monopolistic pricing. To truly understand this point it’s important to understand the economics of a car dealership. There are two main revenue drivers within a franchised dealership, 1) the mark-up in price for service and parts and 2) mark-up in price for the car. Now consider the costs related to a dealership, there is the physical location, the labor, the overhead, the marketing and publicity, etc. All of which is paid by the mark-up.

Although slightly dated, Goldman Sachs put out a research report in 2000 regarding, savings in the “vehicle order-to-delivery cycle from build-to-order, direct manufacturer sales.” Based on an average vehicle price of $26,000, Goldman Sachs estimated a total cost savings in the order-to-delivery cycle of $2,225 or about 8.6%. Since 2000, GM has experienced great production efficiencies in its direct manufacturing sales in Brazil that also proves an interesting point in light of this topic. At the end of the day, the underlying economic principle is the consumer loses when there is a middleman.

Why would the dealership lobby their butts off to keep the status quo? I would argue  – survival. Let’s think another startup—Dell. Although Apple ultimately changed the nature of the
computing demands of the World, Dell’s just-in-time model was a huge disruptor to the market that ultimately led to lower prices for the consumer, customization, and contributed to the demise of its
middleman Circuit City and Best Buy.

Tesla Direct Sales with code(love)

Tesla Direct Sales with code(love)

Concluding Remarks

Two hundred years ago Tesla direct sales to the consumer would not be possible because of limitations to technology and information. But now we have the Internet.

Technology has been the single greatest contributing factor of GDP growth within the developed world. We have seen this transformation before. My older sister bought CDs at the music store when she was young,  but now she buys music online. Before computers were bought only at Circuit City and Best Buy, now computers are bought online.

In The Post, Buchwald was quoted as saying, “We shouldn’t change the rules midstream just as a company is starting out. Tesla’s goal is to sell cars, not upend the rest of the auto industry.” To this, I say maybe it is time to ” upend the rest of the auto industry.”

I support the American Dream. I support entrepreneurs. I support Tesla being able to make direct sales to consumers.

I support the American Dream. I support entrepreneurs. I support Tesla being able to make direct sales to consumers.

Founder | Producer of America’s Startup, LLC


Meaningful Multimedia

Build innovation on the shoulders of giants.

Build Innovation with code(love)

Build Innovation with code(love)—image from the Houston Chronicle.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. – Issac Newton

The basis of the PageRank algorithm, the billion-dollar plus bit of mathematics that powers much of Google’s business was developed at Stanford University in 1996 by Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but the roots of it came much earlier. Some have argued that it was Gabriel Pinski and Francis Narin who first formalized how to go about analyzing the quality of links—in 1976.

They were able to define a set of metrics for ranking the influence of science journals—which was very handy for a mathematical solution for how to rank the influence of individual websites.

Perhaps it is this that led Francis Narin to publish a paper where he noted that 73% of papers cited by US industry patents were based on public research.

The above photo is a highlight of how the iPod was built on public research.  It may be the ideal framework to build innovation.

The best models for creating new world-changing disruption may come from collaboration, and not competition.

It leads one to believe that to build innovation, one must stand on the shoulders of giants. It also leads one to believe that there should always be public support for those research giants, and that the best models for creating new world-changing disruption may come from collaboration, and not competition.

Life Hacking

What makes for good writing—and what doesn’t.

Good writing

Good writing.

Good writing.

Good writing is about getting the reader to the next line in an organized and inspired fashion, imbuing them with the ideas you hold word-by-word, line-by-line, story-by-story. At the end, they should feel like they’ve encountered something profound, and they should look around to the nearest person to share that new feeling with.

Every word becomes a calculation with good writing: does its definition add to unnecessary complexity or does it tailor the exact experience you want to convey?

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
― Jack KerouacThe Dharma Bums

All good writers have their own voice, so it’s not up to me to dictate that trade-off point for you. This is your experience you are trying to convey, and not mine.

However, it is good to get back to the root of writing: a good writer tries to make an idea resonate with somebody else. Defining that experience in a way that is mutually pleasurable, and comprehensible, is something all writers should strive for.

Good writing is about good ideas. If you want to be a good writer, strive to find good ideas wherever you can. Constantly strive to read new stories, meet new people, and to dream for those special ideas that move you and others.

Express those ideas in their simplest, and most beautiful form.

Good writing is about touching the undefinable sacred, and profane. Sometimes no words are more powerful than many.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”― Albert EinsteinLiving Philosophies

Do not mistake word count for insight. Marx wrote his Manifesto in 48 pages. It was the ideas behind it that really mattered, and those 48 pages shook, and continue to shake our world.

Good writing is not about showing off how many words you can look up in the thesaurus, or how well you can spell and punctuate.

Good writing is about holding a reader’s attention so that they can coherently absorb the idea you’re trying to communicate.

Good writing evokes imagery: it makes the right words dance across the mind’s eye with the right rhythm. It makes the reader feel like they are stuck one wisp away from an engaging conversation over coffee: good writing makes them want to pay for the writer’s next coffee so they can narrate every detail, to the last, of the reader’s life and make them comprehensible and tied to something greater, in ways the reader themselves never fathomed.

Most importantly, good writing leaves readers wanting for more.


Life Hacking

Pain is good.

Pain is good.

Pain tells you when you’re stretching your limits, and growing. You can be comfortable for your entire life doing the same old thing, but you’ll never grow and go beyond that limit if you don’t want to experience any pain.

Pain tells you when something’s wrong, so you can learn from it. It’s why leprosy is a curse rather than a blessing: when you can’t feel the fire, you don’t know why to pull away, and you don’t know what to think of it when you see your scars.

Pain lets you know you’re taking the risks you want to define the life you need. A full life was never achieved by idling in comfort. You need all the facets of pain, from physical, to mental, to understand and grow yourself.

What you can do with pain

When you understand pain, wonderful things happen. Every company is founded on the premise of solving the pain of others.

You need to understand what real pain is before you start being successful selling a solution for it. A large reason most startups fail is because they’re solving pain that doesn’t exist: they view pain like a phantom limb—it must be there.

Inevitably, with no market validation, they realize the pain they thought was there is a figment of their imagination. The company closes because there’s no reason for it to exist, and perhaps there never was.

Your why has to be solving the pain of somebody. If that pain is large enough, and hurts enough for them to come to you, that’s when you will succeed as an entrepreneur.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
― James Baldwin

Be comfortable with pain

One should strive for comfort with pain, if not comfort itself. Comfort is the enemy of progress: when you’re comfortable, you’ve resigned yourself to what is happening now as being good enough. There’s always ways forward, and new things to learn, so this should never be true.

Pain can slow you down if you let it. Instead of dwelling over it,  and trying to ignore it, take it as a constructive bridge to the future, and work towards solving it rather than wallowing with it. Your comfort with pain will grow you into a better person.

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Being comfortable with pain is a sort of superpower. It allows you to experiment. After all, what do you have to fear? You understand pain, embrace it, and look to learn from it. If everything goes well, that’s great! If everything goes poorly, well there’s a learning lesson in there, and you can cope productively with it: you’ll take that chance to grow.

Either way, you win.

So that speech you’ve been putting off giving, that girl you’re too shy to ask out: why not move forward on those?

Zooey Deschanel with code(love)

She has to be dating someone, might as well be you.

Things you can do with your new superpower to move forward:

Do something you wouldn’t do every day. Take every chance you can to experiment and grow. What do you have to lose?

Relate better to others. Did you really think nobody else in the world has gone through pain? If you can understand your pain, you can understand theirs.

Move on. Really bad shit happens to people all the time. We fail, and others fail us. Sometimes the laws of the universe itself seem to fail us: the good die young, and there’s nothing we can really do about it. Once you understand that, it makes it easier to look forward on what can be done, rather than dwelling on what couldn’t.

Build great new things. Once you’re fully equipped to cope with your pain, and understand the pain of others, you’re perfectly suited to take on the risks you need to do everything you wanted to do. Pain is good, and so are the ventures you’re building. If you register all the pain you get positively as a sign of where you need to grow yourself and your venture, nothing will stop you.

Stop being comfortable. Have you learned to love a shit situation? It’s not too late to go beyond that. Pain is the enemy of comfort, it’s what comfort is designed to shield you from. When you decide enough’s enough, you’ll finally be growing towards a full life, rather than hiding from it.

Conan from about.com---pain is good.

Nothing can hurt you—not even pain.

Comfort is bad, pain is good.

I myself have gotten through plenty of both failing at many things, and succeeding at a few. It can be easy to fall into the trap of holding onto everything you have, and not clawing for more opportunities to grow: I know because I’ve been there. It’s only after I realized how valuable pain was, and how to use it productively, that I’ve been able to move on, and make rational decisions on driving towards the fuller life I’ve always wanted.

I want to be a builder. I’ve come to accept that comes with a fair amount of risk, and a fair amount of pain. But that doesn’t matter to me: after all, comfort is bad. Pain is good.


Meaningful Multimedia

This is what winning a revolution looks like.

There is no “winning or losing” a revolution in a few short years.

The Prague Spring was a moment in history where the Cold War seemed to thaw in 1968. Czechoslovakia underwent a period of political liberalisation that included the guarantee of fundamental human and political rights. For six short months, the country was able to breathe in democratic ideas.

It was notoriously crushed by an invasion of the Soviet Union, supported by Warsaw Pact countries such as Poland. Powerless in the face of this hateful violence, the Czechs could only stand in front of the tanks rolling over their country.

Prague-Spring from http://blogs.lt.vt.edu/

Prague-Spring from http://blogs.lt.vt.edu/

They might have been regarded as weak in the stupidest sense of “might makes right”.

But the Czechs found other ways to resist. Milan Kundera wrote his modern-day classic the The Unbearable Lightness of Being, dealing with how ephemeral things like love were accorded so much heaviness despite their often coincidental and fleeting nature. To top it off, he decried the art of totalitarian regimes as “kitsch”: non-genuine just like the people under those regimes were forced to be.

“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”
― Milan KunderaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being

His books were banned by the Soviet Union, and he was blacklisted from his homeland.

Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc were 21 years and 19 years old respectively. They self-immolated in protest at the despair of their countrymen.

The sparks of the fires that consumed their youth would eventually resonate with the people. In the almost bloodless Violet Revolution of 1989, dissident Václav Havel became the last president of Czechoslovakia, and the first democratically elected one of the Czech Republic.

Today, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are among the top twenty nations in the world when it comes to press freedom and some of the highest developed nations according to HDI. Many of the Warsaw Pact nations that invaded them have benefited from the same, most notably Poland.

Free press from humanrights.gov

Free press from humanrights.gov

Was the Spring at the time, at the height of the Cold War, encouraged by external forces? Probably. Did Czechoslovakia have a “tradition” of authoritarianism, much as most European countries do to some degree? Sure. Does any of that matter now? I doubt it.

It may have taken decades, but now both countries are among those who can celebrate creative dissidents such as Kundera, and those who fought to give everything for their compatriots such as Palach, and Zajíc.

The following picture is a memorial for Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc in the centre of Prague.

Palach-Zajic-memorial from Wikimedia

Palach-Zajic-memorial from Wikimedia

This is what “winning” a revolution looks like.

Technology and Society

A Technologist’s Take on Ukraine, Venezuela, and the Arab Spring.

The Obama Administration and its’ allies have successfully scaled democratic ambitions, and American ideals across a variety of theatres. Jared Cohen, formerly of the Department of State and now head of Google Ideas, and Wael Ghonim, MENA manager at Google were instrumental at lighting sparks for Tahrir, and scaling the will of the people.

In Ukraine, many of the NGOs on the field were funded by US aid, and Pierre Omidyar of EBay fame. The breathtaking use of social media to quickly spread revolt from Venezuala, to Egypt, to Ukraine, tapping into the underlying wishes of the people, and multiplying it, has been a revolutionary change in how the people express themselves.

America’s support for these programs is, in turn, a revolutionary change in how America spreads its’ ideals.

Gone are the days where American soldiers died in droves to win international disapproval to “force democracy”. This new way of growing democracy organically is the largest threat to authoritarianism, and the regimes that have the most to lose know this.

The implicit threat is this: if America can help Egyptians occupy Tahrir Square, and Ukrainians occupy the Maidan, what stops her, with enough time and tech-savvy, doing the same thing for Russians in Red Square, and the Chinese in Tiananmen?

The implicit threat is this: if we can help Egyptians occupy Tahrir Square, and Ukrainians occupy the Maidan, what stops us with enough time and tech-savvy, doing the same thing for Russians in Red Square, and the Chinese in Tiananmen?

Putin may have some affinity for Crimea. The larger prize he might be looking for is drawing a red line between what is happening now and what could happen in Russia.