Weekly Links #19

Here is a weekly selection of important information bits, thoughtful opinion pieces and interesting analyses from the digital and technology world. Published every Thursday.

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  • Will The Internet Just Fix Itself?
    Can’t argue with the point this thoughtful article makes: Many tech pundits and venture capitalists publicly promote the idea that even if digital disruption creates a lot of uncertainty within the job market and does away with job security and social benefits for millions of new contract workers, everything will turn out good for everybody in the long run. The Internet eventually will fix all the problems. But will it?
  • Uber, The Rashomon
    A great and balanced look at the consequences companies such as Uber might and probably will have on our culture and society.
  • Facebook and the Feed
    Boring headline (says the one who uses a numbered headline scheme with the same title every week) but a bunch of inspiring and insightful reflections on where Facebook, the core service, can and should go.
  • India’s Flipkart to shut down website within a year, thanks to popularity of mobile
    Flipkart is India’s leading e-commerce site. But not for long. Apparently the company has decided to do away with its website within a year. In other words: Going forward, it’s all about the mobile app.
  • Why The Rich May Be Last To The Mobile Commerce Future
    Ever heard of the “Varian Rule”? It goes like this: “A simple way to forecast the future is to look at what rich people have today”. Rings often true, right? Except when it comes to mobile services in general and mobile commerce in particular. Because for hundreds of millions of people, mobile devices are their first PC. They skip the whole “PC Internet” and suddenly find themselves ahead of the curve, compared to Western markets where millions still use their PC as primary computing device.
  • Apple’s second biggest market is now China, not Europe
    While reading this I wonder if Apple will turn into some kind of trojan horse. The company is establishing itself and its brand so deeply within the Chinese consumer culture that at some point, it might be able to dictate rules to the government, unlike how the process usually works for Western companies that are active in China. If Apple would reach that point, who knows what can happen. I imagine that Barack Obama is enjoying this development with a particular smile on his face.
  • What The U.S. Can Learn From Europe’s Growing Commercial Drone Industry
    I have not been following the drone industry closely. When I read this piece and learned that Europe apparently is ahead of the United States when it comes to the drone market and rules how to operate in it, I was pretty astonished.
  • Rich, but Not Silicon Valley Rich for Founders of Box
    Somehow, even after 10 years, it still seems unclear whether the cloud software firm Box has created a success story or not. What’s for sure is that some periods were quite a struggle, as this article explains.
  • At least 10% of Los Angeles is using Waze
    Waze is turning into one of Google’s hidden champions.
  • For Women, By Women, About Men
    Lulu is an app where women rate men. And it has traction.
  • Blendle: A radical experiment with micropayments in journalism, 365 days later
    The ambitious Dutch “soft paywall” startup Blendle looks back at its first year. Very interesting read I am still very excited about the future of this company. What Blendle offers is much more intriguing and reader-centric than any of the hard or metered paywalls that newspapers and online publishing sites have put in front of their content.
  • Twitter Plummets After Halt As Earnings Sleuths Strike Again
    So there is a company that operates a crawler which scans major websites for unpublished yet already uploaded documents that contain sensitive investor relations information. That’s the source of Twitter’s quarterly results leak on Tuesday (which created quite a drama surrounding the company’s stock).
  • Google’s Physical Web vs Apple’s iBeacon
    Compared to Apple’s iBeacon concept, Google’s Physical Web initiative has gotten less attention so far. But at least when it comes to openness, it appears to be the better choice.
  • Fetch Lets You Buy, Book Or Schedule Anything From Your Apple Watch
    I am not sure yet about how much significance the smartwatch category may reach, but this kind of service on a watch for sure sounds like the future envisioned in last centuries’ science fiction movies.
  • Peter Hamby leaving CNN for Snapchat
    A CNN reporter who according to Politico belongs to the best people in his field, is leaving his employer to join Snapchat as “Head of News”. Let this sink in a bit. Tech eats journalism.
  • In Q1 2015, European companies raised €2.6B in 345 deals, highest figure since Q3 2001
    Funding as a metric is not necessarily a sign of success, but with sufficient capital it is easier to build successful companies that have a large, global impact. So this is good news.
  • The value of Twitter
    I agree with this short piece: Twitter and other social media platforms are often dismissed as waste of time and attention. But to individuals they offer incredible capabilities for getting ahead in business and life. Many people in the tech and digital media industry would not be where they are today without these platforms. This is not really news but still good to remind ourselves of.
  • Netflix Eats Into TV Ratings, With Help From the TV Industry
    Nobody should be surprised about that Netflix threatens traditional TV.
  • Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls
    Lots of widsom about mid-stage startups from Y Combinator co-founder Jessica Livingston. Sounds very specific but worth a read for everyone who has an interest in the Internet business.

And recently on meshedsociety.com:

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