Weekly Links & Thoughts #38

Here is a weekly selection of thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting analyses and significant yet under-reported information bits from the digital and technology world. Published and commented every Thursday, just in time so you have something good to read during the weekend.

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  • Can a company innovate without working its employees to death?
    The author of this article sounds like he does not think that the answer to the question from the title can be “yes”. If he would have examined Sweden a bit more (which he mentions but in a different context), he would have learned that the answer definitely is “yes”: Swedes have lots of free time and work live balance is pretty much the default mode for everyone. Yet, the country is continuously creating great innovation and billion dollar companies.
  • Cruising the Carpool: Are Lyft Line and UberPool the New Tinder?
    First thought while I read: “This is astonishing”. Second thought: “Of course people who use on-demand carpool services might try to hook up”. Third thought: “This could harm a large-scale expansion of that kind of service, since it could quickly become annoying for women”. Fourth thought: “I would love to be a driver so I can listen to these conversations”.
  • Europe’s Distorted View of US High Tech
    Probably true. European media, politicians and opinion leaders are terrified of the US High Tech giants and tend to exaggerate their dominance and power. One of the best quotes from this piece: “Europe is beset by its weaknesses, failures and many-faceted conservatism. Instead of focusing on remedies — access to capital, higher education, labor laws, innovation stimuli, it builds an ideology around a threatening, foreign-born, domination.”
  • Don’t Build a Billion-Dollar Business. Really.
    A reasonable plea to entrepreneurs to not focus on building a billion dollar company from the get-go. This might have sounded totally obvious a few years ago, but now, with Unicorns on every corner, temptations are huge.
  • Evernote, The First Dead Unicorn
    Dramatic headline, but the data and facts presented in the article indeed paint a rather gloomy picture. Maybe, just maybe, Phil Libin should not have hold on to the CEO role for such a long time.
  • From Products to Platforms
    Apple is doing a lot of things right, and even the app platform looks like a major success. However, Ben Thompson argues that especially in regards to the iPad, Apple could do much better in transforming the device into an attractive platform for awesome, revenue-generating apps. That in turn could have made the iPad more attractive and prevented it from its current growth stagnation.
  • Not all comments are created equal: the case for ending online comments
    On blogs and trade publications, comments are a great way to interact with readers, to learn new facts and to get feedback about possible errors/weaknesses in the article. But when it comes to major news sites and their attached comments sections, I agree with the author: Lots of trouble, lots of hate, lots of moderation work for the editorial staff and little overall value. I recently wrote a column arguing against comments (in German).
  • How 4 publishers are approaching the Apple News app
    There is not too much buzz about the upcoming release of Apple News yet, but this will for sure be interesting to follow. I signed up meshedsociety.com for Apple News a few months ago and got approved (here you can add your site as well), so this blog’s content should be available in the app once it launches.
  • What it really takes to learn how to code?
    Motivating post which includes lots of great resources.
  • AT&T’s Mobley is its first plug-in mobile hotspot for your car
    Simple, yet clever.
  • The City of London – eaten by code, replaced by robots?
    London is Europe’s capital of finance. Already now, the rise of digital technology is changing the financial landscape and the ways how trading and transactions take place. This goes hand in hand with a massive wave of automation, which likely will affect London severely.
  • Huawei is the new Samsung
    A bold title like this does not necessarily describe actual reality. However, Samsung is definitely facing a more challenging time ahead, and Huawei is on the rise.

And most recently on meshedsociety.com

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