Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting analyses and significant yet under-reported information bits from the digital and technology world. Published and annotated every Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.
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Length indicator: 1 = short, 2 = medium, 3 = long
- Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny (3+)
An exceptionally good and unbelievably interesting and deep-going profile of Sam Altman, the president of the world’s biggest and most successful startup accelerator, Y Combinator. Will take at least an hour to read through, but it is worth it.
- SpaceX’s Big Fucking Rocket – The Full Story (3)
- Elon Musk’s Ticket to Nowhere (2)
One optimistic and one pessimistic take on Elon Musk’s plan to establish a one-million-people strong colony an Mars.
- Silicon Valley Etiquette (2)
Not sure how those living and working in the Silicon Valley would perceive this comprehensive overview written by a French, but I found it surprisingly inspiring and informative (and also in parts applicable for contexts outside the Valley).
- Conflict in the network age: why is social media conflictive? (1)
While opinions on this topic differ, there is a widespread perception that social media plays a critical role in the emergence and reinforcement of conflicts. This brief piece looks at possible reasons.
- What the next few years look like for VR (2)
A well-informed, no-nonsense analysis of the state of the VR landscape and what comes next.
- Google and the Limits of Strategy (2)
Google has just revealed plenty of new hardware products, including a flagship, Google-branded Android smartphone (“Pixel”), as well as new variations of its personal assistant software, Google Assistant. Ben Thompson explains what’s driving the company, and why the new, vertical approach collides with its horizontal business model.
- What the Twitter Sale Reveals About Twitter, Itself (2)
Excellent write-up on the complicated situation Twitter currently finds itself in. It’s more uncertain than ever what will happen next with the iconic, yet struggling company (and a lot depends on who’ll end up buying Twitter – if anyone actually will for the priced asked).
- MailChimp and the Un-Silicon Valley Way to Make It as a Start-Up (2)
I love the story, and I am a big fan of the service (which I use for the weekly email sendout). Glad to see Mailchimp being profiled.
- Apple is screwing up HomeKit; here’s how they can fix it (1)
Apple and services, not a match made in heaven.
- Pokémon GO: A Success Two Decades in the Making (3)
Insightful analysis including some impressive graphs and statistics showing the success of the game.
An amusing read for the more technical people, illustrating how significantly web development has changed over the past years.
- Technical and social challenges of conversational design (3)
This is a super interesting practical report on how to transform the visual web design of a web site into a conversational interface, including lots of learnings and advices.
- In the age of the algorithm, the human gatekeeper is back (2)
Why curation matters.
- Why Deep Learning Is Suddenly Changing Your Life (3)
Lengthy feature on the the rise of deep learning technology, which lies at the heart of what usually is referred to as “Artificial Intelligence”.
- The Businesses That Platforms Are Actually Disrupting (2)
Smart point: Large technology platforms don’t disrupt traditional businesses but rather “traditional” matchmaker businesses, so basically platforms from the analogue age.
- The Number of Titles in the Netflix Library is Down 50% the Past Four Years (1)
The more Netflix invests in its own original content, the less it wants to invest in licensing other content. In the long term, it is not even impossible to imagine that Netflix only will offer original content.
- Iceland’s Pirates head for power on wave of public anger (2)
This is a much better anti-establishment trend than what can be observed in other countries, although of course it remains to be seen how the Pirate Party would act if it gets into power.
Recently on meshedsociety.com
- Turns out, the Internet is no big “world improvement machine”
It was probably naive to even have expected something else than this.
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