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Tech-Freitag: die besten Links

Ich lese jede Woche eine Menge Tech-Geschichten – das ist der Versuch, ein paar der Sachen zu kuratieren, auf die ich stoße (inspiriert vom geschätzten Charles Arthur, der das täglich macht).

Powa: The start-up that fell to earth (BBC)
Rory Cellan-Jones:
„For the last couple of years, I’ve been receiving emails from Powa’s PR agency urging me to cover the company’s ground breaking technology the PowaTag which „allows users to purchase anytime, anywhere in just three seconds by simply scanning an item or advertisement with their smartphone‘.
Eventually, the company claimed that it had 1,200 businesses signed up to use the PowaTag (…) the PowaTag was going to be used by some of the world’s leading brands including L’Oreal and Carrefour.
But what’s emerged since the collapse of the business is that none of those companies had signed contracts, merely ‚letters of intent‘, which did not commit them to anything. One senior figure in the company told me that young inexperienced sales staff were rewarded with a £2,000 bonus every time one of these letters was signed „so they weren’t particularly concerned about the quality of the deal‘.“

Sehr gute Recherche mit bunten Anekdoten. Bitter für Gründer, Firma, London als Startup-Standort und Wellington als blöde Investoren, die Geschichten statt Zahlen glauben. Wer wird das Berliner Powa?

A Facebook Experiment (Above Avalon)
„What is Facebook? Facebook is a curated version of the web. Having 1.6 billion people participate in building this new version of the web is ultimately why Facebook had become a habit for me and so many other people using smartphones. There is literally a never-ending stream of information and content to consume. Talk about the advantages of having massive scale. Using the Safari or Chrome app on a smartphone to surf various websites is a pain, not to mention energy-consuming, which explains Facebook’s aggressive moves in recent years to bring even more content into the News Feed. If Facebook wants to turn habits into addictions, they need to include the most sticky portions of the web including news, videos, and eventually live sports and make it remarkably easy to consume content. This explains the motivation behind Instant Articles and marketing the feature as accessing and reading news quickly and effortlessly.“

Analyse mit sehr guten Punkten. Inzwischen Konsens: Facebook ist nicht unverwundbar, sondern muss sich dauernd neu erfinden (oder zukaufen), um die Verweildauer konstant zu halten.

Suck: The Best Magazine On the Early Web (The Atlantic)
Anna Wiener:
„By all accounts, Suck was a heady, exhilarating, frustrating place to work, in no small part due to the rigor and inexperience of its staff. “Reading Suck was like finding an eye rolling teenager with a Lit Theory degree at an IPO party and smoking clove cigarettes with him until you vomited all over your shoes,” Havrilesky wrote over email. ‚And working at Suck was like working for that teenager.'“

Hatte davor noch nie von Suck gehört, genau deshalb habe ich das Stück verschlungen. In dieser Tradition ergeben The Awl oder Valleywag Sinn.

Inside Tony Fadell’s Struggle to Build Nest (The Information,$)
Reed Albergotti:
„At a November all-hands meeting for engineers at Nest’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters, co-founder Matt Rogers said he was “losing sleep” over an exodus of staffers—roughly 70 in about six to 12 months, out of its workforce of roughly 1,000.

Tony Fadell, the company’s CEO, interrupted, pointing out that many of those departing employees had come from either Google, which acquired Nest in early 2014, or from Dropcam, maker of connected security cameras that Nest bought in mid-2014. Mr. Fadell went on to urge employees who have a problem with he way Nest is run to step up, rather than take on a ‚victim mentality.‘ Victims are ’not long for the world,‘ he added, according to a recording of the meeting made available to The Information.“

Noch ein Stück über die Stagnation und Führungsschwäche bei Nest. Einer dieser Fälle von „nach außen perfekt gecoacht, intern eine Mischung aus Hyper-Choleriker und Micromanager“. Nebenbei gibt Fadell ein schwaches Bild ab, wenn er für alles seine Mitarbeiter verantwortlich macht. Vielleicht doch keine gute Idee, Menschenführung bei Steve Jobs zu lernen… (Nebenaspekt: Alphabet scheint bei den „other bets“ wenig Vertrauen in Zukäufe zu haben)

„How Spotify Solved For the Paradox of Choice“ (Medium)
John McDermott schreibt:
„Discover Weekly creates playlists by analyzing a user’s listening behavior and comparing it to that of other like-minded users. Let’s say you’ve been listening to lots of Gary Clark, Jr. lately, for instance. Discover will find other Gary Clark, Jr. fans and identify the songs and artists they’ve recently added to their personal playlists (e.g. The Black Keys, “Them Shoes,” Heartless Bastards). Discover filters out the artists you’ve already heard, reducing the list to 30 songs (about two hours worth of music).“

Interessenspaare sind der Schlüssel, um persönliche Kuratierung zu ermöglichen. Preisfrage für Journalisten: Welcher Verlag wertet seine Nutzerdaten so zielgerichtet aus und kuratiert überhaupt über die eigene Seite hinaus?

Julie Rubicon (Robin Sloan via Facebook Notes)
„Facebook’s Partner Intelligence Group uses an application called Enchilda to scan and summarize all the posts and comments on the system, public and non-public. It delivers the results of those scans to advertising clients, not for nefarious purposes, but simply so some human somewhere can say to her superiors, look: we did something right. In the fall of 2015, Julie Rubicon and I used an undocumented and uncanny capability of the Enchilada application to inform several trades on U.S. stock exchanges, which generated a net profit of $162.“

Wahr oder Fiktion? Von mir gibt’s keine Spoiler.

The Work of the Future (Strategy + Business)

Wie groß ist die Gefahr, dass Maschinen unsere Jobs übernehmen? Daniel Gross:
„History is littered with futuristic technologies that either fizzled out or haven’t developed into new standards as quickly as pundits projected: flying cars, routine space travel, waterbeds. The geniuses who cook up new technologies don’t always fully appreciate the barriers to widespread use. Take drones. Companies are already using them as adjuncts to employees — insurance adjustors deploying them to assess roof damage after storms, for example. But using drones to deliver pizzas or packages would require a wholesale rejiggering of the nation’s air traffic control system, significant changes to privacy laws, and the destruction of an awful lot of tree cover. Oftentimes, new technologies have to fit into existing ecosystems before they can start taking them over. And that takes time, work, and lots of money.

Knapp und ausgewogen. Weil wir es uns vorstellen können, heißt es nicht, dass es auch passieren wird. Und umgekehrt.

Ein Gedanke zu „Tech-Freitag: die besten Links“

    […] Ich lese jede Woche eine Menge Tech-Geschichten – das ist der Versuch, ein paar der Sachen zu kuratieren, auf die ich stoße (Links aus der vergangenen Woche hier). […]

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