Tim O'Reilly does some future-gazing

Tim O'Reilly does some future-gazing
​"Why simply adding an app doesn't change the game for taxis" is the subtitle of this one. Presenting a couple of weeks ago at a PWC conference, O'Reilly talks through the next steps for the networked economy, including market dominance by the incumbents (and in this case we mean Amazon, Facebook  ​et al ​). There are 95 slides, so there's ple...
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Pricing lessons from startups

Untitled
First Round Capital's Tyler Gaffney talks about B2B startup pricing, from the point of view of running a VC which has funded over 30 companies: When it comes to your first paying customers, these folks represent much more than income and validation of your early work. Each of these, Gaffney points out, is an invaluable data point. "If you're trying...
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The slow death of linear television

2873745549_315e833fee_b R Barraez d'Lucca, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/rahul3/2873745549
GroupM has launched a report entitled  ​The State of Digital 2018 ​. We'll report on its multifarious other statistics in subsequent articles but the standout one is that, globally, watching television online will surpass watching linear programming within the year GroupM also examined programmatic trends: on average across reporting countries...
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A gender decoder for job ads

This is an excellent piece of work from Kat Matfield:  Without realising it, we all use language that is subtly 'gender-coded'. Society has certain expectations of what men and women are like, and how they differ, and this seeps into the language we use. Think about "bossy" and "feisty": we almost never use these words to describe men. This li...
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Yanis Varoufakis on the state of the nation(s)

Yanis Varoufakis on the state of the nation(s) El Desperttador / Wikipedia
​There's so much in this article from Varoufakis that it's pretty much for everyone, irrespective of which sector you work in. It used to be an axiom of liberalism that freedom meant inalienable self-ownership. You were your own property. You could lease yourself to an employer for a limited period, and for a mutually agreed price, but your propert...
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Facebook: you'll never leave

Facebook: you'll never leave Iwan Gabovitch
In a very well-produced long read for  ​The Verge ​, Sarah Jeong talks about the cognitive and emotional load put upon her by even attempting to do something so simple: quit an account. In this case, however, it was Facebook, and leaving it detached her from her social circle as well as from the service itself. I experienced a severe bout...
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How Airbnb scaled 100x

How Airbnb scaled 100x Open Grid Scheduler, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/opengridscheduler/19915395410
Former Airbnb director of product Jonathan Golden has written a post on Medium on how the business scaled and experienced considerable, rapid growth. Marketplaces are notoriously hard to start, but amazing if they work. In my six years at Airbnb, I watched it scale over 100X on every metric: listings, users, revenue, employees, and, yes, sometimes ...
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Adult media use and attitudes: Ofcom launches UK report

Adult media use and attitudes: Ofcom launches UK report Monty Python's Flying Circus
 This is the latest iteration of Ofcom's regular report, which in this case uses research data from 2017. 88% of adults are online; those who are online spend a day a week connected; 62% of online respondents have a Facebook account (but this is declining); 11% of online respondents use WhatsApp as their primary social service, an almost 3x ju...
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Facebook is the crack den of emerging economies

Facebook is the crack den of emerging economies Rulenumberone2, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/rulenumberone2/34455816955
​Bloomberg ​ has a good piece about Facebook. Despite the multitude of woes and concerns regarding the Zuckopticon's business practices and data retention/commercialisation policies, emerging markets around the world have solidly embraced the social network and won't let go. One study found that 30 percent of online sales in Southeast Asia occurred...
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Who am I in the digital age?

Who am I in the digital age? Carl Nenzen Loven, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/nenzen/9304028538/
​The ID Question ​ is a excellent series of articles from the  ​How we get to next ​ story team which focus on issues surrounding personal identity across the world.  Written by  Padmaparna Ghosh and produced by friend of Imperica Anjali Ramachandran , there are currently 5 "episodes" in a series of 6, supplemented with bac...
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Snap tries to reinvent the spot ad

Snap tries to reinvent the spot ad Eduardo Woo, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/edowoo/34594451195/
​Historically resistant to display advertising but strangely still unprofitable, Snap has launched fixed six-second video ads called... wait for it...  ​Commercials ​. This is really the first time that Snap has moved into traditional spot advertising, and will run in its 3-5 min short-form video offer called Snapchat Shows. Snap has alre...
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Snapchat launches Snappables: interactive selfie games

Snapchat launches Snappables: interactive selfie games Snap
Snap has announced  ​Snappables ​, a service where user's faces are imposed into games played across the Internet with friends in your Snapchat network. Here's how it works.  It looks pretty decent and is an obvious extension to the company's repertoire in networked AR. It also gives a further USP in terms of Snapchat's offer. Snap themse...
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Amazon Alexa can now be customised with interactive scripts

Amazon Alexa can now be customised with interactive scripts Mack Male, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/mastermaq/27716286638
Amazon's Alexa technology can now be fully customised. Skill Blueprints, a new service from Amazon, offers the opportunity to "create personal Alexa skills in minutes". If you think that this is going to be a complex back-end piece of work, then think again. This is in fact  ​consumer-grade application customisation ​. You can choose from serv...
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Sketch comedy

4404750930_da6c16bbce_b Alan Fletcher, The Cube, Manchester. Photo by Matt Batchelor, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/dogfrog/4404750930
​ ​Drawpod  ​is a new podcast from Natalia Talkowska and Matt Ballantine which explores the hows, whys, and wherefors of drawing. With a tagline of  ​"Drawing on the radio" ​, it contains a features a drawing challenge and a soundscape in which your mind can float away and put pencil to paper. Natalia runs Natalka Design – creative a...
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How voice technologies will change marketing strategies for brands

Beijing Voice at Pace Beijing Beijing Voice at Pace Beijing. Edward Sanderson, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/escdotdot/5452286899
Voice search has already been with us for about half a decade, but has only infiltrated 20% of mobile searches. ComScore predicts this will increase to 50% of all searches in the next two years, delivering a sea of change to brand marketers. The focus on packaging, design, and image will become secondary as voice technology enhances conversational ...
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The anti-patterns of ASMR

The anti-patterns of ASMR Nic McPhee, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/1390916763
Anti-patterns are great to play with ; the deliberate introduction of friction into people's lives to provoke an action or reaction. The concept of  Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is now being exploited to trigger reactions other than... "tingly". In his collaboration with Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory ...
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The sluggish growth of European startups

The sluggish growth of European startups
​​German news magazine ​Focus ​ recently published an article with a stark, graphic reminder as to the growth of European startups from digital and software... or, rather, the lack of growth.  SAP is the dominant force in Europe. Whatever your thoughts of SAP (which seemingly doesn't know good UX if it ran them over), it has a greater market c...
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How Facebook curates

How Facebook curates Antonio, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/antony/81937780/
​ ​The Web Foundation ran an experiment in Argentina where six new FB profiles were set up, and then ran an experiment to see what information each profile received: The way we experience the web today is largely through algorithms. Search algorithms determine the results we see. Targeting algorithms decide which ads we are shown. Algorithms on soc...
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How to stop AI reinforcing a male-dominated world

How to stop AI reinforcing a male-dominated world Jocelyn Kinghorn, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/joceykinghorn/14333305152
Ivana Bartoletti, writing in advance of the launch of the Fabian Women's Network: And if robots are taking human jobs, we need to figure out how we would deal with a large jobless population. Bill Gates believes that governments should tax companies' use of robots, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other typ...
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Is the future the future?

Is the future the future? Tangi Bertin, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/tangi_bertin/3957184936/
  This is a good, long read on the opportunities and challenges of Artificial Intelligence, by Berkeley Professor Michael Jordan. He believes that such is the power of AI that contemporary public discourse is simply ineffective in addressing and understanding its scope and diversity. Jordan also paints a picture of the future based on AI and h...
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