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The Marketplace 100: Appendix
This is an itemized list of the a16z Marketplace 100, a ranking of the largest and fastest-growing consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies. See the full list and analysis here, and visit for more marketplace-related content.
marketplace  startup  tech  leaguetable  A16Z  2020 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
UK to impose tax on tech giants but risks US tariffs on car exports | Business | The Guardian
The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has insisted that the UK will go ahead with plans for a tax on big tech companies this spring despite a threat from the US to slap “arbitrary “ tariffs on UK car exports.
tech  taxation  offshore  Google  Amazon  Facebook  Apple  Guardian  2020 
9 weeks ago by inspiral
Silicon Valley Techies Still Think They're the Good Guys. They're Not. | WIRED
In 2008, it was Wall Street bankers. In 2017, tech workers are the world’s villain. “It’s the exact same story of too many people with too much money. That breeds arrogance, bad behavior, and jealousy, and society just loves to take it down,” the investor said. As a result, investors are avoiding anything that feels risky. Hunter Walk, a partner with venture capital firm Homebrew, which invested in Bodega, attributes the backlash to a broader response to power. Tech is now a powerful institution, he says. “We no longer get the benefit of the doubt 100 percent of the time, and that’s okay.”
startup  tech  SiliconValley  ethics  review  critique  backlash  Wired  BackChannel  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Estonia, the Digital Republic | The New Yorker
Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?
tech  government  ID  blockchain  innovation  review  Estonia  NewYorker  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
The Tech Industry’s Gender-Discrimination Problem | The New Yorker
The dramatic imbalance in pay and power has created the conditions for abuse. More and more, women are pushing for change.
SiliconValley  tech  sexism  gender  review  critique  NewYorker  2017 
november 2017 by inspiral
When Will the Tech Bubble Burst? - The New York Times
Of course, no two booms will unfold exactly the same way. We are now eight years into this bull market, making it the second longest in history, behind only the run-up of the late 1990s. No bull market lasts forever, and while it is clear that we are entering the late stages of this cycle, it is impossible to say whether this moment is like 1999, or 1998 — or earlier.
tech  startup  bubble  venturecapital  review  critique  NYTimes  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
Silicon Valley: A Reality Check | Slate Star Codex
I don’t want to downplay the problem. Anything remotely good in the world gets invaded by rent-seeking parasites and empty suits. Silicon Valley is no exception, and raising awareness of the infestation is certainly a public service. But for some reason, it’s hard for me to believe that – let’s say Deadspin – really believes in the spirit of Silicon Valley, really thinks that there was once somewhere that weird nerdy people could get together and produce amazing things for the good of everybody, and that to some degree this is still going on, and is a precious thing that needs to be protected. At its worst, some of their criticism sounds more like a worry that there might still be some weird nerds who think they can climb out of the crab-bucket, and they need to be beaten into submission by empty suits before they can get away. Or maybe that’s just paranoia. Fine, I admit I’m paranoid. But I still feel like people should lay off the criticism a little.
SiliconValley  advocacy  startup  tech  USA  StateStarCodex  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Welcome to Diversity Debt: The Crisis That Could Sink Uber
What’s keeping Google from moving the needle on these metrics? It’s certainly not for lack of resources being dedicated to the problem, nor internal commitment to diversity—at least to white and Asian employees. Almost every tech company is mired in diversity debt, and the larger you get before addressing diversity issues, the more debt you accrue. Google’s going to be paying down the interest on its diversity debt for a long time before it can start whittling away at the principal.
diversity  tech  review  critique  Uber  Google  BackChannel  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women? - The Atlantic
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Tech companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve conditions for female employees. Here’s why not much has changed—and what might actually work.
startup  tech  SiliconValley  sexism  diversity  critique  TheAtlantic  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Maniac Killers of the Bangalore IT Department - Bloomberg
Technology was supposed to deliver India from poverty, but in Bangalore it’s also deepened the division between rich and poor, young and old, modern and traditional. As the city has grown richer, it’s also become unruly and unfamiliar. If the tech worker is the star of the Indian economy, then the techie is his shadow—spoiled, untrustworthy, adulterous, depressed, and sometimes just plain senseless. (“TECHIE WITH EARPHONES RUN OVER BY TRAIN.”) In one occupational boogeyman, Bangaloreans can see their future and their fears
tech  crime  socialclass  Bangalore  India  Bloomberg  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Top 10 Tech Predictions for 2017 | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
Predicting the future is more art than science, yet it’s always an interesting exercise to engage in as a new year comes upon us. So with the close of what was a difficult, though interesting year in the technology business, here’s a look at my predictions for the top 10 tech developments of 2017.
tech  forecast  trends  virtualreality  augmentedreality  mobileapps  selfdrivingvehicles  smarthome  AmazonEcho  Alexa  internetofthings  virtualassistant  chatbots  author:BobODonnell  Techpinions  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
The New Game of Global Tech
Because the companies in the ICT sector no longer compete within the old sector boundaries, they must now define themselves another way: through the manner in which they offer value to their customers. There are many methods of doing so, but five value propositions are particularly prevalent in this industry. All five are viable ways of reaching customers, especially enterprise customers, with technological solutions. Each of the five has a business model and economic profile distinct from the others and distinct from the overall ICT 50 formula. Each has its own approach to growth, profitability, scale, and investment. The archetypes are detailed here, along with the indicators used to identify them.
tech  IT  enterprise  strategy  IBM  Microsoft  SAP  Oracle  Cisco  HewlettPackard  Tata  Apple  EMC  Alphabet  Google  Samsung  Intel  Accenture  Infosys  WiPro  HCLTechnologies  Symantec  Salesforce  ComputerAssociates  CGIGroup  Qualcomm  Amadeus  Adobe  StrategyBusiness  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The Government IT Self-Harm Playbook – Medium
Government isn’t there yet. It may never get there. No matter how well intentioned, when it comes to IT government has an awful habit of messing things up.
Liam had a word for these bad things — he called it self-harm. It’s a neat term to describe the self-inflicted digital mess government tends to get itself into. Simon Wardley talks about inertia and bias. Same idea.
Whatever you call it, in my time in government (and healthcare) I’ve seen an awful lot of it. This stuff isn’t limited to government, either — not by any stretch. Big private sector organisations are riddled with these problems, too.
government  tech  IT  enterprise  review  critique  agile  cloudcomputing  DevOps  enterprisearchitecture  platform  portal  tunrkey  userresearch  GovernmentDigitalService  author:DanSheldon  Medium  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Facebook Is Not a Technology Company - The Atlantic
Every industry uses computers, software, and internet services. If that’s what “technology” means, then every company is in the technology business—a useless distinction. But it’s more likely that “technology” has become so overused, and so carelessly associated with Silicon Valley-style computer software and hardware startups, that the term has lost all meaning. Perhaps finance has exacerbated the problem by insisting on the generic industrial term “technology” as a synonym for computing.

There are companies that are firmly planted in the computing sector. Microsoft and Apple are two. Intel is another—it makes computer parts for other computer makers. But it’s also time to recognize that some companies—Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook among them—aren’t primarily in the computing business anyway. And that’s no slight, either. The most interesting thing about companies like Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook is that they are not (computing) technology companies. Instead, they are using computing infrastructure to build new—and enormous—businesses in other sectors. If anything, that’s a fair take on what “technology” might mean as a generic term: manipulating one set of basic materials to realize goals that exceed those materials.
business  classification  taxonomy  technology  tech  review  critique  TheAtlantic  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Diversification Continues at Big Tech Companies | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
Though the benefits of diversification are often the same, the specifics are just as often very different. Each of these companies is focusing in somewhat different areas when it comes to diversification and the results are very different too. Some are very long-term focused and are reaping massive losses in the short term while they attempt to build businesses that will pay off later. Others are already generating very meaningful revenues and profits from some of their new ventures today. Yet other companies I haven’t listed here don’t seem to be investing in a big way in this diversification, In some cases, it’s because they’re still struggling to optimize their core businesses – Twitter probably belongs in this category. But diversification will continue to be a feature of the best technology companies long into the future.
tech  diversification  strategy  Alphabet  Google  Amazon  Apple  Facebook  Microsoft  review  author:JanDawson  Techpinions  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Why Taiwan is far ahead of mainland China in high-tech —
Not a single comment I’ve seen focused on perhaps more obvious reasons China’s tech ambitions are proving so hard to realize: a weak system of patent protection, widespread online censoring and restrictions on the free flow of information, a venture capital industry which, though now large, has an aversion to backing new directions in R&D. In Taiwan, none of this is true.
innovation  startup  tech  critique  intellectualproperty  patents  censorship  GreatFirewall  venturecapital  China  comparison  Taiwan  author:PeterFuhrman  FinancialTimes  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
The Cruel Information Economy: The U.S. Cities Winning In This Critical Sector |
Our rankings are based on employment growth in the sector over the short-, medium- and long-term, going back to 2005, and factor in momentum — whether growth is slowing or accelerating. (For a detailed description of our methodology, click here.)
tech  startup  employment  ranking  USA  SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  LosAngeles  NewYork  Boston  Seattle  Raleigh  Austin  NewGeography  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Inevitability in technology — Benedict Evans
The key thing, I think is that we have both those deterministic drivers of change and also luck, skill and brilliance. These can take you to different places. I wrote earlier this year about what you could have said in 2001 to be right about how mobile would develop. You could have got perhaps 90% there with the right determinants and vision, but would you have put a had-been computer company that had just launched a music player at the top of the heap? Steve Jobs supposedly said, returning to Apple, that his plan was to stay alive and grab onto the next big thing - to listen for the footsteps. He tried video, and a few other things, but he got there in the end. But he might not have.
Facebook  tech  evolution  counterfactual  history  review  BenedictEvans  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
The Economies of L.A. and San Francisco - CityLab
A conversation with Michael Storper, the author of a new book on why San Francisco has outperformed L.A. in recent decades.
LosAngeles  SanFrancisco  urbandevelopment  comparison  tech  BayAreaCouncil  MichaelStorper  interview  CityLab  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
The state has lost control: tech firms now run western politics | Opinion | The Guardian
In fact, technology firms are rapidly becoming the default background condition in which our politics itself is conducted. Once Google and Facebook take over the management of essential services, Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum that “there is no alternative” would no longer be a mere slogan but an accurate description of reality.

The worst is that today’s legitimation crisis could be our last. Any discussion of legitimacy presupposes not just the ability to sense injustice but also to imagine and implement a political alternative. Imagination would never be in short supply but the ability to implement things on a large scale is increasingly limited to technology giants. Once this transfer of power is complete, there won’t be a need to buy time any more – the democratic alternative will simply no longer be a feasible option.
tech  Google  Facebook  capitalism  politics  democracy  critique  author:EvgenyMorozov  Guardian  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Design in Tech Report 2016
Last year, John Maeda published his inaugural #DesignInTech report to reveal the impact Design has
design  trends  startup  tech  review  KleinerPerkinsCaufieldByers  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Is Twitter Making Us More Productive? | FiveThirtyEight
The authors of the Brookings paper dismiss this free enjoyment as a “non-market” benefit that is rightly excluded from economic measures. But if the ultimate goal of measuring the economy is to understand people’s welfare, why should it matter whether any money changed hands? Or as University of California, Berkeley, economist Brad DeLong put it this week: If our definitions of output and productivity ignore something that people have decided improves their welfare, that “is an indictment of those measures.”
tech  innovation  automation  productivity  review  critique  measurement  BrookingsInstitution  FiveThirtyEight  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Disrupting mobile — Benedict Evans
Equally, today we are starting to see an explosion in AI, as it leaves research labs and universities and turns into products and companies, that could have a similar scale and effect. Just as the web didn't replace Windows, but made it a commodity, AI might shift our attention away from mobile. 
tech  technology  evolution  PCs  mobile  internetofthings  virtualreality  augmentedreality  BenedictEvans  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Is Virtual Reality Sexist? | Co.Design | business + design
In brief, there are two main methods of suggesting distance in most modern VR systems. Motion parallax and shape-from-shading. At its simplest, motion parallax is a play on perspective. Shape-from-shading is about how light sources interact with objects and your point of view. They’re conflicting depth cues.

Most systems favor motion parallax as it's easier to program and render. As a result, it's the default model used by most. And guess what? A study by danah boyd of Microsoft Research shows that men prefer motion parallax while women prefer shape-from-shading. Men are literally sending the wrong signals to women’s brains!
virtualreality  gender  sexism  diversity  tech  review  FastCompany  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Should Silicon Valley Go to War?
Politicians are trying to recruit technology companies to help fight ISIS. Does it make sense?
SiliconValley  tech  terrorism  opportunity  review  TechnologyReview  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Mindsets for Thinking about Innovation In — and Competition from — China – Andreessen Horowitz
Whatever else one thinks of China, we need to accept that:

Chinese companies are truly innovating, not just copying — if not in tech, then certainly in product, path to market, or monetization;
Chinese companies are hyperscaling more intensely than U.S. counterparts because the TAM is much larger;
Lots of Chinese companies are getting funded and competing in a super intense way (through a combination of long hours and “we’re at war” mentality) — so winners will emerge very strong; and
Chinese companies can serve as both a source of inspiration in the short term and as a formidable source of competition in the future (and part of the art of partnering with them is realizing this; more on that later).
China  tech  startup  innovation  scale  size  competition  opportunity  author:ConnieChan  AndreessenHorovitz  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Smart Africa: Venture capitalists aim to tap mobile tech wave
Venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Africa-focused start-ups as they look to tap into a second-wave of technological advances building on the rapid spread of mobile phones.
From e-commerce to health and financial services, international investors are targeting fledgling companies in particular across Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, three hotbeds for innovation.
venturecapital  startup  tech  Africa  growth  opportunity  FinancialTimes  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
The Future Of Family Offices: Emerging Platforms | Family Offices | Bloomberg Professional
The emergence of a new cohort of technologically savvy scions, coupled with a growing group of digitally connected activist investors, is forcing more family offices to develop efficient IT platforms.
familyoffice  investment  highnetworth  tech  informationtechnology  softwareasservice  Bloomberg  2015 
january 2016 by inspiral
As governments push to close
taxation loopholes, the private wealth management industry has come under sharp scrutiny. Yet keen to remain competitive, family of ces are innovating to better serve their clients, while keeping well within the limits of the law.
familyoffice  investment  highnetworth  tech  informationtechnology  softwareasservice  Bloomberg  2014 
january 2016 by inspiral
In Age of Uber, Car Giants Scramble for Opportunities in Services | MIT Technology Review
The Ford Motor Company unveiled its new Fusion sedan and powerful F-150 Raptor pickup truck last week at the 2016 Detroit auto show. But shiny new sheet metal and roaring engines were upstaged by the company’s unveiling of a suite of so-called “mobility services.” Those offerings include the shared use and ownership of cars, parking reservations, multimodal routing, small retail stores, and an iTunes-like app to provide access to these services.

Ford’s announcement followed news from General Motors a week earlier that it will invest $500 million in Lyft, the on-demand ride-sharing service. On Monday, GM announced that it would acquire the assets of Sidecar, a ride-sharing business that shut down operations on December 31. In fact, nearly every car company is developing a plan of action to respond to the meteoric rise of Uber and Lyft—and to avoid becoming strictly purveyors of mobility hardware—formerly known as “cars” (see “Toyota Wants Its Cars to Expect the Unexpected”).
Ford  GM  Lyft  services  sharingeconomy  telematics  tech  innovation  mobilityservices  FordPass  TechnologyReview  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future
So get used to these five. Based on their stock prices this month, the giants are among the top 10 most valuable American companies of any kind. Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft are the top three; Facebook is No. 7, and Amazon is No. 9. Wall Street gives each high marks for management; and three of them — Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook — are controlled by founders who don’t have to bow to the whims of potential activist investors.

So who’s losing? Not one of them, not anytime soon.
Amazon  Facebook  Google  Microsoft  Apple  strategy  dominance  tech  economy  strengths  NYTimes  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Altimeter’s Top Digital Trends for 2016 | Altimeter Group
2016 is now upon us, and for those of us in the research business, it’s a chance to pool our collective knowledge and lay out what we think will be the most important areas of focus in the new year. From the minds of Altimeter analysts Charlene Li, Susan Etlinger, Ed Terpening and Omar Akhtar, here are Altimeter’s top trends for 2016:
tech  trends  forecast  omnichannel  socialmedia  complexity  data  privacy  ethics  artificialintelligence  marketingcloud  internetofthings  Altimeter  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
What to expect from 2016 | London Business School
Julian Birkinshaw shares broad predictions – from the economy to business and management – for the year 2016
business  trends  economy  commodities  financialservices  banking  tech  bigdata  employment  freelanceeconomy  designthinking  scrum  holacracy  author:JulianBirkinshaw  LondonBusinessSchool  2015 
january 2016 by inspiral
Top Tech Predictions for 2016 | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
Prediction 1: The Death of Software Platforms, The Rise of the MetaOS
Prediction 2: Market Maturation Leads to Increased Specialization
Prediction 3: Apple Reality Check Leads to Major Investment
Prediction 4: The Great Hardware Stall Forces Shift to Software and Services
Prediction 5: Autonomous Car Hype Overshadows Driver Assistance Improvements
tech  forecast  operatingsystem  MetaOS  specialisation  Apple  hardware  selfdrivingvehicles  automotive  author:BobODonnell  Techpinions  2015 
december 2015 by inspiral
Slack and the State of Technology at the End of 2015 - Stratechery by Ben Thompson
It turns out that “mobile” is not about devices, but rather, at a fundamental level, about computing anywhere; to differentiate between PCs or phones is an ultimately meaningless exercise. They are simply different form factors of effectively identical devices, the purpose of which is to connect us to the cloud (consumer or enterprise). And, by extension, if the device is simply an implementation detail, then the operating system that runs on that device is a detail of a detail.

What matters — what always matters! — is what actual users want to do, and what jobs they want to accomplish. And, whatever they want to do almost certainly involves communicating, which means Slack and its competitors are the best-placed to be the foundational platform of the cloud epoch. More broadly, humans are social creatures: why should we be surprised that social networks are primed to be the most important businesseses of all?
tech  evolution  Slack  growth  opportunity  advocacy  Stratechery  2015 
december 2015 by inspiral
Abstraction vs. Disruption | DIGITS to DOLLARS
The notion of abstraction is a key element of computer science, one that is well understood by the engineers building products, but it is less appreciated by other groups making decisions around technology. In particular, investors have a hard time fully grasping this.
tech  technology  disruption  abstraction  DigitstoDollars  2015 
december 2015 by inspiral
Is Medium a Tech Company or a Media Company? -- Following: How We Live Online
Medium wants to straddle the divide between media and tech — to be both a platform (tech) and a publisher (media). This can place it in an awkward position: Institutionally, is it on the closed-ranks side of the “new class of industrialists” of the tech industry, to whom the question of Airbnb’s liability in the deaths of its guests is already settled? Or is it an editorially independent media company with a mandate to ask uncomfortable questions?
Medium  onlinemedia  webjournalism  tech  conflict  EvWilliams  NYMag  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
Tech Is Eating Media. Now What? — Medium
The tech industry is now in a position, at least for a time, to create and control the set of incentives that will define the next great news organizations, whether they already exist or start up tomorrow.
tech  journalism  conflict  channel  author:JohnHerrman  Medium  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
How Much Does Venture Capital Drive the U.S. Economy? | Stanford Graduate School of Business
The VC industry specializes in investing in innovative companies with a huge potential for growth. Because these investments are risky and most of these companies fail, VC funds seek to invest in companies where small investments can generate huge returns. That naturally leads to a focus on certain industries. The industries most impacted by investment have been technology (for example, Apple, Google, or Cisco), retail trade (Amazon, Starbucks, or Costco), and biotechnology (Amgen, Celgene, or Genentech).
venturecapital  review  opportunity  impact  sector  tech  biotech  USA  Stanford  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
The Porn Business Isn't Anything Like You Think It Is | WIRED
Some of it may have been true in years past. But no longer. A colleague of mine calls this a meso-idea, an idea that has ceased to be true but that people continue to repeat, ad infinitum, as if it still was. With the rise of mobile devices and platforms from the likes of Apple and Google, not to mention the proliferation of free videos on YouTube-like porn sites, the adult industry is in a bind. Money is hard to come by, and as the industry struggles to find new revenue streams, it’s facing extra competition from mainstream social media. Its very identity is being stolen as the world evolves both technologically and culturally.
pornography  tech  innovation  critique  Mikandi  SiliconValley  Wired  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
Pando: “Is this thing on, bro?”
The downside of VCs becoming the spokespeople for the entire tech world
venturecapital  tech  startup  groupthink  communication  review  critique  PandoDaily  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
London hailed Europe's technology capital as investment continues to pour in | Startups | Techworld
New research shows London has cemented its position as the most important tech hub in Europe.
tech  startup  London  economy  growth  Europe  TechWorld  2015 
june 2015 by inspiral
U.S. Technology Funding -- What's Going On?
What’s going on in the public markets? What are all these so-called “unicorns”? What’s going on in venture capital?

"This time is different." It is different. Because it's always different...
tech  venturecapital  bubble  unicorn  review  USA  AndreessenHorovitz  2015 
june 2015 by inspiral
In Consumer Tech, the World is Round | Tech.pinions - Perspective, Insight, Analysis
It is my convictions that, in this sense, the world of consumer tech may be more local than global. In this sense, the world of consumer tech is round.
tech  localisation  globalisation  critique  smartphones  ecommerce  messaging  socialmedia  Xiaomi  Micromax  BluMobile  CherryMobile  Wiko  Smartfren  WhatsApp  WeChat  Line  KakaoTalk  Amazon  Flipkart  Rakuten  RocketInternet  global  Techpinions  2015 
may 2015 by inspiral
Europe's top startup countries: the good, the bad and the ugly
We put a spotlight on six of Europe’s top ‘startup nations’ (namely UK, Israel, France, Germany, Russia and Sweden), highlighting the opportunities and challenges each of these tech ecosystems faces.
tech  startup  Europe  comparison  UK  Israel  France  Germany  Russia  Sweden  review  2014 
november 2014 by inspiral
Silicon Valley's Chips off the Old Block |
There is no denying that the tech oligarchs will continue to play a critical role in the American economy; and, as Mike Malone, among others, suggests, they likely may become even more dominant in the years ahead. This will not be all bad; the country similarly benefited from the often-ruthless actions of the industrial moguls. But, at some point, the public has to weigh how much power and money can be concentrated in a relative handful of companies and people without posing a threat both to our individual rights and democracy itself.
tech  SiliconValley  Google  Facebook  Microsoft  Twitter  taxation  lobbying  inequality  critique  NewGeography  2014 
october 2014 by inspiral

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