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Big Revolution - Chief Pessimism Officer

Good morning and welcome to today's Big Revolution. Let's dive in... - Martin
April 6 · Issue #40 · View online
Big Revolution
Good morning and welcome to today’s Big Revolution. Let’s dive in…

Big things you need to know today
Photo by on Unsplash
- More bad news for Facebook’s trustworthiness. The company wanted to link anonymous hospital records to Facebook data to “help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment,” CNBC reports. “The issue of patient consent did not come up in the early discussions, one of the people said.” The idea has been shelved.
- Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg’s old Facebook messages are routinely deleted, TechCrunch reports, as a security measure. “However, Facebook never publicly disclosed the removal of messages from users’ inboxes, nor privately informed the recipients. That raises the question of whether this was a breach of user trust.” Regular users can’t have their messages auto-delete after a set amount of time.
- If you’ve been waiting for the new Mac Pro, you’ll have to wait until next year. Apple has confirmed the long-awaited refresh of the top-line Mac definitely won’t show up until 2019.
- Medium has shared its roadmap for the future. It seems the paywall-and-partners model is working so far. Expect better curation, a new look, audio support and collaboration tools in the future.
- Amazon has expanded its Key smart lock system across the US. Perfect, if you don’t mind Amazon software controlling access to your home.
The big thought
Chief Pessimism Officer
You have to wonder why Facebook was seemingly unprepared for the storm it’s faced in the past few weeks. Why was it not taking steps to mitigate future scandals?
I believe when they get to a certain size, companies need a chief pessimism officer. They don’t need that exact title, they could be ‘chief user advocacy officer,’ 'chief horizon scanner,’ or whatever upbeat way you want to frame it. 
Whatever you call them, their sole mission would be to have a full understanding of a company’s operations, its legal risks and public image, and to regularly report about exactly what the potential challenges ahead are. More importantly, their role would be to suggest ways to stop those issues before they become real problems.
A company board traditionally asks tough questions of a CEO and keeps the company in shape. But as we saw with Uber, boards can miss huge future problems as they’re the wrong side of the table – they don’t have day-to-day involvement with a company.
The temptation for a CEO would be to follow the money in any situation, and tune out predictions of trouble ahead. After six months of doom-and-gloom reports from the company’s full-time pessimist, it would be easy to look at the good news of a soaring revenue chart and ignore the pessimist entirely.
But that’s a cultural issue. A company that doesn’t take potential future trouble seriously risks a headache the size of Mark Zuckerberg’s right now. Ain’t no painkiller going to cure that.
One big read
Our data is valuable. Here's how we can take that value back
One big tweet
The sharing economy’s natural conclusion…
Ashley Mayer
Our future is either that we’re all Uber drivers and take turns driving each other around, or we’re all podcast hosts and take turns being each other’s guests...I just can’t decide which one is worse 🤔
5:45 AM - 6 Apr 2018
That’s all for today...
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