View profile

Big Revolution - 'Time well spent' is an illusion

Welcome to another week of Big Revolution, coming to you from somewhere around the middle of the UK's
July 2 · Issue #127 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to another week of Big Revolution, coming to you from somewhere around the middle of the UK’s longest heatwave in over 40 years. Pass the lemonade, please…

Big things you need to know today
- Tesla says it met its end of June deadline to build 5,000 Model 3 cars per week. In fact, it says it made 7,000 of the vehicles last week.
- Business news and discussion site Quartz is being acquired by a Japanese media company. Uzabase will assign Quartz the task of growing its business app NewsPicks in the USA and developing subscription models. Quartz parent Atlantic Media is said by the WSJ to be making between $75m and $110m from the deal.
- Photo sharing site 500px is killing support for Creative Commons. It says this is due to lack of interest from users, but I can’t help but think there’s more to it. The site is also closing its photo marketplace and replacing it with licensing opportunities for photographers.
- In the UK and like the look of those electric scooters offered for rental by startups in the US and Paris? Tough luck. They’re illegal.
The big thought
A former Google product manager in a Wall Street Journal video
‘Time well spent’ is an illusion
This morning I enjoyed watching this Wall Street Journal video featuring Silicon Valley engineers talk about their second thoughts about the addictive products they’d developed. There was no paywall for me, so you should be able to see it.
The inventor of infinitely scrolling pages, for example, thought he was on to a great thing until he realised how much time people must waste needlessly scrolling through rubbish as a result.
It’s great that Silicon Valley has woken up to its responsibilities, and is starting to see tech addiction as a potential public health issue. 'Time well spent’ initiatives at companies like Google and Facebook show that the problem is being taken seriously at the highest levels.
But this isn’t just kindheartedness, it’s self-preservation. Tech companies know if they don’t stay ahead of the issue themselves, they’ll be regulated into dealing with it. Better to address it on their terms than on those of governments around the world.
And that’s why I’m not sold on the idea of wholesome tech companies wanting to limit the time we spend with their products. The move comes at a time when tech firms are broadening their footprints as widely as possible. You’re being encouraged to have new products from Silicon Valley giants in your car, kitchen, TV, home security system. Even in your bedroom
Sure, you might end up using your phone a bit less, but Silicon Valley wants to be all around you, all the time. And taking a break from it is going to be increasingly difficult.
One big read
Why Tech Employees Are Rebelling Against Their Bosses Why Tech Employees Are Rebelling Against Their Bosses
Here’s Wired on the growing wave of political activism inside tech giants. “People who signed up to be tech heroes don’t want to be implicated in human rights abuses.”
One big tweet
Ford’s European chief reminds Elon Musk that he still has a long way to go.
Steven Armstrong
7000 cars, circa 4 hours. ❤️Ford Team❤️
9:40 PM - 1 Jul 2018
(In actual fact, Ford and Tesla aren’t really that comparable, and Steven Armstrong certainly hasn’t started a groundbreaking car company from scratch…)
That’s all for today...
Don’t forget, if you’d like to support Big Revolution, you can choose to become a member for $5 per month. It’s like buying me a coffee every month for sending you these packed emails each day.
Just hit the ‘become a member’ button below. Thank you!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $5 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Martin SFP Bryant
You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue