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Big Revolution - Yawning at numbers

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Welcome to today's Big Revolution. Today for me is one long video call. Yes – almost literally one lo
 
June 14 · Issue #109 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to today’s Big Revolution. Today for me is one long video call. Yes – almost literally one long call, all day. Here’s what I read in between preparing for it…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Apple is to tackle law enforcement breaches of iPhone security. A future software update will mean that data can’t be transferred to and from the device an hour after it’s locked.
- The battle for the cashier-free store. According to Reuters, Microsoft is working on software to help shops operate without cashiers. Amazon has already proved this can work with its Go store in Seattle. But will Amazon share the tech with rivals? That’s why this new development could be important.
- Bitcoin’s price may have been fraudulently inflated last year, a new research paper suggests.
- Netflix and thrill? The streaming service is adding interactive games later this year. They won’t exactly be Call of Duty, but Telltale Games will launch a version of Minecraft: Story Mode.
- Twitter is making content discovery easier. A redesigned Explore section, breaking news at the top of the feed, and personalised news alerts are all on the way to US users over the coming months. No word on when the rest of us might get these features.
The big thought
Sometimes numbers don't tell the whole story. Credit: Tyler Easton on Unsplash
Yawning at numbers
New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson published a good piece yesterday about ‘the valuation obsession.’ 
Inspired by the current investment mania around San Francisco scooter companies, he makes a very good point. Being fixated on the paper valuation of a tech company distracts from the true value it drives, both in terms of potential outcome for investors, and its impact on the world.
Wilson writes:
“Sure the price that [startups] can finance themselves is interesting. But not more interesting than the products and services they are bringing to market, how they are building their teams and cultures, and the underlying technologies they are using to do that…
"It leads to a culture of bragging and topping one another and an obsessive focus on valuation. I’ve heard founders say “if I don’t raise at a billion or more, we will be seen as a failure.” How ridiculous is that? And yet you can see how they can get to that place.”
I often tune out when a discussion turns to the amount a startup has raised. It’s just numbers. I can look these figures up on Crunchbase or Index if I need them, but more often than not, a company’s theoretical price on one day just isn’t that important. 
What is that company doing to make the world a better place? That’s the more interesting thing, and also the more important thing. It’s reassuring to know that at least some investors agree.
One big read
 Instagram Influencers Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy Instagram Influencers Are Driving Luxury Hotels Crazy
Instagram influencers bombard luxury hotels with requests for free stays in return for a couple of photos – and it sometimes works. This piece looks at the relationship between hoteliers and small-time internet stars.
One big tweet
Twitter is doing a lot to help discovery, but what about creators?
nilay patel
All of this packaging and repackaging of tweets and accounts for new users is entirely dependent on people continuing to tweet great stuff to be packaged up. But those people have the same incentives to participate as ever, with an app that doesn’t feel organized around them.
5:23 PM - 13 Jun 2018
That’s all for today...
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