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Month: May 2016

Steve Blank’s Notes on the Tech Bubble

Steve Blank’s Notes on the Tech Bubble

As we said, no editorial today, due to the holidays and yes, we are chomping at the bit with all of the reports surrounding the Peter Thiel/Gawker/Hulk Hogan debacle. In the meantime, just some food for thought:

Steve Blank on the Tech Bubble: 'VCs Won't Admit They're in a Ponzi Scheme' Steve Blank, creator of the "lean startup" movement, explains how the role of venture capital has shifted over time, and why it doesn't bode well for startup founders. In case you haven’t been following it, the stock market has gone up 53X since 2009.

And while everyone has been preoccupied with/distracted by Thiel/Gawker, this is what Facebook has been doing to undermine everyone’s freedom and privacy: Read More...

The Tech One Percent and the Art of Perception

The Tech One Percent and the Art of Perception

We’ve been watching the shenanigans that have been going on in Silicon Valley for quite some time now, and it gave us pause to wonder what it is that, no matter from whence founders might have originally hailed, they move to Silicon Valley, make their incredible fortune or two or more, then fall into some sort of moral torpor/instantly bifurcated mindset that we like to call hypocrisy, which somehow seems to go unchecked or unnoticed, for the most part. A few examples:

PAYPAL, APPLE lecture North Carolina — but do business in countries far more hostile to gays. “PayPal drew a line in the sand when North Carolina enacted a law prohibiting people from using the restrooms of the opposite sex, but critics say that line got washed away on the shores of Malaysia, a nation that consistently ranks among the least LGBT-friendly in the world…The company canceled its plan to build a global operations center in Charlotte after the passage of HB2, which CEO Daniel Schulman called discrimination against the transgendered. He noted that the move would cost North Carolina 400 well-paying jobs… Malaysia’s Penal Code 187 — which punishes homosexual conduct with whippings and up to 20 years in prison — did not stop PayPal from opening in 2011 a global operations center there…PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death.” Not that anti-gay policies stopped “Apple from opening stores in Saudi Arabia, where gay people are regularly executed in public and cross-dressing is also a criminal offense.”

In fact, Tim Cook just made history by being the first openly gay CEO to be hosted by Prime Minister Modi in openly homophobic India. Homosexuality in that country is an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment. Apple hopes to bring its manufacturing to India, despite the fact that “the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been vociferous in its disapproval of homosexuality. “We support Section 377 (the law) because we believe that homosexuality is (an) unnatural act that cannot be supported,” India’s current home minister and former president of the BJP, Rajnath Singh, said in 2013... Last year, according to a report by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Biz Divas, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm, as many as 98% of companies surveyed said that they have not taken any concrete steps to make their workplace lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-friendly—or hire people from the community.” Read More...

Facebook , Google and Wee the People

Facebook , Google and Wee the People

When he left office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the American public to beware the military industrial complex. That was then and this is now. Times may change, but people – not so much. Especially industrial superpowers, be it the Industrial Age or the Tech Age. No, people don’t change, only situations do, and were he alive today and giving that speech, Eisenhower might well have warned the American public, if not the world at large, to beware the tech uberpowers.

For the record, the term “Military-Internet Complex” is already out there.

A Bot Named Sue

A Bot Named Sue

Johnny Cash did a song a while back called A Boy Named Sue and we couldn’t resist. Our bugaboo of the week is the incessant number of calls we’ve been receiving of late, where a cheerful voice on the other side of the phone starts with, ‘Hi, I’m Sue!”

‘End.’

No you’re not. You’re a bot and if some telemarketer or politico feels that we’re valuable enough to be worth a phone call, then please do us the courtesy of having a human call us, rather than some bot or other. Read More...

Silicon Valley Double Speak: The Salary Edition

Silicon Valley Double Speak: The Salary Edition

Question of the Day: Do You Earn Less Than a Silicon Valley Intern? Chances are, the answer is ‘Yes.’ One of the big tech news stories of last week was the amount of money that tech companies tend to pay their summer interns. Here’s the Forbes list of The Best-Paying Tech Companies for Interns. According to the article, “Facebook interns earn an average monthly base pay of $6,056, according to Glassdoor. Interns at Google rake in $5,678 per month, on average—while those at Amazon and Apple make $5,366 and $4,914 per month, respectively.” Not including perks and benefits, and keeping in mind that internships generally last just a few short months. Annualized (around $80K), not bad base salaries, generally, for untrained and relatively unskilled college students.

We anxiously await the follow-on article about how much these companies are paying newly-minted entry level grads, and if they’re offering them housing and travel as well.

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