If it wasn’t clear until now that there is a bubble in the tech industry, it is very clear now. Snap Inc.’s shares soared in its initial public offering by almost 50 per cent. This is crazy stuff from a company that Mark Zuckerberg is increasingly trying to emulate with its disappearing messages feature. The only thing that is uncertain is what will happen to this bubble. Will it deflate gradually or burst suddenly? It’s impossible to know but I guess that it will be on a downward trajectory of some kind at some point anyhow. Markets will be markets but what will be more interesting is how Snap Inc.’s hope of growing and changing the company will play out.
The court judgement of ZeniMax getting $500m dollars for their lawsuit against Oculus will not take Oculus’s product down from the shelves, which is a great thing for the wider VR industry. That ZeniMax won this suit was interesting. It highlights that malpractice is still a part of the entrepreneurial DNA of Silicon Valley (hey, if you want to fulfil your dreams, sometimes you got to fight dirty).
What next for the world,
What next for us?
What next for the world,
Is it written on a bus?
What next for the world,
What next for the good?
What next for the bad,
What will happen –
Is it time for us to live the future free?
Perhaps the reason why Facebook sees video as potentially being bigger than mobile is that video causes much more “user engagement” than other media – meaning it causes more of a connection, an effect, an experience of customers with one another or with a company or a brand.
This also means it’s better for advertisers. This may tie in with the company’s efforts in virtual reality, and could help give the corporation a laser-like focus on video.
Live video, of course, is more exciting, just like live sports or live news broadcasts are exciting.
This feature has enormous potential. Historic moments can be shared via a live feed to huge numbers of people. This can also make users feel that they have experienced something special – and this can even be the case with any live video; you feel that you’re in the moment and witnessing an event in an exclusive time-window alongside lots of other people are witnessing the same thing. It may be a vicarious experience most of the time, but other times it could be a communal experience. And of course when it comes to friends, they can share a live feed of what they’re getting up to, which can make social networking among friends more exciting.
There may be problems initially with too many live feeds without any filter, but I’m sure that Facebook will sort that out in due course.
Brexit won’t happen. Fear is too powerful a force. But, anyway, it’s in Britain’s best interests to remain in the EU. It’s also in Ireland’s best interests, along with the rest of EU.
If Britain were to leave the EU it would disallow free trade between Britain and the rest of the EU members. It might be seen as a reason for companies to think twice about investing in Britain. Sure, Britain would still be a big market on its own, but it would make things more awkward and complicated for companies to set-up there because of Britain’s laws being out of kilter with the EU laws.
It would also make Britain weaker as an economy, as it would no longer be part of a very important club. Some people who want Britain to leave want the country to go back to the glory days of British power. But it seems that at present Britain is very far away from that. And I don’t think the British public will be patient with such a project. And I doubt that project would succeed, anyhow. People in favour of Brexit want the country to essentially isolate itself and hope China and others come to its aid. I think that an isolated Britain wouldn’t have a good bargaining position with potential helpers.
Also, if Britain became weaker this would be bad news for the US and many other countries because all these countries benefit from certainty.
It would disrupt the easy-going relationship that Ireland has fostered with Britain. The British would still be our closest neighbours, but psychologically wouldn’t seem to be as connected to us as before. We would be living under EU policy and rules, but Britain would not. They wouldn’t be as European as us. It would be a cultural tragedy.
Mark Zuckerberg may be about to ensure he has absolute power over Facebook. Recent news shows that he seeks to create a new class of voting stock that will make sure he has 100 per cent control of the company, even while holding a small amount of shares. And with his limited liability company – the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – he has pledged to give away 99 per cent of his wealth to charitable causes. Only in this case, he will be funding companies and other initiatives that have a for-profit focus, but serve a charitable agenda. His plan to get 100 per cent control of Facebook seems to indicate that he sees Facebook playing a big role in his plans to change the world. His efforts in Facebook and in philanthropy are going to be separate enterprises no longer; they will from now on be entwined.
This is very intriguing. Zuckerberg may want to socially liberalise America and the world, but also make sure that corporations do very well in this changed world. After all, if he was able to make changes to make things more difficult for corporations and help co-operatives and workers self-directed enterprises (WSDE’s) in the US and worldwide then his company wouldn’t be as powerful as it is now. And I’m sure Zuckerberg wants to maximise its power.
Zuckerberg may want to tailor what people see in the news feed and in the trending stories section to show more socially liberal stories – the trending stories having been a recent controversy in the US. This would create an echo-chamber effect that could influence peoples’ minds. Now, in many ways this is nothing new. Arguably news publishers have tried to influence people to be more business-friendly and to be a bit more right-leaning in their beliefs for decades.