Disruption’s Tragic Flaw The case of Uber shows why European companies should not follow the example of their American competitors too closely. It pays to take the needs of customers and contractors into account.
"Using contractors it calls "brand ambassadors," Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets. Uber calls the program "SLOG," and it’s a previously unreported aspect of the company’s ruthless efforts to undermine its competitors."
In their long and seemingly hopeless search for answers, journalists have internalized the abusive rhetoric of the “disruption” brigade. Jarvis tells beleaguered journalists that they themselves, the lowly content-serfs—not short-sighted newspaper proprietors, not the Wall Street backers of corporate media conglomerates, not the sociopathic unchecked tech monopolies, not hostile politicians and prosecutors—are to blame for their sudden loss of livelihood. Don’t blame remorseless corporate Vikings like Craig Newmark for killing the news business. Blame old-school reporters like Dana Priest for failing to cultivate their Facebook fanbases.The Baffler puts the boot into cyberjournalist hustler Jeff Jarvis.
FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman has crunched the economic numbers and determined: Corporate America Has NOT Been Disrupted. "By a wide range of measures, the advantages of incumbency in corporate America have never been greater." There are fewer startups hiring fewer people and failing more often. Considering that "entrepreneurship is a critical source of jobs in the economy (and) a major driver of productivity growth", a more accurate 'd-word' may be Derangement.
"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
What the gospel of innovation gets wrong. The championing of "disruption" in modern business is built around some very flaky research that does not bear out its sweeping conconclusions.
Smidgeo.com is a business built on growth, digital, social, disruption, & a proprietary form of smart marketing known as Smidgeo Smarketing. The bottom line? Smidgeo GETS results. Smidgeo's business model may seem complex, but there is an animated diagram so that even the worst can understand. [more inside]
Adobe's controversial Creative Cloud service stumbles and fails, leaving many who have paid for the service unable to use it for 24 hours. Adobe says the cause was an unexpected failure during database maintenance. Compensation may be possible.
The Columbia Journalism Review interviews Evgeny Morozov: Evgeny vs. the internet
The entire Morozov aesthetic is in this sentence: the venom, the derision, the reverse jujitsu of his opponents’ sanctimony, the bald accusation that all the talk about a new age of human flourishing is nothing but an attempt to vamp the speaker’s consulting business. Tech enthusiasts channel hope. Tech skeptics channel worry. Morozov channels anger, and this can be a very satisfying emotion to anyone unconvinced that everything is getting better. Leon Wieseltier, who has published some of Morozov’s most acid criticism at The New Republic, compares him to the ferocious jazz musician Charles Mingus, who once responded to an interviewer who accused him of “hollerin’ ” by saying, “I feel like hollerin’.” I asked Morozov if he considers his Twitter feed, which spews a constant stream of invective and absurdist satire, to be performative. This was a bit like asking Mingus if he considers jazz performative. “Absolutely,” he said. “I consider it art.”[more inside]
Piratjagt! Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
"I am totally ashamed to say it but we do truly hate this boy!" Reuters has published an investigative piece on parents trading or giving away their adopted children. A disturbing practice brought to you by the internet, Yahoo! message boards, and a near-total lack of oversight by any authority.
Just under a year ago the company that owns the Times-Picayune (Advance Publications, a Newhouse family operation) newspaper of New Orleans, stunned the city and journalists nationwide with the announcement that it would be cutting its print edition to three days a week, while focusing more intensely on its online operations. But now more print (and digital, for that matter) options are available in the Crescent City than last June. [more inside]
Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen published this piece in the November/December 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs. It was a notable step up from the “Cyberspace and Democracy” article in the same issue. In any case, Eric and Jared address the same core questions I am writing my dissertation on so here’s my take on what they had to say.
Will the future of cinema be live or remixed? "There is a level of panic in Hollywood I haven’t seen for a while." So begins USC Professor Jon Taplin, also a producer of films by Martin Scorsese. Taplin speaks about Francis Ford Coppola's recent interview where the director states that "I think the cinema is going to live off into something more related to a live performance in which the filmmaker is there, like the conductor of an opera used to be." Taplin bemoans "the dearth of imagination in Hollywood", while the comments section lights up with various prognostications.
School Girl banned from using sign language. Why do I feel theres more to this story than the article is providing?