Industry News

Top articles of the week | January 13th

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!



How to Fix Facebook—Before It Fixes Us               Washington Post

Facebook recently announced important changes to the news feed in order to focus more on friends & family. The recent challenges faced by the social media giant highlight some of the unintended consequences of its algorithms. This article by an early Facebook investor Roger McNamee is a great summary of these issues. Mr. McNamee had spotted the way that Facebook’s data and algorithms were being exploited with political movements (Black Lives Matter, Brexit & the US elections). His set of proposals are potentially counterweight to the growing centralization of power occurring – and the harm that results from it.


Robo-Advisers Are Coming to Consulting and Corporate Strategy         Harvard Business Review

At our company’s annual strategic retreat this year, we set out with a new long term vision (also called BHAG); the goal, make our services obsolete by focusing on our strategic planning platform. This is likely decades away from occurring. This HBR article adds some validity to our long-term vision. From the explosion of corporate data to the availability of sophisticated ML, more data-driven approaches will be brought to bear at the corporate strategy level.


Deep Learning Sharpens Views of Cells and Genes          Scientific American

If you are interested in deep learning and its impact on multiple industries, this is a fascinating read. Deep learning is already starting to be applied in the medical field. For instance, Google is using deep learning to predict a person’s blood pressure, age and smoking status by analyzing a photograph of their retina.


Competing with big companies       Steven Sinofsky, Learn by Shipping

Where does innovation fit in for powerful incumbents? Steven Sinofsky explains how incentives in large companies matter a lot. The entire focus of the organization (post product-market fit) is to optimize the status quo. Steven discusses the competitive positions of Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Adobe and provides a neat framework for launching the next big tech company.


Units of Time are the New Currency          Arjun Sethi, Social Capital

The nature of competitive advantage has fundamentally changed due to technology. Arjun Sethi argues that a moat today is simply a temporary buffer that helps a company get ahead of the next innovation cycle. If you are anyway involved with technology, this is a must read. Arjun brilliantly describes the formula for building a sustainable technology company, 1) simplify your product to build a utility, 2) integrate with other products to grow your utility, 3) buy other companies to protect your utility.