Top articles of the week | December 29

December 29, 2018

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

iTunes Case: Technological Innovation Jerry Newmann

The narrative behind technological innovation tends to be simplistic but the reality is messier. Jerry Newmann does a fantastic job of explaining the core process behind technological innovation. He uses the example of iTunes and the MP3 to demonstrate his point. It’s a great read if you are interested in how new technological innovations are deployed and the underlying strategies.

How Netflix’s Customer Obsession Created a Customer Obsession Nir and Far

I’m a bit obsessed by Netflix both as a customer and as an observer of the company. There are fascinating to watch and of the key reasons for their success is their customer obsession. This article by a former VP at the company outlines the quantitative and qualitative approach they took.

The key to creating a customer-obsessed culture is to embrace consumer science and to engage in high cadence testing to learn quickly through both success and failure.

Why it’s Hard to Escape Amazon’s Long Reach Wired

Another company that I closely follow (along with everyone else) is Amazon. This piece in Wired gives a great overview of just how vast their operations are. It’s a dizzying array of sectors and industries that the company has its long tentacles in. This list seems to get longer every year.

Facebook. Sigh. Jeff Jarvis

I usually tune out of the pro/anti Facebook articles since so many of them skirt the real issues. This piece by well-known tech journalist and author Jeff Jarvis does a great job of explaining the underlying issues. He also gives good arguments on why it’s hard to truly leave Facebook.

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. NY Mag

This article made the rounds this week and it’s riveting. Max Read argues eloquently that much of the internet is fake. An important area is in its business model, online advertising. The metrics have been massively overstated due to the presence of bots and criminal activity. There was an interesting concept called the “Inversion”, which I had never heard of. Due to the large amount of fake traffic, YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake.