Top articles of the week | February 10th

February 10, 2018

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

Every study we could find on what automation will do to jobs, in one chart MIT Technology Review

The doomsday scenarios many researchers are predicting when it comes to automation vary wildly. What happens when so many smart people disagree, it’s probably because no real idea on what is really going to happen.

Open Letter to the Airbnb Community About Building a 21st Century Company Brian Chesky, CEO AirBnb

I really enjoyed this letter from AirBnb’s founder and CEO to mark their 10 year anniversary. On top of writing about the company’s future, Brian Chesky also discusses what it means to build a company for this century.

Companies face pressures based on legacies from the 20th-century, and the convention is to focus on increasingly short-term financial interests, often at the expense of a company’s vision, long-term value, and its impact on society. You could say that these are 20th-century companies living in a 21st-century world.

Beware the lessons of growing up Galapagos Eugene Wei

Last week’s Superbowl had the lowest ratings in the last nine years. This a very interesting article that argues that football (and most spectator sports generally) is becoming increasingly irrelevant to younger audiences. In an age of infinite content, NFL games measure up poorly as entertainment, especially for a generation that grew up with smartphones and no cable TV. The thing about setting up a moat around your content is that the moment your cultural value crosses its peak, the moat becomes a set of prison bars. The flywheel loop can turn just as furiously counter-clockwise as clockwise.

Could Self-Driving Trucks Be Good for Truckers? The Atlantic

It’s taken as a statement of fact that the job of a truck driver will become obsolete once autonomous technology matures. Uber conducted some research and an interesting counter-narrative has emerged; the number of jobs in trucking will actually increase. The role of the driver will change significantly and will be focused on transfer hubs in cities.

The End of Cloud Computing a16z

I recently re-watched this video and it’s a great explanation of where computing is moving. We’re moving to distributed computing where processing will move away from the cloud and to the edge (eg. all the devices that will be sensing, inferring and acting on data). The real-time nature of information will force this change to occur; agility over power becomes the key issue. The question I ask is whether this new decentralized infrastructure will also benefit from blockchain technology.