Top articles of the week | November 17th

November 17, 2018

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

Of Silicon and Silk The Economist

China has extensive ambitions with its approach to digital. The Economist explores the country’s expansion and its efforts to influence the rest of the world. There is an interesting tension being played out as it seeks to increase local data protections while also expanding its technological presence.

Why There Will Never Be Another Red Hat: The Economics of Open Source A16Z

This is an old post but still an interesting one if you are interested in open source software. Considering IBM’s $34bn acquisition of Red Hat, Peter Levine argued in 2014 that successful open source companies are rare. “Build a big business on top of and around a successful platform by adding something of your own that is both substantial and differentiated.”

Agility@Scale: Solving the growth challenge in consumer packaged goods McKinsey

The organic growth rate in consumer packages goods is declining. This post explains why this is occurring mainly due to changing consumer habits, the retail revolution and growth of competition. The way to counter this is by building an agile organization. If you’re interested in the subject, there was a recent article in the Economist on this subject that goes into M&A as well.

Amazon: Retailers Gonna Retail Learn by Shipping

The tech giant represents half of ecommerce sales in the US this year and is growing quicker than the market. This post by Steven Sinofsky explains how retail really works and how Amazon is starting to resemble the traditional retailers of the past. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the article and its clear articulation of dynamics in retail.

Uber shows us that technology is political – not neutral Globe and Mail

Building and scaling a technology company must take into consideration political strategy. Alex Rosenblat conducted extensive ethnographic research of Uber drivers and found how incentives, communications and strategy have an important impact. Uber positions itself as a technology company rather than a transportation company to positively affect regulation. In the end, its approach is political and not neutral.