Top articles of the week | November 7

November 7, 2020

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

Framework for Decision-Making in a Time of Change a16z (reading time: 2 minutes)

This is a short and neat decision framework to help think about change. It examines changes are either negative or positive and that are either structural or ephemeral in nature. Things are structural and positive yield the biggest opportunities.

Why We Will Never Have Enough Software Developers Nnamdi Iregbulem (reading time: 12 minutes)

If there’s one thing that’s true in the technology industry, it’s that there is an important talent shortage. Every tech company, especially in Canada, struggles to hire software developers. This article provides a great deep dive on some of reasons this is occurring. An important reason is that the industry faces a retention problem, people don’t tend to stick around in the field.

Software engineers never escape the skill-change vortex, even many years into their careers. Experienced engineers must learn and adopt technologies that didn’t even exist when they started out. Developers must constantly retool themselves, even well after their formal education ends.

Section 230: Mend It, Don’t End It David Sacks (reading time: 12 minutes)

Speech on the internet has become a mess. The large tech companies are struggling to provide a coherent rationale on their suppression of certain posts. David Sacks provides an interesting approach for these social media platforms to better regulate speech, the first amendment.

Michael Mauboussin On Valuing Intangible Assets Bloomberg (reading time: 46 minutes)

Traditional accounting is not great at valuing growth businesses. In this audio conversation, Michael Mauboussin from Morgan Stanley explains the principles behind valuing intangible assets. For instance, how should one value companies like Microsoft, Netflix or Peloton versus more established businesses. Intellectual property and brand value are harder to measure but still contain important value.

State of Surveillance China File (reading time: 47 minutes)

We’ve covered China’s state surveillance in past articles. This is the most in depth piece on how the system functions technically and China’s strategy. It’s a long and dystopian read that resembles 1984 (only scarier).