Top articles of the week | October 5th

October 6, 2018

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

How Markets Favor the Few at the Expense of the Many Farnam Street

Markets tend to favor unequal distributions of market share and profits. This is a well known trend in economics and in business. Pareto’s law can be applied in almost any context. What is interesting about this article is about the acceleration of this trend, particularly when it comes to feedback loops. Digital touch points have enabled the leader in a market to “win” more if they can take advantage of the feedback loop. Technology has exacerbated the growth of winner-take-all markets.

The Agile Manager McKinsey

A McKinsey survey revealed that organizations have begun an “agile transformation” have seen a positive impact. This post outlines how the management function evolves within an agile organization and provides details on the different roles it represents. The benefits? Size and scale in large organizations, and the speed and nimbleness of small entrepreneurial start-ups.

Myth of the Infrastructure Phase Union Square Ventures

Anyone who wants to understand technology cycles should read this article. USV, a highly regarded VC firm, debunks the myth of the infrastructure phase. They posit that it is apps that “come first” then people build out the infrastructure needed and that infrastructure then serves to build out the next generation of apps. It is an extremely insightful read to understand cycles in the sector.

Charles Schwab Has a $3.6 Trillion Edge on the Fintechs Bloomberg

The financial sector is known for being “ripe for disruption”. This isn’t slowing down Charles Schwab. The company is plowing money into innovation—and leveraging their combination of scale, tech savvy, and customer focus to outperform the upstarts. This deep dive on the company’s iconic founder, history and future is revelatory. The company is not only embracing technology but also leading the charge.

Data Factories Stratechery

The big tech giants collect data on users, they collect all the data on users. The large technology companies, particularly those with an advertising based business model (you can guess which ones) go to great lengths to collect information about you. Ben Thompson dives into Facebook’s data collection practices and highlights some serious concerns. Regulation of these corporations needs to take this into account and their competitive advantage is based on satisfying users unlike monopolies of the past.