Top articles of the week | February 24th

February 24, 2018

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

8 Lessons from 20 Years of Hype Cycles Michael Mullany, Icon Ventures

I stumbled onto this article from 2016 and it’s a great read. We have subjective biases that reshape our past recollection. The lessons highlighted by Mr. Mullany highlight just how hard it is to make accurate predictions about technology.

The world’s most pioneering company of our times Corporate Rebels

Haier is the world’s #1 home appliance maker. It is also a Chinese colossus with over 70,000 employees. And according to this article, it’s also one of the most innovative companies in the world. This is a great read about a Chinese company that has constantly reinvented itself in subsequent ages. They did this not only by adapting their products but also their management approach. Their current model is fascinating: there are only three different kinds of roles within Haier; the ‘platform owner‘, the ‘microenterprise owner‘ and the ‘entrepreneur‘.

Why Decentralization Matters Chris Dixon, a16z

While Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are still raging in early 2018, this article from Chris Dixon is a great explanation on why the broader trend of decentralization is important. This ties in nicely with the next article below from NYT that makes a case against Google. Decentralization is fundamentally disruptive to Google and Facebook and has the potential to upend these incumbents in the long term.

The Case Against Google NY Times

This Times piece is an indictment against Google and promotes anti-trust legislation against them. The article claims that if weren’t for anti-trust, Microsoft would still be dominant which I believe to be completely inaccurate. Microsoft benefited from the PC era, which is completely different in that that Google benefits from the web era. I don’t believe that regulation would have changed the fact that Microsoft missed out on the web and mobile. Yes, I’m still a fan boy but I don’t believe the answer lies in regulation – it lies on hungry entrepreneurs with a completely new model of their own.

Organizing for a Digital World Bain & Company

Very good piece by Bain on how to think about structure for a ‘digital’ world. Many large organizations still struggle with incorporating new technologies and thinking into their operating model. Companies usually start to realize that their legacy processes don’t move fast enough to keep up with changing customer demands and behavior, which are shaped by digital interactions in other parts of their lives.