Sunday 11th December 2016

  • Silicon Valley Stumbles in World Beyond Software

    Google is struggling with its drone efforts. It's 58 self-driving cars have traveled 2.2 million miles, but they are still flummoxed by snow and drive so conservatively they can disrupt traffic. This article argues that Silicon Valley is stumbling in the world beyond software. In software, programmers can control their environment. The physical world is messy and unpredictable. Even the smartest computers can't prepare for every possibility. Add to that the burden of public safety and regulation and it is easy to see why the tech industry hasn't been able to replicate its success in the digital realm. Continued here

  • Pulling an all-nighter could be a temporary fix for depression

    Antidepressants can turn a person's life around, but they can't do it right away - a new prescription requires at least a month to take effect. Fortunately there's another, drug-free, way to feel better almost instantly: Just stay up all night. It's called wake therapy. More in this article

  • How to lead as an introvert!

    On Nov. 7, 2016, Jess Lee began her job as Sequoia Capital's first US female partner. After eight and a half years building Polyvore (and eventually selling the company to Yahoo for more than $200 million in 2015), Lee decided she wanted to advise other startup founders. A self-described introvert, she says that figuring out how to lead in her own style, authentically, has shaped her tremendously. Netflix's Reed Hastings, she said, is another example of a leader who "does a good job of coming across as a normal human being." After the very public failure of Qwikster, which led to a PR disaster and a major drop in stock, he spoke "openly and authentically about it ... and that was really refreshing". More on leading as an introvert in this article

  • When do you brag, and when do you stay humble?

    According to one school of thought, bragging or claiming to be better than others feels good, and when we feel good, we are happier and better adjusted. This argument suggests that bragging to others can satisfy the motive to craft and maintain a positive self-image. According to another line of research, however, consistently viewing oneself as superior entails a distortion of reality. Inaccurate individuals with low self-knowledge have weaker relationships and a tendency to make riskier decisions than their accurate, self-aware counterparts. So, when do you brag and when do you stay humble? Find out in this article

  • Peter Thiel's unusual thumb-rule to find disruptive startups

    An unusual pattern that Peter Thiel uses to find truly disruptive startups is this: look for startups that can't be articulated in the right words. "I think in some ways the really good companies often couldn't even be articulated...we didn't quite have the right words. Or maybe they were articulated but were articulated in terms of categories that were actually misleading," Thiel said. That means the startup's idea has to be so new that it's not easily understood by everybody. For example, Thiel said most people called Google just another search engine, when in fact, it was the "first machine-powered" search engine. Even Facebook, he says, was called just another social network, when it was actually a company that "cracked real identity" online. Thiel added the same thinking goes the other way: avoid startups that use too many buzzwords. More here

  • How the Indian farm is fast becoming wired (Exclusive)

    On the evening of July 15th this year, in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Kadambari Reddy was kneading the dough when she looked out her kitchen window and saw her husband getting a minor panic attack. Vasudeva had received a call on his mobile, and Kadambari watched her Bharta abort the casual conversation he was having with friends, get up and tighten the dhoti around his waist, jump around half a dozen puddles, and run southward.

  • If technology is so great, why are people falling behind?

    Once upon a time, we hated Wall Street, for its greed and apathy! Main street suffered, while the financial markets bloated up. Can we accuse Silicon Valley of the same? After all, people do lose jobs when an industry gets disrupted by technology (think automated cars vs drivers, airbnb vs hotels, amazon vs traditional retail). Yes, things become more efficient with technology and that is supposed to lift all boats, but does it? Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, told MIT Technology Review, "Productivity is at record levels, innovation has never been faster, and yet at the same time, we have a falling median income and we have fewer jobs. People are falling behind, because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren't keeping up." It is, he said, "the great paradox of our era." Full article by Om Malik here

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  • Who is Shalabh Kumar ? (Exclusive)

    Last month, before the US election results, there was a Bollywood Bash with the likes of Shahid Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Prabhu deva etc. in support of Trump. The organizers of this bash were the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) of Shalabh "Shalli" Kumar. The event was well covered in the Indian media including leading Television channels and newspapers. It raised the eyebrows of many in India wondering who this Shalabh Kumar was, who was supporting Trump openly when he was expected to do very badly in the Elections.

  • What do elite VCs read every morning?

    What do elite VCs read every morning? Joe Jovde (of ramenprofitable.co) has surveyed the top VCs in Silicon Valley to find out what they read for work. The list includes expected blogs by Fred Wilson, Tom Tunguz and Mark Suster, but also Tim Urban's 'Wait but Why', a blog that helps you ingest serious information in a light-hearted way. If you are involved with startups/technology, check out the entire list here

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  • Here's to working from home!

    I spent 2.5 hours in traffic yesterday, trying to get back home from a meeting. And I am one of the lucky ones, as my office is only half an hour from my home and I usually set up my meetings in the middle of the day, so spending time is traffic is not a big problem. In the Uber, I tried to keep myself busy, reading emails, catching a nap, thinking about this editorial. And I glanced around at those driving around me, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, just trying to get back home. And then there are those who work from home (May their tribe increase!). What is it really like to work from home? Yes, it's a real thing. Here are 6 uncommon lessons from a year of working from home.

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