Fast Five from the Valley: Edition 34
‘Underrated humans’ and the new Silicon Valley
‘Humans are underrated’ – one of the latest statements by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. He also questioned the ongoing global automation trend, adding ‘excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake’. However, this isn’t the only revelation to start being discussed prominently this week. There is also an increasing shift of VC capital investments away from Silicon Valley towards China. 2018 will give us a likely indication of if China can challenge Silicon Valley’s dominance as the tech capital of the world.
Bitcoin worth less than baseball cards, or just a new “counterculture”?
Word on the street is that Bitcoin is fizzling – its value has dropped from nearly $20k to $8k and web searches for “bitcoin” have started declining. Additionally, news has broken that Cambridge Analytica was planning to organize its own initial coin offering (ICO) with a target of $30m, prior to the widespread criticism over its misuse of Facebook user data. It is not clear whether the ICO will still go ahead following the Facebook controversy. Regardless, cryptocurrencies are not in the best place right now.
However, Adam Ludwin, the CEO of Blockchain services company, Chain, has captured digital applause for softening Jamie Dimon’s (CEO of JP Morgan Chase) stance on Bitcoin, from calling it “stupid” to directing the bank to conduct research into Ethereum. Ludwin did this through a 4,200-word explanation of what cryptocurrencies are and aren’t, including penning Bitcoin as the new “counterculture”.
Whilst cryptocurrencies are clearly still facing significant controversy over the legitimacy of its existence, we can only wait and see if something of tangible value emerges in the coming years, or if it all crashes and burns.
Who’s who in the digital retail world
Best Buy has been busy this week, announcing the opening its first store in 7 years and has teamed up with Amazon to sell Amazon Fire TVs in their stores. Meanwhile teen vogue has decided that it is stopping the digital print of its magazine. Finally, Home Depot has announced that it plans to hire 1k new tech hires in 2018 to size up against Amazon. Things are about to get interesting.
Who is going to win the 5G-race?
Preparing the nation’s infrastructure for 5G is one of the core topics on the mind of the telco industry at the moment. The US currently lags behind the East Asian frontrunners, China and South Korea. 5G has been focused on supporting the increasing number of connected devices and their speed. Winning the 5G-race not only means taking advantage of this new technology as early as possible, it will also act as an economic boost creating thousands of jobs.
Aside from that, deal talks between T-Mobile US and Sprint are still ongoing without any outcome so far. Both parties would benefit from a decision – the earlier the better.
Domino’s extending its delivery reach, but this also begs the question – do you know what ordering pizza is costing you?
Delicious Domino’s Pizza can now be delivered to 150,000 locations that do not have a specific address, including parks, sports fields, and stadiums. The Pizza chain has selected “Domino’s Hotspots” where drivers are able to meet customers curbside to hand off orders. This new delivery method is thanks to increased mobile ordering, and saves the customer from having to describe the meetup location – a very painful process. However, did you know that ordering pizza can cost you far more than just money? Simply the process of ordering pizza with a friend, for example, can result in you surrendering over 50 pieces of information such as your location throughout the order process, transcripts of the order, your device type (eg. iPhone X), IP address, and far far more. Following the misuse of customer data by Cambridge Analytica, it would be prudent to touch up on the various pieces of data that you are unknowingly giving up when ordering that oh very delectable pizza!