- If you're a hardware startup, you need to maintain great discipline for minimizing feature sets and maintaining focus. Bolt VC gives a breakdown of the toll taken on small teams when they add features or product combinations.
Technology as a Threat:
- A surveillance arms race is taking place between security (and/or creepiness) for Airbnb hosts and the privacy of their guests. The latest weapon is a script for disabling wi-fi cameras, courtesy of artist/technologist Julian Oliver.
- The opportunity for labor platforms/marketplaces a la Airbnb and Uber are encouraging some risky practices- namely engineering students being hired to complete professional jobs, often without degrees, oversight or insurance. One of our founders writes about the irresponsibility of such practices.
- When you're building weapon systems, a report of successful kills can be as much of a boost as getting covered by TechCrunch is for consumer products. A Chinese drone company is getting taken more seriously after reports of ISIS targets being taken out by their tech.
- A reminder that breakthrough companies all have different paths to success - CASIO funded the development of their calculator products from selling a ring mounted cigarette holder that become a hit product.
- Tech toy startup Sphero received an unexpected and dramatic boost from a chance intersection of their product development work and Star Wars.
- The downstream consequences of manufacturing aren't just plaguing the air quality in China- they've turned waters toxic in the former U.S. manufacturing hotbed in Flint, Michigan. Politicians there are calling for a state of emergency.
- Slick branding and graphic design in service of fraud: hipster "artisan" chocolate is revealed to be bait and switch- what was supposedly small batch chocolate produced with innovative processes is actually just regular chocolate purchased in bulk and re-melted.
- If you go to a big-box retailer this holiday season, careful you don't drown in the sea of Star Wars branded everything. There's so much overreaching in the merchandising push surrounding the new movie that you could live on Star Wars branded goods, if you can call that living.
More next week.