Four Great Reads From This Week
A four-pack of the most interesting reading over the last week includes the following:
- We Were Right: Just a Decade Early: Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld gives his context on the impending AT&T / Time Warner deal. In addition to reviewing the Gartner Hype Cycle (and how it rates to technology adoption), he offers this intriguing gem: “One of the biggest challenges in tech is not being right. It’s being ten or fifteen years too early.”
- Trolls for Trump: In the New Yorker, Andrew Marantz offers this depressing but nonetheless fascinating profile of California-based alt-right instigator Mike Cernovich, who has moved from pick-up advisor to a shaper of the presidential campaign narrative. Impossible but true that he and Austin’s abysmal Alex Jones are shaping so much of the dialogue for the 2016 election.
- Newsonomics: A great contrast to the Mike Cernovich profile from Ken Doctor, whose piece reviews the 10 media storylines we’ll be talking about for 2017. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy: “Donald Trump has wrought a little revolution in the U.S. press. New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet summed up succinctly in my Lab interview a few weeks back: “I think that [Trump] challenged our language. He will have changed journalism, he really will have…We didn’t know how to write the paragraph that said, ‘This is just false.’ We struggle with that. I think that Trump has ended that struggle.” It’s not only the Times that deserves plaudits for stepping up to this unprecedented challenge. The Washington Post and CNN both have found new voices, ones with greater assurance and authority to cut through the he said/she said that has afflicted the news business (calling Jay Rosen) for at least a half century. These companies have found a bit of swagger, and while the line between swagger and arrogance can be thin, some swagger is better than none at all.”
- Obama Brought Silicon Valley to Washington: Jeanna Wortham’s account of the October 3 South by SouthLawn event in Washington DC is another great read. That said, I think the underestimates the strength and vibrancy of today’s US startup industry: “For better or for worse, the last eight years have been defined less by the rise of small tech companies than by the expansion of Big Tech.”