Business, Technology

Facebook just sent a chill over every digital news organization | Quartz

Alice Truong, Quartz:

Today (June 29), the world’s largest social network announced a change to its news feed algorithm that will show its 1.65 billion monthly active users more posts from friends and family. The tweak also means that articles posted by news organizations, which have grown dependent on Facebook for traffic and ad revenue, won’t feature as prominently on users’ news feeds.

With Facebook’s push for media brands to use Instant Articles and now this news feed algorithm change, it sounds like Facebook doesn’t want to send the Internet to your media brand, but wants to be the Internet that your brand exists on.

Business, Culture

I Worshipped ‘Seinfeld’ at a George Costanza-Themed Bar | MUNCHIES.

The concept revolving around George—in some ways, the very embodiment of lovable mediocrity—would be lost in anything too spectacular.

There’s a new bar in Fitzroy, Melbourne that sounds absolutely lovely in concept and offerings. I’m not much of a Seinfeld fan, but this sounds like exactly the kind of place I’d love to be in. Fuss-free drinks and food, with a loose-theme that doesn’t become some sort of capitalistic churn. It sounds laid-back, with just enough of an edge so that it stands out from the other bars that tend to have some sort of personal brand attached to it.

It’s a homage to a beloved TV show character where patrons can bond over what they love, or don’t. In their execution, the bar owners (The Barretts), have given us “George’s”, which can mean George Costanza or simply whatever meaning you want to attach to George’s.


Spotlight on Bavaria | Monocle

Monocle worked with Invest in Bavaria for piece about the investment opportunities in the German city. Marketing messages aside, I did take note of some points the video brought up regarding what a forward-thinking and constantly innovating city makes.

Dr. Wolfgang Hübschle, Executive Director, Invest in Bavaria:

If you’re in the innovation business, proximity still matters. Locating to Bravria, you can locate many companies within a 3 hour radius. Along the Autobahn A8 access, almost 60% of German patent applications are done. So you can reach a lot of clients in your proximity.

Insights into what makes Bavaria tick as a place for innovation, business and industry

  • Highly-skilled workforce
  • Heritage of entrepreneurship
  • Proximity to other industries and markets
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity
  • Quality of Life

One thing that did stand out was the mention of quality of life. Often overlooked, it is a soft pull-factor that can attract talent. I also aegree with Monocle’s stance that culture is a soft foreign policy power, and that more governments should enable and grow what’s happening in the grassroots to maintain both a healthy mix of mainstream and alternative citizens. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to make this a quantifiable metric, and I believe that it should also be the responsibility of culture growers to bridge the gap with government and regulation.

Matt Alagiah, Monocle:

We decide not to move to cities, not because of their annual GDP growth figures, but because of the restaurants, bars and cultural hotspots they offer. It’s also about the ease with which we can immerse ourselves in nature.

Business, Technology


Original tweet by Jack Dorsey, Twitter, CEO: Here

And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!

We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people. As long as we’re consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it.

As long as that feature doesn’t get in the way of the core product feature, which in my opinion, is brevity. If I wanted a feed that pushed me long-form content, I’d go look for Medium.

To me, the best thing about Twitter (I’ve found myself going back to it and engaging on it), is that it clearly distills thought from people, making us choose our words better. Too many people think that more words means more meaning. But, If it doesn’t fit a tweet, it’s not worth saying.

At least on a medium like Twitter.

Jack Dorsey on potential 10,000 characters on Twitter


Anatomy of a Crushing | Daring Fireball.

John Gruber quoting Marciej Ceglowski (Pinboard, Founder) on his blog, Daring Fireball in 2011:

If Pinboard were not a paid service, we could not have stayed up on December 16, and I would have been forced to either seek outside funding or close signups. Instead, I was immediately able to hire contractors, add hardware, and put money in the bank against further development.

If you start as a business, not a company and earn revenue from paying customers from day one, market forces have less sway on your business than customer sway.

So are you a company with no business, a company with one business, or a company with many businesses?

Pinboard might be small in size compared to unicorns, but it serves a loyal customer base, and is run by one man. Damn, I love this guy thinks.

Business, Technology

Danielle Fong of LightSail Energy Fights to Get Past the Clean-Energy Startup Pinch | MIT Technology Review.

Danielle Fong, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of LightSail Energy, Inc. says

I will admit a fair amount of frustration. There are a dozen venture-funded apps to pick up your dry cleaning.

The basic story is that research and development costs money, yet, there (arguably) might not be enough funding. What comes to mind is that the capitalist market is driven by the forces of, “buying a better version of myself”, rather than “buying a better planet”.


Bubble, My Ass: Some Unicorns Might Be Overvalued, But All Dinosaurs Gonna Die

Unless they innovate more rapidly (or acquire their internet peers), expect most S&P 500 Dinosaurs to be disrupted and destroyed by an endless march of VC-funded Unicorns that will bash their tiny little reptile brains in with software and internet marketing.

500 Startups’ Dave McClure makes the case that even though unicorn startups might be overvalued, Forture 500 companies that do not innovate are going to get superceded, and there’s definitely some truth in that.


Today, independent journalism got some good news. Digital News Asia, a Malaysian technology news portal just announced raising RM1 million in seed funding from Idea River Run (IRR).

I’m bolstered because their CEO and Founder, Karamjit Singh has been quoted as saying, “One of the reasons this deal materialised was that Tan Sri Vincent was agreeable to DNA retaining its editorial independence… To our readers, rest assured that with editorial independence in the hands of the founders, we will always endeavour to deliver quality content to you – that is in our DNA,”

I, for one, am looking forward to the high quality journalism and analysis that these friends from across the border have built their brand around. And once again, congratulations, Karamjit, Asohan and Gabey!

DNA raises RM 1mil in Seed Funding

Business, Technology

Amidst streaming, possible ways for musicians to monetize

Almost every modern musician knows the arguments for and against music streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer… etc. It’s pretty much common talk amongst independent musicians that without millions of people streaming our songs, we’d hardly make any sort of sustainable revenue. Here’s where things could get interesting.

Streaming levels the playing field

I’m definitely more in support of streaming services as a consumer, because it really is a better product. Rather than being subject to the recommendations of traditional DJs or terrestrial radio stations, I get to listen to the songs I want on-demand. This isn’t for the mainstream, but the artists who are at least on independent labels and their catalogs are included on streaming services.

Streaming services have allowed consumer behavior to move in this direction, and whether you’re a mainstream listener, or purveyor of the niche, chances are you can find what you’re looking for online.

But that makes the musical product disposable

This is my key concern. Culturally, we are becoming bankrupt because within a day, there will be something new to listen to, and creating playlist after playlist gets old really fast. In any case, streaming services have probably played a big role in making the musical product disposable. The MP3 is dead to almost anyone who is subscribed to a streaming service and can even listen to that music offline.

But how dead is the MP3?

To the consumer, the MP3 is dead. I’ll go out there and say it. Streaming services makes it redundant to manage MP3s via your desktop synced to your mobile and what not. You don’t even need to be concerned about how much space you have in your cloud service to store your MP3s. As long as you maintain your subscription, you won’t lose your music. It is nestled comfortably in the service of your choice.

But there is a whole segment of the consumer that the MP3 isn’t dead. And I’m not talking about people who have not jumped onto streaming services. I’m talking about those who still need MP3s to create.

Harnessing the market of creators

Here’s where I think it starts to make sense. DJs, Samplists, Filmmakers, Vodcasters, Game Studios and the whole lot out there need access to MP3s, or high quality audio files if they’re going to continue their craft. Now more than ever, music creators should make it easier for the pro-sumer and professional market to easily purchase MP3s or HQ audio files so that they can continue creating as well.

Indie musicians will have to re-look their pricing and product models to cater to this growing segment of people. And I believe they will be growing, because technology is definitely making it easier for other creators to create. As the consumer tech market matures, the creative market will grow along as well.

So streaming services are a great way to appear in the peripheral of content creators, who are always on the lookout for music that fits their pursuits. But I don’t think there is any self-serve model out there now that caters to this new marketplace.

For further reading, Disaster Peace shared a postmortem that inspire this post.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.