Startup Watch: Beware the Trump, driverless cars, celebrity engagements and the constant inventor
The world of entrepreneurship news is a complex one, with people ever ready to give their two cents on how you should be running your business/VC fund/incubator. Here’s our wrap of what we’re reading on management, politics versus/and innovation, inventions, plus a little something to lighten the end of the working week.
The sun beneath your wings. This week the epic 25,000 mile journey of the world’s first solar-powered plane came to an end in Abu Dhabi. Recently we talked about how the air industry is no stranger to startups and the more it can be encouraged in the region, the better. Co-pilot Andre Borschberg said the trip proved the world could be more energy efficient. We don’t know how the world feels about nine month delays though.
Trump is bad for innovation. Or rather, innovation seems to be bad for Trump. Apparently the floppy-haired Republican presidential candidate (save us) isn’t a fan of technology. This little round up highlights some of the thoughts of Silicon Valley leaders when it comes to Trump, plus some of his musings on the internet and computers. We’re imagining Derek Zoolander right now.
A ‘buddy’ boss? No thanks. Much like a parent who wants to be their child’s best friend, a boss who wants to be your buddy is not going to be a very good boss. Who’s in charge, the boss or the employee? Ick. In his blog on Dave Kellogg, a CEO in the US working in cloud computing, bemoans the overly friendly relationship between a boss and the employees as divisive and lacking in discipline. Be a leader, not a bro.
From us to you: a good way to run your company? Not too far off the ‘buddy boss’ subject, apparently Holocracy is a new approach to the structure of the workplace. According to this weighty piece from Rachel Williamson, “this approach is the handing of responsibility for all decision making to individual employees at any level, is better suited to the way this generation’s workforce - millennials - want to work”. Some of us like hierarchy and knowing where exactly a buck might stop. Not everyone’s cup of tea but it will be interesting to see how it works out for Payfort.
Driverless cars. Despite wide negative coverage over the death of a Tesla autonomous car user there seems to be no killing off the dream that one day our streets will be filled with them. CB Insights has put together a delightful list of five startups developing electric buses or shuttles with self-driving capability. Certainly Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, reckons that in two years you’ll see autonomous vehicles on the highway.
Become a tech success, get a beautiful woman. Ah, the path to true love never did run smoothly but maybe if you’re a tech billionaire it gets just a tad easier. The Wamda office loves a bit of celebrity, well, one of us does, and so was happy to see Snapchat’s cofounder Evan Spiegel put a ring on it with Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. Apparently their first date was a yoga class - doesn’t get more startupy than that.
The constant inventor. Fifty years ago Afghan inventor Ghulam Sediq Wardak built a portable radio with headphones, that could be powered by the energy of a moving body. It would have been interesting to see exactly how a moving body was transferring energy to power the device, but he didn't stop there - he claims to have come up with 344 ideas for solving everyday problems. He’s 73 now and many in his community call him mad. We don’t think he is, well maybe just a little mad for not seeking investment for some of them.