Startup Watch: disruption might get you, AI making the diagnosis and so long Yahoo!

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 Yahoo! getting a new name, how crowdfunding can be an added pressure to startups and how digital disruption is so misunderstood.

How a mistake can be your friend. “It’s not always easy to take that long view when the damage is fresh,” is the lovely way this advice column on bouncing back from mistakes you might make in your business. Eric Breon, founder and CEO of property rental company Vacasa, talks through his experience of dealing with mistakes when growing his company. From learning who to hire to not being afraid of risk - he wants you to be friendly with the mistakes but make sure you learn from them.

Drones - for wifi and war. Smarter, cheaper and more reliable - drones are still going strong (despite the consumer market getting tough for some manufacturers). A good podcast from BBC Business Daily gives an overviews of the various uses for drones these days. From a drone rodeo in Nevada, Facebook using drones with the wingspan of a jet to bring wifi to remote areas, to the more grisly side of drone usage - warfare.

The computer will see you now. Diagnosing oneself is never a great idea. The internet is a sea of information about what that lump on your underarm could be. But going to the doctor’s office is a hassle. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) being simply everywhere these days, it’s now the turn of ‘deep learning’ to tackle the diagnosis of genetic diseases. From detecting early dementia to autism, the use of AI is so much more than just creepy robots doing your dishes.

Some stress for startups. (Image via

Wamda of the week: crowdfunding may not be worth the stress. You have a prototype and you need money to make more, so you crowdfund. Then it all goes wrong - getting the product made just isn’t happening and the funders are getting antsy. We took a look at how that pressure to fulfil on ‘promises’ can take its toll on the startups concerned and how the entrepreneurs struggle dealing with it.

Beware the disruption. Digital is disruptive but there are misconceptions on how disruptive exactly. Harvard Business Review has a nice break down of four reasons why you don’t need to be so scared of the ‘disruption’: the big hitters will not always be the winners (look how much money Uber lost). An industry that can be substituted completely is the exception to the rule, like email over fax. But change is not always as fast as it seems in the digital world.

Goodnight and good luck, Yahoo! The sale of Yahoo! to Verizon just never seems to end, but indeed the end is nigh, especially now. According to an announcement this week the name Yahoo! will apparently be no more. The name will be changed to the phonetically pleasing Altaba. Anyone have any theories as to what that might mean? Yahoo! Certainly haven't offered up any explanations yet.

Take care of the pennies. And as the saying goes, and the pounds will take care of themselves. To save a bit a money, China has finally learned how to make the steel tips of ballpoint pens. Until now, despite having 3,000 manufacturers of the pens, they have been importing the tips from Japan, all to the whopping tune of $17.3 million. With the country’s focus on manufacturing in their ‘Made in China 2025 program’, it seems every penny does count.

Feature image, 'So long, farewell' from The Sound of Music, via YouTube.

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