Startup Watch: India’s ‘soonicorns’, Zuckerberg in politics and the curse of antibiotics

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 whether or not Zuckerberg has political ambitions, if antibiotics are bad for you, and - wait what? What on earth is a soonicorn?

What the unicorns and soonicorns of India still need to know. CB Insights says that India has 4 percent of the world’s 186 unicorns but their startup ecosystem still has a way to go. Here are four things India can learn from global peers - get stuck into home ground to fend off global competitors; try not to copy and paste; keep your customers happy and you’ll keep them; and think B2B not just B2C.

Antibiotics, to take or not to take. More than 23,000 people in the United States are estimated to die every year from resistant bacteria and the WHO says we’re on the cusp of a “post-antibiotic era”. Pharmaceutical companies are reacting by putting new drugs on the shelves, to be used only when older antibiotics stop working. This oped takes a good look at how the US Congress is trying to handle the issue but likely isn’t making the right choices. Might as well run for the bunkers now before we’re flung back to the dark ages, right?

The boys club is hurting your business. Andrea Loubier, triggered by an offensive quote, writes about why tech startups need to hire more female CEOs. One of the common elements among high performing companies, is having women in senior management. According to Fortune 500 statistics, companies with at least three female directors have seen their return on investment increase by 66 percent or more.

Zuckerberg now says he won’t run for president. But having more than a dozen people run your Facebook profile page for you does sound something a little like a White House set up. Zuckerberg is busy and so, unsurprisingly, has a team of people who run his page. The mix of dad jokes and work talk seems to be working - ‘If people think Zuckerberg is innovative and charming, so is Facebook’. So who says politics won’t be on the agenda?

Zuckerberg and his wife surrounded by family. (Image via Facebook) 

Wamda of the week: Too many cooks in the cockpit. You don’t read much about the Arab region’s aviation activities. But did you know that lately the industry has been under a lot of pressure to cut costs and increase operational efficiency? In parallel, GE opened its Middle East Aviation Technology center and the world’s first Hyperloop was announced to launch in the UAE.

Are open offices a startup tragedy? The writer of this post, an advocate for working remotely, makes a bold statement: "the open office plan is a tyrant of interruption, a deep loss of privacy and the death of productivity". It’s true that we’ve seen startups getting obsessed with the open office environment, claiming it to be an ‘open and transparent culture’. For coders, writers and researchers it sometimes becomes an impossible environment to work in.

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