Startup Watch: weirdest new year countdown, food in 2050, and the ugly side of Silicon Valley

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 food you will be eating in 30 years, weirdest new year countdown and smartest city in the Middle East.

The end of apps is near. You may have read stories about how bots, software that uses automation to simplify tasks and generally refers to ‘chatbots’, can act weirdly sometimes. But 2017 holds golden opportunities for this new tech trend. Phil Libin, Evernote cofounder and former CEO, says 80 percent of the apps we use at work and home will be replaced by these bots. Coders, stock up on those coffee beans because you’ve got a lot of rewriting to do. 

Wamda of the week: When the cold is good for your business. Sometimes, it’s good to look at the cup half full. While many people complain about extreme weather conditions, others find opportunities. In this week’s feature, we list several apps and solutions that are providing people with gas and helping them measure how much gas they still have. Look on the bright side, folks, even if it’s the colder side.

The unethical side of Silicon Valley. During the Techcrunch Disrupt event held in San Francisco, investor in vegan-food company Hampton Creek, Vinod Kholsa, was cornered by a journalist asking about the strange science behind the company’s shelf-life testing, as well as reports of misleading labeling. Other news revealed that the company had their employees buy jars of the Hampton Creek’s eggless mayonnaise to mislead retail partners on sales. It looks like it’s not just the mayonnaise that’s going sour.

Seven questions to ask before working for a unicorn. Talented employees with stock options at a unicorn company need to do their research to make sure their employers don’t leave them empty-handed. Some questions employees need to be asking are: Have you raised capital with liquidation preferences, and what are they? Does the company have debt? Does the company aspire to be a public company? Next time you get offered stock options at a big company, make sure you ask the right questions so you’re not left in the dark.

Food you will be eating in 2050. In 30 years, the world will be worried about feeding nine billion people, but rest assured scientists are seeking alternatives to feed you and keep you in good health. For starters, artificial fish, followed by lab-grown meat, while dessert could be caramelized worms. 

Dubai tops the Middle East’s smart city list: A study conducted by global research firm Navigant listed Dubai one of smartest cities in the world, using high-tech infrastructure and smart initiatives to create a sustainable environment. Can the rest of the Arab world catch up?

The weirdest new year countdown ever. This has nothing to do with tech or startups but it's 2017, so why not? It’s awkward enough to be asked to do the new year countdown on live television while pretending to be excited but these two TV presenters in Australia had to endure being abandoned on stage for the countdown too. Ouch. Happy new year, everyone.  

The video turned out to be a prank performed by the TV presenters themselves, with the help of few friends, in order to draw attention and start the year with few laughs. It's still fun to watch. 

Featured image via The Mirror.

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