Startup Watch: Naughty Google, ATM anniversary and the joy of saying 'no'
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 what we’ve been reading on Google’s big fine, UAE students working in Russia, taking responsibility for your company and how to say ‘no’.
Naughty Google. So Google got slapped with a massive fine, 2.42 billion euros (US$42.7billion), and if you can get passed the references to Game of Thrones this is a good break down of the whys and wherefores. In the most basic of explanations, they are accused of putting those who had paid the most as first options, rather than the most relevant to the user’s search. But also while reading this article we got forwarded to this happy news - Google will no longer scan your emails to send you targeted ads.
How long will your job last? Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, along with AI Impacts and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, surveyed 352 AI experts about how long they thought it would be before robots take over certain jobs. Looks like a folder of laundry will be one of the first things to go, while an AI researcher has possibly another 80 years to sit pretty.
Happy birthday to the ATM. We were actually surprised that there are three million ATMs out there today. It started as just a place to get the cash, but now you can pay bills, top up your phone, and still get those sweet sweet dollar bills. June 27 1967, Barclays launched the first ‘robot cashier’ in Enfield, greater London. Apparently in the early days, bank tellers would pour honey on them….sabotage of innovation!
Wamda of the week: Get your security training with a MOOC. Not many know how to handle a cyber security attack when it occurs. So taking the opportunity to be prepared, especially if you’re an individual and not part of a big company, is paramount in this day and age. Wamda took a look at a UK-based site that offers online courses for NGOs, journalists and activists working in the region, to help them better protect themselves against security breaches.
Russians and nuclear power in the UAE. If you want to be a nuclear power, then you need to start the kids early on their engineering training. That’s why it looks like the UAE could be sending students to Russian universities to get up to speed on all things nuclear. Apparently nuclear specialists have the lowest unemployment rate, so if you’re looking to move towards a knowledge economy this could be the way to go - you’ll still be working for the government though.
Facebook has a lot of users, shocker. So the social network we all use has two billion monthly users, they announced this week. Frankly we’re a little unexcited. We thought they would have hit that number already. Is it just us? Are we jaded?
A lesson to you all. This guy on a mission to say what a good idea it was to boot Travis Kalanick after so many grim errors made by Uber. He also has a word or two of advice for all the other cooks involved in the startup scene soup. It’s not just the founders or CEOs that need to be accountable, but it’s also all the players, from the VCs to the boards of these highly successful companies. “For too long, its elite have gotten away with sexism, ageism, and, to coin a word, unethicalism,” he writes.
Just say ‘no’. In this little editorial Lucy Kellaway is listing the benefits of saying ‘no’. Indeed, it’s become very popular of late, and as one ages it does become easier to say (especially after childhoods of being encouraged to be helpful to all and say ‘yes’), but one does still need some encouragement to refuse the requests of others. Kellaway distributes her ‘nos’ according to what she ‘wants to do’, ‘has to do’, and ‘ought to do’. It frees you up to do those things that you really want to do and most likely are more important for you in the long run. Did you triumphantly say ‘no’ to anything recently? Share with us below.
Feature image, whole lotta people but not two billion, that's crazy, via Flickr/James Cridland.