FG Newsletter #310

24. January 2017

Big Tech News

Inside Instagram’s reinvention
In-depth interview with Kevin Systrom about what brought about Instagram’s massive product push in 2016, from stories to live video broadcasting and even ephemeral messages, designed to make the platform more authentic and encourage users to share with friends in places outside of the traditional feed.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Makes Its First Acquisition, Meta
Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization has made its first acquisition, buying Meta, a website that makes it easier for scientists to find the latest academic research. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative intends to improve Meta’s product, which reads all scientific research and uses an algorithm to provide it to clients based on relevance and make it free to researchers.

Google Voice gets a new look for its first major update in years
Google just announced the new and improved Google Voice. The service has been given a much-needed visual refresh, bringing it in line with Google’s other apps. The upgraded app also carries over some features that until now were only available for users who had switched to Hangouts for some Voice functions like texting and voicemail.

Why Salesforce Is Snapping Up AI Startups (and Passing on Marketing Ones)
Last year Salesforce made 120% more acquisitions than it did in 2015. John Somorjai, the company’s EVP of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, talks about AI startups, startup valuations, how the company deals with coop-etition, and what’s overhyped.

Guides & Resources

Fintech Companies Could Give Billions of People More Banking Options
Encouraged by the dramatic increase in the number of people with mobile phones in the developing world, new fintech players are attempting to disrupt the existing financial order in these markets: the money lenders and informal remittance services that often have been the only option for much of the population.

Don’t set goals for yourself—instead, create systems that make it easy for you to succeed
Why you should give up on making resolutions altogether and instead use an Intentionality Dashboard system, featuring Micro-Habits and Intentions, to help you lead a life that’s in keeping with your values.

Why paper is the real ‘killer app’
With apps taking over our lives, there’s a movement afoot as people yearn for simpler, technology-free times. Many people are using cursive writing and colouring in to help organise their lives or work on certain goals — whether it’s fitness, finances, or fast-tracking their careers.

If you don’t trust your employees to work remotely, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place
Interesting read from Yan Lhert on why he cannot trust employers to provide him with an adequate work environment, which holds him back from doing the best possible work for them, and will henceforth only work in a “remote” arrangement.


Abstract is a new Netflix series about design
Meet eight of the most creative thinkers and imaginative minds working in the world of art and design today in the new Netflix original documentary series, Abstract: The Art of Design. Streaming on Netflix in February.