Start-up

‘Chinese firms have become significant investors in American Tech start-ups’-What’s the deal?

The title of this post is from a New York Times article about why Chinese companies are actively investing American start-ups specializing in artificial intelligence and robots in order to advance both China’s military capacity as and its economy. Though these deals may be good for some investors, there are numerous questions and uncertainties which arise in terms of partnerships, intellectual property, and regulations on foreign takeovers. Read on

Who are the Tech VCs gladly funding? –It’s  Biotech!

According to an article by CNBC, Start-ups at the intersection of biology and tech are so hot in demand right now, so much that are receiving different valuations and checks.- “Tech investors will offer higher valuations if they believe you’re going to grow like a tech company…” Read on

Violent Crimes on Social Media-Tech companies quick to spot video violence

Who would have thought that social networks would no longer be just simply about ‘socializing among friends and business people’? Those days are gone! In a blog post on LSE US Center- “How social media is changing the way people commit crimes and police fight them”, Ray Surette, a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida, writes that social media has consequently led to a new type of ‘performance crimes’, where perpetrators can break the law via  texts, images and video, and at the same time draw attention from the large public. The good news is that, social media is also making it easier for law enforcement officials to combat such crimes happening on these platforms. (Read on)  In another article by CNBC, Tech companies from Singapore to Finland are focusing on improving  artificial intelligence in order to automatically spot and block crime videos before they go viral on social media. Read on 

High time we said ‘Tschüs und Ade’ to Fake accounts and false news spreading on Facebook?

Yes please! It’s about time someone did something about that!

Facebook recently published a paper “Information Operations and Facebook”- where the company highlights their efforts to add new technologies to spot fake accounts and to detect  false amplifiers and other forms of abuse on their platform. In the paper, Facebook explains how the company intends to expand their security focus from ’traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people.’- Here’s what they’re doing about ‘False News’ and ‘Targeted Data Collection’ Read on here and here

Toxic Business Culture, Corporate Scandals, Business Ethics

What happens when corporations put profits before customers? With all the corporate scandals happening these days, we all know the answer that question. And someone needs to act.

I am still not over the footage i watched where a passenger was forcibly dragged out United Airlines just because he refused to give up his seat. To be honest, the details of the story are shameful, horrific and sickening to the core. ( You can read all about it on Fortune and CNBC )

I also can’t get over what United C.E.O. Oscar Munoz said in a statement on Monday …“I apologize for having for having to re-accommodate these customers…” Really? That statement got me thinking. The passenger was literally singled out, dragged, humiliated and thrown off the plane. And they call that ‘re-accommodate‘? What is going on?

No need to apply communication and PR skills to sugarcoat this matter! They need to address the issue of overbooking their flights and avoid disappointing their paying customers.

Wells Fargo is still plagued by scandals. Last year, it admitted that a large number of employees had set up sham accounts to meet sales quotas. The company was ordered to pay $185 million in penalties.(Washington post)  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo Bank about  $100 million for the widespread illegal practice. The bank was also expected to pay an additional $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and another $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles. (Consumer Finance) Well now those scandals over fake accounts have continued to hurt its business. (More on CFO and Fortune)

Turmoil sweeping Uber- The startup has suffered scandals in the last few days. There has been reports and accusations about bad work place culture, legal threats and sexual harrassment( more at Yahoo.Finance and susanjfowler.com)  The company was also recently accused of using secret program to track rival LYFT drivers. (More at Newsweek)

In other news, from fake news to fake investment news –Fake Investment News Could Be Here to Stay. The SEC is prosecuting online stock fraud (More on Barrons.com)

With all the pressures facing corporations, there has never been a better time for business leaders with ethics and values.  I came across an article on BW Disrupt about the importance of business ethics and why it holds the key to lasting success for any organisation. The author writes “There is no greater satisfaction than achieving success by following the righteous path, even if it means choosing the longer and harder road, because while doing so, you build a solid and unshakeable foundation for the company that guarantees long lasting success.” Read more BW Disrupt .