5 min read

Weekly Digest of Must-Read Articles (4.10)

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
October 4, 2019
May 29, 2024

Every week we meticulously browse through tons of articles, read a variety of editorials and features to find 10 most interesting pieces you can’t miss on any occasion. This week you’ll find out how to set your Google data to self-destruct. Learn how one of the most trending startups went from a $47 billion valuation to a talk of bankruptcy. You’ll discover the new trend of getting real on Instagram and why cybersecurity is a bubble. Read all of this and more in our new weekly digest of 10 articles we’d like you to like.

How WeWork Spiraled From a $47 Billion Valuation to Talk of Bankruptcy in Just 6 Weeks. – Business Insider

“With its stratospheric $47 billion valuation and preposterously ambitious cofounder and CEO, Adam Neumann — his goal wasn't merely to make money or rent office space, he claimed, but to "change the world" — WeWork had become a glaring symbol of Silicon Valley's boundless audacity and self-professed exemption from the laws of economics.

In the early-morning light, thousands of investors and journalists would get their first real peek at the company's financial condition and be able to judge for themselves whether WeWork was really, as its founder claimed, on a path toward galactic dominance and unimaginable profit.

Almost immediately, all hell broke loose. A steady stream of rapid-fire headlines detailed Neumann's self-dealing, mismanagement, and bizarre behavior. Within 33 days the offering was scuttled, WeWork's valuation plummeted 70% or more, and Neumann, who believed he would become the world's first trillionaire, was ousted as CEO. What was supposed to be Neumann's coronation as a visionary became one of the most catastrophically bungled attempted debuts in business history.” Read the article.

Where Toxic Masculinity Goes to Die. – The Atlantic

“There’s no elegant way to put this, but I’m in love with an online forum devoted to facial hair. Naturally, and like many other discussion boards, Beard Board is full of men—but the men here are kindhearted and supportive of one another. Cruelty is forbidden; generosity is encouraged. The site can feel like a haven, which is important, because while it’s nominally about beards—growing them, grooming them—in practice it offers a kind of group therapy.

I stumbled across Beard Board in June. I hadn’t let myself go more than a week or so without shaving in more than a decade, but now, at 30, I was self-employed and about to start graduate school. It was a time of transition, of Saturn return, of instability and possibility. I remember watching Always Be My Maybe on Netflix and thinking that I could probably grow a patchy beard like the one Keanu Reeves had. But my decision to stop shaving was ultimately mysterious to me. Before long, my casual stubble gave way to a wiry purgatory, and the strange drama unfolding on my face became an obsession. I began searching for answers in other men’s scruff.” Read the article.

How to Set Your Google Data to Self-Destruct. – The New York Times

“On Wednesday, Google followed up by expanding the auto-delete ability to YouTube. In the coming weeks, it will begin rolling out a new private mode for when you’re navigating to a destination with its Google Maps app, which could come in handy if you’re going somewhere you want to keep secret, like a therapist’s office.

“All of this work is in service of having a great user experience,” Eric Miraglia, Google’s data protection officer, said about the new privacy features. “Part of that experience is, how does the user feel about the control they have?”

How do we best use Google’s new privacy tools? The company gave me a demonstration of the newest controls this week, and I tested the tools that it released earlier this year. Here’s what to know about them.” Read the article.

Apple’s Tim Cook Has Pushed CEO Activism Into Uncharted Territory. – Quartz

“At this point, corporate leaders have little choice but to stay politically astute and active, especially those on top of companies like Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, which are so large and influential that their sprawling interests are intertwined with issues driving global disputes, including immigration, climate change, populism, trade, and censorship.

But it’s not only their unprecedented power and size that makes staying on the sidelines impossible, it’s also the changed expectations of our times, which asks for accountability with consistency.” Read the article.

‘The Economics of Experiential Are Really Attractive’: How Eater Is Expanding Its Events Business. – Digiday

“Its food site Eater has spent the past year bulking up its experiential offerings, ranging from evening wine and book clubs to a daylong summit that capitalized on its eight-year-old “Young Guns” franchise of up-and-coming talent in the food world. In total, Eater has already hosted, or been a part of, over 50 events for Vox Media this year, including launching 11 new event programs and series for its brand in 2019 alone. 

The business models for Eater events vary. Eater Talks, a local restaurant industry discussion series that launched in London and now takes place in various cities, sells tickets around the $20 mark to complement its partnership with the Ace Hotel, where the series is held. The Eater Young Guns Summit, which took place in New York this past July, saw roughly 900 attendees at $60 per ticket. Sponsors for that event included Grey Goose Vodka. Some ticket prices for Eater events are as low as $10, like the upcoming Eater Book Club.” Read the article.

The Rise of the “Getting Real” Post on Instagram. – The New Yorker

“The “getting real” moment is so prevalent that there’s a new podcast, “The Lowlight Reel,” that attempts to celebrate unfiltered moments or points of personal struggle. The show’s host, Embry Roberts, invites entertainers, writers, and influencers to discuss “the stuff you didn’t see on social media”—which includes eating disorders, anxiety medication, impostor syndrome, and health scares. The irony, of course, is that this is now the stuff that you do see on social media. The shift is not just a spiritual awakening but an aesthetic one. In an Atlantic piece, the writer Taylor Lorenz explored the drift from highly manicured photos—a neatly cropped image of your avocado toast, say—toward deliberately sloppy ones. “In fact, many teens are going out of their way to make their photos look worse,” Lorenz wrote. The original Instagram tropes have grown dull, creating a hunger for authenticity, or at least the appearance of candor.” Read the article.

Read the Full Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s Leaked Internal Facebook Meetings. – The Verge

“On October 1st, The Verge published text and audio from recent internal meetings at Facebook where CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered tough questions from employees who are concerned about the company’s future. In two July meetings, Zuckerberg rallied his employees against critics, competitors, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among others.

To provide more context around Zuckerberg’s remarks, The Verge is publishing expanded transcripts from the two meetings below. In them, Zuckerberg discussed his plan to beat TikTok, why he wants to keep absolute control of the company, and what employees should tell friends who have a dim view of Facebook. Each question below was asked by a different Facebook employee.” Read the full transcript.

Cybersecurity Is a Bubble, but It's Not Ready to Burst. – Techcrunch

“The global cybersecurity market is booming: Cybersecurity-related spending is on track to surpass $133 billion in 2022, and the market has grown more than 30x in 13 years. But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. Some industry watchers have claimed that the cybersecurity market is a bubble about to burst. To understand the debate, it’s important to look beyond traditional supply and demand metrics.

On the one hand, the demand for cybersecurity solutions is huge. Organizations are increasingly investing in cybersecurity, as evidenced by a recent report by Gartner Group showing security spending is outpacing IT spending. Security departments are expanding in size and budget, and, at the helm, security decision-makers are gaining respect more than ever before. With ever-dynamic cybersecurity risks and regulations, it is clear to most C-suite leaders that there’s more to be protected and more on the line.” Read the article.

‘Inspirational’ Av Upgrade for Healthcare Teaching. – AV Magazine

“Nottingham Trent University is a thriving modern institution named by the Guardian newspaper as the 2019 University of the Year. The Clinical Studies Centre is a facility operated by staff from the department of social work and health and is used to provide post-registration professional development for healthcare professionals.

As part of a broader ongoing programme of investment at Nottingham Trent University, Pure Audio Visual Ltd was engaged to upgrade the audiovisual facilities in the centre.

Within the field of healthcare training, there is a significant focus on practical, scenario-based teaching. The upgrade to the facilities had to encourage interactive, two-way engagement between lecturer and students, and enable the live demonstration and observation of clinical techniques.” Read the article.

The Mind at Work: Karl Friston on the Brain’s Surprising Energy. – Dropbox

“What do we know about the brain? It weighs about three pounds, has 86 billion neurons, controls the movements of our bodies, and produces consciousness. And although it only accounts for about 2% of our body weight, it uses 20% of our body’s energy.

Helping us understand the function of the brain, and particularly the surprisingly dynamic ways that it uses all of that energy, has been a life-long fascination of neuroscientist Karl Friston of Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging and University College London. He’s best known for his inventions and innovations in fMRI brain imaging, which have made him the most highly cited neuroscientist in the world, and on the short list for a Nobel Prize. All of this is prelude to the larger ambition, still far from realized, of fusing the exquisite spatial resolution of fMRI with the exquisite temporal resolution of EEG—the oldest form of measuring brain activity— to give us a truly high-fidelity view of the brain in action.” Read the article.

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