Friday five: bubbles, holograms and emojis

Bubbles tend to burst – via TechCrunch

The impending doom chorus seems to be growing. This sobering article in TechCrunch cites several high-profile investors and CEOs on the craziness of current valuations fuelled by easy money, and how the race to close the next round obscures the underlying purpose of the company.

“As Wilson emphasizes, “At some point you have to build a real business, generate real profits, sustain the company without the largess of investor’s capital, and start producing value the old fashioned way.” Gurley, a stalwart investor, puts the discussion into context by saying “We’re in a risk bubble … we’re taking on … a level of risk that we’ve never taken on before in the history of Silicon Valley startups.” ”

“The fact that we are in a tech bubble is in no doubt. The fact that the bubble is about to burst, however, is not something the sector wants to wake up to. The good times the sector is enjoying are becoming increasingly artificial. The tech startup space at the moment resembles the story of the emperor with no clothes. It remains for a few established, reasoned voices to persist with their concerns so the majority will finally listen.”

But even if the majority start to listen, what good will it do? Values are already over-inflated, and startup investment is not the most liquid of asset classes. In other words, even if you realise now that a collapse is overdue, what exactly are you going to do about it? The sad thing is, a collapse will penalize startups that are potentially valuable (economically and socially) by making funding extremely hard to raise. At least until we collectively get over the shock and start all over again.

— x —

Pass me that hologram, will you? – via Mashable

image via Mashable

image via Mashable

3d holograms that we can touch. For now, they’re basic 3d renditions of 2d images, projected into the air. But just imagine what this could evolve into. Who needs virtual reality, right?

— x —

Emojis: trendy slang, or a whole new language? – from Wired

“…emoji are more than emotional punctuation. They add context, enable wordplay, insert nuance, and let you speak your mind while taking the edge off your message. They’re tone-of-voice for a medium that has no tone and no voice.”

The emotional context of what we say… Who knew it was so important? Literature has gotten by for centuries without adding cute faces, and has managed to convey meaning and feeling. True, it may have taken pages to explain what a simple little picture or sequence of symbols can express in a few milimetres.

So, will emoji evolve into a whole new language? A universal one at that? I so hope not. They are a convenient way to express yourself. But language needs nuance and roots and cultural identity. They are changing the way we communicate, perhaps even the way we view language. And that’s pretty amazing, a fascinating concept. But as a substitute?

“…nobody is going to learn emoji as their first language. So even though emoji can answer questions, modify sentences, and give punch lines, they are closer to slang than anything else.”

So, just for fun then? Phew.

image via Wired

image via Wired

— x —

Fassbender + Sorkin + Boyle + some guy called Steve

I’m sure you’ve seen this, but I’m putting it in here anyway. I’m not a member of the Steve Jobs cult. I didn’t watch the other biopic. I didn’t read the book. But I am looking forward to seeing this, as I would any Aaron Sorkin film. Especially one directed by Danny Boyle. Plus, I’ll watch anything with Michael Fassbender in it. So, October, bring it on.

— x —

Apple vs Spotify  via The Guardian

I updated my IoS operating system on the 30th of June, and got the new Apple Music. I’m still playing around with it, and so far it seems fun. I like the musician-curated playlists. But, so far I’m planning on sticking with Spotify. It seems cleaner (I know, even), more targeted, and I like the playlists so much better. But, it’s early days yet, and I will be playing with Apple Music some more. It should be a fun summer.

— x —

So this is progress? – via Fast Company

Sealed Air have come up with a bubble wrap that won’t pop. Why????????

image via Fast Company

image via Fast Company

— x —

Have a great, summery weekend (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), with lots of music and ice cubes… :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *