News You Can Use: 10/4/2017

  • Tech Firms Find Washington Isn’t So Hands-Off Anymore

    It was already a tough year for Silicon Valley in Washington, where lawmakers have been pushing proposals that could roil the industry, including measures on net neutrality, privacy and liability. The industry’s standing suffered again in the past week when lawmakers laid plans for public hearings to examine whether Facebook and other social-media platforms were used by foreign governments during the 2016 campaign to manipulate the U.S. election. Lawmakers also signaled they are considering new legislation to address online spending by foreign adversaries—a potential blow to the firms’ cherished freedom from close government oversight.

    “This is a Wild, Wild West,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, about the possible need for more controls on internet companies.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-firms-find-washington-isnt-so-hands-off-anymore-1505473201

  • How startups can avoid Bodega’s PR disaster

    The first article published about Bodega read almost like a Silicon Valley parody. It highlights a few things people feel is wrong with the tech community right now; Bodega comes across as a tone-deaf company that got the thumbs-up from some of the Valley’s most respected investors for a seemingly absurd idea with a culturally insensitive name. It represents a confounding and out-of-touch approach to disruption; if you missed the headline, it’s “Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete.”

    Just a few hours after launching, Bodega received a lashing on Twitter, and the headlines came to resemble this one from The Washington Post: “Bodega, an ‘unmanned pantry box,’ has already become America’s most hated start-up.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/15/how-startups-can-avoid-bodegas-pr-disaster/?ncid=rss

  • How to solve problems like a designer
  • Invited To Lunch With Your Boss’s Boss? Here’s Exactly What To Do

    Another smart move for lunch with a senior leader is to give an example of how the company is helping you grow. Don’t just share details about your job duties or favorite projects you’ve worked on, though. Discuss a highlight from a company “extra” that you felt was valuable, like a training program, an offsite event, etc.

    This can help you demonstrate that you appreciate what the company is doing to invest in your career, without taking a deep dive into the specifics of your role. Remember, your goal is to build a rapport, not deliver a scorecard. He probably doesn’t want that kind of detail, but he does want to know you. And above all, he wants to know that you want to know him. If you don’t give the impression that that’s the case, you’ll miss your chance at developing a potentially valuable mentor inside your organization.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40470150/invited-to-lunch-with-your-bosss-boss-heres-exactly-what-to-do

  • Is This Hotel an Airbnb Killer?

    A study last year from Morgan Stanley projected that 25% of leisure travelers and 23% of business travelers will have used Airbnb by the end of 2017, up from 12% for both groups of travelers in 2015. The report found Airbnb was a common substitute for hotels: 49% of Airbnb users said they had substituted Airbnb for a traditional hotel stay in the past year.

    With Public, Mr. Schrager said he aims to better compete with Airbnb on nightly rates and offer superior amenities such as bars and other places to socialize. While cutting staff costs for hotel operations, Mr. Schrager’s new concept fuses a sprawling bar and restaurant operation onto the property, deriving revenue and profits from amenities that are meant to attract a much larger crowd than just the hotel’s guests.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-this-hotel-an-airbnb-killer-1505473207

Photo: HB Mertz

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