Writing Review for Week of Sept 10, 2018

Writing Review for Week of Sept 10, 2018

This week was busy with the Apple event as always, but also Mobile World Congress Americas, where it is clear that 5G is starting to become a mainstay concern for telcos across the world.

5G Dilemmas

Two pieces on the challenges of 5G. The first is an analysis around Apple’s use of 5G in its popular line of iPhones. The company made no announcements this week, and that’s the challenge for Apple given the timing of its product launches, particularly around China. China will have commercial 5G service late this year to early next year or so, but the next edition of the iPhone likely won’t come out until September. That may seem like little time, but in the highly-competitive, mature smartphone industry, a few months may be just enough of a gap to allow another company to steal market share in one of Apple’s most important growth markets.

On the other side of the world, a city north of San Francisco has voted to effectively block the rollout of 5G small cell technology into residential neighborhoods over medical and health fears. While the science is reasonably absolute that cell phone antennas have no link to health outcomes, what’s crazy here is that 5G antennas will typically broadcast less radiation than the towers they are replacing. Whatever health effects were there before, there should be even less going forward. It’s another example of the strange dichotomy within the country’s leading innovation hub.

Spearhead is transforming founders into angel investors

A profile of a cool new program that is trying to turn founders into angel investors by giving them a small pool of capital to invest in order to build their own track records. It’s a really interesting beginning to what I think could be a compelling program in the next couple of years.

The second blockchain bubble is now complete - what’s next?

Blockchain has had an issue with two narratives. One is the 1960s narrative, which is that blockchain is an incredibly nascent technology that needs decades to get to wide adoption, similar to the internet. The other is the 1990s narrative, which states that blockchain is on the cusp of revolution and needs immediate investment for maximum return. It’s clear now that the 1960s crew was right, and that it is imperative to allow engineers and thinkers to work on blockchain with more solitude as they discover the frontiers of this tech in areas like identity, decentralized web services, and securitized tokens.

Crypto’s second bubble, Juul has 60 days and three Chinese IPOs

On TechCrunch’s Equity podcast this week talking the news as well as Juul. Regulations are increasingly intertwined with startups, and there are more connections between the vaping product and crypto than meets the eye.

Photo by Mike Mozart used under Creative Commons.