Data sovereignty is one of those slow-boiling issues that are easy to miss, but incredibly important to stay on top of. I have been focusing a lot on China’s data sovereignty policies, including its relatively new cloud computing law, but this week I shine the light on India. The country is promulgating a revamped data localization law that would require Indian data to be stored in local data centers. It’s a laudable goal for locals, but extraordinarily complicated for cloud providers who have to handle the data governance rules.
This was a response to a recent Columbia Journalism Review essay about the need to completely rebuild the tech press from scratch. I feel as though this vastly overstates the problem, which is essentially that tech has grown to affect every facet of human existence, and it is really the non-tech press who need to raise their standards. In addition, I argued for the importance of dynamic range in the coverage of tech. A small startup is worthy of more praise than a massive behemoth tech company, and the level of criticism should expand as companies grow.
Another week spent heads down on some new initiatives I am working on. Two interesting companies that I covered this week are Brat and Even, which both raised a bunch of money from investors. And if you are in SF in early September, definitely head to Disrupt SF and watch a great panel on the future of insurance tech.
This past week, I was in Zug, Switzerland for TechCrunch's one-day conference on blockchain. I had a blast meeting so many interesting people, and learning a lot about the blockchain ecosystem. I had two on-stage interviews, and the videos are in the list below. I covered one panel for TechCrunch, and had a de rigueur article on China venture capital because no one can have enough of that, can they?
Chinese venture capitalists are putting in more dollars than their American counterparts, and the distinction between top tech companies in China and the U.S. is even more startling. But is that the whole story? Part of the change is blockchain,
One of my personal pet topics is how to extend ownership of equity to more people (the equity of equity, essentially). Paired is trying to do this in loyalty, where they offer you fractional shares in the companies you shop at. It's a novel idea, and while it won't dramatcally change the dismal economcis of our society, it could definitely be a step in the right direction.
This week was my “potpourri” week on TechCrunch, with stories covering open source, Scottish digital transformation, autonomous warfare, low-cost health services, and more. A lot of these had been on the agenda for some time, so it was fun to see them all finally get published.
This was a deep dive analysis of the changing economics around open source, specifically focused on maintainers. Following up from Nadia Eghbal’s report Roads and Bridges almost exactly two years ago, I investigate two approaches for individuals — Patreon and License Zero — as well as two initiatives targeting organizations — Tidelift and Open Collective — and how all of them are creating new models to make open source sustainable.
This week saw several big news stories: the final, final repeal of Net Neutrality, the Time Warner-AT&T merger, the Kim-Trump summit, and the continued ups and downs of President Trump’s trade tariffs and ZTE penalties.
This article went hyper-viral this week. It’s essential argument is that now that ISPs like AT&T and potentially Comcast have bought large content libraries, content companies like Netflix and YouTube (i.e. Alphabet) are going to have to get into the distribution business in order to compete effectively. That doesn’t mean they need to blanket the U.S., but a careful strategy of targeting the most lucrative markets for the biggest carriers could allow
This week, I focused on several major Asia tech and finance stories that will radically reshape the divide between the U.S. and China. Several of these stories have been issues debated for years that are now seeing resolution, such as MSCI’s decision below. It’s a constant reminder in Silicon Valley that despite the region’s power in tech, many others around the world are plotting to compete effectively.
China is launching a new financial vehicle known as Chinese Depository Receipts, which are mirrors of a similar vehicle in the United States known as American Depository Receipts. This mechanism allows local investors to invest in foreign companies, without the logistics of moving money