Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.
To be sure, the internet has presented journalists with an extraordinary opportunity to remake their own profession. And the rhetoric of the new wave of creativity in journalism is spattered with words that denote transformation. But the new micro-institutions of journalism already bear the hallmarks of the restrictive heritage they abandoned with such glee. At the risk of being the old bat in the back, allow me to quote Faye Dunaway’s character from Network: “Look, all I’m saying is if you’re going to hustle, at least do it right.”
I’m a journalist. I believe in journalism, and I believe in our communities. I believe in holding those in power accountable. I believe in building civic knowledge. I believe in celebrating the good and trying to understand and solve the bad. But mostly I believe in storytelling.
The South American startup scene is representative of a global startup culture that had its start in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. A culture that has its roots in free thinking about what the world can be is not something that is just solely the enjoyment of tight community in California. It’s something people across the globe embrace.
The challenge for the region is not about getting people excited about startups. It’s more so in the development of the ecosystem and the infrastructure. That’s the challenge of any developing country. But more so than ever before, it’s a chance for South America to take a leapfrog ahead and establish itself as a leader on the world startup stage.
TechCrunch’s Alex Williams, on the thriving South American entrepreneurial community. The Rise Of The TechnoLatinas: A Full-Fledged Startup Movement Emerges In South America.
We see a full-fledged movement with an ecosystem that is creating new connections for the economies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the rest of the world. These entrepreneurs represent a movement now.
A growing number of angel investors are starting to invest in South American startups and the venture capital community is growing.
Entrepreneurship is becoming the preferred career option for a sizeable share of the top talent emerging from business and engineering universities in the region. This is partly because of the tremendous opportunity for upside, but it is also more in the image of a younger generation that identifies with the Internet and a connected world.
Increased broadband availability and the emergence of cloud services has broken down the costs to set up and run an online business. The information gap is narrowing. More people have Internet access, and governments are getting more actively involved in developing startup ecosystems.
And the infrastructure is emerging, too. Amazon Web Services opened a data center in Sao Paulo last December. Microsoft BizSpark opened a number of innovation centers in Brazil to connect developers with businesses. Google is now building a data center in Chile.
It’s become almost a cliche: A small company builds its entire product on the back of a larger company’s data. Big company pulls the plug, startup gets screwed. I know I should feel sympathy for the startup in those situations but the truth is, I rarely do. if your entire offering is dependent on data from, say, Twitter then you’re not really a company — you’re a feature. And free data isn’t a basic human right. Business is business, etc, etc, etc.
But then — very, very occasionally — a big company behaves in a way that misses business entirely and instead crashes straight into stupid. And that’s precisely what just happened with Amazon’s decision to ban social reading startup Findings from reposting extracts imported by Kindle users.
Paul Carr, PandoDaily. A “Moment of Temporary Insanity”? Amazon Orders Findings To Stop Importing Highlights.
Findings, as Carr describes it, promotes social reading by being “a kind of Tumblr for word-nerds, an easy way to share inspiring, provoking, stimulating, and otherwise fascinating little snippets of text, whether they be found on webpages, in magazines, or deep inside books.”
I won’t name names. I used to name names. But I think all you have to do is read TechCrunch. Look at what the top stories are, and they’re all about raising money, how many employees they have, and these are metrics that don’t matter.
What matters is: Are you profitable? Are you building something great? Are you taking care of your people? Are you treating your customers well? In the coverage of our industry as a whole, you’ll rarely see stories about treating customers well, about people building a sustainable business. TechCrunch to me is the great place to look to see the sickness in our industry right now.