Thought Experiments

Thought Experiments

This Plugin Lets You, Not Facebook, Decide How Your News Feed Makes You Feel

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 3.42.16 PM

A couple weeks ago Facebook came clean: it wasn’t just your ex and the photos of him and his new girlfriend that were playing with your emotions. It was an inside job. Facebook’s data scientists — or perhaps we should call them omnipotent puppeteers — had manipulated users’ feeds without their consent.

Now, after public outcry and a lackluster apology from Sheryl Sandberg, Brooklyn artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is helping us reclaim our feelings. Her latest experiment is called the Facebook Mood Manipulator, a Google Chrome extension that allows users to adjust the content of their news feeds according to how they want to feel. Read More

Thought Experiments

Things Apple Can Buy for That $98 Billion

Mr. Cook. (Getty Images)

Apple scheduled a surprise conference call for later this morning to discuss its $98 billion pile of reserve cash; specifically, whether shareholders will get any of it.

Steve Jobs liked the security of having the money in the bank. It gave Apple the freedom to make a major acquisition without having to borrow and guarded against catastrophe. But Jobs’s successor Tim Cook has said Apple has more cash than it needs to run on a daily basis and told shareholders that he is “not religious” about keeping a large amount in savings.

On today’s conference call, Apple will announce the outcome of board discussions. The announcement of the announcement instantly provoked speculation. Would Apple pay dividends? Make an acquisition? Paper the walls of 1 Infinite Loop with Benjamins? Read More

Thought Experiments

Wherefore Flickr? Ideas for the Beloved Photo Site’s Escape From Yahoo

Flickr in 2004, before the Yahoo acquisition.

Earlier this week we wrote about how Yahoo had laid off at least five employees including the highest level of customer support at Flickr, sad news for fans of the photo sharing service. Flickr pulls in money via $25/year pro subscriptions, advertising and a licensing deal with Getty. Still, one analysis last year put Flickr’s revenue at $50 million a year on pro subscriptions alone.  Read More

Thought Experiments

A New Incubator Model Pairs Startups With Established Companies, With Investors in the Middle [WHITE PAPER]

the corporation

“Trying to innovate within a big company sucks,” TechStars director David Tisch said once, expressing a sentiment held widely throughout the tech startup world (cf. Google and Dodgeball, Yahoo and Delicious). But at the same time, large, stable companies must innovate, or they’ll fall behind.

In a new white paper, Howard Yu, professor at the IMD Business School, Switzerland, and Ben Lin, a partner at early-stage venture fund Great Oaks Venture Capital, argue for a twist on the tech accelerator that marries established companies with entrepreneurs and third party investors: Read More