Friday 5 — 4.4.2014

By Friday Five

  1. social-networking-over-timeA Pew report on older adults and technology use finds that more seniors are online. Today, 59% of 65+ adults are connected, compared with 53% in 2012 and only 35% back in 2008. And they’re more social: more than half of women 65+ use social networking sites, validating my theory that grandchildren photos are a critical driver for Facebook adoption. Seniors still lag notably in smartphone adoption, with only 18% penetration compared to 55% of the general population.
  2. On-demand car service Lyft raised 250 M, putting them in a fundraising league with Uber as the two compete for marketshare. How big will these “collaborative economy” or sharing services grow as a generation less invested in owning enters its prime earning years?
  3. Hard to believe that Gmail is already 10 years old. The service launched on April 1, 2004, via a mere 1,000 initial invitations. Gmail changed the way we think about searchable email, and turned up the pressure for ease-of-use and storage for IT departments struggling to keep up with heightened employee expectations. Fun fact: Gmail was a skunkworks project, and launched in beta on 300 old Pentium III computers nobody else at Google wanted.
  4. Amazon, Google, and now Microsoft are engaging in price wars over their cloud offerings. Thankfully, gone are the days when the first thing you did when you build a website was, “First, write a million dollar check to Sun for some servers…”
  5. Lots of people have great ideas for social products and services — but many of those products depends on critical mass of users. How do you grow enough to get the metrics to understand where to improve and scale? Andrew Chen lists some solid approaches to solving for the dreaded cold start problem.

Weekend fun: Lots of people are already sick of watching this video of an ecstatic two-legged puppy romping on the beach. I am not one of those people.


Every Friday, find five, highly subjective links about compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally.

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