Friday 5 — 5.30.2014

By Friday Five

duolingo coursera growth

  1. Mary Meeker released her annual, comprehensive internet trends report. Lots of stats reinforce the enormous potential in mobile, like room for growth in global smartphone adoption, and opportunity in mobile advertising. She notes that the education industry is at an “inflection point,” with increasingly global user bases (particularly for duolingo above) and the rise of personalized, online education from MOOC to app.
  2. Amazon and Hachette are embroiled in an escalating battle, which has led to Amazon, in some cases, refusing to sell or discount Hachette books — see this useful explainer. In highly related news, Harvard Business Review article outlines four strategies suppliers can use to capture value from powerful platform owners.
  3. Does our addiction to tweets, Buzzfeed slideshows, tl;dr summaries, and explainers mean that we no longer devote focused time to explore primary sources? This opinion piece offers one worrisome take on our facile faking of cultural literacy.
  4. What does Apple buying sub-par headphone company and high-margin lifestyle brand Beats mean (apart from the fact that Dr. Dre is now linked to Steve Jobs by far fewer than six degrees of separation)? Explore some theories here.
  5. We’ve discovered the ideal recipe for crowdfunding $2M on Kickstarter in less than 48 hours. Mix a heady dose of nostalgia with an accessible and compelling cause, and then add in cultural icon LeVar Burton.

Weekend fun: The bad news: otters at the Smithsonian National Zoo may well have more enrichment activities than you do at your desk. The good news: it’s pretty awesome to watch.

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

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