Investing in ethics, India’s digital-first world, and Apple’s AR headset

Leadership & Culture

Silicon Valley Needs to Change How it Treats Working Mothers –The Verge

This story by Thomas Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle highlights a growing positive trend in Silicon Valley. That trend and idea is to actually talk about ethics and morality in the workplace.

The first organization we know of to hold a public discussion of these issues was VetCon’s “Investing in Ethics Summit” at Palo Alto Networks. Fun fact: The Mission was proud to be the media partner for the VetCon event. Let’s just say it’s about time these conversations got started.

Okay, back to the excellent article from Thomas Lee in the Chronicle. It looks like a few other well connected technology execs, founders, and investors are leading their own discussions. Obvious Ventures, co-founded by Ev Williamsand James Joaquin, recently led an on-the-record discussion of these issues. Bravo!

“We’ve seen more progress over the last 12 months than the entire decade before,” –James Joaquin

When all else fails, this maxim sums up the ethics and morality issue:

If you see fraud and don’t say fraud, you are a fraud. — Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Palmer “Freeman” Lucky recently shared this article from a group of VR operators and enthusiasts with a site called, “VR Dizzy”. VR Dizzy feels a bit like a smarter, niche version of the Onion, and made me laugh out loud a few times when reading it. Palmer, thanks for supporting cool, independent media! And well played and written, VRDizzy team! Can’t wait for future stories. If VR/AR is ever going to go mainstream… or if we’re ever going to break out of the same dystopian Sci-Fi future scenarios Hollywood is pushing… we need more comedy and satire.

Pokemon Go was cool, I guess. I played it for a good 5 minutes until I realized I didn’t give AF about Pokemon. But I’m SUPER excited for Niantic’s next AR game, “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite”. Although I feel like this should be a full on VR experience where I can fly around Hogwarts, and discover all the secrets that await, I guess I can settle with an AR experience for now. Stoked! -Rolling Stone

Apple is secretly (or not so secretly, I guess..) hacking away at an AR headset, expected to launch in 2020. This new headset won’t use your phone as the screen, like most other headsets, and will run on a new chip and operating system. -Bloomberg

Robotics & Drones

Uber has plans to test it’s flying car program, Uber Elevate, by 2020.

Recently they signed a deal with NASA to help make it happen. Maybe level 5 autonomy for self driving cars is further away than everyone thinks? If so, flying cars sound excellent to us. No more US 101 traffic alongside people who are staring at the their phones and driving.

We wanted flying cars, but NASA had to make a deal with Uber to get them. :/

Cryptology & Security

Remember when I was talking about the upcoming hardfork for Bitcoin in the first edition of Tech Trends? Well, erase that from your brain for now (no need to use up that valuable space!), because the hardfork has been called off indefinitely until they figure out a way to make everyone happy… Good luck with that!


Compass is crushing it. Maybe they can help stabilize housing costs in the Bay Area? Is that too much to ask? Real estate startup Compass raises $100M Series E at a $1.8B valuation, plans to build new CRM tech to integrate client, listings, and transactions data

Design & Software

Instagram is extending the life of stories! They now last more than 24 hours. Wonder if Snap will follow suit? -Tech Crunch

Everybody hates on Microsoft and LinkedIn, yet they both print money, and the latter has created a revolution in better allocating skills and talent. LinkedIn has single handled created a more liquid marketplace in the US for jobs and opportunities. It’s also built something that has helped the best salespeople and recruiters like nothing else. They don’t get enough credit. Now that they’ll be integrating more closely with everything Windows-based, expect the dominance to continue. -zdnet

Look, I know I said it yesterday, but making sure “Not hotdog” succeeds is vital to saving poor human workers from doing tasks like this. Godspeed Jin Yang, Mike Judd, and the Silicon Valley crew!

Is a redesign enough to save Snap or prop up the share price? We’ll see, as it launches on Dec. 4th. -Business Insider

China’s Tencent just bought ~10% of Snapchat. Looks like Snap has buyers with some deep pockets on standby. -cnbc

Tax reforms, demonetization, and the push for a digital-first world in India is super intriguing. “The reality is that India is moving into the future at an unprecedented rate. And the path it is taking to get there is digital.” -HBR

Postmates is a phenomena. They’re rolling out grocery delivery at a LOWER price than Amazon Fresh and Instacart. Meanwhile, Amazon Fresh is closing down operations in several major cities. Hats off to the entire Postmates team for solving an incredibly tough (albeit first world) problem. The Postmates team has just given all of us access to more time, and the ability to avoid shopping… what are we going to do with it? Netflix and chilling is cool up to a certain extent, but I have a feeling there are plenty of people left in Silicon Valley like myself, and The Mission team who are going to use that extra time to build stuff that make things better, not only in the first world, but all over the world. Rant finished.

Biology & Science

Doctors recreated 80% of the skin covering a boy’s body with genetically modified cells. -Science Alert

That’s it for today’s edition of Tech Trends. Want more goodness like this?

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